Christ's Rule

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Joshuastone7, Jan 31, 2021.

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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother,

    I have come to believe our Lord began ruling the heavenly kingdom at his baptism on earth when it is said, "And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Heb 1:6

    I believe Jesus has not begun ruling the earth, for it still lies in the power of the wicked one; therefore, men do not worship Jesus yet.

    My current perspective...

    All love.

    AJ
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    ____________

    Good morning, brother,

    [I can't believe, sometimes, the distractions and demands that come up and make it impossible to simply sit down and respond, knowing that if too much time passes, I lose my train of thought and have to spend time again re-reading to see where I was going with something. Ugh!]

    You explain that your current perspective is that Jesus "began ruling the heavenly kingdom at his baptism on earth," based on your reading of Hebrews 1:6, even though the scripture cited speaks to when Jesus was brought into the world— which, arguably, was when he was born of Mary, not when he was baptized of John (which seems symbolic of when the prophet Samuel anointed David, since John was himself a prophet). In other words, I'd be interested in getting some insight in how you perceive one's being brought into the world as taking place at one's baptism versus when one is born of a woman.

    Remaining for a moment here in the epistle of the Hebrews— specifically verse 3, we read that "After the Son had washed away our sins, he sat down at the right side of the glorious God in heaven." (Hebrews 1:3, Contemporary English Version CEV).

    The writer here expresses his conviction that Jesus "sat down" on his throne after "washing away our sins."

    Throughout the Bible, one's sitting down upon a throne is synonymous with assuming rulership. Again, referring to David being chosen by God to be the rightful king of God's people, he did not ascend to the throne until later— although he was anointed as king much earlier, marking him as the rightful king and thus entitled to the throne. Until David sat upon the throne, in any case, he did not have, speak, or act with the authority of a king prior to sitting upon the throne. In effect, David— although the rightful king of God's people, as chosen by Jehovah God Himself— did not begin rulership until he sat upon the throne.

    This is equally true from a heavenly perspective: Jesus could not have begun ruling in heaven before ascending to his throne in the heavens.

    We can establish when Jesus began ruling by establishing when he sat upon his throne, or ascended the throne:

    The writer of Hebrews, as cited above, conveys that it was "After the Son had washed away our sins."

    When was this?

    The same writer provides the answer:

    And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. —Hebrews 10:10-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

    The "single sacrifice for sins" spoken of here surely refers to Jesus laying down his life, that many might live. Thus, we can establish that Jesus sat upon the throne following his ascension to the Father— as borne out by the gospel accounts:

    “Do not cling to Me,” Jesus said, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and tell My brothers, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ ” —John 20:17 Berean Study Bible (BSB)

    So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. —Mark 16:19 (BSB)

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
    —Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV

    That leaves the matter of the scripture you cited at the outset, and whether the angels' worship establishes that Jesus began ruling in the heavens when he came into the world.

    The first question that comes to mind is whether a newborn infant can, logically or reasonably, begin ruling anything? They may, in due course, begin ruling when they have come of age— and the Bible is replete with examples of this being the case. And they may be entitled to rule— when they have come of age.

    For emphasis here, Hebrews 1:6 does not say that when Jesus was baptized that the angels then worshiped or were told to worship him. The writer asserts that it was upon his coming into the world.

    Can we establish this, scripturally?

    And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

    And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

    When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
    —Luke 2:8-15 ESV

    We can also establish that the angels ministered to Jesus after his baptism, following his trials (temptations) in the wilderness:

    Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. —Matthew 4:11 New Living Translation (NLT)

    Satan himself even quotes scripture in speaking on the matter of the angels' responsibility to God's chosen one:

    Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” —Matthew 4:5-6 NLT

    Satan was quoting from Psalm 91:11-12 here, of course, but the question at-hand here is whether any of the above establishes that Jesus began ruling at his baptism before he ascended to the throne God had prepared for Jesus in heaven, and whether Jesus began ruling at his time of baptism.

