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Will We See God the Father after We Are Glorified? Part 7

by Karl Kemp  
3/29/2017 / Bible Studies


We continue the verse-by-verse discussion of Rev. 11:15-18 that began under 5.2.2, discussing Rev. 11:18. 

(Rev. 11:18) And the nations were enraged [[The nations rage against "the LORD [God the Father] and against His Anointed..." (Psalm 2:2). (See the verse-by-verse discussion of Psalm 2 in my book "The Mid-Week Rapture.") "His Christ" (His anointed One) refers to the Lord Jesus Christ in Rev. 11:15, but in Psalm 2:2 "His Anointed" apparently includes the raptured, glorified saints, who will be reigning with the Son when He begins to judge the world at the end of this age. (Of course the Lord Jesus is the One in the spotlight with God the Father, not His people, but what a privilege for His people to be involved in this reign. Revelation 22:5 shows that we will be reigning "forever and ever" from the time we begin to reign when we are glorified.) 

Psalm 2 deals with the rage of the nations when Yahweh raises up His Son (which centers in the Lord Jesus, but apparently also includes the raptured saints who will be reigning with Him from the time of their glorification) to judge the world. Psalm 2 doesn't specifically mention the coming of God the Father to judge, but it is clear that He is behind this end-time judgment of the world. God's revelation is progressive, and the book of Revelation emphasizes the coming of God the Father to judge (and to save).]], and Your wrath came [Compare Rev. 6:16-17. God the Father's wrath comes in part because of the rage (wrath) of the nations against the end-time reign of the Lord Jesus and His then-glorified saints. On the wrath of God the Father being manifested, compare Psalm 2:11-12.], and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.' " 

5.3. IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THE OLD TESTAMENT FREQUENTLY SPOKE OF YAHWEH (which typically refers to God the Father in the Old Testament, even as the word "God" typically refers to God the Father in the New Testament) COMING TO JUDGE THE WORLD. (We are still under the major heading 5, "Another Way, Probably a Better Way to Interpret 1 John 2:28.") The Son of God and the Trinity were not clearly revealed in the Old Testament. The Jews of Jesus day, for example, did not believe in the Son of God, who was deity with the Father, or in the Trinity. They believed in the Messiah, but not that He would be deity. 

I'll give several examples of Yahweh's judging at the end of this age (you could say coming to judge): Deuteronomy 32:34-43 speaks of Yahweh's judging the nations after He has humbled and saved the end-time remnant of Israel; Isa. 2:12-22; 13:6-16; 24:1-23; 26:20-27:1 (I'll quote 26:21, which mentions Yahweh's coming to judge: "For behold, the LORD [Yahweh] is about to come out from His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed And will no longer cover her slain."); 34:1-17; Joel 3:9-21; Obad. 1:15; Nah. 1:2-8; Zeph. 1:14-18; and Mal. 4:1.  

5.4. IT COULD BE QUITE SIGNIFICANT TO THE INTERPRETATION OF 1 JOHN 2:28 IF THE APOSTLE JOHN WROTE 1 JOHN AFTER HE WROTE THE BOOK OF REVELATION, AND THERE IS A VERY GOOD POSSIBILITY THAT IT HAPPENED THAT WAY. (We will discuss this in the next four paragraphs.) As we have discussed, although the New Testament typically speaks of the coming of the Lord Jesus to judge (and to save) at the end of this age, the book of Revelation puts a strong emphasis on God the Father also coming to judge (and to save) at the end of this age. The book of Revelation makes it clear that the Lord Jesus is coming to judge (and to save) too, but, again, the book of Revelation puts a strong emphasis on the coming of God the Father.  

I think most would agree that this was rather unexpected in the light of most of the teaching of the New Testament. (However, as I showed above, the idea of God the Father being directly involved with the end-time judgment of the world was not foreign to the content of the rest of the New Testament and it was a dominant concept in the Old Testament.) Like I mentioned, the book of Revelation goes far beyond the rest of the New Testament in many of the things it reveals. We must not criticize the book of Revelation (as many have done) because it teaches many new things and adds new details regarding things already taught. We must appreciate the book of Revelation and show great respect to God for what it is. 

