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Birthing to the WorkingsRethinking Hebraic Teaching in Relation to the Godhead, Trinity, and Holy Spirit
By Shirley Johnson
Universe, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Dr. Shirley Johnson
All right reserved.
The odor of the night in the tight room permeated the senses. Perspiration beaded up on the physician's forehead. The nurse wiped his brow, providing momentary relief. The young doctor was skilled and had seen many babies born-each birth so unique, yet all followed the birthing pattern. All had the same smells, sights, and sounds. Perhaps he should not be filled with the immense wonder of it all, yet even now, he was occupied with awe. Many times, he had seen a mother push. She strove for life. She pushed so very hard. The groans were deep and guttural. Was this how life was? Deep, robust, primitive, and vigorous life seemed to saturate the room. The whole scene played before him.
The mother's scream shook him from his thoughts. How very close she was to death. Life and death swayed and waltzed together in a beautiful and finely tuned dance. The majority of the time, life emerged triumphant, but at times, life faded away-faded away like a forgotten dance partner slipping into the dark recesses of a drawn curtain. This mother, however, even with her complications, was young, vital, and quite strong. He sensed she would overcome any challenges. A baby would be born this night.
She glanced up at the doctor. She had not meant to scream as noisily as she had. She was certain he understood. Then another cramp hit her full in the back of her spine. Savage pain accelerated throughout her very being, and this left her intensely weak. She was very close to giving up. Her memory went back to the months before when the doctor had warned her that she was extremely petite. He had cautioned that the pregnancy would be difficult; he also had stated that she was young and strong. Another cramp descended, and now she ached profoundly. She thought, I could die and then the pain would be over-I need the pain to be over.
Her husband held her hand, coaching her. He had not expected so much pain. The pain, perspiration, and the odor in this hot, tense room were almost unbearable. He found it so strenuous to watch his youthful and attractive wife fight for the life within her to be born. She had struggled for months. The physician had ordered her to stay off her feet early on, and it had seemed that even her morning sickness had been unusually severe and debilitating. She had lost eight pounds during the first two months of her pregnancy. Then numerous months of bedfast boredom assailed her. With all of that "resting," she still had moments of pain and frailty. Would providence bring jubilation, distress, or an amalgamation of both this night?
The baby quarreled to stay. Remaining in the familiar womb that had contained him for nine months seemed to be expedient, but a part of him needed out. He felt torn and exasperated. He thought, Is a birth all about pain? Fright and confusion filled every inch of his minute body. Primeval feelings emerged through him, radiating through the birthing canal. He longed for his watery warmth.
Another scream was heard. Then a foot emerged. The doctor silently prayed, Oh, God, Father, please don't let me lose these two. The brave mother had worked hard for many months to ensure a healthy pregnancy. She had followed his orders, even leaving her job. She had stayed in bed for many months. Her husband had prepared the nursery-cleaning, painting, buying and moving furniture, making perfect preparations for the perfect child.
Blood-so much deep, red blood-permeated the room. The father's stomach felt queasy; the smell was hotly sweet. The room was pungent with life. Yes, life screamed out! Birth and beginning, not termination, were the guests in this delivery room. The young father suddenly heard a cry. It was a baby's cry. It was his son's cry! Life-joyous, powerful, and so sweetly full-had arrived!
Birth is an exciting happening
The previous narrative related the experience of a fictitious family in a delivery room. The birthing experience can be an exciting event. The family in our previous story had positive and negative experiences. I personally had similar experiences when my own children were born. I have two sons. Both sons are now mature and have children of their own. For a number of years, I could not seem to get pregnant, and my former husband and I were very limited in physician choices or assistance. We just did not have the money for all the expensive testing that barren couples often need. Finally, a doctor at a free clinic confirmed my pregnancy. The free clinic and hospital was funded by the government; the hospital was open only to American Indians and their spouses. My former husband was Choctaw Indian. All the prenatal examinations would be conducted at this free clinic. Unfortunately, most young mothers who visited the clinic never had a chance to develop a rapport with any single doctor, as women rarely saw the same doctor more than once. I was no exception, although I did see the same doctor for my first three or four visits. After that, however, I saw whichever doctor was available. Although I would have rather had one physician throughout my pregnancy, I still felt blessed-it had taken so long for me to conceive, and I could hardly wait to be a mother. I wondered if the child I was carrying would be a boy or a girl-this was before medical technology could determine the sex of the unborn child.
The night finally arrived when I felt the first horrible, wrenching pains of childbirth. My husband hurried me off to the hospital. I assumed I would give birth in the typical manner. After all, I had read as much information as I could on the birthing process. I had packed my bag in the way I had been directed. I had come to the hospital when my contractions were just a few minutes apart. I was ready to have the baby, committed to the birth. The pains were very close together, but my water had not broken. The doctor informed me that I had dilated seven centimeters, and the baby was at the "door." The only thing holding up the process was that my water was still intact. The pains became extremely close together and tremendously hard. I asked, "Well, Doc, are you going to break my water?" I got a resounding and loud "No!"
