Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Evidence the SDA teaches Jesus is Michael

Some who are Seventh Day Adventist, sympathetic, or just uneducated about them believe they do not officially teach that Michael the Archangel is Jesus Christ. [As I mentioned several times before Jesus=Michael was a common Protestant doctrine among Calvinists and some Baptists until the 19th century] In a sense, this is true since their official website will you see very little about the Archangel being Jesus. I did find this:
Even before time on Earth began, the universe was engaged in a terrible conflict. John, the last living disciple of Jesus, described this conflict from what he saw in a vision while a prisoner on the island of Patmos. "There was war in heaven," he said. "Michael [another name for Jesus] and his angels fought against the dragon [Satan], and the dragon and his angels fought back" (Revelation 12:7).--A Lesson from History, Rodney Woods  [emphasis mine]
This is only a reference in passing. For more definitive proof the SDA states White is a prophet and her interpretation of the Bible is to be used since it was inspired by God. We see their official statement on Methods of Bible Study under Methods of Bible study 4.l says:
l.          Seventh-day Adventists believe that God inspired Ellen G. White. Therefore, her expositions on any given Bible passage offer an inspired guide to the meaning of texts without exhausting their meaning or preempting the task of exegesis (for example, see Evangelism, 256; The Great Controversy, 193, 595;Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 665, 682, 707-708; Counsels to Writers and Editors, 33-35). --Methods of Bible Study: Bible Study: Presuppositions, Principles, and Methods, 4.l (Methods of Bible Study) [Official statement]
The preamble of this statement says:
This statement is addressed to all members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with the purpose of providing guidelines on how to study the Bible, both the trained biblical scholar and others. --Methods of Bible Study, 1. Preamble
Also, at the bottom of the statement on the webpage says:
This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council Session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 12, 1986

Their official Church Manual under their 28 Fundamentals also states about Ellen White:
"One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)."--Chapter 14: Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-Day Adventists, 18. The Gift of Prophecy, page 162. Seventh-Day Adventist Church Manual, Revised 2010. 18th edition. [pdf] [A smaller PDF of the relevant fundamental beliefs are found here]
The Adventists state this statement was lead by the Holy Spirit, but admit the Spirit might later cause them to better express their beliefs:
Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference Session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word."--Chapter 14: Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-Day Adventists, page 156. Seventh-Day Adventist Church Manual, Revised 2010. 18th edition. [pdf] [A smaller PDF of the relevant fundamental beliefs are found here]
So, its plainly clear that Seventh-Day Adventists must believe in the divine inspiration of Ellen G White's writings. (Interestingly. despite the SDA often saying the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon, here they seem to make a church structure like the Catholic with Ellen White being the equivalent to the Pope, and the General Conference being equal to Ecumenical Councils,) Here is what the "prophetess" White says about Michael the Archangel [all writings are on an SDA website], remember according to the SDA her writings are "inspired" by God according to them:
The words of the angel, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God,” show that he holds a position of high honor in the heavenly courts. When he came with a message to Daniel, he said, “There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael [Christ] your Prince.” Daniel 10:21. --The Desire of Ages, page 99 (1898) Ellen G White
Again: Christ is called the Word of God. John 1:1-3. He is so called because God gave His revelations to man in all ages through Christ. It was His Spirit that inspired the prophets. 1 Peter 1:10, 11. He was revealed to them as the Angel of Jehovah, the Captain of the Lord’s host, Michael the Archangel.--Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 761. (1890) Ellen G White
Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his; but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His Father, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”--Early Writings, Page 164, Ellen G White [statement also found in The Story of Redemption, Page 206]
Michael, or Christ, with the angels that buried Moses, came down from heaven,--The Truth About Angels, Page 104, Ellen G White
 We see that since the Seventh-Day Adventists regard Ellen G White as a prophet with her writings inspired and "authoritative truth," and those writings teach Jesus is Michael, that logically this would make official Adventists doctrine to be Jesus is Michael.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Does Michael's Name mean He's God or Jesus?

