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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 17: Resurrecting Adam
Among the major points of discussion over the first 6 chapters of Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians was the division among the members of the assembly because apparently many individuals were opting to follow different personalities, choosing favorite apostles, rather than committing themselves to following Christ. Another point of discussion was the fornicator of 1 Corinthians chapter 5 and the action which the assembly is required to take in such instances in order to preserve its own integrity. In regard to this, in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul illustrated how Christians should judge among themselves according to the judgment of God, rather than turning to worldly courts and the judgment of men.
Then for 8 more chapters of this epistle, Paul answered the questions posed to him in a letter by members of the assembly for which he had written this epistle as a response. Therefore Paul discussed things such as marriage and virginity in an age of persecution, Christian survival in a world of pagan idolatry, he answered questions concerning the conduct of his own ministry in Christ, and then he offered a lengthy discussion of general Christian deportment. In that last discussion, Paul spoke of how Christians should behave towards one another in their assemblies, how they should love and care for and esteem one another above themselves, and about the various gifts which God grants to men and how they should be dispensed, whether they be spiritual gifts or carnal gifts.
Now, beginning the closing of his epistle, Paul summarizes the purpose of the Gospel and its ultimate promise, which is a resurrection from the dead for all of the children of Adam.
1 Now I explain to you, brethren, the good message which I have announced to you, and which you have received, and in which you have been established, 2 and through which you are preserved, if you hold fast to each statement I have announced to you, unless outside you have believed without purpose.
The word παραλαμβάνω (3880) is simply to receive here, which is the meaning of the verb λαμβάνω without the prefix. Among other meanings in various contexts, παραλαμβάνω was used in a stronger sense to signify something received from another as an inheritance. Rather than the words “if you hold fast to each statement”, the Codex Claromontanus (D) has in verse 2 “you are obliged to hold fast to each statement”.
There is a Greek phrase here in verse 2, ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ, for which the King James Version has only the word unless. In 1 Corinthians 14:5 the King James Version translated the same phrase as except. Again where the phrase appears in 1 Timothy 5:19 the King James Version translates it only as but. The Greek word ἐκτὸς (1623) means “outside...out of, far from...outside of, free from”, according to Liddell & Scott. As we often use the phrase outside of in English, in Greek the word ἐκτός was also used in certain contexts to mean except, in phrases describing something which is excluded from other things. However such a use is an idiom which does not fully reflect the primary meaning of the word.
This word ἐκτός appears 8 times in the New Testament. Among these, in the King James Version at Matthew 23:26 it is the word for outside in the phrase “that the outside of them may be clean”. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 it is without in the statement “every sin that man doeth is without the body”. In 2 Corinthians 12:2 it is out in the phrase “whether out of the body”, meaning outside of the body. In two other occurrences of the word, at Acts 26:22 and 1 Corinthians 15:27 the word used by itself it means except, signifying something which is outside of or apart from something else.
The last three occurrences of the word ἐκτός are left untranslated by the King James Version, apparently because on each occasion ἐκτὸς is followed by the phrase εἰ μὴ. These are found at 1 Corinthians 14:5, where ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ is translated in the King James Version as except, here at 1 Corinthians 15:2 where the King James Version has unless, and at 1 Timothy 5:19 where it only has but. However we must reject the concept that ἐκτὸς should be ignored where it appears along with the phrase εἰ μὴ for several reasons.
First, the phrase εἰ μὴ appears without ἐκτὸς on 27 other occasions in Paul’s epistles (according to the Moulton-Geden Concordance to the Greek Testament). In the Christogenea New Testament, on these 27 occasions εἰ μὴ is usually translated unless, if not or except. On these 27 occasions adding the word ἐκτὸς to the phrase εἰ μὴ without adding to its meaning would be superfluous, and so it is on these three occasions where it appears with ἐκτὸς if Paul had only meant to say unless or except. In his Greek-English Lexicon, Joseph Thayer offers support for the King James Version's treatment of ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ by citing two weak examples from an obscure satirist of the later second century A.D. Additionally, the context surrounding the phrase ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ on all three occasions where it appears in the epistles of Paul is clarified and enhanced if the word ἐκτὸς is translated separately rather than being ignored. So here are the Christogenea New Testament translations:
1 Timothy 5:19: “An accusation against an elder you must not receive publicly, except ‘by two or three witnesses’.” Of course one may hear an accusation and take note of it privately, until there are further witnesses. Only once there are two or three witnesses of a crime should an accusation be brought to light, and in this context we interpret the word ἐκτός to mean publicly or outside.
