My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
THE PREACHING OF THE APOSTLES (Part II)
by Saint Irenaios of Lyons
Understanding the Fulfillment of Prophecy
Jesus -- King over All
So then, the Father is Lord, and the Son is Lord; the Father is God and the Son is God; for He who is begotten of God is God. According to the essence and power of His being, there is shown to be one God. Yet at the same time, as demonstrated by the economy of our redemption, there is both Father and Son. Because the Father of all is invisible and inaccessible to created beings, it is through the Son that those who are to draw near to God gain access to the Father (cf. Ephesians 2:18; 3:12).
David speaks clearly and explicitly concerning the Father and the Son: "your throne, O God, is forever and ever; You have loved righteousness and hated unrighteousness; therefore God, Your God has anointed You with the oil of gladness about Your fellows" (Psalm 45:6 f; Hebrews 1:8 f). We see, then that the Son, being God, receives from the Father, that is, from God, the Throne of the Eternal Kingdom and the oil of anointing above His fellows. The oil of anointing is the Spirit, by Whom He has been anointed, and His fellows are Prophets, righteous men, and the Apostles, and, in fact, all who receive the fellowship of His Kingdom, that is, His Disciples.
The Lord Speaks in the Davidian Psalms
David also says, "The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool; the Lord will send forth a scepter of power from Zion; and You rule in the midst of Your enemies. With You in the beginning of the day of Your strength, in the brightness of the Saints, from the womb before the morning-star, I begot You. The Lord has sworn that He will not repent: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedek, and the Lord on Your right hand has broken kings in pieces in the day of wrath; He shall judge among the Gentiles, He shall fill up the ruins and shall crush the heads of many upon the earth. He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall He lift up the head" (Psalm 110:1 ff).
In this statement He proclaimed that the Son existed before all things and that He rules over all nations and judges all humanity, including the kings who now hate Him and persecute his name for they are actually His enemies.
When God called Him a priest forever, He declared His immortality. That is why He said, "He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall He lift up the head." He was proclaiming the exaltation with glory which followed His incarnation, humiliation, and lack of honor.
The Lord is Christ and King
We are told by the Prophet Isaiah: "Thus says the Lord to my anointed Lord, whose right hand I have held, that the Gentiles shall hearken before Him" (Isaiah 14:1). As for how the Son of God comes to be called both "the Anointed" and the King of the Gentiles, that is of all humanity, there is added information from David. He tells us that He is not only called, but actually is, both Son and King of all: "The Lord has said to me: 'You are my Son, this day I have begotten You. Ask of me and I will give you the Gentiles for your inheritance, and the whole earth for your possession" (Psalm 2:7 f).
These things were not said of David, for he ruled only over the Jews, never over the Gentiles or over "the whole earth." Therefore it is clear that the "Anointed" Who is promised that He will be king over the whole earth is the Son of God--Whom David acknowledged as his own Lord when he said, "The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand" (Psalm 110:1), and so forth, as we said before. He means the Father says that to the Son, as we said a little earlier of the writing of Isaiah in which he said, "Thus saith the Lord to my anointed Lord, that the Gentiles hearken before Him" (Isaiah 14:1). Both Prophets make the same promise: that He would be king. So we see that God is addressing one and the same person, Christ, the Son of God.
Since David says, "The Lord said to me" (Psalm 2:7), we have to say that it is not David or one of the Prophets speaking in his own name. In fact, it is not a man giving the prophecy, but the Spirit of God, accommodating Himself to the form and nature of the person involved, who speaks through the Prophets. Sometimes He speaks for Christ, and sometimes for the Father.
Christ Proclaims the Father's Message
Therefore it is quite proper through David, Christ reports in the first person the Father's words to Him. It is also appropriate for Him to say other things in the first person through the Prophets, as for instance when He speaks through Isaiah saying: "And now thus says the Lord, who formed me as His servant from the womb, to gather Jacob, and to gather Israel to Him; and I shall be glorified before the Lord, and my God shall be a strength to me. And He said: It shall be a great thing for you to be called my servant, to raise up and sustain the tribes of Jacob and return the dispersion of Israel; and set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you may be for salvation unto the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:5f; cf. Acts 13:47).
Son and Servant of the Father
First of all, we see, from the fact that the Father spoke with Him, that the Son of God was pre-existent. Also, He revealed Him to mankind before His birth. Next, we see that He has to become a man, born of mankind, and that God Himself formed Him from the womb; that is, that He would be born of the Spirit of God. He is Lord of all people, and Savior of those who believe in Him, both Jews and others. "Israel" is the name of the Jews in the Hebrew language, deriving from their Father Jacob who was the first to be called Israel (cf. Genesis 32:28); and He calls the whole of mankind "gentiles". The Son calls Himself the Father's servant because of His obedience to the Father, for even among men every son serves his father (cf. Galatians 4:1).
The Scripture Tells of Christ
Similar passages of Scripture tell us:
--that Christ, being the Son of God before all the world, is with the Father (cf. St. John 13:3; St. John 14:7, 9:11; St. John 20:17, 21);
--that in addition to being with the Father, He is also with mankind in a close and intimate union (cf. St. John 1:14; Philippians 1:7-8; Hebrews 2:9-10);
--that He is King of all, because the Father has subjected all things to Him (cf. St. Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28; Ephesians 1:20-22);
--that He is Savior of all those who believe in Him (cf. St. John 3:16, 17; St. John 11:25-27; Acts 16:31).
Since it is neither practical nor possible to enumerate every Scripture on the subject, the passages given should enable you to understand what similar ones have to say. Then, believing in Christ and seeking wisdom and comprehension from God, you will grasp what the Prophets have to say.
He Is with Us
That, then, is why He is Savior. Emmanuel, however, is translated "God with us" (cf. St. Matthew 1:23), or as an expression of yearning by the Prophet, "God be with us." Thus it is the explanation and manifestation of the good tidings foretold, "Behold," he says, "the virgin shall conceive and shall bear a Son" (Isaiah 7:14; cf. St. Matthew 1:23), and that Son, Who is God, is with us. Marveling at these things, he tells us that in the future God will, in fact, be with us. In another place the Prophet, says, concerning His birth, "Before she who was in labor gave birth, and before the labor pains came, a man child was delivered" (Isaiah 66:7). Thus he demonstrated that His birth from the virgin was unforeseen and extraordinary.
The same Prophet also says, "unto us a son is born and unto us a child is given; and His name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6).
He calls Him "Wonderful Counselor," showing He is in that relationship to the Father. The Father works all things through Him, as indicated in Genesis, the first book of Moses: "And God said, "let us make man after our image and likeness" (Genesis 1:26). In this passage the Father is seen speaking to the Son, Who is the Wonderful Counselor of the Father.
Furthermore, He is our Counselor, giving counsel to us, not forcing us with His power as God, even though He is, as the Prophet said, Mighty God. He counsels us to forsake ignorance, and acquire knowledge, to leave error and come to the truth, to put away corruption and receive incorruption.
(To be continued)
MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God