Heirs of God

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

We want to continue gleaning from the following words:

The plan of salvation is not appreciated as it should be. It is not discerned or comprehended. It is made altogether a cheap affair; whereas to unite the human with the divine, required an exertion of Omnipotence. It was necessary that a great condescension should be made on the part of God in behalf of fallen man, who had transgressed the unchangeable law of Jehovah. Christ, by clothing his divinity with humanity, elevates humanity in the scale of moral value to an infinite worth. But what a condescension on the part of God, and on the part of his only begotten Son, who was equal with the Father! All this had to be done because God’s law had been transgressed. {RH, July 24, 1888 par. 6}

It required an exertion of Omnipotence. So the plan of salvation is not discerned or comprehended as it should be. It has been made a cheap affair, because people do not really comprehend this reality. In this meditation we desire to discern and comprehend, and not brush off as a cheap affair this plan of salvation. We want to understand these words: heirs of God; and what this has cost, and what privileges are available to us through this exertion of Omnipotence.

The language of Lamentations is exactly what Jesus was saying in his agony in Gethsemane and the cross:

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

“What I have come here on this planet to suffer and to engage in is not a cheap thing, says He; is it nothing to you?” Let us contemplate this together now. We want to discern and comprehend this amazing story. But we can only discern and comprehend it if we respond and act upon what is written in the following statement:

Keeping the Heart Tender

The only way in which we can gain a more perfect apprehension of truth is by keeping the heart tender and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. The soul must be cleansed from vanity and pride, and vacated of all that has held it in possession, and Christ must be enthroned within. Human science is too limited to comprehend the atonement. The plan of redemption is so far-reaching that philosophy cannot explain it. It will ever remain a mystery that the most profound reasoning cannot fathom. The science of salvation cannot be explained; but it can be known by experience. {DA 494.4}

It can be known; it can be comprehended. But how?

Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour. {Ibid.}

As we have seen before, the plan of salvation is not appreciated as it should be. It is not discerned or comprehended. Why? Because this subject is entered into with human pride, and not with a deep sense of our sinfulness. But only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour. What I am about to share here will require, in order to be understood, the first step written above.

The only way in which we can gain a more perfect apprehension of truth is by keeping the heart tender and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. {Ibid.}

May God help us to do just that. Let us follow carefully the words of the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy to understand what it means to be heirs of God, and how that is to take place.

We want to see Jesus. Our focus is on Jesus. Who is He? Who is Jesus according to the word?

The Word Was God

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.

Then the description of Him continues, until the following verse:

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.

So who is Jesus? Jesus is none other but God. Is this not what we read? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is the way it reads. No matter how many times people will misconstrue those words by some explanation of theirs or another, here it says plainly that He was God.

And when the angel came to Joseph, this is what he said:

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

That child is Emmanuel, God with us. Why am I emphasising this? You will see it in due time. Jesus, as we look upon Him, is God; and the Bible is very clear that in Him who is the second person of the Godhead, the Word, was in fact the very presence of the Godhead.

Colossians 2:9 For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

In Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead. When we speak of the Godhead, when we read of the Godhead – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – Jesus is part of it. He is God.

Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. {FLB 46.5}

How clear do we want it?

He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right. {Ibid.}

He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent. {FLB 46.6}

But He humbled Himself, and took mortality upon Him. As a member of the human family, He was mortal; but as a God, He was the fountain of life to the world. {FLB 46.7}

He is God, who is the Fountain of life. This is what the Spirit of Prophecy tells us.

“The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God. {RH, April 5, 1906 par. 5}

Who then is Jesus? We are looking upon God when we look upon Jesus.

When sin marred the human race, what are we told regarding the counsels in the Godhead? Follow very carefully every word so that we get it clear in our mind. When man sinned,

The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. {CH 222.2}

When man sinned, the Godhead was stirred. Who was stirred?  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and They gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.

In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting. {Ibid.}

All the resources of heaven were given in the gift of Jesus, the Son of God, that nothing might be wanting.

Here is love–the contemplation of which should fill the soul with inexpressible gratitude! {Ibid.}

If all this was as far as we went today, this is enough to touch our hearts to think, What love! Inexpressible gratitude rises up when we consider and we know who we are. Remember, only he who sees his own sinfulness can appreciate this. The contemplation of this should fill the soul with inexpressible gratitude.

