The Essential Shadow of Breathing

Have you heard it said that the Law is the transcript of God’s character? Did you know that another way to say this is that it is a shadow of His character? Surprised? As a matter of fact, all things that we perceive in this world are really shadows of spiritual realities. You see, there are two kinds of shadows in Scripture. One ended at the cross, for they were representations of the death and ministry of Christ and lost all meaning when they met the Substance (i.e. ceremonies). The other exists alongside the reality it represents (e.g. those listed in Colossians 2:16-17). Today, I specifically want to focus on the shadow of breathing. Oh, I really want you to soak this in and make it the center of your life! What does this shadow represent? Let’s dig deep and find out!

Shadows: Food, Drink, and Breath

As I referenced briefly above, the shadows that do not pass away include eating and drinking (“meat and drink”, KJV). These things are obviously necessary for physical life, just as keeping God’s appointed times (also listed in Colossians 2) is for spiritual life. When we eat and drink, we are to mindfully/consciously consume the life of Christ. You see, His life — the same life that is in His physical body and blood — is in our food, whether we realize it or not. It is the Spirit of Christ that is the life of all things, physically and spiritually. Fear not; you are not being Catholic if you discern the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11:29) when you eat. The Catholic priest is committing blasphemy by trying to create the body of Christ himself; but all food already has the life of Christ in it. It is God’s will for us to discern this. All our life comes from God, not the physical world which is only a shadow of the spiritual.

It Is the Same with Breathing

Here is what Sister White says of the air we breathe:

With God “is the fountain of life.” Psalm 36:9. Not only is He the originator of all, but He is the life of everything that lives. It is His life that we receive in the sunshine, in the pure, sweet air, in the food which builds up our bodies and sustains our strength. It is by His life that we exist, hour by hour, moment by moment. Except as perverted by sin, all His gifts tend to life, to health and joy.

Education, 197

This is new light to many of us, but precious light; it will affect our day by day, moment by moment experience. When we sunbathe outside in the private country (where we are supposed to be living), we can mindfully receive the bright beams of the life of Christ. When we breathe the pure, fresh air, we can see beyond the shadow and receive the life of Christ in every inhalation. These will become much more joyous experiences of worship.

But Beware of Pantheism

What I have been speaking of is pure biblical truth, but Satan has his counterfeits for every gem of Scripture. One counterfeit is atheistic science, which turns nature, and hence us (since they say we are a part of nature), into the source of itself. The other is making the Holy Spirit into a separate Being/Essence from the Father and Son, making God physically present in all things. The first makes nature itself god (pantheism), while the latter makes God present in all nature (panenthism). In both cases, we would rightfully worship nature, and even ourselves. The truth, as it so often does, rests between these two extremes, and this is where Sister White, A.T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner stood.

So we can worship Yahuah through the channels of sunshine, fresh air, or water and be sanctified in these experiences as we drink, bathe, and breathe. We need to have worship experiences like this in the physical realm of shadows in addition to believing doctrines. Our health message will gain more power and connect with our Gospel message when we preach it this way. Unfortunately, Kellogg settled for the counterfeit because he believed in the Holy Spirit being an essence and later came to believe in the Trinity doctrine. Satan knows how powerful our message is, so he had to counterfeit it. But we can have the truth of the matter, if we will allow God to guide us.

So, What About Holidays?

People celebrate Pagan holidays and engage in New Age practices for a reason. Do you know why? It is because God gave us a desire to worship Him in holidays and in the experiences we have through nature. We see it counterfeited in all of the cultures of the world. When not counterfeited, such worship and celebration is pure and holy. It is Satan who wants to take this from us. So, he creates two camps. On one side, he has things like “spiritual formation” and counterfeit worship practices, which are especially apparent in charismatic groups. Then, he creates an antithesis to oppose it, and people on this side shun the idea of praising God with their outstretched hands or any kind of zeal. They likewise reject His annual festivals and sacred circle dances.

Where Is Our Zeal?

Oh conservative Laodiceans, how foolish to try to deter your brethren from worshiping God with excitement. People get all excited over sports and the things of this world; why can’t we get excited and joyous over Yahuah and the sacrifice of His beloved Son and of heaven?! We will only get wild and fanatical when we forget Christ and have a different spirit from His.

Read the Psalms. You know them. Worshiping God with zeal is biblical, and we need to be more zealous in spiritual things overall, for this is the very counsel that Christ gives to us Laodiceans. Repent! For we are lukewarm. God wants us to be a very joyous people and we are never going to be if we remain in our lifeless, Godless state. How can we be full of zeal if we fail to remember Him in the things of nature that are intended to remind us of Him?

With That Background, Let’s Resume Our Topic of Breathing

First, the Literal Act of Breathing

Let us start with the physical side of breathing. We should move away from the polluted cities and also keep our homes aired out. We should also learn how to breathe deeply and maintain good posture. This will also improve our voice culture, something else we should really be practicing. This is all counsel from the Spirit of Prophecy. Spend some time researching these things if you are not familiar with them. How do we breathe deeply? It is by inhaling fully and then very slowly letting the air out, and repeating this process. So it is very simple. This is a great thing to practice when walking or sunbathing outside where the air is fresh. It is also very stress-relieving and thus will improve our quality of life and longevity. May Yah help us to put these things into practice.

