20. We will not Have this Man to Reign Over Us

Posted Jul 17, 2007 by Adrian Ebens in Return of Elijah Hits: 15,564

A. The Son of God, the Centre of Great Controversy

Luk 19:12-14  He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

In this parable Jesus tells the story of a nobleman who went to receive a kingdom. The nobleman of course is Christ. The citizens of the kingdom sent him a message saying – we will not have this man to reign over us.

This story accurately reflects the attitude of the Christian world. We will not have the Son of God reign over us if He is any less powerful in His own right than the Father. This message is simply the echo of the core of the Great Controversy. Notice the following:

“The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor. If this prince of angels could but attain to his true, exalted position, great good would accrue to the entire host of heaven; for it was his object to secure freedom for all. But now even the liberty which they had hitherto enjoyed was at an end; for an absolute Ruler had been appointed them, and to His authority all must pay homage. Such were the subtle deceptions that through the wiles of Lucifer were fast obtaining in the heavenly courts.” PP 37

This whole controversy could have been avoided if (from a Trinitarian view) God had explained to Lucifer that Jesus was simply playing the role of the Son and that they were inherently equal in and of themselves. But if that were the case the whole controversy could be blamed on God due to poor communication skills. 

The above statement clearly states that Lucifer saw the exaltation of the Son of God as an injustice to himself. But that which was considered an injustice by Satan was not considered robbery by Christ (Phil 2:6). For Christ accepted His Father’s Word and believed Himself to be equal to the Father simply because God said it. He accepted His Father’s inheritance. He had no need to turn stones into bread. Lucifer reasoned that if Christ could be exalted as equal in authority with God, then so could he. When God revealed that this was impossible, he refused to worship Christ as the Son of God. He said in effect "I will not have this person rule over me as He is not fully Divine of himself."

“Rejecting with disdain the arguments and entreaties of the loyal angels, he denounced them as deluded slaves. The preference shown to Christ he declared an act of injustice both to himself and to all the heavenly host, and announced that he would no longer submit to this invasion of his rights and theirs. He would never again acknowledge the supremacy of Christ.” PP 40

Satan never disputed the supremacy of the Father, he said “I will be like the Most High”, not above Him. He could see that the Father possessed power in and of Himself, but because God gave this to His Son without measure and in all its fullness, he saw that this was unfair. He refused to submit to it.

Satan unblushingly makes known to all the heavenly family, his discontent, that Christ should be preferred before him, to be in such close conference with God, and he be uninformed as to the result of their frequent consultations. God informs Satan that this he can never know. That to his Son will he reveal his secret purposes, and that all the family of Heaven, Satan not excepted, were required to yield implicit obedience. Satan boldly speaks out his rebellion, and points to a large company who think God is unjust in not exalting him to be equal with God, and in not giving him command above Christ. He declares he cannot submit to be under Christ's command, that God's commands alone will he obey. 3SG 37,38

B. The Lie of Eden Disconnects Us from True Son of God

When Satan tempted Adam and Eve, he attacked on the very point he considered to be an injustice. He told them that they would not surely die, that they possessed life in themselves. In essence he was saying they had performance-based equality with Christ.

This concept of inherent life source, as we noticed before, shifts our notions of Divinity from those of inheritance to those of self-origination. Since man now almost universally believes that he is immortal as Christ is immortal, then to consider Christ to be God He must have a greater position than man. The only place that man can place Christ is inherently equal with the Father. Due to the distortions of the teaching of the immortality of the human soul, Christianity is left with no option but to cry “We will not have this man reign over us. He is not truly Divine.” By insisting that Christ came into possession of power by Himself, we are in effect destroying the personality of Christ. His true position is obscured. As we noted earlier, Trinitarianism and Arianism both arose out of the assumption that Divinity is only ascribed to self-originating Beings. Arianism destroys the Divinity of Christ while Trinitarianism destroys the personality of Christ. Satan does not care which side you choose, in either case the Person of Christ is lost and He ceases to be the Son of God as revealed in Scripture. And if the true Christ is lost then we can lament with Philip when he said to Christ “How can we know the way” – the true way is lost.

