SALVATION OF MANKIND
Many worshipers today have gone astray from the full understanding of baptism and what it stands for in the life of a repented sinner. This lack of understanding has led to its misapplication.
E.g. (i) When it should be done
(ii) Where it should be done
(iii) How it should be done and
(iv) In what name it should be done.
On many occasions, I ponder and ask why do people not check what they are being taught whether it corresponds with the doctrine of Jesus Christ which was delivered to us through the early apostles. “Thus says the Lord, stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls …” (Jere. 6:16).
“…These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts. 17:11).
PURPOSE OF WATER BAPTISM
Many have considered baptism unnecessary for a repented sinner. In their opinion, once one has repented, told to accept Jesus as his personal Saviour and to confess his sins, he has been proclaimed saved, baptism then comes anytime, as they regard it as a ceremonial practice that may be done at a most convenient occasion. But let us diligently re-examine the evidence of the scriptures.
(A) AS A SIGN OF COVENANT WITH GOD:
In the old, God established a covenant of circumcision of the foreskins of the males with Abraham and his descendant.“And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of foreskin is not circumcised; that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant” (Gen. 17:10-14). In the new covenant, there is another circumcision made without hand for all believers without which you will be cut off from the household of God. (Col. 2:11-13). Thus, we enter into the new covenant with God in the blood of Jesus Christ through baptism. Therefore one cannot enter into this new covenant with repentance alone.
(B) FOR REMISSION OF SINS:
And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved …” (Mk. 16:15-16). “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and said unto them, “Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.” …Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be ye baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:14, 37 -38).
Peter’s prescription emphatically shows that:
(a) Any one that confesses repentance can be baptized forthwith.
(b) Anyone that is baptized has received forgiveness of his sins which he cannot receive from any other way and is therefore justified to receive the Holy Spirit (the ultimate seal of salvation).
Paul recounts how Ananias (a disciple of Jesus Christ) counseled him to hasten to be baptized to receive the washing away of his sins. “…And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord”. ( Acts 22:16). Peter went further to explain; “…The like figure where unto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 3:21). Precisely, one’s conscience is being put in proper order (having been condemned through sin) but cleansed by passing through water which is baptism. Therefore if you have not been baptized, although you have repented, you are still with your sins and with bad conscience and if you eventually die in this condition you can not see God. (Check Matth. 5:8, Prov. 30:12).
DOES WATER ACTUALLY WASH AWAY SINS?
Jesus said; “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”. “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came out BLOOD AND WATER (Jn. 19:34-35). So we get the blood by passing through the water, in the body of Jesus Christ. (Baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus).
A PATTERN IN THE OLD
God commanded Moses to use water to purify the children of Levi. “And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, … Everything that may abide the fire, ye shall
make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean, nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation, and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water” (Num 8:8; 31:23).
METHOD OF BAPTISM
Baptism is by immersion. It is absolutely wrong to sprinkle water on the forehead of one and claim that he has been baptized. Please my dear reader, follow me to the scripture and see what all those who are seriously contending for the crown in heaven should follow.
First, God sent John the Baptist, the son of Zacharias to teach and establish for the Israelites the method of baptism and its importance. “Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan (River) confessing their sins. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water …” (Matth. 3:5 6, 13 -16).
“After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea, and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there, and they came, and were baptized.” ( John 3:22 -23).
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water, and the Eunuch said, see, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized. And he commanded the chariot to stand still, and they went down both INTO the water, both Philip and the eunuch and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, …” (Acts 8:35- 39).
With all these passages in the scripture, it is evidently clear that baptism is done in the water not in the house. So if you were baptized inside the church house, be it known to you that you are yet to be baptized and as such your sins have not been cleansed (forgiven).
(I) BY IMMERSION:
Since it is clear that baptism is done in the water, then, one must be immersed (dipped) in the water as the bible compares it with burial.
Why? Because one is dead in Adam and cannot worship God in that condition; “…for God is not the God of the dead but of the living. (Matth 22:31- 32).
Therefore one must resurrect from that position of death to be alive before he could worship God, hence baptism is burial. “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (I Cor. 15:29). “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…” (Rom. 6:4).
Like the dead is completely enclosed in the grave (lifeless), so the convert is immersed (completely submerged) in a body of water, body laid face up, covered with water; symbolic of actual burial. As he rises from the water, “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4 -5).
As a matter of fact, as the truth is in Christ. if any man, be he a Pastor, Bishop, ArchBishop, Superintendent or whatever position you may occupy, is not buried with Christ through baptism, your labour will be in vain. You shall be counted among the generation that are pure in their own eyes and yet are not washed from their filthiness (sins). ( Prov. 30:12, 2 John 9).
“Now if we be dead with Christ we believe that we shall also live with him.” (Rom. 6:8).
(2) IN WHAT NAME SHOULD ONE BE BAPTIZED?
Baptism should be done in the name of Jesus Christ. Why?
What of Matth 28:19? “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus gave the apostles this command while they were yet to receive power (authority) to preach and understand the words of Jesus. Jesus commanded the apostles not to move out of Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Ghost who will lead them into all truth and their application, otherwise they will misapply, and misdirect the command. (Check. John 16:12 -13). “And behold, I send the promise of my father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high”. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. ( Lk. 24:49, 52-53; Acts. 1:4, 12- 14).
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. The promise came; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance. Now when the Spirit has come, (his mission being to lead them into all truth), he provoked Peter who stood up before the people and began his first preaching as the spirit gave him utterance (Acts. 2:1-4). As the mystery of salvation was traced and told to the people by Peter through the Spirit, they were amazed by the wonderful preaching and they were pricked in their heart and they asked the preacher: “men and brethren what shall we do?”
Now let us see what the spirit answered through Peter: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts. 2:37-38). When this directive was given, the rest of the apostles didn’t argue with Peter over it, as they were there when Jesus said, in the name of the father, son and of the Holy Ghost. But they abode in the leading of the spirit and baptized those who accepted the gospel that day (3000) in the name of Jesus Christ. And the Lord confirmed their ministry. (Acts 2:47, Acts 4:29-33). From then till today those who repent are being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
( Acts 8:12-16).
