Defending the Godhead

 

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Vance Ferrell

 

 

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Harvestime Books

VANCE FERRELL

Defending

the

Godhead

HB–906

Defending the Godhead

by Vance Ferrell

Published by Harvestime Books

Altamont, TN 37301 USA

Printed in the United States of America

Cover and Text Copyright © 2005

This book deals with a most solemn subject,

which is deserving of our careful attention and

respect. It is one which we must approach with

humility and reverence; for we are here dealing

with a topic of deepest sacredness—the most

profound Beings in the universe: the Godhead.

Additional copies of this book are available at extremely low

cost, in small boxful quantities. You will want to share copies of

this book with friends and relatives.

Write to Harvestime Books, Altamont, TN 37301. When you write,

ask for a copy of our “Missionary Book Order Sheet,” containing

low-cost boxful prices of this book and others, such as Great

Controversy, Ministry of Healing, Christ’s Object Lessons, Bible

Readings, etc.

Cover: It is in the sky that we view the

awesome majesty of what Deity can produce.

“The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm

19:1).

On the cover is the immense supernova

remnant in Vela, which extends over an area at

least 35o in diameter. It can only be seen from the

southern hemisphere.

Throughout eternity, as they journey to distant

planets, the redeemed will be able to view vast

numbers of such spectacular objects.

3

1 - In the Beginning 6

Preparing for the Crisis 6 / The Eternal, Divine Son of God 13

/ The Primary Problem Passage about Christ 19 / The Second

Problem Passage about Christ 22 / The Third Problem

Passage about Christ 24 / The Eternal Self-existent Holy

Spirit 25 / Three Problem Passages about the Holy Spirit 33

/ Matthew 28:19-20 39

2 - Introduction to the Controversy

over the Godhead 43

3 - Scripture Facts about the True

Godhead 47

The Three Persons in the Godhead 47 / In the Bible 48 / In

the Spirit of Prophecy 50 // The Divinity of Christ 59 / In the

Bible 59 / In the Spirit of Prophecy 60 // The Eternity of

Christ 60 / In the Bible 60 / In the Spirit of Prophecy 61 //

The Humanity of Christ 62 / In the Bible 62 / In the Spirit of

Prophecy 63 // The Divinity of the Holy Spirit 66 / In the

Bible 66 / In the Spirit of Prophecy 67

4 - The Roman Catholic Teaching

about the Trinity 71

(What they actually teach)

5 - Our Pioneers Opposed the Trinity

Error 79

(What they actually wrote)

CONTENTS

4 Defending the Godhead

6 - Our Doctrinal Statements 87

The 1889 Doctrinal Statement 87 / The 1931 Doctrinal

Statement 88 / The 1980 Doctrinal Statement 90 / The

Trinity Song 93

7 - Additional Bible Facts about the

Divinity of Christ 94

Twenty-four Bible Proofs that Christ is Fully God 94 / Fifty-two

more Bible Evidences that Christ is fully Divine 96

8 - Additional Bible Facts about the

Eternity of Christ 105

Fourteen Bible Proofs that Christ has Existed Forever 105

9 - The Divinity and Eternity of Christ

in the Spirit of Prophecy 112

10 - Special Topics about Christ 119

The Death and Resurrection of Christ 120 / The Relationship

of Christ to the Angels 121 / Who Should We Pray To? 122 /

The Godhead Will Share Their Life with Us 123

11 - The Divinity of the Holy Spirit in

the Bible 126

Personality 126 / Deity 129 / Symbols 131 / Other Activities

133 / Additional Information 134 / 1 John 5:7 136 /

Deuteronomy 6:4 138 / The Nature of the Oneness 140

12 - The Divinity of the Holy Spirit in

the Spirit of Prophecy 142

5

13 - The Charter Passages about the

Holy Spirit 153

The Charter Statement in the Spirit of Prophecy 153 / “He” in

the Charter Passages in the Bible 158 / The Greek of those

Passages 159

14 - Pronouns for the Holy Spirit 161

Pronouns for the Holy Spirit in the New Testament 161 / The

Pronoun, “He,” in Desire of Ages 163 / The Pronoun, “He,” in

Other Spirit of Prophecy Quotations in this Book 163 / More

on Pronouns for the Holy Spirit 164

15 - A Pattern of Deception 165

16 - The Danger of Rejecting the Holy

Spirit 170

Reasons Offered for Rejecting the Holy Spirit’s Existence 170

/ Ellen White Reproved Those Who Denied the Holy Spirit’s

Existence 172 / The Sin against the Holy Spirit 174

17 - Important Counsels 176

Do Not Discard the Bible 176 / Do Not Discard the Spirit of

Prophecy 178 / Beware of So-called “New Light” 188

18 - Religions which Deny the Deity of

Christ and the Holy Spirit 191

Arians and Unitarians 192 / Jehovah’s Witnesses 193 /

Worldwide Church of God 196 / Unity School of Christianity

196 / Spiritualists and Psychics 197 / Mormon Deities 200 /

Mohammed’s Teaching about Deity 201 / Other Muslim

Teachings 202

Contents

6 Defending the Godhead

——————————————

— CHAPTER ONE —

IN THE

BEGINNING

PREPARING FOR THE CRISIS

Far, far back into time we shall go. Past the creation

of our world. Farther still. Past the fall of Lucifer,

the creation of angels, and entire worlds. Back

to the beginning.

But how can there be a beginning? There can’t be.

With the existence of the Godhead, there can be no

beginning. Yet in human language, that is how we must

describe it.

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the

earth” (Gen. 1:1). The point when God created this or

that was only its beginning. Yet there was time before

that. Time for the Godhead to think and plan.

For everything was planned. We find such exquisite

design in everything about us, from the greatest

galaxy to the tiniest diatom. It all took careful planning.

Salvation took planning too.

This book is about the Godhead. It is written to

explain the Bible/Spirit of Prophecy truth about the

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,—and to dispel false notions

about Them. (In this book, “Godhead” is considered

a plural word; so “They” and “Them” are used as

their personal pronouns.)

The Godhead is so majestic, so glorious, so over7

whelmingly wonderful—that They do not deserve the

way finite human minds try to put Them in little categories,

limit Their powers, reduce Their abilities, and

shorten Their existence.

Thankfully, we have an abundance of Bible/Spirit

of Prophecy truth about the Godhead. (You will probably

find more of it in this book than in any other you

have ever read.)

But, unfortunately, there are a remarkable number

of errors about the Godhead. This book will help

you understand the basic flaws in those theories and

the Scripture evidence disproving them.

There appears to be conflicting points which are

seemingly difficult to resolve. The Son is submissive

to the Father; yet He is equal with Him. He comes obediently

from the Father; yet He is fully God. He is said

to be “begotten”; yet He has existed forever.

The Holy Spirit is sometimes sent by the Father;

yet, at other times, He is sent by the Son. He is a Spirit

of love; yet He is an actual being. We are never told to

pray to Him; yet He is fully God. He is the newly sent

Comforter; yet He has existed eternally.

How can we reconcile all this? What is the answer?

Here is the primary cause of this seeming confusion

in human minds: People confuse the nature of

the Godhead with Their work. Learning about the individual

mission of each member to save mankind, we

are tempted to imagine that Their individual activities

and work for mankind explain the nature and inner

attributes of each of Them.

Yet we are limited by our language. So in identifying

each member of the Godhead, in this book we will

speak of Them as the Father, the Son or Christ, and

the Holy Spirit. The problem here is that these names

identify Their work, not Their nature.

Preparing for the Crisis

8 Defending the Godhead

In nature, each one is fully divine, fully God, selfexistent,

equal in every way to each of the others, and

totally eternal—both past and future.

And what is Their work? Well, to better understand

that, we need to return to an earlier time.

As we journey back through dateless ages, we finally

arrive at the time when there was nothing. Except

the Godhead.

And They were thinking.

They had a lot to think about; but, fortunately,

thinking and totally accurate conclusions come easily

to Them, more quickly than the flash of an instant.

You see, even though They had not made any creatures

yet, They knew that a rebellion was coming. They

knew all about it.

“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.”—6 Bible Commentary, 1082.

“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.”—

Counsels on Health, 222.

That future rebellion against the divine government,

from start to finish, would be the single great crisis of

the ages. Entire worlds would be endangered. Many

angels would be lost. Many humans would be saved to

9

take their place.

The Godhead had much to think about. What

should be done to save the most angels and men? What

should be done to eternally protect the entire universe—

so everyone would be so convinced of the love

and goodness of the Godhead, that sin would never

arise again?

In that most distant past, far beyond the reach of

men and angels, the decision as to what to do was

worked out. And would you not expect a thought-out

plan? If the tiniest objects of nature, in design and function,

are carefully designed, would you not expect that

the rescue of the universe from rebels would also be

taken care of? It was a carefully thought-out “plan.” It

is the plan of redemption.

“Let those who are oppressed under a sense of

sin remember that there is hope for them. The salvation

of the human race has ever been the object

of the councils of heaven. The covenant of

mercy was made before the foundation of the world.

It has existed from all eternity, and is called the everlasting

covenant. So surely as there never was a

time when God was not, so surely there never was

a moment when it was not the delight of the eternal

mind to manifest His grace to humanity.”—7 Bible

Commentary, 934.

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the

three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that

They will strengthen men to overcome the powers

of darkness. All the facilities of heaven are pledged

to those who by their baptismal vows have entered

into a covenant with God.”—5 Bible Commentary,

1110.

It is wonderful to be loved. And the quotation above

(also see 7BC 934) reveals that long ago, in “the councils

of heaven,” the Godhead was intent on saving you.

Preparing for the Crisis

10 Defending the Godhead

They love you deeply. As far back as has been the existence

of the Godhead—and they have existed forever.

Through all that time, they have been planning to

save you!

That plan had to include convincing the entire universe

that the Deity is pure love. Yet there was an immense

hurdle standing in the way of that objective.

How can massive power and an immeasurable mind

show frail creatures, such as angels and people, the

other side of the Godhead—Their inner nature of utter

sweetness, kindliness, and tender love?

This was an important problem. But the Godhead

can easily solve all problems. We will next consider

how this was done:

At this point, it should be mentioned that this chapter

is given to connect all the facts given us in Scripture

about the nature and activities of the Godhead,

and the apparently conflicting statements regarding

their nature and work. It is given to defend the best

Friends I shall ever have, who do not deserve to have

two-thirds of Them excluded from eternity past and

one-third from existence!

And it nicely connects the pieces of the puzzle together,

especially when we recognize that the confusion

in some minds is primarily caused when men assume

that the activities of the Godhead reveal Their

nature!

Returning now to that distant past.

The three members of the Godhead had to figure

out a way to solve three inherent problems:

The first problem was that the Godhead had such

immense power, authority, and intellect. —The angels,

the inhabitants of the other worlds, and humans on

earth would have a difficult time relating to Them and

11

loving Them. Although I like the little wild animals

which live around my country home, they live in constant

fear of me. Recognizing that I seem to have immense

abilities and power which they cannot begin to

understand, they are apprehensive.

The Godhead recognized that They would later face

this same problem when They created such greatly subordinate

beings. How could They express the great

depth of Their love for those creatures and convince

them of it?

The second problem was the fact that there were

three in the Godhead. It is difficult to identify with three

leaders. Think about that for a moment. (For example,

how would fallen man go about praying to three Gods?)

There was need for a special pattern, so humans would

look to one sovereign God as Lord of all in their lives.

The third problem was that each of the members

of the Godhead needed a definite name by which Their

creatures could identify and partly understand them.

Keep in mind that each was fully divine with all the

powers of the other two; yet They needed separate

names.

While each member of the Godhead, being infinite,

had all power, each maintained a position and did a

work which was different than the others.

This was not difficult to do, since one was already

the supreme One. Another was the beloved Son. The

third was the Holy Spirit.

Their positions and actions would solve each of

the three problems mentioned above.

The answer to the first problem: It appears that

one took the form of an angel (later becoming a man).

And, in doing so, He would reveal the love of the

Godhead to the universe.

Preparing for the Crisis

12 Defending the Godhead

The answer to the second problem: One would

maintain the supreme position; and He would become

the central One to pray to and worship.

The answer to the third problem: The specific

position and work of each would provide Him with a

definite name by which He could be known.

Think not that this was a little matter. The destiny

of men—yea, of worlds—hung in the balance. Before

the creation began, a plan had to be devised whereby

the universe would understand that the charges made

in the coming rebellion were wrong. Only a division of

Their responsibilities, and an overmastering revelation

of the love of the Godhead, would be able to do that.

“God is love” is a total, absolute truth. The three

members of the Godhead were so loving of one another,

so selfless, and so concerned for the best welfare

of the creatures which They would later create—

that each willingly maintained a different position, involving

not only different duties but also a different

appearance.

(Inspired statements indicate that Christ did not

choose the position of Sonship, but that He had it from

eternity. It also appears that, rather than choosing the

headship of the Godhead, the One we call the “Father”

always had it.)

Because of what They selflessly did back then, you

are now able to understand the love of God. You are

able to closely relate to Him.

Recognizing this love and entering into this deep

relationship of being His little child—because of the

selfless life and death of God’s own Son, who became

man,—you are able to be saved. You are able to enter

into the interactive love that the Godhead have for one

another. In character and love you partake of divinity;

that is, the divine attributes of character perfection that

13

They have.

It was a perfect plan, a most thrilling plan. It was

the “plan of redemption!”

Obviously, for each member of the Godhead to

maintain a different position and appearance, do a different

work, and take a different name—was selflessness

in the extreme on the part of each of Them! The

One we call the “Father” was the leader over all; yet He

would not be able to save mankind and eventually be

highly exalted as the Saviour. He would also suffer

deeply in the sufferings and death of His Son.

The Son would take the lowly place of a leader

among the angels and later stoop to become a human

being; then he would suffer pain, separation from God,

and the crucifixion.

The “Holy Spirit”—would probably not have been

concerned to have His existence known until our world

was created! (See Patriarchs and Prophets, 36, and

rest of chapter.) From what we read in the Bible and

Spirit of Prophecy, it is unlikely that the angels and

unfallen worlds knew of His existence in those earlier

ages! (Keep in mind that, before the false charges of

Lucifer began to be made, the created intelligences did

not even realize there was a law that they lived under.

There are indications that they did not realize that

Christ was divine until the rebellion began.)

THE ETERNAL, DIVINE SON OF GOD

From everything we are told in the Inspired Writings,

let us consider an example of how this suggested

solution solves one of the problems of the Godhead,

the position of Christ before the incarnation:

We are told that Christ has been eternal through

all past time and that He has been the Son of God

back into the most distant past, not only at His incarnation.

We are told that there never was a time when

The Eternal, Divine Son of God

14 Defending the Godhead

He was not close to the Father. We are told that He is

the “eternal Son of God.”

“Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of

God . . In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries

the mind back through dateless ages. He assures

us that there never was a time when He

was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.

He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had

been with God as one brought up with Him.”—Evangelism,

615.

“He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent

. . He is the eternal, self-existent Son.”—Evangelism,

615.

We are told that the Holy Spirit has always been

a member of the Three-part Godhead; and He is as

eternal as the Father!

“The eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and

Christ, and the Holy Spirit—arming them [the disciples]

with more than mortal energy . . would advance

with them to the work and convince the world

of sin.”—Evangelism, 616.

“The eternal Godhead—the Father, the Son,

and the Holy Ghost—is involved in the action required

to make assurance to the human agent.”—

Upward Look, 148.

The Holy Spirit was also involved in this planning.

From the very beginning of concern over the

plan of redemption and the future salvation of man,

far back in endless eternity, the Three were at work

on the plan.

“It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded

upon the principle of restoring in the fallen race the

divine image by a constant manifestation of benevolence.

This work began in the heavenly courts . .

The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race,

and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave

15

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.”—Counsels

on Health, 222.

The Spirit of Prophecy indicates that Christ apparently

was in the form of an angel for ages after the

initial creation of the universe. (We know that, even in

human history, Christ at times took the form of an

angel: See SR 128, PP 419, 1BC 1095, etc.) It appears

that, at the time that Lucifer was in the process of developing

his rebellion, the One on the throne “made

known” to the angels, for the first time—that Christ

was equal with Himself.

“A special light beamed in his [Lucifer’s] countenance

and shone around him brighter and more

beautiful than around the other angels; yet Christ,

God’s dear Son, had the preeminence over all the

angelic host. He was one with the Father before the

angels were created. Lucifer was envious of Christ,

and gradually assumed command which devolved

on Christ alone.

“The great Creator assembled the heavenly host,

that He might in the presence of all the angels confer

special honor upon His Son. The Son was seated

on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly

throng of holy angels was gathered around Them.

“The Father then made known that it was ordained

by Himself that Christ, His Son, should

be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the

presence of His Son, it was as His own presence.

The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily

as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested

with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially

was His Son to work in union with Himself

in the anticipated creation of the earth and every

The Eternal, Divine Son of God

16 Defending the Godhead

living thing that should exist upon the earth. His

Son would carry out His will and His purposes but

would do nothing of Himself alone. The Father’s will

would be fulfilled in Him.”—Story of Redemption,

13-14.

