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Featured The Restitution Of All Things A.K.A. Universalism

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by FineLinen, Jun 24, 2018.

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  1. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Originally Posted by arleigh [​IMG]
    Are you teaching that God will defy the will of man?

    Dear Arleigh: Mankind is a will. The Will of all wills prevails. Our God wills all mankind to be saved.

    Time for a song>>>>>>

     
  2. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Universal Restoration

    The reason why I do not conceive that “forever and ever” doth intend endless duration is because I find the words as often used for times and periods that must have an end, as you find them used for the misery of the wicked. You bring three passages which are all that are to be found in the whole Bible where they are used in that sense; I shall now invalidate those evidences for endless damnation by bringing an equal number of texts where you will allow the words are used in a limited sense. Is. 30:8; Jer. 7:7; Jer. 25:5.

    These passages are as many and as strongly expressed as those which you brought to prove endless misery; and yet nothing can be more evident than that they cannot intend endless duration. The words do not necessarily imply that the wicked shall never be delivered from their sins and consequent suffering.

    Now if the words “forever and ever” signify without end, then there is a contradiction that cannot be reconciled, but only understand them as the ages of the ages, (as indeed they ought to be rendered), and the whole difficulty vanishes at once.” -Elhanan Winchester –

    Elhanan Winchester | American preacher and revivalist

    Elhanan Winchester: The Gospel Preached by the Apostles (1788) | Mercy Upon All

    "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world"

    "the whole world"= the radical all
     
  3. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    #1 -Rom. 11:36

    "From Him everything comes, through Him everything exists and in Him everything ends."

    Ta pavnte= the all things.

    Ta pavnte = in the absolute sense of the whole of creation, the universe. Of everything in heaven and earth that is in need of uniting and redeeming. From Him ta pavnte comes, through Him ta pavnte exists, and in Him ta pavnte ends.

    #2. -Eph. 1:-

    "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 too, who in Him were made heirs, having been chosen beforehand in accordance with the intention of Him whose might carries out in everything the design of His own will."

    The all things in the heavens, the all things in the earth, and you who once were dead in trespasses and sins. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one, the ta pavnte en/in Christ.

    Ta pavnte = in the absolute sense of the whole of creation, the universe. Of everything in heaven and earth that is in need of uniting and redeeming.

    #3 -Col. 1:20

    "God purposed through Him to reconcile the universe to Himself, making peace through His blood...to reconcile to Himself through Him, I say, things on earth and things in heaven. And you..."

    The all things (the ta pavnte) in the heavens, the all things (the ta pavnte) in the earth, and you who once were dead in trespasses and sins. God has purposed to reconcile the universe (the ta pavnte) to Himself. The ta pavnte/ the all, encompasses the ta pavnte on the earth and the ta pavnte in the heavens. The ta pavnte= the all, the whole enchilada.

    Ta pavnte = in the absolute sense of the whole of creation, the universe. Of everything in heaven and earth that is in need of uniting and redeeming.
     
  4. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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  5. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    “God’s purposes are so vast and glorious, beyond all guessing now, that when they are achieved and consummated, all our sufferings and sorrows of today, even the agonies that nearly break our faith, the disasters that well nigh overwhelm us, shall, seen from that fair country where God’s age long dreams come true, bulk as little as bulk now the pieces of a broken toy upon a nursery floor, over which, thinking that all our little world was in ruins, we cried ourselves to sleep.” -Dr. Leslie Weatherhead-

    Behold, I make all things new!



     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  6. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Time or Character, The Ages or A Time Sequence in aionios

    How Words "Mean" in Greek and English -Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins-

    Time or Character, The Ages or A Time Sequence in <em>aionios</em>: How Words "Mean" in Greek and English

    Two readers wrote with similar questions about the Greek word aionios as it appears in the Bible. They questioned the translation or definition of the Greek word with the English word “eternal” or “everlasting.”

    I understand the meaning of the word aionios (often appearing in genitive plural aionion ) in Greek to carry the connotation of ‘pertaining to the age’ or ‘age enduring.’ The word is a form of the word we have borrowed into English from the Latin transliteration of the Greek as aeon or eon . The problems in interpreting it as the English “eternal” or “everlasting” are several.

