THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Head Up All In The Christ
February 2, 2009
Of the many things taught throughout the Christian world, it seems that very few preachers stress that
all things will be headed up in the Christ, things in the heavens and on the earth, so that God the Father
may be all in all new. Simply, God’s plan to achieve His ultimate purpose is to head up all in the Christ. I
have written much on this subject, so I suspect that if you have read some of my material, you
understand what I mean. But as Paul wrote: To write the same things again is no trouble to me,
and it is a safeguard to you (Philippians 3:1 NASB).
Paul was uniquely given revelation of this great fact, which he called a secret (that is now revealed).
(8) In all wisdom and prudence (9) making known to us the secret of His will (in
accord with His delight, which He purposed in Him) (10) 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 …. (Ephesians 1:8b-10 CV)
Other translations express the phrase to head up all in the Christ differently. For example, it is
variously expressed as to gather together in one all things (KJV) , to sum up all things in Christ (ASV) ,
and to bring into one the whole in the Christ (YLT).
In the Greek, the expression translated as head up , gather up , or sum up comes from the word
anakephalaiomai , which is comprised of two primary words with the first meaning “up” and the second
meaning “to strike on the head.” For comparison, the Greek word often used to describe Christ as the
Head of the body is kephale , which has a primary meaning of “seizing” with “the head being the most
readily taken hold of.” Thus, to head up seems to be the closest in meaning to the Greek.
Clearly, the secret revealed through Paul has much to do with the Headship of Christ and not simply a
gathering together. A gathering together or a summing up of all does not tell us much about the purpose
for such a thing. However, heading up all things in the Christ tells us volumes, for it reveals that
everything in the heavens and on the earth will be brought under the Headship of Christ. In other
words, the Son of God will be the Head or the authority over all things. After all, He must reign until He
has put all His enemies under His feet, and then He will abolish all rule and authority and power (1
Corinthians 15:24-25). Heading up all things is to bring all into subjection to His rule and authority and
power so that in the consummation of the eons all things in the heavens and on the earth will be
brought into subjection to the kingdom of God.
But there is more, for as the Head, Christ will progressively lead all creation into the very mind of
Christ. Do not underestimate the word all , for it is a comprehensive word that leaves out nothing.
Absolutely everything in God’s creation will ultimately be brought under the Headship of Christ and be
ruled by the mind of Christ.
However, this leads to some questions: How will Christ head up all things? Will He do it by fiat, all at
once? Will He do it by Himself? No, He will not. He will do it through His body, the complement, and it
will be done progressively throughout the oncoming eons until the very consummation of the eons.
Consider the following from Paul.
(22) [God] subjects all under His feet, and gives Him, as Head over all, to the ecclesia
(23) which is His body , the complement [filling up, completion] of the One completing
the all in all . (Ephesians 1:22-23 CV)
(6) [God] rouses [raises] us together [the ecclesia, the body of Christ] and seats us together
among the celestials [in the heavenly places] , in Christ Jesus, (7) that, in the oncoming
eons [ages] , He should be displaying the transcendent [surpassing] riches of His grace
in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6-7 CV)
(8) To me [Paul] , less than the least of all saints, was granted this grace: (9) to bring
the evangel of the untraceable riches of Christ to the nations [gentiles] , and to
enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secret, which has been
concealed from the eons [ages] in God, Who creates all, (10) that now may be made
known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the celestials, through the
ecclesia, the multifarious wisdom of God, (11) in accord with the purpose of the eons
[ages] , which He makes in Christ Jesus, our Lord…. (Ephesians 3:8-11 CV)
All these verses mean that, in God’s wisdom, the body of Christ has been chosen to be a co-worker with
Christ in the heading up of all , not only on earth but also in the heavens or, as the above translation
states, among the celestials. Paul describes the ecclesia, which is the body of Christ, as the complement
of Christ. Other translations use the word fullness or completion , meaning that the body is the full
expression of the Head. Simply, Christ’s body will be the agent through which He will complete the all
in all so that God the Father may be all in all.
If you will note, some translations state that all things will be headed up in the Christ; that is, the article
the is used in relation to Christ. We might pass this off as being of little significance; however, I believe
it explains how God intends to head up all things. It will be done through the Head and the body, which
together is the Christ. Consider what Paul wrote about the Christ.
For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one
body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ…. (1 Corinthians 12:12 YLT)
In other words, Paul defines the Christ as one body. You cannot have a body without a head if it is to
function. Both Christ, as the Head, and the ecclesia, as His body, are one body, called the Christ.
To be sure you do not miss the import of what you just read, let me paraphrase Paul’s revealed secret:
In all of His wisdom, God has made known the secret of His will, which He has purposed
in His Son, that in the consummation of the eons, all in the heavens and on the earth will
be headed up in both the Son and His body, which together is the Christ.
Can you imagine a calling any greater than this? It is tremendous! Those counted worthy to reign with
Christ are destined to be the Christ, the very complement of the One who has been charged with
completing God’s plan to bring about the purpose of the eons. He will subject all things in the heavens
and on the earth through His complement, the body. For those of the Christ, there is work to be done in
the oncoming eons. It is not a call into retirement, as so many picture it in our day; rather, it is a call
into a glorious vocation with the Head of the universe. The Christ has been called according to God’s
purpose. Our beloved Lord is on a mission for His Father, and He has called and chosen a faithful
company of saints to be His complement to complete God’s plan. By the way, this plan encompasses not
only the earthly but also the celestial realm. His complement will not be restricted to this earth, for the
Christ will reign in both the celestial and the earthly realms or, if you will, in all creation, both seen and
unseen. In a subsequent issue, it will be shown that the Christ and the Lambkin are one and the same.
There is no higher calling, no greater honor than to be the complement of Christ and to be included in
the great work He is doing and will continue to do in the oncoming eons until all is headed up in the
Christ. There is only one true Head in all creation, and there will be only one true body, the Christ, in
which all will be headed up. May the spirit of God give you revelation of this great truth!
The Upward Call: #03-0911
by: Stuart H. Pouliot