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The Goal of God (3)

by Charles H. Welch

We have already quoted Ephesians 1:22,23 but deferred the examination of the words "all things under His feet", so that they may be given separate consideration.

As is known, the words occur for the first time in Scripture in Psalm 8, and they are quoted not only in Eph. 1 but in Hebrews 2, as well as in 1 Cor. 15. Connected with this passage we must consider another phrase, namely, "Till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool", which occurs originally in Psalm 110 and is quoted in Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts and Hebrews. If we attend to the way in which these two passages from the Psalms are originally employed, and then to the way in which the several writers of the New Testament have quoted them, we shall gain further illumination upon the goal of God as expressed in 1 Cor. 15:28.

First, let us consider Psalm 8 which contains the words "all things under His feet" (Psalm 8:6).

When we think of 1 Cor. 15:28 and Psalm 8 together, we discover that there is in both an enemy; that they both make pointed allusion to sun and star and speak of the glory that pertains to the earth and the glory that pertains to the heavens. Even the flesh of man, fish and birds are compared and contrasted. The frailty of man even at his creation is indicated by the contrast between Adam, the first man, who was made "a living soul", and Christ, the last Adam, the second Man, as a "life-giving Spirit". The further frailty of the sons of Adam is revealed in the references to the human body during this life and to the resurrection body of the life to come. "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power."

We pass now to the reference to Psalm 8 in the epistle to the Hebrews "For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come whereof we speak" (Heb. 2:5).

Let us note well the Apostle's own explanatory clause "whereof we speak." Of what does he speak? (1) The world was to come. (2) The fact that this world to come has not been put in subjection to angels. The quotation from Psalm 8, the glance at Adam who could not and did not hold this high office, turns us to the man as seen in Jesus Christ, Who by virtue of His death and resurrection will take that great and glorious position. The words "we see not yet" cover the dispensational aspect of the doctrine. The rightful Ruler of that world to come did not ascend the throne at His first advent, but stooped to death, even the death of the cross. The purpose of this death is manifold, and every reference in the Scriptures opens up new avenues of thought and aspects of truth.

Confining ourselves for the moment to the actual implications of Heb. 2 we find that this death precedes the day of His glory.

Namely, rule in "The world to come whereof we speak."

This dominion is limited to the earth, and to the period which comes before the day of which John spoke when he said, "And there was no more sea", for fish of the sea are included in the imperfect foreshadowing under Adam. Hebrews 2 speaks of the earth, "the world to come."

"The kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ" (Rev. 11:15). Psalm 8 however recognizes that the glory of the Lord is associated with "the heavens" as well as with the earth. The Psalmist does not people heaven with the redeemed; he sees no other occupants than the sun, the moon and the stars. Nevertheless, those who know the teaching of the New Testament know that there is a higher sphere, higher than all spheres of glory and blessing, now opened to faith by grace, and accordingly, it is fitting that this expression "all things under His feet" should be found once more in the epistle of the Mystery-Ephesians.

In Ephesians 1:21-23 where the words occur, we read that Christ has been given to be Head over all things to the Church which is His Body, but not that the Church is under His feet. Principalities, powers, might and dominion are under His feet, and that position, Christ with all such powers beneath His feet is "HEAD OVER ALL THINGS to the church" for this church is potentially "seated together" in those high heavens where He now sits, henceforth expecting His foes to be made His footstool. This passage in Ephesians, quite apart from any problems raised, is most certainly the heavenly aspect of the Savior's dominion over "all things", and indicates "things in heaven and things on earth" are being prepared for the final application of redeeming and restoring grace.

Satan is to be bruised under the saints' feet shortly (Rom. 16:20). All enemies are put "under His feet" (1 Cor. 15:25), consequently, we must distinguish those who are made subject under Him (as he was - Luke 2:51; and will be-1 Cor. 15:28), from those who are "put under His feet" as all enemies must be, before the consummation is reached.

Before, therefore, the goal of the ages can be reached, there must and shall be: (1) The willing submission of all the redeemed. (2) The putting down of all authority and power. (3) The willing submission of the Son. (4) The delivering up of the Kingdom to the Father "That God may be all in all" (Taken from Vol 43 of The Berean Expositor)

Edited on April 28, 1996 / Updated on April 28, 1996
The Alachau Freenet does not endorse or disendorse the content of this document. Everything is the author's private opinion.
Location: http://www.afn.org/~leo/tft_goal_of_god_3.html
Contact: Leo Wierzbowski / leo@afn.org

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