6. God the Son

By John Thiel, Audio: God the Son

The first person of the Godhead became the facility of a Father to us in His effort to reach and save humanity. We now look at the facility that the second person of the Godhead provided for us when He took on the role of the Son. The Word of God laid aside all His glory and divinity and made Himself of no reputation to become begotten as a babe in Bethlehem.  This is God’s grace and mercy toward us and the wonderful facility that the Word of God pledged Himself for humanity.  We will come to realise that it was at an infinite cost and painful process that the Word of God became restricted to a seed in a woman’s womb, to grow up experiencing childhood, adolescence and manhood in the embodiment of sinful flesh.

During His life here on earth Jesus the Son was tempted in every respect that we are tempted but He overcame that He might be our example, the author and finisher of our salvation.  Through obedience He demonstrated his unwavering love to God, even to the death of the cross.  Through His sufferings He became perfected not only to be our sin bearer, but to demonstrate that sin in sinful human flesh can be overcome through our continual combined effort with the Godhead and the facilities promised to us IF we will come out from among them, be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing. The life and death of Jesus Christ is the preaching of the everlasting gospel and God’s abounding grace toward us.

Revelation 14:6 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.

What is the focal point of the everlasting gospel?

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

Not only is God the Father of the whole family in heaven and earth.  But in verse 14 God is also identified as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us explore the origin of Jesus, the second person of the Godhead.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

The second person of the Godhead is called the Word.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The Word is God, and was with God from the beginning, and all things were made by Him.

Revelation 19:13 And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Word, the second person of the Godhead who was always there, was made flesh and was termed as the ‘Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’. In Isaiah we find a prophecy of the only begotten that was to be born and to become flesh.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

‘Unto us a child is born’ who was God, and yet He became a Son. He himself was also called the everlasting Father, but the first Person of the godhead took on the role of the Father so when this second person came into the role of the human benefits that were provided for us, He was given not as a Father, but as a son.

Hebrews 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

The Son was begotten of the Father.  But at what point did this occur?  It was revealed to John in prophecy that the second person of the Godhead is always there.

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. 10 I (John) was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

Who was speaking here?  In verse eight it says the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the Lord which was, which is to come, the Almighty.  This is again repeated in verse 11 by the one standing amidst the seven golden candlesticks, who is likened unto the Son of man. John the revelator recognized that it was Jesus who had declared Himself to be the Almighty, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, who was and who is to come. Jesus is quizzed here by the Pharisees as to who He is.

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

The Pharisees were going to stone Jesus because he had claimed to be “I AM” but he hid himself from them, and went out from the midst of them. The prophecy of where the Messiah is to be born;

Micah 5:2 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 everlasting.

Jesus, the one to be born in Bethlehem, is from of old, from everlasting.  Although Jesus was begotten this does not mean that this is the point where He began.  The relationship of the Word and the Father existed for all eternity. Here we see the first person of the Godhead is communing with the second person of the Godhead.

Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

In this conversation between the two Persons of the Godhead — the Father declares to the Son ‘Thy throne O God is forever and ever.’  He addresses the Son as God whose throne is forever and ever.

Zechariah 13:6 And [one] shall say unto him, What [are] these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, [Those] with which I was wounded [in] the house of my friends. 7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

The first person of the Godhead refers to the second person of the Godhead as – ‘My Fellow’.  He who was the fellow of the Godhead was delivered to this earth by way of birth to be our shepherd, to be slain.

Isaiah 48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there [am] I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

The second person of the Godhead has always existed but there came a point where he was sent to earth and had to be begotten. Here is another account of the first person talking to the second person of the Godhead;

Psalms 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

The second person of the Godhead was sent to this earth by the decree of birth, and the word ‘begotten’ has been used here in reference to somebody who already exists.  The first person of the Godhead states to the second person of the Godhead, ‘I will make a decree that there is going to be a point in time in which I will declare You to be begotten unto Me’.  While in the beginning the Word, the second person of the Godhead was just as the everlasting Father, by decree He took on the role of the Son.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

This is the remarkable expression of the fact that Jesus already existed as God. He was in the form of God and He was equal with God but He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the role of a human being. From the scriptures we understand that there was never a time when the Word didn’t exist.  But there came a time when the Word confined Himself to a human birth and was thereby begotten as a son.  The purpose of course was for the three persons of the Godhead to provide a facility to reach those in need of spiritual salvation.