1 Corinthians 14:5: “indeed greater is he interpreting prophecies than he speaking languages, unless publicly he would explain what was said”. Here Paul is telling us that speaking in tongues is not really useful unless outside, which we interpret to mean openly or publicly, the words spoken in the tongue can be translated by the speaker.
1 Corinthians 15:2: “and through which you are preserved, if you hold fast to each statement I have announced to you, unless outside you have believed without purpose.” Since the faith is only for the children of Israel, being outside of that group one's belief is in vain. Likewise Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 1: “18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
As for this interpretation of Paul's use of the word ἐκτὸς here in 1 Corinthians 15:2, there are very similar uses of the Greek word ἔξω, which is a synonym. One example is found at Mark 4:11, where we read “11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables”.
As for Paul's understanding that there are people who are outside of the faith of Christ, we see Paul himself relate in Colossians 4:5, in 1 Thessalonians 4:12 and in 1 Timothy 3:7 and elsewhere. Paul said in Colossians chapter 4, “5 In reference to those outside, you walk in wisdom, buying the time”. Likewise in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 Paul is seen praying that he “should be protected from those disgusting and wicked men”, not concluding that they should repent but instead concluding that “the faith is not for all.” The denominational so-called Christians of today refuse to accept such a conclusion, and would rather twist Paul's words.
3 For you are among the first that I had transmitted to that which I also had received.
The death of Herod Agrippa 1 which is recorded in Acts chapter 12 took place in 44 AD. Paul had already preached Christianity abroad from around that time in Syria and Kilikia, and on one long mission through Cyprus and Anatolia with Barnabas. Paul's first recorded visit to Corinth is in Acts chapter 17, after he had again passed through much of Anatolia, and had preached in Makedonia and even in Athens. Because the Roman proconsul Gallio is mentioned in conjunction with the year-and-a-half that Paul spent in Corinth at this time, the date of this portion of his ministry can be rather accurately estimated to be around 51-52 AD. We know from 1 Corinthians 16, verses 8 and 19, that this epistle was written from Ephesus during the three-year period that Paul stayed in Ephesus which is described in Acts chapter 19. So Paul's first visit to Corinth was relatively recent in comparison to the beginning of his ministry. With this it may become evident that Paul had inferred by his words that the Corinthians were among the first in Europe to whom he taught the Gospel in any great detail, since it is the first place in Europe where he had spent such a significant amount of time. Paul proceeds by explaining some of what he had transmitted:
That Christ had been slain for our errors, in accordance with the writings;
The entire context of the prophets of the Old Testament is that the Messiah would die for the sins of the children of Israel. Here Paul says that “Christ had been slain for our sins”, and it cannot be forgotten that in chapter 10 of this same epistle Paul had identified the Corinthians as being descendants of the ancient Israelites who were with Moses in the Exodus, and Paul had also identified the pagan nations of Europe as “Israel according to the flesh”. In that chapter Paul is explaining many of the errors of the ancient children of Israel which Christ had died for.
From, Isaiah chapter 53, where we see a dialog representing the words of the children of Israel: “5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
There are many nuances of Scripture which cannot be ignored which prove the Christian Identity interpretation of Scripture to be the only true interpretation. Paul said here that Christ died for “our sins in accordance with the writings”, and Paul could never have said that of anyone but the lost or put away Israelites. There is nowhere in the Old Testament Scriptures where non-Israelites were ever under the law or where a Messiah was ever promised for the sin of non-Israelites. As Paul explained in Romans chapter 5, although there certainly was sin before the law, sin was not imputed because there was no law. The Messiah died for those to whom sin was imputed, as Paul said in Galatians chapter 4 that the Messiah came to redeem those who were under the law.
4 and that He had been buried, and that He was raised in the third day, in accordance with the writings;
There are several Old Testament prophecies indicating that the Messiah would overcome death, such as in Psalm 16 where it says “8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” In the Gospel Christ Himself attested to how that would occur: “40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Later on in this very chapter Paul himself quotes from Hosea chapter 13, where the Word of Yahweh says “14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” In the fulfillment of the Revelation, Death and Hell are cast into the Lake of Fire.
