Page 1


Studies in Ephesians ~S AINTS ! S EE

THE CHURCH !~ “the fellowship of the mystery ”

~Just as God made Eden for man to work ; He “before ordained” the place of labor: church.~ “The great doctrinal point I have tried to put over in recent years, with doubtful success, is that the New Testament is not the discussion of a new plan of salvation, but it is rather the discussion of a new way of God’s dealing with His special people in the world, this special people being the church.” ~ FGS.1 Why ~ Saints: “See what is the fellowship of the mystery” {excerpted article of J.R. Graves’ “Parables of Christ Explained”} What it is to~ “see the kingdom of God” and be able to “enter into the kingdom of God.” {excerpted from tract by R. Govett “The New Life with its New Birth and Kingdom”} 2 Ephesians is a commentary on Joshua, in that both books show conflict in the endeavor to enter into the purchased possession. The Old testament book of Joshua: Conflict with the enemy in the land {is} to be read with Ephesians, the book of the “Heavenlies.” The key, Ephesians 6:10-17. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but agai nst principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 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 st and. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all sain ts;” 3

P

~ { cf. Proverbs 30 which seems enlightening to the study also } ~

aul’s first visit to Ephesus is related in Acts 18:19–21. The work commenced then was carried on by Apollos. On Paul’s second visit he remained three years. Later, on his way to Jerusalem, he held an affecting interview at Miletus with the elders of the Ephesian church. This Epistle was addressed to that church about four years afterward, during the early part of his imprisonment at Rome, and immediately after that to the Colossians, to which it bears a close resemblance. The foundation, course and destiny of the Church are the sublime subjects with which the Epistle deals, and the style is of a correspondingly elevated character.4 Dr. Fred G. Stevenson, Studies in Galatians & Ephesians, “Studies In” series. Much of this material and in Appendix gleaned from W. Tindle’s most excellent site: The Millennial Kingdom. 3 I.M. Haldeman, How to Study the Bible: “the characteristic meaning and purport of each book of the Bible.”{+v. 18} 4 F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, 1914–1918), 6:175-7. 1 2


DOCTRINAL—DOCTRINE & INSTRUCTION. {“T HE H IGH C ALLING OF G OD IN C HRIST J ESUS ”} 3 The “Alpha & Omega” of God’s Purposes: Will; Predestination; Adoption; Foreordination; Election; Mystery; Riches; Grace. The “church” and our relationship to JESUS: Saviour, King and soon coming Millennial reign: “IN CHRIST.” “V ERILY , VERIL Y , I SAY UNTO THEE , E XCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN , HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF G OD .”{John 3:3} “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.” ~ Zechariah 2:10-12 “The Epistle to the Ephesians is a complete body of divinity, treating of doctrinal, experimental, and practical godliness, in the most full and instructive manner. Its peculiar quality is sublimity. To be truly understood it must be spiritually discerned. O Lord, enlighten us.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Magic & Mystery: Spiritual Warfare (training for body, mind and soul). If the Corinthians were what you’d call the “party animals” (seekers of richness, luxury and sensuality as playboy, sport or call girl) of the Roman world, then, to be an “Ephesian” in those days was to be a side-kick or “familiar” with the mystic arts, i.e., practical magic. Paul knew the worldview and type of people in the great cities of those lands and times. He addressed that aspect in the remedy letters to the churches of Christ’s kingdom; both reactive and proactively. Clinton Arnold,5 in his commentaries warns: “It is tough to break the all-pervasive influence of one’s culture. ... Ultimately we cannot ignore the topic. Evil imposes itself upon us and those we love. And if we want help from the Bible for dealing with the problem of evil, we must be willing to take seriously what the Bible takes seriously: the intense involvement in life of a figure named Satan and his powers of darkness. Far too long the Western church has given neither sufficient nor serious attention to this topic. ... developing an appropriate Christian perspective on spirits is a foundational concern.”

