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 #65
Who Are You, Lord?
March 2017
This one question is probably the most important and profound question that anyone born of
Adam's race could ask. In his quest to destroy the Way , Saul, a zealous Pharisee who prided
himself in his knowledge of and obedience to the Law of Moses (i.e., his own righteousness),
encountered the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. As he was blinded by the glory of the
ascended, glorified, and exalted Anointed Son of God, seated at the right hand of the throne of
glory, the only words he could mutter were: "Who are You, Lord?" The response came
immediately: "I am Jesus." We can only imagine what went through Saul's mind at that moment.
Of course, we now know Saul as Paul, the apostle of the nations who was given revelation that
transcends time and space and exceeds what the ancient prophets saw. Actually, they were not
given the revelation that Paul received, and according to Paul's own testimony, he was given the
charge to complete the word ( logos ) of God (Colossians 1.25), and he did just that through his
epistles, especially through his letters to the Ephesians and the Colossians. Consequently, Paul's
understanding and knowledge of Jesus as the ascended and glorified Christ is greater than all the
other authors of what we call the Bible . Keep in mind; unlike the twelve original apostles who
personally knew Jesus in the flesh, Paul had no such experience. He only knew Him as the
resurrected, ascended, glorified, exalted One seated at the right hand of God the Father, far
above all rule, and all authority, and power, and dominion, and every name named, not only
in this age, but also in the one to come … with the all (all things) in subjection under His feet .
Nowhere in scripture, except in Paul's epistles, do we find such a full revelation that truly answers
the question: "Who are You, Lord?" Before delving into Paul's answer, there are two introductory
comments.
First, it appears that Paul never stopped asking this question; perhaps not always using these
exact words, but we know that, as his life was nearing its end, he continued seeking to know the
Lord. That I may know Him! (Philippians 3.10). Is it any wonder? Paul called Christ the mystery
of God, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2.2b-3). It
is as if Christ is a treasure hidden in the earth or the universe, like gold, that has to be mined, if
we are to come into the riches (abundance, wealth) of Christ , another one of Paul's expressions.
If we are honest with ourselves and with the Lord, we are all like Paul in his question: Who are
You, Lord? Let's face it; there are times when we just do not understand God's ways in our lives,
and we have more unanswered questions than answered ones. There are times when things
don't make any sense and even seem to contradict God's very character and promises. We cry
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out: "Lord, what is going on?" Then, add to this the many seemingly contradictory teachings along
with the many seemingly contradictory prophecies coming forth from the so-called Christian
world , and the strange events happening in the world that seem to be on the very edge of
upsetting all that we thought we knew about this earth and the universe, and we come to Paul's
cry: Who are You, Lord? If you haven't come to this point yet, it will come. It is as if it is a necessity
to our growth in the Lord. This question goes along with a yearning deep within us that senses
there is so much more to Jesus and we haven't arrived yet to a full understanding of Him. Some
say we will be forever searching His riches. Along with this yearning, we might begin wondering
about the many things we have been taught, including about salvation itself.
Dear beloved in Christ, we need to be like Paul, who, after declaring that he might know Him,
also declared: I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus
(Philippians 3.14).
Second, and this will lead into the heart of what follows in this article; for the most part, the
gospel or good news that is preached to the so-called lost , and then, in some quarters, repeated
Sunday after Sunday to the so-called saved , falls way short of the good news of Jesus. So often,
the message starts with a question like: Where will you be if you died right now, in heaven or in
hell? Then, the preacher goes on attempting to save the lost out of hell and into heaven, trying
to convince them that they are horrific people called sinners that have offended a holy God and
need to be saved so they can go to heaven when they die; otherwise, God is going to remain mad
at them and send them to a fictitious place called hell . They must ask Jesus to save them. Added
to this, they might get into the ancient Jewish animal sacrificial system to highlight Jesus as the
sacrificial Lamb of God that does away with all such sacrifices. But what if a person has no
understanding of being a sinner (by the preacher's definition) or any understanding of or desire
to know anything about the ancient sacrificial system? What does a so-called gentile (non-Jew)
have to do with ancient rituals that are no longer practiced as part of any religious exercise
anywhere in the world today? Often, messages are preached that don't even present the good
news, and when the preacher has exhausted his notes or his PowerPoint presentation, he asks
who in the crowd doesn't have Jesus. It's like: Have you got Jesus? Is it any wonder that people
sit in pews or folding chairs week after week, hearing the same watered-down messages, often
based more on psychology than spiritual truth, and they don't know Him in the sense that the
apostle of the nations revealed in his epistles? Yes; the Holy Spirit can convict people, and often
does, through such things and open their eyes to the truth. But, why not present the truth of
Jesus in a way that truly lifts Him up and answers the question of who He is right from the start?
Why leave people in the dark, blinded or ignorant of such a tremendous and glorious beginning
or foundation upon which their lives can and will be built? We can only imagine that if Paul
showed up on the scene today, he would not recognize what is being taught as if it were the truth
of the good news.
Mind you; the motives of the many preachers and teachers in our day are not being questioned.
Many of them are well-meaning in all they do as they have a heart to reach hearts for the Lord.
However, the question is whether they are reaching out from the higher ground of Christ or a
much lower ground that is correct as far as it goes but falls short of the mark of Christ.
