After His baptism, Jesus knelt on the banks of the River Jordan and prayed. He then heard a voice from Heaven. “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17.
What did the Father mean?
Was His Son actually born of Him at some point in eternity?
Or was He speaking of an eternal Son who was the second Person of a triune Godhead?
Perhaps one of the Trinity became a Son?
Maybe He meant a Son from the conception of Mary?
Perhaps Jesus was playing the role of a Son?
Or had the Father covenanted with the second Person of the Trinity to be called a Son?
On the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father spoke again, “This is My beloved Son, hear Him.” Luke 9:35.
Which is it Father?
Can you make it clear?
The God We Worship
Once our pioneers had come into agreement on the doctrines that would become the foundation beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, they were all in harmony.
When they left their churches, many believed in the Trinity, but after Bible study and the testimony of the Spirit, they accepted that God is the Father, the great King of the universe, who gave birth to a Son.
In 1902, Dr Harvey Kellogg wrote his book ‘Living Temple’. Although it was a book on health, he had included strange beliefs about the presence of God. When challenged for these beliefs, he stated that he had been thinking the matter over, and began to see that he had made a slight mistake in expressing his views. He then stated that his former views regarding the Trinity had stood in his way of making a clear and absolutely correct statement, but that within a short time he had come to believe in the Trinity and could now see pretty clearly where all the difficulty was, and believed he could clear the matter up satisfactorily. He said he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost…” Letter from A.G. Daniells to W.C. White. Oct 29. 1903. p1.2.
Dr. Kellogg stated that he would make changes to the book.
His belief in the Trinity was contrary to the teaching of the seventh-day Adventist Church and was in fact the belief of the mainstream churches. Sister White wrote to Kellogg about his changes, but told him he had not changed his beliefs despite the corrections.
She told him, “You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.” Letter 300. The Elmshaven Years. Vol 5. 1900-1905. Arthur L. White 1941.
The prophet’s counsel to the Church was, “We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time has not lessened their value.” Ibid p201.
Most brethren refused to move from the denominational belief in God and His Son, but gradually more and more felt the new teaching was correct. ‘It is present truth’, they said. ‘Present truth is progressive.’
But the non-trinitarian belief is not the same as the trinitarian belief. If it was so, Arius would have had nothing to say to Bishop Alexander in the 4th century. There would have been no dispute, and no council of Nicaea. Neither would the three Arian nations have been destroyed by the Papacy. Daniel 7:8. (Our pioneers were not Arians, but they did believe God the Father gave birth to a Son)
Sister White told those who wished to study Kellogg’s beliefs not to do so because he was trying “to bring in theories that remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ.” Manuscript Release 760. p9.10.
Our prophet has made it clear that our foundation was laid by the Master Builder, and upon it “we have been building for the past fifty years… the waymarks are to be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.” 1 Selected Messages p207.8. 1901 era.
Once our pioneers had been laid to rest, the triune Godhead became the popular view. However, many of the older generation maintained their belief in the original teachings. 1 SM 205.
In 1980, the Trinity was passed by the General Conference session in Dallas. It was now the official teaching of the Church, and no one must question it.
Now, forty years later, there is a resurgence of study on the subject of the Trinity. Many have become convinced that our pioneers had the truth, and they have embraced it.
Of course, the question must be asked -- Does it matter?
We could also ask -- Does it matter that we keep the 7th day Sabbath? If our answer is yes, then why not the God we worship?
We have to realise that WHEN we worship (Sabbath), although vital, the day is secondary to WHO we worship. We may have the right day, but if we have the wrong god, our worship is in vain.
The true God has His chosen day of worship and the false god has his day. Whichever day we choose will show allegiance to one God or the other.
When the image of the beast is formed and a day legislated, every human being must make a decision to keep one of those days. This will reveal the God/god they worship.
It is extremely important we know from Scripture that we are worshipping the true God, as Paul warned, “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity of Christ, for if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Cor 11:4.
“Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8.9.
The purpose for this booklet is to show from Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy that the true God is God the Father and that He has an only-begotten Son. Genesis 2:1-3. DA 769.
