Right Versus Left Hemisphere
So as always in our bible research we need to consider the above scriptural information in a broader context so, guess what? The next port of call is, yes you got it, the structure and function of the human brain! What else could it be? A refresher to my earlier paper ‘The Brain’s Capability Compared with that of the Spirit’ may be appropriate at this juncture.
Look on any model of the human brain, and you will see that is it divided into two halves; the left hemisphere, and the right hemisphere. The left side of the brain generally controls the right side of the body and vice versa. These hemispheres do have similarities, but they have many marked differences also.
This information about the brain is known due to 'lesion studies'. Most studies of areas of the brain come about when a person has had an injury, or lesion, to that area of the brain. This could be caused by a stroke or an accident that left the person's brain starved of oxygen.
As a result, it has been discerned that the left side is the more technical, the more linear side of the brain. Its main functions are in speech and writing, along with balance and the organisation of movement. The right side is more holistic, more (but not exclusively) concerned with the emotional and visual aspect of things.
One of the most marked differences between the two halves is the emotional response. The left side of the brain is the optimistic half. It is associated with positive emotions i.e., happiness, joy, pleasure, and general ebullience. It is also associated with the control of emotions. Lesions in this area lead to what is known as a 'catastrophic reaction', where even the slightest of emotional situations leads to what can only be described as an inappropriately large emotional response. For instance, you may tell folk that are suffering from a left side lesion that you have spilt a small drop of tea on the floor, and they will burst into floods of tears.
The right side is the pessimistic half. This is associated with negative emotions, such as anger, sorrow and generally being moody and bad-tempered. Whereas the left side deals with emotional control, the right side deals with emotional perception, i.e. the ability to read the emotions of others. It is also associated with the expression of emotion. Lesions in this area lead to what is known as 'la belle indifférence' (literally, 'the beautiful indifference'), where the person, no matter how stressful or traumatic the situation is, could not give a proverbial. They react calmly to even the worst of news. The reason for this is that even though their control of emotion is intact, their emotional understanding and the appropriate expression of emotion is impaired.
Let us now consider the lefty/righty debate as far as ‘handedness’ is concerned, particularly since God made explicit use of such folk for His purposes as we have seen above. As stated previously, the left half controls the right hand side of the body, and vice-versa. So what happens in left-handed people? Contrary to popular belief, the brain areas are not swapped, and the left is still associated with the technical, linear side of things. The right side is still associated with the holistic. Neither is it the case that the right half is completely in control. What happens in righties, is that they show on the electrical activity maps a 'left-dominance'. This is where the left half of the brain is more dominant over the right. Hence the more empathic, holistic, and overly emotional side is suppressed slightly. This allows the more objective and linear side to have some executive control over our emotions and thoughts.
In the case of lefties the electrical activity maps demonstrate they tend to show less of a disproportionate dominance. The activity is spread more evenly between the two halves of the brain. Hence the common train of thought in lefties seems to be more artistic, or emotional. Right-handers seem to be more thoughtful, less emotional, and more clinical. A really extreme example of this can be seen in left-handed John McEnroe and right-handed Björn Borg - two legends in the sport of tennis. McEnroe was, and still is, renowned for his complete inability to keep his cool in a match, making full use of the area of his brain associated with 'emotionally potent language'. Borg was the complete opposite, being renowned for his clinical delivery of shots, and exhibiting a complete indifference to the high emotions of the situation on the tennis court.
It may also partially explain the disproportionate number of left-handed people who are diagnosed with mental illness. For even though left-handers make up only 10% of the UK population, they make up 20% of those who are diagnosed with a mental illness, and there are more lefties who suffer from epilepsy, autism, and learning disorders. This may be because of the even distribution of activity between the two sides. They may have less executive control over their emotions and thoughts than right handers.
It must be stressed that these ideas of brain function only represent a theoretical model, rather than established fact, simply because we know very little about the associations between the two hemispheres and the control and expression of emotion. However, our understanding of the brain, and its mysterious tale of two halves, is gradually starting to unravel. The ideas expressed above, and more, can be found on the BBC web-site at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A659874.