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Here is my personal conclusion on the matter. I encourage you to take it to the Lord. Heaven,
hell, and sin are not the beginning or starting point of the good news. Christ alone is the starting
point, and it is Him alone that must be presented to those who don't know Him and to those who
do. If there is any message to repeat week after week (and the need for weekly sermons is
seriously questioned), it must be centered on Christ, the One who is preeminent and first and
last in all things, that is, on the all of God. Anything less than this will only lead to a people being
filled with a mental knowledge about Christian things, including a mental knowledge of a mostly
historical Christ, as they are fed by professional preachers who have a mental understanding that
they gleaned from their seminary studies but not necessarily from real life experiences in union
with the Lord. Wearing a collar or standing behind a pulpit or holding a seminary doctoral
certificate is not proof the person lives in daily union with or even knows the Lord Jesus.
This leads to the heart of the matter. The good news or evangel or glad tidings must start with
Jesus and who and what He is, not with sin and death. It is proposed that sin and His sacrificial
death and resurrection are not the starting points. This does not diminish their importance; it
simply puts them in the proper perspective. The good news must start with the higher ground of
Christ. Jesus or the Anointed Jesus is the first and the last of the good news. He is the good news,
just as He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Faith, the Love, the Resurrection, and many more
definitive ( the ) facts, including probably countless ones that we haven't, as of yet, even come to
know or appreciate.
Now, let us begin by considering the Jesus the old creation Saul met on the road to Damascus
and the revelation that came to the new creation Paul following this glorious, life-changing
experience. In that flashing light of glory, he did not see death, sin, or fallen man; he saw glory,
and it blinded him. Stated another way, Paul was blinded by Life in glory, by the Glorified
Heavenly Man, the One who is beyond sin and death. Most profoundly, he was blinded by Life in
perfection, life as God intends it to be and is driving to accomplish in, through, and by the Son of
His love. This is the genesis of Paul's gospel, and this is where we must begin in answering the
question: Who are You, Lord? So, let's begin.
He is the Son of God's love. First and foremost, Jesus is the Son of God the Father. The very
essence of God is love, and Jesus is the object and manifestation of that love; thus, He is the Son
of God's love. The Mitchell New Testament presents alternate renderings of the phrase the Son
of God's love : The Son which is His love ; the Son who has the characteristics and qualities of His
accepting love ; and the Son whose origin is love . (Colossians 1.13)
He is the exact likeness or image of the invisible God. He is the radiance of God's glory. In Him
dwells all the fullness of Deity in bodily form, meaning He is the visible manifestation of the
invisible (unseen) God who is Spirit. The whole fullness of God, all the essence and nature of
God, dwells in the Son of God. There is nothing lacking in Him in relation to Deity. The Son exactly
and perfectly mirrors His Father. (Colossians 1.15; 2.9)
He precedes all things as the Firstborn of all creation. The Son was in God the Father before
there was creation or the universe as we know it, meaning, as the Son of God, He precedes all
things in the realm of physical matter, meaning nothing in the realm of the physical universe or
creation existed prior to Him. But there is much more, for Paul was given the unique revelation
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that Jesus is the Firstborn of all creation. As the first of creation, He has all the rights of
inheritance and authority of the Firstborn Son. There were no sons before Him. But there is even
more, for the term firstborn implies that the Son was birthed from the Father. We can only
speculate, but it appears that part of God was birthed out of the Spirit and took on material form,
that is, took on a material body that embodies both the Spirit realm and the newly created
physical realm that was to become the creation , which is the universe (or, space), as we know it.
(Colossians 1.15, 17) [By my reckoning, creation, universe, and space are synonymous.]
Out from the midst of God came a part of God that we are told is Son , meaning there is a familial
relationship of Father and Son. The word Son , without the definite article, is purposely used to
highlight the thought that a concept emerged from God called Son . There is some precedence
for this, for Hebrews 1.2 could be translated as God … has spoken to us in Son . Most translations
insert various words such a Son, the Son, or the person of the Son, with these extra words in
italics , meaning they are not in the original language. Jesus is the Son and the Son is the Firstborn,
etc., but He is representative of a much greater thought in relation to God and the creation that
speaks of God as Father in relation to creation as Son. Creation is all about Sonship.
Paul expresses this thought of out from or out of in 1 Corinthians 8.6: There is one God, the
Father, out of Whom all is, and we for Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all is,
and we through Him (CLV). All are out from God, meaning even His Son came out from Him.
A.E. Knoch, in his Concordant Commentary on the New Testament , best explains this verse.
We have here a marvelously exact and concise definition of the relationship which
we sustain to God and to the Lord, which, in turn, throws much light on their
respective relationship to each other. Briefly put, God is the Source and Object of all;
Christ is the Channel of all . Thus it is always found. We are never said to come out of
Christ, but out of God. Indeed, Christ asserts that He Himself, came out of God (John
8.42). All is out of God (Romans 11.36). But God never deals with us except through
His Anointed. Creation began in the Son of God and was carried out through Him. He
has the same place in redemption. There is no conflict, for, while the Son, as the
Image of the Father, is entitled to be called God and to receive the same honor as the
Father, yet He Himself insists that His Father is greater than all (John 10.29). All that
He had was received from His Father. His very life was a gift (John 5.26), and He lived
by the Father (John 6.57). He did the Father's will, not His own. He was one with the
Father, and desired that the disciples might become partakers of that unity (John
17.22). So that He Himself was in every way, out of the Father. On the other hand, He
is the only Way to the Father, the only means through Whom we may know God.
