Here we continue our series looking at Charles A. Weisman’s book, Is Universalism Of God? — this time debunking the oft-repeated false doctrine of “universal reconciliation” of every living person through Christ.
As we’ve demonstrated previously, the false god of universalism is completely dependent on how most Christians anachronistically impose their modern Marxist, judeo-Freemasonic, and atheistic Humanist concepts of the “universal brotherhood of man” upon the Bible.
Every Christian today should be aware that this concept is a critical destructive tool of the anti-Christs who endeavor to widen the gate to universal salvation — in direct contradiction to what the Scriptures tell us — that the gate is “narrow” — even for Israelites themselves.
It shouldn’t surprise us that this pernicious communist ideology has infected virtually all mainstream denominational churches — the judeo-Bolsheviks had already begun infiltrating and subverting American churches and seminaries even before the “Russian” Revolution.
In fact, in 1918 when Russia was in the throes of the communist takeover, The Jewish Chronicle frankly admitted that “Communism is our supreme revenge against Christianity.”
Judeo-Universalism has done more to subvert Christianity than any other doctrine — since the dawn of the 20th century — also known as “The Jewish Century” — the white European peoples have abandoned this watered-down “faith” that offers nothing to protect them from the relentless onslaught of Jewish universalism.
Here Charles Weisman shows us how “universal reconciliation” is not only unscriptural but also a literal contradiction in terms:
The term “reconciliation” occurs in both the Old and New Testaments. However, the Old Testament usage of the word actually means atonement, a process that results in reconciliation (Leviticus 6:30; Ezekiel 45:20; etc.). The concept of reconciliation in the New Testament is found only in the Pauline Epistles and once in Hebrews, and has no direct Old Testament ancestry.
The question we now face is whether the writings of Paul support the doctrine known as “universal reconciliation” or “ultimate reconciliation.” It is somewhat related to the idea of God saving “all men” or “all souls” [see our related essay How The Phrase “All Men” Has Been Misused To Promote False Universalism In The Bible]
Like all universal concepts or doctrines, universal reconciliation has at its foundation a principle of equality of all men in the eyes of God. To determine its validity, let us examine some basic definitions of reconciliation:
Reconciliation. To make peace between parties at variance; to secure favor (Matt. 5:24). Christ “reconciles” us; he fulfills all righteousness in our stead; he intercedes with God on our behalf.The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia, 1908, vol.3, p. 1432.
Reconciliation is the word used in the NT to describe the changed relations between God and man which are the result of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.A Theological Word Book of the Bible, edited by Alan Richardson, MacMillan Co., New York, 1960, p. 185.
Reconciliation is God exercising grace toward man who is in enmity because of sin, establishing in Christ’s redemptive work the basis of this changed relationship of persons (2 Corinthians 5:19). That this reconciliation is the burden of God is shown by Romans 5:10 where it is suggested that even while we were enemies, God reconciled us to Himself through the death of His Son. [The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, edited by Merrill C. Tenney, 1967, pp. 707,708]
Reconciliation in its general meaning is the effecting or restoration of unity or harmony where harmony ought to be, but where estrangement or conflict is the present fact. The connection in Christian theology is with the inner estrangement of men from God on account of sin. Reconciliation is the abolishing of this separation. A major issue is that of the relation of reconciliation to the work of Christ.An Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Vergilius Ferm, N.Y., 1945.
The basic doctrine of universal reconciliation asserts that the Scriptures teach the ultimate holiness and salvation of “all” men. For this to happen, God must ultimately have mercy and friendship with all people on earth — and finally unite Himself with all persons having no enmity toward anyone. Universalists often confuse the idea of reconciliation with that of being saved from death, inheriting eternal life, being resurrected, or going to heaven. But this is actually departing from the true biblical message on reconciliation.
Who Are Reconciled and When?