The doctrine that Jesus is the Archangel is found among many Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, and was previously found among Baptists and Calvinists as I demonstrate in an older article. Part of the reasoning for this is the name itself. Here is an example of a commentary:
By whom is meant, not a created angel, but an eternal one, the Lord Jesus Christ; as appears from his name Michael, which signifies, "who is as God": and who is as God, or like unto him, but the Son of God, who is equal with God? --John Gill's Exposition of the Bible, Commentary on Jude 1:9 (Reformed Baptist, 1697-1771)
Generally, the name Michael has traditionally been understood as being a question "Who is like God?" and not a statement "who is like God." Ordinarily, the Hebrew word asher would be expected, though mi CAN be used (and rarely is).  Furthermore, why would Michael be Jesus if the name means "LIKE God", instead of "is God"? John Gill's reasoning sounds absurd by making "like" the same as "equal to," which he being a Trinitarian would mean in substance. The ka/cha in Michael is used through the Hebrew bible for similes--that is to compare something to something else, it would not be a comparison if the things being compared are the same! Daniel does call Christ one "like the son of man," however, it makes sense then since He was not yet man, so it would be most accurate to say He looked "LIKE a son of man", rather than "is a man." John Gill was full aware of the tradition among the Jews and Christians that Michael was a created angel (one among the 7 archangels), yet to fit his Reformed Baptist/Calvinistic theology it was necessary for him to abandon this and force a Michael=Jesus doctrine.

Regardless, even if the point was granted that "like" is the same as "is" or "equal to" and that the name is a statement and not a question, using the name as proof the angel is God would be presumptuous. We have names similar to Michael, in fact a book in the Hebrew bible is written by Micah, who's book bears his name--his name is an abbreviation which means "Who is like Yah?" (Abbreviated forms of names are often used in the Bible, even for prophets like Y'hoshua->Yeshua, Yeremyahu->Yeremiah) No one would assume the prophet Micah is God simply because of his name, and his name shows a name can be a question. [Also, there is another similar name Mishael.]Here are the 4 times the long form of Micah's name--Michaiah appears in the Hebrew Bible:
And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah מִיכָיָה] , and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying--2 Kings 22:12 KJV  
וַיְצַו הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת-חִלְקִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן וְאֶת-אֲחִיקָם בֶּן-שָׁפָן וְאֶת-עַכְבּוֹר בֶּן-מִיכָיָה וְאֵת שָׁפָן הַסֹּפֵר, וְאֵת עֲשָׂיָה עֶבֶד-הַמֶּלֶךְ--לֵאמֹר--II Kings 22:12 MT
And [certain] of the priests'sons with trumpets; [namely], Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah  [מִיכָיָה] , the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph:--Nehemiah 12:35 KJV 
 וּמִבְּנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים, בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת--זְכַרְיָה בֶן-יוֹנָתָן בֶּן-שְׁמַעְיָה, בֶּן-מַתַּנְיָה בֶּן-מִיכָיָה, בֶּן-זַכּוּר, בֶּן-אָסָף--Nehemiah 12:35 MT
And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, [and] Hananiah, with trumpets;--Nehemiah 12:41 KJV 
 וְהַכֹּהֲנִים אֶלְיָקִים מַעֲשֵׂיָה מִנְיָמִין מִיכָיָה אֶלְיוֹעֵינַי, זְכַרְיָה חֲנַנְיָה--בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת--Nehemia 12:41 MT
Micah [מִיכָיָה]the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed [like] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.--Jeremiah 26:18  
מיכיה (מִיכָה), הַמּוֹרַשְׁתִּי, הָיָה נִבָּא, בִּימֵי חִזְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה; וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל-כָּל-עַם יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, צִיּוֹן שָׂדֶה תֵחָרֵשׁ וִירוּשָׁלַיִם עִיִּים תִּהְיֶה, וְהַר הַבַּיִת, לְבָמוֹת יָעַר--Jeremiah 26:18 MT
Also, Micah has another longer form--Michaiahu .
Here are the verses Michael's מִיכָאֵל name appears (13 times in 13 verses in the Masoretic Text) I will give the MT :

Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael [מִיכָאֵל] .- Numbers 13:13 KJV


לְמַטֵּה אָשֵׁר, סְתוּר בֶּן-מִיכָאֵל—Numbers 13:13 MT



And their brethren of the house of their fathers [were], Michael [מִיכָאֵל], and Meshullam, and Sheba, and Jorai, and Jachan, and Zia, and Heber, seven.These [are] the children of Abihail the son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael [מִיכָאֵל], the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz;---- 1 Chronicles 5:13-14 KJV 

The son of Michael [מִיכָאֵל], the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchiah,-- 1 Chronicles 6:40 (25 in some) KJV

בֶּן-מִיכָאֵל בֶּן-בַּעֲשֵׂיָה, בֶּן-מַלְכִּיָּה--I Chronicles 6:40 (25) MT

And the sons of Uzzi; Izrahiah: and the sons of Izrahiah; Michael [מִיכָאֵל], and Obadiah, and Joel, Ishiah, five: all of them chief men.-- 1 Chronicles 7:3 KJV
And Michael [מִיכָאֵל], and Ispah, and Joha, the sons of Beriah--1 Chronicles 8:16 KJV
As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael [מִיכָאֵל], and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that [were] of Manasseh.-- 1 Chronicles 12:20 KJV
Of Judah, Elihu, [one] of the brethren of Did: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael [מִיכָאֵל]:-- 1 Chronicles 27:18 KJV
And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael [מִיכָאֵל], and Shephatiah: all these [were] the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.-- 2 Chronicles 21:2 KJV
 
And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael [מִיכָאֵל], and with him fourscore males.-- Ezra 8:8 KJV 

 וּמִבְּנֵי שְׁפַטְיָה, זְבַדְיָה בֶּן-מִיכָאֵל; וְעִמּוֹ, שְׁמֹנִים הַזְּכָרִים.--Ezra 8:8 MT

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael [מִיכָאֵל], one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.—Daniel 10:13 KJV

But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael [מִיכָאֵל] your prince.—Daniel 10:21 KJV

And at that time shall Michael [מִיכָאֵל] stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.-- Daniel 12:1 KJV

וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יַעֲמֹד מִיכָאֵל הַשַּׂר הַגָּדוֹל, הָעֹמֵד עַל-בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ, וְהָיְתָה עֵת צָרָה, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִהְיְתָה מִהְיוֹת גּוֹי עַד הָעֵת הַהִיא; וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יִמָּלֵט עַמְּךָ, כָּל-הַנִּמְצָא כָּתוּב בַּסֵּפֶר.--Daniel 12:1 MT 

Notice the name Michael is found in the Torah in Number 13:13 with the same spelling but for a human being, never is an angel called Michael in the Torah, would anyone ever suspect this man Michael was "equal to" or "like unto God" simply because of his name? NO! Also, notice Numbers was written about 1000 years before the book of Daniel, so Jews would have been familiar with the human Michael first, and not have any notion of a divine Michael who is equal to God.  Also, since the human Michael is named first what would his name be interpreted as a question or statement, ie "Who is like God?" or "Who is like God," the former would be blasphemous.  Also, there is the name in the Torah מִישָׁאֵל which means "Who (is) what God (is)?" (eg Leviticus 10:4) שָׁ being an abbreviated asher.  

Furthermore, the Bible states several times "who is like God":
There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty..--Deuteronomy 33:26 ESV (the KJV is less coherent but makes the same point)
 אֵין כָּאֵל, יְשֻׁרוּן:  רֹכֵב שָׁמַיִם בְּעֶזְרֶךָ, וּבְגַאֲוָתוֹ שְׁחָקִים--Deuteronomy 33:26 MT
And he said, To morrow. And he said, [Be it] according to thy word: that thou mayest know that [there is] none like unto the LORD our God.--Exodus 8:10 KJV (6 in some versions)

 וַיֹּאמֶר, לְמָחָר; וַיֹּאמֶר, כִּדְבָרְךָ--לְמַעַן תֵּדַע, כִּי-אֵין כַּיה*ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ--Exodus 8:10 (6) MT
Who [is] like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high--Psalm 113:5 (notice this is a rhetorical question! not a statement)
 מִי, כַּיה*ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ--    הַמַּגְבִּיהִי לָשָׁבֶת--Psalm 113:5
There are more verses on this matter.
 