Hence, while all is sourced in God the Father, all is channeled through the Son . It is
only by clinging closely to the exact language of Holy Writ that we may hope to gain
a clear conception of the relation of the Father to the Son.
We can only imagine the beauty and magnificence of the moment the Son came out from God
who is His Father. In this capacity, Son became something entirely new. Son came forth from the
midst of Father as Creation itself; He came forth as Creation. Like a seed that contains the tree
and its fruit, the Son came forth as the Seed of God, the Seed of Creation that embodied the
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uncreated Spirit of God and the new realm of matter that came forth from God. In a sense, if
all things came forth from or out from God, meaning it all came from the very being of God as
Spirit and became manifested in a material or physical form, is anything truly created? Is all of
the universe simply a manifestation of God expressed in a material way?
You might want to take a moment to reflect on what you just read. However, to be clear, God is
forever unique as God the Father. It was out of God that went forth. We can only speculate what.
He is the Creator of all things. In Him (the Son), through Him, and for Him were created all
things. (Colossians 1.16; Revelation 4.11) This is another of Paul's great revelations. All things,
that is, the ALL ( ta panta ), were not only created by Him and for Him but, most importantly, in
Him.
For more on ta panta , see The All : http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc678.pdf
When asked how the universe or creation began, the most profound answer is that it began in
God's Son, the One we call Jesus or the Christ ( Anointed One ) of God . Everything that came forth
into the material realm came out of His very being. God is not only Spirit and Love but also Light.
Scientists, astrophysicists, and astronomers postulate that the universe began with a big bang of
something that transformed into light and consequently into matter. Consider the following
quote from a web site titled All About Science – Big Bang Theory – An Overview .
Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot,
infinitely dense, something - a singularity . Where did it come from? We don't know.
Why did it appear? We don't know. … According to [their] calculations, time and
space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.
The singularity didn't appear in space; rather, space began inside of the singularity .
Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy - nothing.
So where and in what did the singularity appear if not in space? We don't know. We
don't know where it came from, why it's here, or even where it is. All we really know
is that we are inside of it and at one time it didn't exist and neither did we .
What an amazing explanation. The answer to these questions is that at the moment of creation
the something , the singularity was God's Son. Space as we know it began in the one and only Son
(singularity). Where is all of creation today? It is in the Son! In Him were created all things. Where
did the Light come from? It came from God is Light. The invisible God of Light became the visible
Light of the Son. Consequently, all matter is from God's Son and is in God's Son.
Interestingly, our universe is made up of visible and invisible matter. The invisible matter is all
around us but with our natural eyes we cannot see it. Nevertheless, it is still part of the material
creation. Some scientists believe there is one invisible particle (not seen by the naked eye) that
is the genesis of all matter and, as such, has been dubbed the God particle . Paul confirms that
there is the visible and the invisible in creation, for he defines all things created in the Son as
those things in the heavens and on the earth, both visible and invisible, including invisible forces
that are at work that he calls thrones (powers), lordships (ownership systems), governments
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(ruling forces), and authorities. Could we not include the so-called God particle and the unseen
forces of nature and the universe in this group of the invisible?
He upholds all things by the power of His Word. In Him, all things have been permanently
placed or hold together in union with Him. He makes all things one unit for the accomplishment
of God's purpose. In other words, the Son is not an absent landlord but is actively engaged in
creation to fulfill God's purpose of being All in All. All of creation is His responsibility;
consequently, He holds it all together by His power as the Word of God, that is, as the very
expression, language, and manifestation of God the Father. This does not refer to what we call
the Bible and many call the word of God . Son is the Word of God. The Word is a Person! He is the
Alpha and the Omega , the first and last letters of the Greek language, meaning He is the entire
language of God that speaks throughout all of creation. He not only holds all things together but
all things have been permanently placed in Him. Again, as the above quote implies, we, along
with all things, are inside of Him. If it were possible to blot out the Son, then all of creation,
including all of mankind, would be blotted out as well. He holds it all together as one to the end
that the Father may be All in All . (1 Corinthians 15.28; Colossians 1.17; Hebrews 1.3; Revelation
1.8, 17; 19.13)
Summarizing the truths given so far: He is preeminent or first place in all things ( ta panta ; the
All). (Colossians 1.18; 3.11) He is the All in All of Creation. Nothing is outside of Him and nothing
is before Him or after Him, and all things are in Him. Metaphorically speaking, He is like the
tree and the fruit of the tree that are in the seed. The Son is the Seed of God that bears fruit
for God. (John 12.24)
So far, these truths stand uniquely in relation to creation, that is, the entire universe (space),
which, of course, includes earth and its inhabitant, man. But, if we were not in existence, these
facts would still hold true.
Now, let us consider the answer of who He is more specifically in relation to us (i.e., mankind) on
earth.
He made the ages, meaning that through the Son, God made the designated periods of time.
