One God, One
The Bible picture of God. The loving Father. The obedient Son. One in Spirit.
The Eternal Son
But how could Christ be begotten if He has always existed?
"Christ was the Son of God; He had been one with Him before the angels were called into existence. He had ever stood at the right hand of the Father; His supremacy, so full of blessing to all who came under its benignant control, had not heretofore been questioned." Patriarchs and Prophets p. 38
"The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures" Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899.
"The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father." (R&H, April 5, 1906; and 1 SM, p. 247)
Christ was "with the Father from all eternity." Acts of the Apostles p. 39
These statements seem conclusive. So do the following biblical texts:
|Rev 20:10||And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.|
|Rev 14:11||And the
devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone...
and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Of course, this is dealing
with the continuation of time into the future.
"From eternity" is dealing with the continuation of time into the past.
Yet, we understand that the meaning of "for ever" may not be the same as "unending"
"Eternal hell fire", we believe, will not burn "forever", will not continue without an end.
Likewise, "from everlasting", "from eternity" need not require existence without a beginning.
Son Before Time
One solution suggested by the Ante-Nicene Fathers was to posit that Time had a beginning when the Son created all things including Time. Thus, if the Son was begotten and proceeded forth from the Father prior to the creation of Time, it could be truly said that "there never was a time" when the Son, the Word, was not with the Father. "In the beginning was the Word." From everlasting, before men or angels, He was born not created.
"As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told. The prophet Micah tells us all that we can know about it in these words, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin. There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning." EJ Waggoner Christ Our Righteousness, Is Christ a Created Being?
"The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant…Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God." Review and Herald, April 5, 1906; Evangelism p. 615-616
Yet Christ is fully divine in nature, equal in value to the law of God.
"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." Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. SDABC Vol. 5 p. 1126.
"Behold the Saviour of the world, in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Faith and Works p. 16; Review and Herald Feb 24, March 3 1977; Manuscript 36, 1890.
"The divine Son of God was the only sacrifice of sufficient value to fully satisfy the claims of God's perfect law. The angels were sinless, but of less value than the law of God. [Jesus was equal value] They were amenable to the law. They were messengers to do the will of Christ, and before him to bow. They were created beings, [Christ was not] and probationers. Upon Christ…no obligation was laid…to undertake the work of atonement. It was a voluntary sacrifice." Review and Herald Dec 17, 1872 [bracketed comments added]
"It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, "I AM THAT I AM."…"And to us He says: "I AM the good shepherd." "I AM the living bread." "I AM the way, the truth, and the life."…I AM the assurance of every promise. I AM; be not afraid." The Faith I Live By p. 47
"The greatness of God cannot be measured or comprehended. And that doctrine that denies the absolute Godhead of Jesus Christ, denies also the Godhead of the Father; for no man knoweth the Son but the Father. The mightiest created intelligence cannot grasp divinity. The principalities and powers of heaven are overwhelmed with the vastness of the theme of Christ's character and the mystery of the union of divinity and humanity." Signs of the Times 06-27-95
Godhead came from the old English
word Godhede (Godhood) which paralleled manhede (manhood), terms for divinity and humanity.
He came from the bosom of His Father to save fallen man.
"Praise and adoration were poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that he would consent to leave the bosom of his Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to give life to others." 1 Spiritual Gifts p. 26.
"Jesus was the Majesty of heaven, the beloved Commander of the angels, whose delight was to do his pleasure. He was one with God, in the bosom of the Father; yet He thought it not a thing to be desired to be equal with God while man was lost in sin and misery. He stepped down from his throne." Bible Echo and Signs of the Times 3-15-1893
Other early Adventist pioneers also believed in the begotten Son of God, notably Uriah Smith and James White:
"God alone is without beginning. At the earliest epoch when a beginning could be, - a period so remote that to finite minds it is essentially eternity, - appeared the Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1. This uncreated Word was the Being, who, in the fullness of time, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. His beginning was not like that of any other being in the universe. It is set forth in the mysterious expressions, "his [God's] only begotten Son" (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9), "the only begotten of the Father" (John 1:14), and, "I proceeded forth and came from God." John 8:42. Thus it appears that by some divine impulse or process, not creation, known only to Omniscience, and possible only to Omnipotence, the Son of God appeared. And then the Holy Spirit (by an infirmity of translation called "the Holy Ghost"), the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the divine afflatus and medium of their power, representative of them both (Ps. 139:7), was in existence also." Uriah Smith, Looking Unto Jesus, p. 10. 1898
"Christ is the only being begotten of the Father." James Edison White, Past, Present and Future, p. 52. 1909 p. 13.