    Let’s get in focus some working principles of languages, meaning and translation. First of all, a word in one language and the culture it represents does not “mean” a word or the cultural concept it carries in another language.

    Usage

    Keep in mind that a “definition” is only a summary of how a word has been used. Meanings are all determined by usage. This what makes human speech so creative, dynamic, expressive and flexible. Inadequate assumptions about words, language and meaning can mislead us from the beginning.

    So we first need to take a step back to look at the cultural or worldview concept. What we do is look at how we find a word being used. We honor the language and its cultural integrity. We do not assume in language that there is some objective authoritative “meaning” or “definition” that prescribes what a word can or must mean. That is not how language works.

    We consider what underlying ideas are carried in words in a particular language. No language is independent of a historical, cultural context and the worldview of the culture using that language.

    Thus in the strictest term, a word in Greek does not “mean” in English. Greek words “mean” what the Greek speaker was thinking in the Greek-speaking environment of that era and location. Similarly, today a Greek speaker is not referencing anything in English when he thinks and speaks fluently in his native tongue, or reads his Bible in his native tongue! Greek “means” in “Greek.”

    The English speaker/reader must get into that world to determine meaning, then search for the most adequate word or phrase to express that in the English language and cultural-social context.

    Continued

    Time or Character, The Ages or A Time Sequence in <em>aionios</em>: How Words "Mean" in Greek and English
     
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  8. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Magnitude of Redemption

    "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." -1 John 4:14

    "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." -1 Tim. 2:4.

    This is not a pitting of man’s will against the will of God as some try to teach, with man’s will able to resist and hold out until God cannot change him, but must throw him into some eternal cesspool to be tormented.

    Nay- for we read that ‘He is working out all things after the counsel of His own will,’ and man cannot disannul that which HE has willed. It is God’s will that all shall come to Christ. He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Why then shall we be so foolish as to dispute the immutability of His truth?” -Ray Prinzing-

     
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  9. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Originally Posted by hball72 [​IMG]
    "It won't be necessary for God to defy the will of man. Love is pretty persuasive, and time is on His side."

    My friend Hball: Time is indeed on His side! We grasp little in our wee spans of the outer laminar spheres of the unspeakable unknown!

    "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    Word for today=

    peithó

    To persuade, move or induce one by persuasion to do something.
     
  10. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Big Gulp

    Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” -1 Cor. 15-

    Swallow= katapino=

    To swallow down death by victory.

    (Of the mortal body by LIFE)

    To drink down, to devour.

    To swallow.

    Jonathan Mitchell Translation=

    "the death was drunk down and swallowed unto victory"

    BBE= "death is overcome by life"

    NCE= "death is destroyed forever in victory"

    MSG= "death is swallowed by triumphant life"

    Word for today=

    enduo=

    To put on immortality & incorruption
     
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  11. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Eternal Death----WHAT?!!!

    What a concept; Eternal death; Wow! Death that just keeps going on and on and on without end. Infinite death. Now THAT'S crediting death with a lot of power, especially considering that scripture credits Jesus with destroying him who has the power of death, and that death, the last enemy shall be destroyed. I think it was while reading a study Bible with notes by Dr. Charles Ryrie---a very respected scholar at least within the Dispensationalist wing of western Evangelicalism---when I first ran across the notion that, while all men, without Christ, are dead in trespasses and sins, that state of death becomes eternal when they die without receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. This was given as the meaning of the second death in Revelation.

    Think about that: Imagine that scenario. Death existing along with life for all eternity.
    Though Paul saw the Day when God will become all in all, it seems -- according to the above theory -- that there's going to be another all where not only will God not be all, but His arch enemy, death, will have its own kingdom where it will reign forever. They're not talking about death as annihilation, they're talking about an eternal state of anti-life existence without love, without grace, without mercy, abandoned by God to eternal darkness.

    Stand this nonsense up against Jesus' claim that He is making ALL THINGS NEW.

    The re-making of all things new is by His resurrection life. THAT life, not death, goes on and on and on eternally. It's life that goes on and on, not death. To understand the operation of death, as opposed to life, our focus must be upon Jesus' experience of death, whose death is inclusive of all death. Yes, that's what the Bible clearly teaches. Christ died for all, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. Possibly the most important verse in the Bible for explaining how Christ's death relates to all mankind's death, is found in 2 Cor. 5:14. Nearly every translation that I'm familiar with renders this verse with greater clarity than the KJV.

