THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD IN CHRISTIANITY
My dear one in Christ, I would like to remind you once again that for one to understand the scriptures very well is not by man’s might. But rather it takes the spiritual illumination of the Lord’s Holy Spirit to discern and lead you into all truth. You know what? There are many stages in life and so is Godliness (Christianity). As such, we should bear in mind that the rules and practices in Godliness are not so static or rigid. In this case the regulations or rules are so flexible that God has a way of dealing with every dispensation or generation. It is to this end that I want you to make sober reflections over why the spirit says everyone in this era or dispensation must be a true repentant just because of the righteous judgment ahead. For God had overlooked the days past or gone by but now expects everyone to repent of every sinful act.
(30) “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (31) Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” ACTS 17:30,31
All that I want to draw your attention to here again is about the reason why Paul wrote that only church leaders must be husbands of one wife. Due to lack of knowledge of the truth, some people contend that even if it is true that Paul instructed the Bishops and Elders to practice monogamy at all, what about the ordinary church members who also are parts of the body of Christ. In fact they have their own cause to reason but they should bear in mind that since the Holy Spirit was leading them into all truth, things ought to be done gradually, starting from the top hierarchy to ensure peaceful and smooth TRANSITION into the stage of perfection. This is because as I said earlier, the practice of polygamy had already eaten into their fabric, and since it is an undeniable fact that God recognized it aforetime in His house until the advent of Christ, there was the need to teach them step by step in order to maintain sanity in the house of God: Hence the way Monogamy was introduced gradually, gradually into the theocratic family of God.
You see, Akans have an adage that “A yam normally starts rotting from its head”, and in fact this adage could be applicable in this very situation. This is because they could not start the whole process by forcing everyone into single marriage. But rather they had to introduce it gradually by starting with the LEADERS to make sure that everyone got the fullest understanding of the whole process before it became church doctrine till our days. So let us now read the scripture which says so.
(1) “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. (2) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
…………………………. (12) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (13) For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 1TIM. 3:1,2,12,13
Do you know that before the advent of Christ there were so many practices which were allowed of or recognized in godliness, but not recognized as important in today’s Christianity? Take the doctrine of circumcision and digest it; you will notice that it is not all that compulsory. Read the following two texts:
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” GAL. 6:15
“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.” 1COR. 7:19
Did you realize that the above two texts show that circumcision is not force in this Christian era? But I can refer you to a situation where during the early stages of the Transitional period, Apostle Paul was compelled to circumcise somebody just to avoid any confrontation from the Jews who still followed Judaism.
(1) “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: (2) Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. (3) Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.” ACTS 16:1-3
Another example is that during the early Christian transitional era many things were practiced by the apostles just because of the fear of the Jews who still observed the laws of Judaism like animal sacrifices and other rituals, even though such rituals were later forbidden. Read this lengthy text for more understanding.
(15) “And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem. (16) There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.(17) And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.(18) And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.(19) And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.(20) And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: (21) And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. (22)
What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. (23)Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; (24) Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. (25) As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. (26)Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. (27) And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,” ACTS 21:15-27
Please if you are OK with what you just read, ask yourself why the need for such rituals in this Christian era while we have been told in HEB.10:4 that it is now Christ’s blood that is worthy of cleansing us from our impurities and filthiness. You see they did so because they were then moving from one practice to another gradually, though they feared the Jews attack also. This is why I am telling you that Paul’s letter to Timothy concerning single marriage for the leaders ALONE was unique since they had to do everything step by step during the TRANSITION from Judaism to Pure Christianity.
Notwithstanding, he wrote another letter to the whole congregation in Corinth in which he instructed everyone to practice MONOGAMY very strictly.
- “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.(2)Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1COR. 7:1,2