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LESSON 1 Ė GODíS GOVERNMENT BIBLE STUDY
Welcome to our Mailbox Bible Study Course. We trust you will enjoy these lessons as much as we did composing them. We are glad to be able to serve the Lord and you in this way. Many are being saved and helped through these simple Bible lessons. We suggest that you try to do one lesson each week; this will keep your interest in them active. This particular course contains eight lessons on God's Government Bible Studies. Read through this lesson carefully and complete the answers to the lesson by clicking on this word here "LESSON AND TEST IN MICROSOFT WORD FORMAT" and then save it to your computer. Once you have answered all the questions in the test, attach the test questions or copy and paste them into an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address and send it to us. We will then evaluate and return any corrections to you with your next lesson. On completion of the full course you will receive a beautifully presented certificate. Should you have difficulty opening these files or sending the email please let us know by return email. We suggest that you print these lessons and put them in a binder for future studies.
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LESSON 1: GOD’S GOVERNMENT
The truth of Headship and it's symbolic practice.
Food For Thought
We live in an age of speed. This is true even of the food we eat. As a result of this "quick and easy" approach to eating, many of us do not take time to eat properly. Unfortunately this is often true with our spiritual diet as well. We simply want to eat a quick spiritual meal, and then hurry on to some other activity. If the following material is to be of any real value to the reader, it will require his time and it will require them to think. They will need to read a sentence or a paragraph and then think about it. The following is not meant to be "fast food." It is meant to be "food for thought."
Inspired Scripturesp class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">Throughout this study the phrase, "Paul says...," will appear quite frequently. The reader is reminded of the fact that while the apostle Paul was the human instrument used of God to write the letter to the assembly in Corinth, his letter is inspired Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:21). Therefore, when this phrase is encountered the reader must not view these words as just the opinion of Paul, but as the Word of God.
Throughout this study certain phrases and truths will be restated quite often. This is not without design. The grasp of certain principles and truths is vital to the understanding of the truth of Headship, and they are repeated with this intent (2 Peter 1:13). The same truth will also be stated in several different ways for the same reason.
From The Beginning To The End
In order to avoid any misunderstanding of the following material it is suggested that the reader read the entire book. Starting in the middle of the book may cause the reader to miss the basis for later teaching. Quitting before the end may cause the reader to draw a wrong conclusion.
The Symbolic Practice of Truth
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 1 Corinthians 11:2. The Old Testament contains many ordinances, or symbolic practices of truth, of which circumcision and the sacrifices would be examples. The need for these symbolic practices of truth ceased when the shadow gave way to the substance (Hebrews 10:1 and Colossians 2:17). However, while these and other Old Testament ordinances are no longer to be practiced by the New Testament church today, we must not assume that all symbolic practices of truth ceased with the coming of Christ and Christianity. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are both examples of New Testament ordinances that the church is to practice. There is, however, another symbolic practice of truth in Scripture which the majority of Christians have not practiced in more recent years, and which many more, who were practicing it, are now abandoning. This is the symbolic practice of the truth of Headship. This practice, with its two symbols, the uncovered head of the man and the covered head of the woman during spiritual gatherings of the church is considered irrelevant to many saints today, and is therefore not practiced by them. To many it has been classified as a "secondary issue." I would like to show from the Word of God why the truth of Headship is very relevant to Christianity today, and why it is important that it be symbolically practiced. I trust that the reader will take their time to read the following material slowly and thoroughly, understanding each portion before moving on to the next (2 Timothy 2:15). I also pray that as a result of the study of this precious truth that the reader will have the joy of understanding the truth of Headship and its symbolic practice, and the joy of practicing it to the glory of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE GOD OF LOVE AND PEACE
The God of love and peace shall be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11. The Bible clearly teaches that God is love (1 John 4:8). It is His very nature to love. What He does, He does for the blessing of those He loves. He is never harsh or cruel. He is never stingy, and never withholds any blessing from those He loves (Romans 8:32 and James 1:17). Brother or sister in Christ, do you believe this? Do you think God would withhold anything from you which would be a blessing to you? Do you believe that the only thing God would withhold from you would be that which is harmful to you? Well, you may not realize it, but this is exactly what the Bible is all about (Romans 8:28)! I trust that this will become clear as we proceed with our consideration of the truth of Headship, and its symbolic practice. The Bible also teaches us that God is a God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). Peace is more than the absence of hostility; it is the presence of harmony. It is the harmonious working together of two or more individuals. In order for there to be this harmonious working together there must be government, or an order of authority. Could you envision a group of people, even a small group of people, working together in harmony without an order of authority, or government? Could you see the employees of a business firm working together without some form of government, or management? Hardly! It would not be long before order gave way to confusion and disorder. God is never the author of confusion or disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33). He never establishes a situation or condition where disorder exists. On the contrary, He always establishes peace, and the government, or order of authority necessary to maintain it. Even within the Divine Godhead there is an order of authority. Scripture speaks of the Father "sending" the Son (John 12:49 and 17:23), and of the Father giving the promise of the Holy Spirit to the Son, Who in turn "sent" the Holy Spirit (John 16:7 and Acts 2:33). It also speaks of the Son obeying the Father (John 12:49-50; 17:4 and Hebrews 10:7-9). The presence of an order of authority does not imply the superiority of the Father, or the inferiority of the Son or the Spirit with regard to their Person, for they are all equally God. Position, not Person, is in view when we speak of government. Now within the Divine Godhead there is the perfect order of government which allows the three distinct, coequal, and divine Persons of the eternal Godhead to function in absolute perfect harmony. This perfect harmony is the result of the presence of loving authority and willing submission. This perfect order of government always produces harmony, and never produces disorder. Never!
