5. Restoring The Whole Creation

 

 

 

The last chapter ended with this rendering of Paul’s vision of the secret of His will.

 

He made known to us the secret of His will. And this is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it—the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in Heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in Him. (Ephesians 1.9-10 WNT)

 

This is a paraphrase of the Greek text, but it seems to capture the very heart of the purpose and plan of God to head up all in His Son, all in the heavens and all on the earth, so that God the Father may be All in all. Knowing that God has cherished in His own mind to restore the whole creation to its Head is a glorious thought. Can you imagine how wonderful it will be when the whole creation will find itself under one Head? Is this not the meaning of all things in the heavens and on the earth? Whole means all!

 

Who and what is to be excluded in the whole creation or all things in the heavens and on the earth? We must conclude that nothing will be excluded in all creation, both the animate and the inanimate, and the visible and the invisible. Paul even tells us that we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of child­birth together until now (Romans 8.22 NASB).

 

I want to be clear what I mean by stating that the whole animate creation will be restored, for I realize that when it comes to mankind many people do not accept the thought that the so-called lost or unrighteous one day will be restored as well. The traditions of men are like hardened cement, for they are a mighty hard thing to break up.

 

If it is God’s purpose to restore the whole, then does it not follow that the whole includes all mankind even if the process of restoration takes eons to complete? Are we to exclude the lost or the ones who have never heard of Jesus? Are we to condemn ones created to be in the image of God to an eternal torment in a place called hell? How can this possibly be so if all things are restored in Christ? Are we to condemn those who God has told us that He hardened their hearts to bring about His purpose? Where is the justice in this?

 

For me, the answer is rather simple. Heading up all in the heavens and on the earth covers the whole of God’s creation. In His Son, God will restore the whole creation, including every single person into which God breathes the spirit of life from the beginning to the consummation of the eons. I believe that Scripture reveals this is God’s truth.

 

Now, the purpose of this writing is to present the evidence that I see in Scripture for the restoration, reconciliation and salvation of all mankind. Let it be known right from the start that what follows is presented to prove that, through His Son, God will eventually save every single human of Adam’s race that ever lived or will live on this earth, and this is in accord with the purpose of God that He may become All in all.

 

I strongly emphasize that God’s plan is only through His Son; there is no other way, for Jesus is the only WAY!

 

So, please do not confuse what follows with universalism or any other teaching that says that there are many ways to God. There is only one way and His name is Jesus! By the same token, please do understand that I am stating that, because of the death and resurrection of God’s Son, all mankind will be included in the All of God, not all at the same time, or in the same eon, or even in the same manner, but all will finally come in at the consummation of the eons in accord with the work of His Son to subject all things unto Himself, so that the God and Father may be All in all.

 

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 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 15.25-28 NASB)

 

Now, this chapter is divided into two sections. The first section takes up the topics of restoration, renascence, reconciliation, free will, predestination, love and the cross. The second section takes up many Scriptures that support the ultimate salvation of all mankind. Putting the two sections together should give enough material in order to make an informed judgment on this vital matter.

 

Before proceeding, I have one confession. Much of what follows is presented throughout other chapters of this book, even verbatim, and some of the same Scriptures are repeated many times. This is by design. After all, as Paul said: To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard to you (Philippians 3.1 NASB).

 

To begin, some commentators refer to the restoration of all and others refer to the reconciliation of all. At times, I might use the two terms as if they are one and the same, but they are not exactly the same. There is a difference between the two phrases, for restoration deals with bringing things back to a certain state and reconciliation deals with bringing things into peace with God. However, each compliments the other, as both speak of the glory that will come when the Son subjects all to His Father at the consummation of the eons.

 

Restoration.

 

Restoration means “bringing back into a former, normal, or unimpaired state.” The last part of this definition seems to be the most appropriate meaning, for the whole creation as we know it today is obviously not operating in what we could call an unimpaired state. Today, the whole creation groans under the weight of the sin and corruption of the world. God’s plan is to restore His creation to the glory it had in the beginning when He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1.1), except perhaps it may be even more glorious than at first. We know that in God’s day all things will be made 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)

 

The first mention of the restoration in the New Testament refers to what will be come in the next eon.

 

In speaking to the men of Israel, Peter spoke of the period or times of restoration of all (presented in two translations).

 

“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 of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Acts 3.19-21 NASB)

 

Yet what God announces before through the mouth of all the prophets―the suffering of His Christ―He thus fulfills. Repent, then, and turn about for the erasure of your sins, so that seasons of refreshing should be coming from the face of the Lord, and He should dispatch the One fixed upon before for you, Christ Jesus, Whom heaven must indeed receive until the times of restoration of all which God speaks through the mouth of His holy prophets who are from the eon. (Acts 3.18-21 CV)

 

This was a very specific word to the men of Israel in the early days of the Pentecostal ecclesia. As God’s people, they had demanded the death of Messiah, and they needed to repent if they were to enter the coming kingdom of Christ. But notice that there is also a general message in these verses. Through the prophets, we are told that seasons or times of refreshing are coming in the presence or face of the Lord. Christ has been received by heaven and is waiting for the times of restoration, which is an appointed time for Him to meet His people. Notice that it is times in the plural, which implies that the restoration does not come all at one time. It will be unfolded during a period of time that will begin with the next eon and proceed to the last eon, the eon of the eons.

 

According to Paul, it appears that the times of restoration begin with the revealing of the children of God, which comes at the end of our present eon as the earth enters the Tabernacles Age. Today, creation is impaired; it cannot operate in the fullness as intended by God and neither can mankind. We could say that creation itself is being held back from the glory of God because the glory of the sons of God has not been revealed. This makes perfect sense because man was created to have dominion over the earth, and since man lost this privilege in the garden, the creation itself has lost the benefit of man’s dominion. In other words, man and creation are intimately joined. When one suffers, the other suffers. When one is impaired, the other is impaired. When one is in glory, the other is in glory. This is the wisdom of God.

 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 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. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Romans 8.18-25 NASB)

 

God Himself has subjected His creation to futility or vanity. Another translation states: For the Creation fell into subjection to failure and unreality (not of its own choice, but by the will of Him who so subjected it) (Romans 8.20 WNT). In other words, creation had no choice in the matter, for it was subjected to failure, just as all mankind has been subjected to failure, for God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all (Romans 11.32 CV).

 

Note that creation is not only groaning but so are those who have been given the firstfruits of the spirit, which means that they have received an earnest of the spirit of God and are waiting for the time of restoration when they will receive the full anointing of the spirit. When they receive this anointing, they will enter the coming Tabernacles Age as the anointed firstfruits of Christ, conformed to the body of His glory (Philippians 3.21 CV). However, do not lose sight of the fact that the term firstfruits implies that there is other fruit to be harvested at some later time.

 

The good news is that a new day is coming, and when it does come, one of the things that will set creation free from its bondage will be the revealing of the sons of God, the anointed firstfruits. Can you imagine that creation is waiting for the glory to come that will be manifested in the sons of God, the first ones to be conformed to the image of the Son of God? It may be difficult for some to grasp, but it is true.

 

Consider the way the Weymouth New Testament reads.

 

Yet there was always the hope that at last the Creation itself would also be set free from the thraldom of decay so as to enjoy the liberty that will attend the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole of Creation is groaning together in the pains of childbirth until this hour. And more than that, we ourselves, though we possess the Spirit as a foretaste and pledge of the glorious future, yet we ourselves inwardly sigh, as we wait and long for open recognition as sons through the deliver­ance of our bodies. (Romans 8.21-23 WNT)

 

Believers of the Pentecostal Age have received the earnest of the spirit of God (2 Corinthians 1.22; Ephesians 1.13) as a foretaste of the future inheritance of glori­fied bodies, and for this reason they groan within knowing and waiting for the day of deliverance from their bodies of death.

 

For all who believe on Jesus and have put their trust in Him, conquering in His love, this is their hope. I believe that the sign of one who is a conqueror destined for glory in the oncoming eons is one who is groaning within, groaning along with creation to be set free from all the bondage of this present eon.

