The Hierarchy of Godhead

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colosians 1:25-27)

For many people who have difficulty in harmonizing the revelations of the New Testament with the monotheistic view of the

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Old Covenant, their only resort is to embrace the teaching of the Trinity as the nearest explanation to the biblical God. But not few also were those who fell into the modalistic view of the Pentecostals. Both views are unbiblical. God is neither Trinity nor like what Pentecostal onenesses think about Him. It’s true that there are three powerful Beings or Godhead but unlike the Trinitarian view, these three are not coequal in power.  Of course, no one will say that when it comes to supremacy, a son is equal to his father or the father is equal to his son, or else it will be no sense at all to call them “father” and “son”.  The term “father” and “son” signify the hierarchical relationship between two persons. The term “father” signifies one’s respect and honor to the person whom he applied the term, and so the term “son” signifies one’s position as lower or subordinate to his father. In fact, Christ had this statement in the gospel of John;

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)

And again in John 10:29, it says,

 “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all…” 

This declaration did not only surpassed the authority of Christ Himself but including the power of the Holy Spirit. When Christ said, “My Father is greater than all”, that’s absolute. It doesn’t only mean to say that no one is above Him but also no one is equal to Him. Hence, Christ said, “my Father is greater than I.” Thus we shouldn’t expect that Jesus Christ is also the Father. That’s wrong and misleading!

The monotheistic view of the Old Covenant is quite incomplete. I’m not saying that it’s wrong,  but I believe, base upon the gospel, that that’s incomplete. Perhaps, the confusion among the Jews whenever they are at reading of the Book of Genesis (particularly Genesis 1:26)  explains how incomplete are the teachings of the Old Covenant concerning to the nature of God. Monotheism is the hallmark of Jewish religion, yet most of the time they were confused by some verses of the Torah. This is because something was hidden during the time of the Old Covenant, and the reason why the New Covenant was given is to explain the mysteries of the Old Covenant. Paul explains,

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” (Eph. 3:3-6)

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: ” (Ephesians 3:9)

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colosians 1:25-27)

Compared to the New Covenant,  the Old Covenant doesn’t have enough details about Christ, if it’s not, as Paul said, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”. It was Him (Christ) to whom the Father said, “Let us make man in our image”. John declared, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;” (John 1:1; I John 1:2)

And Christ said; “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with theebefore the world was.” (John 17:5)

Christ was with the Father before the foundation of world. And during the creation, He was with Him as a “master workman“, as an “intelligent architect“, hence John said, “all things were made through Him”. Is not saying that Christ is God? Of course He is. But unlike the Trinitarian belief, Jesus Christ is not equal with the Father, or He is the Father (like the claims of Pentecostals). Being WITH the Father is not being the Father.

What Christ had stated is this, “I and my Father are one.” This is not saying that He is also the Father or He is equal with the Father. But the best way to explain this is the same way how Christ explained it. And he said,

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17: 20-23)

The oneness of the Father and Christ is not in power or in authority neither they are absolutely one being, but as the Church is one in the sight of God, so Christ in the Father. The best representation to describe how Christ become one with the Father is the unity of the Church as one body. Perhaps, we can also use the oneness of a husband to his wife, as the book of Genesis described. This was how the Bible explained the oneness but hierarchical description of the Godhead. The Father is greater than the Son and the Holy Spirit and yet they are one.

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