Unto Us a Son is Given

J. Wilfred Johnson
Sabbath School Lesson Jun. 6, 1990

Transcribed  April 19, 2014

Note: This meeting is actually a small Sabbath School lesson given by Mr. Johnson at the College Heights Church Alberta, Canada. There are other groups meeting in the sanctuary at the same time as well as individuals talking among themselves. All of this background noise makes it nearly impossible to hear individuals addressing Mr. Johnson with their comments or questions.

(Wilfred) I think we should start with the memory verse and for fear I might make a mistake in it I'll read it. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Councilor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, and The prince of peace." Did you even ponder that statement? When I first read that many years ago it just didn't make sense. Did you notice anything in there that is questionable? Seems to be a little contradictory?

(John) It seems to me as you read the text that it almost appears that the All Mighty God, that God wanted the members of the trinity, fades into the background completely and Christ himself becomes the Everlasting Father, the All Mighty God.

(Wilfred) Jesus was the Son of God, wasn't He? It says that very plainly. Well, we understand that when He came into this world He was born as any child is born and He had a father and He had a mother. Some people say He didn't have a father; well yes He did have a father. He had a father and a mother and I think it is very important that we recognize that and He was the Son of God. But if He was the Son of God how can He be called the Everlasting Father. Does that strike you as being rather peculiar? There are mysteries about the Godhead but do you see, Jesus said, don’t you know that I am in the Father and He reversed it, and the Father is in me? That suggests an identity which is a little different from the way we usually think of it, doesn't it? I don't understand the Godhead but there are some concepts that have passed my consciousness from time to time and as I read in the book and other places and the Spirit of Prophecy some things are beginning to become a little clearer. But I don't feel justified in saying very much about that because I don't think God intends that we really need to understand it completely. But there are certain things that we do have to accept that I and my Father are one. Well, what does that mean? It means that we are of the same mind, we are very much identical in our thoughts and our actions and all the rest of it. Does it mean that they are identical, one and the same person? It can't mean that because the Bible speaks of three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so let's not get tripped up. We must take all the passages that deal with any subject if we are going to get a balance on the thing. And if we can't see through it, all right, we just can't see through it. I've got about twelve billion brain cells so they tell me, I may have a few more or a few less but I think I may have a few less. But we never use all of our brain in a lifetime so I'm told. Whether we have the capacity to understand this or not I cannot say. But all I know is that there is a unity in the Godhead of a character that is mysterious. There is an identity that is difficult to understand in terms of three different persons.

One other thought, who created the universe? Christ? Somebody else challenge it now.

(John) The Father through Christ.

(Wilfred) The Father through Christ. Well, how did He do that?

(John) Maybe like a farmer who gets his fieldwork done by telling his son or they consult together and the son and the father agree the son's going to do this field or something like that.

(Wilfred) Did the father do it or did the son do it?

(John) The son did it.

(Wilfred) So the creator of the universe is Christ.

(John) All things were created by him.

(Wilfred) That's what it says. All things were created by him and without him was not anything made that was made.

(John) How about himself though? When became...

(Wilfred) You've hit another point. Who was this Christ? He was the Son of God and it says He was from eternity. Now, a son is born of his father is he not? But if Christ was the Son of God from eternity then how could He have been born of his Father? Oh, you say, that refers to when He was here on earth, his Father was functioning through Mary in some mysterious spiritual way and it was by the Holy Ghost that she conceived. So there is a third person there now. Was He the Son of God back in the Old Testament or was He not or does it really matter?

(John) I think it must matter because the Bible plainly sets it out and so does the Spirit of Prophecy.

(Wilfred) Then He must have been born of God.

(John) Isn't there a text that says that the Father hath given the Son to have life in himself even as the Father hath life in himself?

(Wilfred) That's right. As the Father hath life in himself, self-generating life, even so hath He given to the Son to have life in himself. Now that is an important text, a very important text. Oh, there are so many things I would like to bring out here but I'll just have to move on. Why, I'll just build up to it just a bit, why did Jesus come into this world, born into the human family? Why did He do that?

(A woman) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) To show us what God is like. That's good. I want two more reasons.

(John) To unite the Godhead with the human race or divinity with humanity forever.

(Wilfred) To unite divinity and humanity. Why did He want to do that?

