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In order to fully understand the depths of God’s love, of His great sacrifice, and our own identity through Christ in the heavenly family, we must thoroughly examine what the Scripture teaches regarding “the Christ,” by whom all things are made.
WHO DO YOU SAY CHRIST IS?
When Christ dwelt upon this earth, there were many ideas regarding His identity. At that time, Christ put forth the question to his disciples: “…Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am” (Matthew 16:13)?
The answer amassed a confusion of ideas: “…Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14). But should we marvel at this? The answers were no less diverse at that time than they are today. Truly, even now, there are many ideas regarding who Christ is. Yet it is not any man’s ideas or opinion that will verify who Christ is, but only the inspired Word of the living God.
Even his closest companions were not spared from the question:
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:15-18).
If ever a confession were fraught with eternal significance, it is here. While Christ, as the Word of God, was the firmly founded Cornerstone of heaven, Christ, as the Son of the living God, is to be the unconquerable foundation of His church, of which “the gates of hell shall not prevail against.”
Scripture tells us in 1 John 4:15: “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
Simon Peter’s confession was the revelation from the Father in heaven; it had not stemmed from the mere ideas and speculations of men.
Let us then scrutinize Christ as the Son of the living God, in depth.
WHO IS THE SON OF GOD?
The Son of God was with God the Father in the creation of God from the beginning. More than His embodiment as the Word of God, He was the beloved Son at His Father’s side.
“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…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 “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***.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, page 34)
Looking in context at the point mentioned above regarding Christ, “the only begotten of God”, the Son of God declares concerning Himself those things contained in Proverbs 8:22-30. Let us take a closer look at those words, where the author placed “….” to see more fully what that declaration takes in:
“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… 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 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).
Christ says He was “brought forth” as the Son of God, “set up from everlasting, from the beginning,” “Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2 New American Bible). Christ was the only begotten of the Father from the earliest times.
“The more we think about Christ’s becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem’s manger is still the divine Son of God? Though we cannot understand it, we can believe that he who made the worlds, for our sakes became a helpless babe.” Youth’s Instructor, November 21st, 1895
Two questions found in the Scripture further clarify this matter. The first being, “…who hath established all the ends of the earth” (Proverbs 30:4)?
The answer to this lies in the very first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
Followed by another question: “…what is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell” (Proverbs 30:4)? Thus it was from the beginning that the Son of God was united in God’s creative purposes.
THE EQUALITY OF THE SON OF GOD
The One whom Scripture declares as “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power” also shares the same identity with the Son of God, who was “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2) by God the Father.
Christ said, “All things that the Father hath are Mine…” (John 16:15). Jesus knew that His Father “…had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God” (John 13:3). Christ was the appointed heir of all things created by virtue of having been “come from God”.
Before and during the ancient Hebraic economy, the law of inheritance was already observed. This law determined that the firstborn male was to inherit his father’s possessions, to continue his name and bear his legacy.
“The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner.” (Desire of Ages, pg. 51)
The Scripture testifies that Christ is “…the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:15), thus; He is the divinely-appointed heir of all things, for God the Father made all things by Him (see 1 Corinthians 8:6).
Furthermore, the Scripture declares that He shares the Father’s throne: “…(I) am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21), and by sharing His Father’s throne through His divine Sonship, they hold equality in a special sense.
Philippians 2:6 affirms this: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Having been equal with God by divine inheritance, to be worshipped as the Firstborn of heaven is His right because He has inherited the name “God” by birthright. God says: “…obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him” (Exodus 23:21).
“The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. [Hebrews 1:1-5 quoted.] 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.” (Ellen White,Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, page 268)
Worship of the Son constitutes a vital element of true worship of the Father, according to the Scripture: “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 5:23).
In the counsels of heaven, it is clear that the Father was not alone, but His Son was present with Him. Yet the mention of a third is noticeably absent. In the covenant of peace established before creation, and sustained even until this day, the Scripture is clear that it has been, and is, between two, and not three.
“Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH…he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zechariah 6:12-13)
How is it then that most of the Christian world make claims of this nature:
“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in their eternal council before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), laid the plan of salvation.” SDA Quarterly June 3rd, 2015
“A plan of salvation was encompassed in the covenant made by the Three Persons of the Godhead, who possessed the attributes of Deity equally. In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into, the role of the Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit, was also to participate in effecting the plan of salvation. All of this took place before sin and rebellion transpired in heaven. By accepting the roles that the plan entailed, the divine Beings lost none of the powers of Deity. With regard to their eternal existence and other attributes, they were one and equal. But with regard to the plan of salvation, there was, in a sense, a submission on the part of the Son to the Father.” Adventist Review, October 31, 1996, p.12
The above statements are a most startling departure from the language that the divine inspiration declares. How is it that some intimate three when the Scripture makes it abundantly clear that there is only two?
Willie White, the son of Ellen White, seeing this matter surfacing, voiced his perplexities through correspondence to H.W. Carr in 1935:
“The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers, in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit is an individual as are God the Father and Christ, the eternal Son, have perplexed me, and sometimes they have made me sad. One popular teacher said ‘We may regard Him, as the fellow who is down here running things.’” (Letter W.C. White to H.W. Carr, April 30, 1935)
Moreover, how is the only begotten Son of God among these three brought to the place where He is not “the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 2:3), but “accepted and entered into…the role of the Son”? In what manner is Christ the Son of God?
“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.” (The Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895)
We might, seeing these two clearly distinct testimonies, be perplexed, and even somewhat sad, with Willie White. There are definite answers to these questions, just as surely as there is a root to every tree. Indeed, there is a source for the unsettling confusion that seems to be prevailing in the minds of many, and we will examine that definitely.
A NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME
All things were created by and for the Son of God, including the angels: “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” (Col. 1:16).
Christ was not a Son by creation as the angels were, nor by adoption as the redeemed are, but was the begotten Son of God in the express image of His Father’s person. Therefore, those things created did not have that exalted privilege that God’s Firstborn had, and rightly so. Not even exalted angels of heaven were given this right.
The following verse says so: “Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, ‘Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?’ And again, ‘I will be to him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son?’…And of the angels He saith, who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom’” (Hebrews 1:4).
The Son was given the name God in respect to His nature, having inherited it from His Father. It is important to notice how Jesus is “God” though:
“The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality.” (Ellen White UL 367 )
While the Father was God in personality, the Son was God in infinity inheriting all the attributes of the divine from God His Father; all the fullness of the Godhead bodily had it’s source in God the Father from whence Christ was brought forth. This name given to Christ is a name above every name, never bestowed to any created being, not even to the most exalted cherubim at the throne of God.
Nevertheless, one such an angel, a covering cherub at the throne of God in His sanctuary (refer to Jeremiah 17:12), assumed that position in his jealousy, which was not given to him by God: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire” (Ezekiel 28:14).
God’s sanctuary in heaven is made up of, but not limited to, “stones of fire,” which are an innumerable company of angels, (Hebrew 1:7 and Daniel 7:10), lively stones built up a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5) and this is what the church in heaven consists of – the Son of God being their confession and delight.
So what happened to this exalted “cherub that covereth”? Ezekiel 28:15 says, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).
In addition, Ezekiel 28:2-17 states, “Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God… I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground”
“Satan in Heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son…[Christ] was one with the Father before the angels were created. Satan 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 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… His Son he had invested with authority to command the heavenly host…Satan was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ…But Christ was acknowledged sovereign of Heaven, his power and authority to be the same as that of God himself… [The angels] were discontented and unhappy because they could not look into His unsearchable wisdom and ascertain His purposes in exalting His Son Jesus, and endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son…They [loyal angels] justified the act of God in conferring honor upon Jesus Christ….They clearly set forth that Jesus was the Son of God, existing with him before the angels were created…”
The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, pg. 17,18,19
The language above cannot be confused. It was ordained by God that Christ should be equal with Himself, as His only-begotten Son. Next in honor to God’s dear Son was Lucifer, that covering cherub. This cherub exalted himself in his heart, setting himself as equal with God when God’s Word had not declared it. Jealousy prevailed in his heart over the Son of God as he desired that exalted name given to the Firstborn alone, to be his name also. He desired that the divine council of the Father and Son should include him.
