Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Reasonably Termed the Father (Commentary on The Apostolic Creed)

“Thereby, and because of creation, reasonably termed the Father.”

Idea of “FATHER” is one of progenitor, nourisher, protector and upholder. In the Old Testament the
concept of Yahweh as Father is not as fully developed as in the New Testament; although, He is acknowledged as such by the Psalmist (68:5; 89:26), and the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah (see Isa 9:6; 63:16; 64:8 and Jer 3:19; 31:9 respectively). Moreover, the New Testament magnified His capacity as creator, nourisher, protector, and upholder of all things in heaven and earth, both visible and invisible (Col 1:16), by His eternal Word (see John 1:1-3 and Heb 11:3 respectively). God’s Fatherhood is abundantly demonstrated in both Testaments.
This fact sets the deity of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures apart from the deity of the Islamic Qur’an. Of the much touted names of Allah in the Qur’an, not one of them is Father. It is acknowledged that for God to be one’s Father implies relationship. Therefore, the God of the Bible is a God of relationship, unlike the god of the Qur’an, who is impersonal and un-relational.
The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews writes of the Father-hood of God on this wise: “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Heb 12:9; cf Zech 12:1). The prophet Malachi acknowledges one Father, who is the one God that created us (Mal 2:10). Congruent with all this is the apostle Paul, who writes: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things,…” (1 Cor 8:6). Therefore, the Creed states correctly that because of His acts of creation, it is reasonable to term (call) the one solitary God, the Father.
“The Father is He to whom all that exists owes its origin. He is in Christ; and through Christ, He is the source of all things. Moreover, His existence is existence in itself, and He does not derive His existence from anywhere else. Rather, from Himself, and in Himself, He possesses the actuality of His being. He is infinite because He, Himself, is not contained in something else, and all else is within Him. He is always beyond location, because He is not contained; always before the ages, because time comes from Him.… God, however, is present everywhere; and everywhere He is totally present.

Here Bishop Hayes is teaching on the term, Father, as that term is related to God.

“Thus, He transcends the realm of understanding. Outside of Him there is nothing, and it is eternally His characteristic that He shall always exist. This is the truth of the mystery of God, And of the impenetrable nature which this name Father expresses; God is invisible, unutterable, and infinite. In His presence, let a word about to be spoken remain silent; let a mind attempting to investigate admit it’s weariness; let an understanding which attempts to comprehend admit its own limitation. Yet, He has, as we have said, in the word Father a name to indicate His nature; but He is Father as such. For He does not, as humans do, receive His Fatherhood from elsewhere. He Himself is unbegotten and eternal; and it is His property, eternally in Himself, that He shall always be.” (Hilary of Poitiers, A.D. 310-367)


Apostolically Speaking
Mar David Ignatius









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Sunday, August 13, 2017

By The Breath Of His Mouth (Commentary On The Apostolic Creed)

“That is to say: By the breath of His mouth.

