In the previous chapter we noticed how the flow of life preserved as a channel of blessing from Father to Son to man to woman. The structure of the male/female relationship in the image of God – The Father and Son is vital to preserve the life flow. In this chapter we want to focus on the spiritual nature of this life flow.
A. Physical and Spiritual Channel of Blessing
Man has been created with two fountains reflective of the body plus breath formula of Gen 2:7. Man passes his physical seed through the sexual union but he passes his spiritual seed through the words that he speaks. As in the physical so in the spiritual:
- A man gives physical seed to his wife in loving intimacy and she nurtures it to form a body.
- A man then fills that body with spiritual seed by blessing his children and his wife nurtures both body and spirit. Here is the wonder of both physical and spiritual birth.
This is how Adam begat a son in his image and likeness. He made the form through his wife and then filled it with his word and nurtured him through his wife, so that Seth resembled himself.
This is what Jesus meant when He said:
John 3:6,7 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.(from above)
The word in the Greek for again renders more directly from above. We must be born in the physical (the flesh) but also from above through the Word.
This principle of forming and filling is the process God used to create the world.
Light and Dark
Sun, moon and stars
Waters on earth and in the sky (atmosphere)
Swimming and flying creatures
Ground and vegetation
Ground dwelling creatures
- Adam and Eve
B. The Father’s Role as Blessor
The process of filling the form or mind of a child and creating a robust sense of identity comes primarily in the form of a blessing. This is why Prov 17:6 says:
Pro 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
The word glory carries the meaning of to boast as in “let not the wise man glory in his wisdom” (Jeremiah 9:23,24); do not boast or find value or worth in your wisdom. In this sense, a child obtains a sense of worth or value and identity from their father. Some translations like the NIV change the word father to parents, but this is based on a performance-view of men and women. The word in Hebrew is ab – Father. A child’s father is his source and seed, and his mother nurtures that seed. To form and fill a child with body and (right) spirit requires both father and mother, but the father is the source of blessing as expressed in Prov 17:6.
Notice what Ellen White says about the Father’s role:
“The husband and father is the head of the household. The wife looks to him for love and sympathy and for aid in the training of the children; and this is right.” AH 211
“All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues: energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness.” AH 213
“The father represents the Divine Lawgiver in his family. He is a laborer together with God, carrying out the gracious designs of God and establishing in his children upright principles, enabling them to form pure and virtuous characters.” AH 213
Please notice carefully this next statement, remembering all we have mentioned about life flow structure.
“God is love. Like rays of light from the sun, love and light and joy flow out from Him to all His creatures. It is His nature to give. His very life is the outflow of unselfish love. "His glory is His children's good; His joy, His tender Fatherhood." He tells us to be perfect as He is, in the same manner. We are to be centers of light and blessing to our little circle, even as He is to the universe. We have nothing of ourselves, but the light of His love shines upon us, and we are to reflect its brightness. "In His borrowed goodness good," we may be perfect in our sphere, even as God is perfect in His. Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God's children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ dwells "all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest "in our mortal flesh" (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for "the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul." Psalm 19:7, margin. Through love "the righteousness of the law" will be "fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."” MB 78
Summarising the above passage we notice:
- God’s life flows out in unselfish love to all His creatures.
- We are to be centres of light and blessing in the same way. We are to be perfect in our sphere as He is in His.
- Every child lives by the life of (or life that flows through) their father.
- This life is the life of Jesus manifest in our mortal flesh.
- It will produce the same character in us as it has in Him.
Can you see the power of understanding the structure and flow of the life of God? Here is the very heart of righteousness by faith. A key part of understanding righteousness by faith involves understanding the structure and life flow of God.
So how does a Father pass this blessing to his children?
Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Gen 12:2,3 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:1-4 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
The Father’s words give the identity and value system to the child. Value and worth flow from the life source and as the father represents the heavenly Father in the family structure, he carries the life source.
Notice the emphasis of the patriarchs on blessing their children. When a father says to his child, you are precious, you are important, you are special and you are a child of God, his words carry the blessing and life of God. The father carries the power to bless and the power to curse as expressed in Prov 18:21 – “death and life are in the power of the tongue”.
