1. Jesus meeting the disciples after His resurrection (DA, Ch. 84)
Jesus entered the room in a normal way:
“When the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled… came Jesus and stood in the midst…” (John 20:19).
Ellen White (1827-1915): “The door is carefully unbarred, they enter, and another unseen, enter with them. Then the door is again fastened to keep out spies” (DA, p. 802).
Albert Barnes (1798-1870): There is no evidence that he came into their assembly in any miraculously manner. (Banes’ Notes on the Whole bible, 1834)
Adam Clarke (1760-1832): “No miraculous influence is here intended. Jesus might open them, and enter in the ordinary way. Where there is no need for a miracle, a miracle is never wrought” (Adam Clark Commentary, 1831).
Jesus entered the room in a miraculous way as John reported:
Philip Schaff (1819-1893): “This aim of our Evangelist also explains the stress which is laid upon the fact that this manifestation of Jesus took place ‘when the doors had been shut.’ That we are to see something miraculous in this is clear, alike from the repetition of the statement below (John 20:26), and from the whole tone and bearing of the narrative. Any idea, therefore, of the withdrawal of the bolts of the doors must be at once dismissed. It is impossible to do justice to the passage unless we admit that, at a moment when the doors were shut, and when no one could enter through them in the ordinary way, Jesus suddenly stood in the midst of the disciples. But this is all that we have any right to say. The travesty of the whole scene presented by those who have ridiculed the idea that a body with ‘flesh and bones’ (Luke 24:39) should penetrate through the substance of the wood, finds no countenance in the words with which we have to deal. Such a thought is not present to the mind of John. He dwells himself, and he would have us dwell, upon the simple circumstance that, at an instant when an ordinary human body could not have entered the apartment because the doors were shut, the glorified Jesus ‘came and stood in the midst.’ Thus looked at, the passage sets before us what is no doubt miraculous, what is at variance with our present knowledge of the properties of a material frame, but at the same time nothing unworthy of the solemnity of the hour. As at Emmaus Jesus suddenly disappeared from those whose eyes were opened and who knew Him, so here He appears with equal suddenness to those who are ready to recognise Him” (Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament).
William Robertson Nicoll (1851-1923): “They had therefore carefully closed the doors, that some time for parley and possibly for escape might be interposed. But to their astonishment and delight, while they were sitting thus with closed doors, the well-known figure of their Lord appeared in their midst,…There is here a strange mingling of identity and difference between the body He now wears and that which had been crucified. Its appearance is the same in some respects, but its properties are different. Immediate recognition did not always follow His manifestation. There was something baffling in His appearance, suggesting a well-known face, and yet not quite the same. The marks on the body, or some characteristic action or movement or utterance, were needed to complete the identification. The properties of the body also were not reducible to any known type. He could eat, speak, walk, yet He could dispense with eating and could apparently pass through physical obstacles. His body was a glorified, spiritual body, not subject to the laws which govern the physical part of man in this life” (Expositor’s Bible commentary, 1897)
William Robertson Nicoll (1851-1923): “Calvin supposes Jesus opened the doors miraculously; but that is not suggested in the words. Rather it is indicated that His glorified body was not subject to the conditions of the natural, earthly body, but passed where it would” (Expositor’s Greek New testament).
James Martin Gray (1851 – 1935): “He appeared in the room without unfastening the doors, and yet it was a real human body and not a mere shadow or spirit” (James Gray’s Concise Bible Commentary).
John Calvin (1509 -1564): “And while the doors were shut. This circumstance was expressly added, because it contains a manifest proof of the Divine power of Christ; but this is utterly at variance with the meaning of the Evangelist. We ought, therefore, to believe that Christ did not enter without a miracle, in order to give a demonstration of his Divinity, by which he might stimulate the attention of his disciples; and yet I am far from admitting the truth of what the Papists assert, that the body of Christ passed through the shut doors. Their reason for maintaining this is, for the purpose of proving not only that the glorious body of Christ resembled a spirit, but that it was infinite, and could not be confined to any one place. But the words convey no such meaning; for the Evangelist does not say that he entered through the shut doors, but that he suddenly stood in the midst of his disciples, though the doors had been shut, and had not been opened to him by the hand of man” (Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible).
2. Jesus addressed the disciples with the words of peace (DA, Ch. 84)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “At the birth of Jesus the angel announced, Peace on earth, and good will to men. And now at His first appearance to the disciples after His resurrection, the Saviour addressed them with the blessed words, “Peace be unto you.” Jesus is ever ready to speak peace to souls that are burdened with doubts and fears. He waits for us to open the door of the heart to Him, and say, Abide with us. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Da, pp. 803, 804).