As a matter of fact, if Peter had made a mistake, other apostles would have called him to order. Precisely, all other records of baptism in the book of Acts and the Epistles testify the same thing -in the name of Jesus Christ, without an exception. Check the accounts of baptism done by the saints in various churches in Samaria (Acts 8:12-16); in Caesarea (Acts 10:44-48); in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-5); in Damascus (Acts 22:16); in Rome (Rom. 6:3); in Corinth (I Cor. 1:13-15); in Galatia (Gal. 3:27), in Colosse (Col. 2:12) etc.
THE REVEALED TRUTH ABOUT MATTHEW 28:19.
1. In the name of the father:
In this name one is called to repentance, (John 6:44-45). That means, the election is of God before one is due for burial, (Check Acts 16:14-15). Once one has accepted the gospel, the name of the father has fulfilled. It now remains for him to be buried, whereby he will receive the remission of his sins and resurrect into a new life.
2. In the Name of the Son:
Here comes in Jesus Christ who (only him) died, not the Father nor the Holy Spirit. You will now be buried (i.e. baptized into the body crucified) in the name of Jesus. Buried with him (not with them) (Rom 6:3 -4).
We have been planted together in the likeness of his death, (not their death) (Rom. 6:5).
3. In the name of the Holy Spirit:
This takes place through the laying of hands of an apostle on the baptized to receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:12,17-18). For while the Father calls; (Rom. 8:29-30), the blood for forgiveness of sins comes from the Son and we are adopted to become the sons by the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:15).
This revealed truth made the apostles not to mention (Matth 28:19) during water baptism. For the explanation came through the Holy spirit. (Acts 1:2).Therefore we have to line up behind the Apostles.
Let me ask you, do you believe that baptism is symbolic of the burial of Jesus Christ?
The bible uses the word “buried with him” many times. Then, did the Father and the Holy Spirit die? How many persons died? Does the bible say, buried with them anywhere?
This is your opportunity to check out in what name you were baptized; if it is not in the name of Jesus please come to be baptized and be acceptable to God. (Acts 19:1-7). An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Tim. 2:5).
(3) HOW LONG CAN IT TAKE A CONVERT TO QUALIFY FOR BAPTISM?
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”. “ In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (Lk. 6:46, John 7:37 -38).
Having pointed to these words of the Lord, let us scrutinize his practice and commandment. (Check Matth. 3:13-16). Jesus went the same day to John the baptist for baptism and it was done the same day, hence his command; “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).
The apostles obeyed the command and kept to the rule. During the first test of their obedience to this command, those that accepted the word were not subjected to baptismal class nor were there any proof of change of attitude before they were baptized. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls”. (Acts 2:41).
Further evidence is that of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. It was done on the way. (Acts 8:35-39).. What of the jailor and his household, “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and baptized them, he and all his household straightway?” (Acts 16:27-33). And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. (Acts 18:8). At Ephesus, Paul met twelve men (church brethren) and after checking what they received found out that they were with outdated baptism; immediately they accepted the true one and were baptized the same day. (Acts 19:1-6). My brethren, is this not enough to direct us on how to obey and follow the rules? But why do churches after seeing this foundation yet decide to follow their own established rules, staging baptismal classes and obtaining money for issuing baptismal certificates?
Paul wrote to Timothy reminding him about these days, “for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth ….” (II Tim. 4:3 -4).
Therefore, apostle Paul said: “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be unto them and mercy upon the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).
Which Rule? The sound doctrine of Jesus Christ.
But if you establish another rule, no matter your logic, be it known that you are building upon the sand. ( Lk. 6:49).
(4) IS INFANT BAPTISM ACCEPTABLE TO GOD?
“Anyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the father and the son” (II Jn. 9). Then said Jesus to the Jews which believed on him “If ye CONTINUE in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32). Again He said; “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven.” ( Matth. 7:21).
Jesus commanded us to baptize whosoever BELIEVETH (Mk. 16:15-16). Paul maintained it and wrote to the Romans thus: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach, 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” (Rom. 10:8 -10).
The one to be baptized must confess with his own mouth, (not through a representative). He must hear with his ears and conclude in his own heart. (Acts 8:37). People have dragged the statement in the bible as if baptizing entire household includes children and babies. Through their understanding of this portion of the bible they make a mess of the will of God concerning baptism. They take it lightly because they were led into it, thinking that they will be justified because it is practiced by almost one – third of the world. Dear reader, if you are operating with this kind of baptism, your faith is in vain. If you have not done it correctly before, now is your opportunity. Don’t ask about those who died without knowing this truth, for you who are alive today and hear this will be judged differently if you don’t accept it, as you cannot claim ignorance of it. “And that servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Lk. 12:47).
But if you refuse to follow the perfect truth about baptism and its application and remain in the human foundation, be it known to you that you will not make heaven at the end, no matter how you struggle.
Compare this passage: “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever continues in the teaching has both the father and the son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his WICKED WORK” . (2 Jn. 9-11).
(FROM THE APOSTLES)
Jude an apostle of our Lord Jesus wrote in his epistle thus; “Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
As we know in the scripture, there are no three Gods in one; i.e. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. We have only one Almighty God, (The Father) (Mk. 12:29), and His Son Jesus Christ (I Cor. 8:6, I Tim. 2:5). Jesus directed us on whom to believe; “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1). “And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (Jn. 17:3).All these point to the fact that the Father and the Son are two personified entities.
IS JESUS CHRIST, GOD?
Yes, Jesus is God; “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” (Jn. 1:1). For Isaiah prophesied thus; “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”(Isaiah 9:6). Here we have Jesus as Mighty God (not Almighty God). He is called “Everlasting Father”, for he is the father of our salvation. He paid for our sins, fought sin and death to submission and came out victorious, thereby obtaining the greatest honour and authority and that no other name is given in heaven and on earth and under the earth for salvation except him, Jesus Christ. (Matth. 28:18, Acts 4:12, Rev. 12:10). In another place it is written: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is translated, God with us”. (Matth. 1:23).