So what lesson is our God trying to explain to us poor and inept students of His Word? I believe that He is telling us that a balance between the right and left halves of the brain is not what we should strive for; what is required is a pre-eminence of the left-side over the right since His pre-eminent power comes from his right hand which is controlled by the left side of His brain. Further to this, scripture describes our God as a happy God:
11 According to the glorious good news of the happy God, with which I was entrusted (1 Timothy 1).
From our discussion above, if His mood is predominately happy, it is noteworthy that this character trait also stems from the dominant left side of the brain as we currently understand it, therefore emphasising our current conclusion. (By the way did I mention that this presumably means that we can add a brain to ‘The Body of God’ paper?).
Whilst this probably sounds like a somewhat fanciful postulation, please humour me for a moment while we examine why God would be telling us this. As we learned above, regarding brain function in the two hemispheres, the emotional control comes from the left hemisphere. So, according to my hypothesis, God is telling us that a divine being has gained perfect control over his negative emotions and that if we are to follow in Christ’s footsteps then we too must learn to gain that level of control. If we map this onto the heart-mind model in my earlier paper, The Mind, Heart and Spirit, this is telling us that, while the heart is our link to the heavenly host, it is the logical mind that must control the emotional reactions of the heart that stem from the everyday stimuli of our lives. This lesson can be seen through several examples contained in the opening chapter of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. I extract below several of the verses from Matthew 5 to identify some of these examples whereby you can judge for yourselves the cogency of my argument. If the reader can provide a better explanation as to why the bible should make such frequent references to the use of the right versus the left hand of God and man, I would be genuinely delighted to hear from you:
5 Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5)
I think it hardly necessary for me to point out that the mild-tempered requirement of verse 5 can only stem from a logical control of the negative emotion of anger.
7 Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5)
The mercy requested of us in verse 7 can be examined in a couple of examples. The two that come to mind would be the forgiveness by a merciful one when he is wronged or by his giving of himself in a material way to help another in trouble. In both these examples there is the need for the individual to overcome his natural instincts respectively of anger or selfishness by exercising control over his response to these circumstances. It is also noteworthy that these ones are destined to become 'happy' which is a clear pre-requisite for their taking their places at the divine table. This is a recurrent theme throughout this chapter of Matthew.
8 Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God.
9 Happy are the peaceable, since they will be called ‘sons of God.’ (Matthew 5)
The purity of heart referred to in verse 8 could be taken to be the effective removal of the negative emotional functions of the right hemisphere of the brain. Frequent logical control exercised over that element of the spiritual heart would no doubt begin to put the negative emotions into a subordinated state thus creating the happiness associated with that purified heart. A similar argument would exist for the peaceable ones of verse 9.
22 However, I say to YOU that everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice; but whoever addresses his brother with an unspeakable word of contempt will be accountable to the Supreme Court; whereas whoever says, ‘You despicable fool!’ will be liable to the fiery Ge·hen'na. (Matthew 5)
In verse 22, Christ makes it crystal clear that vengeful or disrespectful anger must be controlled.
27 “YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to YOU that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 If, now, that right eye of yours is making you stumble, tear it out and throw it away from you. For it is more beneficial to you for one of your members to be lost to you than for your whole body to be pitched into Ge·hen'na.
30 Also, if your right hand is making you stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you. For it is more beneficial to you for one of your members to be lost than for your whole body to land in Ge·hen'na. (Matthew 5)
In Verses 27 through 30, Christ cautions that a man needs to control his emotions towards the opposite sex. It is interesting that, in this very example, the loss of one’s right eye or hand is stated as a necessary sacrifice to prevent the resulting sin. Why would Jesus explicitly mention the right hand side rather the left or just be non-specific? It might simply be that the right hand is considered the more capable for 90% of the population or perhaps this a clue from our Lords, supporting our hypothesis?
38 “YOU heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’
39 However, I say to YOU: Do not resist him that is wicked; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him.
40 And if a person wants to go to court with you and get possession of your inner garment, let your outer garment also go to him;
41 and if someone under authority impresses you into service for a mile, go with him two miles.
42 Give to the one asking you, and do not turn away from one that wants to borrow from you [without interest].
43 “YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’
44 However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU; (Matthew 5)
Finally verses 38 through 44 continue the theme of controlling one’s natural emotional responses of anger and selfishness. Once again it is also worth mentioning that the right cheek is explicitly stated in verse 39 as opposed to any old cheek! The following verse would seem to amplify this point:
2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. (Ecclesiastes 10)
Physical hearts are naturally on the left side of the chest but here the spiritual heart is seen as being at its best on the right. Again by paralleling the right hand’s being controlled by the left side of the brain and vice versa, is scripture here telling us that a wise man will predominantly exercise the positive left side of his spiritual heart/brain hemisphere compared with the fool who will let his negative emotions run away with him? If the conundrum in this verse is not confirming this understanding then I defy the reader to make sense of it in any other way!
