One God, One
The Bible picture of God. The loving Father. The obedient Son. One in Spirit.
|The one God is a Father
|Jehovah, you are our Father, we are the clay.
|1 Cor 8:4
|There is none other God but one. Verse 6 tells us this is "God, the Father"
|1 Cor 8:6
|To us there is but one God, the Father
|O my God: unto thee will I sing...thou Holy One of Israel
|They tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel
|They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel
God is known as the "Holy
One" not the Holy Three.
"God the Son, God the Spirit" never occur in the Bible.
God the Father, however, is identified many times:
John 6:27; Gal 1:1,3; Phil 2:11; 1Thes 1:1; 2Tim 1:2; 1Pet 1:2; 2Pet 1:17; 2Jn 1:3; Jude 1 plus…
and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
He is Supreme.
|Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?
|Father…[You are]…the only true God
|2 Cor 1.3-4
be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies
|When you pray, say, Our Father, which art in heaven.
Father has a Son
The Jewish people believed that they were God's son because Moses was instructed
say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord,
Israel is my son, even my firstborn.
Yet Israel is not the
only firstborn son. Later, Ephraim became the firstborn son
even though Manasseh was actually born first to Joseph.
|God is a father to Israel, "and Ephraim is my firstborn"
Israel rejected their
special status as God's chosen people.
Their continued status as "son" was conditional on obedience.
Like the sacrificial system, Israel was also a symbol, a type of Christ, the Promised One.
God promised to send a Messiah, His Servant, His Anointed Holy One, to save His people.
God thus spoke of "one chosen out of the people" to be His Holy One.
is our defence, and the Holy One of Israel is our king
Then thou spoke in vision to thy holy one, and said
I have laid help upon one that is might,
I have exalted one chosen out of the people...
He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God...
Also, I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever,
and his throne as the sun before me.
The Father and Son are even more strongly alluded to in these Old Testament verses:
establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son.
king Your judgments, O God,
and Your righteousness to the king's Son
In His days the righteous shall flourish…His name shall endure forever.
ascended up into heaven, or descended?
who has established the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
|My shepherd...the man that is my fellow (companion)
Jonathan typified Christ
in the Father-Son relationship.
Jonathan described how he would deal with his father.
stand beside my father
(Acts 7:55 Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God)
commune with my father
(John 10:15 As the Father knows me, so I know the Father)
(John 8:47 He that is of God hears God's words)
(John 8:26 I speak those things which I have heard of Him that sent me)
(John 8:28 As my Father has taught me, I speak these things)
I see that I will tell you
(John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father)
Jesus stands beside His
As the Son of God He is the Prince of Peace, and the Prince of Life.
Jesus communes with His Father. He listens to Him, He prays to Him;
a counsel of peace is between them.
Jesus knows His Father and speaks what He sees.
The Father-Son relationship
is key to understanding the full measure of God's love
The fact that God the Father took His very own Son whom He loved
from before the foundation of the world,
and sent Him to be a sacrifice for our sins
is an amazing act of grace and love.
|2 John 1:3
|God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father
|[God said] I will be to Him a Father and He shall be to me a Son
Christ was affirmed as
the Son of God at His birth (Luke
1:35), baptism (Luke
3:22), transfiguration (Luke
9:35) by John the Baptist (John
1:34), His disciples (Matt
by demons (Mark
5:7), at His trial (Luke
22:70), and at His resurrection (Rom
Jesus refers to God as His Father over 50 times. This emphasis is significant and real.
|Satan challenges Christ's claim "if thou be the Son of God" (Luke 4:3,9)
|Satan's devils testified that Jesus was "thou Son of God" (Luke 4:41)
|The disciples confessed "of a truth thou art the Son of God"
|The central issue at his trial before the Sanhedrin was whether He was "the Son of God" Luke 22:70. When asked Jesus didn't deny it.