So, Jesus is God, but not the Almighty God – the Father.
IF JESUS IS GOD AND HIS FATHER IS GOD, THEN DOES IT MEAN THAT WE HAVE TWO GODS, INSTEAD OF ONE GOD?
No!, Jesus says, I and my Father are one. (John 10:30). Jesus told the disciples, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me …” (John 14:11). And he said unto him. “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God …” (Lk. 18:19). Also with more clarification he said: “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you, if ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the father; for my father is greater than I.” (John 14:28).
With all these passages you could agree with me that Jesus made us to understand and to accept that there is only one God. For Jesus is God with capital G because he has the full nature of his father (Col.
2:9), and as the only begotten son, he inherited that name (Jn. 17:11-12). Equally, man is god with small letter g for he has the little nature of God but cannot claim equality with God, as Christ did not claim such equality. ( John 17:8, Phil. 2:6).
In the book of Psalm, it was said of him thus: “What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet thou hast made him little less than God and dost crown him with glory and honour.” (Ps. 8:4 -5.)
Hence when he came, he said; “For my Father is greater than I, my Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all …” (John 10:29). Jesus is the express image of God. (II Cor.4:4, Col.1:13-15, Heb. 1:2-3). Therefore, we have one God.
In another explanation, Jesus said, “For the Father himself loveth you because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God.” (John 16:27). Having come out from God he then became the express image of God in full.
God created only one man on earth, Adam; and Eve was in him until she was brought out from Adam. Although they were two then but were known to be one. God formed man from the dust but made woman from the man’s ribs. He did not make woman from another dust. Therefore through one dust mould (man) came out two personalities, (Adam and Eve). In this position therefore, we all came out from only one body, not two. ( Gen. 2:7, 21-24). So also God with his son Jesus Christ are one (as the Son came out from the Father).
JESUS IS DECLARED AS THE SON OF GOD:
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straight way out of the water and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice descended from heaven, saying “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matth. 3:16-17). John the Baptist testified after the fulfillment of all what God the Father told him about Jesus, thus: “And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the SON OF GOD” (Jn.1:34). Immediately after the confirmation of the Sonship of Jesus Christ,, Satan used it to tempt him. (Matth 4:3, 6).
At a time, while on earth, it occurred to Jesus that the world will misunderstand his personality he then put them to test. When he came into the coasts of Caesarea Philipi, he asked his disciples, saying; “whom do men say that I the son of man am?” And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, “But whom say ye that I am?” And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” (Matth.
16:13- 16). Even the evil spirit knows him as the son of God. (Mark 5:2- 7). In the letter Paul wrote to the believers in Rome he said; Concerning His son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” “And declared to be the son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom. 1:3- 4).
The Jews battled against this witness and thereby judged Jesus with it. But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ; The son of God (Matth. 26:63). The Jews answered him, we have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the son of God. (John 19:7). When Jesus was crucified, the Jews mocked at him; (for they did not accept the witness of God about him) And saying, “Thou that destroy the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thy self if thou be the son of God come down from the cross. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the son of God.” (Matth. 27:40, 43). So the Jews condemned him for this reason. The Jews answered him, we have a law and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the son of God. (John 19:7).
When Jesus resurrected from the dead, he told Mary, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my FATHER; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my FATHER, and your FATHER and to my GOD, and your GOD” (John 20:17).
No doubt Jesus has a father who is our God. Therefore, John said in his first epistle thus; “who is he that overcometh the world, but he that BELIEVETH that Jesus is the son of God. If we receive the witness of men. (ie, that Jesus is the Almighty Father, he is the Christ and he is the Holy Spirit) the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his son.” “He that believeth on the son of God hath the witness in himself, he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his son”. ( I John 5:5; 9 -10).
The apostle John earlier testified thus, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Likewise in all the epistles of the apostles, they did project the personality of the father and Son.
1. To the Corinthian church Paul wrote:- “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 1:3
2. The second Epistle to the Corinthians: “Blessed be God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”( II Cor. 1:3).
3. To the Galatian Church:- “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him (Jesus) from the dead” (Gal.1:1)
4. To the brethren in Ephesus:- “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ …” (Ephesians 1:3).
5. To the Philippians: (Phil. 1:2).
6. To the Colossians: “We give thanks to God and the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” (Col.1:3)
7. To Timothy:”Grace, mercy, and peace from God our father and Jesus Christ our Lord. (I Tim. 1:2, Titus 1:4).
8. General Epistle of Peter the apostle: “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ ….” (I Pet. 1:3).
9. General Epistle of apostle John:- “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ.” (I John 1:3).
Therefore, the evidence is clear that the Father is not Jesus Christ neither is Jesus, the father.
Beloved, this is the truth of the Gospel, Jesus Christ is the SON OF GOD.
Trinity is the doctrine of men, i.e. Bible scholars, not of the Holy Spirit. Believe on the witness of God (not on the witness of men) and be saved . “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false, teachers among you who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
(2 Peter 2: 1 2.4).
The Trinitarian doctrine was introduced in the year 381 at Constantinople by the Roman Theologians.
WORTH CELEBRATING IN CHRIST TODAY?
Before this question is answered, it is better to find out what harvest festival is all about and how it was given in law in the ministration of Moses. Thus said the Lord; “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge …” (Hosea 4:6). Again, “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules”. (2 Tim. 2:5).
It behoves on you now who desires to make heaven to have the full knowledge of any teaching you are following in the service of God before holding it firm. I would want that you be free from the popular mentality that has enslaved many people into perpetual bondage; that is: “I was born into this teaching and my fore fathers died in it, so shall I.” as ignorance of the law is not an excuse. (Lk. 12:48, Lev. 5:17).
The Lord said to Moses: “Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread …, and the feast of harvest, the FIRST FRUITS of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field; and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.” (Exod. 23:14 16).
From here, you note that the Israelites received two festivals to be observed in a year:
A. The feast of the first fruits of THY LABOUR
B. The feast of the ingathering which is observed at the end of the year, when you have gathered in THY LABOURS out of the field.