"Christ is the agent through whom God has created all things, but that he himself came into existence in a different manner, as he is called the only begotten of the Father." J. N. Loughborough, Insert A-1, Lest We Forget, Volume 4, Number 2, Second Quarter, 1994
"Back in the ages, which finite mind cannot fathom, the Father and Son were alone in the universe. Christ was the first begotten of the Father, and to Him Jehovah made known the divine plan of Creation." S. N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pp. 93, 94. 1905
"Christ was the firstborn in heaven; He was likewise the firstborn of God upon earth, and heir to the Father's throne. Christ, the firstborn, though the Son of God, was clothed in humanity, and was made perfect through suffering." S. N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pp. 98, 99. 1905.
"Christ is the only literal son of God. 'The only begotten of the Father.' John 1:14. He is God because he is the Son of God; not by virtue of His resurrection. If Christ is the only begotten of the Father, then we cannot be begotten of the Father in a literal sense. It can only be in a secondary sense of the word." J. G. Matteson, Review & Herald, October 12, 1869 p. 123
Many texts establish the pre-existence of the Son of God.
|1Jn 1:2||That eternal life which was with the Father…was manifested|
|John 1:1,2||In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with (Gr. pros) God|
pros (acting togethwe, pertaining to) not meta (being with) or para (beside, next to, near)
|John 17:24||[the Father] loved [Christ] before the foundation of the world|
|Eph 1:4||the God and Father…chose us in [our Lord Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world|
|2 Tim 1:9||God's own purpose and grace…was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began|
LORD possessed me (Wisdom) in the beginning of his way,
before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth ...
Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth ...
When he prepared the heavens, I was there ...
when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him,
as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight.
"And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: 'The Lord possessed Me
in the beginning of His way, before His works of old.'" PP p. 34
The same Hebrew word is used to mean "possessed" and "gotten"
|Prov 8:22||The LORD
possessed [Strong's 7069] me in the beginning of His ways,
before His works of old
and bare Cain, and said,
I have gotten  a man from the LORD
God the Father "possessed" and "had gotten" His Son "in the beginning"
|1Jn 3:8||The devil has sinned from the beginning|
|John 8:44||He was a murderer from the beginning|
But there was a time before the devil's beginning when the devil was Lucifer.
|1Jn 3:8||For this purpose the Son of God was manifested (revealed).|
|Luke 10:18||Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.|
became Satan and was cast out of heaven.
Jesus said He saw this happen.
The Son of God already existed when Lucifer began to rebel with his jealousy of Christ.
The title Archangel occurs only twice in scripture.
In 1Thes 4:16 the Lord descends with the voice of the Archangel and raises the dead.
In Jude 9 the Archangel disputes with Satan over the body of Moses, who is then raised from the dead.
There is only one Archangel known to the Bible, the Chief Messenger of God, the Word of God.
Michael is Hebrew for "one who is like God"
But God says, "I am God, and there is none like me" Isaiah 46:9
There is no contradiction if Michael actually is God.
Many scriptures identify the pre-incarnate Christ as Michael, the Angel of the Lord's presence.
As the Son of God, the Word, He created all the worlds and their inhabitants..
As the Son of God, He is the mediator between God and His creation…
The Son was first mediator between God and angels, manifesting God to them in a form like them.
This was the first step in descending to save His fallen creatures.
|Rev 12:7||Michael and his angels fought against the dragon|
|Dan 10:13||Michael, one of the chief princes [of the Godhead?], came to help me|
|Dan 10:21||there is none that hold with me in these things but Michael your prince.|
|Dan 12:1||Michael shall stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people|
|Isa 9:6||His name shall be called…the Prince of Peace|
|Acts 3:14,15||the Holy One and the Just…the Prince of life|
|Rev 1:5||Jesus Christ…the prince of the kings of the earth|
|Jude 8||Michael the archangel when contending with the devil said, The Lord rebuke thee|
the high priest stood before the angel of the Lord and Satan
and the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke thee.
|1Thes 4:16||the Lord himself shall descend from heaven…with the voice of the archangel|
|John 5:28||Marvel not at this…all that are in the graves shall hear [the Son of man's] voice and come forth|
EGW called Jesus "Michael
(Desire of Ages pp. 99, 379; Spiritual Gifts Vol. 1, p. 158; Prophets & Kings p. 572)
Michael, the angel of God's presence, dealt with man before His incarnation.