Oh, what love, what matchless love! The contemplation of this love will cleanse the soul from all selfishness. It will lead the disciple to deny self, take up the cross, and follow the Redeemer. {Ibid.}

Just that contemplation on its own opens up an infinite picture. But we will however continue. What follows is a reference to the counsels of heaven, before sin ever came into existence:

The Mystery Hid From Ages

God had a knowledge of the events of the future, even before the creation of the world. He did not make His purposes to fit circumstances, but He allowed matters to develop and work out. He did not work to bring about a certain condition of things, but He knew that such a condition would exist. The plan that should be carried out upon the defection of any of the high intelligences of heaven–this is the secret, the mystery which has been hid from ages. And an offering was prepared in the eternal purposes to do the very work which God has done for fallen humanity. {6BC 1082.3}

The incarnation of Christ is a mystery. The union of divinity with humanity is a mystery indeed, hidden with God, “even the mystery which hath been hid from ages.” It was kept in eternal silence by Jehovah, and was first revealed in Eden, by the prophecy that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, and that he should bruise His heel. {6BC 1082.4}

The counsels of heaven, the Godhead, had decided that the second person of the Godhead would come and give Himself to redeem man. And this was a mystery that was hidden; it was kept in silence, until Adam and Eve fell. So the story of the counsels of heaven, of the Godhead, became manifest. And today we have that mystery manifested. Speaking here of Christ Jesus, it says:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 

Here is the description of the counsels of heaven as they were counselling together, before the angels were even created, before anything was created. They were counselling together and deciding that He who was in the form of God, who was equal with God, would make Himself of no reputation, take upon him the form of a servant, and be made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He would humble Himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. And then God would highly exalt Him.

Here we have the reality that has already been expressed in one of the previous quotes. He, God, combined Himself with the human, so that He combined the human with the Godhead within Himself. This is what the Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy portray. And as we saw before, this required an exertion of Omnipotence. The Godhead was exerting itself.

An Exertion of Omnipotence

It was necessary that a great condescension should be made on the part of God in behalf of fallen man… {RH, July 24, 1888 par. 6}

Divinity, the Omnipotent power of God, had to exert Themselves for this plan to take its course. As you contemplate this for a moment, that He, God, the second person of the Godhead, combined in Himself the human and the Godhead, how can we comprehend something of this exertion? What exertion was here to be engaged in? Gabriel was here talking to Mary:

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Then she remonstrated with him. She said, How can that be since I’m a virgin and haven’t known any man? Then he explains:

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Can you see the hint of an exertion of Omnipotence? It required a great condescension, a great exertion, of Omnipotence. He, the second person of the Godhead, together with the other two, the Father and the Holy Spirit, were counselling together: What shall we do to save man if/once he falls? The second person of the Godhead said, Let me become a human being. And the Holy Spirit took the second person of the Godhead and brought Him as a little seed into the womb of Mary – an exertion of Omnipotence. This exertion, this process that took place is here powerfully expressed:

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. In human flesh He lived the law of God, that He might condemn sin in the flesh, and bear witness to heavenly intelligences that the law was ordained to life… {UL 90.2}

This is the mystery of godliness, that One equal with the Father should clothe His divinity with humanity, and laying aside all the glory of His office as Commander in heaven, [should] descend step after step in the path of humiliation, enduring severe and still more severe abasement. Sinless and undefiled, He stood in the judgment hall, to be tried, to have His case investigated and pronounced upon by the very nation He had delivered from slavery. The Lord of glory was rejected and condemned, yea, spat upon. With contempt for what they regarded as His pretentious claims, men smote Him in the face. {UL 90.3}

This exertion of the Godhead was that it would cost Christ a painful experience to be constricted, as the great God of the universe, into a little seed, to combine with the human ovum, and then become an embryo, and then to be born, after nine months. Are you able to comprehend this? It is not a cheap thing, is it? And what is this transaction called?

The Atonement

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

We have received the atonement. To combine the human with the Godhead, so that in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily – this was called the atonement.

No one who believes in Jesus Christ is under bondage to the law of God; for His law is a law of life, not of death, to those who obey its precepts. All who comprehend the spirituality of the law, all who realize its power as a detector of sin, are in just as helpless a condition as is Satan himself, unless they accept the atonement provided for them in the remedial sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who is our atonement–at-one-ment with God. {6BC 1077.5}

Are you picking something up? Jesus is our at-one-ment with God. This is the atonement. And the understanding of this atonement is the most essential comprehension that we need to understand all the other scriptures.

