The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Restitution Of All Things

“FOR THE SON OF MAN IS COME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST.” (Luke 19:10)

From the Master’s own parables & His essential nature, so long as anything is lost, Jesus Christ will go on seeking and saving; for He is always the same? (Heb. 13:8). “The lost” are His charge, and not some of the lost!

Or are we to read this verse ? ?

He came to save the lost but those in the fullest sense lost He will never save?

There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all" (I Tim. 2:5-6).

A ransom for ALL?

Then why should not all involved have some benefit, from Christ’s death?

Why should not ALL come to a knowledge of the truth that they may believe?

Without the KEY, how dark, how inconsistent these statements appear; but when we find the KEY to God’s plan, these texts all declare with one voice,

“God is love.”

This key is found in the latter part of the text last quoted - "Who gave Himself a ransom for all, “to be testified in due time.”

Ah, God has a “due time” for everything! He could have testified it to these in their past lifetime; but since He did not, it proves that their “due time” must be the future.

For those who will be of the Church, the body of Christ, the firstfruits of His redemption, the present is the “due time” to hear and receive; and whosoever now has an ear to hear, let him hear and heed, and he will be blessed accordingly.

Though Jesus paid our ransom before we were born, it was not our “due time” to hear of it for long years afterward, and only the appreciation of it, quickened by the Holy Spirit, brought responsibility; and this, only to the extent of our ability and appreciation.

The same principle applies to all: in God’s due time it will be testified to all, and all will then have the glorious opportunity to believe and be blessed by it.

The prevailing opinion is that death ends all opportunity; but there is no Scripture which so teaches; and all the above, and many more Scriptures, would be meaningless, or worse, if death ends all hope for the ignorant masses of the world. -J. Preston Eby-

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“THE CHRIST, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.” (John 4:42)

Christ is the Savior of the world. The larger hope simply asserts, Christ will, in fact, save the world.

“(HE) WHICH GIVES LIFE UNTO THE WORLD” (John 6:33)

The world (cosmos) is in Scripture the ungodly mass.

It is contrasted with the inner circle of the faithful, the elect.

This world is over and over again claimed by Christ. He gives life to it, and His gifts are “without repentance.”

Nothing is more evident in the Word of God than the fact that man had his beginning IN GOD.

Every son of Adam, born as he is in trespasses and sins, enters into this world shrouded by the darkness of the carnal mind and imprisoned by the power of the carnal nature.

But it was not always so! Everything everywhere outside of Christ belongs to the realm of death, and because it belongs to the realm of death, it likewise belongs to the realm of darkness.

Before ever man touched this dreadful realm the record states: “In the beginning WAS the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life; and the life waso the light of men.” (John 1:1,4).

It is a wonderful fact that in Him IS life, and His life IS the light of every man who believes, but, wonder of wonders, in that long ago beginning Christ was then the the life & His life was the life of men.

It was into this realm outside of Christ, the realm of outer darkness , that Adam was banished when he partook of that strange tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There he died, as God had warned, and we all died in him.

Thus death passed upon all men, for all have sinned. Has mankind not fully proved throughout the centuries that he is in truth the son of Adam? Which of all God’s commandments have we not broken, justifying ourselves in having done so even as Adam seemed to do. -J. Preston Eby-

"FOR I CAME NOT TO JUDGE THE WORLD, BUT TO SAVE THE WORLD." (John 12: 47)

This is as distinct a statement of Christ’s purpose as is possible.

The force of His statement can only be evaded by asserting that Christ would fail to accomplish that very thing which He came to do.

This assertion must be made in union with those explicit passages which declare the completeness of His triumph.

“Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The language in the koine is stronger than “at”. For any individual who grasps what it means to be in the Lord Jesus Christ, there should come an idea of what Phil. 2 means.

That IN/en the Name of Jesus EVERY knee bows, every tongue confesses, You are Lord.

Yes indeed, the confession of every dimension of heavens, earth & underworld is NOT by perfunctory genuflections but in union with the Name of all names.

