The American Wisdom Series

The book of Ephesians

Chapter 1

Speaking in them (Paul's epistles) of what things? The "mysteries" of His plan and His will...

How is it that a person can get so excited about the Word of God?  It is sad, but many people think of the Bible as just a book containing "stories" and lists of restrictive religious do's and don'ts and the biggie "Thou shalt nots". But it is not so!

The Bible contains knowledge and revelation from the Creator of the Universe. And guess what! He's smarter and wiser than any scientist, physicist, philosopher, or theologian. Within the pages of 66 books can be found many answers that continue to baffle those who look through large and/or small scopes but ignore the vast scope of God's Word.

We will discover some of these "mysteries" and "secrets"  in this Book of Ephesians.  It was written by Paul, the apostle, from prison in Rome, around 62 A.D. It begins:

Ephes.. 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
An "apostle" (Gr. apostolos) is one who is "sent forth", i.e. an ambassador. Paul was made an apostle by the "will of God", not by the "will of Paul". Paul's "will" was to persecute Christians and he was very zealous in his efforts. With an attitude like that you would think it might be tough to convert him to Christianity. Maybe it would be for man, but not for God.

God did not inspire Paul to attend a tent revival to convert him, nor did Paul come forward to an altar call. Jesus Christ simply knocked him off his horse with a lightning bolt and said "you're mine, dude"!  This method of recruiting is quite effective as it tends to instantly soften and make ready the "clay". Here's Paul's reaction:

Acts 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
See what I mean?

Let's return to Ephes.. 1:1.

Ephes.. 1:1
... to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Question: To whom is this great Book of Ephesians written? Answer: To the "saints" and to the faithful in Christ Jesus  Who ARE the saints.  "Saints" are "consecrated" ones or "set  aside" ones.
[2] Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul gives a salutation.
[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
..."who through Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm." Moffat
[4] According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
This is one of the most profound and exciting verses in the Word of God! Proper understanding of this statement by the Apostle Paul can add new meaning to your life and for some, even provide an  explanation for some of their life's experiences.

There are three major components of this verse that require a background of understanding in order to fully comprehend.

1.) foundation of the world
2.) without blame
3.) chosen...before
The Greek word for "foundation" is "katabole" which comes from the prime "kata ballo" meaning to "throw down" or "cast down" In almost all cases where this word is used it is connected with the "world" or cosmos. "Foundation of the world" would then be more properly translated "ruin or disruption of the world".

Question: When was the world ruined or disrupted? Answer: At the time of rebellion of Satan. Let's go back to  the beginning:

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Most people understand this verse (even those who don't believe it).
[2] And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
But to understand two verses in a row seems way too difficult for many, so at this one they err! Look up the words "without form, and void" in a Strong's Concordance. They are tohu and bohu which mean waste and desolate, i.e. undistinguishable ruin!

Question! Do you know any manufacturers who create things in undistinguishable ruin? Does Detroit create "wrecked" cars? Of course not. And neither does God create things "wrecked". Here's proof that He did not create the earth in undistinguishable ruin (tohu):

Isaiah 45:18
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, He created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
This statement is from God Himself, "thus saith the LORD", the One that created the heavens and that formed the earth and MADE IT. He ought to know how He MADE IT! "He created it NOT in vain (tohu). He formed it to be inhabited!"

The word "was" in verse 2 (the earth was without form) is exactly the same Hebrew word used in Gen 2:7 and translated "became", as in man "became" a living soul. It should also be translated "became" in Gen 1:2, And the earth "became" without form and desolate (tohu va bohu). It wasn't created that way... it became that way. Now that makes sense. Read Jeremiah 4:23-26; Jeremiah explains that the earth BECAME without form , and void, i.e., the birds fled and the cities were broken down due to the LORD'S fierce anger.

Why was the Lord angry? You can read why in Revelation 12. It's because Satan drew a third of the stars (sons of God, our feiiow angels, we were all created as angels originally, millions (maybe trillion) of years ago.) after his perverted ways in what Peter calls "The world that then was (2 Pet 3:6). You can be sure God gave Satan every opportunity to repent, but alas, he would not and God sentenced Satan to die, (to lose his soul) which is why he is called the "son who will perish" or the son of perdition.

But then, rather than having trial and judgment for the 1/3 of us who defected as well as the rest of His children, God laid out His loving plan to provide a way for each of us to individually salvage our souls. 

As part of that plan He destroyed the world that then was, just as Gen 1:2 says, and the earth became a ruinous desolation . Read about it Jeremiah 4:

Jeremiah 4:23-26
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. [24] I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. [25] I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. [26] I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.

How do you supposed God caused all that destruction? It is quite evident that He knocked the earth off its true polar axis. That is why magnetic north and true north are 90 miles apart and we have the jet stream. He also knocked it out of its perfect orbit. The latest theory I saw was that a giant meteorite once crashed into the Caribbean where there exists a huge crater. Could be! It works for me.

Now let's consider the number 2 and 3 components of Ephes 1:4, "without blame" and "chosen".

In addition to the 1/3 of us sons of God who joined Satan's camp, there were also those of us who stood against Satan at that rebellion and remained loyal to our Father. They/we "earned" the right to be "chosen", used by God, as instruments in fulfilling His will, His plan. God is completely fair, He is no respecter of persons.

From this group us faithful sons/angels, God chose His elect, to be present at the final generation of this 2nd. earth age, and the remnant who would carry forth throughout history. So you can see He chose the first to be last (to be born in this earth age) and the last (chosen) to be first born.  Those who were chosen were also justified, found blameless before God. They had exercised their free will and chose to love our Father.

All that Paul is saying in Ephes. 1:4 is that we, God's elect, were "chosen" before the "katabole" (destruction of the 1st earth age). I know this is "new territory" for some of you reading this, but hang in there, it gets easier.

Beginning in Gen 1:3 our Father then created this earth age, which included a resurfacing of the earth. He then created mankind, flesh and blood bodies for us angels. giving us animal bodies this time, both male and female,  (to come to earth, in our turn, born of women, and told us to go and replenish the earth... not to plenish it, but re-plenish it, for it had been populated in the world that then was), Except we were in celestial, angelic bodies then,.

So as part of this offered plan of salvation (to bring back His children, providing a way for us to salvage our souls from the same death sentence Satan was sentenced to) it was given unto every man to die once in the flesh, i.e. all the sons of God would be born of flesh woman, from umbilical cord to umbilical cord. ( "The summer school of life" I call it.

Hebrews 9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
All would pass through this flesh age, born innocent of woman, meaning that they would have NO prior knowledge of the events that had transpired in the world that then was! In other words, their "hard disks" or "hard heads" would be newly formatted with NO data, just the operating system. That way they could be free to make-up their minds whether they would follow God or Satan.

Now understand this next statement in light of what we've covered so far:

"God will not interfere in a person's life without their asking UNLESS you are one of HIS." If He did, He would be accused at judgment of interfering with a person's chance and right to choose freely.

Jonah would be an example of one of God's remnant whom God would use. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah, exercising his free will, jumped on a boat and headed the opposite direction. But Jonah had no choice in the matter, he was going to Nineveh. God interfered in his life, big time.

Jeremiah was named BEFORE he entered his mother's womb. Why not? Where was he before he entered his mother's womb? With our Father, the same place you and I were, before we were born, into these flesh and blood, animal bodies, we no now find ourselves in!

We already saw how Paul was converted. Is it no wonder that the Lord says in Act 9:15 that Paul is a chosen vessel unto me? Christ then intercedes on behalf of His elect.

Romans 8:27
And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
God interceded in Paul's life. Again, there was no altar call.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
"Called" according to His will and His plan. You may have wondered about some of the events in your life. If you are one of His, there is a reason, a purpose, you have a destiny.
Ephes. 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
We were already adopted as children of God... before the "katabole", according to the good pleasure of His will. That doesn't mean God's elect are better than others. Remember, God is always and completely fair.
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
For those whom He knew before hand, He predetermined their "destiny", not their day to day decisions of life.
[30] Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
This verse should now be self explanatory.
[31] What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
If God, who has all power in heaven and on earth, has predetermined our destiny, and has us "under His wing", who in the world, including Satan, can be against us?

So the Book of Ephesians was written to the saints, God's elect, the set aside ones. Paul has just explained to us in verse 4 that we (of the election) were "chosen", pre-selected by grace (merit & fairness being present), to serve God according to His will, anyway He so chooses, before the "katabole"... before the foundation of this earth age.

That sounds like so long ago, doesn't it? However, we experience "time" in this, the flesh dimension, at a "snail's pace" compared to the spiritual dimension. Peter explained that to us in 2 Peter 3:8 right after he explained that there are "3 Earth Ages", which are: 1.) the world that then was (creation in eternity past, to which all Fossils and "Remains" belong), 2.) the present earth age in which we find ourselves now, and 3.) the eternal earth age to come following the Great White Throne Judgment. Concerning time then, Peter writes:

2 Peter 3:8
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.
So start elevating your thinking to a higher spiritual plane.  (" 'eth-ha adham" means this one flesh and blood man in particular and his help meet Eve, who God formed on the eighth day after His seventh day of rest, as recorded in Genesis 2:7; their history only spans about 6000 years or SIX DAYS and the LORD'S DAY, the Millennium, fast approaches.  Even the history of flesh and blood  
mankind in general (all the races of us flesh and blood beings) as recorded in Genesis 1:27, happened only about 14,000 years ago. Therefore in spiritual reality, we (God's elect) were chosen, at most, a several weeks ago, as God measures time.

But how, you ask, do I know if I'm one of God's elect? The answer is simple and is explained by this same apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans, written just a few years before his letter to the Ephesians.

Romans 11:5-8
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. [6] And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Paul is explaining about the remnant, God's elect. They were elected by the grace of God and not by any works they have done here in the flesh! Paul certainly didn't do any good works to warrant being chosen. He was a Christ and a Christian "basher"! God only knows what you've done! (PS. You are never, ever, allowed to talk to my wife about me!)
[7] What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
Are you blinded? Or can you "see" what Paul is talking about?
[8] (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
At this moment, in these end times, the world (including the majority of Christianity) is asleep to the truth of God's Word. They can NOT "see" the mysteries Paul teaches nor can they "hear" the words of the Shepherd.

We are right now in the very midst of that "famine" spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, which would precede His return. Amos records God's definition of what that famine is:

Amos 8:11
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Our people are not going to starve for lack of groceries! They are already starving for the true "bread of life", the Word of God. They are a walking pile of dry bones!

