The Godhead--Answering Questions

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I'll respond under your questions. 

----- Original Message -----

From: Bryan Bissell


Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 2:33 PM

Subject: [sdaglobal] questions 


I've been talking a bit about the true godhead ideas that Ron especially has espoused to an elder and a few other friends at my local SDA church here.  They and I have several questions on what we
understand your view to be.  A major point seems to be that the Holy Spirit separated from Jesus at his incarnation so that he could become human.  According to your idea, it seems that unless we
recognize this, we can't really have the power of the Holy Spirit in our life to overcome sin (I had quotes from Ron's website on this, but computer deleted them...also saw a couple quotes saying that
Jesus had a beginning on there...a little shocking...).

Ron responds:  I believe that a proper understanding of the Godhead, as far as inspiration has permitted, is paramount to Seventh-day Adventists because they were privileged with more detail on the Godhead than others.  We are responsible for the knowledge we have. 

Concerning Christ’s beginning, I believe this following statement implicitly.  In saying that Christ came from the bosom of the Father, I once thought that meant from some time back in eternity.  I saw that the Lord let me make a mistake to test me to see if I would be too proud to retract an error.  I am not too proud.  I made a mistake.  I now believe that the Son, with the Father, had no beginning but have coexisted eternally as ONE GOD. 

Life, Original, Unborrowed, Underived.

"Physical life is something which each individual receives. It is not eternal or immortal; for God, the Life-giver, takes it again. Man has no control over his life. 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.” Maranatha 302

I believe EXACTLY as the following document teaches.  At one time I misunderstood that Christ from eternity came from the Father’s bosom, but that is not my belief presently.  Christ came from the Father’s bosom at His Incarnation.

Jhn 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].

When in the fullness of time the Son of the infinite God came forth from the bosom of the Father to this world, He came in the garb of humanity, clothing His divinity with humanity. The Father and the Son in consultation decided that Christ must come to the world as a babe, and live the life that human beings must live from childhood to manhood, bearing the trials that they must bear, and at the same time living a sinless life, that men might see in Him an example of what they can become, and that He might know by experience how to help them in their struggles with sin. He was tried as man is tried, tempted as man is tempted. The life that He lived in this world, men can live, through His power and under His instruction. {ST, May 17, 1905 par. 5}

(Bryan now speaking) Questions are:

1) What Bible and EGW evidence do you have for the Holy Spirit separating into a separate entity at Jesus' incarnation. Not just inferences...that's not enough to make it seriously worthy of major
study at this time of the world's history.  What direct and concrete evidence do you have that this is critical to salvation...not just your opinion...but clear verses and well reasoned connections.

Ron responds: 

1.   "Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.

In the gift of the Spirit [HIS LIFE--THE SOUL OF HIS LIFE], Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow....

The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail....

It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon the church." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, May 19, 1904, vol. 5, p. 42.

If the Holy Spirit if the soul of his life, that has to refer to His pre-Incarnated Divine ONLY life.  That Divine ONLY life was given to us as a bequeathed gift--the highest good gift that heaven could bestow.  It was given to regenerate man back into the image of God, in which we were created.  Through that gift, we might be partakers of the DIVINE ONLY nature that the Son had before His Incarnation.  He and His Father had the ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT, which constituted the Holy Spirit before the Incarnation.   

Hbr 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

The words "the eternal Spirit," refer to ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT.  That is what constitutes them as ONE GOD. 

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Act 3:26  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. 

“Cumbered with humanity Christ could not be in every place personally, therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them to go to His 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 would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit.” E.G. White, (Manuscript Releases Volume 14 (No’s 1081-1135) MR No.1084.

The Holy Spirit is HIMSELF (The Son, divested (emptied) of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. 

TOKENS OF DIVINITY  SDA Bible Commentary on Philippians 2:7:

“7 Made himself of no reputation. Literally, 'emptied Himself.'  This emptying was voluntary (see on John 10:17, 18).  It was not possible for Christ to retain all the tokens of divinity and still accomplish the Incarnation."  SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 155, col. 1.  

Cumbered with humanity Christ's pre-Incarnated Divine ONLY Nature, could not be in every place personally.  So He had to be divested of the Divine ONLY nature to be combined with humanity.  The paradox that I do not understand is how Christ was still FULLY DIVINE and fully human, but I suspect that He was fully divine because of being sired by His Father's ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT.  This is a realm of the Godhead we do not fully understand as yet and will not until heaven.

2) Our understanding of the trinity does not match what you criticize as trinitarian belief.  Many SDAs including our professors in theology courses do not teach the trinity as you criticize it.  For example, you say that the trinity does not allow the adoption of Jesus' humanity into the Godhead forever.  But, everyone we know believes that this is true and that it's part of the trinity doctrine.  We are coming to think that there must be a Catholic trinity doctrine and an SDA trinity doctrine that are vastly
different..and it seems that EGW supports that SDA trinity version beliefs in many places. 

