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The Begotten of God

Query for the Month

of

July 2019

Next up-date: August 1st 2019 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

 

This article is available as a PDF file here.    Or as a doc version

 

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

In the meantime, try this site.   

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


To Ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"

Query:

Someone I met years ago sent me the below link about Christ being begotten which also would segway [a segue (segueway) is a smooth transition] into the idea of the Holy Spirit somehow being part of the 3-part Godhead.  Was the HS also at some time "begotten"?  Don't recall much on that subject........... how important
is it really?  Many seem be confused on both "subjects" - Christ & HS....... thanks for replying!.
 

 

Response:

I have looked at a little of the video link you sent and it seems to be the standard statement that some church leaders changed their understanding in 1980 and embraced the Catholic Trinity concept.  I don’t know much about that (the Catholic doctrine), but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this was so, for the leaders of “Israel” have often veered off to follow Baal the god of force from time to time.  God eventually clears them up or removes them and has always been able to bring the organisation back on track.  But it may be just the critics’ idea.

What does get to me is that some who claim to be SDA’s have taken up with the idea that Christ was somehow “brought forth” or “begotten”, as they also call it.  They maintain by this that He is just a channel with power given to Him by God the Father with no authority of His own at all.  But that makes Him into a created being no matter how they phrase it!  It is similar to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ claim.

This modern-day position (although it has always been around) is based on the original question which started the whole controversy between Christ and Satan way back in the aeons of time.  At that time Lucifer became jealous and self-seeking and made out a case that Christ was not as important as the Father said, and publicly challenged God the Father to a speaking duel, called the “war in heaven” Revelation 12:9.  You know the story, so I won’t go too far into that.  He finally said that he would accept God the Father as Leader but denied the truth of His word regarding the Son, which is an oxymoron!

You will have read that the Father called the assembly and publicly declared His Son to be different and worthy of worship.  But His word was not enough and so after that the Son began what we call the “creation” of the earth as the evidence of His divinity, and spectacle of the fact.  (It was actually a transformation, for the planet was already here in its solar arrangement and it and the system just needed preparing for mankind.)   1 Corinthians 4:9.  Where do you think the “light” of Genesis 1:3 came from?  And why did He pause between each day to allow the spectators to consider what He had just done?

But Lucifer changed his tactics.

    {Patriarchs and Prophets 36.1}

To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator [the Father], had become the purpose of this prince of angels.  {PP 36.1}

    {Patriarchs and Prophets 38.1}

There had been no change in the position or authority of Christ.  Lucifer’s envy and misrepresentation and his claims to equality with Christ had made necessary a statement of the true position of the Son of God; but this had been the same from the beginning.  Many of the angels were, however, blinded by Lucifer’s deceptions.  {PP 38.1}

Over time these deceptions have been made so complex by Lucifer that one third of the angels, the most intelligent creatures in the universe, were taken in by them totally, and two thirds perplexed until the crucifixion.  And today the vast majority of mankind have also been fooled.

But what does the Bible say about all this?

It uses the term “Godhead” three times to describe the ruling system.

    Acts 17:

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: 31 because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance to all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead. [See note 1.] 

    Romans 1:

20 For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen [Adam’s home], being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as [LORD] God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . .

    Colossians 2:

6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the LORD, so walk you in Him: 7 rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And you are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power . . .  

Right throughout the Old Testament the Son is known as “the LORD” God, and it is He who interacts and speaks with us today, which is why it is written: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might”.  Deuteronomy 6:4-5.  This is normally misquoted as “the LORD our God is one God”.

But those Bible verses tell us that the universe is governed by a body of three Individuals in a Godhead (a term which is shortened to the word “God” throughout the Bible) and in our sight is operated principally by one of Them at a time.  What do we understand by that word?  We will be able to discuss and expand this subject for ever in the new life, but right now it means to us a trio, each of whom has Life and can loan it to a creature as a gift.  We therefore are commanded to baptise in the name (singular, meaning character) “of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, for they share it (the character).  Matthew 28:19.                          

From then on, the Bible record tends to single out God the Father and God the Son and tends to keep God the Spirit in the background.  I will give one guiding statement regarding that:

   {Acts of the Apostles 51.3 to 52.1}

It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is.  Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, “the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.” It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit that, in His work of guiding men into all truth, “He shall not speak of Himself.” John 15:26; 16:13.  {AA 51.3}

The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery.  Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them.  Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church.  Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.  {AA 52.1}

But as far as the controversy over the position of Christ is concerned, we are told that nothing had changed in the universe except Lucifer’s perception of Him, and, of course, those whom he deceived.  Those three “thus saith the LORD’s” are enough for most of us (although there are many others), but not for the dissidents.  They begin to argue over the meaning of the words “begotten” and “brought forth” etc. just like their leader of old time, thinking that they have some relationship to being born as humans are. 

