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Her Crusade: To tell the world the Holy Spirit is feminine

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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.
 
Shekinah Magazine

SHEKINAH, Second Anniversary Edition 9


Her crusade:
To tell the world the Holy Spirit is feminine


By MARY LASOVICH
Whig-Standard Staff Writer


Lois Roden, the 64-year-old leader of the Living Waters Branch – a reformist group that broke away from the Seventh-Day Adventists – launched a crusade in 1977 to inform the world that the Holy Spirit is a feminine representation.

Members of the 16-family community in Waco, Texas, devote countless hours and the bulk of their incomes to research and promotion of what Roden claims is the "correct" image of God: A Trinity that consists of the Father, Mother and Son. The male-female balance of the Godhead, she says, is an "old, old truth" that has been acknowledged by scholars, but has been "covered up" – until now.

Most church leaders have dismissed the notion of the femininity of the Holy Spirit as "ridiculous" and many religious orders reject, as well, the ordination of women into the ministry – a corollary of the theory adopted by the Living Waters Branch. But the unique sect persists in its uphill battle to restore the equality of the sexes, which Roden contends was lost during the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Last Wednesday, Roden appeared on a local radio 'hotline' show, sparking an emotional reaction from Kingston-area listeners. In an interview with The Whig-Standard, Roden noted that revelation of the Holy Spirit to the masses has been limited to religious teachings about "the symbol of the dove and the tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost." The time has come, she said, to unravel the "mystery" of the Holy Spirit.

The following is an edited transcript of that interview:


Whig-Standard: You preach a new revelation about the Holy Spirit – and it came to you in a vision?

Roden: Yes, it did. It was a very emphatic impression...or vision that I had after I first started [teaching that the Holy Spirit is a feminine representation] in 1977. There was quite a bit of controversy within my own congregation – the men just couldn't believe it, and some of the women couldn't believe it. But they decided to study the subject in depth and they finally came to the same conclusion that I had. Historical records, archeological records

Lois Roden
Lois Roden: 'The Holy Spirit is feminine'

all prove it, especially the Aramaic – the original manuscript which the Gospels were written in – verify the fact that the Holy Spirit is indeed feminine.

Whig-Standard: How did this vision come to you?

Roden: I was studying one night, about 2 o'clock in the morning . . . I was studying the book of Revelation (Rev. 18:1-4) which tells of a mighty angel that is to come down to earth and lighten the whole earth with the glory of God. I looked up at my window and there was a vision of a shimmering, silver angel in feminine form on a background of myriad silver angels and so, from that time on, I had no difficulty. I was sure then that God had confirmed the femininity of the Holy Spirit to me...I have no doubt that [this issue] is going to cause quite a reformation in the religious ranks.

Whig-Standard: It's already sparked a very emotional reaction – including the reaction that you got on the hotline show in Kingston...

Roden: It takes a while for new things to catch on – even Einstein was not credited until many years after his discovery and Galileo was [branded] a heretic. Many dissidents of the past who brought new truth were martyred ... Technologically-speaking, we have

advanced far beyond the first century. But, as far as religion is concerned, we've advanced only a little further than the vision of Christ on the cross, and of the Father as depicted by Moses in the Ten Commandments. As far as knowledge of the Holy Spirit is concerned, it's still a mystery. So God revealeth his secrets to his servants, the prophets – and that's the way the world is made acquainted with God.

Whig-Standard: Why is it, do you think, that you in particular would be chosen...or, at least, that now would be the time?

Roden: Well, I couldn't understand why God would permit me to have such a great part in the work...The only reason I could see is that I'm just ignorant enough to follow instructions that I believe I'm given, and the fact that I'm a woman makes it reasonable...A woman is the only one that would know about the femininity of the heavenly woman – I mean she would understand it more. Men do not understand it.

Whig-Standard: Is it primarily men who are rejecting the idea of the Holy Spirit being feminine?

