The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Restitution Of All Things

#31

The Place Of Humanity In God’s Purpose -Part 3-

The lessons of the Potter

MOST OF YOU who read these words will at some time or other have been to an exhibition, for all kinds of shows are held in the main countries of the world every year. Generally they are designed to be instructive and to further the interests of those who are putting on the display. They are often made up of different stands, each presenting its own theme. In a travel exhibition, for example, one stand might portray the grandeur of the United States, another the historical attractions of Britain, another the various means of travel from place to place, another the advantages of being able to converse with peoples of foreign countries. On each stand will be placed the best examples that can be found to illustrate its particular theme, and everything will be done, through arrangement and lighting effects, to enhance its impact.

Now this idea of putting things on exhibition in order to demonstrate certain facts is by no means new and has indeed been used by God on many occasions. For instance, He has filled the heavens with stars in order to display His majesty and glory. “The heavens declare (or are rehearsing) the glory of God,” says the Psalmist (Psalm 19:1). This is a display that is going on all the time; it was true in David’s day, when the psalm was written. It was true back in Abraham’s time, for was not he told to gaze into the heavens and count the stars and see if it were possible to number them? It is still true today. It is a tremendous display of God’s greatness and wisdom and power, both in the creation and in the control of such a multitude of heavenly bodies, and it is rehearsed for us both by day and by night. “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.”

And into whatever aspects of creation we look, whether into the infinitely great or the infinitesimally small, we find the majesty of God displayed.

Continued below>>>>>

The place of humanity in Gods purpose, by John H Essex

#32

“It is love alone in the holy Deity that will allow no peace to the wicked, nor ever cease its judgments till every sinner is forced to confess that it is good for him that he has been in trouble, and thankfully own that not the wrath but the love of God has plucked out that right eye, cut off that right band, which he ought to have done but would not do for himself and his own salvation.” -William Law-

“It is claimed that it takes the iron out of Christianity because it removes the threat. No longer can the sinner be dangled over the pit of hell. No longer can what Burn’s called the ‘hangmen’s whip’ of the fear of hell be threateningly cracked over the sinner. But the kind of universalism in which I believe has not simply obliterated hell and said that everything will be all right for everyone; it has stated grimly that, if you will have it so, you can go to Heaven via hell.” –William Barclay-

“A belief in God’s universal love to all his creatures, and that he will finally restore all those of them that are miserable to happiness, is a polar truth. It leads to truths upon all subjects, more especially upon the subject of government. It establishes the equality of mankind – it abolishes the punishment of death for any crime – and converts jails into houses of repentance and reformation.” – Benjamin Rush-

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such an opinion as is unworthy of him; for the one is unbelief, the other is contumely; and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well to that purpose, “Surely,” saith he, “I had rather a great deal men should say there was no such man at all as Plutarch, than that they should say that there was one Plutarch that would eat his children as soon as they were born;” as the poets speak of Saturn. And as the contumely is greater towards God, so the danger is greater towards men. –Sir Francis Bacon- (1561-1626)

“The whole of created life shall be delivered/set free…”

#33

Richard Murray had an explanation of God’s “wrath” that makes sense to me. He said that in Old Testament times, people regarded Satan as a servant of God who was under God’s authority. So when Satan acted in his evil way, the writers just said that God did it. However, by New Testament times, it was understood that Satan is an enemy of God, who acts in his own initiative in doing his dastardly deeds.
God doesn’t do such deeds or have a wrath that results in harming people. “In Him is no darkness at all.”
(1 John 1:5)

#34

It could also be suggested that it was not so much either-or, but both… Satan did as he willed (Jn 8:44) but also had divinely appointed limits to where he could actually only ever go so far, but no further (Job 1:12; 2:6).

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#35

" Through the Son God made the whole universe, and to the Son he has ordained that all creation shall ultimately belong."

" He has 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. And you…"

Dr. Arthur Tappan Pierson -The Bible & Spiritual Life-

“This view (Restitution of All) is so clearly scriptural that the only surprise is that it has not been more definitely and widely held. It adds immeasurably, both to the glory of Christ as the coming King, and the Father as the former and framer of the ages. It is the period typified by the eighth day of the Mosaic Code: the perfect glory of Christ, reserved for ‘the morrow after.’ The millennial ‘Sabbath.’ And while the millenial period is limited to a thousand years, there are no definite limits to this final age of glory.”

-Dr. P. B. Fitzwater- (Professor of Systematic Theology- Moody Bible Institute) Christian Theology P. 407

“Then there is the Universalist who declares that the redemption provided by Christ avails for the salvation of all men. This means that what God has done for the salvation of sinful men accrues to the benefit of all men. This view of Universalism is quite widespread. Many leaders in the evangelical church hold to this view, even though they have not dared to declare it.”

