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.
It's all Greek to Them
As "repairer[s] of the breach... restorer[s] of paths to dwell in" (Isaiah 58:12), we, in this time of restoration of "all things" (Matthew 17:11), have been given the great privilege of cooperating with God in His work of restoring His "image" and "likeness" in mankind as was seen in Adam and Eve in Eden. "The breach in the law (or, more accurately stated, the attempted breach) at the time the Sabbath was changed" (Prophets and Kings, p. 678) involved more than just thinking to "change times and laws" (Daniel 7:25), it involved the separation from "everything Jewish."
It was in 321 A.D. that Constantine made the first national Sunday Law enforcing rest from labor. Following this, in 324, was the First Council of Nicea which was one of the most influential meetings in paving the way for the setting up of the papacy.
"The Emperor Constantine made the following announcement in his letter to all [bishops, etc.] who were not present at the Council: '...It was declared... We ought not therefore to have anything in common with the Jews ...we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the... company of the Jews, ... it is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord,... You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews.... accept joyfully the divine favor, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in the assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God...'" History of the Councils, p. 322-4.
How widely this varies from Christ's own words, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." Matt 23:2,3. Or from Paul's attitude in Romans, chapters 9-11, and 2 Corinthians 3:16.
One of the main "Jewish" things that was replaced by Greco-Roman-Egyptian-Babylonian/Pagan things was the Hebrew language, which "was cultivated as the most sacred tongue in the world." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 97. All of the original Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts of the New Testament were translated into Greek by the time of Constantine when the Latin Bible (the Vulgate) began to become dominant over all other languages in regards to church matters. It appears that any Hebrew or Aramaic letters and manuscripts that may have been written by the Apostles have all been hidden or destroyed. Even the Aramaic and Hebrew versions of the New Testament that we have today are themselves translations from other languages.
"What advantage then hath the Jew?... Much every way: chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles (Greek – logion – utterances) of God." Romans 3:1,2. It was the "utterances (words) of God," that were committed to the Jews, to be preserved in "the most sacred tongue in the world," Hebrew.
One of the greatest losses which the church of God has suffered as a result of the separation from the "most sacred tongue in the world," Hebrew, was the loss of the gender represented therein. Though there is what is known as a "common" gender in Hebrew (which is usually expressed in the feminine), there is no absolute "neuter" gender expressed in Hebrew as there is in Greek and other languages. Many people have been led to mock the idea of inanimate objects, and even expressions having gender assigned to them. But ridicule of the things that God has appointed is not inspired of the Holy Spirit who "moved" the "holy men" of old to use gender when writing the things of His Holy Word.
This great breach which has caused a great loss to the body of Christ is most readily seen in the change of thinking in regards to the gender of the Holy Spirit. In Hebrew, the word which is translated Spirit is ruah, and is feminine; while the Greek word is pneuma, and is neuter; and the Latin word is spiritus, and is masculine.
"On earth Satan has deflected the truth and made it off center or perverted it. The doctrine of Mariolatry [the worship of Mary] IS BASED ON A TRUTH – THE HOLY GHOST, THE FEMININE MEDIATOR." Catholic Doctrine as Defined by The Council of Trent, by A. Nampon, p. 62.
The worship of Mary may be based on A TRUTH, but it is not exalting THE "TRUTH – THE HOLY GHOST, THE FEMININE MEDIATOR."
"So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true, that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures." The Great Controversy, p. 593.
The worship of Mary as the divine woman has supplanted the Hebrew thinking of the Holy Spirit being the heavenly Goddess. As proof that the ancient Hebrews had a pure, holy concept of a feminine personality in the Godhead, and that that divinely inspired understanding, despite all of the rubbish of human invention that has clouded the truth of Her, is still of eternal importance to the body of Christ, we present the following testimonies. We will start with Raphael Patai.
Raphael Patai is an internationally known anthropologist, Orientalist, and Biblical scholar. Dr. Patai is the author of more than six hundred articles and many books, including The Hebrew Goddess, from which we will quote.
"In the Kabbala, as in Philo, 'Kingdom' is the female aspect of the deity (in the Kabbala 'Kingdom' is the tenth Sefira and identical with the Shekhina, the personified, female "Presence" of God) ..." The Hebrew Goddess, p. 79.