|The taunting crowd about the cross mocked, "If thou be the Son of God, come down"
|They confirmed that He had said, "I am the Son of God"
|At His death the centurion confessed, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Mark 15:39)
|Mark entitles his gospel as "Jesus, the Son of God"
|Again, the unclean spirits fell down before Jesus saying, "Thou art the Son of God"
|"Son of the most high God"
|Gabriel told Mary that her child of the Holy Spirit "shall be called the Son of God"
|"the Son of the Highest"
|"The only begotten Son" "is in the bosom of the Father"
|John the Baptist "bare record that [Jesus] is the Son of God"
|Jesus told Nicodemus that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son"
|We must believe in the name of "the only begotten Son of God"
|The Jews sought to kill Him…because He said that God was his Father,
|Jesus foretold the time with "the voice of the Son of God" would raise the dead
|because the Father "has given to the Son to have life in Himself"
|He "proceeded forth" from His Father
|Jesus told the man born blind that He was the Son of God
attempted to stone Jesus for saying,
"I and my Father are one…makest thyself God"
|Jesus equated this with saying, "I am the Son of God" Not that He was the God.
|Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus was to die "that the Son of God might be glorified"
|Martha confessed, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of God"
|He "came out from God"
|Jesus was condemned to die "because he made himself the Son of God"
|"Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ"
|"the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin"
|"The Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil"
|"We should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ"
|"God…loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins"
|"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him"
|"He that overcomes the world" is "he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God"
|"This is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son"
|"He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself"
|"God gave the record of his Son"
|"that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son"
|"These things [were] written…that you might believe on the name of the Son of God"
|"The Son of God is come and has given us understanding that we might know…the true God"
|"Peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father"
|Peter said "the God of Abraham…the God of our fathers has glorified his Son Jesus"
|"God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you"
|Saul (Paul) began preaching "Christ in the synagogues that he is the Son of God"
|Paul became the strongest proponent of the divine Son of God.
|Jesus Christ our Lord is God's Son
|Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power"
|"God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son"
|"We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son"
|God has predestined us "to be conformed to the image of his Son"
|"the Son of God, Jesus Christ" was preached by Paul among the Corinthians
|"It pleased God…to reveal his Son in me"
|"God sent forth his Son, made of a woman"
|"God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts"
|Paul's goal was that "we all come in the unity…of the knowledge of the Son of God"
|"You turned…to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from the heavens"
|"God…has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son"
|[God said] I will be to Him a Father and He shall be to me a Son (quoted Psalm 2)
|Our "great high priest that is passed into the heavens" is "Jesus the Son of God"
Melchizadek was made "like unto the Son of God"
"We have plain scripture testimony in abundance that He [our Lord Jesus Christ] is the Son of the eternal God." James White, letter, The Day-Star January 24, 1846 the year he married Ellen Gould Harmon
The New Testament leaves us with
little doubt that God has a Son, Jesus Christ.
And they are two separate individuals.
|The Father Speaks to His Son
from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son'"
(Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22)
out of the cloud, which said, 'This is my beloved Son'"
(Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35)
|"a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again"
|"The LORD [Jehovah] said unto my Lord [Adoni]…" (Luke 20:42)
|And The Son Speaks to His Father
|Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me…Thou hast sent me.
|Father, glorify thy name. Then there came a voice from heaven
|Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee…nevertheless not what I will
|My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
|Jesus said, I will pray the Father
texts demonstrate that there is a distinction between Father and Son.
and Son are Different
The flow of communication and thought, two wills, speak of separate, independent beings. Early Adventist beliefs firmly held to the belief that the Father and Son were separate individual persons. Listed below in chronological order is a sample of pioneer statements on this subject.
