That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
A STUDENT'S REVIEW
What the People Are Saying
Printed in the United States of America
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with His glory. And He cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen..." Rev. 18:1,2.
"This scripture (Rev. 18:1,2,4) points toward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14, is to be repeated, WITH THE ADDITIONAL MENTION OF THE CORRUPTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN ENTERING THE VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSTITUTE BABYLON, SINCE THAT MESSAGE WAS FIRST GIVEN, in the summer of 1844." The Great Controversy, p. 603.
Divorce, re-marriage, re-divorce, homosexuality, self abuse, uncleanness of all types, in the churches, in the ministry? Of nearly all churches? All on the rise since 1844.
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed Him, if ye CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed! and YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, and THE TRUTH shall make you free." John 8:31, 32.
Free of all those aforementioned plagues?
"There are in the Scriptures some things which are hard to be understood and which, according to the language of Peter, the unlearned and unstable wrest unto their own destruction. We MAY not in this life, be able to explain every passage of scripture; but THERE ARE NO VITAL POINTS OF PRACTICAL TRUTH THAT WILL BE CLOUDED IN MYSTERY. WHEN THE TIME SHALL COME, IN THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD, FOR THE WORLD TO BE TESTED UPON THE TRUTH FOR THAT TIME, MINDS WILL BE EXERCISED BY HIS SPIRIT TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES, even with fasting and with prayer, until link after link is searched and united in a perfect chain. EVERY FACT WHICH IMMEDIATELY CONCERNS THE SALVATION OF SOULS WILL BE MADE SO CLEAR THAT NONE NEED ERR OR WALK IN DARKNESS." Testimonies, Vol. 2, Pg. 692.
By looking in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy we find that God has "precious gems" which have "lain in obscurity" which are to be "the possession of God's remnant people." Of course Satan is continually trying to counterfeit or hide anything God has for His people.
Sister White, speaking of the Minneapolis Conference, and the reception of the Presence of God in the truths manifested there, says "But in the rooms occupied by some of our people we heard ridicule, criticism, jeering, and laughter. The manifestations of the Holy Spirit were attributed to fanaticism..." Special Testimonies to the Review and Herald Office (1896) pgs. 16 & 17.
This work of throwing abuse at the message and the messengers continued to wax worse till it was necessary to withdraw the special presence of the Spirit, as it was recorded, "THE WHOLE OF REVELATION 18 WILL BE FULFILLED IN THE CLOSING OF THIS WORK. It has not yet been fulfilled and yet the light...began to shine in that strange and impressive way at Minneapolis. The only reasonable conclusion is that the light was put out by human instrumentalities." E.G. White Letter 106,1903.
Says A.G. Daniells, in 1941, in Christ Our Righteousness, pg. 47: "How sad, how deeply regrettable, it is that this message of righteousness in Christ should, at the time of its coming, have met with opposition on the part of earnest, well-meaning men in the cause of God. THE MESSAGE HAS NEVER BEEN RECEIVED, NOR PROCLAIMED, NOR GIVEN FREE COURSE AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN ORDER TO CONVEY TO THE CHURCH THE MEASURELESS BLESSINGS THAT WERE WRAPPED WITHIN IT."
Whatever light was to come to God's remnant people was hindered, and finally withdrawn because the people weren't able to bear it, for their sins had separated them from a zeal to receive His words in new light from the Scriptures.
"We do not claim that in the doctrines sought out by those who have studied the word of truth (Jones and Waggoner), that there may not be some error, for no man that lives is infallible; but if God has sent light, we want it; and God has sent light, let every man be careful how he treats it... Our brethren should be willing to investigate in a candid way every point of controversy." Review & Herald, March 25, 1890
The subject of the discourses given at Minneapolis was the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST. What was said to cause "ridicule, criticism, jeering, and laughter?" One of the topics which caused some of the reactions was on the nature of Christ, His "inherited" nature, which is where He gets His Righteousness, His Divinity.
The back cover of Christ and His Righteousness, by E.J. Waggonner, says "Following this conference , Dr. Waggonner edited his messages he had presented and published them in three books: Christ and His Righteousness (1890), which also appeared under the titles Christ Our Righteousness, and The Righteousness of Christ; The Gospel In Creation (1894); and The Glad Tidings (1900)."
"The word was 'IN THE BEGINNING.' The mind of man cannot grasp the ages that are spanned in this phrase. It is not given to men to know when or how the Son was BEGOTTEN; but we know that He was the Divine Word, not simply before He came to this earth to die, but even before the world was created." Christ and His Righteousness, p. 9.