Roden: It depends on the background of the men and women to whom you're speaking. If the women are professionals, if they have responsibilities in the public then they are more acquainted with the position of women in the world…Most of the women who oppose this idea are women who are not accustomed to taking responsibility for their own actions – that's what it really amounts to. And men, if they are of the scholarly background, then it's not difficult to talk to them...This information is in the Vatican right now. All of it is hidden behind locked doors but it's coming out – because it's time for the world to know about the third person of the Godhead

Whig-Standard: What was the initial reaction in your own community?

Roden: Well, the men thought I'd lost my mind...and they almost convinced me that I had. But that's when I had the vision. I was very frustrated and troubled about it, and thinking that I would leave it all – not talk about the subject any more – when I got the absolute conviction that the Holy Spirit was feminine.

Whig-Standard: Why do you think that it's important that people know that, and not only know it but come to believe it?


10 SHEKINAH, Second Anniversary Edition


Roden: I think that a family without a mother figure is incomplete and I think the image of God is incomplete without the image of the feminine part of the Godhead. You have the Father and the Son, which both tell you that there's a mother there. It takes a woman to make a father; it takes a woman to produce a son. Now the concept that most religionists have, saying that the Holy Spirit is masculine and the Holy Spirit begat the Son within Mary – this is an erroneous doctrine because what they're teaching is that Jesus had two Fathers in heaven.

Whig-Standard: There are far-reaching implications if people do accept that the Holy Spirit is feminine – as far as changing the whole concept of women, not only in religion but, perhaps, in daily life.

Roden: In every walk of life, it's going to lift up the moral image of woman on this earth, which has been downtrodden and suppressed until this time.

Whig-Standard: You present a feminist view, yet you've said that you're not...

Roden: I'm not [a feminist] because I base my concept of the femininity of the Holy Spirit strictly on the Scriptures. Most people do not know that God was worshipped as female before the advent of Abraham and Moses, during that nearly 2,000 years...but archeologists have proved it, and it's a matter of record that is really not questioned. I have made it my business to learn everything that I can about this subject and I'm still learning. Authors have sent me books and graduate students have sent theses on this subject...This is not new, it's just new to me. Scholars for the last 15 years have been bringing forth evidence, and [Arthur] Watson has shown [in an iconographic study published in 1934] that the Isaiah 11:1 Tree of Jesse is feminine, but it's still accepted as an all-male lineage of the Messiah...

Whig-Standard: Will you tell me a little more about the founding of the Living Waters Branch [by Roden's late husband, Benjamin, in 1955]?

Roden: We have backgrounds in the Seventh-Day Adventists and the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists ...but before that, I was a member of the Church of Christ so I have a varied background. When I find truth, I feel that I should start observing it, obeying it, so it takes me from one church to another. When the concept of new truth comes to a congregation, there are some who accept and some who reject, and it's usually the majority who reject – so the minority are usually cast out. That's the way it happens. [Martin] Luther was cast out of the Catholic Church...All the reformatory churches were cast out. When new truth came, the minority

accepted and then they formed a new denomination – that's the history of the denominations of today. The [Living Waters] Branch was a reform movement, [founded] because a new truth came to that denomination that the new name of Jesus was the Branch...And when you go to the Scriptures, Jeremiah 33:15-16 shows [the coming of a female Messiah] a Branch – She – the Lord our righteousness.

Whig-Standard: So the second coming of the Messiah will appear in female form?

Roden: Yes, that's right. Jesus says 'I will pray to the Father and He will send you another comforter in my name' – so the Holy Spirit has the same name as Jesus and that's why they're both confused. People think they're one, that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one person...that the Holy Spirit is just a force, an energy. But we know now from the creation story that they are male and female in the Godhead. Because God said [Genesis 1:26] 'let us make man in our image,' we see that the Godhead made their images in the earth both male and female, in Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were two distinct images of God in heaven. And so, the question is: Who was Eve made in the image of? Certainly not Adam or the Father or the Son, so she's made in the image of the female personality of the Godhead. Romans 1:20 says that the invisible God is clearly seen by the things that were created, that the Godhead is made known and that we're really 'without excuse' if we don't know that there's male and female in the Godhead...

