The Plan completed
Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
→ Paul draws a parallel between “elements” and “law”.
Gal 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Why you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Gal 4:8 However, then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which by nature are no gods.
Gal 4:9 But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage?
→ Paul draws a parallel between “elements” and “them who are by nature no gods.”
→ They served human leaders/kings. Or followed manmade teachings.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
→ “Principles” and “elements” translated from the same Greek word.
→ God’s oracles is God’s wisdom written down in His Laws
In most of its uses, element denoted an elementary or fundamental principle in a subject or discipline. Thus, it could designate a letter of the alphabet, a part of speech, a geometrical proposition, or a basic mathematical unit, such as a point or line. Heb 5:12 aptly displays this typical usage when it refers to rudimentary Christian teachings as the “first principles” of God’s words.
David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, 2:444 (New York: Doubleday, 1996, c1992).
More in elements
Matt 3:11 …: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Luke 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Luke 12:51 Suppose you that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, No; but rather division:
Luke 12:52 For from now on there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
Luke 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Nearly 2000 years ago Jesus caused a big division. Many Jews and pagan converted to Christianity. Likely in many cases not whole families and villages, so that caused (religious) division. Surely Jesus isn’t talking about casting literal fire on the earth because it wouldn’t cause division but screaming and dying people. The key is that fire is called a type of baptism. The fiery tongues of fire that descended during the Pentecost after His resurrection was a fire baptism on limited scale. Nobody got burned. They received great understanding. I think it’s safe to assume every Christian would find it an honor to receive such understanding. Very positive fire I would say.
God’s plan of redemption will at some point in time be completed. The return of Jesus is the end-
Luke 3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
To summarize: All will be (made) equal under King Jesus Christ.
1Cor 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Mic 1:4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place.
Micah speaks of melting the mountains. Submitting the authorities so that Jesus will be the only King. As we saw in Galatians elements can also means kings/rules/authorities. Nearly 2000 years ago Jesus came to kindly offer all people to follow God’s ways. He was a Servant then; at His second coming He will be a conquering Lion. He won’t offer the fire (= righteous Law of Father) this time. He will flood the whole earth with it. Forced fire baptism. The world will be drowning in the Fiery Law. Each and every human that hasn’t kneeled yet will be brought into submission gently or by as much force as needed.
Hab 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
2Pet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
To be able to understand the above verses some background on ancient Jewish wedding customs is required. When a boy and girl wanted to marry the boy went to her father and ask for her hand. The boy had little scroll in which he had written all the good things he wanted to do for his bride to be. The boy and father sat down and discussed a price for the bride. When they reached an agreement there was a simple ceremony. All three ate a piece of bread and drank some wine. The boy and girl were now officially betrothed. No human authorities were involved because God Himself was the witness. (Last Supper)
That was the start of the engagement period. The girl wore a veil as sign she was engaged. This engagement usually lasted one to two years. (Two millennia?)
In that 1-
The boy’s father had the final word on when the bridal suite was ready. Part of the custom was that the father said nothing to anyone about the bridal suite so it came as a total surprise to the boy when he finally got his father’s blessing to marry. Of course the whole town knew about the engagement and the boy was often teased by others who asked “When are you finally getting married. It’s taking so long”. The boy then answered: “Only my father knows”. (Matthew 24:36)
Then finally his father gave his blessing. The boy went to his friends (angels) and asked them to help him to steal his bride. The girl still knew nothing, but now the new was strategically leaked and would reach the bride as ‘gossip’. She now knew the groom would likely arrive in the next few weeks. She just had to be prepared for the whole period (the 10 virgins parable). The stealing away the bride was usually done after dark.
At the father’s house was a wedding canopy (tent with just a roof). The couple stood under it and exchanged their vows. Then the couple entered the newly build room and consummated the marriage. They stayed hidden/unseen in that room for 7 whole days (7 years of tribulation?) After the seven days they left the chamber. Guests are waiting and the girl no longer wears her veil. Obviously Jesus is the groom, but whose the bride? It can’t be the church because that’s the body of Christ. Jesus is the last Adam. Adam’s wife Eve was taken out of his body (a rib). So it seems to me the bride is small elect part (taken out) of the body.
I’m sure you have spotted a few obvious parallels between that Jewish custom and Biblical teachings. Jesus is the groom of ‘the church’. He’ll return for His bride but doesn’t know the hour. Jesus bought His bride with His blood shed on the cross. Etc. If we can agree that at least some things are obvious parallels then perhaps we can also agree there are more less known parallels. While the above may look vague and odd it wasn’t for the ancient Jews. They fully understood Jesus and the apostles were ‘hinting’ to the marriage customs. So it’s fair to assume that they understood the great noise as a shofar blast.
Both the groom's parents and the parents of the bride would assign several formal witnesses to the event and would wait outside or in an adjoining room while the couple consummated the marriage in the wedding bed. “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands [outside the chuppah room] and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.” (John 3:29)
as a thief in the night
→ An ancient Jewish custom in which the groom picked up his bride at an unexpected moment/night.
with a great noise
→ The groom blew the shofar when he was near the bride’s house
elements shall melt with fervent heat
→ As we have seen above “elements” can mean many things. Heat is often taken very literally. Literal fire or the sun expanding until it engulfs earth. I think we can rule out the expanding sun because that won’t happen within a few billion years. Personally I think the fire isn’t literal at all. It will be constructive instead of destructive.
Mat 25:33 And He shall be standing the sheep, indeed, at His right, yet the kids at the left."
Mat 25:46 And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian."
***= I wonder if every human ever lived was/is a goat.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was waste and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Gen 1:2 Now, the earth, had become waste and wild, and, darkness, was on the face of the roaring deep,––but, the Spirit of God, was brooding on the face of the waters.
Gen 1:2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness is on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,