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Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*

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Heads & Coverings: A Tradition, A Symbol - Comments (4)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 18th March, 2004 @ 09:25:06 PM

Of all the things to argue about in Christian practice, the head covering/uncovering is NOT one. A quite remarkable statement puts an end to the controversy men would inflame.

1st Corinthians 11

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

This verse ends the discussion of the first of two traditions (ordinances) that the churches of God have: the head covering/uncovering, and the Lord’s supper. These are NOT the traditions of men, but of the churches of God. But what is perhaps more remarkable is this final verse which says, really: “This is not something to contend about.”

An ordinance, or “tradition”, is something “handed over” to be securely kept. Therefore, when it is an apostolic tradition, it is a test of faithfulness to keep it. The apostolic traditions given to the churches are by definition intended to be kept, and they are therefore not found in the context of things passing away, as are sign gifts, such as tongues, knowledge, and prophecy. When we read a letter to the model “carnal” church, Corinth, as well as a model faithful church, Thessalonica, in each case they are praised for, or exhorted to, keep the traditions delivered to them.

So why the controversy? I want to suggest two reasons: (1) because of the age we live in, and (2) because of the remarkable truth symbolized by the covering and lack thereof.

First, the age we live in. We live in man’s day, when evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse. We can see the time when the love of many will wax cold. We can foresee easily that, when the Son of Man returns, he will NOT find faith in the earth. It’s a day when people will not endure sound teaching, but instead will select their own teachers who tell them what they want to hear. in short, it is the day of “the departure.”

In such a day as we live, what should we expect about faithfulness in handling that which has been passed along? We should expect man’s traditions to be adopted, and the church traditions – even though very few – perhaps only two, each found in 1st Corinthians 11 – to be abandoned. This age began with praise for keeping them found in the apostle’s time, and end with the Lord OUTSIDE of HIS OWN HOUSE, soliciting individual fellowship in the absence of corporate faithfulness. We are near those last days.

Second, what the symbol represents. The symbol of the head covering stands above others concerning the subject of the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are few Christian symbols, despite the inventions of men. There is water baptism, symbolizing the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our subsequent identification with Him in His death burial, and resurrection. There are the elements of the Lord’s supper, the cup, and the loaf, symbolizing His body both physical and mystical, the efficacy of His shed blood, and His absence.

But it is the head covering which symbolizes, not only to those here below who understand it, but to the angels in the heavenly places, the glorification and Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ which were at once accomplished when he was glorified and adored in the heavens, as His Father said, “Thy throne, O God, is forever,”; and “Let all the angels worship Him.”

The head covering is about glory, and who gets it. The glory of the woman is her hair. The glory of the man is the woman. The glory of Christ is the man. The glory of God is Christ. The purpose of the church which is His body is to “reveal” (= take the veil away!) the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. In order for that to be effectively expressed, mans’ glory must be veiled, which is the woman, who must first veil her glory, which is her hair.

It is equally important that the man be uncovered, so that the glory of Christ is unveiled.

It is interesting to note that, while there appears to be all manner of controversy around the woman being covered, few if any men are busy trying to wear hats in Christian church meetings.

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Comment by Daniel Lang » 19th August, 2005 @ 01:47:16 PM

Yes, John, a seeming insignificant point of doctrine but as you pointed out a place of marvelous grace. Paul, my brother in the gospel, in 1 Cor 11:1 exhorts the brethren to “Be ye followers of me, as I follow Christ.” Judge all things by Christ and his gospel. What does a cover on the head have to do with Christ? Much! Spiritually the cover is a sign of submission. The woman to the man, and all to Christ. As you stated “this is not something to contend about”, but being submitted to Christ is. 1 Tim 2, starting in verse 11 speaks of the woman’s submission and not usurping authority over man. Paul uses the scriptures of the prophets that testify of Christ for His authority. By the order of the prophetic utterances in Genesis 2 & 3, the order of creation and the order of the fall, Christ is wonderfully declared. It was the woman who was deceived and the man who willingly partook of the fruit giving us understanding of Christ. Christ willingly took the consequences of sin, and death itself, tasting death for all men. Do we want Christ to be deceived? Thus if we permit a woman to usurp authority over a man we contradict Christ. That is the order of the old heaven and the old earth which are written about the scriptures of the prophets. In Christ there is neither male nor female. In eternity to come whether we are male or female we will all rule with Christ. In our day and hour where covering is removed and the submission of a woman to a man is distorted and both the submission of man and woman to God is distorted, the Spirit of God will emphasize this submission and at the very least, a spiritual covering for all who are apart of the assembly to Christ. I speak of men and women but there is a great mystery here.(Eph 5:31-32) It is always good that a woman be submitted to a man, whether her father or husband, for the sake of messengers. If her father can not keep himself pure she should marry. At the time of this present distress it is better to be as Paul, but it is also better to marry than burn in the judgment. There is much sin in the church because of believers dealing with unsubmitted women. Instead of being able to go to their husband or father they go to them in private. It is called Christian counseling.

Grace and love and peace is in Christ,
Daniel of Detroit

Comment by jon burton » 6th July, 2008 @ 01:44:41 PM

Hello amd Shalom
I have a very hard quwstion to ask you. In the letter of Matthew there is a mention
of a ressurection by many after Yahsuah arose from the dead. Why is there not another word about this in any other writings? You would think Peter would have told about this at Pentecost and some of the
ressurected would have given testements as to the fact. Matthew is the only one that brings any light on one of the greatest hopes we have as those of the faith. It is a real mystery and I don’t think anyone will
have a answer. There is one old book that quotes some names of some of them taht came forth but the book is not considered relieble. Thank you and may YAH Bless Jon

Comment by DC » 28th July, 2008 @ 10:06:52 PM

Again:) To Mr. Malone, I thought the story was quite interesting regarding the head covering. I would like to hear more about it. Can you tell me where I can get this info beside what Corinthians says…its a little grey to me. Thanks a lot and I enjoyed reading it.

Comment by Jack » 20th December, 2015 @ 11:55:38 AM

Laurie,I was in an accident and my pevils was broken in four places including the joint where my left legs fits in. The Lord impressed me about 4 months before the accident to get Kenneth Hagin’s cd on healing from amazon.com. He was a powerful teacher on healing. I listened to it every night; it is a wonderful cd to lift your faith and give you hope. I purchased it to lift my spirits, my children both live far away. When I had the accident and was waiting for them to cut me out of the car, I lifted my hands and thanked the Lord for my healing. No doubt was there! I was taken to the first hospital, scans were done and then was sent on to the trauma center in Louisville. They did more scans in Louisville and when the scans were read, my bones had moved into place and had started healing between about 7pm in Bardstown and 1 or 2 am in Louisville. There was still a long recovery period but no surgery had to be done. I am completely healed.I am 67 and praise the Lord for his mercy and healing. Remember the song It is no secret what God can do, what he’s done for others, He’ll do for you.

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