Of course, the above two paragraphs could be interpreted

as meaning that Christ received divinity at

that time. But such an interpretation would contradict

the many statements (quoted in this book) that Christ

was fully divine and had been so throughout all past

eternity. While Christ’s divinity was “made known” at

that time, other Inspired passages tell us that Christ’s

divinity spans all eternity.

“The Word existed as a divine being, even as the

eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His

Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of

the covenant . . Before men or angels were created,

the Word was with God, and was God . . Christ was

God essentially, and in the highest sense. 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.”—1 Selected Messages, 247

(Review and Herald, April 5, 1906).

There is another quotation which appears to be a

contradiction:

“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.”—Signs of the

Times, May 30, 1895.

17

The above statement could indicate that Christ was

actually born into existence at some earlier time.

Yet that would contradict other clear statements

that Christ is eternal. Let me explain: If Christ was

actually born out of the Father, then there was a time

when He did not exist and He could not therefore be

eternal.

The solution appears to be this: Christ has always

been the Son of God; and there never was a time when

He emerged from the Father. That statement appears

to solve all the problems about Christ’s Sonship. Not

once in the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy is there to be

found a definite statement that there was a time when

Christ did not exist.

“He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent

. . He is the eternal, self-existent Son.”—

Evangelism, 615.

“If Christ made all things, He existed before all

things. The words spoken in regard to this are so

decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ

was God essentially, and in the highest sense. 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.”—5 Bible

Commentary, 1126.

“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. This was no robbery

of God.”—1 Selected Messages, 247-248.

We are told that the life that Christ had was original

with Him; that is, it did not come from someone

The Eternal, Divine Son of God

18 Defending the Godhead

else. Nor was it borrowed from anyone. And it was not

derived from any possible source.

“De-rive (de-riv’) 1. to get or obtain, as from a

source or origin . . 2. obtain from some process of

reasoning 3. to trace the origin of something from

or to its source. 4. to proceed from a source.”—Macmillan

Dictionary.

“Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection and the

life.’ In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived.

‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12.

The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of

eternal life.”—Desire of Ages, 530.

It was only in a “new sense” that Christ became

the “Son of God” at His incarnation. This is because

He had been the Son of God prior to that time.

“In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine

nature. In His incarnation He gained in a new

sense the title of the Son of God. Said the angel to

Mary, ‘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’ (Luke

1:35). While the Son of a human being, He became

the Son of God in a new sense. Thus He

stood in our world—the Son of God, yet allied by

birth to the human race.”—1 Selected Messages,

226-227.

“Jesus claimed equal rights with God in doing

a work equally sacred, and of the same character

with that which engaged the Father in heaven . . The

whole nation of the Jews called God their Father,

therefore they would not have been so enraged if

Christ had represented Himself as standing in the

same relation to God. But they accused Him of blasphemy,

showing that they understood Him as making

this claim in the highest sense.”—Desire of

Ages, 207-208.

19

“It was no robbery with Him to act in the office of

God.”—Sons and Daughters of God, 301.

THE PRIMARY PROBLEM PASSAGE

ABOUT CHRIST

The primary Inspired passage used to disprove

the eternity of Christ is Proverbs 8:22-30. We will examine

it right now.

Upon careful examination, we find that it is only

quoted twice in the Spirit of Prophecy:

“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. The Father

wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly

beings. ‘By Him were all things created.’ ”—Patriarchs

and Prophets, 34 [ellipsis hers].

Four times, in the above quotation from Proverbs,

we are told that Christ is eternal:

• “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of

His way.” As long as the Father has existed, just

so long has the Son existed.

• “I was set up from everlasting.” The Son was

with the Father from eternity past.

• “I was by Him, as one brought up with Him.”

“With Him,” not “by Him.” The Son was always

with Him (the Father).

• “I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before

Him.” There never was a time when the Son

was not in fullest unity with Him.

Here is the other Spirit of Prophecy quotation

about this passage (Prov. 8:22-27):

“The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God,

The Primary Problem Passage about Christ

20 Defending the Godhead

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. This was no robbery

of God. ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning

of His way,’ He declares, ‘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. When He prepared the heavens, I was there:

when He set a compass upon the face of the depth’

(Prov. 8:22-27).”—1 Selected Messages, 247-248.

It is highly significant that the Proverbs passage

is quoted as evidence that Christ has “existed

from eternity, a distinct person.”—Yet there

are those who cite this passage as their best Scripture

evidence that Christ has not existed from eternity!

But what about the phrase, “beginning of His way”

from Proverbs 8:22? That passage does not prove that

Christ had a beginning! It says that from the very

beginning of the Father’s existence, Christ was with

Him! That is all it says; and we agree. “In the beginning”

(Prov. 8:22) is the best that human language can

use to express that Christ has been with the Father

eternally. The same phrasing is used in two other passages:

“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. All things were

made by Him.”—John 1:1-3.

“That which was from the beginning . . the Word

21

of life.”—1 John 1:1.

There are three special words in Proverbs

8:22-30 which we want to understand better. They

are the key to the entire passage!

“The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His

way.”—Proverbs 8:22.

“Possessed” (8:22) indicates that Christ was with

the Father as far back as they both have existed—which

is forever. The Hebrew of this word can also be translated:

“to be appointed to a position,” or “assigned

a certain work.” More on this below.

The next three verses repeat themselves in the typical

style of Hebrew poetry:

“I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning,

or ever the earth was.”—Proverbs 8:23.

“When there were no depths, I was brought forth:

when there were no fountains abounding with water.”—

Proverbs 8:24.

“Before the mountains were settled, before the

hills was I brought forth.”—Proverbs 8:25.

According to Proverbs 8:22, the Father and Son

have always been together. Added to this is verses 23-

25, which indicate that at some distant time in the

past, something important occurred. What was it?

The key words are “set up” and “brought forth.”

Understanding them will provide the meaning of that

event or transaction.

“Set up” is nasak in the Hebrew. This can mean

(1) “to pour out,” as used in to pour out a drink offering

(1 Chron. 11:18), (2) “to set,” “to set up,” “to install,”

or “to inaugurate.”

“Brought forth” is chil in the Hebrew, and can

mean (1) “to bring forth” as a child or (2) “to be

anointed.”

The Primary Problem Passage about Christ

22 Defending the Godhead

Thus we find that “possessed” can mean “appointed

to a position” or “assigned to a certain work.”

“Set up” can mean “to install” or “to inaugurate.” This

word, nasak (set up), is used in a parallel passage:

“Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of

Zion.”—Psalm 2:6.

“Brought forth,” in Proverbs 8:24-25, can mean

“to be anointed.”

—In Proverbs 8:22-25, we have a beautiful unifying

pattern which explains an event in the most

distant past!

Long ago, Christ was anointed to undertake a special

task, to carry out a special work. Having entered

into this agreement with the Father, they then set to

work to begin the work of creation (described in verses

26-29).

What was that special agreement and project?

In Their foreknowledge, it was the covenant of redemption,

the plan of redemption, the agreement that

Christ would save mankind—at any cost to Himself.

They knew what was coming; and they were prepared

to meet it.

Thus we find that Proverbs 8:22-25 does not

mean that Christ is a created being! And such a concept

would be in violation of other Bible passages.

The message of Proverbs 8:22 is that Christ has

existed as long as the Father has existed; and verses

23-25 tell about an important agreement which they

made.

THE SECOND PROBLEM PASSAGE

ABOUT CHRIST

Colossians 1:15 is cited as teaching that Christ

was created as the first of the “creatures” and that

“creatures” means “created beings.” Therefore Christ

is a “creature” or “created being.” Here is the verse:

23

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn

of every creature.”—Colossians 1:15.

If what the critics say this verse means is true,

then Colossians 1:15 contradicts all the Inspired statements

about the eternity of Christ.

What does Colossians 1:15 actually mean?

“Creatures,” in the Greek, does indeed mean “created

beings or objects”; we all agree on that.

The question is about the word, translated in the

King James Version, as “firstborn.” What does that

mean?

The word in the Greek is ðñïôïêïϖ (protokos),

which can mean one of two things:

(1) It can mean “the first to be born”; that is, being

first in the family to be born rather than being

born at a later time. Or, it can mean (2) “the one who

produces all the births.” This is the prime mover,

the one who brings the generations into existence. In

verse 15, it should read: “The One who brought all

creatures into existence.”

Not only does this agree with all the rest of Scripture,

but the very next two verses after Colossians

1:15 support this correct meaning of protokos:

“For by Him were all things created, that are in

heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,

whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,

or powers; all things were created by Him,

and for Him. And He is before all things, and by

Him all things consist.”—Colossians 1:16-17.

It is obvious that verses 15 and 16 are part of

one lengthy sentence. Both speak of how Christ is

the Creator of every created object. It is therefore

obvious that, in verse 15, protokos cannot mean “first

of the creatures to be born”; but it must mean “the

One who brought all creatures into existence.”

The Second Problem Passage about Christ

24 Defending the Godhead

Colossians 1:15-17 discusses the divinity and

creatorship status of Christ, especially the fact that

He is Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of all the lower

powers in heaven and on earth. Verse 18 carries this

point on. It states that, in addition, Christ is also Ruler

over all His people.

THE THIRD PROBLEM PASSAGE

ABOUT CHRIST

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of

whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord

Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by

Him.”—1 Corinthians 8:6.

The above passage must mean “There is but one

God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ.” (All we

did was to omit the comma after God. As you know,

there were no commas in the original Greek. Cf. Luke

23:43, where we run into a similar comma problem.)

None should try to use 1 Corinthians 8:6 in an

attempt to deny the truth of other statements, by the

Apostle Paul, which confirm the divinity of Christ and

the fact that He also is fully God:

“For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the

Godhead bodily.”—Colossians 2:9.

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not

robbery to be equal with God.”—Philippians 2:6.

“Christ . . who is over all, God blessed for ever.

Amen.”—Romans 9:5.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious

appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus

Christ.”—Titus 2:13.

“And without controversy great is the mystery of

godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified

in the Spirit.”—1 Timothy 3:16.

Other Bible writers agree; for example:

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and

25

hath given us an understanding, that we may know

Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true,

even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God,

and eternal life.”—1 John 5:20.

“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, Counselor,

The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The

Prince of Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6.

And, of course, there is Jesus’ own statement about

Himself:

“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.”—Revelation

1:8.

THE ETERNAL, SELF-EXISTENT HOLY SPIRIT

Next we consider the Holy Spirit. While the eternity

of Christ is under ongoing attack, the existence

of the Holy Spirit is being totally denied!

That is indeed unfortunate; for the work of the Holy

Spirit in our lives is our connecting link to Heaven!

We are told that it is not safe to speak against the

Holy Spirit:

“When men feel competent to pronounce judgment

and condemn the Holy Spirit, they do a work

for themselves which will be difficult to counteract.

The whole head becomes sick, and the discernment

so weak that it is apt to judge unrighteously.”—

4 Manuscript Releases, 358.

“We cannot render to God supreme love and

honor if we do not recognize the Holy Spirit which

the Lord sends. The Holy Spirit represents Jesus

Christ.”—2 Manuscript Releases, 38. [Written at

the time of Kellogg’s pantheism theory. Pantheism

also denied the Holy Spirit’s existence.]

The Eternal, Self-Existent Holy Spirit

26 Defending the Godhead

“Those who reject the Spirit of truth place

themselves under the control of a spirit that is

opposed to the Word and work of God.”—Sermons

and Talks, Vol. 1, 385, 387.

Later in this book, an abundant collection of Bible/

Spirit of Prophecy statements will be presented, which

provide even more evidence that the Holy Spirit is an

actual personage, the Third Person of the Godhead,

and that He has existed from all eternity.

“The Holy Spirit . . is as much a person as God

is a person.”—Evangelism, 616.

“The Holy Spirit [is] the Third Person of the

Godhead.”—Testimonies to Ministers, 392.

The Father and the Son work through the Holy

Spirit, to help people and to accomplish Their objectives

throughout the universe.

“The prince of the power of evil can only be

held in check by the power of God in the Third

Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.”—Special

Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, page 37 (Ev 617).

While the Father and the Son work with intelligent

beings (speaking to them, counseling, giving directions,

etc.), the Holy Spirit works within created

beings and within everything in Creation! An immense

number of statements have been written about many

of the things the Holy Spirit does! You will find 31 pages

of fine print in Volume 2 of the EGW Index. In addition

to what He does to bring you to Christ and help you

remain with Him, the Holy Spirit performs many other

functions:

Physicists who read this are well-aware of the

strange mystery of the orbiting electrons and protons

within the atom, which keep whirling around a central

nucleus. What keeps them in orbit? Why do they keep

27

circling the nucleus at immense speeds instead of slowing

down, crashing into it or one another, or flying away?

Everything in the universe, from rocks to living creatures,

is composed of tiny subatomic whirling particles

around a central nucleus.

Through the power of divinity, billions of cells divide

every second in your body, to replace worn-out

ones. This amazing process is called mitosis, and is

totally unexplainable by scientists. A similar process

occurs within plants.

A tiny spot in your heart (the sinoatrial node) produces

a tiny beat which expands to an immense muscular

contraction. Spreading through the atria, it

reaches a second tiny node (the atrioventricular

node)—which expands the beat throughout your heart.

If the divine power keeping it going skipped just a few

beats, you would be unconscious or dead. It is work

like this that the Godhead does throughout the universe!

“It is not because the mechanism that has once

been set in motion continues to act by its own inherent

energy, that the pulse beats, and breath follows

breath; but every breath, every pulsation of the

heart is an evidence of the all-pervading care of Him

in whom ‘we live, and move, and have our being.’ ”—

Patriarchs and Prophets, 115 (Ed 417).

The following summary, which I researched for a

page in a later publication, is an example of what the

Father and Son do through the Holy Spirit to keep

you alive, moment by moment—the continual production

of protein within every cell in your body:

Billions of processes occur every second within every

square inch of your body, requiring the direct guidance

of God.

The Eternal, Self-Existent Holy Spirit

28 Defending the Godhead

For example, your body is composed of tiny cells—

so small that there are 1,000 of them in an area the

size of the dot at the end of this sentence. Here is how

protein is made within each of those cells:

Among many other things, there are codons in your

cell DNA. The sequence they are in determines the precise

order in which amino acids will be linked up, so

that proteins and enzymes (a type of protein) can be

made. There are 20 types of amino acids and over 2,000

different types of proteins and enzymes, each with its

own complicated structure which must be continually

manufactured—and they are constructed with extreme

rapidity by other tiny proteins which have no brains!

In brief, the DNA contains the blueprint; and the RNA

uses it to make the various proteins and enzymes.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) copies the code from a part

of the DNA strand (the process is called “transcription”).

The mRNA then travels with the information over to

the ribosomes, an assembly area made of ribosomal

RNA (rRNA). Meanwhile, transfer RNA (tRNA) in the

cytoplasm is busily combining with exactly the right

amino acids needed by the rRNA for the task; and then

it carries them over to the ribosomes to be matched up

with the mRNA. All done by particles without brains.

At the same time, other ignorant proteins go to the

cell wall and haul back amino acids which just entered

the DNA for this assembly operation. Yet they do this

by themselves, usually just the exact amount needed!

Where do those additional amino acids come from?

Exactly the correct number and type of amino acids

must jump off the blood cells which are speeding by, at

a fairly fast rate, and push through the solid wall of the

cell. (The wall itself keeps everything not needed from

entering.) Once inside, the amino acids are taken to the

assembly area. All these functions are done by mindless

substances; however, everything is done at top

29

speed, yet in just the right way. From piles of 20 different

kinds of amino acids, over 2,000 different—extremely

complex—proteins and enzymes are formed,

to replace worn-out ones.

But that is not the end of the amazing story. As soon

as each new protein is made, it instantly folds into an

apparently tangled heap—but it is always in the exact

shape that the protein should be in.

This process is repeated trillions of times every second

in your body by unthinking particles which, because

they do not have nerve cells attached to your brain,

have no way of knowing how to do anything.

Apparently, it is the Holy Spirit which is at work

within every plant, animal, and intelligent being in the

universe. (This is not pantheism, which teaches that

God IS everything.)

“The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality

of humanity and independent thereof.

He [Christ] would represent Himself as present in

all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.”—

14 Manuscript Releases, 23. (Manuscript 5a,

1895. Desire of Ages, 669-670 is similar.)

It is well-known, by microbiologists, that there is

not enough genes in the DNA to provide the needed

information for all the structure and functions of the

body (particularly all the different proteins, enzymes,

and coordinate structures). It is the power of God—

through the Holy Spirit—which keeps the complicated

mechanisms of the heart, liver, brain, endocrines, and

other organs working moment by moment.

As for the planets, stars, and galaxies, several times

we are told that they were made by the Father working

through the Son.

“The Creator of all worlds loves those who give

themselves to His service, even as He loves His

The Eternal, Self-Existent Holy Spirit

30 Defending the Godhead

Son.”—Ministry of Healing, 405.

“When the Son of man came among men, He

brought the intelligence of heaven with Him; for He

created the worlds and all things that are

therein.”—3 Bible Commentary, 1143-1144.

“How can we span the distance between the mighty

God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of

worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the

Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe

in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels,

equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet

wearing the garb of humanity!”—5 Bible Commentary,

1130.

