#1 – Universal Reconciliation: Introduction

Universal Reconciliation: the belief that God is ultimately going to save all men. The idea is probably new to most people; which makes it a bit shocking to discover that a fellow Christian holds such a position. I mean… the Bible is pretty clear that hell is eternal… right? I remember the first time that I encountered a Christian holding this view… I was confused to say the least. How could a Christian believe that? I was unaware at the time that I was responding out of a deep-rooted assumption that what I had been traditionally taught my whole life – had to be true.

But my assumption was beginning to be exposed. I had just come across a booklet written by a super sweet elderly lady and out of nowhere she makes a claim that all of God’s judgments were corrective, not punitive! At first I couldn’t quite figure out what she was saying, but I had a gut feeling that I needed to figure it out. And when it finally and suddenly dawned on me I couldn’t quite believe it! “Is she saying what I think she is saying?!” And being the insatiably curious person that I am, I had to look into it. And so I did, and what I discovered astounded me.

Now before you judge me to be some kind of silly, frivolous, gullible, trend jumping, mindless Christian, you have to know that I am extremely logical, to a fault. I have many times been compared to Spock from Star Trek. For if I am guilty of anything, it is being too logical, b/c many times spiritual matters require a person to put away cognitive powers and take something on faith, from the heart. And this I do, when I feel the Spirit nudging me.

But the rest of the time I am “studying to show my self approved,” (2 Timothy 2:15) so that I will always be, “ready to give a defense for the faith that is in [me].” (1 Peter 3:15) Which brings me to my next quirk… not only am I logical, I am also obsessed with details. As they say, “the devil is in the details.” If something is true, then it is going to be logical and the nitty gritty details are always going to prove it has an air tight case.

This blog is the culmination of 10 years’ worth of my nitty gritty research. I’ve examined this from every angle possible, questioning every argument and testing it on the best minds that I have contact with. Some disagree, most in fact, but the arguments that they’ve mustered against it seem to fall ever shorter and shorter of reason, compassion and Scriptural support.

But I don’t expect you to take my word for it, rather, I hope that you will be like the Bereans in Acts who were “more noble” than the rest for they eagerly listened to what was being taught and then would check those claims in Scripture to see whether they were true. If you disagree with what I say, don’t just assume you are correct, do some digging and prove to yourself why you hold the position you do. If you agree with me, then I hope that my research proves to be a great foundation for why you believe that God will save all men. And you won’t be alone, for you will have the majority of the Early Church Fathers keeping you company. 😉

Is This Profitable?

Some might wonder, “why write about this? Isn’t there enough division in the Church already? Why does it matter?” And that is a valid query – does it matter? For when it comes to doctrine, the issue is – how important is it? Really? Where does it fit in the scale of important to not important? Or spiritually profitable to not really profitable? Or as a Church organization might secretly conspire… is it really profitable? ($$$) 😉 (I’m joking!)

Perhaps a better question is how can anything the Bible teaches be rated? If as Paul said, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16) then how can any of it be less important than the rest? Perhaps we just don’t have the eyes to see how the minor aspects of Scripture are just as profitable as the major ones. If we did, we might just find ourselves far more motivated to study the entire Bible! We might even check out Leviticus or Ezekiel for a change!

The reason I bring this up is b/c Christians do tend to rate doctrine (or certain topics in Scripture). I’m sure you have probably heard, numerous times in your life, some version of the phrase, “It doesn’t really matter b/c it’s not a salvation issue.” It has become a stock response to brush other theological concepts/doctrines aside whenever a disagreement pops up. As it concerns the topic that we will investigate in this blog, I have personally been told many times, by people who disagree with me, that it ultimately doesn’t matter – because it’s “not a salvation issue.” Well… I have to disagree… completely. It IS a salvation issue, for it concerns the salvation of all mankind! In fact, it doesn’t get any more of a salvation issue than this – the ultimate state of every person who has or ever will exist!

Universalism

You see… I believe that no matter how wicked a person was in this life, his wickedness will be refined out of him or her through God’s appointed judgment of the divine purifying fire of hell. Because of my beliefs I have been called a Universalist more times than I can count, and, unfortunately, a heretic far more times than I would wish. Now, I do not have a problem with being called Universalist in its normal sense, but most people incorrectly believe that Universalists don’t believe in hell, and by implication, therefore don’t see any need for the atoning work of Christ on the cross. It is further assumed that by Universalism we think that all roads and all religions lead to God/heaven, that people are basically good and don’t deserve to be judged, especially not a judgment so terrible as hell! The popular idea concerning Universalism very nearly condemns me (and others like me) to be New Agers!

