THE FATHER’S WILL
The Father is the Supreme Being of the universe. He owns all things -- the kingdom belongs to Him. He is the Great Lawgiver and it is His right to administer justice. All decisions are the prerogative of the infinite God.
However, the Father has chosen to do all things through His Son, and has given Him many responsibilities.
One responsibility was to be His Associate in the creation of the universe. “God…. hath spoken to us by His Son…. by whom He made the worlds.” 1 He “created all things by Jesus Christ.” 2
Obviously it was a joint work. Both had the power to create, and both were involved, but it was the Word who spoke the worlds into being. 3
In the creation of this world, the Son “united with the Father in the creation of man.” 4 They had “wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God said to His Son, ‘Let us make man in our image’.” 5
It is appropriate to speak of the Father as ‘Creator’, but it is also correct to say Christ is ‘the Creator’. The Son “was in the world, and the world was made by him.” 6
“The One appointed in the counsels of heaven came to the earth as an Instructor. He was no less a being than the Creator of the world, the Son of the Infinite God. To the astonishment of the heavenly host, He walked this earth as the Eternal Word.” 7
The redemption of mankind is also a united work.
It was the Father who accepted the voluntary offer of His Son to become the Representative of mankind. When the work was completed, Jesus prayed, “I have finished the work thou gavest me to do… I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me…” 8
On His return to heaven with the firstfruits of His earthly sacrifice, Christ approached the throne saying, ‘Father, it is finished. I have done Thy will, O My God. I have completed the work of redemption. If Thy justice is satisfied, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am’.
And the voice of God is heard; justice is satisfied; Satan is vanquished…. The arms of the Father encircle the Son, and His voice is heard, saying, Let all the angels of God worship him’.” 9
“The Father and the Son are one in the work of reconciliation and redemption.” 10
Thus it is appropriate to call the Father ‘the Saviour’ of mankind, as well as the Son. It was a combined work, but with different roles -- the Father sent, the Son came. 11
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ in Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved (Son)….
Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him… that we should be the praise of His glory…” 12
The glory of the plan of redemption belongs to both the Father and the Son. An individual work, but a sacrifice for both. It was “not the sacrifice of Christ only; it (was) the Father's sacrifice also. The Father, in union and loving sympathy, with His Son, subjected Himself to suffer with His Son.” 13
Prior to returning to heaven, Jesus spoke to His disciples about going away and Thomas said, “We know not whither thou goest; how can we know the way?” 14 Jesus replied, “I am the way…. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” 15
But Thomas was still confused. Jesus asked, “Is it possible that you do not discern the Father in the works that He does by me?” 16
Who does the work -- the Father or the Son?
The answer is both, but with different responsibilities. Jesus is the One who took human flesh, however, the will of the Father is supreme in every aspect of His life.
Everything Christ taught, He had learned from His Father, both in eternity and as a young man studying the Scriptures in Nazareth. He said, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me…” 17 *
Christ’s miracles were in harmony with the character of His Father, and as God in human flesh, Christ “could not but work the works of God.” 18
At one time the Jews surrounded the Saviour and asked, “If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” 19
Jesus replied, “I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.” 20 Said the people, “Whence has this man wisdom and these mighty works?” 21
“Christ represented His Father; He knew how (or what) the Father would do under any and every circumstance, and He did just as the Father would do. He made manifest in His work the ways of God. The living God was working through His Son.” 22
The work of Christ bore witness that He was the Son of God, and that God was with Him, but the authority and works were “expressly His own.” 23
He said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.” 24
At another time He said, “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him.” 25
In the great work of redemption, Christ has been given “pre-eminence… in all things”, because “the dominion and the glory of the kingdom of this world, were promised to Him.” 26
And “it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.” 27
In His earthly sojourn, Christ “stood the test of trial and temptation that He might become the Owner of all humanity.” 28 And having gained the victory, “Christ is the Head of the church.” 29
“Since His ascension, Christ the great Head of the church, has carried forward His work in the world by chosen ambassadors, through whom He speaks to the children of men, and ministers to their needs.” 30
Christ has been Head of the church since the beginning, for the Father gave Him this responsibility. He was to be the Mediator between God and man. 31
“Since the fall, no immediate communication could exist between God and man, only through Christ, and God committed to His Son in a special sense, the case of the fallen race.” 32
Now the great Head of the church superintends His work on earth by two means:
(a) Ministering in the heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest before His Father.
(b) Infilling men and women with His Spirit to act as His representatives.
