with Jeremy Westcott –
In this series of blog posts we have embarked on a journey to discover the full meaning of ‘the restoration of all things’ (Acts 3:21) and the part we all have to play as sons of God in that restoration.
What are the ‘all things? For me, the phrase ‘the restoration of all things’ refers to all physical and spiritual things that have been lost, distorted, damaged, destroyed, broken or disconnected; everything that God created in line with His original intent and purpose. That would include:
- Creation and everything in it
- Everyone, everything, everywhere, throughout all time and all history
- All relative dimensions of time and space
- Our eternal memory, wisdom, knowledge, understanding and position as light beings, as we were before we came into this realm
- All our abilities and powers
- All dark and light matter and dark and light energy, including the restoration of the speed of light (which has diminished over time1)
- Access to all places and all realms everywhere, at any time, inside and outside of time and space as we presently know it
- Our inheritance, identity, position and authority as sons. This is fundamental and impacts the whole of creation because it is as sons that we will play our part in the restoration of all things.
God is looking to see everything restored which was lost when the light of glory was removed. It is in His nature to bring healing, reconciliation, redemption and restoration. Why would He not want all things restored to their original condition and functionality, back to how He always intended them to be? It is not as if He has changed His mind or had a better idea! Restoration for us – and for all creation – is nothing more nor less than coming back into alignment with God’s eternal thoughts about us.
Father and son(s)
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God… The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ… For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God… the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Rom 8:14-21).
We are heirs of the Father and co-heirs with Jesus. He has empowered us as sons and given us authority for the created realm, and creation will recognise and respond to us when we are manifested as sons. Therefore whatever is revealed about ‘all things’ in context of the relationship between Father and Son directly relates to our own sonship.
‘All things’ in the Bible
Before we launch into a consideration of ‘all things’ in the Bible, a brief word about how we read our Bibles. As we read, we have a tendency to automatically revert to the familiar assumptions that we (or others) have made, both about what a particular passage is talking about and what it is saying about it. Instead of merely thinking we know what it says, let’s engage with, meditate upon and enter into the scripture and allow God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to reveal what He is saying through what we are reading. That takes awareness and practice but it opens up a whole new vista of revelation.
All things in subjection
For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Cor 15:27-28).
But what does ‘in subjection’ mean? Who and what is going to be brought into subjection?
If we are ‘in subjection’ to Him, then we acknowledge that we are His subjects. The Greek word hupotasso means ‘to place under’. We are under His protection, under His blessing, under His love, under His covenant.
And not only we but ‘all things’ are to be brought into agreement with God’s plans and purposes. We may look around and wonder how that is ever going to happen. I suggest that it starts with a group of people who say “Yes, God, I want to be in agreement with You. I come into agreement that I am a son, and for my sonship to be revealed to all creation.” That is not what religion has encouraged but Jesus is our example: through His relationship with the Father He only did what He saw the Father doing.
None of this is about theology or doctrine, whether we agree or not with a particular person or teaching. It is all about relationship with God; with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and about being willing to maintain a loving relationship with other people with whom we do not necessarily see eye to eye. We can be in relational agreement even if we hold different views. We do not need to be ‘right’ and so reject everyone else as being ‘wrong’. Again, this is not something religion has encouraged or modelled for us.
Some Bible verses
Here are some New Testament verses mentioning ‘all things’. I am not particularly going to explain or teach on them. In line with what I wrote earlier, I would encourage you to take some time to meditate upon them, engage with them – perhaps read them in some other translations – and see what God has to say to you about them.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Rom 11:36).
…but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God (1 Cor 2:9-10).
…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him (1 Cor 8:6).
…all things originate from God (1 Cor 11:12).
There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all [persons] (1 Cor 12:6).
[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor 13:7).
…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 (Eph 1:10).
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11).
He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things (Eph 4:10).
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him (Col 1:16).
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col 1:17).
…and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven… He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Col 1:20, 22).
In light of what God has shown you in love as you meditated on these verses, do you believe there is potential for all things to be restored to God’s original intent and purpose?
Do you believe that there are some things that could not (or should not) be restored to God’s original intent and purpose? Why not?
The only thing which I consider really cannot be restored is the DIY (do-it-yourself) pathway itself, the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil. That was never part of God’s intent and purpose for creation in the first place.
1 A time varying speed of light as a solution to cosmological puzzles – article by Andreas Albrecht and Joao Magueijo (Cornell University, 1999).
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