Right Hand Versus Left Hand
What is the significance of Ehud being left-handed and being asked to carry out God’s bidding explicitly using his left hand to kill Eglon? Or what of Joab likewise presumably using his left hand to kill Amasa since the right was occupied with holding Amasa’s beard? Then we have Deborah who used her right hand to strike the mortal hammer blow to Sisera whilst using her left to hold fast the nail? All three of the victims of these actions were enemies of God and his people. Then we discover that Samson killed the ‘cream’ of Philistine society by using both his hands to literally bring the house down. Also we are explicitly told that the cream of Israel’s soldiers are either left-handed or are equally adept at using their left as well as their right hands in combat. So it would seem that for some reason, as yet undiscovered by the writer, scripture makes an explicit point of indicating that, to accomplish the death of God’s enemies in Old Testament times, either hand could be used to equal effect:
15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.
19 But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: (Judges 3)
9 And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.
10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. (2Samual 20)
26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. (Judges 5)
29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. (Judges 16)
16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss. (Judges 20)
2 They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin. (1Chronicles 12)
So it would appear that we are being told that, whilst God’s right hand is all-powerful in destroying his enemies to the extent that He almost appears to be ‘single-handed’, this does not seem to be the case with his faithful fleshly soldiers. The males of the species appear to be either ambidextrous or exclusively left-handed; the sole female assassin of God is described in scripture as the explicitly right-handed Deborah. There is clearly some purpose in God’s word in this area for us to decode.
What we are seeing in the above examples is that God’s right hand consistently represents His power and righteousness in comparison with His left. This particularly in acts of the defence and protection of His people in destroying their enemies. In comparing this to the parallel acts of mankind, albeit empowered by God, we find a much more ambidextrous response. Even left-handed folk can happily carry out God’s work. Why is this? At first sight it would appear that mankind has a more balanced capability than God in the use of left or right hand, but we know this cannot be true in a general sense. Since so much is being made of the 'handedness' of man and God, this is beginning to appear like a lesson from our divine Lords which we need to unravel.
The following verse adds a further dimension to the topic. In the context of this treatise this verse is interesting in that it recognises the normal right-handedness of men in the use of the bow. Actually it is just not merely recognising the fact; once again scripture seems to be making a particular point out of the topic. The bow is held in the left hand while the arrows are held on the bow-string by the right hand. The right hand for most people is normally the more powerful of the two and, for the archer, is used for the more powerful action of drawing back the bow-string compared to the left hand’s merely holding the bow firm against the increasing tension in the bow-string. The interesting point here is that both hands are needed for men to use the bow as a viable weapon; God needs only his one hand to destroy his enemies:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. (Ezekiel 39)
So please to read on, dear reader, to discover what all this may mean.
1. God’s right hand is described in scripture as both powerful and righteous; this compares with his left hand which has no such attributes explicitly assigned.
2. In transferring His power to his chosen ones, it would appear that God, in like manner, puts the greater blessings in man’s right hand than in his left.
3. When God instructs men to destroy His enemies this is achieved through the use of either or both of their hands, whilst God only needs the use of His right hand.
4. Whilst the spiritual heart is mankind’s connection into the spiritual realms, the spiritual mind must learn to control the spiritual heart’s emotions.
5. God is male and created Adam in His image also as a male both in need of a helper. Adam was given Eve and God created the Holy Spirit to be His help.
6. The God of the OT is compared and contrasted with the God of the NT
7. Those standing on Christ’s right hand side on Judgement Day will be saved into the Kingdom while those standing on Christ’s left hand side will be bound for Gehenna.
8. Those sitting on Christ’s right hand side on Judgement Day will be the First New Covenant Apostles while those sitting on Christ’s left hand side will be the Second New Covenant Apostles.