Live Links to> The Famine of these last days
and to> Does your supposed easier to read (a sales ploy) Bibles published and sold since 1970 contain these verses?
[12] And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
And so they do wander, even from "sea to shining sea" and across the fruited plain, stopping at this church and that one, seeking the word of the LORD, but they cannot find it! Sad isn't it?

Let's now continue in Ephesians. We have, therefore, those who are "chosen" and "justified" overall, and we have those who have free will. Repeating verse 5:

Ephes. 1:5
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
We covered earlier.
Ephes. 1:6
To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
The Beloved is Jesus Christ. God made us accepted in Him.
[7] In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
We all sin in the flesh, but upon repentance we are forgiven because Christ shed His sin free blood for us.
[8] Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
He has given us "eyes to see" and "ears to hear".  The Moffat translation has it "granting us complete insight and understanding..."
[9] Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
If we have been granted complete insight and wisdom by Christ, then God's will, His plan, is no mystery to us. But it is a mystery to others. Peter talks about Paul's teachings, how he uses the wisdom granted to him by God.
2 Peter 3:15
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;
And we are reading that writing (his letter to the saints) in this study!
[16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Speaking in them (Paul's epistles) of what things? The "mysteries" of His plan and His will... the things that Peter had just written of in the prior 14 verses, i.e. the 3 Earth Ages and the World That Then Was, etc! Go read 2 Peter chapter 3. It's so simple! It's absolutely amazing! And it's certainly not because we're so smart that we understand! It was given to us by Him. We just read it in Eph 1:8 & 9! And we thank Him for it!

Oh! But read the last half of 2 Pet 3:16. They which are unlearned (which means they probably have a PhD in theology) do wrest, i.e. struggle, with Paul's mysteries, as they do with the rest of the scriptures (beginning of course in Genesis chapter 1 verse 2).

We must move on in Ephesians, but I just can't help going to Isaiah 29 where the "expanded version" of 2 Pet 3:16 is found.

Isaiah 29:9
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
They are Spiritually Drunk with the "wine of fornication" poured directly from the golden cup of Babylon, which is to say "confusion", i.e. false religion. Jeremiah 51:7 reads "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad."
[10] For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
Exactly the same as we read in Romans 11:7-8. There is nothing new under the sun!
[11] And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
The book of course is God's Word, the Bible.

So Mr. PhD says it's sealed, a "mystery" that we cannot understand. Baloney! What a waste of tuition money.

[12] And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
So this seeker of excuses, because he didn't go to college or attend a seminary, says "I can't understand and explain the Bible, that's for those scholars with PhD's".

No wonder we're in a "famine" for the hearing of the Word!

[13] Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
So they substitute, in it's place, the made up precepts (traditions) of men: rapture theories, apples in the garden, Easter bunnies, predestination theories (like it was preordained that you would back your car into the garage door), etc.

What is the ultimate goal then of God's will?

Ephes. 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:
I can't wait! (But we have work to do first.)
[11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Did you catch that? We have obtained an inheritance!! Hmmm... You know God owns the entire Universe. I wonder what that inheritance will be? ... Maybe a couple of planets or solar systems or how about a galaxy?

We learned in Ephesians 1:11 that the saints, the set aside ones, those who are "predestinated according to the purpose of Him..." have obtained an inheritance. The question is, what is that inheritance? Does the Bible tell us? The answer is "of course".

We also learned from Paul's writing in the Book of Romans, that those predestinated ones have also been "justified".

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Let's look into the future, by going back into the Old Testament, and see what is the inheritance of these "justified".

Did you know that the last eight chapters of the Book of EZEK-I-EL (meaning God is strong, or God strengthens) refer to the period just ahead that we call the Millennium, i.e. AFTER Jesus Christ has returned to this earth to rule ALL nations with a rod of iron? That's right, we're talking the "Old Testament" here! I guess those who walk around with half a book (just the New Testament) can't know much about the Millennium or the inheritance of the saints.

The Hebrew word for "just" is Zadok.  In Ezekiel 44:15 you will find that the priests of God are called the sons of Zadok, or the "just".  In Genesis 14:18 we read of "Melchizedek", king of Salem (which means peace) who was the priest of the most high God. "Melchi" means King and "zedek or zadok" means just. He was the King of the just.

Then in Ezekiel 44:28 we find what the inheritance is for the "just", the ones who are "justified". The subject is the Zadok and the Lord is speaking:

Ezekiel 44:28
And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession.
Is this not incredible? The inheritance of the Zadok is not land (give them no possession in the land). Why? For God is our inheritance.  Now you know. Think about it!

We now continue with verse 12 of Ephesians, a continuation of verse 11:

Ephes. 1:12
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
The "we" spoken of here are the predestinated ones whose inheritance Paul is discussing. This is in contrast to the "ye" of the next verse.

When did the "we" first trust in Christ? Well, you could say that in as much as Paul is speaking to those saved members of the Pentecostal church closed by the judgment pronouncement of Acts 28:25,28 that they were the first to trust in Christ.

However, if you are "attuned" to the subject in this chapter of those "chosen before the foundation of this world", who were "justified", then you could say that they first "trusted" then, in "the world that then was", at the "katabole". Is it still a "mystery" or are you beginning to see?

Paul is now addressing those who trusted "after they heard the word of truth":

[13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
After they believed, trusted and accepted Christ as their savior, they were also sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (inheritance). Make no mistake. God's elect are no better that anyone else, just because they were first. All of God's children who believe, trust and accept Christ partake in His inheritance.
[14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Look up the word earnest in Strong's concordance (or a dictionary for that matter). It means a pledge, i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest: - earnest. When you purchase something it is the earnest money (the down payment, the security) that binds or validates the contract. Your belief is your down payment.
[15] Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
[16] Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Paul had a special "paternal" affection for these believers, for it was through his teaching that they came to know the Lord.
[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

[18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Have the "eyes of your understanding" been opened? Or are you still "slumbering" with those who are anesthetized with the "wine" from the golden cup of Babylon, confusion, churchianity? Does some of what we've discussed seem new, different from that which you've always heard? Good! That's good!
[19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,
[20] Which he wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
By His mighty power He raised Christ, who now sits at His right hand, in whom ALL things that are in heaven and earth are placed under His feet:
[21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
All kings, all rulers, all authorities, both now, in this earth age, and throughout all eternity are subject  to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords.  That's a pretty comforting thought when you realize that it is He who gives us power over all our enemies. And so Romans 8:31 is backed by ALL power in heaven and earth: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"
[22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church,
Christ is the head of the church. He is not a steeple. The church is not a building. It is not a denomination. There is no need to wander from place to place searching for the "True" church.  If you believe in Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as your savior then YOU ARE THE CHURCH (Greek "ecclesia", a calling out). You are part of the body of Christ, which transcends all denominations. It cannot be bound nor controlled by man with systems, buildings, ceremonies, do's and don'ts, or membership lists.
[23] Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.
His members "fill up" the body of Christ, bringing...
... together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: [vs. 10]
... which completes...
... the dispensation of the fulness of times . [vs. 10 also]

Chapter 2

We as Christians are instructed to rightly divide the Word of God, which implies that it requires dividing at times. Does that make sense? So if we don't do our homework and study and rightly divide, then we will most assuredly fall short of the complete understanding that our Father intended for us. God expects us to work.

2 Tim. 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Some may ask, "Why is it, that the Bible is written in such a "divided" fashion that one must go digging for the truth?" The answer is, "so that when you go digging for it, you'll find it!"

Here in Ephesians 2:1 we have such an opportunity to "rightly divide". It reads:

Ephes. 2:1
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Italicized words in the King James are words that are not found in the original languages, but were added by the translators for the purpose of clarity.

The 1611 Edition of the King James Bible abounded in the literary form called (Parentheses). In subsequent editions many of these parentheses were discarded and replaced by commas, or just ignored altogether. We have an example of this literary form beginning in the middle of verse 19 of chapter 1 and taken up by Ephesians 2:1.

If we observe the parenthesis concerning the fact and results of Jesus' resurrection (in Eph. 1:19-23) we connect Eph. 2:1 with 1:19, and preserve the truth and teaching of the whole passage, eliminating the necessity for the all the italics in 2:1.

Ephes. 1:18,19
"That ye may know... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe (...)," [2:1] "even you who were dead in trespasses and sins."
The proper dividing, therefore, allows us to carry forth the subject, which is the "called out" ones.

What does it mean to be "dead in trespasses and sins"? Paul explains:

[2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
At one time you, in the flesh, followed the evil ways of this present age (course = aion, meaning "this world age", i.e. in this flesh age) under the sway, or influence, of the prince of the power of the air, who is Satan. It is his spirit, Satan's spirit, that works in the sons (Gk. huios) of disobedience.

Mainstream Christianity, which rarely does any digging in the Word, would "spiritualize away" this phrase "children of disobedience" as meaning any child who is disobedient. However, this is not the case in this verse. If you have a Companion Bible, it will document that this is a "Hebraism: not disobedient children, but sons of Satan in a special manner, being those in whom he works..."

That's right, Satan has his offspring, his sons (Gk. huios), through whom he works. For every positive there is a negative. In verse 19 we see it is the Holy Spirit that works through God's elect. It is the evil spirit that works through Satan's elect.

Jesus Christ identified these children of disobedience in John 8:44 as being Satan's prodigy, beginning with his firstborn, the first murderer we read of in scripture. If you don't know who the first murderer was then go back to Genesis and "dig" it out.

John 8:44
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Again, mainstream churchianity would "sluff this off" and miss entirely the mysteries of Paul and the simplicity of Christ's teaching. Consequently they are basically unaware who the enemies of Christianity are. In fact, many don't know that there ARE enemies of Christianity. Today these sons of Cain work overtime to bring to our nation and to our children, perversions, immorality, and other evil societal influences through their control of the press, the media, and entertainment, through their control of the four "hidden" dynasties of politics, education, religion and the economy.

The following is the most important parable spoken by Jesus Christ. He tells us in Luke that if we do not understand this parable then we will NEVER understand the rest of His parables.

Live Link to> The Parables of The Sower and The The Tares, all on one file.

Here is the Parable of the Tares, delivered by Christ in parable form:

Matthew 13:24-30
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: [25] But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. [26] But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. [27] So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? [28] He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? [29] But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matthew 13:34-43
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: [35] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. [36]
Read again, very carefully, that last verse. Christ is speaking of things which have been kept "secret" from the beginning.

