Reaffirming my stand upon the begotten Son of God

Posted Mar 03, 2016 by John Penman in Exposing the Trinity Hits: 445

George  Knight,  Adventist  historian stated,    “Most of the  founders of  Seventh-day  Adventism  would  not  be  able  to  join  the  church today  if  they  had  to  subscribe  to  the  denomination’s Fundamental  Beliefs.    More  specifically,  most  would  not  be able to agree  to belief  number  2,  which deals  with the  doctrine of  the  trinity.”     Ministry.  Oct 1993.  p10.

William  G.  Johnsson  confirmed the  change  in  the  ‘Adventist Review’, “Adventist  beliefs  changed  over  the  years  under  the impact  of  ‘present  truth’.   Most  startling  is  the  teaching regarding  Jesus Christ,  our  Saviour  and  Lord.     Many  of  the pioneers,  including  James  White,  J.N.  Andrews,  Uriah  Smith, and J.H.  Waggoner,  held to  an  Arian  or  semi-Arian  view… that is,  the  Son  at  some  point  in  time  before  the  Creation  of  our world  was  generated  by  the  Father… the  Trinitarian understanding  of  God,  now  part  of  our  fundamental  beliefs,  was not  generally  held  by  the  early  Adventists.   Even  today  a  few  do not  subscribe  to  it.”     Adventist  Review.  Jan  6. 1994.   p10.

In  1981,  the  following  was  stated  in  a  special  issue  of  the ‘Adventist Review’,  “While no  Scriptural  passage states  formally the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity,  it  is assumed  as  a  fact  by  Bible writers  and  mentioned  several  times.”    Adventist Review.    1981. Vol. 158.  No.31.  

“The  concept  of  the  Trinity,  namely  the  idea  that  the three  are  one,  is not  explicitly stated,  but  only  assumed.”  Handbook  of Seventh-day  Adventist Theology.   Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopaedia  Vol.12. p138.  Doctrine  of  God.  Fernando  L  Canale.

Gordon Jenson on  page 12 of his article Jesus, the Heavenly Intercessor wrote. "A plan of salvation was encompassed in the covenant made by the Three Persons of the Godhead, who possessed the attributes of Deity equally. In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into, the role of the Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit, was also to participate in effecting the plan of salvation. All of this took place before sin and rebellion transpired in heaven. By accepting the roles that the plan entailed, the divine Beings lost none of the powers of Deity. With regard to their eternal existence and other attributes, They were one and equal. But with regard to the plan of salvation, there was, in a sense, a submission on the part of the Son to the Father."

Consider please the following quotes from the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe: 11 "The Father, Son, and Spirit are equally self-existent. Though each is equal, an economy of function operates within the Trinity." page 71.

  "In the economy of function, different members of the Godhead perform distinct tasks in saving man."  page 31.

 "Within the Godhead an economy of function exists. God does not unnecessarily duplicate work. Order   is the first law of heaven, and God works in orderly ways. This orderliness issues from and preserves the union within the Godhead. The Father seems to act as source, the Son as mediator, and the Spirit as actualizer or applier." page 30.

 

A few quotes from: THE TRINITY DOCTRINE For Seventh-day Adventists By Max Hatton:

 

Our study has made it crystal clear that Jesus has always existed. Obviously, He has not always been the Son of God. He could not be the Son of God literally because He is God. He could not be the Son of Yahweh (Jehovah) because He is Yahweh (Jehovah). Ellen White says, "Jehovah is the name given to Christ."   His Sonship can only be figurative. Correspondingly, the Father has not always been the Father. These must have been adopted titles suitable for the parts the Two played in the Plan of Redemption. This is how the Two were first introduced to the New Testament world. The Father was the senior controlling member and Jesus the obedient Son who carried out the will of the Father. This must be the primary answer to the question "What does it mean to call Jesus the Son of God?" It will be obvious to all who are well informed that the Three Members of the Trinity are equal in every possible way. Yet for the purposes of the Plan of Redemption they each adopted a particular role. This required Jesus to accept a lesser position than the Father. However, position is not nature. In His Divinity, Jesus was still equal with the Father in nature. Remember that the Bible is written in the context of the Plan of Redemption. That is really what it is all about the program of God for our salvation. 

