Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two gods or one?

Two gods or one?

Does not your belief in two divine beings equate to a belief in two gods? For if God the Father is God and Jesus is God, then you have 2 gods and not one.

Were it not for the fact that Christ is the divine Son of God then we would indeed have two gods.

The Bible makes it clear that there is one God only and none other but He. This one God is the Father:

Deuteronomy 4:35
Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.

Ephesians 4:6 
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

1 Corinthians 8:6 
But 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.

Only the Father is described in the words “of whom are all things”. He is the great Source of all. There is only one ultimate Source of all things, not two or three. This one great Source is God the Father.

The Son of God is not another second source “of whom are all things”. This would make Him another God. He is rather described as the one “by whom are all things”. He is the channel through which all things come to creation. All things proceed from the Father through the Son.

Because Christ is the Son of God, He inherited all things from the Father. That includes the God-nature (divinity).

Hebrews 1:1-4 
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

The Godhood and divinity of Christ is due to the fact that He is a begotten Son. This does not make Him a second God (another source). This maintains the truth that God the Father is the one Source of all things in the entire universe. Only this can harmonize the truth of two divine beings with one (not two) ultimate sources. If Christ was not the begotten Son of God then we would certainly have two gods.

Let us consider some facts from scriptures in regards to God and Jesus:

§                          The Father is God (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; John 17:3)
§                          Christ is God (Hebrews 1:8; John 1:1)

§                          The Father is the God of His Son (2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 1:9; Psalms 45:7)
§                          Christ is never called the God of the Father

§                          God the Father does not have a God, He is the head of all (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 3:23)
§                          Christ calls the Father “my God” (Matt 27:46; post resurrection John 20:17; post ascension Revelation 3:12)

§                          The Father is called “the only true God”, “the Ancient of days” (John 17:3; Daniel 7:9, 13, 22)
§                          Christ is not referred to by this titles

§                          God the Father is the head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3)
§                          Christ is never called the head of the Father

§                          The Father is never subject to anyone
§                          Christ is going to be subject to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28)

§                          God the Father is above all, including Christ (Ephesians 4:5, 6)
§                          Christ is not above the Father

§                          The Father is never called “the Son”
§                          The Son is never called “God the Father”

Although Christ is called God in the Bible, yet there is a clear distinction between the Father and the Son. This only serves as confirmation that the Father is the one great Source of all, and the Son is the channel through which all things flow. This in no way means that Christ is any less divine than His Father. He is just as divine for ‘by inheritance He [Christ] obtained a more excellent name than they’ being the Son of the only God, He inherited from His Father all the attributes of divinity, He was made equal to the Father. It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness of the Godhead dwell; (Colossians 1:19). Christ is fully divine; He is God essentially, and in the highest sense.

The Spirit of Prophecy confirms this in a number of places:

All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So in the heavenly courts, 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}

“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}

“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}

A simple illustration may help clear the picture:
Let us say you had a business of which you were the boss. One day you had a son and when an adult, he worked with you. You inform the employees that in our absence, your son will be the boss; his orders are to be obeyed as readily as your own; he can hire and fire whomever he wants. While this situation might appear like there are two bosses, the truth is there is still one boss. As a faithful son, his commands and authority is in perfect harmony with your own (owing to the fact that he knows you best). His authority to function in that capacity is due to the fact that he is your own son, the inheritor of all that you possess. You are still the ultimate boss, the one who is the source of the business and the head of it all. Your loving son recognizes this fact, knowing that it does not reduce his status or authority. Everything that he is stems from the fact that he is your son. This is the key that ensures the smooth of operation and running of the word without a contradiction that would be present were there two unrelated bosses.

It is similar with God the Father and His dear Son, but of course on a bigger and wider scale. The Sonship of Christ is the basis of the position He holds as the only other divine being in the universe. Christ is called God/divine in the Bible because He is a begotten Son and inherited all things, including life (John 5:26) from His Father. That is how we have two divine beings and yet only one great Source of all.

Having said that, we would like to pose some questions for the reader’s contemplation:

Who is the supreme ruler of the universe? {RH, September 11, 1894 par. 6}

Who is the great source of all? {DA 21.2}

Why was Jesus ‘God’ able to die, yet the Father ‘God’ can not die?

If God is made of 3 divine beings, then what happened to God (3 in 1) when Jesus was in the tomb? What would have happened to God (3 in 1) had Jesus failed in His mission?

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