Because of error, that has found its way into the Lord’s church, it was necessary to not only profess One God, but to define what the Scriptures mean by ONE (see lines 1 and 2). So, too, here. Because of false teaching concerning the “Word,” it is necessary for the Creed to set forth what the Scriptures mean by this term. Here, in line 5, the Creed defines the “Word” of God as “the breath of His mouth.” In this statement the Creed militates against the logos-christology of all Pluralists.
The logos-christology, that found purchase in Christianity from the late 3rd century and onward, originated in the theological philosophy of Plato (Greek philosopher 428-348 B.C.). Logos-christology makes the “Word” (Greek: logos) a separate person from God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Space will not allow an exhaustive examination of the logos theology, however a few comments on the subject are necessary at this point. As stated, logos-christology sees the logos (Word) as a separate person (individual) from God the Father, and has come into Christianity from pagan thought, in point of fact: from Plato by way of Philo (first century Jewish Platonic philosopher) and the early Christian (so-called) Apologists (so-called) such as Justin Martyr.
Plato (fourth century B.C.) taught that God the first principle was, Himself, too holy to personally come into contact with a universe of matter, so He brought into existence, as His first creation, god the second principle, whom Plato called the logos (translated in our English Bibles as “word”). God the first principle delegated creation of the physical universe to the logos (god the second principle). Once the universe was created by the logos, according to Plato, both god the first principle and god the second principle (logos) brought into existence a third entity whom Plato called the world spirit.
This concept of the godhead was current in the pagan world in which Christ's church found itself. Contemporaneous to Christ was one Philo of Alexandria, Egypt: a Platonic Jewish philosopher. This Philo saw the Jewish Messiah pre-shadowed in Plato’s logos concept of god the second principle. It must be pointed out that Philo was a non-Christian, who had a profound effect upon later generations of Christians, who would become apostate from Biblical-Christology.
The logos concept of Plato required one more step to infect Christianity; this needed step was found in the early Christian Apologists, of whom Justin Martyr is a prime example. Justin (A.D. 100-165) was a Platonic philosopher who continued to wear the philosopher’s habit, as a Christian preacher. (Justin was not representative of the Christianity of his time. According to his own testimony, he was not associated with any Christians other than those who sought him out as a philosopher. 
(Justin Martyr and Companions: Justin Martyr Is Questioned About Christian Meetings
"Where do you assemble?" Rusticus proceeded.
“Wherever we want to and are able to," Justin replied. "Do you imagine that we all meet in the same place? Not so! The God of the Christians is not limited to a location. He is invisible, and he fills heaven and earth. Therefore, he is worshipped and glorified everywhere by the faithful."
Rusticus sighed. This was no angry prefect. He was not the least bit interested in Justin's speech. "Just tell me where you personally assemble. In other words, in what place do you, Justin, gather your followers?"
"I live above a man named Martin, at the Timiotinian Bath." Justin paused, then, knowing what the next question would be, he continued, "During the entire time I've lived here, because I'm now living in Rome for the second time, I don't know about any other meetings. I've simply taught the truth to anyone willing to come to me."
Justin saw Christianity as the fruition of Platonism, and preached Christ (Messiah) according to the understanding of Philo. Justin called Jesus the “second god.” Through Justin Martyr, and others of his time and philosophy, logos-christology came to the fore in post-apostolic thought.
When John wrote that all things were made by the Word, it was not the logos of Plato, nor of Plato’s student, Philo, that he had in mind. It is clear that John is writing to combat this false christology, for he opens his gospel with words that strike a fatal blow to this heresy. Plato, Philo, and one Cerinthus 
(Eusebius, Church History: Chapter XXVIII.—Cerinthus the Heresiarch.
1. We have understood that at this time Cerinthus, the author of another heresy, made his appearance. Caius, whose words we quoted above, in the Disputation which is ascribed to him, writes as follows concerning this man:
2. “But Cerinthus also, by means of revelations which he pretends were written by a great apostle, brings before us marvelous things which he falsely claims were shown him by angels; and he says that after the resurrection the kingdom of Christ will be set up on earth, and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem will again be subject to desires and pleasures. And being an enemy of the Scriptures of God, he asserts, with the purpose of deceiving men, that there is to be a period of a thousand years for marriage festivals.”
3. And Dionysius, who was bishop of the parish of Alexandria in our day, in the second book of his work On the Promises, where he says some things concerning the Apocalypse of John which he draws from tradition, mentions this same man in the following words:
4. “But (they say that) Cerinthus, who founded the sect which was called, after him, the Cerinthian, desiring reputable authority for his fiction, prefixed the name. For the doctrine which he taught was this: that the kingdom of Christ will be an
earthly one.
5. And as he was himself devoted to the pleasures of the body and altogether sensual in his nature, he dreamed that that kingdom would consist in those things which he desired, namely, in the delights of the belly and of sexual passion, that is to say, in eating and drinking and marrying, and in festivals and sacrifices and the slaying of victims, under the guise of which he thought he could indulge his appetites with a better grace.”
6. These are the words of Dionysius. But Irenæus, in the first book of his work Against Heresies, gives some more abominable false doctrines of the same man, and in the third book relates a story which deserves to be recorded. He says, on the authority of Polycarp, that the apostle John once entered a bath to bathe; but, learning that Cerinthus was within, he sprang from the place and rushed out of the door, for he could not bear to remain under the same roof with him. And he advised those that were with him to do the same, saying, “Let us flee, lest the bath fall; for Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.”) 
taught that the logos had a beginning as the first creation of God the first principle; but, John’s first salvo is “In the beginning was the Word (logos).” To John the logos did not have a beginning, the logos was eternal—had always been. Secondly, John was a Jew who knew and confessed the Shema. To him God was a radical one. When he wrote that the “logos was God,” one may be confident that he did not mean “a god” or “another god” or “also god.” To John there was but one God: namely, the Father. The logos was that God.
Whereas, logos-christology understands the Word to be a personal being, separate and distinct from God the Father, who is ALSO God (second god, says Justin Martyr), the Modalist theol-ogy of the Creed defines the Word, by which the one God created, to be the breath of the Father’s mouth. This is not just so much Modalistic interpretation—it is the word of God! To show that this is not just so much bluster, one is directed to see Psalms 33:6, where the Psalmist writes: “By the word of the LORD (YHWH) were the heavens made; And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”
The true disciple of Christ will permit the Bible to interpret itself. Whereas John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes that all things were created by the Word, the Psalmist explains that it was by “the breath of his mouth.” The difference in the logos-christology of Justin (originating from Plato and Philo and showing up in the pluralism of the Arians and later Trinitarians), and the Hebraic-Christology of the bible, is this: In logos-christology the logos (Word) is the second person of the Godhead, while in Hebraic-Christology (which is held by Modalistic Monarchians) the logos (Word) is the speaking of God, i.e. “the breath of his mouth.” Truly, this is the narrative of Genesis where Yahweh created by saying; “Let there be!” (Genesis 1:6, 9, 14, 20, 24.)

