Maranatha Media

On Pastor Stephen Bohr's Q3 2023 Article on the Father-Son Relationship

Posted Aug 20, 2023 by Danutasn Brown in Divine Pattern
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Pastor Stephen Bohr recently released a good, long article in his newsletter of many examples of the Father's headship of the Son, even before creation. It is entitled 'Reflections on Upward and Downward Mobility'. What he is getting at is how it is in Christ's character to lower Himself, while it is in human carnal and Satanic nature to want to lift himself up. Jesus has "downward mobility" and that is how we are honored, but Lucifer drives men to lift themselves upward, and that is "upward mobility" beyond what God has designed for us.


https://secretsunsealed.org/newsletters-and-articles

I'd like to quote some of it here and recommend that readers read it in detail. It may be of use to help convince people, as Sephen Bohr's name is still held in high regard. Below that which is in bold is how it was in the original article, not from me. It is amazing how close he is to the Divine Pattern:

The Father’s Initiative at Creation

The book of Genesis tells us that the Father took the initiative at creation and spoke to someone saying, “let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Who was the Father speaking to? Was He talking to Himself? No. The Spirit of Prophecy explains that the Father was speaking to the Son. Notably, it was the Father who took the initiative and shared the creation plan with the Son. The consultation of the Father with the Son filled Lucifer with envy and jealousy and a desire to ascend (Isaiah 14:12-14). This was the first example in “universal history” of upward mobility to be followed by downward. Ellen White wrote: 

“But when God said to His Son, ‘Let us make man in our image,’ Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy, jealousy, and hatred. He desired to receive the highest honors in heaven next to God.” EW, p. 145

The Spirit of Prophecy provides a profound description of the Father’s initiative, the Son’s submission, Lucifer’s envy and a meeting of the heavenly council called by the Father

“The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. . . The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One [Hebrews 1:1, 2] encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng—ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven, the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love.” PP, p. 36

Here is a summary of the main points in this quotation:

  • • Before the entrance of sin, Jesus performed the Father’s will in the creation of all the heavenly beings.
  • • It was the Father who explained the Son’s true position in heaven.
  • • The glory of the Father encircled both.
  • • The Father is referred to as “the King of the universe”.
  • • The Son was the only one who could enter the Father’s purposes.
  • • The Son executed the mighty counsels of the Father’s will when He created all the hosts of heaven.
  • • The Son did not seek power or exaltation for Himself but exalted the Father’s glory and executed His purposes.

In another place, Ellen White described the Father’s authority and Christ’s willing submission on the same occasion: 

“The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that He might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon His Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ, His Son, should be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was His Son to work in union with Himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out His will and His purposes but would do nothing of Himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in Him.” ST, January 9, 1879, par. 2

Here is a summary of the main points in the second quotation:

  • • The Father is called “the great Creator”.
  • • The Father conferred “special honor” upon His Son.
  • • The Father ordained that the Son be equal with Himself. Thus, equality and submission are not antithetical.
  • • The Father invested the Son to command the heavenly host.
  • • The Son was to work in union with the Father.
  • • The Son carried out His Father’s will and purposes.
  • • The Son did nothing of Himself alone. He did not act independently of His Father.
  • • The Son fulfilled the Father’s will.

Ellen White described the authority structure in heaven before Jesus came to this earth:

“The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that his life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man. He was of as much more value than man as his noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host, were above the work of man. He was in the express image of his Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character.” The Review and Herald, December 17, 1872, Par. 1

Clearly, if expressions mean anything, the Father has prime authority in heaven and the Son’s authority is next. In a similar way, the president of the United States is first in authority and the vice-president’s authority is next. The Father and Son are equal as persons but not in their positional authority.

These quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy are supported by the testimony of Scripture. John 1:1-3 tells us that Jesus is God and that nothing exists except through Him. Hebrews 1:1, 2 adds that the Father appointed Jesus heir of all things and created the worlds through Him. Colossians 1:16-17 is even more explicit. These verses tell us that Jesus was before all things and that everything in the universe was created through Him and for Him:

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”

1 Corinthians 8:6 provides a powerful corroboration of Ellen White’s two quotations above:

“Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”

The consistent use of the preposition diá (through) in these verses indicates that the Father created through the instrumentality of the Son. All things are from the Father through the Son. [Has Pastor Bohr been reading Pastor Adrian's writings on dia??]

Revelation 4 describes the heavenly throne room where the Father was surrounded by cherubim and seraphim and the representatives of the worlds who were singing His praises as Creator. Verse 11 contains the hymn: 

“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (Rev. 4:11)

In what sense is the Father described as the Creator in this verse and why did Ellen White refer to Him as “the great Creator”? Didn’t we read that creation came through the Son? True. However, the passive voice of the text (“were created”) indicates that the Father was not the active agent. All things were created by the Father’s will through Jesus. We are reminded of Ellen White’s statement that ‘the Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven.” PP, p. 36

Psalm 33:6 tells us that the heavens and all their host were made by the Word of the Lord and John 1:1-3 identifies that Word as Jesus. Ellen White wrote this insightful statement where she explained that Jesus, the Son, speaks the Father’s thoughts into existence.

“What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 5, p. 1131

....The article continues much longer. Read the rest of it here: https://secretsunsealed.org/newsletters-and-articles

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The article continues and is worth reading in full. Its use of Ellen White in a clear and systematic way is refreshing. This article is a seroius theological defense of Biblical headship and submission and is bound to upset many in the church. This has been an issue that has been going on for a while, and Bohr addresses it  A few more thoughts to give context on this, for Bohr is not writing this knowing its implications - he has been involved in the bird's next of headship-submission for a while. For example, in the article he says:

"In the Theology of Ordination Study Committee leading up to the San Antonio General Conference session in 2015, there was a constant roadblock when anyone suggested that the voluntary subjection of Jesus to the Father has been and will be eternal. Submission was considered a sign of inferiority. After all, aren’t both the Father and the Son, God in the highest sense? If so, why should one submit to the authority of the other? Should not Jesus claim His rights of equality with the Father?"

Here is a Spectrum Magazine (in favor of Women's Ordination Magazine) article on Stephen Bohr discussing some of these issues from 2014: WHY STEPHEN BOHR WANTS MALE HEADSHIP IN THE ADVENTIST CHURCH.

Recently the Rocky Mountain Conference and Illinois Conference made it clear he is not welcome. Detailed emails back and forth between the local church and the conference can be seen here on Fulcrum7 website.

The Potomac Conference tried to ban Stephen Bohr, but the local church that invited him (Gaithersburg SDA, near my old hometown of Frederick :) disregarded their own pastor and brought him anyway. By not following Biblical principles the church is itself getting disrespected of its authority! Interestingly, this is a Spanish church and all the meetings are in Spanish. The fact that he can preach fluently in Spanish makes it so that Pastor Bohr can work alternative lines of ministry outside the regular English channels, making him harder to control. If you want to hear another side to this story in contrast to the conservative Fulcrum7, see what Adventist Today wrote about it: https://atoday.org/gaithersburg-the-rest-of-the-story/

Regardless of church politics, what we hear at Maranatha Media are praying for Pastor Bohr and his work sharing the initial basic building blocks of the Divine Pattern. Here at Maranatha Media we believe this doctrine of Father-Son Headship and Submission is the key that unlocks all other mysteries. It is what Pastor Adrian Ebens used as the means of escape for his allegory Escaping the Pentagon of Lies. We believe it is the key for happy secure relationships in all areas of life, whether it be marriage, teacher-student, pastor-member, boss-employee, government official-citizen, etc. We recommend, if you haven't, to keep studying this:

https://maranathamedia.com/book_theme/view/divine-pattern

https://maranathamedia.com/book_theme/view/family-channel-of-blessing

Pastor Adrian has so many sermons on the Divine Pattern: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=adrian+ebens+divine+pattern

God bless