Ron responds:  Bryan, what I say is that the trinity doctrine does not teach any sacrifice of the Son's nature AT His Incarnation to become the third person of the Godhead AT THAT TIME.  The trinity doctrine says that the Holy Spirit existed as a third person FOREVER.  It existed as a third person FOREVER in the same sense that Christ was slain from the foundation of the earth, but truly, and literally, the Holy Spirit became a third person when the Son emptied Himself of His Divine ONLY nature at His Incarnation to become combined with humanity.

3) How does the Trinity doctrine destroy the atonement?  What verses or EGW quotes do you have to show that if we don't believe and follow
the true godhead idea that Jesus' atonement is worthless and that we won't be able to have God's power in our lives? 

Ron responds:  The trinity doctrine as held by Rome and her daughters, denies the great sacrifice of the Son's Divine ONLY nature at His Incarnation.  That was the greatest good, CROWNING sacrifice proffered His Divine Holy Spirit ONLY nature as a bequeathed gift to us for the purpose of overcoming sin.  Without that all important sacrifice, we would not be able to overcome sin and all Christ could do in that case would be to forgive sin forever.  In other words, as Ellen White said, "...without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail...." 

Was the Incarnation a sacrifice IN ADDITION to the Cross? Was is even a greater good, CROWNING SACRIFICE?  Mainline Christianity teaches that the cross was the GREATEST GOOD CROWING SACRIFICE.  If they are right, Ellen White is a false prophet.  But they are wrong!  The Incarnation was the greater sacrifice and it satisfied the prescribed limit as a sacrifice, but not as a redeemer. 

What was the prescribed limit of the Testator's Covenant, the Everlasting Covenant?  The death of the Testator.  Our penalty for unpardoned sin is loss of ETERNAL LIFE.  His penalty for our pardoned sin must equate with the penalty for sin--loss of eternal life.  The Son emptied Himself of His Divine ONLY existence FOREVER, as a type of death to that existence as DIVINITY ONLY.  That satisfied the prescribed limit of the Everlasting Covenant, but it did not redeem us.  Why?  Because our sins were not laid upon Him until the cross.  That is where we were redeemed from past sins.  But through His Divine Nature Holy Spirit, we are sanctified, and redemption from past sins without a remedy for present and future sin avails nothing but a continuum of sinning forever!  And that was not the plan of redemption.  Also, three days in a tomb does not accord with our penalty of eternal death, the wages of sin.  His laying down of His Divine Nature ONLY, forever, does!  That is a type of eternal death to that life as far as the Son is concerned, for He will NEVER life that UNCOMBINED WITH HUMANITY life again.

Two Sacrifices 

The trinity doctrine denies the greatest, crowing sacrifice--the Sacrifice (emptying) of the Son's pre-Incarnation Holy Spirit life and soul as a bequeathed gift to us, by teaching that the Holy Spirit always existed as a third person--no sacrifice there is there? 

"The darkness rolled away from the Saviour and from the Cross. Christ bowed His head and died. In His Incarnation He had reached the prescribed limit as a sacrifice, but not as a redeemer." E.G. White Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve, p. 409.

"The Incarnation of Christ was an act of self-sacrifice; His life was one of continual self-denial. The highest glory of the love of God to man was manifested in the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, who was the express image of His person. This is the great mystery of godliness. It is the privilege and the duty of every professed follower of Christ to have the mind of Christ. Without self-denial and cross bearing we cannot be His disciples." E.G. White, Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 185.  

The mind of  Christ is His Holy Spirit Mind, His pre-Incarnation DIVINE ONLY NATURE AND MIND. 

Jesus needed the Holy Spirit -- "But Jesus, in His questions about the prophecies of Isaiah that pointed to His first appearing, flashed light into the minds of those who were willing to receive the truth. He Himself had given these prophecies before His INCARNATION in humanity, and as the Holy Spirit brought these things to His mind, and impressed Him with regard to the great work that He was to accomplish, He imparted light and knowledge to those around Him." E.G. White, Lift Him Up, p. 77. 

Hope this helps Bryan.  If you have further questions, feel free to ask anytime.  I would rather answer questions from now till Jesus comes, than have you misunderstand the truth on this all important issue.  By your statements you did misunderstand me.  The SDA church's position is the same as Rome and mainline Christianity.  It teaches that the Holy Spirit was extant FOREVER as a third person.  That could not be if the Holy Spirit is the life and soul of the Son that He emptied Himself of as a bequeathed gift to us. 

God bless you and yours as you study deeper into His Word, and receive His Holy Spirit, His very Life and Soul for the purpose of being restored to His image.   

Ron Beaulieu

Those are a couple of the ideas...Let me know what you think...but more importantly what the Bible and EGW say specifically about these.