Begotten of God

 

Why did God have a Son? This is another question that is of importance. I will say God begot a son to express who he was and a witness of his own character to the creation. God cannot justify himself, his son is his justification of who he is. God is a relational being and its only his son who is like him that can paint the true picture of who he is. All of us believe that wisdom in Proverbs 8 is a personification of Jesus:

 

1Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

 

I find this interesting because wisdom is something that is not tangible but inherent in someone. Christ is here said to be the wisdom of God just as the spirit is said to be the spirit of God. These are inherent attributes of a person. Here we have two things that we can speak of; the wisdom of God and then the spirit of God both belonging and having their origin IN God. Without God then it’s inevitable there wouldn’t be the wisdom of God or the Spirit of God. These then belonging to God, he decided to manifest them as he would. Wisdom manifested in a visible way and the spirit manifested in an invisible but experiential way. Hence Jesus is a distinct personality as well as the spirit is a distinct personality but both having their origin IN God. God did not only have the person of Jesus as a visible mirror image of himself but the personality of the spirit as an invisible attribute of himself working in the heart of men.

 

Christ was the express image of His Father’s person; and He came to our world to restore in man God’s moral image, in order that man, although fallen, might through obedience to God’s commandments become enstamped with the divine image and character–adorned with the beauty of divine loveliness (MS 24, 1891).

 

We have only one perfect photograph of God, and this is Jesus Christ (MS 70, 1899).

 

The language above is the language of pre-incarnation. Now for something to be an express image, photograph of something, we must have the original image its expressing and photo image of the original. Consider this also:

 

As the disciples comprehended it, as their perception took hold of God’s divine compassion, they realized that there is a sense in which the sufferings of the Son were the sufferings of the Father. From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character.  {YI, December 16, 1897 par. 5}

 

This is a quote that has baffled many and I am yet to see any Trinitarian folks explain the phrase “They were two, yet little short of being identical”. If really we are dealing here with two or three Gods who happened to be, how comes one comes short of being equal with the other?! You can only understand this if you accept the real sonship of Jesus Christ. Just like a son is equal with the father in every aspect, but it can be said of the little differences they have. This is the best and truthful way to responding to such a quote.

 

As I wrote earlier, God has two personalities originating from him, one existed IN him as wisdom and decided to express him visibly [more on this in the article “Wisdom – The Thought of God Made Audible”] while the other personality, the holy spirit, he decided to give or shed forth invisibly as a distinct mysterious person without humanoid form:

 

Luke 24:39: Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

 

I won’t dwell on the matter of the holy spirit for now but I would like to concentrate to the wisdom IN God expressed. I will stick to inspiration because this is the only way to prove facts Isaiah 8:20. So

 

Who is Christ?–He is the only begotten Son of the living God. He is to the Father as a word that expresses the thought,–as a thought made audible. Christ is the word of God. Christ said to Philip, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” His words were the echo of God’s words. Christ was the likeness of God, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person.  {SD 21.2}

 

Simply Christ was the word and wisdom inherent in God and he chose to express it loudly. Christ is the word of God made audible. Just like a potter can have a thought of making some instrument and turns the ideas into an object so God had a thought in himself and brought it forth.

 

Prov 8:22. Jehovah possessed me. The signification of this verb has been the subject of much discussion; the bible and even ancient expositors, agree Wisdom here to be the eternal Son of God, you will find the Septuagint renders it created, and this may have been the argument of Arius against the eternal co-existence of the Son. The word possessed { H7069, קָנָהqânâh kaw-naw’ A primitive root; to erect, that is, create; by extension to procure] occurs about eighty four times in the Old Testament, and in only four places beside the present is it translated ‘possess;’ viz., Gen 14:19-22; Psa 139:13; Jer 32:15; Zech 11:5; in the last two it may well have the sense of getting, and in the former of creating.”

 

Pro 8:30. As one brought up, “as director of His work,” or, “as a builder at His side.” There has been great discussion among expositors as to who, or what, is to be understood by this personification. The problem that Christ had always with those who had a problem with what he taught and how he handled the word was “Luke 10:26: how readest thou?”

 

The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise: “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” John 7:17. If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.  {GC 598.3} 

 

Many modern expositors consider that Proverbs 8 refers exclusively to the Divine Word, wisdom, the Eternal Son of God. If wisdom then be the word inherent in God and expressed as evidence shows then what would it be when made audible if it’s not Divine in nature? This is illustrated well in John 6:63 when Christ says “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit”. When the spirit of God overshadowed Mary, she gave birth to a “holy thing”. This was incarnation into human family so Mary can be said to have given birth to a human being not a God being. More so, humans do not beget gods but humans. I find incarnation to be more of a morphing than a changing. But when God made his thought audible, a divine express being of himself was brought forth. The scripture declares God brought him forth so it’s not in earthly context we are speaking here but in the heaven.

