If you are the Son of God…
When Satan accosted Jesus in the wilderness, He knew very well who He was, but he challenged Him with the words, “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Matthew 4:3.
Then Satan took him to the highest point of the temple and said, “If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down…” Matthew 4:5.6.
After this, Satan took Jesus to a very high mountain, showed Him all the glories of the world, and then had the audacity to suggest, “All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8.9.
At this point, the Son of God rebuked the devil, and commanded him to leave.
“Not without a struggle could Jesus listen in silence to the arch-deceiver. But the Son of God was not to prove His divinity to Satan, or to explain the reason of His humiliation.” The Desire of Ages p119.
Of course Jesus recognised Satan, even though the devil had tried to make it appear he was a holy angel from heaven.
“When Satan and the Son of God first met in conflict, Christ was the commander of the heavenly hosts; and Satan, the leader of revolt in heaven, was cast out. Now their condition is apparently reversed, and Satan makes the most of his supposed advantage.
One of the most powerful of the angels, he says, has been banished from heaven. The appearance of Jesus indicates that He is that fallen angel, forsaken by God, and deserted by man. A divine being would be able to sustain his claim by working a miracle….” The Desire of Ages p119.
But the memory of His Father’s voice from heaven, declaring Him to be the only-begotten Son, still sounded in His ears, encouraging Him to stand firm in His allegiance for right against the enemy.
Yes, the devil and his angels recognised Jesus as the Son of the living God, and they were afraid of Him.
At Gergesenes, the evil angels cried out, “What have we to do with Thee Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Matthew 8:29.
“And devils came out of many crying out, and saying, ‘Thou art the Christ the Son of God’. And He rebuking them, suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was Christ.” Luke 4:41.
Who am I?
During the latter part of His ministry, Christ asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Matthew 16:13. The disciples replied, “Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” Matthew 16:14.
Jesus then asked, “But whom say ye that I am?”
Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:14-16.
The Saviour blessed Peter for His answer, telling him it had been a revelation from His Father. Peter had expressed the faith of the twelve and “…on that day the Holy Spirit rested upon them with power… Beneath the guise of humanity they discerned the glory of the Son of God.” The Desire of Ages p413.
Just before the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live….
Believest thou this?”
She said unto Him, “Yes Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, which should come into the world.” John 11:25-27.
Martha’s answer shows that she understood Jesus was born in eternity, clearly stating that He was the Son who would come into the world.
The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life, for in Him is eternal life. At the graveside of Lazarus, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “ ‘Lazarus, come forth’. His voice, clear and penetrating, pierces the ear of the dead. As He speaks, divinity flashes through humanity.
In His face, which is lighted up by the glory of God, the people see the assurance of His power… With intense and painful interest all wait for the test of Christ’s divinity, the evidence that is to substantiate His claim to be the Son of God.” The Desire of Ages p536.
Later, when conversing with the Jews, Jesus was asked, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets which are dead; whom makest thou thyself?” John 8:53.
“It is My Father that honoureth Me, of whom ye say that He is your God….” replied Jesus.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:54.58.
Immediately the Jewish leaders understood that Jesus was claiming to be the great “I AM”, and “they took up stones to cast at Him…” John 8:59.
Sad to say, these leaders of Israel were standing face to face with the One “who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, ‘I AM THAT I AM’…” and they rejected Him. The Desire of Ages p24.
On another occasion, Jesus was walking in Solomon’s porch, and the Jews surrounded Him. “How long dost Thou make us to doubt? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:24.
In other words, ‘Are you the Anointed One?’ This is not referring to Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, for many had been at the scene almost three and a half years earlier, and spies had kept track of his every move. Their question related to Him being the Anointed One from heaven.
Jesus answered, “I told you, and ye believed Me not; the works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.” John 10:25.
“They had heard the Spirit’s voice in their own hearts declaring Him to be the Anointed of Israel, and urging them to confess themselves His disciples… But after their rejection of Him it would be too humiliating to receive Him as the Messiah. Having set their feet in the path of unbelief, they were too proud to confess their error.” The Desire of Ages p322.
Jesus continued, “My sheep know My voice… and I give unto them eternal life… My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” John 10:27-30. And the Jews “took up stones to stone Him.” v31.
“Why do you want to stone Me”, asked Jesus.
“Because Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.” v33.
“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 Pharisees and leaders of Israel had no excuse, but they continued with their evil intent to put Him to death.
I am the Son of God…
Jesus had come to Jerusalem for one of the feasts, and passing by the pool of Bethesda, He healed a man who had been lying there thirty eight years. Bidding him, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk”, the man went away rejoicing. But it was the Sabbath day. In no time, the Jews charged the man with breaking the Sabbath.
Later in the temple the man, “ignorant of the enmity toward Jesus, told the Pharisees who had performed the cure.” The Desire of Ages p204.
