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1 Corinthians 15:28 - Jesus Subject to the Father?
The Big Question?
I’ve spent tons of hours reading and studying scripture and anything and everything I could find on the internet, commentaries, etc. to help me understand and reconcile the subjection of the Son to the Father found in 1 Cor 15:27-28:
- “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.”
I happen to believe Jesus IS God. I believe He was God in the flesh, known as the Son of God/Son of Man, because He was born of a human mother. The root of His name, Jesus, is Hebrew, Yehowshuwa, meaning YHWH Saves. Through the Son, God made the Way (John 14:6), the Gate/Door (John 10:7) for man to be reconciled back to Him, so that one day the world will be as it was in the beginning, before the fall of Adam and Eve: God and man in perfect union.
While the Bible states, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” (1 Cor 15:25) this indicates there will be an end to the reign of Christ, when indeed the majority of scholars believe this is speaking of His office as ‘Mediator’, which will no longer be needed after all things are put into subjection under Him; the last enemy to be destroyed is death (physical and spiritual) – vs. 26. There are far too many passages that state clearly that Jesus' kingdom, the kingdom of God, will never end (Luke 1:33; Rev 7:15).
I believe Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). The Bible tells us God is Spirit (John 4:24). The Bible says no man has seen God (1 John 4:12). Jesus, while in the flesh, revealed God to us in His very nature; therefore, to see Jesus was to see the Father.
- John 1:18 “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
- John 14:9 “Jesus said to him, 'Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?”
One, Two or Three?
I stopped believing in a ‘trinity’, for if God was indeed three separate persons, the Father would be the first person, the Son the second and the Holy Spirit the third. Since Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity would then be His ‘father’, not the first person of the trinity. "God in three persons; blessed Trinity" is not in the Bible, but in a hymn written in the 18th century by a Catholic priest.
Looking back at the Old Testament, God said we were not to worship any other god besides Him (Ex 20:3-5), so to worship Jesus as another ‘god’ would be sin. God said there is “no Savior besides Me” (Is 43:11; 45:21; Hosea 13:4), so to accept Jesus as the Savior, but not accept Him as the LORD God Himself, would be sin.
How is it then, that 1 Cor 15:28 states “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"? Compare this with Col 3:11 “a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”
Manifestations of God
We know that God manifested Himself in many forms in the Old Testament:
Adam and Eve heard the sound of Him walking in the garden (Gen 3:8). This would indicate God had legs.
Hagar saw the Angel of the LORD, the LORD God (Gen 16:13)
The LORD God appeared to Abraham as a man with two of his angels, also in human form (Gen 18:2; 19:1).
God appeared to Jacob as a man and wrestled with him all night (Gen 32:24, 28, 30). Do you find it interesting that Jacob said he had 'seen God' in vs. 30?
God appeared to Moses as the ‘Angel of the LORD’ in the burning bush to give him the commandments (Ex 3:2). Compare this to Jesus’ statement to “Keep My commandments” in John 14:15.
God stood on the rock at Horeb that gave water to the Israelites in Ex 17:6. 1 Cor 10:4 tells us that rock was Christ.
God later appeared to Moses to give him the second set of commandments, and yet Moses was not to look upon His form (Ex 33:23).
God appeared as clouds by day and fire by night to the Israelites (Num 14:14).
God appeared as the Angel of the LORD to Joshua (Josh 5:13; 6:2)
Go appeared as the Angel of the LORD to Gideon (Jud 6:11, 14)
God appeared to Manoah and his wife, the parents of Samson in Jud 13 (vs. 22).
Isaiah saw the King, the LORD of hosts (Isa 6:1-5; compare to Rev 4:8)
In addition to these examples, The Old Testament states that God has:
Eyes: Amos 9:8.
Ears: Isa 5:9; 59:1; Jam 5:4.
Nose: Job 4:9; Isa 65:5.
Mouth: Is 1:20; Micah 4:4; Mat 4:4; Job 40:9.
Voice: Ex 19:19.
Face: Gen 19:13; 1 Sam 26:20.
Arms and hands: Job 40:9; Ps 44:3; 77:15; 89:10, 21;136:12; Jer 21:5.
Finger: Ex 8:19; 31:18; Deut 9:10; Luke 11:20.
Feet: Nahum 1:3; Zech 14:4; Rev 1:15-16.
Inward parts: Isa 16:11.
Speaking of the finger of God, His finger wrote the first set of the 10 Commandments (Deut 9:10). Yet, in Luke 11:20 Jesus stated He cast out demons by the finger of God.
The Jews, the 'first-born son of God' (Ex 4:22; Jer 31:9), were around much longer than the 'trinity' doctrine. They knew God as Father, knew His Spirit and witnessed Him in the form of man (to Abraham and Jacob) and the word 'Elohim' had been around since Genesis 1:1; never did they split God into persons. NEVER. Why does the last church age do this? Look up Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus and the Johannine Comma (how it was inserted into the Latin Textus Receptus from which all our Bibles are translated) to give you a clue.
Bottom line is, any manifestation of God is His Christ (Acts 3:18; 4:26; Rev 11:15; 12:10), aka Jesus, or His Angel (Gen 3:8; Ex 3:2; Josh 5:13; 6:2; Jud 6:11, 14; 13:21-22), aka Jesus. Even the rock at Horeb was His Christ (Ex 17:6; 1 Cor 10:4), aka Jesus. Likewise, in the New Testament the flesh and blood of the Son was God with us, Immanuel (Mat 1:23) ~ Jesus (Mat 1:21). Isaiah said the son (flesh) is Mighty God [El] and Everlasting Father (Is 9:6) ~ He is the Great "I AM".