(A) The festival of the first fruits:
Direction: “And He spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them, when ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest.” “And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you.” . (Lev. 23:9-11, Deut. 18:4).
(B) The Feast of Ingathering:-
In this harvest festival, every male Israelite was required to appear before the Lord at the sanctuary. It was an 8-day festival. (Lev. 23:39).
IMPORTANT POINTS TO CHECK
1. The law forbids the Israelites from eating any of the first fruits until they bring a sheaf of the first fruits unto the priest and the priest shall offer it unto the Lord. (Lev. 23:10-14). Thus, the first crops or fruits are to be given as an offering. (Exod. 23:19).
2. The fruits of the harvest is that from THY LABOUR out of THY FIELD. Not the labour of another man or from another man’s field, meaning that you are not expected to bring in articles bought from the market as harvest.
3. The Levites and the strangers among them shall partake from the fruits and rejoice before the Lord. (Deut. 26:1 11).
It is not to be sold or diverted for any other purpose. (Num. 18:13).
4. They shall bring it in a basket into the house of God. The first fruits of the corns, wine and oil, sheep is for the priests and the Levites. (Deut. 18: 1-4).
My dear reader, this is the picture of the harvest festivals and the law governing them. As you know, the law was given under Aaronic priesthood whose ministration was built under carnal ordinances.
When the time for our High Priest; (JESUS CHRIST) was to come (who is made a High Priest not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life -(Heb. 7:16) God spoke through Isaiah the prophet thus: “Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me: I am weary to bear them.”( Isaiah 1:14).
“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him” (Matth. 17:5).
“…Therefore, since the Aaronic priesthood has been changed, there is made of necessity a change of the law”. (Heb. 7:12); hence we are directed to hear Christ.
Jesus told the Jews that his own harvest now is not that of the crops or fruit of the field, but men. (Jn. 4:35-38). Then when he died, he became the first fruit of them that slept, having offered himself as a sacrifice unto God ( I Cor. 15:20).
He put to an end the offering of crops and fruits of harvest to the Lord.(Heb. 10:5,8). He cancelled/abolished all the ordinances that were against us. (Col. 2:14). Therefore all offerings offered according to the carnal law is no more acceptable to God now, whether that of Harvest, sin, peace or vow offerings etc. (Heb. 10:8 10).
Then, the Holy Spirit came who is to lead us into all truth. The truth about the first fruit and ingathering was revealed to the apostles in line with the declaration by Jesus in John. 4:35-38.
Today, in the ministration of the Holy Spirit (new testament (II Cor. 3:6) any person who is born of the spirit, (saved, having washed away his sins through baptism) has become the first fruit of the spirit. (Rom. 8:23; 16:5. I Cor. 15:23; 16:15).
And the ingathering which was usually done at the end of the year when you must have finished your labour (according to the law) is now expected to take place at the end of the world, when Jesus shall send his angels to gather the righteous who will rejoice with him in his kingdom. (Matth. 13:37 -43).
Paul said thus; “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon your labour in vain” (Gal. 4:8 -11).
Therefore, be it known today that keeping the Harvest feast is not for the children of God in Christ Jesus. Those keeping it today are doing it for their own belly hence Paul warned the brethren in Rome ( Rom. 16:17 18).
Dear Reader could you patiently ponder on these points and make the conclusion by yourself whether these feasts are of God in Christ Jesus.
HOW PEOPLE CELEBRATE THE HARVEST FESTIVAL TODAY IS NOT EVEN ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES OR ANY OTHER LAW
1. How come that Harvest festival has been turned into merchandising? Churches distribute Harvest Envelopes to beg for money even from the so-called unbelievers, for the work of God. From where did they get this practice in the scripture? Check Gal. 3:10.
2. Where can we find Children’s Harvest in the scriptures? If we cannot find it anywhere, then it must have come from men’s doctrine, which kills. Check Deut. 4:2; Col. 2:8; 2 John 9.
3. In today’s harvest festival, people bring electronics, plastic wares and other products which are not produced by them. Were these used for harvest when the practice was on, or where was the change of the law recorded? Do you think that God accepts whatever anyone introduces to be done in His name, that come not from His command?
( Check Matth. 7:21).
Therefore Harvest festival is not acceptable to God today as it is not part of the doctrine of Christ. (Col. 2:20-22).
The author and finisher of our faith, our High Priest Jesus Christ came with SPIRITUAL HARVEST which is quite distinct from material harvest.
(THE RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD)
Tithe means one tenth of what one has or is getting. It is to be paid to a particular set of people. It is a law of old given to the generation of Israel to observe. The rudiments of the world as given to Moses by God was to fulfil in the latter days. Moses was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the PATTERN which was shown to you on the mountain” (Heb. 8:5).
In the sanctuary pattern, God commanded Moses to bring near Aaron and his sons from among the people of Israel, to serve as priests. Also God asked Aaron to bring his brethren, the tribe of Levi to minister to him “they are a gift to you, given to the Lord, to do the service of the tent of meeting”, thus says the Lord “Aaron shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall he have any portion among his people; the Lord shall be his inheritance and portion among the people of Israel.” (Exod. 28:1, Num. 18:6, 20). “To the Levites, I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve (their service in the tent of meeting).”
Again, among the twelve tribes of Israel, only the house of Aaron, the tribe of Levi were separated and banned from having any portion in Israel. Also, any other person or tribe who trespasses into their duty shall be put to death. The law shall remain only in their (Israel) generation.
Let it be clear to you that the Levites were prohibited from doing any other work except the service of the tent and their source of feeding (income) remains from tithe. (Check Num. 18:21 24).
Now we have seen that only one tribe was given the tithes as an inheritance for their service.
The next thing is for us to look at the law governing the tithes:
i. And all the tithe of the land whether of seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. Concerning the tithe of the herd or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod (hands) the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. (Lev. 27:30, 32) showing that tithe must be given from whatever thing you have, and it was named. If a man wishes to redeem any of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. (Lev. 27:31) which means that if what you bring as one tenth is not complete, you must be penalized.
