1 Corinthians 15:24-28 And the Eternal Reign of Jesus Christ

“Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For He has put all things in subjection under his feet. But when it says, all things are put in subjection, it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who put all things in subjection under Him, that God may be all in all”

This passage has been misused by some, who teach that in the End Times, after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the end of this present world, that Jesus Christ would Himself remain “subject” to God the Father. Further, it is assumed, that because of this, that God the Father is “superior” to Jesus Christ in the Godhead. Both are 100% WRONG!

In the first place, it should be noted in this passage, Paul says, “εἶτα τὸ τέλος”, literally “then the end (verse 24)”, which is continuing from “Christ at His Coming (τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτοῦ)”, which is of the end of the Mediatorial Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and not the eternal future Reign. We also have in verse 24, “ὅταν καταργήσῃ”, “abolished or brought to an end”, all human power and authority, which is in this present Age. There is no reason to understand this passage, as the future Reign of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

To understand what the Bible Teaches on any subject, we must look at what the Bible says overall, rather than taking a single verse or passage, and trying to build a “doctrine” on it.

It is very clear from the passage in 1 Corinthians, that Paul is speaking of the Mediatorial Kingdom of Jesus Christ, of which Jesus Himself says, “no one will say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘There!’ For you see, the Kingdom of God is among you.” (Luke 17:21). Note the use of “ἐστιν” (is), which is the present, continuous tense. Jesus Christ Himself being The King of His Kingdom, while He was on earth. It is this Kingdom, which Paul refers to in this passage, and not the Eternal Kingdom, which is clearly shown in Scripture.

“And Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before Me. Your Throne shall be established forever” – 2 Samuel 7:16

“And to Him was given Dominion and Glory and a Kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His Dominion is an everlasting Dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” – Daniel 7:14

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus. He will be Great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will Reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:31-33

These passages, as others show, that the Reign of Jesus Christ, in His Kingdom, will be an eternal one, without any end.

There are also Scriptures that very clearly Teach, the coequal Reign of Jesus Christ with God the Father.

In the Book of Revelation, we read of the Eternal Reign of God the Father, and Jesus Christ:

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall Reign forever and ever.” (11:15)

The distinction of Persons can be seen from “τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ τοῦ χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ” (our Lord and of His Christ). However, we then go on to read, “βασιλεύσει εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων”, “He shall Reign for ever and ever”. Here we don’t have “ἐβασίλευσαν”, as in the plural, “They shall Reign”; but rather, the singular is used, “βασιλεύσει”, “He shall Reign”. Not that this means that God the Father and Jesus Christ are one and the same Person, as it already shows that they are not. The use of the singular is very important, as it shows the absolute singleness and unity of the Joint-Reign of both the Father and Jesus Christ, as coequal.

In chapter 20, we have very similar language used:

“Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with Him for a thousand years” (verse 6)

Here also we see the distinction of the Persons, “τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ χριστοῦ” (of God and of Christ). This verse tells us about the reign of all saved believers in Jesus Christ, who will reign with Him. Here we have the plural “βασιλεύσουσιν” (they shall reign), for the believers. Then we have the singular “αὐτοῦ” (Him), but we have Two Persons, “God [the Father]” and Jesus Christ. Again, the use of the singular is the same as in 11:15.

This is clearer in chapter 22, verses 1 and 3:

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him”

“τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρνίου”, which is “the Throne of God and the Lamb”, which is Jesus Christ. Two distinct Persons, yet one Throne, the singular “θρόνου”, and not the plural “θρόνων”. Clearly because of the COEQUAL Joint-Reign of BOTH the Father and Jesus Christ. In verse 3 again we have the singular  “θρόνου”, for Two Persons. We then read that “His (αὐτοῦ, singular) will worship Him (αὐτῷ)”. It can only refer to the SERVING and  WORSHIP of Jesus Christ, or, to God the Father and Jesus Christ, JOINTLY, which is what all of these passages clearly teach. In chapter 5, verses 13-14, we have ALL “the Blessing and the Honor and the Glory and the Might”, equally given to BOTH the Father and Jesus Christ. And they are BOTH WORSHIPPED together.

All these passages, and many others in the Bible, are very clear, that in the Eternal Godhead, The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit, are 100% COEQUAL, COETERNAL, AND COESSENTIAL. As there is One God, in Three Persons, Who are equally YHWH.

There is no Scripture that Teaches, that in the Godhead, that any of the Persons, is “superior”, or “inferior” to the others. This is an impossibility.

While on earth, during His Incarnate state, Jesus Christ did, of His own free will, choose to become “for a while lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:7, 9). And give up His equality with the Father, which He had from all eternity, as is clear in John 17:5, “And now, Father, Glorify Me in your own presence with the Glory that I had together with You before the world existed”. And, as we can see from Philippians 2:5-11, Jesus “gave up” His Godhead right of being “equal” with the Father, while on earth. Interesting that Paul writes, “ἴσα θεῷ (equal to God)”, which is the neuter plural, used adverbially, which refers to the “Power, Authority, Glory”, which Jesus “He stripped Himself of His glory” (Weymouth NT, ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν, verse 7), while on earth, and “submitted” Himself to the Father. Which is why Jesus could say, “the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28); but, also, “that all may Honor the Son, exactly as they Honor the Father. Whoever does not Honor the Son does not Honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23, as in the Greek). Because Jesus Christ is the God-Man, 100% Almighty God, and 100% fully human, apart from any sin in His “human nature” (Luke 1:35; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 7:26). Jesus Christ could never cease to be Almighty God, even when in the womb of Mary, and lived on earth. This is what the Apostle Paul means, when he writes, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh” ( 1 Timothy 3:16)