 

Have you had days when you have had deep groanings within that you cannot explain? Well, take heart; it is the spirit of God within you that is interceding on your behalf.

 

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8.26-27 NASB)

 

The restoration of all things is coming, but it first starts with a people called out to be the anointed firstfruits of God, the sons of God.

 

Renascence.

 

The next word to consider is renascence, which means “new birth; rebirth, revival; regeneration.” Applying the concordant method, this word is discovered in two places.

 

In speaking to His disciples about the coming of His kingdom, Jesus told them that they will follow Him in the renascence, which He clearly identified as when He will sit upon the throne of His glory.

 

Yet Jesus said to them, “Verily, I am saying to you, that you who follow Me, in the renascence whenever the Son of Mankind should be seated on the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19.28 CV)

 

Thus, Jesus was pointing to the day when He takes the scepter of the kingdom to rule and reign over this earth. In that day, the earth will enter a new birth or a rebirth. This is similar to the restoration of the whole creation when it will be brought into an unimpaired state. It will be revived, which means that it will most likely be like the restored or revived earth before Adam fell in disobedience and the whole earth began to come into slavery to corruption.

 

The next reference to renascence is found in one of Paul’s epistles.

 

Yet when the kindness and fondness for humanity of our Saviour, God, made its advent, not for works which are wrought in righteousness which we do, but according to His mercy, He saves us, through the bath of renascence and renewal of holy spirit, which He pours out on us richly through Jesus Christ, our Saviour, that, being justified in that One’s grace, we may be becoming enjoyers, in expectation, of the allotment of life eonian. (Titus 3.4-7 CV)

 

In this case, the renascence refers to salvation and being justified in grace in order to enter life in the oncoming eons. We need a rebirth to be saved and go from corruption to incorruption, just as creation needs a rebirth to go from corruption to the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

 

Both mankind and all creation need a renascence. The restoration and the renas­cence commence when the sons of God are revealed and the Son of God is seated on His throne of glory in His kingdom.

 

Reconciliation.

 

Now, reconciliation is the third word in this series, and its meaning is more expansive than both restoration and renascence, for it has application in our present eon and extends throughout the eons of the eons to the consummation of the eons.

 

Reconciliation means “to make friendly again or win over to a friendly attitude; to bring two parties into harmony or peace with each other.”

 

Today, it is common to hear people talk about being reconciled to one another, but seldom do we hear that God is conciliating the world to Himself, and that through Christ, He intends to reconcile all to Himself.

 

To understand how conciliation and reconciliation are presented in Scripture, we need to consider three Greek words.

 

Katallassō is translated into the verb conciliate; katallagê is translated into the noun conciliation; apokatallassō is translated into the verb reconcile.

 

The editor of the Concordant Version has pointed out that there is a difference in these Greek words, and as such, they should not be translated uniformly as reconcile or reconciliation as done in most all English versions.

 

Unfortunately, the words conciliate and conciliation are probably foreign to most people. Seldom do we hear them used in common conversation, but they are vital words in understanding what God has done through His Son.

 

Conciliate means “to win over; soothe the anger of; make friendly; placate” and “to gain by friendly acts.”

 

When two parties are at war with each other they are enemies. If one party makes peace with the other, then that party conciliates with the other, and there is conciliation. Thus, conciliation refers to one side of a peace deal; that is, one party is at peace with another, but it does not follow that the other party has made peace with the one that has made peace. There is still enmity coming forth from one party. It is as if one waves the white flag of truce, but the other continues shooting.

 

For a peace deal to be of any value, it takes both parties to be at peace with each other. When both parties have entered into peace with each other, it is called reconciliation. Thus, the word reconciliation means that both parties are in harmony and at peace with one another. It is a mutual peace agreement. Each party has to make peace (to be conciliated) with the other to come into a mutual peace (to be reconciled).

 

These might appear to be minor or subtle differences to some, but they are more than that, for they add clarity to what transpired at the cross and to the message that believers are to have written on their hearts.

 

To explain this, let us consider mankind’s condition in relation to God and His Son’s death on the cross.

 

There are many references in Scripture about God having enemies. We know that the Son is sitting at the right hand of His Father as God puts all His enemies under His feet (e.g., Matthew 22.44). But we also know that, according to Paul, we all were enemies of God: For if while we were enemies (Romans 5.10 NASB), and that there are many who walk as enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3.18 NASB).

 

The good news is that the conciliation starts with God, not with us. Can you imagine what it would be like if mankind wanted to be at peace with God, but He did not want to be at peace with mankind? It is a sad commentary on our day that many seem to project our Heavenly Father as one who refuses to be at peace with most of mankind. God is love and He demonstrates His love, for He first loved us!

 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.8 NASB)

 

For if, being enemies, we were conciliated to God through the death of His Son, much rather, being conciliated, we shall be saved in His life. (Romans 5.10 CV)

 

These two verses confirm that in the death of His Son, we, that is, all mankind, were conciliated to God. There was enmity between God and mankind, but God has made peace with mankind at the cross of Calvary. In other words, man is no longer God’s enemy because enmity has been removed through His Son’s death on the cross. It is as if God Himself waved the white flag of peace. Through Christ, the entire world, which means all mankind, has been conciliated to God, and God is not counting their offenses against them. Do you grasp the greatness of these words? He is not counting your offenses against you!

 

Now, some might protest and declare that this cannot be true because God is only at peace with those who believe. After all, God refuses to be at peace with the unsaved because they have rejected His Son. If you believe this, then it is time for your eyes to be opened to the truth.

 

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, and placing in us the word of the conciliation. For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We are beseeching for Christ’s sake, “Be conciliated to God!” For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God’s righteousness in Him. (2 Corinthians 5.18-21 CV)

 

Notice that in Christ, God was conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them. A paraphrased version reads: That is, that God was in Christ making peace between the world and himself, not putting their sins to their account, and having given to us the preaching of this news of peace (2 Corinthians 5.19 BBE). Here we discover the very heart of conciliation, making peace, and this is the message that we, as believers, are to be proclaiming to the world that remains an enemy of the cross. God has made peace with the world because of His Son; because of JESUS!

 

Let us not think that God has given up or that conciliation is a thing of the past, for it is an ever-present peace agreement that will continue until the consummation of the eons. In fact, it is God’s plan not only to conciliate the world to Himself, but to reconcile all in the heavens and on the earth to Himself. Ultimately, there will be a mutual peace with all in the heavens and on the earth. In other words, God fully intends to be reconciled to all mankind. How do we know? Paul tells us so.

 

And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first, for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens. (Colossians 1.18-20 CV)

 

The blood of His cross will be absolutely, 100% successful in reconciling all to God because peace has been made through the blood of His cross. It doesn’t matter where one resides, whether in the heavens or on the earth, for the blood of His cross reaches to every corner of God’s creation and to every creature in His creation. This is the greatest and the grandest peace deal that the world has ever known and will ever know. It is in Christ Jesus, the One who is preeminent in all things.

 

Do you honestly believe that peace through the blood of His cross will not reach out until it has won the heart of every single human that has ever stepped foot on this earth, none excepted. The word does not state that some are reconciled, or that all with exceptions are reconciled, or that only those who believe in this day are reconciled. It simply states that it is God’s delight through Him to reconcile all to Him. We must not redefine all as if it were not the whole. All has no exclusions.

 

Today, God continues to reach out to mankind with a peace offer, as if to say: “Believe in My Son, be saved by grace and then accept the peace that I offer and come into peace with Me.”

 

The only way to come into reconciliation with God is through His Son. According to Scripture, it is clear that all will not believe in Jesus in this eon, but as is shown through other Scripture, all eventually will bow the knee to the Lord Jesus and be reconciled to God.

 

Unfortunately, even today, one can believe in Jesus but not be at peace with God. Are you at peace with God? He is a loving Father and He beckons all to be at peace with Him. Be conciliated to God! Do not delay!

