Monday, December 12, 2016

"For They Know Not What They Do" by Jo Gravell


Here is another post by Jo Gravell on our true identity in Christ:

For They Know Not What They Do

by Jo Gravell

For me the words 'father forgive them for they know not what they do...' have become so vital to my understanding of this question of late.

No matter what man/woman did to him, even the worst thing possible, murder, mutilate, strip naked, despise, mock and demean, God made manifest in the flesh was convinced of our worth. God so loved us....a full blown manifestation of the hatred that exist in the heart of humanity because of all our false thinking cannot prevent, stop the love of God and cannot change who we really are. This hatred does not belong to us, Christ demonstrated that.

We are birthed of God, existed in God before time began and so the cross was a demonstration of God's commitment and persuasion of our true identity. We are Christ's brothers and sisters and no amount of hatred, towards ourselves or from others can keep us down. Even our total ignorance and denial of who we really are could not change his course of action. We are known and always have been.

Resurrection Life is ours! We are eternal beings, always were, always will be one with God.
Christ Jesus demonstrated this truth as He refused to cave in to the pressure and lies that held us bound. One glimpse of this dissolves all the years of fear and inferior living and causes our Hearts to ascend back to our real home birth God, in peace, in power, in joy, in Life itself.

Jo Gravell

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Conclusion of Love by Jo Gravell

I wanted to post an article by a lady named Jo Gravell that is special to me.  It was one of her articles that helped me understand how all-encompassing and universal Christ's finished work really is!

 The Conclusion of Love (by Jo Gravell)

…the conclusion of Love

His conclusion
Our Inclusion

‘I dare you to take love to its ultimate conclusion.’
Phil 1:10 The Mirror Translation

Oneness with God

…that God may be all in all, everything to everyone.

This is a lengthy update, just to warn you. I cannot speak about such glorious truths in a few paragraphs and communicate effectively what I am seeing these days; I have been so redefined, so transformed these past few years. We have been gathering monthly for over a year now, but only started to share these truths publicly the past month or two really, and your response is so encouraging. It is obvious to me that we are connected together and as I share my heart the resounding agreement in yours assures me that we are family on a wonderfully exciting journey at this point in time.

Many have asked if I could attempt to put into writing what have begun to share publicly. Obviously the Gospel doesn’t keep changing, but our understanding of it and our ability to receive its glory does, we are ever being transformed by the renewing of our minds, but in reality we have as much glory, innocence and God likeness right now as we ever have or ever will have. The revelation of the gospel opens our eyes to see who we really are, in Him, of Him, as Him, on earth as it is in Heaven, and its this seeing that makes all the difference to the quality of life we experience right now.

So here goes…

Union with God

We are at one with God, we really are. This basic but revolutionary truth is enough to live on for eternity! A global move of God has been gaining momentum for many years now, solely around this one profound reality. We have been enjoying our union with God for over twenty years. Our whole lives are wrapped up in this one truth, and our lives on earth are all about discovering this union with God which is at the heart of who we are, where we came from, why we exist and what will become of us.

Its conclusion is the most exciting aspect to me these days. I adore the fact that this is a concrete conclusion. God’s conclusion concerning humanity is our guaranteed inclusion in His plan in the salvation of mankind. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the way, the truth and the life, and it is He and He alone, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost came to a wonderful and guaranteed conclusion concerning our destiny, our purpose and worth. His value of us is what matters most.

One man died for all

One man died for all, Jesus Christ died humanity’s death. His resurrection was the re-creation of the entire human race. This is a conclusion of gigantic proportions. Only God could make such a calculation as this. Paul says in 2 Corinth 5:14-17 that because of this fact, he could see no man excluded. All men died together with Christ. This was the passion behind his ministry. This was the love of God for mankind that constrained him to give his life to preaching the Gospel.

…the value of one

The lost coin did not lose its value just because it was lost, the Owner searched the house until it was found. The value to the Shepherd of the one lost sheep was worth leaving the ninety-nine to rescue the one. The value of one is what the Gospel is all about. Without this belief at the centre of our theology we can easily drift far from the heart of God. Intimacy with God is at the centre of humanity.

It is living in this intimate conversation with Him that I have discovered another aspect to this glorious Gospel, the inclusion of all in His purposes.

Allin, Thomas, in Christ Triumphant wrote:
The essence of Christianity perishes in the virtual denial of any true Fatherhood of our race on God’s part. Follow out this thought, for it is of primary importance. We lose sight of the value of the individual soul, when dealing with the countless millions who have peopled this earth and passed away. What is one among so many? [But] each soul IS of infinite value, as if it stood alone in the eyes of God its Father. And more than this, we are altogether apt to forget whose the loss is, if any one soul perishes. It is God’s loss: it is the Father who loses His child. The straying sheep of the parable is the great Shepherd’s loss: the missing coin is the Owner’s loss. In this very fact lies the pledge that He will seek on and on till He find it.