Christian Universalism, however, affirms the truth of a future judgment of all men, where many will be cast into the lake of fire (otherwise known as hell); it just happens to be that hell is not endless. It also affirms that all men are absolutely depraved and incapable of saving themselves, and that the only way to be saved from our fallen state and restored to God is through Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the Cross. And I can assure you, without denying any Scriptures, that this can be held with utmost conviction along with the belief that God will save all men.

Therefore, because of such awful misconceptions surrounding the word Universalism I prefer the term Universal Reconciliation.

Outline of Blog

And that is why I chose that as the title for these blogs. It is my aim to give you all the crucial and substantial information on the subject of God’s plan to save all men. I plan on doing this through 5 sections or series. Each series will have a specific theme that we will explore. Each series will also build upon the previous until a clear and substantial case is presented.

The 1st series will address the fact that the words “Forever” and “Eternal” in Scripture do NOT actually mean endless.

The 2nd series will address misconceptions concerning Hell in Scripture. Mostly we will look at those areas of Scripture that are commonly assumed to reference Hell…but in actuality are speaking about something else.

The 3rd series will be an in depth look at the actual teachings in Scripture concerning judgment in the afterlife (hell).

The 4th series will examine, in detail, all the Scriptures that clearly address the fact that God will ultimately save all men. This will be my favorite series, b/c there are a LOT, and they are amazing! For those of you who may not believe me, or can’t wait till then, here are a few you can peruse on your own:

Romans 5:17,18; Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Colossians 1:16-20; Ephesians 1:10; Revelation 21:1,5; Romans 8:21; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10; 2 Peter 3:9; Titus 2:11; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 2:2; Romans 11:32; Acts 10:9-16,28; Colossians 1:28; John 12:32; Isaiah 45:22-25; Philippians 2:10,11; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28,54; Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 5:13; Psalm 22:27, 86:9, 82:8, and Psalms 72, 67, 98. There is much much more, but that will have to wait.

The 5th series will wrap it all up with a look at the testimony of the Early Church Fathers. For the overwhelming majority of them (all except two) believed and taught that God was going to save all men. This doctrine was also never condemned as heresy in any Church Council. And it was the Roman Catholic Church that pushed the doctrine of endless torment into the majority position that it holds to this day.

Conclusion

I think that the information presented herein will be very enlightening (and quite astounding) to those who, either do not have the time to look into this subject but are curious nonetheless, or who do not have the desire to spend the time to look into it (b/c they disagree with the premise). Even if you are the latter I would recommend that you read at least the first few blogs because I think that you will be surprised by the information that I will be presenting. If nothing else you are probably at least curious why ‘crazy’ people such as myself go around blabbing that God is going to save everybody.

It was my intention to keep each topic as short as possible while still being concise. I will also give sources to support any claims I present, that way you can be assured of the information I present, as well as having the option of checking the information out for yourself.

I hope that the evidence speaks for itself, and speaks clearly. If the evidence is clear, I hope that you have the character and strength of will to accept it as truth even if it is not a popular truth (truth has never been popular). But most importantly, as with everything, let it be considered prayerfully. As Christ said, “If anyone is willing to do [God’s] will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:17)

I might add one more note, for the uninitiated – if what I present is true then it will affect many other areas of previously held doctrines. To have a big chunk of your belief system shaken can be very frightening. How will the other aspects of our system of faith incorporate with the new, etc…? This, however, is nothing to be anxious about, for truth is not fragmented, but a whole and will all fit together seamlessly in the end. The only thing necessary to see how it all fits together – is patience.

Luke Kessler
August, 2014

About Luke Kessler

Luke Kessler has a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies (not that that matters to God) and spent some time as a missionary in Asia. It was there, through unique circumstances that God began to reveal His glorious plan to save all men. God brought his time of missions to an end and Luke now works in Construction on the Central Coast in California. He enjoys spending his free time studying God's Word and the signs of the times, and sharing what God has shown him every opportunity he has. If you can figure the following out, feel free to contact him by email (his Yahoo account spelled out so as to avoid spam is "luke" then "land" then the number "7") :)
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3 Responses to #1 – Universal Reconciliation: Introduction

  1. Dear Luke Kessler.

    May I just say that I was mesmerized for thirty years by the Concordant teaching of “ALL MANKIND” until I then took your current advise and became like a Berean’s who were “more noble” than the rest for they eagerly listened to what was being taught and then would check those claims in Scripture to see whether they were true.

