ALL THINGS IN CHRIST
In all wisdom and prudence making known to us the mystery of His will according to His
good pleasure which He purposed in Him the plan for the fullness of the times
TO HEAD UP THE ALL THINGS IN THE CHRIST ,
the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, in Him ….
(Ephesians 1:8b-10)
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
Article #43
In Defense of All
March 2012
There are many ways and many verses to cite in order to make the case that God intends to
save all mankind, not all at the same time but all eventually, and He intends to do this through
His Son and through judgment, for we will all stand before the judgment seat of God (Romans
14:10).
This will be accomplished by the consummation of the eons at which time God's ultimate
purpose will have been achieved, so that God the Father may be all in all.
(21) For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. (22) For
as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (23) But each in his own order:
Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, (24) then comes the end,
when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and
all authority and power. (25) For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His
feet. (26) The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (27) For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN
SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is
evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. (28) When all things are
subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all
things to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:21-28 NASB)
These few verses contain, perhaps, some of the most profound truths of Scripture. Verse 22 is
especially important. Note how it is worded in another translation.
As everyone dies because of Adam, so also everyone will be made alive because of Christ. (1
Corinthians 15:22 GW)
Paul presented the same truth from a slightly different angle in his Romans epistle.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so
through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18
NASB)
Well, in this article, let us consider three truths in defense of the salvation of all mankind so
that God achieves His purpose of being all in all. Mind you, there are many other defenses of
all.
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Every Knee Will Bow
(9) Because of this also God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above every name, (10)
that at the name of Jesus "every knee should bow [ kampto ] ," of heavenly ones, and earthly
ones, and ones under the earth, (11) and "every tongue should confess" that Jesus Christ is
"Lord," to the glory of God the Father. Isa. 45:23 (Philippians 2:9-11 LITV)
Most of us probably have been taught by well-meaning teachers that, one day, the lost will be
forced to bow their knees to the Lord and confess with their tongues that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Further, many have been taught that the lost will be forced to make this confession right before
they are unmercifully cast by an angry and vengeful god into an eternal torture chamber called
hell . If you have read any of my material, you know that I reject this teaching because it is in
opposition to Scripture and against the very character of God is love .
The purpose of the lake of fire (not hell ) is to bring the carnal deeds of the lost into the second
death, right the wrongs of their life (judgment of their deeds), and teach them righteousness. In
other words, it is to restore and correct them, not to destroy or torture them. God wills all to
be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth , and so all will, barring none (1 Timothy
2:4). This will take time, but each will be made alive in Christ in his own troop (1 Corinthians
15:22-23), even if it takes many eons [ages] to fully restore all mankind.
Every knee will willingly bow and every tongue willingly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father.
Do we honestly think that when the lost stand before the Great White Throne and see Jesus
standing there in all His glory that they will say to themselves: "He is not Lord"? I doubt it. They
will be like John and fall at His feet like dead men (Revelation 1:17).
Besides, Paul tells us that no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
Because of this I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus is a
curse. And no one is able to say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3
LITV)
To make sure the point is nailed down, so to speak, Paul gives us another word.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him
from the dead, you will be saved…. (Romans 10:9 NASB)
It is a simple equation. One must have the Holy Spirit in order to say that Jesus is Lord. One who
says that Jesus is Lord confesses with the mouth and believes in the heart. And, the result is
salvation.
This may surprise some, but whenever a knee bows and a tongue makes this great confession,
it is because the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in the person. In other words, all mankind,
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none excluded, will, one day, have the Spirit of God within them. Consequently, all mankind will
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
In the Greek, the word translated as bow is kampto , which means "to bend." Vines Expository
Dictionary states that it means "to bend, is used especially of bending the knees in religious
veneration." The word veneration applies to worship and means "to look upon with feelings of
deep respect; a feeling of deep respect and reverence." In other words, kampto applies to one
who willingly bows out of deep respect and is not forced or coerced into it.
If Paul meant that all will be forced to bow, then he would have used the word sunkampto ,
which means "to bend down by compulsory force." Paul used this word in quoting David in
reference to Israel.