"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 in the express image of My Father's person." Ellen White, Early Writings, page 77 1851
"It is contrary to Scripture. Almost any portion of the New Testament we may open which has occasion to speak of the Father and Son, represents them as two distinct persons. The seventeenth chapter of John is alone sufficient to refute the doctrine of the Trinity. Over forty times in that one chapter Christ speaks of his Father as a person distinct from himself." John Loughborough, Review and Herald, November 5, 1861
"They are two distinct beings, yet one in the design and accomplishment of redemption." James White, 'Life Incidents' page 343 Chapter 'The Law and the Gospel' 1868
"The simple language of the Scriptures represent the Father and Son as two distinct persons." James White, Review and Herald, June 6, 1871
"How carefully Paul distinguishes between the Father and the Son. He says, "The Father, of whom are all things," and "Jesus Christ, by whom are all things." The Father is the source of everything. Jesus is the one through whom all things are done." "We must know the Father as the only true God. Then there is no true God besides the Father. But we must also know his Son Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. How simple and plain is this doctrine, and how abundantly sustained by the Holy Bible." D. M. Canright, Review and Herald, August 29th 1878
"They hold to the distinct personality of the Father and Son" Question No. 96, Review and Herald, April 17, 1883, The commentary, Scripture questions, 'Answers by W. H. Littlejohn
"The most intimate relationship that could exist between a father and a son, existed between them. They consulted together with reference to the creation of man. God said, 'Let us make man in our image.' Gen. 1: 26. To whom did God speak? - To his Son, - 'Let us make man.' The entire record shows this fact. Verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24. God spoke, and the Son performed the work." "This accords with the other scriptures making the Father the great architect, the chief designer, and the Son the master-builder." H. J. Farman, Review and Herald, 20th January 1891
"From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character." (Ellen G. White, Youth's Instructor 16th December 1897 [almost but not quite]
"The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son, the representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion,-all are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King." "But He waves them back. Not yet; He cannot now receive the coronet of glory and the royal robe. He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming. He approaches the Father, with whom there is joy over one sinner that repents; who rejoices over one with singing." Ellen White Desire of Ages page 834 1898
"The Lord Jesus came to this world to represent the Father. He did not represent God as an essence pervading nature, but as a personal being. Christians should bear in mind that God has a personality as verily as has Christ." Ellen G. White 'A Warning of Danger'. St. Helena, Cal., Sept. 23, 1903. To the Teachers in Emmanuel Missionary College, Spalding and Magan's Unpublished Manuscript Testimonies of Ellen G. White, page 324, 1903
"The relation between the Father and the Son, and the personality of both, are made plain in this scripture also:
___ "Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, saying,
___Behold, the man whose name is the Branch:
___And He shall grow up out of His place;
___And He shall build the temple of Jehovah; . . .
___And He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne;
___And He shall be a priest upon His throne;
___And the counsel of peace shall be between Them both."
Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church Volume 8 'The Essential knowledge' 1904, see also Review and Herald March 3, 1904
"Our ministers must be very careful not to enter into controversy in regard to the personality of God. This is a subject that they are not to touch. It is a mystery, and the enemy will surely lead astray those who enter into it. We know that Christ came in person to reveal God to the world. God is a person and Christ is a person. Christ is spoken of in the Word as "the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His person." Ellen G. White, Talk given on May 18, 1904, Sermons and talks, Volume one, page 341, Manuscript 46, 1904,'The Foundation of our Faith'
"Christ is one with the Father, but Christ and God are two distinct personages. Read the prayer of Christ in the seventeenth chapter of John, and you will find this point clearly brought out." Ellen G. White to the delegates at the 1905 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Takoma Park Washington D. C., May 19, 1905, Review and Herald, June 1, 1905, 'The Work in Washington'
Father is the Godhead
He, God, is the head of Christ.
The fullness of the Godhead is in Christ, because the Father is in the Son.
The Son does only what is pleasing to Him
because the Father is the God (Head) of his Son.
|the head of Christ is God
|O LORD [YHWH, Jehovah], thou art exalted as head above all
|You are Christ's, and Christ is God's
Son himself shall be subject unto him
[God the Father] that put all things (except Himself) under him (the Son)
that God may be all in all
|what [the human Son] sees the Father do…these also do the Son likewise
|[the Father] shows [the Son] all things that Himself does
|the Father…gave [the Son] a commandment: what to say and speak
|my Father is greater than I [the Son]
is greater than his master,
nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
|[Christ's] Father…is greater than all
|The Son can do nothing of himself
|I can of mine own self do nothing, He said.
|[Christ] lives by the Father
The Father, thus, appears
to exercise primacy over the Son.
The testimony of Jesus is that there is one God, His Father, who is His God.
|My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
|I ascend to my Father and your Father; to my God and your God
write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God
which is coming down our of heaven from my God
Peter, Paul and John
speak of the God of Jesus:
|the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
|the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
|the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory
|the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
|the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
|the God and Father of the Lord Jesus
|God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
|to serve His God and Father
Thus, God the Father
is the God of Jesus.