Since God is eternal, He has no beginning, therefore "the beginning" must refer to the beginning of the creation.
"We know that Christ 'proceeded forth and came from God' (John 8:42), but it was so far back in the ages of eternity as to be far beyond the grasp of the mind of man." ibid.
"It is true that there are many sons of God; but Christ is 'the ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God', and therefore the Son of God in a sense in which no other being ever was, or ever can be. The angels are sons of God, as was Adam (Job 38:7, Luke 3:38), by creation; Christians are the sons of God by adoption (Rom. 8:14,15); but Christ is the Son of God BY BIRTH." ibid., p. 12.
"The Scriptures declare that Christ is the 'only BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD'. He is BEGOTTEN, not created. ...As to when He was BEGOTTEN, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told...THERE WAS A TIME WHEN CHRIST PROCEEDED FORTH AND CAME FROM GOD, FROM THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER (John 3:42, 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning." ibid., pgs. 21, 22
"But the point is that Christ is a BEGOTTEN SON, and not a created subject. HE HAS 'BY INHERITANCE' a more excellent Name than the angels; He is a Son over His own house'. Heb. 1:4, 3:6." ibid., p. 22.
"Finally, we know the DIVINE UNITY of the Father and the Son from the fact that they both have the same SPIRIT....Christ 'is in the bosom of the Father;' being by nature the very substance of God, and having life in Himself, He is properly called Jehovah, the self-existent One, and is thus styled in Jer. 23:5,6, where it is said that the righteous Branch, who shall execute judgment and justice in the earth, shall be known by the name of Jehovah–tsidedenu— THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." ibid., pgs. 23, 24.
Definition: Begotten – Greek – monogenes, from monos – sole, single; and ginomai – to cause to be. Its meaning is literally procreate.
Though we find the phrase "Eternal God" in the Scriptures, we never find "Eternal Father". For the Father, who truly is the Eternal God, was not always a Father. This is seen in the fact that Adam was at first alone, not yet a father. (See Romans 1:20). There was a time when the Son was begotten. Christ is called the "Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6). Eternal means forever past and present. Everlasting means having a beginning and continuing on forever.
"Thy throne , O God [Jesus], is for ever and ever:...O God [Jesus], thy God [the Father and the Holy Spirit] hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows....Instead of thy FATHERS shall be THY children." Psalms 45:6, 7, & 16.
A SPECIAL REVELATION
Sister White states in Acts of the Apostles, p. 52, that the nature of the Holy Spirit was a "mystery", and that "silence is golden," for "God has not revealed it." Though this book was published in 1911, it was "An amplification of the latter part of Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3 (1878), and Sketches From The Life Of Paul (1883) which books, long out of print, it replaced." Index to the Writings of E.G. White, p. 3205, Vol. 3. But,
"It was AFTER the Minneapolis Conference, and especially as Mrs. white was preparing the chapters for The Desire of Ages (1898) concerning the promise of the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, that messages came to this people with increasing frequency, fullness, and clarity on the PERSONALITY of the Spirit, and His crucial place in the plan of redemption. In EARLIER statements the neuter form "it" was more often used when referring to the Holy Spirit. The HOUR HAD COME FOR CLARIFICATION AND EMPHASIS upon this supreme provision in the salvation and enabling of man." The Coming of the Comforter, Leroy Froom, p. 63.
Some of the "clarification and emphasis" which came follows:
"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit,...is as much A PERSON as God is A PERSON..." Evangelism, p. 616.
"The Holy Spirit is A PERSON,..." Ibid.
"He must also be a DIVINE PERSON,..." Ibid, p. 617.
"And God said, Let US make man in OUR IMAGE, after OUR LIKENESS;...So God created man in His OWN IMAGE, in the IMAGE OF GOD created he Him; MALE AND FEMALE created he Him. Genesis 1:26, 27.
"In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He Him; MALE AND FEMALE created He them; and blessed them, and called THEIR name Adam, ...Genesis 5:1, 2.
The word translated "man" here refers to "mankind" not exclusively to a male.
"That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20.
GOD IS LOVE
The scriptures declare that "God is Love," 1 John 4:8. It is the family which God choose to manifest as the perfect "image" of His (Their) character(s). One husband, one wife, and their children.