From the Lutheran ELCA website…

The Christian hope for salvation, whether for the believing few or the unbelieving many, is grounded in the person and meaning of Christ alone, not in the potential of the world’s religions to save, nor in the moral seriousness of humanists and people of good will, not even in the good works of pious Christians and church people. … There is a universalist thrust in the New Testament, particularly in Paul’s theology. How else can we read passages such as ‘for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ’ (1 Cor 15:22)?" (See also Colossians 1:15-20, Ephesians 1:9-10, 1 Corinthians 15:28.) -Carl Braaten-

The universal scope of salvation in Christ

ELCA Lutherans will say with Braaten,

“Salvation in the New Testament is what God has done to death in the resurrection of Jesus. Salvation is what God has in store for you and me and the whole world in spite of death, solely on account of the living risen Christ. … The universal scope of salvation in Christ includes the destiny of our bodies together with the whole earth and the whole of creation. This cosmic hope is based on the promise of eternal life sealed by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Through raising Jesus from the dead, God put death to death, overcoming the deadliest enemy of life at loose in the world. This hope for the final salvation of humanity and the eternal universal restitution of all things in heaven and on earth … is drawn from the unlimited promise of the Gospel and the magnitude of God’s grace made known to the world through Christ.”

http://www.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=21:

A Survey of Bible Doctrine" by Charles Ryrie, Professor of Systematic Theology: Dallas Theological Seminary.

In the section on future things, he dismisses the Restitution of all things which he refers to as “Classic Universalism” as unbiblical.

However

In his K.J.V. Ryrie Study Bible, which was published a few years after his doctrine book, he says a very interesting thing in his footnote on Colossians 1:20

Col 1:20 … to reconcile all things unto himself. Christ is the remedy for alienation from God, and eventually all things will be changed and brought into a unity in Him, even though this will involve judgment.

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#36

The Man Who Met God In A bar -Part 1 of 2-

If there were an award given for “Most Terrible Parable,” my vote would go straight for the one about the coins. Known traditionally as “The Parable of the Talents,” the story almost single-handedly drove me out of the church and into a spiritual detox. You may know it: the tale of a nobleman who is leaving town for a while and so offers three of his servants an investment opportunity, as shifty salesmen do, giving each one a different amount of money “according to their ability.” Amy All-Star gets five talents (or coins), Count-On-It Carl gets two, and the lowlife, who maybe we just call Larry, gets one. If you’re already getting nervous, just wait.

Each of them is given the same objective: to take care of what’s been entrusted to them. Larry, who sounds a lot like me if I’m being honest, is afraid he’s just one more demotion from the curb, so he wraps it up in a napkin and buries it. He thinks he’s being smart by not losing the one thing he’s been given. You can hear his thought process, can’t you? Oh man, just imagine what the boss’d say—I’m already on the rocks with the guy—if I lost this one, too…It’s not worth the risk. I’ve got to keep this job.

Predictably, the boss returns, and Amy and Carl have doubled their funds, now sitting in higher cotton than they were before this cruel experiment. Lowlife Larry, on the other hand, only falls farther. As he tries to explain to the nobleman why he buried the coin, how afraid he was of losing it, his boss silences him and tells him to pack up his desk. “Cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.” Jesus gives his listeners the following ominous warning: “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

So, considering some of the nicer parables—about lost lambs found, about prodigal sons welcomed home, about the last being first—yeah, this one sticks out to me. Even if you seem more like All-Star Amy, and you view yourself as someone with quite a lot to be grateful for, you can’t not hear the conditionality lining this story.

Like a sore toe, this parable became impossible to ignore. It came to dictate the Jesus I believed in. And it wasn’t exactly the Sweet Jesus of Lambs and Orphans. It was the Very Serious Jesus of Judgment I had always been afraid was hiding behind the curtain. It’s not surprising that this picture of God—the expectant landlord, his threat of punishment, his focus on productivity—has provoked leagues of burnouts over the church’s tenure. Have you done enough? Invested wisely enough? Have you, too, chosen to sit on my opportunities for fear of losing them?

