The Fifth Commandment--Part 2
May 28, 2010
The Fifth Commandment admonishes us to honor our father and mother. In the larger sense, this is a command to honor our Heavenly Father (and Mother). Yahweh is our Father, and El Shaddai is our Mother. These are the male and female aspects of the One God, as we read in Gen. 17:1,
"Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, YAHWEH appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am EL SHADDAI. . ."
In other words, they are the same God but revealed by two names (character types). Abram only knew God by the name of El Shaddai (Ex. 6:3), but since Moses later knew Him as Yahweh, he tells us that it was actually Yahweh that appeared to Abram. Even so, Yahweh revealed Himself to Abram only as El Shaddai.
El Shaddai is "the breasted one," the feminine side of God who gave birth to Creation. Yahweh is the Father, the lawgiver and disciplinarian in the family.
We are to honor both father and mother, and so this includes knowing and understanding both the feminine and masculine side of God. Together, they represent the wisdom and power of God.
The idea of fatherhood and motherhood implies Sonship. A true Son in the biblical sense is one who honors his father and mother when he is formed into the Image of God. This is the main focus of Scripture, the purpose of Creation, and the divine plan for our lives. Other religions focus on attaining personal perfection; others focus upon being perfect servants or slaves of God; still others strive to attain "oneness with the universe;" but John 1:12 says,
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."
It is about Sonship, formed out of a family relationship between God and man. It began with man's creation in the Image of God (Gen. 1:26). The plan was delayed and extended in time through sin after mankind fell from his position. Then Jesus Christ came to deal with sin and to bring us back to the Image of God (2 Cor. 3:18).
A Son honors his Father when he imitates Him, not only in his works but in His character. A perfect servant does all that the Master requires, but a Son is one whose character is the same as the Father. A servant does the will of God against his own will, if necessary; a Son can do nothing except the will of God, because he has the same character. When the Son matures to the place where he is in the likeness of his Father, only then is he fulfilling the Fifth Commandment.
The Fifth Commandment, then, is ultimately about Sonship. The Fatherhood of God is already assumed. The Commandment is directed at the Sons, not the Father.
Sonship requires time to mature. There are three stages of development inherent in Sonship. When a son is born, he is presented to God on the eighth day. That is level-one Sonship, and the infant's primary needs are met by his mother. When the son is older, he needs discipline in order to begin forming his character into the Image of the Father. When he is fully grown, he receives the huiothesia (Gal. 4:5), translated "the adoption of sons."
This is not the best translation, because "adoption" today implies that the son was not born of this Father and Mother. Huios means "sons," and thesis means "placement, establishment." So huiothesia is better translated as "Son Placement." It is the time when the Father gives power of attorney to the Son, so that as the Son speaks the words of the Father, it is as if the Father were speaking directly.
We ourselves are "born" through Passover and presented to God at the wave-sheaf offering. At Pentecost we are given the law to instill in us the character of our Father as we hear His voice and as He writes the law in our hearts. We come fully into Son Placement when we are matured and are fully in the Image of God through the feast of Tabernacles.
Paul tells us in Romans 8:19 that this is what all of creation is eagerly awaiting. It is the purpose of creation and the goal of history. Verse 23 says,
"And not only this, but also WE OURSELVES, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons [huiothesia], the redemption of our body."
As believers, we are still in the earlier stages of Sonship. Yes, even now we are the Sons of God (1 John 3:2) in the same way that an infant or child is a Son. But Paul says that we are "waiting eagerly for the huiothesia," because we have not yet matured to the full stature of Christ (Eph. 4:13). To this end the five-fold ministry has been equipping us (Eph. 4:12).
Sonship is based upon the pattern of Jesus Christ Himself, not only in His character but also in His manner of birth. Matthew 1:20 says,
"But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit'."
Jesus had a heavenly Father and an earthly mother, thus becoming both the Son of God and the Son of Man. We too must follow this pattern. The Holy Spirit comes upon us to conceive Christ in you. Paul says in Col. 1:27 that this is the great "secret" now revealed through Christ. That Holy Seed that is conceived in you is residing in the Most Holy Place of your Temple. The Christ in your Spirit has both a heavenly Father and an earthly mother. You are its mother, and so this Holy Seed is the next generation for both God and Man.
Both you and God have a stake in this. God is looking for a Son Company (i.e., Head and Body) to inherit the earth. We ourselves are seeking the same inheritor. This "Christ in you" is not Jesus the Head, but is Christ the Body.
As children, the greatest honor that we can give to our heavenly Father is to be Sons in His Image.
In another way of looking at this, we are also part of the Bride of Christ insofar as our calling to be the earthly mother of this "Christ in you." We are all Marys bringing forth Christ and praising Him with the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). While our flesh can only produce Ishmael, our spirit can only bring forth Isaac. The fleshly "bride" is our Hagar, the bondwoman, the servant-slave who is compelled to obey the will of God. The spiritual "bride" is our Sarah, the free woman, who conceives out of love, desire, and unity with God.
God is only partially honored when a slave-bride brings forth a son. This is because the slave-bride is not a decision maker. She is simply used as a baby-maker. She has an Old Covenant "fear" relationship with her husband and is expected to submit to the will of her husband, regardless of her personal feelings. Such a relationship can only bring forth an Ishmael, because such a son bears the characteristics of the mother as well as the father. An Ishmael-son may have the faith of Father Abraham, but he will also have the fleshly practices of his Egyptian mother.
God is fully honored when a free woman brings forth Isaac through a New Covenant "love" relationship. She does not merely "submit" to the will of her Husband, but is in full agreement with Him. It is no longer compliance, but unity.
So the Fifth Commandment is about Sonship, but it is also applicable to another form of honor--that of a wife honoring her Husband. In this case it is about the Bride of Christ being in full unity with her Husband in a New Covenant relationship that brings forth the Promised Seed that will inherit the earth.
Dr. Stephen Jones