Now watch what happens next! The crowd disperses and Jesus and His disciples go into the house and have a private session.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
The disciples ask Jesus to explain to them the Parable of the Tares! Why? They didn't get it, will you?

What did Christ then do? He EXPLAINED it to them. The following is the explanation of the Parable of the Tares. WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IS NOT A PARABLE.

Mat. 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; [38] The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
This is not tough! The field is the world. The tares are the children (Gk. huios) of the wicked one. Their father is the devil, Satan. (Remember, this is not a parable, but rather the simple explanation of one by Jesus.)
[39] The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
The devil sowed his seed in the garden, in the beginning, and produced his firstborn, Cain.
[40] As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. [41] The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; [42] And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Who has ears to hear? Do you? Or are you now upset that you heard something different than you've always believed?  These tares are also referred to in Rev. 2:9 and Rev. 3:9 where we find that only two of the seven churches teach about the tares. The rest have serious problems.

We return to Ephesians:

[3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
"Conversation" is better translated "conduct". In the past we partook and were influenced by the children of disobedience. As flesh men and women, by nature, we can all understand this verse, and the fulfilling of the desires of the flesh. So we can all fill in the details of our own sordid pasts, as Paul did.
[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Our Father loves His children very much.
[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Even when we were dead to that true spirit, the Holy Spirit, God still loved us. We are never alone. It is by His loving grace that we are saved.
[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
We have direct access to the throne of God through Jesus Christ, who sits at His right hand. The veil to the Holy of Holies was rent from top to bottom at Christ's crucifixion, and so we don't need preachers, priests, ministers, pledges of money, or 1 800 telephone numbers to talk to our Father. There is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ.
[7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Through faith in Christ we believe. And that takes us to God's saving grace whereby He forgives us,  even though we sin.
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Many people take this verse to say that works are not important. Of course, no one can earn salvation through works, no matter how great a work he or she has done. We cannot take credit anyway for our works! God does the work through His gifts which He gives to us.
[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are supposed to do good works. The "Grace only doctrine" is a lazy person's excuse not to do good works. If we truly believe then we will want to do good works. Show me your works and then I'll see your faith.

He has liberally given "gifts" to each of us to do good works. We can never take credit for His fruit.

The discussion of "Grace vs. Works" in relation to salvation is one that by its very nature excludes common sense. What man or woman do you know who can add to his/her stature, or prevent his/her own death (physically much less spiritually)? You can't think of anyone off the top of your head? Then doesn't nature and common sense both tell us that without God's grace there can be no salvation? In other words, though he tries through gnosticism, works, rituals, denominational elitism, etc., man cannot bring about his own salvation apart from God. Period.

Ephes. 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Paul here is addressing the Gentiles who were called uncircumcised by those who were physically circumcised. We find in Acts chapter 9 that Paul, God's chosen vessel,  was the apostle, the one sent forth to carry the message, to the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Acts 9:15
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
So, who are the Gentiles? The Greek word used most often for "gentile" is "ethnos", meaning the ethnic peoples, or the races, nations. It is in contrast to Israel, i.e. basically, a gentile is a non-Israelite (I did not say a non-Jew). Paul will be explaining that as far a salvation is concerned, race makes no difference and we can all partake in the promises of God. However, He created the races for a reason and He didn't "do away" them.

The misunderstanding of who is a Gentile and who isn't, along with an ignorance of the terms Hebrew, Israel and Jew, are one of the main reasons prophecy is so "botched" by Christian ministers. Just ask one of them where the United States is mentioned in the Bible and they scramble and they stumble and they fall. Imagine that, God forgot about the superpower of superpowers of the end time. Don't believe it for one moment!

An entire volume could be written on this subject, the space of which we are not afforded here. If you would like reference books and materials, contact Artisan Publishers at and purchase the book "ABRAHAMIC COVENANT". Here's a brief synopsis:

Abraham was an Hebrew, which comes from the word "eber" meaning "from across the river". Abraham's nephew, Lot, was also an Hebrew. Abraham then begat Isaac, who naturally was Hebrew, too. However, neither of them, nor Lot, were Jews! Why? Judah hadn't been born yet. So we will have Lot and his descendants growing and multiplying. They will always be Hebrews, but never of Israel or Judah.

Then Isaac begat Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. Israel (Jacob) had twelve sons who, today, have become nations, as numerous as the sands of the sea and the stars of the sky. (If are living in the U.S., you are living in one of them). All twelve sons were Israelites (born of Jacob, who was Israel). However, only those of his son Judah were of Judah, i.e. "Jews". The other eleven tribes were of Israel, but not of Judah! Remember following Solomon's reign the northern 10 tribes split with Judah and Benjamin and we had the House of Israel warring against the House of Judah.

1 Kings 12:21
And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
So here's what we have. It may sound confusing, but it is really quite simple:

Not all Hebrews are Israelites. (Lot and his family for example)

Not all Israelites are Jews. Most aren't, 11 out of 12 tribes aren't, only those of Judah are (1/12).

Only Jews (of true Judah) can be called Jews, Israelites and Hebrews.

The other 11 tribes are both Israelites and Hebrews, but not Jews.

Is this important? You bet it is! For many would "wash away" all of Israel into one tribe, Judah. But please note in Revelation chapter 7 that in the end times, now, twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes are to be, and are being, sealed with God's Word. Then too, many claim that Paul was a Jew. He was not a Jew, he was a Benjamite. He says so himself.

Romans 11:1
I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
So where is the House of Israel? After the Assyrian captivity they migrated north and west, over the Caucasus Mountains (hence they are called Caucasians), into Europe and into the Isles of the West. They became know as Celts, Cimmerians, Anglos and Saxons (Saxon means saac's sons, Isaac). Later they came to this great nation. The Christian nations today, basically, comprise the House of Israel. There are mounds of documentation for this.

But here is where ignorance has brought us. Many who are of true Israel call themselves Gentiles, while many of the "children of disobedience" run around claiming they are God's chosen people, when in fact many are not even descendents of Judah or Israel.

Let's return now to Ephesians. Paul is addressing the Gentiles.

[12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Until Christ paid the price on the cross and became the sacrifice for all who would repent and receive Him, they had no hope, i.e., they were not part of the covenant God made with Israel.
[13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Now all, including Gentiles, can come to the Father through Jesus Christ.
[14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
There was a wall that separated the outer court of the temple in Jerusalem, from the inner court. Gentiles could not enter into the inner court, under penalty of death. But now Christ is the Temple. All Christians, both of Israel and Gentile (all those who are circumcised of the heart), make up His many membered body and can "enter in".
[15] 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;
His death on the cross abolished the "law of ordinances" (dogma) which separated the Gentiles from Israelites. Christ united them both into one temple, His body.

Many use this verse to say that God's law was done away with. Does this verse say that Christ abolished the ten commandments? No, it does not. There is a great difference between laws, statutes and ordinances. Christ "abolished" the laws of ritualism and blood sacrifices, etc., that were spelled out in laws contained in ordinances and statutes. Though we fall short of keeping the Ten Commandments, they are in force evermore.

[16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Again, both gentile and Israelite are united in the body of Christ.
[17] And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Without Christ and the New Covenant all are "afar off".
[18] For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
We all, through Christ, through the Holy Spirit, have access to the Father.
[19] Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Gentiles are no more strangers and outsiders, but fellow citizens with the saints, the set aside ones, as well as those of the household of God who not set aside.
[20] And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Apostles and prophets represent both the Old & New Testaments, God's Word, with Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone (the one which the builders rejected).
[21] In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Again, the temple of God is not a building. Christ is the "Temple". Remember He said "Destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in three days"? He was speaking of His body, not the building.

A word of caution. Until Jesus Christ returns we must keep focused on Him and not be deceived (Jesus warned us in His Sermon on the Mount). Though we read in the closing chapters of Ezekiel that there will be a temple built in the millennium, AFTER Christ returns, there is one coming BEFORE Christ returns, who will claim to possess God's temple. That one is Satan who comes to earth first as the false messiah! Paul warns us:

2 Thes. 2:3-4
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Satan will put on quite a show. He is very, very convincing.
Ephes 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Through the Holy Spirit we all fit together, making up the temple, His church, the body of Christ.

Chapter 3

We now come to chapter three of this exciting Book of Ephesians. Why is it so exciting? For in it we have learned from one of God's chosen vessels, the Apostle Paul, of the "mystery" of the plan of salvation of God. Included in that "mystery" is the knowledge of the "Three Earth Ages" and the foreknowledge of the "World That Then Was", both spoken of by Peter in 2 Pet 3.

Without understanding these "secrets hidden from the foundation of this world", the first three chapters of Ephesians become difficult and "hidden" from eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear. Christ himself talked about these things which have been kept "secret" from the beginning just before He explained the Parable of the Tares, which we covered in chapter 2:

Matthew 13:35 (from the 78th Psalm)
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Are you "in tune" with the "mysteries" Paul taught of? If not, but you have the desire to know, then ask our Father for the abundance of wisdom and prudence (Eph. 1:8) that He pours out, and keep "digging". You'll find it!

As we continue to rightly divide this Book of Ephesians we find that the entirety of chapter 3 is a parenthetical chapter, a true Parembole, being complete in itself. This should be carefully noted so that we may connect the "Therefore" of chapter 4:1 with chapter 2:22. There is also contained within chapter 3 another parenthesis, vv. 2-13, with verse 14 taking up the subject (which was broken off in vs. 1) and repeating the words "For this cause".

With that background we begin chapter 3, verse 1:

Ephes. 3:1
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
"For this cause" or "On this account", Paul was captive of the Lord, i.e. he was bound by Christ to deliver the gospel, and the mystery of the truth, to the Gentiles, as well as to the kings and queens and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15).
[2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you,
[3] How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
We all know how the conversion of Paul took place and how he was later taken, in spirit, to the third heaven (2 Cor 12:2) and taught the revelation by Christ.
[4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Read what? Paul's writing. The "few words" Paul wrote afore are found in Romans 16:25,26.
Romans 16:25-26
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Again, we see that the mystery has been kept secret since the world began. That's why you haven't heard it before!
Ephes 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Which in other generations was not made known... but it is now, and it is contained in the writings of the apostles, the New Testament, and the prophets, the Old Testament, i.e. God's Word.
[6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Salvation and the promise, which is to say the inheritance, is open to all of God's children, to all races and nations.

