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Misrepresentations of the Godhead

Evangelism, pages 613-617

Let People Know Our Position—Our policy is, Do not make prominent the objectionable features of our faith, which strike most decidedly against the practices and customs of the people, until the Lord shall give the people a fair chance to know that we are believers in Christ, that we do believe in the divinity of Christ, and in His pre-existence.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 253 (1895). Ev 613.2

Amen!

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

We Shall Have to Meet Erroneous Teaching—Again and again we shall be called to meet the influence of men who are studying sciences of satanic origin, through which Satan is working to make a nonentity of God and of Christ. The Father and the Son each have a personality. Christ declared, “I and My Father are one.” Yet it was the Son of God who came to the world in human form. Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity through His infinite sacrifice might become partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.—Testimonies For The Church 9:68 (1909). Ev 613.3

“And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” All through the Scriptures, the Father and the Son are spoken of as two distinct personages. You will hear men endeavoring to make the Son of God a nonentity. He and the Father are one, but they are two personages. Wrong sentiments regarding this are coming in, and we shall all have to meet them.” RH July 13, 1905, par. 3

There is danger that the false sentiments expressed in the books that they have been reading will sometimes be interwoven by our ministers, teachers, and editors with their arguments, discourses, and publications, under the belief that they are the same in principle as the teachings of the Spirit of truth. The book “Living Temple” is an illustration of this work, the writer of which declared in its support that its teachings were the same as those found in the writings of Mrs. White. Again and again we shall be called to meet the influence of men who are studying sciences of satanic origin, through which Satan is working to make a nonentity of God and of Christ. RH August 6, 1908, par. 13

Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven.

Positive Truth Versus Spiritualistic Representations—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.” Ev 614.1

All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They 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. Ev 614.2

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. Ev 614.3

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. 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.—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905). Ev 615.1

It’s important to understand what has been said in the above section. The Father IS all, the Son IS all, the Spirit is IN all… there’s a big difference here! It wasn’t until the Son gave His omnipresent Spirit that there as a third person. Notice,

“Christ determined to bestow a gift on those who had been with Him and on those who should believe on Him, because this was the occasion of His ascension and inauguration, a jubilee in heaven. What gift could Christ bestow rich enough to signalize and grace His ascension to the mediatorial throne? It must be worthy of His greatness and His royalty. Christ gave His representative, the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. This gift could not be excelled. The divine Spirit, converting, enlightening, sanctifying, would be His donation, because He would give all gifts in one.

On the Day of Pentecost Christ gave His disciples the Holy Spirit as their Comforter.” Ms44-1898.11-12

(Remember, before that, John was baptizing without teaching of the Holy Spirit. Notice:

Acts 19:1-6 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

“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.” RH August 26, 1890, par. 10 [The verse is a direct quote from Isaiah 30:21.]

Jesus is the One to say these words: Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

The Pre-existent, Self-existent 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.—The Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900. Ev 615.2

It’s unfortunate that there is an ellipse after “self-existent Son of God…” The reason being is what follows that was LEFT OUT! Notice the context from the ORIGINAL quote (everything purposefully left out is in blue):

“Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God. The message He gave to Moses to give to the children of Israel was, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” The prophet Micah writes of Him, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, tho 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.” ST August 29, 1900, par. 13

Through Solomon Christ declared: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, 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…. When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment; 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.” ST August 29, 1900, par. 14

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.” ST August 29, 1900, par. 15

Notice how EGW uses Micah 5:2 and Proverbs 8:22-30 in another place,

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “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.” John 1:1, 2. 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. 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. PP 34.1

He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent…. He is the eternal, self-existent Son.—Manuscript 101, 1897. Ev 615.3

Why was He equal with God? “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

This can ONLY be AFTER Christ was begotten of His Father (which was BEFORE He came to this earth, as the enemy was trying to obscure the fact that He was the Son of God).

“This fact the angels would obscure, that Christ was the only begotten Son of God, and they came to consider that they were not to consult Christ.” Lt42-1910.3

Isn’t this just what the same angels said on earth?

Matthew 8:29 Behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Mark 5:7 [The fallen angel] cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

How can the Son be self-existent? John 5:26 As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.

From Everlasting—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. Ev 615.4

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. Ev 616.1

Does it say “through everlasting?” No. Every time—without exception—that phrase is used in EGW it is always used in the future tense. Eternity is more like a place… “dateless ages,” “eternity in the past,” “everlasting,” and “before time began” are phrases EGW uses to describe that ‘time’ before time.

Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Notice:, “But his vision is still clouded, and his knowledge incomplete. Not until he stands in the light of eternity will he see all things clearly. Ed 304.2

Then will be opened before him the course of the great conflict that had its birth before time began, and that ends only when time shall cease. The history of the inception of sin; of fatal falsehood in its crooked working; of truth that, swerving not from its own straight lines, has met and conquered error—all will be made manifest. The veil that interposes between the visible and the invisible world will be drawn aside, and wonderful things will be revealed.” Ed 304.3

Notice also, “The history which the great I AM has marked out in His word, uniting link after link in the prophetic chain, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tells us where we are today in the procession of the ages, and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.” Ed 178.3)

From this ‘time’ called eternity Christ was begotten and made equal with His Father.

Life, Original, Unborrowed, Underived—Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. “He that hath the Son hath life.” The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.—The Desire of Ages, 530 (1898). Ev 616.2

This life was a gift from the Father, as stated six chapters earlier than John 11 (this quote is taken from the DA book when speaking of Lazarus). Notice John 5:26, “As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.”

Notice also how she used this idea of “original, unborrowed, underived.”

““In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). It is not physical life that is here specified, but immortality, 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. 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” (John 10:18), He said. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it 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” (John 17:3). This is the open fountain of life for the world.” {1SM 296.2}

You’ll also notice the way inspiration uses the phrases of Christ having life. It says “IN Him” was life. It doesn’t say “He was life,” but rather, that life was in Him. Notice how that life was in Him, John 14:10-11 “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” Remember, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Consider this presentation online which goes through the idea of life, original unborrowed, and underived from the Bible:

With the Father at Sinai—When they [Israel] came to Sinai, He took occasion to refresh their minds in regard to His requirements. Christ and the Father, standing side by side upon the mount, with solemn majesty proclaimed the Ten Commandments.—Historical Sketches, p. 231. (1866). Ev 616.3

Amen! Where was the Spirit? Where is the THRONE of the Spirit? The holy place of the sanctuary has only two stacks of bread on it… (Leviticus 24:5-6). There are only two crowns on that same table, one hand breadth apart… (Exodus 25:24-25). Why DOESN’T the Spirit have a throne or a crown, and why wasn’t the Spirit mentioned as being there on Mount Sinai?

The Eternal Dignitaries of the Trinity—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.—Manuscript 145, 1901. Ev 616.4

The context is interesting—including the angels:

“The Lord Jesus described the difficulties they should meet. Having called their minds to rise to an eminence, He bids them behold the vast confederacy of evil arrayed against God, against Christ, against all who unite with these holy powers. Christ tells them they were to fight in fellowship with all the children of light; that satanic agencies would combine their forces to extinguish the light of the life of Christ out of their ranks. But they were not left to fight the battles in their own human strength. The angelic host coming as ministers of God would be in that battle. Also there would be the eternal heavenly dignitariesGod, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit—arming them with more than mortal energy, and would advance with them to the work, and convince the world of sin.” 16MR 204.4

“The angelic host coming as ministers…” Doesn’t Hebrews say, “Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14.

“There is no power in you apart from Christ, but it is your privilege to have Christ abiding in your heart by faith, and He can overcome sin in you, when you cooperate with His efforts.” YI June 29, 1893, par. 8

“The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness.” DA 324.1

Colossians 1:27 God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ was the Spirit of truth. The world would not listen to His pleadings. They would not accept Him as their guide. They could not discern unseen things; spiritual things were unknown to them. But His disciples see in Him the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And they shall have His abiding presence. They shall have an experimental knowledge of the only true God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. To them He says, You will no more say, I cannot comprehend. No longer shall you see through a glass darkly; you shall comprehend with all saints what is the length and depth and breadth and height of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. He who has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Christ Jesus.” Ms44-1897.8

Personality of the Holy Spirit—We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.—Manuscript 66, 1899 (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.). Ev 616.5

In Revelation 1:13-18, who was the one in the midst of the churches? Wasn’t it Jesus Christ?