He is the beginning of the ages, and He will be the end of the ages, for He is the first and the
last, as if He were the bookends of time, as well as the books themselves. Time is a creation of
the Son and is divided into ages (indefinite periods of time) in which He acts or moves in certain
ways as He implements God's plan to achieve His ultimate purpose of All. Regarding our physical
earth, nothing in the history of mankind is outside the plan and purpose of God. The plan is that
the Son be All in All throughout the ages, and the purpose is that the Father be All in All at the
consummation of the ages and beyond. This means that time and ages of time are part of God's
plan as the Son and His creation press on toward the consummation of the ages. (Hebrews 1.2;
Revelation 1.8, 17)
He is far above every authority, and government, and power, and lordship, and every name
being named, not only in this age but in the future ages. He has all authority in heaven and on
earth and is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Messengers (angels) and authorities and
powers are subjected to Him. Man may be subject to all types of authorities, both good and evil,
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in his journey to God's All, but be assured, there is one authority over all authorities, and He is
God's Son. No matter what is happening on earth or in individual lives or even in the celestial
realm, God's Son reigns supreme. He is over all kings and all lords and all heavenly hosts,
regardless of the exact title or name they might hold. (Matthew 28.18; Ephesians 1.21; 1 Peter
3.22; Revelation 19.16)
He is the Heir of all things. The nations are His inheritance and the earth His possession. In other
words, man might think he can rule this earth on his own as if he owns it, but he is merely a
caretaker at best. As the Creator, the Son of God is the rightful owner of the earth and all that is
in it. As the Firstborn Son, He has the right of inheritance of the nations and the right to exercise
all authority over them. (Psalms 2.8; Hebrews 1.2)
He is God's secret in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Man seeks
for wealth and money and title and position, thinking these will give him all he needs and wants.
But true wealth is in the Son, for He alone is God's treasure given to man, no longer a secret to
those whose eyes have been opened to Him. The Son is the wealth of God, God's treasure of all
wisdom and knowledge, which is far greater than material comforts and needs. (Colossians 2.3)
All that has been presented so far is foundational to who Jesus is, with emphasis on His Sonship
because He is Son at the very genesis of Creation.
Continuing on; about 6,000 years ago, the Son appeared on a restored earth, took the soil of the
earth and formed man to be His image [Hebrew = imaging] on the earth. As the Son imaged His
Father, man was formed to image the Son ̶ in His likeness and in His image. The Son of God
appeared to the first man, Adam , who is also called son of God , in a garden planted by Him. Adam
is a son of God because he was formed by a direct act of God.
As an aside, there is teaching that says the Father was the one who appeared on earth, but I don't
believe this is correct. The Father is the invisible God who does all things through His Son who is
His visible image. A proof of this is discovered in a few passages from the ancient prophets, in
particular, Isaiah 12.2 (CLV): "Behold! El is my Salvation. I am trusting in Him and am not afraid.
For my Strength and Melody is Yah, Yahweh, and He is becoming mine for salvation." This could
be rephrased as: Yahweh has become my Jesus. In other words, the Yahweh of the ancient days
is the Jesus of our modern day. For more on this, see article #53: Yahweh Has Become My Yeshua
( Soteria ): http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art53.pdf
We can only speculate, but the Son must have appeared to Adam in His original form when He
stepped out from the midst of God at the very genesis of creation. His form was of the Son of
Glory. Could we not say that the Son had a glorified body as He walked in the garden and
appeared to Adam? Could we not call this His First Presence (coming) to earth to appear before
man? Then, 4,000 years later, the Firstborn Son returned to this earth, but this time He came in
a different form and for an entirely different reason. Hebrews 1.6 declares: And when He [God]
again brings the firstborn into the world . This implies that there was a previous bringing forth of
the Firstborn into the world, which was His First Presence. Then, history tells us that God sent His
Son to the inhabitable world nearly 2,000 years ago, and His name is Jesus . Again, Paul gives us
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his revelation of this Presence, which is His Second Presence , at which time He appeared before
man in a human body with His glory hidden.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ [Anointed] Jesus, who, although He
existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied
Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found
in appearance as a man , He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even
death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name
which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who
are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus
Christ [the Anointed] is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.5-11 NASB)
The Son formed man to be in His image, but then He took on the form of man Himself. He became
a man, which means He became His soil-based creation, taking upon Himself a body similar to
what He formed from the soil 4,000 years earlier. He emptied Himself, not in some partial way
but totally changed His form that fully hid God's glory from physical sight. He arrived on earth,
born of a woman who was overshadowed by the Spirit of God. He arrived as all mankind does,
through the womb of a woman. However, His Heavenly Father begat Him, and He was declared
the only begotten Son of God in human form.
It was at this point that He was given the name, Jesus ( Jehoshua in Hebrew), as given to Joseph
in a dream, which means Savior, Deliverer, Salvation . It is generally acknowledged that the name
Jesus was associated entirely with His humiliation on earth. He came to save His people (the
Jewish-Israelite nation/people) from their sins; however, many rejected Him and demanded His
crucifixion. This was His immediate purpose, but through the revelation given to Paul, this
extended to all the nations (people). He also took on the title or description of Christ , which
means Messiah (Hebrew) or the Anointed (One) . The Savior or Deliverer is the Anointed of God,
meaning He was set apart from all of mankind, although a man, as God's Anointed Son who came
to deliver all mankind and to fulfill God's ultimate purpose. The Anointing was the Spirit of God
that rested upon Him and dwelt within Him as a man of human flesh and blood. The Anointing
means the Father is fully vested in Him, and He is fully vested in the Father and His purpose.
