God's Words Solved My Puzzle - What is the Trinity?
My mother said that I began to run a high fever when I was a baby. The doctors were at their wits’ end and my mother’s worshiping Buddha many times also did no good. Yet shortly after my family believed in the, my fever was gone. My mother said it was the Lord who saved me, thus asking me to believe in Him properly. So, whenever I had time, I would attend meetings with her.
In those days, I often heard my mother sing a song, “Ancient of Everlasting Days, and God of Love; Jehovah, great I AM! by earth and heaven confessed; I bow and bless the sacred name forever blessed….” Also, the pastor frequently preached at gatherings, “The Lord Jesus is the only true God with authority and power; He is our ever-present help and our only reliance. …” His words reminded me of how the Lord Jesus had healed me of my fever; thus I was convinced with all my heart that the Lord Jesus is my only Savior. Henceforth, I would pray to Him whatever trouble I was in. However, as I was afterward fully occupied with my study, I took very little part in meetings and unwittingly made less prayers.
In 2009, I arrived in Japan to study. When I first came here, I met with many difficulties in my life because I couldn’t speak Japanese. Later, when I recalled my mother telling me to pray frequently to the Lord Jesus, I started again to commit all my difficulties to Him. Under His leadership, I finally passed through those hard days. Seeing that the Lord was by my side all the time, I felt so indebted that I made it a point to go to church every weekend.
In a meeting, I heard the pastor say, “Jehovah, the only true God, has three persons: the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Father is God, the Holy Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is also God. These three persons are of one substance, authority, and glory, but only different in their duties. They are one true God, three in one; hence the name the Triune God. …” At his word, I got into a muddle: When I was little, my mother, the pastors, and the preachers clearly told me, “The Lord Jesus is the only true God and the only Savior.” Why does the present pastor say that God is triune? If God is of three persons, there will be three Gods. Then how can they become one? To figure it out, I asked the pastor privately. He then drew a relationship diagram, quoted some verses, and gave me an explanation which sounded right at that time. Whereas, the more I read the Bible, the more questions arose in me. For example, in the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus said, “If you had known me, you should have known my Father also” (John 14:7). “I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (John 14:10). Also, He said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). From these words of the Lord Jesus, we can perfectly learn that He and Jehovah are one God, but why did the pastor say in his sermons that God was three persons? Why did the Lord Jesus call Jehovah by the name of God the Father? What exactly is their relationship? I became ever more confused. Later, I asked several more pastors, and they just drew me the same diagram and spoke of the same theory. Thinking that these were not my answers either, I did not ask any further.
Afterward, I had been to several other churches since I moved. And wherever I went, I would ask the pastor the question concerning the “Triune God.” Still, the answers I received were almost the same. When seeing that so many pastors acknowledged the Trinity yet I myself could not quite understand it, I was really puzzled.
In 2011, I once studied the Bible with several friends. With one sister enlightened in interpreting the Bible, we felt great enjoyment in our fellowship together. But when I later learned that she was a follower of the Eastern Lightning, I was then somewhat afraid because the pastor had said many words of resisting and condemning it in the church. Thus I made an excuse and did not listen more. After that, I returned to China for some time and this matter was laid to rest.
Five years passed. One day, my colleague Xiaoman invited me to learn Japanese with her two other friends, one of whom was Xiaofang. In the course of our chat, I learned that another friend of Xiaoman, who had believed in the Lord since he was five and preached for years, heard that the Lord Jesus has returned when he was in Hong Kong attending the meeting on the topic: God’s Kingdom Has Come. He then went everywhere trying to seek the returned Lord but in vain. Thus he asked if we had heard of this in Japan. While I was listening to them, it flashed upon my mind that the sister I met five years ago was actually testifying that the Lord Jesus has returned. I then told them about my contact with the Eastern Lightning before. And I remembered that the sister gave me a book and told me to read it carefully. Afterward, we tried typing “The End-Time Ark” on Yahoo search and instantly the introduction to the Church of Almighty God turned up. As that friend of Xiaoman could not speak Japanese but he wanted further information about the Church of Almighty God, he asked me to make a call to CAG for him. I was actually somewhat reluctant at the thought of the pastor’s words, but since we were friends, I just could not turn it down. Then we reached the Church of Almighty God through its gospel hotline and made an appointment with its members.
When we met, we had a discussion about the Bible verses first. Xiaoman’s friend raised a few questions. I also asked the sister from the Church of Almighty God the questions our pastors could not solve before, and she answered them all accordingly combining with the Bible. Unexpectedly, two days later I just had no feeling of weariness but instead listened with relish. And I sensed that during my seven years of listening to the pastors’ sermons, I had never received even as much light as I did now in one day. What a surprise! Then, when my friends asked if I wanted to listen more, the thought came to me that the greatest confusion over the Trinity in my heart, was yet to be solved, and if she could make it clear, then she must have God’s guidance. So I decided to go on listening.