(John) His purpose in the creation the human race was that they were created to be the dwelling place of God through the Spirit for eternity. I don't understand that...

(Wilfred) They were to be built up a habitation of God, a temple in which God could come to dwell for eternity, right.

(John) Yes.

(Wilfred) That's what it says, that's right. What else did He come for?

(Same woman) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) To show his love.

(John) To save the universe and to preserve the freedom of choice in saving the universe.

(Wilfred) That's very well put. See, what started this whole thing going anyway, the creation of this world and all the rest of it, what got it going? Remember? Remember the government of Heaven back there? God had his angelic administrators and the one at the top, Lucifer, who was made as much like the Son of God as it was possible to make a created being? He was his prime minister so to speak out front there so much so that it says in the Spirit of Prophecy that some of the angels weren't quite sure whether he was the final authority or whether Christ was. That's a tremendous statement. Don't ask me where it is because I don't know maybe John can find it for me. He'll get it sooner or later. But it's in there.

And the angels revered Lucifer, they were accustomed to accepting his leadership. See, God is a self-denying God, that's the nature of God, his character, self-denying. He honors his created beings with responsibilities and sharing his trust, isn't that something? Who is it that is giving the gospel to all the world, is it the third angel? The third angel is in charge and many of us don't realize how much these angels really influence our thinking, they are in charge.  But who is the outward manifestation of the administration?

(John) Human beings.

(Wilfred) God's people. God's chosen people, those who are willing to cooperate with him are his servants, his messengers. Well, I got a little off the track.

Christ was challenged, his government was challenged, and the whole universe had freedom to either go God's way or go Lucifer's way and Lucifer managed to get how many of the angels on his side? One third of them and that's an awful lot, that's an awful lot. And God and his Son Christ it says counseled together and decided to immediately go ahead with their plan to create this world. They already had it planned, God knew what was going to happen. And in the creation of all the other worlds who do you suppose had a hand in it? Who did they work along with when they where creating the universe and things were evolving along which it did from billions of years back? This universe was here a long, long time ago, who was in on all this?

(John) Lucifer and the other angels.

(Wilfred) Lucifer and some of the other angels were in on it. But this time the Father and the son excluded Lucifer and that's what really triggered the ultimate open rebellion and he went out among the other angels and started maneuvering, this is in the Spirit of Prophecy, it's all in there. So, they created this world for the specific reason and I think I told you this the last time we met, the specific reason for creating this world was to write a book revealing the true nature of God, his plans and purposes, vindicating his law, showing that it was a fair law, that it really did work, and that Lucifer was a rebel. That's what it was created for. And He created this world in a manner that nobody could question. Are you getting this point? In the creation of this world nobody could question who the creator was. Like our scientists today you know they have ideas about the creation that are different, some of them, about the creation of this world. But Jesus the Son of God came out in the open and all by himself He said, Let there be light, remember? And what happened? There was light. Now if I came up here today and stood here and said, Let there be another chair there and all of a sudden there was another chair there, what would you think? And He went on for six days, let there be this, that, and the other thing and at the end of six days He had the complete world all made up. Do you think He couldn't do it? He's proved it, that's one of the reasons Jesus came into this world. He came to prove that God could do what He said He could do and when somebody came to him who was ill what did He do? And what happened, they were healed and how long did it take? A few seconds. When I was first baptized I didn't believe in miracles, I honestly didn't, I couldn't believe in miracles it didn't make sense and I didn't believe in the six-day creation either, God had to prove that to me. Well, He had to give me enough evidence to make me convinced and He has, I'm throughly convinced. This world was created in six days but how come it doesn't agree with evidences in nature, it doesn't agree with that? There are plenty of evidences in God's natural book, the book of natural science that indicates that this world is millions of years old, you can't get around it, it's there. And many of our intellectual scientists today, good Adventists and good solid sound Christian people see those evidences and they are confused and they begin to doubt the six day creation and say, no, it took longer than that these days were longer than six thousand years after all the Bible says one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is a day but there are holes in that argument, I don't believe it. Well how is it then that those evidences are there? Does anybody have an answer? Oh, when God showed me that I never cease to thank him for it. Because if you don't believe the six-day creation what's the significance of the Sabbath? There isn't any. And the Sabbath is the flag of our allegiance to God in our belief that He was the true creator of this world. If you don't have the Sabbath you're no Adventist and I faced that issue many years ago and it bothered me. Then God brought it to me just like that. Why this world says Sister White is a lesson book for the universe I told you that before, don't ever forget it. God wrote the story of the evolution of the universe into this world, He wrote his book, He revealed himself and He rested. The creation in six days on the bases of faith. You believe in God's power to do this thing, you trust him, He has chosen to use that as a sign and evidence that you really trust him. And He has given us abundant evidences at least some of us testify that He can do it. My finger normally takes several weeks to heal if I cut it, that's the natural process. It took him several years for me to come into this world; I started as a little tiny thing you could hardly see. Did you? And look at how everything evolved and the eyes got in the right place and the fingers and the nails and everything came out the way it was supposed to come. Who did that? Why, God did it through the natural laws that He created He maneuvered those laws just like we do in our activities today in our industries and what-not. We use the laws of God to make this microphone, the complex machine here, those are God's doings but He is using us as tools and God can speed up his processes. Time with God is irrelevant one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. So He says, in six days I created this world and on the seventh day I blessed and hollowed it, I would like you to honor it and keep it to show that you trust me and fly my flag. I took too much time there.