The Whig -
Standard


KINGSTON, ONTARIO
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1981

Whig-Standard: What kind of reaction have you had from Seventh-Day Adventists?

Roden: Well, Seventh-Day Adventists, as a whole, are not amenable to this idea. But I had a call from a young pastor in the western part of the United States who informed me that he'd just ordained his first woman elder in the church. And he said a certain person in the high leadership [of the Seventh Day Adventists] 'told me six years ago that the Holy Spirit was female.' He said 'I believe it and I'm going to teach it' – so we have the beginning of the breaking through of the wall of Adventist opposition.

Whig-Standard: Have there been things that have encouraged you? I'm thinking of the [1980] task force report of the National Council of Churches

[in the United States] – one of the things they addressed was the question of the Holy Spirit, suggesting that we should rid ourselves of masculine references. I'm not sure if they recommended a feminine substitute...

Roden: On one occasion I got a report that the World Council of Churches was thinking of [using the term) 'she' for the Holy Spirit – so it shows they've been investigating this matter. But I don't think that you have to change the language of the Bible. You don't have to reinterpret it – you just have to teach the true meaning of it, because any time you say 'father' you're saying 'mother' at the same time...

Whig-Standard: So you don't believe you need to start the Lord's prayer with 'Our Mother'...

Roden: No. You can say 'Our Father and Our Mother who art in heaven' but by saying Our Father...you're automatically saying Our Mother – because it takes a woman to make a father. You see it's the understanding of the terminology that counts and if the ministry would teach the true understanding, they'd know that the Holy Spirit is feminine and there would be no problem of reinterpreting the Bible.

Whig-Standard: Although acceptance of that view would lead to radical changes in the structure of the church – the ordination of women to the ministry of the Catholic Church, for example.

Roden: They take (their stand) on the premise that there's no female image in the priesthood….but now, since the Holy Spirit is revealed as feminine, there is an image in the priesthood for females. Melchisedek, the priest of the most high God, having no beginning or no ending, could speak of no other personage than a person of the Godhead. So we have God the Father, God the Mother and God the Son – and they were all of the order of Melchisedek... the word in itself is masculine/feminine [reflecting) the Hebrew term for king or queen, and the original name of Jerusalem.

Whig-Standard: You made a trip to Israel last year?

Roden: I've made three trips to Jerusalem and I consulted an eminent rabbi in East Jerusalem who definitely told me that the Shekinah – which is the counterpart of the Christian Holy Spirit – is feminine...the Shekinah is the manifestation of God's presence in different places.

Whig-Standard: It strikes me as interesting that your premise is coming out at a time when feminism, or whatever you want to call it, is focusing attention on the fact that women have not been treated as equals...


SHEKINAH, Second Anniversary Edition 11


Roden: Jesus accepted men and women apostles and we have records in the early Christian church [of periods] when there were women bishops and women priests but this knowledge has been suppressed...A Catholic teacher – an archeologist – has presented to the world [photographs of] a mosaic in the catacombs of Rome that show women being ordained as priests. This information will normalize the situation and give a religious background to the equality of women, whereas it's been mostly a social or a civil aspect and means have been employed to bring equality in a way that has brought suffering to both men and women...I don't teach either female supremacy or male supremacy. I normalize it and show that they're both going to be equal and glad of it. The church has presented to the world an unbalanced image of God...It has brought an abnormal view by eliminating the feminine image in the Godhead.

Whig-Standard: Are you optimistic that [the notion of the femininity of the Holy Spirit] is going to be commonly accepted?