"Shekhina (sh'khinah) is a Hebrew abstract noun derived from the Biblical verb shakhan discussed above and means literally 'the act of dwelling.' These abstract nouns, constructed from the verbal root-letters with the added -ah suffix, have the feminine gender. In actual usage, the term Shekhina, when it first appears, means that aspect of the deity which can be apprehended by the senses. Whenever the original Hebrew Biblical text speaks of a manifestation of God through which He was perceived by man, the Targum Onkelos interpolates the term Shekhina." id. 99.
"... a word must be said about the relationship of the two Talmudic concepts of the Shekhina and of the 'Holy Spirit.' As A. Marmorstein has convincingly shown, these two concepts were used synonymously in the Talmudic period. When, therefore, a Talmudic teacher speaks of the Holy Spirit, he may as well have used the term Shekhina." id. 105.
"The concept of the Shekhina [the Holy Spirit] as the Sacred Apple Orchard is closely paralleled [counterfeited] by the Catholic view of Mary as the Olive Tree ..." id.,p. 334. [brackets added]
"It was a Talmudic tenet that the physical presence of the Shekhina in the Temple, or in any other place on earth, was of such a nature that it could be localized, and her movements from place to place followed. The classical expression of this view is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda ben Idi in the name of Rabbi Yohanan bar Nappaha (a teacher in Tiberias who died in 279 C.E.), according to which the Shekhina [the Holy Spirit] went through the following ten stages of wandering:
"From the ark-cover she moved onto the Cherub;
from the Cherub onto the other Cherub;
from the second Cherub onto the threshold of the Temple;
from the threshold into the court of the Priests;
from the court to the altar in the court;
from the altar onto the roof of the Temple;
from the roof onto the wall;
from the wall into the city of Jerusalem;
from the city into the mount of Olives;
from the mount into the desert.
"The idea is that each of these stations in the wanderings of the Shekhina took her to a place more remote than the previous one from her original dwelling place over the ark-cover. It was, of course, the sins of Israel which caused the Shekhina thus to go into exile. In the desert, the Shekhina waited six months for Israel to repent. When they failed to do so, she said in desperation, 'Let them perish!
"According to another version, the Shekhina dwelt for three and a half years on the nearby Mount of Olives, and cried out from there three times a day: 'Return, you backsliding children!' When all this proved futile, she began to fly around and say, 'I shall go and return to my place till they acknowledge their guilt,' that is to say, she withdrew to heaven to wait there for repentance to bring redemption." id., 101, 102.
That this Hebrew concept of the feminine nature of the Holy Spirit, the Shekinah, is also considered to be quite respectable by Christians, we present some quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White.
"THE HOLY SHEKINAH [the Holy Spirit], in departing from [the throne above the mercy seat in] the first temple, had stood upon the eastern mountain [the Mount of Olives], as if loath to forsake the chosen city." The Desire of Ages., p. 829. [brackets added] This description is the same as the Hebrew one which was quoted above.
"While the procession was halting on the brow of Olivet, it was not yet too late for Jerusalem to repent. 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." Ibid.., p. 578.
"The SPIRIT OF GOD is being withdrawn from the earth. When the ANGEL OF MERCY folds HER WINGS and departs..." Review & Herald, Sept. 17, 1901. The Spirit of God, the Shekinah, and the Angel of Mercy are One and the same Person.
"In every age there is given man their day of light and privilege, a probationary time in which they may become reconciled to God. But there is a limit to this grace. MERCY may plead for years and be slighted and rejected; but there comes a time when MERCY makes HER last plea. The heart becomes so hardened that it ceases to respond to the SPIRIT OF GOD. Then the SWEET, WINNING VOICE [of the Spirit] entreats the sinner no longer, and reproofs and warnings cease." The Desire of Ages, p. 587
"I was shown that a terrible condition of things exists in our world. The ANGEL OF MERCY is folding HER WINGS, ready to depart." Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 8, p. 49.
"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. (Ms. 49, 1894)" SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7-a, p. 433. It is not a created angel that stands before the throne, it is the Holy Spirit, Herself.
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself [Herself] maketh intercession for us..." Romans 8:26.
"We are standing on the threshold of the crises of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another – fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the ANGEL OF MERCY cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent." Prophets and Kings, p. 278.
"As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy [Sunday Laws] be a sign to us that the limit of God's forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation's iniquity is full, and that the ANGEL OF MERCY [the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth] is about to take HER FLIGHT, never to return." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 451.
As the early Seventh-day Adventist church was made up of people from many different denominations, there was, and still is today, a wide variety of opinions as to the nature of the Holy Spirit. This diversity of opinion, and the controversies which arose because of it, caused Ellen White to write,
"It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, 'the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.' It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit, that in His work of guiding men into all truth, 'He shall not speak of Himself.'