Again, it is a work on two levels or two spheres of operation. This is a mystery, and to explain how this work takes place is impossible. We cannot understand the nature of the Spirit, nor the nature of God or His Son in their divine capacity. On such subjects, “silence is golden”. 33
While Christ is ministering in the sanctuary, 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.’ While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church.” 34
Think of the interest that the Father and the Son have in this work. “As the Father loves the Son, so the Son loves those that are His -- those who work as He worked to save perishing souls. None need feel that they are powerless; for Christ declares, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.’ He has promised that He will give this power to His workers. His power is to become their power.” 35
“Consider the familiar relation Christ here (John 14:23) brings to view as existing between the Father and His children. His presence, and guardianship is an abiding thing. While we trust in Christ’s saving power, all the wiles and arts of the fallen host can do nothing to harm us.” 36
“The religion of Christ means… that the mind is divinely illumined, that the heart is emptied of self, and filled with the presence of Christ. When this work is done for church members, the church will be a living, working church.” 37
Christ has been given the appointment of the Judge of both saints and sinners. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” 38
Jesus said, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” 39
“Christ accepted humanity and lived on this earth a pure, sanctified life. For this reason He has received the appointment of Judge.” 40
“He who submitted to be arraigned before an earthly tribunal, He who came from the heavenly courts to save man from eternal death, He whom men despised, rejected, and upon whom they heaped all the contempt of which human beings inspired by Satan are capable, He who suffered the ignominious death of the cross -- He alone was to pronounce the sentence of reward or of punishment.” 41
In that day of final reward, both saints and sinners will recognise the Judge of all living.
“Every crown that is given to the saints of the Most High will be bestowed by the hands of Christ -- those hands that cruel priests and rulers condemned to be nailed to the cross. He alone can give to men the consolation of eternal life.” 42
“In the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth and heaven the final coronation of the Son of God takes place. And now, invested with supreme majesty and power, the King of kings pronounces sentence upon the rebels against His government and executes justice upon those who have transgressed His law and oppressed His people.” 43
When all things have been placed under Christ’s feet, and the last enemy destroyed, Christ will place His special authority into the hands of His Father, “for He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under his feet.” 44
“And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” 45
The pre-eminence given to fulfil the Covenant of Redemption will be handed back to the Father, and although Christ will retain His authority over the heavenly host and be the King of kings upon this earth, He will again be subject to His Father, that God might be supreme.
“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face….” 46
What joy to see the face of Jesus, the One who sacrificed so much for us?
And what greater joy could there be than to see the face of God and know Him as Father? 47
Immanuel -- God with Us
1 Hebrews 1:1.2. Patriarchs & Prophets p34.
2 Ephesians 3:9.
3 The Ministry of Healing p77.
4 2 Spirit of Prophecy p10
5 Lift Him Up p47.
6 John 1:10.
7 Fundamentals of Christian Education p399.
8 John 17:4.6.
9 1 Selected Messages p307.
10 Review and Herald. 01.04.1881.
11 Compare Ephesians Chapter 1 with the books of Timothy and Titus.
12 Ephesians 1:3-18.104.22.168.
13 Spalding and Magan p69.
14 John 14:5.
15 John 14:6.
16 John 14:10.11. (Main intent paraphrased)
17 John 8:28.29. Many people refer to Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 to show that Christ’s mind was not omniscient and that He needed to learn the time of His return from His Father. We need to weigh the evidence. Acts 1:7 says that it is not in the hands of man to know the times and the seasons, but that “the Father hath put (them) in his own power.” Sister White speaks of the text in Mark. “He Himself could not make known the day or the hour of His second appearing. Had He been at liberty to reveal this, why need He have exhorted them to maintain an attitude of constant expectancy? There are those who claim to know the very day and hour of our Lord’s appearing. Very earnest are they in mapping out the future. But the Lord has warned them off the ground they occupy. The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God’s mystery.” The Desire of Ages p633. She does not say Christ did not actually know when He would return, but that it was not His place to reveal it. This would be done by the Father at the covenant blessing. The Great Controversy p640. An old English rendering of the text is, “But of that day and hour no man maketh known, neither the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” This fits perfectly with Sr White’s statement.
18 Review and Herald. 03.26.1901.
19 John 10:24.
20 John 10:25.
21 Matthew 13:54.
22 Review and Herald. 10.14.1902.
23 Review and Herald. 01.07.1890. 5 Bible Commentary p1142.
24 John 9:4.
25 John 10:37.38.
26 Colossians 1:18. Review & Herald.. 07.05.1875.
27 Colossians 1:19.
28 3 Selected Messages p141.
29 Ephesians 5:23.
30 God’s Amazing Grace p28.
31 1Timothy 2:5.
32 Review and Herald. 04.29.1875.
33 Acts of the Apostles p52.
34 The Desire of Ages p166. To see this combined work of Christ, compare the Greek word ‘parakletos’ (Strongs 3875), meaning ‘an intercessor, consoler, advocate, comforter’ in John 14:16.26. 15:26. 16:7. with 1 John 2:1. Also read Manuscript Release 17 p193 (1888 Materials p1592), where it says, “.”
35 Colporteur Ministry p108.
36 In Heavenly Places p32.
37 Review and Herald. 11.12.1914.
38 Romans 14:10.
39 John 5:22.
40 Review and Herald. 06.18.1901.
41 6 Bible Commentary p1100.
42 Review and Herald. 11.22.1898.
43 Maranatha p339.
44 1 Corinthians 15:25.
45 1 Corinthians 15:28.
46 Revelation 22:3.4.
47 Maranatha p316.