Restoring the Christian Woman
The Female Rôle in
Sabbath Day Sermon: Saturday 19 October 2002
Click here to read Part 2
I wonder if there is any woman alive who deep down does not want to be treated like a lady, princess, or queen? And yet there are many women in this world - more so in the last century than at any time previously - who expect to be treated "like the boys".
Most of you have heard of Sarah, the beautiful first wife of Abraham the Patriarch. Some of you may know that the Hebrew sarah means 'lady', 'princess' or 'queen', that is, a woman who possesses authority. In worldly society, we use the term 'lady' to designate a woman of rank, but in the spiritual sphere a 'lady', 'princess' or 'queen' is one who possesses a spiritual authority - not because of social standing or position - but because the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is within her. Today I want to take a look at that spiritual authority which belongs to the godly woman but before I do, can anyone tell me what Sarah was originally called? For 'Sarah' was not the name Abraham's first wife was born with.
When Abraham met his first wife she was called Sarai. And in case you didn't know, the Hebrew word sarai means 'domineering'. That's right, she was a domineering woman in the beginning, not a little prideful, a bit of a bully, and definitely lacking in grace when it came to her arrogant maid Hagar who seemed to find no problem in showing her mistress disrespect. We are told that a rivalry developed between these two women because the younger Hagar was fruitful, giving Abraham a son, whereas Sarai remained barren. But this is not, I believe, the only reason that Sarai had problems with Hagar: she also had a problem with spiritual maturity. The domineering and bullying Sarai was in many way perfectly matched by her arrogant maidservant Hagar. They belonged together in more ways than one.
And then something changed. Sarai got a new name. Now as we know, when Yahweh gives someone a name, that name is always prophetic. We know that Abram was renamed Abraham to indicate his new status-to-be, 'Abraham' meaning in the Hebrew 'Father of a Multitude'. What is particularly interesting is that when his first wife received a new name, its meaning was very similar to her husband's. Listen to the way this event is described in the Book of Genesis:
"Then God (Elohim) said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her"" (Gen. 17:15-16, NKJV).
In both cases, the name changes reflect a prophecy of what would be accomplished through this couple's descendants. They were both very old at this time - Abraham was 99 no less! Interesting though this prophecy is regarding the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, and how they would multiply enormously, spreading across the face of the earth - what I want to focus on is the spiritual dimension of this name change as it relates to Sarah in particular. For the 'domineering' woman, who was beautiful (and knew she was), would now possess (no doubt because age and experience had mellowed her somewhat) spiritual beauty as reflected in true motherhood, and become a true spiritual queen.
A domineering woman is a most repulsive creature to a man of God; but a woman who possesses that gentle and quiet spirit we talked about last week is very much desired by him. However, there is more to a godly woman than one who possesses meekness and quietness, for as we learn from Sarah, there are other desirable attributes too.
As we have seen over the last two weeks, our model of feminine virtue and holiness is derived from our Heavenly Mother, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Those of us who have been born again know exactly what it feels like to have the Ruach (Spirit) minister to you. There is nothing compulsive about Her and yet there is also an unmistakable power associated with Her. What is that power? And how does it differ from the power of our Heavenly Father, Yahweh?
One of the most informative and detailed books on the Ruach (Spirit) is the Book of Proverbs, and its apocryphal equivalent, the Wisdom of Solomon. Here she is given the Hebrew name Hochma or Wisdom. In Proverbs we read:
"When Yahweh set the heavens in place, I was present,
When Yahweh drew a ring on the surface of the deep,
When Yahweh fixed the clouds above,
When Yahweh fixed fast the wells of the deep,
when Yahweh assigned the sea its limits-
and the waters will not invade the land,
when Yahweh established the foundations of the earth,
I was by Yahweh's side, a master craftswoman,
delighting Yahweh day after day,
ever at play by Yahweh's side,
at play everywhere in Yahweh's domain,
delighting to be with the children of men" (Prov.8:27-31).
We are at once impressed by the creative and playful nature of the sacred feminine, and the way She acts like a bosom companion, a divine Eve. She was present in the very beginning. The same Book of Proverbs says:
"Yahweh created (acquired) me when Yahweh's purpose first unfolded" (Prov.8:22)
and in the parallel Book of Ecclesiasticus in the Apocrypha we are told that before the material world was created, Hochma was created (Ecclus.1:14). In the Wisdom of Solomon she is readily identified with the Holy Breath - the Ruach haQodesh:
"She is the breath of Yahweh's power and a stream of pure glory of the Almighty.
