“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:19-20)
If there is one word that sums up the plan of God for creation, it is reconciliation. The scriptures are full of wonderful verses that declare this glorious plan of God. The work which our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross was to reconcile man to its rightful place, its origin – God the Father. The Greek word for ‘reconcile’ is ‘apokatallasso’. It means to bring back to a former state of harmony. Of course, there would be no reconciliation or reunion if there wasn’t an initial union.
This union was before time and before God set the heavens and the earth in place, when we existed in the bosom of the Father in the realm of spirit. In this state of being, all humankind was at one point joined to the Father in perfect harmony. Thus the scriptures refer to the Lord as “Father of spirits” (Heb. 12:9) and as the: “God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 27:15). However, as natural men, our true identity and origin was lost to us as we found ourselves in the deep sleep of the Adamic consciousness, dead in sins and trespasses. In this condition, we were without spiritual awareness having forgotten our previous reality in God. In the book of Isaiah there is a call to remember our former position: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?” (Isa. 40:21).
This truth is also affirmed by our Lord who claimed that He is Alpha. No saint challenges this truth. Our worship songs and our stand in defense of the creationist viewpoint is evidence of how solidly founded we are in the belief that God is the creator and source of the universe. However, the full magnitude and depth of the truth that God is Omega has yet to break forth in the hearts of most saints. God as the Omega sums up the plan of the reconciliation of all things.
So what did Jesus Christ mean when He said: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Rev. 1:8)? Why would our Lord, who is eternal, who has neither beginning nor end, use the phrase “Alpha and Omega” to describe Himself? Beginning and end are attributes of time and not eternity. Time cannot be used to define eternity since eternity has neither beginning nor end, just like God has neither beginning nor end. Moreover, eternity is not the indefinite continuation of time. It is timelessness. That is to say, there is no time (or change) in eternity.
When we speak of God being Alpha and Omega, it is in the context of something in time. He is the Alpha of creation and He is the Omega of creation. That’s why the bible says: “for of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things; to whom be glory forever” (Rom. 11:36). It’s in perspective to “ALL THINGS” that God is beginning and end and not unto Himself. Again we read a most powerful truth 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. 1:10). The dispensation of the fullness of times indicates the completion of the ages in the Greek. We read in Revelation 10:6: “that there should be time no longer”. This speaks of the state of things where time no longer exists swallowed up into eternity where “all things” find their existence in Christ.
The declaration of our Lord Jesus: “I am the Omega” is thus a statement that encompasses the most tremendous mystery of the reconciliation of all things in Christ. As He is the Alpha of all things, He will be the Omega of all things. But creation now finds itself out of the Alpha in a state of fragmentation.
And God divided
In order to understand creation’s need for reconciliation, we need to first establish how creation came to its state of disintegration and futility. The scriptures relay to us the trajectory of creation as it came out of God. The condition of the world into which we have all been born into is in a state of separation from the Father resulting in corruption and death. Anything outside of God is inherently corrupted, fragmented and imperfect. Incorruption, union and perfection can only be found in God, for His very nature is that of oneness – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deut. 6:4). In Christ, there is no division, no schisms, no double-mindedness, no duality, and no fragmentation. God has one vision, one mind, one nature, one character. And as we are joined to Him we enter into the same union, for “the one who is united and joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Cor. 6:17).
However, in man we see a nature that falls short of this attribute of God. Intrinsic to the world and the Adamic nature is corruption, disharmony, strife, conflict and a nature of duality that fails to be completely energized by the perfected love of God. But how did this condition of disunion and fragmentation come about? In answer to this, Romans 11:36 sheds some light. It reads: “for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.” I want to draw your attention to the phrase “of Him” which implies origin. But the Greek word used is “ek” which means “out of” and “away from.” This indicates not just origin but separation. It shows the lowering of creation out of and away from God into a fragmented state, disjointed from the oneness and harmony found in Him.
In line with this, there’s a significant truth relayed in the creation story which is often overlooked. In the events of the creation story we see the continual division of God’s creation. We read that God divide the light and darkness: “and God divided the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:4). He divided the water and the land: “God made the firmaments and divided the waters which were under the firmaments” (Gen 1:7). He divided day from the night: “let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night” (Gen. 1:14), and He divided the sun and the moons and stars: “God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness” (Gen. 1:18). This continuous act of dividing by God was the very subjection of creation to fragmentation and futility.
