Saviour of All Fellowship
Dear Friends in Faith,
All will be vivified (made alive) in Christ. This is declared in 1 Corinthians 15:22. But this will not happen all at the same time as we are told in verses 23-28 of the same chapter.
In the 1920s A. E. Knoch wrote, This will occur simultaneously but in three distinct classes at widely separated intervals of time. Christ, the Firstfruit, is already alive at Gods right hand. We who are Christs will be made alive at His presence. This includes His coming to the air for the believers of this economy and His coming to Israel before the thousand years. The rest . . . must wait until the consummation, when death, the last enemy, is abolished (Concordant Commentary, p.263).
In a recently published book which he edited, Richard Bauckham summarizes the position of the German theologian, Jürgen Moltmann, on this passage, as follows: This portrays a process which the resurrection of the crucified One has irrevocably set going. It is a process of resurrection or of the communication of eternal life to the mortal creation, represented in a series of stages: first the resurrection of Jesus Christ, then at his parousia those who belong to Christ, then the resurrection of the rest of the dead and the annihilation of death itself . . . . Into this sequence Moltmann also, following Romans 11, inserts the resurrection and redemption of all Israel at the parousia (God will be All in All, T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 1999, pp.20,21).
Ephraim the Syrian who lived in the fourth century wrote of this joyous thought concerning 1 Corinthians 15:28: For when all creatures shall be bound by their love to the Son through Whom they were created, and the Son shall be bound by the love of that Father by Whom He was begotten, all creatures shall give thanks at the last to the Son, through Whom they received all blessings; and in Him and with Him they shall give thanks also to His Father, from Whose treasure He distributes all riches to us.
We are grateful to Orville and Connie Hunt for preparing the Fellowship in Grand Rapids on July 20 and 21, and extending their hospitality for several of us at their home Saturday evening. On Saturday, Rick Farwell from Wagener, South Carolina spoke on the theme, Reclaiming the Era based on Colossians 3:1-4:6, with supplementary talks on this theme by Dean and Tony. Then on Sunday Rick brought a fine message on the two Greek words heteros (different) and allo (another). Also on Sunday we were encouraged by a report and testimony from Bob Evely of Wilmore, Kentucky, telling about his resignation from a denominational church and developing, independent ministry in his home where he upholds the truth of universal reconciliation.
A fellowship is planned on August 3 at the Grace and Truth Chapel in Baldwin, Michigan. Included will be a memorial service in honor of the many years of faithful service God gave us through the late, Dorothy Johnson Hibberd.
The next fellowship will be September 21 (from 11:00 to 4:00) at the home of Dianne and Lou Klinger.
Yours in His Grace,
Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser
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