“WILL THE ‘REAL JESUS’ PLEASE STAND?”
Dr. Verle Streifling
One of the real problems besetting modern Adventists, is their differing views of Jesus Christ, which they’ve received through their prophet Ellen G. White (EW), who at times spoke differently from Scripture as we’ve come to understand it today.
This is so well illustrated in that Seventh-Day Adventism (SDA) today holds the True Deity of Christ, in their statement of faith (SDA Believe #4), yet in 1903 Ellen said “The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty” (ms 140, SDA Commentary V, p. 1129). As Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever”, and since He as “the man Christ Jesus” is our Mediator in heaven today (1st Timothy 2:5), then He has always been the Lord God Almighty, for it’s impossible for Almighty God to ever lay aside His full deity! So Paul says of Christ, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9).
Yet Ellen White contended that Jesus was Michael, one of the Archangels. The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. IV, p.860 appeals to her writings as their final authority that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, who stands up in Daniel 12:1, which signifies Jesus ending his mediation for us. They quote Desire of Ages p.379 to prove this, while she also identifies Jesus as Michael on p. 99; and in Prophets & Kings, p.572, as well as Spiritual Gifts IV a, p.158.
To make these aberrant views appear as Biblical, the SDA’s 1994 Clear Word Bible has changed the text to make Jesus Michael the Archangel in 1st Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 12:7 and Jude 9; and to make Him to be a mighty angel in Revelation 10:1,5,8 & 10. This is because in her comments on Revelation 10, as in Revelation 8 –even Revelation 1, Ellen White identified these angels as also being Jesus Christ! (SDA Commentary VII, 971+978; ms15, 1897; ms 59).
Yet Ellen’s making Jesus to be Michael creates added problems for their Clear Word Bible, requiring even more changes, for Dan 12:1 says that after Michael stands up there’ll be a time of trouble such as never was (Gk. ‘thlipsis’). In Matt 24:15+21 Jesus says the Abomination of Desolation introduces this tribulation (‘thlipsis’), as in Dan 12. Then in vs 29 Jesus says immediately after this ‘thlipsis’ there will be signs in the heavens, and Jesus returns with His angels to gather his saints. Here comes the Problem: E.G. White said this great tribulation was 1260 years of Papal Supremacy from 538 to 1798 AD (Great Controversy p.266, 306, 329; 1888 ed). Also, Michael standing up (Dan 12:1) is when Jesus ‘ceases His intercession’ and says “It is done”, of Rev 22:11 (ibid, 613). Since this great Tribulation begins after Michael stands up (Dan 12), her interpretation of this tribulation beginning in 538 AD requires that Jesus as Michael stood up and ended his intercession in 538 AD. So to evade this contradiction Ellen White also says that the time of trouble such as never was has not yet come, and Michael HAS NOT YET STOOD UP! (Early Writings p. 36). And in keeping with her creating another ‘time of trouble such as never was’ the SDA’s Clear Word Bible alters Daniel 12:1 to say “but BEFORE that there will be tribulation…” as well as changing Matt 24:29 from ‘immediately’ after’ to ‘during…’
All this to ensure that Jesus as Michael HAS NOT yet STOOD UP! But this brings a worse problem: Scripture is replete in stressing that Jesus, as our mediator, had finished His work when He offered His blood to the Father through the Spirit (Heb 9:14) so that He sat down at the right hand of God, until His enemies are made his footstool. (Acts 2:34+35; Mk 16:19+20; Heb 1:4, 13; Heb 10:11-14. In the OT, priests stood up to minister (Heb 10:11). In concord with the OT priestly ministry, standing before the altar, Ellen tells of Jesus as our High Priest, since 1844: “Then Jesus ROSE UP from the throne …as He LEFT THE THRONE… There I beheld Jesus as He WAS STANDING before the Father, a great High Priest…” (Spiritual Gifts I, 158-160).
So SDA has Jesus who IS Almighty God, yet Ellen taught He was not Almighty God, which they hold. They have Jesus who is the fullness of Deity, bodily, yet Ellen says He’s an angel--which they uphold. She says that Jesus as Michael has NOT yet STOOD UP, which they endorse! Yet she says that Jesus as our Great High Priest HAS STOOD UP and left God’s Throne, contrary to many Scriptures saying He is seated at the Father’s right hand until His enemies are his footstool. WHO’S RIGHT??
Romans 3:4 gives us the final answer... "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar..."
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