Friday, September 2, 2016

Reasoning From Nature: Christian Woman's Headcovering

Reasoning from Nature: Verses 14 and 15.
“Doth not even nature itself teach you...”

It is only here that hair is introduced into the subject as a covering; and, only as an illustration of the correctness for a mandatory artificial covering.
It is sad that a lack of education and sound reasoning has led so many to teach the illustration as the object it has been introduced to illustrate.
Just as Paul asked the Corinthians to reason from their conscience, he here asks them to reason with him from the very nature of their lives. Paul is asking, “What does nature teach you? Does not nature say, “If a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair it is a glory unto her.” (The Revised Standard Version reads: “it is her pride.”) These things, Paul is saying, are taught to you by nature.
Here, Paul speaks of the nature of humans in general. He does NOT have Christian men and women in view only. He is saying that it is natural for men to have short hair. We may extrapolate from his reasoning that men are the workers and warriors of society; therefore, long hair would not be conducive to their natural roles. On the other hand, women are the softer sex; whose hair is a sexual adornment (“it is a glory to her”); and, as such she adorns herself with it and employs her long hair in her relationship with the male gender. Paul speaks here to the nature of the heart, and the natural usage of the hair.
His point is that the “hair is given” (to the woman) “for a covering.” The Greek actually reads: γυνὴ δὲ ἐὰν κομᾷ δόξα αὐτῇ ἐστιν; ὅτι ἡ κόμη ἀντὶ περιβολαίου δέδοται [αὐτῇ]. The phrase “ἀντὶ περιβολαίου”  is transliterated: anti peribolaiou; English translation: “instead of a covering;” it is so rendered in Young’s Literal Translation (YLT): “... and a woman, if she have long hair, a glory it is to her, because the hair instead of a covering hath been given to her;... . ” A. T. Robertson says, concerning “anti peribolaiou:”  
“... Old word from periballw  to fling around, as a mantle (Hebrews 1:12) or a covering or veil as here. It is not in the place of a veil, but answering to (anti, in the sense of anti in John 1:16), ... .” 
Robertson cites John 1:16 as an example of how “anti” is to be understood in our text. John 1:16 says: καὶ  χάριν  ἀντὶ  χάριτος· (kai charin anti charitos); English: “and grace for grace.” So, then, the hair “answers to” (Robertson) the veil: it (the hair) “answers,” in the natural arena, to what the veil is in the religious arena.
Regardless of the clear teaching of the Greek scholars on the word “anti” such Bible teachers as Daniel Segraves, in his book entitled  Hair Length in the Bible, employes his preferred definition of “anti” and states on page 37, “Long, uncut hair is given to a woman instead of a veil.” Using, as he does, the literal wording from the Greek, with no consideration given to the idiom that all scholars recognize on the word “anti.” Gingrich’s Shorter Lexicon of the Greek NT, p17, states the definitions for “anti” as: “for, AS, in place of.” But, Segraves totally omits “AS”—the meaning that fits the context. This is also the definition found in Arndt and Gingrich, p73, and A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the NT. Here, “anti” does not refer to a replacement but to an equivalent. This phrase indicates equivalency. Therefore, “anti” is a word of COMPARISON. In Ephesians 5 Paul uses “anti” to teach how a man and wife are TYPED to Christ and the Church. The “anti” used in v15 does not mean “instead of” but “COMPARED TO,” because long hair is LIKE a veil—it SYMBOLIZES a veil. The French language Louis Segond Bible of 1910 translates the “anti” in v15: “ chevelure lui a ete donnee comme voile,” or “...the hair is given to her LIKE a veil.”
The noun peribolaion is from “peri” to throw or cast, and “bollō” around. Used but twice in the New Testament: here, and Hebrews 1:12 where it is translated “vesture.” Thus, something thrown around one, such as a veil (Robertson, Strong, Thayer). It is  the peribolaion of verse 15, and not the hair, that identifies the katakalupto (covering) of verses 4, 5, 6, and 7. The peribolaion is not the hair, it “answers” (anti) to the hair, as grace “answers” (anti) to grace (John 1:16, Robertson). In Robertson’s paralleling of 1 Corinthians 11:15 with John 1:16, in relation to the Greek word “anti,” it is understood that hair does not replace the peribolaion any more than one grace replaces another grace. The graces (gifts) of God compliment, and compound, one another, as does the Christian woman’s long hair and the veil that she “casts about” her head, when in prayer or moving in the spiritual gifts during the corporate meeting of the Church.
There are two coverings referenced in our passage: the “peribolaion” (verse 15) which is the “kataka-lupto” (verses 5, 6, 7, and 13): a veil, or wrap, that a woman is to “cast about here head” when she prays or prophesies, but a man “ought not” to put on his head when he prays or prophesies [verse 7]; and the long hair that the woman is given by God as a natural mantle or wrap for her head (which “answers to,” and complements, the required peribolaion)—to be used as her adornment, and a display of her glory. The point made here, is that, just as the hair represents her proper covering in the natural realm, so the veil is the Christian woman’s proper covering in the spiritual realm.
Paul is saying: “It is the nature of men to cut off their hair, and the nature of women to let their hair grow long.” If, then, the woman, by the nature of her own heart permits herself to be covered with hair, what the Apostle is enjoining is in harmony with nature and not contrary to it. So, the reasoning goes like this: “Women, if you, by nature permit your heads to be covered (with hair), then you can understand the Churchʼs requirement of a Religious Article of Clothing,” (a R.A.C).
Concerning this matter, John Chrysostm (A.D. 339-407) writes:
“‘And if it be given her for a covering,’ say you, ‘wherefore need she add another covering?’ That not nature only, but also her own will may have part in her acknowledgment of subjection. For that thou oughtest to be covered nature herself by anticipation enacted a law. Add now, I pray, thine own part also, that thou mayest not seem to subvert the very laws of nature; a proof of most insolent rashness, to buffet not only with us, but with nature also.”

The Apostle is not teaching that a womanʼs hair is the covering taught in verses 3 through 13, as verse 6 more than adequately proves. He is reasoning with the Corinthian women concerning the artificial headcovering, and masterfully employing their long hair as his illustration. It is a mistake (and very poor exegesis) to teach hair as the required covering.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

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The Covering Identified
Many argue that the actual covering cannot be identified by verses 4, 5, 6, 7, and 13, and would insist on verse 15 identifying the long hair as Paul’s intended covering. We take strong issue with that position, and will set about to show why.

The word for the covering in our text is “katakalupto” (Strongʼs #G2619). Katakalupto means “to cover oneʼs self” (Thayer). Katakalupto is in the middle voice of the Greek language, requiring an action on the person’s part—such as a cloth covering, that one could put on and take off (a RAC). This is the covering spoken of in verses 4-13.

In the English language, verbs are either active or passive. If the subject of the sentence is executing the action, then the verb is referred to as being in the active voice. If the subject of the sentence is being acted upon, then the verb is referred to as being in the passive voice. But, in Greek there is a third voice which shows the subject acting in his/her own interest, or on his/her own behalf. For example, in the statement: “I am washing myself,” the subject performs the action and yet is receiving the action. Thus, with “having his head covered” (1 Corinthians 1:4), the subject performs the action of “covering” and is receiving the action of “being covered.” So, Paul is not describing the noun, hair, as being uncut with his injunction against men having a “covered head,” nor is he speaking of cutting the hair with his injunction against women being uncovered, but he IS speaking of reflexive ACTION4. Therefore, “having long hair” and “being covered” are NOT inter- changeable.)

However, when the hair is referenced as the womanʼs “covering” (in verse 15) the word is the noun: “peribolaion” (Strongʼs #G4018). Because “peri- bolaion” is a noun and “katakalupto” is a verb, it is argued by United Pentecostal Church International scholar, Daniel Segraves, that they are not inter-changeable. Here is a quote from his book, “Hair Length in the Bible” page 23:
“It is wrong to say that the verb cover means veil. ... Katakalupto does not mean “veil.” It is formed from kata, a preposition meaning “down from” or “down upon,” and kalupto, meaning “to cover, hide, or conceal.” The Greek text of verses 4-7 teaches that a man’s head is to be uncovered and a woman’s head is to be covered; it does not say what the covering is. Moreover, katakalupto in verse 6 is a verb, while peribolaion in verse 15 is a noun. They cannot be interchanged.” Page 28: “ ... in v15 Paul states unequivocally that a woman’s long hair takes the place of an item of dress.”

The Septuagint Refutes Segraves
Segraves’ argument is that Paul does not identify the covering in verses previous to v15; and, that, in verse 15 the covering is identified as the hair. he does this by defining the two parts of katakalupto (kata and kalupto), but does not define the word as it exists in its compound form. And then declares that “katakalupto” and “peribalaion” cannot be interchanged.

Even though peribolaion is a noun, the verb form is periballo, and the correct grammatical form of the verb, periballo, IS used INTERCHANGEABLY with the
verb, katakalupto, in the Septuagint,5 the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Here we see katakalupto and periballo both mean “veil.”
Genesis 38:14, 15 “Tamar...covered (periebale) her with a veil... When Judah saw her he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered (katekalupsato) her face.”

Segraves, further postulates, “... the KJV trans- lation ‘having his head covered’ is a literal rendering, and it leaves open the question of the nature of the covering.”

A literal rendering simply means that it is a word- for-word translation from the Greek, without any paraphrasing or amplifying. The truth is, the Greek speaking Christians of the 1st century would have understood the common idiom employed by Paul to reference the RAC. (Here, again, the proponents of the 2Oth Century American Innovation, of long, uncut, hair being Paul’s required covering, are caught by the idiom. Their tripwire is trying to understand 1 Corinthians 11 3-16 in a 20th century American church context.) The word-group which includes the words translated “cover” and “uncover” in verses 5, 6, 7 and 13 is not used elsewhere to refer to the hair. The usage of kalupto (also: apokalupto, kata-kalumma, katakalupto, kalumma, krupto, sunkaumma, and sunkalupto) refers to an external fabric covering over 80 times, in the Septuagint (Grk OT), but never once to long hair:6

    • Genesis . 28:15 – “... she had covered her face ...” (with a veil – Gen. 38:14)
    • Exodus. 28:42 – “... make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness ...”
    • Numbers. 5:18 – “And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head.,..” (her hair also uncovered—not cut)
    • Ruth 3:4,7 – “and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet...” “...she came softly, and uncovered his feet...” (a blanket)
    • Esther 6:12 – “...and having his head covered...” (his hair also covered)

In verse the expression translated “having his head covered” is literally rendered: “having down on a head.” In the Greek it ikata (down) kephales (head) echon (having.) Kata kephales (= ‘down the head’) is found in the Septuagint in Esther 6:12. In the Septuagint (Grk OT) we read that Haman went to his house “mourning down on a head” (lypoumenos kata kephales)—a way of saying he put something over his head to show his mourning (an idiom). Obviously, Haman did not grow long hair.7
“And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.”
The minority of Biblical teachers, who believe the “covering” is long hair, point to the absence of a noun naming the identity of the “covering” in the phrase, “kata kephales echon;” but, one must acknowledge that neither is there a noun in Esther 6:12. According to Dr. Richard Oster, in When Men Wore Veils to Worship: the Historical Context of 1 Corinthians 11:4, the “argument from silence” is not valid. Dr. Oster states,
“It is clear from Greek and Latin texts the argument based on the absence of a noun in 11:4 is specious. In a score of examples from Plutarch that refer to a head covering, or the lack of it, there is no consistent pattern for describing the wearing of the head covering. The noun is often lacking. ... Often in Greek sources the term “head” was not to be found. On the basis of silence, is one to conclude that some other part of the body was being covered since the term kephales is not specifically employed? Moreover, the Latin sources that mention head coverings often do not
mention the garment that covers the head, but only that the head is covered—capite velato.”

Plutarch,8 in his Sayings of the Romans, speaks of Scipio the Younger walking through Alexandria “having the garment down the head” (kata tes kephales echon to himation), meaning that he concealed his head with part of his toga to avoid being recognized by the people. (Plutarch is especially important to the modern Bible student because of the time period in which he lived and wrote: A.D. 45-120).
Doctor Oster further explains: “When describing individuals wearing head coverings Plutarch demon- strates that “kata kephales echon” can refer to something resting on the head. Greek literature contemporary with the NT demonstrates that the phrase “kata kephales” can clearly mean ‘on the head.’” Oster cites Plutarch and Josephus.9

The noun forms of this word group, katakalupsis and katakalumma, both meaning “covering,” are not found in the New Testament, but katakalupsis does occur in the second century Christian writing, The Shepherd of Hermas, Visions 4, 2, 1:

“...a virgin arrayed as if she were going forth from a bride-chamber, all in white and with white sandals, veiled up to her forehead, and her head- covering [katakalupsis] consisted of a turban, and her hair was white.”10

Here again it is obvious that the covering is not hair, but a turban. Katakalumma occurs in the Septuagint, in Isaiah 47:2, where it refers to a head-covering. In 47:2-3 we read, “Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks [apolilupsai to katakalumma, which meant to remove your veil—not cut the hair] uncover the thigh [or take off the skirt—anakalupsai tas polias--...] Thy nakedness shall be uncovered (anakaluphthesetai.)” Once again the covering is cloth or fabric.11

“Uncovered” in verses 5 and 13 translates akatakaluptos, and is found nowhere else in the NT, and only once in the Septuagint. One manuscript contains the word in Leviticus 13:45 where it is said that one with a leprous baldness should “uncover” his head. It is obvious “uncover” does not mean cutting off the hair.

Philo, the Greek philosopher, used the word for “uncovered” to mean removing a cloth.12 

Apostolically Speaking

☩ David Ignatius

reflexive verb - a verb whose agent performs an action that is directed at the agent; "the sentence ‘he washed’ has a reflexive verb";
Septuagint (sometimes abbreviated LXX) is the name given to the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures. The Septuagint has its origin in Alexandria, Egypt and was translated between 300-200 BC. The Septuagint was also a source of the Old Testament for early Christians during the first few centuries A.D. Many early Christians spoke and read Greek, thus they relied on the Septuagint translation for most of their understanding of the Old Testament. The New Testament writers also relied heavily on the Septuagint, as a majority of Old Testament quotes cited in the New Testament are quoted directly from the Septuagint.
“No More Excuses,” by A. A. Bieler
“No Such Custom,” by Bruce Terry, pages 6-7 25
Plutrach: AD 46 – AD 120),was a Greek historian, biographer, and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is considered today to be a Middle Platonist.

Josephus De bello Judaico libri vii 2.48; Antiquitates Judaicae 1.50; 5.252; 13.117 and Plutarch Regum et imperatorum apophthegmata 200F; Aetia Romana et Graeca 267D; Vitae decem oratorum 842B; Pyrrhus 399B; Pompeius 640C; Ceasar 739D

10 J.B. Lightfoot (trans.) “The Apostolic Fathers”, ed. J.R. Harmer [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967]
11 “Head Coverings in Public Worship,” by Brian Schwertley; p5
12 Schreiner, 126, “Women Who Pray or Prophesy: 1 Cor. 11:3-16”

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Ark Of The Covenant And Its Contents Are A Parable Of Jesus Christ.

Keeping to our purpose of investigating the Godhead Theolo-gy of the Tabernacle, we must pass over much here, that does not directly lend itself to our mission.  There are some observations that may be made concerning the Ark, beyond the fact that it is made of shittem wood overlaid with gold (a parable of the dual nature of Christ). Chiefly, we will mention this: the Ark (also called the Ark of the Testimony) was a chest that contained certain prodigious items that bear testimony of our Savior. There were the actual two tablets of stone, upon which were written the Ten Commandments; also, a jar of manna taken from the wilderness journey of the Israelites, and, in addition, Aaron’s rod that budded (Heb 9:4). These three items testify of Christ in very clear ways that none can deny: The tablets of stone, on which the Ten Commandments were written, contain the moral law for man, so it is the correct Way for mankind to live; the jar of manna, taken from the wilderness, testifies of the bread from heaven, which is the Truth; Aaron’s rod, that miraculously put forth shoots, even though it was a dead stick, speaks of Life. Did Jesus not say that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)? Moreover, the Law (the Way) testifies of Father God; the Manna (the Truth) testifies of the Son of God; and the Rod that Budded (Life) testifies of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote of Christ, and said: “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” —Colossians 2:9.
To come to the true essence of the Ark of the Testimony, and exactly what it was a parable of, we will jump forward to the New Testament writing of the book of Revelation. A survey of a statement from Revelation 2:17 will bring us to a deeper under-standing of the Ark and its contents. Revelation 2:17: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, ...”  The victor (Grk., tō nikōnti, lit. “the one overcoming;” the idea is: not finished, but an ongoing work) is promised an amazing reward, i.e. “ ... will I give to eat of the hidden manna.” This statement appears nowhere else in the Bible; but the meaning is quite clear from its rabbinical association to biblical events. Though the statement concerning eating “hidden manna” is introduced in our holy Scriptures here for the first time, it was a traditional saying of the rabbis. Such phrases are called rabbinical speech. It was part of a manner of speaking common to all public speakers in the arena of popular thought, such as religion or politics. Such statements as this convey a wealth of information with only a few words. The reference is to the “manna” which was placed in a golden jar by Aaron at Moses’ command, and “hidden” in the Ark of the Testi-mony (Ex 16:33 cf. Heb 9:4), beneath the Mercyseat. In the course of time the Ark of the Testimony, with its lid (i.e. the Mercyseat), disappeared from the holy Temple in Jerusalem. There are different traditions as to the vanishing of this most sacred article of the Jewish faith. About the only thing the traditions have in common is roughly the time of disappearance; namely, the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon (586 B.C.). This was in the days of the prophet Jeremiah, who figures into the tradition prominently.
One story is that prior to the fall of the city, many treasures of the temple were “hidden” somewhere in Jerusalem, presumably on the temple mount. It is thought that Jeremiah oversaw this concealment. This could very well have been the case, since Jeremiah was a priest, a member of the household of Hilkiah. His home town was Anathoth (Jer 1:1). So, he was most likely a descendant of Abiathar (1 Kgs 2:26). Chiefly among the hidden items was the Ark of the Testimony. The “hidden” Ark became referred to by the term “hidden manna.” The Rabbis believed that both the “hidden” Ark and their long awaited Messiah would appear at the same time. Or, at least, the discovery of their Ark of the Testimony would be the signal that their Messiah was immi-nent. Therefore, when the teachers of the law would announce in the synagogues, “Soon, we will eat the hidden manna,” all understood the idiom to mean, “Soon the Messiah will come.” Of course, the discovery of the Ark is intended by the phrase: “eat hidden manna;” but by extrapolation, and the primary message covertly hidden three layers deep in idiom, is the coming of the Messiah—the Son of David.
Christ (which is the Greek word for Messiah—the anointed one) is telling the Church at Pergamos, and the church of God in general: “Messiah has come, and for those of you who are overcoming, the hidden manna is available to eat.” One might do well to associate this with the words of Jesus from John’s gospel, “The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. ... Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever” —John 6:41, 47-51, 58.
John, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, was led to record the above discourse that was given in the Capernaum synagogue (John 6:59). Rarely had Jesus been more straightforward. In the Jewish synagogue, to the Jewish crowd, as he stood in the place of the teaching Rabbi, in the very spot where the “hidden manna” was commonly spoken of for the purpose of arousing the emotional expectation of the crowd to anticipate the arrival of their Messiah, now, before them all, against the backdrop of the miracle of the loaves and fishes (same ch vv5-14), the carpenter from Nazareth says, “I am the true manna which came from heaven. If you eat of me you shall have eternal life.”
Might we be so bold as to suggest: Just as the manna in the wilderness was hidden in the Ark of the Testimony (an earthly chest made of shittem wood overlaid with gold—representing purity), even so, the true “bread which came down from heaven” was hidden in the virgin womb of an earthly vessel, which was truly a pure Ark for the covenant of God—we call that Ark, Mary.
Lest we be the object of ridicule, and even stoning, the obvious must be stated, somewhat parenthetically: The Ark of the Testi-mony was not the object of Israel’s worship. The object of Israel’s worship was He for whom the Ark was but the host, that is: the Shakinah that dwelt on the Mercyseat between the Cherubim. This personal presence of Yahweh was represented by the three testimonies within the chest: 
The Law, which speaks to the Father; 
The Golden Jar of Manna, which speaks to the Son, the    
    bread  from heaven; and 
Aaron’s rod that budded, which speaks to the Holy Spirit. 
All this, in Mary’s pure womb.

The priesthood was expecting the Ark of the Testimony, hidden some 586 years earlier, to be discovered at any moment, Messianic expectation was high. It should have come as no surprise to them, that the Ark was, indeed, discovered in the hill country of Judea, in the home of a priest of Aaron. In fact, it was a daughter of Aaron, Elisabeth, who made the initial find (Luke 1:39ff), “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” —Luke 1:39-45.
It is more than happenstance that Mary remained in the home of Zacharias and Elisabeth for a period of three months (Luke 1:56). Luke, a Gentile, who was most likely from the city of Antioch of Syria, writes here in a true Hebraic fashion, by recording great truths in a covert manner. He mentions the three months stay in the home of Zacharias, because the Ark of the Old Covenant spent a similar stay, for the same amount of time, in the home of the priest Obededom (2 Sam 6:11 cf. 1 Chr 26:4). The home of Obededom and the home of Zacharias were located in the same place—about 1000 years apart. Such a wondrous event could not have been arranged by human effort—the hand of God was at work here. What could it all mean? The Ark of the Covenant pictures the person and ministry of Christ in a marvelous manner.
The Rabbis had been more right than they knew. The discovery of the Ark, by the daughter of Aaron, signaled the coming of the Messiah, who would come into the world via the womb of Mary. Thus, the contents of the Ark of the Covenant, i.e. the tablets of the Law, the golden jar of manna, and the budded rod of Aaron, that speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, respectively, were robed in flesh, and dwelled among us.  “And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). In one place (John 14:6) He would speak of His relationship with the aforesaid Tablets of the Law, the Golden Jar of Manna, and Aaron’s Budded Rod this way:
“I am the way,” (the Law);
“I am ... the truth,” (the Manna, representative of the Word);
“I am ... the life,” (the Budded Rod). (John 14:6)
The Apostle Paul knew the revelation of this mystery, which was kept secret since the world began; he and the other New Testament writers have made it manifest by the Scriptures of the prophets to all nations for the obedience of faith (Rom 16:25-26). Paul makes a clear declaration of who Jesus is in Colossians  2:9-10, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”
The discovery of the Ark and its “hidden manna” (namely, the Messiah) was entrusted to one priestly family: Zacharias; his wife, Elisabeth; and their son, John the Baptist. All three had their lines of introduction. 
Elisabeth announced her discovery upon her encounter with Mary, “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord”  —Luke 1:41-45.
 And Zacharias, upon the birth of his son John, proclaimed: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;” (Luke 1:68-69). In these lines, Zacharias spoke of Mary’s baby that was but three months inside her womb. He, further, spoke in harmony with his wife. As Elisabeth called Him her “LORD” (Luke 1:43), so, too, does Zacharias in v76. Speaking now to his son John, he prophesies, “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the LORD to prepare his ways;” (Luke 1:76 cf. Isa 40:3). (See Luke 1:43 cf. 3:4.) All students of the Bible, everywhere, and in every age of the Lord’s church, understand Zacharias to be speaking about Jesus—for Whom John is sent to prepare the way. It is plain that this family of Aaron understood the weighty circumstances surrounding the identity of the person being clothed upon with flesh in the womb of Mary, for Zacharias is quoting Isaiah 40:3. It is here that the prophet sees the son of Elisabeth and the son of Mary, and speaks of them in these terms:
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, 
Prepare ye the way of the LORD (YHWH), 
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” 
(Isaiah 40:3 cf. Luke 3:4)
In this messianic passage, concerning John and Jesus, which Zacharias clearly applied to the two, Jesus is referred to as “LORD” (YHWH or Yahweh) and “God.” When Luke uses the Greek kurios to translate both Elisabeth’s and Zacharias’ reference to Jesus, he uses it in the sense of “supreme master,” for it is used in the place of the Tetragrammaton, “YHWH,” of Isaiah 40:3, which is the name of God Almighty, Yahweh. The message is clear indeed—the Messiah, before whose face John would prepare the way, is Yahweh God! 
Concerning the identity of the Messiah as Yahweh, one should consult Old Testament Messianic prophecies. Of particular interest is Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah declares the Messiah to have existence “from everlasting.” The Hebrew word translated “ever-lasting” is ôlâm (Strong’s #H5769), which means: eternity; always; perpetual; used here in the sense of “the days of eternity.”  It is incomprehensible why the Jews, then and now, did not—and have not—accepted their Messiah as their God. For truly, who is eternal but Yahweh?
The parents of John the Baptist had discovered both the Ark and the Messiah. The revelation was yet to come to the son, who, as a priest, was led not to minister in the Temple. But forsaking the Temple, John went into the desert until the appointed time (Luke 1:80). His testimony concerning the “hidden manna” (the Messiah) was this: “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” —John 1:33-34.

John would state the preexistence of the Messiah in these terms: “He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose” (John 1:27). And “He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all” (John 3:30-31).  And, further, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” —John 1:29.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius
Excerpted from the book entitled "Godhead Theology," by Bishop Jerry Hayes. 