Ii. The Levites themselves received law on the tithe they were expected to receive from their brethren. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, when ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the Lord of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the Lord’s heave offering to Aaron the Priest“. (Num. 18:25 26, 28; Nehem. 10:37 38)
You could see that in this part of tithe collection,
1. The Levites give one tenth of their tithe to Aaron the priest.
2. Tithes were arranged in sequence- three parts:
(a) The one paid every Sabbath.
(b) A yearly tithing which is paid once a year, and
(c) The one paid at the end of every three years.
In these tithes, there are categories of people expected to eat from them. The Levites, the strangers, the fatherless and the widows.
Note that the law forbids them from presenting money for tithe. (Deut. 14:22 29; 26:12 13).
3. To make sure that the law was observed, it was placed under curse. And anything that you have, one tenth of it shall be given to the Lord. A penalty was placed on any defaulter including the priests. (Leviticus 27:30 34; Malachi 3:8- 10).
i. Facts have been established that tithe was exclusively the right of the Levites, their inheritance for the service in the tent. Tithe is not for the maintenance of the tabernacle.
ii. No other person or tribe has access to tithes.
iii. The Levites receive the tithes from the children of Israel and from it give one tenth of what they received to Aaron the High Priest.
iv. The yearly and three- yearly tithes were evenly shared among the Levites, widows, fatherless and strangers.
v. Money was prohibited from being used in giving tithe. Only one’s produce from his farm -(wine and strong wine, sheep and oxen etc) was acceptable (Deut. 14:22 29).
Note that the Levite who receives the office of the priesthood has a commandment to take tithes of the people (of their brethren) according to the LAW. The laws which the Levites received was only for the generation of Israel. It was not extended to the Gentiles as a new law was awaited in Christ Jesus.
This is the law of tithe and how it was imposed on them (while Aaron was the High Priest and the Levites were doing their ritual duties in the tent) until the time of reformation.
But this law under the Levitical priesthood was unable to perfect man, for the law the Israelites received over tithes were not to be amended. All the articles provided by the law to be used for tithing are not to be changed with any other thing.
But the Israelites abandoned the law and selected what they desired in place of what God gave them through Moses. (Math. 23:23).
THE PERFECT MINISTRY WITH A NEW HIGH PRIEST
Seeing that the law was weak and temporary, an arrangement was made by God to send another High Priest through whom perfection will come but not according to the weak and temporary law.
Then Moses told the people of Israel, “thus says the Lord; I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth: and he. shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. WARNING: ”And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deut. 18:18 19).
Moses informed the people about God’s new plan, a prophet whom they will listen to, for he will set a new order of worship.
Then came Isaiah the prophet; God spoke through him, telling the people of Israel that He was going to send His servant who will bring judgment to the Gentile world. …”And all the nations of the world shall wait for his LAW”. (Isaiah 42:1-4). With this information, it became obvious that an entire NEW law was expected, under a NEW HIGH PRIEST.
When the time came, our Lord Jesus Christ was born, the NEW HIGH PRIEST, but not from the tribe of Levi; (for under the law no priest shall come from any other tribe except from the tribe of Levi and the house of Aaron), but Christ came from the tribe of Judah” (Heb. 7:14), thereby sidelining the law of Levitical priesthood. Jesus at once began to tell his disciples that new wine has come and it should be kept well in a new pot. If one puts the new wine in the old pot, he will suffer great loss. That means, that no old law should be mixed with the new law. (Matth. 9:16 17).
Then when the handover came, Jesus took his disciples to a mountain where Moses, representing the law and Elias, representing the psalms and the prophets appeared. After discussion, Moses and Elias left and Jesus was alone and a voice came from His Father thus; “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him”(Matth. 17:1-5).
There and then Jesus said, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” (Heb. 10:9). Now, Christ having been made a High Priest for good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, he obtained more excellent ministry than that of Aaron. (Heb. 8:6; 9:11).
Furthermore, Jesus told the Samaritan woman emphatically that the old order of worshiping God in Jerusalem can no longer be accepted. Those worshiping God in the old order given to them by Moses are worshiping what they do not know. (John 4:20 22).
THE PERFECT MINISTRY WITH JESUS CHRIST AS HEAD: (FREEWILL GIFTS)
Our master Jesus, when the time reached for him to have those who are to serve under his new priesthood order; did not go for the Levites rather selected twelve men from Galilee (Tribe of Judah). This made the Pharisees to reject him, for the law did not allow any priest to come from Judah or any other tribe except the tribe of Levi (John 7:41, 52).
Now, for those he called out for the ministry, how did he plan their welfare?; should they continue to depend on the Levitical order (i.e. tithe)?. The answer is absolute NO. Rather, Jesus established FREE WILL GIFTS and told his ministers that through this means you shall make your living.
He said: “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, he shall in no wise lose his reward”. (Math 10:5, 42).
But while he was establishing his doctrine against tithe to the disciples, he rebuked the scribes and the Pharisees of their hypocritical manner of practicing the law of tithing. (Math 23:23). Although he didn’t stop the Jews from practicing the law for he was yet to die and the Aaronic priesthood was still relevant, performing the sacrifices in the Temple, hence “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers”. (Math 23:1-3).
One important point you should note here is this, our master Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, said; “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord, it is enough for the disciple that he be as his master. (Math 10:24 -25).
In another word he says: “But everyone when he is fully taught will be like his teacher. ( Lk 6:40).
Jesus and his ministers fed through FREE WILL GIFTS, not through tithe at all. (Check Lk 8:1-3).
If Jesus did not feed through tithe, why should you who say you are a minister of the gospel of Christ go above your master?
There will the judgment be. For when apostle Paul was giving his defence before King Agrippa, he testified of what Jesus told him on his way to Damascus, thus; “And I said who are you Lord? And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have SEEN and to those in which I will appear to you; (Acts 26:15-16).
Looking at this testimony, you can see that Jesus told him that he was going to bear witness on those things he established and on other things which he is going to show him by the Holy Spirit.