The Resurrected Jesus, the Christ
Because we know flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50), any appearance of God in the Old Testament would not have included carnal flesh and blood. However, He chose to be born through the virgin Mary, in order to shed His holy blood for our sins. Several of the original disciples/apostles referred to Jesus as “God and Savior” (1 Tim 1:1; Tit 2:13; 2 Pet 1:1). The prophets called the LORD God ‘God and Savior’ (Is 45:15; Mic 7:7). Also, read many more passages, such as 1 Chr 16:35, Ps 65:5; Hab 3:18 ~ so many.
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared in the very body He died in (flesh and bone). Yet, He appeared in the locked upper room with His disciples twice (went through walls?), and appeared in ‘another form’, too (Mark 16:12). Is this not consistent with God? What happened to the body in which He was resurrected while He appeared in 'another form'? Only God can do this! We are told that our bodies will be changed upon the ‘catching up’ or rapture, and that our resurrected bodies will not corrupt or perish (1 Cor 15:52). Our new bodies will not be ‘flesh and blood’, else it would contradict 1 Cor 15:50.
Speaking of His resurrection, we know Jesus, the Christ of God appeared to His disciples, walking on the waves of the sea (Mat 14:24-25). Now, let's go back to Job 9:8 to see what is said about God: "Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea."
God: The King of kings, the LORD of Lords
Okay, back to the ‘submission of Christ’ to ‘the Father’. The Bible tells us Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1), that through Him all things were created (John 1:3 ~ that would include man), that He is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15) and that He is submissive to the Father (John 14:10-11 and of course, 1 Cor 15:28). I know I wondered how the Spirit of God [El] could make man (Job 33:4), but now that I understand He has a form in Christ, I don’t have questions.
Basically, just as our bodies perform what is in our mind, will and emotions, God’s soul (Is 42:1; Heb 10:38), Spirit (Luke 23:46; John 4:24), mind (Is 43:25; Rom 8:27), heart (Ez 28:2, 6) and voice (Zeph 3:17; John 1:1) is manifest in the person of Jesus Christ (KJV - Job 13:8; Heb 1:3). He submits to the will of the Father, for the Father (the Holy Spirit) is in Him and He in the Father (the Holy Spirit). After the last enemy of death and all evil forces are destroyed, we the saints will see God in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus will rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:13-16), yet we will reign with Him.
- 1 Tim 6:15 “God, the blessed and only Ruler [Sovereign; Potentate], the King of kings and Lord of lords”
- Rev 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."
Jesus' subjection to the Father is to think and do the will of the Father (the Holy Spirit) in Him (John 12:49; 14:10; 1 Cor 2:11). Likewise, the Spirit in us will give eternal life to our new bodies and we will do the will of Him in us!! (Rom 8:11; John 3:18). Thus, we will be back to the way it was in the beginning: God and man. We will see and communicate with God in the person of Jesus Christ.
Now, in my studies I considered a ‘flip side’ to this coin. The main reason is not only what the scriptures reveal, but the current office of 'Mediator' indicates submission to the Father (the Holy Spirit) even now, so when that office ends, a future subjection doesn't seem to reconcile. When I thought further about this present 'mediation', I pondered how the Spirit of Christ (God) intercedes for us while we are yet in sinful flesh (Heb 7:25). The answer: in us and through us (Rom 8:26; 1 Tim 2:1; ponder 2 Sam 2:25). Truly, this 'mediation' will no longer be needed when sinful flesh and the Adversary no longer exist.
The Bible says that everything is already subject to Christ (Mat 28:18; 1 Pet 3:22).
To give you a hint of the 'flip side', consider that God placed everything under the feet of man in the beginning (before the fall). If you read Gen 1:28, Dan 7:13-14 interpreted in 22, 26-27, Ps 8:4-9 and Heb 2:5-9 this might shed more ‘Light’ on the subject.
Lastly, compare the following two passages (1 Cor 15:27-28 and Rev 21:7):
1 Cor 15:27-28 “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 [huios] also himself [autos] be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” I have added capitalization to this KVJ passage, to see more clearly what the flip-side is.
The word 'Son' is indeed capitalized, even in the KJV. That denotes divinity. In our resurrected state, we shall be immortal and divine. Now, notice the English words ‘Son’ and ‘himself’ are the Greek words “huios” and “autos”. Now, look at Rev 21:7 (spoken by Christ Jesus): ”He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he [autos] shall be my son [huios].“ This is speaking of the saints. It is really important to read Daniels vision in 7:13-14 and the interpretation given by the angel in vs. 22, 26-27. It is clear that the 'Son of Man' represented/represents the "saints of the Most High".
I could write an entire hub on the ‘flip side’, which would basically conclude that Christ intends to put all things under the feet of man again; however, not all things are yet put under man’s authority (due to the existence of the sinful flesh and the Adversary). All things being subject to man would exclude Christ, who put all things under him. When the grave is overcome, evil is disposed of, and all things are finally subject to the saints (we who overcome, who are the ‘son’ mentioned in Rev 21:7), we will be fully subject to Christ so that He may be all in all.
Again, let me leave you with Col 3:11 “a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”
- Let Me Tell You WHO GOD IS!
Who is GOD? WOW. What a concept to try to wrap our human brains around! Ive read all kinds of interpretations of the trinity and some of the scriptures cause confusion as to exactly how we are to interpret the entity of God Himself.
- Soul, Spirit, Mind and Heart
Man is fearfully and wonderfully made in Gods image! God has a soul, spirit, mind and heart, just like we do! Only our Creator can powerfully minister to each separately and yet bring wholeness within us because of Jesus Christ.