Even though the bible plainly states that we are begotten of God, many mainstream Christians insist we’re not begotten of God because there’s only one true “only begotten” son of God. They believe we’re “adopted” children of God and not real children of God. Moreover, Muslims, even though they believe Jesus (Yehoshua) was a true prophet, don’t believe God had any children, so they don’t believe he was the “son of God”. These objections from Muslims and mainstream Christians alike are based on the idea that being a “son of God” means you are YHWH, the creator. This is provably false. If you prefer to listen, I discuss this article in the video at the end of this post.
Christians & Muslims Rejecting Sonship
According to the Tanakh (OT), we’re all children of YHWH. Israel is constantly referred to as YHWH’s children or child, and YHWH is known as their Father all throughout the scriptures. Adam, angels, Israel, and many more are called “sons” or “children” of YHWH and it never means they are YHWH.
To be “begotten of God” or “born of God” or to have YHWH as your Father simply refers to a spiritual connection, not a physical one.
I’m sure we can all agree there’s nothing wrong with being adopted, and parents who adopt because of their love for others are taking part in the most important job in the world, and stepping up where others could or would not. They are to be praised for sure. But, biblically speaking, many people who call themselves Christian are, in a way, ignoring their inheritance by trying to say they’re “adopted” by God and Muslims who claim they’re not children of God because He has no children do the same thing.
It’s the misunderstanding of what it means to be the “son of God” that leads to this confusion and rejection on both sides, so, hopefully, this article will help to clear some of that up.
Sonship is Spiritual Not Literal
A lot of biblical concepts are understood by the shadows in the world that we interact with daily. In order to understand the idea of having our sins “washed away” spiritually, we think of taking a literal physical bath to wash away dirt.
Jesus (Yehoshua) also referred to a dead person as “sleeping.” He was showing us how someone can be risen from the dead, as easily as we awake from a nap. And he used many parables because we have an easier time understanding spiritual matters through our everyday life examples.
We were told we would be baptized by fire, but no one thought we would physically have to walk through fire to be cleansed. We can understand the baptism is spiritual, and yet people still think the sonship of YHWH is literal or physical.
Believers Have God’s Seed (Sperma) Inside
In our world we see that parents look like their children and this is because they pass down their genetic code to them. Some adopted children may behave like their adopted parents because they’ve learned their behaviors and attitudes over time, but the outward appearance, in general, is not going to match up with their adopted parents. And, depending on when they got adopted, the child’s behavior may be more heavily influenced by their early childhood. This is especially the case if they’ve been abused in the past.
While adopted children may end up feeling more at home with an adopted family than their own biological family, it doesn’t mean they can just ignore their genetics. An African American child will still want to be more careful with their heart, because they have a higher chance of getting heart disease and if their adopted parents have passed on a predisposition to alcoholism to their biological children, it doesn’t mean the adopted child has to worry about being affected by those genes.
So, the followers of Jesus (Yehoshua) deserve to know who their spiritual “biological” father is, right?
The bible says that we are children of God, with His “seed” inside of us. The word used for “seed” is “sperma.” Obviously the Greek word “sperma” is where we get the word for “sperm” today.If a child has their biological father’s “sperm” inside of them, we know what relationship there is between them: biological. The child cannot have their adopted father’s “sperm” inside of them because if they did, the word “adopted” would be rendered meaningless.
The word “adopted” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “legally made the son or daughter of someone other than a biological parent.”
According to 1 John 3 we are biological children of God because we have His spiritual “sperm” inside. So we can’t be “adopted” according to the common English definition of the word.
What Does It Mean to Be Adopted Then?
If we’re considered spiritual biological children of YHWH (with His seed inside), people wonder why the bible says we’re adopted at all. It seems to be a misunderstanding of what the word for adoption was referring to back when the bible was written.
In the Hebrew, the words usually translated into “adopted” were used as a reference to “taking” someone or something into your life, but it doesn’t show up too often in the Tanakh. Paul seems to be the only one really referring to us as “adopted” by God, and the early followers of Jesus (Yehoshua) didn’t even trust Paul. But, assuming we can trust the writings attributed to Paul, what did he mean when he used the term “adopted”?
Paul wasn’t really writing to the Hebrews, he was more concerned with gentiles and wrote in Greek for that purpose.
Believers Are Adopted Sons
Note that we are adopted as sons. And we need to be very careful here to say what Scripture actually says, and to understand why it says it. Today many people want us to use so-called gender-neutral versions of the Bible that remove all the masculine and feminine references. That may be politically correct in some circles, but it is not Biblically correct. We must completely reject that kind of thinking.