Based on what I have read, there is a very good possibility that the book of Revelation was written by the apostle John before he wrote 1 John. There is no firm date for the writing of 1 John, but dates like AD 85-95; 90-95; 85-100; and 90-100 are often mentioned. The dates vary a lot for the time of the writing of the book of Revelation too, but something like AD 95 is the most likely date based on what I have read. Dates like these leave a lot of room for the book of Revelation to have been written first. I'll quote two sentences from the Wikipedia article titled "First Epistle of John," "The epistle was probably written in Ephesus in AD 95-110." (Footnote: "Harris, Stephen L., 'Understanding the Bible' [Mayfield, 1985] '1 John' pages 355-356.") This first sentence is from page 1 of the Wikipedia article. The next sentence is from page 3. "There is not unanimous agreement as to when the epistle was written, but some scholars have it as shortly after the completion of the Book of Revelation (which some believe to be AD 96), and have the epistle's writing to be about AD 98 or 99." And it is significant that Tertullian (about AD 160-230), who was an important early church Father, said that 1 John was written after the book of Revelation: 

I'll include part of an excerpt from Tertullian where he mentions that: "... John, in fact, exhorts us to lay down our lives even for our brethren, affirming that there is no fear in love: 'For perfect love casteth out fear, since fear has punishment, and he who fears is not perfect in love [referring to 1 John 4:18].' ... And if he teaches that we must die for the brethren how much more for the Lord, - he [the apostle John] being sufficiently prepared, by his own Revelation [the book of Revelation, which would have had to be written before 1 John based on what Tertullian says here] too, for giving such advice! For indeed the Spirit had sent the injunction to the angel of the church in Smyrna: 'Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried ten days.... [Rev. 2:10] ..." (quoting from Tertullian 'Scorpias' 12; taken from Colin G. Kruse, "Letters of John" [Eerdmans, 2000], pages 12-13). 

If the apostle John had written the book of Revelation before he wrote 1 John, that, in itself, could easily suffice to explain why John could have been referring to the appearing (manifestation) of God the Father at the time of His coming in 1 John 2:28. (I should point out that the apostle John didn't write the book of Revelation based on things he knew. That book came almost entirely by direct revelation from God.) Also, above, under the heading "5.1. It Will Be Very Helpful To Look at Several Passages that Speak of God the Father Coming to Judge, or Actively Judging, at the End of this Age," I have shown that the Old Testament and the New Testament clearly demonstrate that God the Father will be quite active in the judging that takes place at the end of this age. And I have shown that THE BOOK OF REVELATION PUTS SOME EMPHASIS ON THE FACT THAT GOD THE FATHER IS COMING TO REIGN (WHICH INCLUDES SAVING AND JUDGING) AT THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVENTH AND LAST TRUMPET.  

5.5. I'll QUOTE 1 JOHN 2:28 AGAIN (NASB) AND DISCUSS THIS VERSE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW THAT JOHN WAS SPEAKING OF THE COMING (PAROUSIA) OF GOD THE FATHER, OR AS IN THE MARGINAL NOTE OF THE NASB: "IN HIS PRESENCE (PAROUSIA) [THE PRESENCE OF GOD THE FATHER]." Parousia can be translated "coming" or "presence." 

I JOHN 2:28. "Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears [or "when He is manifested"], we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming [Greek "parousia"; or, "in His presence"]." This (1 John 2:28) is the only use of parousia in the writings of the apostle John (his Gospel; the book of Revelation; and 1, 2, and 3 John).  

If the person in view here is God the Father, and it probably is, His appearing, or His being manifested, would undoubtedly be limited to His appearing to Christians, not of His appearing in a way that all the world will see Him, as they will see the Lord Jesus when He comes with the clouds of heaven. 

5.5.1. THE GREEK NOUN "PAROUSIA." We need to know that 'parousia' is often used in the New Testament for the coming of the Lord Jesus at the end of this age to save and to judge (cf. Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8; and 2 Pet. 3:4). A few more verses could be listed, including 1 John 2:28 and James 5:7 and 8, but, as I have mentioned, I believe it is more likely that these verses speak of the coming of God the Father to judge at the end of this age. We will discuss James 5:7 and 8 later in this paper. 

