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Crosscurrents in Adventist Christology

by Claude Webster


B. The Incarnation and Nature

Let us now address ourselves to Ellen White's teaching regarding the Incarnation and the nature of Christ. We will firstly present her views on the Biblical concept of the kenosis; secondly, her teaching in connection with the two natures of Christ; thirdly, we will give attention to her understanding of the mystery of the Incarnation; fourthly, we will show her concepts on the divinity of Christ; and lastly, we will note her emphasis on the humanity of Christ.

1. The Kenosis

While Ellen White did not advocate the modern theories of the kenosis,32 she did advocate some form of kenosis in harmony with the teaching of Philippians 2:6-8. When the pre-existent Christ adopted humanity and became man what did He surrender and give up? Does Ellen White believe that He laid aside some of the attributes of deity or all of them or none of them? Does she teach that Christ was still God while on earth or does she teach that He ceased to be God in the Incarnation?

Ellen White in many places states what Christ sacrificed and laid aside in becoming a man. She states that He sacrificed His majesty, His splendor, His glory and His honor in adopting humanity.33 The glory which He left is explained as the "glory of the heavenly kingdom,"34 the "glory of the Father"35 and "the glory which He had with His Father before the world was."36 Furthermore, she says: "He left the glory of creation and the glory of instituting and administering the law with the Father."37 Elsewhere she states that Christ "left His throne of glory", or exchanged "the throne of light and glory which He had with the Father for humanity,"38 and "stepped down from the glorious throne in heaven."39 He "laid aside His royal robes and His kingly crown"40 and left "His royal throne"41 and "the royal courts."42 Christ also "left His riches and His high command"43 and "His heavenly home"44 and "laid off His glorious diadem."45

There are, therefore, many things which Ellen White says Christ laid aside in becoming man. However, she does not state that Christ laid aside His essential deity or divinity or the attributes of God in adopting human nature. Instead of saying that Christ laid aside His divinity, she states repeatedly that Christ "clothed His divinity with humanity" or He "veiled His divinity with humanity." These phrases or similar ones are used approximately 125 times in her Review and Herald articles alone in the period from 1872-1914.46 These phrases are so important and representative of Ellen White's thought that we wish to quote one clear example of each:

"For our sake He stepped down from His royal throne, and clothed His divinity with humanity. He laid aside His royal robe, His kingly crown, that He might he one with us."47

We give an example of the other phrase used: "The Majesty of heaven veiled His divinity in humanity, and passed from place to place through towns and cities..."48

Only in one instance did I find that Ellen White used the phrase "laying aside His divinity."49 When one compares the 125 usages of "clothing or veiling His divinity with humanity" to the one usage of "laying aside His divinity," one is forced to give greater weight to the intent of the former phrases and to accept them as indicating her clear teaching.50

It is obvious that when Ellen White says that Christ "clothed His divinity with humanity" she wished to teach that Christ retained His deity in the Incarnation. She writes very clearly: "Christ had not exchanged His divinity for humanity; but He had clothed His divinity in humanity."51 Ellen White does not propound a modern kenotic theory which emaciates the divinity of Christ. Notice her words: "He veiled His divinity with the garb of humanity, but He did not part with His divinity. "52 According to her, Christ did not lose His divinity when He became man. He was not simply a good man who had been God before. She says: "Though He took humanity upon Himself, He was divine. All that is attributed to the Father Himself is attributed to Christ."53 Ellen White has a very high view of the deity of the Man Christ Jesus: "Christ Himself was the Word, the Wisdom, of God; and in Him God Himself came down from heaven, and clothed Himself in the habitiments of humanity. "54 In describing the visit of Jesus Christ to the temple in Jerusalem she says: "The second temple was honored, not with the cloud of Jehovah's glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, - God Himself manifest in the flesh."55