........" it would be absolute foolishness for anyone to maintain the belief that Jesus was somehow born from God"........

“The Father–Son relationship in the Godhead should be understood in a metaphorical sense, not in a literal sense”. (Max Hatton, Understanding the Trinity)

METAPHORICAL – a figure of speech in which a term is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable. (Macquarie Dictionary)

Here is another quote from Woodrow Wilson, co-author of “The Trinity”, a book for Seventh-day Adventists.

“While the three divine persons are one, They have taken different roles or positions in the Godhead’s work of creation, redemption, and the loving administration of the universe. The Father has assumed overall leadership, the Son has subordinated Himself to the leadership of the Father, and the Spirit is voluntarily subordinate to both the Father and the Son.” (Woodrow Whidden, The Trinity, page 243, ‘Why the Trinity is important - part 1’)

You can see that this is acting, role playing. It is spiritualizing away the literal relationship between the Father and Son.

 

Adventism TODAY!!

From the General Conference website regarding Fundamental Belief #4 “God the Son” “…a divine person in the Bible is a person without a beginning.” Taken from http://www.adventist.org.au/fstheological-questions

Compare this with what our pioneers believe:

Is Christ without beginning because he is divine?  EJ Waggoner, famous for being endorsed by Ellen White in giving the important message of 1888 said the following:

“In arguing the perfect equality of the Father and the Son, and the fact that Christ is in very nature God, we do not design to be understood as teaching that the Father was not before the Son. It should not be necessary to guard this point, lest some should think that the Son existed as soon as the Father; yet some go to that extreme, which adds nothing to the dignity of Christ, but rather detracts from the honor due him…While both are of the same nature, the Father is first in point of time. He is also greater in that he had no beginning, while Christ’s personality had a beginning” (E. J. Waggoner, The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1889).

 

A few statements from some other sources.

“Neither  the  word Trinity  nor  the  explicit doctrine  appears  in  the  New  Testament...”  The  New Encyclopaedia  Britannica.  Vol. XI.  p928.  2003.

“Christianity  derived  from  Judaism  and  Judaism  was  strictly Unitarian [believing  that  God  is  one person].  The  road which led from  Jerusalem  to Nicea  was scarcely  a straight  one.”   The Encyclopaedia  Americana.   Vol. XXVII.  p294L. 1956.

“In  the  New  Testament  we  do  not  find  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity in  anything  like  its developed  form,  not  even  in  the  Pauline  and Johannine  theology.”    Encyclopaedia  of Religion  and  Ethics. Vol. XII. p458. 1951.  J.  Hastings.

 “Because  the  Trinity  is such  an  important  part  of  later  Christian doctrine,  it  is striking  that  the  term  does  not  appear  in  the  New Testament.  Likewise,  the  developed  concept  of  three  coequal partners in  the  Godhead  found  in  later  creedal  formulations cannot  be  clearly  detected within  the  confines of  the  canon…”  Metzger. B.M  &  Coogan. M.D.  The  Oxford Companion  to  the  Bible  p782. 1993.

QUESTION:   Do  you  observe  other  necessary truths as  taught  by  the  Church,  not  clearly  laid down in Scripture?   ANSWER: The doctrine of  the Trinity,  a doctrine the  knowledge  of  which  is  certain  necessary  to salvation,  is  not  explicitly  and  evidently  laid  down in  Scripture,  in  the  Protestant  sense  of  private interpretation.”    Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine’ Peter Geiermann.

 

What does the bible and spirit of prophecy say?

