By Zheng Xi
Editor’s Note: Everyone who believes in the Lord never understands the question clearly: Is theGod’s Son or God Himself? Most of us believers think the Lord Jesus is God’s beloved Son, that is, God’s Son, but the Lord said: “I am in the Father, and the Father in me,” and “I and my Father are one.” So we are puzzled by the relationship between God and the Lord Jesus. If you want to understand this question, let’s seek the answer to it together.
Zheng Xi and her husband, Xin Yu, were readingat home. When she read this verse: “And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17), she thought: “The Lord Jesus is God’s Son. That’s right. But Sister Gao said there’s only one God, and that the Lord Jesus is the incarnate , is the appearance of God and is God Himself.” Then Zheng Xi felt confused: “Is the Lord Jesus God’s Son or God Himself?” When she was pondering, Sister Gao knocked at their door.
In the living room, they three began discussing this topic. Zheng Xi said in a firm tone: “Sister Gao, I’ve believed in the Lord since my childhood, and I always hear the priests and elders say that the Lord Jesus is God’s beloved Son. The Bible also says: ‘And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him: And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:16-17). So, as the passage of scripture says, the Lord Jesus is the Son of God. That can’t be wrong.”
Sister Gao gently said to her: “Sister Zheng, let’s quiet down before the Lord. May the Lord enlighten and lead us to understand this question. We all know, after the Lord Jesus began to work and speak among men, He not only opened the Age of the Grace, but allowed people to see the tangible and practical God come personally into the human world, live among them and take part in their lives. At that time, the Holy Spirit witnessed that the Lord Jesus was God’s beloved Son and the Lord Jesus called God of heaven Father. As such, many people thought the Lord Jesus was God’s Son. Like this, the notion of this Father-Son relationship was passed down. Now let’s think for a while. Does God say anywhere in Genesis that He has a son?” Zheng Xi frowned and thought about it for a moment, saying: “No.”
Sister Gao continued: “When Jehovah God did His work in the Age of the Law, did He say that He had a son? The answer is still no. This proves that there is no Father-Son relationship to speak of from the beginning. In fact, the Lord Jesus clearly told us the answer in the Bible. John 14:8-11 states: ‘Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffises us. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.’ Here, the Lord Jesus said: ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me,’ and ‘he that has seen me has seen the Father.’ He didn’t say the God of the high heavens and He have a Father-Son relationship. Now according to what the Lord Jesus said, can we not confirm that the Lord Jesus is the appearance of God, God Himself?”
Hearing Sister Gao’s fellowship, Zheng Xi felt that it was rational. But she was confused and asked: “If there is no Father-Son relationship to speak of, then why is it that when the Lord Jesus prays, He still prays to God the Father?”
With a smile, Sister Gao went on to say: “There is a great mystery to the Lord Jesus calling God of heaven Father in His prayers.” With that, she took out a book from her bag and said: “Let’s take a look at what this book says about this question.” It says: “Given that He is called, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s that Jesus taught you to memorize? ‘Our Father in heaven….’ He asked all man to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all. Since you called God in heaven by the name of Father, this shows that Jesus saw Himself to be on equal footing with you, and as a man on earth chosen by God (that is, the Son of God). If you call God ‘Father,’ is this not because you are a created being? However great the authority of Jesus on earth, prior to the crucifixion, He was merely a Son of man, governed by the Holy Spirit (that is, God), and one of the earth’s created beings, for He had yet to complete His work. Therefore, His calling God in heaven Father was solely His humility and obedience” (“Does the Trinity Exist?”).
Then Sister Gao fellowshiped: “From these words we come to know that God’s work has a practical side. Before the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross, His identity was the Son of man and outwardly He was an ordinary, normal person. So He would pray and seek from the perspective of a created being. This reflected the Lord Jesus’ humility and obedience. However, regardless of what tone or title the Lord Jesus used when He prayed, His substance is still God Himself, and He is governed by the Holy Spirit. This can’t be changed. We don’t know the Lord Jesus’ identity and substance, and this is why we misunderstand that He was God’s son.”
After hearing these words, Zheng Xi nodded. Then she was confused and asked again: “The Bible also says, ‘And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17). How do you explain that?”
