DIVINE POWER IN JESUS = DIVINE NATURE UNDER HUMAN CLOTHING?

Here we can see two very confusing views that have crept into our ranks.

-One of the most frequently discussed topics is the claim that Jesus “possessed” a complete Divine nature on Earth, under a human garment.

-The doctrine of the Trinity tells us that Jesus “isn’t” a literal Son, and thus cannot leave His Divine nature with the Father and take it back after victory on the cross.

An incorrect understanding of this area leads to the rejection of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, because Divine nature cannot die or else it would not be Divine. The incorrect view is supported by the following quotes:

  • Humanity died; Divinity did not die.” {Ellen White: 1SM 301.1; FG1.317}
  • …and clothed His Divinity with humanity.“ {Ellen White: TM, p. 177}

We cannot use less precise (or even falsificated) statements of the Spirit of Prophecy to support our desired teachings. The quote below deepens the meaning of the above words:

  • “The salvation of souls was the great object for which Christ sacrificed His royal robe and kingly crown, the glory of heaven, and the homage of angels, and laying aside His Divinity, (after that) came to earth to labor and suffer with humanity upon Him.” {Ellen White: RH, November 21, 1907}

So this is how we understand why His Deity did not die: because it remained in heaven! During His stay on Earth, Jesus performed all His miracles only with the power of His Father in Him, and Satan tried to deceive Jesus into abusing that power. The apostles also performed miracles with the same power that Jesus had. Below we see a clear statement that Jesus retained only His Divine character, and that ‘God’ does not mean a Trinity but refers to God the Father:

  • When the plan of redemption was laid, it was decided that Christ should not appear in accordance with His Divine character; for He could not then associate with the distressed and the suffering. He must come as a poor man. He could have appeared in accordance with His exalted station in the heavenly courts; but no, He must reach to the very lowest depths of human suffering and poverty, that His voice might be heard by the burdened and disappointed,..“ {Ellen White; ST, June 24, 1897}
  • “Jesus Christ “counted it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God.” Because divinity alone could be efficacious in the restoration of man from the poisonous bruise of the serpent, God Himself (the Father), in His only begotten Son, assumed human nature, and in the weakness of human nature sustained the character of God, vindicated His holy law in every particular, and accepted the sentence of wrath and death for the sons of men.” {Ellen White: YI, February 11, 1897}

What was Jesus’ divine power on earth according to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy? The power that came from His Father!

  • “To wit, that God (the Father) was IN Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.“ {2 Corinthians 5:19}
  • “I know all the evils and temptations with which you are beset, and I sent My Son Jesus Christ to your world to reveal to you My power, My mightiness; to reveal to you that I am God, and that I will give you help in order to lift you from the power of the enemy, and give you a chance that you might win back the moral image of God.” God sent His Son, who was as Himself, one with the Father, and He bore insult and shame and mockery for us, and suffered at last the ignominious death upon Calvary. Satan met Him with opposition just as soon as He came into the world; but He met it all; He did not swerve a bit. Had it not been for the power that God (the Father) GAVE Him (Jesus), He could not have stood the assaults of the enemy…” {Ellen White: 1888 122.2}
  • “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.“ {John 14:11-13}
  • “He was able to resist the temptations of Satan through His dependence upon the Divine power of His heavenly Father, as He was subject to His will, and obedient to all His commands.” {Ellen White: YI, August 23, 1894}
  • The entire dependence of the Son on the Father, was shown in the words “The Son can do nothing of Himself,…” {Ellen White: UL, p. 341}
  • “I can of mine own self do nothing.“ {John 5:30}

Jesus could do nothing on Earth by His own power, but only by His Father’s, Who was in Him:

  • “To wit, that God (the Father) was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.“ {2 Corinthians 5:19}
  • “Behold my servant, Whom I uphold; mine elect, in Whom my soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.“ {Isaiah 42:1}
  • “Because Divinity alone could be efficacious in the restoration of man from the poisonous bruise of the serpent, God Himself, in His only begotten Son, assumed human nature, and in the weakness of human nature sustained the character of God (the Father), vindicated His (Father’s) holy law in every particular…” {Ellen White: YI, February 11, 1897}
  • “Behold my servant, Whom I have chosen; My beloved, in Whom My soul is well pleased: I will put My spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.“ {Matthew 18:12}

The fullness of the Godhead in Jesus was the personal presence and power of the Father in Him, and it helps explain the context of the text below:

  • “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.“ {Colossians 2:9}

And we can receive the same power, just when the apostles raised the dead:

  • “The power of the Saviour’s Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power. This is the privilege of all. In proportion to our faith will be our victory.” {Ellen White: YI, April 25, 1901}

Jesus’ Divine Power on Earth was His communion with the Father! Supernatural miracles were only a consequence of that communion with the Father, Who gave Him strength! By this, we have seen that the Divine nature of His Father dwelt in His body and that He Himself did not possess His own! We all know that the word of God cannot oppose itself, and therefore this clear truth helps us understand what God’s Prophet really wanted to say in these words:

  • “A divine being would be able to sustain His claim by working a miracle; “if Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” Such an act of creative power, urges the tempter, would be conclusive evidence of Divinity. It would bring the controversy to an end. Not without a struggle could Jesus listen in silence to the arch-deceiver. But the Son of God was not to prove His Divinity to Satan, or to explain the reason of His humiliation. [..] And Christ was not to exercise Divine power for His own benefit.“ {Ellen White: DA 119.2}

The last sentence in the above quote has been added!

  • “Satan demanded of Christ a miracle as a sign of His Divinity.” {Ellen White: DA 120.1}

Where did Jesus’ Divine Power come from that He was not allowed to use it? We have seen that it is given by the Father! According to the Bible, who has creative power? The Father, Who created all things through His Son! Jesus did it by the power of the Father! The power that was on Earth in Him, and thus was His, was the power of the Father!

