Principles of Christian Living #3
“It is Her Glory”
Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head. (1 Co 11:4-5)
Literary critics look for a lacunae or gap in a text to break the text apart so that it can be examined from within. In a somewhat literal sense, critics pick at a text until a lacunae is located, then pry this gap apart to evaluate the text’s underlying constructs [supporting timbers], to inspect its assumptions [floor joists], and to attempt saying something intelligent about what seems the plain plank flooring of an otherwise unambiguous passage. This critical process is predicated upon a careful reading of the text, but too often, here before any true criticism occurs, the careful reading itself negates traditional understandings and causes crises of faith, accompanied by calls for returning to the faith once delivered, with this delivery always having occurred during the post-Nicean period. The uninformed [i.e., poor] reader of the text is certain that a watering down of the plain truth of the Bible is about to occur. He [it is seldom a she, for she is not allowed to speak] denounces the critic as a pointy-head liberal, a Jezebel, an agent of the devil, and whatever else he can cough out without taking God’s name in vain. This fellow isn’t about to mentally journey beyond where he has lived all of his life. So there, in the rain, we will leave this wheezing, closed-Bible thumping fundamentalist sputtering on his front porch, with a new crop of pokeweed listening to his every hack, as we journey into the world of “plain language.”
The lacunae sought in verses 2 through 16 of chapter 11 of Paul’s first epistle to the saints at Corinth lies in verses 14 and 15: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?”
Where does “nature” teach that it is disgrace for a man to wear long hair? In many tribes Native American men wore long hair to their glory. Long hair on a Chinese man signified how long he had been away from his homeland. Long hair on a Cavalier showed that he was a Royalist and as such was a badge of honor. So it is Greek culture [that’s correct], not “nature” that would cause long hair to seem a shame to a man; for long hair on a man is not universally recognized as a shame, just as short hair on an African woman is not necessarily a shame. Thus, it is culture, not nature that would have hair length serving as an indicator of cultural shame. So Paul misstates his point, calling well established Middle Eastern cultural practices universal patterns … what about Scripture being infallible?
If Scripture in its original language is infallible, then explain Matthew attributing a citation from Zechariah to Jeremiah (Matt 27:9).
All Scripture is inspired of God, which is a state of delivery. But this does not make Scripture infallible, for infallibility is a condition of receipt. Meaning must be assigned to words and to collections of words that without this assignment of meaning remain absolutely silent and meaningless. As a universal condition, infallibility can only exist as an illusion—the auditor’s reading community determines the assignment of meaning to words, and unless this community hears the quiet voice of Christ Jesus, meanings other than the inspired meaning will be assigned to these words, which do not carry little dictionaries around in back packs to tell the reader what meaning should be assigned to the word, regardless of language. And to demonstrate this, what is the meaning of the English word malix? It has a culturally agreed upon meaning.
So it is here at the lacunae where the plain language used by Paul in a seemingly unambiguous passage ceases being plain, for Paul doesn’t, in fifteen verses, introduce a new tradition into the Church of God. Rather, he uses the existing cultural practice of chaste women wearing head coverings to discuss authority and proper submission to authority in an epistle that is largely corrective because of the developing schisms within the fellowship at Corinth.
For the reader who has time only to skim a few lines of an article before going on to something else, an abstract of this article would say that appropriate head coverings are those coverings appropriate to the culture that show submission to authority. The liberty that is in Christ Jesus is not a principle of lawlessness, but an application of faith manifest in deeds that cleanses the heart. This application of faith for a Hellenistic convert in 1st-Century Corinth would have the person cease eating blood, meats strangled, meats offered to idols, and sexual immorality before hearing Moses read every Sabbath in the synagogue (Acts 15:19-21). However, this application of faith for a 1st-Century circumcised Jew would have the Israelite profess that Jesus is Lord and believe in his [or her] heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:6-10). There is no distinction between Hellenist or Hebrew, for the same qualitative application of faith is required to cleanse the heart of both, with this standard being Abraham’s faith before he received the seal of circumcision (Rom 4:11-12).
Does this mean that a woman should wear a head covering — where it is culturally appropriate, absolutely! For she is not to cause offense to Jew, Greek, or the church of God (1 Co 10:32)—in moving from the 1st Century to 21st, she is not to offend Mennonite, Methodist, or the church of God. And if the plain language about women wearing a covering is taught or thought to mean hair, then substitute hair for covering wherever cover or covering is used These fifteen verses now make little sense, and the plainness of a head covering being something other than hair is apparent.
Is the Body of Christ divided, women wearing a covering here but not there?
Unfortunately, outwardly, visibly, yes. In name, yes. Before God, no—for there is the Body, and there is the synagogue of Satan. There are two entities that both identify themselves as Jews, or spiritual Israelites; i.e., Christians, or disciples of Christ Jesus. But the Body is not all feet in the mouth of the Head. It is as all parts of the human body are. And while the feet are shod with shoes, boots, or sandals, the hands wear gloves or mittens. A scarf is placed around the neck. And the entirety of the Body is covered by the mantle of grace.
