Holding to Truth

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Seeing “The Twofoldness of Divine Truth” will Strengthen Your Faith

Have you seen the Twofoldness of Divine Truth?

Many seeming discrepancies in the Bible can be cleared up by seeing the Biblical principle–the twofoldness of divine truth.

If you are seeking to know the Bible in a deeper way, I hope this article will help to solve some of your questions. For example, have you ever asked, “How can God be both one and three?” or “How can Christ be both in the heavens and also in me?”

Seeing God’s principle, the twofoldness of divine truth, is the answer to such questions. I didn’t discover this principle.  Rather, Robert Govett, a 19th Century, British theologian, presented it in an article by that title.

The Twofoldness of Divine Truth by Robert Govett

Robert Govett, the famous British theologian (1813-1901), from Norwich, Norfolk, England published an article on The Twofoldness of Divine Truth showing that biblical truth often has two sides which are not contradictory but complementary. In his article Govett states:

The twofoldness of truth as offered to our view in Holy Writ is one strong argument of its not being the work of man. It is the glory of man’s intellect to produce oneness. His aim is to trace different results to one principle, to clear it of ambiguities, to show how, through varied appearances, one law holds. Anything that stands in the way of the completeness of this, he eludes or denies, as something destructive of the glory and of the efficiency of his discovery.

But it is not so with God. In nature He is continually acting with two seemingly opposed principles. What keeps the planets moving in beauteous order around the sun? Not one force, but two—two forces pulling each particle of matter in two opposite directions at the same instant…

It is not then to be wondered at, if two seemingly opposed principles are found placed side by side in the Scripture. “Unity in plurality, plurality in unity” is the main principle on which both the world and the Scripture are constructed.

I have found that seeing this principle of the twofoldness of divine truth to be a great help to my Christian faith and I hope it will help yours as well. Without rehearsing Govett’s article which you can read here, I will mention some Scriptures for which understanding the twofoldness of divine truth has rendered me much help.

Appreciating the twofoldness of divine truth in the Bible

First, appreciating the mystery of the Divine Trinity – how God is one and yet three, the Triune God 

Witness Lee, a prolific minister of God’s word in the 20th century, confirmed Govett’s understanding of the twofoldness of divine truth in  The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the writings of John:

“I would like to say a word concerning the twofoldness of the divine truth. With all Biblical truths there is the matter of twofoldness; that is, with each truth there are two aspects. Even with God we can see twofoldness. On the one hand God is one; on the other hand He is three. Hence God is triune, three-one.” (Chapter 45, Section 1)

First, in the Bible we can see the side of one God in verses like 1 Corinthians 8:1  where Paul says,

“Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no God but one.”

Yet  at the same time, the Lord Jesus says in Matthew 28:19,

“Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Hence, we are to baptize people into the one name, which is of the three—”the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”  This unique name is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is our wonderful three-one God.

We could never fully understand such a twofoldness of divine truth, but we can enjoy the reality that the one true God is triune so that He can dispense Himself into us for our enjoyment. As 2 Corinthians 13:14 says,

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

I have learned simply to come to our wonderful Triune God to enjoy Him…and I hope you will too. Whenever we call “Lord Jesus!”, we enjoy God’s mysterious promise of the Father sending the Spirit in the name of the Son. It is in this way that the entire Triune God comes to abide in us (John 14:20, 23, 26).

Here is a hymn to convey this divine mystery: The Triune God has now become our all. (Click here for the tune.)

Second, appreciating the nature of God –  Christ being both God and Man

Christ is both the complete God and the perfect Man, a God-man. He is both divine and human, with no third nature being produced.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word… and the Word was God. As such a One, our Lord Jesus is not one third of the Godhead, He is the embodiment of the entire Triune God (Col. 2:9).

Then verse 14 says, “The Word became flesh.” In this way, the complete God became a genuine man. He came as the Son, with the Father and by the Spirit.

First Timothy 2:5 confirms that our Lord is also “the Man, Christ Jesus.” As such a One He can be the unique Mediator of God and men.

How can Christ be both the complete God and a perfect, sinless man. Here again there is twofoldness. We can never fully understand such a mystery. But we can receive and enjoy what the Bible says. Receiving this twofoldness of divine truth by living faith fills us with joy and praise:

“Lord Jesus, I praise You that though You were eternally God, yet You became a genuine, sinless and perfect man to shed Your sinless human blood for my redemption. Thank you that by believing in You as such a One, I’m saved.”

Third, appreciating salvation  – by faith alone yet confirmed by living works

No effort of man’s flesh could ever tarnish Christ’s perfect work of redemption. There is nothing we can add that God could ever accept.  We must only receive what Christ has done for us in simple faith. Yet, such a living faith being active will issue in a work of faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 tell us “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works that no one should boast.

However, James 2:24 says, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith only.”