As a result, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin to answer the charge of Sabbath-breaking.
In his defense, “Jesus stated that the work of relieving the afflicted was in harmony with the Sabbath law… and He declared, ‘My Father worketh hitherto, and I work’… Jesus claimed equal rights with God in doing a work equally sacred, and of the same character with that which engaged the Father in heaven.
But the Pharisees were still more incensed…. They evaded the points He made concerning the Sabbath, and sought to stir up anger against Him because He claimed to be equal with God… Their fury knew no bounds…
Jesus repelled the charge of blasphemy. ‘My authority’, He said, ‘for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose’.” Ibid p204-208.
The problem was not the doctrine or belief that the Messiah was the divine Son of God, it was simply that the Jews did not believe Jesus’ claim to be that very Person. But Jesus spoke the truth – He was the Son of God.
Suddenly the charge of Sabbath-breaking lost its importance, as a greater charge was voiced by the council:
YOU CLAIM TO BE THE SON OF GOD
Jesus was asked under oath by the high priest, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:63.
He replied, “Thou hast said, nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” v64.
Immediately the high priest rent his clothes saying, “He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses?… What think ye?”
And they answered, “He is guilty of death.” v65.66.
The Jewish nation understood that Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God meant He was divine, and was the One brought before “the Ancient of days”, to receive “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom…”. Daniel 7:13.14.
It was for stating the truth of His divine Sonship that Christ was accused and accounted guilty.
When brought before Pilate, the chief priests and officers cried out, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” Pilate said to them, “Take ye him, and crucify him; for I find no fault in him.”
“The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God’.”
Pilate asked Jesus, “Whence art Thou?” But Jesus gave him no answer. ‘Crucify Him’ cried the priests. John 19:6.7.9.
And they delivered Him up to be crucified.
“And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself, if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Matthew 27:39.40.
Little did these men and women realise that if Jesus had come down from the cross, there could be no salvation. Praise God He refused to listen to their insults.
“Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said… ‘He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him for he said, I am the Son of God.” Matthew 27:41.43.
“Jesus, suffering and dying, heard every word as the priests declared, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe… But although spoken in mockery, these words led men to search the Scriptures as they had never done before. Wise men heard, searched, pondered, and prayed.” The Desire of Ages p749.
Is Jesus the Son of God?
Thus it was that Jesus died for being who He claimed to be -- the anointed Son of God.
This fact should make us think deeply about the subject.
Do we believe that Jesus is the anointed Son of God from the days of eternity, or are we like the Jews and doubt His claim?
Do we believe that the Father really sent His Son to die for our sins? Or more pointedly, do we believe that God sent His Anointed Son to become human flesh?
Please be careful how you answer, for if you deny the foregoing to be actual reality there are grave consequences.
“Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already it is in the world.” 1 John 4:3. 2 John 7.9.
“Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father; but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” 1 John 2:22.23.
Read the words of John, and consider again if Jesus is who He claimed to be.
“In this is manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved, us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins…
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and He in God
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God… (and) who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 4:15; 5:1.5.
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself; he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know Him (the Father) that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:10.11.13.20. Read also John 17:3)
Reader, are you willing to believe that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son from the days of eternity, a time beyond human computation? Are you willing to believe Jesus is God’s Son in reality?
Do not think it will lessen the glory of Christ; not at all, it will enhance it, for a loving Father suffered great anguish in giving up His Son to die for sinful humanity.
If you are a father or a mother, imagine the heartache of giving your only son to die for a world of rebels with the possibility of losing him forever!
Think about it. Meditate upon it.
Will you accept the truth about our heavenly Father and His beloved Son right now?
As you surrender to this glorious truth, you will receive blessing after blessing in contemplation of the wonder of it all. You will realise with eternal gratefulness that the Father’s love was so great He was willing to give up His only Son – no matter what the cost….. and the Son was willing to pay the price.
“There were occasions when Jesus stood forth while in human flesh as the Son of God. Divinity flashed through humanity, and was seen by the scoffing priests and rulers.
Was it acknowledged?
Some acknowledged that He was the Christ, but the larger portion of those who upon special occasions were forced to see that He was the Son of God, refused to receive Him…
When Christ’s indwelling glory flashed forth, it was too intense for His pure and perfect humanity entirely to conceal. The scribes and Pharisees did not speak in acknowledgment of Him, but their enmity and hatred were baffled as His majesty shone forth.
The truth, obscured as it was by a veil of humiliation, spoke to every heart with unmistakable evidence. This led to the words of Christ, ‘Ye know who I am.’
Men and devils were compelled, by the shining forth of His glory, to confess, Truly, this is the Son of God." Signs of the Times. May 10. 1899.
What about you?
Will you confess Him too?