And David said, "Let their table become for a snare and a trap, and for a stumbling block,"
and a repayment to them; (10) "let their eyes be darkened, not to see, and their back always
bowing [ sunkampto ] ." LXX-68:23, 24; MT-Psa. 69:22, 23 (Romans 11:9-10 LITV)
As one who had been a blasphemer and who knew he was saved, not according to his own
righteousness or works but by the righteousness of Christ and His one work (Philippians 3:2-11),
Paul knew the heart of God for mankind. When Jesus broke into his life, Paul became a changed
man, and he started to search Hebrew Scripture in an entirely new light. Yes, the Lord broke
into his life; Paul was not seeking for Christ; on the contrary, he had set out to destroy the
Christ (the Way) as he was on the road to Damascus.
See Article #3, November 2007, Laid Hold of by Christ Jesus , and Article #5, January 2008, Being
Ignorant, In Unbelief, Yet The Grace .
Consequently, Paul did not make up these words but repeated them and explained them in
light of the new covenant that shone brightly in his inner man. He quoted Isaiah.
(22) "Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
(23) I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and
will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow [ kara ] , every tongue will swear allegiance
[ shaba ] . (24) They will say of Me, 'Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.' Men will
come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame." (Isaiah 45:22-24 NASB)
Consider carefully the word of the Lord to Isaiah. Take special note that there is no condition
attached to God's oath; therefore, God's oath declares that what He has purposed will come to
pass.
The Lord has called forth to all the ends of the earth, meaning all mankind. He has called all
mankind to turn to Him and be saved, for salvation comes through no other. But then, the Lord
swears by Himself. In other words, He makes an oath that He has sent forth His word and that
His word will not come back to Him as if it were not accomplished; that is, it will not fail. But fail
at what? It will not fail to cause, not force, all mankind to bow the knee to Him and every
tongue to swear allegiance to Him.
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Love does not Fail!
The Hebrew word for bow is kara , which means "to sink or prostrate." The Hebrew word for
swear allegiance is shaba , which has a very interesting meaning. It comes from the root word
shebah, shibah , which is a primitive cardinal number, the number seven, which signifies
spiritual perfection .
In other words, when every knee bows to the Lord and every tongue swears that He is truly
Lord, it signifies spiritual perfection, which can only come through the Holy Spirit taking up
residence in everyone who bows, that is, all mankind. All are destined for spiritual perfection.
Not only will all mankind bow and swear allegiance or confess, but all will acknowledge, just as
Paul did, that only in the Lord is righteousness; a righteousness through faith in Christ, which
comes from God on the basis of faith (Philippians 3:9). The Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah
23:6).
All who were angry with the Lord, even ones who rejected Him, will come to Him. Undoubtedly,
the Great White Throne Judgment will bring shame upon many, but this does not mean that
they will become like toast for eternity (i.e., burned and tortured in a never-ending literal fire).
Some might raise an objection: Do you mean that there is no judgment? I mean no such thing,
for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be
recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad
(2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB). This applies to ALL!
Some will be saved to arise in the first resurrection and transfiguration, and others will arise in
the second resurrection saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). Paul confirms this
again in light of every knee bowing and every tongue confessing.
(11) For it has been written, "As I live, says the Lord, that every knee will bow to Me, and
every tongue confess to God." Isa. 45:23 (12) So then each one of us will give account
concerning himself to God. (Romans 14:11-12 LITV)
Drag All to Himself
Now, let us look at a second defense in favor of the salvation of all mankind.
"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw [or, drag] all to Myself." But this He was
saying signifying by what sort of death He was about to die. (John 12:32-33 ALT)
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will make all men come to me. This he said, pointing to
the sort of death he would have. (John 12:32-33 BBE)
It seems that today there are many things lifted up from the pulpits of Christendom. I have
listened to some preaching that had little to do with the one Person that is to be lifted up, and
then, at the end of the message, the preacher gave an invitation for people to be saved. Often, I
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have been left scratching my head, wondering how anyone could ever get saved when the Lord
was never lifted up in the message. It makes me wonder what one is being saved into, in
response to such an invitation. Thank God; the Holy Spirit is not hindered by man's inadequacy
or even error.
With so many things emphasized amongst the Lord's people, we must not lose sight of the one
thing, and that is lifting up our Lord Jesus Christ. We can talk or preach about many things, but
let us never forget the one thing.
