The antiquity of the Personal Wisdom of God

 

Wisdom in the abstract must have existed before the creation of the world, because the world bears marks of wisdom. There must have been in Solomon the wisdom to design the temple before it took the form of beauty which made it so famous. There is skill hidden in the artist’s mind before it is manifested upon his canvas—the very existence of the picture proves the pre-existent skill. Wisdom in God brought forth proves the per-existence of the wisdom. The world is a temple of large proportions, the beauty of which man can but copy afar off, and its existence proves the pre-existence of wisdom resident in a pre-existent person. As the world bears evident marks of great antiquity it proclaims an All-wise Cause which must necessarily be older still. There is no person known to the human race who claimed to have an existence before the world except Jesus Christ. He claimed—and it is claimed for Him by those who bore witness to Him—to have been before the world was, and to have been conscious of His divinity before the foundation of the world and not only that but even when he was here he was still conscious of his divinity:

 

He had a full consciousness of His divinity; but He had laid aside His royal crown and kingly robes, and had taken the form of a servant. One of the last acts of His life on earth was to gird Himself as a servant, and perform a servant’s part.  {DA 644.5}

 

He claims to have been possessor of “a glory with the Father before the world was” (John 17:5), a glory which included intellectual and moral wisdom. And the claim of His apostle concerning the pre-existence of the “Word of God” is most unmistakable (John 1:3). In fact the whole epistle of John is written to prove the divine sonship of Christ John 20:31. The existence of other and inferior “sons of God” before the creation of this world is implied in Scripture (Job 38:7), but the scripture has not much concerning them. We feel that we could not apply to them, or to any creature, the words of the text, “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way,” etc. But, in the light of the attributes given to this wisdom, if we give them a personal application, we must apply them to the Son of God, the Eternal Word, and to Him alone. The words point to an existence distinct from God. “I was by Him,” and “I was with Him.” And yet the intimate relationship and fellowship described in John 1:18 does not express inferiority, but finds its fulfilment only in Him who not only “was in the beginning with God,” but who “was God for the word of God is divine and it was expressed in the fullness of that who was expressing it.

 

The Personal Wisdom of God the delight of the Eternal Father

 

“I was daily His delight” (Prov 8:30). (1) Likeness in character is a foundation of delight. A man who is godly delights to see his own godly character reflected in his son. The recognition of moral likeness in the uncreated Son gave delight to the Eternal Father. Nothing gives God so much joy as goodness. Hence His joy in His only-begotten Son. (2) Equality of nature is a source of delight to the good and true. Fellowship with an equal gives joy. Christ, when on earth, ever claimed this equality with the Father. He claimed an eternity of being. “Before Abraham was, I am” (Exo 3:14; Joh 8:58). In the eternal ages, before the creation of the world, the Father looked upon this “brightness of His glory and express image of His person” (Heb 1:3), and this Divine Equal gave joy to the uncreated God (Isa 42:1). Also:

 

John 10:30: I and [my] Father are one.

 

With what firmness and power he uttered these words. 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 Jews understood his meaning, there was no reason why they should misunderstand, and they took up stones to stone him. Jesus looked upon them calmly and unshrinkingly, and said, “Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me?”  {ST, November 27, 1893 par. 5}

 

That the Son is essentially related to the Father, in a real sense, as Father and Son; but that while distinct in person (for ‘the Word was with God’), He is posterior to Him in time (he was brought forth little short of being identical with the Father), he is not an inferior to Him in nature (for ‘the Word was God’), this would seem to come as near to the full testimony of Scripture on this mysterious subject as can be reached by our finite understanding, without darkening counsel with words without knowledge.

 

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}

 

Prov 8:22. “The beginning of His way” evidently means the commencement of creation, when Jehovah set out in His course of creative and consequently of providential manifestation of His eternal perfections. When this was we cannot tell. We may know the age of our own world, at least according to its present constitution. But when the universe was brought into being, and whether by one omnipotent fiat, or at successive and widely varying periods, it is beyond our power to ascertain. One thing we know for a certainly revealed fact, that there were angelic creatures in existence previous to the reduction of our globe to order and to the creation of man upon it. These holy intelligences contemplated the six days work of Divine wisdom and power in this part of the universe with benevolent joy. “The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” How many other creatures, and of what descriptions—how many other worlds, and how peopled, might have existed before man and his earthly residence we are unable to affirm.