    This is Paul's explanation from the Amplified Version of how Christ's death relates to all mankind's death: "For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died." That's what it means that Christ died for us all. We needed to die, finally, once for all; no more dying, so the death of all the generations past, present and future met its destiny in Christ, and death finally, fully died. You see, life is lived, and death is died. "For in that He died, he died unto sin once; but in that He lives, He lives unto God (Rom. 6:10)."

    The destiny of death is not to go on and on eternally.

    The destiny of death is to die, finally. God's warning to Adam and Eve, in the original Hebrew was, ".....dying, thou shalt surely die." Get that. Not dying, thou shalt continue to die without end; "dying, thou shalt surely DIE." Death doesn't terminate life. Life terminates death. "Death is swallowed up of life," through Christ's resurrection. The Source of death's finality is the same as the Source of life's continuance: Jesus Christ our Lord, crucified, buried and risen.

    As I recall--not having it with me at the time of this writing---the NAS translation of Rom. 6:10, makes very clear how death and life work, and Jonathan Mitchell includes it as an alternate rendering. From the NAS: "For the death He died, He died to sin once; but the life He lives, He lives unto God." Ah! There it is. ..."the death He died, He died....but life He lives, He lives..." Death is died; life is lived. Jesus gathered together all death into His death, and now lives, and " It's not that He merely lived; HE LIVES, and we live in and with Him. As the lyrics go to that beautiful gospel hymn, Because He Lives: "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives."

    As death came through one man, spreading to all men, so death has come to its end in One Man. According to Paul in Colossians, all mankind shall be gathered together in Christ, for He sums up in Himself all humanity, as He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. To extol the power of death, as does much of pseudo-orthodox Christianity, is an affront to the power of Christ's resurrection. The effect is the same as saying to our Lord, "yes, You live forever, but death is your equal match. It has the same power as your life." -John Gavazzoni-
     
  12. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Our word for today= Kainos

    Kainos=


    Recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn.

    Of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of.

    “We would not minimize the judgments of God, but the more the spirit of revelation unfolds the truth, the more we see God’s judgments in proper perspective, that they are remedial, corrective in their nature and used to bring forth a state of righteousness. They shall not be executed in unholy vengeance, for MERCY shall balance the score. God’s judgments are ever tempered with mercy, and when they have fulfilled their purpose, the judgments end.

    Mercy will outlast all the judgments, and will rejoice in the ultimate restoration of all that was perverted, corrupt, and evil.

    Mercy can operate on the basis of justice because Christ has gathered the whole into His own heart, and suffered to reconcile all to Himself.” -Ray Prinzing-
     
  13. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Destruction Of The Wicked

    The "Destruction" of the Wicked

    Roger Tutt

    A Page Of Hope


    Hope 4 You, Roger Tutt

    "Put together all the tenderest love you know of, multiply it by infinity, and you will begin to see glimpses of the love and grace of God." -Hannah Whitall Smith-

     
  14. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    “God says He will reconcile all; the whole creation shall ultimately be delivered, and every created thing shall finally praise God (Revelation 5:13).

    The point that I wish the reader especially to note is that the final accomplishment of this purpose of God depends on Himself, and not on man. The creature may fail, the Creator never fails; and no amount of blunders, mistakes, failures or perversions of the creature shall disarrange or thwart the plans of the Creator. This is the true basis of redemption.” -A.P. Adams-

    The True Basis Of Redemption

    https://kingdom-resources.com/2017/05/24/the-true-basis-of-redemption-by-a-p-adams/

    Robertson's Word Pictures

    Every created thing (παν κτισμα — pān ktisma). Every creature in a still wider antiphonal circle beyond the circle of angels (from κτιζω — ktizō 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 Revelation 5:3, with on the sea επι της ταλασσης — epi tēs thalassēs 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 (κτισις — ktisis) 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.
     
  15. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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  16. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    “Regarding the argument that if the punishment of the unbelievers has an end, then the life of the believers has an end also at the end of the ages.