So there is an assurance, a blessed hope I have stumbled upon that includes all mankind. It is wrapped around the thoughts above and has caused me to question all that I have been taught for myself. I love studying, meditating upon the Word, this is a great pleasure to me, and these days I am coming into a deep and thorough understanding of the salvation of mankind by a loving Father who has paid in full the price that guarantees total success and complete satisfaction concerning us.

But as with any new thought, new idea there comes a time of meditation, wrestling and establishing of that truth. We have been going through such a time, but feel a sense of coming out now the other side with clarity and a confidence that inspires and extends to others naturally supernaturally. We have been sharing stories with one another at the gatherings and many of us are on the same page in our experience, often not yet having a paradigm to our ‘new path’. It’s so exciting to know we are not islands alone with God, however much fun that would be LOL, but we are connected together in a very real way. We have been experiencing this connection manifest in a more tangible way.

We are also seeing this connection manifest in everyday life, wherever we may be placed, for me it has involved colleagues in work coming alive to God in the most natural way (I haven’t seen such response in 15 years at the college where I work). In our families, we have preached and prophesied this ‘Glory in our homes’ for so many years, but now we are beginning to see a manifestation of those desires. I have seen family members join in our work in the Philippines for instance, in the most loving and organic way, and it is such a joy!! I believe we will see this gain momentum as we grow in boldness and confidence concerning these truths.

Those who know me personally will know that for many years I have seen an intimate connection between the Gospel and the move of God’s Spirit. I read a quote from someone this week, which read:

Every true progress in church history is conditioned by a new and deeper study of the Scriptures.

I have never understood the tension that seems to exist between the moving’s of God’s Spirit and the truth of the Word of God. For me, they have always been intimately related. Understanding the Scriptures and God’s heart intoxicates me like nothing else; drinking from His Word is a pleasure and a lifestyle for me.

The Gospel is the power of God. As we discover the fountain of truth, the well of our salvation, the drink of His Spirit never ends. There is no moving on from His ‘drunken Glory’, even though we grow and mature in it all (thank God you may say!!).

We are evolving continuously and we are learning to believe God and create with Him a life of ease on earth, a life of being a blessing, the kind of life that overflows naturally to all we meet. It is a divine life, and a very human life at the same time, and its organic and natural, while being supernaturally divine. A life of ease and rest, trusting in His success!

We are partakers of a DIVINE nature

We are discovering that our nature is not originally a sinful one, but a God one. We originate in God and we share His DNA. We really are His offspring. There is a whole theological debate around that one simple statement, but for me it has become a foundation stone to everything else. If humanity is His offspring, which Paul clearly stated in Acts 17 when he spoke to the Heathen men at Athens on Mars Hill, then we have value that cannot be erased by sin.

Adam transmitted a condition to mankind that was a fallen one, a false image of who we were. We were ignorant of our value and true nature, outside of the revelation of the Gospel, and so live according to our inferior mindset. We lived powerless, out of sink with one another and ourselves. We were not aware of our union with God but worse than that, lived as His enemies. Love pursues us and will continue to pursue us until that final day when He will be all in all. God will be everything to everyone; the Moffat Translation puts that verse in
1Corinth 15:27.

Our lost condition didn’t alter God’s view and thoughts about us. His mind was made up before time began. We existed in God before time was. This little thought changes everything. We can view the Gospel in a new light just from getting a glimpse of this beautiful truth about us. Our concept and understanding of sin changes, instead of seeing it as our birth, our origin, as if there was something wrong with us by design, we see our origin in God. Also, even more profound to us ‘believers’ is that if this is true about us, then it is also true about every other human being who ever walked this planet.

Restoring the ALL of the Gospel

Two years ago, the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart that He was restoring the ALL of the Gospel. Now I understand what he was trying to convey to me at that time. It has taken a few years, but hey, that’s the exciting journey of living in this awareness of union with God, He talks, He guides, He leads, He transforms. It’s a life of effortless conversation, effortlessly falling deeper in love with Him and others. Life is rich and blessed when you understand humanity is loved, pursued and taken care of in Christ Jesus.

Where had the all disappeared to then, if God himself wants to restore this aspect of Him to us again? If we consider the way we present the Gospel in traditional evangelical Christianity, for example, we can see that the all has certainly been clouded at best, and disappeared at worst! All the emphasis has been on ‘saved’, ‘unsaved’, on them and us mentality, walls of division and hostility etc.

Let’s review the ‘accepted’ gospel message it sounds something like this:
We were all born into sin, sin we inherited from Adam and the wages of sin is death, a death we deserve because we all sinned (there is no mention of our divine nature, our divine connection before time began, that part of the story was left out), Jesus Christ came into the world to take the penalty that we deserve, to bear the burden of sin. Death was our lot and that was why Jesus Christ came and died a vile death on a criminals cross so that we can go free. If we believe and bow the knee to Him we are delivered from our sins and will go to heaven when we die, if not, we will burn in Hell for an eternity when we die and hundreds of versions in between.

