Is Christ in Everyone?
Christ Is All
and In All: An Email Discussion
“The Eternal Vantage Point” article became a springboard for a theological and very practical discussion with a friend about the extent of Christ’s indwelling spirit, and our Father’s view of his creation. The discussion is presented here for the edification of the body.
I do enjoy the thought, but know that the reality is much different. This belief has been presented to me before and I know all about it. Part of the reason my words come across so strongly to effect correction in some is due to thinking we've arrived already. Whether you like it or not Dean, it is a Preterist view. There are many who will not agree with your thought of seeing it through God's eyes.
Now I know that God does see us completed in Christ, but because He is God, I know He also tells us things through the Apostles writings and the writings and ministry of others to "cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of flesh and spirit" [2 Corinthians 7:1] and other such things which revealed our alienation from God. In other words, God works still to RECONCILE. That the time of the restitution of all creation has not yet arrived but is still in the time frame known as "the future". There 'will be' a time when God will pronounce the times of the restitution of all things, we are not at that time.
point of fact, we are very far from unity in the Spirit in this hour.
so many doctrines floating about, so many divisions, discords, broken
truces dishonored and many still are in ministry who are going for the
of men or money. In so very many the mystery of Iniquity does still
me to believe what you say from "God's eyesight", I would have to throw
out the Mystery of Iniquity which Paul warned us would be so forceful
prominent in these last days, so much so that one would appear AS God
deceive many. There is God who is I AM THAT I AM and there is god who
is I AM
AS GOD. Two kinds. So if we see every man as All in All in perfection
have not allowed this mystery of Iniquity to run full course and to
the earth it's intended purpose. For this mystery the Apostle said,
UNTIL He be taken out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:7. The He being
this son of
perdition, the Adamic nature. It's still here in the earth Dean and it
fully functioning as a force against God and not for God. And it is
growing, not shrinking.
That is not the order of God reconciling and restoring creation. God has chosen to restore creation through the manifestation of the Sons and Daughters of God, which manifestation has not yet taken place.
So Dean I will counter your claims of God's eyesight with God's true eyesight. And that is that God is working only in a few to bring them to perfection as 1st Fruits unto God, THEN the rest of humanity, EACH MAN IN HIS OWN ORDER, or if you will as the scriptures put it "But every man in his own order:" 1 Corinthians 15:23. God has decided in His sovereignty upon His Throne to do this as a progressive work through individual obedience, not a done deal. Jesus said, "It is finished". Well, the thing Jesus finished was our salvation. But then Paul says in Philippians 2:12 that we are to "work out" THIS salvation with fear and trembling. If it were a done deal for everyone and God was now All in All, then what is this that Paul speaks of? Scratch that one out of the book too Dean. This salvation of Christ is a progressive stepping out exercise program for those enduring tribulations. We WORK THIS OUT. We walk it through and bring it about by subduing our individual flesh natures unto the impaling of personal crosses, which we are still to bear. For if I believe what you wrote, then the cross is over too! Not for me Dean, I am still canceling out self in me. So then I can't fit into the eyesight of God you speak of.
There are many other examples I could give, like no need for the 5-fold ministry or armor of righteousness or discernment of the Sword of the Lord if what you wrote is correct. These things are all to be discarded. Next thing we'd have to do is discard the whole bible if what you wrote is true! Don't allow the truth of ultimate reconciliation to become a swing that leads to TOO MUCH good doctrine. The pendulum needs to be kept in balance according to present truth. God WILL BE All in All when the times for that come, but that time is not yet. First He comes for those who are the fallen tabernacle of David.
I trust you understand.
Kenneth B Visscher
Good to hear from you. I appreciate your insights and contribution to the body of Christ.
You present a balanced approach.
you say, “Don't allow the truth of ultimate reconciliation to become a
that leads to TOO MUCH good doctrine.”
I presented this tension as God’s view being above our own views.