 

Yet not only so, but we are glorying also in God, through our Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom we now obtained the conciliation. (Romans 5.11 CV)

 

And you, being once estranged and enemies in comprehension, by wicked acts, yet now He reconciles by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight, since surely you are persisting in the faith, grounded and settled and are not being removed from the expectation of the evangel which you hear which is being heralded in the entire creation which is under heaven of which I, Paul, became the dispenser. (Colossians 1.21-23 CV)

 

This is truly good news for all. We are saved by grace, not by works, and we are brought into a relationship of peace with God. We are no longer separated from God and are no longer enemies of God. Those who believe in this day can glory in the reconciliation of God knowing that one day all in the heavens and on the earth will enter into the same peace in the eons to come.

 

Those who are reconciled will be enjoyers of the restoration and the renascence of the coming eon when Christ sits on His throne of glory.

 

Before moving on, there are two more conciliation references in Scripture.

 

For if their casting away is the conciliation of the world, what will the taking back be if not life from among the dead? (Romans 11.15 CV)

 

This refers to the nation Israel that was set aside due to unbelief.

 

A wife is not to be separated from her husband. Yet if she should be separated also, let her remain unmarried or be conciliated to her husband (1 Corin­thians 7.11 CV).

 

This refers to a woman separated from her husband. Even if the husband is not willing to be at peace, the woman is to be at peace with her husband. In any relationship, it always takes one to start the peace process, in hopes of winning the heart of an enemy. After all, Jesus gave us the command to love our enemies (Matthew 5.44). Only in love is a heart truly won. But God demonstrates His own love toward us! Surely, we must follow His example.

 

So, let us not forget that God is not reckoning mankind’s offenses to them. He has conciliated the world to Himself. Is the world only made up of believers? Of course not! God is not mad nor is He angry. He has made peace with all mankind and beckons all to come into His peace because God so loves the world.

 

Now, it is time to change gears a little and to tread on ground that is not for the faint of heart. There are two major challenges for many in accepting the truth that God will eventually reconcile all to Himself. These challenges come through what is called free will and predestination. Both terms go hand-in-hand. Free will is the counter argument to predestination. The argument is made that man has free will; therefore, he is not predestined.

 

I realize that free will and predestination have been argued and divided over down through the centuries. In fact, it is one of the most divisive issues among Christians, even today. In the end, each of us has to be convinced of the truth by the spirit of God. I don’t desire to engage others in the controversy, but I do desire to present the proof that I see in Scripture that has settled the matter in my heart.

 

I realize that philosophers and theologians would most likely pick apart some of what follows as fodder to prove the ignorance of the uninformed, but then again the Lord can speak through a donkey. Besides, the chosen disciples of Christ were considered uneducated by the religious establishment, and yet, these men turned the world upside down. By the way, they did it by the will of the One who called them, not by their will.

 

Free will.

 

What is free will? To me, it is a strange term. Does it mean that our will comes freely? Or, does it mean that man can make his own choices; he does whatever he wills? I am sure there are different definitions of free will, but it seems that it means that man is capable of freely choosing to do what he wants, that is, of exercising his own will (volition). Some add to the definition that free will requires that man exercise his will without any external influence. In other words, man is like a free agent that is capable of making whatever choice he wants without any influence from outside himself. He is even free from any influence from his Creator. It is his right to reject the will of the Creator.

 

Before proceeding further, let it be understood that in what follows I use the word will in a very comprehensive sense to refer to all the decisions and choices we make all day long, big and small. I realize that some make a distinction between will and choice, but I am not doing that, for I don’t see it really changing the argument that I am making.

 

I contend that if man’s will is truly free, that is, free from any and all external in­fluence, then man’s will must be absolute. Just in case one is not sure of the defi­nition of absolute, it means “perfect, pure, not limited, not conditional, unre­stricted, not dependent on anything, considered without reference to anything else.” This last part of the definition seems to capture the heart of this definition of free will. It is a will not dependent on anything and has no reference to anything else.

 

But what is the will? In the case of free will, it must be the power of self-direction or self-control. Putting these thoughts together we come up with a concept of free will that says man is a free agent to self-direct all his decisions and choices independent of everything and without any external reference point.

 

I will add one more thought to this definition. Free will means that whatever we choose for ourselves it is the right and perfect choice for us. How could it be anything other than this since there are no external reference points by which to judge our exercise of free will? The concept of good or evil would not enter into the picture, for what matters is what is right for us. In other words, there is nothing outside of us that makes a difference. You could say that we are on the top of the mountain, and everything else is below us. We are the king of the mountain.

 

Interestingly, I just read the following in our local newspaper in response to an article someone had written: “My wife and children are my world, and other family members are simply satellites around that world. If they refuse to recognize my world, then to me, they’re just insignificant comets flying through my universe.” This person’s worldview is obviously centered on self, and I would imagine that this one believes in free will as well.

 

If man has a free will as defined above, then I contend that man is God. Why? Because only a god can make a choice apart from any external influence! Only a god exercises his will according to what is right for him. Only a god has no one higher than himself.

 

The fact of the matter is that mankind, in general, seems to act and think this way. Sadly, even Christians who hold so strongly to the concept of free will have unwittingly bought into this lie as well.

 

This whole notion of free will comes from the seed sown in the heart of man in the day that Adam partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The seed sown came from the serpent of old, and it has led to multitudes believing a big lie and falling into a systematized scheme of deception based on a lie.

 

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3.4-5 NASB)

 

Man believes the lie that he will be like God and that he will never die, even though he will return to the soil of the earth. If we believe that we are like God, then we believe we can make decisions in the same manner as God, that is, make decisions independent of any influence. We can even make decisions over life and death. Consequently, many believe that no one really dies but that they go into another place in death, whether heaven or hell. Unfortunately, this thinking is prevalent amongst Christians. Further, billions of people who fear death, even hate it and desire above all else to live forever, choose to die rather than to accept God’s offer to live one day in immortality. I find something very strange in this line of thinking. This is why I say that it comes from a seed of deception sown in the heart of man that goes back 6,000 years.

 

Let us get to the very heart of the matter. Do we really make any decisions inde­pendent of any external reference point? Do we really and truly make decisions as if we are gods unto ourselves? The answer to both questions is no we do not. Eve­rything we do or don’t do is based on some influence in our lives. In fact, our lives are directed every which way we go or turn. Governments of today expend a great deal of energy and money controlling the lives of its people. For example, I cannot drive a car legally unless I am of age and have a driver’s license. I cannot own my one car and drive it legally unless I have insurance, pay taxes and have it inspected once a year. I might choose not to do any of these things, but then I would be a law breaker and eventually my actions would lead to trouble.

 

I can hear some at this point proclaiming that I am proving that man has free will in regard to his salvation, for my example is proof positive. After all, one who refuses to believe on Jesus is exercising free will and this will lead to big trouble. But this misses the point that there are external influences that direct our wills or choices every single day and every single second of the day. None of us make decisions independent of some external influence. There is always something that comes to bear in the exercise of our will.

 

The news article referenced above makes the point. The one who wrote the article thinks that he reigns in his own world or universe, but as much as many would like to think it so, it is a big lie. We are dictated to all day long by innumerable influ­ences on our lives. So the concept of free will as presented is just not valid.

 

For me, the question is not whether we exercise our will in making choices every day, for we most certainly do make choices all day long.

 

The question, which I hear few asking, is whether God’s will trumps our will when it comes to believing in His Son. Another way of asking the question is this: Does God’s will come to bear on our will to save us, or is salvation totally up to our will?

 

Some will say that God does not want robots, so He will not interfere with our will in the matter of salvation. And yet, our wills are influenced all day long by our spouses, our children, our parents, society and, most of all, by our government and its laws under which we live. None of us live in some protected bubble free of external influence. So why is it that so many believe that our very Creator has no direct influence on us? Why is it that so many seem to hold that God’s love cannot and does not woo our hearts to His Son? Of course, love is another matter entirely; but isn’t love a powerful external influence?