To attempt any other understanding of the “Word” leads to an unending world of confusions. For example, consider John 1:1. A question would be asked the one who believes Plato’s logos theory:
In John 1:1 who is the God that was with the logos? The answer would most likely be: The Father.  Accepting the answer, let us read the text in that light, substituting the word Father for the word God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father, and the Word was the Father.” Immediately the Pluralist would object because that is not his theology, at all. So, we would try again by asking the same question:  Who is the God that was with the logos (Word)? This time, perhaps, we get a new, and, hopefully, better answer: The God that was with the logos, we are told, was the Trinity. Accepting this second answer, let us then read the text of John 1:1, substituting the word Trinity for the word God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Trinity, and the Word was the Trinity.” Again, immediately, foul is called: because neither is this his theology.
Here, are the horns of the dilemma upon which the Pluralist, whether Arian or Trinitarian, finds himself tossed back and forth. On the first horn, if God is understood to be the Father, then the Word is proven to be the Father. Since pluralism demands the Word to be a separate god-person from the Father, this horn proves too sharp, and off it comes. However, finding itself impaled upon the second horn is even less desirable, for if the God of the text is the Trinity, then the Word is Not. That is to say, the Word is said to be “with” the Trinity (alongside of the Trinity, or as Pluralists of every stripe like to say: “face to face with...”); therefore, not a component of the Trinity. Compounding the confusion is the statement that “the Word was God,” which, according to the Pluralist, is the Trinity. This is the third horn upon which the Pluralist is impaled. Either of these three horns proves too sharp for such an unscriptural understanding of logos—the Word.
Such a dilemma is avoided by accepting the Holy Bible’s interpretation of the Creating-Word as is masterfully presented by the Psalmist: “By the word of the LORD (YHWH) were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Ps 33:6).  It is interesting and edifying to read John 1:1 in the light of this biblical truth. The paraphrasing of John 1:1: In the beginning was the breath of God’s mouth, and the breath of God’s mouth was with God, and the breath of God’s mouth was God. The reader will see that this works perfectly well with all the Scriptures say about God and His Word. A man and his word are one – how much more God; a man and his word cannot be separated – how much less God!

Apostolically Speaking
Mar David Ignatius








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“By His Eternal Word” (Commentary On The Apostolic Creed)

“By His eternal Word”


Here, line four of the Creed reflects the proposition of Holy Scripture: God created all things in the universe, both visible and invisible (Col 1:16) by His Word. The Gospel of John reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (The Grk actually reads: “God was the Word.”  “theos En ho logos.”) The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him (Him: the Gk is “autos” translated “it” in all English translations before the KJV.)and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). According to this text the Word was in the beginning: therefore, eternal. 
Also, according to this text, the Word was “with God:” Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. (Greek: πρὸς τὸν θεόν, transliterates as: pros ton theon); that is, “with God.”  Those not knowledgable of Greek idioms would see pros ton theon (with God) as meaning “face to face” with God (which meaning the Greek preposition “pros” does have), however, that would be a mistake. Here, “pros ton theon” should be understood as “pertaining to God.” A companion text is found in 1 John 1:2, (καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν. Here eternal life is said to πρὸς τὸν πατέρα);  the clause: πρὸς τὸν πατέρα transliterates to pros ton patera, “with the Father;” it is understood, however, that “with the Father” means “pertains to the Father.” Eternal life “pertains to the Father.” No one understands eternal life to be a separate person that is “face to face” with the Father.  So, then the Word of God pertains to God just as does eternal life. Moreover, according to our text the Word “was God.” Just as eternal life is an intrinsic part of God’s identity, so, too, is His Word. 
The present English reading of John 1:1 (“and the Word was with (pros) God”) as we have seen, is used by John, again, in 1 John 1:2, where he states that Eternal Life was with (pros) the Father. No one understands “pros ton patri” to mean that Eternal Life was another person alongside, or face to face, with the Father. So, then, it is doctrinally dishonest to insist that in John 1:1 the same writer meant to say that the Logos was along side of, or face to face with, God; by his words of “pros ton theon.”
It is a challenge to interpret Scripture without bringing any bias to the table: a challenge that most men, no matter how well intentioned, cannot overcome. The inconsistency of Trinitarianism is demonstrated when 1 John 1:2 is juxtaposed with John 1:1. It was Shakespeare who said, “O Consistency, thou art a virtue.” Another maxim that is true is, “Inconsistency is the pitfall of all false doctrine.” 
Let us now move to a tool for showing the eternality of the “Word” of God. A syllogism is a proven method of establishing truth. A syllogism is formed when a major premise and a minor premise together produce an unavoidable conclusion. So, then, in order to establish the “Word” of God as being eternal, the following syllogism will be most helpful:
Major premise: The Word is God, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1:1)
Minor premise: God is Eternal, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: ... .” (Deut 33:27) 
Conclusion: The Word is Eternal.
The Word of God has always existed; and, like eternal life (1 John 1:2)pertains to Yahweh’s very essence and is, therefore, inseparable from His identity. Thus, the Word is said to be God. It should be pointed out that the capitalization of the word “Word” is the work of Pluralists translators, and does, in fact, lead the causal reader to suppose that a person is being referenced. Koinē Greek  (Koine from κοινός/κοινή "common", also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic or Hellenistic Greek) It developed through the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC, and served as the common lingua franca of much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the following centuries. Koine Greek displayed a wide spectrum of different styles, ranging from more conservative literary forms to the spoken vernaculars of the time. ) did not use capitalization. However, since it does appear in our Bibles capitalized, we give it here in that fashion. 
John 1:3 tells us that all things were made by “it.” The KJV employs the pronoun “him;” however, the Greek pronoun is “autos(Strong’s #G846.) πάντα δι' αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν. “Autos” (the lexical form) is the singular third person pronoun that translates either: “him,” “her,” or “it.”  Here, “autos” is better translated as “it.” English translations of this passage, pre-dating the King James Version, did in fact render autos as “it.(William Tyndale: 1526; Matthew’s Bible by John Rogers: 1537; The Great Bible by Miles Coverdale: 1539; The Geneva Bible:1560; The Bishop’s Bible: 1568. It is said that the KJV is seventy-five percent Tyndale. However, when translating Jn 1:1-3 the KJV translators followed the Vulgate instead of Tyndale and the earlier English translators. All, English translations since have followed the KJV.)
 Moreover, in v4 the “Life” and the “Light,” which are attributed to Yahweh’s essence, are, also, better referenced with the pronoun “it.” Rendering “autos” with the masculine pronoun “him” (in John 1:3) tends to lead the reader to think in terms of a second god alongside God the Father. Such an understanding does violence to the Shema (Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (NKJV))and the monotheism of Holy Scripture.
Truly, the writer of Hebrews tells us that “… the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb 11:3).   Moreover, it is seen in Genesis chapter one, that Yahweh created by His spoken word. One can never ignore the repeated announcement: “And God said….” (Gen 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 20, 24, 26.)

