Answering the Biblical Research Institute – Christ’s Place in the Godhead

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Christ’s Place in the Godhead

Author: 

Ellen G. White (bolded characters are considerations from Pastor Daniel Mesa)

A collection of statements from E.G. White on the Trinity. (???)

I. Deity and Nature of Christ 

https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/theology-godgodhead/christs-place-godhead

1.  One With Eternal Father.—”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 might God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace’ (Isa. 9:6).  His ‘goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting’ (Micah 5:2).”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34. Please read all of the first paragraph on page 34 (34.1) in Patriarchs and Prophets. The reason being, “the Son of God declares concerning Himself…” is stated just before Proverbs 8 is quoted. (That would change all of what this study is trying to say, so it must have been left out cunningly and on purpose.)

      2.   Christ and Father of One Substance.—”The Jews had never before heard such words from human lips, and a convicting influence attended them; for it seemed that divinity flashed through humanity as Jesus said, ‘I and my Father are one.’  The words of Christ were full of deep meaning as he put forth the claim that he and the Father were of one substance [just as Eve was brought forth from Adam; she was of the same substance], possessing the same attributes.”—The Signs of the Times, Nov. 27, 1893 , p. 54. (See number 3)

       3.   One in Power and Authority.—”Yet the Son of God was the acknowledged Sovereign of heaven, one in power and authority with the Father.”—The Great Controversy, p. 495. These thoughts are so often quoted without accepting the same author saying this: “God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” 8T 268.3

If Christ had always had an “exalted position” and had always been “equal”, why would EGW have written this?

       4.   Equal With the Father.—”To save the transgressor of God’s law, Christ, the one equal with the Father, [see number 3] came to live heaven before men, that they might learn to know what it is to have heaven in the heart.  He illustrated what man must be to be worthy of the precious boon of the life that measures with the life of God.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 179.

       5.   Possesses God’s Attributes.—”The only way in which the fallen race could be restored was through the gift of his Son, equal with himself, [see number 3] possessing the attributes of God [just as Eve had the same attributes as Adam].  Though so highly exalted, [see number 3] Christ consented to assume human nature, that he might work in behalf of man and reconcile to God his disloyal subject.  When man rebelled, Christ pleaded his merit in his behalf, and became man’s substitute and surety.  He undertook to combat the powers of darkness in man’s behalf, and he prevailed, conquering the enemy of our souls, and presenting to man the cup of salvation.”—The Review and Herald, Nov. 8, 1892 , p. 690.

       6.   God in Highest Sense.—”The world was made by him, ‘and without him was not anything made that was made.’ And without him was not anything made that was made.’  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. [Amen! Just as Eve was human essentially, and in the highest sense!]  He was with God from all eternity, [“FROM all eternity” is VERY different compared to when she uses the phrases “THROUGH eternity” or “THROUGHOUT eternity.” Christ was FROM, we will praise Him THROUGHOUT. You can check for yourself that through and throughout eternity are always future tenses in the writings of EGW] God over all, blessed forevermore…

[Do you see the … ? It’s called an ellipse. It means, “THERE’S SOMETHING MORE THAT COULD BE HERE BUT IS NOT.” Here’s what it says—which is so contrary to the position of this paper, they left it out! — what seems purposely left out is following in this next paragraph:

“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. “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.” RH April 5, 1906, par. 7”

(It’s interesting how the Research Institute (and others) seem to belittle Ellen White’s use of Proverbs 8.)

“There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid.  This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory.  This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible.” The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 . p. 8.

       7.   Eternal and Self-Existent.—”The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son, and show the relation He sustained to all created beings.  The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both.”—Patriarch and Prophets, p. 36.

Please notice the words in this quote: ““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.” ST May 30, 1895, par. 3

He was equal and had all the fullness because the Father GAVE that to Him (see number 3). “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19).

Also, the Bible says, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26).

       8.   Christ Our Everlasting Father.—”However much a shepherd may love his sheep, he loves his sons and daughters more.  Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our ‘everlasting Father.’  And He says, ‘I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father.’  John 10:14 , 15 R.V.  What a statement is this!—the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be ‘the Man that is My fellow’ (Zech. 13:7),—the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!”—The Desire of Ages, p. 483.

