Deeper Yet part 3
Continuing our review of the Adventist Review for July 1, 2018.
Essay four looks at the Uncreated One, who is identified as Him and He, “the Holy One, the Unique One” and then God. It is said that this God has been revealed mainly through His actions, at the very beginning displaying His creativity and that “no one assited Him in the creation of the cosmos.” Who is the He, the Him spoken of here? God, to be sure, but this is strange sounding language to those familiar with the opening scenes of the Great Controvery portrayed in the writings of Ellen White.
“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings…The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings.” PP 34.1,2; Lt256-1906.9
This describes two identities: the Sovereign of the universe, the Father, and His associate Son. They are one in spirit, purpose and character, but not in identity. “God is one” Deut 6:4; Mark 12:29; Gal 3:20, For “there is one God” 1Tim 2:5. Indeed, “there is but one God, the Father” 1Cor 8:6. “You believe there is one God and you do well” James 2:19.
Scripture informs us repeatedly that this one God is the “Father of our Lord Jesus” Rom 15:6; 2Cor 1:3; 11:31; Eph 1:3,17; Col 1:3; 1Pet 1:3; John 5:18. Ellen White agrees. “God is the Father of Christ;” Ms111-1903.5. “There is a personal God, the Father; there is a personal Christ, the Son.” RH Nov 8, 1898.9. Yes, there is but one God, and this “one true God” John 17:3, has a Son who is also “truly God in infinity, but not in personality,” God in nature, but not in identity. Ms116-1905.19. God and His Son worked together in creating all things. Eph 3:9
“The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him [the Son], as well as to God [the Father], their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants.” PP 36.2 (brackets added for clarity)
“Especially was his Son to work in union with himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth.” 1SP 17.2
“The Son of God was in the form of God [divine], and he thought it not robbery to be equal with God [in nature]. He was the only one, who as a man walked the earth, who could say to all men, Who of you convinceth me of sin? He had united with the Father in the creation of man,..” 2SP 10.2
“After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, which was designed before the fall of Satan, to make man in their own image. They had wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God says to his Son, “Let us make man in our image.” 3SG 33.2
“After their work of creation, the Father and the Son rested.” Ms204-1899.2
“The Father and the Son rested after their work of creation.” Ms25-1898.11
“In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation.” DA 769.2
The only verse associated with the Spirit in creation is Genesis 1:2 and this is the Spirit of God, Hebrew ruach elohim, the breath of God. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth” Psalm 33:6. Thus creation was performed by God and His Word, God and His breath, His Spirit, His associate, His Son.
Two divine beings [a divine plurality], but one true God, the Father, [monotheism]. This is neither polythism nor blasphemy. “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. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God.” DA 208.2; John 5:17. Jesus did not say He was the one God, but that He was the Son of God and co-operated with God His Father.
Brother Rodriguez correctly describes “the incarnation of the Son” in harmony with Scripture and Inspiration. “In the fullness of time God sent forth His Son born of a woman” Gal 4:4. “God sent His only begotten Son into the world” 1John 4:9. “The Father sent His Son to be the Savior of the world” 1John 4:14. “…by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled.” DA p. 161.1. “…the incarnation of the Son of God in humanity” Lt43-1895.47. “…the incarnation of the Son of God.” Ms76-1903.18. “Meditate upon the incarnation of the Son of God, who though equal with the Father, for our sakes became poor…” Lt31-1891.45. “The incarnation of the Son of God is but dimly comprehended…” Ms70-1896.10; cf Ms83-1901.3. It was the divine Son of God who was incarnated the Son of man. “He clothed his divinity with humanity and thus became the Son of man” RH March 8, 1881.6. “…by partaking of our nature He became the Son of man, the Son of Adam…” Ms58-1896.12. “The Son of God became the Son of man. He was born of a woman.” Ms45-1892.2. He was the Son of God in eternity, “made in the express image of his [Father's] person” RH July 9, 1895.13; but He became the Son of man in the fullness of time. (all emphasis added)
Essay four provides a number of Scriptural references supporting “the fullness of the deity of Christ” but then when alluding to John 5:26, “the fact that He, like the Father, has life in Himself,” surprisingly the most important reference for this passage is omitted: “As the Father has life in Himself, so has He given to the Son to have life in himself.” Like everything else, the Father gives all things to His Son. John 3:35; Matt 11:27, puts all things under his feet (1Cor 15:24-27), gives him “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom” Dan 7:14, “has given him a name above all names” Phil 2:9. “Jehovah is the name given to Christ.” ST May 3, 1899.18. Jesus said, “I am come in my Father’s name” John 5:43. Jehovah said, “obey his voice…for my name is in him.” Exodus 23:21. “Christ was invested with the right to give immortality.” Ms131-1907.5. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me.” Matt 28:18. “He was legally entitled to this power, invested with it from the Father, the Fountain of all truth and power… God exalted Him, giving Him power over all flesh that He might give eternal life…” Ms185-1903.7; John 17:2. “The Lord Jesus, to whom pertains all grace, is invested with all power.” Lt34-1908.12. (all emphasis added)
We read that “the Son is the only and unique God” “in profound fellowship with the Father” and “came to reveal to us the loving character of God (John 1:18).” Yes, the Son is the “monogenes theos” (one of a kind/only begotten God) as the Alexandrian manuscripts render what Textus Receptus reads “monogenes huios” (one of a kind/only begotten son). One of a kind, we are told in this essay. Exactly so. But why? “Christ the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,—one in nature, in character, and in purpose,—the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” GC p. 493.1. That's pretty unique. Even if Christ is only and unique, he is still the Son. While -genes is related to only 11% of all the words with this root in the Greek vocabulary rendered as “kind,” more than half with this root are found in words translated “born,” “generated,” or “produced.” The weight of evidence strongly favors “begotten.”