Daniel March (1816-1909): “And the first word which the risen Lord brings to the assembly of his disciples on the first night after his resurrection is “Peace.”… His first appearance on earth was announced by angel voices with the same blessed word – peace. And after he has completed his work and passed away from the world, he comes back from the grasp of death and the grave to bring the weary and the sorrowing the blessing of peace… Peace to all troubled and restless and doubting and dissatisfied souls… But he stands at the door of the heart and knocks and waits to be invited in” (Night Scenes in the Bible, pp. 422, 423, 1868).
3. Christ’s name is the watchword (DA, Ch. 86)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Christ’s name is their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing that does not bear His superscription is to be recognized in His kingdom” (DA, p. 826).
John Harris (1802-1856): His name was to be their watchword, their badge of distinction, and the principle of their piety, the bond of their union, the end of their actions, the authority for their conduct, and the source of their success. Nothing was to be recognized or received in his kingdom which does not bear the superscription of his name (John Harris, The Great Teacher, p. 66, 1835).
4. Christ’s ascension to the heavenly throne (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “As He ascended, He led the way, and the multitude of captives set free at His resurrection followed. The heavenly host, with shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous train. As they drew near the city of God, the challenge is given by the escorting angels” (DA, p. 833).
Octavious Winslow (1808-1878): “As He went up as the “great king,” and as the mighty conqueror, “leading captivity captive.” Attended by celestial escort, and amid shouts and acclamations of all the heavenly hierarchy, He passed within the portals of glory….The demand was made, the challenge was given, the answer was returned: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates…”” (The Glory of The Redeemer, p. 139, 1844).
5. Mount of Olives (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Jesus chose the spot so often hallowed by His presence while He dwelt among men. Not Mount Zion, the place of David’s city, not Mount Moriah, the temple site, was to be thus honored” (DA, p. 829).
J. W. Nevin (1803-1886): “This mount was often honoured with the presence of the Saviour” (A Summary of Biblical Antiquities: Compiled for the use of the Sunday school Teachers, Vol. 2, p. 63, 1830).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “It is, while trodden by his footsteps and sanctified by His presence…” (Memories of Olivet, p. 110, 1868).
6. Hallowed Mount of Olives (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “As the place of His ascension, Jesus chose the spot so often hallowed by His presence while He dwelt among men… Thence Jesus, weary and heart-burdened, had gone forth to find rest in the Mount of Olives… From this mountain He was to ascend to heaven. Upon its summit His feet will rest when He shall come again. Not as a man of sorrows, but as a glorious and triumphant king He will stand upon Olivet” (DA, pp. 829, 830).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “May it not have been some such feeling and association which prompted our Blessed Lord… to make a selection, as the scene of His final departure, that which had been peculiarly and pre – eminently hallowed during his earthly pilgrimage? Olivet! …May He hasten the day, when a diadem of beauty shall once more encircle the brow of Olivet; when the Saviour’s Most hallowed ‘abiding – place’ in the day of His flesh, will be served heir to new “memories of millennium of happiness and peace” (Memories of Olivet, p. 373, 1868).
7. The Shekinah stood on the Mount of Olives (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “The holy Shekinah, in departing from the first temple, had stood upon the eastern mountain, as if loath to forsake the chosen city; so Christ stood upon Olivet, with yearning heart overlooking Jerusalem” (DA, p. 829).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain [Olivet] which is on the east side of the city”- Ezekiel 11:23. …The Divine Majesty (Shekinah) stood three years and a half on mount Olivet, saying Return unto me,… Christ was that true Shekinah presence…” (Memories of Olivet, p. 109, 1868).
8. Meeting with the five hundred believers
Ellen White (1827-1915): “At the meeting on a mountain in Galilee, all the believers who could be called together were assembled… At the time appointed, about five hundred believers were collected in little knots on the mountainside… Many who were present had never before seen Him; but in His hands and feet they beheld the marks of the crucifixion; His countenance was as the face of God, and when they saw Him, they worshiped Him. But some doubted” (DA, pp. 818, 819, 1898).
