UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
IN KING JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14)
#05-1128
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
January 11, 2011
All Things From, Through, To Him
In chapter 5 of his Romans epistle, Paul presented the glorious truth of the justification and restoration of all
mankind, meaning that everyone born of flesh and blood from Adam to the last man or woman standing, no matter
how evil or wicked they were in life, will be reconciled (returned, restored) to God, not all at the same time but all
eventually, for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of
righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the
many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
(Romans 5:18-19 NASB)
Paul contrasted two men and their acts, the first man Adam and the second man or last Adam, Jesus ( Yeshua ) the
Christ or Messiah, the Anointed One. The first Adam transgressed (sinned) against God's command and brought
condemnation to all men, for through sin death passed through into all mankind (Romans 5:12 CLV). There are no
exceptions to the condemnation that brought death unto all mankind, for all humans die as evidenced by the
countless number of graves throughout the earth. The expression all mankind is fully and absolutely
comprehensive.
However, the good news is that the one act of righteousness of God's Son resulted in justification of life to all men.
In other words, all men, none excluded, are justified before God through His Son. We could say that what the first
Adam brought upon his race is overturned by the last Adam. Whereas the first Adam brought death to all, the last
Adam brought life to all. Don't water down the word all . Paul uses it in the fullest sense of the word.
Paul refers to all mankind or all men as the many .
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more
did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. (Romans
5:15 NASB; also 5:19)
This is a vital point in understanding Paul's thought and, I might add, his logic. He singled out two men, the first
man, Adam, who became a living soul and is a type of Him who was to come, and Jesus, the second man, the last
Adam who became a life-giving spirit and is the antitype of the first Adam (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47).
These two men stand apart from the rest of mankind. It is Adam plus the many and Christ plus the many.
I stress this point because Christians are erroneously taught that "many are going to hell," and the temptation is to
read Paul's many as referring only to believers, as if they are the only ones to receive the justification of life while
the rest of mankind gets to toast in hell. Let us not be deceived; Paul taught that all shall be made alive in Christ,
not all together but every man in his own order or troop. Ultimately, all things shall be subjected to Christ (1
Corinthians 15:23-28).
As he was concluding his section on the national salvation of all of Israel (Romans 9-11), Paul summed up God's plan
for mankind.
For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. (Romans 11:32 NASB)
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All Things, From, Through, To Him
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Here is that pesky little word all that so many seem to ignore. Paul's logic demands that we see all mankind is locked
up so that God Himself may show His mercy to all mankind. Is it merciful to throw billions upon billions into a torture
chamber of literal fire and burning sulfur?
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (Romans
9:16 NASB)
Born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13 NASB)
Surely, as he contemplated these truths, Paul got caught up in the glory of God's plan for all mankind. He quoted
both Isaiah and Job.
O the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments
and His ways past finding out! "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who became His counselor?"
Isa. 40:13 'Or who first gave to Him, and it will be repaid to him?' Job 41:11 (Romans 11:33-35 LITV)
Who of us mere mortals truly has known the mind of the Lord? We see things through a glass darkly or a cloudy
mirror, and then we paint over it with the traditions of men until we create a God in our own image that is full of
rage and anger, hell-bent on torturing most of mankind forever and ever. Let us never be persuaded from the truth:
God is love and full of mercy! His heart will win All.
Now, Paul concludes Romans 11 with what I believe to be the summation of all scripture. It is the ultimate purpose
of God. Four different translations are presented to get the full picture.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. (Romans 11:36 NASB)
For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. (Romans 11:36 NLT)
For the universe owes its origin to Him, was created by Him, and has its aim and purpose in Him. (Romans
11:36 WNT)
Everything comes from the Lord. All things were made because of him and will return to him. (Romans 11:36
CEV)
In Hebrews 11:3, Paul stated that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible, meaning that matter
is made out of things that we cannot see with our naked eye. God did not make things out of nothing; rather, He
made them out of what some physicists call God particles . The point is that all things come from God, which is the
tenet of the creationist worldview.
Next, all things go through Him. Paul began Hebrews (1:2, 3) by declaring that God made the eons (ages, time)
through His Son who upholds all things. The eons speak of the history of mankind and God's divine plan being
worked out through His Son, even as most of mankind has been and continues to be blinded to His plan and ultimate
purpose.
Finally, all things are to Him, meaning it is His full intent to restore and reconcile all things to Himself until He is All
in all new (1 Corinthians 15:28; Revelation 21:5).
Simply, every God particle must find its way back into the love and will of God; it all must return to God is love,
including every single human being ever born of Adam's race and everything in all creation. Think about it; how can
all things be to Him if one single particle of His creation is outside of His love and will? Where is the glory in man's
evil concept of hell? Where is the glory in the false doctrine of an eternal separation from God?
Is it any wonder that Paul declared: To Him be the glory throughout the Ages! Amen (WNT).