57. My Vision on The Irrefutable “THIRD PERSON” of The Godhead


April 13, 2013


http://omega77.tripod.com/myvisionthirdperson.htm



"He (Christ) suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which WAS His." Desire of Ages, p. 25 1 Cor. 11:24-265, cf. John 6:53, 54, Titus 3:5, 6.

 

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

 

Philippians 2:5-8: - “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 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: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

 

Since the Incarnation is the act by which men are saved, and since the entire Christian economy clusters around a true understanding of that act, I asked the Lord to help me explain the Godhead in such a manner that even a responsible twelve year old could fully comprehend that sacrificial act. I will now relate what the Lord showed me in vision on this all important issue which Ellen White identified as a pillar, landmark doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

 

The Trinity Doctrine as embraced by the professing SDA church since the 1980’s, totally denies the heavenly Sanctuary Incarnation act which resulted in a third person to the Godhead by the means I describe in this manuscript.

 

There are many amongst so called SDA reformers who do not believe there is a third person to the Godhead. Thus, they also deny the heavenly Sanctuary act by which a third person to the Godhead accrued. I asked the Lord to aid me in dispelling the serious antichrist error held by both these parties to a degree transcending any possibility of doubt.

 

The simplicity of the solvency to this problem is amazing when one considers that since Jesus, who is fully God and fully man (human), is seated with the Father on His throne. This empirical fact proves a third person to the Godhead.

 

The error of the Trinity doctrine is proven by recognizing the simple fact that if there were three persons to the Godhead from eternity, as the Trinity Doctrine errantly teaches, then there would be four persons AFTER THE INCARNATION Sacrifice. This will be made more apparent as you read.

 

Rev 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

 

If the following persons are seated on the throne in heaven with the Father, how many persons are there to the Godhead?

 

1. The Father with only a Divine personality

2. The Son as Fully Human with a human personality.

3. The Son as the Holy Spirit with a Fully Divine personality.

 

"Cumbered with humanity Christ could not be in every place personally, therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them to go to His Father and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit.” E.G. White, (Manuscript Releases Volume 14 (No’s 1081-1135) MR No.1084.

 

If the Holy Spirit is the soul of the life of Christ, as Ellen White states, and the Holy Spirit is HIMSELF divested of the personality of humanity and INDEPENDENT THEREOF, then this makes TWO INDEPENDENT personalities—two persons however mysteriously blended into one. This is a mystery of the Godhead.

 

By the same token, how many persons would there be to the Godhead if three accrued BEFORE the Incarnation?

 

1.    The Father.

2.    The Son.

3.    The Holy Spirit.

4.    The Son as Fully Human with a human personality.

 

I was shown that some will quickly counter that only ONE of the three, the Father, is God. Some will say that only the Father and the Son are God. Some will say that the human personality of Christ does not count because He is only human and not God, so the human person should not be counted as part of the Godhead. To such persons I would ask:

 

How does the Father look upon His Son who was FULLY GOD when He humbled Himself by volunteering to take the form of a servant made in the likeness of sinful flesh in order to condemn sin in the flesh of a human being?

 

Phl 2:7 “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

 

Rom 8:3 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

 

Let me ask the question with a bit of a twist to it: If you were God Almighty, and your only beloved Son, who was equal with you as being God in the highest sense, volunteered to become fully human FOREVER, as well as FULLY DIVINE, in order to condemn sin in human flesh and thus prove that it was/is possible to keep YOUR EVERLASTING COVENANT LAW, which was/is a transcript of your character of love as God, would you still regard that only beloved Son as God? Might you even love him ALL THE MORE, AND MIGHT HUMANITY LOVE HIM ALL THE MORE AND REGARD EVEN HIS HUMANITY AS WORTHY OF SITTING ON THE THRONE WITH THE FATHER—AS HE TRULY DOES RIGHT NOW?

 

The only beloved Son of God voluntarily suffered the death which was ours that we might receive the life which WAS His. Would He be worthy of being part of the Godhead?

 

Do you consider His FULLY HUMAN nature, which He took upon Himself as a FOREVER SACRIFICE, as making Him worthy to sit on the throne in heaven as a FULLY HUMAN member of the Godhead? If you don’t my friend, you are as antichrist as antichrist can get!

