“He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the SUMMING UP of ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him.” Ephesians 1:9-10
These Ephesian verses could be called a brief outline of our Father’s master plan. It must be pointed out that a New Testament “mystery” is not a secret to be hidden to all but a select super-enlightened few, but rather it is for all to receive. The Plan, Purpose and the Enablement to make it all take place does reside in human beings. It is his to do as he has planned. In fact, he is always on time, and one need never worry that he could possibly fail for he has been constantly bringing to pass that which is birthed out of his heart of love.
Jonathan Mitchell wrote in a recent email conversation: “But what you have raised in my mind this morning is: God's emphasis on "the midst." It is where we originated, and it is our destiny. It characterizes our internal being, our being in God, our participation and our membership in a group, the core of existence and the source of logos, which is the source of all being.
“No wonder there is inclusion. My mind just went to Rom. 11:36, where we have “ek” (forth from out of the midst) - “dia” (through the midst) - and “eis” (directed toward, piercing and entering into the midst). The midst is the place to "be." End of quote.
It could be said that the ancients had little understanding of the purposes of God, and until enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the same is true for the overwhelming majority of what is called Christendom. In fact, most have written the earth off, doomed for destruction by fire, as my visiting friend reiterated the other day, and mankind too is doomed for hell, except for a minuscule few who exercised “free will.” The problem with this so called “free will,” is that it only exists in those whom the Son has set free, and until that is entered into, all are captive to the carnal/lower nature.
My brother sang in a mens quartet in the early 1960's. One of their best songs was: “What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see!” As wonderful as that is, it is nothing compared to the day when we see ALL of the creation, restored, renewed, and changed and transformed into something better than what it originally was. Do you remember the changes that happened, the enlargement, to Job after his suffering ended? Do you remember the change to the clay vessel in Jeremiah 18:4. It was marred/spoiled/ruined [7843 shachath] while still in the potter’s hand. It was then transformed into something, that without a doubt, was better than what might have been. Glory!
When we accept the stunning truth that absolutely nothing is dependant on us, and all is dependent on Father God, we then may begin to move into the rest of God. The end of self, the end of the struggle and works is indeed blessed! However, along the journey the Judaisers, and other human effort folks, will try to get us back into one form of religious works and bondage or another. Religion is so appealing to our human nature, as it has the appearance of being real, but is comparable to counterfeit money. Many of the outer practices of the religious format can be so appealing in the sensual, soulical realm, but all such is devoid of the life of Christ Jesus. It is imperative that we see and hear from only the Holy Spirit.
Our Father has purposed in himself, to provide an administration, a government, that will be in effect in accord with his times. We may fret at the idea of waiting for “the fullness of times,” because we tend to impatience in this day and age. We can rest in the certainty that God indeed does all things well and on time. He is not waiting for you or me to do some spectacular thing, nor for some group to try, by human effort, to set up a form of government of so called “Christian” government in anticipation (kingdom now) of the day when “Jesus will split the eastern sky,” no doubt at “some golden daybreak,” and land on planet earth to take over what we have set up for him.
Helpers of God, we are not! We are not needed no matter how much religion screams that we must do something. Those who want to have a supposedly Christian government would attempt to legislate, and impose Biblical morality as they see it,it would be their version of the Islamic Sharia Law. This morality would be primarily based on Old Testament rules. Past and present history shows that when man attempts to force their interpretation of morality, a cold, cruel regime comes into being.
It is natural to dwell upon all the bad things, the problems that one sees in the world, whether they are nature wise, or man-wise. It seems that every time there is a natural disaster, another war, a human heath problem, that some will talk about the “signs of the end times.” But, just what is meant by that? Which end times? I believe that what Jesus spoke about, and now people assume, to be the “end times” applied to the last days of Jerusalem, the Temple, the Nation and the end of the Mosaic Law. Thousands, possibly millions of dollars have been gained by those who write and sell fear mongering, scripture twisting books and films about a never-ending version of, any second it will begin with Jesus sneaking back,“end times.” Every new earth shattering event is cause to write yet another book to stir up the fearful and the faithful.