(John) So the scientist today look at this world they see the geological record which indicates millions of years but they do not recognize the principle of acceleration that God can over-rule the physical laws through which He usually operates.

(Wilfred) And why did He do it? He did it to silence Lucifer. Lucifer wasn't taken into those counsels. He can make no claim as to having taken part in it. You can just see him there with his mouth hanging open looking at that and watching it and what did it do to him? Did it humble him? No, that stirred him up and off he went and the rebellion was on.

Now God has to prove that it's possible for human beings to keep his law because the devil said they couldn't keep it and that's why Jesus came, a Son is born, a child is come, what for? Sister White explains it in Christ's Object Lessons. He came to prove that a combination of divinity and humanity can keep every one of God's commandments. Now what was Jesus? He was a combination of, this is important, divinity and humanity. You got half of your inheritance from your father didn't you, half of your chromosomes you know and you got the other half from your mother so you get the characteristics of Papa’s family and the characteristics of Momma's family. Jesus got the same thing. The same thing. He got the sinful nature of Adam after his transgression as it had degenerated through four thousand years of sin. Read it, it's in the Spirit of Prophecy. He got that nature the same as you and I have it. But, He also got the sinless nature of the divinity of his Father and that's what kept him from sinning. That's why He never sinned. He could never have been tempted as you and I are tempted if He hadn't had the fallen nature could He? He wouldn't have known what the temptation was like. He had to come and prove that in a sinful human body when it is combined with the divine nature of Christ it is possible to keep every one of God's commandments. I almost quoted it from the Spirit of Prophecy, it's in there. We have so many people today tearing each others hair out in arguments, one says He got the sinful nature of Adam and the other one says, No, no, He got the sinless nature of Adam. Do you see what I'm saying? Don't let anyone trip you up on that, Jesus had both natures.

You and I got the double dose of the sinful one, didn't we? Therefore it is impossible for us to keep God's law. That's why Jesus came to this world in sinful humanity to prove that when the divine nature is given to you you can keep God's commandments. Do you get the point? Don't ever forget it.

Now how does the divine nature come? Oh, I wish I had time to go into all the details of this. But our lesson is about this Son that's born and I want to know why He came. What did He really do? Don't you want to know that? Well that's what I'm trying to share with you. Here He was a little boy playing marbles on the streets of Nazareth, if they played marbles in those days, with the other boys and He had the same nature the other boys had and when they did mischief do you think He had any inclination to do any mischief? Oh no, not Jesus. Now don't forget He had the same nature that you have.

(John) And He was tempted.

(Wilfred) And He was tempted and how can you be tempted if you don't get those feelings? You're tempted and you don't get the feelings? And there He was and what immediately happened in the life of Jesus that didn't happen in the life of the other boys?

(John) He recoiled from sin.