The radical ALL

“…‘Every knee shall bow’. The universal scope of the adoration offered to Jesus as Lord is described by the words ‘every knee shall bow’ and ‘every tongue confess’. (v.11)…The bending of the knee was an expression denoting great reverence and submission in the OT, especially marking the humble approach of the worshipper who felt his need so keenly that he could not stand upright before God. While the usual position in prayer was that of standing (e.g., Je. 18:20; 1 Ki. 18:15; 17:1, etc), in times of special need or extremity the worshipper fell on his knees (so Ez. 9:5, 15). Likewise in the Gospels people stand to pray (Lk.18:11, 13) and Jesus assumes His disciples will stand (cf. Mt.6:5); but when there is an acute sense of need or urgent entreaty, the supplicant falls down before God. So Jesus in Gethsemane bows down in lowly submission and distress (Mt.26:9; Mk.14:35; Lk.22:41). The bowing of the knee here at Phil. 2:10, as Martin puts it, is ‘a mark of extreme abasement and submission (as in Eph. iii.14) and denotes that the universal homage marks the subjection of those who kneel to the lordship of Christ’.” -Thank you ClementofA-

Dr. Marvin Vincent

At the name of Jesus ( ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι )

Rev., better, in the name. The name means here the personal name; but as including all that is involved in the name. See on Matthew 28:19. Hence the salutation is not at the name of Jesus, as by bowing when the name is uttered, but, as Ellicott rightly says: “the spiritual sphere, the holy element as it were, in which every prayer is to be offered and every knee to bow.” Compare Ephesians 5:20.

Things in heaven, etc.

Compare Revelation 5:13; Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:22. The words may apply either to all intelligent beings or to all things. The latter is in accord with Paul’s treatment of the creation collectively in Romans 8:19-22, and with the Old-Testament passages, in which all nature is represented as praising God, as Psalm 148:1-14; Psalm 65:13.

Verse 11

Confess ( ἐξομολογήσεται )

See on Matthew 3:6; see on thank , Matthew 11:25; see on Romans 14:11. The verb may also be rendered thank , as Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21, that meaning growing out of the sense of open , joyful acknowledgment. The sense here is that of frank, open confession.

“FEAR NOT * * I HAVE THE KEYS OF HELL AND DEATH.” (Rev. 1:18)

Powerful words, especially significant when we remember that Christ had just used these keys to open the prison doors, in His Descent into Hades.

How, if so, can death (the second, or any death) sever from Jesus Christ (Who holds the keys) - from His power to save?

AND EVERY CREATURE WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, AND ON THE EARTH, AND UNDER THE EARTH, * * HEARD I SAYING UNTO HIM THAT SITS ON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB, BLESSINGS (Rev. 5:13)

These words embrace every created thing - on the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea. All are represented as swelling the chorus of praise to God, and to the Lamb.

Yes, to such an end we trust and hope that all Creation is indeed coming, because we believe God’s distinct promise, that all things shall be made new.

How else could all things join in this glorious chorus?

*“My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”

Whatever the Lord pleased, that did He, in heaven and on earth."* - (Ps. 135:6)

“He does according to His will, in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth.”

Scripture goes farther still.

It tells us plainly that the creature (creation) has been made “subject to vanity (sin and imperfection), not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope.” (Romans 8:20)

"God has shut up all unto disobedience that He might have mercy upon all " ( Rom. 11:32)

We are plainly told that it is “not of him who wills, but of God who shows mercy.”

"THAT THROUGH DEATH HE MIGHT DESTROY THE DEVIL" (Hebr. 2:14)

The destruction of the devil who is holding the power of death, is quite inconsistent with the continuance of death and evil for the endless ages.

THE IMMUTABILITY OP HIS COUNSEL." (Heb. 6:17)

No real failure is possible.

What God’s immutable counsel is, (the original word translated “willing” is the same as “counsel”) here.

God inspires the hearts of the good to pray for the salvation of all men, and say, as Jesus said, “Thy will be done.” (Matt. 6:10).

Adam Clarke says, “Because he wills the salvation of all men, therefore he wills that all men should be prayed for; as in (1 Tim. 2:1).

“I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.” Would God inspire the hearts of his saints to pray for the salvation of all mankind, if he knew they would not all be saved? -Thomas Whittemore-

Jesus came to do the will of God.

“My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)

“Lo, I come to do they will, O God.” (Heb. 10:9)

The will of God is, that all men be saved.

This is his will, by way of distinction and preeminence. Jesus came to do this will.

He came as the Savior, as the Savior of all men. He came as the good Shepherd, to seek and save that which was lost.