5 and that He had appeared to Kephas, then to the twelve. 6 Thereafter He had appeared to more than five hundred brethren at the same time, of whom the greater number remain until presently, but some have died.
The end of the Gospel account in Matthew is brief, and only mentions those who were at the tomb and then at one later meeting in Galilee between the risen Christ and the eleven remaining apostles. The Gospel of Mark, discounting the spurious portions of Mark 16, properly ends with the events describing the women at the tomb in the morning immediately following the Resurrection. In Luke's Gospel we see that Christ further appeared to some of the disciples on the road to Emmaous, and then later to “the eleven gathered together and those with them” (Luke 24:33) in Jerusalem just before His ascension. All of these are partial accounts recorded from limited eyewitness perspectives.
The apostle John records a few of the encounters which the apostles had with the risen Christ over many days, and then he says “Now indeed also many other signs Yahshua did before His students, things which are not written in this book.” Therefore Luke wrote in the Book of Acts that to the apostles Christ had “presented Himself alive after His suffering, with many proofs, appearing to them over forty days and speaking of the things concerning the Kingdom of Yahweh.” It is quite plausible, therefore, that Paul means to tell us that on at least one occasion where Christ had seen “the eleven gathered together and those with them”, as Luke has it in his Gospel, that those who were with the apostles could have numbered as many as five hundred people. Therefore where he speaks of the five hundred brethren Paul may be referring to any one of what may have possibly been many such events leading up to that first Pentecost.
Paul's reference to “the twelve” is not out of place. Luke wrote in the opening chapter of the Book of Acts that after the risen Christ “through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”. As Acts chapter 1 records, Judas Iscariot had been replaced by Maththias before the expiration of the forty days described by Luke in that chapter. Therefore we see that Paul of Tarsus appears to acknowledge the appointment of Maththias, which would refute a mistaken notion that many of Paul's accusers attempt to uphold, which is that Paul tried to somehow usurp the appointment of Maththias. In reality, Paul's call to apostleship by Christ and the appointment of Maththias to replace Judas by the apostles are unrelated incidents. Apparently, however, the scribes of the Codex Claromontanus attempted to correct Paul, where that manuscript has eleven rather than twelve.
7 Then He had appeared to Iakobos, then to all of the ambassadors; 8 and last of all, just as if from a wound, He had appeared to me also.
Of course, Jacob is called James in the King James Version. The name James almost certainly came into English from the French word jambe which means leg. The Hebrew word from which we have the name Jacob literally means heel-catcher, and metaphorically supplanter. The Greek form of the name Jacob is Iakobos, and we do not agree that it should be translated as James.
The word τρώμα is a wound, and ἔκτρωμα is literally from a wound, as Paul certainly was injuring the young Body of Christ, and when Christ appeared to Paul He asked, “Why do you persecute me?” However according to Liddell & Scott, the word ἔκτρωμα was also used to describe an untimely birth, or even an abortion. Therefore it is possible that Paul may have been describing his own conversion to Christ poetically, as the coming of a child which is born unexpectedly. The word appears three times in the Septuagint: in Numbers 12:12 where Brenton has it as an abortion, and at Job 3:16 and Ecclesiastes 6:3 where both times it is an untimely birth, and Brenton’s renderings are proper in their contexts.
9 Therefore I am the least of the ambassadors, I who am not fit to be called an ambassador, since I had persecuted the assembly of Yahweh.
Paul's reference to his persecution of the assembly here is an indication to us of his intention with the word ἔκτρωμα, and another reason why we translated it literally. Here Paul admits not being fit to wear the label of apostle, although the fact that he was an apostle is substantiated by the fruits of his ministry. He tells the Corinthians that same thing here in chapter 9 of this epistle, where he said that “If to others I am not an apostle, yet at any rate to you I am; indeed the assurance of my message is you in the Prince.” The assurance of Paul's message was that the assemblies which he founded had suffered nearly 300 years of persecutions at the hands of Jews and Pagans, and they endured.
10 But in the favor of Yahweh I am that which I am, and His favor to me has not become empty [D has “poor”], rather I have toiled more exceedingly than them all, though not I, but that favor of Yahweh that is with me.
