All Means All

by DanWolgemuth on July 25, 2008

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” ~ Genesis 3:1

These words, whispered from the craftiest of all creatures, have cascaded through history and into the most intimate and difficult situations that any human being faces. The shadows of doubt darken the brilliance of God’s promises and commands in a way that dilutes my heart.

Even this morning, as I was reading through the record of Jesus’ encounter with the father of a son who was consumed by a destructive spirit, I tripped across a word, a single three-letter word, that triggered the very lie that Satan introduced in Genesis.

All things are possible for one who believes. ~ Mark 9:23

ALL! You can’t be serious. This must be one of those classic times when the English language simply does an injustice to the original Greek.

Like a sprinter out of the starting blocks I raced to my Strong’s Concordance to do a word search. And as I landed on Strong’s number 3956, I discovered something stunning and amazing, all means all.

Then again, like the same sprinter who is involved in a relay, I handed my doubt off to another companion, to rationalization, to the dismissive excuse of culture or context, to whatever would help me attempt to reconcile the personal promise of Jesus against the present reality of my own experience.

I chased this doubt across other references in the New Testament only to find an exit ramp into the words of Paul in the book of Romans. Specifically, the words in the 8th chapter that say:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

This proved even more disturbing. This gave the potent lie of Satan additional dark black soil in which to plant his “Did God really say” lies. Did God really mean “all things” in this context as well?

Once again, the dash for evidence, once again, Strong’s 3956. Once again, all means all.

“All things are possible”

“All things work together”

Let there be no doubt, God, the only God. The great I AM, has declared, and He has not stuttered, that All means All. Immediately the father of the child cried out and said:

I believe; help my unbelief. ~ Mark 9:24

Even while we hear the whispered hissing tones of the evil lies that invade our soul, may we have the courage to proclaim, “Yes, God did really say that all means all.”

Help my unbelief.

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