Resurrection, Part 8

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Resurrection, Part 8

In our last blog posting (Blog 9 Part 7 of 11) we read the following from 1st Corinthians 15:20,

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.”

And we talked all about first-fruits or first born. Then we read,

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

And we talked at some little length about this concept – that in Adam all people die in a couple ways and how in Christ all are made alive. And we talked about resurrection, and justification, recalling Romans 5:18 which says,

“Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all.”

It was in this context that I presented the idea that if or since God hung the entire human species and our sin and death on one man named Adam, who took all of us inhabitants into the abyss of separation from God, then I subsequently trust that He also hung the entire Human race’s salvation from sin and death on another, a superior man who reconciled us all.

Still talking about the resurrection, Paul now says:

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Many people wonder about the importance of eschatology or the study of end times and when confronted with questions about it happening, they often say:

?We’ll whether He has come or not doesn’t change anything – God is still on the throne and I am ready to be raptured or to die and meet him either way.”

In some sense this is good and true and right.   But in another sense, it is a dodge from a very important fact – if He came back – like He and his apostles promised that he would, then we have arrived at a very different age – and if we are in that age, then we are not in an age where we are still waiting for Him.   And if we are in that age, then the faith looks very, very different than how it is presented to the church-Bride in the Apostolic age. Here’s why.  At verse 23 Paul writes, regarding the resurrection,

“But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

This is Paul’s straight-up explanation of the order of the resurrection to believers in that day.  Of course, futurists are waiting for this to occur in the future.  But if He came, and those who were Christs at his coming were raised, then we should consider what he writes next very seriously, when he says at verse 24:

“Then cometh the end,”

And this end is described in the remaining verses where Paul then adds,

 . . . when he (Yeshua) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he (Yeshua) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he (Yeshua) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Remember, all this would happen when the end cometh, and the end would come when those who are Christ’s would be resurrected at His coming.  So, we know, that at Yeshua coming, those who are His would be resurrected after Him and this would launch what Paul describes as “the end,” again, Paul says,

. . . when he (Yeshua) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he (Yeshua) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

25 For he (Yeshua) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

And we can see that death would at this point be destroyed – again, all death by and through His victory.  Most people believe that he is talking about the end of the actual physical world, and many believe that this end is still headed our way, but remember, it is directly tied (by Paul) to His coming. Let’s see what the scripture, yes again, says relative to what Paul describes as “the end.”  We know that the Apostolic Record opens up with John the Baptist preaching that the axe was laid at the root of the tree and warning all about the wrath and end to come.

The writer of Hebrews opens his epistle up, and speaking of God talking through prophets of old, says that God . . .

“in these last days has spoken unto us by his Son.”

Last days?  That is how the writer describes that day and that time then – as the “last days!” The last days before the end of that former age.  This is the end of which the scripture speaks.  Yeshua referenced this end or those last days when teaching his chosen twelve the following in Matthew 10:21-22, saying,

21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

We read that today and think we are heading for the same end as they were, the end of all things, but we are not.  We are headed toward the end of our lives – they were headed toward “the End” of that former age of Material religion.

Closer to his death, Yeshua, again in Matthew 24, responds to his apostles asking him about the end of the age, and he says,

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

He also said in that same chapter at verse 14,

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the region for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

Many years later the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:8 that these words of Yeshua were confirmed, saying:

“First, I thank my God through Yeshua Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (kosmos)

He also said to the church at Colosse:

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.

Earlier in that chapter he also said,

Colossians 1:5-6 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.

The writer of Hebrews told the Jewish converts to remember,

Hebrew 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

And Paul wrote to the church at Rome, saying,

(13:12) “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

He wrote to the church at Philippi (4:5) “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Then speaking of the end that Yeshua mentions to the Apostles (and that Paul references here in our chapter of 1st Corinthians 15) Peter, who wrote way late in the game, also said, 

1st Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Peter, in his day, said, “the end of all things is at hand?  He did.  To them/then.  So, we know then that he meant the words, “all things,” to be relative to that former age that was about to end, and coupling all this with what Paul wrote here in 1st Corinthians 15, we know that this end could not have come unless Yeshua returned!