Then, between my next two labor pains, the doctor reminded me that the hospital was promoting healthy babies, which meant natural childbirth. "Have you forgotten?" he wanted to know. I had innocently believed that the physician would break my water for me, so I was in for a shock. Almost a week later, I was still in the hospital, with some contractions three or four minutes apart, but my water still had not broken. By this time, I was weak from the ongoing pain. My physical pain was compounded by emotional pain over the fact that the hospital did not sanction my leaving, so I had been away from home for a week. The reasoning was that I had dilated too much, and it was a sure bet that as soon as my water broke, the baby would gush forth. Finally, after a week, the doctors decided to wheel me into the delivery room. I thought of asking for medication, but did not-I knew what the answer would be.
In the delivery room, the doctor informed me that they still would not break my water. He instead directed me to push, on the theory that if I pushed hard enough, my water would break. "Every time you feel a pain, push as forcibly as you can," my doctor directed. The pains were horribly challenging, and I felt like a semi-truck was cruising through my body. The physician berated me for not pushing sufficiently. Then the truck felt like it was on fire, with its steel fingers of explosive pain ripping through my back. It was at that point that I forgot all of my Christian teachings about love. I was quite sure that I loathed every man alive. I could not decide if I detested my husband or the doctor more when I heard another command: "Push!"
After almost an hour of this, my body was completely soaked in perspiration. Every place in my body hurt, and I felt incredibility weak. Waves of weariness tried to overcome me, but I endured the intense pain by visualizing my joyous cuddling with my first baby.
"Shirley, I know you're weak, but we're so close. Give us another push. Come on," the doctor encouraged. I pushed ... and then it happened. Warm water burst forth, bringing new life! And with that, I heard the doctor say, "He's coming-turn the head." Then my baby boy was born.
For a few moments, I really had wanted to die. A few seconds before, I had been filled with the worst pain, frustration, weakness, and anger that I had ever felt. But as I held my son, although I was still feeble, limp, and spent, I experience the greatest joy imaginable. The pain, the weakness, the anger, the depression, even the brief dance with death's shadow was forgotten as I looked into the beautiful face of my son. Birth in the physical sense is arduous work for both the mother and the baby.
My second pregnancy was difficult. As with my first pregnancy, I had trouble conceiving. By this time, however, I had insurance and could afford to go to a specialist to see why I was not getting pregnant. We carefully followed the doctor's directions. We took our temperature before intercourse. We waited and prayed. After what seemed an eternity I finally conceived.
There are many lessons in the physical birthing process, and there are parallels between physical and spiritual birthing. Birthing is a process-the child is not conceived on the day that it is born.
Parallels between spiritual and physical birthing
Water plays an important role in a physical birth; in a spiritual birth, water carries a symbolic message. The Spirit of God's action is compared to water in the Bible. In Zechariah 14:8, the "living water" will pour out from Jerusalem. In spiritual birth, God's children are nourished in the watery fluids of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, a baby cannot be born into the physical world unless it goes through the water. A woman's water must break before the baby is born. A man is not "born again" unless he is immersed in the waters of the Holy Spirit. Yeshua makes a comparison of water to spiritual birth in John 3:5. In paraphrasing John 3:5, we find that it is impossible for a man to be born unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Yeshua makes this comment to illustrate a point. He uses the birth process found in nature to explain the spiritual process or the "born again" experience. Yeshua uses the process of physical birth to represent the process of spiritual birth. Nicodemus, in John 3:4, asks if a man can enter his mother's womb a second time. Yeshua states that the only way a man can be born is to come through the water and the Spirit (John 3:5).
In nature, birth is accomplished after a woman loses her water. Similarly, in a spiritual birth one loses self as one is immersed in the waters of the Holy Spirit. Several Scriptures bear out this fact, and a comparison of water and the Holy Spirit readily can be seen. Rev. 21:6 tells us that the fountain of the water of life will be given freely to those who thirst. Other Scriptures that reference water include the following:
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the lamb (Rev. 22:1).
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost (Rev. 22:17).
Water has several qualities. It cleans, freshens, and creates movement and power. God refers to himself as "fountains of living waters" (Jer. 2:13). He states that men have forsaken him, the living waters, and have hewn or broken cisterns that can hold no water. He also states that those who depart from him shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters (Jer. 17:13). We are given a promise in the book of John. Yeshua (Jesus) promised that out of a believer's belly would flow rivers of living water.
We see that God promised to bless his people in Joel 3:18. The verse promises that in that day, the mountains shall drip new wine and the hills will flow with milk. The verse continues, promising that all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water. The verse promises that a fountain shall flow from the very house of the LORD and that the fountain will water the valley of Shittim. A very interesting observation can be made by looking closer at this Scripture in different biblical interpretations. Some biblical interpretations use Acacias instead of Shittim.