Do we as fathers realize how great is this power? Are we allowing our mouths to be the fountain which fills the minds of our children with the life of God? What a privilege to be made in God’s image, what a gift to have the power to bless. We see Jesus express this principle of words giving life in the following verse:
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
C. Attack on the Father’s Role
The enemy of our souls understands this principle well. He knows that if he can either shut down the spring flowing from the father directly or choke it through altering the submissive role of the mother, he will greatly inhibit a child from being filled with the Spirit of God.
Satan knows that fathers are the source and hold the key to filling children with the Spirit of God by their blessing. For this reason, he has sought every device possible to destroy the role of the father to stop the source of the life spring. He can do it basically in three ways:
- Take the father out of the home.
- Cause the father to ignore his responsibility to bless his children.
- Cause the mother to take the leadership role of the home.
I don’t think anyone will disagree that these three things are happening everywhere in our church and society. When a couple divorce and the father has limited access to his children, it takes the blessing away from the child. The mother will of course continue to try and nurture her children but, without the seed and blessing of her husband, she will nurture in vain unless she can find some other means to restore the seed and blessing process. We will look at how God has made provision to restore the blessing shortly, but let us continue with Satan’s attempt to extinguish the life spring through the father.
How does Satan cause men to ignore their responsibility to their children? When Adam and Eve fell and embraced the lie that ‘you shall not surely die’ – the fatal assumption, their value system was altered from relationship value systems to performance-based ones. Man was driven to worship the work of his own hands (Isa 2:8). The need to be successful in terms of education or career or business becomes so great that he neglects his children’s needs. He is focused on becoming someone great and leaving his mark on history. Since his focus is on himself, children become a hindrance and Satan will encourage the father to curse his children, to tell them they are stupid and dumb or just as bad, ignoring them altogether. By getting the father to curse his children, he poisons the life stream and greatly wounds the child and destroys his sense of worth and value. Such poisoned children he knows will grow up to manifest the same restless striving, passing on the curse to the next generation. For some the pain is too great – the result is suicide of either mind or body or both.
The last tactic is to use role reversal or role interchangeability. If the father lacks the skills to be a leader, if he is less intelligent than his wife, or not as assertive, then it will be natural for the wife to take the leadership role. But as she is not the source of blessing, by taking his position, she (without realizing it) devalues his role and takes the glory of children away. Dear Mothers, there are some things I would like to say to you at this point. If you find yourself in this position, If you love your children, pray for wisdom as to how to give your husband back his position of leadership. By assuming or taking his role, you disrespect his position of authority, and by your example, your children will do the same to both him and you. You may already be struggling because of the way your children refuse to acknowledge your authority over them. It may seem disastrous to you to allow your husband’s decisions be the leader in the family, but the consequences of not doing so will be far, far worse.
Many mothers say, “But my husband won’t lead. What do I do?” Well, for one thing don’t tell him, “You are supposed to be the head, you must lead us!” You can never help him take up his responsibility by exposing his weakness. Instead, you will need to take a step of faith, to walk away from doing those things that your husband should be doing, and prayerfully support and edify your husband. You will need to forgive him for failing you and your children by avoiding his responsibilities. Helping a home regain its correct roles will be difficult – you will be tempted many times to think it impossible. However, the Lord has promised to “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” Claim that promise and allow the Lord to lead you through this difficult journey.
D. Appeal to Wives and Mothers
Mothers, you also need to know about some of the ways you can stop the Lord from fulfilling that promise in your own family. If you order your husband around, speak negatively about him to your friends, and try to force him to be the priest of the home (or worse, take the priesthood yourself), you will block the channel of blessing for your children. If you are in the habit of doing these things, I ask that you take a moment right now to ask God to forgive you for these things, and ask Him to guide you as you seek to be a woman after God’s own heart.
I have seen this principle of submission open the door of blessing to a family. I once had a mother come to me all frustrated and tell me her unbelieving husband was upset with her and refused to allow her to go to an upcoming church event. She frowned and said “I am not going to be told what to do, I have the right to go.” I made the suggestion to her: ‘Go home to your husband and with a kind and smiling face, filled with love for your husband, tell him you have considered what he said and that if He felt she should not go then she would submit to his request and not go.’ She wrestled with the idea, as I believe I would have because these things are not easy, but she agreed.
