Symbolism matters

Christ: Male or Female?

The church: male or female?

Christ represents the Husband, and the church represents the bride. They are expected to be symbolically intimate one with another. Speaking of Christ and the church Isaiah says, “For thy Maker is thine Husband” (54:5).

If the local pastor represents Christ, and the local church represents the bride, then what would it mean if we took the male pastor out of his position to place a female pastor there? It would mean we are giving a symbolic representation of homosexuality (See 1 Corinthians 6:9.)

Though the local pastor is not represented by the Bible as a husband to the church, the Apostle Peter referred to the pastor as a shepherd, saying, “Feed the flock of God which is among you… being ensamples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3). Then pastors verily represent Christ to His church! For the Bible prophesied of the Son, “He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).

Regarding the local shepherd, Ellen White said: 

From His servants today God requires fearlessness in preaching the word and in carrying out its precepts. The minister of Christ is not to present to the people only those truths that are the most pleasing, while he withholds others that might cause them pain. He should watch with deep solicitude the development of character. If he sees that any of his flock are cherishing sin he must as a faithful shepherd give them from God's word the instruction that is applicable to their case. Should he permit them in their self-confidence to go on unwarned, he would be held responsible for their souls. The pastor who fulfills his high commission must give his people faithful instruction on every point of the Christian faith, showing them what they must be and do in order to stand perfect in the day of God. Acts of the Apostles, 394

So if the local pastor is a shepherd figure and the local church represents the flock, then by deduction, the local pastor must also be a husband figure while the local church represents the bride. If this divinely established husband/bride relationship is misrepresented, we are treating God’s symbolism as meaningless and unimportant. 

Isn't that what Cain or Nadab and Abihu did? 

Cain gave God an offering—without question—but it wasn't what God had specified. It wasn't symbolic of the forthcoming Sacrifice, so the “fruit of the ground” was an insult and unacceptable by the Designer of such symbolism (Genesis 4:3). Remember, Cain later received a mark (4:15).

The principles can be drawn from the story of Cain to help explain prophecies that foretell Christians offering time as holy on the first day instead of the seventh. Their offering, like Cain’s, will be unaccepted by the Designer of holy time. They too will receive a mark. (See Revelation 14:7, 9-12.) In concert with this type of activity, there is a movement trying to offer a woman in place of a man to represent Christ—the Husband to the church. So, should we expect God to accept this well-intended offering? Are the principles much different here than what are found in the story of Cain?

Women are very capable in ministry, they are just not capable of being the “husband” of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2). They cannot be used to illustrate the male figure in the relationship with the church—God created them that way!

Nadab and Abihu used fire. We could have burned our fingers in the fire they used just as much as we could have burned our fingers in the fire that God had specified. It wasn’t about the ability of the fire, it was about the symbolism. 

The priests who burned incense before the Lord were required to use the fire of God's kindling, which burned day and night and was never extinguished. God gave explicit directions how every part of His service should be conducted, that all connected with His sacred worship might be in accordance with His holy character. And any deviation from the express directions of God in connection with His holy service was punishable with death. 

No sacrifice would be acceptable to God which was not salted or seasoned with divine fire, which represented the communication between God and man that was opened through Jesus Christ alone. Confrontation, 80

Notice that the fire was of “God’s kindling” and was “divine fire.” It wasn’t hotter, or more reddish or orange, it wasn’t more capable than the other common fire to burn an offering, but it was not what God had specified. 

Again, this is all too similar to what will be the case in the mark of the beast scenario. 

Watch the video in this post. Regarding organization it will answer some of these questions:

  • Should we, like Jeroboam, set up our own worship system that is similar to God’s?
  • Should we, like Gideon, establish a worship center where we want it to be, and offer sacrifices because we believe we can? 
  • Should we, like Korah, rise up against God’s appointed leaders because we are just as holy and privileged as they are? 
  • Should we, like Miriam, be jealous because of God’s organization? 
  • Should we, like Saul, take upon ourselves the priestly responsibilities when God has specified they are not within our rights to do so? 
  • Should we, like Uzzah, try to help God by stabilizing what we think is falling? 
  • Should we, like Uzziah, become wroth because we can’t offer incense as the priests do? 

This biblical controversy is important because God’s character is truth (Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 31:5, Isaiah 65:16), and His character is love (2 Corinthians 13:11, 1 John 4:8 ,16). So if we don’t have truth, do we still have love?

Pastor Daniel R. Mesa III creates media at and has his own website

Please read our comment policy before leaving a comment.

ADvindicate Comments