Moving further in history, we also read the accounts of the tower of Babel at a time when “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech” (Gen. 11:1). Because of their pride to exalt their name and to reach heaven by their means, God yet again divided as He “confounded their language” (Gen. 11:7). We read that: “the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth” (Gen. 11:8). People were thus divided, scattered and dispersed into their lands, everyone according to their language, their families, and into their tribes.
But if we look further, the division extends even to the individual. Within man there is division and a struggle between two natures. Paul relays this well: “if, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Rom. 7:16-18). Paul’s struggles highlight the disharmony that exists between the Spirit and the flesh, “for the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Gal. 5:17). So we see the state of division at the individual level. Division is the gauge that one is not in Christ. It is indicative of the carnal mind with its attributes of envy, strife, and hate operating in man (1 Cor. 3:3).
Consequently, since creation was fragmented, it could not in itself reflect the full radiance of God’s glory. Aspects of creation do declare God’s glory. We read that: “for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20). The created thing may shine a ray of the Creator in the heart of the one who in awe observes the splendor of it, but the creation cannot display the full glory of God. Only Christ can! For “He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature” (Heb. 1:3 Amp).
Overall, we see a continual lowering of creation from a realm of harmony and oneness to a disjointed state. This fragmentation is the predicament we find the world in today. There are divisions across racial and tribal lines, gender divides, division of nations, disharmony within families, separation in marriages, division across social and economic classes, divisions across political and institutional affiliations, division across denominations and the list goes on. These have been the cause of many conflicts, wars and deaths. Many today are endeavoring to address the various schisms that confront society through man’s energy and methods. However, the permanent remedy for this disorder can only be realized as creation finds its reconciliation in Christ.
Subjected to futility
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope” (Rom. 8:20).
In line with what has been shared so far, it should be clear that it was God who subjected the creation to the bondage of corruption it finds itself in, but He has done this in hope. Therefore, the fall was Adam’s lot. It was ordained by God, for this was the path God predetermined for creation in order to bring the Savior and to return creation back to harmony in Himself. This path was indeed good for it was in line with the premeditated plan of God. Contrary to popular belief, the all-wise and knowing God always knew about the fall. It was in His mind for the very purpose that it would happen. That’s why, before creation came into being, before Adam was ever on the scene, and before the disobedience, God had prepared the solution. Thus we read of: “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).
Let’s consider the fall a bit further. Before Eve is created, we read of two key events in the creation of man: the creation of spiritual and soulish man. In Gen. 1:26, we read about the man God created, one who was both male and female and who was created in the image and likeness of God. This one is the perfect man; in unbroken union and harmony with God. It was this man who was given dominion and was commanded to be fruitful and multiply.
In Gen. 2:7, however, we read that: “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Here we see man being lowered from a spiritual realm to a physical realm. He becomes a living soul; a soulish man dictated not by his spirit but by his soulish nature. This is the attribute of all men born into the earth. Paul affirms that “the first man Adam was made a living soul” (1 Cor. 15:45). As a living soul, Adam was subjected to the fall. He was inclined to succumb to the temptation of sin for he was a soul-driven being unlike the last Adam who is “a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). For this reason, the Word states that: “creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope” (Rom. 8:20).
These may be new and difficult thoughts for many because we have been so programmed with contrary ideas about God. We’ve entertained notions of the devil as an opponent of God who has distorted God’s perfect plan. So challenged to give acceptable answers to the conditions we witness in the world, we’ve altered the nature of God to fit our logical explanations. Thus, we’ve elevated the will of man above God’s with teachings founded upon humanism which argue for God’s purpose being deterred by the will of man. Such ideas have gained such momentum that some have had the audacity to claim that God cannot do anything in this world without man’s permission. But this could not be further from the truth.In fact this is the very essence of humanism – the elevation of man above God.
Dear saint, this includes your salvation. You are saved because He chose you and apprehended you by His Spirit. To claim you chose to follow God is the most prideful of statements. Jesus declares to you today: “you did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). May you recognize that the testimony of Paul’s conversion is also yours, it was God who orchestrated it all as Jesus declares: “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). Surely this revelation had broken forth in Paul for he states: “it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom. 9:6).
Even the carnal of men, Nebuchadnezzar, understood this truth. He testified of God saying: “all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”(Dan. 4:35). Surely no one can constrain God! God has no foe, He stands alone and above all, be it the devil or the will of man. Indeed “the deceived and the deceiver are His” (Job 12:16).