Roden: Yes, I have the conviction and the verification from God that this is going to be effective and it's going to succeed. It's going to be the greatest reformation that the world has ever known – and also the greatest controversy.

Whig-Standard: The Bible is something that people tend to quote when they want to support their point of view, and it's often been said that you can prove almost anything that you want to prove by taking certain sections of the Bible. Do you think it's going to be enough for people to hear you say that there is Scriptural evidence for your concept of the Holy Spirit?

Roden: That's the reason there are so many different views in the world today – because everyone is interpreting the Bible for himself. But God's method of teaching truth is through the prophetic voice. In the past, it's been almost totally rejected by each generation, but if we want unity in the world we have to listen to God's voice...

Whig-Standard: Do you envision a great upheaval in religious ranks with breakaway sects, whether they are known as the Living Waters Branch or something else, being established in different parts of the world?

Roden: I see that it isn't necessary for people to move around in their denominations, only to grow in the truth. I'm not calling people into some new movement – I'm calling them into the truth...but there

are thousands of people who are writing in, telling us they want to associate with us. In our own church, we don't take offerings, we don't sell literature, we don't sell tapes, we give everything free. We're self-supporting literature evangelists...

Whig-Standard: Who do you find to be the most receptive to your message?

Roden: It tends to be young people – male and female. They're more progressive and less set in their ways...and they're not bound by some tradition in the past. But I find that most older people, religionists especially, are bound by denominational walls. You'll find that when a denomination gets so organized and so advanced in what they think is knowledge, they become very intolerant...so God surprises them at every turn with new truth to shake them up and keep them moving. God wouldn't force anyone's religious conscience, you know, but man...has persecuted and killed in the name of God. I don't see that. I say that if a person doesn't agree with me...they have that right. If you have the truth, you can encounter error and survive.

Whig-Standard: Do you think that religion, as a force in society, has declined?

Roden: It's burned out. They have no more to offer because they haven't given the complete image of God to the world. If they give the family image, then we'll know we're not orphans — that we belong to someone, that we're the images of the family in heaven.

Whig-Standard: You certainly present an intriguing point of view...

Roden: It's really exciting...The evidence is piling up to where a reasonable person wouldn't object, but it's new and that's why it's being resisted. It's out of the common order of things. Just so, in the time when Jesus came, the Hebrews were so accustomed to knowledge of one God

the Father, as revealed by Moses, that they said Jesus was a blasphemer because He said He was the Son of the Father.

They didn't want knowledge of another God, so they killed Him. Now, we're coming to the knowledge of another person in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, so there will be more controversy, more enmity, over this revelation than any before. But it will be victorious...

Whig-Standard: Was there anything in your vision that revealed how long your work may take...whether acceptance will occur in your lifetime?

Roden: I understood in the beginning, in 1977, that I would be teaching this truth seven years to the leadership – to religious leaders – and then it would go to the laity of the whole world. But even before this seven years has finished, I have seen it going over the whole world already, so I have hope that it's not going to be very long...The promise of this is that there will be people living on earth now who will never see death. That was the original purpose that God had for Adam and Eve, that they were to live forever and continually become more and more like God, their creators. Satan interrupted the plan so an alternate plan had to be brought forth...We're facing this right now – the restitution of all things as it was in the beginning, man having direct communication with God, face to face like Adam and Eve did. That's a wonderful thing to think about...but to know God personally, you'd have to know about the persons [of the trinity]. So to get the power of the Holy Spirit, you'd have to be acquainted with the person that you get it from – that's my position. There's a woman who wrote a graduate thesis, on the feminine Holy Spirit, back in 1971, who relates this quip: She said – 'My Father in heaven, where is my mother?' And God answered back – 'My daughter, I thought you would never ask.'

cartoon



Articles and letters printed in SHEKINAH do not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of the Staff. The SHEKINAH is simply a sounding-board and explores all sides and all angles, leaving the reader to choose, with the aid of the Spirit, that which is truth.





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