The following week she returned to me all smiles. She said “You will never believe what happened. I did as you said and my husband turned around and said ‘I never said you couldn’t go. If you want to go then go.’” Her son sitting nearby, who was not going to church, suddenly piped up and he said “I will go with you Mum”. She was blessed beyond imagination. Her son went with her to the church event and gave his heart to Christ while he was there. In demonstrating the principle of submission to her husband, her son submitted to the Spirit of God and came to Christ.
Ladies, recognise your husband for who he is – made in the image of the Father. He holds the key to whether you will enjoy your children and grandchildren, or whether you will weep for them due to their misfortune.
E. The Promise to Abraham Fulfilled in Family Structure
The fact that the correct structure of the family unit is vital to allowing the flow of God’s life into our children is expressed in the following verse:
Gen 18:18,19 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
This verse is a formula:
- ‘I know him’ or more correctly have known him. This word know is the same as when Adam knew his wife. It symbolizes the transfer of the seed. God placed the seed in Abraham.
- ‘(in order) that he will command his children and household after him’. Abraham would pass the seed to his family. He would command it, because he was the source of blessing to the family.
- ‘That they keep the way of the Lord’. The seed in point one combined with the structure in part two combines to allow the family to keep the way of the Lord.
- ‘To do justice (righteousness) and judgment’ – when the life channel flows, righteousness will be demonstrated in the life.
- ‘That God may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken to him’ – namely that Abraham would be a great and mighty nation and that all families of the earth would be blessed in Him.
Notice the promise to Abraham involved the commanding of his children and household. Take away the command of the father and the promise to Abraham is lost. Notice what Ellen White says:
“Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are "the issues of life"; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.” AH 15
We are told that the success of the church depends on home influences. Get the home influences wrong, get the roles wrong, cut the blessing and the church will fail.
F. Seed and Nurture Roles
I mentioned earlier that we would look at God’s plan for the restoration of the blessing if a home circle was broken and the father was removed or left. The principle of Seed and Nurture actually occurs in three levels:
- The Father (Seed) and the Son (Nurture) (John 5:19,20).
- Christ (Seed) and the Church (Nurture) (Eph 5:24,25).
- Husband (Seed) and Wife (Nurture) (Eph 5:22).
As the husband is the head of the wife, so Christ is the head of the church. The church is referred to as a woman, that takes the seed of Christ and nurtures it into a commandment keeping people made in the image of its Father Jesus, even as Seth was in the likeness and image of his father Adam, through Eve.
How does Christ give His seed to the Church? Firstly it comes to us directly through personal Bible study. It also comes through family worship, but in a community setting, it comes through the eldership of the church. The apostles gave themselves continually to the ministry of prayer and the Word (Acts 6:4). They were charged to feed the flock (John 21:17; Acts 20:28; I Pet 5:2). The elders of the church are the earthly representative of the male seeding principle. The Church membership represents the woman which nurtures the seed and bears the image of Christ in its offspring – those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus (Rev 14:12).
Seeing the connection between the home circle and the church, Paul, in giving his qualifications for elders in 1 Tim 3:4,5, alludes from Gen 18:19:
1 Tim 3:4-5 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Elders must be selected from homes that rule their house well, having their children in subjection with all gravity. Do you grasp the implications of this?
- Elders must be selected from homes that rule their houses well.
- In the image of God, man is the source of blessing to the family. He must be the leader of his home or the glory of his children will be lost.
- Therefore women cannot be elders because it would be a disaster for them to rule their homes. If women are made elders or become the leading pastor of a church, then the flow of life source to the church will be cut off.
I know that what I have just stated could really upset some people, but only if you take your value and worth as a person from your inherent power and position. Ladies, you have the privilege of representing Christ as your part of the image of the Godhead, the joy and pleasure to nurture and cause Christ to be formed in the church, but not as the image of the Father/father, but in the image of the Son.