Samuel J. Andrews (1817-1906): “And it is said that some which had gathered at the mountain in galilee, doubted (Matthew 28:17.) It is most probable however, that these were not those who had seen Him in Judea… Who were these that doubted? … If not, then others must have been present; and as most of these had not seen Him since resurrection, it will not appear surprising if some among should doubt” (The Life of Our Lord upon the Earth, pp. 602, 605, 1863).
9. Jesus did not upbraid them (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “He upbraided them not for their faults and failures; words of the deepest tenderness were the last that fell upon their ears from the lips of their Lord. With hands outstretched in blessing, and as if in assurance of His protecting care, He slowly ascended from among them” (DA, pp. 830, 831).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “With uplifted hands, He breathes on these representative men His blessing words, not of upbraiding or wrath, but of unutterable tenderness, are the last which die on their ears” (Memories of Olivet, p.334, 1868).
10. Jesus was escorted by cloudy chariot of angels (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “As He passed upward… A cloud of glory hid Him from their sight; and the words came back to them as the cloudy chariot of angels received Him, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world…These angels [the two angels at the tomb] were of the company that had been waiting in a shining cloud to escort Jesus to His heavenly home… the same Jesus had now gone to share His Father’s throne” (DA, pp. 831, 832).
Ingraham J. H (1809-1860): “… we beheld appear a bright cloud, no larger than a man’s hand… it descended through the firmament downward, until we beheld it devolve itself into a glittering host of angels… met the ascending Son of God in the mid sky! … Surrounding Jesus, like a shining cloud, they receive Him into their midst, and hid Him from our eyes… He ascends… in the sight of many hundreds, and is escorted by armies of angels to the right hand of the Majesty on high!” (The Prince of the house of David, pp. 451, 452, 1855).
Ellen White (1827-1915): “As Christ ascends while in the act of blessing His disciples, an army of angels encircles Him as a cloud” (Manuscript 115, 1897; Christ triumphant, p. 286, 1999).
Note: The illustration No. 18 represents Ellen White’s version of ascension – joyous, shining angels accompanying Jesus; No. 19 portrays the account of the gospels, – according to which the disciples did not see the glory of His ascension. She claimed to have seen what was hidden from the sight of the disciples!
11. Angels fall prostrate before Jesus in the heavenly courts (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “The angel host prostrate themselves before Him, while the glad shouts fills all the courts of heaven” (DA, p. 834).
Ocatvoius Winslow (1808-1878): “Then rose the loud acclamation of welcome, as ten thousand times ten thousand struck their golden harps, … reverberating along the dome of heaven….Falling prostrate upon their faces all the celestial host….worshiped at His feet,…” (The Glory of The Redeemer, p. 144, 1844).
12. Ascension of Christ (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “As He passed upward, the awe-stricken disciples looked with straining eyes for the last glimpse of their ascending Lord. A cloud of glory hid Him from their sight; and the words came back to them as the cloudy chariot of angels received Him… At the same time there floated down to them the sweetest and most joyous music from the angel choir… All heaven was waiting to welcome the Saviour to the celestial courts. As He ascended, He led the way, and the multitude of captives set free at His resurrection followed. The heavenly host, with shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous train. As they drew near to the city of God, the challenge is given by the escorting angels,—
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in.” Joyfully the waiting sentinels respond,— “Who is this King of glory?” This they say, not because they know not who He is, but because they would hear the answer of exalted praise,— “The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O ye gates; Even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in.” Again is heard the challenge, “Who is this King of glory?” for the angels never weary of hearing His name exalted. The escorting angels make reply,— “The Lord of hosts; He is the King of glory.” Psalm 24:7-10. Then the portals of the city of God are opened wide, and the angelic throng sweep through the gates amid a burst of rapturous music… The Father’s arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, “Let all the angels of God worship Him… The angel host prostrate themselves before Him, while the glad shout fills all the courts of heaven, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power…” (DA, pp. 831, 833, 834, 1898).
Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664): “Jesus Christ in his ascension to heaven enters by the way into a cloud; this was by his chariot, led by ten thousands of his angels… In all this triumphant march, some tell us of an heavenly harmony made by the blessed angels; and that this is the meaning of the Psalmist: God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with a shout, the lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Christ being now arrived at heaven’s door, those heavenly spirits that accompanied him begin to say, Lift up your heads, O ye gates, even lift up your selves, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in! To whom some of the angels that were within, not ignorant of his person, but admiring his majesty and glory, said again, Who is the King of glory? And when they answered, The Lord strong and mighty in battle; and there upon those twelve gates of the holy city of New Jerusalem opened of their own accord, and Jesus Christ with all his ministering spirits entered in… no sooner was Christ entered into heaven, but he is brought before his heavenly Father; and a dominion was given him above all creatures, above the hierarchy of all angels… Immediately all the angels fell down and worshipped him, immediately his Father welcomed him with the highest grace that was ever shown… When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive…” (Works of Isaac Ambrose, pp. 393, 394, 1829).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “At the moment that he was parted from his disciples on Mount Olivet, his body was surrounded with no visible lustre. But having completed his work on earth, he was now to enter on his glorified state. Perhaps the cloud which received him out of their sight, contained the habiliments of glory with which he was ever afterward to be arrayed. There he bedecked himself in his royal robes and began his triumphant march; returning in a state like a glorious conqueror to his royal city; I see him attended with “thousands of angels” and with “twenty thousand chariots of God,” leading “captivity captive,” with death and hell chained to his chariot wheels. That was the most glorious display that heaven had ever seen. Methinks, I hear the voice of myriads of angels shouting his triumph. Methinks I see the saints of the Old Testament, who had been saved by his death, but never before had fully understood the way, coming out by their honours at his feet and to welcome the conqueror home. There is Enoch and Noah and Abraham and David and Isaiah and Daniel pressing forward to hail their deliverer. Now I hear them sing, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the lord mighty in battle… with these shouts they introduce him to the heavenly city and see him seated on the highest visible throne in glory, a throne surrounded with indescribable splendor” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, pp. 118, 119, 1838). Emphasis added.
Note: The above author says that he had seen Noah, Abraham, David, Isaiah and Daniel welcoming Jesus. Interestingly enough, Ellen White too had reported to have seen the patriarchs in heaven in her vision: “In a moment we were winging our way upward, and entering in; here we saw good old father Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Daniel, and many like them” (WLF, p. 16, 1847). Emphasis added.
13. Christ’s request for the disciples (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “But He waves them back. Not yet; He cannot now receive the coronet of glory and the royal robe. He enters into the presence of His Father… Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled. When upon the cross He cried out, “It is finished,” He addressed the Father. The compact had been fully carried out. Now He declares: Father, it is finished. I have done Thy will, O My God. I have completed the work of redemption. If Thy justice is satisfied, “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am’ (DA, p. 834).
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Then the gates are thrown back and the heavenly train enter in, and the angels would bow in adoration before the Son of God, but He waves them back. Not yet; He must first hear from the Father that the sacrifice has been accepted, and He says, I have a request. What is that request? That those whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am. Then comes the answer, Let all the angels worship Him; and they bow in adoration before Him” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, (Sermon: Advancing in Christian Experience, October 20, 1888) p. 127).
Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664): “… when he was but yet on earth, the substance of his request for his saints ran thus; Father, I will, that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am; and much more, now he is in heaven, is this the form of his intercession… Christ’s intercession consists in the presenting of his will, his request, for us, grounded upon the value of his glorious merits; Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am… I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do…” (Works Of Isaac Ambrose, pp.414, 422, 1829).
14. He will stand upon Olivet (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Upon its summit His feet will rest when He shall come again. Not as a man of sorrows, but as a glorious and triumphant king He will stand upon Olivet, while Hebrew hallelujahs mingle with Gentile hosannas, and the voices of the redeemed as a mighty host shall swell the acclamation, Crown Him Lord of all!” (DA, p. 830).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “With what joy will His feet stand again on the mount of Olives, – when these same children of Zion will be now joyful in their king; … the Hebrew Hallelujah responded by the Gentile Hosanna – and myriads voices wake every echo around with the ascription “Crown Him Lord of All!” (Memories of Olivet, p. 371, 1868).
15. Rainbow of promise (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “There is the throne, and around it the rainbow of promise” DA, p. 834).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “…look upwards to the right hand of god, and behold “the Lamb that was slain,” pleading in silent eloquence, for His church on earth…to behold this “Rainbow round about the throne… “The bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it, and remember the everlasting covenant!”” (Memories of Olivet, p.350, 1868).
16. The unfallen worlds – 1 (DA, Ch. 74, 79, 87)
Ellen White: “The worlds unfallen and the heavenly angels had watched with intense interest as the conflict drew to its close” (DA, p. 693).
Ellen White: “The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled” (DA, p. 834).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “They [the un-fallen beings,] are put to school on this planet, in distinction from all other worlds which they visit, to “learn the manifold wisdom of God.”” (God Exalted and creatures Humbled by the Gospel, p. 29, 1830).