The reader should understand that although Matthew used the Greek noun 'parousia' four times in his Gospel (24:3, 27, 37, 39), the Lord Jesus would have spoken these things in Aramaic, the dominant language they spoke in Israel at that time, not in Greek, or in Hebrew. The Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John, although they (especially Mark and Luke) cover much of the same material as the Gospel of Matthew, do not use parousia at all. (I have already mentioned that the apostle John's only use of parousia is in 1 John 2:28.) As we will discuss, there is no basis to say that parousia is the one word to use for the coming of the Lord Jesus at the end of this age, not at all, or to say that parousia would not be appropriate for the coming of God the Father. ((The Greek verb 'erchomai' is very often used of the coming of the Lord Jesus at the end of this age, and for His coming at other times, and of the coming of other people and things. ERCHOMAI IS THE VERB USED FOR THE COMING OF GOD THE FATHER IN REVELATION 1:4, 8 AND 4:8. IT IS USED OF THE COMING OF THE DAY OF THE WRATH OF GOD THE FATHER AND THE LAMB OF GOD IN REVELATION 6:17. AND IT IS USED OF THE COMING OF THE HOUR OF JUDGMENT OF GOD THE FATHER IN REVELATION 14:7. I'll quote REVELATION 14:7: "and he [an angel] said with a loud voice, 'Fear God [God the Father] and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters [cf. Rev. 4:11]. (Revelation 4:12, for example, confirms that "God" refers to God the Father, as it typically does throughout the New Testament.) The apostle Paul used parousia for the coming of the Lord Jesus seven times, but he used other words to speak of His coming too (especially 'erchomai'), and he used parousia for the coming of Stephanus and Fortunatus and Achiacus (1 Cor. 16:17); of Titus (2 Cor. 7:6, 7); of the bodily presence (parousia) of Paul (2 Cor. 10:10); of Paul's coming  (Phil. 1:26) and of Paul's presence (Phil. 2:12); AND of the coming of ANTICHRIST (2 Thess. 2:9). In 1 Pet. 1:16 parousia is used of the first coming of the Lord Jesus, through the virgin birth. In 2 Peter 3:12 it is used of "the coming [parousia] of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with fervent heat!" God the Father will be very directly involved with the "day of God." That covers all of the uses of parousia in the Greek New Testament. Parousia is only used twice in the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint, which was translated from the Hebrew) according to Vol. 2 of the "Concordance to the Septuagint" by Hatch and Redpath (1983 reprint by Baker Book House, page 1073), not counting the apocryphal books, for which there are three listings. None of the five listings is relevant for our study.    