Image: Bible Picture Gallery
The Penitent Thief
The Power of God’s Right Hand
The true power of hands is first seen in scripture in the famous scene in which Moses stretches out his hand at the command of God to cover the Israelites’ enemy, the Egyptian army, with the waters of the Red Sea:
26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. (Exodus 14)
At this point God is not specific about which hand Moses should outstretch. But this is then followed by the children of Israel praising God for the strength in His ‘right’ hand:
6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. (Exodus 15)
So the Israelites transferred the power in one of Moses outstretched hands into the true power exercised by God’s right hand. However, up to this point, God seems somewhat ambivalent Himself about which hand He used. King David later confirms the real source of power as coming from God’s own right hand:
53 And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased. (Psalms 78)
15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. (Psalms 80)
But whilst Jehovah God used His right hand to defend His people and destroy their enemies, He also used that power in His right hand to punish and destroy His own people when they became unfaithful to Him:
3 He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.
4 He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire. (Lamentations 2)
This next verse from Isaiah also intimates that, although both of God’s hands are powerful, his right is the more so if one accepts that the creation of the heavens was a greater feat than that of creating the Earth:
13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. (Isaiah 48)
This then being confirmed further by Jehovah God himself to Isaiah swearing an oath by His right hand and the arm of His strength:
8 The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: (Isaiah 62)
David is unequivocal in stating in Psalms that God’s power to save is in his right hand:
7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. (Psalms 17)
6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. (Psalms 20)
Not only the power to save but also righteousness resides in God’s right hand according to David and Isaiah:
10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. (Psalms 48)
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41)
God’s right hand also provides the strength to sustain the very soul of mankind:
8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. (Psalms 63)
King David asks God why He does not put His adversaries properly in their place, once again making special reference to God’s right hand thereby imputing the great power that God has in that particular ‘body part’:
10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?
11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom. (Psalms 74)
A later Psalm indicates that God’s very own purposes are achieved through his right hand:
1 A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. (Psalms 98)
The following verse demonstrates an interesting differentiation between ALL the enemies of the Lord and the subset of those that actually hate Him. The latter would appear to be the worst category of God’s enemies and merit God’s right hand for punishment against them whereas, for the rest, either hand would appear to suffice to accomplish God’s purposes against his foes:
8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. (Psalms 21)
The Right Hand of God
Jewish Lords' Witness
Saints to the Right and Saints to the Left
The Right Hand Side of Our Divine Lords
To sit at either the right or left hand of Jesus in the kingdom would appear to carry significant privileges, although this does need to be squared away with the apparent supremacy of the right hand over the left as previously determined above:
21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. (Matthew 20)
Further on in Matthew and in Mark, however, reference is made to the right hand side of God being a highly privileged position without reference to the left at all:
44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? (Matthew 22)
64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26)
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mark 16)
The power of Michael’s position on the right hand side of the Father is further emphasised elsewhere in the Greek scriptures:
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1Peter 3)
However, elsewhere in Matthew we are told more about the significance of Christ’s left hand side. On the right hand of Christ will stand his blessed sheep from the ranks of the earthly nations whereas on his left hand side will be the cursed goats. Whilst Christ was able to tell the mother of Zebedee's children that they would both be blessed through their baptism, i.e. they would both stand on the right side of Christ, that to sit at either side would appear to convey a more privileged position which would come under the judgement of the Father not of the Son. After all, Christ sits at God’s right hand, he does not stand, so it is as if sitting identifies a subordinate throne to God’s own, but a throne of considerable status nonetheless:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set (Grk. Histemi – Stand) the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25)
In verse 40 above, Jesus is talking to those saved for the Kingdom who are standing on his right and the brethren he is referring to are the twelve disciples who would also appear to be present in the judging of the sheep and the goats:
28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19)
But from Revelation it would appear that there are 24 elders sitting with Christ. The Lords’ Witnesses understand these elders would comprise both the twelve First and the twelve Second New Covenant apostles. These elders presumably are sitting twelve each on Jesus’ right and left hand sides and one could reasonably surmise that, although both sides are exalted, the right hand side of Christ represents a higher station than the left. Since the LWs understand that the 1NC apostles are considered to be of superior standing in the Kingdom compared with the 2NC apostles, we are left (or right?) with the reasonable conclusion that the 1NC apostles sit on Christ’s right hand side and the 2NC apostles sit on Christ’s left:
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. (Revelation 4)
If we now return to Christ’s response to the mother of Zebedee's sons:
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. (Matthew 20)
Our deductions above would firstly propose that the 1NC apostles had already been chosen by Christ prior to the time this account occurred and so the thrones on His right hand side had already been allocated and presumably approved by his Father. The fact that Christ’s apostle Judas was subsequently replaced after he committee suicide is beside the point since Judas was a 1NC apostle at the time of this discourse about Zebedee’s sons. Furthermore it must be assumed that the 2NC Apostles who, as far as the LWs would understand it, are living in current times and are spirit baptised LWs today, and therefore clearly were not chosen by Christ as far as we can tell, since they are not Christ’s apostles. So, on both these counts it would appear that Christ did not have the ability to meet the mother’s request for her sons to sit either at His right or left side.