Finally, John the Beloved, the last to write it is believed, wrote in his epistles,

1st John 2:18  Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Later in 1st John 4:3 he wrote, 

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Yeshua Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already it is in the world.”

Now listen to our text again, where Paul says,

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 “Then cometh the end,”

This end was prophesied about, it was what John the Baptist came to warn the Jews about, it was that Yeshua said “was coming,” that Paul said “was near,” and that Peter and John both said had arrived, and it could not happen unless Yeshua returned.  And with His return came the first-fruits of the grave (Yeshua) to take His bride, who were His at His coming.  Now listen (again) to the rest of verse 24 of 1st Corinthians 15 and see how Paul describes what would be after His return and the end of that age. He has said, “then cometh the end,” and then adds,

“. . . when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

So again, in our last blog we read the following,

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.

And we talked all about first-fruits, first born, and the like in the context of the Bible. Then we read:

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

And we talked at some little length about this concept – that in Adam all people die in a couple ways and how in Christ all are made alive.  Then we talked about resurrection, and justification, recalling Romans 5:18 which says

“Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all.”

It was in this context that I presented the idea that if or since God hung the entire human species and its sin and death on one man named Adam, who took all of us inhabitants into the abyss of separation from God, then I trust that He also hung the entire Human race on the acts of another single soul -His Son – who through His death saved us  all from sin and who through His resurrection offers all eternal life.

Go back to verse 24 of 1st Corinthians 15 where Paul says, 

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

This time and day were prophesied of in the Book of Daniel (7:13-14), which was written hundreds of years earlier, saying,

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

Then at verse 24 of the same chapter Daniel adds,

Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Because of the hyperbolic nature of the language of these passages, some have trouble assigning their fulfillment to 70 AD and the reason for this is that they see the descriptions as literal and material and not figurative and spiritual. What Paul is describing in verse 24 of 1st Corinthians 15 is the winding up or the consummation of the affairs (LISTEN) under the “mediatorial reign of Christ.” The word “end” (telos) properly describes a limit, termination or completion of a thing. 

Remember, the one true God (named YAHAVAH) was Father to the Nation of Israel and had promised to send them a Messiah.  This Messiah – YHWH’s only begotten Son – would do/“fulfill”/complete – all that was necessary for God to accomplish His will and ways on earth

That mediatorial work and labor of Yeshua had a beginning in the material world – launched at the incarnation – and it would have an end; not at His physical death, nor at His resurrection or at His ascension.  That end, according to Paul, would come when He returned with Judgment on those who rejected Him and with reward for those who received Him by faith, who is called “His Bride” in scripture.

That bride is the very church that the gates of hell would not possibly prevail against – she was under apostolic rule and living apostles who would not fail in their call; then the apostles were killed off one by one (except for John who appears to have been taken with the Bride) and once they were gone, the end of that age was complete and we entered into what Paul simply describes as, “the End,” when . . .

“he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

Scripture describes (as Paul here described) this time as when Yeshua would then “depart” from the right hand of God.  In describing the angels of heaven and comparing them to Yeshua, the writer of Hebrews asks (in chapter 1:13),

“But to which of the angels said God at any time, “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?”

Years ago, it was this very passage that launched me into a search because I had never really considered the fact that the scripture clearly teaches that at some point in time, Yeshua would NOT be at His Father’s side, but would instead “sit there until (a point in time occurred).”  When is that point in time when Yeshua would step aside?  It’s right her in these passages given to us by Paul, who, yet again, writes,

Then comes the end . . . when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

In all of this we find some inextricable factors that must be taken into consideration.  

First, there will be an end, and in that end, Yeshua will step from his place at the right hand of the Father.  This “end” occurs only after Yeshua returns but John and Yeshua and the apostles (who wrote) all said that that end was approaching, coming, getting close, near, “at hand” and was “finally upon them” – so much so that John the Beloved opens Revelation up with Yeshua saying (on at least five occasions to the actual real seven churches in Asia minor in that day),

“Behold, I come back quickly.”

If He came back quickly as He says, then “the end came” too – it’s as simple as that.  Therefore, at the end of all things, which Peter said was present in his day, Yeshua would have,

  • delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; 
  • This would occur when he will have put down all rule and all authority and power.  (And until that day we know that . . .
  • He (Yeshua) must reign, until he hath put all enemies under his feet.
  • And finally, we know that once all enemies are under His control (Verse 26)
  • The last enemy that would be destroyed is death.

So, we have to ask ourselves, is it possible that all of these things have occurred?  Please try and hear me on this!  The answer we give to this question is predicated on whether a person believes that the Kingdom of God has a literal material presence here on earth OR whether they see it as a spiritual kingdom that was established nearly two thousand years ago in heaven which spiritually operates here on earth.  If the latter, then we can conclude that it is a kingdom that is NOT of this world, but a Kingdom:

  • established on high,
  • a kingdom that operates on the heart and mind of individuals and not externally.
  • A kingdom that is not subject to material growth or physical presence, but one that is viewed as having been wholly victorious spiritually, while leaving the physical world to its own devices.

What I mean by that last point is a reiteration of the fact that God’s victory is spiritual and these victories are all seen from this invisible heavenly perspective, and not from the products or perspectives of a material earthly world.  For this reason, even though Yeshua conquered sin, we still have the presence of sin (missing the mark) in this world which has been overcome.  For this reason, we still have physical death in the world kingdom which again, is not His.  Once every single human being leaves their flesh, the victory Yeshua has had will be manifestly declared to all and every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Yeshua is Lord, some in a resurrection of life and others in a resurrection of limitation.

It is an interesting concept of Yeshua delivering up the Kingdom to His Father but when we think about it, but if all the labors are over, and the mediation assigned to Him is done and the victory has truly been had, and Yeshua purpose in reconciling the world to God is complete, having rescued His Bride, and established the Kingdom, with judgment falling on the House of Israel and His bride saved, why not?  Since that time the entire universe or universes are in the hands of YAHAVAH.   So, where does that leave us in this world, and where does that leave those who are Christ’s by faith?

Remember, God through His Christ has accomplished everything necessary for every single person to decide how they will spend their time.  I maintain that because of Christ, the world has returned to the Edenic state where all of us are like Adam and Eve – free to choose – but our choices, if they be selfish and evil – cannot trump His victory.

This leaves all of us – especially followers of Yeshua – living on what I call a two-way street. 

He made a garden – Adam and Eve chose what to do in it.

He made an earth – human beings choose how to resonate and respond to it. 

He parted the Red Sea and gave the Nation of Israel a promised land – they chose how to enter it and what to do once they got there.

So it is with the finished work of His Son.  It is finished and his work has had the total and complete victory over all spiritual powers in high and dark places – over the works and wonders of Satan and hell and the grave. Every human being is now left, in the face of this amazing victory, with the decision on how they will respond to this wonderful completion.  The question that remains since the wrap up of “all things” material is whether people want His victory in their lives – or not.  Therein lies the choice and response of each and every individuals part.  

I sort of think of this wonderful economy given to the world by God is sort of like an adult teaching a kid to surf.   You pick the kid up and lay them on the board.  You drag them out into the surf because they haven’t really learned the art of paddling yet.  You adjust them on the board you have provided them then you turn them to face the shore, and you wait and choose the right oncoming swell. And as the wave approaches, you, in the roll of God completing everything for us, push the child into the wave that is behind them, supplying the speed to catch it. This is akin to Yeshua finished work in having victory over the fall and God giving all people the freedom to choose how to respond to it all.

In the surfing analogy, once the person has been pushed forward on the wave, given life, it is up to them on what to do with the help.

