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By Thomas Sheehan

First Coming, The: How the dominion Of God turned Christianity, through Sheehan, Thomas

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And behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 42 And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, so that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not be destroyed. [14] One plausible hypothesis explains him as a collective symbol of the Jewish people themselves, represented in the form of an angel ("one like a man") whom God had appointed as Israel's protector and advocate in God's sight.

The kingdom of God was the Father himself given over to his people. It was a new order of things in which God threw in his lot irrevocably with human beings and chose relatedness to them as the only definition of himself. From now on, God was one with mankind. [32] The kingdom he proclaimed-- 61 God's presence among men and women--meant that from now on God's exercise of power was entirely on behalf of mankind, and especially the poor and needy. God's incarnation among them had already begun and would soon come to its fullness: Blessed are you poor, __ for yours is the Kingdom of God.

The Father's forgiveness meant a new beginning in the history of the ages, and for those who accepted his gift, the eschaton no longer lay up ahead but had arrived in the present. God was here in a new form of time, the existential present-future. Therefore, to believe in the arrival of God's kingdom and to be forgiven meant the same thing-- 67 to be a prolepsis of God, to live the future now. It meant directing one's hopes toward the "future eschaton," that is, toward God himself, but then becoming in the present one's desire for that future which had already begun.

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