    Given the natural, logical, and scriptural evidence that rulership begins from the throne, and, specifically, the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews recording under inspiration that Jesus was (at the time the epistle was being written) "waiting from that time until" I do not (yet) see what you are seeing when you say that Jesus began ruling at or upon his baptism, over and against this becoming so once Jesus ascended to his father (sitting upon the throne prepared for him by Jehovah God) and waiting until the time Jehovah God determined that the enemies of Jesus would be set as a footstool for him to begin ruling.

    On a similar note, the scriptures record that there is to be no end (or pause!!) to the Messianic reign, once Jesus begins his rule:

    So the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!” —Luke 1:30-33 BSB

    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this. —Isaiah 9:6-7 BSB

    Submitted for perusal and consideration,
    Timothy
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother,

    As you say, "Given the natural, logical, and scriptural evidence," I do indeed believe Jesus began ruling the heavens at his baptism.

    To begin, of what logic is it that the newborn child Jesus would be worshipped by angels? Would this not have been idolatry? Of course, it would have been. You have a paradox... If you say Jesus began ruling in the heavens when he sat on the throne, you are saying the angels committed idolatry. That's not the answer, brother.

    Now, he begins ruling before he ascends into Heaven, which is why the angels could worship him without committing idolatry.

    When was Paul talking about when saying Jesus was called God's son? And when was the son of man begotten?

    "For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you?” Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?” Heb 1:5,6

    "I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psm 1:7-9

    And, when was Jesus anointed?

    "But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” Heb 1:8,9

    Isn't that scripture clear that Jesus was raised beyond his companions the moment he was anointed? Wasn't Jesus anointed at his baptism when the Spirit descended on him as a dove?

    "And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove." Mrk 1:10

    So with this in mind; When was Jesus brought into the world as the son of God and begotten? Was he not begotten, anointed, and called God's son at his baptism?

    "And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Mth 3:17

    Hebrews 1:6 is quite clear to me; the angels worship Jesus while he is alive on earth, and that is the sign of his ruling. You don't worship someone other than Jehovah unless He has put that someone else in His ruling position. No, the only answer is Jesus began ruling Heaven the moment he was baptized.

    It seems clear to me Jehovah brought Jesus into the world at his baptism. After all, was that not the moment of being firstborn? He was firstborn from the Spirit, first from the dead, and so on.

    In my opinion, this is a contradiction, brother. I call them chronology paradoxes. You say he's worshipped because one day he'll rule, but he doesn't rule until he reaches heaven. The problem is the angels worship him while on earth. And you can't have the angels committing idolatry. That means Jesus is in the position of Jehovah, before reaching Heaven.

    This is the reason Jesus made it clear mankind was not to worship him, because he is not yet ruling the earth.

    Anywho, these are all my own summations, of course... ;)

    My motto in chronology: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    All love...
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    If you're willing, would you be okay with re-posting your response along with my post that you're responding to in a topic of your choosing? What about: When did Jesus begin to rule?

    I'm very alright with discussing, and I feel that it deserves its own topic, for sure— and I am interested in comparing notes and seeing where the discussion takes us. Remember: we're both looking at the same thing and can logically reach two different perceptions (and, effectively, our paradigms in matters of faith, belief, and hope).

    Fair enough questions you put in there, brother. ;)

    Thank you, in advance,
    Timothy
     
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    RR144

    RR144 New Member

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    I believe our Lord IS ruling now. The scriptures are clear that when he returns he does so as "bridegroom, Reaper and King." Do you believe that Jesus "rules in the midst of his enemies"?

    RR
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother,

    I believe Jesus began ruling heaven at his baptism; that is how the angels could worship him without committing idolatry.

    I believe he will begin ruling the earth in the future, at the end of 1260 days. And then will return on the 1300th day in the clouds. So it can be said he will be ruling earth 40 days over the earthly kingdom while his enemies are still here.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Brothers,

    So I believe I was wrong. But what I was wrong about, I'm not quite sure yet. So I need to write this post to figure that out.

