torsdag 27. oktober 2011

Nr. 101: The Deity of Christ!

Nr. 101:

The Deity of Christ

Charles S. Longacre

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,
saith the Lord," Rev.1:8, Again the Lord said: "I am Alpha and
Omega, the first and the last:" Rev. 1:11.
Not everything has a beginning nor does everything have
an ending. God Himself never had a beginning and He will not
have an ending. He is the self-existent One, who never had a
beginning. Eternity itself never had a beginning and never will
have an ending. Space has no beginning and no ending.
Everything else had a beginning, but not all things that have a
beginning are going to have an end.
Of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, it is said in the
Scriptures, "He is the only Begotten of the Father." The Son of
God was not created like other creatures are brought into
existence. He is not a created but a Begotten Being, enjoying
all the attributes of His Father. Christ Himself explains His own
relationship to the Father as follows: "As the Father had life in
Himself," unborrowed, underived, original, independent, and
immortal, "so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself."
John 5:26. And God gave Christ "authority to execute
judgment, also, because He is the Son of man." John 5:27. If
He had been God in His own right, the Father could not have
delegated to Christ authority in the execution of judgment but it
was delegated to Him "because He is the Son of man." “I can
of my own self do nothing." John 5:30.
If Christ had been God in His own right, co-equal with
God, co-eternal with God, or self-existent, instead of being
Begotten of the Father, why did Christ say, "I can of my own
self do nothing...I seek not my own will but the will of the
Father?" Why did Christ say of Himself, "Before Me there was
no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am
the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour"? Isa. 43:10,11.
The word "God" is spelled with a capital 'G', and in the text
following (verse 12) the Lord saith “there was no strange god
among you.” Here the Bible uses a small 'g' for god. This text
in Isaiah 43:10 clearly proves that He, Christ, the only Saviour
of the world, was the only God that was formed. Before Him
"was no God, formed.” Then we must conclude that He was
the first and only God that was formed, because after Him was
no God to be formed.
If there is one truth that the Bible teaches, it is that there
is only one absolute God and none beside Him who is an
absolute God. In the 15th chapter of First Corinthians, Paul
teaches this doctrine so there can be no doubt as to Christ's
subordination and submission to the Father. Paul says: "Then
cometh the end, when He (Christ) shall have delivered up the
kingdom to God, even the Father; ... For He (the Father) hath
put all things under His (Christ's) feet. But that He (God) is
excepted, which did put all things under Him (Christ). And
when all things shall be subdued unto Him (Christ), then shall
the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (God) that put all
things under Him (Christ), that God may be all in all."
1 Cor. 15:24-28.
Here Paul clearly teaches that God is not subject to
Christ, but that Christ is subject to the Father, who gave all
authority to Him. Whatever Christ is, whatever authority He
has, whatever attributes He possesses, may be all in all and
above all. Paul says, “Ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." 1
Cor. 3:23. Again says Paul: "But I would have you know, that
the head of every man is Christ ... and the head of Christ is
God." 1 Cor. 11:3. Christ Himself said: "I go unto the Father;
for my Father is greater than I.” John 14:28.
But Paul taught that Christ was "equal with God," and
that God Himself had "exalted" Christ to that position. For says
Paul, "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it
not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no
reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was
made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a
man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly
exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every
name," and therefore we are to "confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil 2:5-11.
Why are we to give the glory of Christ's exaltation above
every other name than the name of God Himself, to God the
Father instead of to Christ in His own right? Because it is God
the Father who has thus exalted Him. Paul makes this great
truth of Christ's dependence upon the Father still more evident
when he saith to Timothy: “I give thee charge in the sight of
God, who quickeneth all things...who is the blessed and only
Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath
immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach
unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be
honor and power everlasting." 1 Tim. 6:13-16.
God "only hath immortality." He alone is the only selfexistent
God. But He gave His Son when He was Begotten the
same life he had in Himself, therefore when Christ offered His
life as a ransom for the sins of the world, He and He only
could make an atonement for all the sins of all the world, because
he made "infinite sacrifice," and it required an Infinite
sacrifice" to atone for all the sins of mankind and angels who
had sinned, in order to satisfy the demands of the law of God
and infinite justice.
We are told that Christ died for our sins, that angels could
not atone for our sins. Angels were finite beings just like men
are, but men are a lower order of beings. Christ had unconditional
immortality bestowed upon Him when He was
Begotten of the Father. Angels had conditional immortality bestowed
upon them when they were created by Christ in the
beginning. Angels are immortal but their immortality is conditional.
Therefore angels do not die but live on after they sin
just as Satan or Lucifer lives on in sin. But since Lucifer and
the fallen angels only enjoy conditional immortality, God ultimately
will destroy them and take from them the gift of immortality
which Christ bestowed on them when He created
them. Whatever God bestows he can take away whenever He
sees fit.
In the resurrection, immortality will be bestowed upon
every saint that is raised to life through Jesus Christ. Then and
not until then is eternal life bestowed upon the Christian. "And
this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and
this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5:11. But this same eternal life is
also in the Father. For saith Saint John: “The Word of life ...
was manifested ... that eternal life, which was with the Father.”
1 John 1:2, 3. Here we are plainly told that the same eternal
life, immortal life which is with the Father, was manifested in
His Son, and will in the resurrection be bestowed and imparted
to all the saints in Christ. But we must never forget that it is an
imparted immortality. We thus see that eternal life and
immortality may be bestowed upon beings who were not coexistent
with God. It is the same eternal life that is in God, and
when human beings are thus made immortal it is said of them
that they are "filled with all the fullness of God." Eph. 3:19.
But Christ, the only Begotten of the Father, made in the
"express image” of the Father in person. God not only appointed
[Him] to be the Saviour of men, but He appointed Him
"heir of all things," "being made so much better than the
angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent
name than they. For unto which of the angels said He (God) at
any time, Thou art My son, This day have I begotten thee?"
Heb. 1:2-5. Here we are told that the expression "Thou art My
Son, this day have I begotten thee," refers only to Christ and
not to any of the angels. Then there must have been a time, a
day, when the Son of God was begotten by the Father. On
that day, the Father saith unto His only Begotten Son: "Thy
throne, O God, is forever and ever ... therefore God, even thy
God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above thy
fellows. And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foun-
dation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thine
hands." Heb. 1:8-10.
