Ellen White’s Usage of the word “Son of God”

, by Joel Ridgeway

Does Ellen White’s use of the Word “Son of God” before the incarnation prove that He was literally the Son in a biological sense, before the incarnation?

When did Christ become “Jesus”?

Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Luk 1:31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

Answer: Christ was called “Jesus” when He was incarnated as man on this earth.

Does Ellen White call Christ “Jesus” before the incarnation? Answer: yes.

Jesus, our Substitute, consented to bear for man the penalty of the law transgressed.”  { FW 30.3}

Jesus paid an infinite price to redeem the world, and the race was given into His hands; they became His property. He sacrificed His honor, His riches, and His glorious home in the royal courts and became the son of Joseph and Mary.” { 3T 372.1}

“When Jesus would uplift men to become members of the heavenly family, He humbled Himself to become a member of the earthly family, and by partaking of our nature He became the Son of man, the Son of Adam, and a Brother to every son and daughter of our fallen race.”—Manuscript 58, 1896, 4. { 17MR 25.3 }

Jesus came to this earth to accomplish the greatest work ever accomplished among men. He came as God’s ambassador, to show us how to live so as to secure life’s best results.” { AH 132.2}


“The records of some are similar to that of the exalted angel who was given a position next to Jesus Christ in the heavenly courts. Lucifer was enshrouded with glory as the covering cherub. Yet this angel whom God had created, and entrusted with power, became desirous of being as God.” { 4BC 1143.1 }

“Lucifer was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge His supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, he bowed with them; but his heart was filled with envy and hatred.” { SR 14.1}

“Satan had been Lucifer, the light-bearer, the sharer of God’s glory in heaven, and second to Jesus in power and majesty.” { BEcho November 1, 1892, par. 3 }

There are many more. Ellen White uses the name “Jesus” as a title of Christ, before He came literally “Jesus” the son of David.

What about the name “Christ”? According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “Christ” means:

CHRIST, n. THE ANOINTED; an appellation given to the Savior of the World, and synonymous with the Hebrew Messiah. It was a custom of antiquity to consecrate persons to the sacerdotal and regal offices by anointing them with oil.

When did this take place? When was He anointed?

Dan 9:25  “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

“The time had come for Jesus to stand in contradiction to the work of Satan, to rebuke and oppose his power. At the beginning of his ministry, John was baptizing in the Jordan, and Christ came to him to receive the baptismal rite. As man’s example he took the step in conversion requisite for the repenting, believing sinner; and the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him, and lo, a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” He was consecrated to his office by God himself. He was anointed by the Spirit, invested with the authority, and endowed with the attributes, of God; and his mission was to reveal the Father to the world.” { ST June 9, 1890, par. 2 }

Does Ellen White call Son of God “Christ” before He was anointed? Answer: yes.

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.” { PP 34.1}

"At the birth of Jesus, Satan knew that One had come with a divine commission to dispute his dominion. He trembled at the angel’s message attesting the authority of the newborn King. Satan well knew the position that Christ had held in heaven as the Beloved of the Father.” { DA 115.2}

Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven.” { GC 494.1}

And I could go on for pages. “Christ” is a term that Ellen White uses all the time to refer to the Son of God before He was literally anointed as the Messiah.

When was Christ called the Son of God?

Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David

Luk 1:35 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Is Christ called the Son of God before the incarnation? Answer: yes. Many times. But can you see, from Ellen White’s usage of the other titles of Christ, that to say that this proves Christ was literally the Son of God before the incarnation, is a non-sense argument? Everyone of Christ’s names have something to do with the incarnation and the plan of redemption. Why should we treat the name “Son of God” any differently?

If we want to know when the titles of Christ became “literal”, we should not look for when that word first appears in the timeline of history. We should look for a clear statement telling us when this happened. This is true of “Jesus”. It’s true of “Christ”. Its also true of “Son of God”.

“God counts the things that are not as though they were. He sees the end from the beginning, and beholds the result of His work as though it were now accomplished.” DA 605

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