So our divine origin has been forgotten. This is a truth worth restoring, worth meditating on for a while. The more you dwell on this, the more you realize that what is true about me is equally true about everyone. All are included in divine origin. ‘I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb’ writes Jeremiah.

All are His offspring

All share His DNA. However clouded that may be, however marred and distorted this has become, nonetheless this is the truth. The truth will set you free. There is power in declaring the truth. Remember the Gospel is the power of God. The simple declaration of the Gospel involves not just a simple change of mind, but a power encounter where one actually gets reconnected again to LIFE.
Romans 1:16

If all are His offspring, then all are His children in a very real sense. Why on earth would a loving God, the one Father of all, destine the majority (so far at least), of His offspring to burn in Hell forever? Where is the parallel here with the lost coin for instance and the ninety-nine sheep? These questions are allowed, you know you are free to ask the questions.

There is a 100% conclusion in the heart of the Father towards planet earth, 99% success rate is not Heaven’s style, all were included and all are included. This is the essence of the Gospel; this is the power of God. By diluting it to mean some, not all, we are demeaning the Good News! By insisting that this is conditional on a person’s response then we are reducing the power of God from an entire ocean to a dripping tap. This world right now needs the power of God to manifest more than ever, but it is only the pure Gospel that is inherent with His power.

I realize full well that this kicks up a lot of theological questions and dust, in light of where we have come from in evangelical thought concerning our message, and how we have understood the Gospel thus far. But hey, this has always been our experience of walking with Him; He seems to enjoy revealing these things to ‘babes’. We are not proclaiming ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord. I cannot accept this traditional version of Christianity, I have completely ceased from it, it does not resound within me, and it causes me to cry out JOY TO THE WORLD THE LORD HAS COME.

A divine universal Fatherhood

Even if a child rebels, a good mother or father will not give up on their own flesh and blood? They would go to any length to rescue them and to help them get back on track and would not disown them...

Allin Thomas, Christ Triumphant stated:
We are told that God is not the Father of all men; He is only their Creator! What a total misapprehension these words imply. What do we mean by paternity and the obligations it brings? The idea rests essentially on the communication of life to the child by the parent. Paternity is for us largely blind and instinctive; but creation is Love acting freely, divinely; knowing all the consequences, assuming all the responsibility involved in the very act of creating a reasonable immortal spirit. It seems, then, very strange to seek to escape the consequences of the lesser obligation, by admitting one still greater; to seek, in a word, to evade the results of a divine universal fatherhood, by pleading that God is only the Creator.

How can the concept of an eternal Hell be within this scope of understanding the character and nature of a loving Creator and Father of all?

I have stumbled upon much biblical evidence to back a different view to an eternal Hell. I have also found numerous texts, that when interpreted correctly unwraps the deadlock of this idea of an eternal Hell that we have been taught.

I would like to share a few of them here. I have begun to write more regularly and will enjoy sharing my findings with you from time to time. But I wanted to share a little right now, as so many of you have asked for something to be put in writing concerning these things. This is no way a complete article on the subject, as it is an extremely important one.

…I dare you to take love to its ultimate conclusion Phil 1:10...

Even though our focus has never been to predict what happens to everyone after death, but one that brings Life to everyone right now on earth through the preaching of the Gospel. Nonetheless, this concept of an eternal Hell does cloud God’s Character with a veil, which certainly does not exist. Most people have in their sub conscious an idea of this doctrine, even if they have never stepped a foot inside a church building and it is not a good impression of such a loving Father....

To what does the Bible mean then when the word Hell is used?

In his book ‘All in all’, A.E. Knoch states…

“Hell” is a most confusing and misleading theological term…
In our current versions the word “hell” is used to render three Greek words, Hades, (Sheol in Hebrew), Gehenna and Tartarus; and since it is axiomatic that the meaning of words is established by their usage, we examine the occurrences of each word in turn.

Concerning the literal meaning of hades there can be no doubt. It comes from the Greek a(i)des. The a is a prefix which is equivalent to our un- and the stem –id means perceive. Thus we have UN-PERCEIVE or imperceptible; the unseen…

The ancient Hebrew, like the ancient Greek, was a much simpler language than its modern representatives. Repeated editing has injected much of faulty human learning…

Gehenna is the vale of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, which was used as an incinerator of the city refuse even in this century. Its fires will burn during the coming Kingdom. Comparatively few criminals will be cast into it. It is not imperceptible. It is as unlike Hades as can be…

The lake of fire is still another concept. It is never called “hell” in the Bible, for those who come out of Hades are cast into it. It should never be confounded wit Gehenna, or with the unseen. The word “hell” has become so corrupted by human error that it no longer has any claim to a place in the divine vocabulary.