Perhaps, as we begin to see beyond all the various schools of theology and time-lines, as good as they may be, whether Futurist, Premillennial, Millennial, Post-millennial, Preterist, or Historical… Perhaps, then we will begin to see the unity that truly exists in Christ.
Sometimes, we have to see by faith before we can experience the reality.
After we see with spiritual understanding, then we can be strengthened with all might that we might walk worthy of the Lord.
This role of revelation seems to be suggested by Paul.
this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray
and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge
of his will in
all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
This is a message that often needs to be seen and believed if we are to walk in it. I know you understand this and I appreciate your perspective.
As you say, “I know that God does see us completed in Christ, but because He is God.” And so I agree, and often, there is a pastoral heart that cares for those who are bogged down in the darkness, and sometimes, there is even a prophetic call that pulls us out.
we are looking at is two sides of the same coin.
When Christ came and died it was revealed that the old sacrifices were not necessary. They had served their purpose. However we did not throw out the Old Testament. Today, we read the old with a deeper insight, understanding how it taught us and led us to Christ.
Indeed, if we see the consummation as complete, we are no longer bound by the traditional understanding of the scriptures. However, if and when we see new truth, I trust that this does not mean that we have to scratch old things out of the Bible. We can bring out of our treasure things new and old.
Hopefully, as you say, we won’t “have to scratch that part out of my bible”, as we begin to see more and more from a divine perspective. We will, however, be freed from the requirements to try to recreate the past, and liberated to move forward into whatever God might bring us into. Also, we will be less likely to impose scripture on our brethren.
I understand your concern. This in unchartered territory and we don’t know where it will take us. I hesitated to post this article for this very reason.
But I sense that it might also be helpful. I am considering making some adjustments to the article to recognize your concerns.
The tension between the old and new seems ever present.
see all things new.
old creation is gone. The new is come. 2Corinthians
things are made new.
Nor does the fulfillment invalidate or destroy the old. But we no longer see the need to impose it on one another, as each of us, every man in his own order, begins to walk in this newness of life. Nor do we need to discount the journey of another who is on a path of discovery, which is not yet walking in the same insight. Just as we love the Jewish faith, despite its inability to satisfy us, we recognize its place in the lives of others. So also, as new light comes, the current Christianity will seem old and obsolete.
Truly we are complete in Christ. And so the “hope of the Overcomer is (not) dashed, but answered and can be fulfilled. Grace to me is also the realization that there is nothing that I need to do, for it is already done in Christ. I just come line upon line, revelation upon revelation, into the realization of it. And so we are empowered to live. Hebrews 11:1
we don’t always see, and speak exactly the same thing,
But we are on the same team,
URfriend, Dean Johnson
Every member of the body of Christ has a useful place.
Very nice to hear from you and your loyalty is so wonderful to see.
There is one thing I see prophetically that may help in this issue. Then there is a second statement I will make after that. Both apply to your response, which to me was wonderful.
First of all, the darkness you speak of Dean, this is part and parcel of God's plan for mankind through the working of the mysteries of God, the one in this part being the mystery of Iniquity (self will). The earth in its rotation goes from light to dark continually, so does our spiritual walk. And so does the time element of the purposes of God. The Lord has ordained that all His mysteries, all 16 of them, be fulfilled, including the mystery of Iniquity which has to be completed. For this to happen the blackboard must become very black. This is part of the purpose of God.
Now for my statement.
This type of thought you have is to me most dangerous. Why? Because it leads to the malady we wrestle with now in the son company of a doctrine we call "the fatherhood of God". This doctrine has brought some serious error into the camp of the Overcomers which has caused some of our brethren to go off into delusions. The fatherhood of God doctrine basically teaches God as being the Father of all men, women and children. That God (or Christ if you will) is now in everybody right now. Also, this doctrine lends credence to a walk which leads to lukewarm results. The end of the matter is a lack-luster walk in lukewarmness because it is all done and there is nothing left 'to do'.
