One God, One
The Bible picture of God. The loving Father. The obedient Son. One in Spirit.
The Son's Sacrifice
Father Loves His Son
John 5:20___the Father loves the Son (John 10:17)
This is a close, intimate
The Father never is said to love the Spirit; Christ never says He loves the Spirit.
Neither do we ever read that the Spirit loves the Father or the Son. Why?
Perhaps there are only two Persons.
Zech 6:13___a counsel of peace shall be between them both (two)
This counsel consisted of only the Father and the Son
"The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. And Christ, our Substitute and Surety, did not stand alone in the wondrous undertaking of the ransom of man. 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". The Signs of the Times, December 23, 1897, par. 2.
"The plan of redemption was arranged in the councils between the Father and the Son." Review & Herald, May 28, 1908 par. 12.
"Even the angels were not permitted to share the counsels between the Father and the Son when the plan of salvation was laid." Ministry of Healing, page 429.
"The plan of salvation devised by the Father and the Son will be a grand success." The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1903 par. 2.
"Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with his Father in laying the plan of salvation." Review & Herald, September 13, 1906 par. 4.
In this counsel, Jesus demonstrated
divine love by volunteering His own life for helpless sinners
and the Father manifested His love by giving up His own Son to save the world.
|Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us
|For God [the Father] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
the Father] that spared not his own Son,
but delivered him [Christ] up for us all
was manifested the love of God toward us,
because God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live.
Did God merely call
Jesus His Son so we humans would appreciate how He feels about Him?
Does God want us to believe something that really isn't true?
Did Jesus tell Nicodemus that He was God's only begotten Son to confuse him?
Or did He desire to show the magnitude of His Father's love?
Is Jesus really His Father's Son or is He just another form of God?
Abraham experienced the same kind of sacrifice that God did, and suffered with
|Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest…and offer him.
|I and the
lad will go and worship [said Abraham]…
and they went both of them together.
Behold the suffering that both the Father and Son experienced at Calvary:
|God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself
see me laugh me to scorn…saying
He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him now.
|For dogs have compassed me…they pierced my hands and my feet.
of death compassed me and the floods of ungodly men
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God
|My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
my voice out of His temple…Then the earth shook and trembled...
because He was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils
He bowed the heavens also and came down: and darkness was under His feet.
He made darkness his secret place;
His pavilion round about Him were…thick clouds
The Lord also thundered in the heavens…
and he shot out lightnings and discomforted them.
|Now from the 6th hour there was darkness over all the land
the 9th hour Jesus cried with a loud voice saying…
My God, my God…
|and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent, and the graves were opened.
|We esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Those who witnessed the crucifixion assumed that God was punishing Christ for blasphemy.
Ps 69:20__But "Reproach had broken His heart"
Only in accepting the Bible teaching does the love of God ring true.
The divine, pre-existing Son of God became a human being; He did not merely visit one.
This human being became His new identify: the Son of God became the Son of Man.
|We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels
will come…he will come and save you.
then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped
then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing
|the Lord God will come…He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
|a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel
|which being interpreted is, God with us
|The Word was God..and the Word became flesh
|God was manifest in the flesh (revealed, made known, displayed, shown)
"Wondrous combination of man and God! He might have helped His human nature to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from His divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But He humbled Himself to man's nature." 5SDABC p. 1127.
The Spirit of God dwelled in humanity.
|[Mary] was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit
|What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit
Spirit shall come upon you
and that holy [Spirit] which shall be born of you
That is, Jesus
was the Son of God because He was born of the Spirit of God.
God was literally His Father, from whom the pre-existent Christ had originally received His divine nature.
He was the Son of Man because He was born of the flesh of men.
From Mary He received His human nature.
|For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given… (God had a Son to give)
|God sent forth his Son made of a woman
|[God's] Son Jesus Christ...was made of the seed of David according to the flesh
|a body has [God] prepared [for Christ] (Psalm 40:6); Lo, I come…to do thy will
|[Christ] came down from heaven…to do…the will of him that sent [him]
took upon himself the form of a servant
and was made in the likeness of men
in fashion as a man, he humbled himself
The KJV of Phil 2:6 states that Christ, the Son of God, was equal with God His Father.
KJV "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God "
Other translations present a much more humble attitude consistent with the context of His humility.
He existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped
in the form of God,
counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God
|He did not reckon His equality with God a treasure to be tightly grasped.