2. The Two Natures

Ellen White maintains that the divine and human natures were combined to form one person. She writes: "Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; the two natures were mysteriously blended in one person - the Man Christ Jesus."56 This thought of the combination of the divine and the human in Christ is repeatedly stressed. Notice this suggestive statement: "In Christ, divinity and humanity were combined. Divinity was not degraded to humanity; divinity held its place, but humanity by being united to divinity, withstood the fiercest test of temptation in the wilderness."57 In the person of Christ there is a combination of the finite and the Infinite: "The work of God's dear Son in undertaking to link the created with the Uncreated, the finite with the Infinite, in His own divine person, is a subject that may well employ our thoughts for a lifetime."58

In picturesque language Ellen White described Christ as linking humanity and the Infinite in His own grasp. She writes: "With His human arm, Jesus encircled the race, and with His divine arm He grasped the throne of the Infinite, connecting man with God, and earth with heaven."59

The teaching of the two natures in one person is echoed constantly by Ellen White as she described the combination of divinity and humanity in Christ. "In Christ were united the human and the divine."60 In describing how Christ took upon Himself humanity, she writes: "He took upon Him our nature, combining humanity with divinity."61 It was because of this duality of nature that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was of value. "In Him divinity and humanity were combined, and this was what gave efficiency to the sacrifice made on Calvary's cross."62

Ellen White, in speaking of the attitude of Christ's earthly brothers in their opposition to Him wrote: "Their coarse, unappreciative words showed that they had no true perception of His character, and did not discern that the divine blended with the human."63 Even the disciples of Christ had failed to appreciate the fellowship of deity in their earthly association with Christ. She says: "Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, understood the mystery of His Incarnation, the dual character of His nature. Their eyes were that they did not fully recognize divinity in humanity.64

Because of Christ's dual nature He was the only one who could be a mediator between man and God. "He alone could be a mediator between God and man; for He possessed divinity and humanity."65 In describing the qualities of divinity and humanity Ellen White says: "Christ united His divinity with humanity. He possessed the qualities of Infinite and finite. In His person all excellence dwells. "66 Speaking about the Bible, which represented a union of divine and human, she writes: "Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man."67 In referring to Christ, Ellen White at times refers to Him as the divine-human Saviour A divine-human Saviour was needed to bring salvation to the world.68 The dual nature of Christ is clearly taught. He has a two-fold nature at one human and divine. His both God and man.69

3. Mystery of Incarnation

While Ellen White believes in the dual nature of Christ and that in the Incarnation divinity was clothed in humanity, she acknowledges that these truths present great mysteries. She indicates that what makes the Incarnation so difficult to understand and comprehend is the thought of the union of the Infinite and the finite. It is a mystery to man that the God of the universe could be united to a babe in a manger. For man this thought presents mystery and paradox.70

Ellen White speaks of the Incarnation of Christ as the "mystery of all mysteries."71 and that these mysteries "could employ the pens and the highest mental powers of the wisest men from now until Christ shall be revealed in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory."72 These mysteries will ever call forth the best thought that the mind can give: "The study of the Incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last."73

4.The Divinity of Christ

We have already established that Ellen White taught that Christ did not lay aside His divinity in the Incarnation. We have also examined her concept of the combination of divinity and humanity in the person of Jesus Christ. We now wish to look more closely at her concepts of the divinity of Christ during the Incarnation.

Ellen White teaches that although Christ was born into the world as a babe taking full humanity He was, nevertheless, God. The Deity was His from His entrance into the world and was not bestowed upon Him in an adoptionistic sense at some point in His ministry. Speaking of the wise men who came to worship the babe she writes: "Beneath the lowly guise of Jesus, they recognized the presence of Divinity. They gave their hearts to Him as their Saviour, and then poured out their gifts - gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."74 Speaking of the priest who performed the dedication of Jesus in the temple, Ellen White affirms that he did not sense that the One lying in his arms was the King of glory.75

Even in the days of His childhood "He was the divine Son of God, and yet a helpless child."76