"Polygamy was practiced at an early date. IT WAS ONE OF THE SINS THAT BROUGHT THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE ANTEDILUVIAN WORLD. Yet after the flood it again became wide-spread. IT WAS SATAN'S STUDIED EFFORT TO PERVERT THE MARRIAGE INSTITUTION, to weaken its OBLIGATIONS, and lessen its SACREDNESS; FOR IN NO SURER WAY COULD HE DEFACE THE IMAGE OF GOD IN MAN, and open the door to misery and vice." Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 338. See also 3 Spiritual Gifts, p. 99.
There is little need to mention the various sins of Sodom and Gomorrah which filled their cup of iniquity so that God had to destroy them also. In the cases of both the antediluvians and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah the final straw, as it were, was the misuse and abuse of the marital privilege and order that "defaced the image of God" to the point of a needful destruction.
"...the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the TRUTH in UNRIGHTEOUSNESS; BECAUSE THAT WHICH MAY BE KNOWN OF GOD IS MANIFEST IN THEM; FOR GOD HATH SHEWED IT UNTO THEM. FOR THE INVISIBLE THINGS OF HIM FROM THE CREATION OF THE WORLD ARE CLEARLY SEEN, BEING UNDERSTOOD BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE, EVEN HIS ETERNAL POWER AND GODHEAD; so that they are without excuse."
"Because that, when THEY KNEW GOD, THEY GLORIFIED HIM NOT AS GOD, NEITHER WERE THANKFUL (that they were in HIS – THEIR – image): but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and CHANGED the glory of the uncorruptible (undecaying, in the Greek) God into an image (idol) made like to corruptible (decaying) man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. WHEREFORE GOD ALSO GAVE THEM UP TO UNCLEANLINESS...WHO CHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD INTO A LIE, ...FOR THIS CAUSE GOD GAVE THEM UP UNTO VILE AFFECTIONS:...AND EVEN AS THEY DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN (to acknowledge, margin) GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, God gave them over to a reprobate mind (or, a mind void of judgment), to do those things which are not convenient:" Romans 1:18-28.
In these verses the Apostle is not only speaking of God's order, but of God Himself (Themselves). God's order is only a reflection, an image, of His (Their) character and PERSON(S).
"HEAR, O ISRAEL:
There are two Hebrew words translated "one." One is "Echad" which may imply a "unity" of more than just one. The other is "Yecheed" and implies an absolute (only) "one." It is the first, "Echad," which is used in Deuteronomy 6:4. God was not telling Israel that He was (They were) one Being, but that They (the Godhead) were UNIFIED – ONE. This was contrary to the other religious beliefs which surrounded them in that the other "dieties" were believed to be in opposition to, and even warring among each other. Polytheism wasn't the problem, a divided or defaced Godhead, as portrayed by pagan religions, was. God is one, echad, united, a Family.
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Ephesians 3:14, 15.
"I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus' countenance and admired His lovely PERSON. The Father's PERSON I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if THE FATHER HAD A FORM LIKE HIMSELF. He said HE HAD, but I could not behold it ..." Early Writings, p. 54. She could not behold "it" (the Father's FORM) because she was mortal. The immortal shall BEHOLD Him, along with the Son, and the Holy Spirit, a PERSON.
"Created to be 'the image and glory of God' (1 Corinthians 11:7), ADAM AND EVE had received endowments not unworthy of THEIR high destiny. Graceful and symmetrical IN FORM, regular and beautiful IN FEATURE, THEIR countenances glowing with the tint of health and the light of joy and hope, THEY BORE IN OUTWARD RESEMBLANCE THE LIKENESS OF THEIR MAKER (the Godhead, parenthesis mine). NOR WAS THIS LIKENESS MANIFESTED IN THE PHYSICAL NATURE ONLY." Education, p. 20. (See also, Adult Sabbath School Lesson Sept. 27, 1982, pgs. 2 & 4).
"In the beginning, man was created in the likeness of God, not ONLY IN CHARACTER, BUT IN FORM AND FEATURE." The Great Controversy, pgs. 644, 645.
"Man was to bear God's image, BOTH IN OUTWARD RESEMBLANCE AND CHARACTER." Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 45.
"...the human mind should become intelligent in regard to the PHYSICAL STRUCTURE. ... HERE JEHOVAH HAS GIVEN A SPECIMEN OF HIMSELF; FOR MAN WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD." Medical Ministry, p. 221.