You will never read where EGW says Christ is the Father of “God the Father,” but you will read where she says the Christ is “the Son of God.”

The statement above is stating the Christ is “OUR” ‘everlasting Father.’ An important clarification.

      9.   Life—Original, Unborrowed, Underived.—”Still seeking to give a true direction to her faith, 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.”—Ibid., p. 530.

This quote is amazing! But this is not all she says about it. Notice the more explanatory reference which shows us that the “original, unborrowed, underived” life referred to can be given (as in John 5:26 which says, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself):

““In him was life; and the life was the light of men”. It is not physical life that is here specified, but immortality [the divine nature], the life which is exclusively the property of God [it is His divine nature]. The Word, who was with God, and who was God, had this life. Physical life is something which each individual receives [not divine nature but fallen]. It is not eternal or immortal [divinity]; for God, the lifegiver [Source], takes it again. Man has no control over his life [fallen nature]. 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 [partaking of the divine nature] only through Christ. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as His personal Saviour. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”. This is the open fountain of life for the world.” ST April 8, 1897, par. 2

       10. The Self-Existent One.—”Silence fell upon the vast assembly.  The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi.  He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel , ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.'”—Ibid., p. 469.

The life that Christ had was “given” him (John 5:26). We cannot read these quotes without accepting what Jesus said of Himself. AND, if someone says, “that was during the time Jesus was on the earth!” then we’d have to hold them accountable to their own words and say, “What about the original, unborrowed, underived” life that’s referred to only six chapters later when He is resurrecting Lazarus?

Also, is there another human who could claim to be self-existing, in the “form of a servant?”

       11. Redeemer Equal With God.—”The world’s Redeemer was equal with God.  His authority was as the authority of God.  He declared that he had no existence separate from the Father.  The authority by which he spoke, and wrought miracles, was expressly his own, yet he assures us that he and the Father are one.” —The Review and Herald, Jan. 7, 1890 , p. 1.

He had “no existence separate from the Father” after He was begotten, else we have a contradiction. It cannot be that EGW contradicted herself in such a serious subject, so we must accept that this refers to Christ’s life AFTER He was “begotten.” (See number 7).

The “authority” “was expressly his own” because that was given Him of the Father (see number 3). This must be, as EGW says the following about His miracles, “All the miracles of Christ performed for the afflicted and suffering were, by the power of God, through the ministration of angels. Christ condescended to take humanity, and thus he unites his interests with the fallen sons and daughters of Adam here below, while his divinity grasps the throne of God. And thus Christ opens the communication of man with God, and God with man. All the blessings from God to man are through the ministration of holy angels.” RH January 21, 1873, par. 16

      12. Eternal, Self-existent, Uncreated.—”Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the source and sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 305.

If Christ were as His Father (“They were two, yet little short of being identical…” YI December 16, 1897, par. 5), WHY would the Father explain to the Angels that He was to be worshipped? (Hebrews 1:6). Also, why would the Father have to give a throne to the Son? (Hebrews 1:13).

Truth, Christ was NOT created (see number 7), but was begotten (brought forth from).

      13. Jehovah Is Name of Christ.—”Jehovah is the name given to Christ.  ‘Behold, God is my salvation,’ writes the prophet Isaiah; ‘I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day ye shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted,’ ‘In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah:  We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.  Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.  Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.'”—The Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899 , p. 2.

See numbers 3 and 7. Also, Strong’s Concordance allows for “JEHOVAH” to be translated as “Self-existent or Eternal.”

      14. Jehovah Emmanuel Our Saviour.—”The heavenly gates are again to be lifted up, and with ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy ones, our Saviour will come forth as King of kings and Lord of lords.  Jehovah Immanuel ‘shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.'”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 160.

“For he [the Father] hath put all things under his [the Son’s] feet. But when he [the Father] saith all things are put under him [the Son], it is manifest that he [the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under him [the Son].

“And when all things shall be subdued unto him [the Father], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [the Father] that put all things under him [the Son], that God [the Father] may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:27-28).

The Lord Jesus will be king over all the earth, not over God the Father. He will be “one Lord” over the people, not over the Father. We shouldn’t place more upon these quotes than inspiration allows.