"The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them; but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden." The Acts of the Apostles, pgs. 51-52.
There are a number of points of note in these paragraphs, the most important being that it is up to God to reveal the mystery of the nature of the Holy Spirit, for man could not discover it, even by looking to the Bible, if he was without inspiration. She does not say that God would never reveal any more light on the subject, but that speculation on the matter was harmful. She, herself, wrote some very specific things regarding the mystery of the nature of the Holy Spirit, the most notable here being that which is found in her later writings, which we will quote.
"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds. – Manuscript 66, 1899. ...
"The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God....
"The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." – Manuscript 20, 1906. (Evangelism, p. 616, 617)
In review of these things we can see that at the same time that Ellen White believed and taught that the Holy Spirit was a "divine Person," she also said that there was still a mystery surrounding this subject. As she was not a Biblical language scholar, and as there was little apparent agitation in her day about the feminine gender of the Holy Spirit as it is portrayed in the Old Testament Hebrew, we are left with believing the reason that she speaks of the person of the Spirit as "He" is because that it is the gender which is partially portrayed in both the Greek and the English versions of the New Testament. We say partially portrayed because the Greek (and subsequently, the English) is not clear on the subject, for in some places the Greek, and also the English reads "He," and in others "It." It is from these irregularities, along with the misunderstanding of other New Testament scriptures, especially those which concern the incarnation of Christ, that all of the confusion on this subject has arisen. In other words, the confusion that exists in the Christian Church, and in the world at large, regarding the personality and gender of the Holy Spirit stems from the fact that most of the thinking on this matter is based on the Greek language, completely ignoring the Hebrew revelation – it's all Greek to them.
The simplest evidence that can be presented to show that the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament cannot, by themselves, be used authoritatively to establish or prove the gender of the Holy Spirit is John 14:16, and 17. Here we read that Jesus "will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Greek – Paracletos – masculine), that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit (Greek – Pneuma – neuter) of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him (it – the Greek here is in the neuter, corresponding to the neuter word for Spirit, Pneuma, and not the masculine word Comforter, Paracletos): but ye know him (it, same as above); for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." In other places where the words Pneuma (Spirit), and Paracletos (Comforter), are used together the masculine pronoun He is used, corresponding to the gender of the subject, the Comforter. See the Greek text of John 16:7-15.
Therefore, the common understanding of the gender in the Greek text cannot be used to clearly establish whether or not the Holy Spirit is definitely masculine or even genderless. It may also be noted that the Greek Septuagint, and New Testament writings can only be considered a relatively late contribution to the thinking of God's chosen people in regards to the gender of the Holy Spirit, and that, itself, of a questionable nature. For well over 1500 years before the coming of Christ, God's people, through the "most sacred" Hebrew language, had been given a feminine portrayal of the Holy Spirit. The idea that the Holy Spirit could be referred to as He or it, as portrayed in Greek or Latin, must be considered a "Johnny-come-lately," pagan notion, at best.
The word Paracletos is, itself, used extensively in the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, being translated in numerous variations from the corresponding Hebrew words, some of which are feminine.
It has been the general practice of translators to somewhat ignore the actual gender as it appears in the Greek, and, instead, look to the matter of implied personality for the assignment of gender. In other words, regardless of the gender in the Greek text, if personality is indicated for the Holy Spirit, the translators have used the masculine, He, basing this use on the gender of the word Comforter (Paracletos), which is masculine. When the word Pneuma (Spirit) appears separate from an indication of personality translators generally maintain the neuter it, corresponding to the neuter word for Spirit, Pneuma. But no matter whether the Greek reads He or it, the actual Hebrew or Aramaic words which Jesus spoke when he referred to the Holy Spirit were feminine. His words, in harmony with the Hebrew Scriptures which he had already given them would have portrayed the picture of a feminine Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in the minds of His Semitic listeners.
In John 14:15-18, Jesus says that He will send us the Comforter (the Holy Spirit), that He will not leave us "comfortless" (verse 18). This word comfortless in Greek is orphanos, and means orphans. In order to not leave us orphans, Jesus would have to send us a parent. And what better Parent could He send us than the One of whom we are born (John 3:5,8), the Holy Spirit, the Hebrew Goddess.
After the Jews had translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (i.e., the Septuagint) for the Greek-speaking Jews, they proclaimed a lengthy fast because of the loss of the beauty of the gender, and the accompanying poetry in the Hebrew Scriptures which could not be expressed in Greek.
