God’s Glorious Attributes
He is ALL in ALL
By Rayola Kelley
Years ago, I read a book concerning the weakness of the church. The author contended that the church was weak because it presented a weak Jesus. His emphasis from the Bible was the declaration that Jesus must be all in all (Colossian 3:11).
Have you ever looked up the word “all” in the Strong’s Concordance? It is clear as you go down the lists of Scriptures that entail God’s work and what we have in Christ that it is not “just enough,” but it is complete in every way possible.
As believers we know that because of who Jesus is there is no limitation as to His character and what He can do. In Him all treasures are hidden, and as revealed later in this article we shall see how He is the complete revelation of the mystery (Colossians 2-3). We are told this about Him in Romans 11:36, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” The Apostle Paul also confirms this in 1 Corinthians 8:6, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” Think about these Scriptures for a moment. It is because of the Father that ALL things exist and it is because of Jesus, ALL things have been brought forth and made possible. The Apostle Paul summarized it this way in Ephesians 3:9, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” The apostle explains this mystery in 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Jesus is our Creator and as Creator His goal is to reconcile ALL things to Himself and not only did He bring ALL things forth, but He knows how to fill ALL things with the reality of Himself, and it will be for this reason that there will not be any excuse on judgment day for someone to not believe the truth about the Godhead (John 1:1-3; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-20). In Jesus, we have redemption that is complete, and it is through Him we have and possess eternal, abundant life, and it is ALL according to His will. In fact, we are told that our desire should be to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9). It is also because of Him that ALL things of life and substance have been made available to us (Ephesians 1:11). The sole reason for this is so that He will be glorified in and through our lives.
What comes with Jesus being our all in all? The Apostle Paul stated in Romans 15:13-14, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able to admonish one another.” It is God who works all in all when it comes to the operations of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:6). He is the God of all comfort, working within us the compassion to comfort others, and it is in Him all promises exist (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 20). Paul understood that all things come from God, and as Christians we can benefit from that which is sustaining to our spirits and souls. It is the Lord alone who can fill us with ALL joy and peace, causing us to abound in ALL hope, goodness, and knowledge through the abiding power of the Spirit in our lives.
However, problems arise when it comes to Jesus’ dual nature. It is not unusual that most of us accept the fact that believers are spiritually bound together by one Spirit into one union; therefore, each one is considered as being One Body, One Church, and One Bride, and we are told that Jesus is the head over ALL things to the Church, which includes principality and power. The Church is His Body that He fills with His life (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 2:19). Even though we have the Word and the examples of Jesus as God Incarnate, some will go the way of unbelief because they can’t see their way to simply believe what the Word says about Jesus.
It is true that our perception of Jesus in His humanity can limit our view of His deity. We love certain ideas of the compassionate, loving and caring Jesus, but we have a hard time accepting that this caring, Man Jesus is also the Almighty who in the end can prove to be a consuming fire in judgment (Hebrews 12:29). It was the Apostle John who recorded in Revelation 1:8 these words, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
1 Corinthians 15:25-27 speaks about Jesus putting ALL enemies under His feet including death. It then goes on to say in 15:28, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” We know this is probably in reference to the time when all will acknowledge Jesus as Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
It was in Revelation 1 that Jesus revealed Himself as Judge of ALL, who possesses the keys of hell and death, which was also confirmed in John 5:22. This revelation caused John to fall at His feet as if dead (Revelation 1:13-18 refer to Jude 14-15). Here was a man who was one of the three who witnessed Jesus’ glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. He laid his head on Jesus’ chest the night the Lord was betrayed, and it was during that great ordeal on the cross that the Lord committed His mother, Mary, to John, and John to Mary (Matthew 17:1-9; John 13:23; 19:25-27).
Keep in mind, the book of Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). This revelation was given to John when he was on the island of Patmos. He was an older man who had experienced various persecutions for his faith in Christ. Here was a man who was mature in his faith, who had written a Gospel and three epistles and when he saw Jesus as Judge, he still fell at His feet as if he was dead.
I think one of the problems we must be aware of in our Christian walk is we can become too familiar with Jesus. We settle for Him in the box of theology, instead of pursuing a greater revelation of Him. We swoon over Him as Savior, but refuse to submit to Him as Lord (Luke 6:46-49). We love talking about His love, but we are reluctant to talk about the disciplined life He is calling us to that requires us to disown our self-life and pick up a personal cross. We talk about Him coming as a servant, but refuse to talk about Him coming back as King of kings, Lord of lords and Judge over all (Luke 9:23-26).
It is clear, for the most part, that some have erected a Jesus they can control intellectually, emotionally relate to in a sentimental way, and be comfortable with when there is a mixture of spirit and the world is present. However, the Jesus I have been learning about for the past 40 years has broken into pieces all my theological boxes concerning Him, causing my sentimental concepts to flee in light of His reality, and making me more uncomfortable with unholy mixtures and lifeless, perverted doctrines. In fact, I have become aware that man’s controllable, theological presentation of Jesus either makes Him lifeless or strips Him of His divine glory.
The truth is there is no compromise or shades of grey when it comes to who Christ is and His teachings. His examples are clear, His admonitions still ring through the ages as warnings, His offer of eternal life has never changed while His warnings of hell and damnation are also still echoing through the ages. He continues to call out to the “Adam’s” of the world who hide behind fig leaves of excuses to simply conceal their stiff-necked, rebellious ways and hard hearts. He warns the “Cain’s” that sin lies at the door, and tells the fleeing “Hagar’s” with the “Ishmael’s” of the age, that He still sees them in their plight (Genesis 3:9; 4:6-7; 16:7-12).