God the Father is not only distinct from the Son but in some way superior.
This can be explained, at
least since the incarnation, as a result of Christ's dual nature.
Keeping in mind the human-divine nature of Christ,
can explain why some texts sound as if Christ is subordinate to His Father
(because His human nature was subordinate to His divine nature)
and other texts demonstrate His equality with the Father
(the divine nature of the Son is the same as the divine nature of the Father).
The table of shewbread in the Mosaic sacntuary teaches this great truth.
It featured a dual row of gold crowns Exod 25:24,25.
First, a crown is added to the top of the table round about.
Then a border of one handbreadth's width is added next to this crown.
Finally, a second crown is added to the border round about.
It was the only piece of furniture in the sanctuary to have two crowns around its perimeter.
This could represent the two crowns Jesus wore:
a crown of thorns and now His golden diadem.
But Jesus, the Son of God, is crowned with "many crowns" Rev 19:12
Other furniture with only one crown also represent Christ:
altar of incense, altar of sacrifice, the mercy seat.
Or the dual row of crowns could represent the crowns (two?)
made with silver and gold for Joshua the high priest Zech 6:11
It thus symbolizes the
dual kingship, dual reigns of the Father and Son.
John describes the river of life "proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" Rev 22:1
Also "out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices" Rev 4:5
God's Spirit proceeds from Him John 15:26
but does not, like the Father and Son, have a throne in heaven.
Only one throne is seen in heaven Rev 4:2
Only two Beings share this throne.
The Son of God is called the Father's "servant"
But the Son of God is subordinate to the Father in more than simply his human nature.
He is the Agent, the Servant of his Father in both creation and salvation.
|my servant, mine elect, in whom my soul delights
|my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted
|God who created all things by Jesus Christ
|By whom [the Son] also He [the Father] made the worlds
|In the fullness of time God sent forth His Son into the world
|God gave His only-begotten Son
|God spared not His Son but delivered him up
The subordination of Christ
is not limited to his human nature, but extens in some sense to his divine nature
as well. According to the scriptures above it is this subordination on the
divine side that Christ is the Son of God.
James and Ellen White also portrayed this hierarchy among the Godhead.
"The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. ..He was in the express image of his Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character." R&H Dec 17, 1872; SP vol. 2, p. 9; Lift Him Up, p. 24.
"Christ is our Example. He was next to God in the heavenly courts. But He came to this earth to live among men." (Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library, Vol. 1, pp. 114, 115 - Letter 48, 1902)
"The Father was greater than the Son in that he was first.
The Son was equal with the Father in that he had received all things from the Father."
James White, Review and Herald, January 4, 1881 (year of his death)
Despite recent efforts to show that
James White changed his theology of Christ in later years, it is clear that
he did not abandon his belief in the begotten Son of God.
This belief in a temporal sequence for the Father and Son was not isolated.
"While both are of the same nature, the Father is first in the point of time. He (the Father) is also greater in that he had no beginning, while Christ's personality had a beginning." Ellet J. Waggoner, Signs of the Times, April 8, 1889
Ellen White maintained that Christ, "before the world was," "willingly submitted" to His Father's will. In describing his temptations in the wilderness she said,
"Christ's time to show His divine power had not yet come. He was fully aware of the glory He had with the Father before the world was. But then He willingly submitted to the Divine will, and He was unchanged now." Ellen G. White, Bible Echo, July 23, 1900, see also Youth's Instructor, January 3, 1901
As the Firstborn of heaven, he had
submitted to his Father's will.
Now, with Satan tempting him to exercise his own will, "He was unchanged."
Prior to becoming the God-Man divine-human Mediator,
The Son of God became the God-Angel divine-angelic Mediator.
In this position He also voluntarily humbled Himself to become Michael,
"who is like God," the angelic Immanuel: God with them.
He clotheded His divinity with angelic nature
One with God yet the subordinant Servant of His Father.
Joseph, a type of Christ,
received heavenly visions, was rejected by his own,
sold for a slave's price, went to Egypt, served as a faithful servant, resisted temptation,
was falsely accused, suffered without complaint,
but was finally exalted to second place in the kingdom next to pharaoh.