All I ask is that you look at the evidence.
The Bible references are clear and precise, but they are generally without fine details.
The Spirit of Prophecy quotations often give points we do not see in the Bible. These are excellent for indepth study, but our doctrines come from the Bible.
This is important.
The problem today is that the prophet is not believed as she should be. Instead of confirming our understanding about God with the Spirit of Prophecy writings, brethren interpret the Bible according to their own preconceived ideas.
This is dangerous. Too many in Christendom do just that, and their beliefs are far from the truth.
We must diligently study, allowing the Bible to interpret itself. This is exegesis. If we put into a verse our own understanding, we have fallen for the trap of eisegesis, by which we can prove anything we want to prove.
Lesser light leads to the great light.
In these days just before the coming of Christ, we must confirm everything we believe, as those who perish “received not the love of the truth… God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie…” 2 Thessalonians 2:10.11.
The God of the Universe
The following quotations show different aspects of God from the Bible and from the Spirit of Prophecy in more detail.
Jesus said to the lawyer, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Luke 10:27.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3.
We ask -- Who is this God?
When Jesus prayed to His Father He said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3.
Who is the true God?
“… there is none other God but one… there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him…” 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6.
The Spirit of Prophecy says of God. “God is our Father… He is also the great King of the universe.” The Faith I Live By p39.
“Blessed be God, even the Father…’ 2 Cor 1:3.
According to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, the Father is “enshrouded in the awful clouds of mystery and obscurity, (and) to lift the curtain that conceals the divine presence is death.” Faith I Live By p49.
The Father is covered with light.
“Thou art clothed with honour and majesty…who coverest thyself with light as with a garment.” Psalm 104:1.2.
God “is dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto…” 1 Timothy 6:16.
Sister White was given a view of heaven where she saw “… a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus’ countenance and admired His lovely person. The Father’s person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, ‘If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist’.” Early Writings p54.
This is important.
Sister White saw the Father rise from the throne, but qualified it by saying, “The Father was enshrouded with a body of light and glory, so that His person could not be seen; yet I knew that it was the Father and that from His person emanated this light and glory. When I saw this body of light and glory rise from the throne, I knew it was because the Father moved.” EW 92.
The Father is the great King of the universe.
“God is our Father, who loves and cares for us as His children; He is also the great King of the universe. The interests of His kingdom are our interests, and we are to work for its upbuilding.” Heaven p22.
The kingdom belongs to the Father.
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come…” Luke 11:2.
“I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven is named.” Ephesians 3:14.15.
The throne belongs to the Father.
Jesus “was set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” Hebrews 8:1.
“All the heavenly host surround their majestic Commander as he takes his position upon the throne of the Father.” 3 SP 252.
The Son of God
Does God have a Son?
Proverbs asks, “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?... Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name…?” Proverbs 30:4.
Jesus “is the Word of God -- God’s thought made audible…” Desire of Ages p20.
God is the Father of Christ. Christ is the Son of God.” 8 Testimonies p268.
“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Colossians 1:3.
“We may have the witness in ourselves that the Bible is true, that Christ is the Son of God.” Steps to Christ p112.
“Beneath the guise of humanity they discerned the glory of the Son of God.” DA p412.
“The Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning… 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’.” Proverbs 8:22-30. PP p34.
Sister White identifies Christ as wisdom personified.
The Son shared His Father’s throne.
“The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both.” PP 35.36.
The Son was made equal with God.
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Philippians 2:6.
Prior to His incarnation, Christ was “…given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” 8 Testimonies p268.
“Christ is the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” Great Controversy p493.
“Our great Exemplar was exalted to be equal with God. He was high Commander in heaven.” 2 Testimonies p426. Philippians 2:6.
“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.”
In these quotations, note the words ‘given’, ‘made’ and ‘exalted to be’.
“He (Christ) stepped down from the throne of honor, laid off his royal robe and his royal crown, gave back into his Father’s hand the scepter, and veiling divinity with humanity…” Youth Instructor. May 27. 1897.