This is why nothing polluted enters her.
For she mirrors Yahweh's energy completely, and she images Yahweh's goodness" (Wisdom 7:25-26)
So perfect is their union and harmony that to all intents and purposes the Father and the Mother are indistinguishable. She is like a mirror, perfectly reflecting the goodness and power of Yahweh from whom She was taken. And as a result it is through the Ruach (Spirit) that Yahweh communicates to us, his children, just as a mother teaches her children what she is in turn taught by her husband. This relationship is not one of slave to master but of someone who simply shares the same heart and mind as Her Husband. They walk in perfect agreement.
One of the revelations of the Holy Order, from the Firstborn Seal, tells us this about female principle:
"The glory of the woman is the womb for it is the beginning of all things. For this cause a man hath no womb. All that moveth, and was, and will be, cometh through the womb; And the womb is gentle, receptive, nourishing and safe. This is the glory of female principle" (FBS 881223:217-220).
The apostle Paul wrote:
"In Yah'shua (Jesus) ... woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of a woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from Eloah (Yahweh)" (1 Cor.11:11-12).
Earlier this summer I had a rather astonishing experience. I was lying down on the floor relaxing quietly and meditating on Yahweh after doing some physiotherapeutic exercises when I suddenly saw a vision. I was shown a woman's womb and to my amazement, inside this womb were billions of stars. It was extraordinarily beautiful. But what amazed me the most, I think, was the fact that the universe was depicted as being contained within such a womb. It was then I began to understand how vast and potent female principle is.
The Firstborn Seal says a little earlier:
"Male principle is directive and female principle is receptive, and upon these principles have all things been made that were made" (v.211).
One of the reasons there are so many more women converts to Christ than men is that female principle is much more receptive or teachable. The Firstborn Seal continues:
"The womb is not male, for it is not directive, but must receive, even as the cupped hands receive water from the fountain. The male is directive and sendeth itself forth and cannot receive. Therefore the female must receive and must become the gate or opening. She is a temple, an holy house, a creature of warmth; And the male is her guest, even he who cometh into the bridal chamber, with naked feet and gifts of Light. She is the vessel that containeth the wine; And if there is no vessel, the wine is spilled and lost. Therefore the male is not without the female, nor the female without the male, even as it is written" (1 Cor.11:11) (vv.221-228).
This may not be liked by the Sarai's of this world, but then the Sarai's of this world are not in harmony with their created purpose. We read further:
"When the woman seeketh to be the wine she shall not be satisfied, for she goeth forth from her temple, the womb, which [thus] dieth unto her. And when the womb dieth, the woman dieth also; Or in other words, when the female seeketh to be male, she shall lose her heart or centre, for the centre of the woman is birthing and nourishment, whether it be of children or of things spiritual, it mattereth not, for this is the measure of her creation (1 Tim.2:15). This is the female principle: it doubteth not, it enquireth not, it questioneth not, and is not aggressive, for all these things belong unto the male principle" (vv.229-232).
And yet we read in the Song of Solomon that the woman is not entirely passive. It is the Shulamite woman who goes out searching for her lover, not the lover who comes exclusively searching for her. In other words, the woman does exert some male principle! In the Holy Order we teach that woman is six parts female and one part male, and the man the other way round. The Hebrews call the seventh day the "Sabbath Queen" because it is the female 'Day of Rest', unlike the six active male working days of the week. The Week is seen to be male overall with a female component, the Sabbath. Or as it is put in the Firstborn Seal: "The male principle is six parts movement and one part rest, but the female principle is six parts rest and one part movement" (v.246). We read further:
"The woman waiteth until he hath brought it unto her, and receiveth it, and nourisheth it, and protecteth it, and bringing forth children of Light. She waiteth for her beloved, and she waiteth for eternity. For this cause I, Yahweh, have never established a Church through the hands of a woman, but I have raised up many prophetesses who have received and nourished the Word.
"The female is passive, and the male is active; the male seeketh and findeth, and the female waiteth and nourisheth. The man of God is aggressive for he doubteth, enquireth, and travelleth far to search, and seeketh to conquer the unknown. For this cause came the Son of Man into the world to seek out sinners and to overcome sin" (vv.234-239).