"The love and fear of God kept Joseph pure and untarnished in the king's court. He was exalted to great wealth, to the high honor of being next to the king; and this elevation was as sudden as it was great." Medical Ministry p. 36; 4T p. 544.
|God made Jesus…both Lord and Christ (God was still God Almighty) just as
|Pharaoh made Joseph ruler (lord) over Egypt, (yet Pharaoh was still king).
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him," "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 of Man." The head of every man is Christ, as the head of Christ is God. "And ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." Ellen G. White, Home Missionary, June 1, 1897
But God the Father exalted His Son so that
|[Christ] is the head of all principality and power, thus...
|the head of every man is Christ
|That's why Thomas said, My Lord and my God!
|Jesus said to [the devil]…Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God
Christ is Satan's God
because he created him.
For the same reason Christ is our God, our head,
just as the Father is Christ's God, his Head.
The Son is also called God because it is the Father's will,
and because, as His Son, he shares the Father's divinity.
John 5:23___All men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father
Doing so does not break
the second commandment,
because there is only one Supreme God, the Father.
and Son are the Same
Another list of texts support the idea that Jesus is in some way the same as the Father.
Though the Father and Son are separate and distinct persons,
they share the same divine attributes.
|Christ Jesus…being in the form of God (made of Godness)
|in [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
|Let all the angels of God worship him (the Son)
|2 Pet 1:17
|He received glory from God the Father on the mount
|Unto the Son he [God] says, Thy throne, O God, is forever
|all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father
and honor and glory and power
be unto Him that sits upon the throne and the Lamb
a child is born, a son is given
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,
the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
baptist cried, "Prepare ye the way of the LORD"
Jesus is therefore Jehovah/Yaweh
are the temples of God
Christ dwells in our hearts
They are both God. They have the same divine nature. The Son is also God.
|the Word was with God and the Word was God
|I Cor 8.6
but one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things came and through whom we live
|confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
|Lord,…We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.
|Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.
|You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
|You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am
|You believe in God, believe also in me.
The Son is not the Father
but the Son is the same as the Father.
This paradoxical situation is resolved when we consider both the nature and identity of God.
God is divine in nature,
but God has both a Father and Son identity.
One divine nature, two identities or personalities.
However, the human
Son of God cannot also be the divine God Almighty.
Scripture only speaks of one. Between these two natures, there is a distinction of person.
"The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty" 5SDABC p. 1129, ms 140, 1903.
Neither can the divine
Son be in competition with the Father, as a separate God.
There would then be two Gods, which contradicts scripture.
The divine Son is equal to the divine Father, the same nature and Spirit.
The Son is the visible manifestion, the image of the invisible Father
|He is the image (Gr. ikon) of the invisible God
|He is the image of God (2Cor 4:4)
|He who has seen Him has seen the Father
|His Son is the express image (Gr. charakter) of his person.
"Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right. He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent." The Faith I Live By p. 46
Because he is the Son
of God, the Son has the same immortal life as his Father.
Christ is the eternal, self-existent, pre-existent, infinite, omnipotent Son, equal with God.
"He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent…He is the eternal, self-existent Son." Manuscript 101, 1897; Evangelism p. 615-616
"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." EGW Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900; Evangelism p. 615-616
"'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, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." EGW, ST, May 30, 1895 par. 3
Christ was "Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory." ST July 30, 1896; 5SDABC p. 1130.
"God's dear Son…had the preeminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created" EG White, Story of Redemption, p. 13.
The earliest Christian
writers expressed the same belief in the divinity of Christ.
Clement wrote about the time of John's death, 100 AD,
Ignatius around 110 AD and Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna about AD 135.
"Brothers, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ, as of God, as "Judge of the living and the dead." An Ancient Christian Sermon (2 Clement), 1:1. In Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p. 107
"Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy." Ignatius' Letter to the Ephesians, Verse 0. In Apostolic Fathers. Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation
"Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal High-priest Himself, the [Son of] God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth, and in all gentleness and in all avoidance of wrath and in forbearance and long suffering and in patient endurance and in purity; and may He grant unto you a lot and portion among His saints, and to us with you, and to all that are under heaven, who shall believe on our Lord and God Jesus Christ and on His Father." The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians in Apostolic Fathers (as translated by J.B. Lightfoot) 12:6,7
Early Adventists shared the same conviction.
