All
“the whole extent or quantity of or number of,” “every one of,”
or “the greatest possible; as much as possible.”
Ta Panta
“wholly, together, in all ways, in all things.”
That God May Be All In All New
January 2009
by
Stuart H. Pouliot
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3.14)
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 15.28 NASB)
And He who sits on the throne said,
“Behold, I am making all things new.”
And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
(Revelation 21.5 NASB)
The following material appeared in various issues of
The Upward Call and edited for this book.
A BBREVIATIONS OF S CRIPTURE V ERSIONS
The following Scripture versions are referenced in this book.
ALT
Analytical-Literal Translation (2001)
ESV
English Standard Version (2001)
GW
God’s Word
HCSB
Holman Christian Standard Bible
ISV
International Standard Version
JMT
James Moffatt Translation
KJV
King James Version
NASB
New American Standard Bible (1960, 2002)
REB
Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (1959, 1994)
YLT
Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (1898)
CV
Concordant Version (1926, 1983)
T HAT G OD M AY B E A LL I N A LL N EW
In Scripture, the word all , although a very small word in terms of number of let-
ters, is nevertheless a mighty word in the economy of God. In fact, the word sums
up the purpose of the eons. All is a gloriously comprehensive word that speaks of
the very heart of God. God’s purpose of the eons, and even beyond, is summed up
in this word, for He has purposed that His Son, our Lord Jesus, shall be all in all
so that He, that is, God the Father shall be all in all . But there is even more than
this, for the all in all will be consummated with all new . Thus, I have joined the
expressions together to declare that God’s purpose is to be all in all new or all in
all in all new . This is a tremendous purpose, but I wonder how many people truly
appreciate it or even understand it.
Consequently, I have written this book to try to explain the greatness of God’s all
with the light that I have been given. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened and
may God receive all the glory.
God’s purpose expressed in all.
At the outset, I must state that the subject of God’s purpose burns within my heart.
Our God has a purpose and a comprehensive plan. It is called the purpose and plan
of the eons. I have written a three-volume book on this subject, The Purpose and
Plan of the Eons , so I refer you to this for details. However, God’s purpose is so
foundational that I believe that the discussion of God’s all must begin with a brief
summary of His purpose.
As I consider events that are happening in our day in light of the prophetic word, I
am, almost continually, drawn back to God’s purpose. Many speak or write of
God’s purpose, but it is generally, not always, focused on the here and now. God’s
purpose is mostly focused on what His purpose is in the life of an individual
believer, or in the life of a company of the Lord’s people, or, even beyond this, in
the life of the “church” throughout the world.
So, we hear of many encouragements and exhortations to individuals to discover
and pursue God’s purpose for their lives, even their destiny, and, more specifically,
to know and exercise their particular ministry, calling, or gifting.
We also hear of local assemblies or groups of ones joined together (denominational
or nondenominational) pursuing what they believe is God’s purpose or will for
them or even the area or nation in which they live. This sort of purpose is often
spoken of as vision.
Then, of course, there is a large body of believers who see God’s purpose as getting
many saved (i.e., the great commission), witnessing to the nations (i.e., the gospel
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of the kingdom), and bringing in a great harvest to the glory of God (i.e., revival,
latter rain).
Then there are those who see God’s purpose as entirely wrapped up in Christ and
His church. We were exposed to this teaching for many years, so we know
something about it, which is quite good as far as it goes.
And finally, there are those that seem to see God’s purpose as entirely about saving
some people so they can go to heaven and condemning the multitudes so they can
go to man’s version of an eternal torture chamber called hell . To be clear, of all the
above, this one I disagree with the most.
Obviously, this catalogue of how the Lord’s people view God’s purpose is
incomplete and does not present the full scope of each one listed as well as the
permutation within each one. Nevertheless, it serves to make the point that there
are many views.
Please understand that I am not critical of these many views, except perhaps the
heaven-hell one. Much of this, and undoubtedly more, is good and right and has
purpose in the building up of the body of Christ in love and in reaching the nations
with the good news of Jesus Christ. I do not challenge these things as unimportant,
for most assuredly they may have their importance in the work of God, and much
(but, perhaps not all) of it is the Lord’s doing.
However, it seems to be in our human nature to attach ourselves to something of
God and hold to it as if it were the most important, if not the only, thing that God is
interested in. Perhaps this is by the design of God to ensure that His people remain
glued to what He has called them to do in order for Him to accomplish His purpose
and plan. After all, He sees the entire grand scheme of things, for He is the Great
Creator and Architect of all; whereas, we, typically, like worker bees, only see
things from a limited sphere. We need the eyes of our hearts opened to see as our
God sees.
But does God’s purpose end with these things, or are they leading to something
that is much grander than any single purpose or vision, even greater than the
gospel of the kingdom going forth, reaping a great harvest, or even Christ and His
church? Another way of asking the question is this: Are all these things leading to a
grand climax that answers to the very heart of God? Or yet another way of asking it
is this: Are all the individual parts (i.e., purposes, visions, destinies) part of a much
greater purpose of God?
The answer to each of these questions is an unequivocal yes. However, perhaps it is
best to see this myriad of things as part of God’s plan to achieve His purpose. In
other words, they are not His purpose, but rather, they are within His plan to bring
about what He has purposed to do in His creation. They are part of God’s grand
plan, and they are all leading to the grand climax that God has purposed in,
through, and by His Son. They are not means to their own ends but means to bring
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about God’s purpose, whether they are small things or big things. Nothing that
God has put in motion is by coincidence or will be lost, even if it seems small in
comparison to His ultimate goal.
Purpose―a goal set before the mind.
Now, in the Greek, the word purpose is translated from the word prothesis , which
means “before-placing,” and the word protithemi , which means “before-place.”
The thought conveyed is of a goal set before the mind. In other words, a purpose or
goal is established before something is done or planned. These words are respec-
tively found in Matthew 12.4; Mark 2.26; Luke 6.4; Acts 11.23; 27.13; Romans
8.28; 9.11; Ephesians 3.11; 2 Timothy 1.9; 3.10; Hebrews 9.2 [ prothesis ], and in
Romans 1.13; 3.25; Ephesians 1.9 [ protithemi ]. Interestingly, the references in
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Hebrews literally apply to the cake of bread in the Holy
Place, the showbread, which points to Christ. This is looked at later.
Once a goal is set before the mind, a plan must be established to bring about the
goal. A purpose without a plan merely remains in the mind, but a purpose with a
plan goes beyond the mind into the realm of action. Another way of stating this is
that a purpose is the endpoint of that which has been in view since the inception of
a plan. When all is said and done, the purpose remains, for this is what the
originator had in mind to bring about. A plan is simply all the details that have to
be put into play and worked out to reach the goal or purpose. Once the purpose is
achieved, we could say that the plan is history, while the purpose remains.
Generally speaking, a purpose is very simple or straightforward, while a plan is
much more involved, with many facets. God’s purpose and plan follow the same
course. The fact of the matter is that many believers down through the centuries,
including many in our day, have gotten caught up in debating about and dividing
over the details of God’s plan and have lost sight of God’s purpose.
So, what is God’s ultimate purpose? The answer is discovered in the word all , and
it is given to us by Paul, the apostle who was given revelation of the mystery of
God.
Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself
also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God
may be All in all . (1 Corinthians 15.28 CV)
God’s purpose is to be All in all in His entire creation. However, there is even more
to God’s purpose because He intends to be all in all in all new .
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all
things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and
true.” (Revelation 21.5 NASB)
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I believe the better rendering of this verse is “Behold, I am making all new.”
This is a tremendous statement, for it reveals the very heart of God to have
something entirely new; it is a new creation.
Well, this is an introduction to this essential subject. Now, let us add a little meat
to the bones.
The All – Ta Panta.
In the New Testament, the word all and the expression all things (appearing about
110 times), are most often translated from the Greek word panta , which is a neuter
plural form that refers to “wholly, together, in all ways, in all things” ( Vine’s
Expository Dictionary ).
In other words, panta is a very comprehensive word, just as the word all is in the
English, which, as an adjective, refers to “the whole extent or quantity of or
number of,” “every one of,” or “the greatest possible; as much as possible.” For
example, Paul declared: God our Savior, Who will have all [ panta ] men to
be saved (1 Timothy 2.3-4 KJV).
Taken at face value, which is a good way to look at this verse, we must conclude
that no one is excluded from God’s all.
A search of New Testaments written in transliterated Greek reveals that the
expression ta panta appears about 34 times, depending on the particular Greek
version. The word ta is most often translated as the definite article the . Ta panta is
generally translated as all things , which, in its own right, is a very comprehensive
expression. However, in some cases, especially in reference to what God is doing
through His Son, one could make the case that a good rendering of ta panta is the
all , for it speaks clearly of the comprehensiveness of God’s purpose. In other
words, we could say that God’s purpose is the all . It might sound like a strange
expression, but really it is not because it intensifies the word all to include
everything and exclude nothing.
Now, to make the point, I am simply going to list some of the ta panta references
with a brief explanation and leave it for your discernment. As a note of interest, of
the 34 references, 26 are discovered in Paul’s epistles. If Hebrews is included in his
material, then the number jumps to 32, nearly the entire list. For me, this is one of
the proofs that Paul indeed is the writer of Hebrews.
God is the Creator and Builder of the all .
… to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which
for ages has been hidden in God who created all things [ the all , ta
panta ] …. (Ephesians 3.9 NASB)
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For by Him all things [ the all , ta panta ] were created, both in the
heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or rulers or authorities―all things [ the all , ta panta ] have
been created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1.16 NASB)
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things
[ the all , ta panta ] is God. (Hebrews 3.4 NASB)
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and
honor and power; for You created all things [ the all , ta panta ] , and
because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation
4.11 NASB)
As if this is not enough, Paul wants us to know that the all is from, by, through,
and for God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, God is not merely
the Creator of the all, but God and His Son are intimately joined to the all .
Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all
things [ the all , ta panta ] and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus
Christ, by whom are all things [ the all , ta panta ] , and we exist
through Him. (1 Corinthians 8.6 NASB)
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things [ the all , ta
panta ] . (Romans 11.36 NASB)
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things [ the all , ta panta ] ,
and through whom are all things [ the all , ta panta ] , in bringing
many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation
through sufferings. (Hebrews 2.10 NASB)
Not only is God the Creator, but He is the life-giver of the all .
I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things [ the
all , ta panta ] …. (1 Timothy 6.13 NASB)
Also, He not only creates and gives life, but His purpose is and will be worked out
in the all .
Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined
according to His purpose who works all things [ the all , ta panta ]
after the counsel of His will…. (Ephesians 1.11 NASB)
Turning specifically to Christ, Paul declares that He existed before all things came
into being. After all, He is the Creator and in Him the all holds together, that is,
by the word of His power He keeps the all together. We could say that He keeps,
sustains, and preserves the all .
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He is before all things [ panton ] , and in Him all things [ the all , ta
panta ] hold together. (Colossians 1.17 NASB)
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of
His nature, and upholds all things [ the all , ta panta ] by the word of
His power. (Hebrews 1.3 NASB)
In a most amazing statement, Paul declares to all who have an ear to hear that
Christ who created the all will also fill the all with His very life, and He will begin
with the ecclesia, which is His spiritual, glorified body.
He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all
the heavens, so that He might fill all things [ the all , ta panta ] .)