Sister Gao said: “Sister, let us continue reading: ‘There are still those who say, “Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?” “Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased” was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, “The Father is in Me and I am in the Father,” indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself. … But at that time, the Spirit in heaven stated only that He was the beloved Son of God, and made no mention of His being the only Son of God. This simply did not happen. How could God have an only child? Then would God not have become man? Because He was the incarnation, He was called the beloved Son of God, and, from this, came the relationship between Father and Son. It was simply because of the separation between heaven and earth’ (‘Does the Trinity Exist?’).
“From these words, we can understand: The Holy Spirit testified like this, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son.’ That was God testifying from the perspective of the spirit that He had been incarnated as the Son of man, and that was God bearing witness to Himself. People at that time all knew that God was the Spirit. If the Holy Spirit had directly borne witness to the fact that the incarnate Lord Jesus was God, they wouldn’t have accepted it. The reason was that at the time, people didn’t know at all what the incarnate God was, had very little understanding of what being incarnate was and never imagined that this regular Son of man would be the embodiment of the Spirit of God, that is, the appearance of God in the flesh. Even if the Lord Jesus expressed many truths when He did His work, brought man the way, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,’ and displayed many miracles, for example, healing the sick and casting out demons, fully revealing God’s authority and power, people at that time failed to recognize from the Lord Jesus’ word and work that the Lord Jesus was God Himself, that is, was the appearance of God. Some of them said that He was John the Baptist or Elijah and some even called Him Master. Therefore, God just worked according to the stature of people at that time and called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son. This way fit in better with people’s conceptions, and was easier to accept. Only thus could the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption gradually expand. So, the reason that the Holy Spirit testified like this at that time was because of the need of the background of the age. If we treat Jesus as God’s Son, doesn’t that mean we also treat God of heaven as a man?”
Xin Yu contemplated for a while and said: “If what you’re saying is true, then our previous understanding—the Lord Jesus is God’s Son—is wrong. In order to make us easily accept God’s incarnation and be able to accept the Lord’s work of redemption to have our sins remitted, the Lord Jesus called God of heaven Father in His prayers, but His true identity is God Himself. Thank the Lord! After listening to your fellowship, I understand it a bit clearer.”
When she noticed that Zheng Xi was thinking with knitted brows, Sister Gao was afraid that she still didn’t understand. So she found another passage of the words and passed the book to Zheng Xi. Then Zheng Xi began to read: “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself….” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father”).
Sister Gao continued to communicate: “After reading these words, aren’t we clearer that the incarnate Lord Jesus Christ is God Himself? He is God’s Spirit putting on the flesh to become the Son of man and coming to the world to work and speak, and He is the appearance of God Himself. Christ’s essence is the Spirit and He has complete divinity, so He can express the truth and do God’s own work. All that Christ says and does is all the direct expression of God’s Spirit, all the natural revelation of the essence of God’s life. What He expresses is all God’s disposition, God’s possessions and being, God’s almightiness and wisdom, and the realities of all positive things. From all of the Lord Jesus’ words we can see that the Lord Jesus Christ is the living God Himself, is the God who created the heavens, earth and all things openly appearing and speaking to mankind. So, the Lord Jesus is the Creator and is the only true God’s appearance.”
Only after reading those words and hearing Sister Gao’s fellowship, did Zheng Xi understand. She stopped frowning, saying excitedly: “Several generations of my family have believed in the Lord. We all thought the Lord Jesus was the Son of the only true God, and was the only begotten Son in the bosom of God. But I’ve understood from your fellowship today: God is the one and only true God. There is no Father-Son relationship to speak of. At that time, the Spirit in heaven called Jesus the beloved Son. That was done from the perspective of the Spirit, and that was God bearing witness to Himself. God empathized with the weakness of man, so He bore witness to His incarnation in this way. The Lord Jesus’ calling God in heaven Father from the perspective of a created being manifested the Lord’s humility and obedience. The Lord Jesus and God of heaven are one Spirit in substance. I now also understand the true meaning of what the Lord Jesus said: ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me,’ ‘he that has seen me has seen the Father,’ and ‘I and my Father are one.’”
Xin Yu said: “Yes, now we finally figure out this problem.” At that time, Zheng Xi, a little embarrassed, said: “Sister Gao, can you lend this book to us?”
“Of course,” Sister Gao said with a smile, and passed the book to Zheng Xi.
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