To be able to ‘give back’, the Son must have been given it in the first place.
The Son was invested with authority.
Jesus “was invested with the honor and authority of Heaven.” DA p212.
The Son of God is the image of His Father.
The Son of the Father, “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of his person…” Hebrews 1:3.
“Christ… is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person.” Christ’s Object Lessons p115.
Sister White wrote, “I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that He is a person. I asked Him if His Father was a person and had a form like Himself. Said Jesus, ‘I am the express image of My Father’s person’.” Early Writings p77.
“He who had been with God from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone able to reveal the character of the Deity to mankind.” Ibid p423.
The Son is the Prince of heaven.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people…” Daniel 12:1.
“God’s own Son, the Prince of Heaven, by His example teaches that we should obey.” Story of Jesus p17. Upward Look p217.
The Son was begotten of His Father God.
“The Eternal Father, the unchangeable One, gave His only begotten Son, tore from His bosom Him who was made in the express image of His person, and sent Him down to earth to reveal how greatly He loved mankind.” Review & Herald. Jul 9. 1895.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
Today theologians say ‘monogenes’ (begotten) does not mean begotten; instead it means unique. As a result many new versions translate the above text as “gave his son”, or “gave his only son”. The true meaning of the word is seen when comparing Scripture with Scripture.
(Compare John 1:14; 1:18; John 3:16; 3:18; Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; Hebrews 1:6; 11:17; 1 John 4:9; Revelation 1:5. All use monogenes)
Our prophet gives a clear statement as to whether Jesus is begotten. “A complete offering has been made; for ‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son’ -- not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father’s person… one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection .” ST. May 30.1895.
Five years earlier, E.J. Waggoner wrote, “The angels are sons of God, as was Adam, by creation; Christians are the sons of God by adoption, but Christ is the Son of God by birth.” Christ and His Righteousness p12. 1890.
Who made a covenant called the counsel of peace?
“Behold, the man whose name is the Branch… he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zechariah 6:12.13.
“In the plan to save a lost world, the counsel was between them both: the covenant of peace was between the Father and the Son.” Signs of the Times. Dec 23. 1897.
“The plan of redemption was arranged in the counsels between the Father and the Son.” Heavenly Places p12.
“An irrevocable covenant was made between the Father and the Son.” Signs. Aug 22. 1900.
The words of the text ‘between them both’ can only mean two. The following quotation which includes the Holy Spirit is misunderstood.
“The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.” Counsels on Health p223.
The above statement refers to carrying out the plan made by the Father and the Son. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit ‘carried out’ (gave themselves to the working out) or fulfilling the plan of redemption made by the Father and His Son. There is no contradiction.
“Christ was not alone in making His great sacrifice. It was the fulfilment of the covenant made between Him and His Father before the foundation of the world was laid. With clasped hands they had entered into the solemn pledge that Christ would become the surety for the human race….” Youth’s Instructor. Jun 14. 1900. p186.
“When upon the cross He (Christ) cried out, ‘It is finished’, He addressed the Father. The compact had been fully carried out. Now He declares, Father, it is finished…” Desire of Ages p824.
When was the Son begotten?”
“But thou Bethlehem…He will come out of thee… whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2.
In Hebrew, ‘everlasting’ (olam) means ‘hidden’ or ‘long ages beyond human understanding’, not eternity as we understand it today.
Speaking of Christ, Sister White wrote, “Christ shows them that, although they might reckon His life to be less than fifty years, yet His divine life could not be reckoned by human computation.” ST. May 3. 1899. FLB p46.
The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.” ST. May 3. 1899.
“In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages….” ST. Aug 29. 1900.
These quotations do not speak of eternity as we understand the word, but they are in harmony with the Hebrew meaning of the word olam.
People say for Christ to be God, He must be eternal, without beginning. Sister White called Jesus “the eternal Son.” What did she mean? If she meant He was a Son without beginning, she is repeating Catholic theology.
Arius accused his bishop of believing in a begotten unbegotten Son, which the young priest said was not logical. It is for this reason Arius rejected the Catholic view.