Now let us see how the apostles started to practice the new commandment. (Check Acts 2:42-45). “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: For as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold. And laid them down at the apostles feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles, was surnamed Barnabas, (which is being interpreted, the son of consolation) a Levite and of the country of Cyprus having land sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles feet.” (Acts 4:33-37).
This Joses was a Levite who should be in his seat receiving tithe, but he accepted the Lord Jesus and abandoned the old way and opted for the new. “In that He saith, a new covenant, He hath made the first obsolete. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb 8:13).
Therefore when a letter was written to the Hebrew brethren explaining to them much more about the abolition of Tithe and the levitical priesthood, it was stated clearly to them thus: “If therefore perfection were by the levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed there is made of necessity a CHANGE also of the LAW.” (Heb. 7:11-12).
ofcourse, The law of Tithe!
“And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandments to take tithes of the people according to the law.” (Heb. 7:5).
Paul in furtherance to the teaching told Christians to give according to what one purposeth in his heart, not one tenth. Even when he was instructing the saints at Corinth about the collection of the saints: He asked them to lay by them in store as God hath prospered him. (check 2 Cor. 9:7; 1 Cor. 16:1- 2).
As a matter of fact, tithe has been abolished and cannot be accepted by God in this new dispensation. But if you disobediently continue doing it, please make sure you do it according to the commandment; i.e. with farm produce, oxen, sheep, fruits, wine and strong wine. (Deut. 14:22- 29; Gal. 3:10). But if you are deceived to pay tithe with money today because you are a worker or a trader; hear it today that you are in the same faith with the Scribes and Pharisees who changed the tenets of the law of tithe because of covetousness (Matth. 23:23)
Another important point you should know is that: when the Aaronic priesthood was in existence, the Gentile world had no access to the temple and were not bound by any commandment whatsoever. But Jesus Christ came and abolished the law, and established faith by which both the Jews and Gentiles will be acceptable to God.
Then, God made us able ministers of the new covenant, under our new High priest, Jesus Christ. (NOT ABLE MINISTERS OF THE OLD COVENANT, under AARONIC PRIESTHOOD). Therefore the death of Jesus brought an end to the office of the Levite, and their services and rewards This enables the Gentiles to have hope of eternal life by Grace.
Paul the apostle then warned the Gentiles not to be high minded. How do you then go back to the law that was meant for the Levites only because you are called spiritual Israel and hope that God will accept you? (Check II Cor. 3:5- 6; Rom. 11:13- 20).
Our Lord Jesus warned us thus; “Take heed that no man deceive you. Paul on the same note said, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiment of the world and not after Christ.” (Matth 24:4; Col. 2:18).
Therefore if you hear a story of one who died and on reaching to heaven he was driven back to the world because he wasn’t paying his tithe; or one who is progressing because he is paying his tithe with reference to the book of Malachi 3:8-10, ignore such fables.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the DOCTRINE which ye have learned: and avoid them. … and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom 16:17-18). These are ministers of their own belly, with sugar-coated tongues. Even if you receive prophesies compelling you to pay tithes, don’t panic, only understand that Jesus told us that “when the spirit of Truth shall come, He will take what is mine and declare it to you”. (John 16:13- 14), not what is of Aaron or Levi.
Meanwhile if a Pastor who receives tithe has a businesses establishment either directly or indirectly, don’t you see that he is making a mockery of that law on which he stands to receive tithes, but be warned! (Isaiah 28:22).
He who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. (2 John 9 -11).
THEREFORE, TITHE IS NOT PART OF CHRIST’S DOCTRINE.
HEAR IT AND ABSTAIN FROM TITHING.
Mention of Tithe in the time of Abraham and Jacob.
Abraham was a prophet, and God said: I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitude, by the ministry of the prophets. (Gen. 20:7, Hosea 12:10). God knowing what was to come, He made Melchizedek to appear, being a High Priest, whom Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. Note that Melchizedek did not request the tithe from Abraham, neither was Abraham ordered by God to pay tithe to Melchizedek. But the perfect truth here, is that what transpired between Melchizedek and Abraham prophetically was a symbol of what later fulfilled in the Levitical priesthood. That is why the scripture says that Levi who received the commandment to take tithe from the children of Israel, also paid tithe to Melchizedek for he was in Abraham’s loins when he met him. (Heb. 7:9 10).
As a matter of fact, this was the reason why we didn’t hear anything about tithing again after the meeting of Melchizedek, it stopped there. During the time of Jacob, he promised to pay tithe to God and to build a house for God if God blessed him. God did bless him but did he pay tithe? No. Rather, that promise was a prophetic preparation for what later manifested among his children (Israel) who later received tithe as a law.
IN WORSHIP ACCEPTABLE TO GOD?
In the first place, let us see how music came into this world and who introduced it.
God created an Angel whom he named “Covering Cherub” and constituted in him the art and skill of music. He was sent to the garden of Eden where he messed his talent up and was banished from the garden. (Ezek. 28:13-17).
Having been driven away from the Garden of Eden into the wider earth, he became a deceiving spirit and introduced his musical art through Jubal the son of Cain who initiated the invention of musical instruments for to worship him. (Gen. 4:21).
When the children of Israel were delivered from the hand of Pharaoh, Moses with the people of Israel sang songs of deliverance to God and praised his mighty name. (Gen. 15:1-19). But when Miriam the sister of Aaron introduced instruments in her songs which induced all the women of Israel to dance with Miriam, it became the first record of dancing in the bible (Gen. 15:20-21). However it stopped.