In the following, we will examine the New Testament texts on the incarnation which are generally used to support the notion of the Holy Spirit being a masculine person. The first text which mentions the incarnation is in Matthew 1:18-20.
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. ... the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou Son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived [margin – begotten ] in her is of the Holy Ghost." Matthew 1:18-20.
It is the male that begets, while it is the female that conceives. Even though the Greek word here may refer to the masculine part in procreation (see verses 1-16, where the same Greek root word, gennao, is translated begat – a masculine action), this does not necessarily mean that the Holy Spirit is masculine, and that He (?) literally impregnated Mary with a divine male seed. Gennao is also applied to the female's work in procreation as seen in Luke 1:13, where we read, "Elisabeth shall bear thee a son," and in verses 35 and 57, where we read "that holy thing which shall be born of thee," and, "she brought forth a son."
In John 3:3-8, Jesus says that a man must be "born (gennethe) again" (verse 3). Nicodemus must have understood Jesus to be speaking of the process that one experiences with his mother, for he responded, "How can a man be born (gennethenai) when he is old? can he enter the second into his mother's womb, and be born (gennethenai)? (verse 4). Jesus' response portrays the beauty of God's thinking on this matter, for He says, "Except a man be born (gennethe) of water (an earthly mother) and of the Spirit (a heavenly Mother), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born (gegennemenon) of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born (gegennemenon) of the Spirit is spirit." (verses 5,& 6). This whole passage portrays the necessity of a heavenly Mother.
Matthew 1:18-20, says that Mary "was found with child of the Holy Ghost." Was this an act of creation, or procreation ? There is a difference.
The Greek word here which is translated "of," is ek, or ex . Though the word of appears 14 times in the King James version of this chapter, only 7 times is it translated from the word ek (actually 6 times from ek, and once from ex). The way that ek (ex) is used in this chapter is most enlightening on the subject at hand.
It appears in verses 3, 5, 6, and 16, and is used to describe the mother by whom a son was begotten.
"And Judas begat Phares and Zara of (ek) Thamar.... And Salmon begat Booz of (ek) Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of (ek) Ruth.... and David the king begat Solomon of (ek) her that had been the wife of Urias....And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of (ex) whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." Matthew 1:3, 5, 6, 16.
It is quite clear from these verses that ek is used here in the sense of meaning by the means of – "Judas begat Phares and Zara by the means of Thamar," etc. Males beget by the means of females. So, when we come to the 18th, and the 20th verses, and see that Mary was with child of (ek - by the means of) the Holy Ghost, the implication is that the Holy Ghost was the intermedial creative agency (in a Motherly sense, not a fatherly one) for Mary's conception. "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offerings thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared [margin – fitted] me." Hebrews 10:5. It is the work of mothers to prepare bodies. This can be even more clearly understood by looking at the conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel at the time of her conception, as recorded in Luke 1:34, 35.
"And the angel said unto her... behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son.... Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:30, 31, 34, 35.
The words which we have italicized are the keys to this text. The first, "come upon thee," means, "to supervene : i.e., arrive, occur, (fig.) influence" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, 1904), "upon thee." This term is never used in the Biblical sense of a man's knowing a woman, but only in the sense of approaching unto. The angel was telling Mary that the Holy Ghost would approach unto her, and that the power of the Highest would overshadow her.
Note that the angel does not say that the Person of the Holy Ghost would overshadow her, but rather that the power of the Highest would overshadow her. There is quite a difference between the two thoughts. If it were taken the first way, that the Person of the Holy Ghost somehow, literally, came upon her as a husband would, then that would make the Holy Ghost (a divine Person) the Father of Jesus. And, since many Christians believe the Holy Spirit (Ghost) is an influence only (rather than a Person who exerts an influence), they see the work here of the Holy Ghost as being that of the Father anyway, so why not think of His Spirit as masculine. The only problem with this thinking is that to come to these conclusions it is necessary to ignore the meaning the Greek word which is translated "overshadowed" (episkiazo), leave out part of the text, and to remove it from its historical context.
The Greek word episkiazo (overshadowed) is defined in Strong's as, "to cast a shade upon, i.e., (by analogy) to envelop in a haze of brilliancy; figuratively to invest with preternatural [beyond, super natural] influence." Strong's, 1982. This word appears 4 other times in the New Testament. Three times it is used to describe the overshadowing of a "cloud" (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34). The other place it appears is in Acts 5:15:
"They brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them." It was Peter's shadow, not his person that overshadowed the people.