That is why I am so strong against that kind of thought you had there Dean. I do indeed see this as the final outcome, but in our present hour this outcome is not in play as YET. God will indeed become All in All, but to say He is now is an affront to the premise of scripture and to the fact that no one can come into the things of the Lord without being born again. If Christ is in everybody as some Kingdom preachers are saying, then everyone is now already born of the Spirit of God as Jesus taught and therefore the work of restoring man into salvation is no more. Really Dean, you should state this to those who are in denominations for they are so busy building up kingdoms and trying to save man from the flames of eternal torment that if they knew what you were saying they might have some hope!
For those who Overcome Dean, it is a different matter. For the man or woman who comes to God desiring to obey the Lord and walk through their lives in totality with victory as conquerors in Christ will know that the first they do is to put down antichrist in themselves. They first see that the real battle is with their own carnality, their own flesh nature. If the Overcomer Dean views themselves as having a flesh nature, then how does your scenario fit? For when one comes honestly to God to be victorious in what Christ accomplished for them in His death and resurrection they will see that they are in need of cleansing. This is a PROGRESSIVE THING. A working of "lutros", which is the Greek for this cleansing I speak of which is as waves slowly deteriorating a shoreline.
It is a done deal in the fact that God WILL include mankind in totality in His salvation, but it is even more true that there are only but a very few who have found this straight and narrow path which leads to righteousness. We are not in this totality AT THIS POINT that you speak of. And each one IN DUE ORDER will enter their time of processing into perfection in Christ. The scriptures do not teach otherwise.
And I say that with respect both to what you wrote and how you answered me.
Kenneth B Visscher
The things that are believed affect the way we live. Truth sets us free. For example, the doctrine of the grace of God can liberate us from the power of sin. However, the doctrine of grace, as beautiful as it is, has also been used as an excuse and a license for loose living. Those with ill intensions or even lukewarm hearts have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness. Some even opposed Paul’s doctrine of grace for this very reason. Paul had to respond: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.” Roman 6:1-2. Sometimes, it is wiser to address the inappropriate response to a teaching than to completely write off the message itself.
You expressed a concern about a popular doctrine: The Universal Fatherhood of God. “The fatherhood of God doctrine basically teaches God as being the Father of all men, women and children. That God (or Christ if you will) is now in everybody right now. Also, this doctrine lends credence to a walk, which leads to lukewarm results. The end of the matter is a lack-luster walk in lukewarmness because it is all done and there is nothing left 'to do'.
There are many similar truths that can bring out the best or the worst in us.
In the early church there was even a discussion whether the “restitution of all things” should be preached to the masses because of this very concern.
The idea that “Christ is all and in all” is another such truth. It can bring out the best in us in our dealings with humankind, OR it can leave us convinced that there is no need for personal conversion. NEVERTHELESS improper application of a truth does not nullify the power of the message.
Christ is all in all.” Colossians 3:11. This is true. A proper response might be to acknowledge this truth and accept and embrace the Christ within. And for those of us who already believe, a proper response might be to acknowledge that of God within everyone, recognizing that what we do to the least of our brethren we do to Christ. This is an attitude of love, based in truth.
In contrast, a lukewarm response to the “Christ in all” on the part of believers might be to oppose the benefits of conversion, or even to see no need to nurture the seed of Christ within. For the masses an apathetic response might be to devalue the spiritual reality of Christ in all, or the benefits of relationship with God. “
The Grace of God was not intended as an excuse. The universal incarnation of Christ in all was not so we could ignore our need to respond, but so that we could see the relationship we must respond to.
I have learned that many truths, and many teachings can be beneficial, or perverted depending on the state of our hearts.