Paul says: "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom.” Eph.
1:17. The Father is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ - he is
the Father and Christ is His Begotten Son.
Again Paul says. "There is one body and one Spirit... one
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is
above all." Eph. 4:4-6. Again Paul says: "But to us there is but
one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him;
and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by
Him…There is none other God but one." 1 Cor. 8:6, 4. The
prophet Malachi says: "have we not all one Father? Hath not
one God created us?" Mal. 2:10.
In "Patriarchs and Prophets," Sister White quotes Prov.
8:22-26, and applies those texts to Christ's pre-existence. The
original Hebrew text says: “the Lord possessed Me - the
beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up
from everlasting... When He appointed the foundations of the
earth, then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him; and I
was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." In the
original Hebrew, the word re'shiyth (raysheeth), which means
"the beginning," is exactly the same word as we find in Gen.
1:1. But in Gen. 1:1 the word (raysheeth) has the preposition
"in" prefixed to the Hebrew word "bere-shiyth." That
preposition (in) or "Be" is not attached to the word (ray-sheeth)
in Prov. 8:22. Translated literally, it ought to read "The Lord
possessed Me - the beginning of His way." Twice the
expression is used in Prov. 8:22-30. Before "ever the earth
was... I was brought forth." The words brought forth come from
one Hebrew word, Chiyl (Kheel) which literally means to be
begotten, to bring forth, to be born, to be shapen, to be
formed. Here Christ speaking of Himself saith: “I was brought
forth, when there were no foundations abounding with water ...
or ever the earth was."
I was begotten, I was formed. These expressions agree
with what Christ saith of Himself in Isaiah 43:10,11: "That ye
may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He;
before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be
after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no
Saviour." Another translation of this text reads: "Before Me
there was nothing formed of God." The implication in our King
James translation is that He, Christ, was "formed" as God,
equal with God, but beside Him was no God formed and beside
Him was no Saviour appointed. But the other translation
quoted makes the Son of God the “first-begotten before all
creation," as Paul puts it in Col. 1:15. Christ Himself admits
that the secret things belong to God, and that He Himself as
the Son of God, does not know the day and hour of His return
to this earth the second time. Jesus said: "But of that day and
that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in
heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Mark 13:32. And in
Matt. 24:36, Jesus says, "but My Father only" knows that day
and hour.1 Christ acknowledges that all He possesses of wisdom,
of power, of authority, and of life itself, all was given to
Him from the Father. His exaltation was from the Father.
pirit of Prophecy on Deity
The Spirit of Prophecy says that there was and still is
a difference in rank between God - the Father, and
God's Son. We read in Vol. 1 of the old Spirit of Prophecy
[p.17] thus: "Satan in Heaven, before his rebellion, was a high
and exalted angel, next in honor to God's dear Son." The
1 Publisher’s note: Alternatively, these verses can also be understood in this
manner. “An old English version of the passage reads, "But that day and hour no
man maketh known, neither the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but
the Father." This is the correct reading, according to several of the ablest critics of
the age. The word know is used in the same sense here that it is by Paul, in
1Cor.2:2: "For I determined not to know [make known] anything among you, save
Jesus Christ, and him crucified." Men will not make known the day and hour,
angels will not make it known, neither will the Son; but the Father will make it
known.” (James White, The Second Coming of Christ; or, a Brief Exposition of
Matthew Twenty-four, p. 53)
implication is that God stands first in honor, His only begotten
Son comes next, and Lucifer was next to the Son of God. If
God and His Son were co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existent
so that there was no difference between them then we should
not say Lucifer was next to the Son of God but next to God as
Again we read: "Jesus, God's dear Son, had the preeminence
over all the angelic hosts. He was one with the
Father before the angels were created. Satan was envious of
Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on
Christ alone.” Why on Christ alone? Why not on God?
Because Satan knew that the Son of God had come forth from
the Father and was His Son, and he felt he should share equal
honors with the Son. Again we read: "The great Creator
assembled the heavenly host, that He might in the presence of
all the angels confer special honor upon His Son. The Son
was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly
throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father
then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ,
His Son, should be equal with Himself, so that wherever was
the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The
word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of
the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to
command the heavenly host. Especially was His Son to work
in union with Himself in the anticipated creation of the earth
and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son
would carry out His will and His purposes, but would do
nothing of Himself alone. The Father's will would be fulfilled in
Him." [Ibid-pp.17, 18]
It will be noticed here that Sister White says that God the
Father, "conferred special honor upon His Son"; and that “it
was ordained by (God) Himself, that Christ, His Son, should
be equal with Himself," and that God "had invested" His Son
"with authority to command the heavenly host." This is in
harmony with Christ’s own statement concerning His being
equal with the Father in the beginning. Christ said: "for as the
Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the
Son quickeneth whom He will ... that all men should honor the
Son, even as they honor the Father... For as the Father hath
life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in
Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment
also, because He is the Son." John 5:21-27.
What kind of life did the Father have in Himself? In God
"is life original, unborrowed, underived," "immortal,"
"independent." "He is the source of life." Christ says, "As the
Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given" - the same life,
original, unborrowed, underived life to the Son. It was "given"
to Him by His Father. Christ was made the source of life just
as the Father was the source of life. Christ had the same life
the Father had in Himself in His own right. He did not have to
derive or borrow it, it was now original with Christ just as it was
with the Father. Christ's life was independent of the Father,
hence not dependent, derived, or borrowed. He could bestow
and give life and create just as the Father could, but the
Father gave this life to His Son.
When this same life the Father had in Himself was given
by the Father to His Son so He too had it “in Himself," we are
not told. Nor does it make any difference how long it was
before anything was created, the fact remains that the Son of
God proceeded from the Father, that He was in the bosom of
the Father, that His life, "underived, unborrowed" and "given"
to Him by the Father, that the Father "ordained" His Son
"should be equal with Himself;" that the Father "invested" His
Son "with authority," and that the Son does “nothing of Himself
We read again from the Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, p.18,
that the Son of God "had been taken into the special counsel
of God in regard to His plans." The plans are God's, not the
Son of God's. The Son of God is taken “into the special
counsel of God."