(Ephesians 4.10 NASB)
And He put all things [ kai panta ] in subjection under His feet, and
gave Him as head over all things to the church [ ecclesia ] , which is
His body, the fullness of Him who fills all [ the all , ta panta ] in all
[ pasin ] . (Ephesians 1.22-23 NASB)
How will He do this? Through reconciliation; the all has been shut up under sin
so that the all will be reconciled back to God through the One who fills the all .
Oh, the glory of God’s purpose and plan!
But the Scripture has shut up everyone [ the all , ta panta ] under sin,
so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those
who believe. (Galatians 3.22 NASB)
Through Him to reconcile all things [ the all , ta panta ] to Himself,
having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I
say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1.20
NASB)
How will Christ complete this great plan? He will sum up or gather up the all in
Himself.
An administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the
summing up of all things [ the all , ta panta ] in Christ, things in the
heavens and things on the earth. (Ephesians 1.10 NASB)
Notice how Paul actually defines the all for us. The all is everything in the
heavens and on the earth. In other words, the all is God’s entire creation as we
know it and, most likely, as we don’t know it, for it includes the unseen as well.
There is nothing left out of the all of God. Nothing! Praise God!
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Two all’s in one.
Before proceeding further, please take note that the expression all in all is
comprised of two alls , which in itself makes this expression very comprehensive.
The second all refers to the whole or to everything, which has to refer to all that
God has created through His Son (Colossians 1.16), both the visible and the
invisible. Simply, the all is the whole of God’s creation. The first all refers to God
the Father in relation to all or to the whole. He is to become all ; that is, He is to fill
everything in the whole of creation with His life.
Simply, His purpose is to be all in all , which means that He is to fill all things
with His very life. By the way, this is glory!
Life, love, light, spirit.
Another way to look at it is that God has purposed that His very life, the essence of
who He is, is to fill His whole creation.
He is the God of the living (Mark 12.27; Luke 20.38), and His life will fill the
whole creation.
God is love (1 John 4.8, 16), and His love will fill the whole creation.
God is light (1 John 1.5), and His light will fill the whole creation.
God is spirit (John 4.24), and His spirit will fill the whole creation.
Not only will His very essence fill all but also everything associated with His
essence (i.e., His attributes) will fill all. His glory will fill all. His truth will fill all.
His grace and mercy will fill all. His holiness will fill all. His faithfulness will fill all.
And ultimately, the very will of God will fill all. In other words, creation will no
longer have to wonder what to do or how to live or how to love, for God will so fill
His creation that His life manifested throughout creation will be as natural as
breathing is for us humans today. His very essence will become the very breath of
His creation. His glory will fill all creation. This is the perfection of God manifested
in His creation.
When God’s plan that is worked out in the eons comes to its rightful conclusion,
then the eons will end and God will be all in all . With the consummation of the
eons, all will be new ( Behold, I am making all new! ) and all creation will be
filled with the glory of God. God the Father will be the Happy God! This is
the purpose of the eons.
Can you imagine anything greater than God becoming all in all ? Let’s make this a
very personal question: Can you imagine anything greater than God the Father
becoming all in you ? Can you imagine being filled with His love, so that love is so
much a part of you that you can do nothing but love? Can you imagine knowing
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and doing His perfect will without any hesitation, without any failure or doubt?
Can you imagine walking in glory forever and ever? Can you imagine never coming
short of the glory of God and never being tainted by sin and death ever again? For
ones living in bodies of death, who at best are unprofitable servants, it is almost
beyond comprehension.
Dear beloved in Christ, this is the purpose of God for His creation, especially for all
mankind that He created from the soil of the earth. Again, I must emphasize: all
mankind, without exception; not all at once, but all eventually!
Love sums up all.
As I see it, there is one word that is the very heart of all , and it is the word the Lord
gave me to sum up 2008. It is the word love ! God is love! All creation will be in
love. I must confess that I truly get excited over this little expression that all will
be in love . Can you think of anything greater than to have all creation in love; in
love with God, in love with one another, and God’s very nature of love expressed in
every facet of His creation? Can you think of anything greater than all creation
being immersed in the love of God, filled with His love, and being an expression of
His love in all things? Oh, the joy of such bliss! This is what the glory of God is all
about. This is when the heart of God the Father will be fully satisfied; this is when
all will seem as it was always intended to be. When God is love is fully expressed,
then the glory of God fills all.
This is God’s purpose, and everything that He does in, through, and by His Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ, is part of His glorious plan to bring about His purpose at the
appointed time. No man and no situation can or will thwart God from becoming
all in all . He has purposed it, and so it will be done.
We need to be clear that every single detail of God’s plan, no matter how small, is
being worked out with His purpose in view. Whatever calling or destiny we might
see in our lives in the here and now, if it is of God, then we can be assured that it is
being worked out with this one purpose in mind; and we need to keep His purpose
before us in all that we do.
Even Adam’s one act of unrighteousness in the garden over 6,000 years ago was
and is in the plan of God with a view to the accomplishment of His purpose. The
fact of the matter is that in this one act we discover the very heart of God in a most
amazing way that 4,000 years later was manifested in His Son at the cross of
Calvary.
Adam’s act of love.
It seems that practically all preaching on Adam’s one transgression is presented as
a negative, something horrible, as if to blame Adam. I have even heard one very
well-known preacher state that he is going to kick Adam in the pants when he
meets him.
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I see Adam from an entirely differently view, for his one transgression was all in
accord with the plan of God (not the purpose). Adam was simply fulfilling one of
the most important, if not crucial, parts of God’s plan to bring about His purpose.
Most likely, many would protest against such a statement because to our carnal
mind it makes no sense for God to allow death, with its consequence of sin, to be
introduced into something made in the image of Elohim. Men might argue over
this matter and debate it with great authority, but, to me, it is almost too sacred. It
is something hidden in the very heart of God that is holy. But I feel compelled to
explain what I see, with what light I have been given.
In breaking the one command of Elohim, Adam fulfilled or, if you will, kept the
highest law of God. Did you get what you just read? In his one act of disobedience,
which is what it is called, Adam actually fulfilled the highest and grandest law of
God. If he had not disobeyed, then he would have committed a far more grievous
sin that went to the very heart of God. Further, if he had not disobeyed, then he
would not have been a type of Christ, the last Adam (Romans 5.14). There would
not have been another Adam. Did you grasp that? I hope I have your attention at
this point. When I first saw this, it was truly a revelation to me.
In the garden that day, Adam fulfilled the law of love. He loved Eve, the helpmate
fashioned from his own body, given to him by Yahweh Elohim. Within Adam was
planted the love for his body, and when she, who was bone of his bones and flesh
of his flesh, was deceived by the serpent, he had no choice. He loved the woman
fashioned from his body so much that he had to be with her, even in her deception,
even if it meant that he had to sin against Yahweh Elohim’s one command. Within
Adam was the heart of love that said, even demanded, that he redeem the love of
his life, a part of his body. Who put this love in Adam’s heart? It was the one who
made him; it was Elohim. Who expected Adam to sin? Elohim!
Given the theology of today that says otherwise is this too much for you? To me it
is almost like hallowed ground; nevertheless, it is something that has been burning
in my heart that I believe the spirit of God wants to express. As strange as it might
seem and as foreign as it might be to our theological and traditionalized minds,
Adam was expressing the very love of God that would be manifested to all the
world when the Son of God, the visible image of the invisible God, the Creator of
all, died on the cross for the sin of the world and was raised from among the dead
three days later, so that all mankind would have life; all to the glory of God. You
see, the first Adam expressed the love of God for his own body, but he could not
redeem her or himself. It took the last Adam, the Second Man, to come to this
earth to fulfill what Adam tried to do but could not.
So that I am not accused of some heresy, I must be perfectly clear that the first
Adam is a type of Christ, the last Adam, not in his sin or missing God’s mark, for
the last Adam hit the mark every time, but because the first Adam died for Eve,
who was fashioned from his body, out of a love for her. The first Adam manifested
the love of God just as the last Adam did, but with one big, even huge, difference:
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The first Adam could not redeem himself, his wife, or his race; only the last Adam
could do that, and He did do that, all to the glory of God.
Although this might seem like a digression from the subject at hand, I believe that
understanding Adam’s love and his one transgression is vital to understanding
God’s heart for all mankind and His purpose for all. After all, from man’s
viewpoint it all starts with Adam. I state from man’s viewpoint to contrast against
God’s viewpoint, which starts with His Son.
In the account of Adam and Eve as recorded in Genesis, the book of beginnings,
there are many types that point to Christ and His sacrificial love for all mankind.
As I read the record, I sense the love of God reaching out to His creation. When
Adam disobeyed God by following his wife in eating the forbidden fruit of the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil, many see an angry God who cursed the ground
and banished Adam and his wife from the garden. But I see a loving and merciful
God who reached out His hand of redemption and love to Adam and Eve. They
were naked, so what did God do? He made garments of skin and clothed them. Of
course, this is a type of the ultimate sacrifice that was to come through God’s Son,
and yet, on a practical level, it was God’s provision for them and His way of saying
to Adam and Eve that they too would be redeemed.
We know that things changed in the inner man of Adam and Eve, which was
passed on to their entire race that followed. And yes; God made childbirth painful
and cursed the ground on account of their transgression, but I believe there was far
more compassion and love on the part of God. He was not mean to them in that
day. Childbirth pain was probably to curtail the number of births and the cursed
ground was probably to reduce the lifespan of man. Even their banishment from
the garden was for good reason. It would have been a disaster for mankind if they
had been allowed to partake of the tree of life after having partaken of the tree of
the knowledge of good and evil. It was not God’s desire or His purpose for
mankind to live in that condition forever. Death had to enter the picture in order to
bring a halt to this condition. Even so, Adam lived a long and fruitful life of 930
years on earth. But he failed to reach the perfect day of God, which is a 1,000-year
day.
We know that through His Son, God the Father has something much greater for
mankind. It is called immortal life that will come in Christ through resurrection
and transfiguration, which will come at the end of our present wicked eon for the
conquerors in Christ.
What is often overlooked or never seen in this account is the love of Adam for his
helpmate Eve. Adam was created in the image and likeness of Elohim, the one who
is love. Adam was created with the love of God in his heart. When all the animals
were paraded before Adam so that he could name them, his heart of love saw them
in pairs; and it must have struck a cord in his heart. He was all alone in a new
world filled with life, and he had no counterpart or helpmate. Elohim knew this
because this is how He wired Adam, so to speak. Adam was not complete without a
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suitable helper. What was Adam’s response when he saw his helper fashioned from
his body?
“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called
Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” [Literally!] Then Moses
recorded: For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother,
and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2.23-
24 NASB).
Body love.
Paul, in his great circular epistle titled Ephesians , quoted these verses as he wrote
of a secret that is great. He compared the relationship of a husband and wife to the
relationship of Christ and His ecclesia. The secret that was revealed through Paul
speaks of the love of Christ for His ecclesia, which is His body. Many look at this as
an emphasis on the marriage relationship, but Paul’s emphasis was actually on the
body relationship. This could be called body love .
