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There is no word for `cometh' in the original of verse 24; it simply reads "Then the
end". Some understand the words to mean "Then the end rank", but we can find no
justification for such a rendering. Cremer, in his note on to telos, says that this word does
not primarily denote the end, termination, with reference to time, but the goal reached,
the completion or conclusion at which anything arrives, either as issue or ending; or a
result, acme, consummation, e.g., polemon telos, "victory" (literally `the end of war',
end, not measuring time but object); telos andros, `the full age of man' (not the end of
man--death), also of the `ripening of seed'. In Luke 1: 33 and Mark 3: 26 the idea
of termination seems uppermost. The idea of issue, end, conclusion, is seen in
Matt. 26: 58, "To see the end"; James 5: 11, "Ye . . . . . have seen the end of the
Lord"; I Pet. 4: 17, "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel?"
The idea of a goal reached is seen in Rom. 6: 21, "The end of those things is death";
Phil. 3: 19, "Whose end is destruction". So also II Cor. 11: 15; Heb. 6: 8. When the
Apostle wrote the words of I Cor. 15: 24, "Then the end", what goal had he in view?
What is the object of resurrection? Does it not take man back into the place intended for
him in the Divine purpose, for which sin and death had for a while rendered him unfit?
The goal, this end in view, is contained in the words of I Cor. 15: 28, "That God may be
all in all". Although `the end' is mentioned immediately after the resurrection of those
that are Christ's at His parousia, it is not attained without a reign of righteousness and a
rule of iron. The uninterrupted statement of the end is as follows:--
"Then the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father
. . . . . with the object that God may be all in all."
The reader is aware, however, that the end is not attained in this unbroken sequence.
The first `when' is conditional upon the second. "When He shall have abolished all rule
and all authority and power." This will not be effected by one grand miraculous stroke,
but by the reign of Christ as King of kings. "For He must reign till He hath put all
enemies under His feet." He reigns `till', His reign has one supreme `end', and that end
cannot be reached while one unsubdued enemy exists.
In this category comes death, the last enemy of mortal man. "Even death, the last
enemy, shall be abolished." This is included in the Divine purpose, "For He hath put all
things under His feet". The resurrection is therefore absolutely essential to the fulfillment
of the great purpose of God.
But it may be asked, Can such an expression as `destroyed' or `abolished' speak of
resurrection? Take the statement of II Tim. 2: 10:
"But is now made manifest by the manifestation of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who
hath abolished (katargeo) death, and illuminated life and incorruptibility through the
This refers to the Lord Himself in the first instance. He abolished death when He
arose from the dead. Not only did He abolish death, but He commenced that destruction