Edward Griffin (1770-1837): “… this world which is to send out a report through the universe, and to be the sun to enlighten all other worlds” (Sermons By The Late Rev. Edward Griffin, Vol. 2, p. 198, 1838).
John Harris (1802-1856): “From the globe we inhabit, and which is one of a visible community of worlds, up to the great sidereal system” The Great Commission, p. 37, 1842).
Thomas Dick (1774-1857): “In the Epistle to the Hebrews, Chapter 1: 2; and 11:3, a plurality of worlds is declared. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…All of which representations and many others, may be considered as imbodying the idea, not only of a plurality, but of myriads of worlds existing in the universe” (The Sidereal Heavens, pp. 285-286, 1840).
Thomas Dick (1774-1857): “The planets, wherever they exist, in our own or in other systems, are inhabited by sentient beings… All such beings, therefore, must be considered as furnished with bodies constructed with organical parts analogous to what we find in man or other animated beings on our globe” (Ibid., p. 288).
William Herschel (1738-1822): William Herschel, The British Astronomer Royal, studied Mars with telescope he built himself. Herschel believed that all the planets were inhabited and that there were even intelligent beings in a cool area under the surface of the sun (National aeronautics and Space Administration- All about Mars). In 1787 after continuing to follow his initial observations of Uranus he discovered the moons Titania and Oberon …Two years later, William discovered two previously unknown moons of Saturn: Mimas and Enceldus. All these worlds Herschel populated with intelligent beings which were fitted for their particular environments. This rather wild speculation was typical of the age” (Martin Griffiths, Essay, Musician of the Spheres, October 18, 2009).
Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695): He believed in the existence of extraterrestrial life. “Shortly before his death in 1695, he completed a book entitled Comotheoros in which he discussed his notions of life on other planets, which he imagined was similar to that on Earth…He argued that extraterrestrial life is neither confirmed nor denied by the Bible, and questioned why God would create the other planets if they were not to serve a greater purpose than that of being admired from Earth” (Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia).
John Milton (1608-1674). He suggested the possibility of life on other planets: “For such vast room in nature unpossessed by living soul, desert and desolate, only to shine[?],” [Nevertheless, the angel counseled Adam] “Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid. Leave it to God above… Think only what concerns thee, and thy being. Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there live, in what state, conditions, or degree. Contend that thus far hath been revealed, not of earth only, but of highest heaven” (The Paradise Lost, viii. 151-184, 1667).
John Wesley (1703-1791) Wesley rejected the false notion of the existence of other inhabited worlds. He said: “I speak this even upon the common supposition of the plurality of worlds; a very favourite notion with all those who deny the Christian revelation: and for this reason; because it affords them a foundation for so plausible an objection to it. But the more I consider that supposition, the more I doubt of it. But if there be no proof or probability that the Moon is inhabited, neither have we any proof, that the other planets are; consequently, the foundation being removed, the whole fabric falls to the ground” (Wesley’s sermons, Sermon 103, “What is Man?”, 1872).
17. Jesus retains His scars (DA, Ch. 87)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him” (DA, p. 834).
The American national Preacher (1841-1842): “… he ascended to heavenly power in our nature… He still wears his human nature… Beneath his crown of glory, are the scars of thorns. The hand that grasps his scepter bears the print of the nail. The feet, at which all heaven is prostrate, show the past torture of the cross. Nay, in his blessed heart, the spear has left the deep trace of insult…He shows his Father the proofs of his passion” (The American National Preacher, Vols. 15-16, p. 164, 1841).
Joseph Sutcliffe (1762-1856): “The identity of the Lamb is marked by his wounds, the tokens of love he ever bears towards the human kind” (Sutcliffe’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Revelation 5, 1839).
Concluding remark on this section: In support of his wife’s writings James White said, “If Mrs. W. has gathered the facts from a human mind in a single case, she has in thousands of cases, and God has not shown her these things which she has written in these personal testimonies”. – Life Sketches, p. 328, Steam Press, Battle Creek Mich., 1880. In the Desire of Ages alone I have identified not one, but hundreds of examples of borrowed material. With such an amount of plagiarized material found in 71 Chapters, of the total 87 chapters of Desire of Ages (15 Chapters were not included as they do not contain any parallels according to my research: 20, 23, 24, 25, 41, 42, 43, 48, 53, 55, 60, 66, 69, 70, 85). Would a candid reader of this consider The Desire of Ages an inspired work?