But here is the question: To deliver man from what? From death! The greatest enemy of all
mankind, and even of the entire Creation that is in bondage awaiting the manifestation of the
sons of God, is DEATH. Paul calls it the last enemy (1 Corinthians 15.26). To this, we could add
that He came to deliver us or save us from ourselves and to deliver us unto His Father.
Regardless of one's religious or ideological persuasion, there is one undeniable fact with which
all mankind must reckon: We all face death and eventually our bodies die and return to the soil
of the earth. Death is man's lot. This is a fact borne out by the countless number of graves in the
earth today. No one has ever come out of the grave to ascend in glory, except one.
But there is a second undeniable fact: Good and evil have persisted throughout the history of
man, with evil often appearing to be overtaking good. Large segments of history contain the
record of men inflicting evil upon one another. The ages leading up to the Noahic Flood and the
Dark Ages of Medieval Europe were grossly evil periods of history. To this, we could add the many
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persecutions and tortures by religions of the world that have occurred to purge the so-called
heretics from their midst. History is strewn with countless examples as men have warred against
one another to gain power and control over the lives of the people and to gain riches. We are in
such an era at this specific point in history where money rules the day and wars and revolutions
loom on the horizon.
It appears that we (mankind) need to be saved or delivered from ourselves. But we have no way
to deliver ourselves. We are lost in repetitive cycles of good and evil, destined to continue until
perhaps, one day, we might succeed in annihilating our entire human race, if God does not
intervene. All of this is so contrary to the essence of God the Father who is love and His Son
whose origin is love. Man was created to be imaging the love of God toward one another, as well
as toward God Himself. Oh, how we have failed! To God, this is called sin . Our failure to image
God is our sin. As a race, we have fallen short of the mark or goal set for us by God in and through
His Son, and our wage (payment) for this is death (Romans 6.23). Who will set us free from this
cycle? The good news is that the Son, our Creator, sets us free by the free gift of the grace of God
through the faith of the Son who is the Faith.
For more on the faith, see The Faith : http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc672.pdf
What is the origin of good, evil, sin, and death? This most likely will bring out a strong negative
reaction in some, but the origin is God Himself. If all things come forth from God, then how can
we eliminate anything, especially when it was Elohim who planted the Tree of the Knowledge of
Good and Evil in the Garden? Where did the concepts of good and evil come from if not from
God? One of the ancient prophets gives us the answer as spoken to him by the Lord.
I am Yahweh Elohim, and there is none else. Former of light and Creator of darkness, Maker of
good and Creator of evil . I, Yahweh Elohim, made all of these things. (Isaiah 45:6-7 CLV)
This does not mean that evil is in God; simply, it means that He created it, if you will, as a concept,
not an essence that springs forth from Him. Whether the record given to us in Genesis about
Adam and Eve is a literal story, allegory, metaphor, myth, or some other figure of speech really
does not matter. What does matter is the message given to us through the story. What is it telling
us? Let us turn to the book of beginnings.
And furthermore sprouting is Yahweh Elohim from the ground every tree coveted by the sight
and good for food, and the tree of the living [i.e., Tree of Life] in the midst of the garden, and
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. … And taking is Yahweh Elohim the human that he
had formed and is leaving him in the garden of Eden to serve it and to keep it. And instructing
is Yahweh Elohim the human, saying, "From every tree of the garden, you are to eat, yea, eat.
Yet from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you are not to be eating from it, for in the
day you eat from it, to die shall you be dying . (Genesis 2.9, 15-17 CLV)
Again, whether literal or not, the trees represent two things: Life and Death ; and this is what was
placed before Adam, prior to Eve being formed from a part (rib) out of his side. Elohim's intent
(will) for Adam was to receive life first and then knowledge, for only in this way could he truly
handle the knowledge of good and evil without missing the mark of Elohim. He was not denying
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man knowledge, but there was a Divine order to receiving this knowledge. Taking knowledge
before life itself would only lead to death, and this is what happened.
As the story goes, Eve sought knowledge over life, and Adam followed. Consequently, the Tree
of the Living was barred to them and all their progeny, and death entered into the body of
mankind to be passed down to everyone born of Adam's race. So, as a result of this one
transgression (i.e., sin or missing the mark or goal of God), death became man's lot that has
continued to our very day. Paul sums it up for us.
Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and
thus death passed through into all mankind, on which all sinned. (Romans 5.12 CLV)
Through one man's sin, death passed through into all mankind, and, because of death, all
mankind sin or fall short of God's mark, which is the image of His Son. Man falls short because he
has a death sentence in his body, and sin reigns in death. To emphasize the point, Adam's sin
came first, followed by death; thus, sin led to death. In our day, death leads to sin, meaning sin
follows death. This is the Divine order, just as the Tree of the Living, which signifies God's Son, is
the first in the Divine order.
