Begotten or Created?
You insist that Jesus is a begotten Son. Does it mean that He is created? Are "begotten" and "created" the same thing?
No, "begotten" and "created" are not the same. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is not created but begotten of God (John 1: 14; 3: 16, etc.).
In Genesis Ch. 1 we have good evidence of what it means when the Bible speaks of something being "created". In the beginning God created all things out of nothing. He spoke and there it was (Gen. 1: 3. 14.15.20).
Furthermore, after having created the earth, God continued His creative work using created matter (substance). He took the dust and by it created the man.
From this chapter we understand that to create means to make something out of nothing or from matter which is not a part of the Creator. On the other hand, "begotten" means the opposite of created. It is to give existence to a being from the being of the one who beget, a being who by birth inherits the nature and all attributes of his parent.
For example: if you take a piece of wood and make a figure from it, we can say that we created a figure. On the other hand, my son is not created, he is not made from something which is not a part of me, but is begotten from my person/being and has therefore taken my nature.
This difference between "begotten" and "created" is better illustrated by comparing the Scripture about the origin of Jesus and Lucifer. In Proverbs 8: 22- 26 it is said about Jesus:
"The LORD possessed me 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; when [there were] no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world."
Twice in these verses the fact is indicated that Jesus was "brought forth" or begotten. On the other hand, in Ezekiel 28: 13-15 the Bible says about Lucifer:
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
These verses twice specify the fact that Lucifer was created. Here is the whole difference between Jesus and Lucifer. Jesus was begotten and Lucifer was created.
Ellen White wrote:
„... yet Christ, God's dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created... Lucifer was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ... His heart was filled with envy and hatred... Why should Christ thus be honored before himself?" FLB 67
Have you ever asked yourself why Lucifer was jealous of Jesus and not the Father (or of the Holy Spirit if you believe in the trinity).
Those who believe in the trinity - that Jesus is co-eternal with the Father and that He is not a literal Son – are seemingly silenced by this issue. We can easily answer this question if we accept the Bible as it is written.
Jesus was the only begotten Son of God. By birth he has inherited all the fullness of the divine nature. He was God by nature having all divine attributes and thereby He was entitled to participate in the counsel of His Father. Lucifer, on the other hand, was a created being outside of God's nature. He was not divine and therefore he was not admitted in the counsel of the Father and the Son. Lucifer, while knowing who Jesus was, believed
that he also may receive the same honor as the Son.
"Satan well knew the position which Christ had held in Heaven as the Son of God, the Beloved of the Father". ST Aug. 4, 1887)
Spirit of Prophecy also makes a clear distinction between begotten and created:
"A complete offering has been made; for "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,"-- not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father's person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." ST May 30, 1895
Ellen White displayed an understanding between the terms created and begotten contrary to the theologians and Bible scholars of today who seemingly struggle against understanding.
The conclusion from this is that most, if not all, continually refuse to understand because doing so forces a commitment to sound doctrine, which Babylon feigns. It is also evident that Mrs. White believed that Jesus is a true Son, begotten of God.
The SDA pioneers also understood this important difference:
"The Scriptures nowhere speak of Christ as a created being, but on the contrary plainly state that he was begotten of the Father." Uriah Smith, 1882, Daniel and Revelation, 430
"It is true that there are many sons of God, but Christ is the “only begotten Son of God,” and therefore the Son of God in a sense in which no other being ever was or ever can be. The angels are sons of God, as was Adam (Job 38:7; Luke 3:38), by creation; Christians are the sons of God by adoption(Rom. 8:14, 15), but Christ is the Son of God by birth...
Before passing to some of the practical lessons that are to be learned from these truths, we must dwell for a few moments upon an opinion that is honestly held by many who would not for any consideration willingly dishonor Christ, but who, through that opinion, do actually deny His Divinity. It is the idea that Christ is a created being, who, through the good pleasure of God, was elevated to His present lofty position. No one who holds this view can possibly have any just conception of the exalted position which Christ really occupies.
The Scriptures declare that Christ is “the only begotten son of God.” He is begotten, 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 untoMe 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 And His Righteousness, 19-24, 1890
"CHRIST NOT A CREATED BEING.
Question: Will you please favor me with those scriptures which plainly say that Christ is a created being? J. C.
Answer: You are mistaken in supposing that S. D. Adventists teach that Christ was ever created. They believe, on the contrary, that he was "begotten" of the Father, and that he can properly be called God and worshiped as such. They believe, also, that the worlds, and everything which is, was created by Christ in conjunction with the Father. They believe, however, that somewhere in the eternal ages of the past there was a point at which
Christ came into existence. They think that it is necessary that God should have antedated Christ in his being, in order that Christ could have been begotten of him, and sustain to him the relation of son. They hold to the distinct personality of the Father and Son, rejecting as absurd that feature of Trinitarianism which insists that God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three persons, and yet but one person. S. D. Adventists hold that God and Christ are one in the sense that Christ prayed that his disciples might be one; i. e., one in spirit, purpose,
and labor. See "Fundamental Principles of S. D. Adventists," published at this Office." RH April 17, 1883