The problem of the Body, in outward appearance, being many, not one, is a difficulty that the Apostle Paul was never able to overcome—and a problem that cannot be overcome until the flesh is liberated from bondage to sin and death when this divided Body will be born as two sons, one hated and one loved (but deceitful) at the beginning of the seven endtime years of tribulation. Until then, the one son struggles against the other as disciples align themselves into being of one son or the other.
Yes, you, today, are being aligned as part of either the hated son, or of the loved son, with this hated son dwelling outside of Judea as Esau dwelt on Mount Seir, Judea being God’s rest and the geographical representation of the Sabbath rest (cf. Heb 3:16-4:11; Ps 95:10-11; Num chap 14). The loved, but deceitful son dwells in God’s rest. So you can know of which son you will be when the seven endtime years begin by when you enter, or attempt to enter God’s rest.
In the 1st-Century CE, the tent of flesh of an uncircumcised Hellenist man who had become a disciple of Christ Jesus did not look the same, when examined closely, as that of a circumcised Hebrew man who had become a disciple. In a similar manner, in the 21st-Century the outer apparel of an old German Baptist woman does not look the same as the outer apparel of, say, a United Church of God woman. Both will be modestly attired, without the plaiting of hair or excessive makeup or jewelry. But the old German Baptist woman will be convinced of her righteousness by the head covering that she wears even though she attempts to enter God’s rest on the following day, the 8th-day [when no one can enter God’s rest], contrary to what very plain Scriptures say about keeping the 7th day holy. Likewise, the United Church of God woman will be convinced of her righteousness by her habit of living within the commandments of God, all of them, not just nine of them, whereas she covers her head with only her hair contrary to very plain Scriptures about head coverings.
Do both women, then, need to mentally journey to where both cover their heads when praying or prophesying on the Sabbath?
Is not the Body of Christ divided, or is neither of the mentioned God-fearing women a part of the Body of Christ? Both live contrary to plain Scriptures—and both will argue that they correctly read Scripture.
In the 1st-Century, Paul was accused of teaching Hebrew converts not to circumcise their sons, contrary to the Law of Moses and the custom of natural Israel (Acts 21:21). But this was not the case: Paul taught that circumcision of the flesh was, under the new covenant, of no value except as a cultural sign that the person was naturally born as a Hebrew. Likewise, the uncircumcision of a Hellenist was equally meaningless, for circumcision was of the heart that had been cleansed by faith.
How does head covering differ from circumcision, which was a sign that the person was made naked before the law of God, covered by only his obedience to God? The head covering of a Hebrew woman signified that she was covered by her husband’s obedience to God, whereas the head covering of a Hellenist woman signified that she was under the authority and protection of her husband. And Paul used the Hellenist understanding of head covering to admonish a fellowship that was splitting apart because of its liberalism in accepting a man living with his stepmother to remain under authority.
In the 1st-Century, a circumcised man publicly covered his physical nakedness before God with clothing as a shadow and copy of the inner, spiritually circumcised son of God covering his spiritual nakedness with the garment of Grace. Attired in modest apparel, the wife of this circumcised man additionally covered her head with cloth as a shadow and copy of the Church being in submission to its Head, Christ Jesus, even though the baptized wife was also an inner, spiritually circumcised son of God. And as the spiritually circumcised man would not use his garment of Grace as justification of appearing nude in public (for public nudity is a cultural offense in many societies, albeit not in all), the wife would not use her liberty in Christ to appear before God without her head covered.
Nudity remains an offense in the church of God as it should be, but what about a woman appearing without her head covered?
A spiritually circumcised son of God dwelling in a fleshly tent with interior plumbing (i.e., a female disciple) will not appear nude in public, but will appear fully and modestly clothed, including with a head covering where such a covering is expected as part of being modestly attired. But that is not the expectation of the American culture, where head coverings have nearly disappeared as has women being in submission to their husbands, or the Church being in submission to Christ Jesus. And the latter phenomenon is the problem that must be addressed.
What about the American culture, where women seem to flaunt their sexuality as ancient Greek men flaunted their uncircumcision publicly, especially in feats of athletic prowess? How do godly women respond to a culture that markets automobiles and deodorants with prostitution? Should they advertise [by how conservatively they dress] their godliness as if it, too, were for sale? And that is what they unwittingly do by appearing in public in the “plain” clothing worn by, for example, Mennonite women.