Ellen White was making certain the reader understood that Jesus was God’s Son before His incarnation, as some did not believe Christ had any pre-existence. Certainly the writings of the prophet do not uphold Catholic dogma, of that we can be certain.
Think of the word ‘eternal’ again. It appears to be an unbreakable rule among Christians -- that the Son must be eternal, with no beginning, or He cannot be divine.
Christ had all the divine attributes of His Father, including eternal life, yet He had a beginning. Certainly the Spirit Christ received from His Father at birth was eternal (without beginning), but the Son, as an individual personality, did have a beginning when He was begotten.
“The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality.” EGW. Manuscript. 116. Dec 19. 1905.
“He who had said, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again” (John 10:17), came forth from the grave to life that was in Himself. Humanity died; divinity did not die. In His divinity Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.
“He declares that He has life in Himself to quicken whom He will. That I May Know Him p 71. John 5:26.
You and I, as believers have “eternal life, in Christ”, and we will be given that immortal life at the second coming. “For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 16:53.
Does this mean we had no beginning? Of course not. It is the same for Christ. Just because He was begotten in eternity, does not mean He cannot be God’s Son.
Who created the universe?
"God… hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Hebrews 1:1.2.
“For by Him (Christ) were all things created… all things were created by him, and for Him.” Colossians 1:16.
“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate -- a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy.” PP 34.35.
“The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God their homage and allegiance were due.” PP 35.36.
The Holy Spirit
Our pioneers believed the Spirit emanated from the Father’s being, as a visible and glorious light that surrounded His form. The Father is the Source of all things.
This understanding is seen in the words of the prophet at Christ’s baptism. A number of examples are given.
The angels wanted to answer Christ’s prayer on the banks of the Jordan, but the Father acknowledged it Himself.
“And in answer to that prayer, the light and glory of God flashed forth from His throne and descended as a dove and rested upon Him.” ST. Feb 14. 1878.
“…the heavens were opened; and the Spirit of God, like a dove of burnished gold, encircled the form of the Saviour…” CG p525.
John “…saw the brightness of the Father’s glory overshadowing the form of Jesus…” Confrontation p29.
Direct from the “Father issues the light of His glory. The heavens were opened, and beams of glory rested upon the Son of God and assumed the form of a dove…” R & H. Jan 21. 1873.
“His form was bathed in the light that ever surrounds the throne of God…” DA p112.
Adam and Eve received the light of God’s Spirit when they were created, and it shone forth as clothing. When they sinned, they lost the Spirit and realised they were naked. ST. Jan 9. 1897. 3SG. p34. PP p45.
The apostle John tells us the Spirit of truth, “proceedeth from the Father.” John 15:26. This refers to the Comforter.
“Christ is everything to those who receive Him. He is their Comforter, their safety, their healthfulness. Apart from Christ there is no light at all.” MR 21 p372.
Could this be so? How could Jesus be the Comforter?
When studying John 14, 15, 16, it is important to notice all the verses in the first person. (I, me, my) as well as the few verses in the third person (He, him) Generally these refer to the Comforter. (John 14:46.47. 15:26. 16:18.104.22.168)
Why did Jesus speak of the Comforter in the third person? Was it because He was another person? Or is there another reason?
In relation to this, it is good to compare another time Jesus used the third person: “the Son of man.” Looking only at John’s gospel, there are eleven verses (1:15, 3:13.14, 5:27, 6:27.53.62, 8:28, 12:23.34, 13:31)
In John 12:34, someone asks the obvious question, ‘Who is the Son of man?’
Of course we know Jesus was speaking of Himself, but why did He speak of Himself in the third person? We have our answers, but was it to help us understand the Comforter?
Could He be speaking of Himself?
Let us look at some of the verses where Jesus uses the first person.
Verse 18, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
This is a very direct statement. It is not the second coming. Have we taken notice of Jesus’ words?
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21.
Judas (not Iscariot) partially understood and asked, ’Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” John 14:22. His thoughts were physical, and not spiritual.