Another View
  Having stated the facts concerning the Greek autos, it is further acknowledged that personifications of the Word of God are common enough in Holy Scripture. In fact, Moses informs the readers of Genesis, “And they (Adam and Eve) heard the voice of the LORD (Yahweh) God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen 3:8)). With this in mind, the masculine pronoun, in reference to God’s Word, would not be considered out of place if understood as a personification. (Wisdom is personified: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, .... She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her" (Prov 3:13-15)."Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars" (Prov 9:1). Riches are personified: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matt 6:24). Sin is personified: "...Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8:34). "Sin hath reigned unto death" (Rom 5:21). "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Rom 6:16). Death is personified: "Behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death" (Rev. 6:8). The Spirit is personified: "When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself..." (John 16:13). The nation of Israel is personified: "Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: ..." (Jer 31:4).  The Believers in Christ are personified: "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2). "...the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" (Rev. 19:7)).

Apostolically Speaking
Mar David Ignatius







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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE TRAGEDY OF NEGLECTED HEADSHIP


One may wonder why we spend so much effort to teach headcovering for Christian women, especially when the pulpits of the Western world are all but silent on the issue. The answer to such a question is simply this: The respect for authority and headship is all but lost in America. As Americans we are not in spiritual nor scriptural order; not in our homes, not in our country, but especially not in our churches. Headcovering would go along way toward remedying our dilemma.
The modern woman finds herself in a different world with different norms than they would have fifty years ago. Women today are heads of large corporations. Also, women find themselves seated in the pastoral chairs of many churches. Women are elected bishops in some denominations. One should be concerned about the lines of demarcation between the roles of the sexes.
There is, by and large, an undue lack of respect and honor coming from the sector of Christian women toward the authority which Yahweh has placed in the home, and civil government, but especially in the church. The pain of all this is that the same attitude is reflected by the children that are nurtured by women, who themselves, fail to reflect respect for authority. The children have zero respect for father, when they see that mother has no respect for father. (Sometimes, more often than it should be, the man has given his wife nothing to honor. Rather than raise children in a home where the man of the house is unrespectable, a mother has a responsibility to her children to provide a suitable role model. There are far worse circumstances in the home than divorce.)  Consequently, the boy children grow up with no sense of respect—neither to receive it nor to give it. Therefore, those whom the (boys grown to be the) fathers should respect, such as our leaders, law enforcement, and pastors, are not respected. Todayʼs fathers, raised by mothers who did not demonstrate respect or honor for their heads, do not, themselves, expect to receive such from their wives or children; thus, a society is produced where authority is despised and civility is but an old shoe that is discarded as yesterday’s trash. It is not an untrue statement that, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

Ecclesiastical Bra Burning
In the sixties, when the feminist movement was getting under way, it was common to see pictures in the newspapers, and on the evening news, of women burning their bras in public, as a symbol of throwing off male headship. Since that time women have made great headway in the public arena, but, to the detriment of the western family and the morals of society in general. We need not list the items of deterioration in our society since the decade of the sixties. Let it suffice to say that the Bible was kicked out of the public school system in that decade. When the Bible went out, armed policemen came in, and now patrol the hallways of our institutions of learning; not only at the high school level but also in middle school and even lower grades. Teen pregnancy has continued to escalate unabated. Drugs have become pandemic. Abortion and Gay Rights, twin sisters of hell, are the rule of the day. All of this should serve to illustrate how important it is to civilization for the woman to stand her post in the home. When mothers leave the home to enter the marketplace, other voices become the moral conscience of the younger generation. When the women, in general, left their God appointed position to excel, and even compete, in the marketplace, with their male counterparts, the home was forsaken and a generation has become lost. Yes, feminism has advanced women in the marketplace of the world, perhaps, at the expense of Western civilization itself.
It was in the same decade that Christian women laid aside their God ordained headcovering in the house of God. I remember those days. I remember the women saying: “We do not need to wear the symbol to keep the principle. We will recognize the order of headship, and keep it in our hearts; it is not necessary to wear the headcovering to keep the principle.” There is a saying that; “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Well, we have had half a century of eating the pudding, and there is poison in the dish.
God, in His wisdom, gave us symbols that were object lessons to teach principles. He knew, even if our most gifted theologians do not, that if the symbol is neglected, the principle will be forsaken. Jesus taught this very thing in the parable of the Wine and the Wineskins. He said, “You put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” In this parable, Jesus taught that the wineskin preserved the wine and was, moreover, fundamental to the preservation of it. Now, of course, the wine is the important thing, not the wineskin. Just as the Western Church reasoned fifty years ago that the principle of headship was the important thing. However, in Jesusʼ parable the wineskin was the preserver of the wine. Even so, the headcovering had been the preserver of the principle of headship for two thousand years in the Lordʼs Church; now, only fifty years removed from the discarding of the headcovering we see the destruction of the morals of a nation, and the deterioration of Western Christian society altogether. Now, weʼre not saying that the removal of the headcovering caused the collapse that we see going on around us ( for the sin was in the heart long before the headcoverings were removed from the head); but, we are saying that the removal of the object lesson, which taught the principle (the wineskin that preserves the wine), removed a constant reminder, from before the eyes of men and women, of Godʼs appointed roles. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” has never been truer than here. When the visible reminder is removed, men and women forget.
Just as the secular women of the sixties burned their bras to demonstrate against male headship, so the Christian women of the same era removed their headcovering to make the same statement. It was the same demonic spirit working in both the secular and religious arenas. Removal of the Christian womanʼs headcovering was nothing less than ecclesiastical bra burning.

N. O. W. (National Organization of Women)
Before I go on from this section I want to ask this question: From whom are Christian women getting their marching orders? the Bible? or N. O. W. (National Organization of Women)?”
Following is a quote from N. O. W.'s handbook, Under A. "Religion Resolutions"
"Because the wearing of a head covering by women at religious services is a symbol of subjection within many churches, N.O.W. recommends that all chapters undertake an effort to have all women participate in a 'national unveiling' by sending their head coverings to the task force chairman. At the Spring meeting of the task force of women and religion, these veils will be publicly burned to protest the second class status of women in all churches. (Dec. 1969)" 
The National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) is an organization founded in 1966. It has a membership of 550,000 contributing members set up for the advancement of women. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
While the women of the world were burning their bras, women of the church were burning their head-coverings. All dancing to the same demonic spiritual beat.

Unimportant, if not Salvific?
    Please excuse the personal references.
While writing this book, a close pastor friend sent the author this very serious objection. He said, “No disrespect intended, but, I want to concentrate my efforts on winning the lost! If it's not heaven and hell, why do we spend so much time addressing issues such as ...!!” Although this pastor (whom I love dearly in Christ and who has labored with me in Christ) wrote these words, what I write below is not addressed to him alone, but to all who share his sentiments.
“No disrespect from me either, but, it is sad that so many feel that way. I say that because we have a responsibility to our generation to affect society. An example is that Billy Graham spent a life time of ministry preaching only salvation to the lost, but has not left a footprint on Western society in general. Why?
“Will, I have thought long and hard on that point. In my humble opinion it is because he refused to engage his generation on any social level whatsoever. He never took a political stand on any issue that mattered, nor did he speak against society's migration away from New Testament culture.
“A salvation message only may appeal to those who wrongly preach and expect the rapture any second, and who believe that the world is going to the devil and his anti-christ; but, there is also a responsibility to be watchmen on the wall, crying out the warning against the sin of disrespect to the Scripture, and the migration away from Christian culture. Some issues may not be  salvational for the individual, but, be disastrous for the next generation if not preached. Now, this is only a valid argument IF one believes there will be a NEXT generation. I do. And a next, and a next, and a next, etc.
“It use to be that we could speak of the ‘Christian culture’—not any more. Our churches have become so ‘seeker friendly’ that sin is hardly preached against by name, dress codes (headcovering, in particular) have been discarded altogether, lest the visitors be offended. Where can the Christian culture be found in your congregation outside of the church house? Better yet, where can the Christian culture be found INSIDE your church? Ponder this: If a man persisted on wearing a ball cap or hat in your church services, would you approach him on the matter?
“I think the greatest shame is that you know the instructions of Paul and refuse to teach them to the people God has given you to shepherd. You may ease your conscience by saying that it is not salvational, but you would be wrong. Maybe not salvational to the individual, but salvational to the life of the Church of Christ.
“I see this as the greatest sin of the Rapture-Now theology. Those of us who have been promoters of it have neglected (and put in danger) the future life of the Lord's church. When it is all said and done the Watchmen on the walls must answer to a righteous God who left instructions, through His holy apostles, how to maintain headship in the Kingdom, and protect Christian culture throughout the earth. You may not have the blood of your generation on your hands, but could very well be stained with the blood of future Christianity.”

Lest We Forget
Paul said, “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the Angels.” The symbol of headship that a woman wears on her head is the greatest preacher and teacher of headship the Church has. The institution of headcovering is a priceless gift given by a loving God to the human family to help us maintain order and unity in His economy.
When I, as a husband, see my wifeʼs headcovering I am preached to. She may not realize it but she is saying to me, “You are my covering; it is your responsibility to cover me both physically and spiritually.” The headcovering serves to remind me of my responsibility to be my wifeʼs protector and provider.
On the other hand when my wife puts on her headcovering she also is ministered to in the following manner. First, she is reminded that she has a covering, someone to stand between her and all else—physically and spiritually, she has a protector, she has a provider, she has a champion in life. Second, she is reminded of her role in the family and in society at large; that she is to be in submission to her head and function in a role of delegated authority in relation to that headship. Within my lifetime this preacher of headship was silenced; so, many have forgotten.
Beloved, it is our desire that Godʼs people be blessed; but, we cannot be blessed when we are not in submission to those whom God has placed as heads over us. Whether it be Christ over man, man over woman, or a woman over the children. We must respect and honor authority.

To Lady Ministers
Permit me to address you lady ministers: Before you mount the platform of the Church, and before you take your position behind the sacred desk, be aware that angels are watching (Hebrews 12:1, 22), and looking to you for instruction in the wisdoms of God (Ephesians 3:10). The sin of their kind was a transgression of rank in the heavenly realm. You, my sister, who represent the church of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32) to all the angelic hosts, should be mindful not to do anything that gives the appearance of transgressing your God-appointed rank in His kingdom, such as the removal of your headcovering. If you remove your headcovering in the assembly, where you are in the presence of an innumerable company of angels, you are serving notice to the spirit realm that you are not content with Godʼs created order. This directly affects their ability to minister to you, because you become associated with that portion of their race which saddened heaven with their disaffection of Godʼs rule. Second, you serve notice to the fallen angels that you are of their spirit and cut from the same bolt of cloth as they, and consequently, are prepared to partner with them.

Your way is clear. Have the courage to go against the tide of feminism and take your place in Godʼs order, not the worldʼs. Permit your conscience to be taken captive by the Word of God.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ Mar David Ignatius


This has been an excerpt from the author's book "Christian Woman's Headcovering"






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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

DEFENSE OF ISAIAH 9:6


(Answering Objections to Modalism) 
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” —Isaiah 9:6.


