Worshipping the Express Image and the Second Commandment

I have been thinking about the Second Commandment and how the graven image and the worshipping of an idol may be analogous to worshiping Jesus, Who is the express image of God the Father.

The Second Commandment against idolatry is recorded for us in Exodus 20:4-6:

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6

Why does God command us not to make idols or any representations of Him in the Second Commandment? I would think that it is because God would have us understand that whatsoever we make of our own doing, would create grossly inadequate caricature of the holy Almighty God. Moreover, any human handiwork or representation would only denigrate and bring us to an egregiously false perception of the true God.

“Pointing to their statuary and idols, he declared that God could not be likened to forms of man’s devising. These graven images could not, in the faintest sense, represent the glory of Jehovah. He reminded them that these images had no life, but were controlled by human power, moving only when the hands of men moved them; and therefore those who worshiped them were in every way superior to that which they worshiped.” {AA 237.2}

The Second Commandment, of course, also prohibited idolatry of pagan gods that are not gods at all.

David contrasted the true Creator God with the powerless false gods: “For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” (1 Chronicles 16:25-26).

It’s worth pointing out here that the thing that distinguishes all the false gods from the true God is that the “LORD made the heavens.” True God therefore deserves our worship because He is our creator. This is why John says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: FOR THOU HAST CREATED ALL THINGS,…” (Revelation 4:11)


consecration-3.jpg

An idol is typically thought of as an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. Or we might even think of a person or a thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered such as sports figures, celebrities, etc.

But Paul expands on the idea:

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” Colossians 3:5

So according to Paul, idolatry has its roots in the activity of the human heart and therefore is not necessarily limited to an external object of worship or any outward deed of the body. It starts in the heart! It is the craving itself-the wanting, enjoying, being satisfied by anything that you treasure more than God.

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“Idolatry starts in the heart! it is the craving itself-the wanting, enjoying, being satisfied by anything that you treasure more than God.”

Moreover, the Bible also points to something else as being an idolatry. In 1Samuel 15:23, we are told:

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

What is stubbornness? It is the dogged determination not to change one’s chosen course of thought or action (in the face of known truth). Therefore, the thing that you are obstinately holding onto becomes your idol, especially when you “knoweth to do good but doeth it not” and consequently “to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Furthermore, listen carefully to what Ellen White has said about what else might constitute an idolatry:

“No outward shrines may be visible, there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, YET WE MAY BE PRACTICING IDOLATRY . . . Thousands have A FALSE CONCEPTION OF GOD AND HIS ATTRIBUTES. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal. Are we worshipping the true God as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, in nature, or ARE WE ADORING SOME PHILOSOPHICAL IDOL ENSHRINED IN HIS PLACE?” Testimonies for the Church vol. 5, p. 173-174.

“It is as easy to make an idol of FALSE DOCTRINES and THEORIES as to fashion an idol of wood or stone” {GC 583}

“There will be, even among us, hirelings and wolves in sheep’s clothing who will persuade [some of] the flock of God to sacrifice unto other gods before the Lord…. Youth who are not established, rooted and grounded in the truth, will be corrupted and drawn away by the blind leaders of the blind; and the ungodly, the despisers that wonder and perish, who despise the sovereignty of the Ancient of Days, AND PLACE ON THE THRONE A FALSE GOD, A BEING OF THEIR OWN DEFINING, a being altogether such an one as themselves—these agents will be in Satan’s hands to corrupt the faith of the unwary.” {3SM 398.1}

We can see therefore that the idolatry is far reaching and is not merely limited to worshipping things fashioned by hands, idolizing a person, covetousness, stubbornness, but even holding to an erroneous doctrine or false conception of God and His attributes; “adoring some philosophical idol,” “false God, a being of their own defining” which are enshrined in place of the true God. Suffice it to say, having the right conception of God is imperative! Something seriously to consider in light of the agitation that has taken hold within Adventism with respect to the trinity doctrine. You need to sincerely ask the question. Are we holding to “A FALSE CONCEPTION OF GOD AND HIS ATTRIBUTES”? OR “ARE WE ADORING SOME PHILOSOPHICAL IDOL ENSHRINED IN HIS PLACE”? for it is idolatry on both counts!