Quite a Few Ancient Jewish Greek Writings Use "Parousia" of the Coming of God the Father to Judge. I'll quote two sentences (one of them is very long; for one thing, I added some information in brackets) from what Kenneth Grayston says under 1 John 2:28 ("The Johannine Epistles" [Eerdmans, 1984], page 95.) "But in Jewish writings ["parousia"] could equally be used of God's self-disclosure to Moses and Elijah (Jos[ephus, Ant[iquities] 3.80, 203; 9.55) or of God's expected arrival to establish his earthly kingdom: the dominant conception in the 'Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs [the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel],' after obvious Christian glosses have been excluded [[I have only found "parousia" being used in two of the listings that follow in the "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs," but these listings all speak of God the Father coming at the end of this age, so they are all relevant for this paper. According to the Wikipedia article on the "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs," they reached their final form in the second century AD.]: (see 'Test[ament] Sim[eon]' 6.5 ["Then the Mighty One of Israel shall glorify Shem, For the Lord God shall appear on earth, And Himself save men." Parousia isn't used.]; 'Test[ament] Levi' 2.11 ["And by thee and Judah shall the Lord appear among men Saving every race of men." [Parousia isn't used.]; 5.2 ["And He said to me: 'Levi, I have given thee the blessings of the priesthood until I come and sojourn in the midst of Israel.' " Parousia isn't used.]; 8.11 ["And they said to me: 'Levi, thy (8:12) seed shall be divided into three offices, for a sign of the glory of the Lord who is to come.' " One reading has "glory of the 'parousia' of the Lord."]; 'Test[ament] Jud[ah]' 22.2, 'until the "parousia" of the God of righteousness'; 'Test[ament] Zeb[ulun]' 9.8 ["And after these things there shall arise unto you the Lord Himself, the light of righteousness, (And healing and compassion shall be in His wings. He shall redeem all the captivity of the sons of men from Beliar; And every spirit of deceit shall be trodden down); And he shall bring back all the Gentiles into zeal for Him. And ye shall return unto your land. And ye shall see Him in Jerusalem, for His name's sake." Parousia isn't used.]; 'Test[ament] Naph[tali]' 8.3 ["For through their tribes shall God appear [dwelling among men] on earth, To save the race of Israel, And to gather together the righteous from amongst the Gentiles." Parousia isn't used.]; 'Test[ament] Ash[er]' 7.3 ["And ye shall be set at naught in the dispersion vanishing away as water. Until the Most High shall visit the earth." Parousia isn't used.]. In late antiquity 'parousia' took on the special meaning of a royal visit, or of the coming of a hidden divinity [and Grayston refers to the BAGD Greek Lexicon in an earlier edition]." Below, under James 5:7-8, I include a similar paragraph from the "Commentary on James" by Peter Davids. Both paragraphs contain much of the same information, but both of them have listings not included by the other one, and Davids mentions that there are textual problems with "parousia" in some of these ancient writings. The quotations from these ancient writings were taken from "The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs" from "The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament" by R. H. Charles, Vol. II, Oxford Press. I used "The Greek Versions of the Twelve Patriarchs" for the quotations I added in brackets, by R. H. Charles (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1908). Both were taken from the internet.    

As I have mentioned, if the use of "His," the two uses of "Him," and the use of "He" in 1 John 2:28 refer to God the Father (which is the view that I prefer), then 2:29-3:1a follow perfectly in that the "He" and "Him" of 2:29 refer to God the Father; God the Father is the only One mentioned in 3:1; and, as we have discussed, I, in agreement with many, believe the two uses of "He" and the use of "Him" of 3:2 refer to God the Father, along with the "Him" of 3:3. Add to this the viewpoint that we will discuss next: It seems that God the Father is the only One mentioned in 2:26-27. I believe the things I have mentioned in this paragraph are quite significant, and especially when accompanied by the other reasons I give throughout this paper (especially in sections 5 and 6) for seeing the coming of God the Father in 1 John 2:28.    

5.5.2. 1 JOHN 2:20, 26-27. As I mentioned, these verses are relevant to the interpretation of 1 JOHN 2:28. Is it God the Father or the Lord Jesus who gives the anointing (the Spirit) mentioned in 2:20 and 27. I believe the evidence rather strongly supports the viewpoint that the apostle John was referring to God the Father, but there are several verses in the New Testament that speak of His giving the Spirit through the Son. Also the correct interpretation of the last words of 2:27, "abide in Him [the margin of the NASB gives this as the literal translation]" is quite relevant to the interpretation of 2:28. ESV has "abide in him"; NIV has "remain in him." Near the beginning of 2:28 we have the words "abide in Him." I assume both verses refer to the same "Him," but does "Him" refer to God the Father or the Lord Jesus? (Some say the Holy Spirit too.) Again, I believe the evidence rather strongly supports abiding in God the Father in 2:27, which lends rather strong support for abiding in God the Father in 2:28. (1 John 2:24 shows that those who abide in the true gospel that has been heard from the beginning "will abide in the Son and in the Father.")      

