We continue with our rebuttal https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/muhammad-underneath-the-glorious-feet-of-the-lord-jesus-pt-1/ to Williams’ distortion http://bloggingtheology.net/2016/09/16/paying-the-piper/ of the statements of the risen Lord’s inspired emissary.
Paul on Christ’s Everlasting Kingdom
Not only did the blessed Apostle speak of God’s kingdom being the kingdom of Christ,
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Ephesians 5:5
His dearly beloved Son,
“who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:13-14
But Paul also affirmed that Christ’s reign never ends, since it continues into the world to come:
“and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, NOT ONLY IN THIS WORLD, BUT ALSO IN THAT WHICH IS TO COME: AND HATH PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23
Paul’s language here concerning all things being put under the glorious feet of Christ is identical to what he wrote in the very passage that Williams wrenched out of context:
“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. For he must reign, TILL 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 Corinthians 15:24-28
This affirms that the Apostle wasn’t insinuating that Christ’s reign would completely end at the close of this age. We will have more to say about this point in the next part of our response.
The other line evidence, which confirms that Paul believed in the eternal rule of Christ, is the ease in which he applies OT texts that speak of Yahweh to the Lord Jesus. Case in point:
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of CHRIST. Wherefore he saith, When HE ascended up on high, HE led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that HE ascended, what is it but that HE also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? HE that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that HE might fill all things.)” Ephesians 4:7-10
In this passage, the blessed Apostle has taken the following reference from the Psalms, which speaks of Yahweh God ascending on high after setting his people free from captivity,
“Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” Psalm 68:18
And has adapted Jeremiah’s depiction of Yahweh’s filling up the entire creation with his spiritual presence,
“Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:23-24
And ascribed them to the risen Christ!
That’s not all Paul has done. He went as far as to take the OT Day of Yahweh, which is the day in which Yahweh comes to judge the world in righteousness,
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” Amos 5:18-20
“The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.” Zephaniah 1:14-17
And turned that into the Day of the Lord Jesus!
“so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-9
“in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5:4-5
Paul even went as far as to ascribe to the risen Christ,
“unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
The very worship that the OT insists is to be given to Yahweh alone!
“Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.” Psalm 99:5-7
“I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD… I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.” Psalm 116:13, 17
“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:23
Thus, it is obvious that for Paul, Jesus Christ is none other than the incarnation of Yahweh God Almighty. As such, Jesus’ rule must be eternal since the Hebrew Bible emphatically proclaims that Yahweh is the eternal King who reigns over an indestructible kingdom:
“The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” Exodus 15:18
“The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.” Psalm 29:10
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:13
“But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.” Jeremiah 10:10
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17
Therefore, by identifying the risen Christ as Yahweh God in the flesh Paul would have surely known that this would have meant that Jesus’ reign is eternal and thus indestructible. There is simply no way around this fact.
Here is a helpful breakdown of the above points, which should enable Williams to see the inescapable conclusion of our logic:
A. Yahweh God is the eternal King whose rule shall never end.
B. Jesus Christ is Yahweh God in the flesh.
C. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the eternal King whose rule shall never end.
This in turn further confirms that the blessed Apostle wasn’t teaching that Christ’s kingdom would end completely after destroying his last enemy, namely, death. Rather, his point was something entirely different as we are about to see in the next part of our rebuttal