Pray Brethren

Pray Brethren

Monday, August 1, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

Besides a major first century dispute regarding the relationship of Christianity to its Jewish roots, the first major heresy to confront the Church was called Gnosticism. One branch of Gnosticism turned God into a kind of yin-yang duality making the God of the Old Testament into an evil, material God and the God of the New Testament – Jesus – into a good, immaterial God who only appeared to be human. Christians of course picked up on the very words of Jesus (i.e. “The Father and I are one” - John 10:30) and stressed the unity of the Godhead.

Sadly many Christians today believe in a similar duality, claiming that the “Old Testament God” is mean, judgmental, and vindictive while the “New Testament Jesus” is friendly, merciful, and forgiving. Like the first Christians, we must again stress the unity of the Godhead and say: “Like Father, like Son.” In the Old Testament, God created man out of mercy but ordered him for combat against the Evil One. In the New Testament, Christ comes in mercy to reorder us for combat once again. When he returns, however, he shall not return as the merciful king, but as the judge of the living and the dead. He will command his army of men in the final battle against the Devil and his dominion. As the Book of Revelation describes Jesus and his army:

He judges and wages war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name inscribed that no one knows except himself. He wore a cloak that had been dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God. The armies of heaven followed him, mounted on white horses and wearing clean white linen. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod (Revelation 19:11-15).
Christ shall not return as a mere spirit, but as a man with a risen and glorified human body. In his conquest over evil, all those standing in alliance with the Devil are to be “thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur” (Revelation 19:20). When we pray “thy kingdom come” and “we look for the resurrection of the dead”, we are not merely praying for the return of “meek and gentle Jesus” but for the return of the warrior and risen king. With the writer of the Psalms, let us pray together: “Arise, O God, judge the earth, for yours are all the nations” (Psalm 82:8).

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