Oh, how thankful we can be that we have been given

the stars to behold and study!

“God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention

from the confusion and perplexity around

them, and admire His handiwork. The heavenly

bodies are worthy of contemplation. God has made

them for the benefit of man, and as we study His

works, angels of God will be by our side to enlighten

our minds.”—4 Bible Commentary, 1145.

I have suggested that it is the Holy Spirit which

works within every created object, keeping it functioning

properly. Yet there are statements which indicate

that it is the power of the Father or the Son which

is in charge of the rotations of planets and stars, the

seasons, and many other operations of nature. They

probably do it through the Holy Spirit; but we cannot

know what the Father and Son do directly and what

they do through the invisible Holy Spirit, which is “everywhere

present.”

“He [Christ] would represent Himself as present

in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the omnipresent.”—

14 Manuscript Releases, 23.

31

“By His Spirit He [God] is everywhere present.”—

Ministry of Healing, 417.

“He [Christ] was the creator of all things, sustaining

worlds by His infinite power. Angels were

ready to do Him homage and to obey His will. Yet He

could listen to the prattle of the infant and accept

its lisping praise.”—5 Testimonies, 421.

“It is not because of inherent power that year

by year the earth produces her bounties and continues

her motion round the sun. The hand of God

guides the planets and keeps them in position in

their orderly march through the heavens. It is

through His power that summer and winter,

seedtime and harvest, day and night follow each

other in their regular succession. It is by His word

that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear

and the flowers bloom. Every good thing we have,

each ray of sunshine and shower of rain, every morsel

of food, every moment of life, is a gift of love.”—

Mount of Blessing, 74-75.

We know that the Father and Christ send messages

throughout the universe through the angels; so they

can also have a part in the work of caring for the vast

creation. But because (through the Holy Spirit) both

the Father and the Son are “everywhere present,” God

also instantly communicates with the vast creation

through Him as well.

“The Bible shows us God in His high and holy

place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and

solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten

thousand and thousands of thousands of holy beings,

all waiting to do His will. Through these messengers

He is in active communication with every

part of His dominion. By His Spirit He is everywhere

present. Through the agency of His

Spirit and His angels He ministers to the children

The Eternal, Self-Existent Holy Spirit

32 Defending the Godhead

of men.

“Above the distractions of the earth He sits enthroned;

all things are open to His divine survey;

and from His great and calm eternity He orders

that which His providence sees best.”—Ministry

of Healing, 417.

“He [Christ] would represent Himself as present

in all places by His Holy Spirit.”—14 Manuscript

Releases, 23.

As we will learn later, Inspired statements reveal

that, while Christ is in heaven receiving our prayers

and sending them on to the Father who sends answers

through the angels,—it is the Holy Spirit who works

within us to convict us of sin and move on our minds

to cry in prayer to our heavenly Father for help.

Since we are on the subject of prayer, it might be

mentioned that there are also passages which say that

it is all right to pray to Jesus (CT 402, CG 253, MH

118). That would be understandable, since He is also

God and able to receive worship (Heb. 1:6).

Indeed, there are also passages which (although

speaking about “God”) are referring to Christ, not the

Father. Here is just one of many examples which could

be cited:

“At the burning bush, when Moses, not recognizing

God’s presence, turned aside to behold the wonderful

sight, the command was given: ‘Draw not nigh

hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the

place whereon thou standest is holy ground . . And

Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon

God.’ Exodus 3:5, 6.”—8 Testimonies, 284.

We know that it was Christ who was there speaking

to Moses (DA 23, 1BC 1103); it was He who declared

His name, the I AM, to Moses.

33

Although the Holy Spirit works within nature to

maintain physical functions, He also moves on human

hearts to repent and return to God. In doing this work,

He can be grieved and sinned against. But, even when

rejected, He continues to keep the physical body operating

and the heart beating.

Scripture frequently refers to the Spirit’s working

on our minds, in the words, “God (or Christ) sends

His Spirit to move on our hearts.” But such phrasing

cannot mean that the Holy Spirit does not exist. This

is because many other statements clarify it by saying

He is the eternal, Third Person of the Godhead. Although

a member of the Godhead, He chooses to do

what the other Two tell Him to do. That is the office

work He is quite content to do. Are you and I as content

to do our work as the Godhead are to do Theirs?

THREE PROBLEM PASSAGES

ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

But, just now, let us consider the root of the problem,

which is the appearance of the Holy Spirit and

the work which He does.

There is one concept, found in three quotations,

which would appear to teach that there is no Holy

Spirit. These are the primary ones the opposition

uses. We will consider them right now:

If you will examine the context of each of the three

statements, quoted below, you will find that they all

refer to the same time period when Lucifer in heaven

was jealous of the Son. Perhaps, in the wisdom of Divinity,

neither the Father nor the Son had told Lucifer

about the existence of the Holy Spirit (otherwise he

might have been jealous of Him too!). This may be why

the Son, not the Holy Spirit, was the center of Lucifer’s

hatred.

Why is it that, when the Father called them

Three Problem Passages about the Holy Spirit

34 Defending the Godhead

together to explain the position of the Son, they

did not realize that He was their co-Creator?

A careful reading of the Spirit of Prophecy gives

the impression that, when our world was made, it was

the first time that the entire universe had witnessed

one of the mighty creative acts of the Deity. It is very

likely that the entire universe (not, of course, including

our planet) had previously been created all at one

time. Therefore, none of the angels and other intelligent

beings were aware of the fact that the Son had

cooperated with the Father in bringing them into existence.

At the time that Lucifer began his accusations

against Christ, the created beings apparently did not

know that the Son was their co-Creator.

Therefore, as quoted below, the Father gathered

the “assembled inhabitants” and explained the true position

of Christ.

We know that Lucifer was especially upset that the

Son was involved in the counsels of God while he, himself,

was left out. Those counsels included the planned

creation of our world as soon as Satan was cast out of

heaven.

Witnessing the actual creation of our planet, by

the Father and the Son, helped cement the fact of

Christ’s deity in the minds of the created universe.

We are told that the Holy Spirit was present at the event

and took part in it. While also accomplishing other

purposes, it seems that the creation of our world was

done to demonstrate the awesome power and majesty

of the Godhead—at exactly the time when the great

controversy was about to begin in earnest and such a

clear understanding was needed.

The creation of our world was planned before Satan

fell (SR 20); and it occurred immediately after he

was cast out of heaven (SR 19). The Holy Spirit also

35

had a part (Gen. 1:2, Ed 134).

Since the Holy Spirit was also involved in the Creation,

why was it that He is not mentioned as taking

part in those pre-fall council meetings?

While the Father is the recognized head of the universe,

and the special work of Christ is to redeem

mankind,—the Holy Spirit quietly, invisibly occupies

Himself with a large variety of tasks. He never takes

visible form as a material being of any kind. Not

even the “purest light” which descended on Christ (DA

112) or the fiery light on the heads of the apostles (Acts

2:2-3) revealed what the Holy Spirit is or what He looks

like. Both were only “tokens” (in fulfillment of promises

given earlier), evidencing the Holy Spirit’s invisible

descent (DA 112, AA 38-39).

The Father and the Son choose to take visible form

(which, of course, They do not need to do) while the

Holy Spirit never reveals Himself to sight—to anyone’s

sight, and apparently not to the angels.

It is perhaps, for this reason, that Lucifer did not

know that the Holy Spirit took part in the divine councils;

for he had never seen him! He did not know the

Holy Spirit existed. Lucifer would see the Son go in

and counsel with the Father. But he did not see the

Holy Spirit go in—because the Holy Spirit is never seen!

Indeed, the Holy Spirit did not have to “go in”; for we

are told He is “everywhere present” (MH 417).

But is not only God the Father the Creator? There

are definite instances in the Inspired Writings where

only God (singular) is mentioned as involved in a specific

activity, and other times where the Father and Son

are mentioned as doing it together; and still other instances

where the Holy Spirit is mentioned as also

working with them on that same activity. Therefore, all

the Inspired passages must be considered. One ex-

Three Problem Passages about the Holy Spirit

36 Defending the Godhead

ample, among many, would be the one just mentioned:

the creation of our world.

We are told that God created our world (Gen. 1:1,

Ps. 33:6-9, Isa. 45:18). But, in other passages, this

simplified statement is amplified: The Father and Son

created everything in the universe (Col. 1:16, John 1:3),

including our world (Heb. 1:2, Eph. 2:10). The Holy

Spirit also was involved (Gen. 1:2, Ed 134).

So, it was the Lord God who created mankind (Gen.

1:27; 2:7, 21-22); yet we were created in Christ (Eph.

2:10).

I mention this background in order to help

clarify the following three statements:

The first quotation below: Of all “the assembled

inhabitants of heaven,” “none but Christ” (none among

them but Christ) could enter into the purposes of 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.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.

We know, from other statements, that the Holy

Spirit has existed as a separate divine person from

all eternity; yet, at the time that the rebellion was

beginning, the Father only told the angels about

Christ’s divinity. He chose not to mention the Holy

Spirit. The controversy was about the position of

the Son; and that was all that the Father discussed.

Deity does not tell creatures all that could be told

them.

The second quotation below: Perhaps, as far as

the inhabitants knew, there were only two beings in

all the universe who could enter into the plans of Di37

vinity.

This is true because the Holy Spirit never takes

any visible or conceptual form of being. He truly is

like “the wind.” You cannot tell “whence it cometh and

whither it goeth” (John 3:8).

The following two statements parallel the one

quoted above. Of all the beings, or inhabitants, of the

universe, only Christ could enter the councils of Deity.

Frankly, the Holy Spirit exists on an entirely different

realm of existence. He is everywhere, working

within everything. (Pantheism, in contrast, teaches that

everything is God; in reality, this concept is radically

different. Nothing in nature is God.)

“Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was

one with the eternal Father,—one in nature, in character,

and in purpose,—the only being in all the universe

that could enter into all the counsels and purposes

of God . . . In all the councils of God, Christ

was a participant, while Lucifer was not permitted

thus to enter into the divine purposes.”—Great Controversy,

493, 495.

There may appear to be a contradiction here; but

if we view all the statements and hide none, we arrive

at the obvious conclusions given in this present chapter.

—And, in this chapter, we are hiding none! (In striking

contrast, the other side provides you with a few

Inspired statements which seem to deny the Godhead

while omitting the many others which support the

Godhead. For example, not once do they mention that

the Spirit of Prophecy repeatedly says there are three

in the Godhead.)

What I am doing here is piecing together information

provided in the Inspired Writings. —But please

understand that I am only doing it to counteract a

terrible deception,—the degrading error, the false

Three Problem Passages about the Holy Spirit

38 Defending the Godhead

teaching—that one of the three does not exist and another

is not eternal! It is my belief that we should stand

in defense of the only Three who can deliver us from

this evil world and take us to heaven!

The third statement is like the second:

“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. ‘His name

shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty

God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’

Isaiah 9:6. His ‘goings forth have been from of old,

from everlasting.’ Micah 5:2.”—Patriarchs and

Prophets, 34.

As you can see from the above statements, I am

not hiding from you the most difficult objections to the

existence of the Holy Spirit. Yet, in opposition to those

three passages, there are a large number of passages

which, in one way or another, say that the

Holy Spirit is fully divine, the Third Person of the

Godhead. We must seek to reconcile the three quotations

with all the others.

The solution would be that the Holy Spirit has the

single, totally unique type of existence: He is always

formless, always invisible. If we say that, then all the

statements agree with one another; and, when we study

Scripture, that is what we should try to do.

In the first quotation above (PP 36), the Father

declares to all the angels gathered about the throne

and to all the visible beings in the universe—that, of

them all, only the Son could work closely with Him.

The Father was saying that none of those there assembled

could enter His counsels except the Son.

The solution to the other two statements (in GC

493 and PP 34) is that “the only being in all the uni39

verse” would have to be Christ. Only He, of all the

visible beings in the universe, could enter into the

counsels of the Father.

Some may think I am stretching the phrase in order

to reach that conclusion; but I am not. Instead, I

am reconciling ALL the Inspired statements about the

Godhead. The Holy Spirit does exist; and He is the

Third member of the Godhead. We cannot let three

passages annihilate the hundreds of passages which,

in hundreds of ways, speak about the existence and

work of the Holy Spirit. (Turn to the Spirit of Prophecy

Index, Vol. 2, pp. 1245-1275, and count the number

of references that talk about Him!)

MATTHEW 28:19-20

A key text in all of this discussion about the

Godhead is Christ’s command in Matthew 28.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing

them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe

all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and,

lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the

world. Amen.”—Matthew 28:19-20.

This is an extremely important statement, and totally

incontrovertible. There are three Divine members

in the Godhead. It says “and of the Holy Spirit,” showing

He is separate from, and equal to, the other two.

We are not baptized in the name of angels, nor in the

name of two members of the Godhead, but in the name

of all three. —All Three are individually named.

Those profoundly important words (which we call

“the great commission”) are recognized by all of us as

our “marching orders.” The passage clearly states that

the Holy Spirit is (1) a person. He is separate from

Christ and (2) on the same divine status with Christ

and the Father. And (3) Christians are to be bap-

Matthew 28:19-20

40 Defending the Godhead

tized into all three, not just one or two of Them. The

phrase, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and

of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” would be meaningless

if all three facts were not true. The phrase means

we are to be baptized into submission and obedience

to all three. To deny the Holy Spirit’s existence

is to deny your baptismal vows. Can God be pleased

if we tell others they need not be baptized into all

Three?

Does it not seem that to deny the Holy Spirit’s existence

is to deny the words of the great commission—

the work which God assigned all of us? It is to deny

the words of God Himself. Think hard about the implications

of doing this.

“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the

supposition that a great reformation was to take

place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this

reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines

which stand as the pillars of our faith . .

Who has authority to begin such a movement? We

have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested

to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit.

We have a truth that admits of no compromise.

Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony

with this truth?”—1 Selected Messages, 204-

205.

How do those who are teaching that there is no

Holy Spirit deal with Matthew 28:19-20? Studying

their writings, I have found that they reject the passage—

simply by declaring that one so-called “church

father,” named Eusebius, in quoting the passage only

mentioned “God”—not “the Father, Son, and Holy

Spirit.” But they are careful to not mention the fact

that all the other church fathers quoted it the way it is

in the King James Version.

41

They also avoid mentioning the fact that Ellen

White quotes Matthew 28:19-20 more than almost

any other passage in the Bible! 96 times (not counting

duplicates) or the fact that some of the 96 quoted,

or referred to, it more than six times. Not including

duplications, she quotes or refers to the passage in 31

of her books: AA, 1BC, 5BC, 6BC, CH, ChS, CM, CS,

CT, DA, Ev, EW, FE, GC, GW, MH, ML, MM, SC, SD,

1SM, 2SM, Testimonies, Vols 1-9. Yet those trying to

eradicate the Three-member Godhead meaning of Matthew

28:19-20 toss it out with the statement that

Eusebius quoted it in these words: “. . baptizing them

in the name of God. Teaching them . .”

We might expect such twisting of Scripture from

Eusebius. Here are two statements about him:

“This [Sunday law] edict required townspeople

to rest on ‘the venerable day of the sun,’ but permitted

countrymen to continue their agricultural pursuits.

Though virtually a heathen statute, it was enforced

by the emperor after his nominal acceptance

of Christianity.

“The royal mandate not proving a sufficient substitute

for divine authority, Eusebius, a bishop who

sought the favor of princes, and who was the special

friend and flatterer of Constantine, advanced

the claim that Christ had transferred the Sabbath

to Sunday. Not a single testimony of the Scriptures

was produced in proof of the new doctrine. Eusebius

himself unwittingly acknowledges its falsity and

points to the real authors of the change. ‘All things,’

he says, ‘whatever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath,

these we have transferred to the Lord’s Day.’ ”—

Great Controversy, 574.

“Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340) was . . the courtier

of the Emperor Constantine . . [who] prepared a

church history . . His work is uncritical [sloppy]

Matthew 28:19-20

42 Defending the Godhead

and ill-arranged . . His Life of Constantine is of the

nature of a panegyric [flattering in the extreme] and

is too favorable to the first Christian emperor.”—

Albert Henry Newman, A Manual of Church History,

p. 12.

In view of such facts, do you want Eusebius to tell

you how Matthew 28:19-20 should be written?

Let us read that glorious statement once more!

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,

All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of

the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things

whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am

with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Amen.”—Matthew 28:18-20.

“The Father, AND the Son, AND the Holy Spirit”—

not “which is the Holy Spirit.”

“In the NAME of.” What does that mean? It emphasizes

that each of the Three are specifically being

named. How can the passage be more emphatic in identifying

the Three-member Godhead?

Thus we find in the work of the Father, Son, and

Holy Spirit a marvelous division of responsibility for

the safeguarding of the universe and the salvation of

millions.

The Father, in giving His beloved Son to a terrible

death, and through the Holy Spirit impressing on all

hearts the extent of that love—caused the entire universe

to begin to grasp the immense love of the Deity

for fallen man—and for the angels and all the worlds.

It revealed the extent to which the Godhead would go

to save Their creatures from peril.

This most glorious expression of love will be the

study of the universe throughout all time to come.

