The following is number 7 in Dirk Anderson’s list of contradictions between Ellen G. Whites writings and the bible:
“The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty” (Letter 32, 1899, quoted in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1129).
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
The above is an attempt to say that Ms. White said that Jesus is not God. Those of us who are acquainted with her writings know very well that in many places she has always said Jesus is truly God, and that those who say otherwise are in great error. We could post these quotes, but our critics could turn around and say that it does not make a difference, because it would only show that she either contradicted herself or she changed her opinion. But… before examining the quote in question, we wanted to share how Ms. White viewed Isaiah 9:6. Did she believe Isaiah 9:6 was a reference to Jesus Christ?
“When Isaiah predicted the birth of Christ he declared, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever” (Isaiah 9:6, 7).” –MR 7, No. 515.
The above quote from Manuscript Release shows that she knew full well that the “mighty God” mentioned therein was Jesus Christ. But we believe the following quote will without a doubt show how she believed Jesus was the mighty God…
The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate–a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose–the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.” –PP. page 35.
Note carefully how she says that Jesus is “one with the eternal Father” and “one in nature, in character.” To support these statement she quotes Isaiah 9:6… making it very clear that she believe Jesus truly was the “mighty God.”
Revelation 1:8 is a verse that clearly calls Jesus the “almighty.” Did Ellen White agree?
“The true spiritual life is a reflection of the life of Christ. The meekness and lowliness of our Saviour are apparent in the daily lives of his true disciples. The gentleness of Christ is revealed. Such a life is constantly speaking of his love, and telling of the power of his grace. In beholding Christ, there is a continual change wrought in the human agent; his conversation is made fragrant with divine grace.
What a Saviour we have! It was he that revealed himself to John on the Isle of Patmos, and proclaimed, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” None but just such an ever-living, mighty God, could pay the ransom to save sinners from going down into the pit of death.” -RH, February 18, 1896 par. 4
So… why did Ellen White then say that Jesus is “not the Lord God Almighty?” Lets take another look:
“The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one.”
We are sure, that if our critics would have shared the entire sentence with their audience, it would have been clear that she was saying that Christ was not God the Father, but rather that he was God the Son, co-equal with the Father. In fact, if you read some more context, you will notice that through the entire article she repeatedly says that Jesus is God… notice:
“But although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness… Christ left His position in the heavenly courts, and came to this earth to live the life of human beings. This sacrifice He made in order to show that Satan’s charge against God is false–that it is possible for man to obey the laws of God’s kingdom. Equal with the Father, honored and adored by the angels, in our behalf Christ humbled Himself, and came to this earth to live a life of lowliness and poverty–to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet the stamp of divinity was upon His humanity. He came as a divine Teacher, to uplift human beings, to increase their physical, mental, and spiritual efficiency.
There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Yet we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -S.D.A Bible Commentary, Vol. 5 (1956). pp. 1129, 1130.
The idea that Ellen White was saying that Jesus is not God is completely absent from the entire context of what she was really talking about. We see that she was simply making a distinction between God the Father and God the Son… yet at the same time making it clear that Christ was “equal with the Father” and himself also “divine.” She clearly said that when Christ became human, “he did not cease to be God…”
Ellen White makes it clear who Christ is in this next quote:
“Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God…. In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him. -Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900.
And she agrees with 1 John 5:7, including Jesus as part of the heavenly Godhead:
“When we have accepted Christ, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to serve God, the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit– the three dignitaries and powers of heaven…. (Manuscript 85, 1901).
“There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers –the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–….” -Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905)
In a court of law, a sentence quoted half way would never prove the defendants case. Interestingly enough, Ellen White warned that people would quote her writings half way in order to make her say something she never intended:
“Why will not men see and live the truth? Many study the Scriptures for the purpose of proving their own ideas to be correct. They change the meaning of God’s Word to suit their own opinions. And thus they do also with the testimonies that He sends. They quote half a sentence, leaving out the other half, which, if quoted, would show their reasoning to be false. God has a controversy with those who wrest the Scriptures, making them conform to their preconceived ideas.” -Manuscript Release 22, 1890, pp. 5, 6.
We pray our critics will be a bit more honest next time.
A Side Note:
Some have felt that Robert K. Sanders (the originator of this allegation) tried to intentionally deceive by not sharing the entire sentence. We do not believe that this is the case. But it looks like a high percentage of internet users do. Share your position by casting your vote HERE.
For further study, see: