"Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that GOD may be ALL IN ALL" (1 Co.15:28 - Concordant Version)
That which constitutes our subject, "GOD ALL IN ALL," is a part of a very important and profound passage of Scripture, as may be seen from our text. It is one of the greatest revelation of truth in the Word of God, setting forth God's grand and glorious goal, namely, the ultimate removal and repudiation of Sin..."since then He must often be suffering from the disruption of the world, yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, is He manifest." (Heb.9:26).
The consequent cessation and abolishment of evil; and the justification and vivification of all His creatures without the loss of a single one, is God's goal. Nothing short of it is. This is what is divinely declared in this brief, yet highly informative section of 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.
THE FUNDAMENTAL FACT OF THE EVANGEL
It would be of profit to acquaint ourselves with what is set forth in 1 Corinthians 15, verses 12 to 28. In substance it shows that the death of Christ is essential to the evangel and, in addition (for a dead Christ cannot save), that His resurrection is vitally necessary for justification, reconciliation and all other blessings besides.
This is vital, for, as the apostle Paul points out, if Christ has not been roused, we are still in our sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. His resurrection, then, is of supreme importance.
THE DEATH STATE
Death is the opposite of life, according to the Scriptures. It is not a change from one form of life to another -- certainly not the gateway to glory, as is usually taught even by devout men. To the contrary, death is a cessation of being, destruction, disorganization, separation of one's vital units.
Happily, Christ will deliver all the dead from this dire condition, for He is God's appointed instrument for the deliverance of all mankind from the death state. To John, on the isle of Patmos, Christ gave assurance of this divinely given task on behalf of mankind, saying, "Do not fear! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One: and I became dead, and lo! living am I for the eons of the eons (Amen!) And I have the keys of death and of the unseen." (Rev.1:17 & 18)
THE COMPLETENESS OF CHRIST'S SUBJECTION AND
THE UNIVERSALITY OF HIS ACHIEVEMENT
All insubordination will be put down in the dust of defeat whenever it shows its ugly head in the heavens and on the earth. Christ Jesus our Saviour is Ruler of both spheres. He Who is of the celestial came to earth, divested Himself of His former glory in order to be man's Saviour, Redeemer and Deliverer. In His lowliness He came to be at the feet of all... -- "nevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity, and, being found in fashion as a human, He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil.2:7 & 8)
Hence, He is acquainted with the ways of men and angels and, therefore, is well qualified to be Lord of all in the heavens as well as on the earth. He is set over all, ascends over all of the heavens that He may be completing "the all," the universe -- "now the 'He ascended,' what is it except that He first descended also into the lower parts of the earth? He Who descends is the Same Who ascends also, up over all who are of the heavens, that He should be completing all." (Eph.4:9-10)
No angel, or celestial creature, has this unique distinctive position and opportunity, for none could qualify. Only the Son of God's love is capable of all this. Thank God for this qualified One Who will soon take unto Himself His great power and reign! With firmness, yet in love, and a wisdom which takes into account the weaknesses and follies of His subjects -- men and heavenly creatures as well -- He will, with unquenchable zeal, bring all God's rebellious creatures into full subjection to His God and Father Who created them.
The last enemy that the Christ will have to deal with is death. It will become inoperative -- be abolished -- by His power. Its victims will have become completely emancipated from its slavery, and not till then will it be possible for all to be made alive in Christ.
Some of the Corinthians (like the Sadducees), denied the resurrection of the dead, but Paul insists not only on the resurrection of the dead but on the vivification of all, including those who have not actually gone into the death state.
ALL WILL BE WELL
Customarily, it is taken for granted that the last book of the Bible, (the Scroll of the Unveiling of Jesus Christ) contains the revelation of the consummation of the eons, whereas that was not given to John, but to Paul, whose writings reveal a purpose formed before the eons, in Christ Jesus, embracing within its compass the events from and included in the first chapter of Genesis, onwards to -- and beyond -- the final vision recorded by John in the Scroll of his testimony, the Scroll of the Unveiling of Jesus Christ.