Truly this is the Son of God
"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.”
This is the most well-known text in all the Bible; a precious promise that God so loved the world He gave His only-begotten Son to die for the human race.
“The Father loves us, not because of the great propitiation, but He provided the propitiation because He loves us. Christ was the medium through which He could pour out His infinite love upon a fallen world. ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself’.
God suffered with His Son.
In the agony of Gethsemane, the death on Calvary, the heart of Infinite Love paid the price of our redemption.” Steps to Christ p4.5
Such love is beyond our comprehension.
“The gift of Christ is the crowning truth of God’s love, and His Fatherhood, through all time and through eternity.” Spalding & Magan Collection p68. 1897.
The Father gave...……
Consider the implications of this wonderful gift – God gave His only Son. Before the earth was created, the Father agreed to accept the Son’s voluntary offer to become a substitute for the human race.
The Son pledged Himself to die for mankind, and “in covenant promise, the Father and Son clasped their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race.” The Desire of Ages p834.
“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…’ ” Early Writings p127.
Think of the risk He took. And there was a risk – the Father could have lost His Son for eternity.
“Never can the cost of our redemption be realized until the redeemed shall stand with the Redeemer before the throne of God. Then as the glories of the eternal home burst upon our enraptured senses we shall remember that Jesus left all this for us, that He not only became an exile from the heavenly courts, but for us took the risk of failure and eternal loss….” The Desire of Ages p131.
How did the Father feel when the Son of His love was despised by those He came to save?
“He saw Him dying on the cross, mocked at and jeered at by the passers-by, and He hid as it were His face from Him…” Signs of the Times. 01-27-1898.
Exalt the God of heaven, for He suffered with His Son.
But not only did God give Christ to redeem mankind, He gave Him to the fallen race.
“God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature.” The Desire of Ages p25.
Think about this sublime reality.
Never again – never in all eternity – will the Son of God be exactly the same as He was before the incarnation. Never!
The Son of God gave...……
“Through the eternal ages He (Christ) is linked with us…. God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son who shares the throne of the universe…
In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother.” Ibid p25.26.
“What gratitude… What love, should fill our hearts as we contemplate the love of God!” Signs of the Times 05-02-1892.
The Son of God is now linked with humanity as the Son of man, but before the incarnation He was begotten of His Father. In the far distant days of eternity, God had a Son in His own likeness, One who became deity in every sense of the word. He was “the express image” of His Father, the “brightness of His glory” Thus the Father could say of His Son, “Thy throne O God…”, for the Son partook of the very nature of God. Hebrews 1:3.8.
As the only ‘begotten’ Son, Christ was “made so much better than the angels”, for it was “by inheritance (He) obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:4.
“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…” Signs of the Times. 05-30-1895. Hebrews 1:1-3.
When formulating the plan of redemption with His Father, the Son willingly volunteered to become the surety for man, “and the counsel of peace (was) between them both.” Zechariah 6:12.13.
“Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, the Son of God clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity through His infinite sacrifice might become partakers of the divine nature.” 9 Testimonies p68. 4 Testimonies p120.
When Christ took fallen humanity upon His divinity, through the miracle of the incarnation, He became that “holy thing” within the womb of Mary.
The Son did not begin at that moment; He became a divine-human baby, subject to all the laws of His own creation. Luke 1:35.
And so, “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons…” Galatians 4:4.5.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, not from Bethlehem just two thousand years ago, but from the ages of eternity.
(To say ‘from eternity’ need not mean ‘without beginning’, but from some point in eternity. Micah 5:2 uses the words ‘from old, from everlasting’. A study of these words shows that it is basically ‘a long time’, or as long as specified. The Hebrew word ‘olam’ (Strongs 5769) has been translated ‘concealed, vanishing point, eternity, always, ancient time, eternal, long time, old time, perpetual, beginning of the world, without end’. For example Gen 9:16 - everlasting covenant, Exodus 40:15 - everlasting priesthood, Isaiah 35:10 - everlasting joy upon their heads, Isaiah 55:13 - everlasting sign, Jeremiah 20:11 - everlasting confusion, Jeremiah 23:40 - everlasting reproach, Daniel 12:2 - everlasting life. Obviously some will come to an end, others will not, some had a beginning, others did not. Thus it is not beyond the meaning of the words when relating to Christ that He was begotten at some point of time in eternity, certainly way beyond our understanding, but He will have no end)
“In His incarnation (Christ) gained in a new sense the title of the Son of God… Thus He stood in our world the Son of God, yet allied by birth to the human race.” 1 Selected Messages p226.227.
The Anointed One...…
The Jews understood well that there was only one God, but they also knew that God had a Son who is called in the Scriptures the Messiah.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be…. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself….” Daniel 9:25.26.
