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The Paradox of Michael

A VALUABLE GIFT

One of the greatest gifts given to us by our Creator is the gift of logical thought. It is this quality which separates us from the dumb animals and gives us the right to be labeled as "higher beings" along with the angels. God has not given us this faculty of reason and logic in the expectation that we would not use it. Like every other faculty given to man, this one is also a reflection of the nature and qualities of God Himself, and as such is a precious gift which God gave us to be exercised. It surely would be one of the great signs of something fundamentally wrong and contrary to the will of God if a matter should arise on which we should be told, "on this matter you are not to think. Logic and reason are not to be exercised here. All that you need to do is to accept what you have been told by others, even if it is diametrically opposed to reason and good sense." Ellen White expressed this individual right to think and to reason logically as a fundamental duty of every Christian and something which every person should be trained and encouraged to do.



"Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator— individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men's thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen. Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men strong to think and to act, men who are masters and not slaves of circumstances, men who possess breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions." {Ed 17-18}

SHALL WE THINK?

Shall we think? Shall we be reasonable? Shall we be logical? On every matter the answer seems to be "yes" except on the question of the Trinity. Here, in fact, it seems that not even our fundamental duty to search the scriptures, comparing one passage with another is to be exercised. Often we hear the words, "we cannot understand God. God is a mystery. The secret things belong to God. We should not seek to understand the nature of God." Of course, when this is translated what it really means is, "you are to accept the doctrine of the Trinity without question. You are to ignore those Bible passages which are diametrically opposed to such a teaching. On this matter you are to accept the traditions of the Church which have existed for the past 1600 years and it is dangerous to try to study and to believe the Bible on this matter. Here, you need the help of theologians who are the only ones able to understand these things." The truth is that the contradictions of the doctrine of the trinity, or, the triune God, or the three-in-one godhead (as some prefer to term it), is so full of illogical and unscriptural contradictions that the only way in which it is possible to maintain a belief in it is by discouraging individual and careful study of the matter. Men must be trained to be reflectors of the thoughts of other men.

In this brief article we focus on one of the glaring inconsistencies in the Seventh-day Adventist version of the Trinity. It is the belief that Jesus Christ is the almighty God, while at the same time he is Michael the archangel.

ARE JESUS & MICHAEL THE SAME?

There is ample evidence to support the truth that Michael the archangel is Jesus Christ. Let us examine a few facts which clearly identify Michael with Jesus.

1. Michael is "the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people." (Daniel 12:1)

2. In speaking to Daniel, Gabriel refers to Michael as "your prince." (Daniel 10:21)

3. There is only one heavenly being referred to as a prince or "the great prince" in the book of Daniel. This must be the same person referred to as the "prince of the host" in Dan 8:11 where it says of the little horn, "Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down." In verse 25 of Daniel 8 this same person is called the "Prince of princes." Again, in Daniel 9:25 we find that Jesus is referred to as "the Messiah, the prince." It is clear that in the book of Daniel the references to "the prince, the great prince, the prince of the host, the prince of the covenant and Michael your prince, all have reference to the same person, who is Jesus Christ.

4. Furthermore, in Jude 1:9 Michael is referred to as the archangel. He is the only archangel mentioned in the Bible. The misconception of popular Christianity that there are several archangels has been immortalised in the lines of songs such as, "praise him, praise him, highest archangels in glory." However, such an idea has no basis in Scripture. The Bible only speaks of one archangel, and this person is called Michael. There is further evidence that this person is to be identified with Jesus Christ 

when we discover that when Jesus returns the second time it will be with the shout of the archangel (1 Thess. 4:16). Since there is only one archangel and Jesus' voice is the voice of the archangel, then it is evident that Jesus is the archangel.

The discovery that Jesus is Michael the archangel does not in any way make the angels equal to Christ. The term "archangel" indicates one who is chief over the angels, and not merely an angel who has been elevated to a position over the others. The superior status of Jesus is indicated in the titles, "The prince of princes," "The prince of the host,". and "the great prince."

ARE GOD AND MICHAEL THE SAME?

On the other hand however, while it is plain that Michael is a Being who is superior to the angels, it is equally plain that Michael is one who is subordinate to God and not equal to God in authority. The very name "Michael" is weighted with meaning and is very instructive. The word means literally, "who is like God," and signifies one who is like God. In every reasonable approach to comprehension it is as plain as day that if a person is like another person, then he cannot be the same person that he is like. The word "like" signifies that they are similar, but not the same. The very relationship which we find between fathers and sons.

In Jude 1:9 we find a record of an event which illustrates the fact that the authority of Michael is not equal to that of God.

(Jude 1:9) Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Here we find that Michael (the pre-advent Jesus Christ) had come to raise Moses from the dead. The devil apparently presented himself to resist Michael, evidently with the argument that Moses had died as a sinner, no ransom had yet been provided for him and therefore God had no right to bring him back from the dead. Notice what it says about Michael: He did not rail against Satan. He did not dismiss him from his presence contemptuously. He did not Himself exercise personal authority in countering Satan's opposition. Instead, he called upon One whom He quite clearly recognised as being a higher authority than himself. His counter to Satan was, "the Lord rebuke thee." Why did he not say, "I rebuke thee" if his authority was equal to that of the Father?

AN EMBARRASING PARADOX

When all the evidence is examined and assessed in a reasonable and logical way it is evident that Michael is a being who is not equal to God in authority, though he is Lord of the angels and superior to them. This cannot be denied and most Trinitarians, in consequence of this fact have rejected the truth that Michael is the heavenly name of Jesus Christ, in spite of all the evidence which clearly indicates that they are one and the same. Seventh-day Adventists on the other hand have taught from the very beginning of their history that Michael the archangel is Christ.

When the pro-trinitarian party led by LeRoy Froom went through all the literature of Adventism deleting and changing in an effort to destroy all evidence that the church was once anti-trinitarian, they either overlooked this "problem" of Michael, or else they decided that it was too deep rooted to eradicate and decided to leave it alone in the hope that it would be unnoticed. You see, the mass of Seventh-day Adventists were able, on the whole, to accept the doctrine of the Trinity back in the 1930s when it was introduced into the beliefs of the church. However, the same people would have rebelled if the authority of Ellen White had been openly rejected by the church and since Ellen White indicates that Michael is Christ over and over again, there was no way that the deleters could remove this teaching from the church.

Today, the doctrine of Michael remains in a Trinitarian Seventh-day Adventist church as an embarrassing paradox. Careful examination will convince any thinking person that the two things cannot both be true. Jesus cannot be Michael the archangel, while at the same time God Himself. The lame explanation of "mystery" has continued to satisfy willfully ignorant men, enslaved by denominationalism, trained to be mindless reflectors of other men's thoughts. However, it must be clear to the person who dares to think that the word "mystery" is just a word used to prevent reasonable thought on a issue which can only be resolved in one way.

Restoration Ministries

Restoration Ministries is dedicated to the promotion of the truths contained in the word of God. In particular to the restoration of those truths which have been cast down to the ground and trampled underfoot by the papacy, and adopted by her daughters.

Our purpose is to motivate men and women to commit themselves wholly to the task of personal preparation for the coming of the Lord, and to the taking of the final warning message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Website: www.restorationministry.com

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