Over hundreds of years, there has been much controversy that has risen regarding the understanding of the Godhead.
Debates such as whether God is one singular person or made of three co-eternal persons have been part of some of the largest sentiments expressed. Much discussion has recently revived within the SDA Church regarding this topic. As many of you already know, the Seventh-day Adventist Church holds to the doctrinal position of a triune Godhead. We currently teach that the Father, His Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit all make up the God of the Bible. What is known as the “Anti-Trinitarian” movement has made some statements of faith regarding the Godhead that is causing much confusion within the church. Several of these teachings I would like to address in this article.
The Anti-Trinitarian movement began making statements that Jesus Christ is not the God Almighty but only god. It wasn’t long after that, their teachings began to take a new position and reject Jesus as being God altogether. Now, they profess that Jesus is not God but only the son of God. Of course, the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not agree with this movement. This article is an attempt to point our dear brothers and sisters to the Word of God and clear up some of the confusion.
Let me first prove that the Bible is clear in that Jesus is rightly called God and is God as well as His Father.
John 20:27-29 states, “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Thomas called Jesus God! Now if Jesus is ONLY supposed to be understood as the son, then why was there not a quick rebuke here from Jesus to Thomas’ claim? Yet, Jesus endorses Thomas’ claim in verse 29 saying, “he only believes because he has seen”.
In John 8:57-58 Jesus declares His authority,
“Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Here Jesus identifies himself as the “I AM” of the Old Testament that gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. We get a clearer picture when reading the Isaiah 9:6 prophecy of the coming Messiah,
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
In this Scripture, we see Jesus is called God in this beautiful prophetic scripture that identifies Him as the mighty God. Again in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Who with us? God with us! I think that’s as clear as it gets. The following two verses mention that no man has seen God at any time.
John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
1 John 4:12 “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
That begs the question, “To whom are these scriptures referencing?” Well, I submit that Jesus’ words in the following scripture clear up these texts.
John 6:46 “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” Jesus says that NO MAN hath seen the Father, except himself. This Scripture solidifies that no man has ever seen the Father. This would mean that the Father Himself has not ever APPEARED before human eyes. So, if the Father has never APPEARED before human eyes, then who is this God Almighty that APPEARED before the patriarchs in the Old Testament? Let’s take a look!
Through a word search, you will discover that the term “Almighty” first appears in Genesis Chapter 17. Genesis 17:1 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” If no man has ever seen the Father except Jesus, then who is the Almighty God who APPEARED before Abraham? In fact, we see that this same Almighty God appears many times in the Bible. Let’s look at a few occasions.
You may recall the story in Genesis Chapter 32 where Jacob wrestled with a man. He could not prevail against this man; therefore, he refused to let Him go. This man asked Jacob his name. After Jacob responded, the man with whom he wrestled gave him a new name. This indicates authority. In fact, we see that in the book of Revelation that God will give us all new names in Heaven. After this, Jacob asked this man His name, but this mystery man did not disclose it. Directly afterwards, Jacob was convinced that this individual with whom he had wrestled was indeed God. He stated the following words after his experience. Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” According to Jacob, he saw God “FACE to FACE”.
A few chapters later, we read the following. Genesis 35:9-11
“And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;…”
Here in this Scripture, it states that GOD has appeared to Jacob AGAIN. When did God ever appear before Jacob prior to this moment? The answer lies within Genesis Chapter 32. Jacob wrestled with God! In Genesis 35, God reminds Jacob of Him giving him a new name, and it is in verse 11 that we see Jacob wrestled with the Almighty God. This Almighty God that has APPEARED before the great men in the Bible is none other than Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look in Exodus to get further proof.
“And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God (Exodus 3:4-6).
God called Moses. This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now it is important to note that in some format God APPEARED to all three patriarchs. In Exodus, He has appeared to Moses. While this may not have been in a fleshly form; nevertheless, it was an appearing. In the following scripture, we get further insight to who this God is. Exodus 3:14 states, “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.” I don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that “I AM” is a self-existent name. That being said, who is this, “I AM” that appeared and spoke to Moses?
During Jesus’ three and a half years of ministry, you might remember a time when the Jews attempted to stone Him. One of these times in particular was in John Chapter 8. Let’s consider what this Scripture is saying.
John 8:56-59 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
Jesus refers very clearly to himself as being the, “I AM” that spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. My dear friends, I do hope that you see the great dilemma here. It was when Jesus referred to himself as the “I AM”, the self-existent one, that stirred up the hearts of the Jews to attempt murder. It was when Jesus made Himself equal with His Father that enacted such a diabolical action within the hearts of the Jews. My heart is broken to see God’s children rejecting such truth today. It was Jesus speaking also in Revelation 1:8 referring to himself as the Almighty.