This change in
perspective has led to criticism by the co-equal advocates
that these translations are jeopardizing the divinity of Christ.
Yet, this need not be the case at all. The Son is just as divine as His Father.
In fact, both readings are consistent with the Son of God begotten from the Father.
And when the Son of God became the son of Mary, He did not cease to be God in nature.
"Christ had not ceased to be God when He became man. Though He had humbled Himself to humanity, the Godhead was still His own." Desire of Ages p. 664
"He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God...He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for a while relinquished...As a member of the human family He was mortal, but as a God He was the fountain of life to the world." 5SDABC p. 1126, 1127.
He was still the only
begotten Son of God, His divine nature did not change,
nor did His character, His mind, all that made Him the express image of God's person (Heb 1:3).
|The Father of lights with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning
|The heavens and earth shall be changed, but Thou art the same
|I am the
LORD, I change not [the Father doesn't change,
the Son doesn't change]
|Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever
The issue is "equality
with God" (the same quality, nature and character, personality)
not "equality to God" (the same identity, person, substance).
Lucifer, on the other
hand, did not think it robbery to be equal to God.
He did think that being equal to God was something to grasp. Isa 14:13,14 detail his ambitions:
will be like the most Hight!"
____________________________"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds"
___________________"I will sit upon the mount...in the sides of the north"
__________"I will exalt my throne above the stars of God"
"I will ascend into heaven"
Five steps on his ladder to success ended in verse 15:
"Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
His delusions of grandeur
turned him into Satan "fallen from heaven, cut to the ground" verse 12.
He continues to offer his fantasy to fallen men: "ye shall be as gods" Gen 3:5
He even offered Christ "all this power…and glory" if only Jesus would "worship" him. Luke 4:6,7
To the very end, the devil will attempt to place himself "as God in the temple of God,
showing himself that he is God" 2Thes 2:4
But Jesus, the
God-man, had an entirely different mindset, He thought differently.
He did not aspire to "grasp" equality "with God" even though He shared the same divine nature.
And He certainly did not presume to take the place of God Almighty, robbing Him of His supreme position.
Instead of climbing 5 steps up in ambition, Philippians 2:7,8 lists 5 steps down in humility:
"he made himself of
__________"took the form of a servant"
___________________"was made in the likeness of men"
_____________________________"he humbled himself"
_______________________________________"became obedient unto death"
And just the opposite of Lucifer's fall, the next step ends with Christ's exaltation:
"God has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name!"
While Satan wants to show the world that he "is God"
so that the "whole world will worship" him, "the dragon" Rev 13,
Jesus demonstrates to us what Adam could have experienced:
humble obedience and great exaltation.
Heb 2:9___But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than aggelos (angels)
Paul is quoting Ps 8:5 and applies the "son of man" to Jesus.
man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels
and has crowned him with glory and honor.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;
thou hast put all things under his feet:
the words used to convey "angels" in Hebrew
are min elohiym "out of from among God"
min = from among, out of, because of, by reason of, after, through.
elohiym = the God, magistrates, angels, judges, great ones, mighty ones
Psalm 8 has a dual application.
It speaks of man (Adam) and the son of man (Christ, the second Adam).
1Cor 15:47__The last Adam is the Lord who is from heaven.
And just like the first Adam…
took part of flesh and blood…
as the children are partakers of flesh and blood
|Man is under the law; God sent forth His Son...made under the law (Gal 4:4)
But Jesus didn't
just take over where Adam left off.
He took sinful flesh well after Adam's fall.
|[Christ] took not on angels; but he took on the seed of Abraham
|Jesus Christ our Lord...was made of the seed of David
|[Christ] was made…in all things…like unto his brethren
|God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
|He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities
|He took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses
were sinless in their beginning.
Like the first Adam who was innocent and sinless at creation,
Christ retained His sinless, perfect, divine character, "the mind of Christ".
Both were made a little lower than the angels.
Both were visited by God.
Jesus breathed into Adam the breath of life.
The Spirit (breath) of God came upon Mary.
Both were in the image of God.
Adam was created in the image of God;
Christ was begotten as the express image of his Father.
Both were crowned with glory and honor.
Adam was ruler of this world; Christ is ruler of the universe with "all things under his feet."
were given dominion:
Adam over this earth and the works of Christ's hands'
Christ over the cosmos and works of God's hands through Himself as Creator.