 

The pre-incarnate Son of Christ

 

Strictly, God’s attributes are part of Himself and there is no hint in this passage that wisdom is not part of God. We read too

 

The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right. This was no robbery of God. “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way,” He declares, “before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 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 set a compass upon the face of the depth” (Proverbs 8:22-27).  {1SM 247.4} 

 

There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible.  {1SM 248.1} 

 

God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.  {8T 268.3} 

 

His sonship is not something to be relegated to incarnation, he was brought forth as a son, he was from everlasting possessed as wisdom and brought forth as a son. In order of time, God’s attributes are coincident and eternal as Himself. Attributes are inherent before they are expressed. The time they are expressed is their beginning yet that’s not the totality beginning of their beginning. Wisdom is eternal as God in thought but not in expression, hence the substance of the of wisdom, its qualities are as eternal as the originator yet younger than the originator from when they were expressed.

 

Possessed – The word has acquired a special prominence in connection with the Arian controversy. The meaning which it usually bears is that of “getting” Gen 4:1, “buying” Gen 47:22, “possessing” Jer 32:15. In this sense one of the oldest divine names was that of “Possessor of heaven and earth” Gen 14:19, Gen 14:22. But the idea of thus “getting” or “possessing” involved, as a divine act in relation to the universe, the idea of creation, and thus in one or two passages the word might be rendered, though not accurately, by “created” (e. g., Psa 139:13). It would seem accordingly as if the Greek translators of the Old Testament oscillated between the two meanings; and in this passage we find the various renderings ἔκτισε ektise “created” (Septuagint), and ἐκτήσατο ektēsato “possessed” (Aquila). There does not seem indeed any ground for the thought of creation either in the meaning of the root, or in the general usage of the word. What is meant in this passage is that we cannot think of God as ever having been without Wisdom. She is “as the beginning of His ways.” So far as the words bear upon Christian dogma, they accord with the words of John 1:1, “the Word was with God.” The next words indeed assert priority to all the works of God. We shall touch on John later.

 

I want us to do some thinking on this. Wisdom is something abstract. It is not something that can exist outside a hardware. Its origin is inside and then it can be expressed. Wisdom is not a creature, for wisdom cannot be created but only be imparted or brought forth or expressed. Wisdom is not acquired by Divine Being; man, and even angels, receive it by slow and progressive degrees; but in God it is as eternally inherent as any other essential attribute of his nature. If this is the true definition of the status of wisdom, then we have to question and rightly so, the origin of Wisdom personified in Proverbs 8. Since wisdom can only be brought forth or expressed, who expressed or brought forth this wisdom in Proverbs 8. This is a serious question to any student of the Bible. Hence without going into much, this should give us a great foundation to the doctrine that the person of wisdom was brought forth from the Person who had wisdom. Conclusively Jesus as wisdom personified had his origin in the Father, the source of all wisdom Proverbs 2:6-8. It will then not be heresy to believe the doctrine of Christ being begotten, a literal event back in eternity.

 

The Targum makes this wisdom a creature, by thus translating the passage: אלהא בראני בריש בריתיה Elaha barani bereish biriteiah, “God created me in the beginning of his creatures.” The Syriac is the same. This is as absurd and heretical. Wisdom is begotten. We just established the simple fact that wisdom can only be brought forth or expressed. Plain reading of the scripture demands acceptance of the fact Jesus is truly the son of God and not a metaphor. Why is this important? Because it will help us believe the word without questioning it hence not cultivating seeds of doubt and end up sinning. More on the antiquity of the Personal Wisdom of God to be submitted.

 

“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; [[LANGUAGE POST CROSS]. For [THIS IMPLIES HOW THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE] “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,” [NOT TO BE BEGOTTEN]– not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son [AS WE WILL TAKEN THE OTHER ORIGINS OF THE MENTIONED TO BE REAL AND LITERAL SO HERE CHRIST IS OPPOSED TO CREATURE AND CREATION BUT EXPLAINED HOW HE CAME TO BE] 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} 

 

Hence it can be said:

 

The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality. He has wrought out the righteousness that enables human beings to overcome every assault of Satan. He will impute His righteousness to the believing saint who walks as He walked when on earth.  {UL 367.4} 

 

This is the person that after the counsel of Zeh 6:13, came to die for man which was not the reason he was begotten at first.

 

God bless

 

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