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What Is The Difference Between Begotten And Created?   
 

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No, Christ is not a created being. We have never believed that nor ever taught that. It is a serious blasphemy to suggest that Christ is created. The misunderstanding in people’s mind is due to the false assumption that the words ‘begotten’ and ‘created’ mean the same thing. The fact is they do not mean the same thing at all.

The Bible gives us examples of both showing the difference between them. From the Bible we learn that God created the world out of nothing.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

Therefore, to create is to make something out of nothing. The first chapter of the Bible is a good illustration of things being created; things that were made out of nothing. God did not have to use pre-existing matter to make new things. This is how it is further described:

“In the formation of our world, God was not beholden to preexistent substance or matter. For the "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice, and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things that are therein, are not only the work of His hand, they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” {3SM 312.1}

“In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” {8T 258, 259}

She then goes on to quote Hebrews 11:3 and Psalm 33:6-9. Thus we see a clear demonstration of the meaning of the word “create”, which is to make something out of nothing. It is when something comes into existence while there was no pre-existing matter for it to come from. Therefore it is created.

“Begotten”, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It is when something comes out of another thing existing before it. Any begotten thing or creature has to have a source from which it stems. This source is not nothing (as in creation). Anyone who is begotten has come out of a begetter, therefore showing that there are two involved in the process. It is an obvious fact that the begetter is the source of the begotten thing, and therefore the source of the begetter is the same source as the begotten of it. In other words, the two can be traced back through the one line. Once again, the first book of the Bible furnishes us with an example of what we are talking about:

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Genesis 3:16

In the above verse the words “bring forth” are from the Hebrew word ‘yalad’ (Strong’s #03205) which means: to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail. It has been translated in the AV (Authorized Version: the KJV) beget 201 times, bare 110, born 79, bring forth 25, bear 23, travail 16, midwife 10, child 8, delivered 5, borne 3, birth 2, labour 2, brought up 2, misc 12; making a total of 498 occurrences.

(See also Luke 3:23-38 where we see the line being traced back through each preceding father, up to the ultimate source.)

The point is clear that “begotten” means to bring forth, or to come out of. It does not mean to make something out of nothing.

We can illustrate the difference in the following: Lucifer was created (made out of nothing) as per Ezekiel 28:13, 15. Jesus Christ (Michael in heaven) was begotten of the Father (came out of Him) as per John 1:14; 3:16; 8:42. Therefore, the difference between “created” and “begotten” is the difference between Lucifer and Christ! That is as far apart as the creature is from the creator. Lucifer can be traced back to his original source and it will be found that he was made out of nothing. To attempt to do the same with Michael we are faced with a different outcome. We can trace him back through the Father, but then we can never reach a beginning, for the Father is without beginning. Therefore Christ can never ever be traced back to nothing like Lucifer. Therefore, His source (the Father) is an eternal source with no beginning. That is why Jesus is called the eternal Son of God:

“The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father.” {EV 615}

This is talking about His divine sonship as the Son of God in heaven, long before He ever came to earth to be the son of man. Here we see the stark difference between the two words.

Inspiration makes a divine distinction between the words confirming for us that they do not mean the same thing. Notice how they are contrasted in the following quote:

“A complete offering has been made; for "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,"-- not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father's person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection.” {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 3}

It is clear from the above quote that Sister White understood the two words to be radically different. She clearly says that Jesus was NOT created, but rather that He was begotten. Thus, we can safely conclude that “created” and “begotten” are two different actions, which are not equal.

One who is begotten is an inheritor of the begetter by right of birth. This fact is illustrated all around us. Every species that begets (brings forth), whether it be plant or animal, demonstrates the principle of inheritance. The product always inherits the nature of the begetter.

Christ is the only-begotten Son of God. He has the nature of His Father by right of inheritance.

“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:4

The early Advent believers recognized this fact. Here is a quote from E. J Waggoner explaining it:

“Before passing to some of the practical lessons that are to be learned from these truths, we must dwell for a few moments upon an opinion that is honestly held by many who would not for any consideration willingly dishonor Christ, but who, through that opinion, do actually deny His Divinity. It is the idea that Christ is a created being, who, through the good pleasure of God, was elevated to His present lofty position. No one who holds this view can possibly have any just conception of the exalted position which Christ really occupies.

…The Scriptures declare that Christ is "the only begotten Son of God." He is begotten, not created. As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told. The prophet Micah tells us all that we can know about it in these words, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin. There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning.

But the point is that Christ is a begotten Son and not a created subject. He has by inheritance a more excellent name than the angels; He is "a Son over His own house." Heb. 1:4; 3:6. And since He is the only-begotten son of God, He is of the very substance and nature of God and possesses by birth all the attributes of God, for the Father was pleased that His Son should be the express image of His Person, the brightness of His glory, and filled with all the fullness of the Godhead….

Finally, we know the Divine unity of the Father and the Son from the fact that both have the same Spirit. Paul, after saying that they that are in the flesh cannot please God, continues: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Rom. 8:9. Here we find that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. Christ "is in the bosom of the Father" being by nature of the very substance of God and having life in Himself. He is properly called Jehovah, the self-existent One and is thus styled in Jer. 23:5, 6, where it is said that the righteous Branch, who shall execute judgment and justice in the earth, shall be known by the name of Jehovah-tsidekenu--THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Let no one, therefore, who honors Christ at all, give Him less honor than He gives the Father, for this would be to dishonor the Father by just so much, but let all, with the angels in heaven, worship the Son, having no fear that they are worshiping and serving the creature instead of the Creator.” {E. J. Waggoner, Christ And His Righteousness, pp. 19-24. 1890}

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