 

"He (Christ) suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which WAS His." Desire of Ages, p. 25 1 Cor. 11:24-265, cf. John 6:53, 54, Titus 3:5, 6.

 

Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.” {RH, April 5, 1906 par. 6}


The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father.” {RH, April 5, 1906 par. 7}


Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,--not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal.” Desire of Ages, p. 388.


Christ was the greatest teacher the world has ever known. He, the Son of God, came to earth in the form of a man, clothed in the habiliments of humanity, in order that he might reach the comprehension of the young as well as of the middle-aged and the aged. Through his servant David he had declared, “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.” In parables drawn from nature and from human life, Christ showed the harmony of the natural with the spiritual. He revealed the unknown by lessons derived from the known. The heavenly was symbolized by the earthly. Natural things were presented as a reflection of the law of his kingdom." {YI May 6, 1897, par. 1}

 

Christ Retains His Humanity FOREVER

 

Let’s establish the fact first from the Bible and then from the Spirit of Prophecy, that Christ retains His humanity FOREVER:

 

Christ as a Man forever -- Hebrews 7:24 “But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”

 

Christ ascended to heaven, bearing a sanctified, holy humanity. He took this humanity with Him into the heavenly courts, and through the eternal ages He will bear it, as the One who has redeemed every human being in the city of God.”--The Review and Herald, March 9, 1905. {7ABC 488.1}

 

Is His humanity worthy of sitting AS A THIRD PERSON on the throne of God FOREVER—as the ONE who redeemed every human being in the city of God?

 

In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. . . . In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son." John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder." God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven.”--Ibid., p. 25. {7ABC 456.4}

 

 "By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man, but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.' [John 3:16]. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only Begotten Son to become one of the human family forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. 'Unto us a child is born unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder.' God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the 'Son of man' who shares the throne of the universe. It is the 'Son of man' whose name shall be called, 'Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of Peace.' [Isa. 9:6]. The I Am is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both. He who is 'holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,' is not ashamed to call us brethren. [Heb. 7:26 2:11.] In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite love." The Desire of Ages, 25.

 

Is God come in the form of sinful human flesh, in order to redeem sinful man from his sinful state to eternal life, worthy of being a THIRD PERSON to the Godhead?

 

Some don’t even believe Jesus is God, let alone God come in the likeness of sinful flesh! They are antichrist. Only God could atone for any breach in His law. Only God could serve as the Testator of His Everlasting Covenant:

 

Hbr 9:16 For where a testament [is], there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

 

Hbr 9:17 For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

 

What is a testament? Here is the meaning of the word “testament” in Hebrews 9:16, 17. These verses are speaking of God’s covenant, His testament, and not any man’s covenant. No man could atone for the sins of men in breaking God’s covenant/testament.

 

http://bible.worthwhile.com/bible.php?b=heb&c=9&v=0&d=9&w=0

Number 1242

Transliteration:

diatheke {dee-ath-ay'-kay}

Word Origin:

from 1303

TDNT:

2:106,157

Part of Speech:

noun feminine

Usage in the KJV:

covenant 20, testament 13


Total: 33

Definition:

1.         a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will

2.         a compact, a covenant, a testament

A.    God's covenant with Noah, etc.

TDNT - Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

TWOT - Theological Word Book of the Old Testament

 

How the Testator Died When Divinity Cannot Die

 

The Bible defines God as a Spirit.

 

Jhn 4:24 “God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.”

 

There is One Eternal Spirit

 

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

 

The words “the eternal Spirit” mean ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT. The Father and the Son are of the same ONE NATURE WHICH IS SPIRIT. That is all we know of the nature of God—that He is a Spirit. However, we know more about His personality. For instance, God is love. His law is a transcript of His character. He loved us so much He was willing to let His only beloved Son atone for man’s sin.

 

The Testator was DIVINE ONLY When He Made His Everlasting Testament (Covenant) With Man

 

When the Son of God, who had to be equal with God the Father in order to atone for any breach in the Father’s law, made His final Will and Testament to die in atonement for man’s sin against God’s law, He was DIVINE ONLY. He was the second person to the Godhead. But we encounter a problem here. Divinity cannot die. Ellen White said that Divinity did not die on the cross.  So how did Christ take the death that was ours that we might receive the life that WAS His?

