Divine Parenthood – The Trials and Tribulations
Now what kind of a son to God did Lucifer turn out to be and what does this tell us about the role of parenting a baby god? The first point to make is that Lucifer took the first opportunity he could to destroy his fleshly brother Adam’s relationship with their father Jehovah. Why did he do this? As the first-born angel of Jehovah he clearly became insanely jealous of his weak younger sibling and frankly, in godly terms, behaved like a spoilt little brat. In human terms, however, I would have to concede that it looks rather more serious than that. What Lucifer was too dumb to realise was that the effect on his own relationship with his Father was ruined by his action towards his brother to an even greater extent than was Adam's. Ezekiel describes Lucifer’s fall from grace and his Father’s extremely dim view on the subject:
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. (Ezekiel 28)
The above is a salutory lesson for all of us, parents and children alike. Here we see the prime example of how the mighty can fall; Lucifer's pride coming before this particular fall. This was also the first of many scriptural examples of the much repeated bibilical theme of the first becoming the last and the last becoming the first. A theme that is of massive implications in God's plan for his human and angelic sons. In this primary case we have Lucifer's bad behaviour causing him to be cast down from the highest of the high down to the lowest of the low. Michael, his much younger angelic brother, was destined to take his place at God's right hand due to the Archangel's humble and loving heart condition. A heart condition that was sadly and evidently missing from God's original number one son!
We do not know exactly how old Lucifer was at the time of his fall from grace but we know that he must have been countless millennia years old. Michael was with God throughout the creation of the earth and Michael was some 42 generations of angel younger than Lucifer, the first-born of God, in our understanding:
22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. (Proverbs 8)
At the ripe old age of countless millennia, we still have the eldest of God’s children behaving badly and being renamed as Satan for his trouble! Lucifer is the first example of a misguided (and not so) teenage rebel. So the oldest of God’s sons has been around for countless millennia and in all that time Jehovah has produced only one son grown up enough to have become a god like His Father. That grown up son is, of course, Michael, God’s only truly begotten son at the present time. Despite His being much younger than Satan, Michael’s age is still measured in millennia since He heavily participated in the creation of the earth as we have seen above.
We can see that God needed to create the physical universe to house his fleshly sons to enable just one of His angelic sons to achieve divine adulthood. Crikey, whoever says parenting is easy! It has taken countless millennia, the creation of an entire universe (or three!) to enable God to produce just one adult son. No wonder God is described as patient and patience is described as a key attribute to attaining sainthood and ultimately godliness:
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (Romans 15)
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Revelation 13)
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (2Peter 1)
This strongly confirms to me that human parenting is a major blessing and learning exercise in God’s eyes for those that have the stomach and patience for it. In fact, the more I think about it, the more is it clear that bringing up His children properly to full and divine adulthood is pretty much a complete description of God's purpose for mankind and His angelic sons. If you think that this brief statement trivialises God's purpose, then I think the next two scriptures should confirm this purpose in the mind of the esteemed reader and, hopefully, put your relationship with your God and Father in the right context if, indeed, it should need so doing:
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8)
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galations 4)
It is a known human experience that good kids can be brought up in a bad home and vice versa that bad kids can be the product of a good home. It would seem that Lucifer proves this point to the limit. The worst of sons, Lucifer, was the product of the best of homes with the most loving of all fathers. I rest my case.
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Jacob Blesses Josephs Sons
The Parent/Child Relationship
Parents may be good or bad at parenting with varying results upon themselves and their children. I am sure that most children think all parents are bad; until they become parents themselves. What makes a good parent? In my view it must include the physical and moral well-being of the child in all respects by:
1. Keeping the child well-fed and protected from the elements as best they can within their means.
2. Showing kindness and love for the child thereby providing protection for him against any form of abuse that could arise within or outside the home as far as possible.
3. Teaching the child the correct way to live and behave with respect to his fellow beings.
4. Chastising the child for bad behaviour in the right way and at the right time; this being the most difficult art of all.
If all these aspects are catered for, by a child’s parents, then I would consider that the child really should be very grateful for a good upbringing. However he probably will not realise this until some time after he has left the family home. It may (or perhaps it may not!) surprise the reader that looking back over my childhood, particularly my teenage years, I believe that I was a real trial for my parents. I must have caused them many sleepless nights.
I can still remember my use of the angry child’s clarion call ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’. This is, of course, true of all of God’s children. No angel or human ever requested his own creation. However God bestowed the wonderful gift of life on us all anyway in the full knowledge that we will all grow up to embrace it joyfully one day once we have come to terms with the responsibilities of love and respect that go with it.