As to whether Christ is in all, there are some scriptures that are relevant. All things were created and exist in Christ. Christ came that he might fill all things. (Ephesians 4:10). We are all so interconnected in the One Body that it is a stretch to suggest otherwise.
it was IN HIM that all things were CREATED, in
Even now, All
things EXIST, and consist, cohere and are held together
He Himself existed before all things, and IN
All things find their consummation and fulfillment in
planned] for the maturity of the
Not only is all
in Christ, but Christ FILLS everything with
is His body, the fullness of Him Who FILLS ALL
Who descended is the [very] same
This is not just in the future. Christ is all and IN ALL. (Colossian 3:11)
I think of Christ filling all things with Himself,
for these alone do I pray [it is not
purpose from before the foundation of the world
Some see this exclusively as a yet future event. This may not be the whole truth.
Many still see the division between believer and non-believer. This is acceptable, but not the whole truth, and needs to be balanced with another truth.
All humanity is even now united in one in Christ. Jews and Gentiles are united in one body in Christ. Making “in himself of twain (of two groups) ONE NEW MAN, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross. Ephesians 2:15-16.
I have especially enjoyed Ephesians because it moves salvation into the present tense much more than most of the New Testament.
Christ died and rose. All humankind and creation participated in this event.
There has been a new creation. A new birth. A new man. And everyone is included. What is done, will be manifested every man in his own order. It just needs to be revealed. This is a PROGRESSIVE THING. A progressive revelation.
It is finished. It is being worked out. And it will be completed. All are true. Each viewpoint complements the other. I often have the feeling that much of what is opposed and fought about in the religious circles is based on holding to a limited perspective, and an incomplete revelation. We need the whole body, and each other to see the whole picture.
Things that appear to be in opposition to one another, are really already reconciled together in one. (And being reconciled). Even opposing ideas, doctrines, and works are reconciled together, and complementary in Christ. Even the darkness, which was created for a purpose, has its place. Everything is reconciled in One under the One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6
Reasonably, as your concern suggests, such talk of the Universal Fatherhood of God is sometimes troubling. Perhaps for good reason. It can be misapplied. Some are even called children of the devil, but there is still one God and Father of all, who is above all. There are two sides to every coin, and there is a bigger picture.
If you do share your concerns, I will probably be able to agree with you, and recognize the validity of your position. However, this darkness and these apparent divisions have a place in the working out of the ultimate plan, within the one body. For this reason, they are not so troubling, for he has made both one, and he is our peace.
All things are from Him, through him and to Him.
Working the powers of the age to come into the present,
URfriend, Dean Johnson
First of all, this will be extremely short, not at all nicely laid out as you did with your email above, I am limited for time today and want to keep this as brief as I can with the hope that Ross may wish to say more.
You are most right about being my friend Dean. I love you so much brother, you are in my heart every day and I want you to know that.
Dean, I will only say about the verses you shared above that there are also many other verses, which say opposite. Verses, which exemplify very clearly the fact that no one can come to Jesus for salvation except that Father draws that person. Verses that one MUST be born again. Verses which reveal our enmity and war against God prior to knowing He loves us. I have just as many verses that prove that God or Christ is NOT in every man at this time! The bible is my source for these.
Now that is not to say that I do not know that HE WILL BE ALL IN ALL. But He is NOT YET ALL IN ALL, for there are some who go out from us because they are not of us! Not only so, but EACH MAN IN HIS OWN ORDER.
Also Dean, there was one line I will take time to comment on. I quote you below.
QUOTE: "Christ died and rose. All humankind and creation participated in this event." END QUOTE.
Dean, positionally this is true, but it is NOT TRUE in the daily working out of salvation which comes by enduring trials, tribulations, fires and testings, the bearing of a personal cross to cancel out our own way etc, etc, etc. And not all men are participating in what Christ did POSITIONALLY for them for they know not yet the light of salvation.