In the earthly life of Christ the manifestation of His glory was subdued and His majesty veiled that the weak vision of finite men might behold it. "In the eyes of the world He possessed no beauty that they should desire Him; yet He was the incarnate God, the light of heaven and earth."77 Christ did not surrender His essential deity in becoming a man. In accomplishing the redemption of man, Ellen White comments: "This was not done by going out of Himself to another, but by taking humanity into Himself.78 In 1887 she wrote regarding Christ's Person as being divine: "He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man...He laid aside His glory and His majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for a while relinquished."79

In conversation with the Pharisees and rulers Jesus Christ made a startling declaration regarding Himself in relation to Abraham when He said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). Ellen White comments on this and writes:

"Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One,..."80

In this language Ellen White places Jesus Christ on equal ground with the Yahweh of the Old Testament and makes the highest claims for the deity of Christ. This is in keeping with her words concerning Christ spoken in connection with His claim to be the resurrection and the life when she wrote: "In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived."81

While Ellen White maintains the full deity of Christ during the Incarnation, she also indicates that in some definite way Christ's divinity was hidden and did not override His humanity. In some mysterious way there was a holding back of the powers of divinity. Speaking of the trial of Jesus at the end of His ministry, Ellen White writes:

"And He knew that in a moment, by the flashing forth of His divine power, He could lay His cruel tormentors in the dust. This made the trial harder to bear... When Christ was treated with contempt, there came to Him a strong temptation to manifest His divine character. By a word, by a look, He could compel His persecutors to confess that He was Lord above kings and rulers, priests and temple. But it was His difficult task to keep to the position He had chosen as one with humanity. "82

Ellen White indicates that the constant temptation to Christ was for Him to rise above His humanity and use His divine power to His own advantage. "It was as difficult for Him to keep the level of humanity as it is for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures, and be partakers of the divine nature."83 Christ was not to exercise divine power or perform miracles to benefit Himself.84

And yet, Ellen White in her book, The Desire of Ages, indicates Christ's ability to read the hearts of men and the future. "With prophetic eye He looks into futurity, and sees not only years, but centuries and ages."85 Upon meeting Simon Peter, Christ reads his character and his life history.86 At the cleansing of the temple Christ discerns the thoughts of the money- changers.87 In the case of Nicodemus, Christ in "His infinite wisdom...saw before Him a seeker after truth."88 At Jacob's well Christ could read the secrets of the life of the Samaritan woman.89 Before the Jewish nobleman had left his Capernaum home to seek help from Christ the Saviour "had beheld his affliction."90 The officer, when meeting Christ, became aware of His ability to read his thoughts.91 As Christ faced the doubters in his home town of Nazareth, He gave evidence of His divinity.92 Concerning Judas she indicates that the Saviour could read his heart and his future.93 In discussing the first evangelists whom Christ sent out, Ellen White states that Christ at a glance could take in the future.94 Ellen White continues with this same line of thought when discussing the rabbis95 and the accusers of the woman caught in adultery.96 She pictures Simon at the feast being read by Christ as an open book.97

Ellen White also gives a picturesque description of the phenomenon when at times it appeared as if the veiled divinity of Christ could not be held back or concealed and when she speaks of it 'flashing through humanity.'98

In the calling forth of Lazarus from the grave we find again that "divinity flashes through humanity."99 This miracle would be evidence of the divinity of Christ. "With intense and painful interest all wait for the test of Christ's divinity, the evidence that is to substantiate His claim to be the Son of God, or to extinguish the hope forever."100 According to Ellen Write this miracle was not to show that Christ only functioned as a man fully dependent on His Father, but this miracle was to be the crowning evidence that Jesus Christ was the divine Son of God.