Hear the words of the Lord who proclaims: “I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isa. 45:7). This may be a strong word for many but God qualifies it with these words: “that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:6). Pause and think on this. There is great rest and peace found in the revelation of the absolute sovereignty of God. Yes, we may proclaim it and yes, we may sing it loud, but do our beliefs align with this truth?
To this, some argue: “God is not a dictator”. Indeed He is not because He is love and His sovereignty over creation is grounded in love and not self-interest. Surely a mother who nurtures her new born baby can’t be considered a dictator because she oversees their every activity. Much like the baby without it’s parents to sustain it, this world would cease without God’s every intervention. For it is God who upholds and maintains and guides and propels the universe by His might word of power (Heb. 1:3 Amp).
The God we serve is the El Shaddai – the Almighty One. May the spirit of God stamp these truths in your heart, for unless the supremacy of God and of His will are established in your heart, you will never receive the revelation of the plan of God for the reconciliation of all things.
In line with what’s been shared so far on reconciliation, let’s consider the phrase ‘all things’ since it reoccurs time and time again in numerous verses. It signifies the all-inclusive aspect of God’s plan for creation. The reoccurrence of the phrase should cause us to pay particular attention to what the Lord wants to relay. In the original Greek, the word used for ‘all things’ is simply ‘pas’ which means: “all, the whole, everyone, everything”. Therefore, the word ‘things’ does not appear in the original text. As you read the verses below consider the original translation.
The phrase “all things”, as conveyed in our bibles, occurs in reference to origin, existence and end. I share some verses below:
Of origin: “for by Him were all things created” (Col. 1:16), “all things were created by Him, and for Him (Col. 1:16), “there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things” (1 Cor. 8:6).
Of existence: “by Him all things consist” (Col. 1:17); “who works out all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11); “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3).
Of end: “by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20) “And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28); “that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in One all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10); “whom heaven must receive until the times of the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21); “to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36); “He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things” (Eph. 4:10).
The scriptures make clear that ‘all things’ are inclusive of: “all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers” (Col. 1:16). Various references corroborate that all things are inclusive of all that is in heaven and earth (Col. 1:20, Eph. 1:10, Phil. 2:10).
By the reference to the word ‘all’, we should recognize that the work of God in reconciling His creation to Himself does not end with the saints. This is a major misconception. God doesn’t have a partial objective. He’s not satisfied with just a first fruit harvest.
Even though many in the world today have not yet be awakened to the reality of their heavenly Father, this fact does not change the truth that God is their Father, for they all came out of Him. God is not a man, He does not have illegitimate children. Every man is created in the image of God and each has the spiritual potential to perceive the deep truths of the Kingdom. But this potential is only realized when one is awakened by the Spirit of the Lord to walk in the second man – Christ. The “believers” are those who, in this dispensation, have been awakened by the spirit of God to receive the revelation that they are the children of God and as a result have resumed their relationship with their Father. However, we read in 1 Corinthians 15:23 that there is an order appointed for each.
Those apprehended to God in this age are the first fruits and not the full harvest. Make no mistake, God desires the full harvest and He is preparing an elect company of sons who will be ministers through whom creation will be reconciled back to Him. God plans to gather His sheep into His sheepfold. The Good Shepherd does not leave one sheep behind. There is a most relevant verse that may be often overseen. In addition to the sheep in His sheepfold, Jesus speaks of another group of sheep which He calls “other sheep”. Jesus said: “I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:15-16). God seeks out all His sheep until they have all been brought into the fold. This truth that all will be gathered to Him is relayed in Ephesians 1:10: “that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in One all things in Christ”. For our Father is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Ptr. 3:9). What God wills, He accomplishes.
The means through which this glorious program of reconciliation will take place is a great mystery. But it is not through the programs and methods of the church system. The church system cannot minister reconciliation for the very fact that it has not received the revelation of God’s plan for the reconciliation of all things. The in-part cannot minister reconciliation until it attains to maturity and perfection. That’s why God is raising up sons in this hour. For the groaning of creation is not for more church buildings, more prophets, more conferences, more mission trips, more television programs, more outreach or more Christian books. Rather “the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19).
These are they who have journeyed into the depth of Jesus Christ and have come unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. In them there is no longer ‘I’ but Christ ruling and reining in absolute preeminence. This first fruit company of apprehended sons will minister reconciliation to creation at the time of their manifestation appointed by the Father. This is the “greater works” of which Jesus prophesied. It is for this marvelous unveiling that creation waits in eager expectation because “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).
