by Xincheng, Japan
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 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 were 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 , 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 Lightening 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 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 substance of the Son also a Spirit? Was not the work of Jesus the work of the Holy Spirit? 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 so, 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 substance of God?” “As men see 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 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 substance of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit you believe in is the substance 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 throughout 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. They are distinct persons of different substances, 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 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 substance 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 simply They could not be one single Spirit” (“Does the Trinity Exist?”).
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 became 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?