This long war6 and plague of succubi and Space Brothers7 have enthralled silly women and false prophets since Adam and Eve. They know humans and how to take advantage of every weak moment. We need real power; God’s power and Scriptural Spiritual Ju-jitsu to train good fighters in a dojo of the faith. So the “mysteries” mentioned six times (more than any other letter), the number often in the Bible linked with the devil’s influence on man,8 indicate God’s protective provision of a safe place and right way for man to serve, cf. Dt.29:29, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” ~SM Clinton E. Arnold. Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters. ICR founder Dr. Henry Morris detailed the history, causes and consequences of this cultural conflict in his book The Long War Against God (Master Books, 2000). 7 Alien Intrusion: (Unmasking a deception) UFOs and the Evolution Connection (CMI, 2018) by Gary Bates. 8 “THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BIBLE NUMBERS (By Eld. G. E. Jones)” {handout}. 5 6


OUR “RICHES” ... “IN CHRIST” This has been called the “Epistle of In-ness,” because it is so full of the preposition in. Saints are flesh and blood like ourselves, and we may be saints. The word means “set apart.” We are in Christ and he is in us, and any goodness we have is due to our giving room and scope to him to realize his own ideals 9. To be in the heavenlies {“in heavenly places” }, v. 3, means to live a spiritual life and to draw our reinforcements from the unseen and eternal world, which is focused in our Lord. We are in him so far as justification is concerned—that is our standing; and he is in us for sanctification—that is the source of a holy and useful life. The condition of a blessed life is the conscious maintenance of this oneness. The source of all we are, and have, and hope to be, so far as salvation is concerned, is the will of God for us; but the stream flows to us through our Lord, and the end to which all things are moving is the summing-up of all in Christ. As he was the Alpha, so he will be the Omega. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is of incalculable advantage, because it means that we are stamped with the likeness of Christ and so kept inviolate among all the vicissitudes of life. See Esther 8:8; John 6:27.10 “Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse. ... Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

“MACKAY’S FAMOUS TRIBUTE IN HIS WORK ON EPHESIANS” “To this book I owe my life. I was a lad of only four-teen years of age when, in the pages of the Ephesian Letter, I saw a new world. I found a world there which had features similar to a world that had been formed within me. After a period of anguished yearning, during which I prayed to God each night the simple words “Lord, help me,” something happened. After passionately desiring that I might cross the frontier into a new order of life which I had read about, which I had seen in others whom I admired, I was admitted in an inexplicable way, but to my unutterable joy, into a new dimension of existence. What had happened to me? Everything was new. Someone had come to my soul. I had a new out- look, new experiences, new attitudes to other people. I loved God. Jesus Christ became the center of everything. The only explanation I could give to myself and to others was in the words of the Ephesian Letter, whose cadences began to sound within me, and whose truth my own new thoughts and feelings seemed to validate. My life began to be set to the music of that passage which begins, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (2:1) . . . . Fifty years almost have passed since that boyish rapture in the highland hills and fortyfive since I recalled the experience in a student’s lodging in the Granite City. The sum of life is westering, and this mortal pilgrimage must, in the nature of things, be entering the last lap before sunset. Life has been throughout an adventure, a movement from one frontier to another. For me, as I reflect upon the passage of the years, both as regards the authority of the Bible and the meaning of my own life, subjectivity and objectivity can never be separated. A subjective fact, an experience of quickening by God’s Holy Spirit in the classical tradition of Christian conversion, moulded my being in such a way that I began to live in Christ and for Christ, and “for His Body’s sake which is the Church”{Col.1:24}. My personal interest in God’s Order began when the only way in which life could make sense to me was upon the basis of an inner certainty that I my- self, through the operation of a power which the Ephesian Letter taught me to call “grace,” had become part of that Order, and that I must henceforth devote my energies to its unfolding and fulfillment.”~ John Alexander Mackay11 {i.e., by being “faithful in Christ Jesus”} F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, 1914–1918), 6:179. “Ephesians 1:1–14” 11 D.B. Harbuck, Southwestern Journal of Theology Vol. 22 - Fall 1979; “Preaching from Ephesians”{cited 2017} 9

10


HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST In this Epistle {Ephesians} the teaching of Paul reaches its spiritual climax. He unfolds God’s purpose of blessing to the Church, the body of Christ, redeemed and brought nigh by His blood (i. 7, ii. 13, v. 23-32), built upon one foundation, an holy temple in the Lord, with no middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile.