Dean, to say, "Jesus is inside of you, find Him there" is very very dangerous, UNSCRIPTURAL and LUKEWARM. Simple as that. Other than the verses and arguments noted above in your email, for a man to say Christ is in another IF HE WAS NOT would be a gross area of pride and deception. (Paragraph edited)
Not just that but if you have been reading my writings on the Ephod you will see I shared about the son of perdition. This is the religious nature of the fallen part of our nature which IMITATES God. And this nature LIVES IN YOUR MIRROR. This entity of darkness imitates perfectly the Lord in every single respect. If you read this at my writings you'd see what I mean for I have experienced this first hand. When you tell someone that Jesus is in you, then they look and 'think' they see Him there, when in fact it can be this iniquity looking just like Jesus, talking like Jesus, acting like Jesus, glorious like Jesus - but ISN'T JESUS, then you have deceived the person. This is very real and it is very very serious.
The reason we now have broken the Lord's law of unity that Christ prayed for in John 17 and ended up with some 65000 christian divided denominations is because men look in and see this false Jesus thinking it's the real Jesus. Simple as that.
So when you tell me He is in everyone, you better balance it out with the rest of the Word of God that says very clearly He is not in everyone! You can't just have it one way Dean.
Your Friend in Christ,
Dean; Am Cc'ng this email to Ross McKay,
We were in
prayer together and we
know that this is new age, this Jesus in
Further as to
how I see this
I think I understand your concern.
There is a good reason why the scriptures separate and divide the sheep from the goats. Indeed, there are those who believe in Christ, and those who do not. And you have a pastoral concern that is valid. From a practical standpoint it can be useful to recognize this distinction. We see this throughout the scriptures.
email about the
interpretation of the Ephesian scriptures. It is partially correct.
many of the scriptures in Ephesians are deliberately worded in such a
more than one interpretation is possible. This is done on purpose
Ephesians so that the scope and the extent of the message will be read
differently depending on the insight and perspective of the reader. In
way, not only the believers in
For example in chapter 1:23 “Fullness” can refer to Christ or the church, and the filler can be God or Christ, so in this way "the fullness of him who fills all in all" seems to be deliberately worded in such a way that several meanings are appropriate. As well, in Ephesians the lines between church, Christ and God are deliberately fuzzy. Therefore, the church is both that which is filled and completed by Christ, and that which fills and completes Christ. As well, the word “all” is used repeatedly, and can refer to the church, or to all creation (1:10,11,15,21,22). Saints or “holy ones” can refer to believers and even to angelic beings. (3:8-10, Daniel 4:17) The typical rule of exegesis that says there is one right interpretation does not apply. The author intended several meaning to been seen, as we were able
I will attempt to express why I see the need to share the things I have written about the eternal perspective. I believe they are necessary if we are to move ahead.
When Christ came, the Old Testament, though still valid at the time, was passing away. And though it was still valid, those who lived in that old paradigm of separation, and alienation, and temple sacrifices, became stuck in the past, often trying to control or impose upon those who could see to a new day dawning.
There is a story about the Pharisees who knew the scriptures, but they could not see past the scriptural precepts of their day to the Eternal God who gave them. Mired in their own scriptural interpretation of their own experience, they could not see God’s eternal perspective.
Pharisees came to him, and
asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away [his] wife?
to write a bill of
divorcement, and to put [her] away.
hardness of your heart he
wrote you this precept. Mark
The scriptures were written for the hardness of our hearts.
Our need to separate and divide is not benefitial.
From the beginning, it was not so. Matthew 19:8
In this passage and through marriage, God is trying to teach us that we are all one. Paul built on this when he tried to express the great mystery. Ephesians 5:32 The church, which is the body of Christ, includes all things. There is only one body. Ephesians 4:4 Christ is all there is. We sometimes fail to see this one body, because we are still focusing on the old realm of Adam, which was alienated from the life of God through ignorance, because of blindness. (Ephesians 4:18, 21, 22)
I tend to think this was the challenge that the Apostles faced in all their writings: Having a revelation to give, and yet being unable to deliver it because of the hardness of people’s hearts.
Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
1Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.
They had to speak using the manner and worldview of mere men because of the infirmity of the audience. Romans 6:19. When they wrote to the Jews, who embraced the law and its consequences, they spake as a Jew. When they wrote to a Gentile, they became as Gentiles.