And here in this passage we have one of the strongest arguments. The wording here is clearly masculine. The word is huiothesia. It means, literally, “to be placed as a son.” And in Galatians 4:4 the word is translated “the adoption of sons.” The word is clearly masculine. Not merely adoption as children, not as sons and daughters, but adoption as sons. Yes, God created us male and female. But as it concerns our redemption, we who are in Christ, men and women and boys and girls alike, are adopted by God as sons – in that sense, as Paul says, “there is neither male nor female.”
Why is that important? We need to remember that Paul is writing to people who were under the rule of the Roman Empire. They were subject to Roman law. Although we do see forms of adoption practiced in the Old Testament, there was no mention of precisely this kind of adoption in the Mosaic law. The picture that Paul by the Holy Spirit is using here in Galatians is definitely the Roman law of adoption of sons, because that is what the people who received this letter would have understood.
And adoption as a son in Roman law was something very specific. Adoption as a son in Roman law meant that you had the right to the name and the citizenship of the person who adopted you, and the right to inherit his property. The adopted son had the same rights and privileges as a naturally born son. These were rights that were not granted to an adopted daughter. And the law also granted the one who adopted that son the full rights and responsibilities of a father, full authority over the adopted son, and full responsibility to care for him. So it worked both ways.
When Paul was talking about us being “adopted” he was referring to the legality of inheritance in Roman law and he wasn’t negating us being spiritual biological sons of God.
“Adoption” is the term the apostle Paul uses to describe the act of the Holy Spirit whereby the believing sinner becomes a member of God’s family, with all the privileges and obligations of family members.
We were “children of wrath” by nature (Eph. 2:3). However, those upon whom God bestows His saving grace become the “children of God.”
The word adoption in the New Testament means to place as an adult son. It was a term used in the Roman legal practice in the apostle Paul’s day referring to a legal action by which a person takes into his family a child not his own, with the purpose of treating him as and giving him all the privileges of an own son. An adopted child was legally entitled to all rights and privileges of a natural-born child. Paul uses it as an illustration of the act of God giving a believing sinner, who is not His natural child, a position as His adult son in His family. The emphasis is on the legal position of the child of God.
It is the Holy Spirit who is called “the Spirit of adoption” who performs the act of placing the believing sinner as an adult into the family of God. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Rom. 8:15)
The adopted child lost all rights and privileges in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. He got a new father, and he became the heir to his new father’s estate. He became co-heir with the other sons. In the eyes of the law the old life was completely wiped out. All debts were completely cancelled. He was absolutely the son of his new father. It was carried out in the presence of seven witnesses.
What a glorious privilege is ours to be the absolute possession of the Father! We have already as believers in Christ been placed in the family of God and are led by the Holy Spirit as the adult sons of God. The apostle John describes our experience as God’s children who have been born into His family by the new birth (Jn. 1:12; 1 Jn. 3:1-2).
Who’s Your Spiritual Father?
Now that we’ve seen the way Paul used the term “adoption” let’s look again at John saying we’re children of God with His seed inside.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
We make manifest, or make known, to the world that our spiritual father is God or the devil by whether or not we sin. When you were “adopted” in the Roman law, your past was wiped out. You used to be a child of the devil (or child of wrath) but when you were “adopted” you were no longer a child of the devil.
What is God’s seed? It’s His Holy Spirit that we receive when we die to our old life (where we were children of the devil) and are born again of God. We are begotten of God (get His “Seed” inside of us) at our baptism. We died to the old life, and we are new creatures now. After our baptism (death to the old life), YHWH’s “Seed” / Holy Spirit replaces the Anti-Christ Spirit (sometimes referred to as the “serpent seed”) and we get convicted by the Holy Spirit to stop sinning.
Just as children look like their biological parents, we look like our spiritual father. If you sin, you make known to the world that your spiritual biological father is the devil. But if you don’t sin, you make known to the world that your spiritual biological father is YHWH. You should be the image or form of God. When people see you, they should see your Father (YHWH). You are to purify yourself as He is pure, and when He appears you will be like Him.
Believing You Are Adopted Negates That
Many people who think they can’t stop sinning and can’t look like YHWH the Father suggest that they’re simply “adopted” and they can’t stop sinning because biologically they’re children of the devil. They say this is why they need to be “adopted” by God, but they believe they’re still children of the devil at heart in their spiritual genes. They think biologically the devil or serpent seed is inside of them and they’ll always look like their father the devil, until they’re given new bodies. This is why they’re so focused on getting new bodies in the future sometime. This belief came from the “original sin” doctrine which is demonstrably false. YHWH told Cain to conquer the sin that was crouching at his door in Genesis 4:7. So, this group of people claim they’re spiritually biologically sons of the devil and can’t do right in this flesh.
However, John writes, “now are we the sons of God.” We are purifying ourselves currently. We already died to the old life when we were baptized. We’re already begotten of God.