43

——————————————

— CHAPTER TWO —

INTRODUCTION

TO THE

CONTROVERSY

OVER THE GODHEAD

It is now being taught in our own ranks that

Jesus Christ is nothing more than a high-ranking

angel,—and the Holy Spirit does not exist at all!

In striking contrast, the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy

clearly teach that Christ is fully divine, existing

from eternity, and the Holy Spirit is a distinct, separate

personage, the Third Person of the Godhead.

Checking into what is being taught outside our own

denomination,—I discover that both liberals and

skeptics generally deny the divinity of Christ and

the existence of the Holy Spirit. It is an intriguing

fact that atheists and skeptics, solidly in Satan’s ranks,

generally deny the divinity of both. Christian liberals

who join in the denial include leaders in the most liberal

Protestant churches and a majority of religion

teachers in the major colleges, universities, and a remarkable

number of cults.

In contrast, based on Bible evidence, conservative

Christians generally believe in the divinity of Christ

and the Holy Spirit.

Advent believers have additional evidence, in the

Spirit of Prophecy, which supports the truth that Christ

has existed eternally as a divine being and that the

Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead.

Introduction to the Controversy

44 Defending the Godhead

Down through the centuries, the Bible facts

which have been most opposed have been those

which directly affect our salvation. Satan wants to

eradicate these truths from our minds. Few topics can

be more important than the full divinity and eternity

of Christ, who is pleading on our behalf in the Heavenly

Sanctuary, and the existence of the Holy Spirit,

who works to bring us to repentance and guide us in

obeying God’s Word.

God’s faithful ones do not believe in the Catholic

“Trinity” dogma. The term is not found in the

Bible or Spirit of Prophecy. The Trinity error teaches

that there is one God in three appearances. That is an

error. We do not worship a “one-in-three” God.

Instead, we believe that there are three fully divine,

separate persons in the Godhead. They are not

one in person. However They are one in character, purpose,

eternity, and divinity.

Each member of the Godhead has an agreedupon

position, which requires self-sacrifice. In the

planning of Heaven, although He deeply loves us, the

Father does not minister to us as the Son does. The

Father is self-effacing in this respect.

The Son is not the supreme ruler; that task is reserved

for the Father. The Son willingly accepts a lesser

position.

The Holy Spirit is also self-effacing to a remarkable

degree. He comes to us personally and helps us

while letting all the thankfulness be given to the Father

and the Son.

Such self-control, such willingness to “let the other

one get the credit” is something we are not used to. We

generally do not find such traits among men on earth

who wield great power. We stand in awe of the great

45

love, humility—and even servanthood—of the

Godhead. We can now better understand Christ’s statement

to His disciples, “He that is greatest among you

shall be your servant” (Matt. 23:11).

It is Satan’s studied objective to overthrow the

Godhead. Because he cannot do this, he is determined

to lead men to disobedience and disbelief in Their very

existence.

Can you see that there is a built-in test here?

Just as we are tested on the Sabbath and other

truths, so we are tested on the Godhead! Will we

humbly submit to what God tells us in His Word, without

questioning as Lucifer did? Will we accept God’s

truths as He gives them, without trying to twist and

change them. Lucifer turned himself into a devil by

imagining that he was able to restructure heaven,

change its government and laws, and make himself

part of the Godhead.

If you accept any of the teachings which are floating

around, which do not agree with the Bible or

Spirit of Prophecy, you are headed for trouble. In

the midst of life’s storms and the flood of satanic deceptions

and temptations, your grip on the life preserver

of God’s Word has been weakened. Later, when

confronted by something else you question, you will

be more likely to say it wasn’t written by Ellen White,

is not in the “original Bible manuscripts,” or is not

worth believing. Be on guard! In this life, you are on

the enchanted ground! (EW 60, 1SM 125).

“The sophistries regarding God and nature that

are flooding the world with skepticism are the inspiration

of the fallen foe, who is himself a Bible

student, who knows the truth that it is essential for

the people to receive, and whose study it is to divert

minds from the great truths given to prepare

Introduction to the Controversy

46 Defending the Godhead

them for what is coming upon the world.”—8 Testimonies,

292.

“I beseech those who are laboring for God not to

accept the spurious for the genuine. Let not human

reason be placed where divine, sanctifying

truth should be. Christ is waiting to kindle faith

and love in the hearts of His people. Let not erroneous

theories receive countenance from the people

who ought to be standing firm on the platform of

eternal truth. God calls upon us to hold firmly to

the fundamental principles that are based upon

unquestionable authority.”—8 Testimonies, 298.

There are many things in the Word of God that we

will never fully understand this side of heaven; yet there

is a lot we can know. We have seen that the eternity

of Jesus Christ and the Godhood of the Holy Spirit

are truths we can have certainty of.

Stick with the plain teachings of God’s Word.

You will be safe if you do. Accept what is written in

the Inspired Writings; and do not try to pry into matters

too deep for you.

When God says something, accept it. Adam and

Eve did not do this. They believed a traveling

preacher who came along—and they got into trouble

because of it. Do not imagine that you are smarter

than the simple statements of the Bible. If you start

doing so, you will be indulging in the sin of Eve. What

was her sin? She doubted the words of God.

Acceptance of one error will lead you to accept

still more. And erelong you will wander away from the

Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

Oddly enough, the primary “evidence” offered by

those opposed to the full divinity and eternity of Christ

and the Holy Spirit—is the fact that Roman Catholics

teach the Trinity error (which we do not believe) and

47

the fact that a few of our early Advent writers wrote

against that error. In reality, what we all should be

concerned about is what does the Bible and Spirit

of Prophecy teach on this important subject? Here

it is:

——————————————

— CHAPTER THREE —

SCRIPTURAL FACTS

ABOUT

THE TRUE GODHEAD

The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy is full of evidence

for the truth about the Godhead. A representative

sampling is in this book.

It has seemed best to place these Inspired quotations

into two sections. The first, in this chapter, is a

basic collection of a very few Bible/Spirit of Prophecy

statements on these four points (plus a brief section

on the human nature of Christ, which is often questioned).

The second collection of Inspired evidence is

given later in this book.

1 - THE THREE PERSONS

OF THE GODHEAD

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are

three distinct, divine personages. Yet They work

in such perfect unity that Their objectives and

activities are as one.

The following passages will provide you with

Scripture: The Three Persons of the Godhead

48 Defending the Godhead

a view of the interworking of these three distinct

persons:

THE GODHEAD IN THE BIBLE

Here are 59 Scripture references about the

Godhead:

1—Several times in the Old Testament, God

speaks of Himself as “Us.” Note Genesis 1:26, where

the Ones who do the creating of man are plural. Created

beings do not create; so the “Us” can only refer to

the Godhead. Also see Genesis 11:7.

2—Eloheim is one of the Old Testament words

for “God.” This Hebrew word is plural (“Gods,” not

“God”). Jewish scholars have never been able to explain

this fact.

3—The Angel of Jehovah is mentioned several

times in the Old Testament. This Angel is not only

identified with the Father, but is also distinguished

from Him. (Keep in mind that “angel” is a translation

of the word, “messenger”; and, at certain times in the

Old Testament, Christ was called by this term.) So we

find here a reference to two persons of the Godhead

(Gen. 16:7-13, 18:1-21, 19:1-28, Mal. 3:1).

4—In a similar manner, the Word (or Wisdom) is

personified; this indicates divinity (Ps. 33:4, 6; Prov.

8:12-31).

5—In some passages, God is the speaker. And

He mentions both the Messiah and the Spirit; and, in

other passages, the Messiah is the speaker who mentions

both God and the Spirit (Isa. 48:16).

6—In the New Testament, we find a clearer revelation

of the Godhead. In the Old Testament, the Redeemer

and Saviour is Jehovah (Job 19:25; Ps. 78:35;

106:21; Isa. 41:14; 43:3, 11, 14; 47:4; 49:7, 26; 60:16).

49

In the New Testament, this individual is clearly Jesus

(Matt. 1:21, Luke 1:76-79, 2:17, John 4:42, Gal. 3:13,

4:5, Titus 2:13-14).

7—In the Old Testament, it is Jehovah who dwells

among Israel and in the hearts of those that fear Him

(Ps. 135:21, Isa. 8:18, 57:15, Eze. 43:5-9, Joel 3:17-

21, Zech. 2:10-11). In the New Testament, it is the

Holy Spirit that dwells among God’s people (Rom. 8:9,

11, 1 Cor. 3:16-17, Gal. 4:6, Eph. 2:22, James 4:5,

Eze. 43:7-9, Joel 3:17-21, Zech. 2:10-11). We are not

here defining whom all the “Jehovah” passages refer

to.

8—The New Testament represents God as sending

His Son into the world (John 3:16, Gal. 4:4, Heb.

1:6, 1 John 4:9).

9—In the New Testament, both the Father and

the Son send the Spirit (John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7, Gal.

4:6).

10—The Father speaks to the Son (Mark 1:11,

Luke 3:22).

11—The Son communes with the Father (Matt.

11:25-26, 26:39, John 11:41, 12:27-28).

12—The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers;

through Him, they pray to God (Rom. 8:26).

13—The Father speaks from heaven at the baptism

of the Son; and the Holy Spirit descends in the

form of a dove (Matt. 3:16-17).

14—In the Great Commission, Jesus mentions

the three persons (Matt. 28:18-20).

15—In addition, the Three are named alongside

of each other in these passages (1 Cor. 12:4-28, 1 Peter

1:2).

16—We find “I,” “Thou,” and “He” in several passages

which indicate separate persons while revealing

interpersonal relations between Them (Matt.

The Godhead in the Bible

50 Defending the Godhead

11:25-27, John 5:19-30, John 15:26).

THE GODHEAD

IN THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

The following 41 quotations speak of the Father,

the Son, and the Holy Spirit:

The “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” are “the

Godhead,” “the three Persons of the Godhead,” “the

three powers of the Godhead,” “the three highest

powers in heaven and in the universe,” “the eternal

Godhead,” “the three holy Dignitaries of

heaven,” “the three living Persons of the heavenly

Trio,” “the three holiest Beings in heaven,” and “the

three great Worthies in heaven.”

“The three powers of the Godhead have pledged

Their might to carry out the purpose that God had in

mind when He gave to the world the unspeakable gift

of His Son.”—Review, July 18, 1907.

“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.

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?”—Counsels on Health,

222.

“The three powers of the Godhead, the Father,

the Son, and Holy Spirit, are pledged to be their

strength and their efficiency in their new life in Christ

Jesus.”—Australian Union Conference Record, October

7, 1907.

“We are to co-operate with the three highest

powers in heaven,—the Father, the Son, and the

Holy Ghost,—and these powers will work through us,

51

making us workers together with God.”—Special Testimonies,

Series B, No. 7, p. 51 (Ev 617).

“In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities

that we know not how to deal with, but let us

not forget that the three great powers of heaven are

working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that

God will bring His purposes to pass.”—Evangelism,

65 (Manuscript 118, 1902).

“The eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and

Christ, and the Holy Spirit—arming them [the disciples]

with more than mortal energy . . would advance

with them to the work and convince the world

of sin.”—Evangelism, 616 (Manuscript 145, 1901).

[All Three are eternal!]

“The work of salvation is not a small matter, but

so vast that the highest authorities are taken hold of

by the expressed faith of the human agent. The eternal

Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy

Ghost—is involved in the action required to make

assurance to the human agent.”—Upward Look, 148.

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the

three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that

They will strengthen men to overcome the powers of

darkness. All the facilities of heaven are pledged to

those who by their baptismal vows have entered into

a covenant with God.”—5 Bible Commentary, 1110

(Manuscript 92, 1901).

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers

infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly

enter into covenant relation with God. They are

present at every baptism, to receive the candidates

who have renounced the world and have received

Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have

entered into the family of God, and their names are

inscribed in the Lamb’s book of life.”—6 Bible Com-

The Godhead in the Spirit of Prophecy

52 Defending the Godhead

mentary, 1075 (Manuscript 27, 1900).

“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

. . and touch not the unclean thing.’ ”—6 Bible Commentary,

1075 (Manuscript 85, 1901).

“Our sanctification is the work of the Father,

the Son, and the Holy Spirit . . Have you been born

again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus?

Then cooperate with the three great powers of

heaven who are working in your behalf.”—7 Bible

Commentary, 908 (Manuscript 11, 1901).

“The work is laid out before every soul that has

acknowledged his faith in Jesus Christ by baptism,

and has become a receiver of the pledge from the three

persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”—

6 Bible Commentary, 1074.

“The prince of the power of evil can only be held

in check by the power of God in the third Person of

the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.”—Series A, No. 10, p.

37 (Ev 617).

“Evil had been accumulating for centuries, and

could only be restrained and resisted by the mighty

power of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the

Godhead, who would come with no modified energy,

but in the fullness of divine power.”—Testimonies to

Ministers, 392 (Letter 8, February 6, 1896; Series A,

No. 10, p. 25; 10 Manuscript Releases, 63).

“There are three living persons of the heavenly

trio; in the name of these three great powers—the

Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who re53

ceive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these

powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of

heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.”—

Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 63 (Ev 615).

“Keep yourselves where the three great powers

of heaven—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

can be your efficiency. These powers work with the

one who gives himself unreservedly to God. The

strength of heaven is at the command of God’s believing

ones.”—In Heavenly Places, 176 (Signs, May 10,

1910).

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost supply

the power that makes him victorious in every conflict

with the prince of darkness.”—6 Manuscript Releases,

167 (Letter 200, December 15, 1902).

“They pledge themselves to devote their lives to

God’s service; and the three great powers in heaven,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, pledge

Themselves to cooperate with them, to work in and

through them.”—6 Manuscript Releases, 166 (Manuscript

118, October 6, 1902).

“The three highest powers in the universe are

pledged to labor with those who will seek to save the

lost.”—Review, August 12, 1909.

“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the

Holy Spirit, man is laid in his watery grave, buried

with Christ in baptism, and raised from the water to

live the new life of loyalty to God. The three great

powers in heaven are witnesses; They are invisible

but present.”—6 Bible Commentary, 1074 (Manuscript

57, 1900).

“If man, in acquiring the Christian graces, works

on the plan of addition, God has pledged Himself to

work in his behalf upon the plan of multiplication.

‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the

The Godhead in the Spirit of Prophecy

54 Defending the Godhead

knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.’ The work

is laid out before every soul that has acknowledged

his faith in Jesus Christ by baptism, and has become

a receiver of the pledge from the three persons—the

Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”—6 Bible Commentary,

1074 (Manuscript 57, 1900).

“At our baptism we pledged ourselves to break all

connection with Satan and his agencies, and to put

heart and mind and soul into the work of extending

the kingdom of God. All heaven is working for this

object. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are

pledged to cooperate with sanctified human instrumentalities.

If we are true to our vow, there is opened

to us a door of communication with heaven,—a door

that no human hand or satanic agency can close.”—6

Bible Commentary, 1075 (Review May 17, 1906).

“On that occasion [baptism] we pledge ourselves,

in the presence of the three great heavenly Powers,

to come out from the world and be separate.”—6

Manuscript Releases 167 (Manuscript 130, October

27, 1902).

“When you took these vows, you pledged yourself,

in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy

Spirit, that you would live unto God, and you have no

right to break this pledge. The help of the three great

Powers is placed at your disposal.”—Review, June

22, 1905.

“Baptized into the threefold name . . at the very

entrance of their Christian life . . the Father, the Son,

and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient,

receive those who truly enter into covenant relation

with God. They are present at every baptism.”—6 Bible

Commentary, 1075.

“Those who submit to the solemn rite of baptism

pledge themselves to devote their lives to God’s ser55

vice; and the three great powers of heaven, the Father,

the Son, and the Holy Spirit, pledge Themselves

to cooperate with them, to work in and through

them.”—Signs, March 11, 1903.

“The three great powers of heaven pledged

Themselves to cooperate with you in your efforts to

live the new life in Christ.”—Review, June 15, 1905.

“As a Christian submits to the solemn rite of baptism,

the three highest powers in the universe—the

Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—place Their

approval on his act, pledging Themselves to exert

Their power in his behalf as he strives to honor

God.”—6 Manuscript Releases, 26 (Letter 53, January

26, 1904; Signs, August 16, 1905).

“The presence of the Father, the Son, and the

Holy Spirit, the three highest powers in the universe

and those in whose name the believer is baptized,

is pledged to be with every striving soul.”—Pacific

Union Recorder, July 2, 1908.

“The rite of baptism is administered in the name

of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

These three great powers of heaven pledge Themselves

to be the efficiency of all who submit to this

ordinance, and who faithfully keep the vow they then

make.”—6 Manuscript Releases, 27.

“When you went down into the water and were

baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the

Holy Spirit, these three great powers of heaven

pledged Themselves to give you power and grace to

resist every temptation to dishonor God.”—19 Manuscript

Releases, 235.

“When you gave yourself to Christ, you made a

pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and

the Holy Spirit,—the three great personal Dignitaries

of heaven.”—7 Bible Commentary, 959 (Sons

The Godhead in the Spirit of Prophecy

56 Defending the Godhead

and Daughters of God, 351).