[Note - If there are only a few words sometimes rendered as 'hell' in some Bible translations, and none of those original Hebrew or Greek words actually means 'hell', then 'hell' disappears from the Bible!  That means there is no hell!]

May the Holy Ghost teach us His truth…the truth will set you free.

Some more facts that I shared found in this article ‘The hell Test’ see

If Hell is real and describes a real place, why does the English word “Hell” come from a pagan source instead of the ancient Hebrew writings of the Bible? Why is the word “Hell” not found in the Jew’s Bible which is the Christian’s Old Testament? Furthermore, the word “Hell” has completely disappeared from the Old Testament Scriptures in most leading Bibles. Why? Because the best scholarship demands it. (The word “Hell” comes from the Teutonic “Hele” goddess of the underworld “Hell” of northern Europe . The description of this ancient mythological place has very little resemblance anymore to the modern Christian image of Hell. See any Encyclopedia or dictionary for the origin of the word.) Seeing that the Bible is supposed to be “Holy,” why have pagan religious words been added to our modern English Bibles? Please understand, the English word “Hell” and its concepts are NOT in the Hebrew nor Greek. They come into the English through Northern European mythologies, NOT from the roots of Christianity.
• If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn’t God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone.
• If Hell was real why didn’t Moses warn about this fate in the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Covenant consisting of over 600 laws, ordinances, and warnings? The Mosaic Law simply stated blessings and cursings IN THIS LIFETIME for failure to keep the Mosaic Law.
• If Hell is real and it is a place of eternally being separated from God, why does David say in the King James Bible, “Though I make my bed in Hell (Sheol) lo, Thou art there? (Again please note, most Christian Bibles NO LONGER have the word “Hell” in the Old Testament. The KJV written over 350 years ago is an exception. The Jews do NOT put the word “Hell” in their English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament and the leading English Christian Bibles have removed it because it is NOT in the originals. Most Christian scholars now acknowledge it should never have been placed there in the first place.)
• If Hell is real and if good people go to heaven and bad people go to Hell, why does EVERYONE, good or bad, go to the same place in the Old Testament? They ALL go to Sheol which the King James Version translated “Hell” thirty-0ne times, “grave” thirty-one times and “pit” three times? Are we all destined to go to Hell or did the King’s translators make some gross translation errors?
• If Hell is real, why don’t the Jews, many who know the Old Testament better than most Christians, not believe in the modern Christian concept of Hell? They say they don’t believe it because it is not in their Scriptures. Most scholars today cannot find Hell in the Old Testament. Most leading Bible translations no longer contain the word Hell in the entire Old Testament. (Genesis through Malachi.)

Even though these few thoughts do not answer every question you may have, it is a good place to start. I have so much more to share. Allowing the Holy Ghost to teach us in His time we can open our hearts and minds afresh and wait on Him patiently to reveal all in all, while we enjoy life abundant right now. I encourage a peaceful, restful searching into these truths, instead of an angry debating attitude, which is what is often the way people react when you begin to share these things on Facebook for instance, that’s why our gatherings have grown into a precious time together as we are all evolving as family.

He gives grace to the humble. Stay drunk and in love.


Phil 2:15 The Mirror translation
Your entire life is a love poem; any undercurrent murmuring or argumentative debating would be completely out of place! Do not let such issues disrupt the rhythm of your conversation....

 He wants family. We are family. He is able and willing that all be saved. The finished work of Christ is central to my thinking and my understanding of Scriptures and the basis of all blessing. The purpose of God determines human history not human sin.

‘God was in Christ hugging the cosmos to Himself.’ 2 Corinth 5:19

We share a reconciled humanity. Just because we do not always experience the manifestation of a reconciled humanity right now, doesn’t give us the right to adjust and chop off bits of the Gospel to suit our experience. We need to learn to see as He sees.
If your eye is single then your whole body is full of light explained Jesus. This refers to seeing again, a simple, conclusive, unconditional seeing.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs

I cannot accept that His heart will be sick at any point in this age or the age/ages to come because His hope that all be saved was not fulfilled. He is the fulfillment of all He has promised. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Resurrection and the Life. We are all wrapped up in Him.

I am convinced that as we open up our hearts to the all of the Gospel, we will not only receive understanding, but also will see His transforming power accompany us as we co-create with Him on earth, at home, in work and wherever our happy feet take us.