  • “Tarry ye here,” He said, “and watch with Me.” He went a little distance from them—not so far but that they could both see and hear Him—and fell prostrate upon the ground. He felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His Divine power to escape. As man He must suffer the consequences of man’s sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.” {Ellen White: DA, p. 686.2}

This statement is used as proof that Jesus really had a Divine nature. But when we read the last part of the same quote, we see that this power was given by the Father. We see that Jesus was afraid of losing the fight because of His weak human nature, if he separated Himself from the Father! If Jesus really had His Divine nature on Earth, there would be no fear of loss!

  • “As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness.” {Ellen White: DA, p. 686.5}
  • “At the time when He was most needed, Jesus, the Son of God, the world’s Redeemer, LAID ASIDE HIS DIVINITY, and (after that!) came to earth in the garb of humanity.” {Ellen White: ST, 18. March 1897}

In these words, we see that Jesus first put aside His Deity, i.e. Divine nature, and afterwards He came to Earth – as a Divine Person, but without a Divine nature. Jesus’ Deity on Earth was His Divine Character and the glory of His Divine position. The term Divinity has multiple meanings. We can see in this quote that there are two aspects to Divinity, namely:

– Divine bodily nature – which Jesus left to the heavenly Father before coming to Earth

– Divine Person, i.e. Personality.

Jesus certainly did not leave in heaven His Personality or the status of the Son of God. He left His Divine nature so that He could die on Earth.

  • The human did not take the place of the Divine, nor the Divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions: human and Divine were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. [..] When Christ’s indwelling glory flashed forth, it was too intense for His pure and perfect humanity entirely to conceal.” {Ellen White: ST, May 10. 1899, p. 12}

Jesus certainly didn’t take a human Personality because otherwise, He wouldn’t be Jesus! His Personality remained Divine because Jesus came as the Son of God and not just as the Son of Man to die for us! Did the man Moses perhaps have a Divine nature when the light of God’s glory shone from him after he returned from Sinai? Certainly not! Is the Divine Glory that shines from Jesus a sign of Him having a Divine Nature while He lived on Earth? Certainly not in the Bible! That is why the Spirit of Prophecy in the lower part of the quote emphasizes Jesus’ complete humanity, i.e. human nature!

  • “Our sufficiency is found only in the incarnation and death of the Son of God. He could suffer, because sustained by Divinity. He could endure, because He was without one taint of disloyalty or sin.” {Ellen White: YI, August 4, 1898 par. 4}

The above quote clearly states “by Divinity“, which means that Jesus was supported, not by His Deity, but “by His Father’s Divinity.“ How was He supported by His Father’s Divinity? By remaining loyal to His Father! If Jesus had carried the Divine nature at that time, He would not have had to remain faithful to the Father to receive His power and support! The Trinitarian interpretation implies that it was easy for Jesus to resist sin and that he did not have to really suffer because He had His Divine nature supporting him and that we “should not fight against sin, because we do not have the Divine in us to fight it”!

The false Trinity teaching implies that the end of the time of probation is “only symbolic”, and that we “can” still work the way our ears itch because we anyway “have no” strength to resist sin! But the opposite is what is truth! “Our sufficiency” means that we, like Jesus in the human body, will endure everything, if we have Divine power to support us!

  • “While upon this earth, the Son of God was the Son of man; yet there were times when His Divinity flashed forth.” {Ellen White: 8T, p. 202}

Only occasionally His Deity shone, for example during the cleansing of the Temple, or His fiery but simple words of truth made His enemies confess: “No one has ever spoken like this man.“ This refers to the demonstration of His authority, and not literally His Divine nature, because He did not have it during His sojourn on earth. What was Jesus’ personal Divine power while on Earth? The Gospel and the power of salvation, i.e. creating newborn followers.

  • “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.“ {Romans 1:16}
  • “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.“ {Romans 1:20}

This verse tells us that the Divine nature he left with the Father could not be seen on Earth, yet His works of creation testified to His Deity. The very power of salvation is the power of creation, of new birth, which Jesus had in His mortal form while He lived on the Earth.

  • “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.“ {2 Corinthians 5:17}
  • “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.“ {Ephesians 4:24}
  • “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.“ {1 Peter 4:19}
  • “…and to meet the necessities of humanity, He took on Him human nature. [..] Mysteriously He allied Himself to human nature.” {Ellen White: FE, p. 399}

If the manner of Jesus’ incarnation is a mystery to us, then why do others claim that Ellen White wanted to show us that Jesus had a divine nature on Earth? We have already read above that Jesus left Divinity AND THEN came to Earth. God’s prophet will certainly not contradict herself. This quote can only refer to the fact that he clothed His Divine Person with human nature. Jesus never did anything in His power, because He literally left His Divine Power completely when He became incarnate.

Jesus worked in a nature that needs redemption, like ours. The use of the Father’s Divine Power for his behalf while He lived on Earth would mean the victory of Satan. He could only use the divine authority from His Father for the benefit of convicted sinners, and to the same extent that it was later given to the disciples. As for the explanation of the incarnation, that is a secret of God and it is not for us to deal with it, just as we should not be curious about the mechanisms by which the Spirit of God works and how God is omnipresent.

Jesus would not have been weak when facing temptations if He had had His literal Divine nature beneath His human body. If so, He would not have died on the cross and it would have been Jesus who would have “awakened Himself” and was “alive” in the tomb. This would have blasphemously rejected His literal sacrifice. Jesus had to come with a real human nature to die for us because a Divine nature is absolutely immortal. May God help us not to reject Jesus’ sacrifice for us!

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