 

For a moment let us consider Jesus’ will when He walked on this earth 2,000 years ago. In regards to the purpose of God, Jesus executed God’s will perfectly, never executing His own will. While on earth, He was under the will of an external source, the will of His Father in heaven.

 

The Son of God did not come to this earth to exercise His will. He came to do the will of the Father. He had no intention of coming to do what He wanted to do.

 

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6.38 NASB; also Matthew 26.39; John 8.28)

 

It was designated beforehand that the Son would come to this earth in the form of man, not to exercise His own will but to do the will of His Father in going to the cross to die for all mankind. Even His second coming is in the will of His Father.

 

Now, concerning that day and hour no one is aware, neither the messengers of the heavens, nor the Son; except the Father only. (Matthew 24.36 CV)

 

The Son cannot decide on His own that He is tired of waiting, so He is going to return to earth and seize His kingdom. The Father and the Son know the day and the hour, but the Son cannot change the appointed time fixed by His Father’s authority (Acts 1.7).

 

Consider Paul the apostle. I use him often as an example of one who was appre­hended by Christ (Philippians 3.12). On the road to Damascus, Paul had no inten­tion or desire to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. In fact, he considered those who did believe in Jesus, the Way, to be his enemy and the enemy of God that needed to be wiped out. Paul’s testimony is mighty powerful proof that his will was so set against the Lord and His people that a power beyond him had to blast him out of his ignorance and unbelief.

 

Grateful am I to Him Who invigorates me, Christ Jesus, our Lord, for He deems me faithful, assigning me a service, I, who formerly was a calumniator and a persecutor and an outrager: but I was shown mercy, seeing that I do it being ignorant, in unbelief. Yet the grace of our Lord over­whelms, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all welcome, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, foremost of whom am I. But therefore was I shown mercy, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ should be displaying all His patience, for a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him for life eonian. (1 Timothy 1.12-16 CV)

 

By his own admission, Paul was in ignorance and unbelief. It was like a great mountain in his life that was immovable. Nothing could blast this huge stumbling block from his life. Even worse, Paul never knew that it was a stumbling block until the Lord Jesus met him and blinded him on that dusty road. But what overcame Paul’s ignorance and unbelief? Was it Paul’s will that all of a sudden decided to accept Christ apart from any external influence? Hardly! A light blinding him out of heaven is a mighty powerful influence on one in unbelief. So what changed Paul’s mind in that split second when Jesus spoke out of heaven? Paul tells us what did it. Yet the grace of our Lord overwhelms, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

 

It was the grace of our Lord that met him on that road and overwhelmed his ignorance and unbelief with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Don’t miss the truth that Paul has left us. It was grace that overwhelmed him with faith and love. It was not Paul’s grace; it was not Paul’s faith; and it was not Paul’s love. It was all from the Lord Jesus. When he wrote his epistle to the Galatians, Paul declared that it was not his faith; it was the faith of the Son of God.

 

With Christ have I been crucified, yet I am living; no longer I, but living in me is Christ. Now that which I am now living in flesh, I am living in faith that is of the Son of God, Who loves me, and gives Himself up for me. (Galatians 2.20 CV)

 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2.20 KJV)

 

I can testify that it was neither my will nor my faith that led me to believe in Jesus. One day as I was in unbelief and ignorance, Jesus broke into my life, and by His grace gave me the faith to believe, and He saved me. My boast is in Him alone, for I did nothing to save myself; I had no faith of my own to believe; and my will was overwhelmed with the grace of God, so that I bowed the knee to Jesus. Was my will exercised when Jesus met me? It most certainly was. But did I make a choice independent of any external influence? Absolutely not! Then what happened to my will? God came in and trumped my will with faith and love and brought my will into conformance with His will.

 

Does this make me or anyone else who believes in Jesus into robots for God? Ab­solutely not! We continue to make choices all day long, but now we are free to make right choices for God and His kingdom under the influence and guid­ance of the spirit of God.

 

This leads to one other point regarding man’s will.

 

As You will.

 

When people are first saved we tell them that they must obey the Lord and this comes by reading His word, knowing His will for us and obeying what He speaks to our hearts to do. We might even teach new believers that in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus cried out to His Father: “Yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26.39), and that this is to be their prayer as well. For those of us who have gone on with the Lord for a few years, we can testify that knowing and doing the will of God is not as easy as it seems. After all, even Jesus was in distress as He contemplated the sin that He was to bear and the cross that He faced as He prayed to His Father. Doing the will of God is often taking up our cross (Matthew 16.24), and this is not an easy thing to do, for the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14.38).

 

Now, this poses a question: If for believers, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, then how does an unbeliever, whose spirit is dead to God and whose flesh is in control, exert his or her will to believe in Jesus? Stated another way: If believers face challenges to do the will of God, and they have an earnest of the spirit of God, then how do unbelievers break through these same barriers on their own without the spirit of God? The answer is that unbelievers cannot break through, for they have no means within them to do so; their flesh is in control and the flesh profits nothing (John 6.63). Simply, doing the will of God that leads to salvation is impossible for an unbeliever. Sinners need the grace of God and the faith of Jesus to break through the barrier of unbelief, and this requires the spirit of God to move upon their hearts of unbelief.

 

The more I read Scripture free of the traditions of men, the more I see that God alone works out His purpose of the eons through His Son. There is no other way because God designated it all beforehand in His Son. To accomplish His purpose, God has not entrusted the plan to any man other than the Second Man. Let us not rob God of His glory but give all the praise and glory for His marvelous purpose and plan.

 

Now, this leads to the matter of predestination.

 

Predestination.

 

I have heard it taught that predestination refers to what a person receives once he or she believes and has nothing to do with God choosing the person for salvation ahead of time or beforehand. This goes hand-in-hand with believing that the same person made a free will choice to believe in Jesus. For example, according to this line of thinking, a person who believes is predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. It is as if God determined before He created man that once a person crossed the threshold of belief, the person would be called, justified and glorified, but it is totally up to the person to cross the threshold on his (or her) own. I have also heard it taught that predestination means that a person is chosen because God, who is all-knowing, knew beforehand that the person would believe in Jesus; that is, the person would make the right free will choice.

 

But, is this the proper way to view predestination? I don’t think so.

 

The Greek word proorizō appears in Greek Scripture six times and is most often translated as predestined or foreordained. The Concordant Version uses the phrase designates beforehand. The thought conveyed in this word is that God has made a determination beforehand regarding a matter or a people.

 

Let us consider the verses in which this phrase is used.

 

The verse that sets the stage for understanding designates beforehand is the first usage in the New Testament.

 

For of a truth, in this city were gathered against Thy holy Boy Jesus, Whom Thou dost anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the nations and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy counsel designates beforehand [proorizō] to occur. (Acts 4.27-28 CV)

 

This is part of a declaration made by Peter and John, along with their companions, after the two were released by the Jewish leaders of that day. In the name of the One that the Jewish rulers and the nations raged against and crucified, Peter and John had healed a sick man. What did God designate beforehand? He designated that His Son would be crucified at the hand of Israel and the nations. In other words, the crucifixion was determined in the counsel of God before the eons were made and before God’s Son came to this earth. Peter had previously stood before the men of Israel and declared that Christ had been given up for crucifixion in the specific counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2.23 CV). Christ was known and loved by God before the foundation of the world (John 17.25; 1 Peter 1.20). He was even the Lambkin slain before the disruption of the world (Revelation 13.8 CV).

 

In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul tells us that the death of God’s Son was God’s wisdom in a secret that God designated before the eons.

