Most Adventists will state that “Jesus is the Son of God” but there are different meanings attached to these words. The sad reality is that most Adventists do not believe Jesus to be the Son of God at all if they subscribe to their denominational statements of belief. The trinity doctrine claims that Jesus is NOT the LITERAL Son of God as He is the same age as the Father and has always existed alongside the Father. You see, that would make them brothers or twins. Not a real Father and Son. Today’s official view of the church is that Jesus Christ is the metaphorical Son of God. As a result the church has adopted a different savior, God the Son, as outlined in the fundamental beliefs of the SDA church. This “savior” is no where to be found in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. So let us now explore what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say on this topic:
“Who is Christ? — He is the only begotten Son of the living God.” — EGW, The Youth’s Instructor, June 28, 1894
The quotes below reveal the following significant points.
1. Christ was the first born of Heaven and hence is the literal Son of God which means He had a beginning.
2. Christ was already the Son of God in Heaven and hence this was before He was born on Earth as the Son of man.
3. Sister White says God sent His own Son which also reveals He was God’s Son before He came to Earth.
4. The personality of Christ as the Son of God did not begin with His incarnation but was beforehand in Heaven.
5. Christ was born from His Father even before God created the angels.
6. War in Heaven began because Satan was jealous of God’s Son and wanted to be exalted above Him.
“The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner.” — EGW, Desire of Ages, p. 51
“Christ is the star that should arise out of Jacob, and the one in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed, as the first born of heaven, and the only begotten of the Father, filled with all the treasures of eternity. He assumed humanity, and impressed upon it the glorious image of the everlasting God.”
— EGW, Letter 101, February 17, 1896
“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.”
— EGW, Youth’s Instructor, Dec. 16, 1897
“O what a gift God has made to our world! The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, liable to physical infirmities, tempted in all points like as we are. He was the Son of the living God. His personality did not begin with His incarnation in the flesh.” – EGW, Letter 77, August 3, 1894
“Satan was well acquainted with the position of honor Christ had held in Heaven as the Son of God, the beloved of the Father. And that he should leave Heaven and come to this world as a man filled him with apprehension for his own safety.” — EGW, Review and Herald, March 3, 1874
“Satan well knew the position that Christ had held in heaven as the Beloved of the Father. That the Son of God should come to this earth as a man filled him with amazement and with apprehension. He could not fathom the mystery of this great sacrifice. His selfish soul could not understand such love for the deceived race.” — EGW, Desire of Ages, p.115
“I am instructed to say to you, all this holding to sentiments of infallibility is a specious device of the angel that was so exalted in the heavenly court. His beauty was so highly exalted that he thought he should be as God, and Christ must be second to him; but the Lord informed Satan this could not be possible. Christ was His only begotten Son.” — EGW, Letter 157, 1910
“It was in seeking to exalt himself above the Son of God that Satan had sinned in heaven.”
— EGW, Desire of Ages, p.129
“Christ was the only begotten Son of God, and Lucifer, that glorious angel, got up a warfare over the matter, until he had to be thrust down to the earth.” — EGW, Manuscript 86, August 21, 1910
“Angels that were loyal and true sought to reconcile this mighty, rebellious angel to the will of his Creator. They justified the act of God in conferring honor upon Christ, and with forcible reasoning sought to convince Lucifer that no less honor was his now than before the Father had proclaimed the honor which He had conferred upon His Son. They clearly set forth that Christ was the Son of God, existing with Him before the angels were created;” – EGW, Story of Redemption, 15.2
And since Ellen White distinguishes between before and after the angels were created, then she is also revealing that there was a time that Christ was brought forth from His Father. If Christ had always existed then she would not need to specify when Christ became the Son of God. She is specifying that Christ was the Son before the angels were created and not after.
So there can be no doubt that Jesus was God’s Son long before He considered sending Him to Earth to pay the debt for our sin. So, is this a real Father and Son? Not hard to see if you desire truth.