Jesus replied, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and we will make our abode with him.” John 14:23.
Again, Jesus’ words are clear -- He and His Father would make their abode (or dwell) with him. How? Jesus said in John 14:10.11 that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. This is crucial to understand. Jesus is speaking of the Spirit.
The prophet said, “Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” DA p671.
“There is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. His Spirit speaks to the heart… The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul.” R & H. Oct 26. 1897. Par 15.
“He (Christ) is the Comforter. He will abide in their hearts, making their joy full.” Reflecting Christ p200.
“Christ’s presence in the heart is a vitalizing power, strengthening the entire being…” FLB p62.
“Christ comes as a Comforter to all who believe.” MR 8. p57.
This is not understood today, although it is said the Holy Spirit (as a third person of the Trinity) brings Jesus to the believer. Is Jesus impotent and without power to come Himself? He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:18.
Most Adventists believe Christ gave up omnipresence, and He is now confined to heaven. What does the prophet say?
“In giving His commission to His followers, Christ did not tell them they would be left alone. He assured them that He would be near them. He spoke of His omnipresence in a special way. Go to all nations, He said, ‘Go, to the farthest portion of the habitable globe, but know that My presence will be there. Labor in faith and confidence, for the time will never come when I shall forsake you’.” Ms 138. 1897. Dec 2. 1897. Par 21.
We must ask ourselves if we are willing to believe the prophet.
“I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” [John 14:16.17] This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter.” 14 MR p179.
“The Lord’s throne is in heaven’ [Psalm 11:4]; yet by His Spirit He is everywhere present.” Education p132.
“In the human heart cleansed from all moral impurity, dwells the precious Saviour, ennobling, sanctifying the whole nature and making the man a temple for the Holy Spirit. Christ therefore is a personal Saviour… Wherever we go, we bear the abiding presence of One so dear to us; for we abide in Christ by a living faith. We have the companionship of the divine Jesus…” ST Sep 3. 1896. Par 3,4.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 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 that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:9-11. (Note the interchange of the Spirit - of Christ, of God, of the Father)
The following quotation is a difficult one for some people, but it is a very important statement made by the prophet.
“While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ [Matt 28:20] While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church.” DA p166.
How is Jesus able to be in two places at the same time? This is where our understanding of the Spirit is important. Christ is physically in heaven as our Advocate, and He is spiritually (by His omnipresent Spirit) dwelling within every believer on earth. There is no contradiction.
At Pentecost, Christ poured out His Spirit.
“Henceforth through the Spirit, Christ was to abide continually in the hearts of His children. Their union with Him was closer than when He was personally with them. The light, and love, and power of the indwelling Christ shone out through them, so that men, beholding, “marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13. Steps to Christ p74.
Satan has “sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them saying, ‘this is the way, walk ye in it.” R & H. Aug 26. 1890. Par 10.
“Christ is to be known by the blessed name of Comforter.” Ms 7. 1902. Jan 26. 1902. Par 10.
The Son of God
Why did Lucifer rebel in heaven?
“Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” Ezekiel 28:17.
There is no question Lucifer was proud of his beauty, but as with all sin, it did not end there.
“Lucifer was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on Christ alone.” Lift Him Up. p18.
“He (Lucifer) desired the place occupied by Christ, having it in his mind, that if he gained this position, to make an effort to take the place of God.” Upward Look p135.
“Loyal angels warned against this rebellion. Many were disposed to heed this counsel, to repent of their disaffection, and seek to be agents in favour with the Father and His Son.” PP p40.41.
Brethren suggest that the words ‘Son of God’ in this chapter are metaphoric. But of what are they a metaphor? Of whom did Lucifer become jealous? If ‘Son of God’ is a metaphor, then ‘the Father’ is a metaphor as well.
Divine plans for creation of man
“Before the fall of Satan, the Father consulted His Son in regard to the formation of man… When Satan learned the purpose of God, he was envious at Christ, and jealous because the Father had not consulted him in regard to the creation of man.” 3 Spiritual Gifts p36.