The principle of seed and nurture in the roles of men and women was clearly demonstrated in the gospel ministry of James and Ellen White. Notice the manner in which they worked together
Our meetings were usually conducted in a manner so that both of us took part. I would give a doctrinal discourse, then Mrs. W. would give an exhortation of considerable length melting her way into the tenderest feelings of the congregation. Was my part of the work important, hers was no less important. While I presented the evidences, and sowed the seed, hers was to water it. And God did give the increase.
James, in his male capacity seeded the people with doctrinal discourses and Ellen would exhort the people and appeal to their hearts to respond to the Spirit of the Lord. It was an effective combination that reflected the seed and nurture principle. I suggest that this means of work for male and female will prove the most effective.
Sadly, performance-based thinking has affected the church on many levels, and in many different ways. By misunderstanding the relationship between the Father and the Son (the Trinity), it has made it inevitable that we confuse the roles of men and women (women as Pastors and Elders). One follows the other. I completely understand why many in the church wish to push for women’s ordination; it is entirely consistent with a Trinitarian view of the Godhead. So to argue against women’s ordination and argue for the Trinity is a logical inconsistency. The reason Rome is able to keep their priesthood male is they simply made Mary the mother of God and placed her right at the top to satisfy the need for feminine equality. But for Protestants who hold a stronger Biblical view, this option is not open to us. Female ordination appears to be the only solution.
G. Destructive Impact of Trinity Concept of Family Structure.
I appeal to those who read this book, who hold leadership positions, to consider well the implications herein discussed:
- A co-equal Trinity changes the structure of the Godhead from relational to performance equality.
- We are made in the image of God as a family unit.
- The Trinity shifts the family unit from a relational to a performance-based equality
- This shift chokes the channel of blessing by distorting spiritual seed and nurture principles.
- The choking of the blessings greatly impedes the flow of the Holy Spirit into the lives of our families and churches.
- The choking of the blessing destroys the glory of children and breeds worthlessness and insecurity.
- Worthlessness and insecurity intensifies performance–based-thinking and creates the mountains and valleys in our lives which further block the Holy Spirit from reaching us.
Is the fatal assumption worth it? Is it worth blocking the channel of God’s life source – His Spirit, by dismantling the structures he has set up? Is this not grieving the Holy Spirit?
When we understand God’s relational-equality system then the apparent injustice and inequality completely disappears and the fountain of life is opened again for us. This certainly gives us context for the following verses and their importance.
Jam 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Isa 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
The heart of pure religion is to visit the fatherless and the widows; restore the spring to Israel; bring forth water from the rock that the church of God may drink.
If a family loses their father or the father is unwilling to nurture his children, it is the responsibility of the leadership of the church to step into the gap. If a child loses his mother, the church must feed him and care for him and nurture him. Let us take up our responsibilities and save the lost and dying souls that have no fountain at home. If the church loses its fountain because of the feminisation of its leadership then God promises us:
Psa 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
God will care for us and seek to bring us to a church that still has a spring, a place where men are the pastors and elders of the church.
H. An Appeal to restore the Family Blessing Structure
At this point I would say to elders of churches, seek to include a practice in your church where you can bless the children; where they can come forward and have hands placed upon them and be blessed and told that God loves them. Our children need this seed. Fathers, bring your children to yourself and place your hands on them in an appropriate setting where their hearts are receptive and tell them they are precious and special, to restore their glory.
Our Father in heaven knew exactly what Jesus needed to hear before he faced Satan in the wilderness. He needed a simple blessing:
Matt 3:16,17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
This statement by the Father reveals the one thing that His Son can’t live without and cannot produce from within Himself and that is value derived from the blessing of the Father. This would be no issue for an unbegotten Son. The blessing at the baptism while nice would not be vital, but a begotten Son must have that blessing. Jesus could not fulfill his mission without it. He, in this moment, reveals the very heart of God’s kingdom. Just as the Son of God can’t truly operate without His Father’s blessing, neither can we.
How powerful are those words, this is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased. Accepted and received into the heart they can heal any wound, any pain, if you can believe it. Notice the following in Desire of Ages:
“And the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative.... The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” DA 113
When the Father spoke to Jesus His Son, the Word passed through Christ to every one of us. What wonderful news. Here is power to clear the mountains of pride and fill the valleys of depression. Here is the key placed in the hand of faith that will unlock heaven’s power house. Will we not use it? Will we not believe His Word?