Comfort yourself, with this thought, with this truth, that no matter how black things may look at present, however much evil and sin seem to triumph, however much sickness and disease may wreck this mortal frame, we have a Saviour, Who is Lord of all. One Who is fully capable of grappling with our unsolved problems, however formidable they might be, and solve them so marvelously that He will be universally acclaimed Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Let no one, therefore, deceive you into thinking that this will never come to pass, will never be true, that it is only a pipe dream, that all will not eventually be saved, that some will be (as they express it) "eternally lost." Those who speak thus evidently don't know the God Whom they profess to love and worship; don't know the Scriptures they profess to believe; don't know the Saviour and the true value of His death for them, and for all.
For He said, "And I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to Myself" (John 12:32). Don't be disturbed by them, even by uninformed evangelists, pastors and teachers, concerning their teaching of "eternal damnation" with its seeming support of the Word of God -- " 'Verily, I am saying to you that all shall be pardoned the sons of mankind, the penalties of the sins and blasphemies, whatsoever they should be blaspheming, yet whoever should be blaspheming against the holy spirit is having no pardon for the eon, but is liable to the eonian penalty for the sin' -- for they said, 'An unclean spirit has he.' " (Mark 3:28-30)
When this text is correctly translated as it is in some versions, notably the Concordant Version, it is clear that this passage -- and others like it, is in line with the fundamental teaching of the Word of God. Punishment, or chastening, is never intended of God to be perpetual. It is wholly confined within the eons, and that is what our Lord said in the foregoing passage.
The inspired apostle Paul declares emphatically that Christ will reign until He shall be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death. Note that death is the last enemy. In this instance, it is none other than the second death which is in view, for at this period of Christ's reign all have been delivered from the first death (cf. Rev.20:4-15). Hence, only the second death is remaining: and remember, it is the "last enemy," the abolition of which (necessarily) must take place almost at the close of His reign. The abolishment of death, the second death, is important in order that all may be vivified so that GOD may become ALL IN ALL.
CHRIST'S RESURRECTION IS THE KEYSTONE
The inspired apostle Paul makes it crystal clear that, for God to be All in all, the resurrection of all the dead is required. Every son and daughter of Adam is included, all for whom Christ died. His words are, "for since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, comes the resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor.15:21).
So then, for God to be All in all demands the resurrection of all the dead, right back to Adam and Eve. That's why our text is placed right at the heart of the theme of the resurrection, of which the apostle speaks so eloquently and so passionately.
And lest there be any misunderstanding of His word, the apostle goes right on to say, "For, even as, in Adam, all are dying (all do not die, but are dying, a process), thus also, in Christ shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class..."
All will not be vivified, or made to live, at the same time. There will be three classes. So the apostle goes right on to explain the order in which the three classes will be vivified -- made to live a full life in all its perfection and glory of person and immortality, with all the possibility of death completely removed. Such is the nature and quality of vivification or making alive, a life that only God through Christ can impart. Thank God for such an expectation for it fills us with joy to the full. Yes, even in times like these. Praise be unto Him.
Now the apostle continues: carefully note his words which so many Christians fail to grasp.
First: -- the Firstfruit, Christ! - Resurrection. (1900 and more years ago):
Second: -- thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence:
Third: -- thereafter comes the consummation -- the finality.
But, someone may ask, when will the consummation be? The apostle explains this full in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. When will the consummation be -- the time? When will the third class be vivified? Listen carefully:
(a) Whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father (verse 24).
(b) Whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power...(verse 24).
(c) Whenever He may be saying that all is subject..." (verse 27).
(d) Now whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all. (verse 28).
This is the time when the third class will be vivified, made to live endlessly. The apostle proceeds to supply further details of Christ's work in verses 24-28. Note the word "whenever" throughout this passage.
The oft repeated word "whenever" points to the many things to be accomplished before the consummation of the eons, the time when the third class will be vivified. And they, with the rest of creation, will be presented to God, a subjected, reconciled creation in which God becomes All in all.
For another related article click on "The Eons of the Bible (with Concordance)" by Joseph E. Kirk
If you are interested or would like further information on the "eons" of the Bible, and God's purpose, write to us. We will be glad to supply you with further information.
"Grace & Truth" Magazine
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