"The divinity and pre-existence of our Saviour are most clearly proved by those scriptures which refer to him as "the Word." [quotes] John i, 1-3. This expresses plainly a pre-existent divinity." J. H. Waggoner, Review and Herald, October 27th 1863 'The atonement'
"We are well aware that there has been much disputation on the subject of the sonship of Christ in the religious world, some claiming that he is nothing but a man as to origin, being only about eighteen hundred years old; others that he is the very and eternal God, the second person in the trinity. This last view is by far the most widely entertained among religious denominations. We are disposed to think that the truth lies between these views." H. C. Blanchard, Review and Herald, September 10, 1867, 'The Son'
"We do not deny the divinity of Christ. We delight in giving full credit to all those strong expressions of Scripture which exalt the Son of God. We believe him to be the divine person addressed by Jehovah in the words, " Let us make man." James White, Review and Herald, June 6, 1871
"The principal difference between the two bodies [SDAdventist and SDBaptist] is the immortality question. The S.D. Adventists hold the divinity of Christ so nearly with the trinitarians that we apprehend no trial here." James White, Review and Herald, Oct 12, 1876, 'The two bodies - The Relation Which the S.D. Baptists and S.D. Adventists Sustain to Each Other'
Some claim this as evidence
that James White was softening his earlier anti-trinitarian position.
This statement was made in defense of the accusation that Adventists by not accepting the Trinity were denying the divinity of Christ. James strongly refuted this. He could with conviction state that Christ was fully God in nature.
"In his exaltation, before he humbled himself to the work of redeeming lost sinners, Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God, because, in the work of creation and the institution of law to govern created intelligences, he was equal with the Father." James White, Review and Herald November 29, 1877; reprinted January 4, 1881
"We believe that Christ was a divine being, not merely in his mission, but in his person also; that his sufferings were penal and his death vicarious." James White, Review and Herald, June 27, 1878
"They take the denial of a trinity to be equivalent to a denial of the divinity of Christ. Were that the case, we should cling to the doctrine of a trinity as tenaciously as any can; but it is not the case. They who have read our remarks on the death of the Son of God know that we firmly believe in the divinity of Christ; but we cannot accept the idea of a trinity, as it is held by Trinitarians, without giving up our claim on the dignity of the sacrifice made for our redemption." J. H. Waggoner, 'The Atonement in Light of Nature and Revelation', 1884 Edition, chapter 'Doctrine of a Trinity Subversive of the Atonement'
Ellen White in a letter to Waggoner in 1887 wrote
"It was poverty that as He passed to and fro among the subjects He came to save, scarcely a solitary voice called Him blessed, scarcely a solitary hand was stretched out in friendship, and scarcely a solitary roof proffered Him shelter. Then look beneath the disguise, and whom do we see?-Divinity, the Eternal Son of God, just as mighty, just as infinitely gifted with all the resources of power, and He was found in fashion as a man." 1888 Materials, p. 28
Two years later, Waggoner wrote a series of articles over six issues of the Signs of the Times from March 25th - May 6th 1889 in response to a book published by the Methodist Church written by M.C. Bringgs charging SDAdventists with teaching errors including the seventh day Sabbath and denying Christ's divinity.
"But when the doctor [Briggs] states that Seventh-day Adventists deny the divinity of Christ, we know that he writes recklessly." "We have no theory to bolster up, and so, instead of stating prepositions, we shall simply quote the word of God, and accept what it says." "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" John 1:1. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" John 1:14. "We believe in the divinity of Christ, because the Bible says that Christ is God" "From these texts we have proof not only that the inspired writers call Jesus the divine Son of God, but that Jesus himself claimed to be God." E. J. Waggoner. Signs of the Times, March 25th 1889, article 'The Divinity of Christ'
"That Christ is divine is shown by the fact that he receives worship." "If Christ were not God, then this [worship] would be idolatry" Ellet J. Waggoner, Signs of the Times 'The Divinity of Christ (continued)', April 8th 1889
It appears that even early Adventists had always professed a strong belief in the divinity of Christ. He was unquestionably more than a mere man, but the distinction of separate persons was carefully guarded.