I'll quote 1 JOHN 2:20, 26-27: "But you have an anointing [Greek noun "chrisma"] from the Holy One, and you all know. [[The point is that John's readers, in contrast to the Gnostic heretics, have received and are walking by the Holy Spirit. As I have mentioned, I believe the evidence rather strongly supports that it was God the Father who gave them the "anointing." (I'll say quite a bit to confirm this important point as we continue.) The Greek noun translated "anointing" ("chrisma") is only used three times in the New Testament, in 1 John 2:20 and twice in 2:27. There is very widespread agreement that the apostle John was speaking of his readers having received the Holy Spirit in the new-covenant sense, which includes being born again (the new birth). The indwelling Spirit enables them to understand the basic truths of the gospel, and He confirms the truthfulness of the gospel in their hearts (see 2:26-27, for example) and enables them to know that they are born-again children of God (cf. Rom. 8:16).]] (26) These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. [[The Gnostic heretics, who were deceived (1 John 1:8; 3:7; cf. 2:19), were trying to deceive John's readers. The apostle John wrote this epistle to warn his readers about the Gnostic heresy. It certainly deserved to be called a heresy: They denied salvation through the blood of Christ for one thing, and they even denied that sin is the problem. They believed that salvation comes by learning their secret knowledge. "Gnostic" comes from the Greek word for knowledge ("gnosis").]] (27) As for you, the anointing which you received from Him [I believe the discussion that follows suffices to show that the evidence rather strongly favors seeing that "Him" here, and "His" that follows, refers to God the Father. He is the One who gives the anointing/the Spirit, which includes the new birth.] abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but His anointing teaches you about all things [I understand these words to refer, at least for the most part, to the Spirit's enabling Christians to understand all of the essential truths necessary to be a solid Christian. It is clear that God put teachers, and other ministers, in the church to teach. The apostle John did quite a bit of teaching in this epistle, but all such teaching would be in vain without the essential work of the Spirit who enables us to understand and to live in line with the truth of new-covenant salvation.], and is true and is not a lie [much of the foundational teaching of the Gnostics was a lie], and just as it [the anointing] has taught you, you abide in Him [I would translate "abide in Him" with the margin of the NASB instead of "you abide in Him." The ESV has "abide in him." The NIV has "remain in him"]." [We must "abide in Him", which includes living in line with the truth by the powerful anointing of the Spirit (by grace) through faith. John makes this point repeatedly throughout this epistle. As we have discussed, and will further discuss, I believe "Him" refers to God the Father here.]  

5.5.2.1. 2 CORINTHIANS 1:21-22 is a very important cross-reference for 1 John 2:20 and 27: It is significant that these verses speaks of God the Father as the One who has anointed us and given us the Spirit to dwell in our hearts: "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed [An aorist participle of the Greek verb "chrio" is used here. "Chrisma" was derived from this verb; this verb is used five times in the New Testament: Once here of God the Father anointing believers, and four times of His anointing the Lord Jesus (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38; and Heb. 1:9).] us is God [God the Father; Christ, the Son, is also mentioned here in verse 21], (22) who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge [as a down-payment toward our full, completed salvation that we will experience when we are glorified]."     

5.5.2.2. 1 JOHN 3:23-24 and 4:12-13, which are extra important passages because they are located in the epistle we are discussing, very strongly support the viewpoint that the apostle John spoke of God the Father giving us the Spirit (the anointing) in 2:20 and 27. I'll quote 1 JOHN 3:23-24: "This is His commandment [As we continue reading this verse, it becomes clear that John is speaking of God the Father's "commandment"], that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (24) The one who keeps His commandments [referring to the commandments of God the Father] abides in Him [in God the Father], and He [God the Father] in him. We know by this that He [God the Father] abides in us, by the Spirit whom He [still referring to God the Father] has given us." And 1 JOHN 4:12-13: "No one has seen God [God the Father] at any time; if we love one another, God [God the Father] abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. (13) By this we know that we abide in Him [in God the Father] and He [God the Father] in us, because He [God the Father; 1 John 4:9, for example, which distinguishes between God [the Father] and the Son, confirms that the apostle John was speaking of God the Father here.] has given us of His Spirit."   

5.5.2.3. JOHN 14:26 is a very important cross-reference. (This reference is all the more important since it was written by the apostle John.) It speaks of God the Father giving the Spirit and of the Spirit teaching us, which has some correspondence with His teaching in 1 John 2:27. JOHN 14:26 (Jesus is speaking here.): "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." Jesus spoke these words with obvious special application for His apostles (note "bring to remembrance all that I said to you"). 

This study continues with Part 8, which starts with 5.5.2.4. 

© Copyright by Karl Kemp

http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.

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