Thus far we have established that Ellen White taught that Christ retained His divinity in becoming a man and that He was not simply partly divine. He was fully God while on earth. We have also seen that this divinity was veiled in humanity and the full powers of His divinity were not always exercised. At times His divinity would flash through humanity in some supreme moment. We have also seen that Ellen White maintains that Christ's divinity did not interfere with Christ's humanity. His divinity was not used to unfair advantage of His humanity. And yet there are the many indications of the divinity of His Person in His ability to read thoughts and hearts and the future. He forgave sin in the capacity of His being the eternal Son of God. His miracles were an evidence of His Messiahship.101 Ellen White's intent is that Christ did not wish men to believe that He was simply a very good man who relied fully on His heavenly Father but that He was the divine Son of God in a dependent relationship with the Father.

5. Christ's Humanity

In our presentation of Ellen White's strong views on the full divinity of Christ the question could well be asked if she advocated a form of docetism. We will now turn to her views regarding the humanity of Christ and will discover that her presentation of this aspect of Christ is just as strong as her concept of His divinity.

a. Importance

Ellen White sees the humanity of Christ as vital to the plan of salvation. "The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden linked chain which binds our souls to Christ and through Christ to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man, and He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man."102 Christ took humanity in order to reach man where he is. Ellen White sees the ladder in Jacob's dream as symbolic of Jesus Christ and says of His humanity: "If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made 'in the likeness of sinful flesh', He lived a sinless life."103

It was important for Christ to be a real man that He might pass over the ground which Adam had passed and redeem his failure. "He took humanity on Himself, to stand the test and trial which the first Adam failed to endure."104 Christ's life would be a substitutionary life but it would be lived out in the same humanity that it sought to redeem. In addition to being substitutionary, Christ would also give an example of the role of humanity. "If He did not have man's nature, He could not be our example. If He was not a partaker of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for Him to yield to temptation, He could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battles as man, in man's behalf. "105

Ellen White also believed that in order to die for a human race of rebels God adopted humanity, for God cannot die. This also explains why the humanity of Christ was so important. She believed that Christ laid aside His outer glory and "clothed His divinity with humanity" in order to become a substitute and surety for all men, by dying in their place. While Christ could not die as God, He could as a man.106

b. Reality

Ellen White believed that Christ's humanity was genuine and real. "Christ did not make-believe take human nature; He did verily take it. He did in reality possess human nature."107 Ellen White maintained that "He was made like unto His brethren, with the same susceptibilities, mental and physical,"108 thus reaching man's level. Because of the reality of His humanity, Christ knew what it was to experience pain, grief and suffering.109 Furthermore, she says that Christ came into the world in like manner as other members of the human family. She says: "Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity."110 Thus Ellen White believed in the completeness of the humanity of Christ.111

Although Christ took upon Himself man's nature with its weakness and liabilities He was, nevertheless, a worthy representative of humanity. Ellen White says that Christ "was free from physical deformity" and that "His physical structure was not marred by any defect; His body was strong and healthy...Physically as well as spiritually, He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws."112 "Christ is a perfect representation of God on the one hand, and a perfect specimen of sinless humanity on the other hand."113

In this section on Incarnation and nature we have sought to describe Ellen White's views on various aspects of this subject. We have presented her ideas on the kenosis, the two natures of Christ, the mystery of the Incarnation, the divinity of Christ and His humanity. In a later section on analysis we will take a closer, critical look at the problem of the relationship between the divinity and humanity of Christ in Ellen White's presentation. For the present we turn our attention to her position on Incarnation and sin.


32 The reader is referred to footnote 10 in chapter one. [back]

33 E. G. White, Review and Herald, March 29, 1870. [back]

34  Ibid., April 19, 1870. [back]

35  Ibid., May 31, 1870. [back]

36  Ibid., July 25, 1854. [back]

37  Ibid., January 4, 1881. [back]

38 See E. G. White, Review and Herald, December 9, 1884; September 11, 1888. [back]

39 E. G. White, Review and Herald, December 11, 1888. [back]

40 Ibid., May 28, 1889. [back]

41  Ibid., July 16, 1889. [back]

42  Ibid., March 10, 1891. [back]

43  Ibid., May 31, 1870. [back]

44  Ibid., December 24, 1872. [back]

45  Ibid., November 26, 1895. [back]

46 The first time Ellen White used the expression "His divinity was veiled with humanity" in the Review and Herald articles was on December 31, 1872, in an article "The Life of Christ." The expression "clothing His divinity with humanity" was first used in 1875 in "The Temptation of Christ," Review and Herald, April 1, 1875. The last usage of the term in the Review and Herald was in 1914 where she says Christ "laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity" in the Review and Herald, July 30, 1914. [back]

