How many Divine beings were involved in the plan of salvation? (Study I)

The Bible mentions about the counsel of peace in Zechariah 6:13, which was a mysterious communing between God the Father and His only begotten Son.

God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan and made provision to meet this emergency. The plan that is worked out to meet that terrible emergency is called the plan of  salvation.

“The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of “the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.” Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.  {DA 22.2}

Zech 6:13    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.

Both means two, right? Not three.

Zech 13:7    Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

Who were the two Divine Beings that formulated the counsel of peace?

Shall we see from the Bible, from the most famous Bible verse that all Christians know by heart?

John  3:16    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.
John  3:17    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

How many Divine Beings are mentioned in the above verses?

Only two, right?

Shall we go on?

1 John 4:9    In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1 John 4:10    Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

Again we see only two Divine beings mentioned? And it goes on and on like this.

If you would like to see a detailed list of Bible verses that mention the Father and the Son, please go to the downloads section of this blog and download the document Bible answers to questions about the Father and the Son.

 

The Plan of Salvation in detail from the Spirit of Prophecy

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate–a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose–the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30.”  {PP 34.1}

According to the above statement we can see that the Sovereign of the universe is the eternal Father. His associate or co-worker (notice that it’s in singular ) was His only begotten Son, who was the ONLY BEING that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.

The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, . . . whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Colossians 1:16. Angels are God’s ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the “express image of His person,” “the brightness of His glory,” “upholding all things by the word of His power,” holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3. “A glorious high throne from the beginning,” was the place of His sanctuary (Jeremiah 17:12); “a scepter of righteousness,” the scepter of His kingdom. Hebrews 1:8. “Honor and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.” Psalm 96:6. Mercy and truth go before His face. Psalm 89:14.”  {PP 34.2}

But the Son, the anointed of God, the “express image of His person,” This statement leaves us with the question if there are any more Divine beings that are in the express image of the Father’s person. Let us let the writer give us the answer.

Christ alone is “the express image” (Hebrews 1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God.” {PP 45.2}

None but Christ could enter into God’s purposes

“The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng–“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love.”  {PP 36.2}

“Even the angels were not permitted to share the counsels between the Father and the Son when the plan of salvation was laid.”  (MH 429)

When was the plan of salvation laid?

“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.” {DA 834.2}

The Father and the Son were united in laying the plan of salvation.

A compact was entered into by the Father and the Son to save the world through Christ, who would give Himself that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. No human power or angelic power could make such a covenant. Manuscript 16, 1890. {CTr 124.7}

“But how great was the condescension of the Father and the Son to consent to the working out of the plan of salvation to save the transgressors of Heaven’s exalted law!”  {RH, August 28, 1894 par. 5}

“Christ saw that the time had come when Satan’s power over mankind must be broken. Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with his Father in laying the plan of salvation. God was to be manifested in Christ, “reconciling the world unto himself.” And now, thousands of years later, the fulness of time came for the infinite sacrifice to be made. Divinity was to be communicated to humanity through a divine-human Saviour. The great Life-giver was to purchase the whole world by giving his own life as a ransom.”  {RH, September 13, 1906 par. 4}

“The Gospel is the hope of the world. The cross is God’s agency for counterworking Satan’s plans, and restoring man to his original purity. The plan of salvation devised by the Father and the Son will be a grand success. Christ’s atoning sacrifice will arouse the sluggish mind, quickening into activity man’s mental and spiritual powers.”  {ST, June 17, 1903 par. 2}

“The wonderful plan of redemption, which human beings cannot fully understand, shows that the Creator deals justly and loves mercy. Because He loved man, He gave His Son as a sacrifice for sin. The plan of salvation was laid open before the foundation of the world was formed. In counsel together, the Father and the Son determined that Satan should not be left unchecked to exercise his cruel power upon man. It is God’s will that all shall be saved, that not one shall perish; but He does not compel obedience. He leaves all free to say whether or not they will take advantage of His offer of mercy. In giving Jesus, He poured out all heaven in one gift, making it possible for man to come into possession of eternal riches.” {18MR 345.5}

That which in the counsels of heaven the Father and the Son deemed essential for man’s salvation is clearly presented in the Holy Scriptures. The infinite truths of salvation are stated so plainly that finite beings who desire to know the truth cannot fail to understand. Divine revelations have been made for their instruction in righteousness, that they may glorify God and help their fellow men.  {CT 438.1}

And the sacrifice to which infinite love impelled the Father and the Son, that sinners might be redeemed, demonstrates to all the universe that nothing less than this plan of atonement could have sufficed to do that justice and mercy are the foundation of the law and government of God. {DD 4.3}

What did the Father and the Son plan?

“The Father and the Son in consultation decided that Christ must come to the world as a babe, and live the life that human beings must live from childhood to manhood, bearing the trials that they must bear, and at the same time living a sinless life, that men might see in Him an example of what they can become, and that He might know by experience how to help them in their struggles with sin. He was tried as man is tried, tempted as man is tempted. The life that He lived in this world, men can live, through His power and under His instruction. . . .”  {RC 16.5}

” In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon him.” (MS 145, 1897).  {6BC 1070.4}

Over and over we can see that it is only Father and the Son who were involved in the plan of salvation. Not even Lucifer the covering cherub was allowed to enter in that secret and mysterious counsel.

“Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father. He shared the Father’s counsels, while Lucifer did not thus enter into the purposes of God. “Why,” questioned this mighty angel, “should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?”  {PP 36.3}

Christ was the only Divine being who would manifest the character of God in contrast to the character of Satan.

“The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2.  {DA 22.1}

In our next study we shall see the hierarchical order that was in heaven before the fall of Lucifer.

We shall examine who were the three highest beings in heaven before Lucifer’s fall.

 

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