 

Yet wisdom are we speaking among the mature, yet a wisdom not of this eon, neither of the chief men of this eon, who are being discarded, but we are speaking God’s wisdom in a secret, wisdom which has been concealed, which God designates before [proorizō]–before the eons, for our glory, which not one of the chief men of this eon knows, for if they know, they would not crucify the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2.6-8 CV)

 

The point that needs to be understood is that Christ’s death was determined in the counsel of God before the eons were even set in motion by the Son. But there is one other essential point that is so obvious that it is hardly necessary to state; nevertheless, it needs to be stated: the Son was known by the Father before the eons, and He sent Him to this earth the first time with the sole purpose to die for the sin of the world. God’s foreknowledge was not that He looked ahead and saw that His Son would not fail, as if there could be some doubt. No; His Son came with this purpose in mind and set out to complete the task.

 

This distinction is vital for understanding the other verses, because it is often taught that God looks ahead in time and sees who will be faithful by applying their free will, and on this basis alone, they are predestined to become sons of God in the eons to come. In other words, for many people, predestination simply means that God has predetermined that the reward for those who exercise their free will and believe in Jesus will be glorification. The process of salvation is left up to man and the ones that exercise their will and make the right choice are predestined to sonship. Since God is all-knowing, and He knows the future, He also knows who will make it. Do you see the danger in such thinking? At this point, I hope so!

 

Now, here is the key to our understanding. The Son of God did not come to this earth to exercise His free will. He came to do the will of the Father. He had no intention of coming to do what He wanted to do. The Father didn’t send Him to this earth because He looked out to the future and saw that He would be obedient to the point of death on a cross. Yes; He knew He would go the full mile, but He sent Him because He came to do His Father’s will.

 

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6.38 NASB; also Matthew 26.39; John 8.28)

 

It was designated beforehand that the Son would come to this earth in the form of man, not to exercise His own will, but to do the will of His Father in going to the cross to die for all mankind (Philippians 2.5-11).

 

As such, designated beforehand has nothing to do with man’s free will, but has eve­rything to do with the exercise of God’s absolute will. God designates before­hand His purpose and how it will be worked out to His own glory. How can it be to the glory of God if the outcome of His purpose and plan is dependent on man’s will and not His? Truly, this is not the example left us by Jesus. Besides, has man’s collective will since the fall produced anything with any eternal value?

 

It is time for God’s people to stop holding to a god that seems limited by the frailty of man and to believe in the God who has designated all things beforehand, in­cluding who will come into glory first and who will follow later, even at the con­summation of the eons. As Paul wrote to Timothy: Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor (2 Timothy 2.20 NASB). Besides, for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11.36 NASB).

 

The challenge to the predestination of some that precede the salvation of all comes into sharper focus if we see that all will come into glory, but not all at the same time. And, during the eons, God’s purpose and plan is worked out through vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor, just as it is worked out through good and evil, and through a host of adversaries among the celestials.

 

Now, let us look at the verses that apply to those designated beforehand.

 

Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose that, whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand [proorizō], also, to be con­formed to the image of His Son, for Him to be Firstborn among many brethren. Now whom He designates beforehand [proorizō], these He calls also, and whom He calls, these He justifies also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also. (Romans 8.28-30 CV)

 

Some are called according to the purpose of sonship in the eons to come and some are not. We might not like this, but God has not given us a vote on the matter. I think Paul was well-aware of the protest that would come forth from what he saw, and he addressed it later in his epistle.

 

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who re­sists His will?’ On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? (Romans 9.19-21 NASB)

 

In bringing about His purpose in His Son, God not only designated beforehand the plan (calling, justification, glorification), but He also foreknew who He was going to call and choose to be on the leading edge of His plan. Simply, He alone, by His will, calls who He has chosen according to His purpose. HE IS GOD!

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who blesses us with every spiritual blessing among the celestials, in Christ, according as He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world, we to be holy and flawless in His sight, in love designating us beforehand [proorizō] for the place of a son for Him through Christ Jesus; in accord with the delight of His will, for the laud of the glory of His grace, which graces us in the Beloved: in Whom we are having the deliverance through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses in accord with the riches of His grace, which He lavishes on us; in all wisdom and prudence making known to us the secret of His will (in accord with His delight, which He purposed in Him) to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the Christ–both that in the heavens and that on the earth–in Him in Whom our lot was cast also, being designated beforehand [proorizō] according to the purpose of the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will, that we should be for the laud of His glory, who are pre-expectant in the Christ. (Ephesians 1.3-12 CV)

 

For those who are called and chosen in this eon, these words penned by Paul are the most encouraging in all Scripture. In love, God the Father has designated beforehand those who will be placed as sons in the coming kingdom. This is His delight and according to His grace. These are chosen beforehand according to the purpose of God who operates all in accord with the counsel of His will. Did you catch that? According to HIS WILL! It does not state that it is according to man’s will or even the will of the ones chosen. It is by God’s will alone, so that He alone should receive the praise of His glory.

 

This is all in the secret of His will in accord with what He has purposed in His Son.

 

Consider Paul’s testimony.

 

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…. (Galatians 1.15-16 NASB)

 

Notice how Paul was set apart from his mother’s womb. This surely does not sound like free will. How can a baby exercise any will on such a matter? God alone set Paul apart and then called him through His grace. It was God’s pleasure to reveal His Son in Paul. In other words, Paul lays no claim to his calling. Do you see Paul’s will being exercised in his testimony? Of course not!

 

Consider what John recorded in his gospel.

 

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1.11-13 NASB)

 

Some might read this and think that those who received Him were ones who exercised their free will to believe, but this is not how John concludes the matter. They were born not of the will of man, but of God! It seems to me that this is a very emphatic statement that rules out man’s will.

 

Or, consider some verses telling us that God moves on hearts, even to harden them in order to fulfill His purpose.

 

What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.” (Romans 11.7-8 NASB)

 

“But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today.” (Deuteronomy 2.30 NASB)

 

Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day. (1 Samuel 10.9 NASB)

 

Or, consider the fact that the Lord fashions hearts.

 

The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. (Psalm 33.13-15 NASB)

 

Or, as previously cited, consider the fact that creation itself is subjected to futility by the Lord.

 

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8.20-21 NASB)

 

Just these few verses indicate that the Lord is in charge of the destiny of man and of creation. He hardens hearts as He chooses in order to work out His plan in the eons. How can it be any other way? Is He not the Creator of all? Is He not the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1.15) and the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8.29)? Does He not uphold all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1.3)?

 

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [pro­orizō] to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined [proorizō], He also called; and these whom He called, He also justi­fied; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8.28-30 NASB)

 

Some might say that these verses do not support predestination as I see it in Scripture. After all, the verses apply to those who love God, as if the ones called according to His purpose worked up love on their own. But where does love come from?

 

The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5.5 NASB)

 

Love starts with God, not with man. It is His love that is returned to Him. Those who have received His love are called according to His purpose. They are predes­tined, designated beforehand, because it is God’s will that they are called and cho­sen for glory.

 

Their destiny in Christ has been set by God. In other words, they were predestined to be a son of God, to be conformed to the image of His Son. Ultimately, I believe that all mankind will come into this place of justified and glorified because this is the absolute success of the work of the cross, for in Christ shall all be made alive. And yet, there are some who are predestined to precede most of humanity in being glorified.

 

Someone once argued that if predestination is true, then God’s justice demands that He save all mankind. Amen! Unfortunately, the same person rejected his own argument. Nevertheless, I would add that if God hardens hearts to fulfill His pur­pose, which Scripture clearly reveals, then God’s justice also demands that He save all mankind. Perhaps, the best way to view predestination is to see that all man­kind, without exception, is predestined to be saved, but not all are predestined at the same time; salvation comes for some at the end of our present eon, some at the end of the next eon, and some (many) either during God’s day or at the end of it.

 

Well, I believe Scripture teaches predestination, the salvation of all mankind and the restoration and reconciliation of all IN CHRIST. It is the most glorious good news that anyone should want to hear. It explains the full depth of God is love.


Love never fails.

 

Why does it seem that so many Christians today desire a god that is vengeful and hell-bent on destroying most of mankind, and they believe that God’s love will fail to reach the most hardened heart, even the hearts that He purposely hardened?