The Word of God has some strong warnings against idolatry:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, NOR IDOLATERS…. shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and IDOLATERS, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

1 Corinthians 10:14 “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, FLEE FROM IDOLATRY.”

However, apostle Paul also says that the idols are nothing (1Cor 10:19) but points out that “the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God” (1 Corinthians 10:20). So, ultimately idol worship leads to devil worship.

Graven Image vs Express Image

What is interesting to note though, as it relates to the graven image mentioned in the Second Commandment, is that the Bible also speaks of another Image.

Hebrews 1:3 reveals how Christ is “the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the EXPRESS IMAGE of his Person.” We are also told that Christ is the “IMAGE of the invisible God”. (Colossian 1:15-17)

Question: How can we relate to second commandment, which forbids us of having an “image” to Christ who is the “express image” of His Father, Who in his own right deserves of our utmost honor and worship?

What is an image as it relates to worship? An image is never the original but always a likeness or duplication of the original. It is a substitute or a stand-in representation of an object of worship whether it’s a thing or a person. Thus, an idol becomes the very thing that you worship to the honor of a “god”.

If an image is never the original but always a likeness or duplication of the original, then does that make the Father the Original? And how is it that Christ is the image but not the Father. Can the roles be reversed? Can the Father be the express image of His Son and vise versa? Are these roles arbitrary or are they fixed based on an ontological reality? Well, the Inspiration seems to clearly suggest that it is Christ, the only begotten Son, Who is the express image of His Father and not the other way around. These enquiries certainly deserve further exploration but we’ll leave it there for now.

Moving on, Let’s take a look at what Sister white has said about how Christ represents God the Father:

“BUT TURNING FROM ALL LESSER REPRESENTATIONS, WE BEHOLD GOD IN JESUS. Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give. ‘I do nothing of Myself,’ said Christ; ‘the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father.’ ‘I seek not Mine own glory,’ but the glory of Him that sent Me. John 8:28; 6:57; 8:50; 7:18. In these words is set forth the GREAT PRINCIPLE which is THE LAW OF LIFE FOR THE UNIVERSE. All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So IN HIS MINISTRY FOR ALL CREATED BEINGS: through the beloved Son, the Father’s life flows out to all; THROUGH THE SON IT RETURNS, IN PRAISE AND JOYOUS SERVICE, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus THROUGH CHRIST the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life.” (DA 21.2)

She also stated,

“The Teacher from heaven, no less a personage than the Son of God, came to earth to REVEAL THE CHARACTER OF THE FATHER to men, that they might worship Him in spirit and in truth…. He presented to men that which was exactly contrary to the representations of the enemy in regard to the character of God, and sought to impress upon men the PATERNAL LOVE OF THE FATHER, who “so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” … In this He was revealing to them the character of the Father, who is long-suffering, merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, and full of goodness and truth.” {FE 177.1}

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them th
at are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of CHRIST, WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, TO GIVE THE LIGHT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST.” {AA 329.1}

“In the person of Christ we behold the eternal God…” (ST, Aug. 20, 1894)

We have only one perfect photograph of God, and this is Jesus Christ (Manuscript 70, 1899). {7BC 906.3}

“Unless men shall know God AS CHRIST HAS REVEALED HIM, they will never form a character after the divine similitude, and will therefore never see God.” {RH March 9, 1897, par. 10}

Interesting to note that while the false idols, which are the “lesser representations,” obscure and askew the correct perception of God, Christ is the perfect image/representation of God in which, THROUGH Him and Him alone that we may be able to behold God more perfectly.