Ellen White explains that the divinity of Christ is based on his sonship, character and pre-existence:
"Another dangerous error, is the doctrine that denies the divinity of Christ, claiming that he had no existence before his advent to this world. This theory is received with favor by a large class who profess to believe the Bible; yet it directly contradicts the plainest statements of our Saviour concerning his relationship with the Father, his divine character, and his pre-existence." Great Controversy 1888, page 524; Spirit of Prophecy Vol 4 1884, p. 347.
The same divine Spirit
is in and is shared by both the Father and Son.
That's why Jesus could say, "If you've seen me you've seen the Father" and "I and the Father are one."
Father Himself calls His Son, God.
Heb 1:8_____Unto the Son he [God the Father] says, Thy throne, O God, is forever.
Christ is therefore called
the Lord, the mighty God who will come and gather His saints.
God, even the Lord…
(the Father is the Almighty God, the Most High God)
Our God shall come, (Christ is our God: both divine and human)
and shall not keep silent (1Thes 4:16 with a shout, with the trump of God)
a fire shall devour before Him (Christ comes with a flaming fire 2Thes 1:8)
that He may judge His people …for God is judge Himself.
Gather my saints together (He sends His angels to gather His elect Matt 24:31)
And when He returns to earth we will exclaim, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us." Isa 25:9
So, the divine Son is the
Creator God of nature, Lord and God to His creatures.
But as soon as heavenly intelligences were created, they needed a Mediator.
The divine Son became Michael the Archangel to represent God to the angelic host.
He then had two natures: divine and angelic,
just as He would later have two as the God-Man, Jesus.
At both levels, His divine nature made Him fully God.
Speaking from His divine nature Jesus said,
|I and my Father are one
|I am the Son of God. (He is just like His Father: Like Father Like Son).
|If you had known me, you should have known my Father also.
Some have taken this
to mean Jesus is actually the Father.
But Ellen White insisted that they were two distinct persons.
"He was not the Father but in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and yet He calls to a suffering world, "Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Ellen G. White, Letter 8a, July 7, 1890, To M. J. Church, Manuscript Release Volume 20, MR1444)
"The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty" E.G. White, 5SDABC p. 1129, ms 140, 1903.
He was one with the Father
in His divine nature.
But Jesus also had a human nature and from this perspective He said,
|My Father is greater than I
|I John 10:29
|My Father…is greater than all.
|I can of mine own self do nothing; I only seek the will of the Father
|I live by the Father
"In taking upon Himself humanity, our Saviour unites His interests with those of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam, while through His divinity He grasps the throne of God." Desire of Ages p. 143
It is in consideration
of His divine nature that they are one in character, in purpose.
They have the same mind set. They share the same divine Spirit.
|the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
|Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. They share one common Spirit.
|the Father is in me, and I in him. They think alike.
|I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He wants us all to think alike.
|Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.
is in the Father, and the Father is in [Christ]
the Father (His Spirit) dwells in [Christ] (and) does the works
|2 Cor 5:19
|God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.
|I am the Son of God. Therefore He is just like His Father: Like Father Like Son
|If you had known me, you should have known my Father also.
"The 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." 8T, p. 269.
"Christ wept at Satan's woe, but told him, as the mind of God, that he could never be received into heaven." Spirit of Prophecy vol 1 p. 30.
In His divine nature,
Jesus the Christ is the same as the Father, equal, and fully God.
In His human nature, Jesus the Son is not the same as the Father, but subordinant, dependant, obedient.
This same unity of purpose is to exist between us and God.
As we share the same Spirit of God dwelling in our body temples,
we become one with each other and with God.
|that they may be one as we (are one) [one in unity by joined spirits]
|that they all may be one as you Father are in me and I in thee
|that they may be one in us…even as we are one [in union with each other]
Christ lives in me; and I live by the faith of the Son of God.
[by a unity of Spirit]
Continued: The Son Receives All things from the Father