Consider for a moment what the wearing of a cap for religious reasons says about the American woman that even her modest attire does not fully convey. First, it conveys a sense of cultural aloofness that she has cultivated with her visible appearance whereas her godliness should be recognized by her good works. It conveys the idea that she is self-righteous, unfortunately. Is this her intention? Hopefully not. What, then, can be done by the woman wearing a cap so as not to give offense to women firmly trapped within American pop culture that some of these trapped women might be won to Christ? Should stumbling blocks be placed before American woman that are equivalent to what the Circumcision Faction wanted to place before 1st-Century Hellenists? Or will a comparable equivalency of faith to Abraham’s cleanse the hearts of these American women who have been socially prostituted by the demonic king of Greece? It will, won’t it? And this comparable equivalency of faith will have American women who leave shopping malls and mentally journey into living within the Sabbath and abstaining from unclean meats while believing that the Father raised Jesus from the dead cleansing their hearts by faith. They need to do no more than to hear Moses read every Sabbath where they will grow in grace and knowledge. Asking them to wear a head covering is tantamount to asking a 1st-Century Hellenist convert to be circumcised—and some former Pharisees, with Scriptures to support their argument, insisted that Hellenist converts must be circumcised, but this was not the determination of the Body of Christ.
Certain Christian fundamentalists with their backsliding liberal spin-offs, having similar scriptural support to what the Circumcision Faction had, today would have the Body of Christ eating vermin and swine and all manner of filth because what enters by the mouth goes out as excrement—and the undressed body of a godly woman is fully clothed by the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness, so can she appear in public as Eve was before Eve believed the serpent. Is the latter statement reasonable? Of course not! So why would anyone believe a similar argument used to justify a Christian eating an Easter Sunday ham dinner? And it is here, in what disciples eat and when they worship, where those who do not believe Moses show that they also do not believe Jesus (John 5:46-47). It is here where the Body shows that it has usurped authority over the Head as if the Body were an overweight American woman in hot pants, halter top, and crew cut flaunting her defiance of the cultural traditions of her parents. The Body, like so many desperate housewives, has greater problems than no head covering, but fixing the problems will begin by the Body showing that it is in submission to its Head.
Within the geographical areas covered by early disciples, three cultural traditions merge and emerge: Paul writes, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God” (1 Co 10:31-32). And in causing no offense is where the ensuing lacunae begins: three cultural traditions, not one. The importance of circumcision [Jews]; the importance of uncircumcision [Greeks]; the unimportance of either circumcision or uncircumcision [church of God]—the importance of wearing a head covering; the importance of marketing the flesh; the unimportance of the flesh and head coverings … the categories seem to match, with the wearing of head coverings somewhat analogous to visible circumcision. And if a disciple is not to give offense to any of the three cultures, then when the disciple dwells within or visits a culture, the disciple will do [as long as it doesn’t violate conscience] what the culture does. Therefore, when a disciple is among godly women who wear head coverings, she should do likewise. When this disciple is in the world, she should dress modestly [a task becoming increasingly difficult] in a style that does not cause offense to women of the world so that some of them might be saved (1 Co 10:33). Now, the most difficult culture not to offend: the church of God. There are many more spiritual babes within the church of God than mature Christians; therefore, wisdom would have a woman covering her head in a manner that doesn’t bring attention to itself so that neither babes who have journeyed beyond legalistic fellowships nor babes who have recently left the world will take offense.
The head covering that Paul addresses is not hair as has been taught in church of God fellowships, but Paul is also not introducing a new tradition within the Church, or a new practice. He is using a long established cultural tradition—one that seems to be of nature itself—to introduce a mystery that is profound, a mystery he will address more fully in other epistles (Eph 5:32). Head coverings stem from traditions that predate the formation of the Church, and from traditions that are not contrary to Scripture. Therefore, let women who wish to show that they are in submission to authority continue to do so, or begin to do so by wearing head coverings other than hair. Only let her who wears a covering not be as the Circumcision Faction was, for salvation is not of the flesh. Although the mutilation of apparel does not have the lasting effects that the mutilation of the flesh has, the spiritual ramifications are similar … no other woman is her servant so let her not judge the faith of her fellow bondservant in Christ Jesus by her faith.
Salvation is not of the flesh, but for the inner new creature, a son of God born of Spirit. However, this son of God dwells in a tent of flesh that remains subject to the base expectations of Moses, a culture 1st-Century Hellenists, while remaining physically uncircumcised, would have acquired over time by hearing Moses read every Sabbath (Acts 15:21). The hand and body of a physically circumcised Israelite was ruled by the inscribed Law of God first placed in the Ark of the Covenant as two stone tablets. But disciples are not under [i.e., ruled by] stone tablets. Rather, the hand and body of the disciple are ruled by the inner laws of God (same laws magnified) written on tablets of flesh, the heart and the mind. Thus, the disciple who covets that which defiles the flesh, whether food for the belly or degrading sexual behavior, breaks the laws of God inscribed on the heart and mind by the soft Breath of God. Choosing to eat meats that were not meant to be received with thanksgiving by the holy nation defiles the flesh just as much as publicly exposing the person’s nakedness or lack of submission to authority. What Paul wrote about meats has been twisted by the lawless (2 Pet 3:16-17) into approval for holy Israel to live as disobedient Hellenists, for Israel is a nation inwardly circumcised that lives by the precepts of the law (Rom 2:26-29).