The text is referencing the future Son of David that would be the Messiah. This is confidently stated from the clarity of v7 which states: “Of the increase of his (the child born, and the son given) government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
There are four throne names that are in dispute between Modalism and Subordinationism. These throne names of the Messiah are: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Unlike “Immanuel,” of Isaiah 7:14, these four throne names consist of two elements each (view them in the NASB): “Wonderful” describing the kind of Counsellor, “Mighty” describing the kind of God, “Everlasting” describing the kind of Father, and “Prince” describing the Messiah’s relationship to Peace. Modalism holds that these four throne names are descriptors of the one name given to Mary’s baby by the Angel (Matt 1:21). Thus the description of the name “Jesus” (and Hebraically, the holder of said name) is that He is: the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
One may, conceivably, ask, “How does the name Jesus come to hold such divinity? The answer is found in the following explanation (this paragraph has reoccured in this writing): Jesus, is the New Covenant Name of YHWH. In Matthew 1:21, the Angel tells Joseph, thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save... . Jesus, is the Greek Iesous, (Strong’s NT #2424) the origin is Hebrew—Yehowshuwa (Strong’s #H3091). The Hebrew Yehowshuwa is from two Hebrew words (Strong’s #H3091): Yehovah and Yasha. Yehovah, is Yahweh/Jehovah, Strong’s #H3068 (YHWH). Whereas, Yasha is Savior; or, bring salvation; (Strong’s #H3467). Therefore, Yehowshuwa (Hebrew); Iesous (Greek); Jesus (English) translates to “Yahweh (YHWH) Savior.” Thus, Yehowshuwa (Jesus) is the New Covenant name of YHWH. One will notice the tetragrammaton in the name Y-eh-o-w-s-h-u-w-a.
This text is especially challenged by the Unitarian Arians  (Subordinationists), who have denied the deity of Christ altogether. They are fond of asserting, “Jehovah’s, or Yahweh’s, name being called upon the Israelites indicates that they were His people. They, then, gave a list of passages to establish their point. I agree with their initial observation. But, here, we should recognize that “Truth has boundaries, error has none.” I will explain where I see that their application has gone out of bounds of truth: There is a vast difference between the name of Yahweh being “called upon” someone or something, and the name of someone, or something BEING Yahweh. At stake here is the biblical and Hebraic concept of the name of God containing His presence. 
The texts they reference are represented by the following: Deuteronomy 28:10; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 43:7; 63:19; 2 Kings 21:4, 7; 1 Kings 11:36; Acts 15:16-18; and Amos 9:11-12. These, all speak of the name of the LORD (Yahweh ) being CALLED UPON someone, or something, either outright or in idiom, not that the one (or the thing) shares, personally, the name ‘Yahweh.’ What follows is an example from Amos 9:12. The English reads, “called by my name,” but the Hebrew has “My name called over them.” So, then, we recognize “called by my name” as an idiom for “name called upon/over.”
Amos 9:12 lmon iirshu....so-that they-shall-tenant -e⋅quim....the nations -ieue.... Yahweh  - sharith adum u⋅ki.... remant-of Edom and⋅all-of ashr - nqra shm⋅i....which he is called name of me over them averment of oshe zath....one-doing this...
First, we know this MUST be the case, because Yahweh will not share His personal name with any other person or being—heavenly or earthly. The Bible speaks clearly enough on this point in Psalm 83:18May they know that You alone—whose name is Yahweh— are the Most High over all the earth” (HCSB), and then Yahweh Himself declares in Isaiah 48:11, ... For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another(NKJV). (As a side note, Jesus IS CALLED YAHWEH [Jer 23:5-6; Zech 12:4, 10; showing that He is, in fact, the very Yahweh, Himself], not that the name of Yahweh was called UPON Him to show possession.)
Secondly, they often reference to the Ark of Covenant and Tabernacle of Moses, and the name of Yahweh associated with these items. However, the Ark and the Tabernacle are in a class to themselves, in that the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, tabernacled the very being of God on the Mercyseat of the Ark of the Covenant; thus, making the Ark, Tabernacle and later the Temple the “tabernacled presence” of Yahweh God. (2 Samuel 6:2, And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD [YHWH] of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.”  The Ark was, indeed, called by the name “Yahweh,” and the reason is clearly stated: The LORD of hosts dwells “between the Cherbim.”) A tabernacled presence of Yahweh is indeed Yahweh Himself made known to His creation. Thus, Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:16, that, “God was manifest in the flesh;” and John wrote (John 1:14) that God was “ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν,” literally: “tabernacled among us.” God, who fills all space and time has “tabernacled” Himself in different ways and manners throughout biblical history. E.g., the voice in the Garden, the Angel of the LORD that appeared to Abraham, and Abraham washed His feet; Melchizedek; the burning bush—by being a tabernacled presence of the great I AM, the very ground was made holy; the pillar of fire; cloud; then the ultimate—and consummation of all theophanies—the Tabernacled Presence of Yahweh in the flesh of Mary’s baby —John 1:1, 14.
Lastly, they will reference the two angels that went to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, as both having the name of Yahweh, as proof that one having the name “Yahweh” does not mean that that one is Yahweh. If I understand them correctly, they are implying a thing that is biblically impossible: namely, that the two angels shared the personal name, “Yahweh.” This is impossible, because only One has that name (Ps 83:18), and He will not share it with any other (Isa 48:11). So then, one MUST return to what should have been the first understanding, because it is the (oli⋅em nam) normal understanding. That being: Angels are ministers of God to carry out His wishes throughout creation; therefore, their deeds are the deeds of God. So that when they (the Angels) destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, it was, indeed, Yahweh who destroyed. This should have been clear from Genesis 19:24Then the LORD (YHWH) rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD (YHWH) out of heaven.” However, they see two LORDS (two Yahwehs), which is impossible, because only ONE has this name; and He will not give its glory to any other: May they know that You alone— whose name is Yahweh—are the Most High over all the earth” (Psalm 83:18 HCSB), and then Yahweh Himself declares... For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another—Isaiah 48:11 (NKJV).
Another challenge that Subordinationists (who deny the deity of Christ) like to bring is a refusal to accept that Yahweh could be in Heaven as God, and on earth as a child at the same moment in time.
In dealing with Isaiah 9:6 the Arian has a problem understanding how God could be IN Jesus and IN heaven.  How can God, they ask, occupy a throne in Heaven, while dwelling in Jesus on the earth? With this concept, it is not possible for them to comprehend God in Christ. So they must be reasoned from that position, if they are ever to accept Jesus as their God.
I submit to you that the Subordinationists do not have a correct concept of the omnipresence of God: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” —1 Kings 8:27.
God is a being Whose center is everywhere and Whose circumference is nowhere.
God cannot be excluded from any location or object in creation. God’s presence is continuous throughout all creation. (God Is A Being Who’s Center Is Everywhere and Who’s Circumference Is Nowhere.) The Bible reveals that God can be both present to a person in a manifest matter, as well as being present in every situation in all of creation at any given time. God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order, in every level of causality, every fleeting moment of natural history.
God is actively present in every event in history;

God is attentively present to those who call upon his name;

God is bodily present in His Incarnation of His Son;

God is mystically present in the Eucharist, and through the means of grace in the church, the body of Christ;

God is sacredly present and becomes known in special places where He chooses to meet us; where it may be said: “Truly the Lord is in this place.

Such omnipresence is logically possible by way of the classic geometric point or its equivalent, in that such a point is, by definition, within all of space without taking up any space. 

Quality Not Quantity
When Colossians 2:9 declares that the fullness of the God-head dwells in Jesus, Paul is not speaking of the total quantity of God dwelling in Christ, but, of the total quality of the Deity dwelling in Jesus’ physical form.
Keeping in mind that any earthly illustration of a Heavenly truth will always be lacking, let us consider the following illustration: 
Let us say that I go to the Mississippi River and take a glass and dip it full of Mississippi River water. I then hold that glass up before all present and announce: “This is the Mississippi River.” Now, no one present, who is in their right mind, would understand me to say the glass contains the total quantity of the Mississippi River. My statement is true, in that the glass contains the quality of the Mississippi River. The minerals that are particular to the Mississippi River are in the Mississippi River glass. But, I do not mean that the Mississippi River ONLY exists in the Mississippi River glass. So, too, Jesus. We point to Jesus and say: He is Father God. Because God is Omnipresent, we do not mean that God exists only in the bodily form of Jesus. We mean all God is qualitatively is in Christ. We do not mean quantitatively. (Therefore, in the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist, God could speak from Heaven concerning His Son on the earth, while occupying that Son without measure—quantitatively.)

Mistranslation
Further, the Subordinationists allege that Isaiah 9:6 has been mistranslated. Of course we deny the allegation and challenge the “alligator.” The translation of “His name shall be called” has been challenged. 
Modalism responds with the following:
First: The Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint (LXX), translated the expression as “his name is called.” The LXX was translated by Jews in the 3rd century B.C., and thus not affected by the Christian-Jewish debates over this issue. The translation of the verb is the important thing here. Obviously these Jewish translators had no problem rendering the verb as a passive.
Second: In the Talmud the verse is translated as follows: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty, Judge, Everlasting, Father, Prince, and Peace.” [Sanhedrin 94a]. Obviously this is an authentic Jewish translation.
Third: The Subordinationists have taken the Jewish Publication Society Bible, and the Complete Jewish Bible as their preferred rendering (Wonderful in counsel is God the Mighty, the Ever-lasting Father, the Ruler of peace.”) Christians should reject these sources out of hand because of the bias against the deity of Christ from that quarter.

Unitarian, Subordinationists and Arians: 
Paul quotes a passage from Joel that says “whoever calls on the name of the LORD (Yahweh) will be saved.”
Joel 2:32 “whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered ... .” Compare to:
Romans 10:9-13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
It is evident that the Lord in Romans is Jesus Christ, and Paul says that He is the same LORD of Joel 2:32. We must notice that the word “LORD” of Joel is written in all uppercase letters which is the Tetragrammaton YHWH, or Yahweh. So, then, the name of Jesus is the same as the name Yahweh.

Observation
Before I move on, a word needs to be said about the proclivity of the Subordinationists’ camp to claim that the Bible (as the world has it) is corrupted and unreliable in directing its readers to God. At every turn, where the deity of Jesus is declared in the Bible, the Subordinationists allege corruption. Do they not understand, that in doing this, they, and those of their ilk, are disparaging the integrity of God to protect His Word? Is the One Who said “Let there be” and His universe leapt into existence, is the One Who reached into His tunic and flung stars into space, so inept that He could not protect His Word from corruption!? I think not! 

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius






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