Little by little Lucifer brought unrest to heaven as he subtlely made suggestions against God’s Son. If ‘Father’ is a metaphor and ‘Son of God’ is a metaphor, then what the Father did is also a metaphor.
What did the Father do?
“The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of the Son.” Patriarchs and Prophets p35.36.
“There had been no change in the position or authority of Christ…. His (Lucifer’s) claims of equality with Christ had made necessary a statement of the true position of the Son of God; but this had been from the beginning.” PP p36.38.
After counsel to repent, Lucifer allowed jealousy of Christ to prevail, and he became more determined. “The Son presented before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law.” PP p35.
But Lucifer remained rebellious and refused to repent.
There was war in heaven.
“Christ, as Commander of heaven, was appointed to put down the rebellion.” R&H. May 30. 1889.
“Angels were engaged in the battle; Satan wished to conquer the Son of God and those who were submissive to His will.” 1 Spiritual Gifts p18.
“Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon prevailed not….” Rev 12:4.7-9.
Finally they were cast out of heaven.
The result of making the ‘Father’ and the ‘Son’ metaphors is to make the whole chapter meaningless.
What suggestion did the Father make?
Seeing the sadness of the angels, “The Father consulted His Son in regard to at once carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth.” Story of Redemption p19.
After creation was finished what did they do?
“And on the seventh day God rested from all His work which he had made… And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it...” Genesis 2:2.3. (The Son was not fully revealed in the Old Testament [Romans 16:25.26], and therefore He is not mentioned)
“In the beginning the Father and the Son (had) rested upon the sabbath after their work of creation.” DA p769.
The praises of Adam and Eve.
“Adam and Eve were charmed with the beauties of their Eden home... The holy pair… raised their voices in harmonious songs of love, praise, and adoration to the Father and His dear Son for the tokens of love which surrounded them.” SR p3.
“How anxiously they (the angels) waited to see if the holy pair would be deluded by the tempter, and yield to his arts! They asked themselves, Will the holy pair transfer their faith and love from the Father and Son to Satan? Will they accept his falsehoods as truth?” That I May Know Him p14.
Sadly, our representative failed the test and this world was cut off from heaven.
Who would communicate with the earth?
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5.
“As Jehovah, the supreme ruler, God would not personally communicate with sinful men, but He so loved the world that He sent Jesus to our world as a revelation of Himself.” 9 MR p122. R&H. Mar 2. 1886.
“All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ…. It was He (the Son of God) who revealed Himself to the patriarchs.” Amazing Grace p43.
“Through Christ had been communicated every ray of divine light that had ever reached our fallen world.…” Education p73.74.
When Adam and Eve fell into sin, “the Son of God, heaven’s glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race.” PP p63.
Sister White wrote, “I then saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father… The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father.
Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came from the Father we could see His person. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity…
He then made known to the angelic choir that a way of escape had been made for lost man; that He had been pleading with His Father, and had obtained permission to give His own life as a ransom for the race, to bear their sins, and take the sentence of death upon Himself…” Early Writings p149.
“Said the angel, Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no. It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His darling Son to die for them.” EW p127.
Do you really think it is all a metaphor? Or perhaps just poetic licence? What does the language tell you about God’s struggle to give up His ‘darling Son’?
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32.
“The eternal Father, the unchangeable One, gave His only begotten Son, tore from His bosom Him who was made in the express image of His person, and sent Him down to earth to reveal how greatly He loved mankind.” R & H. Jul 9. 1895.
“…it was a marvel with all heaven, that the Father suffered the Son of His bosom to lay aside His glory, and come down to earth, and submit to humiliation….” 4a Spiritual Gifts p119.
Prior to the Father sending His Son to the earth:
The devil charged God with selfishness.
“Christ’s death had answered the question whether the Father and the Son had sufficient love for man to exercise self-denial and a spirit of sacrifice.” PP p70.
“The Father consents to give His dearly beloved Son to save the fallen race… For the sake of His dear Son the Father forbears awhile the execution of death, and to Christ He commits the fallen race.” 1 & 2. Spiritual Gifts p46.47.