In Revelation 21:10 we see the New Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, with twelve gates, and with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel on them. We also see the nations (ethnos) and their kings, of all that received salvation, present and accounted for.

Rev. 21:24-26
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. [25] And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. [26] And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Forever and ever, world without end!
Ephes 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Paul was MADE a minister, he didn't choose the vocation (at least in this earth age). God knocked him off of his horse by the effectual working of His power, and made him His, a captive, a prisoner in Christ, to preach the gospel. Quite a story, huh?
[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Paul was well aware of how undeserving he was to be given such grace by Almighty God, to be used mightily to preach the unsearchable, or unfathomable, riches of Christ to the Gentiles. After all, he was the chief persecutor of Christians. He even held the coats of those who stoned Stephen to death. That makes him an accessory to the crime.
[9] And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
All things were created by Jesus Christ, the Living Word. Did you know that? It is declared by the Written Word of God:
John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Continuing with the purpose of Paul's commission:
Ephes 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
So that the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies (not just on earth), including Satan, might know the manifold wisdom of God, through His church.
[11] According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
God has an eternal purpose, beginning with "bringing back" to Him His sons and daughters through Jesus Christ.
[12] In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
How strong is your faith in Him? How boldly and confidently do you approach our Father? Or are you sheepish because you see yourself as a sinner? "Oh, God, woe is me!" If so, just repent, ask forgiveness, and then be bold and confident, for when He forgives, it is gone!

How boldly and confidently do you approach life? Can you say to others (not out loud of course)  "Do you know who I am?  I am a son, or daughter, of the Living God. I am somebody!"

It's too bad that our school systems today teach our youth that they are merely the end product, through evolution, of organic slime. What hope and confidence does that instill?

So be bold and confident in Him. Your inheritance awaits!

To this point in chapter 3 (a parenthetical chapter), Paul has been describing his role as a servant of the mystery, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, commissioned by Him through divine intervention in his life to carry forth the gospel to the gentiles.

(Let us then, at this point, parenthetically recap the "mysteries" Paul taught, in a very short summary of God's plan. For the sake of brevity and continuity, I have omitted most scriptural references. I know this may be new to some, and if so, try to be open minded and absorb that which has been hidden, the mysteries, from before the foundation of this world.

Before the earth ever was, while as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world (Prov. 8), wisdom alone was with our Father, and He was alone, which is to say, lonely. So He created, brought forth, His children, the souls of the sons of God, and gave to each of them "free will". Is it at that time you and I came into existence, long before this flesh age, long before He placed you and me in that embryo in our mother's wombs.

He then created this beautiful earth, to be inhabited, and the "stars" of heaven, His sons, shouted for joy. And so we did inhabit this perfect earth, our beautiful home, until one named Lucifer began to take charge and usurp the authority of our Father. He was so successful in his conniving ways that he drew one third of God's children away from Him. Our Father gave this one, Lucifer, every opportunity to repent and change his ways, but he would not. An ensuing conflict followed and some of God's children stood against this 'dragon' and were loyal and faithful to God. Finally, judgment was passed and Satan was sentenced to die, to perish. And so it is, he is called the son of perdition, the son who will perish, even death.

Our Father, in His love for His children, delayed the judgment of the rest of children. He instituted a plan of reconciliation, of salvation, to bring back those who had followed Satan as well as those who just didn't care one way or the other. Declared long ago, that plan of salvation is written in the "heavens which are now" and contained within the pure zodiac, including the virgin birth and the man  Child who would be brought forth as Savior. But as with all of God's works, especially His word, man has succeeded in perverting, and hiding, the truth, to point at which it becomes a mystery.

So we come to Gen 1:2 where God overthrew Satan and destroyed the "world that then was", the age to which the fossils and the remains of dinosaurs belong. He literally knocked this planet off of its true axis and out of its perfect orbit, whereby it became completely, and utterly, void and desolate. The sons of God were not in flesh bodies at that time and we returned to heaven at the overthrow of Satan, the "katabole" in Greek.

He then re-created the earth and brought forth the "flesh" man and his mate the "womb man", created in the likeness and image of God and the angels. In other words, we look like ourselves in the flesh. Man was then instructed to go forth and replenish the earth, not plenish it, for it had been populated before.

It was decreed for all of God's children to pass through this earth age, born of woman, born innocent, i.e. "it is given unto all men to die once", in the flesh of course. You see, when we are born in the flesh we have no knowledge of the events that occurred in the "world that then was". That is what born innocent means. Our minds are blank. We are free to chose whether to follow God or Satan. Of course we have learned that some already chose to follow God in the "world that was" and stood against Satan. Therefore God chose them (predetermined, predestinated them), having justified them, to be used by Him as the remnant and His elect, down through the allotted time of history, to bring about His plan. Do you now see how Paul's statement in Ephesians 1:4 makes so much sense, when he says, "we (God's elect) where chosen before the foundation of this world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love?" It remains a "mystery" to the world.

God then, after He had created the "ethos", the races, the nations, on the sixth day, rested on the seventh. On the eighth day He formed Adam and his wife Eve to be the "tillers of the ground", to prepare and make ready for the Savior of the world. For it would be through their offspring, the children of Adam and Eve, that Jesus Christ would be born.

Satan knew that. So what did he do? He immediately tried to thwart God's plan. He seduced mother Eve! Not into eating an apple (the word apple is not found in the Book of Genesis) but into bringing forth his seed, Cain, Satan's son. That is why you will not find Cain in Adam's genealogy in chapter 5 of Genesis. He has his own in chapter 4. Why? He was not Adam's son!

It is a mystery? What happened in the fig grove has been hidden for a long time. In fact, it's interesting that the very word "fig", according to Webster's dictionary, also means "hidden", the expression being "it is a fig". But remember the Parable of the Tares in Matthew 13? Jesus Christ explained how the "children of disobedience", Satan's children, the sons of Cain (Kenites), the tares, came about. His explanation IS NOT a parable. The parable was given earlier. This is the simple truth.

Matthew 13:37-39
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; [38] The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; [39] The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

It remains a "mystery" to the world.

After Cain, the first murderer, killed Abel, God raised up Seth to continue Adam's progeny. Then as Adam's family grew, Satan had his loyal followers, the wicked sons of God, leave their "first habitation", heaven, and come directly to earth, without being born of woman. That violated God's decree and thus they sealed their eternal destruction. These sons of God took to wife the daughters of Adam and that union produced the "gibor", giants. Only Noah and his family were left undefiled by these sons of God, i.e. had maintained a pure pedigree. Our Father brought about the flood of Noah to rid the earth of these menacing creatures. However, there was yet another influx following the flood. Those later giants awaited the children of Israel in the promised land. Remember when the spies of Joshua came back and reported giants? Goliath, who was 13 feet tall, was one of the last of these giants that we read of in the Bible. (Evidence that giants once roamed the earth are plentiful if you care to research. Start with Easter Island and the shores of Bashan.)

Throughout the Old Testament we read of Satan's attempts to thwart God's plan, his attempts at Abraham and Sarah, Judah and his troubles, etc., etc., etc., until finally Satan brings about the crucifixion of Christ, the bruising of His heel, as prophesied in Genesis 3:15.

We are now about to enter into a new era, the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ and His saints. But before we do, we will witness the entering in, a grand entrance to be sure, of the false messiah, Satan himself, who will bring about his one world political (and religious) system. As Paul taught in 2 Thes 2, he will stand in Jerusalem claiming to be Christ returned and effectively convincing the entire world by performing wonders and miracles in the sight of men. Accompanying him will be his angels, those sons of God in Gen. 6 that we just discussed. It is written and declared by Jesus Himself... "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be before His return... they will be eating and drinking, and giving and taking in marriage". Now you know who.

There is so much more. We have but briefly covered some of the "mysteries" which Paul taught. But contained therein are the answers to so many questions that mainstream Christianity struggles with. For instance, how is it that God could have hated (loved less by comparison) Esau and loved Jacob while they were yet in their mother's womb? (Anyone with children will tell you that new born babies have different personalities "right out of the gate". But of course!) How is it that God named Jeremiah and others before they were born? How is it that Paul could say we were chosen before the "katabole"? It is so simple. Our Father knew us from before, long ago. We are His children. We were with Him before we came to dwell (tabernacle) for a short time in this flesh body. It will die and decay and we will RETURN to the Father (unless of course we are alive and remain at the second coming of Christ. Then we will be changed instantly, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, into our spiritual bodies. Remember Paul said in 1 Cor. 15, "behold I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep").

And so it is easy to see how Paul becomes very humbled because of the grace and the greatness of the revelation of the plan of God (now no longer a mystery). End parenthesis)

We continue now with Ephesians. Paul asks that the people not lose heart or be discouraged over the tribulations and burdens that he is suffering on their behalf. Why? Because his tribulations are an honour to them.
Ephes. 3:13
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Never grow weary, or be discouraged.
[14] For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
God's plan of salvation for all is so magnificent and His grace is so awesome, that Paul, having been  given a part in that great plan, though he was chief among sinners in the flesh, could only bow in humility to the Lord Jesus Christ, who through the "working of His power" has made all things possible.

We need only to stop and consider how incredibly good to us our Father is and how much He loves His children, instead of getting all caught-up in our day to day trials and tribulations. Then our hearts would pour out to Him in the same manner of appreciation that Paul felt whenever he thought about the love of Christ.

[15] Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
The Greek word for "family" used here is "patria" which means the kindred or family of our Father, as in a patriarchal family, i.e. His children both in heaven and on earth.

Of course we have family in heaven! Where do you think our loved ones are who have passed away in the flesh? Dead and buried, "six feet under"? No, they are with Him. And, though we are not all together at this time (some of us are here on earth, and some of us are in heaven), we are never alone.  We are united into one body in Him.

It is so comforting to know that we are part of His family. Can you fathom that?

[16] That He would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
We, ourselves, the "real us", the inner man, receive power and strength by His Holy Spirit. Christ dwells in us, i.e. He is at home when He abides within us.

Shall we discuss the "inner man"? The inner man is the "real" you. Touch your arm, that is not you! That is your flesh body, in which you but dwell. It is the "outer man". So it is that the "inner man" can "hurt" while the "outer man" feels fine, and the "outer man" can be sick and suffering while the "inner man" rejoices.

Our flesh, the outer man, talks to us all the time. Unfortunately we usually listen more attentively that we should. When it says "feed me, I'm hungry" we just hop right to the cupboard or refrigerator and feed it obediently. Guess who's in charge most of the time, the inner man or the outer man?