Revelation 1: 8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Some have tried to conclude that this is the Father speaking here; however, I don’t believe that claim would be coherent with the rest of the chapter. Here is why. In the following verses of the chapter, we see that Jesus is now clearly seen and referred to as “he that liveth and was dead”.
Revelation 1:17 “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
This is Jesus, and He tells John that He is the “first and the last” which is exactly what Alpha and Omega means. However, Jesus continues on to say that, “I am He that liveth and was dead.” Therefore, the Almighty that also referred to Himself as the Alpha and Omega in verse 8 must be Jesus because the Father has never died. I believe all that has been supplied is sufficient, hardcore evidence from the Bible that supports that Jesus is rightly called the Almighty.
Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:…” Jesus Christ, in the flesh, did not consider it robbing the Father of anything to be equal to Him. According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was not aware of His previous position in Heaven. Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” According to Luke Chapter 2, it wasn’t until He was 12 years of age that He knew His purpose. This proves that Jesus had to learn of His previous position in Heaven with His Father. Keeping this in mind, this would make perfect sense as to Jesus speaking of Himself as subject to the Father. Let us not make the mistake of thinking that the “fullness” of the Godhead was not in Christ. Colossians 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
I would also like to note that Jesus and the Father’s very appearance is nearly identical according to Daniel and John’s visions of heaven. If you will read the account of the son of man appearing before the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7 and compare it to the appearance of The Son Of Man in Revelation 1, they are practically the same. This is an indication that the Father and Jesus Christ have an equal appearance. In my closing thoughts, I would like to ask the following question. Who is Jehovah?
Exodus 6:2 “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” Please take note that “God Almighty” APPEARED before Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As we covered already, no man has seen the Father except Jesus; therefore, we KNOW this is Jesus Christ that is speaking in Exodus 6:2-3. So, another name for this Jesus Christ is Jehovah. Not only has the Bible made this clear who Jehovah is in Exodus 6, but the Spirit Of Prophecy makes it clear as well.
"JEHOVAH IS THE NAME GIVEN TO CHRIST. 'Behold, God is my salvation,' writes the prophet Isaiah; 'I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day ye shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.' 'In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength' " (ST, May 3, 1899 par. 18).
Furthermore, we can conclude that Jesus Christ is the Almighty God! Friends, we need not to dispute anymore regarding the supremacy of our Lord Jesus Christ! All such disputing originated with our adversary, Satan.
To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ’s, was first among the hosts of God. But He who would have the will of all His creatures free, left none unguarded to the bewildering sophistry by which rebellion would seek to justify itself. Before the great contest should open, all were to have a clear presentation of His will, whose wisdom and goodness were the spring of all their joy. – (PP 36.1)
Playing favorites is the character of the devil. For this reason, let us lay aside all such disputing and accept with open arms GOD! Let us not fool ourselves into believing that we can answer and make sense of every single question about the Godhead. This subject is far above and beyond our little minds. Jesus is God because the Bible says so. Jesus is also the Son of God because the Bible says so. It is not always necessary for us to know and be able to explain every detail of the facts of God. Let us just accept them as truths, without doubt, knowing that God does not lie.
Friends, please be aware of what you believe in. For the doctrines we believe, testify of the Doctor we have. If we think we can fit God in a box and rightfully know and answer every question about Him, then we have gravely mistaken. I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for one another more fervently. The enemy is working overtime to divert the minds of God’s people away from preaching the testing truths for the time we are living. Stay alert, stay focused, and keep our eyes on Jesus.
As a young man, Dakota Day was searching for purpose. Unsatisfied with the things this world had to offer, his search ultimately led him to the Bible. He was deeply impressed by the words of Jesus, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). As a result, Dakota came to know Jesus as his personal Savior, and he dedicated his life to the service of God and others.
Dakota responded to the Lord’s calling upon his life and attended a Bible training school in California. After graduating, he went into full-time ministry, conducting Bible prophecy seminars across the country. His insightful and Spirit-filled presentations on prophecy and practical Christianity are inspiring and engaging. In Dakota's own words, “My love is for Jesus Christ, and my goal is to expose the deceptions of Satan and to reveal the truth of God’s Word by vindicating the character of Christ to this dying world. My wife and I consider it a privilege to share the Word of God with others and lift up Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”