Again, we met at a MacDonald’s three days later. After we chatted for a while, I asked the sister, “Sister, when I was a kid, I heard a hymn say that God is the only true God. That was what our country pastors preached. However, after I came to Japan, I heard the pastors I contacted in the churches all considered God as a Trinity, but I just thought it made no sense. Can you talk about your understanding?” After we prayed to God together with her, she opened a book and began to read, “What is the Holy Father? What is the Son? What is the Holy Spirit? Is Jehovah the Holy Father? Is Jesus the Son? Then what of the Holy Spirit? Is not the Father a Spirit? Is not the essence of the Son also a Spirit? Was not the work of Jesus? Was not the work of Jehovah at the time carried out by a Spirit the same as Jesus’? How many Spirits can God have? According to your explanation, the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one; if this be so, then there are three Spirits, but to have three Spirits means there are three Gods. This means that there is no one true God; how can this kind of God still have the inherent essence of God?” “As man sees it, the Father is one Spirit, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit yet another, then the three Spirits mix like three glasses of water into one whole. Is not that then the three made one? This is purely an erroneous explanation! Is this not splitting up God? How can the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all be made one?”
“If you accept that there is only one God, then how can He have a son and be a father? Are these not all simply your notions? There is only one God, only one person in this God, and only one Spirit of God, much as it is written down in the Bible that ‘There is only one Holy Spirit and only one God.’ Regardless of whether the Father and the Son of which you speak exist, there is only one God after all, and the essence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit you believe in is the essence of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God is a Spirit, but He is able to become flesh and live among men, as well as to be above all things. His Spirit is all-inclusive and omnipresent. He can simultaneously be in the flesh and in and above the universe. Since all people say that God is the only one true God, then there is a single God, divisible at will by none! God is only one Spirit, and only one person; and that is the Spirit of God. If it is as you say, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, then are They not three Gods? The Holy Spirit is one matter, the Son another, and the Father yet another. Their persons are different and Their essences are different, so how then can They each be part of a single God? The Holy Spirit is a Spirit; this is easy for man to understand. If this be so, then the Father is even more so a Spirit. He has never descended onto earth and has never become flesh; He is Jehovah God in the heart of man, and He is certainly a Spirit as well. Then what is the relationship between Him and the Holy Spirit? Is it the relationship between Father and Son? Or is it the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Father? Is the essence of each Spirit the same? Or is the Holy Spirit an instrument of the Father? How can this be explained? And then what is the relationship between the Son and the Holy Spirit? Is it a relationship between two Spirits or the relationship between a man and a Spirit? These are all matters that can have no explanation! If They are all one Spirit, then there can be no talk of three persons, for They are possessed of a single Spirit. If They were distinct persons, then Their Spirits would vary in strength, and They simply could not be one single Spirit” (“Does the Trinity Exist?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Before, I always felt that the pastors’ fellowships about the Trinity were ambiguous and seemingly self-contradictory. Today, at hearing the words the sister read, I suddenly felt crystal clear inside: Jehovah and the Lord Jesus are one God and in substance They are the Spirit. If Jehovah, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three persons of one Spirit with different divisions of labor like the pastors said, then do They have Their respective jurisdictions? Is this not separating the Spirit of God? Moreover, God’s Spirit cannot be divided like material things into parts as we imagine, and then all mix like water into one whole. This is completely man’s notions and imaginations. I seemed to have found the answer to the question that had disturbed me so many years, which was exactly what I wanted to hear. My heart was much brightened. However, in the Bible the “Son” was spoken of many times, and the Lord Jesus also often addressed God in heaven as “Father” in His prayers. What, then, is the matter here?
I went on to ask her, “In the Bible the ‘Son’ was spoken of many times, and the Lord Jesus also often addressed God in heaven as ‘Father’ in His prayers. What, then, is the matter here?” “Let’s read on,” she replied. “Almighty God says, ‘This concept of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is most absurd! This segments God and splits Him into three persons, each with a status and Spirit; how then can He still be one Spirit and one God? Tell Me, were the heavens and earth, and all things within created by the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit? Some say that They created it all together. Then who redeemed mankind? Was it the Holy Spirit, the Son, or the Father? Some say it was the Son who redeemed mankind. Then who is the Son in essence? Is He not the incarnation of the Spirit of God? The incarnation calls God in heaven by the name of Father from the perspective of a created man. Are you not aware that Jesus was born through the conception of the Holy Spirit? Within Him is the Holy Spirit; whatever you say, He is still one with God in heaven, for He is the incarnation of the Spirit of God. This idea of the Son is simply untrue. It is one Spirit who carries out all of the work; only God Himself, that is, the Spirit of God carries out His work. Who is the Spirit of God? Is it not the Holy Spirit? Is it not the Holy Spirit who works in Jesus? If the work had not been carried out by the Holy Spirit (that is, the Spirit of God), then could His work have represented God Himself?’