“Said the angel, Think ye that the Father yielded up his dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no. It was even a struggle with the God of Heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give his beloved Son to die for them. Angels were so interested for man’s salvation that there could be found among them those who would yield their glory, and give their life for perishing man. But, said my accompanying angel, That would avail nothing. The transgression was so great that an angel’s life would not pay the debt. Nothing but the death and intercessions of his Son would pay the debt, and save lost man from hopeless sorrow and misery.” — EGW, 1SP 48.1
“The Eternal Father, the unchangeable one, gave his only begotten Son, tore from his bosom Him who was made in the express image of his person, and sent him down to earth to reveal how greatly he loved mankind.” — EGW, Review and Herald, July 9, 1895
Christ was tore from the bosom of His Father. The Son of God came forth from the Father and hence is the same substance of His Father. This means that everything that Christ consists of has always existed as it came from the Father. But the person of Christ has a beginning even though what Christ consists of does not. Note the following two quotes.
“The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality.”
— EGW, Manuscript 116, December 19, 1905
“Let the missionaries of the cross proclaim that there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, who is Jesus Christ the Son of the Infinite God. This needs to be proclaimed throughout every church in our land.” — EGW, 1888 Materials, p. 886
“Christ had not exchanged his divinity for humanity; but he had clothed his divinity in humanity, and he gave Satan the evidence for which he had asked,–showed him that he was the Son of God.”
— EGW, Review and Herald, October 29, 1895
As a prolific Seventh day Adventist minister and evangelist said, “Christ is the only literal Son of God. “The only begotten of the Father.” John 1:14. He is God because he is the Son of God; not by virtue of his resurrection. If Christ is the only begotten of the Father, then we cannot be begotten of the Father in a literal sense. It can only be in a secondary sense of the word.” — J.G. Matteson, Review and Herald, October 12, 1869
Here is confirmation that within early Seventh day Adventism it was believed that Christ is truly the literal Son of God. Note that John Matteson emphasizes that Christ is God “because he is the Son of God.”
Twenty six years after Matteson had penned these words, Ellen White made much the same comment. This is when she said that Christ is the only begotten of the Father whilst we as Christians are adopted sons (and daughters) of God.
“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.”
— EGW, Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895
So Ellen White believed that Christ, in His pre-existence, is literally the begotten Son of God. She was speaking in opposition to two heretical views of His origins (creation and adoption). Some believe Christ became the Son of God at His birth in Bethlehem but the Bible and Ellen White says this is incorrect.
“The more we think about Christ’s becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem’s manger is still the divine Son of God?” — EGW, The Youth’s Instructor, November 21, 1895
Here is another quote from her that was written at least ten years after she supposedly became a Trinitarian.
“Christ brought men and women power to overcome. He came to this world in human form, to live a man amongst men. He assumed the liabilities of human nature, to be proved and tried. In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine nature. In His incarnation He gained in a new sense the title of the Son of God. Said the angel to Mary, “The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). While the Son of a human being, He became the Son of God in a new sense. Thus He stood in our world–the Son of God, yet allied by birth to the human race.” — EGW, Signs of the Times, August 2, 1905
“When I read in the Bible of how many refused to believe that Christ was the Son of God, sadness fills my heart. We read that even His own brethren refused to believe in Him.” — EGW, Letter 398, To Dr. & Mrs. D.H. Kress, December 26, 1906
It saddened Ellen White when people did not believe Jesus was the Son of God and yet this is the official stand of the Adventist Church now. So how does God feel when we accept the trinity doctrine that denies Jesus is the literal Son of God?
The trinity doctrine teaches that Christ is the Father but Ellen White states that Jesus Christ is not the Father. They are one in unity but not in person.
“The divine nature in the person of Christ was not transformed in human nature and the human nature of the Son of man was not changed into the divine nature, but they were mysteriously blended in the Saviour of men. He was not the Father but in him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” — EGW, Letter 8a, July 7, 1890
“The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is none the less true that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – EGW, Manuscript 140, September 27, 1903
“Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,–one in nature, in character, and in purpose,–the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” – EGW, GC 493, 1888