Eventually though I came through those years and started to repay my mother at least (my father had died when I was twenty) for all their hard work in bringing me up. But even then I did not fully realise the extent of the sacrifices that they had made until I myself had gotten married and started a family of my own in my third decade of life. If my experience is anything to go by, then I can imagine that it must be very difficult for those without children to fully appreciate what their parents had done for them in raising them up.
The above thoughts are clearly aimed at my notion of good parents. Since I cannot easily imagine what goes on in the mind of patently bad parents, I feel that I am wholly unqualified to discuss those ones in any significant way at all. I can certainly understand the anger and frustration that can build up in even the most patient of parents when their child consistently cries or misbehaves. I can understand the occasional angry reaction towards the child under these circumstances but this is very different from the long-term pre-meditated mistreatment of one’s offspring which seems to be becoming a regular feature in our current society.
Children rarely accept their parents’ wisdom and good advice thereof. They seem to prefer to experience the hard lessons of life at first hand regardless of the unnecessary pain this may entail for themselves and those around them. God realises this. Hence this hard existence on earth, which provides all the pain that life can throw at us first hand, is why humans will eventually come before the angels in God's hierarchy, since the angels still will not have had that physical experience before the Kingdom.
The following scriptures show us that there are responsibilities on both parents and their children in God’s eyes:
11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Proverbs 3)
17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. (Proverbs 29)
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (Romans 1)
14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. (2Corinthians 12)
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6)
Parents and Non-Parents
Since becoming a parent, more than two decades ago, it has been my view that parenting is one of the greatest training grounds that God has provided for mankind. My thinking on this has been largely due to the significant differences, I have observed over the years, in the nature of the people I know personally. Whilst it is clearly a generalisation, I have found that those people without children, whether from choice or procreative inability, do not seem to have the same understanding of this worldly life that parents have. It is as if there is a hole in their lives that they are unable to fill. In some cases they are not even aware of this gap even though I can see it in their demeanour and behaviour. In other cases there is a conscious tinge of regret in not having started a family of their own. This latter manifestation shows itself particularly when groups of people get together to celebrate some event or other, especially when the children themselves are invited to the occasion. Parents and non-parents of a certain age, probably some time after their thirtieth year on this earth, interact in very different ways. The parents among the assembled company generally exhibit a much more rounded grasp of life compared with their childless cousins. However, as we will see later, the parental view of the world may not necessarily be the best perspective from a spiritual point of view.
Perhaps this sense of filling the hole in His life was akin to the state of mind of our God when He decided to have children. The difference for Him, however, was that, unlike human parents, He did not have a father or mother of his own to set the precedent as far as scripture would tell us. John 1 describes Jesus as the only-begotten god thereby confirming that His father Jehovah, although also a god, was not begotten:
18 No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him (John 1).
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Lot and His Daughters
The notion struck me a little while back that becoming and being a parent are amongst the greatest blessings that God has bestowed upon mankind. I was not quite sure at the time why it was that this notion should have struck me as forcefully it did, but it gnawed away at me for a few short days before I caved in and decided to heed the insistent beckoning of my sub-conscious and write this paper.
As always I must learn to understand the ways of the Holy Spirit in these matters. When a thought forcibly strikes me as being apposite for inclusion on this web-site, I must learn that it is not for me to weigh in the balance the merits of a particular topic in God’s eyes before I put pen to paper (or should I say fingers to keyboard) but for me to recognise when I am being requested to carry out my Gods’ wishes of me. So, as ever, a topic that started as being near to my own heart , as the father of three beautiful daughters, led me inevitably to stumble over some interesting deductions about the nature of divine parenting. For once I have not based my thesis on scripture but on my own knowledge and logic. The scriptures presented within the text below were selected, after writing the bulk of the text, in support of my thoughts.
The Nature of Fatherhood
Divine Parenthood – The Success
Michael proved that it was possible for God to create a son capable of accepting His divine responsibilities. Clearly from the fore-going we can see that Our Holy Father has experienced parenthood in extremis and wishes to share that experience with some of His fleshly children who wish to and are able to partake of this particularly rich and rewarding lesson. However, was the Archangel Michael an angelic parent before he became a God? If He was not then it would appear that, despite its apparent benefits, physical parenthood is not a pre-requisite for attaining divinity.Whilst marriage is certainly not outlawed, scripture counsels that those of a spiritual vocation in this life would best not take a wife and therefore not enjoy the fruits of physical parenthood unless they feel a real need to do so. Paul, in 1Corinthians 7, waxes lyrical on the subject and at some considerable length:
7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1Corinthians 7)
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; (1Corinthians 7)
33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. (1Corinthians 7)
God knows the difficulties marriage gives us in this life and that this can give some of us a greater challenge to our faith. After all, even God was divorced from His first Holy Spirit in our present understandings. However, He also knows that if we can come through that challenge with our faith intact then we will be the richer for it.