To determine who was to receive reconciliation we need to determine why the reconciliation was needed. It is clear from the definitions given here — and Scripture itself — that Christ’s death and shed blood were the means by which this reconciliation was accomplished (Ephesians 2:13). The blood atonement of Christ was a substitute for the blood of goats and calves (Hebrews 9:12). The only people that needed to sacrifice goats and calves to God for atonement was Israel (Leviticus 4 & 9); and it is Israel that needed a better sacrifice derived from the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:23,24). The reconciliation spoken of in the New Testament involves Christ as a “mediator” — being the one who intervened between God and Israel. Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant — and that covenant was made only with Israelites (Hebrews 8:6-8).
Paul — in speaking to the Christians in Rome said — “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). The concept of enmity or having enmity with God is used in other places by Paul to show who needed reconciliation (Ephesians 2:15,16; Colossians 1:21).
Israel had enmity with God since they were under the Old Covenant and in constant violation of its terms, causing God’s wrath against them (2 Kings 18:12; 22:13; Jeremiah 11:10,11). The reconciliation that needed to be performed was between God and Israel. Further, in the letter to the Romans, Paul was writing to his “brethren” and “kinsmen” Israelites (Romans 9:3, 4). The writer of Hebrews also indicates who reconciliation is for:
For verily he [Jesus] took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people (Hebrews 2:16,17).
Jesus was made like “his brethren” for their benefit — or their reconciliation. The reconciliation was for “the people” — a term used to mean the Israel people. It only makes sense that the reconciliation spoken of here pertains to this race of people — since this book was written to the Hebrews.
Matthew Henry states that, “Reconciliation supposes a quarrel, or breach of friendship.” [see Matthew Henry, Commentary In One Volume, Zondervan, p. 1832]. Thus when there is a separation of a husband and wife, the wife can be “reconciled” to her husband (1 Corinthians 7:11); but she cannot be reconciled to another man. Only Israel was married to God — with God as the husband and Israel as the wife (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:14). But since God divorced Israel, there was an estrangement between God and Israel. Thus Israel needed to be reconciled to God by being remarried to Him with Christ in the role of the bridegroom (Hosea 2:19; Matthew 9:15; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7). Only Israel can be reconciled to God in this manner.
Then why do universalists have a doctrine of universal or ultimate reconciliation? Because they are humanists and simply do not like what God has done in the world regarding this matter.
They realize that God never “knew” or had any type of relationship with the great mass of people of the earth except for Israel (Amos 3:2). To the humanistic mind this is totally “unfair” of God — so they have to modify God so that He will do what they think He should do.
Reconciliation does not mean to start up a new relationship but to mend or change an existing one gone bad. You cannot have reconciliation between two parties who never knew each other and had no adverse relationship.
As to when this reconciliation is to take place, it is clearly perfected in the death and shed blood of Christ. Thus this reconciliation is something God has already done, as indicated by Paul:
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).
And all things are of God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled (Colossians 1:21).
Reconciliation as used by Universalists is something that God will ultimately do with “all” people, nations and races. However, the reconciliation Paul speaks of in these verses is a completed and perfected act — not something God will do in the future. God has already reconciled Israel to Himself. Through Christ He has removed the enmity-relationship of His people by not imputing their trespasses to them (2 Corinthians 5:19). Paul also told the Ephesians that Christ had perfected reconciliation:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Ephesians 2:13-16)
Note how this whole message of reconciliation — or the act of “making peace” — is all in the past context. There is nothing in Scripture that speaks of a future reconciliation beyond the cross, in which Christ or God performs some act to bring it about. Therefore, there can be no such thing as an “ultimate reconciliation” or a “universal reconciliation” except by sheer speculation or wishful thinking. If reconciliation pertains only to Israel, it cannot be “universal,” and if it has already occurred, there can be no additional or “ultimate” reconciliation. It thus is not surprising that Universalists do not quote most of the common verses dealing with reconciliation to support their position.
Reconciling the World
The verses that Universalists most often use to try support their universal reconciliation doctrine are those that mention the idea of “reconciling of the world.” There are two such verses in which Paul uses this phrase:
Romans 11:15 — For if the casting away of them [Israel] be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
2 Corinthians 5:19 — To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
The timing of Romans 11:15 is self-evident — Israel was cast away (for the most part) in 721 B.C. They were received by God into the New Covenant at the time of Christ (Hebrews 8:10). Regarding 2 Corinthians 5:19, one commentator states:
‘Was reconciling’ implies the time when the act of reconciliation was being carried into effect (v.21), viz, when God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us.Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, p.309.