 

Let it be shouted from the rooftops that the love of God never fails, for God loves the world! This is the very heart and foundation of the good news of Christ.

 

The restoration and reconciliation of the whole creation is about a love relation­ship, the love relationship between the Father and the Son. The Father’s love de­sires that His Son be all in all and the Son’s love desires that the Father be All in all.

 

“Father, those whom Thou hast given Me, I will that, where I am, they also may be with Me, that they may be beholding My glory which Thou has given Me, for Thou lovest Me before the disruption of the world.” … “And I make known to them Thy name, and I shall make it known, that the love with which Thou lovest Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17.24, 26 CV)

 

This love is not merely between the Father and the Son, for it must have an expression outside of the Deity. This is where mankind and all creation come into the picture, for God is love, and He must express love to all mankind and creation. In return, God desires a love relationship with mankind. His purpose is to fill all with His love.

 

I purposely repeat the same lines about the love of God throughout my writings because I believe the fact that God is love is rejected or relegated to a lesser importance by many, especially by those who hold to the heaven-hell doctrine. Again, love begins with God. God is love; He first loved us (1 John 4.16, 19); and He expresses His love in and through His Son.

 

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. (1 John 4.9 NASB)

 

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us…. (1 John 3.16 NASB)

 

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit…. (Titus 3.4-5 NASB)

 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2.4-7 NASB)

 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.8 NASB)

 

Some might argue that each of these verses applies to specific groups of people, such as the disciples and the body of Christ, and not to all mankind. It is true that only those who believe in Jesus in this eon will enjoy life (eonian life) in the next eon. However, does it follow that the rest of mankind will be forever excluded from this love affair? Is God’s love so shallow that it will not reach out and continue to reach out to lost humanity until He has won the heart of every soul that was created to be in the image of His Son? Do you honestly think that God did not make provision for His love to win every heart He created to be in His image? The divine will of God for mankind eventually will be fulfilled at the consummation. God’s will is greater than man’s will, and all will be conquered by His love and through His Son.

 

Beloved in Christ, Paul experienced the very love of Christ, and he willingly died daily that others might know this love. Paul asked: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8.35)? He declared: Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13.8). If love never fails, and we know that God is love, then how can we say that His love will not save all mankind and reach out into His entire creation? If it does not, then Paul is a liar, and we cannot trust his word. But Paul testified: I am telling the truth, I am not lying.

 

This leads to the most important point that I could stress in this entire matter.

 

The absolute success of the Cross.

 

How could Paul state that love never fails? He could because he knew that the love of God manifested through the cross was an absolute, 100% success in undoing what the first Adam brought upon his race.

 

Just consider the following points, which will be backed up with Scripture in the second section of this chapter.

 

Adam successfully caused death and sin to enter through into all mankind. There is no exception for any born of Adam’s race, which includes all mankind. In other words, Adam’s one transgression was an absolute success in bringing death and sin unto all mankind, and those born of Adam’s race have no choice in the matter. If they are born of man, they must die as man. Most every student of Scripture would have to agree that this is true. In fact, even the unbeliever would have to agree that all die, for it is an indisputable fact that all die, and we have a countless numbers of graves in the earth to prove it.

 

However, when it comes to Christ’s one act of righteousness, many believers hold an entirely different view. They see Christ’s one act of righteousness potentially leading to life for all, but not all will attain to it because it is only possible if one believes on his own volition (free will). In other words, mankind has a choice in the matter, and unfortunately, most will not make the choice while in the body, so they will die in their sin and be lost forever. By some accounts there are perhaps upward of 50 billion humans now being tormented in hell.

 

Is there something odd about this reasoning? Mankind has no choice in the matter of death and sin, but now must make a choice in the matter of life. Mankind had no free will in becoming a sinner and ultimately facing death, but now has a free will to determine his destiny in heaven or hell. Does this make any sense to you? Isn’t it rather strange that billions upon billions of people who had the spirit of life breathed into them made a free will choice to die and have rejected God’s promise of life? Why is it that the majority of mankind (not the minority) has chosen, according to their own free will, not to go the way of life? Isn’t it far more logical that if man’s free will were operative in the matter of salvation that most of all mankind would choose to live? After all, most of mankind seem to fear death. When we fear something, we generally desire to stay away from that thing. Think about it!

 

Consider this question: Why is Adam’s one transgression more successful (in a bad sense) than Christ’s one righteous act (in a good sense)? Has God ultimately failed? Is God not able to save all mankind? Did He make the ultimate sacrifice knowing that billions of His creatures, made to be perfected into His own image, are going to be cast into a fiery lake to be tortured forever and ever and ever? God is the Supreme, and all comes out of Him, through Him and for Him is all (CV). Are we to conclude that it is His will that there are exceptions to His all?

 

If it is true, then we must conclude that God will fail to achieve His purpose, and the cross was not able to undo all that Adam did. Without doubt, some will argue that it is man’s failure, not God’s. But this cannot be so, for if man fails to reach God’s end, it is God who fails, not man. Man did not establish God’s purpose, God did! Man was nowhere to be found before times eonian when God set His purpose and plan according to the counsel of His will.

 

Man is helpless in his sin, so why do we make man a hero in his own salvation, as if he can save himself?

 

Let it be shouted from the rooftops and the pulpits of every so-called “church” building that bears the name of Christ: The death of God’s Son on the cross is an absolute, unequivocal 100% success according to the counsel of God’s will!

 

We need to be continually reminded that it is God’s will that is being worked out in the eons, not man’s will, and that God will accomplish all that He wills. All things come forth through God. We need to stop holding to a small, impotent god created in our own image and embrace the God of All who will be All in all.

 

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’…. (Isaiah 46.10 NASB)

 

According to the purpose of the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will…. (Ephesians 1.11 CV)

 

Because of Him and through Him and to Him [are] all [things]; to Him [be] the glory into the ages! So be it! (Romans 11.36 ALT)

 

Seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all: to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen! (Romans 11.36 CV)

 

I pray right now that you will meditate on these verses and the many to follow, and may the spirit of God enlighten the eyes of your heart.

 

Well, this completes the first section of this chapter.

 

 

Now, let us consider some Scripture that supports what has been presented so far regarding the restoration and reconciliation of all, especially all mankind.

 

[There] is not a righteous [person], not even one. [There] is not [one] understanding; there is not [one] diligently seeking after God. All turned aside, together they became unprofitable; [there] is not [one] doing kindness [or, what is right], [there] is not so much as one.” [Psalm 14.1-3; 53.1-3; Ecclesiastes 7.20] (Romans 3.10-12 ALT)

 

If no one is a seeker of God, then how is anyone saved unless God touches their heart to believe?

 

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…. (Ephesians 2.1 NASB)

 

If we were all dead in our trespasses and sins, then how could we possibly become alive again unless someone outside of ourselves gives us life? The dead have no ability to change their condition, for they are DEAD! Unless the dead are raised from the dead by a force outside their control they will remain dead.

 

Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and thus death passed through into all mankind, on which all sinned…. (Romans 5.12 CV)

 

Death passed through to every single human born after Adam. Because we are born to die we are also born to sin because sin reigns in death.

 

For God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all. (Romans 11.32 CV)

 

God is going to shower His mercy on all because He has shut up or locked up all. Whom do you want to exclude from this all?

 

But the scripture locks up all together under sin, that the promise out of Jesus Christ’s faith may be given to those who are believing. (Galatians 3.22 CV)

 

The word of God locks up all together under sin, so that each (in its own era) may be released by faith. Today, the promise is for those who believe. But if God locks up all together in stubbornness, and Scripture locks up all together under sin, then how does one come to believe unless God gives the faith to believe.

 

And from this we learn that everything is dependent not on man’s will or endeavour, but upon God who has mercy. (Romans 9.16 WNT)

 

Why do we think that our will enters into the equation when everything is dependent on God who has mercy? But God! Man’s will is against God; therefore, man is totally dependent on God who wills.