Acacias and Shittim are the same place. According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Acacias or Shittim is a location to the east of Jordan with a connection to the acacia tree and scourging barbs, or thorns (Strong H 7851, 7848). In Joel 3:18, the connection between Yeshua (Jesus) to Judah is hinted at with words such as "brooks of Judah." Yeshua is of the tribe of Judah because of his father, Joseph (Matthew 1:16). The brooks of Judah refer to Jesus, and the waters that flood are the Holy Spirit. Yeshua was filled (flooded) with the Holy Spirit. A fountain of water-again, the Holy Spirit-will flow from the house of God (the throne of God). The "house of God" might be alluding to the tribe of Judah as well. This fountain, which is the Holy Spirit, will water the valley of Acacias. Acacias is east of Jordan. The valley of Acacias seems to have a twofold meaning. One meaning points to the gentile people, as Acacias is east of Jordan. By continuing to analyze the information in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, we see that it is probable that Acacias could also refer to the crucifixion. A connection is made to a tree and scourging thorns, all in the meanings found in connection to Acacias. The descriptive words seem to imply and allude to the crucifixion, and we see a connection to Yeshua with the gentile (east of Jordan).
Joel clearly shows the connection between the Holy Spirit and Yeshua and the allegorical reference of water to the Holy Spirit. Joel 3:18 not only refers to the water coming out of the throne of God, but it includes the sweet wine. Water represents the Holy Spirit and the wine represents the blood. We are "born again" through the water and the blood. As stated, the wine is also referred to in Joel 3:18.
And in that day The mountains will drip with sweet wine, And the hills will flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah will flow with water; And a spring will go out from the house of the LORD To water the valley of Shittim.
Wine is closely identified with several aspects that relate to Yeshua, the blood, and redemption. Just as water, blood is an intricate part of the birthing process in physical birth. Physically, a human baby must pass through its mother's bloody birth canal to be born. To be "born again," we must pass through the kingdom birth canal. Just as a newborn baby is covered in its mother's water, blood, and bodily fluids at birth, we are covered in his watery fluids and blood at birth. There is no other way to be born but through the water and the blood. Many old hymns have words within their lyrics that proclaim the value of the blood of Yeshua. I grew up singing those precious songs. The blood is not a favorite subject in many churches today, and ministers may not be encouraged to teach or preach about the cleansing power of the blood. In not preaching about the blood, we miss lessons relating to the symbolism of the wine and the blood.
Let us look at the mysterious symbolism between wine and blood and the connection of this symbolism to redemption and birth. The Lord's Supper has been characterized as something apart from the Jewish culture of the time. A definite connection of the Lord's Supper, however, can be related to the Jewish holiday of Passover. We cannot understand the significance of this Last Supper between the disciples and Yeshua until we view it as a Passover meal. We cannot understand the significance of the symbolism of the wine to the blood until we understand Passover. Let us look at the prevailing Jewish thought and customs during Passover. The festival of Passover is the story of the Jewish people's deliverance and freedom from Egypt. Pesach (Passover) is about spiritual and physical liberation and freedom. Yeshua celebrated Passover, which later came to be called the Last Supper.
Wine always has been closely connected to redemption in the Jewish perception, even in Yeshua's day. The fruit of the vine is blessed every holy day, and on the night of the Passover Seder, Jewish observers are required to drink four cups of wine. As Yeshua was an observant Jew, it is quite probable that he followed a typical Seder ritual. This ritual Seder that he followed became what we call the "Lord's Supper" in the Christian world. Yeshua would have been aware of the significance of each cup of wine, especially considering his foreknowledge of his impending death. Some Jewish teachers suggest that the four cups represent four levels of freedom or four different levels of redemption. Each cup that is drunk represents a different expression of redemption in the Torah. The fourth or last cup of wine is considered the greatest cup. The fourth and last cup refers to eternal redemption. Look at the following statements by Yeshua at the Last Supper, remembering that Yeshua was actually celebrating Passover. In Matthew 26:26, we see Yeshua instructing the disciples "to take and eat, as this is my body." Next, in verses 27 and 28, he directs the disciples to drink from the cup, informing them that the wine is his blood. Then, in verse 29, Yeshua states that he will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until that day when he would drink it with them in his Father's kingdom. Do you see what is happening in this biblical account of the Lord's Supper? Yeshua knew that this cup, which was perhaps the last and fourth cup of their Seder meal, was truly his last cup. Yeshua must have just poured the last cup, the fourth cup-the final cup but the best cup of all. The fourth cup would have been a shadow of the spilled blood of Yeshua that freed us from sin and offers true redemption.
Excerpted from Birthing to the Workings by Shirley Johnson Copyright © 2010 by Dr. Shirley Johnson. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Two Basic Understanding That Is Not Really Basic....................12
Three Coded Understandings about the Holy Spirit....................22
Four Deeper Study of the Purposes of the Dispensation of the Holy Spirit....................31
Five Sacred Calf....................41
Six God Is One....................56
Seven Will the Real Godhead Please Stand Up?....................69
Eight How Others Perceive Christianity....................90
Nine Birthing to the Workings....................110