It should be quite obvious that Christ was made a sin offering at His death. So whatever this reconciling involves in these verses, it was already accomplished at the time of Christ. Therefore these verses cannot be used to support an additional “ultimate reconciliation” doctrine. Some Universalists will say that the reconciling of the world includes “all people” because all people are in the world — but so are plants and animals. How or why are they reconciled? It is more than evident that “all people in the world” are not in harmony or friendship with God. In fact, most are not.
All are not reconciled in the world by Christ since John speaks of many “antichrists” in the world after the cross (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3). Christ was still to have enemies in the world (Matthew 22:44; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Philippians 3:18; Hebrews 10:12,13). There still are tares or children of the wicked in the world (Matthew 13:38). The great red dragon which persecutes and makes war with Christ and His elect was still in the world after Christ’s death (Revelation 12:3-17). There is much in this world which is at odds with God and which was never reconciled to God by Christ’s death. This tells us that this reconciling was not a universal act.
The message in 2 Corinthians 5 is “that God reconciled us believers to Himself through Christ” — not everyone in the world [see Vine’s Expository Dictionary, vol. 3, p.261]. The “them” of this verse is the same as in Romans 11:15, i.e., Israel.
John 1:29 — Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
To understand this verse, we need to know how sin is of the world. The world does not sin, but there is a relationship between sin and the world:
Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world (Romans 5:12).
When Adam transgressed God’s commandment, sin entered the world — that is where sin is. It is not in heaven or hell or the church or any where else. If Christ should take away but one man’s sins, it would be the sin of the world. Also, since sin is at odds with God — and sin is in the world — the taking away of sin could be called reconciling the world to God. But Christ was an atonement not just for Adam’s sin “but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). This does not mean Christ died for every person on the planet, but rather that His blood “is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). John did not mean every person on the planet, as he also states:
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19).
This does not mean that everyone on the planet is wicked — as John admits that he and those he is writing to are “of God.” This is simply a generalization of a condition that exists; and so it is also with “sins of the world.” The phrase “the whole world” or “all the world,” does not in one single instance mean all humanoids in the sense of totality. As an example:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed (Luke 2:1).
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world (Romans 1:8).
In neither of these passages is the entire population of the planet embraced at the time they were spoken — let alone the entire population throughout all time. And so when it is said that Christ came “to save the world — (John 3:18; John 12:47) — or is “the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14), it does not contemplate the salvation of every person that ever existed — anymore than it contemplates all animals, plants and minerals of the world as being saved. The word “world” can be used “in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants” [see Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, #2889, kosmos.
It also is used to simply mean “the majority of men, or the multitude of mass, as we say the public” [see Thayer’s New Greek-English Lexicon, p. 357]. Universalists always use “world” in its widest sense, so they can include the Negro, the Asian, and the Indian. But why include the heathen or a mass murderer but not include the dog who saves a man’s life? All of them are in the “world.”
John 1:29 is actually a reference to the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, who is “brought as a lamb to the slaughter” — and whose death “shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities” (v. 8,11). Isaiah’s message of atonement for sins pertained only to Israel — “For the transgressions of My people He was stricken” (Isaiah 53:8). John was well familiar with the Scriptures and thus his understanding of them cannot be taken beyond the scope he intended. The sins of God’s people — Israel — are the sins of the world John was talking about.
The Restitution of All Things
The doctrine of universal reconciliation is also referred to by universalists as “the restitution of ail things” — “the restoration of all things” — and “the reconciliation of all things.” Sometimes the word “final” or “ultimate” is inserted in front of the phrases.
Restitution means to give back to the rightful owner something that has been lost or stolen — or to make reimbursement for something lost or damage. It is a return to a former condition or situation, and thus is a restoration. But clearly all restorations are not a restitution. A reconciliation is a restoration — it restores the friendly relationship between two parties. But again, all restorations are not a reconciliation. Further, reconciliation and restitution do not mean the same thing. Yet universalists use these three terms as being synonymous and always interchangeable, which they are not.