These inspired statements are contrary to the common Jewish understanding of God (which is also held by many Christians). Mainmonides, the greatest medieval Jewish philosopher, says that, "God is not a body, nor can bodily attributes be ascribed to Him, and He has no likeness at all." If that were true, then we would be made in the "image" and "likeness" of someone who has no "image" nor "likeness at all." No wonder so many people are having "identity" crises and unbalanced relationships today.
"I am that I am." Exodus 3.4. Or, I am continuing to be that which I am continually being.
If God should chose to be of a certain size and shape so that Their creation can relate to Them, what can we do but glory in Their humility.
The Hebrew word translated "image" is Tselem, and means "to shade, a phantom, i.e. illusion, resemblance: hence a representative figure, especially an idol" Strong's Concordance #6754. This word is also translated "images" and "image" as referring to idols, see Numbers. 33:52, Isaiah 6:5,11, 2 Kings 11:18, 2 Chronicle 23:17, etc.
The Hebrew word translated "likeness" is demuwth, and means "resemblance; concr. model, shape; adv. like." Strong's #1823. This word is also translated "the fashion of" 2 Kings 16:10, "the similitude of" 2 Chronicles 4:3, "likeness" Ezekiel 1:5, 10, 13, 16, 22, 26, etc., and "after the manner of" Ezekiel 23:15.
"In the day that God created man, IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD made he him; MALE AND FEMALE created he them; and blessed them, and called THEIR NAME ADAM,..." Genesis 5:1, 2. They bore the image and likeness of Love, God, in form and character. "Standing images," "after the manner of" their Creators.
AN EVERLASTING IMAGE
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face, now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12.
"We shall see our children again. We shall meet them and know them in the heavenly courts...As the little infants...wing to their MOTHER'S arms...The angels receive the little ones who have no mother there and escort them to the tree of life...The home above, now being prepared for us, you and your wife and children may be A FAMILY joyously, happily reunited, never more to be separated." See Selected Messages, Vol. 2, pgs. 259-263.
Neither the form nor the character of a woman resembles that of a man. She wasn't made in the image of man, but rather, in the image of God. "...not only in character, but in "form and feature." Great Controversy, 644-615. Why isn't it said that apes are "in the image of God," if the resemblance is just a rough likeness?
Jesus, growing up in Palestine as He did, probably did not have much occasion to speak Greek or Latin. Though Greek was the language of most of that area of the world, it was not commonly spoken by the Jews in much of Israel. Says the Jewish historian Josephus; "I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language; although I have so accustomed myself to speak my own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness. For our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations." Antiquities, XX, X12.
"Indeed, the teaching of Greek was forbidden by Jewish Rabbis. It was said that it was better for a man to give his child meat of swine than to teach him the language of the Greeks." The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts, George Lamsa. p. X.
The holy language in Palestine was Hebrew, while the common language was Aramaic. These languages are very closely related. Most of Jesus' discourses were spoken in Aramaic. On the cross His cry to God was spoken in Aramaic.
"REMEMBER, There is no neuter in Hebrew. EVERYTHING IS "HE" OR "SHE", even tables, chairs, pencils, etc." The Berlitz Self-Teach: Hebrew, Grosset and Dunlap, publishers, New York, pg 13.
"There are two genders in Hebrew, masculine and feminine...You can usually recognize feminine nouns by watching for the ending (ah) or (t). Moreover, the words "zeh" and "zoht" both meaning "this" are used for masculine and feminine respectively." Ibid pg. 2.
NOTE: This rule of determining feminine nouns does not apply to proper names.
"The Hebrew language was cultivated as the most sacred tongue in the world." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 97. By God, not man.
In Hebrew, the word for the Holy Spirit is ruah. It is also translated wind. Whenever Jesus thought of the Holy Spirit as a personal Being, and not only as an influence, He would have been thinking with a feminine gendered being in mind.
When He read verses like Proverbs 8:20, where Wisdom, "She," Hookmah, says, "I LEAD in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgments," He knew this was the work of the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sends, in answer to the prayer of Christ.
The situation is not the same in Greek. Besides the masculine and feminine they employ a neuter form. The word for Spirit is "pneuma" and is in the neuter.
This presented a problem when trying to translate from the Hebrew or Aramaic words for Spirit, for they are feminine. PERSONALITY was lost in the exchange.
The word translated "Comforter" (paraclete, in Greek) (John 14:16) is in the masculine gender only. It is also translated "advocate" (1 John 2:1), speaking of Jesus. It carries the connotation of intercessor, a lawyer, one who pleads in your behalf. There isn't a feminine form of "paraclete," lawyer, in Greek, as there isn't one in English.