Why Adam chose knowledge over life is open for speculation. Most commentators, if not all,
place it in the realm of free will . I do not, for free will is a flawed concept. For more on this, see
article #56: Man's Free Will vs. God's Will : http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art56.pdf
There is no such thing as free will, for there is only one thing that is free, and that is God's grace
through the faith of His Son. There is such a thing as choice, however. Adam made a choice in
that day which I believe was fully expected by Elohim, if not demanded. Adam chose the love of
his life, the woman that came from his side, from his own flesh. It was love that led him to follow
her, either to try to save her or to share in her fate. He was driven by love. Husbands ought to
love their wives as their own bodies … for no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and
cherishes it (Ephesians 5.28, 29). Only in this way is the first Adam a type of the last Adam, the
Second Man. According to Paul, Adam was a type of the one to come (Romans 5.14). He was a
type of love, only he could neither save himself nor his wife from death; only the last Adam can
and will do this. Nevertheless, the great lesson of Genesis 2-3, as given to us by Jesus, is: "Greater
love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15.13). Adam laid
down his life for Eve as a foreshadow of the manifestation of a greater love that was to come
4,000 years later. The stage was set for love to conquer sin and death through the One known as
Jesus who being found in appearance as a man humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the
point of death, even death on a cross.
As the only begotten Son of God, Jesus walked this earth as the perfect man. He never sinned,
for He perfectly did the will of His Father throughout His entire journey on earth. The Creator
came to die for His Creation, although He had never sinned or missed the mark of God as a full-
blooded man of flesh and bones, not some spirit occupying a body, as some have taught. He was
all man, yet without sin. He knew no sin, yet He took on death as if a sinner. He was crucified on
a cross as if He were a criminal deserving death. The Jewish religious leaders of His day
proclaimed He deserved death merely because He factually and truthfully claimed to be the Son
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of God (John 19.7), not because He had committed some heinous sin against humanity. They
were blinded by their own agenda and drive for power and control over the people. This is what
the religions of men do best. But others, not tied to religion, could see the truth. One of the
criminals who was dying on a cross near Jesus declared: "This man has done nothing wrong"
(Luke 23.41). A centurion keeping guard over Jesus became very frightened by all that was
happening and declared: "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matthew 27.54).
The good news is that the grave could not hold Him, for He had no sin that death could hold over
Him. Take special note that this was the exact same position that the first Adam found himself
in, only he had sin that led to death. This is another reason why the first Adam was a type of the
last Adam, only the first failed and the second succeeded.
Consequently, Jesus was resurrected (raised up) from among the dead by His Father, according
to the Spirit of holiness (Romans 1.4). The Anointed One could not be held by death. As such, He
defeated death and took hold of the keys of death and hades (the unseen, the state of the dead).
His declaration is: "Do not fear! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One: and I became
dead, and lo! living am I for the eons of the eons. (Amen!) And I have the keys of death and of
the unseen" (Revelation 1.17-18 CLV). He has taken hold of the power of death over mankind,
and He is now the Life-Giver to all mankind. He is a Life-Giving Spirit of flesh and bones but no
blood (1 Corinthians 15.45, 50). He is the Celestial (Heavenly) Man energized by the Spirit of God,
no longer with blood coursing through His Body. His blood has been poured out or shed for all
mankind; there is no more need for the blood or for sacrifices. It is done! He is the last and
greatest of the sacrifices. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us. And, His Father
raised Him from among the dead in accord with His perfect life of obedience to the will of God.
Paul sums up the good news that he delivered.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. … and last of
all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1 Corinthians 15.3-5, 8 NASB)
The appearance of Jesus to Paul was on the road to Damascus.
As proof that He was raised from the dead, over 500 saw Jesus after His resurrection before He
ascended back to His Father in heaven. Forty days after His death and ten days prior to the day
of Pentecost, Jesus, who had presented Himself alive to His apostles, appeared for the last time
and ascended in a cloud before their very eyes. Two men in white clothing stood beside them
and said: "This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same
way as you have watched Him go into heaven" (Acts 1.11). They confirmed that Jesus will one
day return to this earth. For believers, it is called His Presence . This will be His Third Presence .
Now, moving on, Paul laid down the first truth of the Son as the Firstborn of Creation, but then
he gave us another truth about being the Firstborn.
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He is the Firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He might have the preeminence.
(Colossians 1.18)
This means that no one had ever been raised from the dead to ascend into glory with an immortal
life, that is, a life no longer subject to death and its companion, sin. Jesus is the Firstborn from
the dead, meaning He is alive, the first in a long line of many that will follow Him out from the
grave. To the glory of God, all of mankind will eventually follow His path, for this is the only way
for Him to be preeminent or to have the first place in all things.
Again, Paul tells us: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for
all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for
themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf (2 Corinthians 5.14-15).
Don't miss the import of this: One died for all; consequently, all died. Christ died for all and took
all into the grave with Him. If all died, then how does anyone come alive again? There is none
righteous (i.e., right by God), not even one; there is none who understands; there is none who
seeks for God; there is none who does good (see Romans 3.10-18). This seems to put all of us in
one basket, so to speak. Then, how will all be made alive (i.e., conquer death)? In Christ! We
cannot do it in our own right. It is all the Lord's doing. By the Spirit of the Lord, He makes all alive,
for His Father has given Him the Life (John 5.26). In Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made
alive. But each in his own order (1 Corinthians 15.22-23). This is the good news of the One who
conquered death for His Creation.