 

"He (Christ) suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which WAS His." Desire of Ages, p. 25 1 Cor. 11:24-265, cf. John 6:53, 54, Titus 3:5, 6.

 

·       What death was ours? Scripture says that the wages of sin is eternal death. That is the death which was ours.

·       What life was Christ’s before His Incarnation? It was DIVINE ONLY—ETERNAL ONLY. And that eternal life of God—His Spirit—THE SPIRIT—which constitutes His essence, substance.

·       Christ offered up His blood through the eternal Spirit—without spot, to God.

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

·       Christ’s spotless/sinless human blood was offered up through the eternal Spirit. That spotless blood redeemed men from their sin. But that human blood could not provide a cure for sin. The very fact that men continue to sin proves that the blood spilled on the cross did not cure sin. We will now explore the cure for sin.

 

Two sacrifices: One in the Heavenly Sanctuary | One on Earth

 

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

 

How did the Incarnation in and of itself in the heavenly Sanctuary, reach the prescribed limit as a sacrifice, BUT NOT AS A REDEEMER?

 

What was the prescribed limit of a sacrifice? The only prescribed limit as a sacrifice as specified in God’s Word, is the Testator’s Covenant that states the DIVINE ONLY Testator must somehow die to something eternally, because that is our penalty for sin—eternal death, not just three days and nights in a tomb.

 

How did the Son of Man die eternally so that He is now still dead to something and so the Testator’s testament is still of strength?

 

Hbr 9:16 For where a testament [is], there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

 

Hbr 9:17 For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

 

The only way that God in the form of His Son could atone for man’s sin and provide a cure for sin is by offering His Divine Soul as an offering for sin. But how could that be done when Divinity cannot die?

 

Christ had stooped to take upon Himself man’s nature; He was to bear an infinite weight of woe as He should make His soul an offering for sin; yet angels desire that even in His humiliation the Son of the Highest might appear before men with a dignity and glory befitting His character.” E.G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 313, 314.

 

What was/is the soul of the Son of God?

 

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

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

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

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

 

The soul of the Son of God is His DIVINE ONLY LIFE as it was before His Incarnation—His Holy Spirit—the ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT He shares/shared with the Father. That ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT is what makes them ONE GOD. But how was that soul of His life Holy Spirit made an offering for sin?

 

Since God cannot die, the only way He could make an offering for sin and a cure for sin, was for His Son to be slain from the foundation of the earth in the heavenly Sanctuary? What?! Yes, slain from the foundation of the earth, to wit:

 

Rev 13:8 “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

 

Remember that the heavenly Sanctuary was a pattern for the earthly sanctuary. The Son of God was actually slain in the heavenly Sanctuary from the foundation of the earth. What does that mean? It means that since God is timeless, from the time the Son volunteered to take the form of humanity, that event was sanctioned by a heavenly Sanctuary sacrifice whereby the Son offered the soul of His life, His Holy Spirit DIVINE ONLY nature as an offering for sin. He was slain in the Spirit—His Spirit was slain from the foundation of the earth. This was His highest good, crowning gift to man, for it provided/provides the cure for sin. Without this cure gift, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross would have been of no avail, because sin would have gone on forever and all Christ’s human death on the cross would have availed is to pardon a continuum of sin forever, and that could not be because as we can witness all too well right now, sin destroys the earth and men, and they could not exist forever to be forgiven (pardoned) forever. They would finally self-destruct.

 

But Christ sacrificed the soul of His life, His Holy Spirit DIVINE ONLY life, to give it to us in the form of His Divine Nature that we might overcome sin and the lust of the world. He died to being DIVINE ONLY so that He could provide His eternal life to us. Only by this form of eternal death to His Divine Only life, and taking man’s sinful nature and overcoming in that sinful nature, could the Son of Man give us the life that WAS HIS. He could not give us that life in any other way. Why? Because as God, He was as a consuming fire to sin in His DIVINE ONLY state of Being. That is a principle of God’s character. So the Son of Man had to take the form of a human being in order to be able to even communicate with man and come down and redeem man by overcoming as a man.

