All Things Under His Feet

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. 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” (1 Cor. 15:27–28).

This section begins with a quotation from Psalm 8:6, and the citation is applied to Christ. But if we look at Psalm 8 generally, and see how it is quoted in Hebrews, we know that the psalm is about mankind and, as the New Testament teaches us, about the new mankind in Christ. This treatment needs to be quoted at length.

For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:5–9).

The world to come is not subjected to angels, but rather to man—even though the psalmist wonders at how kind God has been to man. Man was initially lower than the angels, but has now been promoted past the angels. All things on earth in principle have therefore been subjected to man, but it has to be man in Christ. This happens gradually—we do not yet see all things subject to man. But we do see Jesus, made lower than the angels for a time, but now exalted to the right hand of the Father. Because Jesus has been exalted in this way, we know that all enemies of Christ will be gradually subdued through the power of the gospel, from tornadoes to thistles, from cancer to crabgrass.

Putting it all together, this means that everything will be brought under the dominion of mankind, but it must be mankind in Christ. Apart from Christ, we can only make things worse.

So Christ has been seated at the right hand of the Father, and there He will remain until all his enemies are His footstool (Ps. 110:1). The one exception is the last standing enemy of death, which will be overthrown at Christ’s coming in the general resurrection of the dead. Circling back around to our passage in 1 Corinthians, everything is subjected to Christ with the obvious exception of the one who is subjecting everything to Christ—which is the Father—and so it will be that the entire cosmos will be subjected to Jesus, and He will be subjected to His Father. Why? So that God may be all in everything.

-from Doug Wilson’s blog Blog and Mablog

I am the Resurrection and the Life

Thomas Torrance has written the supreme book on the topic of the resurrection, Space, Time and Resurrection.  I’ve provided here just a few quotes … from p. 221:

“What Jesus Christ is in his resurrection, he is in himself. The resurrection was not just an event that happened to Christ, for it corresponded to the kind of person he was in his own being.”

My paraphrase: it was impossible for Jesus to remain dead, because being resurrected was part of who he was. Resurrection was exponential of his identity. His very life was such that death could not overtake it, but must be overtaken and swallowed up by it. “I am resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). “I am … the life” (John 14:26). Just as the resurrection is an a posteriori argument for Christ’s deity, his deity is an a priori argument for his resurrection. Why was Jesus Christ raised? Because it was who he was – eternal, life-spilling-over God – to be so.

resurrection-space-time

Here is a later passage from Torrance which reveals his meaning more fully (p. 236):

“The actual resurrection of Jesus from the tomb was recognized to be in entire accordance with his nature and person – but that was the stupendous thing about it. This was not just a miracle, not some wonderful event or portent, but something which in all its wonderfulness was not a whit different from the essential nature of the risen one in himself. And what is more, it corresponded to the claim of Jesus, as given in the Johannine literature, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ ‘I am the truth.’

He is himself the reality of the resurrection and the new life that breaks through and out of death. He is the creator-God among mankind, at work even in the midst of death and corruption and perdition and nothingness.

With this recognition of the utter consistency between the resurrection event and the essence of the resurrected one, came the full realization that the whole life of Jesus, together with his resurrection, was the manifestation among men and women and on earth and in time of the ultimate and original and final creative activity of God. That is why the resurrection is so baffling to thought and observation.”

Islam’s view of Jesus

In Islam, Isa ibn Maryam ( ‘Jesus, son of Mary’‎), or Jesus, is understood to be the penultimate prophet and messenger of Allah (God) and al-Masih, the Arabic term for Messiah, the “Christ”, sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl in Arabic) with a new revelation: al-Injīl (Arabic for “the Gospel”). Jesus is believed to be a prophet, who neither married nor had any children, and is reflected as a significant figure, being mentioned in the Quran in 93 ayaat (Arabic for verses) with various titles attached such as “Son of Mary”, “Spirit of God”, and the “Word of God” among other relational terms, directly and indirectly, over 180 times.  In total, Jesus is mentioned 187 times in the Quran as such the most mentioned person with the name Isa mentioned 25 times, in titles mentioned 79 times, in 3rd person  mentioned 48 times, in 1st person  mentioned 35 times.

The Quran (central religious text of Islam) and most Hadith (testimonial reports) mention Jesus to have been born a “pure boy” (without sin) to Mary as the result of virginal conception, similar to the event of the Annunciation in Christianity. In Islamic theology, Jesus is believed to have performed many miracles, several being mentioned in the Quran such as speaking as an infant, healing various ailments like blindness, raising the dead to life, making birds out of clay and breathing life into them.  Over the centuries Islamic writing has referenced other miracles like casting out demons, having borrowed from pre-Islamic sources, some heretical, and from canonical sources as legends were expanded. Like all prophets in Islamic thought, Jesus is also called a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path”.

In Islam, Jesus is believed to have been the precursor to Muhammad, attributing the name Ahmad to someone who would follow Jesus. Islam traditionally teaches the rejection of divinity, that Jesus was not God incarnate, nor the Son of God and, according to some interpretations of the Quran, the Islamic view of Jesus’ death and crucifixion is widely denied and not believed to have occurred.  Despite the earliest Muslim traditions and exegesis quoting somewhat conflicting reports regarding death and length of death, the mainstream Muslim belief is that Jesus didn’t suffer death but was instead raised alive to heaven.

Muslim tradition believes Jesus will return to earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”, also known as the Antichrist).            Read full article

Heaven is Not Our Home

N.T. Wright is one of the most important Christian churchmen and scholars in a generation.  He has written much on the Resurrection and its revolutionary implications for our lives.  The following is from Christianity Today;

“There is no agreement in the church today about what happens to people when they die. Yet the New Testament is crystal clear on the matter: In a classic passage, Paul speaks of “the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23). There is no room for doubt as to what he means: God’s people are promised a new type of bodily existence, the fulfillment and redemption of our present bodily life. The rest of the early Christian writings, where they address the subject, are completely in tune with this.

The traditional picture of people going to either heaven or hell as a one-stage, postmortem journey represents a serious distortion and diminution of the Christian hope. Bodily resurrection is not just one odd bit of that hope. It is the element that gives shape and meaning to the rest of the story of God’s ultimate purposes. If we squeeze it to the margins, as many have done by implication, or indeed, if we leave it out altogether, as some have done quite explicitly, we don’t just lose an extra feature, like buying a car that happens not to have electrically operated mirrors. We lose the central engine, which drives it and gives every other component its reason for working.”read rest of article in Christianity Today

Judaism’s view of Jesus

Among followers of Judaism, Jesus is viewed as having been the most influential, and consequently the most damaging, of all false messiahs.  However, since the traditional Jewish belief is that the messiah has not yet come and the Messianic Age is not yet present, the total rejection of Jesus as either messiah or deity has never been a central issue for Judaism.

Judaism has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. Judaism also forbids the worship of a person as a form of idolatry, since the central belief of Judaism is the absolute unity and singularity of God.    Jewish eschatology holds that the coming of the Messiah will be associated with a specific series of events that have not yet occurred, including the return of Jews to their homeland and the rebuilding of The Temple, a Messianic Age of peace and understanding during which “the knowledge of God” fills the earth, and since Jews believe that none of these events occurred during the lifetime of Jesus (nor have they occurred afterwards), he is not a candidate for messiah.

Traditional views of Jesus have been mostly negative, although in the Middle Ages Judah Halevi and Maimonides viewed Jesus (like Muhammad) as an important preparatory figure for a future universal ethical monotheism of the Messianic Age. Some modern Jewish thinkers have sympathetically speculated that the historical Jesus may have been closer to Judaism than either the Gospels or traditional Jewish accounts would indicate, starting in the 18th century with the Orthodox Jacob Emden and the reformer Moses Mendelssohn. This view is still espoused by some.

Background

The belief that Jesus is God, the Son of God, or a person of the Trinity, is incompatible with Jewish theology. Jews believe Jesus did not fulfill messianic prophecies that establish the criteria for the coming of the messiah.  Authoritative texts of Judaism reject Jesus as God, Divine Being, intermediary between humans and God, messiah or saint. Belief in the Trinity is also held to be incompatible with Judaism, as are a number of other tenets of Christianity.

In Judaism, the idea of God as a duality or trinity is heretical — it is even considered by some polytheistic.  According to Judaic beliefs, the Torah rules out a trinitarian God in Deuteronomy (6:4): “Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”

Judaism teaches that it is heretical for any man to claim to be God, part of God, or the literal son of God. The Jerusalem Talmud (Ta’anit 2:1) states explicitly: “if a man claims to be God, he is a liar.”                                                            Read the full article

 

 

 

How did the Talmudic “Noahide Laws” Become Part of American Law?

By Bill Dannemeyer
U.S. Congressman, 1979-1992

     “Your U.S. government can now legally kill Christians for the “crime” of worshipping Jesus Christ!  A diabolic deception has been perpetrated on the American people by their OWN leaders, Senators and Congressmen, who have sold their soul to the devil.  On March 5, 1991, in the House of Representatives, and March 7, 1991, in the U.S. Senate, without any knowledge of, or input by, the people of the United States, U.S. Senators and Congressmen passed a law that is so outrageous – and frankly unconstitutional – that it forces the American people to be bound by a set of monstrous rules, called the Noahide Laws, rules that make the belief in Jesus Christ a crime punishable by decapitation by guillotine!  On March 20, 1991, President George H.W. Bush, a supposed Christian, signed the bill into law.

          Before you respond, “NO, that cannot be – not in our free country!” let me explain.

          The passage of this law, HJ Res. 104, is especially troublesome to me because I was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives at the time it was passed.  Even worse, I was in the House Chamber the very day that is was passed, voting on other legislation.  Yet I, as a U.S. Congressman, had NO KNOWLEDGE that it had been passed or even that it was to be brought up for a vote.

          How could this be?  How could the deception be so pervasive that those of us who had sworn to uphold our country’s Constitution, particularly those of us (few, indeed) who really took our position seriously as the protectors of the people, could be totally in the dark regarding the content of this bill and its passage by the leaders of this country – by treachery and deceit?

          Here’s how it happened!

          On January 31, 1991, an innocuous-sounding Resolution was introduced, designating March 26, 1991 as “Education Day, USA.”  It was purposely given this name to deceive the American people.  It was, in fact, a Double Deception because not only did the Resolution have nothing to do with “Education,” it was also deceptively billed as a vehicle for recognizing the eighty-ninth birthday of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.  But in truth, the Resolution was nothing less than a secret, under-handed plot to control the American people by the Noahide Laws – a subterfuge for the elimination of Christianity, the elimination of all Christians, and the enslavement of all remaining “Gentiles.”” read entire article

What is the Gospel?

From Michael Williams, author of one of my top 10 favorites, Far as the Curse is Found;

What is the gospel? It seems like such a simple question. After all, the gospel is at the heart of the Christian faith. The “gospel” is what Christians believe. It is the “gospel” that saves. Yet after years of asking my Freshman Bible classes this very question and receiving no quick reply, I realize that defining the gospel is sometimes confusing even for Christians. read rest of article

Decode the secret of the Kingdom of God and the Anti-Kingdom