Again we read, “Christ was acknowledged Sovereign of
Heaven, His power and authority to be the same as that of
God Himself." God's authority is absolute, Christ’s sovereignty
of Heaven is "acknowledged." Again we read: "All the angels
bowed to Jesus to acknowledge His supremacy and high
authority and rightful rule, Satan bowed with them; but his
heart was filled with envy and hatred ... Concealing his real
purposes, he assembled the angelic host.... As one aggrieved,
he related the preference God had given Jesus to the neglect
of himself... for had not a Ruler been appointed over them, to
whom they from henceforth must yield servile honor? He
stated to them that he had called them together to assure
them that he no longer would submit to this invasion of his
rights and theirs; that never would he again bow down to
Christ." Again we read: “There was contention among the
angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the
government of God. They were discontented and unhappy
because they could not look into His unsearchable wisdom
and ascertain His purposes in exalting His Son Jesus, and
endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They
rebelled against the authority of the Son." [Ibid-pp.18, 19]
"Angels that were loyal and true …justified the act of God
in conferring honor upon Jesus Christ, and with forcible
reasoning sought to convince Satan that no less honor was his
now than before the Father had proclaimed the honor which
He had conferred upon His Son. They clearly set forth that
Jesus was the Son of God, existing with Him before the angels
were created: and that He had ever stood at the right hand of
God, and His mild loving authority had not heretofore been
questioned." [Ibid]
How long it was since the angels were created and how
long it was before the angels were created we are not told,
and how long it was before the millions of worlds in the
universe of God were created we are not informed, but we are
told that all the honor which the Son of God had was at a
certain time "conferred upon His Son" by the Father, and that
Lucifer and the angels lost no honor because the Son of God
existed before the angels and "before the Father had proclaimed
the honor which He had conferred upon His Son."
Why did not the loyal angels say that "the Son of God
had no beginning, that the Son was not really a Son of God
because He co-existed with God, and was not next to God but
co-equal, that the life He had was not given to Him by His
Father, but He always possessed this life; that He should not
stand at the right hand of God but really ought to sit on the
throne by His own right.” But the loyal angels did not advance
the argument of One in three and indivisible. Did not the loyal
angels know how to argue this question, as well as Athanasius
did during the fourth century of the Christian era? Why did the
loyal angels make a distinction between the Son of God and
the Father? Because they knew that the Son of God had
proceeded from the Father and that the Father was above all.
We read again: "The loyal angels hasten speedily to the
Son of God, and acquaint Him with what is taking place
among the angels. They find the Father in conference with His
beloved Son, to determine the means by which, for the best
good of the loyal angels, the assumed authority of Satan could
be forever put down... He would give the rebellious an equal
chance to measure strength and might with His own Son and
His loyal angels." [Ibid-p.21]
Notice, the Father was in conference with His beloved
Son, and not the Son in conference with the Father. The Father
always comes first and the Son occupies a subordinate
position. The Son occupied this subordinate position in the
days of eternity before the worlds were created; and after all
enemies have been put under the feet of Christ and Christ
reigns supreme over all, Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:28, "When
all things shall be subdued unto Him, (Christ) then shall the
Son also Himself be subject unto Him (God) that put all things
under Him (Christ), that God may be all in all."
Here we are plainly told that the Son of God is subject to
the Father and that the Father is not subject to the Son but is
above the Son and subduing all things under the sovereignty
of the Son. The Father does all this for His Son, but does not
subject Himself to the authority of the Son but makes the
authority of the Son subject to the Father so God may be
above all and over all.
Again we read in the Spirit of Prophecy, Vol.1, p.22: "The
angels were marshalled in companies, each division with a
higher commanding angels at their head. Satan was warring
against the law of God, because ambitious to exalt himself,
and unwilling to submit to the authority of God's Son, Heaven's
Great Commander.
"All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before
the Father, to have each case determined. Satan unblushingly
made known his dissatisfaction that Christ should be preferred
before him. He stood up proudly and urged that he should be
equal with God, and should be taken into conference with the
Father and understand His purposes. God informed Satan that
to His Son alone He would reveal His secret purposes, and He
required all the family in heaven, even Satan, to yield Him
implicit, unquestioned obedience." - Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1,
p 22.
"'Why,' questioned this mighty angel, ‘should Christ have
the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?”
"Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the
Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent
among the angels.” - Patriarchs and Prophets, p 37.
"Then there was war in Heaven. The Son of God, the
Prince of Heaven, and His loyal angels, engaged in conflict
with the arch rebel and those who united with him. The Son of
God, and true and loyal angels prevailed; and Satan and his
sympathizers were expelled from Heaven.” - Spirit of
Prophecy, Vol. 1, p 23.
The Apostle Peter tells us "God spared not the angels
that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartaros) and delivered
them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”
2 Peter 2:4. The Greek word "tartaros" literally means,
the lowest depth of a dark abyss and is a synonym with
"abusses," which is usually translated "bottomless pit” in the
Bible and similar to the expression found in Genesis 1:2, "And
darkness was upon the face of the deep."
It was into this darkness that Lucifer and his angels were
cast. This occurred before man was created upon the earth,
and before God sent His Holy Spirit to garnish or beautify the
earth and before He said: “Let there be light," because the
Spirit of Prophecy, Vol.1, p.23, expressly says that after the
angels were cast out of heaven, that the "Angels in Heaven
mourned the fate of those who had been their companions in
happiness and bliss. Their loss was felt in Heaven. The Father
consulted Jesus in regard to at once carrying out their purpose
to make men to inhabit the earth. He would place man upon
probation to test his loyalty, before he could be rendered
eternally secure. If he endured the test wherewith God saw fit
to prove him, he should eventually be equal with the angels."
Thus we learn that gross darkness surrounded the earth,
which was without form and void, before it was made ready for
man's habitation. It was into this darkness and chaotic
condition of the earth that Satan was cast, just as he will be
cast into it with all his angels again for 1,000 years, after all
the saints are taken to heaven.