If you follow Isaiah Chapters 1 to 3 carefully, you will notice a steady decline in the leadership of Israel:
- A formalisation of worship (Isa 1:13-15).
- The lowering of the standards of leaders (Isa 1:23).
- The embracing of eastern/Babylonian ways (performance thinking) (Isa 2:6).
- Taking away the good men – the water and bread are taken – the fountain is closed – the channel is cut off (Isa 3:1,2).
- The rise of immature leaders because the children’s bodies were not filled with the fountain of life and so are performance rather than relationally based and therefore are insecure and controlling (Isa 3:3,4).
- The disrespect of authority (Isa 3:5).
- The feminisation of leadership (Isa 3:12) – Women shall rule over them.
1Co 10:11-12 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
The story of Israel is a story that we need to pay close attention to because we have followed in their footsteps. All of the above steps have taken place in our church at some level. We have reached the bottom and now it is time for Elijah to come and restore the true understanding of the God of Israel, so the Latter Rain might fall.
Notice the work of Elijah:
Isa 40:3-7 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
Elijah will comfort God’s people. He will prepare the way of the Lord. The mountains of pride will be leveled by a sobering from the fatal assumption drunk from the word of the serpent in Eden, that worth and value are measured by performance. Elijah will raise every depressed soul by restoring the fountains to homes and churches and causing us to know that we are God’s beloved Children whom He loves.
Luke 1:15-17 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
When Elijah comes he will not be intoxicated by the wine of Babylon, where greatness is measured by the performance of inherent power. He will restore the family springs by turning children back to their fathers and see in them the channel of their glory.
Fathers: Do you have children that need to know you love them? Have your children grown and left home and there is a sad distance between you? Are you hurt or angered by your child’s lack of gratitude for all you have done? Rise in the power of Elijah and bless your children, let them know you love them.
Husbands: Does your wife know you love her? Do you appreciate all her efforts? Do you show her the affection she deserves? Do you seek to control all the money in the house and leave none for her? Repent! Remember her birthday, don’t be stingy, surprise her with kindness, do not be put off by any sarcasm she throws at you. Do not blame her for family difficulties – you are the man, arise in the name of Elijah and restore the spring to the heart of your wife. Love her as bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh.
Mothers: Is your husband the true head of your home? Do you submit to his leadership, do you pray for his wisdom, do you believe the Lord can guide him? Rise in the power of Elijah and give the scepter of power back to your husband, take your foot from his throat and ask forgiveness if you have laid your hands on the priesthood. Take blasphemy from your home by seeking spiritual strength to obey your husband and love your children and nurture them into the image of Christ according to the gift God has given you. Resist the charms of the evil one, that entice you to leave you place of duty. Trample the serpent under your feet and let your marriage relationship reflect the image of God and His Son.
Children: Obey your parents, respect their authority, for the fountain of life is with your father and the joy of growth and nurture is with your mother. Honour them, love them, seek to please them and do your best to resist Satan’s efforts to trust your inclinations over the words of your parents. In submission you will find the fountain of blessing.
Mal 4:5,6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Will you remove the curse from your home and allow Elijah to prepare your hearts for the Spirit of God to come in and form the image of Christ in you?
 It is interesting that man must maintain the paradox between his spiritual and physical fountains. If a man just focuses on passing physical seed, he will create bodies through the woman; but if he does not give attention to spiritual seed then those bodies will be dead or lifeless in the spiritual (not born from above). If a man focuses only on the spiritual, he will not create any bodies to fill with the spiritual.
 and is a perversion of Scripture by the way. Twisting the Bible to fit the fatal assumption.
 We do not wish to infer that a person’s personal salvation is dependent on another person. Each person receives the blessings of salvation directly from God. But just as a person can learn of salvation through a preacher or a person can receive food prepared from another person, so humans act as channels in receiving the blessings of salvation. As Rom 10:14 states: Rom 10:14 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
 One of the meanings of the word apostle is seed carrier.
 Mercedes H. Dyer, Prove all Things, Page 379 “We affirm that there exists a distinct correlation between the headship role of the father in the home and that of the Elder Pastor in the Church.”
 Life Sketches Page 127,128 (1880)