This brings us back to the earlier question. How should we understand Christ being the express image of God in light of the Second Commandment, which forbids us to have any “graven” image nor bowing down to it? “Graven” indicates something which man fashioned. But what about in the case of an express image that is not fashioned by man? Would it be proper then to view the Second Commandment as not having any image or an idol IN PLACE OF Christ, who is already the express image of His Father?

It’s worth noting that the postscript to giving of the Decalogue, we find God reminding the Israelites again about the influence of the human element that can pervert their interactions with God and how they should refrain from adding anything to the altar of sacrifice that is hewn by man.

In Exodus 20:23-26, we read,

“Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.”

By not adding anything of human devising, God would have us learn the lesson that we do not bring anything to the table when it comes to our own merit in the way of offering sacrifice or in earning salvation. We are reminded:

“Reliance upon human merit intercepts the view of Christ’s infinite love. Jesus died as a sacrifice for man because the FALLEN RACE CAN DO NOTHING TO RECOMMEND THEMSELVES TO GOD. The MERIT OF A CRUCIFIED AND RISEN SAVIOR ARE THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.” {GC 73.1}

APART FROM CHRIST WE HAVE NO MERIT, NO RIGHTEOUSNESS. Our sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfection make it impossible that we should appear before God unless we are clothed in Christ’s spotless righteousness. We are to be found in Him not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness which is in Christ. {1SM 333.3}

“ONLY THE COVERING WHICH CHRIST HIMSELF HAS PROVIDED CAN MAKE US MEET TO APPEAR IN GOD’S PRESENCE. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul. ‘I counsel thee,” He says, “to buy of Me … white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.’” Revelation 3:18. {COL 311.3}

“This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it NOT ONE THREAD OF HUMAN DEVISING. Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us. ‘All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ Isaiah 64:6. Everything that we of ourselves can do is defiled by sin. But the Son of God ‘was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.’ Sin is defined to be ‘the transgression of the law.’ 1 John 3:5, 4. But Christ was obedient to every requirement of the law. He said of Himself, ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within My heart.’ Psalm 40:8. When on earth, He said to His disciples, ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments.’ John 15:10. By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE CLOTHED WITH THE GARMENT OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.” {COL 311.4}

When we think of an “image” in the 2nd Commandment, we can agree that it is primarily in reference to a heathen idol. In the case of an idol for a false god, a graven image is a tangible referent of a false god that is worshipped. The heathens worship their false deity THROUGH an image that they idolize whereby, the worshipping of the image is no less the worshipping of the god that is represented by that image.

Similarly, you can draw a parallel as to how we may worship the Son (image) to the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:11). The Father is worshipped THROUGH His express image (the Son). Thus, the worshipping of the Son (express image of the Father) is no less the worshipping of the Father Himself, for the honor that is bestowed upon the Son (express image) is the very honor that is ascribed to the Father.

Remember, the second commandment doesn’t say have no image what so ever, but says, MAKE no image. The reason? Could it be because God already has an Image; an express image?

“That all men should honour the Son, EVEN AS they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” (John 5:23)

“And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.” (Philippians 2:11)

“The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.58 {SD 58.5}

Thus, the Son, who is the True Image of the Father, can properly be idolized and receive worship in His own right-to the glory of the Only True God… and in so doing, the Father is equally honored while “all lesser representation” that takes the place of the Son is idolatry.

Having said this, I’m not suggesting that Christ is merely a conduit to worshipping the Father. No no no, for Christ rightly deserves our worship equa
l to the Father.

The false idols that represent false gods are inanimate, man-made creations and therefore its relationship to their respective gods can never equate to the relationship Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, has with His Father.

Inspiration tells us,

“Looking unto Jesus WE OBTAIN BRIGHTER AND MORE DISTINCT VIEWS OF GOD, and by beholding we become changed. Goodness, love for our fellow men, becomes our natural instinct. We develop a character which is the counterpart of the divine character. Growing into His likeness, we enlarge our capacity for knowing God. More and more we enter into fellowship with the heavenly world, and we have continually increasing power to receive the riches of the knowledge and wisdom of eternity.” –COL 355.