The disciple whose heart has been cleansed by faith has an advocate before the Father, Christ Jesus, but having an advocate doesn’t justify willfully breaking the laws of God. Righteousness does not come from continuing to sin. Obedience does not come from continued disobedience. Submission to authority doesn’t come from continued rebellion. At some point, the disciple whose heart has been cleansed must begin living in obedience to God, and in submission to the authority of the disciple’s head. The inner change of the disciple will be reflected in the disciple’s outward conduct, and will eventually become obvious to everyone. Wearing a head covering will not cause this changed behavior, but might well result from an inner submission to authority as a reminder to the disciple of the change made and of the mental journey that is nearing completion. But wearing a head covering by an unchaste woman is a far greater affront to God than the same unchaste behavior by one who dresses as a prostitute. The latter’s honesty will condemn covered hypocrisy.
The foundation upon which the house of God is built begins with,
[F]or in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:26-29)
If there is no distinction between male and female, why does Paul write to Timothy, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (1 Tim 2:12)? How can she prophesy if she is to remain quiet? And Paul does write to the Corinthians that a woman is to have her head covered when prophesying (1 Co 11:5).
Does a problem exist with Paul, or with 21st-Century CE understanding of Paul? What is missing? In one plain passage of Scripture, Paul says women are to be quiet. In another he says they are to have their heads covered when praying and prophesying. Praying can be done quietly. Prophesying cannot be done so, for prophesying is to an audience, the relaying of a message God wants delivered either orally or by writing through teaching. And women will prophesy in the latter days (cf. Acts 2:16-18; Joel 2:28-29), and they will not be silent when they do so.
What’s missing from understanding Paul? Is it that he addressed his epistles to specific audiences, or that his epistles are culture and context specific? If they were to be read in all fellowships everyplace that call upon the name of “our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Co 1:2), then they exist as the shadow and copy of the words of Christ Jesus that endtime disciples hear by the silent voice of the Lord. Therefore, an apparent discrepancy between passages requires rightly exercising the authority of the Body of Christ to bind and loose (Matt 18:18-20), forgive sins or withhold forgiveness (John 20:23) in the restoration of all things.
What Paul bound can be loosed through the same authority as Paul used to bind … a heresy? A negation of sola scriptura? Or is sola scriptura merely the tool Christ used to return a remnant of the Body of Christ to the foundation Paul laid, where that remnant can again bind and loose as long as it remains on the foundation that is Christ Jesus?
Where the visible Body of Christ went wrong before is that it left the foundation Paul laid (cf. Tim 1:15; Phil 3:18) and built on another foundation; for this visible Body was divided, with suckling Hellenists usurping control over the major portion of the Body. And yes, an argument can be made that the usurpers were never of the Body, but were tares that misappropriated the identity of the Body. But it was these tares that took Christ to the world, and who continue to take Christ to the world on 24/7 satellite television. And if being of the Body requires being theologically perfect, then why must Elijah come to restore all things (Matt 17:11)? John the Baptist was a type of the Elijah to come (vv. 12-13), for John himself said that he was not Elijah (John 1:21). Therefore, where things exist that must be restored, perfection is lacking.
If being of the Body of Christ requires theological perfection, what was the purpose of the Jerusalem Council? Why hear Moses read every Sabbath? Why must a person grow in Grace and knowledge?
Who of the Body that is now sealed in death has believed that human beings have immortal souls now in heaven when plain Scripture says the hope of the dead is the resurrection? Most of the Body, correct? But according to Scripture, most are wrong, for the dead await their change as if asleep. So if theological perfection is necessary for salvation, none of those who now believe, or before death believed that human beings have immortal souls were ever of the Body. And this is not right! It is endtime disciples, when all things have been restored, that must understand the hope of the dead.
Likewise, who can be of the Body alive or sealed who has attempted to enter God’s rest on the 8th-day, when plain Scripture says to remember the 7th-day? Or for that matter, what woman can be of the Body who has prayed with her head uncovered? The truth is that all disciples have lacked perfection except Christ Jesus, whose perfection covers the Body as a garment.