“No requirement is laid upon man that Christ has

not obeyed. We can overcome as He overcame, if we

will avail ourselves of the help of the three great powers

of heaven, who are waiting to answer the demand

made upon Them by God’s people for power to defeat

satanic agencies.”—Notebook Leaflets, 124.

“Let us not forget our baptismal vow. In the presence

of the three highest powers of heaven,—the

Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,—we have

pledged ourselves to do the will of Him who, over the

rent sepulcher of Joseph, declared, ‘I am the resurrection

and the life.’ ”—Review, May 26, 1904.

“There is to be the imprint of . . the threefold

powers in the heavenly world . . The three great

and glorious heavenly Characters are present on the

occasion of baptism. All the human capabilities are

to be henceforth consecrated powers to do service

for God in representing the Father, the Son, and

the Holy Ghost, upon whom they depend. All heaven

is represented by these Three in covenant relation

with the new life.”—6 Manuscript Releases, 389.

“I am instructed to say, The sentiments of those

who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are

not to be trusted. Such representations as the following

are made: ‘The Father is as the light invisible; the

Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light

shed abroad.’ ‘The Father is like the dew, invisible

vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous

form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of

life.’ Another representation: ‘The Father is like the

invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the

Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power.’

“All these spiritualistic representations are simply

nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They

57

weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly

likeness can be compared to. God cannot be compared

with the things His hands have made. These are mere

earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because

of the sins of man. The Father cannot be described

by the things of earth. The Father is all the

fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to

mortal sight.

“The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested.

The Word of God declares Him to be ‘the express

image of His person.’ ‘God so loved the world,

that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever

believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting

life.’ Here is shown the personality of the Father.

“The Comforter that Christ promised to send

after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the

fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power

of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ

as a personal Saviour.”—Evangelism, 614-615.

The following statements were transcribed as

Ellen White spoke them in sermons.

“You are baptized in the name of the Father, of

the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You are raised up

out of the water to live henceforth in newness of life—

to live a new life. You are born unto God, and you

stand under the sanction and the power of the three

holiest Beings in heaven, who are able to keep you

from falling.”—7 Manuscript Releases, 267.

“We are ordained unto God to bear fruit. Was this

not our experience when we were led down into the

water and baptized in the name of the Father, and of

the Son, and of the Holy Ghost? What did that mean?

—It meant that the three great Powers in heaven

were pledged to keep us so long as we remain one

with Christ, united to the vine.”—6 Manuscript Re-

The Godhead in the Spirit of Prophecy

58 Defending the Godhead

leases, 29 (sermon given March 10, 1908).

“You are baptized in the name of the Father, of the

Son, and of the Holy Ghost . . You are born unto God,

and you stand under the sanction of the three holiest

Beings in heaven.”—Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, 367.

“When I feel oppressed, and hardy know how to

relate myself toward the work that God has given me

to do, I just call upon the three great Worthies.”—7

Manuscript Releases, 267-268 (sermon given October

20, 1906).

“In whose name are we baptized? In the name of

the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost—

the three highest powers in the heavenly courts.”—

Sermons and Talks, Vol. 2, 287 (Camp meeting sermon

given June 27, 1907).

“We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son,

and the Holy Ghost, and these three great, infinite

powers are unitedly pledged to work in our behalf if

we cooperate with Them.”—Lift Him Up, 109 (General

Conference Bulletin, 215).

“At our baptism we pledged ourselves to Him

[Jesus], and received the ordinance in the name of

the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

These three great powers of heaven pledged Themselves

to work in our behalf, not only to begin, but to

finish our faith.”—1901 General Conference Bulletin,

215 (talk given April 14, 1901).

How very thankful we can be for such clear Bible/

Spirit of Prophecy facts, so we need have no doubt

about the nature of the Godhead! It does not consist of

one divine Person, or even two,—but three powerful

Individuals.

We do well not to speak negatively about either their

power or their existence.

59

2 - THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST

Christ’s total divine nature is able to link us

to God the Father and empower us to obey the

divine law.

THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST

IN THE BIBLE

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was

with God, and the Word was God.”—John 1:1.

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery

to be equal with God.”—Philippians 2:6.

“Christ . . who is over all, God blessed for ever.

Amen.”—Romans 9:5.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious

appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus

Christ.”—Titus 2:13.

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and

hath given us an understanding, that we may know

Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even

in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and

eternal life.”—1 John 5:20.

“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, Counselor, The

mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of

Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6.

“And without controversy great is the mystery of

godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in

the Spirit.”—1 Timothy 3:16.

“For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the

Godhead bodily.”—Colossians 2:9.

The Divinity of Christ in the Bible

60 Defending the Godhead

THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST

IN THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

“Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’

In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived.

‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. The divinity

of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal

life.”—Desire of Ages, 530.

“ ‘In Him [Jesus] was life; and the life was the light

of men.’ It is not physical life that is here specified, but

eternal life, the life which is exclusively the property

of God. The Word, who was with God, and who

was God, had this life. Physical life is something which

each individual receives. It is not eternal or immortal;

for God, the life-giver takes it again . . But the life of

Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life

from Him. ‘I lay it down of Myself,’ He said. In Him

was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life

is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through

Christ.”—5 Bible Commentary, 1130.

3 - THE ETERNITY OF CHRIST

According to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy,

Christ has existed from all eternity past.

THE ETERNITY OF CHRIST

IN THE BIBLE

“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.”—Micah 5:2.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word

was with God, and the Word was God. The same was

61

in the beginning with God.”—John 1:1-2.

“And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,

The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The

Prince of Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6.

“Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment,

but after the power of an endless [Greek:

indissoluble] life.”—Hebrews 7:16.

THE ETERNITY OF CHRIST

IN THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

“Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God

. . In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries

the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us

that there never was a time when He was not in close

fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice

the Jews were then listening had been with God as

one brought up with Him.”—Evangelism, 615

(Signs, August 29, 1900).

“If Christ made all things, He existed before all

things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive

that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God

essentially, and in the highest sense. 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.”—5 Bible Commentary, 1126.

“The Word existed as a divine being, even as the

eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His

Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the

covenant . . Before men or angels were created, the

Word was with God, and was God . . Christ was God

essentially, and in the highest sense. 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 Eternity of Christ in the Spirit of Prophecy

62 Defending the Godhead

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. This was no robbery of God.”—1 Selected

Messages, 247-248 (Review and Herald, April

15, 1906).

“The world was made by Him, ‘and without Him

was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3). If

Christ made all things, He existed before all things.

The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive

that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially,

and in the highest sense. He was with God

from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.”—

1 Selected Messages, 247.

Many additional quotations will be found later

in this book, as follows: Twenty-Four Bible Proofs

that Christ is Fully God (p. 94). The Divinity of

Christ in the Bible (p. 96). Fourteen Bible Proofs

that Christ Has Existed Forever (p. 105). The Divinity

and Eternity of Christ in the Spirit of Prophecy

(p. 112). Special Topics about Christ (p. 119).

4 - THE HUMANITY

OF CHRIST

His total, sinless humanity was able to obey

God’s law and, reaching down to us, give us an

example of obedience.

THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

IN THE BIBLE

“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but

He took on Him the seed of Abraham.”—Hebrews 2:16.

“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like

63

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.”—Hebrews 2:17.

“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed,

and heirs according to the promise.”—Galatians 3:29.

“Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was

made of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared

to be the Son of God with power, according to the

spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”—Romans

1:3-4.

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these

things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of

David, and the bright and morning star.”—Revelation 22:16.

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of

Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”—Isaiah

11:1.

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent

forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”

Galatians 4:4.

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak

through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness

of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”—

Romans 8:3.

“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.”—Hebrews 2:14.

“For we have not an high Priest which cannot be touched

with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points

tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”—Hebrews 4:15.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ

is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of

antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and

even now already is it in the world.”—1 John 4:3.

THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

IN THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

When asked to prove the correct view of the

Humanity of Christ in the Spirit of Prophecy

64 Defending the Godhead

nature of Christ from the Spirit of Prophecy, all

you need do is open a Desire of Ages to pp. 49

and 117. It is all there. Memorize those two numbers.

You might add Desire of Ages, 71, 311-312,

363.

There are a thousand passages which describe

the correct view of the nature of Christ. He became

fully like us and took our fallen nature. He

was fully tempted and could have yielded. But

not once did He ever sin in thought, word, or action.

Through His enabling grace, we too can resist

temptation, overcome, and not sin.

“The great work of redemption could be carried

out only by the Redeemer taking the place of fallen

Adam . . He would take man’s fallen nature.”—Review,

February 24, 1874.

“We are not to serve God as if we were not

human, but we are to serve Him in the nature we

have, that has been redeemed by the Son of God;

through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand

before God pardoned, and as though we had never

sinned.”—3 Selected Messages, 140.

“Though He had all the strength of passion of

humanity, never did He yield to temptation to do

one single act which was not pure and elevating and

ennobling.”—In Heavenly Places, 155.

“The soul must purpose the sinful act before

passion can dominate over reason or iniquity triumph

over conscience. Temptation, however strong, is never

an excuse for sin.”—5 Testimonies, 177.

“We need not retain one sinful propensity.”—7 Bible

Commentary, 943.

“Christ did not make-believe take human nature;

He did verily take it. He did in reality possess

human nature. ‘As the children are partakers of flesh

65

and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the

same.’ He was the Son of Mary; He was of the seed of

David according to human descent.”—5 Bible Commentary,

1130.

“Think of Christ’s humiliation. He took upon Himself

fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and

defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief

and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith

man is beset. He united humanity with divinity:

a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh.”—4 Bible Commentary,

1147.

“Christ rendered obedience to God, and overcame

as humanity must overcome. We are led to make

wrong conclusions because of erroneous views of the

nature of our Lord. To attribute to His nature a power

that it is not possible for man to have in his conflicts

with Satan, is to destroy the obedience that is

required of man.

“Man cannot overcome Satan’s temptations except

as divine power works through humanity. The Lord

Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what God in

His own divine person could do, but what He could

do through humanity. Through faith man is to be a

partaker of the divine nature, and to overcome every

temptation wherewith he is beset.”—Signs, April 10,

1893.

“If Christ had a special power which it is not the

privilege of man to have, Satan would have made capital

of this matter. But the work of Christ was to take

from Satan his control of man, and he could do this

only in a straightforward way. He became a man, to be

tempted as a man, rendering the obedience of a man.

Christ rendered obedience to God, and overcame as

humans must overcome.”—Signs, April 10, 1893.

“The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal

Humanity of Christ in the Spirit of Prophecy

66 Defending the Godhead

what a God could do, but what a man could do,

through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency.”—

3 Selected Messages, 140.

5 - THE DIVINITY

OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the

Godhead. He has existed forever; and he is equal

in divinity to the other two persons of the Godhead.

He is working to draw us to God and save

us. We should not deny His existence.

THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

IN THE BIBLE

Here are 52 Scripture references which attest

to the full divinity of the Holy Spirit:

First, He has the attributes of divinity: He is Omniscient

(1 Cor. 2:10-12, Rom. 11:33). He is Omnipotent (Job

33:4, 1 Chron. 29:11-12, Gen. 1:2). He is Omnipresent

(Ps. 139:7-10, John 14:17). He is Eternal (Heb. 9:14). He

is Holy (Matt. 12:32). He is Love (Gal. 5:22). He is Truth

(John 14:17, 15:26).

Second, He does the works of divinity: The Creation

(Gen. 1:2, Ps. 104:30, Job 26:13). The Birth of Christ (Matt.

1:20). The Inspiration of God’s Word (2 Peter 1:21). The

New Birth (Titus 3:5, John 3:6). Intercession (Rom. 8:26).

Ministry (John 14:16).

Third, He exhibits five attributes of a person: He

has intellect—“The Spirit searches all things” (1 Cor. 2:10).

He has knowledge—The Holy Spirit understands the mind

of God (1 Cor. 2:11). He has a mind—The Father knows the

mind of the Spirit (Rom. 8:27). He has emotions—“Grieve

not the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30). The Holy Spirit is

grieved when we lie (vs. 25), are angry (vs. 26), steal, are

lazy (vs. 28), or speak unkind words (vs. 29). He has a will

67

(Acts 16:6).

Fourth, He does ten things which a divine person

would do: He testifies—“He will bear witness of Me” (John

15:26). He helps—He is the “Comforter” (John 14:16). He

teaches—He teaches us (John 14:26). He guides—He guides

us in our search for truth (John 16:13). He convinces and

convicts—He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and

judgment (John 8:9, 16:8). He regenerates (Eze. 36:25-27,

Titus 3:5). He intercedes (Rom. 8:26, Heb. 7:25). He commands

(Acts 8:29, 39; 13:2). He sends out (Acts 13:4). He

forbids and prohibits (Acts 16:6-9).

Fifth, certain things can be done toward Him, which

could not be done if He did not have a personality; He

can be obeyed—In Acts 10, the Lord told Peter to go to the

house of Cornelius. He obeyed the Holy Spirit and went. He

can be resisted—Stephen told the Jews, about to stone him,

that they were “stiffnecked . . always resisting the Holy Ghost”

(Acts 7:51). He can be grieved—The Holy Spirit is grieved

when a person sins (Eph. 4:30; cf. Isa. 63:10). He can be

blasphemed (Matt. 12:31-32, Mark 3:29). He can be lied

to (Acts 5:3).

Sixth, He is at times referred to in the grammatical

masculine (John 15:26, John 16:13-14).

THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

IN THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

Here are 19 of the many Spirit of Prophecy

quotations which verify the full eternity and divinity

of the Holy Spirit:

“The eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and

Christ, and the Holy Spirit—arming them [the disciples]

with more than mortal energy . . would advance

with them to the work and convince the world of sin.”

Evangelism, 616.

“The eternal Godhead—the Father, the Son, and

the Holy Ghost—is involved in the action required to

make assurance to the human agent.”—Upward Look,

Divinity of the Holy Spirit in the Sp of Prophecy

68 Defending the Godhead

148.

“The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit;

for it is His representative.”—Messages to Young

People, 55.

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is

as much a person as God is a person, is walking

through these grounds.”—Evangelism, 616 (Manuscript

66, 1899).

“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness

with our spirits that we are the children of

God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its

own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure

that we are children of God . .

“The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could

not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits

that we are the children of God. He must also be a

divine person, else He could not search out the secrets

which lie hidden in the mind of God. ‘For what

man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of

man which is in him? even so the things of God

knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’ ”—Evangelism,

616-617 (Manuscript 20, 1906).

“Evil had been accumulating for centuries, and

could only be restrained and resisted by the mighty

power of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the

Godhead, who would come with no modified energy,

but in the fullness of divine power. Another spirit must

be met; for the essence of evil was working in all ways,

and the submission of man to this satanic captivity

was amazing.”—Testimonies to Ministers, 392.

“Christ, as Mediator, is the great Minister in the

work of redemption. The Holy Spirit is His representative

in our world, to execute the divine purpose

of bringing to fallen man power from above,

that he may be an overcomer.”—7 Bible Commentary,

69

922.

“Those who reject the Spirit of truth place themselves

under the control of a spirit that is opposed to

the Word and work of God. For a time they may continue

to teach some phases of the truth, but their

refusal to accept all the light God sends will after a

time place them where they will do the work of a

false watchman . . There will always be those who are

seeking for something new and who stretch and strain

the Word of God to make it support their ideas and

theories.”—Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, 385, 387

(Manuscript 125, September 4, 1907).

“The Holy Spirit unites with the powers of grace

that God has provided to turn souls to Christ.”— Review,

July 18, 1907.

“The prince of the power of evil can only be

held in check by the power of God in the Third

Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.”—Special

Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37 (Ev 617).

“By the Spirit which searches all things, even

the deep things of God, have been revealed precious

truths which cannot be described by pen or voice.”—

Sons and Daughters of God, 34.

“The Holy Spirit was eagerly sought for in the

schools of the prophets.”—12 Manuscript Releases,

147 (Manuscript 69, June 19, 1908).

“The time [after Christ’s ascension] had now come.

The Spirit had been waiting for the crucifixion, resurrection,

and ascension of Christ. For ten days the

disciples offered their petitions for the outpouring of

the Spirit, and Christ in heaven added His intercession.”—

6 Bible Commentary, 1055.

“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in

every place personally; therefore it was altogether for

their advantage that He should leave them, go to His

Divinity of the Holy Spirit in the Sp of Prophecy

70 Defending the Godhead

Father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor

on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of

the personality of humanity and independent

thereof. He [Christ] would represent Himself as

present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.”—

14 Manuscript Releases, 23. (Manuscript

5a, 1895. Desire of Ages, 669-670 is similar.)

“He [Christ] would intercede for them, and

would send them His own representative, the Holy

Spirit, who would attend them in their work. This

representative would not appear in human form,

but by faith would be seen and recognized by all who

should believe in Christ.”—Review, October 26, 1896.

“Christ, as Mediator, is the great Minister in the

work of redemption. The Holy Spirit is His representative

in our world, to execute the divine purpose

of bringing to fallen man power from above,

that he may be an overcomer.”—7 Bible Commentary,

922.

“The Saviour promised that His presence would

be always with them. Through the Holy Spirit He

would be even nearer to them than when He walked

visibly among men.”—Ministry of Healing, 104.