This is why in our English translations the Spirit is referred to as 'He" or "It." "He" is used when personality is implied by the use of "paraclete," or as in John 16:13.
Finally, the Latin translation came along with a masculine word for Spirit, Spiritus, and that thought has carried down until the present. We may note that the word for Spirit in Italian is feminine, showing an older, Semitic root to their language.
There are basically three nouns, titles, used in Hebrew which are translated "God." They are El, Eloah, and Elohim.
EL is translated God, god, idols, mighty, mighty one, power, and strong. It is used in reference to YHWH, the God of Israel, as well as of gods of other nations. It is singular and masculine.
ELOAH is translated God. It appears over fifty times in the Scriptures. This word, with the added masculine plural ending "im," makes up the word Elohim. It would be well to note here that Eloah has the feminine ending "ah," and according to Hebrew grammar, is referring to a GODDESS, but men refuse to translate it properly.
ELOHIM is translated angels, God, godly, judges, gods, and one time, GODDESS (Elohi) – in 1 Kings 11:5 & 33. It is feminine based with a masculine plural ending.
EL SHADDAI is another term worth considering. This has been translated Almighty. Leslie Hardinge, a former SDA pastor and college teacher, in a study on The Revelation, has given reference to this word (El Shaddai), and has stated its correct translation as being "The Mighty Breasted One." This is the correct rendering because the root of the word "Shaddai" is "Shad," which means "breasts" (feminine). If one would study the places where ELOAH is used, it would be easily discerned that in many of same, or neighboring verses the words "EL SHADDAI" are also used.
SHEKINAH is another term used to refer to God's Presence (the Holy Spirit) in the Sanctuary, and with his people. It also has the feminine ending "ah."
"In Semitic languages, the verb as well as the adjective have separate male and female forms; in the sentence "the Shekinah rose up...and said," therefore, both verbs impress the reader (or hearer) with the femininity of the Shekinah by taking, themselves, the feminine forms. Thus, even without any explicit pronouncement to the effect that the Shekinah was a FEMALE DIVINE ENTITY, her sex was kept in the forefront of consciousness by every statement made about her." The Hebrew Goddess, by Raphael Patai, p. 114. This is also true in regards to the word Ruah (Spirit).
The Hebrew language has gone through four major changes. Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew of the Mishna, Medieval Hebrew, and Modern Hebrew.
In Hebrew all pronouns also have (had) gender. Today it is taught that the different forms of "I" and "We" are interchangeable. They make no attempt to explain why all other pronouns have definite gender. Could this be because the Holy Ghost has inspired the writers of the Scriptures to record God as speaking in both forms?
ANI – this is what a man would generally use to say "I." ANOCHI – this is the FEMININE form of "I."
In Genesis 28:13 & 14, God says, "...I [ANI – masculine] ...will ...give it [the land]." Yet in verses 15 & 16 God says, "...I [ANOCHI – FEMININE] am with thee, and will keep thee."
From this it is easy to see that the One pronouncing the promise is speaking in the MASCULINE gender, while the One who promises to "BE WITH" and "WILL KEEP" us is speaking in the FEMININE. Here we are shown the Father and the Holy Spirit.
It is clear from these texts that the God who is to be "WITH" us" – the Holy Spirit – spoke in the FEMININE gender and is of WHOM woman is made "In the image and likeness."
I asked my Hebrew teacher, a Jewess, what was the difference between El, Eloah, and Elohim. She said that there was no difference. Then I asked her why did one of them have a plural ending (im). She said that "this refers to the Plurality of Majesty. The greatness of God." Then I asked her why one of the words has a feminine ending (ah), and what does it (Eloah) mean, seeing it is still a different word. After some thought, her reply was "This refers to the PERSONAL God, the one who is with us." It was obvious, through further questioning that this referred to the HOLY SPIRIT (feminine).
A question which might arise at this point is "If the Holy Spirit is a Person and has a specific form, how can this Holy One be in all places at once (omnipresent)?
"Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21. All believers agree that the Bible was inspired by the Holy Ghost, but as to actually how this took place there has been MUCH speculation. Yet Daniel says an ANGEL talked with him, as did John (in the Book of Revelation), Zechariah, etc..
"It is THE SPIRIT that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: THE WORDS that I speak unto you, THEY ARE SPIRIT, AND THEY ARE LIFE, John 6:63.