-Robt. F. Capon-

#37

To say that sin, assuming it to be opposed to God, has the power of creating a world antagonistic to God as everlasting as He is, attributes to it a power equal at least to His; since according to this view, souls whom God willed to be saved, and for whom Christ died, are held in bondage under the power of sin for ever; and all this in opposition to the Word of God, which says that God’s Son was “manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil…” -Andrew Jukes, The Restitution of all Things-

The 2nd Death & The Restitution Of All Things

The Restitution of All Things

#38

By these three prepositions Paul ascribes the universe (ta panta) with all the phenomena concerning creation, redemption, providence to God as the…

Ex= The Source

Di= The Agent

Eiv= The Goal

The Koine, ta pavnte, is the strongest word for all in the Scriptures; it literally means the all.

Romans 11:36=

ta pavnte/ ta panta, “in the absolute sense of the whole of creation, the all things, the universe, and, everything in heaven and earth that is in need of uniting and redeeming.”

It is not in the limited sense of “nearly all”, “pavnte” minus "ta

The final preposition [eiv) reveals the ultimate goal of all that is. What has been provided in Christ is a re-turn, a re-storation, a re-newing, a re-demption, a re-concilation, a re-surrection, a re-stitution.

The prefix “re” means back again, again, anew–and all the words with this prefix speak of something that left its place and has now made its circuit and come back to the point of its beginning.

In the Christian story God descends to reascend. He comes down;… down to the very roots and sea-bed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. -C.S. Lewis

#39

Every created thing ( pan ktisma ). Every creature in a still wider antiphonal circle beyond the circle of angels (from ktizw , for which see 1 Timothy 4:4 ; James 1:18 ), from all the four great fields of life (in heaven, upon the earth, under the earth as in verse James 3 , with on the sea epi th qalassh added). No created thing is left out. This universal chorus of praise to Christ from all created life reminds one of the profound mystical passage in Romans 8:20-22 concerning the sympathetic agony of creation ( ktisi ) in hope of freedom from the bondage of corruption.

If the trail of the serpent is on all creation, it will be ultimately thrown off. Saying ( legonta ). Masculine (construction according to sense, personifying the created things) if genuine, though some MSS. have legonta (grammatical gender agreeing with panta ) present active participle of legw , to say. And to the Lamb ( kai twi arniwi ). Dative case. Praise and worship are rendered to the Lamb precisely as to God on the throne. Note separate articles here in the doxology as in Romans 4:11 and the addition of to krato (active power) in place of iscu (reserve of strength) in Romans 5:12 .

-F.W. Robertson N.T. Word Pictures-

#40

Dear choir boy: you still cannot sing in symphonic tones. Your voice must stand before the Tuning Fork of the Lord and be adjusted accordingly!

This is what the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all mankind declares>>>>

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

Will draw=ἕλκω /helkō

helkō=

To draw/ drag off.

To draw by inward power.

To lead.

To impel.

All=

The radical πᾶς/pas.

Jesus Christ draws every last broken creature to Himself

#41

Plan A or plan b minus?

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

plan b-

If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw some of mankind unto Myself.

I will drag off with power some of mankind.

I will try to lead off some of mankind, but will fail.

"As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive"

plan b minus=

As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall some be made alive

"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…"

plan b-

Some have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life…"

plan b minus=

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon some men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon some men unto justification of life.

Yes friends there is more!

Does all mean all?

The radical πᾶς/pas.

#42

Plan A=

“that IN/EN the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Alternate plan b minus

that IN/EN the name of Jesus every knee might bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue might acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the potential glory of God the Father.

Does all mean all?

The radical πᾶς/pas.

πᾶς =ALL

Strong’s #3956 — Adjective — pas — pas )

Radically means “all.”

Used without the article it means “every,” every kind or variety. So the RV marg. in Ephesians 2:21 , “every building,” and the text in Ephesians 3:15 , “every family,” and the RV marg. of Acts 2:36 , “every house;” or it may signify “the highest degree,” the maximum of what is referred to, as, “with all boldness” Acts 4:29 .

Before proper names of countries, cities and nations, and before collective terms, like “Israel,” it signifies either “all” or “the whole,” e.g., Matthew 2:3 ; Acts 2:36 . Used with the article, it means the whole of one object.

In the plural it signifies “the totality of the persons or things referred to.” Used without a noun it virtually becomes a pronoun, meaning “everyone” or “anyone.”

In the plural with a noun it means “all.”

One form of the neuter plural (panta) signifies “wholly, together, in all ways, in all things,” Acts 20:35 ; 1 Corinthians 9:25 . The neuter plural without the article signifies “all things severally,” e.g., John 1:3 ; 1 Corinthians 2:10 ; preceded by the article it denotes “all things,” as constituting a whole, e.g., Romans 11:36 ; 1 Corinthians 8:6 ; Ephesians 3:9 .

#43

Plan A or alternate plan b minus?

