The Appointed Times

Of Salvation For All Men

by Steve Santini

2004, revised February 2013

 

 

 

The elderly apostle Paul wrote letters to individuals and epistles to churches while he was confined in Rome awaiting trail at the judgment seat of Caesar. Two letters sent to Timothy, the overseer of the church in Ephesus, remain existent as inclusions in the bible. In these two letters, Paul reiterates some major doctrinal points of his revelation of the great mystery from ascended Lord Jesus Christ.

In the first of his two letters to Timothy, he wrote:

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. ! Timothy 4:10

There are a number of other verses in the New Testament that state or infer that all men will be saved.[i] And there is an entire chapter of Paul’s writings in his earlier written first epistle to the Corinthian church that is specifically about the salvation of all men.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

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. I Corinthians 15:21-28

In this section the words all and every mean exactly what they say even though some bible scholars have tried to hedge on this issue by qualifying these words.[ii]

In verses twenty-three and twenty four of this section Paul gives the order in which all men shall be saved. It is: 1) those of the firstfruits, 2) those at his coming, 3) those at the end.

The scriptures define each category.

The firstfruits are those that Paul classifies as those that “specially believe” in his letter to Timothy. These are those of the first resurrection written of in I Thessalonians.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: ! Thessalonians 4:16

This first resurrection is also written of in the book of Hebrews. There it is termed as the “better” resurrection.

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: Hebrews11:35

Paul, while confined in Rome, wrote to the saints along with the bishops and deacon of this first resurrection. Here he expressed his desire to arrive at this first resurrection using the term “out” resurrection as the underlying Greek language reads.

If by any means I might[iii] attain unto the resurrection (ekanastasia) of the dead. Philippians 3:11

The term out resurrection is used because this resurrection is out from among all others who will eventually also be resurrected. Additionally, in this verse, as the Greek language would convey, Paul is certain that in the future after he is manifested as a saint he will attain or come to this first, better, or out resurrection of the faithful in Christ Jesus.

Axiomatically, if there is a first, better or out resurrection then there is a second resurrection of all men that die in Adam. It is the resurrection at his coming listed second in I Corinthians chapter fifteen rather than the firstfruits resurrection of the of those that have believed in Jesus Christ. With the understanding that what Paul wrote was a revelation that was veiled in earlier times, when retreating to the gospels this second resurrection is clarified.

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Matthew 25:31-34

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:25-29

This second resurrection is also known as the resurrection of the just and unjust. To attain the resurrection of the just it is not necessary that one has had faith in Jesus as the Christ. There are a number of sections of scripture where Jesus gave information about attaining the resurrection of the just.

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:11-14

 

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: Mark 10:17ff

 

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, Luke 10:25-33ff

In the previously cited record of the second resurrection of the figurative sheep and goats in Matthew’s gospel additional information on the attainment of inheritance in the age long kingdom of God is provided.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:34-40

At this point after the just have entered the kingdom of God there is one other group not present. That group would be the unjust or goats of the second resurrection to occur at his coming. As stated by Matthew and John the figurative goats are condemned to age long[iv] condemnation.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels Matthew 25:41

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:29

John also provided a figurative description from the teachings of Jesus of the differences between the outcomes for the just and unjust. After the “well to do” Pharisees in the audience scoffed at his words, Jesus shared this parable.

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:20-31

The accomplishment of the salvation of those sentenced to age long perdition comes at the end as stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians, chapter fifteen.

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Peter revealed the difference between the time of Christ’s coming and the time of the end in his last epistle shortly before he died.

7: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11: Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12: Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? II Peter 3

The day of the Lord in verse ten is not the same as the day of God in verse twelve. This is borne out by the fact that the Greek words used to describe the changes that take place in these two time periods are noticeably different. Peter also distinguishes the two by placing a distance between them when he writes that after the day of the Lord men will be looking unto the day of God.

At the end of this letter Peter refers to Paul’s writings on the same subject.

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; II Peter 3:15

The apostle Paul wrote most specifically of these two time periods in I Corinthians fifteen as Christ’s coming and then the end.

But every man[v] in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;

There are several Greek words that mean then. This word in the underlying Greek language is eita and it means then in sequence with a connotation of a time of development between the two events. The time period between the day of the Lord and the day of God is written of as the kingdom of heaven on earth and paradise restored among other names. Jesus Christ, the saints, the faithful in Christ Jesus and the just will inhabit this paradise. The just will have temporal bodies like those of Adam and Eve while the corrupted souls of the unjust will suffer in separation as spoken of by Jesus Christ. At the end, upon the day of God, when death is destroyed, Jesus Christ will deliver all up to God, the Father.

In conclusion of this chapter in Corinthians, Paul reveals that the mortal just and the corruptible unjust will be changed at the end.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:51-57

Paul writes at the beginning of this section that what follows is a mystery. In the Old Testament and in the gospels, it was know that there would be a judgment following a resurrection of the just and unjust, however both the out or first resurrection and the release of the unjust for salvation in the final day of God was not know.

In closing this final section of I Corinthians, chapter fifteen, the apostle Paul used the Greek word tote meaning then immediately, rather than the earlier usage in the chapter of eita implying then after a time. In this manner he punctuated the finality of the process for the salvation of all mankind.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then(tote) shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

At this point on God’s day at the very last trump the apostle Paul’s assurances to Timothy in the first century of this current era will be fulfilled.

Likewise at this time, as Paul once wrote, every knee will have bowed unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow[vi], of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

Philippians 2:5-11

 

 

The Series:

The Anchor of the Soul

 

[Home Page: A Journey Unto Revelations' End]

 

Select Bibliography

 

Knoch, A. E., Eternal Torment or Universal Reconciliation, Santa Clarita, Concordant Publishing Concern

Tentmaker.org., Unversalism , 2000

Hanson, J.W., Biblical Proofs of Universal Salvation, Universalist’s Publishing House, Boston, 1888

 

 

 

 

 



[i] e.g. I Timothy 2:4, Hebrews 2:9, John 12:32

[ii] "All" can be without exception or with distinction. E. W., Bullinger This is only true if the distinctions are made in the verse or the immediate context of the scripture. E. W. Bullinger manufactured the qualifications to the word "all" to support the sanctioned theologies of the times. There are no Greek grammars or lexicons, other than his, that support these qualifications for the Greek word "all"

[iii] might-katanteso; futural subjunctive mood, refers by anticipation to a certain future event; A Greek Grammar for Colleges, Smyth, H.W., American Book Company, NY 1920, # 1810

[iv] The under lying Greek word for everlasting and eternal is aionios. It means a time period of certain duration. The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Stong, J., Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 2001 # 166, The word Greek word aidos means forever. Aidos is used twice in scripture but never of relating to the damnation of men or men’s souls. Strong’s #126

[v] Some who believe in the salvation of all men erroneously say the devil will also be saved. Salvation is for the souls of men. The devil does not have a soul.

[vi]should bow - kampse, futural subjunctive mood, refers by anticipation to a certain future event; A Greek Grammar for Colleges, Smyth, H.W., American Book Company, NY 1920, # 1810