A clarifying note 1 on this verse in the Recovery Version Study Bible explains this difference:

To be justified by faith is for the receiving of the divine life (Rom. 5:18); to be justified by works is through living the divine life. Since the living is the issue of life, to be justified by works is the issue of being justified by faith….Being justified by works is not inconsistent with being justified by faith. The latter is the cause, bringing forth the former; the former is the effect, the outcome and proof, of the latter.

Here again, we need to thank the Lord for the twofoldness of divine truth.

Fourth, appreciating the Lord’s presence – in the heavens and in His believers

After believing in Christ, the twofoldness of divine truth becomes even more subjective. For now we can see that at one time Christ is both enthroned in heaven in His ascension and indwelling us His believers.

We can see this aspect of twofoldness in one chapter, Romans 8, verses 34 and 10:

Verse 34, presenting us the side of Christ in the the heavens says,

“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ Jesus who died and, rather, who was raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”

Verse 10, revealing the side of Christ indwelling our spirit says,

“But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.”

So is Christ in the heavens or in us? Both.  He is our heavenly ladder joining earth and heaven, joining our spirit to God’s throne in heaven (John 1:51). He is like the electricity that is both in the power plant and in our home. So whenever we exercise our spirit to contact the Lord by calling on His name and praying, He connects us to the “right hand of God.”

What a blessing to see and experience this subjective aspect of the twofoldness of divine truth!

Fifth, appreciating the Lord’s coming – from the heavens and from within His believers

Most believers realize the first aspect of Christ’s second coming, that is, from the heavens. In 2 Thessalonians 1 :7 it says,

“And to you who are being afflicted, rest with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power, in flaming fire.”

However, have you ever realized that just three verses later Paul also says that Christ comes from within His saints? Verse 10 says,

 “When He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed…in that day.”

Here also we can see the twofoldness of the divine truth.

“At His coming back, on the one hand, He will come from the heavens with glory (Rev. 10:1; Matt. 25:31), and on the other hand, He will be glorified in His saints. For Him to be glorified in His  saints means that His glory will be manifested from within His members. It will transfigure their body of humiliation into His glory like His glorified body. He will be marveled at, admired, wondered at, in us, His believers, by the unbelievers.”—Witness Lee, Life-study of 2 Thessalonians, Message 1, pp. 7-8.

Concluding thoughts

As believers, we need to appreciate the twofoldness of divine truth found in the Bible.  We need to be like a camera taking pictures of “divine scenery.” By embracing God’s profound truths with a spirit of faith (2 Cor. 4:13), their reality will be transmitted into us making them reality to us. May we learn to come to the Bible with a heart turned to the Lord, and a praying spirit so that we appreciate, receive and enjoy God’s life and reality through His word.

“The letter kills, but the spirit gives life….But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” (2 Cor. 3:6, 16)

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please take a moment to confirm with a brief comment.



About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

6 Replies

  1. Didier Kirady

    Amen! … Hallelujah! Our God is one, yet three, in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. … The more I enjoy our one God in three Persons, the more I realize this truth. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and God sent His Son, through incarnation and in His genuine, perfect and upright human living, He die upon the cross a vicarious death, the sinless One for sinners. Christ lived in oneness with the Father, to do the Father will, and when He spoke to people, it was the Spirit speaking within His speaking. … His death was to accomplish redemption for mankind, and through His death the Spirit was released from within Him. He was raised in resurrection life and power, and ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high, having satisfied all of God’s demands of His righteousness, holiness and glory towards us. So that today, we can enjoy Him, as the life-giving Spirit in our regenerated spirit, making His abode within our heart and soul. What a wonderful process God went through to become to us the life-giving Spirit in our spirit. The more we enjoy Him, through the exercise of our spirit, both with the word and in prayer, the clearer we are towards the twofoldness of the divine truths presented in your article. Thank you brother, for sharing with us on the twofoldness of the divine truths in the Bible. … Thank You Lord Jesus! Lord, we praise You for Who You are to us, and for all that You have done in saving us with a divine and an eternal salvation, and that from God! The Triune God! Amen.

  2. Bubot A. Olandesca

    Amen brother

  3. Pat

    Thank you, brother. Ot is so wonderful tobrealize this truth and see it marvelously revealed through Scripture. Praise our Triune God!

    1. Tom Smith


      Glad you enjoyed the post: Seeing “The Twofoldness of Divine Truth” will Strengthen Your Faith. I’m afraid that many dear believers have missed this divine principle and may be weakened in their faith because of it. It is so good that we can marvel at our all-wise God and simply receive by living faith what He has spoken in His word. When we say, “Amen!” to God’s word, even what transcends our human understanding, we get life and love our more. Thanks for the comment and yes, “Praise our Triune God!”

  4. Don Arthur

    Amen, brother Tom. Very helpful to see the twofoldness of the divine truth.

    1. Tom Smith

      Don, I am glad you found the post helpful. Since few believers today speak of the “twofoldness of the divine truth” and have a clear understanding of its meaning, I felt that a little background from church history with examples from the Scriptures would provide readers with a context to appreciate this truth in their Bible reading. Thanks for sharing your appreciation in a comment.

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