Let the wives be subject to their own husbands, as to the Lord, for
the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is Head of the
ecclesia, and He is the Saviour of the body. Nevertheless, as the
ecclesia is subject to Christ, thus are the wives also to their
husbands in everything. Husbands, be loving your wives according
as Christ also loves the ecclesia, and gives Himself up for its sake,
that He should be hallowing it, cleansing it in the bath of the water
(with His declaration), that He should be presenting to Himself a
glorious ecclesia, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things,
but that it may be holy and flawless. Thus, the husbands also ought
to be loving their own wives as their own bodies. He who is loving
his own wife is loving himself. For no one at any time hates his
own flesh, but is nurturing and cherishing it, according as Christ
also the ecclesia, for we are members of His body. For this “a man
shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife,
and the two shall be one flesh.” This secret is great: yet I am saying
this as to Christ and as to the ecclesia. (Ephesians 5.22-32 CV)
Christ is the Savior of the body. Why? Because He loves His body! Likewise,
husbands ought to love their wives in the same manner because they have been
made one flesh with their wives. One cannot hate his own flesh; he must love it and
nurture it. Have you ever heard stories in which a husband risks his own life to
save his wife whom he loves? There are accounts of men coming between their
wives and the danger they face, even if it means sure death for them. Personally, I
am always on the lookout for danger that could harm my wife and am ready to
protect her. Why? Because it is body love! Why is this so? It is because we have
body love inherited from Adam. Did you get that? We inherited it from Adam. I
believe that through Paul and his quoting Genesis, we see a principle that was laid
down at the very beginning that has not changed because God does not change.
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Remember, God is love; and love always rules and wins in every situation. Love
does not fail.
Yes; God had to chastise Adam for his one transgression, but it was all in the plan
of God that he would fail on this level. However, he did not fail on the higher
command to love. Eve was of Adam’s flesh. If he had allowed her to stand on her
own in deception, then Adam would have declared that he hated his own body. The
Lord knew that Adam loved Eve, for He created him this way. He put it in the heart
of Adam to love the woman that came from his side and was bone of his bones and
flesh of his flesh. The Lord expected Adam to disobey because love was in his
heart. He would have been incomplete without her. If she had to die, then he
would die with her. Adam had no choice but to follow his wife, for if he had not
eaten with her, he would have broken a much higher law of God, the law of love.
Love trumps all, and God put this love in the heart of Adam, and this same love has
been passed on to us.
I thank God for the first Adam, who was a type of Him who was to come, and his
love for his helpmate. I thank God for the last Adam, Jesus, who stepped between
man and the curse of death to redeem a body for Himself. Adam loved Eve as
Christ loves the ecclesia, which is His body. So, let us not to be so judgmental of
Adam, but let us rejoice in his example of body love.
So, the next time you hear a preacher proclaim with great bravado that he is going
to kick Adam in the rear when he sees him, pray for that brother that the eyes of
his heart would be opened to the absolute and infinite love of God. As for me, when
I see Adam, I just might hug him, if this is the affectionate way of greeting one
another among the celestials, and thank him for being a type of the last Adam
(Romans 5.14).
Universal reconciliation.
Now, I want to take this thought one step further and present a few Scriptures that
prove that God’s love will reach out to every single person ever born and who will
be born of Adam’s race. At the consummation of the eons or, as one brother so
aptly proclaims, in Creation’s Jubilee, all things in heaven and on earth will be
reconciled to God or, as others like to put it, all things will be restored. Some call
this universal reconciliation and others call it universal restoration .
Whichever term one uses, let us be clear that God must and will judge
all mankind and the way to the Father is only through His Son, the
Lord Jesus Christ, based on His sacrifice, the shedding of His blood,
and His resurrection from among the dead that will ultimately lead to
death, the last enemy, being completely abolished. Leave judgment or the
Son of God and His finished work out of the equation, and this is not the universal
reconciliation or restoration about which I am writing.
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In the following verses, take note of the word all , which, I must remind you is an
all-inclusive word, not one that implies exclusions or omissions.
For God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be
merciful to all. O, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the
knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments, and
untraceable His ways! For, who knew the mind of the Lord? or,
who became His adviser? or, who gives to Him first, and it will be
repaid Him? seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him
is all: to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen! (Romans 11.32-36 CV)
For me, Paul sums up the whole matter by placing all mankind in one boat, so to
speak. All are locked up for a reason: so that God should be merciful to all. There is
no exclusion in this all. Paul wraps up everything in God: for Him is all . When he
considered the ways and mind of the Lord, Paul could hardly contain himself.
Next, Paul saw all things of God, and, in this all, He has made peace with the
world, which is what the word conciliate means. It means that God has made a
peace treaty with mankind.
Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ,
and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation, how that God
was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning
their offenses to them…. (2 Corinthians 5.18-19 CV)
But God’s one-sided peace treaty ( conciliation ) is with a purpose in mind, and that
is to lead all things on the earth and in the heavens to be conciliated to Him, which
is what reconciliation is all about. Reconciliation is when each party is at peace or
in harmony with the other. Because of the blood of His cross, all on earth and in
the heavens shall be in harmony with God. Are we to include the angels and all of
creation and exclude the multitudes of men and women born of Adam’s race?
Hardly!
And through Him to reconcile all [things] to Himself, having made
peace through the blood of His cross, through Him, whether the
[things] on the earth or the [things] in the heavens. (Colossians 1.20
ALT)
Scripture gives us a double witness that every knee, which we could say is all
knees, will bow to the Lord. Bowing is not by coercion or force but by a willing
heart that is won over by the love of God.
“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, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45.23 NASB)
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That in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial
and terrestrial and subterranean. (Philippians 2.10 CV)
In referring to His death on the cross, Jesus proclaimed that if He went to the
cross, which He did, then He would draw all to Himself. The Greek word for draw
has the meaning of “to drag.”
“And I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all
to Myself.” (John 12.32 CV)
Or, consider these verses that clearly tell us that God wills that all mankind be
saved. He is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers in our present age,
but nothing in this verse indicates that it refers exclusively to believers. Christ is
the Ransom for all, not all at the same time, but each in its own time or eras. Note
how John also includes the whole world.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who
will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of
the truth. (1 Timothy 2.3-4 KJV)
We rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind,
especially of believers. These things be charging and teaching. (1
Timothy 4.10-11 CV)
For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and mankind, a
Man, Christ Jesus, Who is giving Himself a correspondent
Ransom for all (the testimony in its own eras)…. (1 Timothy 2.5-6
CV)
He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only,
but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2.2 NASB)
Finally, it is as if Paul has left us an equation with the first Adam on one side and
the last Adam on the other side. On the side of the first Adam, all are condemned
and dying. On the side of the last Adam, Christ, all are made alive and receive the
justification of life. If the first Adam brought all mankind into death, why is it that
so many Christians today do not believe that the last Adam will bring all mankind
to life? If He does not, then Adam’s one transgression was an absolute success in
bringing death to all mankind, but Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection was
an utter failure, for multitudes will remain in death (or, as many believe, in hell),
never to lay hold of life.
“For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all
be vivified [made alive] .” (1 Corinthians 15.22 CV)
For if, by the offense of the one, the many died, much rather the
grace of God and the gratuity in grace, which is of the One Man,
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Jesus Christ, to the many superabounds. … Through one offense
for all mankind for condemnation, thus also ... through one just
award for all mankind for life’s justifying. (Romans 5.15, 18 CV)
How will God be all in all unless Christ’s death and resurrection gives life to all?
Think about it!
The cross―an absolute success.
To me, it is a rather sad commentary that so much of Christian teaching in our day
emphasizes that multitudes (perhaps billions) of people created to be in the image
and likeness of Elohim are destined for a place of eternal torture and torment
called hell . If this were true, which I believe that Scripture proves it is not, then the
death of the Son of God on the cross is a miserable failure, for, when all is said and
done, Christ’s death and resurrection is unable to save all mankind. It is amazing
that, almost without exception, Christians believe that Adam’s one sin brought
death and its consequence, sin, into the entire human race, and yet, the one act of
righteousness on the part of God Himself is unable to save all mankind.
Paul the apostle clearly lays out the fact of the absolute success of the sacrificial
death and, I must add, the resurrection of the Second Man, the One Man, Jesus
Christ.
Today, people use the word absolute so loosely that its meaning has been greatly
watered down, if not lost. So often, the word is used to describe things that are
anything but absolute. But I use it in its real sense, which is “perfect, complete,”
“not mixed; pure,” or “not limited.”
Now, let us again look at Paul’s epistle to the Romans.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the
transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace
of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ,
abound to the many. (Romans 5.15 NASB)
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemna-
tion to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there re-
sulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5.18 NASB)
I realize that there are other verses intermingled within these two verses that some
would use to argue that this only applies to those who, of their own free will, make
a choice for Christ. As I have written in my book on the purpose and plan of the
eons (see Volume 1, chapter 5), I believe the concept of free will is a horribly flawed
concept that is short on logic. But just because Paul makes references to those who
believe in this eon or age, it does not follow that these references throw out or
somehow cancel out ones that speak of all mankind or all men or the many.
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An equation for the many.
As already stated, in Romans 5.15, Paul contrasts two men; the first man, Adam,
and the Second Man, the last Adam, Christ, (1 Corinthians 15.45, 47). Through the
transgression of the first Adam, the many died.
Many must be defined as the entire human race, for all mankind born of Adam’s
race are destined to die a physical death. The only exception is those who believe
and are alive and remain when He comes the second time (1 Thessalonians 4.17).
Besides, Paul treats the first Adam and the last Adam as if both are separate from
the many; so it is the one (the first and the last Adam) plus the many, which is the
rest of mankind. I like to look at the truth unveiled by Paul as if it were an
equation. The first Adam and the many equal all mankind equals death; the last
Adam and the many equal all mankind equals life. As an equation, it looks like
this:
First Adam + the many = all mankind = death
Last Adam + the many = all mankind = life
Thus, the one transgression of the first Adam brought death and sin to all
mankind, without exception. As Paul reminds us, none are righteous (Romans
3.10); all have fallen short of the glory of God , or have missed the mark of
God (Romans 3.23); the wages of sin is death (Romans 6.23). We could say
that this condemnation was forced upon all mankind, without exception. No one
born of Adam’s race is excluded from this death sentence and, to my knowledge,
no one has ever been exempted. Everyone has a destiny with physical death, and
this is why our hope is the redemption of our body (Romans 8.23). But the good
news is that God has countered the condemnation of all resulting from the one
transgression with a free gift, the gift by the grace of the One Man who died for the
sin of the world and overcame sin and death for all mankind. Paul describes it as
abounding to the many. The equation could be presented in a slightly different
manner from above.
First Adam + one transgression = death for all mankind
Last Adam + one act of righteousness = life for all mankind
Notice that the one act of righteousness resulted in justification of life to all men.
Here we find Paul does not use the word many but instead inserts all men , which
again defines the meaning of the many . All men are condemned by the one trans-
gression and all men are justified by the one act of righteousness. Consequently,
whereas the first Adam brought all men into condemnation, the last Adam brought
all men justified before God; that is, all are made just in the sight of God so that
they will not remain under the sentence of death forever but instead will be
brought into the sentence of life, not all at the same time but all eventually .
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I realize that “a sentence of life” is not a scriptural term per se, but it surely
describes the salvation or redemption of all mankind through the death and
resurrection of God’s only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Think about it! In
the first Adam, God sentenced all to death, but now in the last Adam, God has
sentenced all to life. Life is the destiny of all mankind, which has no choice in the
matter, just as the many had no choice in coming under a death sentence. This is
God’s plan through His Son to bring about His purpose of being all in all .
Does this not excite your heart? Does this not excite you to see the absolute success
and greatness of the cross of Calvary? Does the love of God not fill your heart with
love for all mankind?