When Universalists use the words “all things” to them it is always literal — and means that everybody will be saved, restored or reconciled. Now, there is a concept in the Bible regarding “the restitution of all things” — this wording is found in only one place in the Bible as follows:
Acts 3:20-21 — And he [the Lord] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
The word “restitution” is from the Greek word apokatastasis (#605) — and more properly means restore or reconstitute — and should be read as restoration (as it is in most Bible versions). This pretty much eliminates a doctrine of the “restitution” of all things since no such concept is in the New Testament.
Now there could be a doctrine of “restoration of all things” since that concept is in Acts 3:21 — but what is to be restored? It cannot mean that the whole human family will be restored since the only things being restored are limited to those things which were spoken of by the prophets. The prophets never mentioned that all races, the heathen, the Philistines, or the enemies of God would be restored back to God since they never were God’s people in the first place.
It cannot mean that they will be restored to a holy state since they never were holy to God. But Israel was holy to God (Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2; Isaiah 62:12). If this verse meant salvation, it can only be the salvation of Israel — for they are the only ones of whom the prophets have spoken on this matter (Psalms 80:3; 98:2; Isaiah 46:13; Jeremiah 3:23; etc.). Upon examination of the words of all the prophets upon these subjects, you will find that not one of them has testified in favor of Universalism.
The restoration of “all things” does not mean everything in a literal sense. When the disciples asked Jesus about Elijah coming, He responded, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things” (Matthew 17:11). The word “restore” here is the exact same word used in Acts 3:21 as restitution or restoration. Since this Elijah was John the Baptist (v. 13) — and since John restored all things — why does Christ have to return to restore all things?
To restore “all things” does not mean a universal reconciliation as Universalists would like to think. This is one of the errors of Universalism — that the term reconciliation means ultimate restoration of all things. You cannot restore a relationship, status or condition which never existed in the first place. How is God going to reconcile Himself to the Amalekites when there never were friendly relations between the two parties? To restore all things cannot mean to restore the wicked to be believers for they never were believers (Psalms 58:3). It cannot mean to take all men to heaven for all men have never been there.
Peter gives a reason in the next verses why this restitution or restoration will take place — and what some of it will entail:
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet [Jesus], shall be destroyed from among the people. (Acts 3:23).
Peter is drawing upon Old Testament verses (Deuteronomy 18:19; Leviticus 23:29). So is the purpose of this “restoration of all things” to save the souls (or lives) of everyone? No! The outcome is that some souls will be destroyed. The true import of this restoration is the idea of a fulfillment — that being the fulfillment of all that the prophets have spoken — and the perfecting of God’s will being done on earth. One of the last things that need to be fulfilled is the destruction of God’s enemies (2 Thessalonians 2:8; Nahum 1:2,3).
Colossians 1:20 — And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
This is another verse that Universalists use to prove a universal restoration or reconciliation of all things. This text does not teach — as Universalists assert — that all things will be reconciled; but rather that Christ has made peace in order to reconcile all things. It is just like when Paul declared that by the grace of God he had preached the unsearchable riches of Christ, “To make all men see” (Ephesians 3:8,9). Yet all men do not and will not see — for some “men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19).
Further, it would be a difficult task for Universalists to prove that “all things” means the whole human family. The phrase “all things” occurs four times in the verses preceding this text in which they indicate that God created “all things.” Now Universalists do not profess to believe that all the animals, vegetables and minerals which God has created will be reconciled and taken to heaven. It follows, therefore, that “all things” is either a mere generalization or limited in some way.
When Universalists quote verses such as these they give little or no explanation as to what they mean. They simply assume “all things” means every person. The verse speaks of the order of all things coming in line with God — which would include the destruction — not conversion — of the wicked and enemies of God.
Romans 8:22 — For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Universalists quote this and say how not just the saints, but “the whole creation” is in travail — and in need of restoration. But why does an oak tree need to be restored? And to what would it be restored? Actually the subject here is not restoration but “redemption of our body” (v.23). Creation does not receive this redemption, it only desires it for the children of God.