“Jesus had assured them that He would send the

Comforter, as an equivalent for His visible presence.”—

3 Spirit of Prophecy, 256.

“Why should we not expect the Holy Watcher to

come into our schools?”—Counsels to Teachers, 370.

[The Holy Spirit as a person walking in our schools:

8T 62, the whole page; CT 68, 417-418.]

Many additional quotations will be found in

this book, as follows: The Divinity of the Holy Spirit

in the Bible (p. 126). The Divinity of the Holy Spirit

in the Spirit of Prophecy (p. 142). Special Statements

about the Holy Spirit (p. 153). Pronouns for

71

the Holy Spirit (p. 161).

——————————————

— CHAPTER FOUR —

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC

TEACHING

ABOUT THE TRINITY

Roman Catholicism teaches that the Son comes

out of the Father and the Holy Spirit comes from

both;—and yet there is only one God! There is no

Son apart from the Father and no Holy Spirit

apart from both. Significantly, the roots of Arianism

(Christ is not eternal) and the no-separate-Holy Spirit

teaching both find their source in this peculiar doctrine

which, we will learn in the next chapter, was

vigorously opposed by several of our pioneers.

Ironically, there are those among us today who

are teaching the basic concept of the Trinity error—

that there is only one Being that is the eternal

God! Apart from that one God, there is no eternal

Christ and no Holy Spirit with a separate existence.

The term, trinitas, was first used in the second

century by Tertullian; but the doctrine was not formulated

until the fourth century.

Quoted below are 21 statements, from official

Catholic theological works, about the Trinity. You

will read about this weird error which our pioneers

so strongly opposed:

RC: The Son proceeds from the Father and the

Holy Spirit proceeds out of both of Them—“The Fa-

The Roman Catholic Teaching about the Trinity

72 Defending the Godhead

ther begets the Son, and the Son proceeds from the

Father. The Father and Son breathe forth the Holy

Ghost, and He proceeds from Them, as from one

Source.”—“One God in Three Persons,” My Catholic

Faith: A Manual of Religion, Louis Laravoire Morrow,

Bishop of Krishnagar, p. 30.

RC: The Father continually copulates with Himself

and brings forth the Son, and Their love in each

other brings forth the Spirit—“God the Father eternally

knows Himself, and continues to know Himself

[copula; that is, copulates with Himself], and continues

to know Himself, and thus continues to bring forth

the Son in a continual birth. God the Father and God

the Son continue to love each other, and their delight

in each other continues to bring forth the Spirit of Love,

God the Holy Ghost. In a similar way, fire has light and

color. As long as there is fire, it continues to produce

light. As long as there is fire with light, there is produced

color.”—Ibid., p. 31.

RC: There is only one Divine Being—“There are

three Persons, but only one Being.”—Ibid., p. 33.

RC: The Son is not equal to the Father—“In proof

of the assertion that many of the Fathers deny the equality

of the Son with the Father, passages are cited from

Justin (Apol., I, xiii, xxxii), Irenaeus (Adv. haer., III,

viii, n. 3), Clem. Alex. (“Strom.” VII, ii), Hippolytus (Con.

Noet., n. 14), Origen (Con. Cels., VIII, xv).”—The Catholic

Encyclopedia, 1914 Edition, art. “The Blessed Trinity.”

RC: The Son was created—“Expressions which

contain the statement that the Son was created are

found in Clement of Alexandria (Strom., V, xiv; VI, vii),

Tatian (Orat., v), Tertullian (A’Adv. Prax.’ vi; ‘Adv.

Hermong.’, xviii, xx), Origen (In Joan., I, n. 22).”—Ibid.

[If you accept the teaching that Christ has not exThe

illustration below is from p. 32 of an official

Roman Catholic book, entitled My Catholic Faith. Notice

that their Trinity concept contains the same basic

error that some within our own ranks are now teaching:

(1) The Son came out of the Father, beginning

long ago; so He is not eternal. (2) The Holy Spirit has

no separate existence, but only as He keeps coming

out of the others. (3) God is one in person.

Do you want to teach—or even believe—the Catholic

error which our pioneer writers (see next chapter)

so earnestly opposed?

74 Defending the Godhead

isted forever, you are a good Catholic. Beware of the

errors you accept from teachers in our ranks.]

RC: The Spirit is only Christ’s breath—“Pneuma

is understood in the light of John 20:22 where Christ,

appearing to the Apostles, breathed on them and conferred

on them the Holy Spirit. He is the breath of Christ

(John Damascene, ‘Fid. orth.’, 1, viii), breathed by Him

[Christ] into us (Cyril of Alexandria, ‘Thesaurus’; cf.

Petav., ‘De Trin’, V, vii).”—Ibid.

RC: The divine nature existed before the Gods

it was in—“The transition to the Latin [later Catholic]

theology of the Trinity was the work of St. Augustine.

Western [Roman] theologians have never departed from

the main lines which he laid down . . and it received its

final and classical form from St. Thomas Aquinas . .

[Augustine] views the Divine Nature as [existing] prior

to the personalities.”—Ibid.

RC: The “processions” of Christ and the Holy

Spirit from the original God find an analogy in

thought and will being produced by the human

mind—“By indicating the analogy between the two processions

within the Godhead and the internal acts of

thought and will in the human mind (De Trin., IX, iii,

3; X, xi, 17), he became the founder of the psychological

theory of the Trinity, which, with a very few exceptions,

was accepted by every subsequent Latin writer.”—

Ibid.

RC: The Holy Spirit is produced by an action of

the divine will—“The doctrine of the procession of

the Holy Spirit by means of the act of the Divine will is

due entirely to Augustine . . He mentions the opinion

with favour in the ‘De fide et symbolo’ (A.D. 393); and

the ‘De Trinitate’ (A.D. 415) develops it at length. His

teaching was accepted by the West [Rome].”—Ibid.

RC: There is only one God—“Obviously, there can

75

be only one infinite Being, only one God. If several were

to exist, none of them would really be infinite, for, to

have plurality of natures at all, each should have some

perfection not possessed by the others [which is a ridiculous

reason]. This will be readily granted by everyone

who admits the infinity of God, and there is no need

to delay in developing what is perfectly clear . . If the

question, for example be asked: Why may there not be

several self-existing beings? The only satisfactory answer,

as it seems to us, is this: Because a self-existent

being as such is necessarily infinite, and there cannot

be several infinities. The unity of God as the First Cause

might also be inductively inferred from the unity of the

universe as we know it, but as the suggestion might be

made, and could not be disproved, that there may be

another or even several universes of which we have no

knowledge, this argument would not be absolutely conclusive.”—

The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1914 Edition,

art. “Nature and Attributes of God.” [You have just

read typical Jesuitic thinking. Unfortunately, there

are those even in our own ranks who accept the same

conclusion, that there is only one Being who is the

eternal God.]

RC: There is only one God; and He consists of

nothingness—“God is a simple being or substance excluding

every kind of composition [substance], physical

or metaphysical . . Nor can accidental composition

be attributed to the infinite since even this would imply

a capacity for increased perfection, which the very

notion of the infinite excludes.”—Ibid.

RC: Christ’s humanity and divinity are only

united “hypostatically”—“His human nature and His

Divine nature are in Jesus Christ united hypostatically,

i.e., united in the hypostasis or the person of the Word.

This dogma has found bitter opponents from the ear-

The Roman Catholic Teaching about the Trinity

76 Defending the Godhead

liest times of the Church.”—The Catholic Encyclopedia,

1914 Edition, art. “Christology.”

RC: Every good Catholic must accept that the

Holy Spirit comes out of the Father and the Son,

and does not have a separate existence—“He [the

Holy Spirit] proceeds, not by way of generation, but

by way of spiration, from the Father and the Son together,

as from a single principle. Such is the belief the

Catholic faith demands.”—The Catholic Encyclopedia,

1914 Edition, art. “Holy Ghost.” [If you accept the

teaching that the Holy Spirit is not the separate, Third

Person of the Godhead, you are a good Catholic. Beware

of the errors you accept from teachers in our

ranks.]

RC: The Holy Spirit proceeds out of the Father

and the Son—“The Son proceeds from the Father; the

Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.”—

Ibid.

RC: The Holy Spirit flows out of the Father

through the Son—“Tertullian dwells at length on the

Paraclete. The Holy Ghost, he says, proceeds from the

Father through the Son (iv, viii in P.L., II, 182, 187);

teaching all truth (ii in P.L. II, 179).”—Ibid.

RC: Apart from God, the Holy Spirit has no subsistence;

i.e., He has no separate existence—“St. Gregory

Thaumaturgus, or at least the Ekthesis tes pisteos,

which is commonly attributed to him, gives us this remarkable

passage (P.G., X, 933 sqq.): ‘One is God, Father

of the living Word, of the subsisting Wisdom . .

One the Lord, one of one, God of God, invisible of invisible

. . One the Holy Ghost, having His subsistence

from God . . Perfect Trinity, which in eternity, glory,

and power, is neither divided, nor separated . . Unchanging

and immutable Trinity.”—Ibid.

RC: The Holy Spirit is only the spirit of God

77

and Christ—“The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Christ.

He is also the Spirit of the Father. Thus St. Augustine

argues (In Joan, tr. xcix, 6, 7 in P.L., XXXV, 188) . .

Just as there is only one Father, just as there is only

one Lord or one Son, so there is only one Spirit, who

is, consequently, the Spirit of both [of the other two].”—

Ibid.

RC: The Holy Ghost actually issues forth from

one, not two, substances—“Proceeding both from the

Father and the Son, the Holy Ghost, nevertheless, proceeds

from them as from a single principle. The Holy

Ghost proceeds from the two, not in so far as They are

distinct, but inasmuch as Their Divine perfection is

numerically one. Besides, such is the explicit teaching

of ecclesiastical tradition, which is concisely put by St.

Augustine (De Trin., lib. V, c. xiv, in P.L., XLII, 921) . .

This doctrine was defined in the following words by

the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons (Denzinger,

‘Enchiridion’, 1908, n. 460): ‘We confess that the Holy

Ghost proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son,

not as from two principles, but as from one principle,

not by two spirations, but by one single spiration.’ The

teaching was again laid down by the Council of Florence

(ibid., n. 691), and by Eugene IV in his Bull

Cantate Domino’ (ibid., n. 703 sq).”—Ibid.

RC: This mystery is the central doctrine of

Catholic faith—“The mystery of the Trinity is the central

doctrine of Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the

other teachings of the Church.”—Ibid, p. 16.

RC: As good Catholics, you must worship only

one eternal God—“Unless [people] keep this Faith

whole and undefiled, without doubt, they shall perish

everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this: We worship

one God in Trinity.”—A Practical Catholic Dictionary,

p. 32.

The Roman Catholic Teaching about the Trinity

78 Defending the Godhead

RC: Whereas Christ proceeds from the mind of

the Father, the Holy Spirit flows outward from His

will—“It is likewise an article of [Catholic] faith that

the Holy Ghost does not proceed by way of generation

. . We distinguish absolutely and essentially between

generation and spiration. St. Thomas (I, Q. xxvii), following

St. Augustine (Do Trin., IV, xxvii), finds the explanation

and, as it were the epitome of, the doctrine

in principle that, in God, the Son proceeds through

the Intellect and the Holy Ghost through the Will.”—

Ibid.

Here is a summary of what we have learned

in this chapter: Although Catholic theologians talk

about “three Persons” in their Trinity, they do not really

teach three persons! The Son is something God

keeps inventing out of His own “intellect” (“eternal generation,”

it is called). The two of them exude, or float

out, something called “the Holy Ghost” which isn’t really

there. It is only an expression of the “will” of God.

Over the centuries, Catholic theologians gradually

combined pagan concepts with a misinterpretation of

Scripture—to present the world with a magnificent

counterfeit of the truth: (1) A Son who is always partly

there and always partly emerging out (“continuous generation”)

from the Father. (2) A Holy Spirit, which has

no separate existence, but is continually exhaled (“continuous

spiration”) from both the Father and the Son.

(3) A Father who has less existence than His nature

and is only part of a mixed-up “one essence.”

It is INSIDE Roman Catholic theology that we

find the seeds of the modern errors that Christ

had a beginning and is not eternal, and the Holy

Spirit does not really exist.

Is this what you want to believe? error originated

79

by Catholic priests—or the Bible/Spirit of Prophecy

truth that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct

individuals who are fully separate, fully divine, and fully

eternal?

“Our opponents sometimes claim that no belief

should be held dogmatically which is not explicitly

stated in Scripture . . But the Protestant churches have

themselves accepted such dogmas as the Trinity, for

which there is no such precise authority in the Gospels.”—

Life magazine, October 30, 1950.

“Q. Do you observe other necessary truths as taught

by the Church, not clearly laid down in Scripture?

“A. The doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine the knowledge

of which is certainly necessary to salvation, is not

explicitly and evidently laid down in Scripture, in the

Protestant sense of private interpretation.”—Doctrinal

Catechism, quoted in Review and Herald, August 22,

1854.

——————————————

— CHAPTER FIVE —

OUR PIONEERS

OPPOSED

THE TRINITY ERROR

The Present Truth began publication in July 1849.

In November 1850, it was called the Second Advent

Review and Sabbath Herald; and, on August 5, 1851,

it became the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald.

From May 6, 1852, onward, 52 issues were printed

each year.

In eight articles in 23 years (1,196 issues, con-

Our Pioneers Opposed the Trinity Error

80 Defending the Godhead

taining nearly 10,000 articles) of Reviews, between

1855 and 1877, six of our pioneers wrote against

the Trinity doctrine of Catholicism, and defined what

it was in that teaching that they so much opposed.

It is fortunate that they explained why they did not

like the Trinity. We discover that it was not the Godhead

that they were opposed to; but it was the Trinity! There

were a few other instances in which writers spoke

against the Trinity doctrine of Catholicism, without

defining it; but we can assume that it was the same

basic definition which the six were opposed to.

To say it again: In each instance in which the Trinity

is mentioned—and defined—in the Review by early

Advent writers,—it is never our Godhead teaching, as

given in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy that is opposed!

Not once. Therefore, it is not true that “our

pioneers were opposed to the Godhead.”

However, it should be mentioned that there were

nine of those early writers (some of them laymen writing

letters to the editor) who mentioned, in passing,

that they did not personally believe that Christ had

existed from all eternity. —However, none of them

denied that He was the Divine Son of God.

Here, for example, is an overview of the belief of

James White in the divinity of Christ: In 1852, he wrote

that Christ was not the same person as God the Father,

as the Trinitarians teach. He rejected “the old

Trinitarian absurdity,” that “Jesus Christ is the very

and eternal God” (Review, August 5, 1852). So there

should be no misunderstanding as to that statement.

The next year James clarified it by reaffirming his full

belief in the divinity of Christ (Review, September 8,

1853; also in Review, October 12, 1876). In 1877,

James published an article entitled, “Christ Equal with

God” (Review, November 29, 1877). He mentioned his

81

full belief in Christ’s divinity again near the end of his

life (Review, July 5, 1880).

The total number of articles or letters to the

editor, which dealt with all of the above points,

would not even fill one issue of the Review we had

back then. Obviously, the Trinity and the eternity of

Christ were not major concerns of our people

throughout the nineteenth century.

In some instances, without defining the Trinity,

those early Advent writers wrote opposing views. Remember:

They were frail men who had come out of

many different churches and were not inspired. For

example, Merritt Cornell (Review, November 23, 1862)

wrote that the divine Christ could not have died on the

cross while J.H. Waggoner (Review, November 10,

1863) maintained that the divine Christ had to die.

(The question was later clarified; see 5BC 1113.) There

were also arguments over whether or not Christ was

eternal in the past. Some viewed it one way and some

another.

The six who, in the Review, defined the Trinity that

they were opposed to were as follows: James White

(1855, 1868, 1877), J.N. Andrews (1855), Uriah Smith

(1856), Roy F. Cottrell (1857, 1869), J.N. Loughborough

(1861), Joseph Bates (1868).

To that list, we can add four other statements by

nineteenth-century workers, which defined the Trinity

belief they opposed—all of which were printed in books:

Joseph Bates (1848, 1868), James White (1868), and

J.H. Waggoner (1884),

In the following quotations, notice that it was the

three-in-one Trinity error—the concept which made

the Deity into nonpersons—which was attacked. Our

Bible/Spirit of Prophecy position on three distinct, Divine

members of the Godhead was not opposed. This

Our Pioneers Opposed the Trinity Error

82 Defending the Godhead

is important!

“Our pioneers” did not write one word in opposition

to the three-Person Godhead; they only wrote

against the weird Catholic three-gods-in-one theory,

called “the trinity.”

Here are these eleven defining statements, seven

of them in the Review, four in books:

“John describes One seated on a throne with a book

in His right hand, and He distinctly saw Jesus come

up to the throne and take the book out of the hand of

Him that sat therein. Now if it is possible to make these

two entirely different transactions appear in one person,

then I could believe that God died and was buried

instead of Jesus.”—Joseph Bates, letter to William

Miller, 1848, printed in Past and Present Experience.

“The doctrine of the Trinity which was established

in the church by the Council of Nice [Nicea], A.D. 325.