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The Furniture of the Tabernacle Was a Parable of Christ

The furnishings of the tabernacle speak loudly of Jesus of Nazareth. It must, because the writer of Hebrews said that it did:  “The Holy Spirit is signifying this, ... 9 which is a symbol for the present time ... 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Heb 9:8, 11-12 NASB).
The furnishings of the tabernacle were laid out in the shape of the cross. One may think this strange and that we are promoting sensationalism, but the reader is encouraged to remember that Yahweh instructed Moses to make the tabernacle after the pattern he had seen in the mount. This reference is to Mt. Sinai. It is not so much that Moses saw the original tabernacle in Heaven, and was building one on the earth like it. No. What Moses saw in the Mount was Yahweh’s plan of salvation, complete with the Sacrificial Lamb on Golgotha. The tabernacle was, then, designed to depict that revelation (given, by God, to Moses) in symbolic form.

The tabernacle furnishings consisted of the following items:
The Golden Ark of the Covenant, along with its Mercyseat, shown to the far left in the above diagram. It is opaqued to the illustration, because of its representation of the heavenly throne of God; therefore, it is not properly considered in the cross configuration of the other items that relate directly to Christ’s earthly mission (Ex 25:10ff and 25:17ff respectively); 
The Golden Altar of Incense, which is in the Holy Place just outside the veil that separates the Holy of Holies (not shown in the diagram) from the Holy Place (Ex 30:1ff); 
The seven pronged Golden Lampstand against the South wall of the Holy Place (Ex 25:31ff); 
The Golden Table of Shewbread against the North wall of the Holy Place (Ex 25:23ff); 
The Brass Laver of water in the outer courtyard, outside the door of the tent (door of the tent not shown in the diagram) (Ex 30:17ff);
The Brass Altar of Holocaust between the Laver and the entrance to the outer court.
It should be pointed out, at this juncture, that throughout the Tabernacle there is a combination of shittem wood and gold (the gold overlaying the shittem wood).
 We see this in every piece of furniture (except the lampstand) that is within the tent itself,  along with the boards and bars that make up the walls of the tent. This particular combination represents the two natures of Christ. The shittem wood is very strong: insect and rot resistant; it is, therefore,  a perfect type of the humanity of Christ that was sinless and pure. The gold, as has already been pointed out, represents the deity of Christ.
Here, we review the contents of the Tabernacle, and see Christ Jesus in every piece. We keep in our minds that the writer of Hebrews identified the Tabernacle of Moses as the “figure”  (the word he actually used is παραβολὴ, Strong’s #G3805), parabōlē; the English is “parable,” a metaphor: an example about which a doctrine is illustrated; a thing serving as a figure of something else. So, then we come to the Ark of the Covenant.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Color Scheme of the Tabernacle Is a Parable of Jesus

“And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; ...  4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, ...” (Ex 25:3-4).

The colors of blue, purple and scarlet (red) are a parable of Jesus. Since it was the Holy Spirit that signified this to be a parable of  Jesus Christ, it behooves us to see the complete Son of God in this particular color scheme. This is seen in the following manner: blue, being the color of the sky (which is associated with Heaven), is the color of His deity; the scarlet (red), being the color of blood, is the color of His humanity; purple (a blending of the color of His deity, i.e  blue, and the color of His humanity, i.e. red) is the color of the God-man (Incarnate Deity). The doctrine of the Dual Nature of Christ is taught in such a way as to maintain the distinction between the deity and humanity. Though perfectly combined and blended together within the one person of the Christ, the two natures are perfectly separate. This is wonderfully presaged in the color scheme of the tabernacle, in that the color of His deity (blue) and the color of His humanity (red) never touch. Blue and red are always separated by the color purple.
 (The color purple worn by Christian bishops comes from here, and is worn to represent to the world the Son of God as the Incarnate God-man.) This is reflected in the three creeds we have reviewed earlier:
The Apostolic Creed
“This Incarnation not lessening His deity, nor altering His humanity; fully God and fully man, consubstantiated.”
The Nestorian Creed
“ ... we anathematize and alienate from all contact with us everyone who denies the nature of the Godhead and the nature of the manhood of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... or one who does not say that the Word of God fulfilled the suffering of our salvation in the body of his manhood. Though he was in him, with him, and toward him in the belly, on the cross, in suffering, and for ever, inseparably, while the glorious nature of his Godhead did not participate in any sufferings, ...”
Creed of Chalcedon                                                                                               

“We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; ... one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the unity, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.”

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

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