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Begotten

03439

3439 μονογενής [MONOGENH/S] {monogenḗs} \mon-og-en-ace'\  from 3441 and 1096; only-born, i.e. sole:--only (begotten, child).

“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" (Ellen White, The Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895)

Compare this with the following:

“Before Christ came in the likeness of men, he existed in the express image of his Father.” (Ellen White, Youth’s Instructor, December 20,1900)

1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him

1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

1 John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Hebrews 1:5-6 For to which of the angels did God ever say,   "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"?  Or again,   "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,   "Let all God's angels worship him."

 

The following is derived from Patriarchs and Prophets Chapter 1 - Why was Sin Permitted.

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. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father — one in nature, in character, in purpose — the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. 

(Is that statement in harmony with this one?  "In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into, the role of the Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit, was also to participate in effecting the plan of salvation. All of this took place before sin and rebellion transpired in heaven."

 So before Lucifer’s rebellion we had three coequal beings with adopted roles. Tell me, why was not god the holy spirit included in the counsels and purposes of God?)

Continuing

And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.... 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, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22 - 30. PP 34.1

(Many people will argue that proverbs chapter 8 is metaphorical and refers only to wisdom but Mrs White had no problem using this passage in reference to the origin of Christ.)

The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Colossians 1:16.
But the Son, the anointed of God, the “express image of His person,” “the brightness of His glory,” “upholding all things by the word of His power,” holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3.
Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven.

(So if we have the Father and then Christ, then the next highest ranking being is being pointed out as the originator of sin: Who was that?)

Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self - exaltation. The Scripture says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” Ezekiel 28:17. “Thou hast said in thine heart, ...I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.... I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14.
And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone. PP 35.2
To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ’s, was first among the hosts of God.
The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self - existent One encircled both.

(Again does this picture fit this statement?) "It will be obvious to all who are well informed that the Three Members of the Trinity are equal in every possible way. Yet for the purposes of the Plan of Redemption they each adopted a particular role.")

the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. PP 36.2

(Think about it for a moment. What is being described here is the most important meeting in the universe. Does any of this fit in with SDA fundamental beliefs number 5 on the Holy Spirit?) "God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation,  and redemption."

 

Continuing

As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out, in harmony with the sinless worshippers, in love to the Father and the Son. But again he was filled with pride in his own glory. His desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged.
Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father. He shared the Father’s counsels, while Lucifer did not thus enter into the purposes of God. “Why,” questioned this mighty angel, “should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?” PP 36.3
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.

(Why would Lucifer even be questioning the authority of the second person of the trinity if they were coequal coeternal beings? You can see clearly, none of this makes any sense in this context.)

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.
While secretly fomenting discord and rebellion, he with consummate craft caused it to appear as his sole purpose to promote loyalty and to preserve harmony and peace. PP 38.2
While there was no open outbreak, division of feeling imperceptibly grew up among the angels. There were some who looked with favor upon Lucifer’s insinuations against the government of God. Although they had heretofore been in perfect harmony with the order which God had established, they were now discontented and unhappy because they could not penetrate His unsearchable counsels; they were dissatisfied with His purpose in exalting Christ. These stood ready to second Lucifer’s demand for equal authority with the Son of God.
 

Summary

You can see Satan's driving ambition, equality. Actually it is supremacy but he knows he cannot have that. And yet look at Jesus and His spirit  "Phi 2:6  who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped", The doctrine of the trinity is founded on the emphasis of equality, so Satan has deceived the whole world by pretending to elevate the Son and give the lie that to qualify for divinity then you cannot receive your life from another. Not even from almighty God the Father of all. Then what does this text mean? John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. 

After stripping the reality of a real Father Son relationship, Satan then inserted himself into the minds of Christianity as god the holy spirit and thus for a time has achieved his boastful claim.

Isaiah 14:13-14 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 

The battle will end over what it began with. The Sovereignty of God, His Son and The eternal Law of love.

Rev 14:6-7
6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.