 

 

 

Wisdom is not “The God”, but is God’s; she has personal existence as the Logos, she is the world idea, which, once projected, is objective to God, not as a dead form, but as a living spiritual image; she is the archetype of the world, which originating from God, stands before God, the medium between the God and the world of actual existence. Here wisdom is referred to in feminine in anticipation of the work she would accomplish in begetting children to herself through redemption plan.

 

Since to her the wise man attributes an existence preceding the creation of the world, he thereby declares her to be eternal, for to be before the world is to be before time for the world has time attached to it yet wisdom is placed before the world. For if he places her at the head of the creatures, as the first of them, so therewith he does not seek to make her a creature of this world having its commencement in time; he connects her origination with the origination of the creature only on this account, because that à priori refers and tends to the latter; the power which was before heaven and earth were, and which operated at the creation of the earth and of the heavens, cannot certainly fall under the category of the creatures around and above us. If we did not behold Him who is essential wisdom, the Son of God, and recognize here a representation of His attributes and prerogative, we make the wisdom imperfect and lacking the qualities of he who brought him forth which in turn will make wisdom himself a lesser God which is heresy. If the Spirit which proceeds from God and wisdom is “IN THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD”, how can wisdom himself be less of the GODHOOD when what proceeds from him is the fullness of what he don’t have! The arguments in favour of this view are thus summed up thus: “Wisdom is here personal Wisdom of God—the Son of God. For many personal predicates are attributed to Him: thus, subsistence by or with God, in Prov 8:30; just as John 1:1. We also read

 

The Jews had never before heard such words from human lips, and a convicting influence attended them; for it seemed that divinity flashed through humanity as Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” The words of Christ were full of deep meaning as he put forth the claim that he and the Father were of one substance, possessing the same attributes.–The Signs of the Times, Nov. 27, 1893, p. 54.

 

But how did they come to possess one substance? We answer

 

Proverbs 8:22 The LORD [GOD THE FATHER] possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

 

The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate–a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose–the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30.  {PP 34.1}

 

 

 

‘The Word was with God,’ which cannot be said of a mere attribute. Moreover, the language imposed here is of birth, Prov 8:22. In Prov 8:22 God is said to have possessed or acquired wisdom, not by creation (Psalms 104:24), nor by adoption, as Deut 32:6; Psalms 74:2, but by begetting John 3:16. The same verb is used by Eve of her firstborn (Gen 4:1). Moreover, other attributes are assigned to Wisdom, not as an attribute but a person—‘counsel,’ ‘strength,’ etc. Also, she has the feelings of a person (Prov 8:17): ‘I love them that love me.’ She does the acts of a person. She enables kings to rule, and invests them with authority (Prov 8:15-16). She takes part in creation, as one brought up, or nursed, in the bosom of the Father, as the only-begotten of His love (John 1:18). She cries aloud as a person (Prov 8:1-4), and her ‘lips’ and ‘mouth’ are mentioned (Prov 8:6-7). She is the delight of the Father, and she in turn delights in men (Prov 8:30-31), answering to the rapturous delight into which the Father breaks forth concerning Messiah (Isaiah 43:1; Matt 3:17; Matt 17:5; Eph 1:6). She builds a house, prepares a feast, and sends forth her maidens to invite the guests (Prov 9:1-3). All which admirably applies to Messiah, who builds the Church, as His house, upon Himself the rock (Matt 16:8, etc.), and invites all to the Gospel feast (Luke 14:16, etc.). Now as he is the wisdom, a thought made audible, He is Wisdom, itself absolute, and as the Archetype, from Him wisdom imparted flows to others.

 

As to the parallels, (Prov 1:20; Prov 1:23), ‘I will pour out my spirit unto you’ (see John 7:38), confirms the personal view. The same truth is confirmed by the reproof (Prov 1:24), ‘Because I have called,’ etc., compared with Christ’s own words (Matt 11:28, etc.) So Christ is called the Wisdom of God (Col 2:3). As Wisdom here saith ‘I was set up,’ or ‘anointed from everlasting,’ so the Father saith of Messiah, ‘I have set’ or ‘anointed my king’ etc. (Psa 2:6). As in Prov 8:24, Wisdom is said to be “brought forth” or begotten by God before the world, and to have been by Him in creating all things (Prov 8:27-30), so Messiah is called the ‘Son of God,’ and is said to have been with God in the beginning, and to have made all things (John 1:1-3) and to have been begotten before every creature (Col 1:15-17); and His goings forth are said, in Mic 5:2, to have been from of old, from everlasting.”