47 E. G. White, Review and Herald, October 24, 1899. [back]

48 E. G. White, Review and Herald, December 20, 1892. [back]

49 The sentence reads, "The salvation of souls was the great object for which Christ sacrificed His royal robe and kingly crown, the glory of heaven, and the homage of angels, and laying aside His divinity, came to earth to labor and suffer with humanity upon Him." In "A Call to Consecration," Review and Herald, November 21, 1907. [back]

50 In a letter from Robert W. Olson, secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate, dated July 16, 1981, he states that he does not think that a mistake was made on the part of the publishers. He feels that they faithfully produced what she gave them. He goes on to say that in the light of his understanding of her writings he believes that in this statement she means that "He laid aside the use of His divinity" (see letter). This, of course, is an interpretative statement on the part of Olson. If the words of Ellen White are taken at face value we would have a contradiction because her teaching that Christ did not part with His divinity is clear. I would prefer to interpret her statement to mean that Christ laid aside the outward form and glory of divinity. We might also wish to agree with Olson when he says that the statement "is not quite as carefully worded as most of her other statements on the subject" (see Letter R. W. Olson to Eric C. Webster, July 16, 1981). [back]

51 E. G. White, Review and Herald, October 29, 1895. [back]

52 E. G. White, Review and Herald, June 15, 1905. [back]

53 E. G. White, Review and Herald, May 19, 1896. [back]

54 E. G. White, "The Plan of Redemption," Review and Herald, February 1, 1898. [back]

55 E. G. White, "Not by Might, nor by Power," Review and Herald, January 16, 1908. [back]

56 E. G. White, Letter 280, 1904 (cited in The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p.1113). [back]

57 E. G. White, "How to Meet a Controverted Point of Doctrine," Review and Herald, February 18, 1890. [back]

58 E. G. White, "Bible Study," Review and Herald, January 11, 1881. [back]

50 E. G. White, "How to Meet a Controverted Point of Doctrine," Review and Herald, February 18, 1890. For other references to this same idea see Ibid., October 27, 1885; December 1, 1885; June 11, 1889; February 18, 1890; June 10, 1890; February 5, 1895; July 9, 1895; September 22, 1896; July 18, 1899; October 17, 1899; November 21, 1899; September 3, 1903; February 15, 1912. [back]

60 E. G. White, "The Life of Christ," Review and Herald, December 31, 1872. [back]

61 E. G. White, "The Relation of Christ to the Law is not Understood," Review and Herald, February 4, 1890. [back]

62 E. G. White, "Christ our Hope," Review and Herald, December 20, 1892. [back]

63 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.326. [back]

64 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.507. See also Review and Herald, April 23, 1895. [back]

65 E. G. White, "The Treasure of Truth Rejected," Review and Herald. April 3, 1894. [back]

66 E. G. White, "Our Words - No. 2," Review and Herald, January 25, 1898. [back]

67 E. G. White, "Correct Views Concerning the Testimonies," Review and Herald, August 30, 1906. [back]

68 E. G. White, "Cornelius, a Seeker for Truth," Review and Herald, April 6, 1911. See also Review and Herald, January 13, 1903; July 16, 1914. [back]

69 E. G. White, Ms. 76, 1903, quoted in SDA Commentary, 7a, p.298. [back]

70 Note Ellen White's descriptive picture of the mystery: "In contemplating the Incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind cannot comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem's manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in humanity, we look upon God, and see in Him the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person" (The Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896, cited in Questions on Doctrine, pp.647,648). [back]