       15. Jehovah Emmanuel Is Christ.—”This is the reward of all who follow Christ.  Jehovah Emmanuel—He ‘in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,’ in whom dwells ‘all the fullness of the Godhead bodily’ (Col. 2:3, 9)—to be brought into sympathy with Him, to know Him, to possess Him, as the heart opens more and more to receive His attributes; to know His love and power, to possess the unsearchable riches of Christ, to comprehend more and more ‘what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God,’ (Eph. 3:18, 19)—’this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.'”—Ibid., p. 57.

See numbers 3, 7, and the next, number 16.

      16. One With Father in Nature.Before the entrance of sin among the angels:  “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. By Christ, the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings.”—The Great Controversy, p. 493.

Is it clear to the BRI also that Christ was begotten before the fall of angels?

Question… “the ONLY being?” What about the Spirit? Zechariah 6:13 says, “the counsel of peace shall be between Them both.” There are only TWO in “both.”

The answers can be found in these paragraphs:

“The Father can not 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. BTS March 1, 1906, par. 1

The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit IN all the fullness of the Godhead…”

The Father IS all, the Son IS all, the Spirit is IN all the fullness of the Godhead—making two. The Father and the Son independent of each other HAVE the fullness of the Godhead. They don’t need each other to be considered the Godhead. They each have that attribute—which is Divinity.

Christ gave the “gift” or “donation,” “His representative, the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.” (See Ms44-1898.11) at Pentecost, “after He ascended to heaven,” (See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 118.3). This was when the “Comforter” (which Greek word is used only 5 times in the Bible, the last of which NAMES Him, “Jesus Christ the righteous” in 1 John 2:1) was sent. Speaking of John 14:16, 17, EGW says, “This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter.” Lt7-1891.14

She wrote, “We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ.” Lt66-1894.18

She also wrote, “The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die, is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Christ has all power in heaven and in earth, and he can strengthen the wavering, and set right the erring. He can inspire with confidence, with hope in God; and confidence in God always results in creating confidence in one another.” 1888 696.1

Read through John 14, 15, 16, and 17, looking for the tenses as to when the Spirit would come. It was always future, except when Christ was speaking directly of Himself as the Comforter. Also, listen to this message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMlQxV6XJ2A

      17. Rejection of Deity Fatal.— “If men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the deity of Christ, it is in vain to argue the point with them; for no argument, however conclusive, could convince them. ‘The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ 1 Corinthians 2:14. None who hold this error can have a true conception of the character or the mission of Christ, or of the great plan of God for man’s redemption.”—Ibid., p. 524.

The Bible verses and Ellen White quotes are not a denial of the deity of Christ in the slightest, but rather, a correct understanding of ALL that is said about it. There is NO disagreement with the quotes that are originally given in this paper, the only contention is what is left out and ignored! 

II. Eternal Pre-existence of Christ

      1.   Distinct Existence From Eternity.—”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.”—The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 , p. 8.

He received “adoring homage” when His Father commanded the angels to worship Him. (See number 12 in section I)

Consider the verse that is being quoted, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7).

       2.   Always With Eternal 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.”—The Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900.

What is so interesting about this quote—which seems ignored nearly every time—is the fact that Proverbs 8 is quoted in the last sentence. Just as the Proverbs 8 paragraph was left out in number 6 in section I.

“Dateless ages” is another way of saying “eternity,” or a period without dates. In that ‘time’ Christ was “brought forth” as it says twice in Proverbs 8.

       3.   Unmeasured Pre-existence.—”Here Christ shows them that, although they might reckon His life to be less than fifty years, yet His divine life could not be reckoned by human computation. The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.”—The Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899.

Notice, she didn’t say, “could not be reckoned at all…” Or, she did not say, “is not measured by any means…” She could easily have worded this to have no ways of misunderstanding—she could have said, “His divine life had no beginning.” BUT SHE DIDN’T! She makes it clear that Christ was begotten, and does not contradict herself—ever!

Some have come to place more meaning into the words of this paragraph than what was intended by the Author (See 1 Peter 1:10-11).

      4.   United From All Eternity.—”From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God.”—The Signs of the Times, Aug. 2, 1905, p. 10.