The Ecumenical council of Nicea in AD 325 condemned the idea Christ is of "similar" or "like substance" to the Father, which would be consistent with the Scriptures statements of no one being "like God."
 
Also, unrelated to the name of Michael, the angel is called "one of the chief princes" in Daniel:
lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me--Daniel 10:13
Why would Jesus, or Michael be one of the chief princes--which shows there are OTHERS at the same level as Michael--certainly not the one who has preeminence over creation of Colossians 1!
 
Summary:
 
1) Michael is a question, not a statement. It means "Who is like God?"
2) Michaiah is a Hebrew name that also appears in the Bible that means "Who is like Yah?" and is a name for humans like the Prophet Micah, yet no one believe his name indicates he is God. This also shows a name can be a question--like Michael.
3) Michael cannot be God since the name means 'who is LIKE God," why would God be called "like Himself." Several verses show no one is like God.
4) Michael was a name applied to humans in the Torah and else where, long before Daniel was written, yet no one suspects Number 13:13's Michael is like God!
 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sarah Marinda Bates Pratt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Marinda_Bates_Pratt

Sarah Pratt was the first wife of Mormon Orson Pratt in the early Mormon church, Mormons accused her of adultery, however, the fact is her husband married multiple women, which Sarah was against, she would eventually begin to led the movement against polygamy in Utah and lead her children out of the Mormon religion. She accused Joseph Smith of having an abortionist at hand named Dr Bennett to kill any children that Smith would have through his polygamous wives.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Attending a Mormon Sacrament and Fast and Testimony

I went to a LDS sacrament meeting. Some notes:

  1. 3 fairly old sounding hymns are sung, including the one about the "saints." In the hymnal I noticed some of the hymns in the Mormon hymnal include hymns by hymn makers Joseph Smith said were wrong and apostate (like Charles Wesley, a founder of Methodism, younger brother of John Wesley, on hymn 66 of the modern LDS hymnal, a few other hymns are included)
  2. More testimonies are often about how wonderful their fellow Mormons in the ward are, they all say they "know" the Mormon church is true, the prophet is true, the Mormon gospel is true etc, and will give little reasoning.
  3. One testimony by a ex fundamentalist woman admitted all the preconceived notions about Mormonism melted away and all their doctrines she was told when she found out they were nice people. She said she learned about Mormonism is that it should be about what they do and not what they say! Implying their beliefs do not really seem important as long as they are nice. She said her old friends stopped talking to her because of her conversion--ironically Mormons are known for doing the same to their apostates.
  4. Mormon testimonies are very emotional, in fact Kleenex boxes are automatically next to the podium.
  5. Jesus and God are not mentioned much in the testimony, except in passing, and all testimonies finish with "in Jesus Name. Amen."
  6. The Mormons in their testimony do allude to their preexistence in their testimony (the idea they had their soul before conception.)
  7. Mormon "communion" can be lead by teenage boys praying at a table in front of the congregation. They preach and pass around leaven bread cubes in special trays with handles on it. Then line up and return the trays to the front. Then for the cup--they do not use wine since Mormons do not drink alcohol, nor do they use grape juice like Baptists, but rather Mormons use water placed in tiny shot glasses and pass it around like the bread. 
  8. All the males wear a white dress shirt and tie, and maybe a coat.
  9. Women seem to be allowed to wear any color they would like.
  10. I noticed while people were giving their testimonies there was snoring.
  11. Testimonies are encouraged to be short and the Mormon bishop, or whoever is leading it is supposed to go first.
  12. The Mormon congregation was small, but the leader explicitly said most of them were converts.
  13. Mormon church interiors are fairly plain, though similar to a standard Protestant church, except with a large area for the choir in the front of the church behind where the ministers preaches.
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