LOVING AUTHORITY + WILLING SUBMISSION = PEACE & BLESSING
We see this perfect order of government, or authority, practiced perfectly in the triune Godhead. No one Person of the Godhead ever functions independently of the others, or for selfish reasons (John 5:19 and 16:13). There is complete satisfaction, and never a thought of seeking a different position. The Father loves the Son (Matthew 3:17), and the Son willingly submits to the Father's will (Matthew 26:39; Philippians 2:5-8 and Hebrews 10:7). The Holy Spirit is willingly submissive to both the Father and the Son (Acts 2:33). This is a "living" harmony, not just a mechanical order. Three living, coequal, divine, and rational Persons, function in the absolutely perfect harmony of loving authority and willing submission. Such Divine harmony is worthy of our meditation and our worship! This principle of loving authority and willing submission is taught in other portions of Scripture as well. Paul, speaking to husbands says, "love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25), and to wives he says, "submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22 and Titus 2:4). If this order is followed the marriage cannot fail. It is God's perfect plan for order and blessing in a marriage. Men and women, in their own wisdom, have altered this plan, and much disorder and accompanying sorrow has resulted (Proverbs 9:10). Scripture also says, "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture (loving care) and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). To children He writes, "obey your parents in the Lord" (Ephesians 6:1) God's Word to those in church leadership is, "Neither be ye lords over them," but rather "feed the flock" (Ezekiel 34:4 and 1 Peter 5:2-3). They are to care for the saints with the tender loving care of a shepherd. To the saints He says, "Obey those who have the rule over you (Hebrews 13:17). Employers and employees are also to function by this principle (Colossians 4:1 and Colossians 3:22). Loving authority and willing submission working together in harmony always results in order and blessing. Nowhere is this more evident than in the willing submission of God's Son to the loving authority of His Father (John 17:4, John 17:21, John 17:26). Now in whatever God creates He establishes an order of authority, or government. Whether it be in the angelic hosts, in the lights of heaven, in the inner man, in marriage, or in the church, God establishes government, or order of authority to maintain order and produce blessing.
GOD'S GOVERNMENT IN THE ANGELIC HOSTS
In the supernatural world of the angelic hosts it is very clear that God established an order of authority (Jude 9). While we do not have all the details, it would appear that Lucifer, the anointed cherub, may have been over the angelic hosts (Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-15). If he was not, at least he had a very high position of authority. Michael, the archangel was under him, as were other angelic beings (Jude 9). However, Lucifer, later called Satan, was dissatisfied with his position in God's established order. He was unwilling to submit to God's loving authority, and desired a higher position. He wanted to be like God! Wanting to be higher in authority, he fell (Isaiah 14:15). Although Satan has fallen, he still continues to rule in a state of rebellion. King Saul did this as well. Even though he was informed that his kingdom had been taken from him, and his replacement named, he continued to function in rebellion until his death (1 Samuel 15:28 and 31:4). Satan, as did Saul, knows that the days of his reign are limited and that a Replacement has been named by God. Much of the Bible is really the recording of history between the announcement of Satan's defeat (Genesis 3:15), and its final accomplishment (Revelation 20:10).
MICROSOFT WORD FORMAT OF LESSON AND TEST FOR - LESSON 1 Ė (Click on the "Microsoft Word" word in blue to choose this option)
TEST LESSON 1: NAMES OF CHRIST
TRUE AND FALSE
1. Paul's writings were all inspired by God. True: ......... False.................
2. It is important to study this lesson from beginning to end. True: ......... False.................
3. The Old Testament types were shadows of New Testament truths. True: ......... False.................
4. Headship is really not that important. True: ......... False.................
5. Everything God does has a definite order to it. True: ......... False.................
FILL IN THE BLANK SPACES WITH THE CORRECT WORD/S
6. The ......... of love and ......... shall be ......... you
7. ......... provoke not your ......... to .........
8. The ......... of loving ......... is taught in the Bible
9. It is ......... perfect plan for ......... and blessing in a marriage.
10. ......... and women in their ......... have altered that .........
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Your name: ..............................................
Postal Address: ............................................
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Created by Harold Smith
Updated May 2012 by Shelly Allen