We are told in Matthew 28:18 that all power had been given to Jesus in heaven and earth to carry out His ministry as Savior, the Messiah, Lord, King, Priest, and Judge. James 1:17 tells us that ALL good gifts come from the Father, while Romans 3:22 points out that righteousness is available to ALL who will believe through Jesus.
The question is what does it mean for Jesus to be ALL in ALL? We are told that Jesus is in ALL as far His work in each believer’s life to bring forth His reflection in them (Colossians 3:11). In other words, He is involved with every aspect of heaven, involved in all the events of this world and is intricately directing the circumstances of our lives. It is for this reason we are to seek Jesus in all matters, look for Him in all situations, and trust Him with all the events that touch our lives.
We must learn to walk in confidence of the completeness of our life and call on the Lord. The word, “in” in Scripture has to do with inclusive. In other words, there is nothing that can be added to or taken away because it is what it is and will always be so. This word points to quality of something. The word, “all” is about quantity. It points to having as much as possible which would include everything. In the end, what you have will end up being the sum total of what is available and once it is brought together, it will equal what you could and can possess. The word “all” speaks of completion, while the word “in” declares there is nothing that can be added or taken away for the matter stands as is.
It seems that Christians are looking for “more” of something but not for the “all” of a matter. We want more experiences, but how many of us want ALL that the Lord has for us. Ephesians 4:9-10 states what the Lord’s intention is, “(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)” He fills the heavens with glory, filled hell with the reality of His existence, and earth with the knowledge of Him. Clearly, the key about having it ALL lies in us possessing Christ in greater measure. After all, we are brought from glory to glory when it comes to Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). “Glory” points to distinction.
However, since we are earthbound, we calculate how something will complete us or make us happy in this life based on our ideas or notions. We often stop with ourselves, settling for less and failing to secure the ALL in our spiritual lives. The problem with wanting more of something from this life is that we end up settling for less. Simply seeking for the “more” from an earthly aspect causes us to miss the completeness or excellence of the ALL that will only come from heaven. To have the ALL of the matter often requires us to push through that which is inferior, which has become the norm for us in this present age. We end up settling for less because we think the inferior is our lot in life and we need to accept it.
Sadly, our calculations are often based on our “wants” and not our needs. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Many of us live like spiritual paupers because we evaluate the essence of life according to this present world and not the next. As a result, we fail to realize our real blessings are spiritual and what we need to be rich in is faith (Ephesians 1:3; James 2:5). The Apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” Notice the word, “might.” Being rich in Christ comes down to possessing Him. It is for this reason the Apostle Paul was ready to count ALL things (of this present world) but loss for the sake of becoming identified with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection in order to ever press towards the mark of the prize of his high calling (Philippians 3:7-14).
What will it mean for us to obtain all spiritual blessings and be rich in faith? Romans 8:38-29 gives us this promise, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” How many of us love this Scripture? We quote the first part of it, “And we know that ALL things work together for good.” It is after the word “good” that we stop and never advance to the conditions of standing in confidence that everything that is happening in our life is to work together for our good. However, there is a condition and a reason for such an exercise. The reason is, so that in the end, we will end up reaching our potential of reflecting the glory of Christ in a dark world to attract lost people to Jesus; but note the condition has to do with us loving the Lord.
Mark 12:29-31 reminds us what it means to love the Lord, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Notice how we are told to love the Lord God with ALL of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. In other words, love the Lord with everything in us. To possess such love implies there will be no half-heartedness in commitment towards the Lord. Keep in mind, He deserves our whole heart in devotion and our whole life in service, and it is for this reason Paul instructed believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice in Romans 12:1.
We cannot properly love others unless we love the Lord. In godly love, we must deny ourselves any right to love on our terms and begin to prefer the Lord over ourselves, allowing the Holy Spirit to shed that love abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5). Ephesians 3:19-20 states, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” God is love, and it is only as we are out of the way that God’s love can fill us up and begin to flow through us to others in a powerful way (1 John 4:8). It will be a love that knows how to properly honor those around us.
To live in light of ALL the Lord has for us, we must live in expectation, trusting what the Word declares about Him. When the desperate father came to Jesus about the destruction demons had on his son and admitted he believed deliverance was for everyone but him, Jesus made this statement, “If thou cast believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23) ALL things are possible to God and ALL things are possible to us if we walk by faith towards the Lord and in line to His will. The faith walk is not about the key or means to control God; rather, it is the means in which people can choose to trust the ways and works of God on their behalf whether it makes sense or not, knowing ALL of His dealings are perfect and right.
We need to remember that in Christ, in spite of all of our afflictions in this life, all things have been made new and we have a new life and identity that identifies us to the next world to come. We need to stand fast in the Lord, so we can also hold fast to that which is good (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:7-9, 5:21).
As you can see, I am only touching the surface of what it means for Christ to be ALL in ALL. We will be spending eternity learning what the ALL entails, but meanwhile we need to avoid living like spiritual paupers in the midst of what seems like an anemic church, sick societies, corrupt governments, and as victims of this present world. We need to remember we are simply passing through as strangers and sojourners because we are citizens of another country, serving as that kingdom’s ambassadors in this world (2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 Peter 2:11). Through each stage or challenge in our life we need to keep in mind He is our ALL in ALL and He is involved in all matters of heaven, earth, and our personal walk.
My ability and success to walk, stand, wait, and run the course comes down to the Lord becoming my ALL in ALL. I can walk because He is ALMIGHTY. I can stand because He is COMPLETELY trustworthy. I can wait because He is ALL sufficient to meet my needs. I can run because He is my ever-ABIDING strength and I have the promise to stand on this Scripture during such times, “I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13). (Emphasis added.)