Have you ever considered how much time we spend pampering and taking care of our flesh body? We bath it, we perfume it, we dress it, we feed it, we brush it's teeth, we comb it's hair, we cut it's nails, we wipe it's youknow. It constantly wants our attention and says I'm cold (warm me), I'm hot (cool me), I'm hungry (feed me), I'm tired (rest me), I'm horny (give me another body), I'm bored (excite me) and on, and on and on. Don't you wish sometimes that it would just SHUT UP!

[17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Become stable and grounded in love, i.e. let love be your foundation, the basis of your faith in Christ. For you see, Love is the strongest force in the Universe. It requires no law. For example, if you love your boss you would never steal from him or her. If you love your mate you would never cheat on him or her.

That you...

[18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
That you may be able to comprehend (to take eagerly, seize in your mind) the magnitude of the love of Christ, in its breadth, which is boundless: in length, endless: in depth, fathomless, exhaustless: and in height, measureless.
[19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
"Plumb full" of the love of God, which knows no bounds, and exceeds all knowledge and understanding.
[20] Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
It is His power, working in us and through us, that is able to accomplish far more than we can even imagine.
[21] Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Chapter 4

We have just concluded the parenthetical chapter 3 of this truly incredible Book of Ephesians. Paul will now pick up in chapter 4 where he left off at the end of chapter 2 with verse 22, which is the reason he begins with "I THEREFORE", to connect the two verses.

Ephes. 4:1
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
It is the one building "fitly framed together", "the holy temple" (Eph. 2:21-22). It is the one body which is likewise "fitly framed together" (Eph. 3:16). THEREFORE, endeavor (vs 3) to keep this unity of the spirit, i.e. the spiritual unity, which God HAS MADE in Jesus Christ.

The word translated "vocation" actually means "calling" in the Greek, your calling. Paul exhorts us to walk in a manner worthy of that calling.

In order then to give diligence and keep the spiritual unity which God has made, it will require us to walk...

[2] With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
With all humility and gentleness, exercising patience with one another in the love of Christ..
[3] Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Endeavoring means to do diligence, labour, study. We must "endeavor" and be doers of the Word, not just hearers of the Word. Else what good are we to others, or to Christ and His body for that matter? James says it best:
James 1:22-24
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. [23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [24] For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Unfortunately many leave their churches after services, being hearers only, and do exactly that... forget what manner of man of woman he/she was, or should be.

Here's the good news:

[4] There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
[5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
There is only one baptism, the baptism of the Spirit, by Whom we are baptized into the one body. Baptism symbolizes the death and resurrection. How many times was Jesus crucified? He went into the earth only once! So why are some baptized again each time they change churches? I don't get it.
[6] One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Let there be no doubt Who is in charge over all... some man?... a bishop?... a pope?... a church system? It is our Father, thankfully.
[7] But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
It is Jesus Christ who measures out the gifts. Are you happy with yours? Do you exercise it, endeavoring to keep the unity of the faith? Do you recognize your gifts?

Remember we are all one body in Christ.  We can't all be mouths (though sometimes I marvel). If you have the faith to know that (that we are all of one body) then you should never be jealous or envious of another's gift. The toe is as much a part of the body as the mouth (and for some may even "carry more weight"). Know and appreciate that your gifts are measured to you by Christ.

[8] Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Christ received gifts for men from the Father. Paul here is quoting the 68th Psalm:
Psalm 68:18-19
Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. [19] Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
So Christ ascended, but He also descended. What does that mean?
Ephes 4:9 (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
That Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross and was buried in the tomb, we know. But while there, He "knocked on Satan's door" and preached (offered salvation now that He had paid the price) to those held captive by Satan, even those from all the way back to Noah's time (1 Pet 3:18).
[10] He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
He fulfilled all things, i.e. "that all things might be fulfilled" in Him.
[11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Apostles are ones "sent forth". Prophets aren't called prophets because they foretell the future, but because "they speak the words of God" (John 3:34), like the prophets David and Moses.  Evangelists preach and bring forth new believers to be given over to the pastors and teachers to be fed "meat" from God's Word. Why the different gifts? ...
[12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Hey, so we can be perfect. Wrong! Perfecting means "maturing", i.e. becoming full grown. So grow-up.

Rightly dividing note: The original texts weren't punctuated, but it seems all editions place the commas in verse 12 in the locations as above, making three objects: the perfecting, the work, and the edifying. This would be correct if the word "for" was the same in each three clauses, but they are not. The first "for" is "pros" marking the subjective purpose originating the gifts, and the second and third "for" are "eis", marking the objective end for which the gifts were designed.

The punctuation should be "For the perfecting of the saints, with a view to the work of the ministry, with a (further) view to the building up of the body of Christ." So we have one proposition "The perfecting of the saints", which is twofold, the work of the ministry, which itself is for the building up of the spiritual body of Christ.

[13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
How do we come to the unity and knowledge? By endeavoring! We become mature man and women measured by the full stature of Jesus Christ, measured by the Word of God!
[14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
If we don't "endeavor" we are doomed to remain Biblically illiterate. And guess what? Ignorance can be tossed about like a little row boat upon the surging waves. Many Christians are so shallow in their beliefs and faith that they do not want to discuss, nor do they question, the doctrines that they have been and are being taught. Shame on us all! We, as mature Christians, need to hold our ministers, our politicians, and the teachers of our children accountable for what they do and what they teach.

Have you ever read in the New Testament what those audacious Bereans did? They had the "nerve" to "check out" the Apostle Paul himself, the man who wrote the majority of the New Testament!

Acts 17:10-11
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. [11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
They searched the Bible to see if what Paul was teaching them was SCRIPTURAL. They are called "more noble" for doing so. God likes it. It helps keep the unity!

So (here comes common sense again) if the Apostle Paul is not above the scrutiny of scripture by "laymen" then should your minister, or the bishops, or the popes, or anyone else be? I think not. Start "endeavoring" wherever you attend and whomever you listen to! (Tell them you are treating them with the same respect given the Apostle Paul. But be gentle, do it in love, exercising wisdom.)

What shall we say then?  Don't be a baby Christian. Endeavor and become mature in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Paul has been instructing us to become grown-up, mature Christians, not "carried about by every wind of doctrine".  All too many of us go to church week after week and because there no "meat", no food of substance, to be found, we remain as "baby" Christians, never becoming weaned from the milk bottle. Once again, Paul explains it so much better:

Hebrews 5:12
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
If you have been a Christian for any appreciable length of time, then you should have been "endeavoring", studying, i.e. "searching the scriptures daily". You should be able to teach "new born babes in Christ" and answer their questions directly from the Word of God. It is not to say that all should become teachers and preachers, for there are many gifts, but by growing in the grace and knowledge of His word, a Christian should reach a level of maturity, whereby he or she can help others. It is never too late to begin.

The point is, don't become a Christian of 10, 20, 30 years or more, and have only milk to offer the hungry.  Even it may go sour from sitting in the pew too long.

[13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Are you skilful or unskilful? It is up to you and me to either be laborers or hearers only.
[14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Strong meat belongs to them that are mature and have grown in His Word. AND, the beautiful reward of knowing God's Word is the ability to discern BOTH good and evil. With a strong foundation in Him the policies and issues confronting us both nationally and individually are easily understood, the good or evil of which are most apparent, having been weighed in the balance of truth.

Now consider this. Paul has told us that if we simply believe in Jesus Christ and yet do not know His Word, then we are baby Christians? Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, for we must all be born as babes. But we are not to remain babies all of our lives! We are to grow and mature.

And so it is that Christ is the "Living Word of God"; the Bible is the "Written Word of God". The more you know the Written Word the more you know Him.

Ephes. 4:15
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
There is a difference in simply speaking the truth and speaking the truth "in love". The latter exercises discernment and wisdom from being mature in Him.
[16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
The body is held together by every ligament, according to each working part, and grows mature in love. Not all of us are the same "part", but it takes all of us to make the body "increase".
[17] This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
"Vanity" means "depravity", the state of man without God.
[18] Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Without the "light" of truth all understanding is darkened, for how can one "see" without light?

This always reminds me of the "Dark Ages", so called because the church system had withheld the light of truth from the people, and only those "with permission" could have access to the Bible. What? A church would do that?

The translators of the 1611 KJV Bible wrote two letters in preface to that great work. The first was to King James, praising him and thanking him for the great commission (and for the "funding" I'm sure). The second was to the English reader, that's you and me. It has been taken out of the preface to most all Bibles sold today, for it offends churches and church systems. You should obtain a copy and read it. Here is one paragraph from that great work concerning the "dark ages" (it is written in old English, the "u's" are "v's", etc):


Now the Church of Rome would seeme at the length to beare motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deseruing to be called a gift, an vnprofitable gift: they must first get a Licence in writing before they may vse them, and to get that, they must approue themselues to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet sowred with Leauen of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the 8, That there should be any Licence granted to haue them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he ouerruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the fourth. So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (LucifugxScripturarum, as Tertullian speaketh) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set foorth by their owne sworne men, no not with the Licence of their owne Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so vnwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the peoples vnderstanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confesse, that wee forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touch-stone, but he that hath the counterfeit; neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactour, lest his deedes should be reproued: neither is it the plaine dealing Merchant that is vnwilling to haue the waights, or the meteyard brought in place, but he that vseth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and returne to translation.

Did you read the part that said they were afraid of the "light of the Scripture"? Why are they afraid? Because when you read God's Word you find there is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ. This could cause a big problem for churches and priests and ministers, etc. who tell you that you need them. You don't! It could have a devastating effect on their power and their purse!

This same group, in conspiracy with King Philip of Spain, caused him to launch the Spanish Armada against the English. This was an attempt by Satan to prevent the "little book", the Bible, from being translated and published for the common man.

We read about the valiant escapades of the English naval heroes like Sir Francis Drake, etc., and rightly so. However, just go to any history book or encyclopedia and read how this great armada was defeated. You will find that two violent storms, one on the southern tip of England and one on the north side, destroyed this fleet. "Nature" destroyed the Spanish Armada, which is to say, God handled it Himself.

Back to Ephesians where Paul is taking about the ungodly:

[19] Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
To be "past feeling" is to be calloused, having a seared conscience, allowing "self will" to run amuck.
[20] But ye have not so learned Christ;
[21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
[22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
If you are going to follow Christ, then your old conduct must be abandoned. The "inner man", now having received the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, must take charge, and through Him, overcome the old self, i.e. we must "put to death" the old self.  That is part of what baptism symbolizes.
[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

And that is what the other part of baptism symbolizes.