Meditate on these wonderful Scriptures that promise the universal salvation of all…
Matt. 18:14 John 12:32
Luke 3:6 John 12:47
John 3:16,17 John15: 16
Romans 8:38-39 1Tim 2:3,4; 4:9,10

Having said all that, the main cause of my ecstasy lies in these following verses:

And now, Christ has risen out of the dead-He became the first-fruits of those sleeping, for since through man [is] the death, also through man [is] the rising again of the dead, for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive, and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ’s, in His presence, then – the end, when He may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when He may have all rule useless, and all authority and power – for it is necessary for Him to reign till He may have put all the enemies under His feet – the last enemy is done away – death;
For He did put all things under His feet, and, when one may say that all things have been subjected, [it is] evident that He who did subject the all things to Him is excepted, and when, all things may be subjected to Him, then the Son also Himself shall be subject to Him, who did subject to Him the all things, that GOD MAY BE THE ALL IN ALL.
1 Corinth 15: 20-28

This is a beautiful conclusion for all of humanity; it may take ages (eons) to be fully manifested, but according to these verses it will happen for sure, there is no ambiguity here in these Scriptures, the message is clear, the full manifestation of an abolished death. If death is abolished, then only LIFE remains.

…it was all for love

Could this be what Jesus Christ was referring to when He cried ‘it is finished’, the price has been paid, humanity restored to its original glory, intimate union with Trinity restored. Peace on earth as it is in Heaven. All men restored to the bosom of their Father. These words are producing great joy and ecstasy in my own heart, as I understand it was all for love, nothing we do or don’t do can add to our worth in God’s eyes. It is by grace we are saved; it is a gift from our Father. God was in Christ reconciling the cosmos to Himself. So the cosmos is reconciled. We are free to come to this conclusion. What is our message if it is not this?

Do we see all manifest right now? No we don’t, but we see Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. He is the beginning and the end. Glory, so much glory on Him…. we are His first fruits. Christ is the Firstborn from the dead. What a Gospel, what a God!

There is so much to say, so many directions to take with this passage, as there has been so much darkness concerning these things. Men and women have been burned, imprisoned, murdered and hung for sharing these truths throughout church history, but when sight has come, what can one do? It is nothing new really; the first four hundred years of Christianity this was the prevailing view.

Do we live in fear of being called a heretic? Do we bow to the pressure of traditional beliefs? Do we remain silent for fear of losing friends and family? Do we remain stagnant just because we have too many questions?

How can we remain as we are when the river of God’s truth is ever flowing and taking us new heights of Glory and Grace. The Holy Spirit is always counseling our hearts to believe, to see afresh His Glory and to step out with Him into new spheres of LIFE.

Let’s keep on exploring together, casting fear to the wind and staying drunk on our intimate union with God and mankind...

This truth glorifies Him like no other, in Him we live and move and have our being and one day, all will bow the knee in adoration and God will be All in all, everything to everyone.

Jo Gravell

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Bird's Eye View - Universal Salvation by Jo Gravell

 A Bird's Eye View - Universal Salvation (by Jo Gravell)

Here is a wonderful article by Jo Gravell that really helped me and blessed me a lot!  As I read it I just felt God's presence and was so encouraged..the article is about lots of things that I've been pondering in the past few months, hoping they were true and sometimes scared that they weren't, and as I was reading this it was just so great how God was bringing the pieces together and helping things fall into place for me in my thinking, showing me how wonderful it is, this glorious gospel, how much bigger, broader and better it is than I ever dreamed!  It is like He is saying it's okay to let go and believe this good news that seems almost too good to be true, that it IS true, that He really IS that loving, that the end of the story for us humans really IS that wonderful!!  It helped me so much and was such a wonderful experience with the Holy Spirit to read this article that I just wanted to share it here.  I can't just feel His loving presence even as I write these words!  Wow, this gospel of our salvation is so good!  It is really finished and all were really included and God really will be all in all!  Love wins!  He really is Pure Love, we really are brought home to His bosom forever, all of us, safe and sound!  Thank You Jesus, thank You, Papa!

A BIRDS EYE VIEW – Universal Salvation
April 16, 2013   
‘a rose tinted lens’

by Jo Gravell

Clarity and whack concerning Universal Salvation…

The sound of the Gospel is the most harmonious, comforting, empowering sound that exists on planet earth. It is quite difficult to capture its sound in word alone. But as I highly value the written word as a means of publishing the Good News and way of archiving the revelation we are receiving at this time, I want to share the thoughts that were spoken at our latest gathering in Cwmbran, UK. Its exciting to see new people coming along each month and feel it is beneficial to have a place where our hearts can meet and revel in the Word together.

…a rose tinted lens

There are many ways to read the Bible and our understanding will depend upon the ‘lens’ that is worn at the time of reading. I was introduced to Christianity at the age of nine when we started to attend a local Baptist chapel, so it was with a Calvinistic (Augustinian theology) ‘lens’ that we were taught to view the world at large and each other, eternal Hell was a very dominant focus within this framework of interpreting Scripture. Maybe Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity is all that you have known of the Christian world and so without a doubt you will have worn at some point an Arminian ‘lens’.