NEXT IN HONOR TO CHRIST
There is enough Scripture present to show that there was only two in the covenant of creation, but that a created being that stood next to God’s throne did indeed seek to exalt himself to equality.
“The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that His life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man.” (Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, page 9, also in Lift Him Up, page 24)
“Satan’s position in heaven had been next to the Son of God. He was first among the angels.” (Selected Messages, book 1, page 341)
2) Son of God
3) Lucifer, who became Satan.
“Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, once had an exalted position in Heaven. He was next in honor to Christ.” (Review & Herald, February 24, 1874)
“Speaking of Satan, our Lord says that “he abode not in the truth.” He was once the covering cherub, glorious in beauty and holiness. He was next to Christ in exaltation and character. It was with Satan that self-exaltation had its origin. He became jealous of Christ, and falsely accused him, and then laid blame upon the Father. He was envious of the position that was held by Christ and the Father, and he turned from his allegiance to the Commander of heaven and lost his high and holy estate.”
(Review & Herald, October 22, 1895)
THE FATHER OF LIES
God is the Father of Christ, the Son. This testimony speaks true. John, the apostle, declared Christ to be “the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 1:3). Yet of the devil, Christ declares that he, in John 8:44, “…abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” The covering cherub, dwelling in the midst of the stones of fire, the very church of heaven, saw the gates of hell prevail against him, and why is this so? Because he refused to believe that Christ alone is equal with the living God, His only begotten Son. Satan, in exalting himself to equality with God, was adding to the Word of God.
The Scripture tells us that, “…he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1 John 5:10). Satan had done exactly this. In exalting himself to equality with God, Satan brazenly declared that he did not believe the record God gave of Christ, His beloved Son, and by this means, had added to the Word of God.
“Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure…Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:4-6).
Lucifer, who is Satan, a liar and the father of it, had added to the Word of God; God created all things by His Word, and Lucifer was now adding to the creation something that was not so from the beginning, and in doing so, he proved himself to be a liar. Thus he declared God to be a liar while in heaven, in not believing the record He gave of His Son. The most startling implications, not then discerned by the rebellious cherubim, were the result of Lucifer seeking to exalt himself in his heart. Thus it was, that in the heart of Lucifer was found the origin of the mystery of iniquity, a trinity of divine beings, and of antichrist.
1 John 2:22-23 point this out: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
Thus, it was that Satan denied the Son of God. There is an abundance of Scriptural testimony regarding that old serpent, the father of lies, that declare that the gates of hell have indeed prevailed against him, and that he has continued this warfare against the creation of God. He continues to this day to declare that God is a liar, and perverts His Word to win souls to his rebellion.
“…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).
Christ said, “When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own.” While dishonesty and jealousy are exclusively the qualities of the devil, he imposed them upon the Father of truth, thus the prevalence of the gates of hell over one who denies the Son of the living God. As it was then, even so it is now.
SENDING THE SON INTO THE WORLD
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
“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, and sent him down to earth to reveal how greatly he loved mankind.”
(Review and Herald, July 9, 1895, par. 13)
God the Father is known as the unchangeable one, which may put forever to rest the thought that the Father merely took upon Himself a role, and that Christ is unbegotten, thereby destroying the love of God. To say otherwise is a manifestation of antichrist.
The fact that Christ was the only-begotten Son of God was a point God would have the angels especially acknowledge.
Hebrews 1:6 says, “When he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him.”
As the Son of God, the “firstbegotten,” was sent into the world, a command was carried out that all the angels of God should worship Him. Yet the fallen angel, who had denied the Son of God in heaven, sought to destroy Him when He came to earth: “…the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12:4). Thus, he showed in this act his direct opposition to the Son of God.
