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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

Other Doctrines; the Jehovah's Witnesses

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#92 & #93: "Both Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses still cling to the heresies of soul sleep and Michael the Archangel being Jesus."—Leslie Martin.

#92: Soul sleep is a heresy. Yet this makes a heretic out of Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation. Hear what he had to say on the subject:

"For just as one who falls asleep and reaches morning unexpectedly when he awakes, without knowing what has happened to him, so we shall suddenly rise on the last day without knowing how we have come into death and through death." "We shall sleep, until He comes and knocks on the little grave and says, Doctor Martin, get up! Then I shall rise in a moment and be happy with Him forever."—Froom, Conditionalist Faith, vol. 2, pp. 74, 75.

Commenting on Ecclesiastes 9:10, Luther wrote: "Another proof that the dead are insensible."—Ibid., vol. 2, p. 77. Quite strong was the following:

But I permit the Pope to make articles of faith for himself and his faithful, such as [1] The Bread and wine are transubstantiated in the sacrament. [2] The essence of God neither generated, nor is generated. [3] The soul is the substantial form of the human body. [4] The Pope is the emperor of the world, and the king of heaven, and God upon earth. [5] THE SOUL IS IMMORTAL, with all those monstrous opinions to be found in the Roman dunghill of decretals . . . .—Ibid., vol. 2, p. 73.

But if Martin Luther is a heretic, he's in good company, for John Wycliffe was of the same opinion about death (Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 57-59). So was William Tyndale: "And ye, in putting them [departed souls] in heaven, hell, and purgatory, destroy the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul prove the resurrection."—Ibid. vol. 2, p. 94. And the apostle Peter:

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. . . . For David is not ascended into the heavens. (Acts 2:29, 34)

Many more names could be added of Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans, Catholics, and Presbyterians who believed the same. Even Pope John XXII in the fourteenth century believed that the soul of the deceased does not stand in the presence of God until after the resurrection (Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 35-37).

Unlike Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there are some today who do not sleep when they die, but go straight to heaven. This group they identify as the 144,000.

#93: Michael being Christ is a heresy. There are two problems with this charge.

First, it dispenses with and declares worthless one of the most potent arguments to convince the Jews about the deity of Christ. Various rabbis have taught that Michael the Archangel is a divine being, a being named "Jehovah," the high priest of the heavenly sanctuary, the mediator and deliverer of Israel, and one who sits at the right hand of God (Robert Leo Odom, Israel's Angel Extraordinary). Sounds like Christ, doesn't it?

This concept explains why we have so many Old Testament Scriptures talking about an "angel" who is God. More obvious examples of such Scriptures include:

And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob . . . . I am the God of Bethel. (Gen. 31:11, 13)

And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads. (Gen. 48:15, 16)

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush . . . . God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. . . . Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said . . . . (Ex. 3:2-7)

The word "LORD" in all caps in the King James Version indicates that the Hebrew word is Yahweh, commonly pronounced "Jehovah." Therefore, in this last passage "the angel" is plainly called both "God" and Jehovah.

But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. (Judg. 13:21-23)

The next two passages must be put together: [p. 67]

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. . . . And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. . . . And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Gen. 32:24-30)

Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial. (Hos. 12:4, 5)

According to Genesis, Jacob wrestled with God. According to Hosea, he wrestled with "the angel" who is called Yahweh. Over and over again we have a divine Angel appearing who is called God and Yahweh. Could this "angel" who is God be God the Father? Not according to the New Testament:

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)

And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (John 5:37)

The Greek and Hebrew words for "angel" simply mean "messenger." Sometimes they are used in Scripture to refer to human messengers, sometimes to Christ, and sometimes to the angels of heaven. The angels of heaven are called "angels" because their primary function is that of being "messengers" for God.

Indisputably, the supreme messenger of all is Christ: "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Mat. 11:27). And this is precisely who King Nebuchadnezzar said the "angel" was:

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. . . . Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him. (Dan. 3:25, 28)

The second problem with calling these ideas heretical is that one can slip into the heresy of polytheism. If this divine "angel" the Bible speaks about is not Christ, who is it? If we have the Bible calling mere angels "god" and yahweh, then we have the Bible teaching that there is more than one God!

Unlike Seventh-day Adventists, most Jehovah's Witnesses will protest strongly to the following ideas:

  1. Jesus is divine.
  2. Jesus is God.
  3. Jesus can be called Jehovah.

Want to read more of what the Bible says on the subject? Check out "An 'Angel' Named Yahweh" and "The Divine Christ in the Old Testament" posted at http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers.

A Response to the Video

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