 

Our Savior, God, Who wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth. (1 Timothy 2.4 CV)

 

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)

 

God our Savior Who will have all men to be saved is a mighty powerful affirmation of God’s will. Unfortunately, many translations use the words wishes, desires and wants, as if God is begging mankind to be saved. This is gross interpretative bias to maintain the doctrine that man has a free will in the matter of his salvation.

 

Do you think that God sent His Son to this earth to die on a wish, a want or a desire to save mankind? It is as if God said to His Son: “Well, Son, I am not sure this plan is going to work, but I desire for it to work. At any rate, You go down there and be totally humiliated and suffer an agonizing death and let’s see what happens. Perhaps mankind will respond to our gesture of love.” What kind of Savior would He be if His vicarious death were not an absolute, perfect success to save all mankind? Let us keep in mind that it is God who devised this plan of salvation, not man. If we devised it, at best, it would be a wish or a desire. But for God it is an entirely different matter. Do we not think that God’s will can and will trump man’s will. Why? Because He sent the Savior of the world to die for all the sin of the world! Why? Because God loves the world! Why? Because God wills that all mankind eventually will be conformed to the image of His Son.

 

We rely on the living God, Who is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers. (1 Timothy 4.10 CV)

 

Scripture does not state that God is the Savior of believers only. He is the Savior especially of believers in this eon, for they are the ones who are called out to enjoy a celestial allotment. However, it does not state that they are the only ones who ul­timately will be saved. All mankind is included. There are no omissions, exclusions or deletions in the work of the living God to save all mankind.

 

God wills, not man, not preachers. Who will cancel out God’s will? Will man cancel it out? Will man reverse God’s will? If God wills it, then how can we say that it will not happen? It must happen because it is in God’s will that all be saved.

 

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and exclaimed, “Look, that is the Lamb of God who is to take away the sin of the world!” (John 1.29 WNT)

 

Christ took away the sin of the world. John did not proclaim that Jesus left some sin behind. He took it all away. Recently, I was listening to a pastor on the radio, and he said the one sin that will be held against the unbeliever is that he did not believe. In other words, Christ took away all sin but one, the sin of unbelief. This is contrary to Paul’s word to the Romans: For God hath concluded [locks up] them all in unbelief that he might have mercy upon all (Romans 11.32 KJV [CV]). Consider how Paul explained the matter to Timothy, his son in the faith.

 

I, who formerly was a calumniator and a persecutor and an out­rager: but I was shown mercy, seeing that I do it being ignorant, in unbelief. Yet the grace of our Lord overwhelms, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1.13-14 CV)

 

By his own admission, Paul was in unbelief. He had no way out of his unbelief until the grace of the Lord overwhelmed him with faith and love in Christ Jesus. After all, he was locked up in unbelief. In other words, grace was a power outside of Paul that came in and overwhelmed his ignorance and unbelief. Paul had no choice in the matter; it was all of grace that was lavished on him.

 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [faith] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God…. (Ephesians 2.8 KJV)

 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2.20 KJV)

 

Faith in Christ does not come naturally for us; it is something that we must receive as a gift of God. In other words, God must give us the faith to believe on His Son. This is what it means to be saved by grace through faith. If God does not do it, then we will not be saved. He must overwhelm the unbelief of all through His grace.

 

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know―this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” (Acts 2.22-24 NASB)

 

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. (1 Timothy 1.15 NASB)

 

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.6-8 NASB)

 

Christ came to save sinners not to condemn them to an eternal torture chamber. Notice that He saved while all were yet sinners.

 

But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] (Luke 9.55-56 NASB)

 

Many teach as if Christ will destroy many lives by casting them into an eternal oven called hell. Of course, this is countered by the same ones that it is man who placed himself there, not God. But let us be reminded that all things are worked out according to the counsel of God’s will. Are we to exclude the eternal destiny of man from God’s counsel? Hardly! Christ came to save not to destroy.

 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases…. (Psalm 103.2-3 NASB)

 

O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psalm 130.7-8 NASB)

 

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we our­selves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniqui­ties; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. (Isaiah 53.4-6 NASB)

 

For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins will I remember no more. (Hebrews 8.12 ASV)

 

Under the new covenant God remembers sin no more. Whose sin will He retain?

 

All was given up to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and whomsoever the Son may be intending to unveil Him.” (Luke 10.22 CV)

 

And this is the will of him that has sent me, that of all that he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up in the last day. (John 6.39 DNT)

 

“And I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to Myself.” (John 12.32 CV)

 

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth [death on the cross], I will draw [or, drag] all to Myself.” (John 12.32 ALT)

 

All has been given to the Son; the Son will lose nothing; and the Son shall draw all to Himself. Can Scripture make it any clearer? This is love!

 

The Son of God will gather all in heaven and on earth to Himself. He is like a magnet that will draw everything to Himself. He is like the mother hen that broods over her chicks. As He brooded over Jerusalem so will He brood over all (see Matthew 23.37). All will come under the shelter of His wings, forever kept in the love of the Son.

 

Was Christ exalted, which refers to the manner of His death? Of course, He was. Then what are we to conclude? There is only one conclusion; He will draw all to Himself. It does not say that He will draw all at the same time, but He will draw all eventually. It also does not state that He will draw only all mankind. It states that He will draw all, which is an all-encompassing drawing that has to include all of mankind, all of the messengers and all of God’s creation. Nothing is left out of this drawing. It is universal!

 

Further, the Greek word for draw literally means “to drag” as if Jesus literally will drag all unto Himself.

 

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1.17 NASB)

 

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visi­ble and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities―all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1.16-17 NASB)

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (He­brews 1.1-2 NASB)

 

If Christ holds all things together, then He also must be holding the unbelieving sinner together as well. How can one single person be excluded from the One who holds all things together? Either in Christ all things hold together or they do not. There is no room for exclusions, omissions or deletions in all things.

 

Further, all things are created in Christ, and He is the heir of all things. What are we to exclude from this all?

 

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…. (Hebrews 1.3 NASB)

 

Christ upholds all things by the word of His power. ALL THINGS!

 

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)

 

Christ is giving Himself as a correspondent Ransom for all—not some, not a few, but all. But notice that it is not all at the same time. The testimony is in its own eras, which means that all will not benefit from this at the same time, but all will eventually benefit, even if from the first to the last of the recipients of God’s mercy and grace there are 2,000 years or more.

 

And He is [the] propitiation [or, appeasing sacrifice] concerning our sins, but not concerning ours only, but also concerning the whole world’s! (1 John 2.2 ALT)

 

John included the whole world in the appeasing sacrifice of Christ. It wasn’t just for John and his believing Jewish brethren, and it is not just for us who believe in this day. Christ is the propitiation concerning the sins of the whole world.

 

Nor yet is it that He may be offering Himself often, even as the chief priest is entering into the holies of holies year by year by the blood of others, since then He must often be suffering from the disruption of the world, yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, is He manifest. (Hebrews 9.25-26 CV)

 

At the conclusion of the eons, Christ repudiates sin, which means that He will put away or cancel out sin altogether. Now, if most of mankind is lost forever in man’s so-called eternal hell, then how can Christ repudiate or put away sin at the con­summation of the eons or ages? If billions of people remain in this so-called tor­ture chamber called hell, then are they not still in their sin? Then how does Christ cancel out all sin if it continues beyond the eons? It cannot continue, and it will not continue because once sin and death are put away for good all mankind must be the beneficiary of this repudiation.

 

He brightly reflects God’s glory and is the exact representation of His being, and upholds the universe by His all-powerful word. After securing man’s purification from sin He took His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high…. (Hebrews 1.3 WNT)

 

This is another one of those absolute statements that can be easily passed over. Christ secured man’s purification from sin. Do you see any omission or exclusions in this statement? If He secured man’s purification from sin, then does it not follow that one day all mankind will enter into the good of this purification? Purification refers to washing off sin or purging of sin. Do we not think that God’s fiery law can purify even the most hardened sinner? The person might have to spend many years under the discipline of God’s righteous law in the spiritual lake of fire during God’s day, but God is love, and His heart is to purge such a one, so that he can enter glory one day.