We know that our forefathers did not believe in the Trinity; that they saw it as part of the wine of Babylon. Why do we imagine that our forefathers were so ignorant? If we are willing to research we will find that many of our pioneers had well reasoned positions and did not just happen to pick it up via the Christian Connection. We do our forefathers a great dishonour to insinuate that they were not diligent to search out this issue and pass on to their spiritual children the most blessed heritage. The foundation was not laid wrong. God laid it right.

Notice this statement:

Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” Manuscript Release No. 760: The Integrity of the Sanctuary Truth (1980, 1981) p.9

C. Personalities of Father and Son are Landmark Doctrines

This statement leaves us in no doubt that the Personalities of God and Christ were part of the old landmarks. By accepting the Trinity we have destroyed the Personality of God and the Son of God exactly as our forefather James White said:

““Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for THE faith which was once delivered unto the saints…” (Jude 3, 4) …The exhortation to contend for the faith delivered to the saints, is to us alone. And it is very important for us to know what for and how to contend. In the 4th verse he gives us the reason why we should contend for THE faith, a particular faith; “for there are certain men,” or a certain class who deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. … The way spiritualizers have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed, viz., that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, though they have not one passage to support it, while we have plain Scripture testimony in abundance that he is the Son of the eternal God.” {J. S. White, The Day Star, January 24, 1846}

James White knew exactly what the issues were, that an exaltation of Jesus to the position of the Eternal God – meaning possessing life in Himself separate from the Father – is a denial of the only Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

If the Trinity is a denial of the Father and the Son then we have lost Their true identity and as we expressed in chapter 3, keeping the commandments requires us to know the identity of the God we worship otherwise we can’t keep His commandments. Therefore, the Trinity doctrine, if truly believed, makes it impossible to keep the commandments. Is not this the Spirit of Antichrist? Little children keep yourself from idols. 

D. Relationship Between Father and Son Defines all Kingdom Relationships

The reason we struggle to allow a begotten Christ to rule over us is because we are asking the wrong question of Him. We ask the performance question “Are you equal with the Father in power and existence?” This question will always give us the wrong answer but it is our thoughts and not God’s thoughts. The Scriptures ask the right question “What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?” Matt 22:41. This is a relational question with reference to the Father. Let’s compare the two views:

Who is Christ?

Way to the Father

1. The Co-equal, Co-eternal with the Father

Performance Identity

2. The Son of the living God (The Father)

Relational Identity

Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). No one comes to the Father but through Him. He is the very key to the kingdom of God. If we see that Christ finds His way to the Father by a performance-identity, then this is the WAY in which we will try to respond to the Father. If Christ finds His way to the Father through a relational-identity then – praise God – so can we. I pray earnestly you can see the precious light that flows from this reality. It has brought me comfort and joy to the point where my cup runs over.

This truth can only be grasped in realization that Christ’s very identity has its equality to the Father based in a relational inheritance. Note carefully:

The relationship between the Father and Son defines the concept of relationship for the entire universe: that being equality by relationship. If their relationship is defined by co-equality of power then our relationships will be defined by exactly the same principle. Dear Lord, open our eyes to this vital truth.

E. Relational Equality of Father and Son Through One Life Source Establishes Channel of Blessing

When we see that Christ is equal to the Father in Relationship and His pedigree and value is the same as the Father, then we can allow Christ to truly be begotten. His Sonship and begotten state do not denigrate His Divinity in any way. This principle becomes vital in the husband and wife relationship. This will be discussed in detail later on, but it is important to state that if we see a power equality relationship between Father and Son we will be unwittingly influenced towards this kind of relationship in a marriage. The concept of submission becomes misunderstood and seen as a denigrated state. This is indeed the situation in the church today. The submission of the wife is seen as degrading and to be avoided.

Some have tried to suggest that Christ literally stepped into the role of a son to demonstrate the principle of submission. But this creates confusion as to the true identity of Christ. The stepping down concept involves a belief that Christ possessed a power equality with the Father and truly is exactly the same as Him in a power context, but has taken a role as a Son for the purpose of submission. (See Figure 1 below). This concept while addressing the issue of being begotten at some level, does not address the fact that this retains the equality of Father and Son in a power-based context. It also leaves the impression that Father and Son have separate original life sources that have always been independent yet together in love. This underlying belief obscures the channel of blessing that flows from the Father through His Son. (See Figure 2). The multiple life source channels confuse the mind in regard to the river that flows from the throne of God.