“By beholding we are to become changed; and AS WE MEDITATE UPON THE PERFECTIONS OF THE DIVINE MODEL, WE SHALL DESIRE TO BECOME WHOLLY TRANSFORMED, AND RENEWED IN THE IMAGE OF HIS PURITY. It is by faith in the Son of God that transformation takes place in the character, and the child of wrath becomes the child of God…” –1SM 335-338 (ST December 26, 1892).

“Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes…. GOD IS A GOD OF TRUTH. Justice and mercy are the attributes of His throne. He is a God of love, of pity and tender compassion. THUS HE IS REPRESENTED IN HIS SON, OUR SAVIOUR. He is a God of patience and long-suffering. IF SUCH IS THE BEING WHOM WE ADORE AND TO WHOSE CHARACTER WE ARE SEEKING TO ASSIMILATE, WE ARE WORSHIPING THE TRUE GOD.” {OFC 204}

Contrary to beholding a man-made image of God, when we behold Christ, who is the perfect representation of the Father, “WE OBTAIN BRIGHTER AND MORE DISTINCT VIEWS OF GOD” and consequently, “IF SUCH IS THE BEING WHOM WE ADORE AND TO WHOSE CHARACTER WE ARE SEEKING TO ASSIMILATE,” then we can be sure that ‘WE ARE WORSHIPING THE TRUE GOD.” If there is one being that can rightfully stand in place of God as His representative, it would be His Son and we may idolize and worship Him as though we are worshipping the Father without any moral misgiving.

One of the church pioneers stated,

“In exalting the Son, we exalt the Father, whose representative He is.” – G. I. Butler, Christ the God of Israel ~ Sept. 19, 1893 Review and Herald

Beast and His image vs the Father and His Image

In the book of Revelation 13:15 we read,

“And he had power to give life unto the IMAGE OF THE BEAST, that the IMAGE of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the IMAGE of the beast should be killed.”

Also in Revelation 14:9, 10, we read:

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man WORSHIP the beast and HIS IMAGE, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”

This tells us that, not unlike God, the Beast also has his own image. This would be Satan’s counterfeit of the Father and His Image.

This image is identified as a system that seeks to mirror the Beast and to enforce the Beast’s agenda. In the issue of the conflict all Christendom will be divided into two great classes, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image. Those who are loyal to the beast will also receive a “mark” whereas those who are loyal to God will receive a “seal”. (Revelation 7:2; Isa. 8:16)

The fearful judgments denounced against the worship of the beast and his image (Revelation 14:9-11), should lead all to a diligent study the prophecies to learn what the image and the mark of the beast are, and how we are to avoid receiving it.  Keep in mind that the beast or the image are not worthy of our worship for the simple fact that they did not create anything, instead the Scripture is calling for the worship of God who “made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7) And as a reminder Father and Son both participated in the creation of the world. (John 1:1-3, Ephesian 3:9, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:1-3)

Here’s how the inspired testimony defines the image to the beast:

But what is the “image to the beast”? and how is it to be formed? The image is made by the two-horned beast, and is an image to the beast. It is also called an image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like and how it is to be formed WE MUST STUDY THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BEAST ITSELF—THE PAPACY. {GC 443.1}

When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of “heresy.” In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends. {GC 443.2}

Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. {GC 443.3}

The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed—however important they might be from a Bible standpoint—must necessarily be waived. {GC 444.2}

When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result. {GC 445.1}

The beast with two horns “causeth [commands] all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16, 17. The third angel’s warning is: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and
receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” “The beast” mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two-horned beast, is the first, or leopardlike beast of Revelation 13—the papacy. The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. The “mark of the beast” still remains to be defined. {GC 445.2}

One of the things that struck me in thinking about worshipping an image is that, often, many merely stop at the image and entirely ignore the very person or the thing that the image represents. This is true for the image to the beast as well as for the “express image” of the true God of the Bible.