Reconciliation vs. eternal punishment
As mentioned, the ultimate plan of God is to reconcile all of creation from its current state of fragmentation to return it to its former state of harmony found in God. This is to occur through Christ, for of Him, THROUGH Him and to Him are all things (Rom. 11:36). For this cause, our Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life for the whole world and in resurrection power came to live in His people. Jesus declares: “and I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). This was the agenda of God; for all to find union in Him through Christ.
However, the doctrine of eternal punishment espoused by the church system of our day denies the reconciliation of all things in Christ. These two ideas are contradictory and cannot be reconciled. One cannot believe in eternal punishment and still claim Colossians 1:20 or Ephesians 1:10 or Romans 8:21 or 1 Corinthians 15:22 or 1 Corinthians 15:28 or the numerous other verses that claim the reconciliation of all things. Although the scripture unequivocally, through the witnesses of multiple verses, declare the reconciliation of all things, the contemporary church system has completely negated this truth. Instead it has espoused dogmas founded upon erroneous interpretations of scripture that pass judgment and seal the fate of the majority of mankind to cruel and endless torment.
To put this in perspective, according to world statistics, approximately 1 million people die each week. That’s about 52 million deaths each year. Since an estimated 30% of the world’s population is Christian, if we assume that all are born-again, it would be that 36.4 million people are each year lowered to an eternal torment without any hope. That’s equivalent to the entire population of Australia or Canada or Ghana condemned to hell eternal each year.
According to this doctrine, all things cannot and will not find reconciliation in God. To those who espouse the doctrine of eternal punishment, God would neither reconcile all things to Himself contrary to Col. 1:20 and Eph. 1:10, nor would He be all in all contrary to 1 Cor. 15:28, nor would He redeem creation from the bondage of its corruption contrary to Rom. 8:21, nor would Christ draw all peoples to Himself contrary to John 12:32, nor would He have the preeminence in all things contrary to Col 1:16, nor would all be made alive in Christ contrary to 1 Cor. 15:22, nor would there be times of the restitution of all things contrary to Acts 3:21, nor would the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our lord and of His Christ contrary to Rev. 11:15. The doctrine of eternal punishment opposes the very plan of God for creation and makes the Word of God of no effect concerning many of the scriptures regarding reconciliation. The subtlety and skill of the religious systems to cover and suppress the truths of all these scriptures is astonishing.
Even though the scriptures irrefutably declare that: “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21) many refuse to entertain and are in fact infuriated with the good news that God wins all to Himself. They are like the older brother who was angry that his father accepted the prodigal son. Thus many in the church system have become hell advocates and stand fervently defending the eternal aspect of hell.
In so doing, they elevate and exalt Adam’s disobedience over Christ’s sacrifice. Paul exhorts us: “God’s gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass (His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man). For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift (that comes) through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for (the benefit of) many” (Rom. 5:15). Paul further contrasts Adam and Christ and states: “as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom. 5:18).
We also read of a most insightful verse that declares: “as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15: 22). If simple logic would prevail, how many die in Adam? All! How many will be made alive in Christ? All! The Greek word used in both instances is “pas” – meaning “all, the whole, everyone, everything”. Why is it then that we start subtracting from those whom God claims will be made alive in Christ and think in some convoluted way that this adds to the glory of God? Why is it that we get zealous for Adam when Christ is exalted? Is not the Lamb that was slain worthy to receive the reward for His suffering? Understandably this view is in conflict with the doctrine of eternal judgment which is birthed out of the Adamic nature and which has been espoused by the church systems for centuries and indeed most of us have been immersed in it since childhood.
I would like to note, although it has not been the focus of this writing, that it is evident that the bible uses words seemingly translated as eternal and forever with regards to hell and judgment. I do not refute these scriptures or the existence of hell. However, these scriptures are not in disagreement with the truths about the reconciliation of all things. The scriptures are not contradictory.
Rest assured that in the dispensation of the fullness of times appointed by the Father that: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:11). This state of conditions is where God will be “all in all (be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life)” (1 Cor. 15:28 Amp) and where God “fills everything everywhere with Himself” (Eph. 1:23). This is the good news of the gospel – the reconciliation of all things until “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Num. 14:21). This is the glorious plan of God for the ages and it is marvelous in our eyes!