71 E. G. White, Letter 276, 1904, in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p.1082. [back]

72 E. G. White, Letter 280, 1904, in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p.1115. [back

73 E. G. White, Gospel Workers, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1946, p.251. [back]

74 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.63. This is a penetrative statement and clearly establishes Ellen White's conviction on the divinity of Jesus Christ from His birth. Just before the sentence quoted Ellen White says that the wise men "fell down and worshipped Him" (p.63). In an article in the church paper she had written concerning this worship: "They bowed in reverence to the infant King, committing no idolatry" ("Christmas is Coming", Review and Herald, December 9, 1884). [back]

75 We note Ellen White's significant comment: "Little did he think, as the babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory...He did not think that this babe was He whose glory Moses had asked to see" (The Desire of Ages, p.52). [back]

76 Ibid., p.88. [back]

77 Ibid., p.23. [back]

78 E. G. White, "The Word Made Flesh," Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. In commenting on the statement of Christ, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9), Ellen White writes: "Christ had not ceased to be God when He became man. Though He had humbled Himself to humanity, the Godhead was still His own" (The Desire of Ages, pp.663,664). It is interesting to note the high view which Ellen White had on the essential Deity of Christ. [back]

79 E. G White, "Christ Man's Example," Review and Herald, July 5, 1887.Elsewhere Ellen White uses similar language when speaking of Christ who hungered, thirsted and slept, yet, "He was God in the flesh" ("Truth to be Rescued from Error," Review and Herald, October 23, 1894). She indicates that the disciples often failed to appreciate Christ's teachings but from time to time their minds were illuminated and "they realized that the mighty God, clad in the garb of humanity, was among them" (The Desire of Ages, p.494). [back]

80 Ibid., pp.469,470. [back]

81 Ibid., p.530. This is one of the strongest statements made by Ellen White on the eternity and the essential Deity of Jesus Christ. The language is not ambiguous or uncertain. This is certainly the opposite of Arianism. [back]

82 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.700. See E. G. White, "Caiaphas," Review and Herald, June 12, 1900: "He could have flashed the light of His glory upon His enemies, but He bore patiently their humiliating abuse." [back]

83 E. G. White, "The Temptation of Christ," Review and Herald, April 1, 1875. See also E. G. White, Letter 19, 1901, cited in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p.1081.[back]

84 Ellen White clearly states that Jesus Christ did not use His divine powers for His own advantage. She writes: "It was not any part of the mission of Christ to exercise His divine power for His own benefit, to relieve Himself from suffering" ("The Temptation of Christ," Review and Herald, August 18, 1874). See also The Desire of Ages: "During all the years of His stay in Nazareth, He made no exhibition of His miraculous power" (p.74). Also: "Therefore He would not work a miracle to save Himself the pain and humiliation that man must endure when placed in a similar position" (p.729). See also p.734. [back]

85 E G White, The Desire of Ages, p.157. [back]

86  Ibid., p.139. [back]

87 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.162. [back]

88  Ibid., p.168. It is interesting to note that Ellen White ascribes infinite wisdom to Christ. [back]

89  Ibid., pp.187,189. [back]

90  Ibid., p.197. [back]

91 Observe her words: "He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible" (The Desire of Ages, p.198). [back]

92  Ibid., p.238. "But Jesus gave them an evidence of His divinity by revealing their secret thoughts." [back]

93 Observe: "The Saviour read the heart of Judas; He knew the depths of iniquity to which, unless delivered by the grace of God, Judas would sink" (The Desire of Ages, p.294). See also Ibid., p.653. At the last supper, "by reading the secret purpose of the traitor's heart, Christ gave to Judas the final, convincing evidence of His divinity" (Ibid., p.655). It is interesting to note that Ellen White considers this ability as evidence of Christ's divinity rather than the guidance of the Holy Spirit as some prophet might experience. [back]

94 She writes: "His prophetic glance takes in the experience of His servants through all the ages till He shall come the second time" (The Desire of Ages, p.352). [back]