 

What the Son of God died to forever, by His Incarnation sacrifice, was DYING TO HIS DIVINE ONLY EXISTENCE—FOREVER, in order to come in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to overcome all sin in that flesh for the following reasons:

 

1.    To vindicate His Father’s Law in the Great Controversy with Satan, because Satan said God’s law was not necessary and that God Himself was not subject to His own law—therefore it was not fair and just.

2.    To demonstrate that God’s law could have been kept and that God was not withholding something good from man by keeping him from a knowledge of evil.

3.    To redeem man from his sins.

4.    To provide the cure of His Divine Nature indwelling man so he might overcome all sin.

5.    To demonstrate that God’s law is based on His character of love, and that everything God did for His created beings is for their best interest and welfare.

6.    It was impossible for sinful man to be imbued with the Divine Nature of the Son of God without the sacrifice of His soul, His Holy Spirit, being offered as an offering for sin in the heavenly Sanctuary, which Sanctuary Service slew the Son by reducing and emptying Him to the form of a servant to His fellow creatures, into a form that would not consume them by fire.

7.    God had to be first slain into the form of sinful flesh in order to redeem sinful flesh and to cure sinful flesh from sin. His Holy Spirit had to be emptied (divested) of some of its God attributes in order to be given as heaven’s “highest good, crowning gift” to man.

 

"Cumbered with humanity Christ could not be in every place personally, therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them to go to His Father and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit.” E.G. White, (Manuscript Releases Volume 14 (No’s 1081-1135) MR No.1084.

 

Because the Son’s Divinity was cumbered by His humanity, preventing Him from being everywhere at once, the Holy Spirit is Chirst’s very representive—the representative of His Divinity as well as being the Divine representative of His humanity. Should we discount His humanity in any way? Should we exclude His humanity as a person seated on the throne of heaven, a person that makes a THIRD PERSON?

 

It is as antichrist as it gets to discount the Son of God who came in sinful flesh in order to redeem men and cure their sin problem, by claiming that there is no THIRD PERSON to the Godhead, seated on the throne in heaven. I have even heard some Adventists claim that Jesus is not seated on that throne; that only the Father is seated there! That is doubly antichrist because if the Son is set down on the throne, and the Son is combined with humanity forever, they both must sit on the throne.

 

Rev 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

 

Eternal Sacrifice of the Divine Soul of the Son of Man

 

The only way for God, who is as a consuming fire to sin, to reach man, was to divest Himself of the form of God, and in its stead take the form and fashion of a man FOREVER. That was A FOREVER, ETERNAL DEATH to His former estate of being DIVINE ONLY. That Incarnation slaying met the prescribed limit of a sacrifice—by the Son of God FOREVER DYING to being God ALONE—GOD ONLY, and being combined with humanity forever.

 

Some think that when the Son returned to heaven, He returned to His original state of being DIVINE ONLY, with all the glories DIVINITY ONLY can/could confer. That is not true! They misinterpret the following statement. This statement does not mean that Jesus returned to the glories of the form of God ONLY, because He will retain the form of man for eternity.

 

"The apostle would call our attention from ourselves to the Author of our salvation. He presents before us His two natures, divine and human. . . . He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He laid aside His glory and His majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for awhile relinquished. . . . He bore the sins of the world, and endured the penalty which rolled like a mountain upon His divine soul. He yielded up His life a sacrifice, that man should not eternally die. He died, not through being compelled to die, but by His own free will." E.G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7a, p. 446.


Christ had stooped to take upon Himself man’s nature; He was to bear an infinite weight of woe as He should make His soul an offering for sin; yet angels desire that even in His humiliation the Son of the Highest might appear before men with a dignity and glory befitting His character.” E.G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 313, 314.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

The wages of sin is death. How could Christ make His soul, His Holy Spirit, the soul of His life and the life of His soul, an offering for sin? The answer that God showed me is that the Son died FOREVER to His Divine ONLY existence. This met the prescribed limit of a sacrifice per the Incarnation alone. Only the humanity of Christ died on the cross. Ellen White said His divinity did not die. And we know that Divinity cannot die, so He died to being DIVINE ONLY eternally.