Paul refers to this aspect of Christ's dominion in 1Cor 15. where
God the Father is again depicted as putting all things under Christ's feet
until He has dominion over everything and then,
when He delivers the kingdom to His Father,
Jesus will be in submission to God His Father.
This is the mind of Jesus which must be in us.
When Lucifer tried
to exalt himself, he was cast down.
When Jesus humbled himself, God exalted him above all things.
Everything Lucifer tried to grab for himself, Jesus obtained-through humility.
illustrated this great truth in a parable.
"When you are bid to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room"
"For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased;
and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." Luke 14:7-11.
teaches us that Jesus was originally "in the form of God."
This is consistent will the rest of scripture.
Jesus is the Word of God, the only begotten Son of God,
the express Image of God, the manifestation of God, God with us, God made flesh, etc, etc.
Jesus is without question the absolute perfect representation of God's character in human form.
When we look at Jesus we see his Father. All that Jesus is, his Father is as well.
Hallmark of Divinity
But, though Jesus "took on sinful flesh" to reach sinful humanity,
He is also the Ladder that reaches heaven.
Mary was assured that her child was holy
because the Holy Spirit of God came upon her, overshadowed her.
Jesus was born with divinity and humanity.
His divinity was pure, holy, glorious; His humanity weak, sinful.
Yet Jesus was without sin; tempted in all points like as we are, but without sin.
How did His divinity operate along side and within His humanity?
What was the nature of His divinity?
Didn't Jesus have all the fullness of the Godhead?
Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscience?
1Jn 4:8___God is love.
This is the quality of
God most emphasized in Scripture.
Not that God has love, but God is love. It is His nature, His character. It's what He is.
|Jesus declared, "There is none good but one, that is God"
|Moses beseeched God to show him His glory.
God didn't show
Moses His awesome power.
He showed him His awesome character of love and mercy, justice and truth.
The true God is not identified by how much power He has, but by His pure and holy character.
"The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth"
why Jesus could say to Philip,
"If you have seen me you have seen the Father"
|[Christ] is the image of the invisible God [invisible to us humans]
is the brightness of [God's] glory,
the express image [Gr. charakter] of his person
|Christ who is the image of God
|He that sees me sees him that sent me. If God is love, then Jesus is love
mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus:
the mind, the will, the character of the Father
Satan has a lot
of power. He would like us to think he is God.
But even if he had enough power to raise the dead and create life he would not be God.
God is love. God is good. And this Satan will never be.
Satan may try to imitate God's power, but he can never imitate His love.
The Son of God laid aside His divinity in coming to this earth
"At the time when He was most needed, Jesus, the Son of God, the world's Redeemer, laid aside His divinity, and came to earth in the garb of humanity." (Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, Oct. 12, 1896)
But we also read that
He "clothed his divinity with humanity."
RH July 5, 1887; Feb 11, 1890; Letter 97, 1898 in 7SDABC p. 462; RH March 9, 1905;
"The human race was under sentence of death, but the Son of God clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to this world to live and die in our behalf." Review & Herald, June 1, 1905
How can we resolve this apparent contradiction?
This was not just a coating
of humanity over a core of divinity,
but a blending, a uniting of the two natures.
"He united in Himself divinity and humanity, that He might be the connecting link between fallen man and the Father." Peter's Counsel to Parents p. 10; Manuscript 103, 1909. An address before the students and faculty of the Western Normal Institute, Lodi, California, November 7, 1909.
"Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; the two natures were mysteriously blended in one person--the man Christ Jesus." RH July 5, 1887.
Today we understand how
separate human chromosomes from a father and mother
can "blend in one person" as the offspring of their union.
The child is a wonderful combination of both parents.
Even so, Jesus is a "mysterious blending in one person" of God's divine Spirit and human flesh.
Son laid aside His power and glory, not His divine character
The source of all power and glory is God the Father who bestowed it upon His Son.
|All power was given to Him in heaven and earth
Jesus did the actual work of creation,
yet it was God who created all things by him
When Jesus was
on this earth He did not in Himself possess the divine powers of God.
He laid aside the power and glory of God when He became man.
Himself...of His immortal zoe life,
of omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience
increased in wisdom" when He grew up as a child.
He didn't know everything
|In His humanity, the Son of God does not even know the day or hour of His second coming
|All the miracles that Jesus did were performed by the power of God the Father
Jesus laid aside
his mental and physical powers of divinity:
But He kept His divine authority.