In the case of the image to the beast, one might not fully understand what the image (or even the “mark” of the beast) is because they don’t understand the identity or the role of the beast. Thus, in order to truly understand what the image is, it stands to reason that one should also understand who or what the beast is.

Likewise, in order to understand the “express image”, you must understand the identity or the role of the Father. One would do well therefore to truly understand who the Father is and His relation to His Son wherein it would be a great remiss to only pay attention to the Image while the very Person, in this case the Father, whom the Image represents, is misunderstood or largely ignored.

Here is an interesting thought from Ellen G. White during a Campmeeting.

Meeting Talk
May 4, 1876;
 Camp-meeting at Eagle Lake:

My husband [James S. White] then spoke a few words to those who were seeking the Lord. He said that many had been very much discouraged by the wrong views taken of God. They seek him with doubt and fear. Their hearts murmur, “I am not sure that he will forgive me.” They look upon God the Father as a being of stern majesty and justice, devoid of sympathy and love. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him, freely give us all things?” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Is not the gift of Christ a pledge of the Father’s love for sinners? I would say unto you who have come forward here, The Father loves you.

In the popular churches, we hear but little except, “Do you love Jesus?” The love of the Father is scarcely mentioned; it is only Christ, Christ. God the Father has given unto man the greatest gift that Heaven held. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” I believe that the heart of the great God is touched and moved by the condition of sinners today, as when he gave his Son to die for the sins of the world. — Review and Herald, May 4, 1876, par. 64-69 – Ellen G. White

I would like to close this thought by recalling a few statements by couple of Adventist pioneers:

“Let no one imagine that WE WOULD EXALT CHRIST AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FATHER, OR WOULD IGNORE THE FATHER. That cannot be, for they are one, and their interests are identical. WE HOUNER THE FATHER IN HOUNERING THE SON. “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father.” Therefore no one can have a high conception of THE FATHER UNLESS HE HAS A HIGH CONCEPTION OF CHRIST. We are mindful of Paul’s words, that “to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:6); just as we have already quoted, that it is by Him that God made the worlds. All things proceed ultimately from God, the Father; even Christ Himself proceeded and came forth from the Father; but it has pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell, and that He should be the direct, immediate Agent in every act of creation. Our object in this investigation is to SET FORTH CHRIST’S RIGHTFUL POSITION OF EQUALITY WITH THE FATHER, in order that His power to redeem may be better appreciated.” {PTUK January 9, 1896, p. 18.2} E. J. Waggoner

“ALL that we know of God, we learn through Christ. LET NO ONE, THEREFORE, SAY THAT IN EXALTING CHRIST WE ARE IN DANGER OF LOWERING OUR IDEAS OF GOD. THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE, FOR THE MORE EXALTED IDEAS WE HAVE OF CHRIST, THE MORE EXALTED MUST BE OUR IDEAS OF THE FATHER.” {PTUK December 4, 1890, p. 393.5} – E.J. Waggoner

“HE ALONE could reflect the Father in His fullness, because His goings forth have been from the days of eternity, and as it says in the eighth of Proverbs, “I was with him, as one brought up with him.” HE WAS ONE OF GOD, EQUAL WITH GOD; AND HIS NATURE IS THE NATURE OF GOD. Therefore one grand necessity that HE ALONE should come to the world and save man was BECAUSE THE FATHER WANTED TO MANIFEST HIMSELF FULLY to the sons of men, and NONE IN THE UNIVERSE could manifest the Father in His fullness EXCEPT THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, who is in the image of the Father. NO CREATURE COULD DO IT, because He is not great enough. ONLY HE whose goings forth have been from the days of eternity could do it; consequently, He came and God dwelt in Him. How much? “All the fullness of the Godhead bodily” is reflected in Him. And this is not only to men on the earth, but it is that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one—in Christ—all things which are in heaven and which are on earth. In Christ God is manifested to the angels and reflected to men in the world in a way in which they cannot see God otherwise.” – A.T. Jones *Third Angel’s Message {GCB/GCDB 1895, p. 378.5}