“From” is not the same as “through” or “throughout” in the writings of EGW. (See number 6 in section I.)

Also, being ‘one’ doesn’t mean being a singular person, but rather, “two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character.” YI December 16, 1897, par. 5

       5.   Glory From All Eternity.—”When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 38, 39.

This is more evidence that the gift of His omnipresent Spirit was given at Pentecost. Again, “from” is not the same as “through” or “throughout” in the writings of EGW.

       6.   Mediator From Everlasting.—”But while God’s Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding his pre-existence. 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, the one in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted him, were to be blessed. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.”—The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 .

“From” is not the same as “through” or “throughout” in the writings of EGW. Also, eternity has a beginning to move forward without end. For example, when did your eternal life begin?

       7.   Never-ending and Ever-existing.—”A human being lives, but his is a given life, a life that will be quenched.  ‘What is your life? It is even vapor, that appeareth for a little time , and then vanisheth away.’ But Christ’s life is not a vapor; it is never-ending, a life existing before the worlds were made.”—The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1897, p. 5.

This says nothing of Christ’s existing throughout eternity past, but rather “before the worlds were made.” Also, His life was given Him, “As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26).

       8.   From the Days of Eternity.—”From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was ‘the image of God,’ the image of His greatness and majesty, ‘the outshining of His glory.'”—The Desire of Ages, p. 19.

The word “image” as taken from Hebrews 1:3, literally, “engraving, exact copy.” Yet, they are “little short of being identical.” YI December 16, 1897, par. 5

       9.   Before Angels Were Created.—”He was one with the Father before the angels were created.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 17.

This is true also because of what is said in the Bible, “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” (John 1:1-3). But this cannot annihilate what EGW says about Christ being begotten.

       1 0. Was From All Eternity.—”Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense.  He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.”—The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 , p. 8.

If EGW would use the words “through” or “throughout” as this study suggests she means “from,” there would be a different conclusion. But those words are not used interchangeably.

       11. Christ the Eternal Presence.—”The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.’ Micah 5:2, margin.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 469, 470.

Micah 5:2 is quite often used along side Proverbs 8 by EGW. Please read Patriarch and Prophets page 34.1. That is one example. Notice also the only other time the Hebrew phrase “goings forth” is used, “They brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day” (2 Kings 10:27). The word #4163 in Hebrew Strong’s means, “family descent; also a sewer (marg.; compare 6675):—draught house; going forth.” When comparing #6675, we come away with “excrement” translated “dung.”

I like rather to think that Eve’s ‘going forth’ from Adam’s side is a better illustration of Christ’s being “brought forth” from the Father, as stated in Proverbs 8. Nevertheless, that’s what is being said.

There is also the idea of the stone being cut out of the mountain without hands. This could easily fit along side the idea of Eve being brought forth from the side of Adam, and the Lord’s “goings forth” from the Father. “The Eternal Father, the unchangeable one, gave his only begotten Son, tore from his bosom Him who was made in the express image of his person.” RH July 9, 1895, par. 13

      12. Equal From the Beginning.—”In it [God’s Word] we may learn what our redemption has cost Him who from the beginning was equal with the Father.”—Counsels to Parents and Teachers, p. 13.

III.  Three Persons in the Godhead

      1.   Three Persons in Heavenly Trio.—”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 receive Christ by living faith are baptized [a New Testament practice other than through the Red Sea], and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.”—Evangelism, p. 615.

What’s amazing is how the book Evangelism so often leaves out the context. For example, I’ll make blue what was left out: “The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fulness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. 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 receive 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. Ms21-1906.11

The third person of the Godhead was given as a gift at Pentecost. Before that the spirit was “in all the fullness of the Godhead.” (See number 16 in section I.)

