FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
April 10, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part III
THE THREE PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD (Part 2)
Is it a salvationary matter to know whether the Godhead is made up three Persons?
Absolutely! First, because, “It is written.” Jesus Christ, God incarnate, (Matt. 1: 23; Rom. 8: 3; Heb. 2: 14, 16-18; 1 Tim. 3: 16] repeated this truth which He, then the unincarnated Jehovah Creator in the Old Testament, instructed the Old Testament writers. At the outset of His work and mission, after His baptism by John the Baptist, anointing of the Holy Spirit, and vocal affirmation of the Father in heaven as the promised Messiah, Jesus declared: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Matt. 4: 4; Ps. 33: 6-9; Deut. 8: 3. Disguised as an angel of light, Satan tempted Christ near the point of death in his human nature, having fasted forty days and nights without food or water, craftily misquoting passages of Scripture. Christ’s irrefutable defense was, “It is written.” Matt. 4: 1-11. Jesus, Himself “the Word made flesh” (John 1: 14) overcame Satan and all his temptations with “the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. Eph. 6: 17.
Second, the one and only plan of salvation contemplated in the councils of the Godhead before the foundations of the earth were laid, specified the perfect harmonious work among the heavenly Trio to accomplish the complete restoration of both man and the earth to their original state. Isaiah in the Old and John in the New were both shown in vision these restored state after the Biblical millennium and similarly described them as “the new heavens and the new earth.” Isa. 65: 17-25; 66: 22, 23; Rev. 21: 1-5.
Third, it is the highest privilege, honor, and divine empowerment for all repentant sinners, regardless of the depths of sin and degradation they may have sunk into to know that all of heaven, i.e., the Godhead and the heavenly angels are enlisted on their side to obtain perfect individual victory against sin, Satan, and temptation as Jesus did.
Two Biblically-sound Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, which we firmly subscribe to and urge all Christians to verify for themselves by “searching the Scriptures whether these things are so,” Berean-like (Acts 17: 10, 11), are the following:
“That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption (Matt. 28: 19).
“That Jesus Christ is very God, being of the same nature and essence of the Eternal Father. While retaining His divine nature He took upon Himself the nature of the human family, lived on the earth as a man, exemplified in His life as our example the principles of righteousness, attested His relationship to God by many mighty miracles, died for our sins at the cross, was raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for us. (John 1: 1, 14; Heb. 2: 9-18; 8: 1, 2; 4:4-16; 7: 25).”- Seventh-day Adventists Answer QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE, p. 11, (1957).
From the inspired pen of E.G. White in the book Evangelism, pp. 615-627, we cite the following to remind all who are preparing for the last conflict with the dragon, the beast, and the image of the beast (the counterfeit triumvirate) of the nature of the special deception of spiritualism. Remember: Satan redoubles his efforts to deceive “if possible the very elect” (Mark 13: 22) knowing “he has but a short time”! (Rev. 12: 12).
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.’[John 10; 30]. 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 [of incarnating eternally into the human nature, and dying the eternal death which is the “wages of sin” as man’s substitute and surety] might become partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust [2 Pet. 1: 4].”- Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 68 (1909).
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.’
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 which 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 the 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 ‘the express image of His person.’ [Heb.1: 3]. [John 3: 16 quoted]. Here is shown the personality of the Father.
The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Savior. 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 [Rom. 6: 3-22]. —Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63 (1905).
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.” – Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900.
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.’ John 1: 1. Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.” – Review & Herald, Apr. 5, 1906.
“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.” – Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899.
Life, Original, Unborrowed, Underived. – “Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’[John 11:25]. In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’[John 3: 36]. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 530 (1898).
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).”
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,
Personality of the Holy Spirit. –“ We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much as a person as God is a person, is walking through the grounds.” – Manuscript66, 1899 (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School, Australia.).
“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. . . 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. [Rom. 8: 16 quoted].”
The Power of God in the Third Person. – “The prince of the power of evil can onlybe 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).
Cooperation With the Three Highest Powers. – “We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,—and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.” – Special Testimonies, Series B., No. 7, p. 51 (1905).
To be continued next week.