 The issue of multiple life sources confusing the channel of blessing is further complicated with the subject of the Holy Spirit. The notion of 3 independent life sources united in love greatly confuses the mind when trying to conceive one God and yet avoid believing in three Gods.

 The channel is now a concoction of 3 different life sources role playing identities that are not their true identity. The channel is not clearly perceived nor understood, because there is not a clear conception of the flow of life as expressed in Desire of Ages 21.

…through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all.

Let us observe what the Bible actually portrays

In figure 4, we see the one life source of the Father, given to the Son and through the Son flowing out to the universe in the third person. All the relational attributes of the Father and Son are present in the Spirit because it is their omnipresence which means it is not simply a force but the personality of God in omnipresent form. The need to see the Holy Spirit as a person in exactly the same way as Father and Son comes from the misconception of the belief of the need for a separate life source. This is neither needful nor Biblical. Figure 4 shows a very clear channel of blessing and life flow and does not confuse the identities of Father, Son or Spirit.

The confusion that arises from three life sources is most clearly demonstrated in the example of the creation of this world.  The Bible states that God created everything through Jesus Christ.

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

In figure 4, it is easy to see how God created the world through His Son but in figure three this becomes confused. Through the notion of three life sources the one who actually used his power to create the world is the Holy Spirit because He was the one that hovered over the waters in Genesis 1:2. So the concept of three life sources makes the Bible text hard to read.

The response comes, but Father, Son and Spirit are in a mysterious union! This makes the Bible text even more confusing by trying to state who was the actual agent of creation. The Bible should just read they all did it rather than the Father creating through the Son. 

 

F. Key to Understanding Son of Man Based on Understanding of Son of God

Back to our discussion on the true identity of Christ. If Christ only became dependent on the Father in the incarnation then He is modeling for us a relationship with God that He Himself does not hold nor can speak with authority on because this is not who He really is. Saying that Christ took the role of Son and played the part of relational access to the Father means this is not the true identity of Christ. It means a relationship with Christ in this context is a relationship with someone who in fact does not exist. It would turn the truth of God into a lie. If Christ were in actuality the self-originating 2nd Person of the Godhead, then He cannot in reality be the WAY to the Father. He could only represent or pretend to be that. And as such a Christ is pretending or role playing dependence on the Father, He also can role play taking human nature. The essence of the 1888 message is that Christ is truly God and truly man through a relational-based lens not a performance-based one. Just as He inherited everything from His Father to be God, so He inherited everything from man to become man.[1]

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

SON OF GOD = RECEIVED THE FULL INHERITANCE OF GOD
SON OF MAN = RECEIVED THE FULL INHERITANCE OF MAN

The doctrine of the Trinity gives us a second Person in the Godhead who is made in likeness of the Son of God but who in fact is not the Son of God. So it stands to reason that such a Person can be in the likeness of sinful flesh but not actually take sinful flesh. The Doctrine of the Trinity is logically inconsistent with Christ taking our fallen nature. It logically follows that Christ then cannot in reality be the Son of God or in reality be the Son of Man.

Notice this logic in Question on Doctrine where the view on the nature of Christ was first changed:

Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity, were mysteriously combined,- and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in humanity, we look upon God, and see in Him the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person- Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896. In both His natures, the Divine, and the human, He was perfect; He was sinless. That this was true of His Divine nature there can be no question. That it was so of His humanity is also true. [2]

In this quote we see the equality of Christ to the Father is seen through a performance-based lens when quoting Ellen White. It then makes the connection on that basis that both human and Divine natures were sinless. Here is clear evidence of performance-based-thinking through the Trinity denying the truth on the nature of Christ. It is only logical.  

“He also Himself took part of the same,” does not mean that He also himself pretended to be man through an immaculate conception.  For Christ to be subject to death, He must take a body that is subject to death. The body of Adam before the fall was not subject to death. The Son of man inherited all the fullness of the manhood bodily in the same way that he inherited all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9).

G. Father-Son Relationship Key to Righteousness by Faith

Christ is the WAY which is the TRUTH which is LIFE – praise God.

How we view Christ’s relationship to the Father is how we will understand His relationship to us and is how we understand righteousness by faith.

The reality of this truth makes me want to shout “O how I love Him, I love Him and I see in Him such matchless charms. In Him I have found the pearl of great price for which I will gladly suffer the loss of all things for they are but dung compared to the truth of His Person.”