The meaning of the word is quite clear in portraying the idea that the Holy Spirit "cast a shade" (invested with preternatural influence – worked a miracle) upon Mary and her seed.
The angel told Mary that when the Holy Ghost would approach her, that she would be overshadowed by the power of the Highest, whereby she would conceive her firstborn son without having known a man. What would be this young Jewish woman's thinking as this was being said to her, that is, what would she be expecting to happen? To understand this, we must look at her situation in the context of her place and times.
Mary (Miriam, in Hebrew), like most of the Jews in her day was looking for the Messiah, the Deliverer, who was by a promise of God to be born unto the Jews (Isaiah 9:6,7). That this Messiah was to be more than a mere man was also prophesied (see Micah 5:2, Psalm 45, etc.). There were, more than likely, a few speculative theories around in her day as to how the birth of the Messiah was to be, just as there is today a vast number of theories regarding that same incarnation. That which will clear up much of the confusion and help us to understand what actually happened is to understand what was actually said, including the language which the angel used.
There is no Scriptural reasoning for believing that the angel Gabriel was speaking to Mary in a language other than that which she was used to, that being Hebrew or Aramaic. In both of these languages the word for Spirit (i.e., Ghost) is feminine. In Genesis 1:2, where it reads, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," both the noun, Spirit (ruah), and the verb, moved (merachaphot), are feminine in the Hebrew. This is common knowledge, especially among the Jews. Therefore, when the angel Gabriel told Mary (in her native tongue) that she would be approached by the Holy Spirit (Ghost), she must have understood that she would be graced by the Presence of a divine, feminine Being who would, by the miraculous power of the Highest, cause her to be with child. There was no thought in her mind that the Holy Spirit was masculine, for that thought was not portrayed in the Hebrew Scriptures, nor in their languages, nor in their extra-Biblical writings where the Holy Spirit was also clearly portrayed as feminine. The femininity of the Holy Spirit was well-established in the thinking of the Jews in Mary's day, so she must have understood the words of Gabriel to be prophesying of the coming of a great event which was to be performed by the Holy Spirit; a virgin conceiving by a miracle of God, without anyone, human or divine, literally knowing her.
The angel said that it was the power of the Highest that was to cause her to conceive. Gabriel said to her, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus." Luke 1:31.
Please make careful note of the fact that there is not a word from the angel that there was to be something outside of her that was to be placed within her. There was no divine seed or egg implanted in her at the conception. Jesus did not become a sperm or an egg which was put into Mary's womb. It was upon her own body, her own seed that a miracle took place – the miraculous conception of the humanity of Jesus.
This text could not be any clearer in portraying the fact that Mary herself conceived, of her own seed a son, and that this conception took place in her womb. Though Christ was to be made of "the seed of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:16) according to the flesh, His existence as the first begotten (first born – the feminine is indicated in the Greek, Hebrews 1:6, 12:23) is not to be reckoned only from the birth of His humanity by Mary, for He was the Only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18, 3:16, 18; Hebrews 11:17; 1 John 4:9) when He created all things (Colossians 1:15-19). His begotten (inherited – Hebrews 1:4, Psalms 2:7) Son relationship with His Father existed before He created anything, while His new relationship as the Son of man who is also the Son of God, began at Mary's conception by "the power of the Highest." It cannot be said that He is the "first born of every creature" (Colossians 1:15), if He was not first born – that is, He was born before He created anything that gives birth. When He came into this world He gave up His divine form and glory to take upon Himself humanity, and thereby combined the two natures (see Philippians 2:6,7, and Hebrews 2:9-18).
"Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and God and man became one." The Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896. (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7-a, p. 444)
"Christ took upon Himself human nature, a nature inferior to His Heavenly nature. Nothing so shows the wonderful condescension of God as this....
"Christ did not make-believe take human nature; He did verily take it. He did in reality posses human nature. 'As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same [flesh and blood – from Mary's seed].' He was the son of Mary; He was of the seed of David according to human descent. " The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. (Ibid, p. 250)
In summary, we see that Christ's humanity was the fruit of Mary's human seed (the fruit of her womb) which the Holy Spirit, by a miraculous act of creation, caused to begin to grow. The Holy Spirit (Ghost) supplied (by an act of creation) that which a man's seed would normally contribute. This act of creation implanted all of the necessary genetic information, etc., for Christ to appear exactly as He did – that is, His very appearance was ordained of God. It was with this human body which was "prepared" (Hebrews 10:5) for Him by the combined work of His heavenly Mother (the Holy Spirit), and His earthly mother (Mary) that the Only-begotten Son of the Father combined His "inherited" (Hebrews 1:4) divine Nature.