Anyways, without getting into the theology too deeply behind these different ‘lenses’ I just want to highlight the fact that our surroundings, our teachers, churches, will affect our understanding of Scripture and more importantly the Good News itself. Even though there exists hundreds of denominations and streams within Christianity itself, there remains three dominant systems of theology from which to view Scripture as a whole. It’s these ‘lenses’ I want to discuss rather than focus on the endless arguments that surround individual controversial Scriptures.

Fortunately, there seems to be a new ‘lens’ that we are discovering these days, or should I say re-discovering. A ‘lens’ or biblical perspective that is universal and all-inclusive in its outlook. So to simply recap on the different views that have dominated Western Christianity for the last 1,500 years or so, I will very briefly attempt to summarise.


Calvinism believes strongly in a Sovereign God and yet denies the fact that God loves everyone. It highlights the elect as the chosen and forgets that the elect, the first-fruits were to be a light to the nations. This makes room for self-righteousness to flourish as people become self secure in their own salvation but are unable to love unconditionally their fellow man, after all, they may not be chosen for salvation. If God has not chosen to save them, then there is obviously no hope for them and so they can be dismissed, I guess if God sees fit to condemn a person to eternal torment then so be it!!
Some are destined for damnation some for salvation and who are we to question God. Eternal Hell is a strong factor in this belief system.

In my last blog post ‘the conclusion of love’ I attempted to unravel the inaccuracy of this interpretation of Scripture as a whole and how inconsistent eternal torment is with a God of Love, even though I totally appreciate the view of God as Sovereign that this system of theology has maintained of the years.

Love never fails, even in death, or I would prefer to say, especially death cannot prevail against His purposes for mankind. If a person has not ‘accepted’ Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour before they die then Hell becomes their new home forever. So to conclude that death is the end for any person with regards to any hope of salvation is a godless thought, one that cries out to me that God is foremost a God that specialises in raising the dead the life.


Arminianism on the other hand believes strongly that God loves everyone unconditionally but cannot seem to marry the idea of man’s free will with the Sovereignty of God. So the predominant thought is that even though God loves everyone He is unable to go against a person’s free will, and so in a sense God’s hands are tied and His will to save all men is dependent upon man’s response in this life alone.

On this basis, there are very little grounds for real hope and assurance of man’s salvation, as masses of men, women and children have died already without knowing of their inclusion in Christ Jesus. At the heart of this line of reasoning man’s responsibility is bigger than God’s Sovereignty, no matter how you look at it.

Fear is left to fester and hope for mankind is dependent upon man’s efforts to preach, teach and evangelise. There is great emphasis upon a person’s need to respond right in this life. A mindset of ‘us’ and ‘them’; ‘saved’ and ‘unsaved’ is a dominant theme and Christianity can become a frenzy of activity to save the world. God would love all to be saved but this will not be realised as men’s free will prevents God’s Sovereignty from overriding their ‘choice’, out of love of course!

As a mother of two young boys I would in no way allow their ‘free will’ to override my responsibility(will) as their mother in certain circumstances, for example, I would always hold their hand very tightly when crossing a busy road, even if they wanted freedom from this restraint. I believe free will has been largely misunderstood within this perspective and our free will remains under the loving restraint of a Sovereign Creator/Father/Lover of our souls. Thank God I say.

I have personally experienced both camps above and am happy to declare that I can no longer agree with either. I find both are full of flaws and both create a tension and a stress that has nothing to do with Christianity and is as far removed from a genuine faith in God as can be.


Our Gospel is a message of hope and peace, joy unspeakable and full of Glory.

At the heart of our new discoveries is a definite universal ‘lens’ you may say. I have found that Universalism can be a banner for many varied beliefs, so I am not comfortable to simply say that that alone defines us now (although I am not opposed to this term personally), a clear belief in a Universal Salvation is a treasured thought that has gripped our hearts.
A universal perspective is the ‘lens’ that we are now wearing as we read Scripture. It seems new to us, but a little study reveals that actually it is the oldest system of theological thought and was the most predominant way to read Scripture for the first 500 years of Christianity. I have posted many quotes from many early church fathers that convey this beautiful theme on my blog; God’s purpose in Christ to reconcile the whole cosmos to Himself.

What Christ alone accomplished through His incarnation, death and resurrection is the basis of our fresh view of the Gospel. This act of God in Christ secures the salvation of all men, and there will be a time in history when this will be evident to all. God will be seen as all in all.

St Paul’s Universalism
‘When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under Him, so that God may be all in all.’

1 Corinth 15:28

New Humanity

New humanity has been accomplished once and for all in Christ Jesus. So I am very comfortable and happy in promoting and publishing a Gospel that includes the resurrection of universal mankind.

The death of Jesus Christ was not the death of one man. This man was God incarnate, and so God Himself entered our condition, as we were, dead in our sins and took this condition to the grave, once and for all. Death could not hold Him and cannot hold us; His resurrection is the resurrection of a new humanity. A new redeemed, restored to glory humanity. The manifestation of this truth is what we live in hope to witness more and more.