Notice the context of the above stenographer’s quote: “The Lord says this because He knows it is for our good. He would build a wall around us, to keep us from transgression, so that His blessing and love may be bestowed on us in rich measure. This is the reason we have established a school here. The Lord instructed us that this was the place in which we should locate, and we have had every reason to think that we are in the right place. We have been brought together as a school, and we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes, that the Lord God is our Keeper and Helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.” Ms66-1899.11

What about the word “unseen” that was left out of Evangelism?

“Now they come to meet with Christ. They are not to stand in the shadow of the cross, but in its saving light. They are to open the soul to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. With hearts cleansed by Christ’s most precious blood, in full consciousness of His presence, although unseen, they are to hear His words, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” John 14:27.”  CCh 301.5

“How few realize that Jesus, unseen, is walking by their side! How ashamed many would be to hear His voice speaking to them and to know that He heard all their foolish, common talk! And how many hearts would burn with holy joy if they only knew that the Saviour was by their side, that the holy atmosphere of His presence was surrounding them, and they were feeding on the bread of life! How pleased the Saviour would be to hear His followers talking on His precious lessons of instruction and to know that they had a relish for holy things!” CT 342.1

“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 Holy Spirit is Himself, 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.”” PrT May 30, 1895, par. 7

Can a “successor” come before, or only after something or someone? Only after… =)

In order to be “divested of the personality of humanity” wouldn’t it make sense that the Spirit had to be first INVESTED with it first? I don’t believe EGW used that word accidentally.

Christ is said to be omnipresent in all places by His Holy Spirit.

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 the children of God…. Ev 616.6

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.”—Manuscript 20, 1906. Ev 617.1

The above quote is not difficult to understand, especially with all the evidence that Jesus is to be known as the Comforter:

Christ is to be known by the blessed name of Comforter. “The Comforter,” said Christ to His disciples, “which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”” Ms7-1902.10

Notice also who was speaking when this was said: Revelation 2:23 All the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

The Power of God in the Third Person—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. (1897). Ev 617.2

Don’t forget, DA said, “The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness.” DA 324.1

In the Old Testament story of Daniel 10, when Gabriel couldn’t gain victory over the enemy, who did He call, the Holy Spirit? No! He called Michael! (See Jude 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Notice a clear description of who can help us overcome all tendencies to evil: “Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. 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 His church.” DA 671.2

In Co-operation With 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.—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 51. (1905). Ev 617.3

EGW never calls the Spirit a “being.” He (or it) is a person, “divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof.” The Spirit as a dove was emblematical:

“Never had angels listened to such a prayer. They were solicitous to bear to the praying Redeemer messages of assurance and love. But no; the Father himself will minister to his Son. Direct from the throne proceeded the light of the glory of God. The heavens were opened, and beams of light and glory proceeded therefrom and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ.” YI March 1, 1874, par. 4

Christ is working in Heaven and on earth in the hearts of men:

“Though the ministration was to be removed from the earthly to the heavenly temple; though the sanctuary and our great high priest would be invisible to human sight, yet the disciples were to suffer no loss thereby. They would realize no break in their communion, and no diminution of power because of the Saviour’s absence. 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. DA 166.2

Notice the other two times EGW uses the phrase, “eye of sense.”

“The work of the ministry is no common work. Christ is withdrawn only from the eye of sense, but he is as truly present by his Spirit as when he was visibly present on earth. The time that has elapsed since his ascension has brought no interruption in the fulfillment of his parting promise,—“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” God has provided light and truth for the world by having placed it in the keeping of faithful men, who in succession have committed it to others through all generations up to the present time. These men have derived their authority in an unbroken line from the first teachers of the faith. Christ remains the true minister of his church, but he delegates his power to his under-shepherds, to his chosen ministers, who have the treasure of his grace in earthen vessels. God superintends the affairs of his servants, and they are placed in his work by divine appointment.” ST April 7, 1890, par. 6

“There may be a similarity in moral character between believers and some unbelievers; nevertheless there is a difference between them, which the human conception does not comprehend. The difference may not always be seen, but it exists unseen by the eye of sense and unappreciated by the unconverted mind. This difference is in the state of the heart; the one has an abiding hope and faith in Jesus Christ; while the other is unmindful of God and of spiritual things. Christ dwelling in the heart by faith is a fortress to the believer. The Christian struggling against opposing influences may sometimes be overcome and speak and act in a manner unbecoming to a Christian. But the Lord will pardon. He is very tender of the bruised lambs of His fold.” Lt317a-1904.18

John 14:20-23 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.