The heavenly hosts also stood on Jehovah God’s right and left hand sides in Old Testament times:
19 And he went on to say: “Therefore hear the word of Jehovah: I certainly see Jehovah sitting upon his throne and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left. (1 Kings 22)
This clearly parallels the above section with respect to Christ. However if we consider that Christ can only do what he has seen Jehovah already do, then we come to the conclusion that those of the heavenly host standing to the right and the left had already been judged as sheep and goats in OT times:
19 Therefore, in answer, Jesus went on to say to them: Most truly I say to you, The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner (John 5)
This seems to be signifying that Christ is copying God’s original action in heaven to put his unrighteous sons on his left side into Tartarus whilst retaining his faithful sons on his right side in heaven.
As a noteworthy postscript to this paper, the story in Luke of the two criminals crucified on either side of Christ presents an interesting insight to the right and left-handed sides of Christ. Verse 33 makes a point of telling us that one criminal is on Christ’s right hand, the other being on the left. However despite one criminal being blessed and the other cursed there is no mention of which of these two were on which side of Christ. The message here for all of us is that our physical positioning in the current system of things has no relevance to our relationship to Christ whereas our spiritual positioning with respect to Christ does have meaning as to our fate and standing in the Kingdom. The only attribute that has any meaning in this system, as to men’s fate going into the Kingdom, is our spiritual heart condition combined with our faith in Jesus’ saving power:
32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23)
The Power Endowed in God’s Chosen Ones’ Right Hands
In transferring His power it would appear that God, in like manner, puts the greater blessings in man’s right hand than his left as witnessed by Israel’s bestowing the greater blessing upon Joseph's younger son Ephraim. The power of the blessing, however, comes from God rather than Israel’s own innate strength.
13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.
14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.
18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. (Genesis 48)
God himself furthermore tells Job that his own (Job’s) saving power is in his own right hand:
14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. (Job 40)
I think the next verses confirm God’s transference of power into the right hands of His chosen ones rather than 'merely holding their hands':
23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. (Psalms 73)
5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (Psalms 121)
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. (Psalms 91)
1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; (Isaiah 45)
12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? (Isaiah 63)
The ultimate example of this is of course the Archangel Michael, aka Jesus Christ, who is invited to sit at God’s right hand under His protection and then has God’s power transferred to his own right hand thus enabling Michael to destroy Kings:
1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. (Psalms 110)
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5)
Satan recognises the power associated with the right hand of Michael. In the book of Zechariah, Satan stands at the right hand of Michael (the angel of the Lord) to attempt to counter that right-handed power which, by imputation, has been inherited by Michael from His Father:
1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. (Zechariah 3)
(By the way, I hope the Trinitarians among you have taken due note of the above scriptures. I would love to hear your interpretations of them!)
Furthermore it would seem that even sinners or ‘bloody men’ have some special quality of evil in regard to their right hand that is presumably missing from their left:
9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. (Psalms 26)
The theme of right-handed power is further continued in the New Testament. Matthew’s illustrative reference to sacrificing the right hand to save the soul is no doubt made to emphasise that even such an important ‘member’ should be sacrificed to save the whole soul. Why else would he mention the ‘right’ hand rather than any old limb?
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Matthew 5)
Various body parts on the right hand side of the Aaronic priests were involved post the exodus from Egypt in making burnt offerings to God so again we get the sense that the right hand side is the side of God’s true power not just His right hand:
20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. (Exodus 29)
The Right Hand of God?
La Belle Difference
Let us examine another aspect of our God which may be capable of examination from this same standpoint of the split brain function and is also covered by the BBC web-site identified above. There is a well known assumption that although women supposedly cannot read maps, men supposedly cannot cope with concentrating on more than one thing at a time. In short, women have no sense of direction, and men have a one-track mind. Joking aside, this was thought to be just chauvinistic or feministic opinion, often made fun of, but with no scientific evidence to back it up. That was until someone decided to carry out a study on the differences between the brains of the genders.