“Our heavenly Father surrendered His beloved Son to the agonies of the crucifixion… What greater proof can the Infinite One give us of His divine love and pity?” ST. Apr 3. 1879.
Understand that the Father did not send His Son by an arbitrary command. The Son volunteered and the Father gave His permission.
Adam and Eve learn of the Son’s sacrifice.
“When Adam and Eve realised how exalted and sacred was the law of God… they pleaded to die themselves… rather than the beloved Son of God should make this great sacrifice.” SR p47.
God’s Son was to bear “the wrath of His Father.” SR p46.
“He was to stand between the sinner and the penalty of sin; yet few would receive Him as the Son of God.” PP p63.64.
Did you notice that last sentence? Are you one of ‘the few’ who have received Him? Or do you oppose the teaching and speak out against it? Perhaps even with a passion! This was how the Jewish leaders reacted when Jesus said He was God’s Son.
When Jesus spoke of His Father, “the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.” John 10:31.
Jesus asked, ‘Say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, ‘Thou blasphemest’; because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?’ ” John 10:36.
The leaders knew what Jesus meant. They didn’t begin a debate on the meaning of His words -- Is He a covenantal Son? Perhaps a Son from Mary? Or at His baptism?
No. They knew He meant He was the Son of God in the highest sense, and they hated Him for it. The Jews answered Jesus, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:33.
Don’t think for one moment they thought He was claiming to be a part of a triune Godhead. Jesus was claiming to be God’s Son, and death was their only solution. “They sought again to take him. but he escaped out of their hand.” John 10:39.
It took a while, but finally Caiaphas had Jesus arrested. At midnight the Sanhedrin began an illegal trial at which false witnesses contradicted each other. After many hours, Caiaphas became exasperated.
Seeing Jesus silent before His accusers, the high priest asked why He said nothing. Then with an unholy passion, he demanded, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou art the Son of God?”
Jesus replied, “I am.” Mark 14:61.62.
Caiaphas angrily rent his robe and turned to the assembled Sanhedrin. ‘What need we of further witnesses.’ Mark 14:63. They all agreed, ‘He is guilty, and deserves death for claiming to be the Son of God.’
Finally they had Him -- this pretender -- now He would be crucified by order of Rome.
“Priests and rulers forgot the dignity of their office, and abused the Son of God with foul epithets…. They declared… Him deserving of the most ignominious death.” DA p715.
Think about it -- Jesus died for claiming to be God’s Son. If He wasn’t, He died in vain!
“In the closing events of the crucifixion day, fresh evidence was given of the fulfillment of prophecy, and new witness borne to Christ’s divinity.
“When the darkness had lifted from the cross, and the Savior’s dying cry had been uttered, immediately another voice was heard, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God’.” DA p769.770.
Testimony of the Father
During the last week of Jesus’ ministry, certain Greek men came to worship at the temple. Seeing Philip, they ask, ‘Sir, we would see Jesus.’ Philip tells Andrew, and Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
The Saviour leaves the court of the Jews and enters the court of the Gentiles. He is standing in the shadow of the cross and it thrills His heart to learn of the visit of the Greeks.
As he speaks to these men of His death, a mysterious cloud hovers above Him. He shrinks from the public exposure and the shame of the cross and with fainting voice says, ‘Now is my soul troubled… Father, save Me from this hour.’ Then He adds in submission, ‘For this cause I came. Father, glorify Thy name.’
From the cloud a response comes, ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’
A light darts from the cloud and encircles Christ. No one speaks. The cloud lifts and scatters. The communion of the Father with His Son has ended.
The Greeks understand and are satisfied.
“The voice of God had been heard at the baptism of Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, and again at His transfiguration on the mount.
Now at the close of His ministry it was heard for the third time…God again sets His seal to the mission of His Son. He recognised the One whom Israel had rejected.
‘This voice came not because of Me’, said Jesus, ‘but for your sakes.’…
It was the crowning evidence of His Messiahship, the signal from the Father that Jesus had spoken the truth, and was the Son of God.” DA p625.
The Divine Record