"Female principle is trusting and faithful, for this is the spirit of the womb. And thus a baby abideth in peace in the womb of a true female. But male principle is built upon logic, scepticism and doubt; And these may either be positive or negative, edifying or destructive, even as love and jealousy may be positive or negative. Female principle is not logical but dreaming, because dreaming is waiting, and waiting is the foundation of the womb. That which endureth is female, and is the pure love of Christ ... which suffereth long, and is kind, envieth not, and is not puffed up, rebelleth not, and seeketh not her own (1 Cor.13:4-8). For she is faithful, and betrayeth not her beloved one, but abideth in patience until the cosmic womb delivereth unto her that for which she hath waited. The delight of a wife is the multiplication of her husband; And the delight of a husband is the trust, faith and love of his wife" (vv.252-259).
Unfortunately, many of these gender distinctions have nearly been entirely lost by the intense programing we receive from our unisexual media, but in so doing men and women are left neutered, and the attraction between them is lessened. Little wonder that marriages don't seem to last long these days because the attractive power has so much diminished.
I mentioned that there are times that men need to exhibit female qualities, and the women male qualities. The Firstborn Seal puts it this way:
"Truth is male and love is female; Let the man [also] become female and seek after love, and let the woman become male and seek after truth, that none shall be deceived. For every woman who maketh herself male shall enter the Kingdom; and every man who maketh himself female shall enter the Kingdom. And every woman who maketh herself her husband and is one with him shall see the Light; And every man who maketh himself his wife and is one with her shall see the Light. For unless that which is unconscious is conscious, and that which is hidden is revealed, and that which is lost is found, and that which is taken away is restored, ye can in no wise enter the glory of the Firstborn. Therefore let male and female be one according to the appointment of the Father, the male learning love, and the female learning truth and honour, that all divisions may cease, and the rebellion of Lucifer and Lilith be destroyed forever. Nevertheless let the male perfect his own principle, and the female hers, that all may live according to their stewardship and foreordination" (vv.261-268)."
This is one of the deepest and most profound revelations ever received by NCCG. I give you but a sample as we do not ordinarily give out Holy Order revelations to the public. But I hope the extracts from this one will help you better understand what it is to be a man and a woman in Christ.
What more can we learn of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and therefore of ideal womanly principles? Proverbs tells us:
"I, Wisdom, dwell together with Prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear Yahweh is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behaviour and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgement are mine; I have understanding and power" (Proverbs 8: 12-14).
In his allegory of the Christian life called Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan correctly depicted 'Prudence' as a woman who assisted Christian on his journey to Zion. He identifies two others as well. And so She is identified in this Proverb, being known in Hebrew as Ormah. So Hochma and Ormah "dwell together". Does the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) have two names or does She, in fact, consist of more than one Person? The Book of Proverbs tells us:
"Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars" (Prov 9:1, NKJV).
Furthermore, the Book of Revelation tells us:
"Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits (Ruachs) of God (Eloah/Yahweh)" (Rev.4:5, NKJV).
"And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits (Ruachs) of God (Eloah/Yahweh) sent out into all the earth" (Rev.5:6-7, NKJV).
I do not have time to develop this important theme here today but I will say this: the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is sevenfold consisting of Seven Persons just as the Elohim or Godhead is threefold consisting of Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And all of these are echad or One. Each one is El - a Mighty One - and they are all Elohim (God).
I hope that today you will have come to more deeply appreciate the divine rôle of the female in our salvation and our sanctification, as well as in human relations. To be saved we need to be born again of the Ruach (Spirit) and only then can we truly see and understand the Kingdom of Heaven.
There are many who wonder why I have such a deep and abiding testimony of these principles and that is because many years ago - in about 1979 - the Heavenly Mother appeared before me in my room in Oxford. It is one of the most sacred and beautiful experiences I have ever had, and not one that I share very often. But to end today's sermon I shall.
"I saw before me what appeared to be giant flower petals laced together as if to make a curtain. One by one, starting at the bottom, the petals began to fall away until before me lay a beautiful scene. I saw rolling green hills covered in luscious grass, and flowers of a colour and intensity quite unlike anything in this world. I could hear a tinkling sound like Chinese wind bells blowing in a breeze that had a calming effect on the soul, and which seemed to blend naturally into the scene.
