Gave Themselves

Content 9. Gave Themselves

“Putting The Pieces Together” article.

gave themselves, putting the pieces togetherThe 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 to fully carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? {(Australasian) Union Conference Record, April 1, 1901 par. 10} (also appearing in Counsels on Health p.222)

The Holy Spirit is given for the working out of the plan of salvation. The plan of salvation was designed by the Father and Son. They covenanted to give all the resources of heaven to save us. This, naturally, includes the Holy Spirit. This statement is sometimes used to prove that the Holy Spirit is a third individual god-being as are God the Father and Christ, the eternal Son. It is assumed that the Holy Spirit was present as a third member in the formulation of the plan of salvation. A careful reading and comparison, using the divine key, will easily clarify the matter. Two points should first be noted. Firstly, the Spirit of God is always a part of God Himself, even though He can operate by that Spirit elsewhere in the universe (See Education 132.2; 7T 273.2). Secondly, “working out the plan” means “fulfilling the plan,” not “formulating it.”

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 to fully carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love?

The statement appears to say “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption,” meaning they “worked the plan out” together, however, this is not in harmony with many other Spirit of Prophecy statements. In the 1828 Dictionary, “work out” means “to effect by labor and exertion.” It does not mean “to devise a plan of labor,” but the actual working out of the plan already formulated. A text given as a reference in the dictionary is Philippians 2:13. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This does not mean to devise a plan, but to co-operate with God in working out His plan.

Let’s now read the paragraph that precedes this one:

It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded upon the principle of restoring in the fallen race the divine image, by a constant manifestation of benevolence. This work began in the heavenly courts. There God decided to give human beings an unmistakable evidence of the love with which He regarded them. He “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {AUCR, April 1, 1901 par. 9}

In the previous paragraph we learn that it is the Father who was stirred with pity for the race and He decided to give all the agencies of heaven to redeem man. He covenanted with His Son to do whatever it takes to bring men back. It was decided that in order to carry out this plan the Father would give His Son and His Spirit.

Remember, Christ is the only being who can enter into all the counsels and purposes of God (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.34). There was no third being present in the formation of the plan of salvation (the counsel of peace). There were only two Beings present in that counsel of peace as we can clearly see from the following:

“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zechariah 6:13

Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. {E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 834}

The plan of salvation devised by the Father and the Son will be a grand success. {E. G. White,Signs of the Times, June 17, 1903 par. 2}

Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with his Father in laying the plan of salvation. {E. G. White, Review and Herald, September 13, 1906 par. 4}

A covenant has been entered into by the Father and by the Son to save the world through Christ. {E. G. White, The Signs of the Times, October 10, 1892 par. 1}

“In counsel together, the Father and the Son determined that Satan should not be left unchecked to exercise his cruel power upon man. {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol.18, p. 345}

By Christ the work upon which the fulfillment of God’s purpose rests was accomplished. This was the agreement in the councils of the Godhead. The Father purposed in counsel with His Son that the human family should be tested and proved to see whether they would be allured by the temptations of Satan, or whether they would make Christ their righteousness, keeping God’s commandments, and live. God gave to His Son all who would be true and loyal. Christ covenanted to redeem them from the power of Satan, at the price of His own life. {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol.21, p. 54}

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. {The Great Controversy, p. 493}

There is no other being in all the universe who can enter into the counsels of God. The councils of the Godhead are between the Father and the Son. This raises a very important question regarding the Holy Spirit. Either the Holy Spirit is a god-being who cannot enter into the counsels of the Godhead (!?)OR the Holy Spirit is not a being at all, but is rather the life and character and mind and personal presence of both the Father and the Son. It was decided that this life would be given (when the Father and Son were in counsel) to be the regenerating agent for man should he fall. It was to begiven to the working out of the plan that was formulated between the Father and the Son.

We shall be judged according to the light we have had, according to the privileges we have been granted, according to the opportunity we have had to hear and understand the word of God. These privileges have been given us through an infinite cost to the Father and the SonThe plan of redemption has been devised and carried out so far through the sacrifice of all heaven, and the gift of the Holy Spirit has been provided, that the divine may unite with the human, and man be elevated in moral and spiritual worth. {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, June 15, 1893 par. 1}

Notice how clearly we are told that the plan was first devised and then carried out. We know it was devised by the Father and the Son. When they devised that plan (at an infinite cost to them) they decided that in carrying it out the gift of the Holy Spirit would be provided. Therefore, the three gave themselves to the carrying out of that plan that was devised by the Father and Son.

That the Holy Spirit is to be the grand helper, is a wonderful promise. Of what avail would it have been to us that the only begotten Son of God had humbled Himself, endured the temptations of the wily foe, and wrestled with him during His entire life on earth, and died the Just for the unjust that humanity might not perish, if the Spirit had not been given as a constant, working,regenerating agent to make effectual in our cases what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer? {E. G. White, Selected Messages Book 3, p. 137}

The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that he could solicit from his Father for the exaltation of his people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. {E. G. White, Review and Herald, November 19, 1908 par. 5}

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit gave themselves to work out the plan of salvation. The three heavenly powers are pledged to assist us in our walk for Salvation.

“As the divine endowment–the power of the Holy Spirit–was given to the disciples, so it will today be given to all who seek aright. This power alone is able to make us wise unto salvation and to fit us for the courts above. Christ wants to give us a blessing that will make us holy. “These things have I spoken unto you,” He says, “that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11. Joy in the Holy Spirit is health-giving, life-giving joy. In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself, making Himself a fountain of divine influences, to give health and life to the world. {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 7, p. 273}

No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation. {E. G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 343}

The Lord desires to make man the repository of divine influence, and the only thing that hinders the accomplishment of God’s designs is that men close their hearts to the light of life. Apostasy caused the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from man, but through the plan of redemption this blessing of heaven is to be restored to those who sincerely desire it. The Lord has promised to give all good things to those who ask Him, and all good things are defined as given with the gift of the Holy Spirit. {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol.2, p. 11}

In light of this if you read the Ellen White reference again, you will see that the three great powers of heaven “gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption,” a plan that had been formulated by the Father and the Son in the councils of heaven prior to the creation of the earth. At the fall of man, the working out of the plan began. Let us praise God for His great salvation. Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Book: “Putting the Pieces Together” 

(1) “the heavenly Trio”
(2) “there never was a time”
(3) “life, original, unborrowed, underived”
(4) “eternal heavenly dignitaries”
(5) “as much a person”
(6) “Holy Spirit is a person”
(7) “third person of the Godhead”
(8) “three highest powers”
(9) “gave themselves”
(10) “three holiest beings”

Appendix I
(Dr. Kellogg & the Trinity)

Appendix II
(How many divine beings?)

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