    I did just that and I used Paul’s epistle to the Romans to check those claims in Scripture to see whether they were true, and unto my surprise I found them to be a clever use of the words “ALL MANKIND” to imply the “ALL MANKIND” to mean literally “ALL” and “EVERYONE” instead of the particular “ALL” in the context under discussion.

    Paul’s opening statement in Romans 9: 1-3 clearly shows his unintermittent pain in his heart was for his [Greek adelphos, same uterus] brethren according to the flesh [race] which Paul said;

    “…who are Israelites, whose is “THE SONSHIP” and “THE GLORY” and “THE COVENANTS” and “THE LEGISLATION” and “THE DIVINE SERVICE” and “THE PROMISES”; whose are the fathers…”

    Take notice as Berean’s would that Paul now distinguishes between Abraham’s seed and clearly shows that not “ALL” Abraham’s seed are “ALL” children, [of the promise] but in “ISAAC” shall the seed b called.

    Paul then clearly shows that God loved one “the” Jacob and hated the one “Esau” and then goes on to say that God will be merciful to [Jacob] whom He will be merciful and He will be pitying whomever He may be pitying.

    Paul then went on to say that it is not of him “the” who is wiling [to believe] nor of him “the” whom is racing [all those running the race] but of the God, the Merciful.

    Paul then uses Pharaoh to show His mighty power, and so that His name should be published in the entire earth. Consequently , then, to [Jacob] whom He will, He is merciful, yet to [Esau-Edom] whom He will, He is hardening.

    Take note how Paul understands the response from the majority of the misinformed and gives his inspired opinion which follows which he is about to unfold in minute detail?

    You will be protesting [as all universalist Concordant thinkers do] to me, then, “Why, then, is He still blaming” for who has withstood His INTENTION?”

    O man! who are you, to be sure, who are answering again to God? That which is molded will not protest to the molder, “why do you make me thus?

    It now becomes evident that the Concordant paradigm “ALL MANKIND” view is not in view here at all. Paul goes on to prove that God is not in the process of “THE SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND” as the Concordant adherents continually tell us, but is in fact is raising up and is displaying the Esau-Edom] vessels of “INDIGNATION” adapted for “DESTRUCTION” and has been carrying them with much patience and it “IS” that He should also be making known the riches of His glory on [Jacob-Israel] the vessels of “MERCY” which He makes ready before for “GLORY” us whom He calls…”

    My question to you is this;

    “WILL YOU BE LIKE THE BEREANS” and now carefully listen to Paul explain who the “US” is that He calls and not try and include the “THEM” vessels adapted for destruction into the “ALL” the “US” the vessels of “MERCY?”

    It is critical at this point that I digress to show you who the “Esau-Edom” vessels adapted for destruction were/are the whom God said He HATED, and then just who the “US” is whom God says He loves, and also show that Paul takes the two, “Jacob” whom He loves and “Esau” whom He hates and turns the two into “THREE GROUPS.”

    Paul separates the “JUDEANS” into those out of “JUDEA” and those out of the NATIONS.” Let me show you something not normally understood by the modern ministers of today.

    “…And this is so that He should be making known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He makes ready before for glory—“US,” whom He calls not only “OUT OF” [Yehudim] “JUDEANS” but “OUT OF” the [ETHNOS] “NATIONS” also…”

    Let me first give you the meaning of Yehudim?

    We find the words, Yehuwdah or Yehuwdiy, used 813 times in the Old Testament and they are usually translated as Judah, but as “Jew” or “Jews” in the books of 1 Chronicles, Esther, Nehemiah, Jeremiah and Daniel. In the remainder of the Old Testament, “Jews” usually refers to the remnant of the House or Tribe of Judah which returned to Palestine from Babylon. Yehudah simply means “JUDAH” and is the name of the patriarch “JUDAH.” It is used to refer to the tribe which stemmed from him. It is also used for the “LAND OR TERRITORY” occupied by that people following the division of Israel after Solomon’s death, it is used of the House or Kingdom of Judah.