 

Through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also… through one just award for all mankind for life’s justifying [justification of life] (Romans 5.18 CV)

 

Who will not receive life’s justifying? One offense led to condemnation for all mankind, and one just award will result in life for all mankind. How can anyone refute God’s use of the word all?

 

But not as the offense, thus also the grace. 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, Jesus Christ, to the many superabounds. (Romans 5.15 CV)

 

For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just. (Romans 5.19 CV)

 

Because of the offense of one, the many died. Through the grace of God through one, the many shall be justified. Now, some will argue that the many does not include all. However, Adam plus the many equals all mankind, and Christ plus the many equals all mankind. Adam and Christ stand out as unique among mankind; therefore, they are one and the rest are many. Further, Paul went on to define the many as all mankind.

 

This word was not unique to Paul, for Isaiah the prophet spoke of the many as well.

 

As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53.11-12 NASB)

 

Who is excluded from the many? Did not the Righteous One bear the iniquities of all mankind? Notice that Isaiah identifies the ones for whom Christ will bear their iniquities as the many. Thus, the many encompasses all mankind.

 

For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. (1 Corinthians 15.22 CV)

 

Who can argue that in Adam all are dying? Look around you; who is not dying? Do believers never experience death? Of course not, for we all die. But notice that in Christ shall all be made alive. Now, some will argue that this means once you be­lieve, you are in Christ and then you are made alive. But this is not what this states. As he did in his Roman’s epistle, Paul was contrasting the two positions of man­kind. All mankind, including believers, find themselves in Adam in relation to death, for all die. Consequently, all mankind, including unbelievers, must ulti­mately find themselves in Christ, for shall all be vivified. The wording is very im­portant. Paul revealed the truth that all are dying and shall all be made alive. Death came through Adam to all; life will come through Christ to all.

 

Do not be deceived; there is only one way for all mankind to be saved and to be made alive, and that is through Christ; He is the only way.

 

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (2 Corinthians 5.14-15 NASB)

 

If Christ died for all and therefore all died, then who has the ability to come back into life? No one does!  Since no one can come back to life on his own, then he must be absolutely dependent on the One who took him into death in the first place.

 

Now, some will say that this is true; but they will also say that it now depends on man to believe, so that he can benefit from what Christ did for him through His death. Does it seem strange logic to you that we all have been taken into death with Christ, not by our own choice but by God’s own doing, and yet many teach that it is up to us to live? The dead know nothing whatsoever (Ecclesiastes 9.5). How could any of us come into life unless the Lord Himself gives us life?

 

Through Him to reconcile all to Him, making peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1.20 CV)

 

The blood of His cross has brought peace to all, which includes not only mankind but all God’s creatures, including His messengers. Who of mankind is excluded from this peace? Do we exclude the vilest sinner, as if Christ’s blood could not reconcile such a one to God? Again, it does not say that all are reconciled at the same time, just that all are reconciled.

 

If you don’t believe that the vilest sinner can and will be saved according to the will of God and not the will of man, then consider Paul, the foremost among sinners who became our apostle. By his own account, Paul was the chief among sinners. He was not trying to be humble but was stating a fact. He was the worst of the worst. He persecuted the risen Christ, the Son of God. How do we know this? Because Jesus declared so as He blinded Paul on the road to Damascus! Consider Paul’s testi­mony.

 

And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. (Acts 22.7-8 KJV)

 

Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief…. (1 Timothy 1.15 ASV)

 

For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it…. (Galatians 1.13 KJV)

 

I persecuted to death this new faith, continually binding both men and women and throwing them into prison…. (Acts 22.4 WNT) [But Saul, yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest…. (Acts 9.1 ASV)]

 

And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. (Acts 26.11 KJV)

 

For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (1 Corinthians 15.9 KJV)

 

This was not a man who was trying to gloss over his accountability for his actions. No; this was a man who was rightly judging himself. Persecuting the ecclesia of God was persecuting the risen Christ Himself. Can you imagine that Paul compelled people to blaspheme? This was a most serious and egregious offense. No wonder Paul saw himself as the chief among sinners and the least of the apostles. Yet, the Lord chose this persecutor and overwhelmed his ignorance and unbelief, and not only saved him, but put him into the most glorious service anyone has ever been given in the ecclesia of God. Paul alone is proof that God will save the vilest sinner, not because of his free will choice but because God wills it so.

 

For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering. And thus all Israel shall be saved, according as it is written, Arriving out of Zion shall be the Rescuer. He will be turning away irreverence from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them whenever I should be eliminating their sins. (Romans 11.25-27 CV)

 

Paul grieved over the rejection of Messiah by his brethren by blood, but by faith He could proclaim that eventually all Israel, even apostate and idolatrous Israel, shall be saved. Who of the Israelites is to be left out? Just as Paul, once a persecutor of Christ’s body, has been forgiven and saved, so will all who are the descendants of Jacob by blood. This does not mean that they will necessarily be counted worthy of the first resurrection. As with all mankind, all Israel shall be saved one day, even if it is at the consummation of the eons.

 

But one has testified somewhere, saying, “WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM? YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2.6-9 NASB)

 

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 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 15.25-28 NASB)

 

Christ suffered death for all and now is crowned with glory and honor. Because He has been crowned, all things are subjected to Him; there is nothing that is not subject to Christ. He tasted death for everyone. Again, people will say that this is true, but to benefit from it sinners must believe in this age; otherwise, they will be forever lost in an eternal hellhole. But if all things have been subjected under His feet and He has tasted death for everyone, then does it not follow that one day all sinners will come out of death and into life? After all, Christ will reign until He has put all things in subjection, so that God may be All in all.

 

And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of a hired servant shall it be with him. If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubilee, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption. And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigor over him in thy sight. And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, both he, and his children with him. (Leviticus 25.47-54 KJV)

 

Even the law of God as seen in the jubilee makes provision for the redemption of one sold into servitude. According to God’s law, there is a limit to how long one must remain in bondage. In the year of jubilee such a one shall be set free. Is this not a beautiful picture of the grand jubilee that will occur at the consummation of the eons when all mankind is brought into the family of God?

 

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18.21-22 NASB)

 

Here we see the principle of jubilee as well. Seventy times seven represents ten jubilees. Jesus laid down the principle that in the jubilee all debts are forgiven. Sin is a debt; therefore, all the debts of every sinner must eventually be forgiven.

 

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12.3 KJV)

 

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name…. (Ephesians 3.14-15 NASB)

 

Through Abraham, the father of a multitude of nations, all the families of the earth will be blessed. There is no distinction made over their condition before God. It is as if Paul picked up on this same theme and was caught up with the thought that all the families of the earth and in heaven are named. Receiving a name from God is clearly an indication that one is in the family of God. But notice that for Abraham it was all families, and for Paul it was every family.

 

The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Corinthians 15.26 NASB)

 

But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” (Matthew 22.31-32 NASB)

 

Our God is the God of the living. How can He be the God of the dead and death remain a power in His creation? Death must be abolished, and so it will be at the consummation of the eons. In that day, no one can remain in any state of death; all must come out of death.

 

“And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7.14 NASB)

 

Notice that the kingdom is about all peoples, nations and men of every language.

 

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.9-11 NASB)

 

Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. 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 45.22-23 NASB)

 

Notice that every knee will bow willingly and every tongue will confess willingly. Paul merely picked up this truth through Isaiah the prophet. This is God’s will.

 

In 1849, E. Manford wrote an article entitled 150 Reasons For Believing In The Final Salvation of All Mankind. Given this number, what I have presented is a drop in the bucket. Nevertheless, my prayer is that the spirit of God will take what has been presented and open the eyes of your heart, so that this will serve as a springboard to see other Scripture that reveals the glory of salvation through God’s Son, our Lord Jesus. God wills that all mankind be saved, and this is discovered in the restoration of the whole creation. Praise God!