Did Charles Spurgeon
Support Adventist Doctrine?
Just a few thoughts about the claims being made by some Adventists that the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Haddon Spurgeon, taught the doctrine that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. Let's let Spurgeon speak for himself; in his sermon "The Resurrection of the Dead," he clearly refers to Michael as an angel. Commenting on Jude 9, he says, "There is a remarkable passage in Jude, where it speaks of Michael the archangel contending with the devil about the body of Moses, and using no 'railing accusation.' Now, this refers to the great doctrine of angels watching over the bones of the saints. Certainly, it tells us that the body of Moses was watched over by a great archangel; the devil thought to disturb that body, but Michael contended with him about it. Now would there be a contention about that body if it had been of no value? Would Michael contend for that which was only to be the food of worms? …The guardianship of the bodies of the saints by angels proves that they shall rise again from the dead." (see "The New Park Street Pulpit, The Resurrection of the Dead, A Sermon, No. 66," Delivered on February 17, 1856 at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark).
Obviously, in this sermon Charles Spurgeon considers Michael the Archangel to be an angel, and not the Lord Jesus Christ. An important point to keep in mind is that the Adventist doctrine of Jesus being Michael the Archangel is rooted in the early Adventist doctrinal heresy of Arianism, the belief that Jesus is not God, the Son, but a created, exalted being. This heresy also denies the Trinity. The list of SDA "pioneers" who denied the Trinity and the diety of Christ during the first fifty years of Adventism reads like a "Who's Who" of early Adventism: James White, Joseph Bates, Uriah Smith, J. N. Loughborough, and J. H. Waggoner. While these men were proclaiming that all other churches were "Babylon" and that "true believers" should come out of "apostate Protestantism" they couldn't even get the doctrine of the Trinity straight! This is really an embarrassing fact that you don't hear much about in SDA history classes or at the camp meeting "Ellen White and Adventist Heritage" rallies. It was not until the 1890s that Adventists began to get a grip on these basic Christian doctrines. Colleen Tinker wrote an excellent article about this in Proclamation! recently, a must-read for anyone studying this topic.
We should be very careful to observe that Adventists must leave Scripture and grasp at a few non-biblical references from a preacher or two of the past in order to hang onto this "remnant" of the Arian heresy they once propagated and believed. Hmm, where's the biblical evidence that Jesus is an angel? Apparently someone has forgotten Hebrews 1:3-5: "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angles did He ever say, 'You are my son, today I have begotten you?' " NASB.
See also: Jesus is Not Michael the Archangel