"Standing before me, with this scene as a backdrop, was a tall and graceful woman who seemed to possess both eternal youth and the wisdom of great age. She was extraordinarily beautiful and radiated peace and plenty. A long shimmering white dress extended from Her neck to Her ankles such that of Her body only Her hands and face were visible. As I became accustomed to the light emanating from Her I could see that Her dress was embroidered with fine floral and symbolic patterns and that there were many colours which seemed to have their own existence and were woven together in an intricate tapestry. She stood not five feet away from me. After She had identified Herself as the Heavenly Mother, She - and the background scene - simply faded away" (HO-FBS 19790000).
I have not seen her since but the memory of Her visitation is as fresh as though it were yesterday. At no time did I feel I should worship Her. Only in my New Birth experience, which occurred two years before, and which was far more powerful than this manifestation of the Ruach (Spirit), did I feel naturally moved to fall on my knees and worship Yahweh my Father in Heaven.
So you might say that I have an unshakeable testimony of Yahweh the Father, Yah'shua (Jesus) the Son, and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). For this reason I want you women to behave like ladies and princesses and to hold the divine masculine in the deepest of reverence; and you men to behave like gentlemen and princes and to hold the divine feminine with the deepest of respect also. Together they are one and inseparable.
May the Elohim - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - bless you all. Amen.
We are sometimes asked why, if the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is Deity (a part of the Godhead), why (a) we should not worship Her, and (b) why She would not herself wish to be worshipped.
(a) To begin with, the Bible nowhere commands worship of anyone but our Heavenly Father, Yahweh. It permits us in adddition to worship the Son, Yah'shua (Jesus), by virtue of the fact that (i) He is He is One (echad) with Yahweh, and (ii) He bears Yahweh's Name as YAH'shua. However, as the Lord's Prayer clearly teaches us, all worship properly belongs to the Father, Yah, and Yah'shua is His intermediary or intercessor. We do not worship Yah'shua (Jesus) in and for Himself.
(b) The Heavenly Mother's identity is in the Heavenly Father, Yahweh. Therefore in worshipping Yahweh, the proper respect and honour is given to the Elohim. We worship one God, Yahweh-Elohim (KJV, "LORD God"), that is, "Yahweh of the Elohim". Her pleasure as His wife's honour is obtained from that worship. To worship Her apart from Him, or together with Him, would (i) dishonour Yahweh, and (ii) be tantamount to polytheism, making her a goddess in Her own right, which She is not.
There is only one God, Yahweh-Elohim. In the beginning there was only Yahweh, who was, and is, and will forever more be, the One and Only God. The Mother (Ruach haQodesh) was, as we have seen, taken from Him, to be His Companion, just as Eve was taken from Adam. And they had a Son, uniquely begotten, Yah'shua (Jesus). Both the Mother and the Son are not only Elohim but specifically - since they come from Yahweh - Yahweh-Elohim. They are therefore rightly "Yahweh" themselves. They are not "created", as we and angels are, but derived. Their origin is not as ours, for they are, and have been, and always will be, eternally God (Elohim).
What is important here is that woman finds her identity, worth, and meaning in her husband in the same echad way. The only praises and attention she should be seeking for are from her husband. When a woman, for instance, dresses herself up or does other things in order to get attention from others (especially other men), she is breaking the echad principle. Similarly, a husband is to obtain his identity, worth, and meaning in Yahweh-Elohim, having no other God beside Him.
Finally, a grood friend of mine, who read the previous sermon in this series, has asked me to point out one further salient truth in male-female relations.
"There is one other obvious parallel ... it is our earthly mother alone who can tell and assure us, and verify for us, who it is that our earthly/biological father really is in this world (no one else could so testify because of the nature of the act of conception that she alone was party to), so it is as well with the Holy Ghost who testifies as to who our Heavenly Father is after we've been "born".... In effect, we know who our mother is since we in effect have witnessed our own birth and have previously enjoyed the closeness of her spirit/identity when [a] fetus, allowing us to immediately recognize the "face" of the one who bore us as we are delivered into this world. But not so with our father's identity. "That," we must rely upon from the honest direction from our mother to show us and assure us as to whom it may be"
This is so very true.
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Last updated on 19 October 2002
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