When we have accepted Christ, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to serve God, the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit–the three dignitaries and powers of heaven–pledge themselves that every facility shall be given to us if we carry out our baptismal vows to “come out from among them, and be . . . separate.  6BC1075

That was why Jesus was to be begotten, so that He could become a Son and provide for the human family a facility to help them. The second person of the Godhead pledged Himself the facility of a Son, just as the first person of the Godhead pledged himself the facility of a Father.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.  It was by the grace of God that He was made a human being to taste death for every man.  He did this to bring many sons unto glory and to provide a facility whereby many people could become sons of God.  He became perfect through His sufferings to be our captain and example so that He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified may become one, sons.

Hebrews 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 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; 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 2:16 For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham. 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Jesus became in all things like unto us, He grew as a seed inside of a woman’s womb.  As He grew from childhood into a man He became our merciful and faithful high priest making intercession for us.  Through His life example we are taught how to approach the Father and be reconciled through Christ Jesus for our own sins.

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

His human lifespan was a painful process for the end that He could help all others who suffer.

Christ, at an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, assumed humanity. Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem. {UL 90.2}

It was a painful process for the Word to assume humanity.  The infinite one, the second person of the Godhead became confined into the seed of Abraham to be born of a woman’s womb.  Jesus pledged himself to us that He might be able to succour us in our sufferings and temptations just as a small child is succoured by its mother.  To those who would leave the world behind and devote themselves to the plan of salvation, God has provided the facility of His Son.  All who respond to the Father’s invitation of may be beneficiaries of this help.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

God the Father, the first person of the Godhead promises to be a Father to us if we will come out from the world and devote ourselves totally to Him. The Word placed Himself into the position of one who is being sanctified.  A Son to be dealt with by the Father as a Son.  When we combine our efforts with Christ, both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified all become one.  When Jesus has fulfilled His role as the Son on Earth he said;

John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

He finished the work of the second person of the Godhead, the Son, the Begotten, from the path of conception through to adulthood, fulfilling every part of those He wanted to save.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Jesus at the close of His death now desires to go back to the position of being next to the one who He was with from all eternity, before the world was.  This is a powerful revelation of scripture that reveals to us the Word always was with the Father but that He was begotten as a Son to help and save humanity.  In Christ Jesus every source of help is available to us.  God’s Grace toward us is demonstrated in the facility of His Son, that we too may partake in the closeness of the Father/Son relationship.

This completes our study entitled God the Son but there is much to be explored in reference to this subject.  Our next study reveals the third person of the Godhead but will also explore further the actual work of the second person of the Godhead.  Through these studies we will see how the Holy Spirit – the third person of the Godhead is actually another facility to make the story of God’s grace in the Son more vivid to our appreciation. As we continue in the studies, all that we have learned will eventually link up to the other subjects that we are yet to explore.  Until that time may God continue to exercise our minds on this profound reality of God the Son.

Amen.

Posted on September 3, 2009, in 1st Angels Message, The Godhead and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Interesting article. However, I just have a few issued with what is raised in the presentation:

    Would it be fair to say a significant distinction between the mainstream SDA Church and the SDA Reform (I am assuming both schisms, the American and IMS branches), is the nature of the Godhead? Would it be fair to say that whilst the mainstream SDA Church promotes the doctrine of the Trinity, the SDA Reform promotes a form of Tritheism?

    That is probably an important distinction most SDAs are not aware of when they become interested in the SDA Reform movement. I was not aware of the SDA Reform teachings on Tritheism, and their rejection of the Trinity, so I am quite grateful for the presentations.

    Moreover, does not the distinctions between the two denominations (3 if you count the 2 SDA Reform Churches) suggest that whilst the mainstream SDA Church upholds monotheism (worship of one God), the SDA Reform really upholds a version of polytheism (worship of three separate gods)?

    I really struggle to see how the SDA Reform’s position is any different from other pagan religions, from say Hinduism’s worship of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, which they also say are all ‘one’ but worshipped separately (per Tritheism) rather than as one God (per a traditional Christian understanding of a Triune God).

    Is not your view of the Godhead much the same as the apostate Israelites of the OT, who turned the Canaanite goddess Asherah into Yahweh’s wife and thus the “Queen of Heaven” (Jer 44:19)?

    “We will come to realise that it was at an infinite cost and painful process that the Word of God became restricted to a seed in a woman’s womb, to grow up experiencing childhood, adolescence and manhood in the embodiment of sinful flesh.”

    Are you suggesting the divinity of Christ melded or mixed with the human nature, per the ancient Alexandrian school of Christology (best represented in modern-day Monophyte churches)? For example, would you then say:
    • Mary was the mother of God, not merely of a man?
    • God died and suffered on the Cross?