If Christ’s relationship is performance-based, then by beholding this we will be changed into that image, we will conduct our relationships in the same manner. If His relationship is relationally-based on inheritance then we will be changed into that image even by the glory of the LORD.

After having discussed these concepts with a number of people, the question comes back, “what do you mean the Trinity is performance-based, they are three beings that love each other in intimate relationship. Their relationship is so close they are called one. How can you call this performance-based?” When I refer to performance-based relationship, I am referring to the qualifications required to enter that relationship; the basis upon which a person gains admittance to the realm of Divinity. Once the members of the Godhead are admitted we can certainly place them in to the most intimate and loving relationship imaginable, but we must determine the basis of acceptance.

Godhead Model

Access Qualifications

Access Mode

Quality of relationship

Trinitarian

Self-originated life, Inherent power, Eternal existence

Performance

Intimate and personal

Fountarian[3]

Inheritance through Sonship

Relationship

Intimate and personal

We see that both models of the Godhead experience intimate and loving relationships, but they are accessed by diametrically opposed methods. From a human perspective this concept is easy to understand. If a man marries a woman just because she looks beautiful, the relationship was accessed through the performance mode of beauty. If a woman marries a man because he is wealthy, the relationship is accessed through the performance base of wealth. 

Please don’t let Satan destroy the true personality of Christ in your mind. This understanding is our only hope of truly understanding how to find our way to God. If we do not allow Christ to have a relationship to the Father by inheritance, then we will find it very hard to understand the Law, the Sabbath and the investigative judgment, the nature of Christ and character perfection, because we will ask the wrong questions of these teachings also. Our view of God, and especially Christ, affects all of these teachings; and a shift to the Trinity by our church would eventually lead to a change in attitude or actual teaching on these other doctrines, as history has certainly borne out.

Here is the source of the split in our Church in the 1980’s. The view of Christ introduced in the 1930’s demanded a performance understanding of access to the Father. By the 1960’s many members were ready to despair because the WAY to the Father was now placed in a performance context. Some of the church leaders brought them relief by changing views on justification that released the performance pressure. It was a logical consequence of the new view of Christ introduced in the 1930’s in the context of a Trinity.

We may accuse some of the church leaders in the early 1980’s for bringing in New Theology but this was the only way they could see to relieve the pressure of performance access to God. I cannot blame them for that. If only we could have reclaimed a correct view of Jesus as the Son of the Living God, how much pain would have been saved.

Is it possible that we have fallen victim to a very subtle form of idolatry that has caused us to actually be worshipping a god that is not in the Bible? The immediate response is “that is completely absurd!” The thought that it is so absurd is what makes it so easy to lay hidden within our church.

Jer 2:11-13  Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory For what does not profit.  (12)  Be astonished, O heavens, at this, And be horribly afraid; Be very desolate," says the Lord.  (13)  "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Have we forsaken the fountain of living waters? Since this issue of equality of the Son to the Father is so critical to understand, I want to address it from another standpoint in the next chapter.


[1] A.T Jones. Consecrated Way Page 12 “Therefore it is certain that an understanding of the position and nature of Christ as He was in heaven is essential to a proper understanding of His position and nature as He was on earth.”; Page 14 “Therefore it is further written of Him that He was "made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." This more excellent name is the name "God," which, in the eighth verse, is given by the Father to the Son: "Unto the Son He [God] saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. Thus, He is "so much" better than the angels as God is better than the angels. And it is because of this that He has that more excellent name --the name expressing only what He is in His very nature. And this name "He hath by inheritance." It is not a name that was bestowed but a name that is inherited. Now it lies in the nature of things, as an everlasting truth, that the only name any person can possibly inherit is his father's name. This name, then, of Christ's, which is more excellent than that of the angels, is the name of His Father, and His Father's name is God. The Son's name, therefore, which He has by inheritance, is God.”; Page 17 “His likeness to God, as in the first chapter of Hebrews, is the only basis of true understanding of His likeness to men, as in the second chapter of Hebrews.”

[2] Questions on Doctrine, Page 21. PDF Version found on www.maranathamedia.com

[3] I like to use the term fountarian to express the concept of life source flow from one fountain point as opposed to the term Non-Trinitarian which speaks of that which is outside orthodoxy. Such a concept I repudiate.