The Trinity Doctrine:
Did Jesus have a beginning? Is he divine?

We will divide this section into a few parts, each beginning with an argument made against him. These parts will be:

(a) Jesus is not God!
(b) Jesus had a beginning!
(c) Jesus is the only "begotten" of the Father!
(d) Jesus was created!
(e) Jesus said in John 17:3 that the Father is the only true God!

But before we address these, there is something important that must be understood.

In a messianic verse, it is said of Jesus that he is he whose...

"... goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." -Micah 5:2

Jesus' going forth is from everlasting to everlasting. The word "everlasting" holds the meaning of "vanishing point." His goings forth are from so far back that it can not be known. And neither is it for us to try to know when, for this is not revealed for us in scripture.

The words "goings forth" can hold the meaning of "descent" or "origin." In this text, the context is on the Messiah and his coming to his people. The origin the text is speaking of here is his origin as "messiah," not as a created being. The origin of Spider Man (excuse my kindergarten example) is when he was bitten by the spider. This is when he became "SpiderMan." Yet Peter Parker existed before this happened.

As will be shown below, Jesus always existed, but there was a point in time in history when the Father said of Jesus... "I will be (Greek: future tense) to him a Father and he shall be to me a Son." -Hebrews 1:5. The bible speaks of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). The origin of Jesus' as Messiah, therefore, is from everlasting. It is unknown when this plan was conceived or planed, but nevertheless, it was planned, and he was crowned as the coming Messiah.

For our Adventist brethren, this is why it seems like Ellen White speaks of Jesus as being "begotten" before the world came into existence. Because as Messiah he was begotten from everlasting. From of old this plan was set up, when and second person of the Heavenly Trio was chosen by the Father (Hebrews 1:5) to be the Son of God who would come and die for the world. But in order for our human minds to comprehend some of how this plan was established, or decided upon, she explains it in the following way:

"This work began in the heavenly courts...The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin." -Counsels on Health, 222.

The Godhead knew from of old, because God knows everything from the beginning, that man was going to fall. It was therefore decided that Jesus would become the lamb offering that would die for our sins. To try to get any deeper then this which is revealed to us from Holy Scriptures about Christ's existence before his Messiah hood would mean to speculate.

Now, does the bible teach that Jesus is God? Well, let's let the bible answer this question:

1 John 5:20
(20) And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Who is he which is true? Jesus Christ. This is the true God. Some have had trouble with this text when compared with John 17:3, where God the Father is said to be the true God. But there is no contradiction. When John the author recorded those words, he understood the equality Jesus had with the Father as he made known before (John 10:30, 17:11, 21). These two texts only show us how both the Father is the true God, and how Jesus is the true God.

1 John 5:20 is rejected by some in order to claim that Jesus was "a" god, and not as true a God as was the Father. But this is not the case. The verse is crystal clear, and so is the following:

Hebrews 1:8
(8) But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

The reader knows that in context, it is the Father himself calling Jesus God. Will we believe his report?

To claim that Jesus was created, or that he had some type of beginning as a being, yet say that he is God, is to go against the scriptures which make it clear that God would never give another his glory as God:

Isaiah 42:8
(8) I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

God is establishing the point that he alone is to be worshiped as God, and nothing else, like those graven images. For God to then turn around and give another his glory, allow him to be worshiped and praised as God, and then call him God, would be for him to contradict himself. Since this verse is true, that means that, considering verses like Hebrews 1:8, there was never a point when Jesus was "not" God, for is there was, then he became God and the Lord through Isaiah lied to us.

Look at this:

Isaiah 40:3
(3) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Here, it is the Lord (Hebrew: y'hovah) who is coming, and the verse finished telling us that he is "our God." This text was fulfilled in the New Testament in Jesus Christ:

John 1:23
(23) He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Jesus was just called Jehovah or y'hovah in these texts. Remember the three y'hovah's we read about in Numbers 6:24-26? Truly Jesus is the true God/y'hovah of ancient time!

Finally God comes as Messiah and is born in a manger. The angel commands that his name be Jesus:

Luke 1:31
(31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

As a man, Jesus was made:

Hebrews 10:5
(5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

As a man, Jesus had to "learn obedience" through suffering:

Hebrews 5:8
(8) Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

As a man, Jesus had to grow in wisdom:

Luke 2:52
(52) And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

As a man, Jesus had the same sinful nature as us:

Romans 8:3
(3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness (Greek: form) of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Hebrews 2:16
(16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham (not Adam).