The truth is that the history of the circumcised nation of Israel forms the shadow and copy of the history of the spiritually circumcised nation in the heavenly realm, where this latter Israel has life through being born of Spirit. And this history is pretty grim: it is a story of spiritual prostitution, of worshiping demons, of Satan’s servants exercising authority over the Body of Christ, and of God delivering Israel into the hand of Satan for the destruction of the flesh as Paul commands the saints at Corinth to do with the man who lives with his father’s wife (1 Co 5:5). It is also the story of a remnant of Israel, using sola scriptura as its liberation weapon, escaping from spiritual Babylon to return to the heavenly city of Jerusalem to build the house of God that has never been completed, and to build this house on the foundation that Paul laid. And many are those saints who, along the way, have cleansed their hearts by faith and will be among the Firstfruits even though they imperfectly understood the Word of God.
The truth is that the story of the escape from Babylon is the most exciting adventure story every told, but it isn’t a story often told within the splintered churches of God for the escapees were Sunday-keepers who lived in flagrant violation of plain Scriptures teaching disciples of Christ to live by the commandments written on hearts and minds, commandments that are magnifications of the Decalogue.
The “plainness” of plain Scriptures tends to hinder belief. Far more Anabaptists in 8th-day fellowships have stumbled over the 4th-Commandment, offering lame reasons for assembling together on the following day, than Sabbath keepers have stumbled over head coverings through identifying these covering as hair. Yes, of course, Jesus ascended to the Father on the first day of the week: He is the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering (Lev 23:10-11), the First of the Firstfruits. No grain could be harvested until He was accepted. But the Wave Sheaf Offering occurs once a year. The Sabbath occurs every week. Where would someone find the authority in the Wave Sheaf Offering to change the Sabbath commandment? Such a change is an abuse of usurped authority.
All things will be restored by a future Elijah. Endtime Philadelphians will be the pillars of the temple of God, its corner and cap stones being Christ Jesus. And the issue of authority and submission to authority that head coverings introduce is that of rightly using binding and loosing, forgiving or withholding forgiveness.
Paul writes that the mystery of two becoming one through marriage is profound for it refers to Christ and the Church (Eph 5:31-32). Moses writes, “So [Elohim] created man in his own image…male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).
There, in verse 27, is the profundity of marriage—there, right in front of you. To be in the image of Elohim, humankind must be male and female.
Contrary to what has been taught by Hebrew and Hellenists, Elohim is not a singular noun in linguistic number. Elohim is the regular plural of Eloah. It isn’t some kind of a mystery uni-plural noun that is single in structure and usage, but plural in content as was taught fifty years ago by the former Radio Church of God. It is plural in structure. However, because two are one, it is most often singular in usage, being plural in usage only when one speaks to the other as a wife would speak to her husband.
Elohim deconstructs to /El/ + /ah/ plus an unassigned multiplier, with El being the regular Hebraic linguistic icon for God, as in El Shaddai, God Almighty (Gen 17:1). The linguistic radical /ah/ represents aspirated or voiced breath. So the icon Eloah, same as the Arabic Allah, is the singular form of God + breath, with Elohim being /God + breath/ plus at least one more /God + breath/. And when Elohim created humankind in His image, he created them male and female, so the expected multiplier will be two (2).
The Tetragrammaton YHWH confirms that the multiplier is two: the Tetragrammaton deconstructs to /YH/ + /WH/, with /YH/ appearing in Scripture (i.e., in the Psalms of David) as Yah, the deity that Moses and the seventy saw on Mount Sinai (Exod 24:9-11), for no one has seen the Father except Jesus (John 1:18). Two deities, with two separate breaths as Paul writes, “Any who does not have the [Pneuma, or Breath] of Christ does not belong to him” (Rom 8:9), and, “If the [Pneuma, or Breath] of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his [Pneuma] who dwells in you” (v. 11). Plainly stated, the Breath of the Father who raised Jesus from the dead gives life to disciples through the Breath of Christ, which dwells in us.
The life of a person is in her breath carried by the blood throughout the body; yet, this person would not assign “personhood” to her breath. So why will this same person, made a disciple of Christ Jesus through being drawn by the Father (John 6:44), now assign personhood to the Breath of the Father, or assign the same Breath to the Son? Unless a co-joined twin sharing the same lungs, this person doesn’t have the same breath that her sister has. Their breaths will be qualitative similar, just as the Father’s is to the Son’s. Therefore, the decision of the Council of Constantinople (ca 381 CE) that gave divinity to a single Breath of God that would be later assigned personhood was a spiritual deception of the woman, the last Eve, the Church, of the same type that the first Eve physically experienced when she believed the serpent—and it was for this reason that the Apostle Paul forbade the woman to speak, to teach, or to have authority over men. The woman [i.e., the Church] is especially susceptible to deception.