This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and His

Son Jesus Christ.”—J.N. Andrews, Review, March 6,

1855.

“[Listing Catholic ‘fables’:] Here we might mention

the Trinity, which does away with the personality of

God, and of His Son Jesus Christ, and of sprinkling or

pouring . . But we pass from these fables to notice one

that is held sacred by nearly all professed Christians

. . It is the change of the Sabbath.”—James White, Review,

February 7, 1856.

“The doctrine called the Trinity, claiming that God

is without form or parts; that the Father, Son and Holy

Ghost, the three are one person.”—Uriah Smith, Review,

July 10, 1856.

“[Ridiculing the idea of the Trinity, Cottrell compares

it with three aspects of a person:] He proceeded

to affirm that ‘man is a triune being,’ consisting of body,

83

soul, and spirit. I never heard of a [true] disciple confess

faith in the doctrine of the Trinity; but why not, if

man consists of three persons in one person? Especially

since man was made in the image of God. But

the image, He [God in Genesis 1:26-27] said, was a

moral likeness. So man may be a triune being [made

of body, soul, and spirit], without proving that God is

[made of three things]. But does he mean that one man

is three men? I might say that a tree consists of body,

bark, and leaves, and no one perhaps would dispute

it. But if I should affirm that each tree consists of three

trees, the assertion would possibly be doubted by some

. .”—Roy F. Cottrell, Review, November 19, 1857.

“Question [sent in by W.W. Giles of Toledo, Ohio]:

What serious objection is there to the doctrine of the

Trinity?

“Answer [by Loughborough]: There are many objections

which we might urge, but on account of our

limited space we shall reduce them to the three following:

1. It is contrary to common sense. 2. It is contrary

to Scripture. 3. Its origin is pagan and fabulous.

“These positions we will remark upon briefly in

their order. 1. It is not very consonant [in agreement]

with common sense to talk of three being one, and one

being three. Or as some express it, calling God ‘the

Triune God,’ or ‘the three-one-God.’ If Father, Son, and

Holy Ghost are each God, it would be three Gods; for

three times one is not one, but three. There is a sense

in which They are one, but not one person, as claimed

by Trinitarians [Notice that this extended description

is not denying the existence or Godhead of the Father,

Son, or Holy Spirit.] . .

“Read the seventeenth chapter of John, and see if

it does not completely upset the doctrine of the Trinity.

To believe that doctrine, when reading the Scrip-

Our Pioneers Opposed the Trinity Error

84 Defending the Godhead

ture, we must believe that God sent Himself into the

world, died to reconcile the world to Himself, raised

Himself from the dead, ascended to Himself in heaven,

pleads before Himself in heaven to reconcile the world

to Himself, and is the only mediator between man and

Himself . .

“2. The word Trinity nowhere occurs in the Scriptures

. . [He states that 1 John 5:7 was a later addition

to the Bible, which is true. It is not a genuine Bible

verse, and was added in the 12th century to prove the

Trinity: “. . and these three are one.” The passage, as

given in the KJV, is in no Greek manuscript earlier

than the 15th and 16th centuries! This is discussed in

more detail later in this book.]

“3. Its origin is pagan and fabulous. Instead of pointing

us to Scripture for proof of the Trinity, we are

pointed [by the Catholics] to the trident [large, 3-tined

pitchfork] of the Persians, with the assertion that ‘by

this they designed to teach the idea of a Trinity.”—J.N.

Loughborough, Review, November 5, 1861.

“Respecting the Trinity, I concluded that it was an

impossibility for me to believe that the Lord Jesus

Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty

God, the Father, one and the same being. I said to my

father [who believed in the Trinity], ‘If you can convince

me that we are one in this sense, that you are my

father, and I your son; and also that I am your father,

and you my son, then I can believe in the Trinity.”—

Joseph Bates, The Autobiography of Elder Joseph

Bates, p. 204 (1868).

[Explaining the meaning of “one”:] “Jesus prayed

that His disciples might be one as He was one with His

Father. This prayer did not contemplate one disciple

with twelve heads, but twelve disciples, made one in

object and effort in the cause of their Master. Neither

85

are the Father and the Son parts of the ‘three-one God.’

They are two distinct beings, yet one in the design and

accomplishment of redemption.”—James White, Life

Incidents, p. 343 (1868).

“[Speaking of the doctrine of the Triune God:] That

one person is three persons, and that three persons

are only one person, is the doctrine which we claim is

contrary to reason and common sense . . Our Creator

has made it an absurdity to us that one person should

be three persons, and three persons but one person;

and in His revealed Word He has never asked us to

believe it.”—Roy F. Cottrell, Review, July 6, 1869.

“The inexplicable Trinity that makes the Godhead

three in one and one in three, is bad enough; but that

ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the

Father is worse. Did God say to an inferior, ‘Let us

make man in our image?’ ”—James White, Review,

November 29, 1877. [Notice that James White was

careful to mention that Christ was not inferior to the

Father.]

“Is Christ the Father in the Trinity? If so, how is He

the Son? or if He is both Father and Son, how can

there be a Trinity?”—J.H. Waggoner, The Atonement

in the Light of Nature and Revelation, p. 169 (1884).

That concludes the eleven statements. Now

you know for yourself what the pioneers were opposed

to! Not the Godhead with Three Persons, but

the one-in-three and three-in-one confusion, called

the “Trinity.”

Surely, we today do not want to accept the Trinity

error, which teaches that the Son emerged (generatos)

out of the Father (instead of being eternally

by His side) and a Holy Spirit which flowed out from

them (spirato) and is not a self-existent Third Person

of the Godhead. Yet that is what some among

Our Pioneers Opposed the Trinity Error

86 Defending the Godhead

us are teaching.

Someone may ask where I obtained my data. Individuals,

intent on eliminating the truth of the Godhead,

have ransacked Adventist writings from 1846 on down

to the present time. But all they could find were a few

early Advent writers opposed to the Trinity error.

You do not believe in the Trinity; I do not believe

in the Trinity. —And our pioneers did not believe in

the Trinity either!

Are we not glad that our pioneers had enough sense

to reject the Catholic Trinity and not oppose the Scriptural

Godhead?

If someone tells you that we should reject the

Godhead “because the pioneers did”—tell them that

they are mistaken. Then hand them a copy of this book

(which is quite inexpensive in small boxful quantities),

so they will understand the truth about this!

It is true that a few of our nineteenth-century believers

did not realize that Jesus was eternal. There

were others who did not know that the Holy Spirit existed.

Some argued one way and others another way.

There is nothing magical about the “pioneers.”

They were normal people who came from all kinds

of backgrounds and religions. Just as we have to

keep learning today, they had to back then. Gradually,

the Spirit of Prophecy clarified more and more

points; and our people unified on those truths.

Unfortunately, today many are slipping away from

our Bible/Spirit of Prophecy foundations. The truths

that we need today are found in the Inspired Writings,

not in books and articles by our pioneers;—

for, at times, they disagreed with one another.

87

——————————————

— CHAPTER SIX —

OUR

DOCTRINAL

STATEMENTS

It is with regret that I must inform you that,

after our nineteenth century pioneers opposed the

Trinity—a significant portion of the Trinity concept

was gradually slipped into our official Doctrinal

Statements!

It is likely that those who did this either did not

know the meaning of the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity

or they wanted to be better recognized, by the other

churches, as “Christian.”

Fortunately, because there are few instances of the

Trinity teaching elsewhere in our church literature, our

leaders still have a little time in which to return our

people to the Scriptural teaching on this subject. The

first step in doing this would be to remove one sentence

from our current official Statement of Beliefs.

Here is the history of all this:

THE 1889 DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

In 1889, for the first time, a statement of beliefs

appeared in our SDA Yearbook.

Here are significant portions of this Statement:

“I. That there is one God, a personal, spiritual

being, the creator of all things, omnipotent . . [lists

other qualities] . . and everywhere present by his

representative, the Holy Spirit. Psalm 139:7.

“II. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son

Our Doctrinal Statements

88 Defending the Godhead

of the Eternal Father, the one by whom he created

all things, and by whom they do consist . . [describes

the work of Christ on earth and in the heavenly Sanctuary]

. .”—Fundamental Beliefs, Nos. 1 and 2, 1889

SDA Yearbook, p. 147.

This Statement speaks of “one God” who is a

“being.” The Statement is thus claiming that God

is one being, when the Son and the Holy Spirit are

also God. It is indeed strange that this wording

should appear, when nowhere in our doctrinal literature,

back then, was anything similar mentioned.

However, we need to consider the time when it was

penned. As a result of the October 1888 General Conference

Session in Minneapolis, key church leaders in

Battle Creek (including Uriah Smith, who controlled

Review publications) were in an uproar over the fact

that Ellen White had sided with A.T. Jones and E.J.

Waggoner in the battle over righteousness by faith (obedience

by faith in Christ to the law of God) vs. righteousness

solely by obedience.

In 1889, the crisis deepened as she toured the

country, winning church members to her view of the

subject. It was amid this atmosphere of turmoil that

Uriah Smith and his associates decided to print the

first creed-like statement our church ever had.

It is significant that, in the 42 years between 1889

and 1931, that 1889 statement was only reprinted twice

after that (1905 and 1914).

THE 1931 DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

Going against Ellen White’s statement that our

people should rely on Scripture and not have creedal

statements as do other churches (1SM 416; cf. GC

596, 456; AA 451; TM 421), on December 30, 1930,

the Autumn Council voted that a committee of four

should prepare a 22-point “Statement of Fundamental

89

Beliefs.” It was first printed in the 1931 Yearbook.

In the following quoted portion of that Statement,

you will notice that the hints of Catholic Trinity error,

which were in the 1889 Statement, were omitted.

The 1931 phrasing is acceptable in what it says

about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The word,

“Godhead,” was correctly used; but the word, “Trinity,”

was strangely linked to it! It is obvious that

the four men who wrote that statement were ignorant

of the vast difference between the Godhead and the

Trinity! Historically, this 1931 statement was the first

and only time in Seventh-day Adventist history that

the word, “Trinity,” was used in a Statement of Beliefs.

Fortunately, it was removed from the next Statement

of Beliefs.

In this 1931 Statement, the Holy Spirit is the “third

Person of the Godhead.” Jesus Christ “is very God,

being of the same nature and essence as the eternal

Father.” That is acceptable, because it is worded “as,”

not “in.”

Here are the significant portions of the 1931 Statement

of Beliefs:

“2. That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of

the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being,

omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in

wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son

of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were

created, and through whom the salvation of the redeemed

hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit,

the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating

power in the work of redemption (Matt.

28:19).

“3. That Jesus Christ is very God, being of the

same nature and essence as the Eternal Father.

While retaining His divine nature, he took upon Him-

Our Doctrinal Statements

90 Defending the Godhead

self the nature of the human family, lived on earth

. . [the work of Christ on earth and later in heaven].

“8. . . This experience [of conversion] is wrought

by the divine agency of the Holy Spirit, who convinces

of sin and leads to the Sin Bearer, inducting

believers into the new-covenant relationship, where

the law of God is written on their hearts.”—Fundamental

Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, Nos. 2,

3, and 8, 1931 SDA Yearbook.

The above 1931 Statement declared all three to

be divine and three persons of the Godhead. But it

ignorantly stated that “Godhead” and “Trinity”

mean the same thing!

That Doctrinal Statement appeared in every Yearbook

from 1931 until 1980 (and in the Church Manual

from 1932 till 1980).

THE 1980 DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

The 1980 Dallas Session approved our present 27-

point Statement of Beliefs, which first appeared in our

1981 Yearbook. It eliminated the word, “Trinity,”

but added an odd Trinity-like phrase:

Here are the passages dealing with the Godhead:

“[2] There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy

Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal persons. God

is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and

ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension,

yet known through His self-revelation.

He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service

by the whole creation.

“[3] God the Eternal Father is the Creator,

Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He

is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger,

and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son

and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Fa91

ther.

“[4] God the eternal Son became incarnate in

Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created,

the character of God is revealed, the salvation of

humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged.

Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus

the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and

born . . [activities on earth and in heaven].

“[5] God the eternal Spirit was active with the

Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption.

He inspired the writers of Scripture . .”—

Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists,

Nos. 2-5, 1981 SDA Yearbook, p. 147.

Section No. 2 says that each person of the

Godhead has the qualities of divinity. This is a very

definite improvement over the 1889 and 1931 Statements

which only applied the various qualities of divinity

to God the Father. This Statement applies them

to all three. In addition, all three are twice called eternal,

which is in full agreement with the Spirit of Prophecy.

That is another major improvement. The flaw is

that, in that first sentence, They are also called “coeternal”

and “one God.” The statement should instead

say “God the Father, God the Son, and God the

Holy Spirit are each eternal, and one in nature and

purpose, but not in being a single person.” Such a

statement would be in full agreement with the Bible/

Spirit of Prophecy.

Last but not least in importance, the 1980 Statement

of Beliefs does not include the Catholic word,

“Trinity.” The word, “Trinity,” only appeared in the

1931 revision of our Doctrinal Beliefs.

The men who have ransacked Adventist literature

for instances in which “Trinity” has been used, have,

out of thousands of Adventist magazine articles and

Our Doctrinal Statements

92 Defending the Godhead

books, found only four other times when “Trinity”

was used by Adventists in books or periodicals:

Arthur Maxwell, one statement: He had close contacts

with the Vatican. As an observer to Vatican 1, in

the early 1960s, he wrote this erroneous statement for

Leo Rosten’s book, A Guide to the Religions of America:

“Do Seventh-day Adventists believe in the Trinity?

They do. Reverently they worship Father, Son,

and Holy Spirit: three persons in one God.”—p. 136.

It is remarkable that Maxwell said this.

Questions on Doctrine and Seventh-day Adventists

Believe, one statement each: Those two

compromising books were written to make our denomination

acceptable to the other churches. Both inserted

the word, “Trinity,” as a synonym for our belief in the

Godhead:

“Question 1. What doctrines do Seventh-day

Adventists hold in common with Christians in general,

and in what aspects of Christian thought do

they differ . .?

“1. In common with Conservative Christians and

the Historic Protestant Creeds, we believe . . 2. That

the Godhead, the Trinity, comprises God the Father,

Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”—Questions on

Doctrine, pp. 21-22.

“God said, ‘Let us make man’ . . (Gen. 1:26). The

plural ‘Us’ refers to the trinitarian Godhead—God

the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.”—

Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 80.

Knight and Johnsson, one statement each: In

addition, we have two other remarkable statements:

“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

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to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the

doctrine of the trinity.”—George Knight, Ministry

magazine, October 1993.

“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.”—William G. Johnsson, Review,

January 6, 1994.

Johnsson obviously read Knight’s article; and then

he made a similar comment on the subject. However,

neither the word, “Trinity,” nor its meaning is generally

used by our people. What we have here is an

effort by certain influential men to bring the Trinity

into our church. Even though they have slipped

it into our Doctrinal Statement, they have not yet

brought it into the everyday thinking of our people.

THE TRINITY SONG

I am sorry to have to tell you; but there are folk

in our denomination who, ignorantly or otherwise,

have slipped the Trinity error into our most recent

official hymn book! Here are the facts about this:

The song, Holy, Holy, Holy, written by Reginald

Heber in 1826, originally contained the Trinitarian

error: “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.”

But it was changed to “God over all who rules eternity.”

This correct alteration is found in our 1908 Christ

in Song (No. 327) and 1941 Church Hymnal (No. 73).

That correct version is also in our own Harvestime

Book, Time for Singing (No. 10).

Unfortunately, the original Trinity (“God in three

Persons, blessed Trinity”) wording was placed into our

1985 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (No. 73), where

it is in found twice: in stanzas 1 and 4.

Our Doctrinal Statements

94 Defending the Godhead

——————————————

— CHAPTER SEVEN —

ADDITIONAL BIBLE

FACTS ABOUT

THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST

TWENTY-FOUR BIBLE PROOFS

THAT CHRIST IS FULLY GOD

Here are 71 Scripture references which

clearly establish the divinity of Christ:

1—Jesus Christ is called the “Son” or “the Son

of God.” He was the Son before He was born into this

world (John 1:14, 18; Gal. 4:4).

2—He is the “only begotten” Son of God (John

1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9. Compare Psalm 2:7

and Luke 3:38).

3—He speaks of, and to, God as “Father” as One

who bears a unique relationship to Him (John 7:16-

17, Matt. 11:25-26, John 20:17).

4—He claims a unique knowledge of God (Matt.

11:27).

5—He speaks of Himself as “the Son of God” in

such a way that the Jews recognized that He was

claiming divinity, making Himself “equal to” God

(Matt. 26:63-64, John 5:18, 10:36).

6—The Sonship of Christ also applies to Him as

our Messiah and Mediator (Matt. 8:29, 26:63-64, John

1:49, 11:27-28).

7—He is the very image of God (2 Cor. 4:4, Col.

1:15, Heb. 1:3).

8—He is called the “firstborn” (Col. 1:15, Heb.

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1:6) and the “only begotten” (John 1:14, 18; 3:16,

18; 1 John 4:9).

9—The Bible indicates an eternal sonship that

goes back, without beginning, through all time in the

past. He had pre-existence and equality with the Father

before He was born into this world (Micah 5:2,

John 17:5, Col. 1:16).