The amazing thing to me is how many of God’s people flat out reject such love;
they reject that God, who is described as love (1 John 4.8, 16), is willing and, I
might add, is capable of winning the hearts of all mankind, not all at the same
time, but all eventually. Does love ever fail? Paul tells us that love never fails (1
Corinthians 13.8). God is love! How can this love fail? Did the Son’s death on the
cross fail? Is God so impotent that He cannot accomplish His purpose for
mankind? If He is, then He is not truly God of His entire creation. Please, I beg of
you to take this whole matter to the Lord and ask Him to speak to your heart,
through His word and by His spirit, and reveal if it is true.
Before moving on, I must remind again that there is only one way to come into this
glorious place of justification to life, and that is through believing on Jesus and the
work He finished on the cross. Also, this does not mean that God will not judge all
mankind. Most assuredly, the word of God is clear that He will judge, but
judgment is always based on corrective and restorative love.
For this, all of us will be eternally grateful.
Now, let us turn to the signature verse in which Paul declares that God may be
all in all .
The Firstfruit.
1 Corinthians 15 is one of the greatest chapters in all Scripture, for it is here that
Paul defends the resurrection of Christ and, ultimately, the resurrection into life of
all mankind, and it is here that we discover the purpose of the eons.
If we are having an expectation in Christ in this life only, more
forlorn than all men are we. (Yet now Christ has been roused from
among the dead, the Firstfruit of those who are reposing. For
since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, also,
comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as, in Adam, all are
dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own
class: the Firstfruit, Christ [lit. a first fruit anointed]; thereupon
those who are Christ’s in His presence; thereafter the consumma-
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tion, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and
Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all
authority and power. For He must be reigning until He should be
placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy is being
abolished: death. For He subjects all under His feet. Now when-
ever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is out-
side of Him Who subjects all to Him. Now, whenever all may be
subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to
Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.) (1 Corin-
thians 15.19-28 CV)
And each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those
who are the Christ’s, in his presence, then [afterwards] ―the end,
when he may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when he
may have made useless all rule, and all authority and power…. (1
Corinthians 15.23-24 YLT [REB])
In this set of verses, Paul establishes that in reference to being resurrected from
the state of death, there are several classes of people and each class will be raised
in its own respective order. Christ stands alone in His own class as the first in all
things, including resurrection from the dead.
When Christ was raised from among the dead, He became the Firstfruit of all the
dead. Christ was raised from all the dead and is now immortal, for death has no
more power over Him. Further, Christ is the Firstborn from among the dead so
that He might have the preeminence or first place in all things (Colossians 1.18).
Essentially, Christ is first in everything, including being the first to be born again
through resurrection from among all the dead that lie in the earth, and, as such,
Christ is in a class all by Himself. We could say that He is the first class in all
things.
Then, Paul states the same verity that he wrote in Romans 5 that death came
through one man but life or resurrection of the dead comes through a Man as well.
We should not overlook the import of Paul’s reference that the resurrection of the
dead comes through Christ. There is a difference between being resurrected from
the dead and the resurrection of the dead. The former means that many remain in
the state of death, whereas the latter means no one remains in the state of death.
Resurrection of the dead speaks of all the dead rising out of the state of death.
In Adam, all are dying.
Paul once again establishes the equation presented previously. I don’t see how Paul
could have stated it any clearer: in Adam, all are dying . Again, here is the word
all . Can anyone dispute that all born of Adam’s race, whether one believes in Christ
or not, will die one day, unless one happens to be in the company of believers alive
on earth when He comes the second time? In Adam, all are dying! Paul makes
no exceptions to this death sentence. Notice that Paul does not say all who are in
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Adam or the lost in Adam. He simply states that in Adam, all are dying, just as
through one man death came to all men (see Romans 5.12). The fact that all die a
physical death places all in Adam in respect to death.
In Christ, all are made alive.
Next, Paul states that in Christ, shall all be vivified or made alive . Again,
here is the word all . Who are we to exclude from this all? Paul makes no
distinction between a believer and an unbeliever. There are no exclusions in this
all . If all are in Adam, does it not follow that all must be in Christ, eventually, as
well? Of course, logic dictates that it follows. This is God’s “life sentence” for all!
Each in their own order.
Now, here is an important key in understanding what Paul has left us to under-
stand―mankind will be resurrected according to their order or rank. Paul makes
an important distinction that all will not be made alive at the same time but each
in their own order, class, or troop. In the Greek, the word for proper order is
tagma , which refers to “something orderly in arrangement (a troop), that is, (figu-
ratively) a series or succession:- order.”
In his defense of the resurrection, not only of Christ but of all mankind, Paul likens
it to a harvest of crops. Let us be clear that according to the context of 1 Corin-
thians 15, the resurrection that Paul had in view is the resurrection unto immor-
tality, when the dead will be raised imperishable, that is, the perishable or cor-
ruptible puts on the imperishable or incorruptible, and this mortal puts on im-
mortality (see 15.50-57). This is the hope of mankind, and it will come about for all
mankind eventually, for Christ must reign until He has put all His enemies under
His feet and abolished the last enemy, death, which must refer to all kinds of
death, whether it is the first or second death. If it is not this way, then I contend
that the cross is a failure, for the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Son of
God is unable to undo all that Adam’s one transgression brought upon his race.
But the good news is that just as a farmer harvests different kinds of crops at
different times of the harvest season, so will God harvest mankind through
resurrection. Consequently, troops or classes of people are raised in order, the first
being a firstfruit, which is similar to a barley harvest, or what could be called the
cream of the crop, followed by a more general harvest, which is similar to a wheat
harvest, and concluding with the final harvest of all that is left, which is the grape
harvest.
To reiterate, Christ is in a class or order all by Himself. He is the Firstfruit and the
Firstborn and, as such, no one else is included with Him. His resurrection is
unique in the sense that He is the first Man to put off mortality and put on
immortality. As Paul wrote to Timothy: He is the King of kings and Lord of
lords, who alone possesses immortality (1 Timothy 6.15-16).
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Moving along in his defense of the resurrection, in 1 Corinthians 15.22-23, Paul
declares that just as Christ was made alive, so will all be made alive but each in his
own order. Essentially, he declared this same verity to Timothy: Christ Jesus,
Who is giving Himself a correspondent Ransom for all (the testimony
in its own eras) (1 Timothy 2.5-6 CV). Eras refer to different periods of time,
which correspond to the different harvests.
Paul then lists the first group as the firstfruit Christ . At first glance, it might
appear that Paul is simply repeating the fact that Christ is the first in the order, but
this cannot be the proper understanding, for he first establishes Christ’s unique
place and then he takes up all being made alive. Follow Paul’s logic and you will
see that each in his own order refers back to in Christ shall all be made alive . In
other words, it refers to all mankind that die, not to Christ Himself.
He purchased the whole field.
At this point, I must inject another thought. In the parables of the mysteries of the
reign of the heavens , the Lord Jesus explained that He, as the Son of Man, sowed
the good seed in the field, which He purchased. To redeem the treasure hidden in
the field, the Lord bought the entire field, which is the whole world (see Matthew
13). In other words, the Lord not only purchased His treasure, which I believe
refers to the firstfruit Christ, but He also purchased all of the crops in the world,
which I believe refer to all the dead. Thus, He purchased the whole world, the field,
which means that He possesses not only His treasure hidden in the field but also
all else that the field contains, which must refer to all mankind. Psalm 2 confirms
this, as the Father decreed to His Son: ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the
nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your
possession’ (Psalm 2.8 NASB). Christ possesses all the earth.
Now, with this in mind, we can continue with the order in which the troops or
classes are resurrected and who might be included in each troop.
The good news is that just as a farmer harvests different kinds of crops at different
times of the harvest season, so will God harvest mankind through resurrection.
Again, there are troops or classes of people raised in order, the first being a
firstfruit, a barley harvest, followed by a more general harvest, a wheat harvest,
and concluding with the final harvest of all that is left, a grape harvest.
Again, I must repeat, Christ is in a class or order all by Himself. He is the Firstfruit
and the Firstborn, and, as such, no one else is included with Him. His resurrection
is unique in the sense that He is the first Man to put off mortality and put on
immortality. As Paul wrote to Timothy: He is the King of kings and Lord of
lords, who alone possesses immortality (1 Timothy 6.15-16).
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The firstfruit anointed.
If we accept this line of thinking, then who are the firstfruit Christ ? Some see
this as referring to those who were resurrected after Jesus rose from the dead.
However, neither Scripture nor the historical record offers proof that this group
was raised to anything other than mortal life; thus, they died again and did not
enter immortal life at that time.
Perhaps, the answer to this question is discovered in the phrase the firstfruit
Christ . According to the English Sublinear of the Concordant Greek Text , the first
group that Paul lists is simply “firstfruit anointed.”
I see two ways of looking at this, both of which come to the same conclusion.
First , the word Christ can also be translated as the word anointed . In other words,
the first troop to be raised up is the “anointed firstfruit.”
Second , if we remain with the word Christ , it simply refers to the corporate body
of Christ. In referring to the one body with many members, Paul referred to the
body as Christ (1 Corinthians 12.12).
It only follows that if Christ Himself is a firstfruit, then there is other firstfruit to
follow. Again, as a reminder, during harvest time, a farmer picks a crop of several
pieces of fruit and declares it to be his firstfruit.
So then, who are included in the firstfruit anointed?
One of the most common interpretations of the identity of this troop is that it
comprises all who have believed on Jesus. However, there is another interpretation
that I see as more in line with Scripture. The firstfruit anointed is the troop of
believers that will be counted worthy to attain to the oncoming eon to reign with
Christ; they are sons of the resurrection (Luke 20.34-36).
This troop is what I often refer to as the ones who conquer through Christ and His
love. Not all who believe in our age are conquerors. Many have secured immortal
life, but not all have secured eonian life to reign with Christ in His coming
kingdom. This troop also includes all the conquerors of past eras prior to Calvary;
all who died in faith looking for the promise but not receiving it, for they are
waiting for the better resurrection (see Hebrews 11).
Consequently, I believe the firstfruit anointed refers to those who attain to the out-
resurrection that Paul sought to attain (Philippians 3.11), the first or former
resurrection that John saw in his Patmos vision (Revelation 20.5-6), and the better
resurrection that is accounted to the ones who gained approval through their faith
but did not receive what was promised (Hebrews 11.39). Hebrews 11 lists the many
that walked by faith and conquered in their day.
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The ones who will be considered worthy of the first or better resurrection, the out-
resurrection, are ones who will have conquered while they lived in their bodies of
death. How will they have conquered? They will have conquered through grace,
faith, and love.
Paul declared: We are more than conquering through Him Who loves us
(Romans 8.37 CV). How do we conquer? We do it through love―love for our God
and Savior, love for one another, and love for our enemies. If we love, we also
forgive, including our enemies that do us much harm, for this is what we are
commanded to do (Matthew 5.44; 6.14). If we want to be in the out-resurrection ,
we must love, obey, forgive, and endure, and this is done by laying down our lives
even unto death, if necessary.
They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of
their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of
death. (Revelation 12.11 HCSB)
These are the ones who overwhelmingly conquer through the One Who loves us
and who will be priests of God and of Christ that will reign with Christ for 1,000
years.
God declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46.10), and we see that as Adam
was a son of God, so will all mankind be sons of God, not all at the same time but
all eventually. We see the firstfruits of sonship in The Unveiling of Jesus Christ .
The conquerors will be firstfruits of our present eon that will become God’s sons in
the eons of the eons. They are the first called according to the purpose of God to be
conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8.29).
“He who overcomes [conquers] will inherit these things, and I will
be his God and he will be My son .” (Revelation 21.7 NASB [CV])
Those who are found worthy to attain to the first resurrection (Revelation 20.5-6)
and the eon [age] to come (Luke 20.34-38) will be the first to be called sons of
God , even sons of the kingdom (Matthew 13.38). They will be the righteous that
will brightly shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13.43).
This is the firstfruit anointed troop of the Lord. Let us conquer while it is still day
and before the midnight shout goes forth that the Bridegroom has come!
The second resurrection.
Now, if the firstfruit resurrection is the first resurrection , and this occurs at the
end of our present eon, then there must be a second resurrection that occurs 1,000
years later; a resurrection of the just and the unjust when most of mankind must
stand in the presence of the great white throne. I believe that this group includes
believers (the just) that were not included in the first resurrection or out-
resurrection . The just will have believed in Jesus but did not conquer through His
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life; thus, they were not anointed firstfruits. They will be saved, yet so as
through fire (1 Corinthians 3.15 NASB), and they will enter into immortality. The
unbelievers (the unjust) will be cast in the lake of fire for a season of correction and
restitution, but they too, one day, will come out of even the second death to enter
the glory of God as all mankind, and even creation, enters into the grand jubilee of
all. Thus, the second group to be resurrected is the rest of mankind that must
appear in the presence of Christ.
I recognize that what you have just read goes against the grain of most evangelical
teaching today so it might be helpful to expand on this thought before moving on. I
also refer you to my book The Purpose and Plan of the Eons , Volume 2, Chapter 2,
for further understanding of the first and second resurrection.
Many acknowledge that there are two resurrections separated by about 1,000
years. However, many also see the general resurrection for only the unbeliever or
the wicked, based on Jesus’ words in the gospel of John.
“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are
in the tombs will hear His voice, 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)
It is often assumed that this refers to the two resurrections, separated by the
millennial reign. But Jesus clearly referred to an hour, which in Scripture refers to
a specific point in time; and at that hour, all who are in the tombs, meaning they
are dead, which is a state of unconsciousness, will be awakened from their sleep.
Those who have done the good deeds will be resurrected to life and those who have
done the evil deeds will be resurrected to judgment. This was in keeping with what
the Jews of Jesus’ day believed. Jesus was not trying to correct them but
confirming what they already knew. The Jews believed that there was one general
resurrection in which both the righteous and the wicked will be resurrected at the
same time but with different outcomes. We see this in the conversation between
Jesus and Martha when Jesus said Lazarus would rise again. Martha said to
Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day”
(John 11.23-24 NASB). Paul, in defense of his evangel, also referred to the general
resurrection.
“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;
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)
To Paul, it was a resurrection, which means he referred to only one resurrection of
the righteous and the wicked. Both Daniel and John saw this resurrection.
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“I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days
took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His
head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels
were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing and coming out
from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court
sat, and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7.9-10 NASB)
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from
whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was
found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small,
standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another
book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were
judged from the things which were written in the books, according
to their deeds. … And if anyone’s name was not found written in
the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation
20.11-12, 15 NASB)
Thus, the first resurrection is only for those who have conquered; they will come to
life and reign with Christ, with the second death having no power over them. But
the resurrection Daniel and John saw was unto judgment, judgment by the fiery
law of God. Some of those appearing before the great white throne, which was
ablaze with flames and with a river of fire flowing forth into a lake, were seen as
destined for judgment through the second death. For them, it is a resurrection of
judgment. But there are obviously others standing before the throne whose names
are recorded in the book of life. For them, it is a resurrection of life, immortal life
for all who believe.
It is safe to state that many pastor-teachers do not believe that any of the righteous
can or will appear before the great white throne because all the righteous must rise
in the first resurrection. But they fail to see that believers are not promised
eonian life in the millennial kingdom of Christ. Entering the coming kingdom
and reigning with Christ for 1,000 years is a reward to all who conquer through
Christ, but not all who believe in Jesus in this eon will conquer (see Luke 12.45-59;
14.13-14). Everyone is promised immortal life , but this does not mean that all
will receive it at the same time. Some will have to wait in death until the end of the
oncoming eon when the great and small are resurrected. Again, as Paul wrote, they
will be saved, yet so as through fire . All their evil works will be burned up,
but they will be saved to enter the day of God and the holy city because their names
are recorded in the book of life; they are accounted as righteous because of Christ,
but they were not counted worthy to enter the kingdom of Christ 1,000 years
before. They will receive immortal life as promised and enter the eon of the eons,
the last eon revealed to us in Scripture; thus, they too will experience eonian life.
However, it is life in the last eon not the one that is coming soon. This is not the
better resurrection! But, let us not lose sight of the fact that all will eventually enter
into the presence of God.
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The purpose seen in the shewbread.
As mentioned earlier, there is something special regarding all appearing in the
presence of Christ, and it has to do with the purpose of God and the showbread,
the cakes of bread, the hallowed bread that sat on a table across from the golden
candlestick in the holy place. The shewbread was a type of Christ who is the manna
that came down out of heaven, the Bread of Life (John 6.33, 35, 48, 51).
Again, in the Greek, the word purpose is translated from the word prothesis , which
means “setting forth, specifically the show bread (in the Temple) as exposed before
God” ( Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance ). It is also defined as “before-placing.”
This is the same Greek word that is used by Paul for the purpose of the eons
(Ephesians 3.11 CV) and for the showbread, the cakes of bread, or the hallowed
bread that sat on a table across from the golden candlestick in the Holy Place.
‘But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he
became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house
of God, and they ate the consecrated [ prothesis ] bread, which was
not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests
alone?” (Matthew 12.3-4 NASB)
For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were
the lampstand and the table and the sacred [ prothesis ] bread; this is
called the holy place. (Hebrews 9.2 NASB)
The Tabernacle was comprised of the court and the Holie s of the Holie s (double
plural, as rendered in the Greek), which had two divisions, the Holy Place and the
Most Holy Place or the Holy of Holies.
The first objects that the priest beheld as he entered the Holy Place were the Table
of Shewbread, which represents Christ as the Bread of Life, the manna that came
down out of heaven (John 6.33, 35, 48, 51), and the Golden Candlestick, which
represents Christ as the Light of the World.
Some translations refer to the sacred bread as the bread of the Presence (ESV,
GW, ISV, JMT, YLT), an expression found in Hebrew Scripture: So the priest
gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the
bread of the Presence [ paniyim ] which was removed from before the
LORD… (1 Samuel 21.6 NASB). We could say that it is the Presence bread, which
refers to the very presence of the Lord.
The Hebrew word for presence is paniyim , which can refer to “the face (as the part
that turns).” It also refers to being “purposed by.” Thus, the shewbread is more
than a figure of Christ as the Bread of Life; it signifies being before the face of the
One who is the very Bread of Life, the One whom all will feed upon to receive life.
All being in His presence is another way of stating the purpose of God!
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Now, here is the good news that I believe has been lost in our day but is being
recovered in some measure: God’s plan is to progressively bring all mankind into
His presence, something that was lost in the garden of Eden. Before their fall,
Adam and Eve knew the presence of the Lord, for immediately after their fall, they
heard the sound of the Lord God (Yahweh Elohim) walking in the garden in the
cool of the day (Genesis 3.8).
The presence of the Lord was not some feeling but His actual presence. I believe it
is safe to state that prior to his transgression, which most likely occurred when he
was 33, Adam lived in the Holy of the Holies as typified by the garden with the tree
of life. After his transgression, the way was barred for him and his race from
entering into this sacred place while in bodies of death. In the typology of the
Tabernacle, mankind moved to the outer court.
The good news is that the plan of God requires that all mankind eventually, but not
all at the same time, be brought into His presence, to move from the outer court to
the Holies of the Holies . But first, mankind must be brought into the Holy
Place to behold the face of Jesus. The Son of God is the only way into the Most
Holy Place, the very presence of God; into the glory of God. All must appear before
the bread of the Presence, the One who holds the key of life and who is the Light of
the world. All must pass by and through the Son of God, for He alone is the Way to
God the Father. Those of us who have believed on Jesus in this eon have been
brought into the presence of the Lord in spirit, and because of this, we have a
hope set before us, an anchor of the soul, which enters within the veil,
where Jesus has entered as a forerunner (see Hebrews 6.18-20a). We are
destined to enter the Holy of Holies to be presented to God the Father in glorified,
celestial bodies on the eighth day of the feast. In that day, we will see the lovely
face of our Beloved. What a destiny! Oh, may we long for the day we see our
beloved Lord and stand in His presence. Christ in you, the hope of glory!
Then comes the end―subjects all.
Returning to the defense of the resurrection, Paul declared then comes the end ;
literally, thereafter the consummation . In other words, at the consummation
of the eons, the rest of mankind that did not receive the benefit of immortality
through the second resurrection must be transfigured into immortal life when
death is abolished. They must enter the Most Holy Place.
I do not see these ones going through a third bodily resurrection since they were
resurrected to appear at the great white throne judgment. What they require is
immortality, but to receive this, they must be chastened and purified in the lake of
fire, which represents God’s divine law, the standard by which their works will be
judged. They enter into a second type of death (not physical and definitely not for
torture) that is designed to purify them, so that one day they too can enter into
immortality. If they are not brought out of this second death, then it cannot be
declared that death is abolished. Further, Christ will not have accomplished the
work given to Him by His Father. Thus, His work of the cross would end in failure.
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But how do we know that the unjust one day will be brought into immortal life?
We know it because Paul declared that Christ must reign until He has subjected all
things to Himself. The ones being subjected to Christ are the unjust or the wicked.
In other words, His purpose of reigning is to subject all things in heaven and on
earth to Himself, so that He can then subject all things, including Himself, to His
Father, so that God may be All in all. Notice that the mission of the Son of God is
not to destroy all things but to subject all things, for the Son of Man did not
come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Luke 9.56 NASB). It is not
His purpose to destroy or annihilate the unjust but to subject them, so that the
word of God, which does not return void, is fulfilled.
Scripture is abundantly clear that the all or all things will be subjected to Christ.
If we agree that all is truly all, then there will be nothing excluded from this
subjection or, worded in the positive, everything is included in all things . Of all
the writers of Scripture, Paul is the one most caught by this truth. (Peter refers to
angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him [1 Peter 3.22]).
Consider what Paul states regarding Christ and all things being subjected to Him.
For He must reign until He has put ( hupotasso ) all His enemies
under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For
HE HAS PUT ( hupotasso ) ALL [ panta ] THINGS IN SUBJECTION
UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things [ panta ] are put
( hupotasso ) in subjection ( hupotasso ) ,” it is evident that He is
excepted who put ( hupotasso ) all things [ the all , ta panta ] in
subjection ( hupotasso ) to Him. When all things [ the all , ta panta ] are
subjected ( hupotasso ) to Him, then the Son Himself also will be
subjected ( hupotasso ) to the One who subjected ( hupotasso ) all things
[ the all , ta panta ] to Him, so that God may be all [ the all , ta panta ] in
all. (1 Corinthians 15.25-28 NASB)
And He put ( hupotasso ) all things in subjection under ( hupotasso )
His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which
is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all [ the all , ta panta ] in all.