After this, God gave Moses the commandment and ordinance for the people of Israel with which to worship him. In all of them, there was no provision or room for musical instrument or dancing in praising him (God). Through out the time of Moses and Joshua, the Israelites were observing the law and ordinances as were given to them in worshiping God. However when the kings started ruling the Israelites, they introduced certain things in the worship of God. It was during his reign that king David introduced the use of instruments to worship God. “…Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp…) (Ps. 150:1-5). He was a man of music from childhood. As a king and having the interest of the things of God at heart, he established the instrument of music in the house of God. Thus, it was recorded as David’s ordinance (not God’s). (Ezra 3:10, 2 Chron. 7:6). But God overlooked it until the time of reformation approached and He started sounding the warning about His rejection of the noisy songs and the instruments of music through His prophets. “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David” (Amos 5:23, 6:5). He reminded them here that it was David who invented it not from Him (God). The Lord reminded them once more from Isaiah the prophet that the joy from harps (Guitar) shall cease “The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth” (Isaiah 24:8), because all these forms of worship were carnal. When the reformer, our master Jesus came, through him God spoke to the world concerning His will. (Heb. 1:1-2). He made plain to the Jews that the time for carnal worship as practiced by their fathers has come to an end including all those ordinances. Those that will worship God from now will worship him in SPIRIT and TRUTH.(John 4:21-24). The worship as Jesus rightly said must be in SPIRIT. (while music is carnal). Jesus and his disciples, all through his ministry on earth, set an example to us as they sang their hymn without instruments of music. (Check Math. 26:30). Furthermore, Paul wrote to brethren at Ephesus thus; “Speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Ephes. 5:19).
In the law of the spirit of life in Christ (Rom. 8:2) there is no directive given for TRUE worshipers to obey and adopt any form of carnal worship even instrument of music that induces dancing. However what obtains is that the saints are warned not to touch those commandments and ordinances that men introduced. (Ezra 3:10) (check Col. 2:20-22). Paul commanded the saints at Corinth to ensure that when they gather for worship that each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. (I Corinth 14:26) He didn’t mention, music or dancing for they are carnal. (Gal. 5:19-21). But unfortunately as Paul notified Timothy in his second letter to him talking about this our time saying: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3 -4).
Dear Reader, bear witness to the truth; before this perilous time, did we see this type of music and dancing in most of the churches except the playing of organ which is not danceable? But church or religious music and dancing we see today are entirely carnal and sensual. Converts from traditional idolatrous people continue with their type of melody and dancing steps and have carried it over to the churches. Like fire that is being driven by wild wind, it has spread to all the Pentecostal Churches and as the orthodox churches have broken their tradition in pursuit of the new trend, so the drift continues unabated as any denomination that springs up without joining the bandwagon can not make enough members.
It gives the true worshiper today some sense of worry to see churches turning their place of gathering into camouflage disco halls, fulfilling the lust of the flesh as they jump and make romantic body movements in the name of Jesus. No wonder the bible calls it reveling or rioting or carousing or banqueting, instead of using the common vocabulary “dancing”. Therefore, apostle Peter warned thus: Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkeness, banquetings, revelings (meaning all types of dancing) (I Pet. 4:3). In additional evidence, any time their churches enter into the period they call time for worship, they usually stop all forms of music and sing only emotional songs to usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit. (as they say it). This act alone clarifies what we are saying.
Finally, be it known to you, that music and dancing in the church is not acceptable to God in the ministration of the Holy Spirit. No matter how you fashion it, the carnality in it must express itself even as the rhythm, dancing style and beatings found in the church is exactly what obtains in what they call worldly music; be it reggae, calypso, highlife, makossa, pop etc. It is the same ten and ten pence. The only difference is in changing the word “ya men” to “Jesus” etc.
Who is fooling who?
Therefore, beloved reader listen to the voice of wisdom “come out from among them and touch not what is unclean. And I will receive you. And will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:17).
Therefore Music and Dancing is number one Doctrine of men. It is not ordered by God.
(NOT OF CHRIST)
But he answered and said unto them, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Ye hypocrites well did Esaias prophesy of you saying. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Math. 15:3, 7 -9).
Examples of such doctrines include; (i) Music and dancing, (ii) Ordination of Women as pastors / evangelists / elders / bishops; (iii) Men wearing cap (big or small) in the worship of God; (iv) Women uncovering their head while praying/preaching/prophesying.
(ii) ORDINATION OF WOMEN (AS PASTORS/EVANGELISTS/ELDERS)
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the later times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”. ( I Tim. 4:1).
In the kingdom of God, there is orderliness. Those that minister in the throne of God in heaven; each in his position. But when some overstepped their position given to them by God; He drove them away and kept them in chains awaiting for the judgement. (Jude 6).
When God was establishing the pattern of His worship in the old covenant He separated the family of Aaron for the post of priesthood in the temple. Only Aaron and his sons were called to offer sacrifice before the altar. (Exod. 28:1). Aaron had a wife and daughters, but none was allowed to draw near the altar. (Lev. 10:14). Even in the priesthood service of the tribe of Levi, only men were responsible for the service. There were sisters born to them, and daughters born of them, but they remained in the background.
The maintenance of orderliness was strictly observed in the ministration; check the reaction of God when the sons of Levi feeling that they received equal anointing with Aaron left their duty post to operate in the office of Aaron. (Num. 16:1-10, 16 -31).
In the new covenant, Apostle and High Priest Jesus Christ; being the author and finisher of our faith laid a solid example and foundation for us to follow. In his ministration he called out twelve men whom he named apostles for the gospel. (Matth. 10: 1-4). He later appointed seventy men as evangelists (Lk 10:1) with no single woman in the team; although there were some devoted and powerful women at that time moving about with Jesus and the apostles. Their duties and of course the duties of other women to come after were made known. (Check: Lk. 8:1-3).
Another clear example manifested when the rest of the eleven apostles were looking for who to replace the position of Judas Iscariot. They had among them notable women even the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ but yet they appointed two men to contest for the post. (Acts 1:13-14; 21-23).
To the brethren in Corinth; he told them without mincing words that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace as in ALL CHURCHES of the saints. Let your women keep silent in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also said the LAW. (Gen. 3:16, Ephes. 5:22 24) for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. But if any be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (I Cor. 14:33 -38).
Then in another development, apostle Paul asked Timothy to abide in Ephesus that he might prevent some people not to teach another doctrine. (I Tim. 1:3). That our women should not be allowed to meddle with leadership. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer (permit) not a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (I Tim. 2:11-12).