"Christ had not exchanged his divinity for humanity; but he had clothed his divinity in humanity, and he gave Satan the evidence for which he had asked,-showed him that he was the Son of God. Divinity flashed through humanity, and the evil one could not resist the authority of the divine voice, as Jesus said, "Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (R&H, Oct. 29, 1895)
He still had His divine
authority, He was still the Son of the Living God.
His Father had given Him this authority, and He did not lay it aside when becoming man.
Thus Satan's temptation was not to change the stones into bread and exercise His creative power,
but to "command" them to be changed and exercise His divine authority.
"When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the "Master of earth and sea and sky" that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, "I can of Mine own self do nothing." John 5:30. He trusted in the Father's might. It was in faith-faith in God's love and care-that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God." Desire of Ages, page 336
"laid aside his royal robes" Christian Education p. 120, R&H July 17, 1888.
"and kingly crown" Counsels on Health p. 319; Special Testimonies Series B, p. 27 (1904).
"laid aside His royal robe, His kingly crown, His high command" 1SM p. 243.
"laid aside His honor as Commander of the heavenly hosts" R&H Feb 4, 1902.
"laid aside His glory and His majesty" R&H July 5, 1887; 7ASDABC p. 446.
"and stepped down from His royal throne" 3SM p. 248.
Jesus partook of divine power by the indwelling of His Father's Spirit.
1Pet 1:3,4__We also can be partakers of the divine nature by receiving the divine power of God's Spirit.
But we will never be divine
as Jesus is. Because we will never have a character of infinite love.
No other being in the universe possesses such a character except God the Father.
The angels have a holy character, but it is not the same as God's unlimited love.
This is why Jesus could be fully divine while laying down His power and glory.
His divinity is not in His power, but in His character.
So we see two aspects
of divinity in the incarnate Jesus Christ Son of God.
1. The divine Spirit and power of the Father which was given to Him
2. Christ's own divine character of perfect love and goodness which was His by nature
a human being,
He submitted His human will to the divine will of His Father.
____He could do nothing of himself, His Father was greater, He submits to the Father's will.
As a divine being,
He shared the same divine Spirit of the Father which dwelled within Him.
____He and the Father are one, If you see Him you see the Father, Thee in me and I in Thee.
God Die for us?
Some have reasoned that God could not have really died on the cross.
The Bible clearly teaches this impossibility. God is immortal.
1Tim 6:15,16__The only Potentate, whom no man has seen, who only has immortality.
Yet Scripture also teaches that Jesus plainly died for our sins
|While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
|Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
taste death for every man…
that through death he might destroy…the devil.
as a lamb to the slaughter, poured out His soul unto death
He was cut off out of the land of the living,
He made his grave with the rich in His death.
|Jesus, the "faithful and true Witness" said, "I am He that lives and was dead"
How can Jesus die
if He is the same God who "only has immortality"?
The answer is that Jesus is both human and divine.
He laid aside His divine immortality (His zoe life) when He left the Father to become incarnate.
He humbled Himself and took on humanity so that He might die.
But He retained His divine character that He might live a sinless life.
His divine sinless Spirit suffered under the burden of our sins
along with His human body under the physical pain of crucifixion.
That part of His divinity, the Spirit which He shared with His Father, He yielded up at death.
He poured out His soul unto death Isa 53.
His soul and body died when His Spirit returned to the Father.
Some believe that the
only thing that died on Calvary was Christ's human body.
Because they consider the soul like the spirit is immortal.
The divine Spirit did separate from Jesus at the point of death
After all, Jesus said, "into Thy hands I commend my spirit".
But how does this demonstrate the love of God if there was no divine sacrifice?
Then did divinity
die on the cross?
The Bible makes it quite clear the Jesus Himself died.
|God made Christ's soul an offering for sin...He poured out his soul unto death
|He was made a little lower than the angels for the very purpose of dying
"He humbled himself, and took mortality upon him. As a member of the human family, he was mortal." Review & Herald, September 4, 1900.
the Greek word for psyche, is the soul, the complete person, the whole being.
It is the combination of a person's body, mind, and spirit-breath.