95 Jesus gave the rabbis an evidence of His divinity by showing that He read their hearts" (The Desire of Ages, p.456). See also Ibid., p.602. [back]

96 In connection with the accusers of the woman caught in adultery, Ellen White writes of Jesus: "He read the heart, and knew the character and life-history of every one in His presence" (Ibid., p.460). This is certainly a view of Christ which places Him in a different category from other men. [back]

97 Note her words: "While he [Simon] thought himself reading his Guest, his Guest had been reading him" (Ibid., p.567). [back]

98 Ellen White links this phenomenon with certain important experiences in Christ's life. The first is on Christ's visit to Jerusalem at the age of 12. She writes concerning Jesus and His parents: "On His face was a light at which they wondered. Divinity was flashing through humanity" (The Desire of Ages, p.81). Again in the wilderness temptation "divinity flashed through suffering humanity" (Ibid., p.130). Then at the cleansing of the temple: "Looking upon Christ, they behold divinity flash through the garb of humanity. The Majesty of heaven stands as the Judge will stand at the last day, - not now encircled with the glory that will then attend Him, but with the same power to read the soul" (Ibid., p.158). Here, Ellen White gives Christ the same power to read the heart as He will have in the final day. This is certainly beyond any normal human intuition. At the transfiguration she describes how that "divinity from within flashes through humanity, and meets the glory coming from above" (Ibid., p.421). This same experience is linked with the second cleansing of the temple (Ibid., p.590), again before Caiaphas (Ibid., p.707), and in the presence of Herod (Ibid., p.731). [back]

99  Ibid., p.536. [back]

100 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.536. [back]

101 E G White, "The Spirit of Law-Breakers," Review and Herald, March 23, 1886. Note: "The wonderful evidences of His Messiahship, by the miracles He performed in healing the sick and raising the dead, and doing the works which no other man had done or could do, . . ." [back]

102 E. G. White, Ms 67, 1898, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p.904.[back]

103 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp.311,312. The question of Christ and sin will be handled in the next section of this chapter. [back]

104 E. G. White, ST May 10, 1899 in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, pp.1082,3. See Letter 156, 1897, in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p.1163. See Review and Herald, June 10, 1890. [back]

105 E. G. White, "How to Meet a Controverted Point of Doctrine," Review and Herald, February 18, 1890. [back]

106 For this thought see Ellen White, Letter 97, 1898 (also cited in Questions on Doctrine, p.666). [back]

107 E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. See also Letter 106, 1896, in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p.1124. She further believed that Christ "possessed all the human organism" (Letter 32, 1899, cited in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p.1130); had a body like ours (Review and Herald, February 5, 1895); employed the human faculties (Review and Herald, June 25, 1895); knew the weakness and infirmities of the flesh (Ms. 76, 1903 cited in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p.1074); accepted the liabilities of human nature (The Desire of Ages, p.117; see also The Signs of the Times, August 2, 1905). [back]

108 E. G. White, "Notes on Travel," Review and Herald, February 10, 1885. Amplifying this thought Ellen White says that because of His genuine humanity Christ was brought to the "level of man's feeble faculties" (Review and Herald, December 11, 1888); "sought strength from His Father " (Review and Herald, May 31, 1906); found prayer "a necessity and a privilege" (Review and Herald, December 8, 1904). [back]

109 Ellen White says in this connection that "Christ knew the griefs of human nature" (Review and Herald, March 4, 1884); that "He fought the battle in painfulness" (Review and Herald, April 19, 1887); that He accepted humanity with its attendant ills (Review and Herald October 3, 1912); and that He suffered as a man (Review and Herald, November 18, 1890). [back]

110 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.48. See also Letter 97, 1898, in Questions on Doctrine, p.666. [back]

111 E. G. White, Letter 35, 1894, in Questions on Doctrine, p.691. [back]

112 E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.50. [back]

113 E. G. White, Ms. 44, 1898, in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p.907. [back]

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