Roll off the board and drown.

Roll off and swim to shore.

Ride the board on their belly to shore.

Try and stand and therefore probably falling.

Continue to try or give up.

The options for life are almost unlimited and everyone will be rewarded according to the choices they make.  But the thing is it is up to every individual to try and learn to surf . . . or not.   

So, let’s wrap this part up with an observation.  In describing the world and Kingdom after the consummation of all things, Revelation 21, depicts the age that would continue for us, and says,

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my Son!”

And we are left with the fact that in this age of the Victorious Kingdom, those who want God in their lives, those who choose to try to stand for Him, will – through Him and His strength, overcome.  I submit to you, however, that most people on earth will not nor care to believe nor will they care to become Sons and Daughters.  They have zero interest – and God knew this and yet still had victory for them, through His Son.  But I also submit to you that there are those who do want to learn to stand – to overcome – and that the promise for them is that will “inherit all things, and God will he His or her God, and he and she will be his Son or daughter.”

This training is for anyone seeking to not just live in this world it is for seekers of God who yearn and desire to become Sons and Daughters through His strength.  Our focus is on the few who seek this – it’s not to provide a church, or to sell you books, or to get your membership or allegiances.  We are in place specifically to relate with and encourage all seekers of truth who longing to overcome themselves hope to inherit all things as Sons and Daughters of God and to enter into His kingdom as such.

It’s interesting but that word “overcometh” is nih-ka-o in the Greek and from it we get our ever-popular shoe company, Nike.  Nike means to subdue (literally or figuratively):–conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.   He has had the victory over all things but the question remains – have we, as followers and disciples of the King, allowed Him to do the same for us in our lives?

At this point in 1st Corinthians 15, Paul, speaking of Yeshua, says at verse 27,

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

This passage is speaking of Yeshua when it says, And when he has put all things under his feet.  But Paul seems to think it important to explain his use of the word, “all” here so he adds

“But when he (Yeshua, by the way) saith “all things are put under him,” it is obvious that he (God) is an exception, which did put all things under him.”

A couple of things about this passage.  First of all, it seems like Paul is citing a passage from somewhere else as he quotes God saying prophetically, (it appears), that “all things would be put under the Christ.”  Again, we have a problem finding this passage although there is a passage in Psalm that says something similar (Psalm 8:6) but it has application to man and man’s dominion of man.  Some scholars do not feel justified to use this passage as the basis of Paul’s words.  But I do.  This is what the verses say there in Psalms 8:3-8,

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 

Again, these verses are speaking to the nature and state of Man, His position on earth relative to the order of thing and his domination over them – the sheep and oxen fowls and fish . . . right?  To me, Yeshua of Nazareth, born of a woman, born under the Law, the Second Adam, is perfectly described here.   And it is something we often overlook in the ambiance of classic Trinitarian rhetoric – which is this:

God, who is called the Father all through scripture, took His words and filled the child born of a woman with them.  His name was Yeshua.  He did this because it would take a man to redeem mankind – He obviously was not going to do the redeeming from heaven –  for His reasons the redemption of flesh had to occur by flesh.  Where man was given dominion over the earth, the Son of Man, Yeshua, had dominion over everything and this is how Paul was able to take these passages from Psalm 8 and apply them to his description of the Messiah.  Here in verse 27 all Paul is doing is saying that when he writes that Yeshua “overcame all things” God Himself is exempted from the line, “all things” and that’s the whole point of this passage.  At this point he goes on and says this radical line that is often ignored by believers today (verse 28)

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Do you automatically notice Paul’s unique distinction between God and Yeshua the Son here?   When Paul wrote this, what he is describing here had not happened, meaning, all things were not yet subdued by Christ.   Satan was roaming in anger, knowing His time was short, and all sorts of prophetic utterances had to be completed which culminated and occurred in His promised return.  Paul therefore says, “and when all things shall be subdued unto Him.”  Then he goes on to describe what things would look like at that time – which we will discuss in our next post.

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