Historical Evidence

God's Only Begotten Son

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Holy Scripture

John 3:16-17

The Father and the Son were one in man’s creation, and in his redemption. Said the Father to the Son, “Let us make man in our image.” And the triumphant song in which the redeemed take part, is unto “Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.”

James White

The Law and the Gospel, p. 1, 1870

The gospel of the Son of God is the good news of salvation through Christ. When man fell, angels wept. Heaven was bathed in tears. The Father and the Son took counsel, and Jesus offered to undertake the cause of fallen man. He offered to die that man might have life. The Father consented to give his only beloved, and the good news resounded through heaven, and on earth, that a way was opened for man’s redemption.

James White

The Law and the Gospel, p. 2, 3. 1870

The way spiritualizers have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed, viz., that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, though they have not one passage to support it, while we have plain scripture testimony in abundance that he is the Son of the eternal God.

James White

The Day Star, January 4, 1846

The Father was greater than the Son in that he was first. The Son was equal with the Father in that he had received all things from the Father.

James White

Review and Herald, January 4, 1881

Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ …

James White

Review and Herald, December 11, 1855

“The rainbow in the clouds is but a symbol of the rainbow which has encircled the throne from eternity. Back in the ages, which finite mind cannot fathom, the Father and Son were alone in the universe. Christ was the first begotten of the Father, and to Him Jehovah made known the divine plan of Creation. The plan of the creation of worlds was unfolded, together with the order of beings which should people them. Angels, as representatives of one order, would be ministers of the God of the universe. The creation of our own little world, was included in the deep-laid plans. The fall of Lucifer was foreseen; likewise the possibility of the introduction of sin, which would mar the perfection of the divine handiwork. It was then, in those early councils, that Christ’s heart of love was touched; and the only begotten Son pledged His life to redeem man, should he yield and fall. Father and Son, surrounded by impenetrable glory, clasped hands. It was in appreciation of this offer, that upon Christ was bestowed creative power, and the everlasting covenant was made; and henceforth Father and Son, with one mind, worked together to complete the work of creation. Sacrifice of self for the good of others was the foundation of it all. …

Stephen N. Haskell

Story of the Seer of Patmos, p. 93.2. 1905

This doctrine of the trinity was brought into the church about the same time with image worship, and keeping the day of the sun, and is but Persian doctrine remodeled.

John N. Loughborough

Review and Herald, November 5, 1861

Moreover, he [Christ] is the beginning of the creation of God. … The language does not necessarily imply that he was created; for the words… may simply signify that the work of creation, strictly speaking, was begun by him. Without him was not anything made. Others, however, and more properly we think, take the word (for beginning in Greek) to mean the agent or efficient cause, … understanding that Christ is the agent through whom God has created all things, but that he himself came into existence in a different manner, as he is called the only begotten of the Father.

John N. Loughborough

Insert A-1, Lest We Forget, Volume 4, Number 2, Second Quarter, 1994

In arguing the perfect equality of the Father and the Son, and the fact that Christ is in very nature God, we do not design to be understood as teaching that the Father was not before the Son. It should not be necessary to guard this point, lest some should think that the Son existed as soon as the Father; yet some go to that extreme, which adds nothing to the dignity of Christ, but rather detracts from the honor due him, since many throw the whole thing away rather than accept a theory so obviously out of harmony with the language of Scripture, that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. He was begotten, not created. He is of the substance of the Father, so that in his very nature he is God; and since this is so “it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” Col. 1:19 … While both are of the same nature, the Father is first in point of time. He is also greater in that he had no beginning, while Christ’s personality had a beginning.

E. J. Waggoner

Signs of the Times, April 8, 1889

The Word was “in the beginning.” The mind of man cannot grasp the ages that are spanned in this phrase. It is not given to men to know when or how the Son was begotten; but we know that He was the Divine Word, not simply before He came to this earth to die, but even before the world was created. Just before His crucifixion He prayed, “And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” John 17:5. And more than seven hundred years before His first advent, His coming was thus foretold by the word of inspiration: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2, margin. We know that Christ “proceeded forth and came from God” (John 8:42), but it was so far back in the ages of eternity as to be far beyond the grasp of the mind of man.

E. J. Waggoner

Christ and His Righteousness, p. 9, 22

All things proceed ultimately from God, the Father; even Christ Himself proceeded and came forth from the Father; but it has pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell, and that He should be the direct, immediate Agent in every act of creation.

E. J. Waggoner

Christ and His Righteousness, p. 19

YOU ASK WHAT WE TEACH ABOUT THE TRINITY. INASMUCH AS WE FIND NO SUCH EXPRESSION IN THE SCRIPTURE, WE DO NOT TEACH ANYTHING ABOUT IT. BUT as to the Being of God,-the Godhead,-Divinity as revealed in the Father, the Word (the Son), and the Holy Spirit, we believe and teach just what the Bible says, and nothing else. No man can by searching find out God. No creature can understand the Almighty to perfection. The finite mind cannot comprehend infinity. THEREFORE, IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE TRINITY, ABOUT THE NATURE OF GOD, CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ARE MANIFESTATIONS OF GROSS PRESUMPTION.

E. J. Waggoner

The Editor’s Private Corner. The Spirit that Witnesses” The Present Truth #18, February 6, 1902

God alone is without beginning. At the earliest epoch when a beginning could be,—a period so remote that to finite minds it is essentially eternity,—appeared the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. This uncreated Word was the Being, who, in the fulness of time, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. His beginning was not like that of any other being in the universe. It is set forth in the mysterious expressions, “his [God’s} only begotten Son” (John 3:16; 1John 4:9), “the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14), and, “I proceeded forth and came from God.” John 8:42. Thus it appears that by some divine impulse or process, not creation, known only to Omniscience, and possible only to Omnipotence, the Son of God appeared. …

Uriah Smith

Looking Unto Jesus, p. 10. 1898

Only one being in the universe besides the Father bears the name of God, and that is His Son, Jesus Christ.

James Edson White

The Coming King, p. 33

Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was an impossibility for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being. I said to my father, “If you can convince me that we are one in this sense, that you are my father, and I your son; and also that I am your father, and you my son, then I can believe in the trinity.”

Joseph Bates

Autobiography of Joseph Bates, p. 204.2

Protestants and Catholics are so nearly united in sentiment, that it is not difficult to conceive how Protestants may make an image to the Beast. The mass of Protestants believe with Catholics in the Trinity, immortality of the soul, consciousness of the dead, rewards and punishments at death, the endless torture of the wicked, inheritance of the saints beyond the skies, sprinkling for baptism, and the PAGAN SUNDAY for the Sabbath; all of which is contrary to the spirit and letter of the new testament. Surely there is between the mother and daughters, a striking family resemblance.

SDA Pioneer Library

Facts for the Times, p. 76.1

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