Plan A=

“For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe. Command this and teach this…”

Alternate plan=

For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of some men, and only those who believe. Command this and teach this…

Plan A

“And every/ pas creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be to him that sits on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.”

Alternate plan b minus=

And some creatures which are in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and some that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be to him that sits on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.

#44

“We all must die and are like water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up again, but the Lord does not take away life, instead He devises ways for the banished to be restored.”

All= the radical all

“Devise”=

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/devise

“banish”=

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/banished

Restore=

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/restore

#45

“We all must die and are like water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up again, but the Lord does not take away life, instead He devises ways for the banished to be restored.”

N.T. Restore=

Verb — apodidomi

Apodidomi=

To give back

To deliver.

“I restore” -Luke 19:8-

Apokathistemi

Apokathistemi=

Alternative form apokathistano

Restoration to a former condition of health.

Divine restoration.

Reclamation.

Verb — katartizo

Katartizo=

To mend.

To furnish completely.

To fit. To mend. to perfect.

Metaphorically, of the restoration by those who are spiritual, of one overtaken in a trespass, such a one being as a dislocated member of the spiritual body.

The tense is the continuous present, suggesting the necessity for patience and perseverance in the process.

#46

Dr. William Barclay

Overview - William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible

“Here is a tremendous picture of Christ. He is the fulfilment of all the hopes and dreams of Israel, for he is the Lion of Judah and the Root of David. He is the one whose sacrifice availed for men, and who still bears the marks of it in the heavenly places. But the tragedy has turned to triumph and the shame to glory; and he is the one whose all-conquering might none can withstand and whose all-seeing eye none can escape.” -Rev. 5.13-

#47

From a letter to Dr. Phillip Doddridge from Henry J. Barker:

“It is so. We read it in the book of God, that word and truth and gospel of our salvation, that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Yes Doddridge, it is so. The fruit of our Redeemer’s sufferings and victory is the entire and eternal destruction of sin and death for everyone. And is it not a glorious destruction? A most blessed ruin? No enemy so formidable, no tyranny so bitter, no fetters so heavy and galling, no prison so dark and dismal, but they are vanquished and disarmed; the unerring dart is blunted and broken, the prison pulled down and razed. Our Lord is risen as the first fruits of them that slept.”

Every created thing (pan ktisma).

Every creature in a still wider antiphonal circle beyond the circle of angels (from ktizw, for which see 1 Timothy 4:4 ; James 1:18 ), from all the four great fields of life (in heaven, upon the earth, under the earth as in verse James 3 , with on the sea epi th qalassh added).

No created thing is left out.

This universal chorus of praise to Christ from all created life reminds one of the profound mystical passage in Romans 8:20-22 concerning the sympathetic agony of creation (ktisi) in hope of freedom from the bondage of corruption.

If the trail of the serpent is on all creation, it will be ultimately thrown off. Saying (legonta). Masculine (construction according to sense, personifying the created things) if genuine, though some MSS. have legonta (grammatical gender agreeing with panta) present active participle of legw, to say. And to the Lamb (kai twi arniwi). Dative case. Praise and worship are rendered to the Lamb precisely as to God on the throne. Note separate articles here in the doxology as in Romans 4:11 and the addition of to krato (active power) in place of iscu (reserve of strength) in Romans 5:12 . -A.T. Robertson Word Pictures-

#48

What does mystery mean?

“It is in Him, and through the shedding of His blood, that we have our deliverance–the forgiveness of our offences–so abundant was God’s grace, the grace which He, the possessor of all wisdom and understanding, lavished upon us, when He made known to us the mystery 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. And you…”

Mystery=

Musterion=

Denotes, not the mysterious (as with the English word) but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit.

“The mystery which hath been hid from all ages and generations…”

Source, Guide, Goal of ta panta

#49

The Beautiful Heresy

OK. Perhaps you’re new to Universalism and you think you’ve stumbled across some new age, new-fangled heresy. Would it surprise you to know that Universalism was present in the early church and that people like Origen and Clement gleaned it from the scriptures? Would it surprise you that Eternal Torment (ET) wasn’t commonly accepted until around the year 500?

The Beautiful Heresy- Christian Universalism: The Early Church

The First 500 Years

https://tentmaker.org/books/Prevailing.html

#50

Those quotes fit Richard Murray’s teaching…
had divinely appointed limits to where he could actually only ever go so far, but no further ( Job 1:12; 2:6)OLD TESTAMENT

Satan did as he willed ( Jn 8:44)—NEW TESTAMENT

However, if you should quote passages from the Old Testament which show that Satan can act without God’s permission or passages from the New Testament which show that he cannot act without God’s permission, you would make your point.