The words and power of a person are different from the person themselves.
Christ is made known to human agents by angels. My Life Today, p. 307
The prayers of men are borne to heaven by angels. Acts of the Apostles, p. 153, The Desire of Ages, pgs. 142-143.
The fires were kindled on the altars by angels. The Great Controversy, p. 631.
The miracles wrought by Christ were through the angels. The Desire of Ages, p. 143.
The servants of God are healed by angels.Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 505; Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 308., etc.
As Jesus was on the way to heal the faithful centurion's servant, "the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: But SAY in A WORD and my servant SHALL BE HEALED. For I ALSO am a man set under authority, HAVING SOLDIERS, and I say unto one, go, and he goeth; and to another, come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it...When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him,...and said unto the people...I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel. Luke 7:6-9.
God's "soldiers" are the Holy Angels.
"Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the ARM of the LORD revealed." Isaiah 53:1.
Arms are the means by which we reach out to perform the desires of our hearts. The holy angels are they who perform the will of the Lord of hosts.
"When the fast westering sun should pass from sigh in the heavens, Jerusalem's day of grace would be ended...THE ANGEL OF MERCY was then folding HER wings to step down from the GOLDEN THRONE to give place to justice and swift-coming judgment." The Desire of Ages, p. 578 (this was written well AFTER 1888).
"There is not a second probation for anyone. Now is probationary time, before THE ANGEL shall fold HER GOLDEN WINGS, THE ANGEL OF MERCY, and shall step down from THE THRONE, and mercy, mercy is gone forever. (Manuscript 49, 1894)" SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7-A, p. 433.
Who is this "angel of mercy" who is to step down from "THE THRONE", and fold "HER wings?"
"Likewise the Spirit also...'but THE SPIRIT ITSELF [HERSELF] MAKETH INTERCESSION FOR US..." Romans 8:26.
"...Christ WHO THROUGH THE ETERNAL SPIRIT OFFERED HIMSELF..." Hebrews 9:14.
Since Jesus did not become a High Priest until His ascension, forty days after the resurrection, and as His inauguration as intercessor was signalized by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, yet ten more days later, it was not possible for Him to intercede His own blood before the throne in heaven on the day He was crucified, nor on the Sabbath that He rested in the grave, nor during His forty days on earth following the resurrection. This was why it has been said that on the day of His resurrection He ascended to His Father to see if His Offering had been accepted (because He, at that time did not intercede His blood Himself, but offered Himself "THROUGH THE ETERNAL SPIRIT". Hebrews 9:14, see also Acts of the Apostles, pgs. 38 & 39.
"The angel...said unto her, The holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." Luke 1:35
Many people think that the Holy Spirit is a masculine Being, and that he impregnated Mary when she was "overshadowed." This word in Greek simply means "to cast a shade upon, i.e. (by anal.) to envelop in a haze of brilliancy; fig. to invest with preternatural influence." Strong's, #1982.
The words "come upon" simply mean "approached near unto." Strong's, #1904.
What saith the Scriptures? "Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, 'Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but A BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME.' [THOU HAST FITTED ME – margin] Hebrews 10:5.
The Holy Spirit began a body in Mary, from her own seed. This was done by an act of creation. Then the Son of God gave up His form and glory and condescended to become part of that body. If the Holy Spirit is a masculine being, and there was a "union" between the Holy Spirit and Mary (as some presume), then that would make the HOLY SPIRIT, a person, the Father of Christ. Jesus was not "begotten" at this time, but was born Divine before He was reborn a man on this earth.
"For Jesus to become one with us He had to be born again; He had to become an earthly man. And for us to be one with Him, we have to be born again, born of the Spirit. The difference is that Jesus was first born a spiritual, a Divine being, and second a human being; whereas we are first born human beings, and second spiritual beings." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 49, pgs. 6.
GOD IS A FAMILY
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole FAMILY IN HEAVEN and earth is named." Ephesians 3:14-15.
The Father has only ONE Being through Whom He brings forth His children. They are born OF the Spirit. They are not born OF Jesus, nor OF the Father. Therefore the image of Love (God) is one man with one wife, the MOTHER of his children. "Wisdom is justified of all HER children." Luke 7:35
The Father is so devoted to the Holy Spirit and to the SON that the MARRIED (not single, or "living together") FAMILY is the only image and "likeness" that can fully reflect His (Their) Character (Love).
The Father does not use the Holy Spirit, then go on to another. She is His only ONE Love.