‘When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had put on an ordinary and normal flesh and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of a normal man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. 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 created man. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer 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’ ‘It cannot be said that He was not God simply because He prayed to the Father from the perspective of the flesh. Though He was called the beloved Son of God, He was still God Himself, for He was but the incarnation of the Spirit, and His essence was still the Spirit’ ‘Do not the words of Jesus, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,” 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’” (“Does the Trinity Exist?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Then she continued, “Whencomes to do His work, people do not know Him. For this reason, God bore testimony to Himself, calling God in the flesh Son from the perspective of the Spirit; while God in the flesh addressed the Spirit in Him as Father from the standpoint of the flesh. This idea of the Father and the Son was just appropriate for the time when God was in the flesh, and existed no more when God’s work on earth came to an end. Therefore, we can’t say that God is a Trinity merely based on the idea of the Father and the Son. This is not in keeping with the facts.”
At hearing God’s words she read and her fellowship, I understood: So it is because the Lord Jesus was the incarnation of God that He prayed from the standpoint of a created being and called God in heaven Father. But, we mistakenly think they are Father and Son. There is in reality only one God as well as only one Spirit. Besides, as we all pray, “Our Father in heaven…,” if we go according to this idea of the Father and the Son, then all of us will have become the Son. This is absolutely out of the question. Now with my confusions dispelled bit by bit, I felt inexpressibly excited.
Later she fellowshiped with us: The idea of the “Trinity” was established in the Council of Nicaea after 300 A.D. The religionists from different nations argued fiercely at that time about God’s unicity and multiplicity, and the saying was eventually established based on man’s conceptions and logic. Since then, people all hold that there is God the Father in heaven apart from the Lord Jesus. However, this saying was not uttered by God. Prophets and apostles also never said that, nor did the Holy Spirit ever reveal that. Instead, it was summarized by the corrupt mankind. So, the talk of the “Trinity” was totally man’s idea. If we don’t seek the truth but blindly cling to our notions and split God, then we are committing the sin of blaspheming God and shall never be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come. Almighty God says, “Throughout these many years, God has been split by you in this way, being split finer and finer with each generation, to the extent that one God has been openly split into three Gods. And now it is simply impossible for man to rejoin God as one, for you have split Him up too finely! If not for My prompt work before it was too late, it is hard to say how long you would have brazenly continued this way! To continue splitting God in this way, how can He still be your God? Would you still recognize God? Would you still acknowledge Him as your father and return to Him? If I had arrived any later, it is likely that you would have sent the ‘Father and Son,’ Jehovah and Jesus, back to Israel and claimed that you yourselves are a part of God. Fortunately, it is now. Finally, this day I have long awaited has come, and only after I carried out this stage of work by My own hand has your splitting of God Himself been halted. If not for this, you would have escalated, even placing all the Satans among you onto your tables for worship. This is your artifice! This is your means of splitting God! Will you continue to do so now? Let Me ask you: How many Gods are there? Which God will bring you salvation? Is it the first God, the second, or the third that you always pray to? Which of Them do you always believe in? Is it the Father? Or the Son? Or is it the Spirit? Tell Me who it is that you believe in. Though with every word you say you , what you actually believe is your own brain! You simply do not have God in your hearts! And yet in your minds are a number of such ‘Trinities’! Do you not agree?” Almighty God’s words helped me see that to define God as one God in three persons is very grievous, which is blasphemy against God. God is unique. This can never be altered, nor can it be denied by anyone.
Hearing that it is blasphemy against God if we split the one true God, I felt a sudden chill: Had Xiaoman’s friend not sought initiatively, I’m afraid that I would still refuse to read or get in touch with the truth expressed by Almighty God for listening to the pastors. If so, not only would I never understand the truth; but still more, I would blaspheme against God by my own notions and imaginations, without knowing that I believe in God yet have offended Him.
At parting, the sister gave me a copy of the gospel movie Exploration of the “Trinity.” She said that in the video, the truth concerning the Trinity was fellowshiped in great detail, and she asked me to watch it carefully. Back at home, I watched it from beginning to end. I saw: Li Zheng, the hero, had believed in the Lord for many years and always regarded God as a Trinity. But thanks to his niece, who read Almighty God’s words to him and fellowshiped with him many times, he finally came to know that God is the only true God, and then he fell to his knees and confessed to God. At that moment, he abandoned his notion of the Trinity completely and thoroughly, starting to read Almighty God’s words eagerly. In addition, he told the good news to more brothers and sisters, who had been waiting for the Lord’s return, in order for them to come before God and receive His salvation. Upon this sight, I was greatly touched: Yes, in the past, I never understood what the Trinity was about. And, whenever I heard the word, I would question in my heart and try to figure it out, but could by no means understand it. If Almighty God had not expressed the truth to reveal this myth of Trinity, telling us the truth, I would never have known it. I’ve seen that only God Himself can give a clear explanation to His work. Even if the pastors and elders have more theological knowledge and know the Bible better, by believing in God according to their own notions and imaginations, they can only judge and resist God, and commit the sin of blaspheming against God without even knowing it. Thank God for showing mercy to me, ignoring my disobedience, and bringing me to His presence. I will believe in Him and follow Him properly. Amen!