10—He has life in Himself (John 5:26).

11—He has full divinity or deity (John 1:1, Rom.

9:5, Phil. 2:6, Titus 2:13, 1 John 5:20).

12—Divine names are applied to Him (Isa. 9:6,

40:3, Jer. 23:5-6, Joel 2:32. Compare Acts 2:21 and

1 Tim 3:16).

13—He has eternal existence (Isa. 9:6, John 1:1-

2, Rev. 1:8, 22:13). There never was a time when He

did not exist.

14—He has omniscience (John 2:24-25, 21:17,

Rev. 2:23). He has all knowledge in heaven, on earth,

and throughout the universe.

15—He has omnipotence (Isa. 9:6, Phil. 3:21).

16—He is immutable (Heb. 1:10-12, 13:8). He is

utterly unchangeable.

17—He has every attribute the Father has (Col.

2:9).

18—He is the Creator (John 1:3, 10; Col. 1:16;

Heb. 1:2, 10).

19—Divine Providences come through Christ

(John 3:35, 17:2, Eph. 1:22, Col. 1:17).

20—Only God and Jesus can forgive sin (Matt.

9:2-7, Mark 2:7-10, Col. 3:13).

21—He has a dominant role both in the Resurrection

and Judgment of men (Matt. 25:31-32, John 5:19-

29, 17:3-9, 2 Tim. 4:1).

22—He will have a dominant role in the final destruction

of sin and sinners, and the renewal of the

24 Bible Proofs that Christ is fully God

96 Defending the Godhead

new heavens and the new earth (Heb. 1:10-12, Phil.

3:21, Rev. 21:5).

23—Honor is ascribed to Him as to One who is

Divine and fully God (John 5:22-23, 14:1, 1 Cor. 15:19-

28, 2 Cor. 13:5, Heb. 1:6, Matt. 28:19).

24—A basic pattern appears to be that things come

from the Father and through Christ (John 1:3, 10).

THE DIVINITY

OF CHRIST IN THE BIBLE

Here are an additional 52 Bible quotations

and references on this important subject:

MORE BIBLE EVIDENCE THAT

CHRIST IS FULLY DIVINE

1 - ONLY CHRIST FULLY KNOWS

GOD, THE FATHER

In some passages, it is very obvious from the context

that the sonship of Christ directly shows that

He is divine. One such passage is John 5:18-25. Another

example is Hebrews, chapter 1.

Jesus was conscious of a unique relationship to

the Father. He spoke of Him as “Father” or “My Father.”

Jesus had a totally unique relationship to the Father.

Only God can know God fully.

“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father;

and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither

knoweth any man the Father, save the Son,

and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.”—

Matthew 11:27.

Can you, by searching, find out God? No, you can97

not, except as He reveals Himself to you. You can only

have a partial understanding of His nature, special

attributes, and ways of doing things. But, according

to the above verse, the Son knows all about the

Father. This is due to the fact that He is totally

equal to Him. He too is God! Divinity understands

Divinity.

2 - CHRIST IS REPEATEDLY CALLED “GOD”

The deity of Jesus Christ is clearly stated in

God’s Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word

was with God, and the Word was God.”—John 1:1.

The Word “was with God.” ðñïò ôïí ôçåïí (pro ton

theon). This shows the closest possible association;

but “with” clearly reveals Christ to be a being distinct

from the Father.

“And the Word was God.” êáé ôçåïó åí ï ëïãïò (kai

theos en o logos). Because the subject (“Word”) has

the article and the predicate (“God”) does not have an

article, the phrase must be translated “the Word

was God,” not “a god.” In Greek, the absence of the

definite article (“the”) emphasizes inherent quality;

thus the Word partook of the essence of Deity, and

was divine in the ultimate and absolute sense.

In the following passage, notice that Jesus did not

reprove Thomas for calling Him “God.” Instead, He

commended him for his response. Would Jesus today

commend those who try to question His full divinity?

“And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My

Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas,

because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed.

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have

More Bible Proofs that Christ is fully God

98 Defending the Godhead

believed.”—John 20:28-29.

Bible scholars recognize that Philippians 2:6 is a

key doctrinal verse. First, we will quote it:

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not

robbery to be equal with God.”—Philippians 2:6.

“Being” is çõðáñ÷çï (huparcho), in the Greek; and

it means to exist. This verse speaks about the existence

of Christ.

“Form” is ìïñðçå (morphe); and it does not refer

to the outer appearance of our word, “form.” Morphe

denotes the essence—all the essential inner characteristics.

So this verse gives us a view into the inner

nature of Christ’s divinity. —And we learn that His

inner nature is totally equal to the inner nature of

God, the Father.

“Robbery” is çáñðáãìïó (harpagmos), which means

“to grasp something.” Christ fully knew that to be totally

like God was not something to be sought after.

Why? Because He already had it; He already had all

the total morphe attributes of God.

Here are three other passages which refer to Christ

as God.

“Christ . . who is over all, God blessed for ever.

Amen.”—Romans 9:5.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious

appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus

Christ.”—Titus 2:13.

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and

hath given us an understanding, that we may know

Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true,

even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God,

and eternal life.”—1 John 5:20.

3 - THE DIVINE NAMES ARE APPLIED TO CHRIST

The divine names are applied to Christ in many

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passages, including these:

“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.”—Isaiah 9:6.

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness:

Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in

the desert a highway for our God.”—Isaiah 40:3.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I

will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King

shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment

and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be

saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And this is His

name whereby He shall be called, The LORD [Yahweh!]

Our Righteousness.”—Jeremiah 23:5-6.

“And without controversy great is the mystery of

godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified

in the Spirit.”—1 Timothy 3:16.

4 - CHRIST HAS THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES

In several passages, Jesus Christ is shown to have

the qualities of divinity, the divine attributes. Here are

but a few of them:

Omniscience:

“And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all

things.”—John 21:17.

“I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts,

and I will give unto every one of you according to

your works.”—Revelation 2:23.

Omnipotence:

“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, Coun-

More Bible Proofs that Christ is fully God

100 Defending the Godhead

selor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The

Prince of Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be

fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to

the working whereby He is able even to subdue all

things unto Himself.”—Philippians 3:21.

“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.”—Revelation

1:8.

“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in

earth.”—Matthew 28:18.

(Christ’s divine attributes of eternity and immortality

will be discussed later.)

5 - CHRIST HAS EVERY ATTRIBUTE OF GOD

Christ has every quality, every attribute which belongs

to the Father:

“For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the

Godhead bodily.”—Colossians 2:9.

6 - CHRIST DOES THE DIVINE WORKS

Jesus not only has the divine attributes or qualities,

but He does the things which God does.

Creator:

Jesus Christ is the Creator! He made us. Who

are we to talk back to Him and try to denigrate Him to

something lower than that which He is?

“All things were made by Him, and without Him

was not any thing made that was made . . He was in

the world, and the world was made by Him, and

the world knew Him not.”—John 1:3, 10.

“For by Him were all things created, that are in

heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,

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whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,

or powers. All things were created by Him,

and for Him.”—Colossians 1:16.

“God . . hath in these last days spoken unto us

by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all

things, by whom also He made the worlds . . And,

Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation

of the earth; and the heavens are the works of

Thine hands.”—Hebrews 1:1-2, 10.

“And God said, let us make man in our image.”

Genesis 1:26.

Lawgiver:

Jesus is the Lawgiver. Indeed, He is above the

law (PP 63:2)! A created being could not be above

the law!

In addition, how could the “power of an endless

[Greek: indissoluble] life (Heb. 7:16) and the “fullness

of the Godhead” (Col. 2:9) be given to a created being?

For Bible passages showing that Christ is the Lawgiver,

read Deuteronomy 4:12-13, Nehemiah 9:13-14,

Exodus 20:2-17. For Bible passages which explain that

Christ is God who led the Israelites: See Acts 7:30-

38, 1 Corinthians 10:2-4, Isaiah 63:8-9.

Providence:

Jesus is in charge of this world; and He is guiding

it in the great controversy with Satan toward a

triumphant victory over the forces of evil.

“All things are delivered to Me of My Father; and

no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father;

and who the Father is, but the Son, and He to whom

the Son will reveal Him.”—Luke 10:22.

“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all

things into His hand.”—John 3:35.

“As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh,

that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou

More Bible Proofs that Christ is fully God

102 Defending the Godhead

hast given Him.”—John 17:2.

“And hath put all things under His feet, and gave

Him to be the head over all things to the church.”—

Ephesians 1:22.

“And He is before all things, and by Him all things

consist.”—Colossians 1:17.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus

Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings

in heavenly places in Christ.”—Ephesians 1:3.

The forgiveness of sins:

It is a cardinal principle of Scripture that only God

can forgive our sins. Jesus forgave sins—and refused

to back down when accused of claiming divinity by so

doing.

“Be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee. And

behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves,

This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing

their thoughts said, wherefore think ye evil in

your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins

be forgiven thee or to say, Arise and walk? But that

ye may know that the Son of man hath power on

earth to forgive sins (then saith He to the sick of

the palsy), Arise, take up thy bed.”—Matthew 9:2-

6.

“Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies?

Who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately

when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they

so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them,

Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether

is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins

be forgiven thee or to say, Arise, and take up thy

bed, and walk?”—Mark 2:7-9.

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,

if any man have a quarrel against any; even

as Christ forgave you . .”—Colossians 3:13.

103

The resurrection and the judgment:

“When the Son of man shall come in His glory,

and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit

upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall

be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them

one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep

from the goats.”—Matthew 25:31-32 (cf. John 5:19-

29).

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed

all judgment unto the Son. That all men

should honour the Son, even as they honour the

Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth

not the Father which hath sent Him.”—John 5:22-

23.

“And He commanded us to preach unto the

people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained

of God to be the Judge of quick [living] and

dead.”—Acts 10:42.

“Because He hath appointed a day, in the which

He will judge the world in righteousness by that

Man whom He hath ordained: wherefore He hath

given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised

Him from the dead.”—Acts 17:31.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be

fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to

the working whereby He is able even to subdue all

things unto Himself.”—Philippians 3:21.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord

Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [living] and

the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”—2

Timothy 4:1.

“Of the increase of His government and peace

there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,

and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish

it with judgment and with justice from hence-

More Bible Proofs that Christ is fully God

104 Defending the Godhead

forth even for ever.”—Isaiah 9:7.

The final dissolution and renewal of all things:

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the

foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the

works of Thine hands. They shall perish, but Thou

remainest, and they all shall wax old as doth a garment.

And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up,

and they shall be changed; but Thou art the same,

and Thy years shall not fail.”—Hebrews 1:10-12.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be

fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to

the working whereby He is able even to subdue all

things unto Himself.”—Philippians 3:21.

“And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I

make all things new.”—Revelation 21:5.

He receives divine honor:

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed

all judgment unto the Son. That all men

should honour the Son, even as they honour the

Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth

not the Father which hath sent Him.”—John 5:22-

23.

“Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God,

believe also in Me.”—John 14:1.

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are

of all men most miserable.”—1 Corinthians 15:19.

“And again . . He saith, And let all the angels of

God worship Him.”—Hebrews 1:6.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing

them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Ghost.”—Matthew 28:19.

—In every conceivable way, Jesus Christ is fully

God; He always has been fully God and always will be

fully God. We have just considered 52 Bible evidences

105

that Christ is fully God.

——————————————

— CHAPTER EIGHT —

ADDITIONAL BIBLE

FACTS ABOUT

THE ETERNITY OF CHRIST

FOURTEEN BIBLE PROOFS

THAT CHRIST

HAS EXISTED FOREVER

A SUMMARY OF 37 BIBLE VERSES

DESCRIBING CHRIST’S ETERNITY

How long has He existed? Has there ever been

a time in the past when He did not exist?

This is the especially contested aspect. Men are

teaching that Christ is a created being! But the Word

of God clearly teaches that Christ has existed from all

eternity.

Let us briefly review the passages which teach

the eternity of Christ:

1 - Christ existed before all things. —The following

verse says He existed before all created matter

or beings.

“And He is before all things, and by Him all things

consist.”—Colossians 1:17.

2 - Christ was in the beginning with the Father.

—In the beginning of what? The inference in

John 1:1 is in the absolute beginning. God would

not be God if there was a time when He did not

Bible Proofs that Christ Has Existed Forever

106 Defending the Godhead

exist.

“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. All things were made

by Him, and without Him was not any thing made

that was made . . And the Word was made flesh,

and dwelt among us . . full of grace and truth.”—

John 1:1-3, 14.

“That which was from the beginning . . the Word

of life.”—1 John 1:1.

“The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His

way, before His works of old.”—Proverbs 8:22.

3 - Christ’s goings forth have been from everlasting

in the past. —So there never was a time

when He did not exist.

“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.”—Micah 5:2.

4 - Christ is the very image of God. —Therefore

He has to possess all the Father’s qualities,

including eternity (past, present, and future).

“Who is the image of the invisible God.”—Colossians

1:15.

“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the

express image [exact likeness] of His Person, and

upholding all things by the Word of His power, when

He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on

the right hand of the Majesty on high.”—Hebrews

1:3.

5 - Christ has the total fullness of all the attributes

of God. —These attributes would have to

include eternity.

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“For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the

Godhead bodily.”—Colossians 2:9.

6 - Christ has the total inner essence of God.

—That total inner essence would have to include

eternity, or Christ would not be fully God.

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not

robbery to be equal with God.”—Philippians 2:6.

7 - Christ is the Everlasting Father, another

wonderful title of our wonderful Lord and Saviour—

“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, Counselor,

The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The

Prince of Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6.

8 - Christ is forever blessed. —The blessing is

forever—forever past, present, and future.

“Christ . . who is over all, God blessed for ever.

Amen.”—Romans 9:5.

9 - Christ never changes. —This unchangeableness

reaches from the most distant past to the

most distant future. This means He is totally immutable.

“I am the Lord; I change not.”—Malachi 3:6.

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the

foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the

works of Thine hands. They shall perish, but Thou

remainest, and they all shall wax old as doth a garment.

And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up,

and they shall be changed; but Thou art the same,

and Thy years shall not fail.”—Hebrews 1:10-12.

10 - Christ is not only eternal, but immortal

as well. —“Immortal” means He is not subject to

death or non-existent. One of the attributes of God

Bible Proofs that Christ Has Existed Forever

108 Defending the Godhead

is that there never has been a time when He did

not, or will not, exist—past or future.

“Immortal” means not subject to death or nonexistent.

Immortality, not subject to death or non-existence,

is one of the key attributes of the Godhead. It is selfpossessed

by each of Them. They do not owe it to one

another or to anyone else.

The Greek word for “immortal” is aphthartos; this

is “imperishable,” “incorruptible.” On the divine level,

this includes eternal life in the past as well as eternal

life in the future.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today,

and forever.”—Hebrews 13:8.

He was “in the beginning with God.”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word

was with God . . The same was in the beginning

with God.”—John 1:1-2.

11 - Christ has an endless, self-possessed life.

Jesus has a life which cannot end. “Endless” includes

both past and future.

It is the inner quality of God that He cannot die in

the future; and there never was a time, in the past,

when He did not exist.

“Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment,

but after the power of an endless [Greek:

indissoluble] life.”—Hebrews 7:16.

“In Him was life.”—John 1:4.

No created being can give life to another. But Jesus,

who has total, unending life (past, present, and future)

can, and will, impart His life to others. This impartation

of Christ’s eternal life to His followers is stated in

many passages. The following are but a few: John 5:40;

6:33, 40, 47; 10:10; 11:35-43, 17:2; 20:31.

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12 - Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning

and the end. —That means He has eternal

self-existence. He is, and was, and is to come. He

has an existence which spans the ages and preceded

them all.

“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.”—Revelation

1:8.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the

end, the first and the last.”—Revelation 22:13.

The above two passages include the special name

of God: the I AM. The meaning of that term is this:

One of the attributes of God is that He is an Eternal

Presence. He has always existed and always will exist.

He is the I AM in the past, in the present, and in the

future. He sees all things, He knows all things, and He

has existed forever.

It is not enough that Christ may be God today; He

must have always been God in the past—or He is not

fully God!

What is Satan desperately fighting in the age-long

great controversy? The devil is opposed to Christ and

His law. Satan is determined to undermine faith in

either Christ or His law or both of them. In our time

in history, a special battle is being fought over obedience

to the law of God. But Satan also has agents who

are attempting to downgrade Christ. The devil is using

them in an attempt to topple Christ from His

throne.

13 - Christ is the I AM, the self-existent God.

—What stronger statement could be made about

His eternity?

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come

Bible Proofs that Christ Has Existed Forever

110 Defending the Godhead

unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them,

The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you;

and they shall say to me, What is His name? what

shall I say unto them?

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.

And He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children

of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

Exodus 3:14.

Revelation 1:8 and 22:13 (quoted above), as well

as several “I AM” passages in John, apply the I AM to

Christ in the New Testament.

Who was that I AM which spoke to Moses? It was

Christ. Acts 7:30-38 and Isaiah 63:8-13 clearly identifies

Him as Christ.

“And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud

and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual

meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink;

for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed

them,—and that Rock was Christ.”—1 Corinthians