"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." The Review and Herald, Feb. 18, 1890. (Ibid, p. 445)
"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 Jesus Christ. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not shrink and die; that would have been impossible." SDA BC, vol. 7-a, p. 446.
"The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of His humanity in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. " The Youth's Instructor, Oct. 13, 1898. (Ibid, p. 443)
This yoke (inferior humanity) which Christ willingly bore was not considered by Him to be unequal, for it was His mission to bear the sins of humanity that they may become as He is; that is, their humanity would be linked with His divinity, through the workings of the Spirit, and thus they would be equally yoked.
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church (congregation)." Hebrews 2:10-12. (see verses 13-18, also)
There must have been (and there still remains) a diversity of opinion regarding the dual nature of Christ's person which made it necessary for God to send these testimonies of the Spirit to set the matter straight and to remove the obstacles which would hinder the reception of the blessing that attends the truth of this matter.
"It was AFTER the Minneapolis Conference , and especially as Mrs. White was preparing the chapters for The Desire of Ages  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 [HER] 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, pg. 63.
Ellen White was not the only one who was receiving new light on the subject of Christ's "inherited" nature at this time. The back cover of Christ and His Righteousness, by E. J. Waggonner, says "Following this conference [Minneapolis, 1888], Dr. Waggonner [co-editor of the Signs of the Times, and a speaker at the conference] edited his messages which 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)." He began –
"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.
Definition: Only Begotten – Greek – monogenes, from monos – sole, single; and ginomai – to cause to be. Its meaning is literally – only-procreated.
Since God is eternal He has no beginning, therefore "the beginning" must refer to the beginning of the creation. But Waggonner also seems to be including in the phrase the time before any 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.
"... 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 [as earthly fathers and sons have the same woman in common – the wife of the father, the mother of the son].... Christ 'is in the bosom of the Father;' being by [inherited ] 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 [of God], who shall execute judgment and justice in the earth, shall be known by the name of Jehovah-tsidekenu-- THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." ibid. pgs. 23,24 [brackets added]
"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 [our heavenly Mother]. The difference is that JESUS WAS FIRST BORN A SPIRITUAL, A DIVINE BEING [BORN of HIS HEAVENLY MOTHER – THE HOLY SPIRIT], and second a human being [born of His earthly mother – Mary]" Victor T. Houteff, 1 Timely Greetings, No. 49, p.6, 7. [brackets and emphasis added]
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 first alone, not yet a father (Genesis 2:7,8,20-25; Romans 1:20). There was a time when the Son was begotten. Christ is called the "Everlasting Father" (Isa. 9:6). Eternal means forever past and present. Everlasting means having a beginning and continuing on forever. Christ was first the only-begotten Son of the Father, before He was called the "Everlasting Father " – sons are sons before they're fathers.
"Gods [Elohim – feminine base, Eloah, with the masculine, plural ending im ] said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness;.. So Gods created man in His Own image, in the image of Gods created He him, male and female, created He him." Gen. 1:26,27.
"In the day that Gods created man, in the likeness of Gods made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam." Gen. 5:1,2.
The word translated "man" refers to mankind, not exclusively to a male. If the male, alone, is the image and likeness of the Creator, the Hebrew word in the first chapters of Genesis should have been El, singular, masculine. Elim, would have implied a plural masculine Godhead, as Elohot would have indicated a plural feminine One. But as it is the one with the feminine base, with the masculine plural ending, Elohim, the testimony is quite clear – the Gods created gender in Their image.
"...they (the image and likeness of Gods – the man and the woman) shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24), as God (our Father) and the Holy Spirit (our Mother) are one Spirit, "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." Romans 1:20.
For Christ to have been "begotten," procreated, He of necessity would have had to have a Mother. Those who were given the responsibility of looking into this matter at the time it was presented in 1888 thought that such an idea was not only ridiculous, but even bordering on blasphemy. Many of the early pioneers of the Advent movement were not trinitarians . They believed the Holy Spirit to be only a divine influence, a divine power, and not a divine Person; there could be no Mother. But this was, and is not the end of the matter.
It's all Greek to Them
Into this mystery, dare we peek?
Not even if we are humble and meek?
It's all Greek, you can't understand.
Well, the picture you paint appears quite bleak.
Living Waters Branch
Printed in the United States of America