The first order comprises those who belong to the Lord in this age because, by the grace of God,
they have been given His faith to believe and are now part of His Body, which is the ecclesia or
what many call the church (Colossians 1.18). Life is given to His Body first, for it is through this
vessel that the plan of the ages is accomplished, which is to sum up or head up all things in the
Christ (Ephesians 1.10) in the ages to come. The Body of Christ is His Complement through which
He will fill all in all. Paul reminds the Body of Christ: For you have died and your life is hidden
with Christ in God (Colossians 3.3), and you are now seated with Christ in the heavenlies in
Christ Jesus , having obtained every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ (Ephesians 2.6;
1.3). Much more could be written about the Body of Christ, but it is beyond the scope of this
article. However, it is injected here in case some might think I have overlooked such an important
and vital truth, but even this truth must be seen through the answer to the question: Who are
You, Lord?
Saving or delivering the dead from death is an act of God according to His grace and the faith of
the Son of God, for scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in
Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe (Galatians 3.22). Who will believe? Eventually,
everyone will believe, but not necessarily in this age or the one to come. God alone breaks into
lives, but He does it in His timing; some now, some later, some at the consummation of the ages.
The Son who is the Faith will give to everyone at some point in time His faith to believe in Him.
How do we know? Because every knee will willingly bow and every tongue will willingly confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In Christ, all will be made alive! All will
be brought into Christ so that He will be All in All, then He will deliver up the Kingdom to His
Father so that God may be All in All throughout all of Creation. This is the good news.
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Again, Paul, adds further proof of this good news by bringing in the concept of peace with God.
Conciliation is when one person makes peace with another; reconciliation is when both parties
are at peace with one another.
God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them… . (2
Corinthians 5.19 CLV)
And through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through
Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens. (Colossians 1.20 CLV)
Alternate rendering:
Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made
peace through his Son's blood on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on
earth and in heaven. (Colossians 1.20 GNB)
Through the Son and His death on a cross and subsequent resurrection into Life, the Father has
waved the white flag of truce, so to speak. He has declared peace with mankind and is not holding
mankind's offenses against them. All the offenses have been laid on His Son, who is the Lamb
slain to take away the sin of the world (John 1.29).
The only question left is: Why did God create death and allow it to enter mankind?
First, Adam's transgression was no surprise to God. In fact, it was expected, for love demanded
it. The entire plan of God as it has played out and will continue to be played out in this age and
the ones to come was set before the very foundation of this earth was laid. Peter declared: This
Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God , you nailed to a
cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting
an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (Acts 2.23-
24 NASB). The Son is the Lambkin slain from the disruption ( down-casting ; foundation) of the
world (Revelation 13.8 CLV), meaning He was known before the disruption of the world (1 Peter
1.20), further proving that His death was planned by God before the world was.
Again, quoting A.E. Knoch from his Concordant Commentary on the New Testament, based on 1
Peter 1.20:
The fact that Christ's sacrifice was foreknown even before the disruption throws a
marvelous light upon God's plan and purpose. It shows that sacrifice is not an
afterthought intended to repair an unforeseen disaster, but that it precedes sin, and
that sin was introduced to give it occasion. Speaking as a man, there never would
have been sin unless God had previously prepared a Sacrifice, and neither should
be considered by itself, but as one of the necessary factors in God's great purpose
to reveal the deep recesses of His love and the boundless expanse of His affections .
Another proof of God's predetermined plan is found in the book of beginnings where we are told
that, in the third day of restoring the earth, Elohim spoke forth plants that yield seeds (Genesis
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1.11). The whole concept of the seed plays a major role in God's plan and is a study all on its own.
Seeds contain life in the form of genetic material that is the blueprint of the life that will come
forth from the seed, whether plants or animals or humans. But the seed must be planted and die
to its seed form in order for life to come forth. In humans, the egg sits in the womb of the woman
and the sperm impregnates the egg and life begins to form, but the egg and the sperm must die
to their form to yield an embryo, until finally, a fully developed infant emerges from the womb
that looks nothing like the egg or the sperm. So, it is with plants. Carrying the metaphor forward,
both examples bear fruit by procreating others of like kind.
The Lambkin slain was the Seed of God that fell into the womb of the earth (soil) and died to bear
many in His image. Jesus tells us so.