Affirming His identity, the Voice of the Father conferred the greatest blessing at Christ’s baptism: Matthew 3:17 reads, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’“
By the Son of God, everything was made, and by this declaration at the baptism, the Father embraced all of humanity as He did His Son. However, the testimony of God regarding His Son is the point the fallen angel would especially obscure: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil…And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread’” (Matthew 4:1-3).
While the Father is seeking to inspire the hearts of men with the same testimony Simon Barjona’s had, “This is My beloved Son,” it is also the fallen angel’s aim to cause Christ and His professed followers to doubt His true identity. In attacking the testimony that God gave of His Son at the baptism, he attacked all of humanity which the Father embraced by that testimony.
“Angels were expelled from heaven because they would not work in harmony with God. They fell from their high estate because they wanted to be exalted. They had come to exalt themselves, and they forgot that their beauty of person and of character came from the Lord Jesus. 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.” (EGW, This Day With God, p. 128)
Why is he so determined to obscure this fact? If he can toy with this fact, then he can obscure the great love that the Father had for us in giving His Son; . He can also disregard the Word of God which says that to Christ alone is given to “be like the Most High.” To disregard the plainest statements of the Word of God has ever been the method of the enemy of souls, because he himself had to first do it to catch others unawares by it, even to this day the denial of the literal Son of God is a form of spiritualism.
“Modern spiritualism, resting upon the same foundation, is but a revival in a new form of the witchcraft and demon worship that God condemned and prohibited of old.… Peter, describing the dangers to which the church was to be exposed in the last days, says that as there were false prophets who led Israel into sin, so there will be false teachers, “who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.… And many shall follow their pernicious ways.” 2 Peter 2:1, 2. Here the apostle has pointed out one of the marked characteristics of spiritualist teachers. They refuse to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God. Concerning such teachers the beloved John declares: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” 1 John 2:22, 23. Spiritualism, by denying Christ, denies both the Father and the Son, and the Bible pronounces it the manifestation of antichrist.”
(Patriarchs and Prophets, page 686)
Thus, the world’s confusion regarding who Christ is comes from Satan. Among the confusion to be found, the most popular view is the co-eternality of Christ, that Christ has no beginning and no end. According to this teaching, His Sonship is not “in truth“, but in a metaphorical sense only, and this doctrine is enshrined in the most common error held by professed Christians. Thus the Father is not the Father in truth, but only metaphorically. That doctrine is none other than the doctrine of the Trinity. Some quotes of the Trinity that may well give Adventist Christians cause for concern are as follows:
“The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church.” (The Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 12)
“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the ‘hierarchy of the truths of faith’. (Catechism of the Catholic church, Section 2, Article 1:234 )
“The feast of the Most Holy Trinity …should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honor of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God. Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us… Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.” (The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch, 1953)
“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.” (Assumption of Mary, Life Magazine, Oct. 30th, 1950, p. 51)
“While no single scriptural passage states formally the doctrine of the Trinity, it is assumed as a fact by Bible writers…Only by faith can we accept the existence of the Trinity.” (Adventist Review, Vol. 158, No. 31, p. 4)
Some who have professed the Trinity have gone as far as to claim that the Father and Son are interchangeable as we briefly looked at earlier, yet if this is the case, then God does not have a Son to sacrifice, but only a partner: a second divine being which He could have exchanged roles for. If the Father did not have a Son to give, it would not only be a denial of the Son, but a denial of the Father’s love, casting great doubt on your identity and value in the eyes of God because your sonship, and the plainest statements of God, cannot be trusted. Yet the matter goes deeper than this.
THE SPIRIT OF THE SON
When holding in view in the light of the Scriptures that a third divine being is added, not merely denying the Son of God’s relationship with the Father, we are brought to the inescapeable fact that Satan was desiring to be the third in the counsel of heaven. The angels in the Bible are called “ministering spirits”, but Satan desired to be the “holy” or divine Spirit. If he could not secure a position as third in heaven’s council, he would seek to usurp it in the hearts of men by causing men to lose sight of the identity of the Holy Spirit; thus obscuring our true identity. Let’s identify the presence of the Holy Spirit:
“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.”