Paul is not bragging, but only stating a fact that is fully substantiated in the accounts in the Book of Acts, in the historical records left by the early Christian writers, and in the preservation of his memory and his work among the Christian assemblies.
The example which Paul offers should be a model for all Christians and those of the White Adamic race who are called to repent and to turn to Christ. Because Paul realized that he would be judged by the grace and mercy of God in spite of his having persecuted Christians of his own nation, once he had been called to repentance he made it his purpose to work even harder than those who had been with Christ from the beginning.
That Paul's letters and memory are preserved to us through 300 years of the persecution of Christians throughout the empire in spite of the fact that he had so many enemies from without, and so many from within who had misunderstood his writings from the very beginning, is by itself a testament to the validity of his ministry and the extent of his labors. Beyond any other apostle, Paul was the lynchpin connecting the purpose of the Messiah to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. As Paul himself attested in Romans chapter 4, he understood that the nations to which he brought the Gospel were indeed the seed of Abraham and the heirs to the promises of Christ. As Paul himself attested here in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, he understood that the pagan nations of Europe were “Israel according to the flesh”.
Few men in Paul's time understood Biblical prophecy, Biblical history and also what we now know as Classical history to the extent which Paul did, and his understanding enabled him to confidently carry the Gospel of Christ to the so-called “Lost Sheep” of the houses, or families, of Israel and Judah. As Paul himself attested that as his purpose in all of his epistles, and men who have not understood ancient history have twisted the meanings of Paul's words from the very beginning. Therefore the apostle Peter wrote in his second epistle warning his readers to “15 ... regard the forbearing salvation of our Prince, just as also our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given to him has written to you, 16 as also in all the letters speaking in them concerning these things, in which some things are hard to understand, which those who are unlearned and unstable pervert - as also the rest of the writings - for their own destruction!” An examination of both of Peter's epistles reveals that they were originally written to the Christian assemblies of Anatolia where Paul had previously preached.
11 Therefore whether it is I or those others, in that manner we proclaim, and in that manner you have believed.
Paul's humility is evident in the fact that throughout this epistle he has given credit to the work of the other apostles, such as Apollos and Barnabas and Peter, all of whom he names in the epistle, just as much as he would claim credit for himself.
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed, that from of the dead He has been raised, how do some among you say that there is not a restoration of the dead? 13 Then if there is not a restoration of the dead, neither has Christ been raised; 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is empty, and empty is your [B and D have “our”] faith.
If Yahshua of Nazareth was not the Christ, then the Scripture lied about a Messiah. As Martin Luther effectively argued, if there was no Messiah before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans as prophesied by Daniel then there could never be a Messiah. If Christ was not that promised Messiah, then there was no Messiah before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Other Messianic prophecies, such as that which is found in Malachi chapter 3, also insist that the Messiah had to appear while the second temple stood. Therefore prophecy and the events of history prove beyond doubt that Yahshua of Nazareth was the Messiah of Biblical prophecy.
However when Paul wrote this epistle, which with all certainty was no later than 55 AD, Jerusalem and the temple still stood. Therefore the possibility remained for the appearance of another Messiah, if it were not Yahshua (or Jesus) of Nazareth. So Paul's words here must be understood within that historical context. With the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD the possibility of another Messiah was forever removed.
If Yahshua Christ, being the promised Messiah, had not overcome death as the Scriptures had promised, then the Word of God is useless, and there is no basis whatsoever for the Christian faith. However if the resurrection had not occurred Paul would still not question or blame God, but rather he would blame only the Christian assessment of the Word of God. Paul's piety prevents him from blaming God if there was no resurrection, as his next statement reveals:
15 Then we are also found to be false witnesses of Yahweh, because we have testified concerning Yahweh, that He raises the Anointed [or the Christ], which He does not raise if indeed then the dead are not raised. [D wants the final clause “if indeed then the dead are not raised.”]
Understanding the Bible within the context of ancient history, one comes to the conclusion that a great number of the prophecies of the Bible have already become true, that history has indeed been fulfilled as the Bible had predicted. Understanding three centuries of early Christian history in the aftermath of the initial spread of the Gospel, one realizes that with so many men and women willing to die for the cause of Christ, that the account of the Christ must also be true. It was all presaged by the prophets, and it was all proven by the apostles and so many thousands of Christians who followed after them. Christ Himself, while He still walked the earth, had predicted that His followers would themselves be persecuted and killed merely for professing the Gospel. The subsequent history proves that His predictions were true, and that is further proof of the truth of the Gospel. Those who doubt the Gospel accounts in the face of so many witnesses, do so at their own risk.