Using the electrical activity technique while subjects were carrying out various tasks, different patterns of brain activity were shown. Men performed better in tasks associated with the left side of the brain; i.e., mathematics, and the linear order of events. Women were shown to have less of a disproportionate map of activity i.e., spread more equally on both sides. The map also showed that male brains tend to be more active in the areas of visuospatial understanding, and women tended to show more activity in the verbal regions of the brain. Hence why women apparently tend to read emotions better, yet allegedly have some difficulty with reading maps or parking, and also seem to be able to do several tasks at once. Men can allegedly read maps, yet apparently have an inability to express their emotions in words. This may go some, but not all the way to explaining the clear differences between the cognitive strengths of the genders.
Now what does this all mean for our God? Well males generally would appear to be more active with the left half of their brains whereas females tend to be more balanced between the right and left halves. But we have established that God extols the strength of his right hand and is therefore perhaps telling us that he predominantly uses the left half of His divine brain. The natural logical result of this conjecture therefore is that God is male. After all Christ refers to God as His Father, not as His mother or His politically correct parent!
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. (Matthew 26)
It would seem, however, that whilst our God is male, He nonetheless recognises the need that the male has for the balancing strengths of the female character:
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2)
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. (1Corinthians 11)
It is well worth pointing out that Verse 7 above emphasises that man, not woman, is in the image of God. This seems to me to be a clear sign that my ideas of God’s sexuality are not entirely misplaced.
Let us now return to our old friends Ehud and Joab who were both clearly male and Deborah who was just as clearly female. The two males in this discourse each used their left hands as the major vehicles for following out God’s assassination requests whereas the female of this piece used her right!
We have learned above that the left hand is controlled by the right hemisphere and the right hand is controlled by the left hemisphere. We have also learned that the males of the species are dominated by the left hemisphere, whereas the females’ activities are balanced between both hemispheres. We can also deduce that left-handed males are also more balanced between both hemispheres than their right-handed compatriots (I would not wish here to imply that left-handed men are likely to be more feminine but that more right brain activity is manifest in them). From our earlier conjecture, this now seems to be confirming that whilst God is left-brain dominated, His imperfect fleshly servants can be more balanced in terms of the ‘sidedness’ of their brain activity. So what can we learn from this? As determined in my earlier paper ‘The Brain’s Capability Compared with that of the Spirit’, the spiritual mind resides predominantly in the left hemisphere and the spiritual heart on the right. I think we can now see that this is something of an over-simplification since we have learned above that logic is processed serially on the left and in parallel on the right side of the brain and that negative emotions reside in the right and positive emotions in the left-hand hemisphere. So it appears that the spirit and its constituent parts reside across both hemispheres but use them in different ways. Unfortunately this error has also naturally found its way into Understanding  ‘The Spirit is the Mind and the Heart together. It is Software which can run on Human, Angelic or Divine Hardware’ as published on the main Lords’ Witnesses web-site at http://www.truebiblecode.com/understanding257.html. I humbly apologise to my brothers in faith and pray that they may accept at least this element of my revised understanding into their published works. Additionally U257 also proposes that God is genderless as opposed to my current proposition above that He is in fact a male. Whilst I will not apologise for this difference in conclusions, since this was arrived at independently and not derived directly from my own earlier work, I also humbly request that my brothers consider the merits of my arguments in this paper to update that element in U257.
It can be argued that faithless man has an immature spirit; the negative emotions of his immature spiritual heart ruling his immature spiritual mind so his behaviour is based largely on uncontrolled right hemisphere dominance. From the previous argumentation, however, our God is telling us that this is the very opposite of the way He uses the equivalent of His grey matter in that His actions are controlled and left hemisphere dominated. This means His actions are serially focussed with a preference towards a positive emotional bias and is the example by which our God is leading us. It is therefore to be expected that faithful man is beginning to learn this lesson and has a maturing spirit: his maturing mind is starting to rule his immature heart towards a positive responsiveness while his whole spirit is getting trained through his faithfulness.