Some religious folk become so accustomed to this paradigm of separation and alienation, which shows us our need for Christ, that they think it is normal and proper to perpetuate that paradigm of alienation. And they quote the scriptures, and the apostles who wrote to them because of the hardness of their hearts, to back their position.
They may speak of and even embrace divorce, or that some should be put out of the Church, or other divisions. But these are temporary measures to bring us to Christ. It was not so from the beginning.
In the beginning, God was the Father of all. And in the end, God shall be the Father of all. And there shall be no separation or division. We were all one. And we shall be all one. Many things are written even in the scriptures that seem contrary to this. These things are written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. When these things pass away then the perfect is come.
Today, most still see a division between believer and unbeliever. But Christ justifies the ungodly. What God joined together before the foundation of the earth, let not man put asunder. In Christ, we are all one. Jews and Greeks, male and female, bond and free, there is no difference. “What God hath cleansed”, we do not have to call unclean Acts 10:15. Little by little we begin to see through the religious paradigms that taught us in the past. This is why I wrote about seeing our world from the standpoint of the consummation.
Many things have been written to us because of the hardness of our hearts and our inability to see, but that does not change what exists from the beginning. Perhaps our journey is to get past our own limited temporal insight, and to see things as they were in the beginning, and how they will be in the end, and to live and teach appropriately, from that perspective.
I remember George Hawtin once writing that as the end of the age approaches those paradigms that are held sacred will begin to pass away. If I remember correctly, he wrote these things about church meetings. The scriptural teachings and practices of this age will pass, and those that live and teach according to the powers of the age to come, will be misunderstood. This is true. But I also understand that today many still feel the need for these things. Many things are written in the scriptures, and are still allowed if only for the weakness of our flesh, and the hardness of our heart. Granted, we still use the human language of separation, alienation, and division. We still have believers and unbelievers, sheep and goats, and not all are called the children of God. But it was not so from the beginning, neither will it be in the end.
We also must take heed lest our knowledge become a stumbling block. And conversely, we must also take heed lest we become as the Pharisees and the Sadducees quoting the scriptures to divide, alienate and separate. This is not how the scriptures were intended. Division and separation is a paradigm of a bygone and passing age. Christ is all and in all. This is the present day foretaste of the end when God will become all in all. In our day-to-day living we must take care not to minimize such grandeur.
There is one God and Father of all. It was so from the beginning and so shall it be in the end. Let’s not judge those who have faith to see beyond this evil day, and who want to live accordingly. Rather let us have wisdom to acknowledge divine insight, but then to direct it appropriately, so that it does not lead to error.
Christ is all there is, Colossians 3:11
In the light that lightens every man that cometh into the world, John 1:9
URfriend, Dean Johnson
PS It is in embracing the eternal realities now, that we appropriate them in the present.
Christ has done this for us in the incarnation. As his body, we also have the same privilege. As a man thinks in his heart so is he. As a man thinks in his heart so he becomes. Proverbs 23:7
We are all one.
At this point, I believe Ken might have become busy writing his blog, and relating this and similar discussions with others in the body of Christ. The next email was just a forwarded message originally intended for other recipients, and a message directing me to his blog, but these too are relevant, and related to this discussion.
***** and *****,
This one’s important.
writing has been posted at
The Visscher Family Homepage www.kbv.ca
May the Lord
direct us into His
All I can say
Dean is that you are
the most precious brother I have ever
PS. While corresponding with Ken, others got involved in the discussion.
A quote was pointed out from my site that I think may relate to this discussion.
“We believe that there is that of God in every man. Jesus is the light that lightens every person. Jesus is the life that is breathed into every person. He is the word and the seed that is planted into the hearts of people everywhere. That seed will grow, and every person made alive will fully manifest the life and glory of God. We don't look on the outward man, but we see Jesus, the image of God, in everyone.”
Taken from “Who Are We?” http://www.angelfire.com/dc/universalism/qintro.html
What do you think? Let the body Speak.
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