2 Corinthians 5:21
(21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

As a man Jesus was sanctified:

John 17:19
(19) And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

John 10:36
(36) Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

As a man Jesus was justified:

1 Timothy 3:16
(16) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

As a man he overcame the sinful desires of the flesh through abiding in the Father (John 14:10) and never sinning:

Hebrews 4:15
(15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

God can not be tempted (James 1:13), therefore Jesus was not tempted as God, but as a man. 1 Timothy 3:16 told us that it was "God" who was manifest in the flesh. Compare:

John 1:14
(14) And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus was truly God! He came down, became a man, put his divinity aside, and relied only upon the Father for everything, especially in overcoming and condemning sin in the flesh. He relied so much upon God that upon his cross he called upon, not all three, but only two, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit:

Matthew 27:46
(46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Numbers are important in scripture, especially when it comes to the Godhead, so this was no accident. Jesus was always God himself, separate yet united with the other two heavenly dignitaries. Yet his mission was to, not forsake his divinity, but put his divinity aside, not using it for himself, and becoming a man to be able to die, for God can not die. He called upon the two members of the Godhead, for the third was dieing upon the cross. O what mystery, yet majesty of our heavenly savoir! That he would do this for me, a wretched sinner!

See, our opponents constantly get all this confused. They emphasis Jesus as a man, but disregard those which present him as God. And like this they can't possibly see him as equal to his Father, despite him constantly telling us that he and the Father are one. The truth of the matter is that Jesus was fully man, yet before his origin as Messiah, he was always fully God as well! Thomas recognized this:

John 20:28
(28) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

The risen savior appeared to him, still man, still flesh and bones (verse 27), and yet he is recognized as truly God, for he finally understood what God did for him. God himself 100% God, became 100% man, and gave himself for his sins. John the beloved apostle puts it in the perfect order:

John 1:1-3
(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(2) The same was in the beginning with God.
(3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

No, verse one does not say that the word was "a" god; it says he "was" God, plain and simple. Then this Word becomes flesh. We know this was Jesus:

John 1:14
(14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The word "made" literally means "to cause to come into being." Notice this very carefully friends. First we are told in verse 1 that in the "beginning was the Word." The Word was always since the beginning. We are told this Word dwelt with God... "And the Word was with God..." Then, I said THEN we are told in verse 14 that this Word was "caused to come into being" as FLESH. Here's the order one more time:

(1) Jesus (the Word) was in the "beginning" with God.
(2) Jesus made all things (verse 3).
(3) Jesus became flesh.

Our critics get this order confused, but as we have seen before, John is only putting all this in its proper order. Jesus is and always was fully God. He was always "with" God. He made everything. Yet because man fell, the plan was established (when exactly we are not told) and Jesus was chosen to come to this miserable world and become 100% flesh like you and like me.

As for our five arguments, most of them were already addressed:

(a) Jesus is not God!

The only reason why some people say this is because they don't understand Jesus and fully God and fully man. They expect to have this divine mystery fully explained to their limited minds. All we have to go by is that which the bible reveals, and it reveals him as both God and man. These two concepts are not understood; therefore our opponents either get them mixed up or simply chose one side of the story.

(b) Jesus had a beginning!

No Jesus was "in" the "beginning" with the Father (John 1:1). His origins are that of his messiah hood.

(c) Jesus is the only "begotten" of the Father!

Yes. As to when this plan was established, and when it was confirmed (the point in which he became the begotten) is not revealed. However, he is "begotten" in the context of him being chosen by the Father to be the "lamb slain from the foundation of the world," not in the context of him as a created being. He was not a created being, for to have him called "God" by the Father as a created being would mean for the Father to contradict himself in Isaiah 40:3.

(d) Jesus was created!

Jesus was indeed created... as a man:

"... a body hath thou prepared me." -Hebrews 10:5.

As God, however, he always existed.

The only verse our critics can produce to claim that Jesus is both not God and is a created being is one in the book of Revelation:

Revelation 3:14
(14) And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.

Should we accept this verse, but reject the tons of evidence just produced to the contrary (and there so much more which can not fit in this paper)? The word "beginning" holds the beginning of "chief" in its Greek form. Yes, Jesus indeed is the "chief" of the creations of God, for he created them all!

Colossians 1:16
(16) For by him (Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

(e) Jesus said in John 17:3 that the Father is the only true God!

Yes, and as we have seen above, the same author said the same of the Son (1 John 5:20).

Our opponents don't stop there; they have one more thing to show us:

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Proverbs 8