He came to save all men, not only those who lived on the earth while he was here, but all who lived before, and all who have since lived, and all who shall live.

Jesus gave himself a ransom for all; he tasted death for every man; and unto him, at last, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess him Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -Thomas Whittemore-

Such is the way in which Jesus does the will of God.

The will of God cannot be resisted.

“He does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What do You do?” (Dan. 4:35).

Who can resist a being of Almighty power? What God wills to take place, must take place.

He wills the salvation of all men because it is right.

A God of purity cannot desire endless sin and rebellion. If he wills the salvation of all men, he wills all the means by which it shall be accomplished; it must therefore take place. -Thomas Whittemore-

God has no other will besides the will to save all men.

“He is of one mind, and who can turn him.” (Job 23:13).

THE NATURE OF GOD

God is love and love worketh no ill. “God is love.” (1 John 4:8).

“Love worketh no ill.” (Rom. 13:10).

God’s nature is the very essence of benevolence, and benevolence cannot be the origin of endless evil. If love worketh no ill, God can work no ill; and, therefore, God cannot be the author of endless evil.

God loves all mankind. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) And, as Jesus died for all men, so God loves all men.

God loves even his enemies.

For he requires men to love their enemies, which he could not do if he hated his. (Matt. 5:44)

And Jesus declared, “for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Luke 6:35). This is but an amplification of the preceding argument.

If God loves his enemies, he certainly loves all men; for no one doubts that he loves his friends. And can God cause those to be endlessly miserable whom he loves? -Thomas Whittemore-

THE WISDOM OF GOD

God is wise; and it cannot be a dictate of wisdom to create beings, and then make their existence a curse by entailing endless suffering to it.

God foresaw all the consequences of our creation when he made us. He knew fully what the result would be to each individual.

Is it possible, that infinite goodness could breathe life into unoffending dust, when it was clearly foreseen that endless evil would ensue?

It was not possible. God must have created only to bless. “Love worketh no ill.”

The wisdom of God is “full of mercy,” and “without partiality.” (James 3:17).

“Full of mercy,” says Adam Clarke, i.e. “ready to pass by a transgression, and to grant forgiveness to those who offend; and performing every possible act of kindness…”

Surely, a God of infinite power and skill, who “performs every possible act of kindness,” will save his fallen creatures from their sins. “Without partiality,” i.e. without making a difference.

God is no respecter of persons. He is kind to all men, and he will perform every “possible act of kindness” to all men.

-Thomas Whittemore-

Mankind is yet groping about in the dense darkness of the carnal mind, knowing not that HE is standing right there in the shadows, were their eyes opened to see.

Yet He has appointed a day - Oh glorious day! - when His light shall shine forth and the plan shall be completed as the apostle says, “For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposed long ago in His sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in Him. In Christ we have been given an inheritance, since we were destined for this, by the One who works out all His purposes according to the design of His own will” (Eph. 1:9-11, Phillips).

The very laws of physics and mathematics establish with indisputable certainty the absolute inevitability of the creation’s return back to God.

Psalm 19 was long a source of amusement to Bible critics. In speaking of the sun, the Psalmist says: "His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat there of’ (Ps. 19:6).

It was claimed that the writer of this verse, obviously believed in the ancient notion of the sun’s revolving about the earth. This charge is most unjust, since we still use words and phrases of the same sort, simply because from our natural viewpoint the sun does rise in the morning, move across the sky, and set in the evening. The whole science of nautical and engineering astronomy is based on the assumption, made purely for convenience, that the earth is the center of a great celestial sphere, moving along the surface of which in ordered paths are the sun, moon, planets and stars. And as far as any practical usage is concerned, this is so. On this assumption, courses can be plotted, positions determined, and scores of other applications made. - J. Preston Eby-

THE PLEASURE OF GOD

The pleasure of God is in favor of the salvation of all men; and therefore, neither death, sin, nor pain, can be the ultimate object of God in reference to man.

“As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezek. 33:11).

Death and sin and pain may exist for a time; but if God has no pleasure in them of themselves, they are not the end at which he aims, but the means by which he accomplishes that end. The end in which God rests as his pleasure, design, or purpose, must be essentially benevolent, because he is essentially a benevolent God.

Neither death, nor sin, nor pain can be his ultimate plan or pleasure; they are the means by which his holy and righteous designs are carried into effect.