We shall now deal with the two main theories of the
Trinity, the one that holds the Son of God never was begotten,
that He was co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with the
Father; and the other that the Son of God was begotten before
all creation, and all that He is and all that He ever was and
ever will be was given to Him by the Father, and thus He came
to be co-equal with God and possessed all the properties, all
the essence and all the virtues, and the same life that God
Himself possessed, as the Self-existent One.
rigin of Athanasian Theory
“In the second century, the word trias (Greek), Trinitas
(Vulgate), was imported from the Platonic School, to
express the union of the three persons; and the whole
succession of the Ante-Nicene fathers, although their
illustrations are not always the most pertinent, discover by
innumerable passages that they worshipped the Father, the
Son and the Holy Ghost, as constituting what Tertullian calls,
in the second century, Trinitas unius divinitalis, and Cyprian,
in the third Adunata trinitas, and Athanasius, in the fourth
adiairetos trias." - Hill's Lectures in Divinity, p.369.
Sabellius invented the orthodox Catholic system of the
Trinity during the middle of the third century which was later
called Sabellianism. His theory was based upon the Platonic
philosophy that "God is one Person, who at his pleasure,
presents to mortals the different aspects of Father, Son and
Holy Ghost. In respect of His creating and preserving all
things, He is the Father; in respect of what He did as the Redeemer
of men, He is the Son; and in respect of those influences
which He exerts in their sanctification, He is the Holy
Ghost. The accounts which ancient writers give of the opinions
of Sabellius lead us to think that he considered the distinction
of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as merely nominal, called
God, Trionumos...." (having three names). God was one
Person, assuming different aspects of manifestations, and
different names at different times. Sabellianism or the orthodox
Catholic view of the Trinity destroys the distinction of
Persons which the Scriptures so plainly teach, confounding
the sender with the person sent, Him that begat with Him that
is Begotten, and the Holy Ghost with the Father, from whom
He is said to proceed. Tertullian opposed this doctrine of the
Trinity advanced by Sabellius because it ascribed to God, the
Father of all, the sufferings and the final death on Calvary
which the Scriptures ascribe to Jesus Christ, the Son, and not
the Father who quickened Him and raised Him again from the
"The beginning of the creation of God" in the original
Greek arche - tes ktiseos tou Theou, means not the first who
brought forth but the first who was brought forth. It is used in
the passive sense, not the active. It literally means, says
Justin Martyr in the second century: "Begotten before every
creature," as John says, "He was before me." "He was the
first." "The first born or Begotten." "The only Begotten."
"Begotten before the whole creation."
ifferent Views Held
There are some who deny the divinity of the Saviour
and some deny the distinction of Persons in the
God-head. Some believe that the God-head is one personality
manifesting Himself in various ways and others believe the
God-head to be three distinctive Persons, the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit. Some believe that the God-head is indivisible, and
that the three Persons in the God-head from all eternity held
equal rank and were co-existent and self-existent in their own
right. Those who believe that the God-head is indivisible also
hold that the God-head being one Person is incapable of
change because the divine nature cannot be extended or
communicated to three Persons or two Persons after having
been peculiar to One, and because the Deity or Trinity would
lack the element of eternity and immutability, two essential
properties of the divine nature. But the Scriptures clearly teach
that the Son of God, as Paul says, was "begotten before all
creation" or "the firstborn of all creation" or "creature." He does
not say the "begotten when brought into the world," or "the
firstborn into the world," or "the firstborn of the dead" through
the resurrection as he did in Acts 13:33, 34, but "the firstborn
of all creation" or "before all creation."
The word "first begotten" is applied in the Scriptures to
three different phases or experiences in the life of Christ. Paul
applies it to the time when the Father caused His Son to proceed
from His own bosom before anything else was created in
the universe as set forth in Col. 1: 15, where he says of the
Son of God, "He is the likeness of the Invisible God, - the
Firstborn of all creation." - Emphatic Diaglott.
In the second instance Paul applies the word "first -
begotten" to Christ's incarnation, when he says in Heb 1:6,
"When He bringeth the first-begotten in to the world, He saith,
And let all the angels of God worship Him." And again, in
Revelation, Chapter 1:5, John the Revelator refers to Christ as
“the faithful Witness, and the first-begotten of the dead." We
must rightly divide the Scripture and not put all texts in the
same pigeon-hole. "First-begotten" may refer to Christ's
resurrection, or to His incarnation, or to His proceeding from
the bosom of the Father. The Apostle John also calls the
Logos, who was with God in the beginning, "the only begotten
Son," "the only begotten of the Father," "which is in the bosom
of the Father;" "God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son;" and again, "He that believeth not is
condemned already, because he has not believed in the
Name of the only begotten Son of God." In 1 John 4:9, the
Apostle John says: "In this was manifested the love of God
toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into
the world, that we might live through Him." And in Hebrews
11:17, the Apostle Paul declares that Abraham who "received
the promises offered up his only begotten son" who was "a
figure" of the Son of God. The phrase "the only begotten Son"
as applies to Christ invariably refers to His divine nature and
His relationship to the Father rather than to his human nature
and His relationship to the Virgin Mary. The expressions "the
Son of God" and "the Son of man" respectively refer to His
divine nature and His human nature. This is made very evident
when the Angel Gabriel said to the Virgin Mary: "That holy
thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of
God." Luke 1:35. "That holy thing" was His divine nature
–"called the Son of God” which tabernacled in human flesh.
His corporeal body of blood, flesh, and bone, born of the Virgin
Mary was "the Son of man." He was God or Divinity manifested
in the flesh. He had two natures - one divine and the
other human. He possessed two sonships - one as "the Son of
God" and the other "the Son of man.” He was "the Son of
God" before He became "the Son of man." Sister White says:
"His divinity was veiled with humanity - the invisible glory in the
visible human form." Desire of Ages, page 23.
"By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity,
He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of
man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of
God, He gives us power to obey. It was Christ who (as the Son
of God) from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses
saying, 'I AM THAT I AM.... Thus shalt thou say unto the children
of Israel, I AM hath sent Me unto you... so when He came
in the likeness of men,' He declared Himself the I AM. The
child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God
manifest in the flesh." - Id. p.24.