Let us be like David who wrote: One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I
may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD
and to meditate in His temple (Psalm 27:4 NASB). He sought to behold the beauty of the Lord
and to be in His presence. There is nothing greater than this. Or, let us be like Mary, the sister
of Martha and Lazarus, when she sat at the feet of the Lord, listening to His words. Jesus
commended her for gazing upon Him: "But only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen
the good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:42 NASB).
Let us lift up our Lord in a day in which many things are being lifted up, for the day is coming
when there will be only one name lifted up over the earth.
In the above verse, Jesus pointed to the sort of death He would have. We all know that He was
lifted up and impaled on stakes of wood to die for the sin of the world. But there is something
tremendous in His declaration that seems to be lost in much preaching today. Oh, His words are
often quoted, but the depth of their meaning is often not fully understood.
When Jesus declared that if He were lifted up He would draw all men to Himself, He meant
exactly what He said. In other words, if He died on the cross of Calvary for the sin of the world,
which He most definitely did, then He would literally draw all men to Himself. He did not
elaborate on how He will do this or when He will do this, but He declared that He would do it.
He spoke of the victory that He was about to win and did win for all mankind at Calvary.
The word draw literally means "to drag." In the Greek, this word is helkuo , which appears eight
times in the New Testament Greek text (John 6:44; 12:32; 18:10; 21:6; 21;11; Acts 16:19; 21:30;
James 2:6).
To understand the meaning of this declaration, we need to see it in the light of another word
the Lord declared to His disciples.
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws [drags] him; and I will raise
him up on the last day." (John 6:44 NASB)
Again, the word draw comes from the same Greek word meaning "to drag." Thus, the dragging
starts with the Father. He drags people to His Son. But notice that the Lord said that He would
drag all men to Himself, and the word all is an inclusive word that means "everybody."
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In other words, it is the Father's will to drag all mankind to His Son and His Son's will to drag all
mankind to Himself. This is in accord with other Scripture.
(3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; (4) Who will have all men to
be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4 KJV)
Notice that God will have all men to be saved. It does not state all men might be saved, or
probably will be saved, or that God wishes all men to be saved, although some translations
word it as such, but that God wills for all men to be saved.
Through Isaiah the prophet, God declared: "My purpose will be established, and I will
accomplish all My good pleasure" (Isaiah 46:10 NASB). If God wills that all men are to be saved
and thus He will drag all men to His Son, do we think that He will not accomplish what He has
willed?
Jesus declared that all that the Father drags to Him, He will raise up on the last day. For years, I
thought this referred to the end of our present eon, but I have since come to see that this last
day refers to the end of the millennial reign of Christ when all the dead that were not raised in
the first or out -resurrection will be raised in the second resurrection to appear before the Great
White Throne, or what Jesus called the resurrection of life and the resurrection of judgment
(John 5:29), and Paul called the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
(28) "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear
His voice, (29) and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life,
those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28-29 NASB)
(14) "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the
God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written
in the Prophets; (15) having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there
shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." (Acts 24:14-15 NASB)
These verses refer to the resurrection that precedes God's Day when all is new. In that day, all
that were not raised in the better resurrection 1,000 years prior will be raised up from the state
of death to appear before the Throne of God, not for the purpose of annihilation or eternal
condemnation but for the purpose of either being saved, yet so as through fire , or being
judged and brought under the fiery law of God, not for punishment but for correction and
restitution.
Thus, all men will be dragged unto the Lord because the cross is and will be an absolute, 100%
success in the reconciliation and restoration of all things, in which all mankind is included.
Nothing by Chance
Let us consider a third defense of the salvation of all mankind. This one involves the question of
whether an unbeliever has a "second chance" for salvation after death.
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Without doubt, most Christians probably believe that there is no second chance for an
unbeliever. After all, it is commonly taught from the pulpits that when one dies in unbelief,
there is no second chance to be saved. As the teaching goes, there are only two choices for
mankind, heaven or hell. "Make up your mind in this life or toast in hell."
A verse that is often quoted in support of "no second chance" is Hebrews 9:27: And inasmuch
as it is appointed for men to die once and after this [comes] judgment. However, one must
read into this that there is no second chance for salvation, for it says nothing about how many
chances one might have.
When one dies, judgment follows. It doesn't say when judgment occurs but that it occurs
sometime after death. Obviously, in the case of those who are raised from the dead to appear
before the Great White Throne Judgment, it occurs at the end of the Lord's Day right before
God's Day.