However, right here is a good time to bring in the fact that since the controversy began God the Father has agreed that the control of it should be given to God the Son as it is written;

    Hebrews 1:

1 God [the Father, who appears to be the Chairperson], who at sundry [occasional] times and in divers [different] manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us [directly] by His Son, whom He has appointed heir [manager] of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of His [the Father’s] glory, and the express image of His [the Father’s] person [God has a body, a head, arms and legs etc.[1]], and upholding all things by the word of His [own] power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 being made so much better than the angels [in their sight], as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 

    Romans 1:

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God, 2 (which He had promised afore by His prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3concerning His Son Jesus Christ our LORD, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead . . .

    John 10:

17 Therefore does My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. 18 No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again

Then it is written, “And again, when He [God the Father] brings in the firstbegotten into the world, He said, and let all the angels of God worship Him [God the Son, which established His divinity even as He appeared as a human baby]”.  Hebrews 1:6. (Psalm 97:7).  This applies when He was on earth in the form of a Man when there might have been a reason for doubt in the minds of the loyal angels.

At that time, He acted very much the inferior of both God the Father and God the Spirit because He had laid aside the power of His divinity and taken our humanity and needed guidance as we do.  Hebrews 5:7-8; John 5:19.

Of course, He resumed His power and position after His demonstration on Calvary. 

But now the opposition use the fact of inferiority as if it has always been so, since the beginning.  Then to compound the error they work from the earthly relationship of father and son to explain the divine relationship!!  That is using the shadow to explain the reality and we all know that shadows distort fantastically depending on where the light source is.  We need to work with what God says.

So it is just the old question which has been resurrected today, but it sets the people of into two distinct camps. 

Those who preach against Christ being an equal with the other two members of the Godhead are taking a fearful risk, for He is the base of our re-creation. 

We find this in an exchange between Christ and Martha just before the resurrection of Lazarus.

    {Desire of Ages 530.3}

Still seeking to give a true direction to her faith, Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” [John 11:25.]  In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived.  “He that hath the Son hath life.” 1 John 5:12. 

The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.

“He that believeth in Me,” said Jesus, “though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.  Believest thou this?” Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming.  Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death.  The miracle which Christ was about to perform, in raising Lazarus from the dead, would represent the resurrection of all the righteous dead. 

By His word and His works He declared Himself the Author of the resurrection.  He who Himself was soon to die upon the cross stood with the keys of death, a conqueror of the grave, and asserted His right and power to give eternal life.  {DA 530.3} [See Romans 1:4.]

 To the Saviour’s words, “Believest thou?” Martha responded, “Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” She did not comprehend in all their significance the words spoken by Christ, but she confessed her faith in His divinity, and her confidence that He was able to perform whatever it pleased Him to do.  {DA 530.4}

The dissenters might be able to recover from such a stand if they were speaking of Christ alone. Matthew 12:31-32.  But because many of them link God the Spirit (as an impersonal spirit of either the Father or the Son), with it, they have doubly cut themselves off from seeing the truth. 

The Great Controversy, p. 493

Before the entrance of sin among the angels: Christ the Word, the only-begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father, -- one in nature, in character, and in purpose, -- the only [visible] being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.  By Christ, the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. -- The Great Controversy, p. 493.   {7ABC 440.1}

The Great Controversy, p. 524

If men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the deity of Christ, it is in vain to argue the point with them; for no argument, however conclusive, could convince them. 

 “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.  None who hold this error can have a true conception of the character or the mission of Christ, or of the great plan of God for man's redemption. -- Ibid., p.  524.   {7ABC 440.2}

We have just been told not to discuss this with them because behind them stands the greatest created mind in the universe and we cannot win a debate with him.  We must look to God and His word for that and cling to it as Christ did in the wilderness of temptation.

 Conclusion:

The latest “new light” regarding the lack of natural divinity of the Son of God is so clearly dismissed in both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy that it is a wonder that anyone accepts it is a doctrine.  So why do they?   

 

 

Note 1:

That’s an interesting statement.  But which God?  He says that He did it to Himself as part of the Godhead. 

     John 10:

15 As the Father knows Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.

 17 Therefore does My Father love Me [even more], because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. 18 No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment [agreement] have I received of My Father.   

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Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.  Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library. Recognition is not always given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.

 Next query. To be discussed from 1st August 2019

 

Query:

If Jesus is the Son of God then why does God the Father require a God to pay for our sins on a cross?

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