 

1884 Great Controversy, p. 24: - “For centuries the Jews had vainly endeavored to show wherein the promise of God, given by Haggai, had been fulfilled; yet pride and unbelief blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet's words. The second temple was not honored with the cloud of Jehovah's glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily,--who was God himself manifest in the flesh.” {4SP 24.2} (1884)


Conclusions


·       The error of the Trinity Doctrine is that there were THREE PERSONS to the Godhead from eternity. Were that true, when the humanity of the Son of God became a PERSON TO THE GODHEAD, there would have been FOUR PERSONS. The Trinity Doctrine thus denies the Heavenly Sanctuary Incarnation slaying from the foundation of the earth, whereby the Son of God first became emptied of His form of God, long before the Holy Ghost fell upon Mary to sire Jesus in her womb. The Incarnation had to first take place in the pattern of the Heavenly Sanctuary.

·       Many have not thought of the humanity of the Son of God as being a member of the Godhead and how and why the Incarnation slaying sacrifice that gave rise to His humanity makes His humanity a qualified member of the THREE PERSON Godhead.

·       In God’s ten-commandment law, He says to have no other God(s). The fact is that His Son and the humanity of His Son are not other gods. Those who discount the Godhead of the Son, thereby discount the Godhead of the Father for they are of the same one eternal Spirit essence, substance.

·       Only a person with the Love of God the Father, would love fallen humanity enough to be slain from His position as God ONLY, to become combined with humanity forever as FULLY GOD AND FULLY HUMAN, and to suffer what He did in the process. But the physical suffering was but naught compared to the mental anguish that sin caused by way of separating the Son from the Father when He was being tested in ways man cannot begin to fathom, and whereby He felt that He would never again be ONE with the Father.

 

In the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

 

Ronald William Beaulieu




Desire of Ages, Chapter 74—Gethsemane


This chapter is based on Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-50; Luke 22:39-53; John 18:1-12.


In company with His disciples, the Saviour slowly made His way to the garden of Gethsemane. The Passover moon, broad and full, shone from a cloudless sky. The city of pilgrims’ tents was hushed into silence. {DA 685.1}


Jesus had been earnestly conversing with His disciples and instructing them; but as He neared Gethsemane, He became strangely silent. He had often visited this spot for meditation and prayer; but never with a heart so full of sorrow as upon this night of His last agony. Throughout His life on earth He had walked in the light of God’s presence. When in conflict with men who were inspired by the very spirit of Satan, He could say, “He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29. But now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God’s sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father’s love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” {DA 685.2}


As they approached the garden, the disciples had marked the change that came over their Master. Never before had they seen Him so utterly sad and silent. As He proceeded, this strange sadness deepened; yet they dared not question Him as to the cause. His form swayed as if He were about to fall. Upon reaching the garden, the disciples looked anxiously for His usual place of retirement, that their Master might rest. Every step that He now took was with labored effort. He groaned aloud, as if suffering under the pressure of a terrible burden. Twice His companions supported Him, or He would have fallen to the earth. {DA 685.3}


Near the entrance to the garden, Jesus left all but three of the disciples, bidding them pray for themselves and for Him. With Peter, James, and John, He entered its secluded recesses. These three disciples were Christ’s closest companions. They had beheld His glory on the mount of transfiguration; they had seen Moses and Elijah talking with Him; they had heard the voice from heaven; now in His great struggle, Christ desired their presence near Him. Often they had passed the night with Him in this retreat. On these occasions, after a season of watching and prayer, they would sleep undisturbed at a little distance from their Master, until He awoke them in the morning to go forth anew to labor. But now He desired them to spend the night with Him in prayer. Yet He could not bear that even they should witness the agony He was to endure. {DA 686.1}


Tarry ye here,” He said, “and watch with Me.” {DA 686.2}


He went a little distance from them—not so far but that they could both see and hear Him—and fell prostrate upon the ground. He felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape. As man He must suffer the consequences of man’s sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression. {DA 686.3}


Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, “Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself. {DA 686.4}