Don't think for one minute that you can completely put off the "old man", for it would seem that he is tireless. But we must always "try" and when we do fall short, repent and move on in Him.

[25] Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
And don't forget verse 14. Speak truth "in love". That doesn't necessarily mean "sugar sweet" with raspberries on top. Sometimes speaking truth in love doesn't appear to those to whom it is spoken as very loving, for love encompasses far more than mere sweet affections. Love can also be correction, exhortation, sacrifice, etc.  Paul certainly knew and he passes it on to us!
Hebrews 12:6
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If you receive chastening from the Lord, REJOICE! For in it you know that your Father loves you. (Note: It may take recovering from a few "pity parties" and "poor me baby" sessions until we have "grown-up" enough to take "like a man" (no gender intended)).

Paul has been discussing how to become "perfect", i.e.  mature, Christians. We do that by "endeavoring", by studying His Word, by putting off the old man, and by building and maintaining unity in faith, for we are all of one body "compacted" together in Jesus Christ. Paul is now going to give us some specific areas to be "rooted out" and done away with in our lives.

All of the "sins" Paul will be addressing stem from selfishness, which is to be preoccupied with one's own self. Perhaps you have been in the past, or as a newborn babe still are, caught up in what we call the "woe is me" syndrome. This is when we ask for forgiveness, but continue throughout the day dwelling upon what great sinners we are. Our preoccupation with our sins PREVENTS us from sitting at the feet of Christ with eyes to see and ears to hear the purity of truth.

Some years ago I was privileged to read in E.W. Bullinger's magnificent work, "How to Enjoy the Bible", a few paragraphs in the conclusion that had such an impact on my life that I would like to share them now. Perhaps you will be able to see how profound indeed they are.

"HOW TO ENJOY THE BIBLE", pgs. 416, 417

We have written only for those who have "peace with God" (Rom 5:1), and enjoy "the peace of God" (Phil 4:7), and know "the God of peace" (Rom 15:33).

Only such have leisure to be occupied with God.

Only such can "sit at the Lord's feet and hear His Word" (Luke 10:39, R.V.).

All others must be "cumbered about with much serving." They must needs be occupied with themselves: either as sinners taken up with their sins, or as penitents with their repentance, or as believers with their faith, or as saints with their holiness.

Unless and until we know our completeness in Christ (Col. 2:10), and "believe God" when He declares that "He hath made us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col 1:12), we shall be in such a condition of conscience, and heart, and life as will not leave us any time for occupation with God.

(This next sentence addresses an issue I hear talked about quite often. Think about how profound is the  paragraph which follows.)
Instead of going our way "giving thanks to God" for what He has done, we shall be giving way to mourning for what we have not done. We shall be like David when he "sat in his house" and was occupied with what he would do for the Lord. For, not until we learn what the Lord has done and purposed to do for us, shall we be ready, with David, to go in and sit before the Lord (2 Sam 7:1,18).

In the former case David's thought was, "Who am I"; in the latter he was exclaiming, "Who am I, O Lord God?"

With that perspective having preconditioned our minds, we continue in Ephesians.
Ephes. 4:26
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
The word "anger" used here comes from Greek orge which means "justifiable anger" or what we would call righteous indignation. This form of anger of and by itself is not a sin, but be careful, lest it turn to sin. Becoming a mature Christian allows us to better handle it.
[27] Neither give place to the devil.
Don't give the "accuser of the brethren" any room. Being angry opens us up and Satan awaits to enter.

I like how the N.E.B. Bible translates the last two verses:

Eph 4:26,27 (N.E.B.) If you are angry, do not let anger lead you into sin; do not let the sunset find you still nursing it; leave no loop-hole for the devil.
Returning to KJV.
[28] Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
There is absolutely no reason to steal. And guess what! Absolutely no good thing will come of it if you do. We are to be labourers, working with our hands, the thing which is good (this is where the brain must be used).

For those of you that have ever been in the discussion about the "law" being nailed to the cross, done away with, notice what Paul just said: "Thou Shalt Not Steal". It is a violation of God's law, the sixth commandment. So I guess at least one of the ten commandments is still in force, according to Paul.

[29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
"No bad language must pass your lips, but only what is good and helpful to the occasion, so that it brings a blessing to those who hear it" N.E.B.

Although "corrupt communication" has a fuller meaning than just bad language, if the shoe fits, wear it!

Also, never pass up an opportunity to plant a little "seed", for if it grows, it will bring the hearers eternal blessings.

[30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Do you recall chapter one when we learned a "mystery", how we were "chosen before the foundation of the world". Look up the word "sealed" used here in Strong's concordance. It means you have been privately, or secretly, marked for preservation.
[31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Again, these all stem from selfishness. No more need be said than has been said, "Get rid of them".
[32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Admonishment having been concluded, we return to the "positive" side, which is where we need to remain polarized.

And so we go on our way, being kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving, "giving thanks to God" for what He has done.

Chapter 5

We now come to chapter 5 of Ephesians. Let's go for it, asking His help along the way.

Ephes. 5:1
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Uh oh, wait just a minute here! We have spent a great deal of time in chapter 4 listening to Paul tell us to grow-up and become mature, adult, Christians. Now he says to be as children. So what gives?

Actually there is no conflict here at all. Paul is simply talking about our "relationship" to our Father. You know how children will imitate their fathers and do as they do, like father, like son? And they have complete trust in their moms and dads?

Well, we are to do the same, i.e. imitate our Father in heaven, be as much like Him as we can. Like Father, like son (or daughter).

[2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Remember Paul told us back in chapter 3 that we are to be rooted and grounded in love.
Ephes. 3:17, 19
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; [19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
So walk in love, that's what we are supposed to do. Now here's what we are not supposed to do!
Ephes. 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
It is not very Christian-like to be involved in the adulterous, lustful, covetous ways of this world. It is the quickest way I know for a Christian to obtain the label of "hypocrite", preceded with a few choice adjectives.
[4] Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
There should be no obscene, stupid or scurrilous talk. All that is unbecoming, un-Christ-like. There should be thanksgiving instead.

The word "jesting" used here is the Greek word eutrapelia. Paul is not telling us that we can't be humorous or even witty at times (Thank God! I'd be in deep trouble). It means specifically "vulgar witticism", or "ribaldry", which is coarse indecent humor.

[5] For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Paul is being very graphic and descriptive here. He's a realist. The Greek word for "whoremonger" is pornos, while"unclean" means impure or "lewd". And know this, he says: to be obsessed or "eager for gain" is a form of worship, called idolatry. So very simply put, if you worship some "thing", be it sex, money, whatever, or some "one" other than our Father, then you have no inheritance. That is not to say that at times we fall short and sin, but let's not "wallow" in filth. We must repent, i.e. change our ways, and ask forgiveness.
[6] Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words, whether it be to justify the unseemly we just spoke of, or in "religious" or doctrinal matters.  It is the children of disobedience that are at the "root cause" of these things, including deception. Our Father is not happy with them.

Remember also, back in chapter two, we identified these children of disobedience as the huios, the offspring of satan, the tares of the parable in Matthew 13, i.e. Kenites.

Ephes. 2:2
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
How does Paul tell us to deal with them?
Ephes. 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Stay away from them, the children of disobedience, i.e. do not become co-participants with them or their practices or their doctrines. Christ admonished His disciples (are we not His disciples?) in Matthew 16:12 "Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

We should chose carefully those with whom we associate. Stick with those in the family of God.

[8] For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Darkness here means "the darkness of blindness".  We were once blind, being led around in darkness by the blind. Notice the contrast between the "children of disobedience" in verse 6 and the "children of light" in verse 8.
[20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Light exposes darkness (evil). So, of course they hate it.

Isn't it amazing that the Apostle John said the very same thing?

John 3:19-21
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
I love the unity, when we see all of God's servants "on the same page", so to speak.
Ephes. 5:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Notice it is he that "doeth" truth, not he that "heareth" truth. Want to chase away the darkness? Be a doer and believe on Jesus Christ, for He is the light. He says it Himself:
John 12:46
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
By being "doers" we produce good fruit.
Ephes. 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Paul also tells us in his letter to the Galatians what the fruit of the Spirit is. Naturally, number one is love, that which we are to be rooted and grounded in.
Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [ 5] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And so it is, there is no legislation against love and goodness and kindness and patience. (But don't be surprised if the politicians figure out a way to tax them. I can see it now, the Good Samaritan Tax, etc.)
Ephes. 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Paul was an advocate of checking things out and testing the fruit. I'm sure, too, that he encouraged the Bereans to go home and "search the scriptures daily" and check him out (Acts 17:11). "Look it up for yourselves", he probably shouted when he quoted the scriptures. He repeats the concept in 1 Thes. 5:
1 Thes. 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
How do you prove things? Prove them by shining the light, God's Word, on them. And don't forget, all wisdom comes from God, and therefore, so does common sense. Sometimes all that is needed in testing fruit is a mild application of common sense.

If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then don't let some spin-meister, or spin-minister convince you it's a chicken.

Ephes. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Turn the "light" on and let them squirm a little. Not for your entertainment (though it can be fun), but because our foundation is rooted in love, which at times requires that we exercise reprove and correction. They may scoff at you and even "jest", but they will leave knowing the light was turned on and they were exposed to the truth.
[12] For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Again, the "them" are the children of disobedience.
[13] But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
When the light is turned on, it exposes everything, and everything that is exposed is illuminated.
[14] Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
This verse is a paraphrase of Isaiah 60:1,2.
Isaiah 60:1, 2
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. [2] For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Those that sleepest are those who slumber in darkness. The Greek word for dead is nekros, which means dead either literally or figuratively. By the context we know in this case it is figuratively "dead",  dead to the truth, i.e. spiritually dead.
Ephes. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
The Greek word for circumspectly is akribos, an adverb from the word akribestatos, meaning "most straitest". In other words, just as an acrobat walks the straight tightrope, so should we walk the straight and narrow.
[16] Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Redeeming means to "rescue from loss" (improve opportunity). Be careful with your time and don't waste it. Especially don't waste an opportunity to shine some light in the darkness of this world.

Jesus Christ is the light in us. Here is what He, the greatest Teacher of all time, tells us:

Matthew 5:14-16
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. [15] Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

We learned that we should walk in love, avoid all filthiness and fornication, keep our distance from the children of disobedience, prove all things from scripture and common sense, and walk circumspectly letting our "light" shine in the darkness of this age.