The essay continues in its attempt to separate the Spirit of God from God in the same way all other trinitarians separate the spirit of man from man, endowing him with an innate immortal soul. Acts 5 and the case of Annanias and Sophira, who “lied to the Holy Ghost” verse 3 then “lied to God” in verse 4 is presented as evidence that the Spirit of God is “identified as God.” Of course, this is certainly true: it is His Spirit, His mind (Isa 40:13; Rom 11:34; 1Cor 2:16), His presence (Psalm 139:7). But read on. Acts 5:9 tells us it was “the Spirit of the Lord,” and since “the Lord is that Spirit” 2Cor 3:17, it is the same “Spirit of Christ which was in them,” the prophets (1Peter 1:10,11). There is only “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1Tim 2:5. “After the Fall all communication between men and God came through Christ..” Ms32-1889.10. “All communication from heaven to earth since Adam's fall has come through Christ.” Kress Collection p. 126.2. “After the transgression of Adam, the Lord spoke no longer directly with man; the human race was given into the hands of Christ, and all communication came through him to the world.” RH Nov 28, 1893.4. Christ is the Spirit of truth, for He is the truth. John 14:17,6. He speaks to us in our spirit still today. Rom 8:16.
We are told “the Spirit did not become human.” Was not the Word, who was with God the Father (who is Spirit, John 4:24) in the beginning also Spirit? The Word, the Son of God, “became flesh”; what was the Word before that, but Spirit just like his Father. The second and last Adam was “made a quickening [life-giving] Spirit” 1Cor 15:45. When did this happen? Before or after he “became flesh”? Certainly after he ascended back to his Father and received from Him the promise of the Spirit (Acts 2:32,33) because Christ, the Lamb of God, stands before his Father’s throne “having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” Rev 5:6. And “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” Jesus said in John 3:6. To the church of Sardis, he identifies himself as the one “who has the seven Spirits of God.” Rev 3:1.
This essay introduces the Greek word parakletos, “comforter, advocate, counselor.” Why not include the texts where this occurs? Here they are:
John 14:16 “I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter [parakletos]”
John 14:26 “the Comforter [parakletos], which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name”
John 15:26 “when the Comforter [parakletos] is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me”
John 16:7 “if I go not away, the Comforter [parakletos] will not come”
1John 2:1 “we have an Advocate [parakletos] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”
Who is the parakletos, the one who “stands beside us” to help us, and teach us all things? Jesus Christ the righteous said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” Heb 13:5, “Lo, I am with you always” Matt 28:20, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Matt 18:20.
Our essay tries to tell us that, though Jesus, the truth, is our Helper, and the Spirit of truth is our Helper, they are “not the same”. Here would be the place to present the Greek word allos “another of the same kind.”
It is stated that “There is no hint in the Bible of an eternal hierarchical order among the three.” Let Jesus speak for Himself. “The Father is greater than I” John 14:28, “neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” John 13:16. “Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [God, even the Father] that put all things under him” 1Cor 15:24,28. “…even as I overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne” Rev 3:21.
It is said that “The Spirit [is] the One who was always present within creation sustaining it”. Yes! Because it is God’s “dear Son” (Col 1:13) who “is before all things, and by him all things consist” Col 1:17. It is the Son of God who “upholds all things by the word of his power” Heb 1:3. It is the Son of God who “now transforms sinners into saints.” “The power of Christ alone can work the transformation in heart and mind that all must experience who would partake with Him of the new life in the kingdom of heaven.” RH March 19, 1908. “There is but one power that can break the hold of evil from the hearts of men, and that is the power of God in Jesus Christ…His grace alone can enable us to resist and subdue the tendencies of our fallen nature.” 8T p. 291, 1903. “There is only one power that can turn the sinner from sin to holiness—the power of Christ.” RH June 2, 1903. “The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness.” Desire of Ages p. 324. Thus, “Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power.” Desire of Ages 1898 p. 671. Who is this? Read on. “Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.”
The Spirit of God is the divine nature of God. This nature is in both the Father and the Son. “The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead” Bible Training School March 1, 1906.2. And since “the Father is all the fullness of the Godhead” and “the Son is all the fullness of the Godhead” (previous paragraph), the Spirit of God the Father is in both the Father and the Son. Because “the Father gave the Spirit without measure to His Son” John 3:34; ST Feb 24, 1888.5. (emphasis added)
The Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ is the same eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14), given by the Father and inherited by the Son. It was in this sense that Jesus could say “I and my Father are one.” “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1Cor 6:16). But it is Christ’s power alone that is able to take away sin becasue only he won the victory over sin. “For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted” (Heb 2:18). Praise God for His unspeakable Gift in sending the Spirit of His Son into our hearts to cry, Abba, Father! 2Cor 9:15; Gal 4:6.
Grace and peace be unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ
the Son of the Father in truth and love. 2 John 3