Back up, take a breath, and pay attention: as there was a first Adam, there is a last Adam (1 Co 15:45). The first Adam was a type of the last Adam (Rom 5:14). That which is visible reveals the invisible things of God (Rom 1:20), and the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Co 45:46). Therefore the visible first Adam outside of the garden of God forms the shadow and copy of the invisible second Adam outside of the temple—but wait, you say, Jesus was a visible human being. Yes He was, but Paul says He was a quickening or life-giving spirit, and giving life wasn’t then, and isn’t now the work of the flesh. Thus, Jesus was from baptism at the beginning of His ministry the beloved Son of the Father. Jesus’ visible, circumcised flesh wasn’t this beloved Son, but was the tent of flesh in which the Son dwelt … so there is no mistake, the life-giving spirit was the invisible man dwelling in that particular tent of flesh identified as Jesus of Nazareth, with this invisible man coming from heaven to be born of a woman (John 1:14) in a manner analogous to Elohim [singular in usage] breathing the breath of life into the fully formed corpse of the first Adam. Thus, the visibility of the first Adam functions as the spiritually lifeless, revealing shadow of the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
Christology—the study of the divine nature of Christ Jesus—fully occupied the attention of the 4th-Century Church for Emperor Constantine’s solution, tendered at the Council of Nicea, never truly resolved the debate. The Arians didn’t go away quietly, for the Emperor’s solution was to employ the Greek concept of υπόστασις [hypostasis] to the two natures (φúσεις) of Christ Jesus, with one nature being fully divine and the beneath nature being fully human. The divine nature was of the same substance as was the Father (however, the concept of the Trinity had not yet developed).
The usefulness of Constantine’s solution isn’t in its accuracy, which, because it wasn’t then fully understood, actually solved the problem without anyone recognizing the solution. The usefulness of hypostasis is in its application; for the Genesis account of the first Adam forms the visible shadow of the divine nature of Christ received from the Breath of the Father descending and remaining on the man Jesus. The divine nature of the man Jesus came from receiving the Breath [Pneuma] of the Father.
Apollinaris of Laodicea in the 4th-Century CE anticipated the correct solution to the problem of Christology, but unfortunately, Apollinaris had accepted the lie of the old serpent Satan, the devil, that human beings are born with immortal souls. Thus, he didn’t assign physical breath or the breath of life to the Greek linguistic icon psuche; he assigned an immortal soul to the icon. He understood that Jesus was only soma and psuche until receiving the Breath [Pneuma] of the Father, but He didn’t understand that Jesus was the Logos born fully human as the only son of Himself, Theos (cf. John 3:16; John 1:1-2, 14). He didn’t understand that once born of Mary, Jesus was without life in the heavenly realm until He received the Breath of the Father, Theon. Only when Jesus received the Breath of the Father did Jesus become the beloved Son of Theon, the /WH/ radical of the Tetragrammaton. Prior to then, the man Jesus was the Logos’ own son—literally, Yah entered into His creation as a mortal human being. He came as His Son, a mystery concealed in the translation of the Septuagint, and as such, concealed from the early Church. Jesus used the Septuagint’s translation errors to ask the Pharisees an unanswerable question [unanswerable because of the translation] (Matt 22:41-46), disclosing to endtime disciples that the Pharisees were better versed in how the Septuagint read than in how the Hebrew text read.
Criticism is the work of reading why the Pharisees could not answer Jesus’ question. To silence the Pharisees, Jesus would not have asked a question they could have answered. Jesus knew that at least some of them correctly read the law (Luke 10:25-28); so a question that couldn’t be answered would come from where they had not correctly read the Law and the Prophets and the Writings such as in a popular translation error. The Septuagint uses Theon for the Tetragrammon, thereby revealing that the translators didn’t understand the profundity of marriage or the presence of two in one. And because the Greek speaking Church, even today, continues to use the Septuagint, both the early [pre-Nicene] Church, the Latin [post-Nicene] Church, and the modern Orthodox Church cannot correctly answer Jesus’ question. Arrival of that answer had to wait until the endtime Elijah had Trinitarian theologians gathered together on a spiritual Mount Carmel.
The importance, now, of hypostasis comes from comprehending how the first Adam forms the spiritually lifeless shadow of the divine nature of Christ Jesus from birth by Spirit (Matt 3:15-17) through when Jesus ascends to the Father to enter into the role of spiritual High Priest (Acts 1:9-11) as the one who intercedes on behalf of the last Eve when she believes that old serpent, Satan the devil, that she will not die (Gen 3:4). This is the alpha portion of this ministry—its shadow stretching from when Elohim [singular in usage] breathes life into the nostrils of the man to when the man and the woman were both naked and without shame (cf. Gen 2:23-25; John 20:22-23). The shadow of the omega portion of the glorified Christ’s ministry begins with the birth of Cain and Abel (Gen 4:1-2). And the years between those ten days before that Pentecost day following Calvary and the beginning of the seven endtime years of tribulation—years represented by those ten days—are also represented by the letters between the first and the last.
The last Eve had already succumb to the blandishments of Satan while Paul still lived, for all Asia had left him (again, 2 Tim 1:15).