Col 3:9-11; Eph 2:15 AMP

We were born again at the resurrection of Christ, even though we may have an exact moment in our personal history when we realised our beautiful inclusion, the fact remains that universally we were included in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this and this alone has cosmic significance. The beauty and Glory of God that is beginning to unfold in our midst is just like a young bud that begins to open up its flower to reveal its glorious colour and fragrance to the world under the warmth of the summer sun.

This is at the heart of the Gospel we call Good News, as this is truly what it is all about, we can look forward to a glorious universal all in all, whilst enjoying an intimacy with God now that exudes peace and hope to those around us. We are heading for full bloom Glory, that the world may see and believe. We are first-fruits, but God has in mind the whole lump, the whole batch of humanity, all His children restored to glory.

1 Peter 1:3

‘If one man died for all, then all men died’. The same conclusive ‘if’ is used in verse 17 in a verse we are more familiar with, ‘therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.’ We can be confident that the Bible teaches that all men are wrapped up in Christ before they ever realised it.

 1 Corinth 5:14-17

You were baptised into His death.
Consider yourself dead to sin, alive to God…

Romans 4:4

We have been crucified together with Christ. Our innocence has been restored. His resurrection is our confidence. Our connection with Him goes way beyond our personal responsibility to respond correctly. A ‘correct’ response is natural when we hear the Good News. Faith in God is a natural heart response when we realise how much faith He has in us. The whole argument that universalism somehow diminishes the need to respond or repent, as all are saved already is a shallow unfounded one.

The Good News is the power of God, so to promote, share this beautiful conclusive act of God in any shape or form will cause hearts to respond automatically, this can be our confidence. No man can respond enough to save himself, no man can make such a quality decision to turn from sin towards God, no matter how good his intentions are or how well you have presented your ABC to salvation sermon. If this was even possible then Christ died in vain. The whole purpose of the law was to show that man is incapable of saving himself.

My passion is to recover the Good News in all its purity, with a clarity and Glory that cannot be denied. Our ability to exaggerate the goodness of God is worth exploring. I am making it my life’s aim to attempt to exaggerate the goodness and love of God for humanity as expressed in Christ Jesus.

What freedom to delve into this ocean of this unlimited love that is God Himself. Jesus Christ is what God has to say. He has spoken one final word in Christ.

… conclusion of Mr Love

His incarnation, His death, His resurrection, ascension and seated position right now as Lord and Saviour of all men is conclusive. We can afford to wear a universal ‘lens’ when reading Scripture. When we understand and appreciate the heart of God we will be able to read the ‘negative’ Scriptures without it affecting our overall view of God as a God of Unconditional Love.

Love can still discipline those He loves, train, teach and mature His beloved but NEVER torment eternally in a place called Hell (if this is your first post, then please read my blog ‘the conclusion of Love’ where I expressed a few thoughts of an alternative view of ‘Hell’ apart from an eternal tormenting fire/

We are beginning to appreciate a ‘lens’ that involves the salvation of humanity based solely upon the death, resurrection of Jesus Christ. As this one act has already happened we are those who have a secure hope, a concrete conclusion regarding the destiny of mankind. So this forms the centre of our thinking with regards to, not only ourselves, but our neighbour also, near and far.

Our hearts are being transformed from this new/old perspective as love invades our lives. Jesus Christ and him crucified is the cornerstone of how we view Scripture. So this is the filter, the ‘lens’, the worldview we adopt and so we can re-read Scripture from this perspective. The inclusion of mankind in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is non negotiable. This understanding is foundational to all other views, doctrines, tradition itself, all, must bow to this truth.

Looking back over Abraham’s story we can see the entire Gospel has always been universal in nature. Even though God called Abram to leave his father’s land and go to a land that would be revealed, He always had in mind the nations. Abraham was to become father of nations, not simply his physical descendants, the nation of Israel, as we know it today. This new race was one based on faith in God not physical dominance or any other distinguishing mark that may define one from another. Abram was re-named Abraham ‘father of nations’. God calls those things that be not (seen yet) as though they are. He was asked to believe that he would inherit the world. This is the same Gospel. We find its origin here!                                                      Romans 4
Sons of God/Co-heirs with Christ

We in the same way are called out from our natural heritage as our only means of definition of whom we are. (The idea of original sin is a flawed one, we originate in God, we share His nature and DNA, and sin is a false idea of who we are. A belief in this lie is reflected in our lifestyles of sin and death.)

…unlimited free will another illusion

Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God. We have been eternally united with God; He will have the last word. Our ‘free will’ is wrapped up in His will, and He wills the salvation of all men. We have never really had unlimited free will, even in the garden there was one option that we were ‘free’ to follow but would not enhance our freedom, we had to learn it seems.

When sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, immediately God placed a fiery cherubim to guard the Tree of Life. God was acting freely without our consent yet again and preventing Adam and Eve from eating from this tree and so experience eternal death. So their freedom was limited and still is. The wages of sin is death not eternal death or even worse a thought, eternal Hell.

…two births, one womb!!

We have undergone two births and in both births we are not in control, in fact we were not consulted at all. Our so called ‘free’ will that we seem to love so much was not required. We did not choose our earthly parents and in the same way our efforts were not required at our spiritual re-birth. We were resurrected at Christ’ resurrection and we had nothing at all to do with it. This is so offensive to many as it cuts through years of emphasising men’s responsibility to respond to God’s sacrificial death in Christ Jesus and includes all of mankind, no man elevated at the cost of another.

Saying that, there obviously is a glory in responding, but it’s like telling a young couple in love that there is a need to respond to one another? Some things are automatic, we instinctively know what to do, how to respond …create the right atmosphere and people respond. We respond to love, it’s in our DNA, which is love itself. All kinds of weird happens when love is absent.

When we hear the Good News of our inclusion in Christ our hearts begin to respond. The Gospel is the power of God and our ‘new lens’ in no way diminishes our love and need to share this with others, quite the contrary, our hearts open towards our fellow man and we see him in Christ already. Our attitude, our message will inevitably be effected and effortlessly love wins the hearts of those around us.

So let’s return to our faith father, Abraham. What was the promise that God spoke to Abraham?
‘In you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ Gen 12:1-3

We know from Galatians that this promise was the Gospel being preached beforehand to Abraham.                                                               Gal 3:8

So in the same way that the promise includes all nations, so the essence of the Gospel to us today is universal. Just as Abraham was a ‘light to the nations’; so we become the first fruits of those from the dead. At the heart of the message that Abraham speaks to us is ‘LIFE FROM THE DEAD’;

Abraham believed God could raise the dead to life. His body was as good as dead; Sarah’s womb was as good as dead, how was the promise to be fulfilled?

Romans 4 teaches us that even though the situation with Abraham did not look promising, (so much so that our faith father did attempt to ‘help’ God out and produce a son with his servant girl, Ishmael) finally Abraham believed God, he came to a place of rest in trusting God concerning this promise.

The Hebrew meaning of the word faith pictures a baby totally dependent upon his mother for milk, nourishment, absolutely everything. This is the picture of faith that Abraham speaks of. Faith in God is a place of resting in His ability to raise the dead to life. This is at the heart of the Gospel, God raised Christ from the dead, and we too have been raised from the dead. All were raised together with Him and if we die in our sins not realising our inclusion, then this same Glory will raise us up sooner or later, through whatever means is fit for us, we will see things differently I’m sure.

Our hope as believers is that this same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in us and this has an effect upon our mortal bodies now and later, we are transformed from mortality to immortality. There is whole new world right there to explore.

He abolished death and brought Life and Immortality to light through the Gospel.

                                                                                                               1 Tim 1:9,10

He did this for and with universal mankind and He is the light that shines that we may see how glorious our salvation really is, we have been delivered from death to life.

Our life is one of faith in God, fully appreciating our limited free will but fully realising that our inclusion in His life, death and resurrection means that we are intimately united to God now, this union is one that includes all men, but obviously not all know this. Some as I see it will see after death, even second death (the lake of fire) it seems, but nonetheless, in due time we will see death abolished as it really has been abolished.

When the end comes (and this is a term I use with great joy in my heart) we will see God all in all, this may seem utterly impossible, but we have a God who raises the dead to life.

The fulfilment of the promise that is referred to throughout the entire Bible began in Abraham with the birth of Isaac (which means laughter) but was fulfilled in Christ, the one SEED that the promise always pointed to. Galatians states clearly that it was in Abraham’s seed, not seeds plural, and we know that Christ was the descendent of Abraham, the one Seed. In Christ all families of the earth are blessed.

If you be Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs of God, co-heirs together with Christ.                                                                                                          Gal 3:29

Actually when we see, it becomes ‘hard’ to remember why we couldn’t see it all along? For me it is like a jigsaw puzzle and the pieces are all fitting together. I feel like the edges are in place now, the foundations are laid and we are blessed to see as we do today. I am grateful to all those who have imparted truth to me and know that the truth is what sets us

free.                                                 ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’

I am not taking lightly the accusations of ‘universalism’ that come our way; but neither am I taking lightly the years of abuse and darkness that have kept masses of people from knowing their true identity and the bliss of restored embrace with God their Father. Having reviewed the other lenses that have ruled the landscape thus far in western Christendom, I am thrilled and unashamed to be grasping a universal view of the Gospel.

It is truly is a bird’s eye view that sweetens everything. A rose-tinted lens that I like a lot.

by Jo Gravell

May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14