God created all men expressly for his pleasure, and, therefore, not for ultimate death.

“Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:11)

Adam Clarke has a fine remark on this passage. He says, “He made all things for his pleasure; and through the same motive he preserves. Hence, it is most evident, that he hateth nothing that he has made; and could have made no intelligent creature with the design to make it eternally miserable.

It is strange, that a contrary supposition has ever entered into the heart of man; and it is high time that the benevolent nature of the Supreme God, should be fully vindicated from aspersions of this kind.” -Thomas Whittemore-

The pleasure of God shall prosper in the hand of Christ.

“The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)

Adam Clarke says, regarding Isaiah 53:10, that the pleasure of God is, “to have all men saved, and brought to the knowledge of the truth.”

God’s pleasure shall surely be accomplished.

“So shall my word be that goes out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

(Isaiah 55:11). “I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:10)

This passage shows that God’s pleasure shall certainly be accomplished? His word shall not return unto him void: it shall accomplish what he please, and prosper in the object which he sent it to accomplish.

God has no pleasure in the death or suffering of the sinner. That was not the object of creation. God created men for his pleasure, and his pleasure shall certainly be accomplished.

-Thomas Whittemore-

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God has purposed the salvation of all men.

“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.” (Eph. 1:9,10)

It is evident from this passage, that God has purposed to gather together all things in Christ. God’s purpose agrees with his will or pleasure.

He wills to have all men saved; he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; and accordingly he has purposed to gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.

This is God’s purpose; this is what he has purposed in himself.

And this is not the gathering together of those things only which are in Christ, but the gathering together of all things in him.

“Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen. 49:10)

And Jesus confirms this: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)

Thus we see all things are to be gathered into Christ. They are all to have his spirit, and partake of his new creation; for “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

By the phrase “all things,” as Archbishop Newcome says, it meant, “all persons, all intelligent beings.

The purpose of God cannot fail: it must certainly be accomplished.

“The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, surely as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” (Isaiah 14:24)

“For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27) “I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:11)

Now, whatever God purposes must take place.

God can have no second thoughts; hence, Paul speaks of “the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel (i.e. the previous consultations or deliberations) of his own will.” (Eph 1:11)

What, then, shall hinder the accomplishment of this purpose? Has he formed a plan which he cannot execute?

No; the concurrent testimony of the sacred writers is, that whatever God has purposed, SHALL BE DONE.

So let it be, O Lord. -Thomas Whittemore-

THE PROMISES OF GOD

God promised to Abraham, his servant, that he would bless all mankind, in his seed. “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3)

“In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18)

All the nations of the earth, all the families of the earth, according to this promise, are to be blessed in the seed of Abraham.

The language is absolute: it is without any condition.

“All the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”

And who is this “seed of Abraham,” in whom all the nations and families of the earth shall be blessed?

I agree with Dr. Adam Clarke on this matter. He says, in his note on Gen. 12:3, “in thy posterity, in the Messiah, who shall spring from thee, shall all families of the earth be blessed; for as he shall take on him human nature, from the posterity of Abraham, he shall taste death for every man; his gospel shall be preached throughout the world, and innumerable blessings be derived on all mankind, through his death and intercession.”

God made the same promise to Isaac.

“I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham they father, and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 26:3,4)

This passage is precisely of the same import.

It refers to precisely the same subject, and asserts the same facts. God saw fit to repeat the same promise to Isaac which he had made to his father Abraham; and it forms a distinct argument of itself. -Thomas Whittemore-

The same promise was repeated to Jacob , the grandson of Abraham. “and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 28:14)

The apostle Paul (and higher authority we do not wish) fully settles the question in regard to who is meant by the “seed of Abraham.”

He says, “Now to Abraham and his seed, were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, WHICH IS CHRIST.” (Gal. 3:16)

Christ, then, is the seed of Abraham; and in him ALL the nations and families of the earth shall be blessed.

Peter, the apostle, understood this promise as referring to the salvation of men from sin, by Jesus Christ.

“Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, in thy seed shall all kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:25-26)

Here we have a third term,-kindreds. All nations of the earth, all families of the earth, and all kindreds of the earth, must certainly signify all mankind.

The import of this absolute, unconditional promise is, they shall all be blessed in Christ Jesus. -Thomas Whittemore-