If you want to know more about how we are already supposed to be free from being slaves to sin, this video may interest you:
The Kundalini Serpent (Snake that Moses held up) may be a reference to the Holy Spirit, and it’s not such a bad description. Like snakes shed their skin, so too can we shed our old body and be be “born again” into new skin. We are raised from the old creation and become a new creation when we become begotten of God.
We are Begotten of God
As soon as we believe that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) we are begotten of God and we can overcome all temptations, and sin, through Christ because we’ve been born of God and have God’s “seed,” His Holy Spirit, inside to get us through all temptations.
1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone begotten of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
So when we believe Jesus (Yehoshua) is the Messiah, we’re begotten of God and get His Holy Spirit “seed” inside, and that Holy Spirit gets us out of every temptation, so we can overcome and stop sinning, so we can look just like our Father, pure as He is pure. YHWH promises us that we can overcome and be children who look like Him. This is in contrast to adopted children who don’t look like their parents. Furthermore this promise to become YHWH’s son wasn’t just for us, but for our Messiah too.
Revelation 21:7 Those who overcome will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
Revelation 3:21 To the one who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
Jesus (Yehoshua) was the first one to overcome and be “begotten” spiritually of YHWH. But we are co-hairs with our brother Jesus (Yehoshua) on that throne. The word “throne” refers to authority, so we get the same authority as him when we do what he did and overcome the world / sin. That throne / authority is our inheritance. as children begotten of YHWH. We only receive that authority when we overcome our sin.
When was Jesus (Yehoshua) Begotten?
The early followers had a Hebrew Matthew that claimed YHWH said Jesus (Yehoshua) was begotten of YHWH at his baptism.
“After the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John. And as Jesus came up from the water, Heaven was opened, and He saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove and enter into Him. And a voice from Heaven said, ‘You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.’ And again, ‘Today I have begotten you.’ “Immediately a great light shone around the place; and John, seeing it, said to Him, ‘Who are you, Lord? And again a voice from Heaven said, ‘This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.’ Then John, falling down before Him, said, ‘I beseech You, Lord, baptize me!’ But He forbade him saying, ‘Let it be so; for thus it is fitting that all things be fulfilled.’” (Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7)
Seeing as how we are “born again” (ie. begotten) at our baptism, this makes sense.
The Only-Begotten (Monogenes)
Those who believe Jesus (Yehoshua) is the Christ are “begotten” children of God according to 1 John 5:1. So the first objection to that verse is John 3:16 which states that Jesus (Yehoshua) was the “only-begotten” son.
The root of Strong’s 1080 is “genna” which is related to descending from someone and the Strong’s 3439 word is built of two words, “mono” meaning “one” and “genes” meaning “offspring.” The Greek word “genes” is where we get the English word “genes” and “genetics” from. We can see the same “gen” root in “genna” also.
So, you might say, “Case closed: monogenes is about the one and only descendant of God,” but it’s more complicated than that.
Monogenes can mean special son (or daughter), unique son (or daughter), and perhaps first-born son (or daughter). It implies a special relationship but not always a one-and-only relationship.
Monogenes isn’t one and only. How do we know that?
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac on the altar. He who had received the promises was ready to offer his monogenē son, 18 even though God had said to him, “Through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned. 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and in a sense, he did receive Isaac back from death.
The same word used for Jesus (Yehoshua) being YHWH’s “one and only son” is also used for Isaac being Abraham’s “one and only son.” Was Isaac Abraham’s one and only son? No.
Abraham had a son named Ishmael. Ishmael was Abraham’s first son. So we know in this case monogenē did not mean first born, nor one-and-only. Isaac was a special son, a unique son, but he wasn’t the only son.
You can make an argument that Isaac was the legal heir to the Abrahamic promises from YHWH where Ishmael was not. If this is the case the monogenē word could refer to the “son of inheritance” rather than “one-and-only son.”
And Jesus (Yehoshua) was the one who inherited because he overcame. And he was the “first-born” or “first to inherit the kingdom” but he was first-born or first-begotten among many brethren (us). We, too, get to inherit as legal heirs, co-heirs with Christ.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with him, so that we may also be glorified with him.
One in the Body of Christ
Even if you think he’s the “only-begotten” of YHWH, it still means we are also. When we believe Jesus (Yehoshua) is the Christ, we are considered the “Bride of Christ” who becomes “one flesh” with him. According to the bible, we become as one in plan and purpose and are considered the same “body” where Christ is the head. If Christ is considered the “only begotten son of God” and we are one flesh with Christ we are considered the “only begotten son of God” too because we’ve merged with him.
Adam, the Son of God
As discussed earlier, in Luke 3:38 Adam is considered the “son of God” (among many other people in the bible). If we consider the term monogenē to refer to the way in which someone was begotten (as in being begotten in a unique way, rather than being a unique son), then the Primal Adam was the original “only begotten” son of God. Jesus (Yehoshua) was born out of a woman like all other men. But Adam was created by YHWH and wasn’t “born” in the traditional sense. No woman gave birth to Adam, he was certainly brought forth in a unique way.