As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness. In the wilderness of temptation the destiny of the human race had been at stake. Christ was then conqueror. Now the tempter had come for the last fearful struggle. For this he had been preparing during the three years of Christ’s ministry. Everything was at stake with him. If he failed here, his hope of mastery was lost; the kingdoms of the world would finally become Christ’s; he himself would be overthrown and cast out. But if Christ could be overcome, the earth would become Satan’s kingdom, and the human race would be forever in his power. With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ’s soul was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan’s kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God. {DA 686.5}


And what was to be gained by this sacrifice? How hopeless appeared the guilt and ingratitude of men! In its hardest features Satan pressed the situation upon the Redeemer: The people who claim to be above all others in temporal and spiritual advantages have rejected You. They are seeking to destroy You, the foundation, the center and seal of the promises made to them as a peculiar people. One of Your own disciples, who has listened to Your instruction, and has been among the foremost in church activities, will betray You. One of Your most zealous followers will deny You. All will forsake You. Christ’s whole being abhorred the thought. That those whom He had undertaken to save, those whom He loved so much, should unite in the plots of Satan, this pierced His soul. The conflict was terrible. Its measure was the guilt of His nation, of His accusers and betrayer, the guilt of a world lying in wickedness. The sins of men weighed heavily upon Christ, and the sense of God’s wrath against sin was crushing out His life. {DA 687.1}


Behold Him contemplating the price to be paid for the human soul. In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. The chilling dew of night falls upon His prostrate form, but He heeds it not. From His pale lips comes the bitter cry, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Yet even now He adds, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” {DA 687.2}


The human heart longs for sympathy in suffering. This longing Christ felt to the very depths of His being. In the supreme agony of His soul He came to His disciples with a yearning desire to hear some words of comfort from those whom He had so often blessed and comforted, and shielded in sorrow and distress. The One who had always had words of sympathy for them was now suffering superhuman agony, and He longed to know that they were praying for Him and for themselves. How dark seemed the malignity of sin! Terrible was the temptation to let the human race bear the consequences of its own guilt, while He stood innocent before God. If He could only know that His disciples understood and appreciated this, He would be strengthened. {DA 687.3}


Rising with painful effort, He staggered to the place where He had left His companions. But He “findeth them asleep.” Had He found them praying, He would have been relieved. Had they been seeking refuge in God, that satanic agencies might not prevail over them, He would have been comforted by their steadfast faith. But they had not heeded the repeated warning, “Watch and pray.” At first they had been much troubled to see their Master, usually so calm and dignified, wrestling with a sorrow that was beyond comprehension. They had prayed as they heard the strong cries of the sufferer. They did not intend to forsake their Lord, but they seemed paralyzed by a stupor which they might have shaken off if they had continued pleading with God. They did not realize the necessity of watchfulness and earnest prayer in order to withstand temptation. {DA 688.1}


Just before He bent His footsteps to the garden, Jesus had said to the disciples, “All ye shall be offended because of Me this night.” They had given Him the strongest assurance that they would go with Him to prison and to death. And poor, self-sufficient Peter had added, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” Mark 14:27, 29. But the disciples trusted to themselves. They did not look to the mighty Helper as Christ had counseled them to do. Thus when the Saviour was most in need of their sympathy and prayers, they were found asleep. Even Peter was sleeping. {DA 688.2}


And John, the loving disciple who had leaned upon the breast of Jesus, was asleep. Surely, the love of John for his Master should have kept him awake. His earnest prayers should have mingled with those of his loved Saviour in the time of His supreme sorrow. The Redeemer had spent entire nights praying for His disciples, that their faith might not fail. Should Jesus now put to James and John the question He had once asked them, “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” they would not have ventured to answer, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22. {DA 689.1}


The disciples awakened at the voice of Jesus, but they hardly knew Him, His face was so changed by anguish. Addressing Peter, Jesus said, “Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” The weakness of His disciples awakened the sympathy of Jesus. He feared that they would not be able to endure the test which would come upon them in His betrayal and death. He did not reprove them, but said, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Even in His great agony, He was seeking to excuse their weakness. “The spirit truly is ready,” He said, “but the flesh is weak.” {DA 689.2}