(Wilfred) He recoiled from it, why?  Because He had the divine sinless nature of the Godhead. That's why. He had life from God that the others didn't have. You see, there are two levels of life. God gave us life but it's conditional life, Jesus received from his Father life in himself, unconditional eternal life and I am not going to argue when He got it and how He got it. All I know is that He had some of that even in his childhood, even in his childhood and He never sinned. At his baptism He got a huge outpouring of the Holy Spirit He got what God's saints are going to get in the latter rain, that's what He got. But He never used in his own behalf any power that is not freely available to you and me. Did you know that? So you see He came here to be our example to show us and to show the universe, God wanted this in his book. That it is possible to keep God's law, in spite of the devils accusations even in a sinful fallen nature when the divine nature is combined with it and the right choices are made. Here's where character comes in. You've got to make a choice and don't think there isn't any resistance there is plenty of resistance and Jesus sweat cold drops of blood in Gethsemane when He had his final temptation, don't think it wasn't a temptation. He knew where He was and it was rough going and He stuck it out. If He hadn't stuck it out the universe would have been lost. What's happening in the world today, do you see it, do you see the chaos coming? God is removing his Spirit, we have been told that for many years, and Satan is taking over and you would never make it if God didn't give you his Spirit, never.

Jesus, oh can I squeeze this in? Jesus was born into this world and He died on the cross and shed his blood and we are told that we are washed in that blood and it cleanses us from all unrighteousness. And I say, that blood, washed in that blood, why, that spilled on the ground there at Calvary, maybe the dogs came and licked it, I don't know. But I haven't seen any of it and if I had I would have had a hard time washing in it. What does it mean? Listen, the Bible tells us clearly that the life is in the blood; the blood is a symbol of the life so let's get the key, we are washed in the life of Christ. But Christ had two kinds of life He had the human life, and that is the one that died on Calvary, and He had the divine life and Sister White says divinity cannot die. Well then how do you figure that one out? I can't take time to give you the proof but I'll jump to the conclusion because it's important and someday you'll see it if you don't see it now.

The Holy Spirit is the spirit of eternal life of God that was Christ's possession at the creation of this world. You'll find that there are two personal Gods named at the creation, God the Father and God the Son. Then in the Old Testament it talks about the Spirit of God and it says that God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. You have the Father and the Son having a council, you don't hear anything about the Holy Spirit as a person coming in that council, it's not there, it's the Father and the Son.

Dare I say this? When Jacob died he gave up the ghost, which is the spirit of life, that's what the Bible says. When Jesus died He gave up the ghost, the spirit of Life. Now on the cross He died the death of the sinner, what kind of a death is that?

(John) The second death.

(Wilfred) The second death from which there is no hope of a resurrection. Well if He died the second death on the cross when did He die the first one which is the death of sleep and if you can't figure that one out you didn't get through grade twelve.

(Another person) When He left Heaven.

(Wilfred) When He left Heaven, that's right. When He was there in that little manger as a little wee tiny baby where was Christ? Was He in Heaven? Who was it that came down here anyway, that's what our lesson says? Unto us a Son is born and the angel said what the proof was, didn't he?

(John) Well that little baby as his eyes were opened in the manger He didn't have all knowledge and all power He didn't even know He was Christ.

(Wilfred) That is true. Where did it go?

(John) Back to the Father who gave it.

(Wilfred) That's right. Who became the executor of the last will and testament of Christ before He died? He appointed his Father to be the administrator of his estate. He created everything, He owned everything, but He was going to die, what do you do before you die with your estate? You assign it to someone, that's the Everlasting Covenant Brother and Sister, it's in our books. The everlasting Covenant, He assigned it to his Father that's why He is our mediator, He prays his Father to send us what?

(John) His Spirit.

(Wilfred) His Spirit. You see, before He could die, being an eternal God He had to relinquish his eternal Spirit, can't you see that? Do you know where that happened? What do you suppose there is a Heavenly sanctuary for? Up in the court of the Heavenly sanctuary Christ called two witnesses from this world up there to see it, Moses and Elijah and they saw it. And Christ in the court of the Heavenly sanctuary relinquished his eternal life Spirit in himself that in the eternal sacrifice He gave himself. Unto us a Son is given, He gave his life or He could not have died because divinity cannot die. Do you follow what I'm saying now?

How could this little baby down there be born and be Christ the Son of God if He was still alive up in Heaven. There weren't two, just one? But his eternal life Spirit that could not die was in Heaven, He was asleep, the baby was. But that eternal life spirit, now I am not going to go into the details of it because I can only tell you what's in the books, I don't want to tell you about anything else, I have other ideas but I don't want to spread those, just what's in the books and that's what I'm telling you. And the Spirit went back to whom who gave it? What does the Bible say?