Personally, I do not believe the question of a "second chance" is even the right question. God
leaves nothing to chance. If He did, He would never become all in all. However, having said this,
in type, Scripture actually does indicate that God allows for a second opportunity. Consider the
sons of Israel and the keeping of Passover.
(9) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (10) "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If any
one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a
distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the LORD. (11) 'In the second
month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with
unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (Numbers 9:9-11 NASB)
There were two things that might have kept an Israelite from keeping Passover, touching a
dead body and being away on a long journey. In these cases, they were allowed to keep it in the
second month. In other words, they had a second opportunity, not so much a second chance.
The same opportunity could apply to mankind. In Adam, we all occupy mortal bodies or bodies
of death (Romans 7:24). Essentially, we are like the dead person in verse 10. Mankind is unclean
in this condition. Consequently, unbelievers remain unclean in their dead bodies; that is, they
touch death. On the other hand, when we believe on Jesus, we pass out of death into life (1
John 3:14), and the Word of God cleanses us (John 15:3). We will still die physically, but Jesus'
blood cleanses us from all sin.
Keep in mind that Passover is the first step in a believer's journey with the Lord, for it speaks of
justification by faith as we apply Jesus' blood to the door of our heart.
The other reason for a second opportunity was when an Israelite was on a long journey and
could not return in time for Passover. He could also keep Passover in the second month. This is
like the prodigal son who wandered from his father's house and was given a second
opportunity to be part of his father's house (Luke 15:11-32). Thus, men might wander their
whole lives, but a day will come when they will be invited into the Father's house to keep the
Passover, that is, to be justified by faith.
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God has Sworn
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me
every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. (Isaiah 45:23 NASB)
When God makes a vow with no conditions attached to it, do we think He will not keep it or, for
some reason beyond His control, will not be able to keep it? Let us not doubt God.
The Lord said that He would bless all the nations through Abraham. Are we to doubt He will do
this to all?
(17) The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, (18) since Abraham
will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be
blessed? (Genesis 18:17-18 NASB)
The Lord said that He will fill all the earth with His glory. Are we to doubt that He will do this to
all the earth?
(20) So the LORD said, "I have pardoned them according to your word; (21) but indeed, as I
live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD. (Numbers 14:20-21 NASB)
Through Paul, we are told that God wills all men to be saved and that Jesus gave Himself as a
ransom for all . Are we to doubt that He will save all mankind?
(3) For this is right and acceptable before God our Saviour, (4) who doth will all men to be
saved, and to come to the full knowledge of the truth; (5) for one is God, one also is mediator
of God and of men, the man Christ Jesus, (6) who did give himself a ransom for all—the
testimony in its own times…. (1 Timothy 2:3-6 YLT)
Some translations use the word desires or wishes or wants in place of will , as if God sort of
pleads or hopes that all men will be saved. The Greek word for will could have this meaning, but
it is not the only meaning associated with it. Wigram's New Englishman's Greek-English
Concordance states that this Greek verb means "to determine, make a positive choice, to will,
wish, desire."
Paul gives us one more verse along this line. God is the Savior of all men. If God is the Savior of
all, do we not think that He will save all?
For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is
the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (1 Timothy 4:10 NASB)
Why didn't Paul say that God is the Savior of all believers? Because he meant all men! Why
didn't he say that God is specifically the Savior of all believers? Again, because he meant all
men!
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Some make the point that the word especially rules out the rest of mankind, as if the whole of
Paul's thought is about believers. By adding the word especially , Paul was simply making the
point that believers have a special blessing in being saved in this life. He did not exclude the rest
of mankind from salvation.
According to Strong's Concordance , the word especially means "most in the greatest degree or
particularly. The same word is used by Paul in Philippians 4:22: All the saints greet you,
especially (or, particularly ) those of Caesar's household . All the saints sent a greeting, but Paul
singled out one household that sent a particular or special greeting.
Consequently, all will willingly bow their knee to Jesus, and all will be dragged to the Lord. This
is the will of God for all mankind, none excepted.
Dear brethren, let us revel in the glory of our Lord and what He has accomplished for all
mankind. Can you think of anything more glorious than God eventually saving all mankind
through His Son? Is there anything that will bring Him more glory than this? I doubt it!
Let us defend the all inclusiveness of God!
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