    Okay, here is where I'm at:

    I started thinking about the angels who were told to worship Jesus when he was brought into the world. Then I realized that his disciples are also spoken of as worshiping him in the boat when he walked on water. And that sent me down a rabbit hole into the Greek word proskynētai.

    Thayer's Greek Lexicon: proskuneo
    1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence

    The reason I had missed it previously is because I had read only the NWT for so many years. Although I read many translations now, there are still some things that I've realized have gotten by me because I followed the Watchtowers direction on reading only the NWT for so many years.

    As an example:

    "Then those in the boat did obeisance to him, saying: “You really are God’s Son” (Mth 14:33, NWT)

    "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God" (Mth 14:33, NIV)

    Now, this word proskynētai is a bit like the word god. It does not have a singular meaning and is determined by its context.

    Here it's used in relation to our worship of the Father:

    "Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY'"
    (Mth 4:10).

    Here it is used to show how men would worship other men:

    "Behold, I will cause [those] of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie-- I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and [make them] know that I have loved you" (Rev 3:9).

    The place I think I was wrong was tieing the worship of the angels to the beginning of Jesus' rule.

    Let's say proskynētai is only used to indicate reverence toward Jesus. Then that would mean that Jesus is never worshiped as we understand the word today. That English word worship no longer means what it used to and is no longer an accurate word to use in the biblical text. It used to mean more than prayers directed to a deity. In Britain, some still call the queen "Her Worship."

    If proskynētai was to indicate the angels worshiped Jesus as God as in place of Jehovah then that means his disciples were doing the same thing, worshipping Jesus in place of Jehovah. But this can't be so because Jesus told the satan that the Father is the only one you should worship.

    The only explanation I can come up with for John being sanctioned in Revelation for worshipping the angel was John must have been going further than mere admiration but was idolizing the angel.

    I read someone say they believed the use of the word proskynētai alongside "fallen down" would be saying Jesus was being worshipped as the Father because the scripture wouldn't say they fell down then did obeisance. Basically, saying the scripture would be saying they worshipped then worshipped.

    "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him" (Mth 2:11)

    Here is an example of Cornelious falling and then worshipping Peter before Peter told him to stand.

    "As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him" (Acts 10:25).

    Now I don't even know what our English word worship even means anymore. For that matter, what is the worship we give to Jehovah? The only thing I can think of at the moment is that when proskynētai is used in conjunction with Jehovah, it means prayer, and that is what worshiping Jehovah is. If someone can perform proskynētai to anyone of higher rank, only to who we direct our prayers remains.

    That would mean I was wrong about prayers being directed to Jesus in the Melinial reign. Does that mean I was wrong about Jesus beginning ruling when he is given proskynētai? If the angels began proskynētai Jesus when he began ruling in Heaven, why did the disciples proskynētai Jesus if the satan was still ruling the earth?

    I'm going to need to consider these things.

    Please respond with your thoughts.

    AJ
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Here is something else to consider brother. When is this scripture speaking of when saying "came into the world?"

    "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.'" (Heb 10:5-7)
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Unless I'm mistaken, the only possibility for when Christ was brought into the world is at his baptism. Because, his companions are not 'worshiping' him at birth. Jesus is not above his companions until anointed, which takes place at his baptism.

    "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (Heb 1:9)
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    This must be correct because Heb 2 says Jesus was made a little lower then the angels when born.

    "But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone." (Heb 2:9)

    He is then made higher than the angels at his anointing.
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    Good morning, brother,

    I may not be able to fully weigh in on your thread until this weekend, but wanted to ask...

    You mentioned that you favored the NTW rendering of scripture over the years, but are acquainting yourself with other translations.

    Would it be possible, when you cite a passage or scripture, to note which translation you happen to be citing? Otherwise or unless otherwise noted, should we assume you are citing the NWT? Personally, I always prefer to know which translation(s) is (are) being cited in Biblical discussions.

    Thank you, in advance!

    A fellow believer,
    Timothy
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I will for now on reference the translation I quote. I rarely ever quote the NWT anymore unless I specifically note that.

    All scriptures quoted above are taken from the NIV.

    All love brother...

    AJ
     
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