Further notes

“It may be objected, If the Father and the Son are two distinct beings, do you not, in worshipping the Son and calling him God, break the first commandment of the decalogue? “No; it is the Father’s will ‘That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.’ We cannot break the commandment and dishonor God by obeying him. The Fathers says of the Son, ‘Let all the angels of God worship him.’ Should angels refuse to worship the Son, they would rebel against the Father. Children inherit the name of their Father. The Son of God ‘hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than’ the angels. That name is the name of his Father. The Father says to the Son, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.’ Heb.1. The Son is called ‘The mighty God.’ Isa. 9:6. And when he comes again to earth his waiting people will exclaim, ‘This is our God.’ Isa. 25:9. It is the will of the Father that we should thus honor the Son. In doing so we render supreme honor to the Father. If we dishonor the Son, we dishonor the Father; for he requires us to honor his son. “But though the Son is called God yet there is a ‘God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ’ 1Pet. 1:3. Though the Father says to the Son, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever,’ yet, that throne is given him of his Father; and because he loved righteousness and hated iniquity, he further says, ‘Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee.’ Heb. 1:9. ‘God hath made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ.’ Acts. 2:36. The Son is ‘the everlasting Father,’ not of himself, nor of his Father, but of his children. His language is,
‘I and the children which God hath given me.’ Heb. 2:13.” — R. F. COTTRELL, Review and Herald, June 1, 1869.


“Thy Maker Is Thine Husband”

By WALTER ALFRED NELSON, Review and Herald – July 17, 1930

“Surrounded by the splendors of heaven and clothed in celestial glory, the Son of God is seen in counsel with the Eternal Father. They are looking down upon the human race bound in the servitude of Satan. Because of a love shared equally between them, the Son goes forth from the presence of the Father, leaving behind Him the glories of eternity. He takes upon Himself the form of humanity, and enters the realm of the enemy of God and man, that He may woo and win the children of this world, and unite them to Himself to share the great inheritance of the glorious kingdom of God.

“In order to win and unite with Himself a people, the One who was made “in the form of God,” being “the express image of His person,” and who thought it not robbery to consider Himself “equal with God,” this One ‘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.’…”

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Believing in Jesus as the only true God.

As the agitation between SDA trintiarians and SDA non/anti-trintiarians continues the following quote has become a matter of contention: “They say, ‘I was a heathen in heathen lands. You left your friends and comfortable homes and came to teach me how to find Jesus and believe in Him as the only true God.'” {11LtMs, Ms 25, 1896, par. 34}

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Understanding 1 Corinthians 8:6

There are many today who use this text of scripture to promote the belief that (a) Christ is not God, (b) Christ should not be referred to as God, (c) Christ is not, in any way, truly God, and (d) the Father is the only person who should be called God…

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Jesus as the Only True God?

The following article was in response to an enquiry asitreads.com received through its Contact, asking, Does Ellen White indicate that Jesus is “the one true God” in 6T 311.1? “…I was a heathen in heathen lands. You left your friends and comfortable home, and came to teach me how to find JESUS and believe in him AS THE ONLY TRUE GOD…”

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Concept of One

“One God” according to Seventh-day Adventists The Seventh-day Adventist 28 Fundamental Beliefs No. 2 states, “There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity

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The God of Isaiah 41

Every now and then, someone would use the book of Isaiah to try and prove that God is a Trinity. In effect, these advocates of the Trinity doctrine are saying that the God of Isaiah was a triune one. But is this true? Let us examine.

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