"God gave His only begotten Son to become one of the
human family, forever to retain His human nature... God has
adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has
carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the 'Son of man'
who shares the throne of the universe. It is the 'Son of man'
whose name shall be called 'Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty
God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."' Id.p. 25.
Since the incarnation Christ is declared to be both “the
Son of God" and "the Son of man.” The fact, however,
remains that in both cases He was begotten. As “the Son of
God" He was begotten of God, as the Apostle Paul says,
"before all creation." (Col. 1: 15). As “the Son of man" He was
begotten when God the Father clothed His Son's divinity with
humanity, 4000 years after the creation of man.
The argument that Athanasius and the Catholic Church
Councils since the days of the Nicean Council in 325 A.D. sets
forth is that pure reason cannot conceive of the three Persons
in the God-head lacking the two essential properties of the
divine nature, namely, eternity and immutability. But the Old
and the New Testaments both teach that “there is but one
God," and beside God there in no other God. Moses said:
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." Deut. 6:4. The
Apostle Paul said in the New Testament, "To us there is but
one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him;
and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by
Him." 1 Cor. 8:6. Again Paul says, in the 4th verse; “there is
none other God but one.”
Pure reason tells me, and the Bible tells me there can be
but one absolute God who must possess the two essential
properties of eternity and immutability. If pure reason can
conceive of three Persons being co-existent, co-eternal, co--
immutable, co-immortal, co-powerful, co-omnipotent, and coequal,
then why does pure reason stop with three Gods? If
pure reason can have three Gods, co-equal and co-eternal,
why can it not have four, five, six, yea, a million such Gods. If
we have three absolute God[s], three first causes and three
last effects, three Alphas and three Omegas, all of equal
status, why can we not have any number? There is nothing in
nature or in pure reason that teaches us that we could have
only three. But the Scripture explicitly says: "There is but one
God, the Father, of whom are all things," and "one Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom are all things.” This text makes God absolute
and supreme over all, and Jesus Christ the agent of the Father
and subordinate to His authority, and their oneness and unity
consists of their being in agreement and in harmony with each
other in all things, and not a oneness in personality.
Eternity and immutability can only be applied to God the
Father - the one absolute God, and not to God the Son, or
God, the Holy Spirit. If eternity and immutability were applied
to the Son of God, then the Son of God never took any
chances so far as His existence was concerned when he
came into this world to meet all the temptations to sin. If it
were impossible for the Son of God to make a mistake or
commit a sin, then His coming into this world and subjecting
Himself to temptations were all a farce and mere mockery. If it
were possible for Him to yield to temptation and fall into sin,
then He must have risked heaven and His very existence, and
even all eternity. That is exactly what the Scriptures and the
Spirit of Prophecy say Christ, the Son of God did do when He
came to work out for us a plan of salvation from the curse of
We read in the Spirit of Prophecy as follows: "God
permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the
weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in
common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every
child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal
loss." - Desire of Ages, p.49.
Again we read in "Desire of Ages": "Many claim that it
was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then
He could not have been placed in Adam's position; He could
not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain... But our
Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature
of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation." - p. 117.
Again we read from the same book, Jesus left the glories
of His eternal home for us and "He not only became an exile
from the heavenly courts, but for us took the risk of failure and
eternal loss." - p. 131.
"Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption
heaven itself was imperiled." - Christ's Object Lessons, p.196.
If Christ "risked all," even His eternal existence in heaven,
then there was a possibility of His being overcome by sin, and
if overcome by sin, He would have gone into Joseph's tomb
and neither that tomb nor any other tomb would ever have
been opened. All would have been lost and He would have
suffered "eternal loss," the loss of all He ever possessed - His
divinity and His humanity and heaven itself would have been
"lost - eternally lost," - C.O.L. p 196.
It is very apparent that the Athanasian doctrine of the
Trinity is not sound when applied to all three Persons in the
God-head. The eternity and the immutability of the Son of God
was conditional and predicated upon the fulfilment or the
failure of those conditions. If He had failed, His immutability as
well as His eternity would have been forfeited and eternally
lost. It is thus apparent that the two essential properties of
eternity and immutability are applicable only to God, the
Father, but not to the Son of God. It was possible for one of
the God-head to be lost, and eternally lost - and if that had
happened, and it was possible to happen, God, the Father,
would still have remained as the One and only absolute and
living God, reigning supreme over all the unfallen worlds, but
with all the human race blotted out of existence on this earth.
If the God-head is indivisible, as Athanasius and the
Catholic hierarchy claim, and all three Persons in the Trinity
constitute one personality but three heads or manifestations of
the one and same God and are one indivisible Substance,
then, pray tell me, who died upon Calvary? If God and His Son
are one inseparable personality, instead of two separate and
distinct personalities, who died upon Calvary? Did the
God-head die? If the God-head died, who was reigning upon
the throne of the universe during the three days that Christ
was in the tomb? What kind of sacrifice was made upon Calvary?
Was it only a human sacrifice? Was it only a finite human
sacrifice or an infinite sacrifice? Did the King of glory die
as the Son of God or did Jesus only die as the Son of man in
his humanity? This answer is found in the Bible and the Spirit
of Prophecy. Paul says: "Christ died for us." Again he says:
"We are reconciled to God by the death of His Son."
Rom.5:8,10. "God gave His only begotten Son." John 3:16.
Peter said to the Jews: "Ye denied the Holy One and the
Just.... and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised
from the dead;" Acts 3:14,15. As Christ expired on the cross,
we read in the "Desire of Ages," p.752. "And now the Lord of
Glory was dying, a ransom for the race." "Inanimate nature
expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author."
"There was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.”
"Complete darkness ... enveloped the cross.” In that thick
darkness God's presence was hidden.... God and His holy
angels were beside the cross. The Father was with His Son.
Yet His presence was not revealed.... He makes darkness His
pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes." When
Christ exclaimed: "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me," the
dying Son of God did not know that His Father was by His
side. That cry was uttered at the termination of the three hour
darkness which enveloped the cross. After that God revealed
Himself to His Son and comforted Him. When Christ said:
"Father into Thy hands I commend My spirit," "a light encircled
the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone With a glory like
the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast and died."
p. [753, 754,] 756.
