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)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
March 5, 2017
The word all is a very small word, but it is a mighty comprehensive word that sums up the purpose of God, for He
has purposed that His Son, our Lord Jesus, shall be all in all so that He, that is, God the Father shall be all in all . How
unfortunate it is that many preachers of the gospel place restrictions or exclusions on God's all. As it is so often
preached, people must get themselves into God's all or else they will be excluded and, worse, end up in an eternal
fire called hell. This is not the good news of Jesus the Anointed One ( the Christ ), especially taught by Paul.
In the New Testament, the word all and the expression all things (appearing about 110 times), are most often
translated from the Greek word panta , which is a neuter plural form that refers to "wholly, together, in all ways, in
all things" ( Vine's Expository Dictionary ). In other words, panta is a very comprehensive word, just as the word all
is in English, which refers to "the whole extent or quantity of or number of," "every one of," or "the greatest
possible; as much as possible." For example, Paul declared: God our Savior, Who will have all [ panta ] men to be
saved (1 Timothy 2.3-4 KJV). By the way, is anyone excluded from God's all? No! This is the greatest possible.
In the New Testament, the Greek expression ta panta appears about 34 times, depending on the particular Greek
version. The word ta is most often translated as the definite article the . Ta panta is generally translated as all things ,
but it could be equally translated as the al l . We could say that God's purpose is the all . It might sound like a strange
expression, but really it is not because it intensifies the word all to include everything and exclude nothing,
especially in relation to mankind.
Let us consider some of the all verses, beginning with creation and the source of all life.
The administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things [ ta panta, the
all ] …. (Ephesians 3.9)
I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things [ ta panta, the all ] . (1 Timothy 6.13)
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things [ ta panta, the all ] is God . (Hebrews 3.4)
"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things [ ta
panta, the all ] , and because of Your will they existed, and were created." (Revelation 4.11)
For in Him [Christ] all things [ ta panta, the all ] were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities―all things [ ta panta, the all ] have been created through
Him and for Him. (Colossians 1.16)
Adding to this, Paul tells us that the all is from, by, through, and for God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, meaning
they are intimately joined to the all , not simply the Creators of the all .
Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things [ ta panta, the all ] and we exist for Him; and
one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things [ ta panta, the all ] , and we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8.6)
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things [ ta panta, the all ] . (Romans 11.36)
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things [ ta panta, the all ] , and through whom are all things [ ta panta,
the all ] , in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (Hebrews 2.10)
Adding to this, God's purpose is and will be worked out in the all .
Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things
[ ta panta, the all ] after the counsel of His will…. (Ephesians 1.11)
Turning specifically to Christ, Paul declares that He existed before all things came into being, and He is the source
of creation. The all has been permanently placed in Him, and now, kept and held together by the word of His power.
We could say that He places, keeps, sustains, and preserves the all by His very life.
He is before [precedes] all things [ panton ] , and in Him all things [ ta panta, the all ] hold together [have been
permanently placed]. (Colossians 1.17 NASB [Diaglott])
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things [ ta panta,
the all ] by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1.3)
Clearly by revelation, Paul declares that Christ who created the all will also fill the all with His very life, and He will
begin with (but not end with) the ecclesia , which is His spiritual, glorified body.
He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things [ ta
panta, the all ] . (Ephesians 4.10)
And He put all things [ kai panta ] in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church
[ecclesia] , which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all [ ta panta, the all ] in all [ pasin ] . (Ephesians 1.22-23)
How will He do this? Through reconciliation; the all has been shut up under sin so that the all will be reconciled
back to God through the One who fills the all . Oh, the glory of God's purpose and plan!
But the Scripture has shut up everyone [ ta panta, the all ] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ
might be given to those who believe. (Galatians 3.22)
Through Him to reconcile all things [ ta panta, the all ] to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His
cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1.20)
How will Christ complete this great plan? He will sum up or gather up the all in Himself, subjecting the all to Himself
and then subjecting Himself to God the Father. The Mitchell Bible translates the word subjection as "completely
arranges, humbly aligns and then appends and puts under shelter all humanity." This is not a forced subjection but
an act of grace and love. Don't miss this vital point: The Son of God's love will subject Himself to the Father.
An administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things [ ta panta, the all ] in
Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. (Ephesians 1.10)
He has put all things [ panta ] in subjection under His feet. But when He says, "All things [ panta ] are put in
subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things [ ta panta, the all ] in subjection to Him. When all
things [ ta panta, the all ] are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will be subjected to the One who subjected
all things [ ta panta, the all ] to Him, so that God may be all [ ta panta, the all ] in all. (1 Corinthians 15.27-28).
Paul defines the all for us ̶ everything in the heavens and on the earth, meaning the all is God's entire creation as
we know it and, most likely, as we don't know it, for it includes the unseen as well. There is nothing left out of the
all of the Son's gathering up and subjecting the all to Himself in order to accomplish God's ultimate purpose of all
in all . Nothing is outside of the all ! Praise God!