The early followers of Jesus (Yehoshua) had a doctrine referred to as the Primal Adam doctrine that may have meant they believed that Jesus (Yehoshua) was Adam reincarnated. We can’t be sure, but at the very least there is a very interesting connection between them.
Son of God, versus God the Son
Many people capitalize the phrase “Son of God” because they think it refers to actually being God. Well, first, the word “God” does not mean creator. Jesus (Yehoshua) actually called us “gods”. Secondly, the original Greek and Hebrew was written in all capital letters. It wasn’t until the bible got translated into English that translators decided to start capitalizing the words “Son” and “Word” to try to make it seem like Jesus (Yehoshua) was YHWH. We were warned to beware the scribes who would tamper with the text.
As we’ve already seen, the bible is full of sons of God, and there are even more examples on the “YHWH, Our Father, in the Tanakh / Old Testament” article. But the phrase “God the Son” is made up by people. It’s a man-made doctrine that is found no where in scripture. And, of course, Jesus (Yehoshua) Never Claimed to Be YHWH.
Being Begotten of YHWH By Definition Means You’re Not YHWH
Because YHWH existed before creation, He is by definition “unbegotten”. The early followers didn’t believe that Jesus (Yehoshua) was YHWH, they believed he was the Messiah (Christ). By definition a Messiah or Christ is someone who is anointed BY YHWH for a purpose. YHWH does the anointing, and YHWH doesn’t need to be anointed with power. Christ means anointed. Jesus the Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power (Acts 10:38) at his baptism, which is also when he was said to be begotten of YHWH. Here we see Peter is saying that he believes Jesus (Yehoshua) to be the one anointed by YHWH.
Luke 9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
John 6:68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.”
In the Syriac version of the Clementine Recognitions, it gets even more detailed about their beliefs. If you’d like to buy the Syriac Clementine Recognitions book, it’s available on Amazon. If you’d like to listen to Brad read it, here is his video playlist.
These are a couple of quotes from the book concerning YHWH not being split.
Clementine Recognitions 3:3 page 85: “…there is one Principality and One without beginning…..the one Who neither is the cause of Himself nor has begotten Himself, for He exists without beginning. The Self-Existent One Who Did Not Come Into Being shall bring us near to know Who He is. Although He did not become a being, those who then called the Self-Existent One Who Did Not Come Into Being ‘the Father of Himself’ and ‘the Begetter of Himself’ dared to reject Him. And they became enslaved to ambitions and inferior thoughts, for they reckoned and thought that it was necessary for Him to beget Himself…”
Syriac version Recognitions 3:8 page 88 “Therefore the God Who is without beginning begat is firstborn son before all created things, as is seemly for God while He was neither changed nor succeeded nor divided, nor did He emanate, nor was He even diminished in anything…On account of this, then, in truth he (Yehoshua) was appropriately called ‘the Begotten,’ because in his being he is not the Father.”
Syriac version Recognitions 3:9 page 89 “And so that inquiry concerning Him may be made known to you, therefore, as is seemly for God, He begat His only-begotten and firstborn son before all creations. Indeed, He did not bring Himself to action or beget Himself, for He was not awaiting impassive and inviolate if He were in Himself active; for it is impious to think such things as these about the Self-Existent One Who did not come into being for in danger are the impious, as if they rightly schemes and greatly blasphemed against the Self-Existent One that He is a female-male…”
This is from the Latin version:
Recognitions of Clement Chapter LXIX: Two Comings of Moshiach “And when he had plainly taught the people concerning these things, he added this also: That unless a man be immersed in water, in the name of Y’shua, as Y’shua taught, he can neither receive remission of sins nor enter into the Malkuth Shamayim (Heavenly Kingdom); and he declared that this is the prescription of the unbegotten Elohim. To which he added this also: ‘Do not think that we speak of two unbegotten Elohim, or that one is divided into two, or that the same is made male and female. But we speak of the only-begotten Son of YHWH, not sprung from another source, but born from YHWH’s bosom; and in like manner we speak of the Ruach.’”
The early “blasphemy” the Essenes taught against was the idea that YHWH was a male god and a female god. The trinity wasn’t even a consideration to be labeled as blasphemy at that point because the Catholic church created that doctrine later. But the important thing to understand here is that they believed there was a creator who was not “begotten.” The creator YHWH (The Self Existent One Who Did Not Come Into Being) was not begotten, and existed before His creation.
Jesus (Yehoshua) is clearly called “begotten” all over the scriptures. If you believe that he’s the creator “god” then you have two creator “gods”: the unbegotten God and the begotten God that the unbegotten God begat. Because by definition an unbegotten God cannot not be begotten, and a begotten God cannot be unbegotten. They’re mutually exclusive.