(Ephesians 1.22-23 NASB)
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 ( hupotasso ) all
things to Himself. (Philippians 3.20-21 NASB)
The words put and subject are derived from the Greek word hupotasso , which is
made up of two words, hupo , which means “under,” and tasso , which means “to
arrange in an orderly manner.” Thus, the act of subjecting the all under the feet of
Christ is not to destroy or to put into some sort of torment but to bring the all into
an orderly arrangement.
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This is an important point, for some might be tempted to think that the subjection
includes perhaps the destruction or annihilation of some or, as so many believe,
the subjection of many in a place called hell .
For those who have read much of my material, you should know how I view this
word. The hell that is so often preached is not according to Scripture but rather
according to man who has created a god in his own image, and even worse than his
image. After all, many preachers have created what I call a torture chamber in
which the so-called lost are tortured in literal flames of fire forever and ever with
no chance of reprieve. In other words, man, created to be in the image of God and
whom God so loves, is to be forever tormented and tortured, even the ones who
never had an opportunity to hear of Christ. Does this sound like God is love to
you?
Well, this is a vital matter if we are to comprehend the glory of all things being
subjected to Christ. Being forever cast into a place called hell is not subjecting all
into an orderly arrangement. Either the cross and the subsequent work of Christ of
summing up or gathering up all things to Himself is a 100% success, or it is a
miserable failure and the very Creator of all things is not able to restore all
things so that God may be all in all . Paul never gives one hint of failure on the
part of Christ. Just the opposite; he presents the glory of the riches of Christ, which
will be extended to all mankind without exception because God is the Savior of
all men (mankind) (1 Timothy 4.10) and God wills all men to be saved (1
Timothy 2.4), for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things
(Romans 11.36).
Now, it is important to understand that Paul’s revelation of all things being
subjected to Christ came straight from Hebrew Scripture, which he knew quite
well. Simply, he saw this truth in one of David’s psalms.
What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that
You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule
over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his
feet…. (Psalm 8.4-6 NASB)
Personally, I believe Paul wrote the Hebrews epistle, and this is one of the proofs.
But someone somewhere solemnly testified, saying, “What is
humanity [or, man] , that You remember him, or [the] son of
humanity, that You look after him? You made him only a little
lower [or, only for a short while lower] than [the] angels; You awarded
him the victor’s wreath [of] [or, crowned him with] glory and honor,
You put ( hupotasso ) all [things] [ panta ] in subjection under
( hupotasso ) his feet.” For in the subjecting ( hupotasso ) to him all
[things] [ the all , ta panta ] , He left nothing unsubjected to him. But
now we do not yet see all [things] [ the all , ta panta ] having been
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subjected ( hupotasso ) to him. [Psalm 8:4-6] But we see Jesus, the One
having been made only a little lower [or, only for a short while lower]
than [the] angels because of the suffering of death, having been
awarded the victor’s wreath [of] [or, having been crowned with] glory
and honor, in order that by [the] grace of God He should taste [fig.,
experience] death on behalf of all. (Hebrews 2.6-9 ALT)
Notice how he quoted David’s psalm and directly joined the subjecting of all
things to Jesus, the One crowned with glory and honor.
But there is more: For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things [ the
all , ta panta ] , and through whom are all things [ the all , ta panta ] , in
bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation
through sufferings (Hebrews 2.10 NASB).
All the sons of glory are the first crop of the harvest. They will be counted worthy of
the kingdom, and they will reign with Christ for 1,000 years.
Today, we see Jesus; in the next eon, the world and all creation will see the
manifested sons of glory, the complement of the One completing the all in all . As
His complement, they will lead the rest of mankind into being subjected to Christ
until all mankind, without exception, will be crowned with glory and honor.
It will take at least two more eons, with the last eon being of an unspecified length
of time, but be assured the day will come when all things are subjected to Christ
and all mankind will rule over the works of His hand. This is the mission of the Son
of God, and He cannot and will not fail! Praise God!
Consider this: Most people acknowledge that all creation will be set free. Paul
declared that the creation will be set free from its slavery to corruption (Romans
8.21). If creation is to be set free, do you think that God will not set free all
mankind that has been in slavery to sin and death; a race created to be in His
image and likeness, a race created to have dominion over the earth? The whole
earth will be filled with the glory of God. Again, do you think that most of mankind
is destined to be left out of this glory, a race that began in the glory of God? The
lion and the lamb will be brought into peace with each other. Do you think that if
God is going to do this with the animal kingdom, He will not do it with mankind
that was created to have dominion? Will He forever be at enmity with what He
created to be in the image of His Son when Paul tells us that He is not reckoning
their offenses against them but is reconciling all things in the heavens and on the
earth to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross? May God be
all in all !
Now, there is more to this all in all and it is discovered in all new , but before
concluding with this glorious truth, we need to consider six words that begin with
the prefix re.
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The six r’s.
Interestingly, there are six words that begin with the letter r that pretty much sum
up God’s plan for the eons: restoration , restitution , revival , recovery,
reconciliation, and redemption . Each of these words speaks of bringing
something back to where it once was. This makes sense because the prefix re can
mean “back, again, anew, over again.” In music, re is “a syllable representing the
second tone of the diatonic scale.” We could say that re indicates a second time.
Six is the number of man, and God’s plan calls for mankind to be brought into His
all through what each of these words represents.
Of even more interest is the fact that the letter r is the 18 th letter of the English
alphabet. The number 18 refers to coming out of bondage and into spiritual
freedom. We see this in type in Judges 10.8 where the sons of Israel had been
afflicted and crushed for 18 years, so that Israel was greatly distressed. They cried
out to the Lord and they put away the foreign gods from among them and served
the Lord, who could bear the misery of Israel no longer (see Judges 10.16). We see
the antitype to this account when the Lord Jesus healed a woman who for 18 years
had a sickness caused by a spirit.
And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And
there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness
caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not
straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and
said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” And He
laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again
and began glorifying God. (Luke 13.10-13 NASB)
This woman was doubled over, and, in a sense, she could not see straight, for,
when she walked, all she could do was look down at the ground. Jesus was putting
His finger on the spiritual condition of the Judahites that sat in the synagogue.
Spiritually, they were doubled over and could not see straight to the point that they
could not discern that the Messiah was in their midst, and that, at its root, His
kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, not a political one as the people had expected.
Jesus came to free them from their spiritual bondage, but the religious leaders of
the day rejected Him and consequently remained in bondage.
Most commentators look at the number 18 as the number of bondage, but I prefer
to see it as the number of freedom , for, in both accounts, it was after 18 years
that freedom came. So, the number 18 refers to release from bondage into
freedom.
Given this understanding, it is easy to see that the letter r as the 18 th letter of the
English alphabet also points to freedom from bondage. And, in fact, this is exactly
what we see in the meaning of all six words that begin with the letter r , and most
of Scripture speaks forth God’s heart to free all creation and to reestablish all
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things through restoration, restitution, revival, recovery, reconciliation, and
redemption.
Before proceeding further, there are a few points that need to be stressed.
First , without going into what each means, as a group these words speak of bring-
ing mankind back onto some ground that has been lost, but they do not necessarily
speak of something new. If we go back far enough in the history of mankind, we
will discover the original state or condition that is being regained.
Second , it seems to me that the Lord’s people divide themselves along one or
more of these re words. Consequently, there are those who see everything that
God is doing through the prism of restoration, others through revival, and others
through recovery, etc. There is nothing wrong with this and I am not being critical
of anyone who holds one or more of these views, for each can be explained
according to Scripture.
The danger that I see is that we can become so fixated on these things, some of
which are described as moves of God, or simply movements, that we can lose sight
of, or never even come into sight of, the glory of God’s ultimate purpose. We can
begin to see these moves or movements as ends unto themselves and fail to see
that they are merely part of God’s plan. He will reconcile; He will redeem; He will
restore, He will restitute; He will revive; and He will recover all things because this
is His plan to bring about His purpose.
Third , there is another danger that must be guarded against, and it is seeing all in
reference only to the “church,” as if the rest of mankind is destined never to come
into the all of God. Some speak as if when the last saint is saved in our age the
church has arrived. No! We have just begun, for there is a greater work to do and
that is to bring the rest of mankind and all creation into the Presence of God
through our Lord Jesus, the Son of God and the Creator of all. Some speak as if
when the last saint comes in, the door of the good ol’ gospel ship is shut and the
Lord and His people go flying off into eternity, leaving everything else behind. No;
no; a thousand times no; this is not what it is all about! For God the Father to be all
in all by making all new, all mankind and all creation must be included in His all
and in His new.
Finally, it must be stressed again that these re concepts are not the all new of
God ; they are simply part of God’s plan that must be completed in order to bring
in the all new . They are part of the plan, not the purpose. Another way of stating
this is that these re concepts are part of God’s strategy that drives God’s plan to
achieve His purpose. Or yet, another way of stating this is that these concepts are
components of God’s plan.
I trust that by now you realize there is a difference between a plan and a purpose. A
plan is merely a means to achieve a purpose, and this is how one must perceive the
six r’s that are explained in what follows.
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Restoration.
Now, let us consider the word restoration . Starting in Genesis 1.2, we see that God
began to work on the ground of restoration. The earth was a waste place, formless
and void, and the spirit of God hovered over the surface of the waters. We are not
told how the earth got to be a waste place, but obviously something happened in
between Genesis 1.1 and 1.2. So, right from the start we see the principle of
restoration coming into view. But let us also see that as Scripture ends we are given
this great declaration: Behold, I am making all new! This is God’s purpose;
restoration is His plan to bring in the new.
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary , the word restoration means
“reinstatement; a putting or bringing back into a former, normal, or unimpaired
state or condition.” The word restore means “to give back (something taken away,
lost, etc.); make restitution; to bring back to a former or normal condition, as by
repairing, rebuilding, altering, etc.; to put a person back in a place, position, rank,
etc.: as, restore a king; to bring back to health, strength, etc.; to reestablish
something that has passed away, as a custom, system of government, etc.” Notice
that the word restitution is included in this definition. In the Greek, we discover
the same inclusion.
In Scripture, the Hebrew word translated as restore is shub , a primitive root word
that means “to turn back (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting
point), to retreat.”
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to
raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore [ shub ] the preserved
ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that
My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49.6 NASB;
also see Jeremiah 27.22)
The Greek word for restore is apokathistemi , which means “to reconstitute (in
health, home, or organization), and the word for restoration is apokatastasis ,
which means “reconstitution, restitution.”
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped
away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the
presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ
appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of
restoration [ apokatastasis ] of all things about which God spoke by
the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Acts 3.19-21
NASB; also see Acts 1.6)
Restoration was definitely a word spoken through the prophets, and it was on the
minds of Jesus’ disciples as well. Clearly, there is a period of restoration of all
things that will commence once heaven releases the Lord Jesus to return to this
earth to establish the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ through His
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glorified, immortal body of conquerors. In other words, the Father must send His
Son back to this earth in order for the period of the restoration of all things to
commence. This earth and the nations of the earth need the presence of the Lord,
for all things must be restored to the One who is Creator of all, even the Firstborn
of all creation and the Firstborn from among the dead (Colossians 1.15, 18).