The Spiritual Side

Now that we have looked at the physical elements of good breathing principles, here is where I really want us to focus: breathing from a spiritual standpoint. So, here are some quotes, which can also be found in the book “Straight Testimony for the Laodiceans”:

The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ.

Desire of Ages, 805

The Holy Spirit is the breath of life in the soul. The breathing of Christ upon His disciples was the breath of true spiritual life. The disciples were to interpret this as imbuing them with the attributes of their Saviour.

Review and Herald, 6/13/1899

The soul must have the vivifying influence of the breath of life from Christ, in order to reveal that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory.

Youth’s Instructor, 8/25/1898

Clearly, the Holy Spirit Is not an Essence/Being

The Spirit is the very life of Christ that flows from Him to us on this earth as He is seated next to His Father in heaven. This is a very precious truth.

When we breathe, we are physically taking in the life of Christ. This physical shadow is a channel whereby we can mindfully partake of the Holy Spirit of Christ spiritually. It is thus how we can be sanctified in our breathing experiences. It helps us to stay focused on Christ. Isn’t this just what Laodiceans need? Christ is outside knocking and He wants to come in! Let Him in! He has given us shadows to help us, and it is Satan that would cause us to fear these things.

This does not replace doctrine, as the liberal Laodiceans would have it, but it supplements doctrine. We can have both! We don’t need to be divided into two camps anymore! What we need is Christ. Christ is in heaven, but He sends His life to this earth via the channels of nature. This helps us to have faith, but only if we recognize every shadow and exercise His faith to pierce through these shadows to the substance: the life of God. And oh how destitute of it we are!

A Profound Quote Linking Prayer with Breathing

Please, dear ones, meditate on this:

The reason why so many are left to themselves in places of temptation is that they do not set the Lord always before them. When we permit our communion with God to be broken, our defense is departed from us. Not all your good purposes and good intentions will enable you to withstand evil. You must be men and women of prayer. Your petitions must not be faint, occasional, and fitful, but earnest, persevering, and constant. It is not always necessary to bow upon your knees in order to pray. Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour when you are alone, when you are walking, and when you are busy with your daily labor. Let the heart be continually uplifted in silent petition for help, for light, for strength, for knowledge. Let every breath be a prayer.

Ministry of Healing, p. 510

Did you get that? EVERY BREATH?!

What is prayer? Is it only words? It cannot be! Words are an expression, but prayer is really the desires of our heart. We can mindfully inhale the Breath of Life – the Spirit of Christ. Christ is our Life. He is continually with us by His Spirit, and the Father is in Him as they are one. This is what we should be mindful of. We should be in a continual dependent state towards God, just as we must continually breathe, and every inhalation is a shadow that reminds us of this connection.

Exhalation: The Second Shadow of Breathing

Sometimes our exhalations can be words: praises of adoration, petitions for help. We need to frequently do this each hour, but it is impossible to continually express our prayer in words. So, we can exercise the habit of letting the Spirit of God flow out of us just as freely as it flows into us. We need only maintain a spirit of remembering and adoring Him for who He is and what He gives us. As we receive the life of Christ, let us exercise gratitude and holiness. We cannot create this. But, if we willingly cooperate, the Holy Spirit will create these experiences in us. Our face will wear a smile from now on. Oh yes! We will become happy, holy people by mindfully, submissively letting the Spirit of God flow in, and then flow out in praise and thanksgiving. The First Table of the Torah summarizes this.

Sister White Taught This Concept Plainly:

Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.

Steps to Christ, p. 97

Prayer also includes the Second Table. The life of Christ flows out from us to others in loving words, expressions, and acts of kindness. Weary souls can be thus directed heavenward just by being with us as we dwell in the atmosphere of God.

Friends, this is being the people that God created us to be! This is being the light of the world – as we mindfully dwell in Christ, the ultimate Light of the world. We become the fullness of Him as we take Him in. It is simply by breathing physically (shadow) and spiritually (substance).

We Need to Make This a Habit

Until strong habits are formed, our minds will tend to waver from this. We will be distracted and then tempted to give this up. But don’t. Christ understands us and His merits will cover us as we are growing. When the mind is diverted, bring it back. Just start mindfully breathing again, with your zealous prayers of words and affections. Ask Father to help you, and He will.

So, friends, let us repent of our old, Christless habits. We do not have to be afraid of zealous worship, or using the things of nature toward this end. Father wants us to have an entirely different experience. Let love cast your your fear. Let love always motivate you, for that is what it is all about. Enjoy this love, and be filled with it! There is no sin to be in this holy joy!

God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.

— John 4:16-18

It is time to truly experience Yahuah, our God of Love!

Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.

Steps to Christ, p. 97


Ministry of Healing, p. 510

Image Credit: Pixabay / Engin Akyurt

A photo of Ricky

Also known by his pen name, Malchiel E. Malachi, Ricky first began sharing the Gospel in 2008. His ministry has gone through a number of changes, even being renamed, but there is one thing that hasn’t changed. He is a dedicated student of the Scriptures and Ellen White’s writings and loves to share what he learns online.

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