By David Clayton
HOW MANY GODS?
There is Only one God. This is an incontrovertible biblical truth. Both the Old and the New Testaments declare this fact in unmistakable language (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29; 1 Cor. 8:6). Every single person who holds the Bible as supreme authority acknowledges this truth. The biblical insistence on monotheism requires that God be defined as a unit. As a He. There is only one of Him.
HOW DOES ONE GOD BECOME THREE PERSONS?
The Bible also clearly teaches the divine nature of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well as the Father (John 1:1; 1 Cor.3:16). how can this be reconciled with the fact that there is only ONE God? At the council of Nicea in 325 AD they wrestled and wrangled over this question. Finally the council reached a decision and formulated the doctrine of the Trinity which has remained with us (with slight modifications) ever since.
A VALUABLE GIFT
One of the greatest gifts given to us by our Creator is the gift of logical thought. It is this quality which separates us from the dumb animals and gives us the right to be labeled as "higher beings" along with the angels. God has not given us this faculty of reason and logic in the expectation that we would not use it. Like every other faculty given to man, this one is also a reflection of the nature and qualities of God Himself, and as such is a precious gift which God gave us to be exercised. It surely would be one of the great signs of something fundamentally wrong and contrary to the will of God if a matter should arise on which we should be told, "on this matter you are not to think. Logic and reason are not to be exercised here. All that you need to do is to accept what you have been told by others, even if it is diametrically opposed to reason and good sense." Ellen White expressed this individual right to think and to reason logically as a fundamental duty of every Christian and something which every person should be trained and encouraged to do.
Nearly one hundred years ago a book was written by the most outstanding Seventh-day Adventist physician of the time, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. The title of this book was "The Living Temple." When Ellen White read portions of the book she became very alarmed at what she found there and declared that the book contained most dangerous falsehood. Many were surprised at the forcefulness with which she condemned the book. She referred to its teachings as The Alpha of deadly heresies (Selected Messages bk.1, p.200). Even more startling, however, was her prediction that this "Alpha" heresy would be followed by a similar false doctrine of greater magnitude which would have a far more devastating effect upon Seventh-day Adventism than the Alpha did. She referred to this coming heresy as "The Omega."
By David Clayton
In undertaking to write on this topic I am aware that I am treading on sacred ground. I am mindful of the fact that there is the need for caution and reverence in approaching this subject. I have not undertaken it without earnest prayer and much thought. Yet I am also aware that this article is necessary because there is much confusion, misunderstanding and assumption in this area, as a consequence of which multitudes are in darkness concerning the true identity and nature of Christ.
Every word of inspiration is given to us for our learning. By these words God is seeking to help us to understand divine truths; both simple and profound. It is my conviction that in studying these words of God and in carefully comparing them with each other, we will be enabled to come to a proper understanding of the truth concerning Christ's divinity, provided we are submissive to His Spirit and will drop all traditional and preconceived ideas. Some will emotionally and foolishly declare, “do not discuss this subject! It is too sacred for discussion!” Yet, this is the spirit of the Papacy, for it is the Papacy which first introduced the concept that things which God has revealed in His word were too high for the contemplation of human minds and consequently forbade the study of the Scriptures.
By David Clayton
This article is the first part of a transcript of a taped message. The second part will follow in the next issue of Open Face.
Many sincere Christians often ask themselves the question,
"why is it that I am trying so hard to be a Christian, yet seem to be failing so often?" Is there really, as the Old Testament prophet cried, "no balm in Gilead?" Is there really no way that I can live the life that I dream of, and ache for? The life that I think that God wants me to live? Is there really no way? Must it be that as long as we live in this flesh, we can never live a sinless life?
By David Clayton
God always loves us whether or not it is evident, but sometimes when He is silent we begin to question that love. We sometimes say, “Lord I need some money, I am having this problem and you are not solving it. This person is sick, and I prayed for You to heal him, but I haven't heard anything from You.” But whether silent or speaking, demonstrating or quiet, God always loves us.
How long did God have to think about whether He should save me, or whether Jesus should die for me? how long did He have to think about it? My mind cannot grasp the time, distance or the ages. God had eternity to think about the death of Christ for me, about my ungratefulness, and His Son bleeding on that tree, suffering for an ungrateful, unaware, unconscionable, degraded vile people. He had to think about How they would beat Him, and spit in His face, or even how I, who say I am a Christian, would disobey Him day after day. He had all the time in the universe to change His mind, but He never did, because His love for me never changed.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church....