    That might be a legitimate view, but I find it an interesting one for the SDA Reform to take, because that is essentially the Roman Catholic view of transubstiation, that led to the view that the Eucharist (bread wafer of the Lord’s Supper) is the literal flesh of Christ (as later affirmed by Luther in opposition to Zwingli). I had always thought Adventists traditionally are more akin to the ancient Antiochene school of Christology, in emphasising the divinity sat beside the human nature, but did not meld with it, and so the divinity was not so limited to being restricted in a woman’s womb as you now suggest.

    “…manhood in the embodiment of sinful flesh.”

    Are you saying Jesus had the post-fall nature of Adam? If so, that would appear to be the ancient Antiochene view, which would seem to contradict your earlier Alexandrian view of the incarnation, of God being restricted to a women’s womb. The Antiochene view is how Adventists have traditionally seen the issue, and I tend to agree with that idea.

    “During His life here on earth Jesus the Son was tempted in every respect that we are tempted but He overcame that He might be our example, the author and finisher of our salvation… Through His sufferings He became perfected not only to be our sin bearer”

    By this statement do you mean Christ’s divine nature was also subject to temptation, suffering and death, or was it just his human nature that was so subject? And if it is the former, how would that sit with texts that make clear God cannot be tempted (Jam 1:13) and God cannot die (1 Tim 6:16)? If it is the later, does that not contradict your earlier statement about divinity becoming restricted in the womb?

    “…combined effort with the Godhead…”

    So how exactly did this combination work to provide salvation? Was it Jesus’ humanity as the second Adam that saved through perfect obedience, where the divine nature merely led his human nature, but had no other direct part of the process? Or was it Jesus’ divine nature mixed with his human nature, restricted to the womb as you previously said, and it was the sacrifice of God Himself that was the necessary penalty to satisfy God’s sense of justice?

    “…and the facilities promised to us IF we will come out from among them, be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.”

    Are you suggesting we can become like God or godlike in overcoming sin? Does it require a human effort then, so that salvation is a matter of works – to some extent at least? Would not such views be a little bit akin to the ancient Alexandrian views of deification, found now in the Roman Catholic Church, and somewhat reflect Dr Kellogg’s pantheistic heresy?

    “…be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.”

    Separate from what exactly? Separate from the world? I thought Jesus called us to be like salt, or like a light on a hill (Matt 5:13), so much so that He was called a glutton and a drunkard, because he hung out with all sorts of sinners and ate with them (Matt 11:19)?

    What do you mean by ‘unclean’ exactly? Didn’t Jesus teach that these notions of ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’, of ‘separate from the world’ mean internally, not mere outward appearances?

    Weren’t the Pharisees the apparent ‘clean’ ones because they didn’t associate with outsiders (unlike Jesus who did), and who Jesus called whitewashed tombs (Matt 23:27)? Didn’t Paul call Peter a hypocrite for denying table fellowship to Gentiles the rest of the Jewish-Christian community thought ‘unclean’ (Gal 2:11-21)?

    “The Son was begotten of the Father. But at what point did this occur? It was revealed to John in prophecy that the second person of the Godhead is always there.”

    True, Christ is certainly the pre-existent God of the OT. However, at what point did Christ become ‘restricted’ (to use your terminology) and thus no longer omnipotent (all knowing) and omnipresent (everywhere) – was it merely at His earthly incarnation but before? If it was merely at His earthly incarnation, then was distinguished the Father, Son and Spirit before the human incarnation? And why did the pre-existent Christ (Michael) seem to have a limited form and nature, as seen in his visit to Abraham’s tent (Gen 18:1)? And what distinguishes the Father and Holy Spirit today?

    “Here we see the first person of the Godhead is communing with the second person of the Godhead…. In this conversation between the two Persons of the Godhead”

    What do you mean by communing? Different aspects of my brain, say the Conscious, Subconscious and Lower-Spinal Cord (which controls say the heart) ‘commune’ in a sort of way, and a separate in their own way, but they are very much also components of a whole.

    How do you say the Father and Son commune exactly – by say verbal language as separate persons (in the English understanding of the word)? Do you think the Father and Son have literal conversations, as if they were separate gods like the pagan deities of old?

    “From the scriptures we understand that there was never a time when the Word didn’t exist.”

    I agree, but I am a bit confused by what you mean by the word ‘exist’. Do you suggest ‘existence’ itself has always existed, and thus refute the doctrine of creation ex nihilo and Gen 1:1 that in the beginning God created everything, even space and time itself? Or do you hold to the ancient Greek pagan idea that space and time have always existed co-equal with God, in effect making God an equal deity companion?

    So if God created space and time itself, was is God’s relationship to it? Does the Father exist in space and time, or outside of it as the source? Does the Holy Spirit exist everywhere in space and time, which is why it is sometimes described as ‘proceeding forth’ from the Father? Does the Son exist in a restricted space and time form, even in His pre-existent form as Michael, which is necessary for God to have a relationship with created beings? And thus wouldn’t it be fair to say Christ was not merely begotten at the incarnation in Bethlehem, but was actually ‘begotten’ at the very beginning of time, crossing the veil from non-existence where the Father remains into existence?