    But life cannot end at that time because death is abolished (1 Cor. 15:26). The life of the eons ends when all are vivified at the end or consummation of the eons (1 Cor. 15:24).

    Life itself, however, continues on interminably.”

    “Regarding the argument that in 2 Cor. 4:18 eonian must mean eternal because it is set in contrast with the word temporal meaning enduring for time as opposed to eternity.

    But the Greek word translated temporal has no connection with the word for time; it is literally ‘toward season,’ and means temporary or for the era. In this passage eonian is used in contrast between our afflictions which last for a brief season, and our promised long enduring eonian glory, which lasts until all opens out into the glorious consummation when God become All in all.” -William C. Rebman-

    All death swallowed in God Life
     
  17. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Word for today=

    Proskairos

    For a season.

    Rendered "temporal" in 2 Cor. 4.18

    The Greek word translated temporal has no connection with the word for time; it is literally ‘toward season,’ and means temporary or for the era. In this passage eonian is used in contrast between our afflictions which last for a brief season, and our promised long enduring eonian glory, which lasts until all opens out into the glorious consummation when God become All in all.
     
  18. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Wrath of God

    What is translated as "wrath" in conventional translations cannot---as commonly believed---be an essential change of disposition on God's part toward man. God has only one disposition, one inclination, one divine posture in His relationship with man, that of unconditional love coming to us in unearned grace. He is determined to fully give Himself to us unreservedly. When one sees this, we become His bond slave, bound by such love.

    The primary Greek work translated as "wrath" is "orge," from which we get our English word, "orgy," and it's various forms. The word itself and it's root conveys aroused passion, excitement, a reaching after and overlaps in meaning with "thumos," translated also as "wrath."

    Jonathan Mitchell translates "orge" it as "inherent fervor, and Ed Browne, translates it as "intrinsic fervor."

    For me, it suggests, in the case of God, pure, ravishing love.

    Since God IS love, then wrath, necessarily, is a form of love, for nothing could proceed out from the nature of God that is inconsistent with the love that He IS.

    Greater Emmanuel International - Serious Seminal Samplings - 2006 - John Gavazzoni
     
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  19. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    “We have considered the traditions of Christendom which darken this subject and found them unscriptural.

    My love to God and my admiration have increased unutterably since I have seen that He is not the defeated fiend of Christendom, but is fully able to cope with evil and sin, and bind them all to the chariot wheels of love. All His attributes, including holiness, and righteousness, serve in the livery of love. Adored be His Name!” -A.E. Knoch

    “Annihilation is the triumph of death over life: it is the very antithesis to the gospel, which asserts the triumph of Christ over every form of death.” -Christ Triumphant-
     
  20. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Meaning of Ta Panta

    I shall deal mainly with grammatical points, as, in this study, they may turn out to be of paramount importance.

    Mr. Sellers' contention is that these two Greek words, ta panta (the all things) generally mean "these all things" or "all these," or "all this." This is often quite true. The "all things" have just been referred to, or are about to be enumerated. If I say, "Give me the whole lot," this would refer to something already spoken about.

    Mr. Sellers gives his own rendering of Eph. 1:23, thus: The ecclesia "which in fact is His substance (or body), the fullness of Him that fills all this in all." Mr. Sellers adds, "The words 'all this' in this passage refer to His substance."

    This, I regret to say, is quite impossible.

    The Greek word for body (or substance) is neuter singular, whereas ta panta is neuter plural. The Greeks were very precise regarding their word genders and number, whether singular or plural. No Greek would be heard to utter the equivalent of what we sometimes hear bad speakers declare, "he said to you and I," just as it is bad grammar to say "I know who I have believed."

    If the words "all this" refer to Christ's body or substance, they would need to be, in Greek, not ta panta, but the singular, to pan. The full Greek expression here is "the all things in all things" (ta panta en pasin), which is virtually the Old Greek and Modern Greek term pantapasin, meaning "altogether, wholly, entirely."

    Would one not naturally take the meaning of the verse to be that Christ will fill full everyone and everything which needs filling?

    I do not think there is the slightest ground for belittling the force of the statement: We dare not attempt to prune the majesty of Christ.