When clear our minds of carnal and religious imaginations, we are able to see that all is not doom and gloom, but rather glory upon glory. Our Father has not written man or creation off, in fact he is bringing forth change upon changes to the praise of his glory. We are destined to be to the praise of his glory, and indeed as the prophets declared, the whole earth will be full of his glory!
Now, what about this word SUMMATION, and what does it really mean? It comes from the Greek word, “anakephalaiomai" #346, meaning, “to sum up under ONE head.” It means, to GATHER TOGETHER in ONE, under ONE head. The TCNT (1901) renders it: "when He would make everything both in heaven and on earth, CENTER IN THE CHRIST." There is the thought of restoration, but more than restoration. For unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. The death experience brings a new life experience which is one of abundance. The creation is subject to bondage and futility, but for a time. It is not the end, but the gateway into a new day.
How is this summation, this gathering together into one accomplished? This process is a finished job, because God has included us IN Christ. We may accept that, and say, “But, but,” as we try to reason it out. Ephesians 1:10 says, “ALL THINGS in Christ, things in the HEAVENS and things ON THE EARTH.” If this means what it says then ALL of creation is included IN Christ! Why not? Is anything too hard for the Almighty?
John 1:3 says, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Jonathan Mitchell says it this way: “All things come to be (are birthed; occur; or: came to be; were birthed; occurred) through It (or: Him), and apart from It (or: Him) not even one thing comes into being (occurs; was birthed; came into being) which has come into being (which has occurred).”
Since the Lord is the SOURCE, is there any valid reason that the ALL cannot be included, or perhaps we could say, re included IN Christ? What you believe tells how big or small your God is.
Religion has a weak God who was only too willing to create, something like Spinozas’ view of God who got it all going and then left it be. This view of God lets folks choose to do as they wish, to accept or reject Christ. Since only a few are aware, and fewer choose to accept this, “optional” escape from disaster, provided by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it would seem that such a God is a heartless failure. It would seem that he has deliberately created the universes and humanity knowing that his handiwork was to be destroyed - to burn nonstop. Now, that wording may be shocking, but, if you examine the theology of much of Christianity (especially Evangelical), that is not an unfair assumption as to what is believed.
First Corinthians Fifteen is one of the grandest chapters in the Bible. We clearly learn that without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are of all men most miserable and without hope. The resurrection is a glorious truth!
We learn that IN the first Adam - the First man, ALL died - are dying. However, IN God’s Second man - the LAST Adam - Jesus Christ, ALL will be made alive! First Christ the First Fruits and then, “those belonging to the Christ (or: the ones who have their source and origin in Christ; those who are [a part] of the Christ) within the midst of His presence,” (Jonathan Mitchell NT). Death reigned for ALL mankind from the First Adam, but, in Christ death is overcome, and since ALL (no free choice or vote here) are included IN Christ, the ALL are made ALIVE IN him.
Here on planet earth Jesus Christ is reigning, and will continue to reign until his reign is effective in all hearts and minds, including those who profess to believe that God doesn’t exist. Christ will rule and reign until all enemies are under his feet, and the government will be upon his shoulder as he has dominion over all! He reigns until all enemies are under his feet, that is, until ALL acknowledge Jesus IS Lord. In the finality of it, ALL are worshiping in submission to him as LORD to the glory of God the Father. Death having no place is rendered idol, useless, and comes to an end as LIFE now reigns victoriously!
Like many of the old hymn writers, Isaac Watts (1674 - 1748) saw past the then current spiritual dimension. The second verse below of “Jesus Shall Reign,” is new to me, however, worthy of inclusion in this article.
Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does its successive journeys run;
his kingdom spread from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.
Having reigned victorious over all, The SON then takes the ALL and submits himself to God the Father, that in fulness God may be All in All. Having taken of himself and created the universes, taken of himself and created man in his image, the course having now been completed, all now finds it’s home in him again. God is indeed, All in All! The summation being, All being included in his Allness. Creation has found its home in him again.
“O depth of wealth, wisdom, and knowledge in God! How unsearchable his judgments, how untraceable his ways! Who knows the mind of the Lord? Who has been his counsellor? Who has ever made a gift to him, to receive a gift in return? SOURCE, GUIDE, and GOAL of all that is - to him be glory for ever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36 NEB.