It is the fruits of spiritual parenthood, however, that would seem to be the real prize. Whether Michael had angelic kids or not would appear to be irrelevant in Jehovah God’s eyes. Michael will become husband to the 1NC Saints at commencement of the Kingdom and His children will presumably be all those to enter into the Kingdom who have been sanctified through baptism by the 1NC Saints. In fact if one thinks of the Old Testament patriarchs it was not necessarily all their fleshly sons through which they attained God’s eternal blessing but through the sons who had a spiritual dimension to their characters. So if we consider Isaac, it will not be the fact that Isaac had two sons that will count in his favour but the fact that one of them was Jacob!
The real difference between fleshly and spiritual parenting is that the former does not allow the choice of parent or child. With spiritual parenting that choice is consciously made at least by the parent if not also fully consciously by the spiritual child.
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The Good and Evil Angels Struggling
1. Parenting is a significant blessing and learning experience from God.
2. Jehovah is the only parent that was uncreated, i.e. He had no father or mother.
3. Parenting carries significant responsibilities for the care and well-being of the child.
4. Children routinely rebel against their parents regardless of the quality of the parenting.
5. Lucifer was the first and most symbolic of such filial rebellion, albeit a very ancient teenager by human standards.
6. Human parents’ problems, in raising their young, pale into insignificance compared with God’s problems in raising His sons. The full resolution of the problems with His sons, both angelic and human, represents God's purposes for mankind, to make us all fit for our divine inheritance.
7. Whilst no excuse for Lucifer’s behaviour, it is nonetheless the case that he was born into a single parent family; this factor may have caused Jehovah to create a human family unit consisting of both a father and a mother.
8. Scripture acknowledges the difficulties of parenthood for those of a spiritual bent to meet the requirements of their faith as well as those of being a responsible family head.
9. Spiritual parenting, however, is the real prize rather than the ‘luck of the draw’ fleshly parenting where parent and child cannot choose each other.
10. Jehovah God is the only true spiritual Father; even Michael is called the Son.
11. God does not want to change who any of his children are but He does wish to mould their behaviour towards one another to an acceptable and godly standard.
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Holy Family by Rembrandt
Jewish Lords' Witness
There is only One Father
Whilst our own experience tells us that like begets like, none of us can know how to create life as God does, i.e. the creation of a nascent spirit. Human beings, through our natural God-given ability to procreate, can create the human body of our children, the receptacle for the new human spirit. The spirit itself, however, comes from God via the Holy Spirit, in our present understandings. So our children are not quite our children in the way that we are all children of God. We are all vassal parents, in fact, with the responsibility of raising and looking after God’s children for him until they are old enough to look after themselves (or not). When put like that we can see just how important the role of parenthood really is.
Nonetheless, I think human parents do share something in common with God. Our children are all free-born spirits and, despite parental wishes for their children to be of a certain type of person, that spirit will be defined by its own wishes and criteria for life. Parents that do not realise this and do not adapt their parental love to fit in with their created off-spring are doomed not to have a worthwhile relationship with their children. As the best of parents, God also does not wish to impose his will forcefully upon His offspring. His approach to creation is to create spirits that have the same faculties as He has, i.e. a heart, a mind, a memory and a conscience, with the capability to love their fellow beings. However His wishes for us do not extend to shaping what sort of people we are so much as to how he wants us to interact in a responsible and respectful way with our fellow beings, regardless of who we are. This world and that to come, in the Kingdom, are our training grounds to learn those lessons for social interaction but without their impacting on who each of us really is.
Since like begets like then our destiny, as children of God, must be to become Gods in our own right. But with this hereditary right comes unimaginable power which is only earned when those hard lessons of co-existing with our brothers have been fully learned by each of us. Each spirit’s personality will determine how and how long it will take to learn those lessons and how to adopt the correct mind-set to fulfil our individual obligations in that regard. Given the malaise of this current existence, it is clear that all of mankind is still in the status of being infantile gods but, as with human babies, each of us develops at our own pace and in our own way to come to terms with our environment and our own limitations and strengths.
As fledgling gods, it is not clear to me if we will ever fully have the same life-giving powers as our Holy Father. Even though, in the LW understandings, both Jesus and Jehovah are gods, one is still described as the Son and the other as the Father. As far as the LWs have been able to decode the bible thus far, I am not aware of any evidence that the Son has the gift of creating new spirits unaided either in this system or the next, in the Kingdom. Perhaps this is a sacred secret to be revealed during our next schooling in the Kingdom? Perhaps even the Son has a further lesson to receive from His Father?