Paul's argument here must be in response to questions posed to him in the letter which he had received from the assembly at Corinth, which, as we have frequently illustrated, Paul has been replying to since the opening of chapter 7 of this epistle. Therefore it is manifest that contentions concerning the promise of eternal life, a resurrection from death, were already being made among the Christians of Corinth.
16 Indeed if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, 17 but if Christ has not been raised, empty is your faith; you are still in your errors.
If Yahshua Christ, the man, was raised from the dead, then all Israelite Christians should be absolutely confident that they too shall be raised from the dead as the Scriptures have also promised. As David said in the 49th Psalm, “15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.”
But even if Christ was not raised, Paul nevertheless expresses his confidence in the fact that these Corinthians to whom he writes are indeed descended from the ancient Israelites, since he tells them that without Christ they would still bear their sins. Since sin is the violation of the law, since only the children of Israel had the law, and since sin is only imputed where there is law, as Paul had already attested in Romans chapter 5, then the Corinthians must have been literal descendants of those Israelites who were under the law in order for them to face the prospect of remaining in sin! Paul never could have told any so-called “Gentiles”, in the sense of non-Israelites, that they would still be in their sins, because only Israel was under the law and sin is only imputed where there is law. Rather, Paul's entire mission is only to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”, as Christ Himself also attested.
18 And then those that have been dying in Christ have been destroyed. 19 If only in this life have we had hope in Christ, we are the most pitiable of all mankind.
Investing all of one's hope in a God who does not fulfill His promises would indeed make Christians the most pitiable of mankind. The gods of all the pagans are idols, but there are no such promises in them and therefore those worshipping them have nothing to fear from them. Christians walk in fear of their God because they are convinced that His Word and His promises are true. Therefore if the faith in Christ is valid in this life, it must remain just as valid after one passes from this life. Christians should believe with all certainty that God keeps His Word and His promises.
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, [the MT interpolates “being”] the first fruit of those who are sleeping. 21 Indeed since death is through a man, restoration of the dead is also through a man.
Paul makes a fuller analogy in Romans chapter 5. Here we will paraphrase the passage from the Christogenea New Testament, so that some correlations may be easier to understand: “12 For this reason, just as by one man sin entered into the Society, and by that sin death, and in that manner death has passed to all men, on account that all have sinned: 13 (for until the law sin was in the Society; but sin was not accounted, there not being law; 14 but death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned resembling the transgression of Adam, who is an image of the future. 15 But should not, as was the transgression, in that manner also be the favor? Indeed if in the transgression of one many die, much greater is the favor of Yahweh, and the gift in favor, which is of the one man Yahshua Christ, in which many have great advantage. 16 And not then by one having sinned is the gift? Indeed the fact is that judgment of a single one is for condemnation, but the favor is from many transgressions into a judgment of acquittal. 17 For if in the transgression of one, death has taken reign through that one, much more is the advantage of the favor, and the gift of justice they are receiving, in life they will reign through the one, Yahshua Christ.) 18 So then, as that one transgression is for all men for a sentence of condemnation, in this manner then through one decision of judgment for all men is for a judgment of life. 19 Therefore even as through the disobedience of one man the many were set down as sinners, in this manner then through the obedience of One the many will be established as righteous. 20 Moreover, law entered in addition, that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, favor exceeded beyond measure, 21 that just as sin reigned in death, so then favor shall reign through justice for life eternal, through Yahshua Christ our Prince.” Here Paul corroborates what he taught in Romans chapter 5:
22 Just as in Adam all die, then in that manner in Christ all shall be produced alive.
There are no exceptions. As the Wisdom of Solomon says in its second chapter: “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. 24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.” With those words in mind, we should also consider what the apostle John had said in the third chapter of his first epistle, that “8 He who is creating sin is from of the devil, since the devil sins from the beginning. For this the Son of God has been made manifest, in order that He would do away with the works of the devil.”