And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour [i.e., death and resurrection] has come for the Son
of Man to be glorified [i.e., ascended and exalted on high] . "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a
grain [i.e., kernel of seed] of wheat falls into the earth and dies [i.e., on a cross] , it remains
alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit [i.e., a New Creation, many sons of God in His image and
likeness] ." (John 12.23-24 NASB)
The good news is that He was raised up out of the grave as a New Creation, a Man who had
conquered death, no longer subject to death in any manner. He defeated death for all of
mankind. He is the Son of God and the immortal Son of Man. He is the Heavenly Man, both of
God and of Man.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation . The old things have passed away. Behold,
all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5.17 WEBA)
He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." (Revelation 21:5 WEBA)
In Christ is a New Creation! (Galatians 6.15)
This is why we are encouraged to eagerly wait for the Anointed One.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus
Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His
glory , by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Philippians
3.20-21 NASB)
All three of His presences are unique, for it seems the Son has taken on different bodies or forms
each time. Perhaps a better way to state this is that He goes from glory to glory, with His Third
Presence manifesting the highest point of glory, for He has joined both God and Man in a new
glorified body that is called a New Creation , and this is the body the sons of God will receive that
is reserved for them in heaven. As Paul wrote: Just as we have borne the image of the earthy,
we will also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Corinthians 15.49). When Christ, who is our life,
is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory (Colossians 3.4).
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But, what will this heavenly body, this body of His glory, be like? The best indication that we are
given is when Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was raised from among the dead. Mark
records that the Lord Jesus appeared in a different form to two disciples while they were walking
along on their way to the country (Mark 16.12). Luke records a more detailed incident as Jesus
walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. "But their eyes were prevented from seeing
Him" (Luke 24.16). It wasn’t until they broke bread with Him that they recognized Him (Luke
24.31). Some might assume that somehow Jesus simply put some sort of veil over their sight, but
if we combine this with what Mark recorded, it is obvious that they were prevented from seeing
Him because He appeared in a different form. John records that the Lord appeared to His disciples
in a room with shut doors (John 20.19). In other words, He simply appeared in their midst, not
being restricted in any way by closed doors. After eight days, they were again in a locked room
and He appeared in their midst (John 20.26). John records the third manifestation of the Master
to His disciples as He stood on the beach and they were out in the sea fishing. "But when the day
was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know it was Jesus" (John
21.4). Why did they not know it was their Lord? We might be tempted to think that they were
too far from shore to recognize Him, but this cannot be the explanation. John, the disciple whom
Jesus loved, realized who it was and told Peter, "It is the Lord" (John 21.7). But a few verses later,
it is recorded that none of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing
that is was the Lord (John 21.12). This is a rather curious statement. They had seen Him twice
before as He appeared in the room with closed doors. This time they knew it was Him because
John sensed His presence, perhaps sensing the loving word of the Master, but it is obvious that
they did not know Him by His appearance. Why? Because He appeared to them in a different
form again !
Take special note of the question the disciples were afraid to ask Jesus: Who are You? This is the
same question that came out of Paul's mouth. It appears we have good company if this question
comes to us. It is the question of the ages!
So, what are we to infer from the manifestations of the Lord Jesus to His disciples? He was not
restricted by physical space (i.e., walls). He appeared and disappeared at will. When He did
appear, He took on different forms, not necessarily the same one each time. In other words, the
physical was not a hindrance to Him, and, in fact, He could alter His own appearance in the
physical world. Could it be that the Lord Jesus was in some measure manifesting the heavenly
(celestial) realm, at least how one who is among the celestials moves in and out of both realms,
not hindered by the space-time continuum. This intimates the kind of body reserved for us. As
an aside, John the apostle wasn't sure what we will be like (i.e., what kind of body). But he was
sure of one thing: We know that when He appears (is manifested), we will be like Him, because
we will see Him as He is (1 John 3.2).
Now, back to the question: Why did God create death and allow it to enter mankind?
In my view, it was the only way for us to know true love, to know God is love and His Son whose
origin is love . The entire story of death to life, from beginning to end, is a love story about His
Son, written by God for mankind. Seeds hold the very essence of God is love in their genetic
makeup. They must fall into the ground and die to release the love of God in its fullness. And, so
it will be.
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All of creation is in the womb of God, and that is what the universe is. Creation is the Seed of God
filling space. Earth is another seed of God that was planted in the midst of the universe. It too is
in the womb of God. Mankind is yet another seed of God that was planted in the soil of the earth.
Individually, we are seeds of God. But there is another truth, and that is, for those who have the
faith of Jesus and believe in this day, the seed of God resides in them as well. And, this seed is in
gestation awaiting its birth as a glorified son of God. Whenever Christ is manifested, we will be
manifested with Him in glory (Colossians 3.4).
All of creation is in gestation waiting, anticipating, expecting the Presence of God's Consummate
Seed that died and rose up to fill all of creation with His life and with the love of God. This is the
fruit of the Seed.
For the premonition of the creation is awaiting the unveiling of the sons of God. For to vanity
was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation
that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the glorious
freedom of the children of God. For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and
travailing together until now. Yet not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of
the spirit, we ourselves also, are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the sonship, the deliverance
of our body." For to expectation were we saved. Now expectation, being observed, is not
expectation, for what anyone is observing, why is he expecting it also? Now, if we are expecting
what we are not observing, we are awaiting it with endurance." (Romans 8:19-25 CLV)
Dear beloved, this day is coming. It is the Day of Christ, the Day of Sonship! It is the day when the
many sons are brought to the glory of the Son, conformed to His image so that they will image
Him perfectly throughout creation. Do you long for it?
It will be the beginning of glory that is beyond imagination as all of creation and all of mankind
are continually brought into the all new of God the Father and His Son whose origin is love!
Who are You, Lord?
The ultimate answer is … LOVE!
Revision 1: 4.1.2017
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