But let us continue this process further towards the perfection of the faithful ones. It could logically be argued that this perfection is the attaining of a perfect heart and mind so that love becomes the motivating force for all one’s actions. But love, as a positive emotion, also comes from the left-hand hemisphere. This overall process places the spiritual mind as the tutor for the maturing heart which no doubt mirrors God’s own path for determining how to behave correctly in a society of emotional and logical souls. So the spiritual mind eventually hands over control to the positive spiritual heart, also within the left-hand hemisphere, once we attain a born again status preparing us for our eventual divinity. It will not be until our positive heart condition rules supreme within our spirits that we will be ready for this status as Christ was upon his resurrection as a divine being. His selfless act of self-sacrifice drove him to accept a lengthy and painful death. This behaviour could only have come from an overwhelming love for mankind that prevented his logical mind from calling upon an army of angels to save Him from His suffering and the loss of His fleshly life.
A cursory analysis of the scriptures quoted in this paper thus far reveals something that many people would already recognise about our God in that it is only the Old Testament (OT) scriptures that look to the physical destruction of God’s enemies. So this begs the following question:
Q. Why is the God of the OT so apparently vindictive and blood thirsty (arguably right brain dominated despite the apparent left brain claims) when the God of the New Testament (NT) is so loving and merciful; is God a schizophrenic or is He teaching us the learning process as discussed above for mankind?
I would maintain that our God’s spirit is wholly left-brain dominated as previously discussed in this paper but that in the OT he was doing what he had to do to teach mankind the law, to teach the angels the end result of sin and to preserve the physical bloodline to Jesus intact. His child, mankind, had been kidnapped. He was in no mood for pleasantries. He had to get it sorted and teach all creation where sin leads. The situation was extremely serious for the whole of creation, hence all the death. There was to be massive pressure on Jesus' shoulders. God had to ensure that Jesus and the other angels understood what was at stake. The only thing that mattered was that God did not break His own law and that Jesus succeeded. Anything that might have compromised the success of the Christ in becoming the saviour would have been lethal for all creation. So yes the OT God was hard, but not as hard as Satan who has kidnapped and murdered us all. I have found that a careful reading of Isaiah 63 goes a long way towards explaining God’s behaviour from Jehovah’s own viewpoint in His Q&A session with the prophet; I would advise the interested reader to spend some time considering this OT chapter.
One cannot teach mercy without first teaching justice. Mercy is an alternative to justice. But it is meaningless unless justice is understood in the first place. Nothing Jehovah did in the OT was unrighteous; it was just lacking in mercy in some cases. But he had to be that hard to get the message through to mankind and to the angels.
In the NT, having rescued us from Satan, God could do what he really wanted to do, which was to love us and to teach us how to love him and each other. The war had been won so that now the lesson in love could begin.
The OT is a lesson in righteousness and justice. The NT is a lesson in love and mercy. They are equally important but must be learned in that order. Mercy occurs when one knows that one has the right to take another man's life in justice but one does not take it in mercy.
If one looks back at the Mind, Heart and Spirit paper there is a section that refers to the ways in which mankind must love our God. Love for God should be with one’s heart and soul in the OT scriptures and with heart, mind/understanding and soul in the NT. It now seems likely that God is drawing our attention to the need to bring the controlling mind into the equation once we have learned our basic lesson in the Law. It is as if the OT contains our infant school lessons and the NT our primary school tutoring. I for one cannot wait for our secondary school term to start!
Let us now take a look at the implications of all this for men and women and the angels. Firstly the human foetus’ sexuality is determined at conception via its chromosome set. Secondly there are physical differences between male and female brains. According to the LW understanding at introduction  When is abortion murder? http://www.biblecodeintro.com/intro41.html, the spirit enters its physical body some two weeks after the blood has started to oxygenate the brain. So the question arises as to whether a male or female spirit is selected by the Holy Spirit for a male or female body and brain respectively or is the spirit neuter at its creation and attains its sexuality via its male or female brain hardware environment into which it is downloaded. Clearly the human spirit is the perfect archetype for any AI software intended to learn from its experiences. Those experiences will include the way its brain (microprocessor) is designed and wired. Since our God knows the number of the hairs on each of our heads he will certainly know which sex he wants each of us to be:
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10)
The precise mechanism of sexual allocation to the human spirit is perhaps probably not that important for the purposes of this current study, but it would prove interesting to contemplate whether that same mechanism exists for the angels. However, on reflection, both Michael the Archangel and Gabriel are presumably both male angels, assuming that the names of angels have the same sexual assignment as humans. Both Michael and Gabriel ‘materialised’ on Earth as men so it would appear that a male spirit, regardless of how it came to be male can best exist within a male human or angelic brain and body. The same logic would no doubt apply to female spirits. Whilst not being Michael the Archangel, the Michael of 1Chronicles is clearly a son and therefore Michael is a male human’s name presumably confirming that the Archangel of Jude is also male. Daniel and Luke also give a similarly clear indication as to the masculine assignment of the name Gabriel:
14 These are the children of Abihail the son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz; (1Chronicles 5)
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 1)
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. (Daniel 9)
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. (Luke 1)
Also are the two women of Zechariah 5 intended to confirm to mankind that female angels actually do exist?