    A somewhat similar blunder has been made with regard to Eph.3:9. Paul says, "And to enlighten all (pantas, omitted by some MSS) as to what is the administration (Gk.: economy) of the secret which has been concealed from the Ages in God, Him the all things (ta panta) creating."

    Mr. Sellers says "hid in God who created all this." He says "all this" is limited to the context, the matter under consideration. "The fact that we now know that God created all the divine arrangements that are a part of this secret administration should cause us to honor them all the more."

    Anyone who can look up a Greek Concordance will soon discover that it is quite irregular to speak of "divine arrangements" being created by God.

    Even the time arrangements called The Ages were "made" through God's Son (Heb. 1:2). In this verse the word for administration and the word for secret are both in the singular. Therefore, neither of these words can be the "all things." Nor would it make sense to say that both of these terms together are the "all things." That would be ridiculous. Is it then possible that the "all things" might refer to the Ages?

    It is not; because the Greek word for Ages is masculine in form whereas ta panta is neuter. Had Paul written taus pantas, it might have meant "all these (Ages)." Anyone thinking of a secret hidden from the Ages would naturally think of the Creation. The Ages of Scripture seem to be connected with humanity. It may be that periods of Divine judgment not only terminate Ages, but mark the close of various worlds of mankind, as at the Flood.]

    In Eph. 3:9 it is not unreasonable to understand that whatever has been created has been created by God. If the statement seems trite, then trite also is Rev. 4:11 and 10:6, and sundry statements in the Old Testament.

    Our next example is Eph. 4:10. "He ascended far above all of the heavens (the heaved ones) that he might fill all these, not all things. 'All these' refers to those of the heavens whom He 'captivated' and to the men to whom He gave gifts. This is not universal. It deals with specific things that are given to specific men." But Mr. Sellers exhibits caution, wisely, "We may not yet have arrived at a full and definitive understanding of Eph. 4:10, but we can be sure that ta panta here does not mean all without exception or distinction." Here again the same argument applies. If "all these" refers to either heavens or human beings, then it would need to have been tous pantas, not ta panta, because in Greek the words for heavens and for men are masculine in form and gender, not neuter.

    Who is the human being so bold as to say what limit will be put upon Christ's plenitude in the universe? He who is the Divine Compendium of the universe is not likely to leave unfilled anything or anyone who needs Him.

    Our next example is of a different class, Eph. 4:15. Mr. Sellers says "This is another clear example of the truth that ta panta always refers to that which is in the immediate context. If as some insist 'all things' means everything without exception or distinction, then it would follow here that we are to grow up in evil things as well as good things. Paul exhorts us here that in love we should grow up into Him in all this which is the Sum, even Christ." Various observations must be made here. One of the changes made in the 1944 Concordant Version lies here: "we should be making all (ta panta) grow into Him, Who is the Head—Christ." The Greek has no word in before "the all things." Other versions do not shew the word grow as a causative verb, and most of them insert the word in. Moffat reads "wholly," instead of "in all things." At Col. 2:19, the C.V. reads "out of whom the entire body. . . . is growing (in) the growth of God" where the Greek says as Rotherham reads, "growing the growth of God." Contrariwise, 2. Peter 3:18 states "yet be growing in (Gk. en) grace." The presence here of the word in justifies the reading of the C.V. at Eph. 4:15, which omits the word in.

    If "all this" (ta panta) is the "Sum" or Head, the Greek word for Head is feminine singular, not neuter plural like ta panta.

    Paul simply means that we should cause to grow into Christ all that can grow into Him.
    Phil. 3:21 mentions Christ as being enabled even to subject to Himself the all things (ta panta). No proper antecedent can be found which answers to "all these things." If we say the antecedent is the body of our humiliation, must we also say His glorious body is also an antecedent? 1. Cor. 15:26-27 tells us, "A final enemy is being abolished—Death. For all things He subjects under His feet." ALL THINGS universally, with only one exception—the Father. We ought to explain Phil. 3:21 by 1. Cor. 15:27.

    At Col. 3:11, if we were to follow Mr. Sellers' principle, we should require to render somewhat as follows: "where there is no room for Greek and Jew, Circumcision and Uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free, but all these and in all—Christ!" This of course, makes the rule quite ridiculous. Christ cannot be all these things! Mr. Sellers does not put matters thus, as he must see his rule does not here help him. He merely says, "In the new man Christ is all this in every one." Christ should be everything in everyone who belongs to Him.