The Father was then not in heaven, nor were the holy
angels in heaven. They were here on the earth enveloped in
the darkness which was over all the earth for three hours. The
Son of God did not send His Spirit to heaven, His immortal life,
His Deity, His Divinity, that life which His Father had given Him
- the same life His Father possessed - "original, unborrowed,
underived," that Divine life Christ committed to His Father. But
His Father did not take it back to heaven with Him. He left it
here on earth with Christ's body in the tomb. For we read in
Vol.3 of the Spirit of Prophecy, p.203: "When He (Jesus)
closed His eyes in death upon the cross, the soul of Christ did
not go . . . to heaven. . . . The spirit of Jesus slept in the tomb
with His body, and did not wing its way to heaven, there to
maintain a separate existence, and to look down upon the
mourning disciples embalming the body from which it had
taken flight. All that comprised the life and intelligence of
Jesus remained with His body in the sepulchre; and when He
came forth it was as a whole being; He did not have to
summon His spirit from heaven. He had power to lay down His
life and to take it up again.... It was no marvel to the heavenly
host that He who controlled the power of death, and had life in
Himself, should awaken from the sleep of the grave. But it was
a marvel to them that their loved Commander should die for
rebellious men." pp.203-204.
Since the Spirit of Prophecy and the Scriptures are both
inspired, we should be able to harmonize the Spirit of Prophecy
with the Bible. The Bible tells us that when a human being
dies that “the spirit (of man) shall return unto God who gave it.”
Ecc. 12:7. Our life is derived from God. Our breath, our life
and our times are in God's hands all the time. But our life is
not "original". That is, we do not have life in ourselves. But
Christ had life in Himself. His Father gave His Son the same
life that He had in himself, "original, underived and unborrowed,"
“independent” and "immortal." The Son of God had
life in Himself just as the Father had life in Himself. But Jesus
says His Father gave Him this kind of a life – self-existent.
Therefore, Jesus had the power in Himself to lay down His life
- this eternal and immortal life - His Deity - and He had the
power to take it up again. In that respect, he was different as
the Son of man than what we are. Our life is finite - His is
infinite. Ours is mortal - His is immortal. Our spirit is finite, His
is infinite. We cannot take up our life after we lay it down. He
could, so long as He did not commit sin. But if he had yielded
to temptation and become guilty of sin, - and this was possible
- His very existence, his eternal existence and heaven itself
was possible of being forfeited. If it was not, then He never
took a risk; and we are told He "risked all," even heaven itself,
as "an eternal loss." This being so, then His corporeal body
was not only put in jeopardy but His Deity. Because, if He
could exist as a separate Deity, independent of His corporeal
body, after He yielded up His life on Calvary, then He did not
risk heaven nor would He have suffered "all" as "an eternal
Since His spirit did not go to heaven, but the Father
committed Christ's spirit to the tomb and it slept with His body
in the tomb, and "all that comprised the life and the intelligence
of Jesus remained with His body in the sepulchre," we
must conclude that if Christ had sinned all that ever belonged
to Christ would have forever remained in the tomb and Christ
would have suffered the "loss" of His eternal existence. Then
God would have taken back to Himself what He gave to His
son, namely, the same life He gave His only Begotten Son
when He proceeded from the bosom of the Father in the beginning
when He became “the First-born before all creation,”
as Paul puts it.
Thus and only thus, can it be true that the sacrifice which
Christ made for all the sins of the world was "an infinite
sacrifice" and not a mere human or finite sacrifice. Repeatedly
we read that Christ laid down His life, and that means, all there
was of Christ, both human and divine. His Deity did not die, for
Deity we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy "cannot die." An
immortal being cannot die. But immortality after it is bestowed
can be withdrawn. He who imparts immortality to a being that
God brought into existence can withdraw that gift. What God
gives He can take back. Lucifer was created an immortal
being. Though he sinned, he has not yet died because of his
sin, nor have the angels died who sinned, but finally God will
destroy Satan and his angels in the lake of fire, and their
immortality will be taken from them and returned to God who
gave it to them. The righteous saints in the resurrection shall
put on immortality and be made equal to the angels who have
never sinned. God does not bring a free moral agent into
being and make it impossible for Him to get rid of him if he is
disobedient and rebellious. All life which God imparts, be it
mortal or immortal, may be withdrawn and return to Him who
gave it in the beginning.
While the Deity of Christ did not die, He laid it down, and was
willing to surrender to for all eternity, and so He made an
"infinite sacrifice" for the sins of the world. No angel could
make an atonement for sin. All the angels combined could not
make an atonement for the sins of the world. They were all
finite beings, and the total number of finite beings added
together can never measure up to infinity. We are told it
required an “infinite sacrifice" to atone for the sins of the world,
and the divine Son of God, who was infinite because He had
life in Himself - the same life the Father had in himself, was
the only One who could ransom the lost human race. He did it
by laying down both His Deity and His corporeal body as an
"infinite sacrifice," surrendered if God so required for all
eternity. The transgression of God's law demanded the life of
every sinner, and in order to save all the sinners of the world,
it was necessary that an "infinite sacrifice" be made to satisfy
infinite justice and save God's law and the sinner both. For we
read in Psalms 138:2 “Thou (God) hast magnified thy word
above all Thy name.” God's law is His word. In the death and
sacrifice of Christ God exalted His law above all His name.
Christ vindicated the honor of God and satisfied infinite justice
and so established the law of God for all eternity and saved
the law and the sinner for eternity by the "infinite sacrifice" He
made for us.
While Christ laid down His life, He did not take it up again
Himself. Over and over we read in the New Testament "God
raised Christ from the dead." But God wrought this miracle
through the Holy Spirit and the same as He did His incarnation
when the Holy Spirit descended upon Mary and the power of
the Highest overshadowed her. For we read in Paul's letter to
the Romans, 8:11, "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus
from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the
dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit."
Before Christ came into this world He was equal to God,
“being in the form of God," and “the express image of His
person,” yet He "counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on
an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a
servant, being made in the likeness of men." - Desire of Ages,
p.22, quoting Phil. 2:6,7, R.V., margin.