Again the Son of God was seized with superhuman agony, and fainting and exhausted, He staggered back to the place of His former struggle. His suffering was even greater than before. As the agony of soul came upon Him, “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” The cypress and palm trees were the silent witnesses of His anguish. From their leafy branches dropped heavy dew upon His stricken form, as if nature wept over its Author wrestling alone with the powers of darkness. {DA 689.3}


A short time before, Jesus had stood like a mighty cedar, withstanding the storm of opposition that spent its fury upon Him. Stubborn wills, and hearts filled with malice and subtlety, had striven in vain to confuse and overpower Him. He stood forth in divine majesty as the Son of God. Now He was like a reed beaten and bent by the angry storm. He had approached the consummation of His work a conqueror, having at each step gained the victory over the powers of darkness. As one already glorified, He had claimed oneness with God. In unfaltering accents He had poured out His songs of praise. He had spoken to His disciples in words of courage and tenderness. Now had come the hour of the power of darkness. Now His voice was heard on the still evening air, not in tones of triumph, but full of human anguish. The words of the Saviour were borne to the ears of the drowsy disciples, “O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” {DA 689.4}


The first impulse of the disciples was to go to Him; but He had bidden them tarry there, watching unto prayer. When Jesus came to them, He found them still sleeping. Again He had felt a longing for companionship, for some words from His disciples which would bring relief, and break the spell of darkness that well-nigh overpowered Him. But their eyes were heavy; “neither wist they what to answer Him.” His presence aroused them. They saw His face marked with the bloody sweat of agony, and they were filled with fear. His anguish of mind they could not understand. “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” Isaiah 52:14. {DA 690.1}


Turning away, Jesus sought again His retreat, and fell prostrate, overcome by the horror of a great darkness. The humanity of the Son of God trembled in that trying hour. He prayed not now for His disciples that their faith might not fail, but for His own tempted, agonized soul. The awful moment had come—that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, and leave man to perish in his iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the bitter cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the consequences of the curse of sin, to save the guilty? The words fall tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, “O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” {DA 690.2}


Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race comes up before the world’s Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: “If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” {DA 690.3}


Having made the decision, He fell dying to the ground from which He had partially risen. Where now were His disciples, to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their fainting Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? The Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. {DA 693.1}


But God suffered with His Son. Angels beheld the Saviour’s agony. They saw their Lord enclosed by legions of satanic forces, His nature weighed down with a shuddering, mysterious dread. There was silence in heaven. No harp was touched. Could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host as in silent grief they watched the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from His beloved Son, they would better understand how offensive in His sight is sin. {DA 693.2}


The worlds unfallen and the heavenly angels had watched with intense interest as the conflict drew to its close. Satan and his confederacy of evil, the legions of apostasy, watched intently this great crisis in the work of redemption. The powers of good and evil waited to see what answer would come to Christ’s thrice-repeated prayer. Angels had longed to bring relief to the divine sufferer, but this might not be. No way of escape was found for the Son of God. In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in God’s presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. The angel came not to take the cup from Christ’s hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father’s love. He came to give power to the divine-human suppliant. He pointed Him to the open heavens, telling Him of the souls that would be saved as the result of His sufferings. He assured Him that His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan, that His death would result in the utter discomfiture of Satan, and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. He told Him that He would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, for He would see a multitude of the human race saved, eternally saved. {DA 693.3}


Christ’s agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. He came forth calm and serene. A heavenly peace rested upon His bloodstained face. He had borne that which no human being could ever bear; for He had tasted the sufferings of death for every man. {DA 694.1}


The sleeping disciples had been suddenly awakened by the light surrounding the Saviour. They saw the angel bending over their prostrate Master. They saw him lift the Saviour’s head upon his bosom, and point toward heaven. They heard his voice, like sweetest music, speaking words of comfort and hope. The disciples recalled the scene upon the mount of transfiguration. They remembered the glory that in the temple had encircled Jesus, and the voice of God that spoke from the cloud. Now that same glory was again revealed, and they had no further fear for their Master. He was under the care of God; a mighty angel had been sent to protect Him. Again the disciples in their weariness yield to the strange stupor that overpowers them. Again Jesus finds them sleeping. {DA 694.2}


Looking sorrowfully upon them He says, “Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” {DA 694.3}


Even as He spoke these words, He heard the footsteps of the mob in search of Him, and said, “Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me.” {DA 694.4}


