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

-

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.

Advertisements

Christianity and the Law of Tithing

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (II Corinthians 9:7,8)

-

Tithe means tenth or ten percent. It is the ten percent of our total income from a single period of our work. Almost all religious leaders in Christendom teach that this portion of our income is holy and belongs to God, thus they persuade their members to set it apart and bring this to the Church as part of religious responsibilities. And despite the fact that we have over two thousand different religious organizations enlisted in Christendom and that they themselves were often engaged into dialogues and hot doctrinal debates, they seemed united standing in a single platform when the system of tithing is concerned. However, tithe also becomes the reason why several Churches ended into sudden fragmentation. I’ve been told that there was an evangelical church divided into three petty independent groups, each pastors still asking their members to tithe. Not surprising, because its all about money and money can destroy brotherhood.

The system of tithing is a part of God’s oracles, thus we must not be against it or we should blame it for the corruptions and chaos happened in Christianity. Rather, we should blame those religious leaders who used the words of God for their own interests. Because of love of money, these preachers misused the words and the commandments of God. Paul said;

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; (I Timothy 1:8)

The law of tithing is a righteous law, but many preachers of religion are using  it to benefit their own selves. In fact, preachers become rich because of their greedy implementation of this system. I say greedy implementation because when they talk about tithe in front of the members, they always acquainting they preaching with insinuations or often threatens their members with curses if they neglect to give their tithe. They will also say that the blessings of God are exclusively for those who pay their tithes . There were also preachers who freed their members to do sin and remain saved as long as they never forget to give tithe, if they don’t wish to be called “robbers”. So their members will give their tithes with a feeling that they serving God, but in reality, they just serving the belly of those greedy religious lords.

Tithing is a commandment given by God to the House of Israel. Among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of the Levites are the least in the division of territories, because God ordained them not for these territories but to live as ministers of His sanctuary and become priests in Israel. And to sustain the needs of  His priests, God commanded the rest of the tribes to give their tithes as a portion belong to the Levites. The book of Hebrews explained;

And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:(Hebrews 7:5)

The Levites are those who have the commandment to receive tithes from their brothers, so how come that  Gentile ministers of religions are also asking tithes from their members? By misquoting the words written in Malachi 3:8-11, these ministers are binding their Gentile members into an obligation never assigned to them by any law of God. Malachi 3:9 states;

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (Malachi 3:9)

“THIS WHOLE NATION“, He said. God did not say, “NATIONS“, but He said, “THIS WHOLE NATION“, in which He speaks only about a single nation, and that is Israel alone. Nowhere in the Scriptures that the tithing system was repeated or re-established in a Gentile nation. He only given this command for the Levites who administered the sanctuary of the Old Covenant. Now, in this New Covenant, the Levites ceased from becoming priests. When the priesthood was given to Jesus, the Priest according to the order of Melquisedec and not according to the Aaronic priesthood, the line of priesthood in the house of Levi ceased. So, if there’s no more Levite priest at all, by what command and to whom we will give our tithes, since the Levites are the only persons in the surface of the earth who has the commandment to take tithes according to the law? Did Christ needed our financial supports to sustain His basic needs? Definitely not. In the time of the New Testaments, we have only one Priest, Jesus Christ our Lord. Those preachers of the gospel are His co-workers, and they should work for the gospel without expecting benefits or salaries whatsoever, but they must work  as it is a burden assigned to their shoulders with the feeling of necessity to carry the ministry of God. Ministers must bear in their mind the same principle planted in the mind of Paul;

Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

For though I be free from all menyet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more(I Corinthians 9:13-19)

They should not become ministers-for-rent but they must do the work of salvation with love and desire to save their fellowmen.

Giving tithe is a good thing, but since the gospel never taught us to make it as a responsibility or an obligation, preachers should not implement this system as a church doctrine. Paul, the apostle to the Gentile, was very knowledgeable about the teaching of tithing but he never implemented this in the Church or advised any members to do this for him. Rather, Paul used his own hands to sustain his personal needs. He worked as a tent-maker and didn’t made himself a burden to his brethren.

For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: (II Thessalonians 3:7,8)

The teaching of the gospel is this,

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (II Corinthians 9:7,8)

If we feel we want to give tithe, then give it. Giving must be depend on what our heart purposed. Not grudgingly or of necessity, because God loveth a cheerful giver.