    On page 173 Mr. Sellers allows that the word panta standing alone, "all things," can in meaning be "unlimited," and he quotes on page 162 from Mr. C. H. Welch's "Berean Expositor" of November, 1953, to the effect that in Rom. 8:28 "ALL THINGS (panta, good and bad, all things without restriction or limitation) work together for good. . . .." It might be hard to believe that the frozen "South Pole" works for our good, or the sins of other people, or how frightful worldwide wars work together for good. However, Mr. Sellers sets forth the principle that where panta alone is used, without the definite article, as in Heb. 2:8, it means all things without limit, and further, as these all things are again mentioned in the same verse as ta panta (all these), this still means all things without limit. This is strictly in accord with Greek idiom.

    Going back now to Heb. 1:2,we find that God's Son was appointed Heir of all things (pantOn; genitive plural neuter). I presume we may take it this word is unlimited in meaning, seeing the definite article is not used. Yet when discussing the next verse, Mr. Sellers says that "carrying on the all things (ta panta) by the word of His power" refers to what has just been mentioned in v. 2. I agree if this means that ta panta is unlimited as in v. 2. Nevertheless Mr. Sellers declares that "the true meaning of ta panta" as already established by him, should still be followed. There seems to be ambiguity here.

    I am loathe to refer to Rev. 4:11, feeling strongly that here Mr. Sellers reaches a reductio ad absurdum. "Worthy art Thou, Lord and our God to be receiving the glory and the honour and the power. For THOU dost create the all things (ta panta), and because of Thy will they were, and they are created." These words are spoken by the twenty-four Elders, who, in verse 4, are seen on thrones with golden crowns or wreaths on their heads. Mr. Sellers states that these crowns are not decorative head-pieces. "They are symbols of high position, and they tell us that each one of these elders is related to a divine creation or institution, such as a throne, a dominion, a sovereignty or an authority." The elders have cast their crowns before the throne, and utter their paean of praise, saying, "for Thou hast created ALL THESE. . . ." referring to the "glories, honors, and powers which their crowns represented." To inform Jehovah that He was worthy to get glory and honour and power because HE had created these seems very far-fetched and fatuous.

    Finally we come to Rev. 5:13. Here Mr. Sellers comes to what seems very like an expression of "absolute universality," the last thing he would like to see in the Revelation, of all places. He says that the "all (ta panta) that are in them" refers to "every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the sea." But surely this is redundant. What can be the difference between "every creature" and "all these?" They are one and the same. Over twenty years ago I gave an explanation of this puzzling verse, derived from the Syriac version. It is set forth on pages 205-211 of the book, "The Unveiling of Jesus Christ," published by the Concordant Publishing Concern of Los Angeles. In the Syriac version, verse 12 runs right on into the middle of verse 13. That is to say, it reads that the Lamb is to get power and riches. . . . and blessing and every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea and all those that are in these (full stop). It then continues a new sentence, "And I hear Him that is sitting upon the throne saying: 'To the Lamb let there be given blessing. . . . for the Ages of the Ages.'" The Greek text of verse 13 shews a number of uncertainties. While I do not say the Syriac reading is the correct one, it certainly makes straightforward sense, and would solve Mr. Sellers' problem.

    To those who think that the Greek word for all without the definite article speaks of something without limitation, I would say, take a look at Phil. 2:14, "Be doing ALL THINGS (panta) without murmurings." Also 1. Cor. 15:22, "For even as in Adam all (pantes) are dying, thus also in Christ shall all (pantes) be made alive." In this verse the all is limited to those in Adam who are dying, who go on dying, but the statement is true of such without limitation. As for Phil. 2:14, does this not mean that all that we do we should do without murmurings?

    It is with deep regret that I feel obliged to point out what seem to me to be serious grammatical errors. There is a saying in Britain (not at all popular in these days of wasteful living and extravagance), "Look after the pence and the pounds will look after themselves." I would say this: Look closely after the minute points of Greek and Hebrew grammar and diction, and the exegesis will look after itself.

    Alexander Thomson

    ALEXANDER THOMSON: The Meaning of Ta Panta
     
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