BORN OF THE SPIRIT
Today, many Jews don't consider a person a Jew unless their mother, not their father, is a Jew. So must all true (Spiritual) Jews, Christians, be born of the Spirit (Mother). In Genesis the promise of the coming "seed" who would bruise the head of the serpent was to be from "her seed."
A PERSONAL TESTIMONY
When I first gave my heart to Jesus, I believed that He, by the Holy Spirit, would lead me into all truth. Before I understood that God was a Being, or Beings, I believed that the power of self-sacrificing love, agape in Greek, was God. In my endeavor to share Love (God) with all people, I soon faced the question of whether or not it is wrong to love, sexually, a person of the same gender, or even if it was wrong to love, sexually, one who wasn't my lifelong mate, even if they were of the opposite gender than I, for the purpose of me relieving, or fulfilling their desires. It was then that, through communion with the "still small voice" of God (mine angel), that He (They) revealed to me some of the reasons why we were created male and female, in Their image, IN FORM, FEATURE, AND CHARACTER. These understandings saved me from ever entering into a "gay" relationship and showed me why we are admonished to "flee fornication." At the same time I was able to have compassion on those who transgressed in these ways, because of their lack of understanding what it truly means to be made in Gods' image, MALE and FEMALE. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6
This understanding of God being masculine and feminine, is such a comfort to those who are married and are truly devoted to making their marriage work. To know that they are truly reflecting Love's (God's ) image and likeness in their family – what a firm foundation!
AS THE ANGELS
When answering the question about whose wife the woman who had five husbands would be in the resurrection, Jesus said that in the future life we would not "marry or be given in marriage" but would be "as the angels". Does this mean that the angels are genderless? Not by any means. This text is greatly misunderstood. There is ample evidence to the fact that the two large "cherubim" in Solomon's temple (2 Chronicles 3:10-13), and in the post-exilic temple up to the time of its destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., were made male and female. See The Hebrew Goddess, by Raphael Patai.
Originally the plan of salvation was made known to Adam and Eve right after the fall. The promise of a virgin being with child, that child being the Savior of the world, and the death and resurrection of the child were thus known throughout the whole world, even after the flood and the tower of Babel. This is readily seen in the fact that when Abel sacrificed the firstling of his flock, he knew that it symbolized the coming Lamb of God. All Satan could ever hope to do was to counterfeit God's plan. Thus was the birth of paganism with its sacrifices, its mother and child representations, and false "appointed times" of worship. The true appointed times of worship were given in the Scriptures to be typical of future events in the unfolding plan of salvation, and of the antitypical daily events in heaven.
In Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1853-1858, Rev. Alexander Hislop published a pamphlet which later became a book titled The Two Babylons. The main emphasis of the book was to show historically how the practices of ancient Babylon were scattered throughout the whole world, and even down to our times.
Just a few quotes, in summary, of Hislop's personal evaluation of one of his findings should suffice. Speaking of the ancient idea of the femininity of the Holy Spirit he says
"The bearing of all this upon the question of the identification of Cybele and Astarte, or Venus, is important. FUNDAMENTALLY, THERE WAS BUT ONE GODDESS—THE HOLY SPIRIT, REPRESENTED AS FEMALE, when the distinction of sex was wickedly ascribed to the Godhead, through a perversion of the great Scripture idea, that ALL THE CHILDREN OF GOD ARE AT ONCE BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, AND BORN OF THE SPIRIT; AND UNDER THIS IDEA, THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AS MOTHER, WAS REPRESENTED UNDER THE FORM OF A DOVE, IN MEMORY OF THE FACT THAT THE SPIRIT, AT THE CREATION, "FLUTTERED"—for so, as I have observed, is the exact meaning of the term in Genesis 1:2.—" on the face of the waters." This GODDESS, then was called Ops, "the flutterer," or Juno, "The dove," or Khubele, "The binder with cords," which last title had reference to "the bands of love, the cords of a man" (called in Hosea xi. 4, "Khubeli Adam"), with which not only does God continually, by His providential goodness, draw men unto Himself, but with which our first parent Adam, THROUGH THE SPIRIT'S INDWELLING, while the covenant of Eden was unbroken, WAS SWEETLY BOUND TO GOD." The Two Babylons, p. 303.