 

Since the language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed, it would be eisegesis to try to find a contrary meaning in straightforth language of Proverbs which is different from the theme of the chapter. The theme of the chapter is the literal bringing forth of the things mentioned and before the bringing forth of these things, wisdom was brought forth first not as a creature or creation but begotten.

 

“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” 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.  {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 3}

 

A son always rightfully takes the name of the father; and Christ, as “the only begotten Son of God,” has rightfully the same name. A son, also, is, to a greater or less degree, a reproduction of the father; he has to some extent the features and personal characteristics of his father; not perfectly, because there is no perfect reproduction among mankind. But there is no imperfection in God, or in any of His works, and so Christ is the “express image” of the Father’s person. Heb. 1:3. As the Son of the self- existent God, He has by nature all the attributes of Deity. {1890 EJW, CHR 11.4}

 

It is true that there are many sons of God, but Christ is the “only begotten Son of God,” and therefore the Son of God in a sense in which no other being ever was or ever can be. The angels are sons of God, as was Adam (Job 38:7; Luke 3:38), by creation; Christians are the sons of God by adoption (Rom. 8:14, 15), but Christ is the Son of God by birth. The writer to the Hebrews further shows that the position of the Son of God is not one to which Christ has been elevated but that it is one which He has by right. He says that Moses was faithful in all the house of God, as a servant, “but Christ as a Son over His own house.” Heb. 3:6. And he also states that Christ is the Builder of the house. Verse 3. It is He that builds the temple of the Lord and bears the glory. Zech. 6:12, 13. {1890 EJW, CHR 12.1}

 

Now it is inevitable that the one begotten by God is God. One text will be enough to demonstrate this. Christ Himself taught in the most emphatic manner that He is God. When the young man came and asked, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus, before replying to the direct question, said, *”Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but One, that is, God.”* Mark 10:17, 18. What did Jesus mean by these words? Did He mean to disclaim the epithet as applied to Himself? Did He mean to intimate that He was not absolutely good? Was it a modest depreciation of Himself? By no means, for Christ was absolutely good. Christ cannot deny Himself, therefore He could not say that He was not good. He is and was absolutely good, the perfection of goodness. *And since there is none good but God, and Christ is good, it follows that Christ is God and that this is what He meant to teach the young man.* On what grounds ought we still today to call him good?

 

The ruler had addressed Christ merely as an honored rabbi, not discerning in Him the *Son of God.* The Saviour said, “Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” *On what ground do you call Me good? God is the one good. IF YOU RECOGNIZE ME AS SUCH, YOU MUST RECEIVE ME AS HIS SON AND REPRESENTATIVE.* {COL 390.3}.

 

I don’t know if you catch it, I do not mean to say A=B and so B=A, to say God=Good and Good=God but Christ is saying, if you recognize am Good then am God and that is because am the Son of God and His representative. That is too emphatic and beautiful to miss it.

 

This to me is refreshing that my mediator is the Son of God and the Son of Man. As the Son of God and the Creator, he won’t deny his creatures whereas as the Son of Man and human, there is no sorrow he is not acquainted with. This qualifies him from the Family of God and the Family of Man to be the unmatched qualified Kinsman Redeemer as the Sanctuary language demands it. This is a happy ending then to all of us if we take it by faith and own it.

 

Leviticus 25:47 *And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee,* and thy brother [that dwelleth] by him *wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger* [or] sojourner by thee, or to the *stock of the stranger’s family:* 48 After that *he is sold he may be redeemed again;* one of *his brethren may redeem him:* 49 Either his *uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or [any] that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.* 50 And he shall reckon with him that *bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee:* and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him. 51 *If [there be] yet many years [behind], according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was BOUGHT for.* 52 And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubilee, then he shall count with him, [and] according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption. 53 [And] as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: [and the other] shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight. 54 And if he be not redeemed in these [years], *then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, [both] he, and his children with him.* 55 For unto me *the children of Israel [are] servants; they [are] my servants whom I BROUGHT forth out of the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.*

 

We know Satan is the strange sojourner here and his evil angels he stock of the strange family. We have waxed poor of spirituality because of sin originating from him and sold as slaves. Thank God for redemption plane then. The word which was God was made flesh to be flesh of our flesh, born of our born to redeem us for we would not redeem ourselves. With his blood the price has been paid that matches the years we have been left behind or accumulated in sin. And if he bought us, then he will bring us for no one buys goods and leaves them in the shop hence we shall not be left in this world cursed of sin. There not one I hope who is not waiting for Jubilee amongst us when all things shall be set free?!

 

God bless

 

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