    This was the “ONLY TERM” used in this way up to the time of the Babylonian captivity. Following their deportation into Babylon, “ANOTHER TERM” was employed. This was Yehudi [plural: Yehudim]. Originally this word meant an “INHABITANT OF JUDEA”, or the people who came from that country. As such it does not necessarily represent descendants of Judah, but can include any people of other races who reside there. It applies to Edomites who moved into the land vacated by the Southern Kingdom when it was taken to Babylon. “IT HAS COME TO REPRESENT ANY PERSONS, IRRESPECTIVE OF RACIAL ORIGIN” who embraced the Jewish religion, Judaism.

    Now with that in mind let us read the above verse again?

    “…And this is so that He should be making known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He makes ready before for glory—“US,” whom He calls not only “OUT OF” [Yehudim] “JUDEANS” but “OUT OF” the [ETHNOS] “NATION” also…”

    Paul proves that God is not calling a universalist church of “Jews” and “Gentiles” as the Concordant false paradigm of universalism teaches, but in Paul”s day God commenced calling His redeemed elect Israelite believers out of Judea and out of the Nations of Asia Minor and Europe where He had scattered them for over 700 years in the dispersion.

    Read 2 Peter 3: 14-16 and see that James and Peter and Paul all wrote their epistles to the dispersion in Asia Minor and Europe and Peter adds a warning to all those that twist Paul’s epistles as being “UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE.”

    Take note that in the Unveiling Jesus sent His word to the seven ecclesias which are in the province of Asia and Paul puts this beyond refute in Hebrews 9: 15.

    “..And therefore He is the Mediator of a new covenant so that at the death occurring for the deliverance of the transgressions of those “UNDER THE FIRST COVENANT” “the” [particular] those who are called [the “US” mentioned above] may be obtaining “THE PROMISE” [see Romans 9: 1-3] of the “EONIAN ENJOYMENT OF THE ALLOTMENT” .

    For where there is a covenant, it is necessary to bring the death of the covenant victim [see Romans 7: 1-6] for a covenant is confirmed over the dead, since it not availing at any time when the covenant victim is still living [the reason the secret was kept secret until Paul revealed it] Hebrews 9: 15.

    Paul adds a revelation to this that all universalists should read carefully;

    “…Brethren [I am saying this as a man], a human covenant likewise having been “RATIFIED” no one is repudiating or modifying…” Galatians 3: 15.

    In closing may I ask you a serious question.

    “Who gave you or any Concordant minister the right to “MODIFY” the covenant given “EXCLUSIVELY” to the Hebrews under both the first [the old] and the new covenants which the writer of the Hebrews said were both ratified by the death of Christ and give it to a “UNIVERSAL CHURCH” which you refer to as “ALL MANKIND?”

    Please explain!

    David.

    • Luke Kessler says:

      David, thank you for your comment!

      I am very aware of Edom’s presence within Jewry, for since 128 B.C. Edom was incorporated into Jewry when the Macabeean revolt resulted in their adoption into the Jewish nation. I am also not saying that God’s covenant to a special group of “called out” ones is a universal covenant. I believe that there is a tiny minority, a “few” who will inherit the promises. However, AFTER this inheritance, the work of those who “inherit the earth,” those who “judge the earth” and “rule over 10 cities” etc… will be the salvation and restoration of all the rest of the lost. That is where the “All mankind” comes in. Those who are destined for destruction as Romans 9 clearly states, will be restored. For that word “destruction” (apollumi) of which God refers to concerning vessels of wrath, is the same word Christ employs when He refers to the “lost (apollumi) tribes of Israel” whom you and I both know to be those in Europe and Asia minor who were deported in 721 B.C. by Assyria. And that word is also used when Christ says, “he who wishes to save his life, must lose (apollumi) it.” So this destruction is the prerequisite for salvation, which is why Paul said, “I will hand him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved.” So although there are many who are destined for destruction it by no means that such is their final state.

      I will go into much more detail concerning this word and terminology as it is used in the New Testament in my 3rd series on Judgment. Till then you will have to wait for more, b/c my purpose with this blog is to share all the relevant information supporting Universal Reconciliation so that I do not have to regurgitate it every time someone disagrees. So I must ask you to wait for answers from me.

      But thank you so much for commenting, and please feel free to continue to do so! I apologize if I must defer any questions you might have until I release the article appropriate to your question.

  2. hublall Sookram says:

    Thank you for your writing– I am a friend of Ryan Healy–Please correspond with me– and give me your E-mail–I am a Universalist– Read Dr Stephen Jones works-
    http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.net frequently–He is a first class Bible Teacher-
    I am living in China with Evelyn my wife– we are U.s Citizens–
    In Him Hubie–short for hublall

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