Now, here is where understanding hypostasis opens a mystery of God: the visibility of the first Adam reveals that divine component of the last Adam that acted to govern the actions of the flesh following baptism and birth from above. God creates the first Adam outside of the garden, then places him in the garden, creates every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brings them to the man to be named, with whatever Adam named them being their name (Gen 2:19). Elohim put Adam in His garden, whereas the man Jesus of Nazareth as the Logos born as flesh, on the 10th day of the first month, Abib (cf. John 19:31; John 12:1, 12), enters Jerusalem riding on the colt of an ass as high priest of Israel (actually, because He was riding the colt, He enters as the High Priest of the next generation of Israel). He also enters as the Passover Lamb of God, to be sacrificed on the Preparation day, the 14th. So as Elohim [singular] put Adam into the physical garden of God, the Logos as the man Jesus puts Himself into the spiritual garden of God, where He now names the spiritual beasts of the field: you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Hypocrites! Blind guides, blind fools. Hypocrites! Blind guides, hypocrites! Serpents, brood of vipers (Matt chap 23). The flesh uttered the words, which would have been forgotten long ago except that what Adam named the beasts of the field would be their name. Likewise, what the last Adam named these spiritual beasts would be their names not for a generation of men but for the spiritual generation that passed from death to life.
Bringing together the deconstruction of Elohim and of the Tetragrammaton, and coupling these Hebrew linguistic icons used for God with what the Apostle John writes, “In the beginning was the [Logos], and the [Logos] was with [Theon], and the [Logos] was [Theos]” (John 1:1). Greek uses linguistic gender. Logos and Theos agree in gender whereas Theon does not; thus, from a strictly grammatical argument, Theos and Theon are not the same entity even though both are God. Theos enters His creation as His son, His only (again, John 3:16). The Logos becomes flesh and dwelt among men (John 1:14). And to repeat: the Logos and Theos are the same entity, but this entity is not the same as Theon. The Logos was the helpmate of Theon in a relationship that in human terms is expressed by Elohim creating humankind male and female.
The error of those who would have Jesus marry a woman is in not understanding that Jesus was married all the time He was on earth.
In the heavenly realm, the two—Theon and Theos—functioned as one entity as a man and a woman in marriage are to be two who function as one. Theos created humankind in the physical realm; then from humankind choose a people to marry as a man might marry a woman, this wedding covenant ratified by blood (Exod 24:5-8), meaning that this marriage was made only in the flesh and would be abolished by the death of the flesh. Israel as a wife proved to be an adulterer, a lewd woman who paid her lovers with the gifts of her Husband. She strayed from her Husband, and was put away by her Husband, who wasn’t free to marry another, though, until the marriage was ended by death, either that of the woman or that of the Husband.
Either all of circumcised Israel had to die, or Theos had to die in this physical realm—and Theos entered into this physical realm as His Son. He came to die. He came to His own, but Israel did not receive Him (John 1:11). Rather, Israel killed him, taking the responsibility of His death onto themselves and their descendants (Matt 27:25). But until He died at Calvary, He was married to the nation of Israel, a nation that was of the devil from being consigned to disobedience.
When Theos left the heavenly realm to enter into death, He ceased being the helpmate of Theon. That relationship—the relationship expressed in the Tetragrammaton—ceased to exist. And what had been a relationship analogous to marriage became a new relationship, that of Father and Son, with this Son now being free to marry in the heavenly realm.
But a man doesn’t marry his body … the relationship between disciples and Christ Jesus must change before the resurrection—and it will change through the empowerment of disciples by the divine Breath of God at the beginning of the seven endtime years. Except for a remnant, today’s Body of Christ will die during the first half of the seven endtime years. The Body will die either physically, or spiritually. And through empowerment and sacrifice, the Body will become the resurrected Bride.
The issue of submission to authority will determine whether disciples die physically or spiritually or both prior to the return of the Son. Theos willingly died when He entered into spiritual darkness to be born as the man Jesus of Nazareth. He died again as a man at Calvary. But through Theon’s Breath in Him, Theon resurrected Him from death to be the First of the Firstfruits.
The great debates of Christology could have been properly resolved through understanding how truly profound marriage is, something that has been lost in American pop culture.
No American fellowship of the Body lives in submission to Christ Jesus. Most live as American women live, shopping husbands as they do cars, as ready to change husbands as they are hair color, as disrespectful of husbands as they are of Christ, Himself. And the movement away from women wearing of any hair covering corresponds closely to the cultural track of the so-called liberation of the American woman.
In 1977, Mr. Earl Roemer took a pastorate in Anchorage and Kenai Alaska. He held his first Bible study on the Kenai Peninsula sometime in the late fall, and he began this Bible study by saying, “Wives don’t have to obey their husbands.” He might as well have poured diesel fuel in a campfire: flames of anger swept the room as men insisted that, indeed, wives had to obey their husbands. What these men hadn’t heard, though, was Roemer’s emphasis on have to.
