Pickle Publishing "Atonement; Michael; Hell" Research Papers

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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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#86, #87, & #88: "Other heretical Adventist doctrines include the teaching that Christ's atonement for sins on the cross was incomplete, that Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel, and that there is no hell."—Narrator.

#86: Adventists teach that Christ's atonement on the cross was incomplete. This is not true. If Adventists did teach this, they would be contradicting Mrs. White:

The great sacrifice of the Son of God was neither too great nor too small to accomplish the work. In the wisdom of God it was complete; and the atonement made testifies to every son and daughter of Adam the immutability of God's law.—Signs of the Times, Dec. 30, 1889.

God has accepted the offering of his Son as a complete atonement for the sins of the world.—Youth's Instructor, Sept. 20, 1900.

The only evidence for this point offered by the documentation package, under "Point 43," is a comment by Mrs. White cited in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (vol. 7, p. 933). This comment doesn't say that Christ's atonement on the cross was incomplete. If it did say this, then we would have her contradicting herself. Rather, it merely refers to the Day of Atonement services, which Adventists feel did not end at the cross. Thus the charge stands totally unproven.

What is meant by "did not end" is this: The sacrifice offered on the Day of Atonement was fulfilled at the cross, just like all sacrifices were. However, Adventists believe that what the priest did after the sacrifice largely concerns events after October 22, 1844.

Technically, the correct way to view the atonement is probably to consider "the" atonement to be the entire plan of salvation, composed of several different facets. Each of these facets could be called "an" atonement. "The" atonement would thus be made up of a number of "an" atonements.

For instance, biblically speaking, Christ's intercessory work that He began when He ascended to heaven after His resurrection could be called "an" atonement. So while the sacrifice of Christ on the cross is "a" complete atonement, so also is His intercessory work "a" complete atonement.

According to Leviticus 4 and 5, an atonement was made after the sin offering was slain. The sacrifice provided the atoning blood, which the priest then used to make an atonement for the sinner. This suggests that there was some sort of atoning work for Christ to engage in after His death on Calvary, which at least consisted of His intercession for us.

While Christ's atonement on the cross was complete, the plan of salvation was not over at that point. As Paul said, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17). All must therefore agree that the plan of salvation was not yet completed until at the very least Christ's resurrection, even though His atonement on the cross was complete three days before.

#87: The idea that Michael the Archangel is Christ is heresy. So is the video calling Charles Spurgeon a heretic?

Let the Lord Jesus Christ be for ever endeared to us . . . . He it is whose camp is round about them that fear Him; He is the true Michael whose foot is upon the dragon. All hail, Jesus! thou Angel of Jehovah's presence, to Thee this family offers its morning vows.—Morning and Evening Daily Readings, p. 556.

Michael will always fight; his holy soul is vexed with sin, and will not endure it. Jesus will always be the dragon's foe, and that not in a quiet sense, but actively, vigorously, with full determination to exterminate evil.—Ibid. p. 673.

Is the video calling the learned Baptist commentator, John Gill, a heretic? Commenting on Jude 9 he wrote: [p. 63]

Yet Michael the archangel, &c.] 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? and from his character as the archangel, or Prince of angels, for Christ is the head of all principality and power; and from what is elsewhere said of Michael, as that he is the great Prince, and on the side of the people of God, and to have angels under him, and at his command, Dan. 10:21, 12:1; Rev. 12:7. So Philo the Jew {o} calls the most ancient Word, firstborn of God, the archangel . . . .—Gill's Expositor and the Body of Divinity.

Notice how Gill equated "archangel" with "Prince of angels." Indeed, archo is a Greek word that means "to rule," so "ruler of the angels" is an acceptable definition of "archangel."

Commenting on Revelation 12:7, Gill wrote:

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: by whom is meant not a created angel, with whom his name does not agree, it signifying "who is as God"; nor does it appear that there is anyone created angel that presides over the rest, and has them at his command . . . .—Ibid.

Commenting on Daniel 12:1, he wrote:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, &c.] The Archangel, who has all the angels of heaven under him, and at his command, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ; who is as God, as the name signifies, truly and really God, and equal in nature, power, and glory, to his divine Father . . . .—Ibid.

Another writer of a popular commentary was Matthew Henry. Is the video calling him a heretic too?

Daniel 12:1

Vs. 1-4: Michael signifies, "Who is like God," and his name, with the title of "the great Prince," points out the Divine Savior.—Concise Commentary, p. 1128.

Michael and his angels fight against the devil and his angels, who are defeated. (7-12) . . . .

Revelation 12:7

Vs. 7-11: The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. The seat of this war was in heaven; in the church of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on earth. The parties were Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, and his faithful followers; and Satan and his instruments.—Ibid., p. 1719.

Is the video also calling the writer of the notes of the 1599 Geneva Bible a heretic?

Even though God could by one angel destroy all the world, yet to assure his children of his love he sends forth double power, even Michael, that is, Christ Jesus the head of angels.—note for Dan. 10:13.

The angel here notes two things: first that the Church will be in great affliction and trouble at Christ's coming, and next that God will send his angel to deliver it, whom he here calls Michael, meaning Christ, who is proclaimed by the preaching of the Gospel.—note for Dan. 12:1.

There must be some reason why these great Bible students of old, as well as many others, felt that Michael was another name for Christ, the divine Son of God. We'll revisit this issue under #93 and #207 ff.

#88: Adventists teach that there is no hell. To the contrary, Adventists have always taught that there is a hell.

If this charge be true, why did Mrs. White write, "Few believe with heart and soul that we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win"? (Desire of Ages, p. 636). The phrases "heaven to win" and "hell to shun" are found together at least 36 times in her writings.

This charge is "substantiated" under "Point 45" in the documentation package by a paragraph from Mind, Character, and Personality, volume 2, page 454. In this quotation Mrs. White suggests that some have worried so much about burning eternally for their sins that they have lost their reason. Yet while she thus calls into question the doctrine of an eternally-burning hell, she nowhere denies the reality of hell with its literal fire. More will be said on this later under #160, but suffice it to say for now, the charge stands unproven in the documentation package.

A Response to the Video

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