Ephes. 5:17
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
In this generation especially, to understand the will of God, which is His plan, makes one very, very wise indeed.
[18] And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Guess what? You can't be filled with BOTH! You can't be filled with the Holy Spirit when you are filled with other "spirits". That's right, when you imbibe, it "opens you up" to other spirits, which is why it's called wine and "spirits". People do things when they are "under the influence" that they wouldn't do otherwise. This should come as no surprise to some.

It is declared in the Proverbs that to be drunk is NOT WISE.

Proverbs 20:1
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Do not be deceived by wine or strong drink!

Now there is nothing wrong or sinful with a little wine or an adult beverage, if you are one who can handle it. Some can't and for various reasons, be they physical or mental or spiritual.  In fact, a little wine is good for the stomach sake (1 Tim 5:23). The sin is in trying to drink your lifetime supply before you're age thirty. Furthermore, an excess of wine will douse your "light".

Much can be said about wine, for it is used symbolically of both truth and religion. But know this, both wine and religion can be intoxicating. In fact, it is easier to convert, bring to their senses, one drunk with bottled wine than one spiritually drunk with the wine of religion, better known as the wine of fornication.

Ephes 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
So give up the unwise use of strong drink and be happy in the Lord, Who has redeemed us from sin and for some, even from the depths of alcoholism and other "ism's". Speak with the words of Psalms and be merry in your heart with songs and hymns.
[20] Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Give thanks always for ALL things, not just some, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[21] Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
This is the subject to the following verses. It is important to realize that to submit, or subject, one to  another is a reciprocal process, a "two way street" as we say. Paul has been discussing the unity of the body of Christ in his letter to the Ephesians and here he gets even more specific as to the "oneness".

(Note: This verse must always be remembered and brought forth when the media and the Christian bashers, and the wacko militant feminist groups (men haters) pull the next verse out of context.)

Paul then breaks "submitting" down even further using the analogy of marriage to show the "mystery" of verse 32, that we are ONE body in Christ, even as a husband and wife are "one flesh". Not once, in this analogy, does he hint that Christ is the husband or that the church is His wife, as is so often taught. In verse 30 he makes it very clear that we are members of His body, of His flesh, of His bones.

Therefore, in as much as a husband and wife are one, in order to operate in "unity", together, as one flesh, one body, they must be subject one to another in the reverence of the Lord.

Let us understand. Ladies first:

[22] Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For those women who do not subject themselves to Christ, they wouldn't have the foggiest idea of what Paul just said. They would read this verse out of the context of togetherness, not knowing the unity of Christ, and then think they were just told to obey every 'wish' and 'command' of their husband.

* Husbands see footnote.

[23] For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body.
[24] Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Jesus Christ loved us so much that He gave His life as Savior of the body.

And again, you must understand how the church is "subject" to Christ" to understand the unity in submitting. "In everything" means 'thoroughly" or with "full commitment", from both.

One more point. Paul never once indicates that there is any inequality in spiritual status. There is none. In these last days circumcision is of the heart, both male and female. Here is Peter's quote from the Book of Joel on that first Pentecost day:

Acts 2:17
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Both sons and daughters shall be, and are, used mightily of God.
Ephes 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
If you have a husband that loves you this much, as Christ loved the church, that he would protect you and even sacrifice his life for you, then you are well blessed. (This has nothing to do with getting him to take the trash out, which for the most part really doesn't qualify as act of love... for the most part.)

There is nothing more beautiful than a Christian marriage where both partners are submissive to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have one of those marriages, then you should be singing everyday with thanks and praise to Him.

But for those whose marriage where both partners are not reciprocal in Him, or for those who are not married or divorced, know that He loves you and He cares and in His love we have the ultimate unity, which cannot be broken our circumstances.

We must go in peace, which is walking in love, and set the example for others (including our mate), which is letting our light shine, and be happy, giving thanks for ALL things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

______________________________________* Husbands, you can quit salivating. I know what you were thinking when you read verse 22. Trust me, it "ain't gonna happen".

We now know that when a man speaks, his wife should obey and "hop to it". In your dreams!

The Apostle Paul is a master at using the most fitting "things that are made" to illustrate God's love and His plan of salvation, and the things that we should do.

In this great chapter 5 of Ephesians he is using marriage and the natural flesh itself (something we all know and have) as an analogy to show the unity of the body of Christ.

We pick up where he has just instructed husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and sacrificed His life for her.

[26] That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
This verse has nothing to do with baptism, but rather with the ceremonial cleansing, i.e. purifying, using the laver, which was a large basin used in connection with the tabernacle services. You can read about this in a good Bible dictionary. However, just know that this ceremony symbolized the holiness that is required in the service of God.

Therefore, to be washed by the Word is to be cleansed. And think about this: you can't get very clean with only a thimble full of water, i.e. one or two verses won't make you very clean. Take a bath, or shower yourself with the Word, every day.

[27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Look up "glorious" in Strong's concordance. It means not just splendid, but GORGEOUS. That's how Christ looks upon His church. Read the Song of Solomon and you'll know.

To be holy and without blemish means to be "purified".

[28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Verses 28 and 29 really describe in one of easiest of all analogies how closely the husband should consider he and his wife as "one". He should consider her as part of himself, so that in loving her he is loving himself.
[29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
And this verse says it all. No man ever yet hated his own flesh! Of course you could relate this, in part, to the reason why Viagra is such a hot seller. I have yet to meet the man that hates this aspect of his flesh.

But there are many other aspects of how a man nourishes and cherishes his own body. This is especially noticeable when one of his members gets hurt. Whether it's his little finger or little toe that becomes injured, you can bet he will make a big fuss over it. Most women I know tell me "men are such big babies when they get sick or hurt". So once again nature itself documents God's Word.

The point is that a man (a woman too) is very attentive to his own body, always caring for it both in sickness and in health. So shall a husband love his wife, as his own flesh, i.e. when she hurts, he hurts, etc.

[30] For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
Jesus Christ, likewise cares for His body, His church, of whom we are all members (fitly joined together, as one, remember?). And so He cares for us both in "sickness" and in "health", nourishing and cherishing His own.
[31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
For what cause? For the reason of becoming "one". (Not only does a husband and wife become one flesh in the unity we are speaking of here, but in that joining together they literally become one flesh when a child is born. Think about it.)

We hear this verse, taken from Gen. 2:24, read at most wedding ceremonies. If you can "see it" you will notice that our Father demonstrated this concept, of the wife being part of husband, right in the garden of Eden, when he created Eve from Adam, even from the beginning.

Genesis 2:23-24
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. [24] Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
And so the analogy for Christ loving His many membered body was set.
[32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Before we conclude the analogy describing the great mystery concerning (vs. 32) Christ and His church, let's understand what Paul is doing here.

The following verse, written by this same apostle Paul to the church at Rome, is one of the most profound (they're all so profound, but I can't helping saying this about each one) concepts in understanding God's Word. However, you must first believe that God created all things, and then, that there is purpose and reason why He created them as He did, which is the basis of all common sense.

Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
The relationship between Christ and His church is spiritual, and therefore to our flesh eyes, invisible. But the eyes of the "inner man" can often be made to "see" (clearly) that which is spiritual by observing that which is physical, i.e. through nature and creation itself. Even His eternal power and Godhead.

For example, if you wish to better understand your relationship to our heavenly Father, then look at the relationship of children to their earthly fathers. That's why we have them! Do you understand? You'll gain an even deeper understanding of that relationship when you have children of your own. Believe me, much deeper! I have four of my own.

You can also learn a great deal about prayer, which often involves "asking" your Father for something, doesn't it (hopefully giving thanks and praise for all He's done occupies the majority of the discussion).  But, through observation of the love of a parent, you can learn the depth of the answers NO and YES. Children tend to ask for those things which are not always proper nor good for them. NO doesn't mean you don't care, it means you do!

Do you See? If you do, then it is no longer a mystery.

[33] Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
As prefaced in verse 21 and concluded here in verse 33, the obligations of husband and wife are reciprocal. Yet sadly, for many today who walk in darkness and selfishness, even that simple principle remains a mystery. The divorce statistics document it.

Nevertheless means "moreover", but I'll say, even if you don't understand the full analogy concerning Christ and the church, follow the principles of the husband and wife relationship so beautifully described here in Ephesians by the great apostle, Paul. Be good to one another, for you are one, don't you see.

Chapter 6

Chapter six, the final chapter of this exciting Book of Ephesians, has become one of the most often quoted chapters of the New Testament among Christian teachers and ministers. And for good reason, too, because contained therein is one of Paul's most outstanding analogies for which, as stated in the last chapter, he is a master.  Following some more excellent "in home" and then "on the job" training from that great apostle, Paul, we will learn how a Christian soldier is to dress, suit-up, and prepare for battle.

In chapter five we learned how to conduct ourselves individually and refrain from ungodly conduct, such as drunkenness, etc., and to refrain from ungodly persons as partners.  Paul then instructed us about marital relations, while simultaneously (on a higher level) teaching us about Christ and the church.

Continuing then in the first half of this sixth chapter, Paul addresses the following people:

Employees (bondsmen)
Employers (masters)
Keep in mind as we read the following verses, that above all, we are to be "rooted and grounded in love" (Eph. 3:17). Also, you can read the very same instructions set forth here in Paul's letter to the Colossians (Col. 3), almost word for word. You should read it.

To the children:

Ephes. 6:1
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
"Children, as Christians, obey your parents, for that is right." Smith & Goodspeed

This verse really needs no explanation other than to realize that the qualifier in this verse is "in the Lord".

Too often I see parents "obeying" their children, doing everything they demand, and giving in to their tantrums and threats. It is wrong for parents to "obey" their children. It is right for children to obey their parents. Of course this should come as no surprise to those who know how it shall be in this, the final generation:

Isaiah 3:4-5
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. [5] And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
Paul next quotes from Exodus 12 to document his statement.
Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Once again Paul confirms that the "Law", the Ten Commandments", is still in full effect, i.e. it was not "nailed to the cross". The promise of this fifth commandment is...
[3] That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Here's the original:
Exodus 20:12
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
To the parents:
Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
"As for you fathers, never exasperate your children, but bring them up in the discipline and admonition of the Lord" Moffat

"You fathers, again, must no goad your children to resentment, but give them the instruction, and the correction, which belong to a Christian upbringing." N.E.B.

"... Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful." Living Bible

I know homes where everything is based on a "negative" condition, presented and repeated as a "threat", not just a consequence. "If you don't clean your room, your privileges are suspended", etc., etc. And then, rather than saying it once, and enforcing the consequence, it is repeated to the child over and over and over, to where the child becomes angry. There is a saying with Biblical support, "Say what you mean and mean what you say".

I guess children with that upbringing will be well conditioned for the preacher that says that "if you don't do this" and "you don't do that" you are going to hell.

Now I'm not talking against discipline and household rules and the fact that at times you must remain firm. But there is a positive side to discipline as well. "Honey, if you get your room cleaned on time, I'll let you go with your friends to the movies." It becomes a benefit, a reward, instead of a threat. But again, once said is enough.

Discipline is a major element of love, which seems to be a "mystery" to some parents. A child will love you for godly discipline (beginning about 10 minutes after he or she says "I hate you").

On a personal level, I can tell you that my wife has worked in the child psychiatry department of a major hospital for the past thirteen years. She works with children who are admitted angry, frustrated and "messed up", and she will tell you that one common element is present in almost ALL cases. There is no "discipline" and no "structure" in their lives. Most have been left to do as they please.

And so, by not exercising godly discipline, in love, you will "provoke" children to anger! Just as this verse says, which bears repeating:

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
We as Christians must approach the non-believer with the same positive attitude, not with what will happen to them if they don't become Christians, not with the threat of hellfire and damnation, but WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM. Remember the inheritance? Remember what our Father has done, and will do, for His children. Remember the sacrifice of His son? He loves us. How could we not love Him, once we understand? Any good salesman will tell you that people buy benefits, not threats. Benefits are what you "sell", i.e. tell convincingly, the non-believer. Do you understand?

It all comes back to the basic truth, and the foundation of salvation itself: You can't force someone, even your own child, to love you. You can, with enough might, force them to conform, but love must come from within. And it must be earned. Our Father has "earned" our love for all He has done. Tell someone THAT, leaving hell "the hell alone", for now.

Lastly, we read before how children are great imitators of their parents. If you are quick to criticize and nag, they will grow to do likewise.

To the employee:

[5] Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Listen to your employer with respect and sincerity.
[6] Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
"Instead of merely working when their eye is on you, like those who court human favor, do God's will from the heart, like servants of Christ," Moffat

You've heard the saying "When the cat's away, the mice will play." If you are an employee that takes advantage of your employer like that, then you are not doing it Christ's way.

[7] With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
"Do your duties heartily and willingly, as though it were for the Lord, not for men..." Smith & Goodspeed

That about says it!

[8] Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Whether you are a follower of Christ or not, if you do that which is "right", you'll get the promotion and the rewards that come with it. You don't get promoted just because you claim to be a Christian, or some "goofball" tells you that pledging $30 a month to his or her ministry is all you need do. You must be a doer and apply yourself and produce good fruit for your boss and the company. Then, the Lord is able to bless you!

"Be sure that everyone, slave or free, will be paid back by the Lord and Master for the good he has done." Moffat

And know this, our Father has Big, Big "Checkbook".

To the employer:

[9] And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
Our Master, as well as theirs, is in heaven and there is no partiality with our Father. He is completely fair at all times, and so should we as employers be also.

J.C. Penny, founder of the department store chain bearing his name, built his company on a different philosophy than did his competitors. In his autobiography he describes his attitude toward his employees and associates as... "You can tell how big a man is by the way he treats little people."

Employers should always remember and "take to heart" that attitude, for there is another Biblical principle at work here. Here are the words of the Master of all, Jesus Christ:

Luke 6:37-38
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: [38] Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.

For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

We have a common saying that sums up this verse: "What goes around comes around". So when you see people treated unfairly by an employer you can rest assured that he or she "has it coming to him or her".

I like to attach this principle of "what goes around comes around", to extend what we call the "Golden Rule", which, by the way, is not a verse in the Bible even though the principle is scriptural.

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, for as you do unto others, so shall it be done unto you."
Unfortunately, in today's society, much of big business and government operate on a different "Golden Rule". And that is: "The guys with the Gold make the Rules".  You don't need someone to tell you who benefits most from their "rules".

Thank God our Master, for whom we are bondsmen, is completely fair and just.  Let us imitate Him in all our affairs.

Now we'll complete the great Book of Ephesians, written by that most excellent teacher and apostle, Paul, from prison in Rome. Paul is masterful in using analogies, taking that "which is created, seen" to illustrate that which is "from above, not seen", i.e. spiritual.  He even draws the analogy that while he is temporarily imprisoned by man, he is in reality a "prisoner" of the Lord Jesus Christ, bound by Him, to do His will and His service. What a great attitude to have in jail!

We have learned in this letter to the Ephesians about the great "mysteries" Paul spoke of, which have been hidden from the beginning, from before the foundation of this world age.

We learned in chapter one, verse four, that God's elect were chosen, predestinated, in "the world that then was", at the time of Satan's rebellion and overthrow, before the destruction of Gen 1:2, as written of by Peter in 2 Pet. 3:6. The "three world ages", i.e. the world that then was, the world that is now (the flesh age), and the earth age to come, still remain a mystery to those without eyes to see and ears to hear.

Paul also revealed the great mystery concerning the church and the unity of His body, and how it is jointly fitted together into one. He used the analogy of marriage to illustrate that oneness, while at the same time giving instruction in how to be joyous and loving and submissive one to another.

Then, while giving us admonition about our personal conduct and outside relationships, we learned about the children of disobedience, who are the tares of the Parable of the Tares, which Jesus Christ Himself explained in Mat. 13. Once again, notice that this has "been kept secret from the foundation of the world".

Matthew 13:34-36
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: [35] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Then the disciples came privately to Christ and, since it was a mystery even to them, they asked Him to explain the parable.
[36] Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
And He did explain it, simply and without parable!
Matthew 13:37-39
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; [38] The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; [39] The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
So the tares are the children of Satan himself, the offspring of our "number one" enemy.

This is extremely important, because Paul is about to tell us how to put on the "equipment" necessary to do battle. Don't you think it would be a good idea to know who the enemy is before we go to war?

Here, then, is Paul giving his final instructions:

Ephes. 6:10
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Why of course! It is He Who has ALL power both in heaven and on earth. And through Him we have power over ALL our enemies.
Luke 10:19
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Who are the serpents and scorpions? Now you have to possess enough common sense to know that Christ is not talking about stomping snakes and scorpions in the desert with your hiking boots. Who was that old serpent in the garden? Jesus is talking about our enemies, Satan and the tares, his children.

So, Paul says:

Eph. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Did you notice that we put on the whole armour, not just some, and that the reason we do it is to enable us to STAND, and fight! We are Christian soldiers and we KNOW that we have the power over ALL our enemies, including the head serpent. So we win! Why then do so many teach that we are going to "fly" up into the air to avoid confronting the enemy? (I speak of the rapture theory) Why would we want to run when we have the victory? Beats me. I have a little story I tell about this:
Once upon a time there was a kingdom ruled by a righteous king. But alas, as with all righteous kings, he had an archenemy who was very powerful and possessed the forces of a mighty army.

The righteous king knew that someday his kingdom and its subjects would be attacked by this king of fierce countenance.  So in preparation of the inevitable, and being wiser than his serpentine opponent, he set his most faithful and loyal subjects upon the gates of the cities to "watch" for signs of this vile king's approach.

The righteous king then instructed his elect corps of mighty and valiant knights and warriors, men of great courage, to put on their suits of armor and be prepared to take a stand and defend the kingdom against the impending onslaught of this devouring, locust-like army. The king's elect had NO FEAR of death or personal injury in defending their loved ones, their homeland, the kingdom that they loved so dearly.

Then the momentous day finally came and the sixth trumpeter sounded the alarm of the approaching desolator. The righteous king's elect army of well prepared and well trained troops were all set to squish some locusts, stomp on some scorpions and kick some dragon..... BUT WAIT! WHAT'S THIS?

The righteous king is pulling all his troops! He's telling them to retreat and run and save their own necks!

Sadly, the subjects of the kingdom were slaughtered brutally and mercilessly and there was a great needless loss of souls.

Do you like how this story ended?  Would you respect a king who prepared his troops to fight, only to have them turn and run when things got HOT?  We Christians are NOT running! Paul now makes it quite clear that the battle of the end time does not involve blood and guts.
[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
If only the teachers and preachers of Christianity realized this, they would better understand the "battle scenes" of Revelation. It seems they can't elevate their thinking above the flesh level.
[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Here Paul repeats the reason we prepare with armour, to stand. And that "evil day", when Satan, the little horn, appears in person, is fast approaching.
[14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
To "girt", according to Strong's concordance, is to "fasten on one's belt". This, of course, will help you to keep your spiritual pants up.

The breastplate covers your heart which should be in the right place, in righteousness.

[15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
How prepared are you with the gospel of peace? I.e., how familiar are you with God's Word?
[16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our shield, the One Who has ALL power. It was declared in the beginning:
Genesis 15:1
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
It is declared in the Psalms:
Psalm 119:114
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
It is declared in the Proverbs:
Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Next we take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
Eph. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Paul further explains in 1 Thes. that our helmet is our hope of salvation:
1 Thes. 5:8
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
And finally, we take the greatest offensive weapon in the universe, more powerful than all the nuclear bombs ever conceived in the mind of man. It is the Word of God!
Rev. 1:16
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Here is reason the Word of God is so powerful:
Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
That's right, the Word of God, His Sword, can even "cut" the soul and spirit, while man's metal swords can only cut your flesh. Which would you rather have in a spiritual battle?
Eph. 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Pray earnestly on every occasion and always remember each other.
[19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
And Paul did "open his mouth" boldly and tell it like it is. That didn't always make him popular. Remember what happened to him on Mars Hill?
[20] For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul was a direct ambassador of Christ, bound by Him, to speak boldly, as he ought to speak. We all should speak boldly, not as in "cocky" or as a "loud mouth", but as to the plain truth of God's Word, whether it pleases man or not.
[21] But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

[22] Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

Paul had others that he could rely on to speak boldly, with clarity and simplicity, the mysteries which he taught.

He closes with this prayer, remembering the saints, as he just stated in verse 18. Let us all join with him.

[23] Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[24] Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.


To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The "American Wisdom Series"


Published by:

Rhine Publishing Co.

Click Here to Return to "The American Wisdom Series" home page.