The Bible study began at 7:00 pm, and was still going at 1:30 am.
The point Roemer attempted to make was that in the church of God, wives “choose” to obey husbands. Husbands are not to lord it over their wives, holding their wives hostage to Scripture. But exactly how successful Roemer was in making this point will never be known, for he was undercut by a nationally assigned assistant who moved onto the Kenai Peninsula a few years later, and who was unable to deliver a sermon without denigrating women somewhere in his message.
The Apostle Paul admonishes husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for her (Eph 5:25)—and how does Christ rule the Church? Certainly not with a visible hand. All that He does is seen through the actions of the woman, the Church.
Theon created the world by letting Theos do the creating—the two of Them functioned so much as one that the Father was not known until Jesus revealed His existence to His disciples. Likewise, it would seem that the Church has taken the good news of Christ Jesus to the world, but what part of taking this good news to the world occurred without Christ Jesus being involved and responsible for what was done?
A woman’s hair is given to her for a covering (1 Co 11:15), or a turning, a twisting. It is over this covering that another covering is added that visibly signifies that she is submissive to her husband if she is, indeed, submissive. The American Church, in all of its flavors, is not submissive to Christ Jesus, but this should not come as a surprise for American women are not submissive to husbands. The word /obey/ has been removed from most marriage vows, making marriage a 50/50 partnership in which the woman supports herself and her children while the man invests in his hobbies and their future (if they remain together). Oh, there are exceptions among extremely fundamentalist sects, but too often husbands in these sects long ago learned how to bludgeon women into submission with Scriptures. They are like the Alaskan husbands Roemer set ablaze three decades ago.
For a woman who has not previously worn a head covering to begin, she must mentally journey by faith out of American pop culture that has now been spread worldwide as the spiritual king of Greece wages war against the spiritual sar of Persia, a war this king of Greece will win, meaning that soon American pop culture will strip head coverings off chaste women in the farthest corners of the world. The means of making a visible statement against the global pervasiveness of the American culture remains readily available to every woman, but the choice of whether to make this statement is also fully the woman’s. What the American pop culture has also done is to give every woman control over her body and her personhood. She must decide whether she wishes to submit to her husband as if he were her lord. And no woman is ignorant of what the Apostle Paul has written.
Concerning head coverings, husbands need to support whatever decision their wives make, for conflict is the enemy of submission. Conflict produces rebellion. Cultural conflict has produced the rebellion of the American Church, a woman confident of her sexuality, a woman in a daring red dress, slit to the hip. And the Apostle Paul doesn’t command the saints at Corinth and elsewhere to begin what wasn’t previously being done. Likewise, the endtime Church cannot command what wasn’t previously being done. Only Christ Jesus can do that—and the commanding He does is through the inner self hearing His silent voice.
It is easy to say that hair is the covering the Apostle Paul references: many fellowships have done just this as they sought to remain in the middle of the American mainstream, a river that leads to democratic destruction.
It is not quite as easy to say that Scripture demands that chaste women wear head coverings, but that really isn’t the case for all cultures … a question, if a man with waist length hair entered the fellowship where you attend, you would do which of the following:
1. Tell the man that his hair is a shame to him, that he needs to cut it.
2. Ignore the man and treat him as an unbeliever.
3. Introduce yourself, but conspicuously avoid the subject of hair length.
4. Leave the fellowship because it dare let such a person in.
5. Make a joke about “old hippies.”
There is not a good response in any of the above, is there? The situation will, in the church of God, be awkward but must somehow be addressed and resolved without causing any needless offense. And truly, there will not be an obviously apparent resolution. Maturity and wisdom will be required, for the flesh judges matters by appearance. God does not.
Now, what about one woman new to the fellowship beginning to wear a cap in the fellowship? Who will be the first to tell her that in the churches of God women don’t wear head coverings, that her reading of Scripture is flawed? Who will be this person? You know who you are. You are out there, not now willing to admit that you are a baby-killer. Well, while you are at it, size yourself for a millstone.
If the problem of the Church continuing in rebellion against Christ could be solved by wearing head coverings, then head covering should be mandated. But the sects that today wear such coverings are also in rebellion against Christ through attempting to enter His rest on the following day. So the problem is a mindset of rebellion. And the solution is for the Church to cover its head with shame.
The person who quit reading pages ago has missed very little, for this person wants a quick fix to a problem that has been two millennia in the making. There are no quick fixes—the liberty of Christ dictates that every person choose life or death, this choice made through the disciples willingness to mentally venture to a land far from kith and kin. For a wife, this might well be visibly as well as inwardly submitting to her husband. For a husband, this might be throwing away the lever used to compel submission—Paul’s digression on head coverings is really a poor lever to use for compelling godliness.
[Headcoverings & Modesty] One woman's return to covering her hair.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."