The Triune God
Books:Four LSM publications from the 1970s clearly define the scriptural revelation of the Triune God and point out the errors of modalism and tritheism:
- In Concerning the Triune God: The Father, the Son, and the Spirit Witness Lee gives a biblical exposition of the Triune God, including both the basic understanding and some of the more difficult verses concerning the Divine Trinity.
- The Revelation of the Triune God According to the Pure Word of the Bible presents the basic biblical truths concerning the Triune God—that God is one; that He is triune; that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all God; that all three are eternal; that all three co-exist simultaneously; and that all three are one.
- The Clear Scriptural Revelation Concerning the Triune God examines some verses that are key to understanding the biblical Trinity, including Isaiah 9:6; John 14:8-9; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 15:45; and Matthew 28:19.
- Modalism, Tritheism, or the Pure Revelation of the Triune God, by Ron Kangas, explains the heresies of modalism and tritheism, where they deviate from Scripture, and what is the proper understanding of the Bible’s revelation of the Triune God.
- The first half of Lesson Book 2: The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person of Christ presents an overview of key truths concerning the Triune God and a survey of verses in the New Testament that unveil the Divine Trinity.
- The first three chapters of The Revelation and Vision of God examine the theological expressions used historically to define the Divine Trinity, set forth the crucial points of biblical truth concerning the Triune God, and evaluate the creeds in light of the biblical revelation of the Divine Trinity.
Affirmation & Critique (A&C):The inaugural issue of Affirmation & Critique was dedicated to the subject of “Knowing the Triune God.” Two particular articles are noted here:
- “A Biblical Overview of the Triune God,” by Ed Marks, covers key points concerning the Trinity: being three and one, coexisting and coinhering eternally, and having essential and economical aspects. This article cautions against heretical extremes and affirms the mystery of the Triune God and the need for revelation and experience.
- “The Straight Cut: Some Biblical Trinitarian Conundrums,” by Kerry S. Robichaux, examines three verses that give particular difficulty to those who try to systematize the biblical revelation of the Divine Trinity—Isaiah 9:6; 1 Corinthians 15:45; and 2 Corinthians 3:17.
- In “Final Exhortations, Greetings, and Blessings” (2 Corinthians, program 55) Witness Lee shows, using 2 Corinthians 13:14, how the Bible’s revelation of the Triune God is not for doctrine but for the believers’ experience.
- “The Triune God Dispensed Into Us and Wrought Into Us” (Ephesians, program 17) reviews seven crucial items in Ephesians 1:3-14, a section of the Bible structured around the Divine Trinity in His operation to carry out His dispensing of Himself in His economy.
- “ The Operation of the Triune God Upon the Elect for Their Participation in His Full Salvation” (1 & 2 Peter & Jude, program 2) looks at the operation of the Triune God—the foreknowledge of God the Father, the sanctification of the Spirit, and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ—in 1 Peter 1:2 and how it relates to the believers’ participation in God’s complete salvation.
Polemic Writings:In recent years a number of responses have been written directly addressing concerns raised by critics of Witness Lee’s teachings on the subject of the Triune God. These include:
- The “On the Nature of God” section of A Brief Response to “An Open Letter to the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the ‘Local Churches’ “;
- The “On the Triune God” section of A Longer Response to “An Open Letter to the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the ‘Local Churches’ “; and
- The “On the Nature of God” section of On the Trinity, God’s Full Salvation, and the Church: A Defense of Seventeen Quotations from the Ministry of Witness Lee
Elliot Miller, Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal, addressed the same issue in depth on page 14 of the journal in the “Addressing the Open Letter’s Concerns: On the Nature of God” section of his multi-part article for that publication.
The Defense & Confirmation Project posted a series of articles on the subject of the Divine Trinity, including:
- “The Error of Insisting on Three ‘Persons’ as a Litmus Test of Orthodoxy,” which examines the problems associated with the use of the word persons as applied to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit;
- “The Error of Denying the Involvement of the Father in the Son’s Work,” which shows that throughout the Bible, every action taken by God involves all three of the Godhead, that is, the three are never separate in their essential being or their operation;
- “The Error of Denying the ‘Son’ Is the ‘Eternal Father’ in Isaiah 9:6,” which shows the deficiencies and loss associated with attempts to explain away the reference to the “Eternal Father” in Isaiah 9:6 by saying it does not refer to the Father in the Godhead; and
- “The Error of Denying ‘the Lord is the Spirit’ in 2 Corinthians 3:17 Refers to Christ,” which examines the context of Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 3:17 and demonstration his identification of Christ with the Spirit.
- The Person of God: God is uniquely one from eternity past to eternity future. Matthew 28 indicates that the name of God is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Three of the Divine Trinity are one and coexist and coinhere eternally.
- The Three of the Divine Trinity Being Different but Not Separate: The Three of the Godhead are distinct but not separate. The Father and the Son coinhere, the Father and the Son are in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in the Father and the Son. Thus, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit coinhere and are inseparable.