In the world today, women can fight for their liberation from home keeping and proclaim equality with men and attempt to do all that men do, become war veterans, win world belts in boxing and wrestling, become presidents of nations, ministers, managers in companies heading and manning over the man but not to be ministers in the churches of Christ. No! NEVER!
THEN WHAT OF JOHN CHAPTER 1:12?
“But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God …” . (Jn. 1:12).
But Apostle Peter pointed out in one of his letters thus: “even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”. (2 Peter 3:15-16)
May I ask;
-Should women become pastors or evangelists today because they are called “SONS” of God?
-What made the early church under the supervision of the early apostles to avoid having even one known woman pastor?
-Why did Paul warn the church at Corinth, telling them that women should keep silent in the church that it is the commandment of God? And to Timothy too (I Tim 2:11-14).
-Why are our women instructed to dress like women in the church and not dressing like men if they are sons?.
-Why is it that when they go back to their houses their husbands become the head and leader but in God’s own house, the rule is broken. Why?
Therefore, let not the interpretation given to that John 1:12 by some people (not the Church) deceive you.
Hear the full understanding therein:
Anyone who is redeemed from Satan and has received the Holy Spirit is now a child (Son) of God. This does not change a woman from being the woman she is, to becoming the man she is not.
Finally it is an abomination for a woman to pastor the church of Christ. It is the spirit of disobedience that is working hard today in the sons of perdition. (Ephes. 2:2; 5:6-7). Although we know that where this spirit of disobedience is working majestically today without confrontation is in the churches built by men as business venture, not in the Church of Christ built by our Master himself and being nourished by his Spirit. (Scrutinize Ephesians 5:22-27); and the foundation has been laid for us to follow according to the RULE in ORDERLINESS. (I Cor. 3:10, Gal. 6:16). Not according to man’s gospel (Gal. 1:11). Therefore if any man seems to be contentious, (concerning this doctrine), we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God (I Cor. 11:16). We are to follow his footsteps as did Paul and other brethren before us.
(1 Pet. 2:21; 2 Cor. 12:18).
On the other hand, the church is likened to our earthly household. In our families, man is the head, and the woman is warned to be subject unto her husband as Christ is the head of his church (Check Ephes. 5:22 24).
Furthermore, Paul put it more clearly here thus; “This saying is sure, if anyone aspires to the office of a bishop, he (not she) desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, the HUSBAND of one wife; he must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage (rule) his household, how can he care for God’s church.” (I Tim. 3:1 2, 4 5). Now if this instruction is to be attributed to women, how can we put it. Is it this way; if a woman does not know how to rule her household, how can she rule the household of God. This implies then that woman could equally be the head of a man (husband) in the family. But if it is an abomination for a woman to be the head over her husband in the family, so also in the household of God. No exemption.
But before I conclude this issue of women’s ministry, let me clear these points on certain women mentioned in the scripture where people rely on to destroy the foundation already laid by our master Jesus through his tested and approved apostles.
Now let us see the case of Phoebe (Rom. 16:1 2)’. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, (a deaconess by appointment, a treasurer of the church at Cenchreae). An office of a deacon is not a divine call hence
women can be appointed into it. Being a deaconess does not give her any right or power whatsoever to become a teacher or an authority over man in the body of Christ. (I Tim. 2:11 12).
Priscilla and Aquila were not ministers as some claim they were. “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus” Rom. 16:3. This husband and wife were in the same trade with Paul, (Tentmakers) they helped Paul in that tentmaking, in fact they worked together and made money which helped Paul in his missionary work. Check Acts 18:1-3. It rather sounds ridiculous to hear people claim that Priscilla was a Pastor and her husband Aquila was assisting her because the name of the wife came first before that of the husband as against the Oriental world where the name of the husband comes first before the wife’s.
Judge this by yourself, if Priscilla was a pastor and a co-minister with Paul in the full knowledge of Paul, yet he (Paul) went ahead and instructed the entire church at Corinth not to allow any woman to speak in the church but to learn in silence. Does it mean that Priscilla, assuming she is a pastor, will never visit the church at Corinth or that if she visits she will keep quiet. How could they reconcile the instruction?
Furthermore, Deborah was a prophetess like the four daughters of Philip (Judges 4:4; Acts 20:8-9). Their duty as prophetess is to narrate to the church what the Lord speaks to them and leave the interpretation to the ministers and elders in the church. Check I Cor. 14:27-29.
But in all, be it known that no wisdom or logic no matter how highly esteemed can amend the foundation or the law of God (I Cor. 14:24). But rather people because of filthy lucre allow themselves to be overtaken by the spirit of disobedience thereby working for their own glory not for God, and their end is destruction. John 5:44.
How about Acts 2:17-18?
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy …”
This is talking about the Holy Spirit which all that believe will receive and through this spirit diversities of gifts will be given to individuals. But the spirit will not go beyond the foundation for he can not give a woman the gift of a teacher or pastor. (Check John 16:13 )
For this reason you should be very careful not to believe every spirit but try them whether they are of God. ( I Jn. 4:1).
(iii) MEN WEARING CAP IN WORSHIP;
(iv) WOMEN LEAVING THEIR HAIR UNCOVERED IN WORSHIP:
This is another aspect of disobedience which people have ignorantly introduced in worship of God, thereby exposing their foundation. In the old covenant worship, holy cap was worn by priests as part of their regalia in worship. however, when the author and finisher of a better covenant by which we come closer to the Father came, he abolished the old order and set in a new order of worship by which we draw near the throne of grace. First of all, he let us know that when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead us into every truth.(Jn. 16:12).
It is upon this arrangement/promise that the apostles were led into an everlasting foundation upon which we now stand to worship the Almighty Father. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you…” (1 John 1:1-4).It is therefore instructive, by the power of the Holy Spirit that men, (without distinction) leave their hair uncovered during ministration/worship. No man is exempted in this instruction. Equally, women (whether old generation or new generation) are required to cover theirs while in worship or prophesying.(1Corrinth. 11:3-10 16).