I must exercise some restraint at this point. You see, the heretic whom this site blog is dedicated has actually in times past implied that the King James Version is actually inaccurate in it's translating of the word hell. The very idea infuriates me. How could anyone even suggest that there would be any errors in our beloved 1611 version?
In the article below, Flanders quotes from Ephesians chapter 1 (as written in Young's Literal Translation), things which I am most certain are nowhere to be found in the KJV (although I haven't checked yet for myself).
As is typical for heretics, he plants seeds of doubt regarding the validity of the traditions of man and seems to exaggerate the love of God, the goodness of God, and the success of Christ upon the cross of Calvary. He then seems to place too much stock in the words of Paul being taken at face value. However, if we take Paul's words at face value, it would create extreme damage to our doctrine and traditions.
For instance, in the Ephesians passage, Paul speaks of God ultimately bringing "into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth." This cannot mean what it says, or else it would bring far too much false hope to far too many people and in fact unwarranted hope for all creation, including the fallen principalities, powers, etc. Whoever heard of Christ bringing hope to all humans, much less all created beings?
The author then tries to support this nonsense by quoting from Paul's letter to the Colossians.
As you read the following article for yourself, you will realize that our orthodox traditions do not allow for such a high view of Christ and his bloody sacrifice. The passages cited cannot possibly mean what they say or we would have to conclude that much of what we teach and much of what we fear has no basis in reality. On top of that if these things were indeed true, we would have to re-write all of our Sunday School Curriculum!
Please read the following with caution.
The Fullness Of The Times
Not only is Paul the Apostle the chief of all sinners, but as you read his letters you discover that he is also the chief of writing run on sentences. In Young's Literal Translation of the Bible, in Ephesians chapter 1 we find a sentence which spans from verse 3 all the way down to verse 14. Please take a few minutes to read this sentence slowly absorbing each word.
"Blessed [is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, according as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love, having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved, in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, in which He did abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself, in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him; in whom also we did obtain an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of Him who the all things is working according to the counsel of His will, for our being to the praise of His glory, [even] those who did first hope in the Christ, in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth -- the good news of your salvation -- in whom also having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)
Wow! How is that for a full sentence? You could spend a lifetime absorbing the richness of what you just read. Don't you think?
In this article, I'd like you to focus in on one phrase found in verse ten. "in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him."
Like the verses we've looked at in previous articles, we have to ask; "Can this possibly mean, what it sounds like Paul is saying? Can it truly be that that ultimately God is going to bring all things in the heavens and the earth together in Christ? Can that possibly mean what it says? Or does it mean something else?"
A key phrase is "fullness of the times."
God is all about working in ages, in times, in eons. In fact, He has laid out specific things He is going to do at certain points in the times. Here Paul says that in the fullness of the times God will gather the whole of the heavens and the earth together in Christ.
When a person dies, that is not the fullness of the times. When an unbeliever stands before God at the Great White Throne for judgment, that is not the fullness of the times. If a person is cast into the Lake of fire, which Scripture refers to as the second death that is not the fullness of the times.
Eventually, the times, the ages, the eons, will end. At that point, Paul tells us that God will bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him.
A great commentary on Ephesians chapter 1 is found in Colossians chapter 1.
As Paul speaks of Christ he says; "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross." (Colossians 1:13-20)
Just as Ephesians chapter one is extremely rich, so is Colossians chapter one.
I'd like you to pay special attention to one particular phrase that you just read. "For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross."
What things does Paul claim will ultimately be reconciled to God through Christ? All things!
All things where? All things on earth and in the heavenlies!
When will we see this happen? According to Paul in Ephesians chapter 1, it will happen at dispensation of the fullness of the times.
Let me ask you. Do you think Paul know what he was talking about? Will all things on earth and heaven be reconciled to God? Is the work of Christ on Calvary ultimately greater than the work of Adam in the Garden of Eden? Is Paul missing the point? Or has the church at large been missing the point?
Arizona native James Flanders is a blogger (not a pastor) whose focus is the ultimate triumph resulting from the work of Christ. You can find links to many Bible teachings on his Facebook page:
His audio site is at this address: http://www.jamesflanders.com/the-big-archivenew-stuff.html