The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. {5BC 1137.7}

The at-one-ment with God is the great truth around which all other truths cluster.

In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light which streams from the cross of Calvary, and in connection with the wondrous, central truth of the Saviour’s atonement. Those who study the Redeemer’s wonderful sacrifice grow in grace and knowledge. {Ibid.}

It is comprehendible. It is the great central truth that Jesus combined the human race with God in Himself – the atonement, at-one-ment with God. This is to be comprehended so that all the other scriptures in the word of God can be appreciated and comprehended.

Jesus expressed this with great pathos in His high-priestly prayer. How quickly people read over this and fail to comprehend the atonement. He who is God combined in Himself the human and the divine.

Combining the Human with the Divine

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these [the apostles] alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one;

This is the atonement:

John 17:21 …as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Are we listening to God’s word? Are we picking up what it is saying? Jesus says, The Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

What is Jesus saying? He is praying “that they also may be one in us”; that they, the human beings who believe, may be one “in us”. This is the language. “I in them, and Thou in Me.” What does Jesus mean? Jesus came and combined the human with the divine, so that the divine that was in Jesus would be in them.

Christ, by clothing His divinity with humanity, elevates humanity in the scale of moral value to an infinite worth. {TMK 256.3}

What sort of worth? An infinite worth. What is infinity? Who is infinite? Only God. And man, by Jesus combining the human with the divine, is lifted to an infinite worth. This is what Inspiration tells us. Those who accept Jesus, accept that He is equal with God, in contrast to those who reject that Jesus is God. There are a lot of people who teach that today. They say that “Jesus is not God; He’s only the Son of God; He was created at some distant past.” Nonsense. That is not what the Scripture says. The Scripture says He was always there in existence together with the Father. And those three persons of the Godhead stand as an important doctrine to embrace, so that we can comprehend the great atonement gift that is offered to the human race. If you and I believe that Jesus is God, there is an amazing story that comes into focus.

When All Argument Is Vain

This is what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say in reference to the people who reject this truth, and who teach the error that Jesus was not God, that He was not Deity.

If men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the deity of Christ, it is in vain to argue the point with them; {GC 524.2}

I have found this. It is in vain to argue the point with them. Why?

…for no argument, however conclusive, could convince them. {Ibid.}

I have virtually come close to tearing my hair out in trying to help these people to see it. It’s impossible. Why? Because

“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.}

If we hold an error of this nature, we cannot comprehend the great plan of God for man’s redemption; we will not comprehend that man, through the atonement, is lifted to an infinite worth. It cannot be comprehended if we hold that error. The atonement of God with man in Christ elevates man to infinite worth. Let us explore Inspiration in expansion of this statement. Let it expand itself to your understanding.

As we have seen, in Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. The body of Jesus was the body of a human being, and inside of the human being dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is not man’s opinion; this is not a human idea. On the contrary, humanity will reject this; the natural man will reject this.

Filled With All the Fullness of God

Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Who was filled with all fullness of the Godhead? Jesus. And as we take hold of this story, and the story of the counsels of the heavenly trio, and we see how they exerted themselves to bring Jesus into the human race by birth; and that by great exertion Jesus bound us to the Godhead, then, because all the Godhead was in Him, we see that this love that we are here contemplating passes knowledge. We, if we will accept this, may be filled with all the fullness of God. If we believe this, we will be filled with all the fullness of God.

Let Inspiration spell it out for us once again. This is not any man’s words; this is Inspiration:

Great is the reward in heaven of those who are witnesses for Christ through persecution and reproach. While the people are looking for earthly good, Jesus points them to a heavenly reward. But He does not place it all in the future life; it begins here. The Lord appeared of old time to Abraham and said, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1. This is the reward of all who follow Christ. Jehovah Immanuel–He “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” in whom dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:3, 9)–to be brought into sympathy with Him, to know Him, to possess Him, as the heart opens more and more to receive His attributes; to know His love and power, to possess the unsearchable riches of Christ, to comprehend more and more “what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18, 19)–“this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17. {MB 34.1}

What is the heritage of the servants of the Lord? That we might be filled with all the fullness of God. Through Jesus, who is God, and who combined in the atonement with us, if we open our hearts, to be brought into sympathy with Him, to know Him, to possess Him, as the heart opens more and more to receive His attributes; what is our privilege? To be filled with all the fullness of God.

In Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is why, although He was tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world, from His first entrance into it, untainted by corruption, though surrounded by it. Are we not also to become partakers of that fullness, and is it not thus, and thus only, that we can overcome as He overcame? {7BC 907.5}

What are we also to receive? The same fullness as was in Jesus Christ – the Godhead.

We lose much by not dwelling constantly upon the character of Christ. {7BC 907.6}

The character of the divine with the human – we lose much by not dwelling on that. This is what the Scripture says in all its simplicity. The purpose of this message is for us to comprehend the meaning of the words of Romans 8:15-17.

Heirs of God

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

What does it mean? What has Jesus in the atonement done? He has made us heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

Galatians 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Through Christ. Christ combined the human with God. And if we have Christ in us, the hope of glory, what is in us? God and man; because it was in Christ. This is what Jesus said, isn’t it? “I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one.”

The invitation is, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, … and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18). Oh, what an exaltation is this–to be members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King! To have the Saviour of the universe, the King over all kings, know us by name, and to be heirs of God to the immortal inheritance, the eternal substance! This is our privilege; will we have the prize? {HP 354.2}

It is our privilege; it is available to us; will we have it? If I don’t believe it, it won’t come. I won’t appreciate it.

This is our privilege; will we have the prize? Will we fight the battles of the Lord? Will we press the battle to the gate? Will we be victorious? I have decided that I must have heaven, and I want you to have it. {Ibid.}

We are here being challenged. By Jesus clothing His divinity with humanity, He lifts man to an infinite worth: He offers us the possibility of being heirs of God to the immortal inheritance, the eternal substance. What is God?

1 Timothy 6:15 Which in his times he shall show, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting…

Who has immortality? Only God. And when Jesus combined the human with the Godhead, He could be raised from the dead by the life which He had within Himself, because He was God and He was immortal. And by Him combining the human with the divine, we are elevated to an immortal inheritance together with the Godhead; we receive the gift of immortality, which only God has – an eternal substance, a substance that has immortality within Himself. We are connected with the substance of the Godhead in Jesus Christ. This is what is meant by infinite worth, because God is infinite. It is an immortal inheritance because He only hath immortality. It is an eternal substance because His substance is eternal. Can we accept such a gift? Can we accept such a promise? We are

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

What has God given to us? What are His promises?

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Partakers of the divine nature. Can we accept that promise? Only if we believe that Jesus is God. Only if He really did receive our sinful flesh can we receive that beautiful gift, so that we in Him, in all reality, are at one.

With Him In His Throne

To us who are dwelling right now in this Laodicean period, in this time in which the story of redemption is made light, the final expression that God gives is what Jesus said here:

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

He says, I am knocking at the door; if you will open the door, I will come in to you, and sup with you. If He comes into you and sups with you, and He is inside of you, what is inside of you? The divine. So if Jesus is in me, the divine is in me, because it is in Jesus.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

This is the language: “In His throne”. What does that mean? May we tap into the infinite inheritance encompassed by that expression – in His throne. Jesus and the Father are rulers of the universe; that is Their throne. And Jesus has combined the human race in Himself, and now He says, “For those of you who will overcome as I overcame, you will sit with Me in My throne; you will be together with Me, because you have received the Godhead in Me.” This is the way it is written; I have made the effort to let the word of God spell this out to us, so that it is not marred by any human enlargements. It is just as we read it.

May God bless us that we may comprehend this, because we believe that Jesus is God.

Amen.

(Illustration by Good News Productions, International, used under CC BY)

Posted on October 4, 2018, in Divine Service Sermons, The Godhead and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Such a great author. I really want to be a good writer with such great content as yours . I love the Lord,and I love the Bible. After losing everything and everyone ,including my children. The one biggest sin of mine was not loving him above people. Thank you such a wonderful experience

    • Thank you, sister, for your testimony. We rejoice that you were blessed by Bro. John’s presentation.
      Praying that God grants you His peace and satisfaction in following His Word.
      God bless you.

      Your brother in Christ,
      Victor Bireaud

    • Thank you for sharing.

  2. msn76@netzero.net

    good to hear from u !

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