9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. (Zechariah 5)
If we consider Understanding  Male and Female Angels, Angelic Procreation, Pre-adamic Procreation, Post-adamic Procreation on the Lords’ Witnesses web-site: http://www.truebiblecode.com/understanding50.html this confirms that the angels are both male and female. But why has this been kept as a sacred secret from mankind? This needed considerable teasing out by Gordon originally! The next question then is how does a female spirit become a God or can there indeed be female Gods? Except that a God can procreate all by himself so He does not need a mate for the creation of life. Well that was true of the Father as far as we know, but since the Father will presumably always be the Father, I think that perhaps the single-handed creation of life may always be a capability reserved for the Father among lesser Gods. After all Jesus became the Son; he would appear to continue into the next system at least as a sub-ordinate to God, to his Father Jehovah. He will be on God’s right hand and therefore not sharing the same throne as the Father:
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mark 16:)
On balance I think that there may well be female Gods in the future, but I think we may have to wait and see whether this turns out to be the case or not. There will be many more lessons to be learned in the next system of things and this may well be just one of them.
Let us return to the question of the sacred secret, intimated above, that God only wishes to share with those that love him enough. Earlier in this paper we confirmed through scripture that God had created Adam the male in His image. That image was not just male, but it was also an image that was alone and in God’s opinion in need of a female companion:
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1)
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2)
Whilst in Genesis 1, God created both man and woman, it is only Adam that is described as being created in God’s image. Genesis 2 then confirms that Adam needs a wife. So is God telling us that, not only is He male in the way He thinks and acts (and I would also bet that the first perfect man was right-handed!) but that, in creating a wife for Adam, He was mirroring His own earlier needs in creating the angels as His help to address His own loneliness and His need for female companionship (in the form of the Holy Spirit) to balance His own behaviour? This is a dramatic and, no doubt to some, a somewhat blasphemous notion but the writer has only reached this conclusion by studying God’s own word in an honest if not conventional manner. Is this the sacred secret that is hidden in the scriptures I have studied in this paper and that God is willing to share with those of his children who love him enough? What a marvellous privilege we have here to contemplate! May God forgive me please if I have misread His intentions! In these situations where I feel some partial guilt at striving too hard in trying to understand my God, I remind myself of the humble but nonetheless firm interrogation that Abraham put to Jehovah in regard to God’s policy on the destruction of Sodom:
23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake.
30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.
32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place. (Genesis 18)
What a diabolical liberty some might think; Abraham challenging his God’s actions, not just once but five times. God did not ignore his creation of dust but was prepared to answer Abraham’s questions without any retribution. This is truly a God of immense love and he is telling us that nothing will be held back by Him for those of a true heart and mind toward Him. Whilst I would not wish to compare myself in any way with Abraham, it nonetheless seems to me that God is prepared to share everything with his beloved creations which eventually will include the whole of mankind once we have all grown up enough.
I have to confess that this section of the paper seems like a highly convoluted argument to demonstrate that God is masculine. This particularly since many faithful ones no doubt already believe God to be male simply by calling Him Father. However this paper follows my thought processes as I have carried out the research and I think that this deeper study of scripture and its logical analysis has teased out a number of additional points for teaching us mere mortals that I feel the effort has been worthwhile; I hope the reader shares my view in this regard.
Right Hand v Left Hand
As an England football supporter I can categorically state that this paper was NOT inspired by Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ but rather by my curiosity as to why right and left hands seem to be referred to rather frequently in scripture. This must therefore carry some importance, one would expect, and concentrates on one element of God’s body as more generally covered in the earlier paper on this web-site: The Body of God. Oh yes, and it identifies one body part not previously mentioned but you will have to read on to find out which it is!
As always, however, this paper has lead the writer into areas of research that I would never have contemplated and which have provided their fair share of surprising conclusions that run counter to normal human intuition about the nature of our God.