If Yahweh is to do away with the works of the devil through Yahshua Christ, then it must be that “Just as in Adam all die, then in that manner in Christ all shall be produced alive.” If one descendant of the Adamic man misses the Resurrection, then the works of the devil are not done away with, the Scriptures are a lie, and the will of the devil prevails over the will of God. However Yahweh God shall indeed prevail and not only shall all Israel be saved, as it is written and as Paul himself had professed in Romans chapter 11, but the entire Adamic race shall ultimately have a part in the resurrection.
However while the children of Israel are promised mercy and justification in the judgment, as the words of the prophet Isaiah attest that “In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory” (Isaiah 45:25), evidently it will not be so for all of those who are resurrected, as Christ attests in John chapter 5: “28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” The children of Israel have a promise of justification as well as of eternal life. The rest of the Adamic race may not share in the same promise of justification. In any event, however, Christ shall indeed destroy the works of the devil, and the Creation of Yahweh God shall be restored to His original plan.
23 But each in his own order: the first fruit, Christ; then those of the Anointed at His arrival. 24 Then the consummation, when He should hand over the kingdom to Yahweh who is also the Father; when He shall abolish all rule and all license and power.
The phrase τῶ θεῶ καὶ πατρί is a Greek hendiadys, which is two separate nouns connected with a conjunction and accompanied by a single article, indicating that both nouns describe the same entity. Writing “to Yahweh who is also the Father” was an attempt to fluently represent a phrase which is literally only “to God and Father”, the words God and Father both referring to the same being. The hendiadys was a feature of Greek grammar which conveniently accommodates the Hebrew parallelism, which was a device whereby the same entity is described in different ways using consecutive words or phrases.
The Greek word ἐξουσία (Strong's # 1849) is power, authority or license. Our endeavor was to distinguish it from both αρχή, which is rule, and a synonym of ἐξουσία, the Greek word δύναμις which is power here. While the Divine will of Yahweh God is that He rule over men, it is clear in Scripture that within Yahweh's permissive will men are given license to serve as rulers. This is evident in Daniel chapter 4 where speaking of God the prophet says that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
The will of Yahweh God is that He rule as King over the children of Israel. When the ancient children of Israel sought an earthly king, they were demonstrating their rejection of God as their king. Therefore we read in 1 Samuel chapter 8: “4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”
From the Exodus up until this time, there was a system of Levites and judges who settled disputes among the children of Israel as it became necessary, but those Levites and judges did not attempt to make their own law. Rather, they judged according to the Law of Yahweh, and Yahweh was their king. The model of government during the period of the judges was the model which Yahweh Himself had ordained for the children of Israel. The later Kingdom, even the throne of David, and the bureaucratic state which resulted from it only came about because the children of Israel rejected Yahweh as king and demanded a visible State and an earthly king after the manner of the other nations.
Therefore the plan of Yahweh God, which worked within the greater plan that He had for our race, was to manifest Himself as a Son of David and as the ultimate Heir to David's throne, so that He would once again be the King of Israel in spite of the sins of Israel. This is only one facet of God's ongoing relationship with Israel which was fulfilled in Christ. So in the words of the prophets David became a type for the Messiah, and we read in Hosea chapter 3, along with the warnings that the children of Israel would be taken into captivity, “4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” Likewise we read in Hosea chapter 13 “9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. 10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? 11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.” By continuing to place their hope in earthly rulers, the children of Israel only perpetuate their sin.
We read in Revelation chapter 17 of those who rule with the beast: “14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” The word of God in this respect is that the children of Israel turn to Him and seek Him as their king, thereby rejecting the ancient sin of their ancestors who demanded an earthly king.
The promised reunion of the children of Israel with Yahweh their God is in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb where the returning Messiah is portrayed as a conquering King : “13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Therefore Christians must not put their hopes in an earthly king, or in any earthly politician. Rather, Christians should leave the world to the fires of hell and put their hope in Christ their God.
As Paul attests here, ultimately all of the power, the license to power, and the rule of men shall be abolished in Christ. Ultimately Yahweh God and His Law will alone shall rule over the lives of men. Therefore, Christians should look forward to that day, but Christians should never seek to rule over one another in this life. Men place heavy burdens on one another. However Christ is certainly true where He says in chapter 11 of the Gospel of Matthew that “27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”