(The Hebrew word ‘mashiyach’ [also spelt ‘mashiach’] [Strongs 4899] means ‘anointed, usually a consecrated person [king, priest or saint], especially the Messiah, anointed. Many other texts are Messianic, referring to the Messiah without mentioning the word. Genesis 3:15. Psalm 2:9.10. 22:1-31 etc)
The Messiah -- God’s only begotten Son.
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His son’s name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” Proverbs 30:4.5.
What is His name?
His name is Immanuel, for “a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son…” Isaiah 7:14. “And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Yeshua, for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. (Yeshua is the Hebrew name of Jesus, meaning ‘salvation’ or ‘God saves’)
But Mary’s Son did not begin His life from that conception, He had been the Commander of the heavenly host, but now He miraculously entered her womb, to begin his human experience, the blending of divinity with humanity.
“The work of redemption is called a mystery, and it is indeed the mystery by which everlasting righteousness is brought to all who believe. The race in consequence of sin was at enmity with God. Christ, at an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, assumed humanity.
Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem. In human flesh He lived the law of God, that He might condemn sin in the flesh, and bear witness to heavenly intelligences that the law was ordained to life and to ensure the happiness, peace, and eternal good of all who obey.” 7 SDA Bible Commentary p915.
“The heart should be softened and subdued as we meditate upon the risk that Jesus took in order that man might be elevated and restored.” Signs of the Times 05-2-1892.
The Son of God was anointed when He was begotten in eternity, for He came to this earth as the Mashiach, the Anointed One. (The Greeks often used the Hebrew word Messias, but the Greek word for the Anointed One is ‘Christos’, or Christ)
After Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan, He knelt on its bank, and prayed to His Father. And the Father Himself answered the petition of His Son. “Direct from the throne issue the beams of his glory. The heavens are opened, and upon the Saviour’s head descends a dovelike form of purest light – a fit emblem of Him, the meek and lowly One…
The people stood silently gazing upon Christ. His form was bathed in the light that ever surrounds the throne of God. His upturned face was glorified as they had never before seen the face of man. From the open heavens a voice was heard saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’.” The Desire of Ages p112.
But the descent of God’s Spirit at this time did not make Him the Messiah; it only identified Him as the Anointed One. (He was also anointed at His baptism. The Desire of Ages p233)
“The Son of God declares of Himself: ‘I was set up (anointed) from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever (before) the earth was, when there were no depths, I was brought forth…’ ” Proverbs 8:23.24.
(The Hebrew word for ‘set’ [or set up] in the above text is ‘nacak’ [Strong’s 5258, also spelt ‘nasak’], and is a primary root meaning ‘to pour out [esp a libation - offering], to anoint a king, to cover, melt, pour, cast metal, set [up]’ The sense of the word ‘to pour’ as related to anointing, refers to the pouring of oil, the method of anointing. Leviticus 8:12. When Moses reared the tabernacle, he anointed the vessels, furniture, and priests with oil. “And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof, and it shall be holy.” Exodus 40:9. The word ‘nacak’, used for the anointing of Jesus in Proverbs is also used in Psalms. “Yet have I set [nacak] My king upon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee”. Psalm 2:6.7. This is a Messianic Psalm referring to both His incarnation on the earthly hill of Zion, and His divinity in the heavenly Zion. See Psalm 48:1.2. Oil is a symbol of the Spirit of God, given to Christ from His Father at His anointing in heaven, as well as upon earth)
Long before the creation of this world, Christ is called ‘the anointed of God’, a truth in perfect harmony with the promise in the Scriptures of the coming of the Messiah. Patriarchs and Prophets p34.
At Jesus’ birth, the angels told the shepherds, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11.
When the Jews saw the work of John the Baptist, they wondered if he was the Messiah, and they “mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not.” Luke 3:15.
When the Pharisees approached the Baptist, they asked him, “Who are you?” John replied, “I am not the Christ.” (Remember, He is saying, ‘I am not the Anointed One’. This was before the baptism had taken place)
“Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?” John 1:19-25.
John’s reply was, “I am the voice crying in the wilderness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3.
After Jesus was baptised, Andrew and John followed him, believing Him to be the Messiah. In excitement, Andrew went in search of his brother Peter saying, “We have found the Messiah.” John 1:41.
The next day Jesus found Philip, who went in search of Nathanael. “ ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write’, and when Nathanael saw Jesus he said, ‘Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel’.” John 1:45.49.
At the well of Samaria, the woman said to Jesus, “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ; when He is come, He will tell us all things.” John 4:25.
Jesus replied, “I that speak unto thee am He.” v26.
Running to her village, she cried out, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?’ ” John 4:29
Yes, a few men and women recognised Jesus as the anointed Son of God, although many were slow to believe.
Truly, this Man is the Son of God