What does the Scripture mean when it says, "He emptied
Himself." Paul defines this expression when he says: "He
humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the
death of the cross." It was then that Christ "emptied Himself."
He laid all He ever possessed upon the altar - as Sister White
says, "a voluntary sacrifice," yea, "an infinite sacrifice." He
voluntarily chose to give up His glory and His throne, and His
scepter, and His life - eternal life "into His Father's hands." He
emptied Himself. He was willing to risk all, even His eternal
existence and be lost, and eternally lost and annihilated, if only
thereby the sinner might be forgiven His sins and saved. He
said to His Father in heaven: "Lo, I come (in the volume of the
Book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God." "A body hast
Thou prepared for Me," referring to His incarnate body of flesh
and bone and blood. But He had a body in heaven in the form
of God known as the Logos of God. This heavenly body “in the
form of God," was also prepared by God for Him. What was
the Logos of God? Sister White says that before Christ came
to this earth, the divine Son of God was the Logos of God, and
when He dwelled with us, He became "God's thought made
audible." From the days of eternity, He was "the express
image of His Person," “the outshining of His glory." - Desire of
Ages, p. 1
In "Patriarchs and Prophets" p.36 we read: “The Son of
God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal,
self-existent One encircled both." It does not say that the glory
of the Father and the glory of the Son encircled both, but “the
glory of the eternal, self-existent One," not two, "encircled
When Satan questioned “the supremacy of the Son of
God," it says, "The King of the universe summoned the
heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set
forth the true position of His Son, and show the relation He
sustained to all created beings. . . . Before the assembled
inhabitants of heaven, the King declared that none but Christ,
the only begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes....
The Son had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the
hosts of heaven.... Christ was still to exercise divine power in
the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He
would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to
God's Plan." [Ibid] Here we have clear statements that the only
begotten Son was exalted by the Father to an equality with
Himself, and that the Son could not act contrary to God's plan
and God's will. He was subject to the Father in the beginning
of creation and He will be still subject to the Father at the final
culmination of the plan of redemption when all enemies shall
have been put under Christ's feet, and He reigns supreme in
the universe, yet says Paul, "when all things shall be subdued
unto Him (the Son), then shall the Son also Himself be subject
unto Him (the Father) that put all things under Him (the Son)
that God may be all in all." 1 Cor. 15:28.
We read in "Desire of ages," p. 785: "When the voice of
the mighty angel was heard at Christ's tomb, saying, 'Thy
Father calls Thee,' the Saviour came forth from the grave by
the life that was in Himself. Now was proved the truth of His
words, 'I lay down My life, that I might take it again... I have
power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."'
Jesus said: "As the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He
(the Father) given to the Son to have life in Himself." John
5:26. This life Christ surrendered to His Father as He died on
the cross of Calvary when "He said, Father, into Thy hands I
commend My spirit: and having said thus, He, gave up the
ghost" (spirit, His life). Where was His life while He lay in the
grave? It was in the Father's possession, or as the apostle
John says, "in the bosom of the Father," when "the only Begotten
Son" came in the beginning. Christ of His own accord
laid down His life, when He freely gave His life for us, and
while He had power to take it up because of His sinless state,
and therefore sin could not hold Him in its power, yet He did
not raise Himself from the dead. Peter on the day of Pentecost
said: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you
by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in
the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being
delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of
God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and
slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of
death; because it was not possible that He should be holden
of it." Acts 2:22-24. Again Peter repeats it: "This Jesus hath
God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." Verse 32. Again
Peter says in Acts 3:15: Ye "Killed the Prince of life, whom
God hath raised from the dead." The apostle Paul likewise
wrote to the Romans, "like as Christ was raised up from the
dead by the glory of the Father... But if the Spirit of Him that
raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up
Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies."
Romans 6:4, 8:11. Thus we see from the teaching of the
Scriptures that it was God - the Father - who through the Spirit
raised Jesus from the dead. This was fulfilled when "the
mighty angel was heard at Christ's tomb, saying: 'Thy Father
calls Thee.'" Then Christ was again "begotten" "from the
dead," and another prophecy was fulfilled as stated by Paul:
"God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He
hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second
Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee." Acts
This is the third time the Son of God was "begotten" by
the Father. As Sister White says: "All created beings live by
the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of
the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest
animate being, all are replenished from the Source of life. Only
he who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down
My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ
possessed the power to break the bonds of death." -Desire of
Ages, p. 785.
Christ, when He surrendered His life, laid down His
divinity as well as His humanity, because He made more than
a human, finite sacrifice. Sister White says that when "the
Lord of Glory was dying, a ransom for the race ... that an infinite
sacrifice had been made for the sins of the world." - Id. pp
752, 774. If an "infinite" instead of a finite sacrifice was made
for the sins of the world, then more than His humanity was
offered as a penalty to atone for the violation of God's law. If it
was "the Lord of glory" who died, then it was more than the
Son of man that was sacrificed. Sister White says: "God did
not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for
man's redemption. 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world
unto Himself.'" Id. p. 762.
When Christ said: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My
spirit," He made "an infinite sacrifice," because He not only
gave up His humanity but His divinity and committed all into
"the possession of God" who gave Him "to have life in Himself'
in the beginning when “the Son of God" was "Begotten before
all creation," as Paul said in Col. 1:15, literal Greek translation.
If Christ had yielded to temptation and committed one sin,
both He and the human race would have been lost. Both His
humanity and divinity would have been lost. Both His humanity
and divinity would have been forfeited forever, and there
would have been an eternal separation between Him and God.
Sister White says: "Christ risked all," even "heaven itself”
when He condescended to meet the great tempter in the sinful
flesh of man, and subject Himself to temptation as the Son of
man in His humanity. Sister White says: "the Saviour could not
see through the portals of the tomb....He feared that sin was
so offensive to God, that their separation was to be eternal." -
Desire of Ages, p. 753.