(John) God.

(Wilfred) The Spirit goes back to God who gave it and God had possession of the eternal Spirit of Christ that He had given him in the first place because Christ has said so. Got it?

(A woman) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) That's right. That Spirit returned and He became Christ from eternity and He had all power, "all power has been given to me in Heaven and earth". Now there are certain limitations in his humanity and I dare not to go into those. But He could by a thought do whatever He wanted to do. His Father would have wanted whatever He wanted to do, He was a free individual and He was God in the flesh. But He never used in his own behalf any power that is not freely available to you and me when we come into the same position. You see, we have to be born again just like Jesus was. He was born into this world, you see, He was the Son of God, original, so He was born of God originally and I don't know how, I won't get into that mystery, but He was there and He was God's Son. Now He was born into humanity and on the cross He died the second death because He had to die the first death of sleep, He had to go to sleep before He could be a baby in the manger and not still be existing as Christ in Heaven. Do you understand what I'm saying? I know it's heavy stuff. But you surely can't believe that Christ was in Heaven while He was here on earth, Christmas would be a farce. And He went back to his Father, He wouldn't go back to is Father if He was already there. Think it through. Now when He says that we are to be washed in the blood of the Lamb, it's referring to that eternal life Spirit, that's what it's referring to because the blood represents the life, the Bible tells us that. And Sister White tells us plainly that it is the Spirit of God, the creative Spirit of God that renews the life of Christ in us, we partake of the divine nature. But you see, it's in the hands of the Father that's where our message of our intercession of Christ and the sanctuary message comes in. Now get this, He prays the Father, you see He is our intercessor, the Father has custody of his former heritage, He gave it to the Father in his will and the Father promised that He would let the Son decide who was to receive it and that's why He is our mediator. He said to the Father send my Spirit to Wilf Johnson, well it comes by measure you don't get the whole thing all at once. The final outpouring is going to come on those who attain to the fullness of the stature of Christ before the second coming and they live without sin. The full outpouring is going to come and I could show you this, it's all in the books. And they become the new temple of God, the indwelling of God. Ephesians says they are built up to be a habitation of God through the Spirit. It's all in there.

(John) Christ shares his Kingship with them.

(Wilfred) Yes.

(John) They set with him on his throne.

(Wilfred) Yes.

(John) Judgment is given to the saints.

(Wilfred) Yes, that's right and they are the only ones who go with him into the temple on Mount Zion. That's in Early Writings right in the very first vision she had. There are two levels you see and that's why we have a little bit of trouble in our denomination today. Some people say you can't become perfect; you'll never become perfect. Well, some people won't. They'll always have to have their deficiencies made up by Christ and Christ says He will do that. Christ says that if we do our best He will make up for our deficiency with his own divine merit. That's our prophet’s words. So don't be afraid, you've got your ticket to Heaven you get it by faith and it's yours for sure. The only way you can be lost is to walk away. If you are penitent concerning your sins, your sins are forgiven and you are cleared before God. That's the work in the first apartment but the work in the second apartment is the cleansing of the soul temple, cleansing of the sanctuary, the purification and that's the process we are entering now, for sure. We are moving into the cleansing of the sanctuary. God is preparing a people who will trust him and follow his commands, He says, If you love me keep my commandments and then I will pray the Father, there is your intercession, and I will pray the Father and He will send you another comforter which is the Holy Spirit and Sister White explains it very clearly that that's the Spirit that washes us, that cleanses us from all unrighteousness. We have to go through the fire, we have to go through the purifying process and we come out victorious and then He can lay down his priestly robes, his mediatorial robes. He will always be our intercessor but He wants to prove something so He puts down the robes and there they stand without a mediator, without sin and He can say, look Lucifer you said they couldn't do it, here they are, here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. And God is waiting for one hundred and forty four thousand people right now who are willing to let him clean them up but if you are willing be prepared for the crucible, fire, the heat. There is no way to purification except through the crucible. But He needs you, He's got to be exonerated, He is on trial, his judgment has come, he needs witnesses. I wish we could see that clearly and be willing to say Lord, I don't want to do it for my sake but I sure don't want to do it, but for your sake I'll do it.

May our Lord bless us.

I didn't cover all the lesson; there's a lot more in there but that's one of the most important parts of it, that's why the Son came.

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