Jesus always used this word when speaking of "laying down" His life.
|I lay down my life (psuchen Gr. psyche, self, life, being, soul) for the sheep
|The Son of man came...to give his life (psuchen) as a ransom for many
|Greater love has no man than...to lay down his life (psuchen) for his friends
|He laid down His life (psuchen) for us
But while His Deity did not die. His humanity died..
"When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die; that would have been impossible." 5SDABC p. 1113, Letter 280, 1904.
"Deity did not die. Humanity died, but Christ now proclaims over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, "I am the resurrection, and the life." In His divinity Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. He declares that He had life in Himself to quicken whom He will. "I am the resurrection, and the life." This language can be used only by the Deity." 5SDABC p. 1113, Manuscript 131, 1897.
He had already laid aside
His omnipotence, His omnipresence, His omniscience and even His immortality.
He laid aside these powers of divinity, but He did not lay aside His status and authority as the Son of God.
So, on the cross Jesus laid down His soul, everything that He was as a living being. A divine Saviour died.
It is a separation of the spirit from the body.
The body ceases to function, the spirit lapses into an unconscious state called "sleep"
This is what happened when Jesus died.
He commended His spirit into the safe keeping of His Father; and His body died.
up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears
unto him that was able to save him from death
|Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit
|I come to thee, Holy Father
Man was made in the image
of God with a body and a spirit.
Jesus also had a body and spirit.
|God breathed into him [Adam] the breath of life and man became a living soul
|The soul that sinneth it shall die. Our souls are not immortal; souls can die.
|God will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live
|God in whose hands your breath is
|I am alive "While my breath is in me, the spirit of God is in my nostrils."
|The Spirit of God made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life
|He gathers to himself his spirit and his breath
|God..gives breath to the people and spirit to them that walk
the dust of the body returns to the earth as it was
And the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (for safe keeping in backup storage)
|The body without the spirit is dead. Both are required for life to operate and run
The hardware without
the software is useless.
It takes both before a program can execute.
|The dead know not anything; there is no knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave
|His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish
|He takes away their breath, they die and return to their dust
That's why Jesus
called death "a sleep"
|I must wake Lazarus from sleep…Lazarus is dead
|She (Jairus' daughter) was but sleeping
|Awake, ye that dwell in the dust!
|Dan 12 :2
|Many of them that sleep in the dust shall awake
The abundance of
scripture on this topic is consistent with what Jesus taught.
The few texts that seem to contradict this truth must be interpreted consistently with those that confirm it.
Likewise, the biblical doctrine of soul sleep is either confirmed or denied by the death of Jesus.
As Jesus slept in the boat during the storm on the lake when the disciples saw nothing but death,
so Jesus slept in the tomb in death over the Sabbath; both times He trusted entirely in His Father's care.
The human body of Christ, however, was miraculously preserved in death.
"The spirit of Jesus slept in the tomb with His body, and did not wing its way to heaven, there to maintain a separate existence, and to look down upon the mourning disciples embalming the body from which it had taken flight. All that comprised the life and intelligence of Jesus remained with His body in the sepulcher; and when He came forth it was as a whole being; He did not have to summon His spirit from heaven." SDABC V5 EGW comment on John 10:18 pp 1150, 1151; from 3 Spirit of Prophecy p. 203, 204 (1878); Redemption: or the Resurrection of Christ and His Ascension (1877 pamphlet).
|His body did not see corruption. Peter declared this on the day of Pentecost
|He is the living manna, the Bread of Life come down from heaven
|His body did not breed worms, but was preserved like the manna over Sabbath
|But Christ's soul was not left in hell
|David prophetically spoke of Christ, "I am shut up, and I cannot come forth"
Knowing this, Satan tempted Peter (as he did Eve) to think that Christ could not die.
"When Jesus had opened before his disciples the fact that he must go to Jerusalem to suffer and die at the hands of the chief priests and scribes, Peter had presumptuously contradicted his Master, saying, "Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee." He could not conceive it possible that the Son of God should be put to death. Satan suggested to his mind that if Jesus was the Son of God he could not die." (Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, p. 231)
Satan still wants us
to believe that Christ did not really die for us.
That He went and visited spirits of dead people in hell. But this cannot be.
Even in death the humanity of Christ depended fully on His Father's power.
Jesus Christ, as the
begotten Son of God,
also possessed the spotless character of divinity.
He inherited this divine character by birth.
So, it was a divine Being that died on Calvary,
a divine Sacrifice made for our redemption.
Continued: The Son is Raised