No traces of His recent agony were visible as Jesus stepped forth to meet His betrayer. Standing in advance of His disciples He said, “Whom seek ye?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am He.” As these words were spoken, the angel who had lately ministered to Jesus moved between Him and the mob. A divine light illuminated the Saviour’s face, and a dovelike form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throng could not stand for a moment. They staggered back. Priests, elders, soldiers, and even Judas, fell as dead men to the ground. {DA 694.5}


The angel withdrew, and the light faded away. Jesus had opportunity to escape, but He remained, calm and self-possessed. As one glorified He stood in the midst of that hardened band, now prostrate and helpless at His feet. The disciples looked on, silent with wonder and awe. {DA 694.6}


But quickly the scene changed. The mob started up. The Roman soldiers, the priests and Judas, gathered about Christ. They seemed ashamed of their weakness, and fearful that He would yet escape. Again the question was asked by the Redeemer, “Whom seek ye?” They had had evidence that He who stood before them was the Son of God, but they would not be convinced. To the question, “Whom seek ye?” again they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” The Saviour then said, “I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way”—pointing to the disciples. He knew how weak was their faith, and He sought to shield them from temptation and trial. For them He was ready to sacrifice Himself. {DA 695.1}


Judas the betrayer did not forget the part he was to act. When the mob entered the garden, he had led the way, closely followed by the high priest. To the pursuers of Jesus he had given a sign, saying, “Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast.” Matthew 26:48. Now he pretends to have no part with them. Coming close to Jesus, he takes His hand as a familiar friend. With the words, “Hail, Master,” he kisses Him repeatedly, and appears to weep as if in sympathy with Him in His peril. {DA 695.2}


Jesus said to him, “Friend, wherefore art thou come?” His voice trembled with sorrow as He added, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” This appeal should have aroused the conscience of the betrayer, and touched his stubborn heart; but honor, fidelity, and human tenderness had forsaken him. He stood bold and defiant, showing no disposition to relent. He had given himself up to Satan, and he had no power to resist him. Jesus did not refuse the traitor’s kiss. {DA 696.1}


The mob grew bold as they saw Judas touch the person of Him who had so recently been glorified before their eyes. They now laid hold of Jesus, and proceeded to bind those precious hands that had ever been employed in doing good. {DA 696.2}


The disciples had thought that their Master would not suffer Himself to be taken. For the same power that had caused the mob to fall as dead men could keep them helpless, until Jesus and His companions should escape. They were disappointed and indignant as they saw the cords brought forward to bind the hands of Him whom they loved. Peter in his anger rashly drew his sword and tried to defend his Master, but he only cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant. When Jesus saw what was done, He released His hands, though held firmly by the Roman soldiers, and saying, “Suffer ye thus far,” He touched the wounded ear, and it was instantly made whole. He then said to Peter, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?”—a legion in place of each one of the disciples. Oh, why, the disciples thought, does He not save Himself and us? Answering their unspoken thought, He added, “But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” {DA 696.3}


The official dignity of the Jewish leaders had not prevented them from joining in the pursuit of Jesus. His arrest was too important a matter to be trusted to subordinates; the wily priests and elders had joined the temple police and the rabble in following Judas to Gethsemane. What a company for those dignitaries to unite with—a mob that was eager for excitement, and armed with all kinds of implements, as if in pursuit of a wild beast! {DA 696.4}


Turning to the priests and elders, Christ fixed upon them His searching glance. The words He spoke they would never forget as long as life should last. They were as the sharp arrows of the Almighty. With dignity He said: You come out against Me with swords and staves as you would against a thief or a robber. Day by day I sat teaching in the temple. You had every opportunity of laying hands upon Me, and you did nothing. The night is better suited to your work. “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” {DA 697.1}


The disciples were terrified as they saw Jesus permit Himself to be taken and bound. They were offended that He should suffer this humiliation to Himself and them. They could not understand His conduct, and they blamed Him for submitting to the mob. In their indignation and fear, Peter proposed that they save themselves. Following this suggestion, “they all forsook Him, and fled.” But Christ had foretold this desertion, “Behold,” He had said, “the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” John 16:32. {DA 697.2}

 




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