"Semiramis, being deified as Astarte, came to be raised to the highest honours; and her change into A DOVE, as has been already shown (p. 79, ante), was evidently intended, when the distinction of sex had been blasphemously attributed in the Godhead, to identity her, under the name of the Mother of the gods, with that DIVINE SPIRIT WITHOUT WHOSE AGENCY NO ONE CAN BE BORN A CHILD OF GOD, AND WHOSE EMBLEM, IN THE SYMBOLICAL LANGUAGE OF SCRIPTURE, WAS THE DOVE, AS THAT OF THE MESSIAH WAS THE LAMB." Ibid. 309.
Was it MAN who "wickedly" and "blasphemously" "ascribed sex [gender] to the Godhead," or was it a different story? The Scriptures declare that the Jews had the advantage of having received the "oracles [words] of God" (Rom. 3:2). It was the HOLY SPIRIT who caused the descendants of Abraham to refer to Her in the feminine gender in the language in which men were inspired to write. Again, the Jews have no problem in thinking of God in terms of masculine and feminine as the grammar of the Scriptures demand, because they do not believe God has any form whatsoever.
The idea of just one masculine Being being God (Love), gives license to the image of self-use (abuse), and role playing for one being would necessarily be father, and son, and the sweet bearer of our youthful infirmities, mother (the Spirit), and many other perversions.
Another interesting development within Judaism is the role of the Shekinah, God's Presence in the Sanctuary, and with them in their exiles. This was none other than the Holy Spirit. In the Talmud and the Kabbalah, along with Proverbs and the Apocrypha, The Shekinah (the Holy Spirit) was PERSONIFIED and was thought to be the WIFE, or CONSORT, of God. So vast are the characteristics of God, that one Being could not properly convey or express the fullness of the Life that is Love (God). So, as seen in the creation of Eve and from the side of Adam (Rom. 1:20), the Holy Spirit came forth from the Father to be in another place so that communion, or exchange could exist to show that Love's (God's) nature is that it (He, She) shares, gives and receives, Himself (Herself). And even more wonderful than this is that Love (God) also multiplied Themselves to produce an Heir, One to give an inheritance to, as is the case with the Son of God, Jesus, the Righteous Branch.
So marvelous was the principle, the outworking of it, and the eternally existent glory of Their Persons, that a NEW ORDER (other than the Godhead), a CREATION, was necessary to still further the very essence and nature of Their power and glory that other beings may know existence and eternal life, love and free will, the ability to create, and most importantly, reproduce Love's (God's) image "on earth as it is in Heaven." This reproduction of Love was not to be confined to one's family only, but through the fellowship of their brethren, and a communion with the rest of the animate and inanimate creation, God's name would be exalted, for worthy are They to be praised.
The fact that mankind can freely move about through the creation, whether it be self-propelled or in a vehicle of his devisings, speaks a month of sermons about the God who is all powerful, yet gentle and kind enough walk through His (Their) creation, tending to the needs and the beautification of that, oh, so special garden of Theirs.
When about to be stoned by the Jews because He, a man, claimed to be God, Jesus answered, "Is it not written in your law, I said, YE are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came and the Scripture cannot be broken." He was referring to Psalm 82 where we see "God (Elohim) standeth in the congregation of the mighty (EL); he judgeth among the gods (elohim)...I have said, Ye are gods (elohim), and all of you (male and female) are CHILDREN of the most High." vss. 1 & 6.
As to what all this means to our salvation, it really quite simple. Justification, being forgiven, requires only a knowledge of a law or laws transgressed, the atoning blood of Christ, and sincere desire and active faith in the ministration of God in Sanctuary in Heaven to be received. This need not even be understood in particular detail, as long as God's Love is spiritually discerned. Sanctification requires a constant growth in all spiritual truths and blessings to enable one to achieve the maturity of "the stature of Christ". The exchanging of truth for error has always been a test for mankind.
As to Elder Waggonner's, and Victor Houteff's comments about Christ being "born" before He came to this earth, this is most important in relation to a full understanding of Christ and His Righteousness. Before we are "born again" of the Spirit we cannot do right, for even our "good" works are motivated by "self" and not from a love for God (Love). But after we are reborn, truly justified, it is hard to openly sin because the mind of Christ is given to us. And that mind recoils from all transgression of Love's (God's) will, by nature, "inherited" nature. This is why Waggonner made such statements as "It is easy to be saved and hard to be lost." (This is a paraphrase).
For more on this matter of the femininity of the Holy Spirit, and how it impacts our lives, please see our study The Only Safe Sex is Holy Sex.
Yours, to come out of Babylon,