|Gen 16:10||the angel of the Lord said unto [Hagar], I will multiply your seed exceedingly|
|Gen 16:13||then Hagar "called the name of the Lord that spoke unto her, Thou God"|
|Gen 21:17||God heard the voice of [Ishmael] and the angel of God…said…fear not for God has heard|
|Gen 22:15||the angel of the Lord said "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord…I will multiply your seed"|
|Gen 31:11,13||the angel of God spoke to [Jacob] in a dream, "I am the God of Bethel"|
|Gen 48:15||the God which fed me all my life|
|Gen 48:16||the angel which redeemed me from all evil (angel-Messenger Redeemer)|
|Exod 14:19||the angel of God went before the camp of Israel…the pillar of cloud went before their face|
|Exod 13:21||the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud|
|1Cor 10:4||they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ.|
|Num 22:35||the angel of the Lord told Balaam, [speak] "only the word that I shall speak to you"|
|Num 22:38||Balaam told Balak, "The word that God puts in my mouth that shall I speak"|
|Judges 2:1||the angel of the Lord said "I made you to go up out of Egypt and brought you into the land"|
|Judges 6:12||the angel of the Lord appeared unto [Gideon] and said…The LORD is with you|
|Judges 6:22||Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD [and] said, Alas, O Lord God!|
|Judges 6:23||and the LORD said to him, Peace be unto you, fear not. You shall not die.|
angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah, "Why do you ask my name seeing it
"secret" is Strongs #6383 "wonderful"
|Judges 13:20||the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar..up toward heaven|
|Judges 13:22||Monoah said, "We shall surely die because we have seen God"|
revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the Word of the LORD.
Christ, the Word, revealed His Father to Samuel by appearing to him in Shiloh.
"The mighty angel who instructed John (Rev. 1:1) was no less than the person of Christ" Manuscript 59, 1900.
Rev 10:6 "In swearing by the creator, the angel who is Christ, swore by himself" Manuscript 129; 7SDABC, p. 798.
The Son of God is the
eternal Mediator between God and all created beings, even angels.
Thus, He humbled Himself to commune with the angels being fashioned in angelic form.
Then the Son of God became the Son of Man. He humbled Himself once more, being fashioned as a man.
Son from the beginning of the world
Heb 1:16___[Jesus vs 9] took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him, the seed of Abraham
Yet He, appearing as an angel, was the One who interacted with humanity "all the days of old"
|Isa 63:9||the angel of his presence saved them, bare them and carried them all the days of old.|
|Gen 22:11||the angel of the Lord called unto [Abraham] out of heaven…Abraham, Abraham|
angel of the Lord appeared to [Moses] in a flame of fire…removes his shoes,
God called to him out of the bush Moses, Moses
(Samuel, Samuel; Martha, Martha, Saul, Saul)
|John 5:46||Moses wrote of [Christ] (Deut 18)|
of the host of the Lord stood with his sword drawn…Joshua fell and worshiped
the captain of the Lord's host said, "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot for the place is holy"
|Joshua 5:14||Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship.|
|Job 19:25||Job's Redeemer, Christ, lived in his day|
|John 1:15||before John the Baptist, His 6 month older cousin|
|John 8:58||before Abraham was I am [Jesus existed before Abraham's time]|
|Rev 22:16||Jesus, the Root and Offspring of David. He was David's Root, his Source, his Beginning.|
of thee shall he come forth…whose going forth have been from everlasting
margin: "days of eternity" "going forth" = "origin, family descent" Deut 8:3 same Word
|Eph 3:11||[God's] eternal purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord|
Christ's pre-existence was a mystery.
|Eph 3:4,5||the mystery of Christ was not made known unto the sons of men in other ages|
|Eph 3:9||the mystery has been hid in God from the beginning of the world|
But it was no longer
Jesus Christ is revealed as the begotten Son of God.
|Heb 5:6||[Christ] is a priest forever after the order of Melchizadek (Ps 110:4)|
King of peace…without father, without mother, without descent,
having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like the Son of God
like the Son of God, a type,
to demonstrate the eternal priesthood of Christ.
But, notice, the Son of God was not made like Melchizadek.
While no lineage is given for Melchizadek (without father…), Christ has a Father in heaven.
And because He shares the Father's nature, He too is eternal and everlasting.
|Isa 9:7||Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…even forever.|
|Dan 7:13,14||One like the Son of man.. His dominion is an everlasting dominion.|
|Rev 1:18||He that liveth, and was dead, and I am alive for evermore.|
|Heb 1:8||Unto the Son [he says] Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever (Psalm 45:6)|
|Luke 1:32,3||the Son of the Highest…And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.|
kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ
and He shall reign forever and ever
|The Son is Alpha Omega First Last Beginning End|
|Rev 1:11,17||Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last vs 18; 2:8 who was dead and am alive|
|Rev 22:12,13||I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last "I come quickly"|
Jesus begins and ends His work of salvation in our lives.
|Phil 1:6||He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.|
|Heb 12:2||Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.|
The King and His redeemer speak as one; they both share the name LORD (Jehovah).
Isa 44:6____The LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first and…the last
But only the Father is and was and is to come.
|Rev 1:8||I am Alpha
and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord [Son],
which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty [Father]
|Rev 1:4||From him which is, and which was, and which is to come [Father]|
from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
and the first begotten of the dead
Continued: The Son's Sacrifice