If it was impossible for Christ to lose His divinity as well
as His humanity, then why should He fear “that their
separation was to be eternal"? If His divinity could not be
sacrificed and lost because of the guilt of sin, then how was it
possible for "Christ” to risk all even heaven itself? He did risk
His eternal existence or He did not risk anything. Since it was
possible for Him to yield to sin in the flesh, it was possible for
Him to lose His divinity and only in that sense did He make "an
infinite sacrifice” and thus risk His eternal existence. While it is
true that divinity cannot die, in Christ it was possible to lose
His divinity when he "was in all points tempted as we are," and
ran the risk of yielding to sin. If this is not so, then He ran no
risk of eternal separation from God and heaven. He could
have gone back and enjoyed His existence in His divinity the
same as He did before He came into the world as man's
Those who hold that the Son of God only surrendered
His humanity and that His divinity was with Him in the grave
and was never given up and never could be surrendered and
lost because of sin's guilt, hold that Christ was conscious instead
of unconscious in the grave. If Christ retained His divinity
and never surrendered and gave it back to God, and His
divinity was present with Him in the grave instead of in God's
possession, then the only logical conclusion that can be drawn
is that the Son of God was conscious in the grave and that He
did not lose consciousness. If death is consciousness in the
grave or some other place, then death is not really death but a
higher form of existence independent of the body, and a
person is still conscious and free to communicate with God
and others, outside of the body, and that is exactly what Satan
told Eve when he tempted her to sin: "Thou shalt not surely
die." Gen. 3:4. But Christ tells us that the devil "is a liar, and
the father of it." John 8:44.
When Christ surrendered His life and His Spirit to God on
the cross, "Christ died" and was unconscious in the grave, just
as the sinner is unconscious when he dies and pays the
penalty for his sins in the final judgment day and suffers the
second death. Christ paid the penalty of the second death for
all who accepted Him, so they may escape that death which is
eternal. But the second death, the penalty for sin, could not
hold Him because He Himself was without sin and He made
"an infinite sacrifice ... for the sins of the world." None of the
angels could make the sacrifice for they were finite beings,
and "an infinite sacrifice" was required to atone for the sins of
the world. There was just One in all the universe of God who
could pay the penalty for the transgressions of the law of God
and satisfy infinite justice and that was the divine Son of God,
whom God "made equal with the Father," and "invested" with
His own attributes, by sharing the glory and divinity of the Father.
All this was done when Christ was "Begotten before all
creation," and "The Son of God shared the Father's throne,
and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both"
before "the creation of all the hosts of heaven," and "the creation
of the earth and its inhabitants," and the Son of God became
"the express image of His (Father's) Person" and "the
brightness of His glory."
Sister White wrote in "The Signs of the Times," August
29, 1900: "Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of
God.... In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the
mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there
never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the
eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening
had been with God as one brought up with Him."
This statement has been used by some to convey the
idea that the Son of God was co-existent with the Father and
self-existent in His own right without deriving His existence in
the beginning from the Father. We must interpret this statement
in harmony with other statements Sister White has made
in connection with the Deity of Christ, and how and when He
obtained it. Sister White's statements when taken as a whole
and altogether are in perfect harmony with what Christ Himself
and all the prophets have said and written about His
self-existent state and how He acquired it from the Father in
the beginning before anything was created that afterwards
was created. John, the apostle, said; "No man hath seen God
at any time; the only Begotten Son, which is in the bosom of
the Father, He hath declared Him." John 1:18.
Christ always existed in the bosom of the Father, even
before He was Begotten as the Son of God, and God and His
prophets counted “things which are not," as though they were
even before they were manifested. Thus we read that Christ
was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," and
that "Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot...
was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was
manifested in these last times." So Christ existed in the bosom
of the Father from all eternity but was manifested when He
was begotten by the Father as His Son, as the apostle Paul
says, "before all creation." God views things against the
background of eternity. When He spoke of being the God of
Abraham, lsaac and Jacob, who were dead, He did not count
them as dead but as living. Jesus said: "As touching the
resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was
spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham,
and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the
God of the dead, but of the living." Matt.22:31, 32. God counts
some people as dead while they live. Paul in speaking of a
bad woman, said: "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while
she liveth." We are apt to view things against the background
of time, but God views things in the light of eternity. As Paul
says, God "hath chosen us in Him (Christ) before the
foundation of the world." Before we existed He counted us,
and after we die He counts us as living because of the
resurrection from the dead.
Only in this sense was Christ the Son of God with the
Father from all eternity. There was a time when Christ was
begotten, and He was "the only Begotten Son" of the Father.
There was a time when the Son of God was made equal to the
Father, for says Sister White: "God is the Father of Christ;
Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted
position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the
counsels of God are opened to His Son." - Testimonies Vol. 8,
According to this statement, Christ did not in His own
right possess equality with the Father until God gave it to Him.
He was "made equal with the Father" by the Father. That is
exactly what Christ Himself said concerning His relationship to
the Father. He said: "As the Father hath life in Himself; so hath
He given to the Son to have life in Himself." John 5:26. What
kind of life does the Father have in Himself? He "only hath
immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach
unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see, "says Paul. The
Father hath "self-existent" "life original, unborrowed,
underived." This same kind of "life, original, unborrowed,
underived" the Father "gave" to His Son. The Son of God
Himself says that His Father gave to His "Son to have life in
Himself," the same identical life the Father had in Himself. In
this way, the Father "made" His Son "equal" with Himself. Both
the life and the equality of God were given to Christ by the
Father when the Father begat His Son. God gave His Son the
same kind of immortality as He had in himself and made Him
the source of life so His Son did no longer have to depend
upon His Father nor had He any longer to go to the Father and
borrow it from Him. The Son could now impart life and create
life as well as worlds, and people them. But we must never
forget while Christ the Son of God had this independent life
and creative power in Himself, yet all things were created by
God through His Son because God gave Him to have life in
Himself. The Father and the Son are one, but not one
personality. Christ prayed that we might be one with Him as
He and the Father were One. Sister White says that this "unity
that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy
the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in
character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are
one." Testimonies Vol. 8. p. 269.
In the word, God is spoken of as "the everlasting God."
This name embraces past, present, and future. God is from
everlasting to everlasting. He is the Eternal One. Testimonies
Vol. 8, p.270

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