God is definitely in the business of restoration, and this will kick into high gear in
the oncoming eons, which refers not only to the millennial kingdom of Christ but
also to God’s day that follows. I believe that it will take all of the next two eons for
the Lord to restore all things. At times, I have the impression that many people
think that once the reign of the heavens comes to this earth everything is restored
or changed in an instant, but this cannot be so. Christ must head up or sum up all
things in the heavens and on the earth as He subjects all things to Himself
(Ephesians 1.10; 1 Corinthians 15.25-27). This will not occur as if passing a magic
wand over the earth and creation and “poof” it is all changed, and it will not occur
all in the next eon either.
As grand as the millennial kingdom will be, it will not bring about the full
restoration of all things. At the end of the millennial age, we know that Satan must
be released to deceive the nations one last time (Revelation 20.7-10). We also
know that following this period is the general resurrection of the vast majority of
mankind and the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20.11-15) in which some
will enter life and others will experience a second type of death (of works) with a
view to their full restoration and restitution.
In other words, the second death or the lake of fire is God’s means to restore these
ones and to bring about restitution or to right the wrongs they committed during
their life on earth. Essentially, just as the nations learned righteousness in the
previous eon, so will the resurrected that are cast into the lake of fire, which refers
to the fiery law of God, learn righteousness. For what purpose? So that they too
will be restored, for God wills that all mankind be saved (1 Timothy 2.3-4)!
Let us not forget that in reference to the coming day of God (God’s day), Peter
declared that we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which
righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3.13 NASB). Today, the righteousness of God is
lost in the sea of the self-righteousness of mankind. In the next eon on earth, the
nations will learn righteousness through the conquerors of Christ. But, in the day
of God, righteousness will dwell. Through this dwelling, all things will be restored
to the righteousness of God through Christ, the Son of Righteousness.
Consider this fact: When the new heaven and the new earth come into view in
God’s day, there will be a people who will not be allowed to enter (i.e., to become )
New Jerusalem. Nothing unclean will ever enter New Jerusalem. Outside will be
the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and
immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part
will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the
second death (Revelation 21.8 NASB).
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Fire and brimstone are for purification, cleansing, and healing; not for destruction
or annihilation. In fact, brimstone, which is sulfur, is likened to the sulfur drugs
used today to combat diseases. In other words, fire and brimstone are part of the
work of restoration and restitution. The unclean must be cleaned up (actually
changed) if they are ever to become part of New Jerusalem as a holy temple in
the Lord, the dwelling of God in spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22). If these ones are
not restored, then God’s will to save all mankind and to restore all things cannot
and will not be accomplished, and the cross of Calvary will have been a miserable
failure.
Thus, the restoration of all things is a progressive plan that commences when the
Father sends His Son to this earth and continues throughout the next two eons
until all things in the heavens and on the earth have been subjected to the Son. It is
only at this point that it will be declared that the period of the restoration of all
things has been accomplished. This will bring about the consummation of the eons
when Christ is not only all in all but God the Father is all in all in all new .
To me, the millennial kingdom of Christ as it relates to the earth and the nations of
the earth is a time of pure restoration. However, the eon that follows, which is the
day of God, is not only a time of restoration but also a time of making all new.
Restoration will progressively give way to all new. As good and wonderful as
restoration is, it is not the endpoint that God seeks or the ultimate purpose of God.
The end result is not a restoration or return to the way things were or were meant
to be but to something gloriously and entirely new.
Please realize that I am making no attempt to fully explain or even come close to
explaining the meaning of these words. My purpose is to simply put the terms
before you for your consideration and further study as part of God’s plan to
achieve His purpose. Obviously, among those who consider themselves revivalists,
restorationists, or recoverists, there are camps within camps with their differences
and emphases. I make no attempt to sort these out or to highlight them, except to
offer my opinion on some aspects which are of interest to me.
Restitution.
The word restitution means “a giving back to the rightful owner of something
that has been lost or taken away; restoration; a making good for loss or damage;
reimbursement; a return to a former condition or situation.” We see this principle
in the laws of restitution given to ancient Israel (Exodus 22.3-15; Leviticus 5.16;
6.5; Numbers 5.7, 8; 2 Samuel 12.6).
“If a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it over, and
an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit shall make
restitution; he shall give money to its owner, and the dead animal
shall become his.” (Exodus 21.33-34 NASB)
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Depending on the translation, the Hebrew word shub , often translated as
restoration , is also translated as restitution ; consequently, the two words go hand-
in-hand. The Hebrew word shalam , which means “to be safe, to be completed,” is
also translated as restitution . This meaning implies that restitution makes things
complete as in restoring things to a safe condition or as they were intended to be.
I believe that restitution will be a significant part of the chastening that will take
place through the lake of fire. Further, through Paul we know that the saints will
judge the world and the messengers or angels (1 Corinthians 6.2, 3), and this
judgment is for setting things right, which, obviously, encompasses the concepts of
restoration and restitution. Simply, all debts will be paid. Do not confuse this with
the one debt that our Lord Jesus paid for the sin of the world, which is explained
by the word redemption .
Revival.
The word revival means “a bringing or coming back into use, attention, or being,
after a decline; restoration to vigor or activity; a bringing or coming back to life or
consciousness; a stirring up of religious faith among those who have been
indifferent, usually by dramatic, fervid preaching and meetings.” In the Hebrew,
the word chayah , which means “to live,” is often translated as revive .
Will You not Yourself revive [chayah] us again, that Your people
may rejoice in You? (Psalm 85.6 NASB)
For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose
name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the
contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive [chayah] the spirit of
the lowly and to revive [chayah] the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah
57.15 NASB)
Today, revival is used in reference to the so-called “church” of our day being
spiritually revived. The fact of the matter is that there have been revivals in the
history of the “church,” and there are some today that believe that we are on the
cusp of a great revival that will occur in our present age that will exceed all
previous revivals. Time will tell if this will be so. Many who are looking for revival
also see the “church” rising to a place of glory in the earth as a precursor to the
coming of Christ. In other words, although the “church” might be in a state of
lukewarmness and declension, revival will bring her out of this condition as
preparation for the coming of the kingdom of Christ. Actually, some revivalists see
the kingdom being manifested through the “church” prior to the arrival of Christ to
the earth.
However, Scripture points to revival and restoration coming in the next eon and
not before. I believe the type of revival that they are longing for will occur as the
next eon unfolds and not in our present wicked eon. What many see as the
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“church” in our day most definitely needs to be revived from her lukewarmness,
her spiritual deadness, and all her emphases and worldliness.
The revival that is coming is related to the coming of the kingdom of Christ to this
earth and will follow the Feast of Tabernacles when the conquerors of Christ bring
revival to the rest of the “church” that failed to conquer during the last eon. The
conquerors are the ones counted worthy to reign with Christ in His kingdom. They
are the ones that will receive immortal and eonian life when they are transfigured
into glorified, celestial, spiritual bodies in the image of the Lord and through
whom the nations will learn righteousness. Also, through them and their ministry
the “church” will be revived.
I do not believe that Scripture teaches that all believers will be counted worthy to
enter the next eon to reign with Christ. This honor is reserved for all who conquer
or overcome (see Revelation 2-3) while in bodies of death and humiliation. This
understanding is more in line with recovery.
Recovery.
The word recover means “to get back (something lost, stolen, etc.); to regain; to
compensate for; make up for; to catch or save; to reclaim.” Thus, recovery means
to reclaim something that has been lost. Recovery is not as common a term in our
day as restoration is.
Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the
second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will
remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar,
Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (Isaiah 11.11 NASB)
Those who hold to the concept of recovery see the “church” in declension and, as a
whole, not coming out of this declension in our present eon. They see a remnant of
believers who stand for what the ecclesia is in the heart and mind of God. The
remnant holds to the testimony of Jesus as a representative for the whole “church.”
The remnant is actually the conquerors or overcomers.
Reconciliation.
The word reconciliation means “to reconcile,” which means “to make friendly
again or win over to a friendly attitude; to bring into harmony; to make content; to
make peace.”
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in
Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having
made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say,
whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1.19-20
NASB)
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In order for the Father to be all in all, He must be reconciled or in harmony with all
creation, and this is what the blood of the cross has accomplished, without
exception. All things will be reconciled to God before He makes all new . We could
say that reconciliation is an absolute prerequisite for achieving the purpose of God.
Redemption.
Finally, the word redemption means “to redeem,” which means “to buy back, to
get back; to recover.” Of course, the whole Christian faith rests on redemption.
For He …. transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in
whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1.13-
14 NASB)
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of
the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting
eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
(Romans 8.23 NASB)
This last verse is actually the closest in thought to God making all new, for the
redeemed body is in the image of the Son of God, and this is the new creation in
Christ. However, I do not believe redemption in itself speaks fully of the all new,
for being like the Son of God is more than being like Him in bodily form; it is being
like Him in character, which is far greater than anything we can imagine.
The good news is that when the firstfruit anointed of the new creation are revealed,
then the One sitting on the throne will rightfully declare: Behold, I am making
all new! I am making implies a process that God will continue.
All new.
Now, this leads me to the heart of the matter and it is this matter of all new, which
came to me as a personal revelation. One day as I meditated on this glorious
subject, the eyes of my heart were opened to see the all that God has purposed is
all new . His purpose is a new creation .
It is not a reformulated creation, a restored creation, a cleaned up creation, or
anything related to the previous creation extending back to when God restored a
ruined earth and then formed Adam from the soil of the earth. God is going to do a
new thing entirely, and He shall be all in all of this new creation. Another way of
stating this revelation is that He shall be all in all new or all in all in all new .
There will be nothing of the old in this all. He will do a new thing entirely.
I don’t know how else to say it or to convey the greatness of God’s purpose that will
come about with the consummation of the eons. All is about all new ! It is so
simple and yet so profound that I imagine this glorious thought is lost on many of
the Lord’s people who are looking for great things to happen on earth in our day
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and even in the age to come. Don’t take me wrong, the next age will be glorious as
the Lord Jesus restores this earth until it is filled with the glory of God. But even
this will pale in comparison to when all is new . The next age is about restoration,
not about making all new.
When this revelation came to me I was meditating on the whole matter of revival
and restoration. After all, today, many who are part of what is called the
restoration movement are looking for a revival of the church so that she can go
forth as the army of the Lord discipling the nations for Christ so that His kingdom
can come.
Actually, I was crying out to the Lord for understanding and a knowing of His
heart on the matter. It was with this cry that the spirit of God opened the eyes of
my heart to see that revival, restoration, reconciliation, recovery, restitution, and
even redemption itself, are all in the plan of God, but they are not His purpose,
they are merely means to achieve His purpose. And, as Paul was pressing on
toward the goal for the prize so is the Lord pressing on toward the purpose of God
in which all is new .
It is safe to state that many of the Lord’s people are looking for a Pentecostal
revival; the church returning to its roots or, we could say, its embryonic state of
over 2,000 years ago. I have read that some are looking for the return of apostolic
Christianity. But, I must ask: Why? Does a baby long to return to the cradle? Does
an adult long to return to diapers? Are we to seek for a mere repeat of something
that was a leavened feast (Leviticus 23.17) and, as such, was never intended to be
perfect or to usher God’s people into perfection? Pentecost is an incomplete and
imperfect feast.