(Review & Herald, August 26, 1890)
The Scripture declares this very thing as a manifestation of antichrist if they do not confess that Jesus Christ is the one abiding in us:
1 John 4:3-4 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. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (those having the spirit of antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
More than this, the Scripture says:
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
What does this mean? It means Christ would manifest spiritual life, His spiritual self, in our souls. Speaking on this more clearly, we read:
“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. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.” — (Ellen G. White, 14MR 23.3, 1895)
“There is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart…. The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul.” (Review and Herald, October 26, 1897)
Satan, through the doctrine of the Trinity, would not only obscure Christ, but receive worship, with subtlety usurping the throne in the soul temple where the true Holy Spirit is to reside. Speaking of this temple, we read: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
When we receive the Holy Ghost, who is to abide with us forever, it is the spiritual presence of the Father and Son that make their abode upon the throne of the heart (John 14:16,23), and not the presence of another.
“The Lord is soon to come. We want that complete and perfect understanding which the Lord alone can give. It is not safe to catch the spirit from another. We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ.” (Letter 66, April 10th, 1894)
From just such a heart that the Father and Son are thus enthroned, “living waters” may pour forth, just as it is in heaven:
Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
It is thus that we are to be transformed into the very pattern of heaven’s temple while being yet here on earth, becoming “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18)
And to have Christ obscured from that place cannot but obscure our own identity and distort that perfect heavenly pattern.
We may summarize that the “mystery of the Trinity” which has caused so much confusion amongst sincere Christians finds root in the mystery of iniquity, which finds it’s source in the heart of Satan, and which he seeks to implant in every heart of all who believe in that doctrine. Moreover, it also holds the charges of the following:
1) IT ADDS TO GOD’S WORD
2) SPIRITUALISM: REMOVES FROM GOD’S WORD
3) IT IS ANTICHRIST-
a. Declares God a liar
b. Destroys the Father/Son
c. Destroys the gospel and love of God.
d. The living connection with the Christ in heaven and having His Spirit in you is destroyed. The Lord is not that spirit.
4)IT IS WORSHIP OF THE CREATURE
CONCLUSION: OUR IDENTITY
Jesus is the Christ, and by Christ are all things. Christ is the channel for the Father’s blessing to mankind. In declaring to Him the blessing, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” He has pronounced that blessing to the redeemed human race, to “whosoever believeth in Him.”
The Scripture tells us in 1 John 5:10, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” What witness is this? It is the witness of the Spirit of Christ, His Son.
1 John 5:1 says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,” and if you are born of God, it is declared that you are a son of God, and this is true if you believe in the testimony God gives of the Christ as the Son of the living God: “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (1 John 1:12).
1 John 4:15 also says that “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
The reality is that the heavenly Father reveals this truth to His children. What truth? The very same that Simon Peter confessed: that Christ is the Son of the living God. And by this confession, in the truest sense, these are the children of God in Christ. So long as they walk in the light as He is in the light, “the gates of hell” shall have no power over them because they are born of God.
This is what we read in Galatians 4:6-7: “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
What a glorious reality! The Spirit of the Son of God, the Sonship of Christ, dwells in us and makes us heirs with Christ! The place that the fallen angels lost is not as exalted as will be our nearness to Christ. Satan disregarded the Son of the living God in heaven, whereas we set the seal in our hearts of the truth: He is the Son of God. Here it becomes evident that belief in that testimony is sufficient to make all the difference between heaven and hell. Now that Spirit, which dwells in us, bears witness that we are children of the heavenly Father. Hallelujah!
According to the Scripture, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17).
What a glorious inheritance comes by heaven’s Firstborn! What wondrous love that God would give His begotten Son and call us His own! Truly, there may be many ideas regarding who Christ is today, but there is only one confession that shall stand against the storm and tempests of hell victoriously; that confession is the one His disciples of this generation shall know as verily as they did when it was asked of them of old. That is “Ye are the the Christ, the
Son of the living God”.