    “To those who would leave the world behind and devote themselves to the plan of salvation…”

    It is not clear whether this is saying one must leave the world behind first, in order to obtain salvation, or whether one leaves the world behind in response to salvation? Could you clarify? If it is the former, that appears to be salvation by works.

    And what do you mean by leave the world behind? I suspect there are many in the SDA Reform Church, who on the surface have left the world behind, but very much remain sinners. It isn’t in outward appearances that we leave the world behind by internally.

    Anyway, very interesting topic – much thanks. I guess the Godhead is a major difference between the mainstream SDA Church and the SDA Reform Church(es).

  2. I hope that you will repent from attacking the Seventh-day Adventist Church and saying that we are a part of Babylon. But I do commend you for your defense of the Godhead and that there are three Living and Eternal Persons in the Heavenly Trio. Praise God and please work with Gods established Church instead of being against it!

  3. i think the Explanation is clear i praise God for that,..i think we need to pray for our friends who dont want tp give their tradition it worked for i will definitery work for them,.

  4. Hi Bro’ John,

    I see that you have taken the trouble to explain according to your knowledge about Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD. I must say that what you have done is a noble effort, but there are far too many errors in what you have said. Errors cannot help the church to become strong and certaintly they cannot draw us nearer to Jesus Christ. Now is the right time to seek for the Truth of the Son of GOD by looking at what the scriptures are saying to us, and not by what the church traditions have been telling us. For us to become true students of the holy bible, it is necessary that we observe the all the rules of interpretation and exposition as laid down by GOD in the scriptures.

    1. We cannot add or subtract from all that which are written for us in the bible. Deut.4:2 Rev.22:18-19
    2. GOD has chosen His Witnesses to declare what they have seen and heard. We must agree and accept the testimonies of these Witnesses. 2Cor.13:1 Lk.1:1-2 Act.10:41; 4:20 cp 5:32 Jn.15:26-27
    3. The Church of GOD is build upon the Testimonies of these Witnesses. No other testimonies apart from these chosen witnesses are to be used as the foundation and pillars of the Church. Eph.2:20 1Cor.3:11 Gal.1:6-9
    4. GOD has ordained 3 things to bear witness of Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD on earth. They are the Spirit, the Water and the Blood. 1Jn.5:6-9
    5. All doctrines must agree with the doctrines of Jesus Christ otherwise they are not from Him. 1Tim.6:3-5 Eph.4:20-21 2Jn.6-10

    I am sure Bro’ John that you are in agreement with me with regards to the above rules and principles. Thus, when we investigate the things that we believed today, are they the testimonies coming from the chosen witnesses or are they being passed down to us by traditions? Let us look at one statement ‘ Jesus is GOD the Son, the 2nd Person in the Godhead’. To investigate whether this is a true or a false statement, we need only to check whether any of the chosen witnesses ever make such a declaration. If we look into the O.T. we will find that not one prophet ever said anything like it. If we look into the N.T. there is not one apostle saying it. Yet the church is saying it because they have been believing in it. But from what source does this statement come from ? Certainly not from those which GOD has chosen. I for one will not believe in anything that does not come from His chosen witnesses. GOD has clearly identified His chosen witnesses as the O.T. prophets and the N.T. apostles, and upon their testimonies, the Church of GOD must be build on. Eph.2:20 1Cor.3:11

    Of courses there are many more statements believed and made by the churches today which do not come from the Chosen Witnesses. GOD requires christians to believe only in the testimonies of His chosen witnesses. They are clearly written for us in both the O.T. and the N.T. and we do not have any excuse by continuing to hold on to the false beliefs which are liken to the golden calfs created by Jeroboam which caused Israel to sin. We see the Trinitarians adding to the testimonies of the Witnesses. We see the Unitarians subtracting from the testimonies of the Witnesses. Should not the church repent and return to the pure and simple testimonies as proclaimed by the CHOSEN Witnesses of GOD ? Did not Jesus said that the Father would reveal the Son to them who humble themselves as little children before Him ? Just as the Father reveals to us the Son, even so the Son also reveals the Father to us. Matt.11:25-27 ; 16:17

    Dear Bro’ John, I humbly urge you to hear me out and do the investigating yourself, for it will indeed do you good if you will discard all false beliefs but return to all the testimonies as given by His Chosen Witnesses. Rev.12:17 ; 14:12 ; 19:10 ; 1:2

  5. May God bless your ministry!

    John

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