The restoration of all does not answer the issue either. It is not enough; it falls
short of the purpose of God. It is a vital part of His plan, even an essential part, but
it is not the end point. Reconciliation of all does not answer to the absolute
purpose of God either. Bringing all mankind, even all creation, into the peace of
God, through the blood of His cross is part of the plan of God, even an essential
part, but it is not the end point. No; we are looking for a new creation, not a
reformulation or even a repeat of something. We are looking for in the beginning
God created .
These things are not the end or even the goal. The end of it all is when all is new.
A new creation Christ.
Now, I want to conclude this book with an encouragement to all the conquerors of
Christ that are enduring in order to reign with Christ. The encouragement is that
you are already part of the all new. Let me explain.
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Therefore, if anyone [is] in Christ, [he is] a new creation; the old
[things] passed away, look!, all [things] have become new. (2
Corinthians 5.17 ALT)
For in Christ Jesus neither does circumcision have any power [or,
avail anything] nor uncircumcision, but a new creation! (Galatians
6.15 ALT)
Paul uniquely uses the phrase in Christ, a new creation . You will note that the
phrase he is is not in the original Greek but is added by the translators. I prefer to
leave it as in Christ, a new creation , for this has much greater implication in
God achieving His purpose of becoming all in all in all new . After all, all things
in the heavens and on the earth will be summed up or headed up in Christ as He
subjects all to Himself to bring the eons (ages) to their rightful conclusion, for the
eons are made through the Son (Hebrews 1.2b [ALT/CV/REB/WNT/YLT]).
As an important reminder; when the One sitting on the throne declared to John,
Behold, I am making all new , He was referring to all things being new, which
is a new creation. Thus, we read of the new heaven, the new earth, and New
Jerusalem. This new creation is based on a new covenant as well; one whereby God
has sworn by Himself (Hebrews 6.13) and that is not contingent on man’s oath, as
with the old covenant that has been made obsolete.
In Christ, a new creation encompasses all of creation in heaven and on earth;
otherwise, Christ cannot become all in all or, as Paul wrote, Christ is all, and in
all (Colossians 3.11). This point cannot be overstressed, for we must not lose sight
of this glorious truth as we look at the phrase in the narrower framework
presented by Paul to the Corinthians.
Simply, Paul referred to the new creation in Christ as those who are in Christ, that
is, those who believe and trust in Christ Jesus. This must be understood as a
spiritual truth and not one based on physical evidence, bloodline, lineage, or
genealogy. Paul stressed this truth.
Therefore, from now on we know no one according to [the] flesh;
and even if we have known Christ according to [the] flesh, but now
no longer do we know [Him thus] . (2 Corinthians 5.16 ALT)
For Paul, the old things that he had so dearly held to as a Pharisee were no longer
valid. The old had passed away and the new had come.
But notice that Paul did not state that the new things will come at some future time
but that they had come. Further, he did not state that those who believe in this day
will become a new creation in the future, but that they are a new creation. For
Paul, the new creation in Christ is presented as a present-day reality. If you are in
Christ, then you are a new creation, not based on any rights of the flesh but based
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solely on the fact that, when one believes, one is placed in Christ, and, by the way,
Christ is placed in the person. A believer is a new creation.
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When
Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed
with Him in glory. (Colossians 3.3-4 NASB)
This new creation is a new life in Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life; the
one who conquered sin and death. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives
in me (Galatians 2.20 NASB).
I trust that most who read what I have written know these truths, but there is
something even greater that most of us have either never been taught or have lost
sight of with all the emphasis within the body of believers of our day on the here
and now and God’s purpose for our lives while we occupy corruptible bodies of
death. There truly is good news for the new creation in Christ.
Here it is: If you are in Christ, you are already a part of the all new that John and
Paul saw in spirit. You are already part of the new heaven and earth, and,
especially, New Jerusalem. Oh, we don’t see it with our natural eyes today, and,
most of the time, we don’t feel like we are part of this new creation, but this is
where faith kicks in. You are a new creation; you are part of all the new that the
One sitting on the throne is making. Yes; you even have become a new creation.
But let us face the facts; faith says we are there, but in reality we are not there and
cannot be there as long we occupy mortal bodies. Faith says that we will be
changed in the twinkling of an eye. Today, we can taste this new creation, but with
transfiguration, we will be it and live it endlessly.
According to Scripture, the new creation comes into view with the last eon of the
five eons or the eon of the eons . Paul saw a truth that has been lost among the
countless teachings of Christendom; the body of Christ is joined with the last of the
eons when there is a new heaven and a new earth. As glorious as the next eon will
be, the millennial kingdom on earth will pale in comparison to the glory of the last
eon when God makes all new. Paul saw the destiny of all the saints, and although
he could not speak what he heard, he could nevertheless proclaim that he saw the
new creation, which is in Christ. Ultimately, this new creation will extend to all
mankind, to the praise and glory of God.
Snatched away to the third heaven.
How could Paul declare the truth that believers are part of the new creation? He
could because he saw it. According to his testimony to the Corinthians, Paul was
snatched away to the third heaven and paradise to hear declarations that were not
allowed to be spoken.
If boasting must be, though it is not expedient, indeed, yet I shall
also be coming to apparitions and revelations of the Lord. I am
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acquainted with a man in Christ, fourteen years before this,
(whether in a body I am not aware, or outside of the body, I am not
aware–God is aware) such a one was snatched away to the third
heaven. And I am acquainted with such a man (whether in a body
or outside of the body I am not aware–God is aware) that he was
snatched away into paradise and hears ineffable declarations,
which it is not allowed a man to speak. (2 Corinthians 12.1-4 CV)
It seems clear that, along with Isaiah, both John and Paul were given the same
vision, and both were given the word that all would be new. Look, all have
become new! Look, I am making all things new! As John came to be in
spirit to perceive the Lord’s day, as recorded in Revelation 21-22, so was Paul
snatched away in spirit to see the Lord’s day. In other words, Paul saw beyond the
coming millennial kingdom to the eon of the eons (the day of God) in which there
is a new heaven and new earth, and New Jerusalem that comes down out of
heaven, having the glory of God. I believe that when he proclaimed all things have
become new, Paul was testifying to what he saw.
It is most probable that Paul was snatched away to the third heaven, and it was
there that he saw paradise, which is New Jerusalem. However, we are presented
with a challenge in his use of the words third heaven . Paul was the only one of all
the inspired writers to refer to the third heaven. Most commentators view the third
heaven spatially; as if it is merely a third level or place in the heavens that
currently exists. It is seen as the place where the throne of God is today. However,
where in Scripture are we told this supposed fact? If this is true, then it should be
and, in fact, must be explained by Scripture. The fact of the matter is that it is not
found in Scripture, other than in this one epistle. How are we to answer this
dilemma?
It has been proposed by others that the use of the word third indicates third in
sequence, rather than in place; thus, it is the third heaven, chronologically
speaking. In other words, throughout the eons (time), there will have been three
heavens, and the third heaven refers to the new heaven that is to come when our
current heavens and earth pass away with a roar, and the elements will be
destroyed with intense heat.
Peter gives us the answer to this question.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens
will pass away . (2 Peter 3.10 NASB)
Notice that he refers to heavens in the plural. If the third heaven exists today, then
it too would have to pass away; so it must not be included in the present heavens.
But we are also given more information, for, in the same passage, Peter wrote that
there were heavens.
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It escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed
long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
through which the world at that time was destroyed [a disruption] ,
being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3.5-6 NASB [added by writer])
One might be tempted to think that this refers to the flood of Noah’s day, but the
thing that escapes their notice is that the earth had been destroyed by water and
was in waste and ruin (see Genesis 1.2) prior to Adam being formed from the soil
of the earth. Elohim had to restore the earth that was in disruption (waste and
ruin) prior to creating man.
Thus, there was a first heavens (of old, long ago) and earth before the disruption.
A second heavens and earth came into view with the restoration of the ruined
earth, as recorded in Genesis 1.2b ff. We are living in the realm of the second
heavens and earth that are reserved for purging by fire following the millennial
kingdom.
There will yet be a third heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells, after the
present ones pass away (or, are cleansed and purged) (2 Peter 3.10-13).
Note: Most translations of Revelation 21.1 refer to the first heaven and earth, but it
also could be translated as former , meaning “the one that preceded the new one.”
Since Paul was snatched away to the third heaven, the paradise that he was caught
away to must be in relation to the time of the third heaven as well, for this
coincides with John’s vision on the isle of Patmos. While he was snatched away to
the third heaven, he saw the paradise, and this, I believe, is the revelation that Paul
described as in Christ, a new creation . Like the other prophets, he had to
proclaim: Look, all have become new!
But until then, there will be a privileged company of believers that, I believe, are
the conquerors (overcomers) of Christ or the firstfruit anointed that will rise in the
first resurrection or, as Paul called it, the out-resurrection , that will be the first to
truly taste what it means to be the new creation. They will take on glorified,
spiritual, celestial bodies in the image of the Son of God as they are adopted as
sons of God. It is as if they will leap-frog over the next millennial age and enter
onto the sacred ground of the new creation in God’s day.
This does not mean that they will miss the kingdom of Christ on this earth for the
next 1,000 years. Quite the contrary; they will be major players in the next eon as
they are the complement of Christ and reign on earth to bring the rule of Christ to
the nations, so that all mankind will begin to learn righteousness and live under
the throne of righteousness, justice, and peace.
The conquerors will reign with Christ, and they will move in and out of the
spiritual and the physical realms. They will be unlike any man that, apart from
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Christ Himself after His resurrection, has ever lived on earth, including the first
Adam. They are a new creation; all the former things will have passed away for
them. Their corruptible, mortal bodies will have given way to glorified, immortal
bodies that are indestructible. They will be enjoyers of immortal and eonian life in
the eons to come.
Conclusion.
In conclusion, eventually, all mankind will move onto the ground of the new
creation, but the conquerors of Christ will be the first to move onto this ground in
the next eon, for, I might add, the sole purpose of leading the rest of the “church”
and all mankind onto the same ground in Christ. Not everyone in this day who says
they believe will be counted worthy of this on-high calling in the next eon; many
will have to wait for the great white throne judgment and God’s day. For this
reason, Paul forgot what was behind him and reached forward to what lies ahead.
He pressed on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ
Jesus (Philippians 3.13-14 NASB). Let us press on!
Let revival come. Let the unity of the faith come. Let the fullness of the stature of
the mature man come. Let the restoration of all things come. Even let Christ be all
in all. But for what purpose? What do all these things mean in the context of God’s
purpose? What is God after? Is He after merely a restoring of all things back to
what they were before the fall? Is He after cleaning up things, tidying things up a
bit? Do the words restoration and reconciliation fully speak to the heart of God’s
purpose? Not really; but the new creation does. Behold, I am making all new!
A new heaven, a new earth, New Jerusalem, a new man, a new creation in Christ!
Oh, we aren’t there yet if we merely have another Pentecostal experience or
kingdom power that transcends even that seen through the first apostles. We
aren’t there yet if the whole of the church is walking in signs and wonders and
miracles. This is child’s play compared to what God has in store for His creation
when all is new.
Dear beloved ones in Christ; let us not retreat to the past, even the good past. We
must continue pressing on, marching on, keep fighting on. There is a goal out front
of us and we have not arrived yet, for it is God’s purpose. Let us press on,
continually moving on to the fullness of God’s purpose. Our God is not retreating.
He is pressing on by His spirit. He has a purpose, a goal in view, and nothing will
stop Him from reaching that goal, and it requires and involves ALL.
God purposes to be all in all new . Behold, I am making ALL NEW!
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