       2.   Godhead United in Redemption.—”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, p. 222.

The Godhead (the Father being the fullness, and Son being the fullness, with the Spirit IN them) gave themselves to the “working out” of THE plan, not A plan, as the plan had already been made, in “the counsel of peace… between Them both.” In the working out of the plan, the Father and Son both decided that the Son would give His omnipresent Spirit—therefore, the Spirit is mentioned, having not yet been “divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof.” Notice the quote:

“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 Father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth [the word “successor” cannot mean someone who comes before, but only afterward]. The Holy Spirit is Himself [that would be Christ, as clarified in the next sentence], divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Christ would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit,—as the Omnipresent. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall [although unseen by you] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. . . . Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” Present Truth, May 30, 1895, par. 7

Notice in blue what was left out of the quote in question: “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 [both physically (on the cross) and spiritually (by giving His Spirit)]. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting. Here is love—the contemplation of which should fill the soul with inexpressible gratitude! Oh, what love, what matchless love! The contemplation of this love will cleanse the soul from all selfishness. It will lead the disciple to deny self, take up the cross, and follow the Redeemer.” CH 222.2

The phrase “all the resources” sounds a lot like the blessings given by the Spirit, “Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.” DA 672.1

Christ gave His Spirit at Pentecost.

       3.   Three Great Powers of Heaven.—”Those who proclaim the third angel’s message must put on the whole armor of God, that they may stand boldly at their post, in the face of detraction and falsehood, fighting the good fight of faith, resisting the enemy with the word, ‘It is written.’ 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. The man who takes God as his trust is barricaded by an impregnable wall.”—The Southern Watchman, Feb. 23, 1904 , p. 122.

Why do we only see two stacks of six loaves of bread on the table of shewbread? Why not three stacks with four loaves in each? Because the Spirit doesn’t have a place on the throne. If there were three stacks of bread, it would be more like 6, 6, 6. (There are also two crowns on the table of shewbread—separated by a hands breadth). Why doesn’t the Spirit have a crown?

Yes, there are three, but somehow I don’t believe we’re being taught all of the truth. Something is missing in this study… Christ has given His Spirit, and that is precisely why He mentioned Himself nearly every of the 84 times in the gospels as the “Son of man,” speaking of Himself in the grammatical third person.

Remember “Christ gave His representative, the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit” at Pentecost. (See Ms44-1898.11)

       4.   Cooperation of Three Imperative.—”Our sanctification is the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the fulfillment of the covenant that God has made with those who bind themselves up with Him, to stand with Him, with His Son, and with His Spirit in holy fellowship. Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then co-operate with the three great powers of heaven who are working in your behalf. Doing this you will reveal to the world the principles of righteousness.”—The Signs of the Times, June 19, 1901.

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all [Himself], and through all [His Son], and in you all [His Spirit]” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Just as mentioned in the above quote.

There is ONE throne for the Father and the Son. The “living waters” (the Holy Spirit according to John 7:38-39) “clear as crystal, proceed[s] out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).

Ultimately, “the Spirit of truth, [is] which proceedeth from the Father…” (John 15:26).

“While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church.” Desire of Ages 166.2

       5.   Three Eternal Dignitaries.—”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, p. 616.

Eternal? Do we have eternal life? If we do, have we existed throughout eternity past? Or did our eternal life start when we excepted the gift of the One who ‘gives’ us the life that is “original, unborrowed, underived?” See 1 John 5:11 to see that God the Father gives us that life. \0/

      6.   The Three Highest Powers.—”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, making us workers together with God.”—Ibid., p. 617.

I believe the above, but what would the authors of this study do with the quotes which say the following?

Lucifer in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son” (SR 13.1).

“Of Gabriel the Saviour speaks in the Revelation, saying that “He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” Revelation 1:1. And to John the angel declared, “I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets.” Revelation 22:9, R. V. Wonderful thought—that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men” (DA 99.1).

Could that mean that there is NOT the Father, Son, and Spirit as the three most honored? Yes, that’s what it means. But what does THAT mean? The three most honored beings in Heaven today are the Father, the Son, and Gabriel. The Spirit of God is not a being, else it too would have been invited into the counsels of peace which were between the Father and the Son. (Remember, the Spirit is IN all the fullness of the Godhead—the Father and the Son each independently having that fullness.)

       7.   The Threefold Name .—”Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan, and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 91.

Baptizing them in the “name” is singular in the Bible reference of Matthew 28:19. Here’s how we are brought into the family of God—only through the one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Does this quote say anything about what the compilers of this study think it says?

So, to complete this response, Christ’s place in the Godhead is not a spot that will fill the void in the Godhead that would be empty were He not there, but rather, Christ IS the fullness of the Godhead, and so is His Father.