Its Key-note is “Heavenly Places” “in Christ.” (1) The Heavenly place of Blessing (i. 3). (Notice the words “all” and “in.”) Christ the Inheritance of the Church (i. 11). The Church the Inheritance of Christ (i. 18). (2) The Heavenly place of Power (i. 19-20). The same power of God which raised Christ from the dead is to work in the believer. (3) The Heavenly place of Rest (ii. 6). In Christ we enter our heavenly Canaan here below. This Epistle corresponds with the book of Joshua. (4) The Heavenly place of Manifestation (iii. 10). The Church is to manifest Christ, His riches, wisdom, love, unity, fulness. (5) The Heavenly place of Victory (vi. 12). The “wiles of the devil” (vi. 11), the enmity of the “prince of the power of the air” (ii. 2), is, as we might expect, manifested in this Epistle, and is provided for in the Christian’s armour. The length and breadth and depth and height of the love of God in Christ comes out in every chapter (i. 4, 6, ii. 4, 7, iii. 17-19, iv. 2-6, 15, 32, v. 2, 25, vi. 23-24). Chapter ii. 1-13 is a complete epitome of the Gospel. Chapter ii. 14, 15, 17, Christ is our Peace. He made peace. He preached peace. Chapter iii. contains the fullest and deepest of Paul’s prayers. Study the subject of Paul and Prayer throughout his Epistles.12

INTRODUCTION TO EPHESIANS {Taken from: Garner Baptist Commentary .}

¶ 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: WHO SPEAKS? The book of Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul, v.1. TO WHOM? The book was written to the church at Ephesus, and perhaps was also meant to be a circulatory letter for other congregations in Asia Minor. ABOUT WHAT? The book of Ephesians concerns church truth, as it relates to the church as an institution, local, visible; not universal or invisible; Eph 1:22-23; 3:6, 9, 10, 21 “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. ... That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: ... 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: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, ... Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” {bold emphasis mine.-ed., SM} WHEN? The book was written about A.D. 64, the first in {N.T.} order of the {four to seven}

Prison Epistles.

12

A. M. HODGKIN, Christ in All the Scripture,.


WHAT WAS THE OCCASION? The occasion was to confirm the church regarding her exalted position in salvation and commission responsibility as custodian of the gospel; to certify that the church, called from among Gentiles, racially made up of Jews and Gentiles, was the body (assembly) of Jesus Christ, to bear His message and carry His program of work to all nations; and to direct the members of the body (congregational body) to walk according to their position of high calling. The term “body,” when used regarding “the church” is always used in the organized, institutional sense, to refer to any organized local congregation, and in a similar sense that the term “body” may be used to refer to the “student body,” the “legislative body,” or the “judicial body,” meaning an authorized, existing, functioning, orderly assembly of people—never an invisible, mysterious, ethereal composite of spirits or souls of all the saved. The term “body” is also used to refer to the physical body of Christ in which He “bore our sins in His body,” in the body of His flesh, the cross body on Calvary; Eph 2:15-16 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himse lf of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Salvation, redemption, and reconciliation, when said to be received in or through His “body” always refer to the “cross body,” not His “church body.” The church is not a Savior nor is salvation obtained by getting “into” His church body; Col 1:20-22 ~ And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

When Jesus is said to be the Savior (deliverer) of the body, “church body,” it is simply meant that He is the preserver and deliverer of the New Testament assembly, institution which He instituted to be a custodian agency to bear His message of salvation and program of service until He returns, to which He pledged His preserving fidelity to the extent that the gates of hell should not prevail against or destroy or put her out of existence; Eph 5:23 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. Mt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Fathe r, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Mt 16:18-19 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

While Jesus is the Savior of the “body,” the church; He is not the Savior, deliverer of the “church body” only, as is supposed by some.13 {Christ’s “body” is not yours to defile: cf., Lv. 18; Ezek. 22:10-11.} ~[~Note: Excerpted “GBC” comments in [brackets] or Tables from the: Garner Baptist Commentary~]~

Author: Dr. Albert Garner and Elder J. C. Howes; Garner Baptist Commentary [GBC] Blessed Hope Foundation. A Special Edition of Power BibleCD by Phil Lindner: Copyright ©2010 Online Publishing, Inc. bible@mail.com 13


“my jewels” “Then they that feared Jehovah (the covenant keeping God) spake often one to another; and Jehovah hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Jehovah and that thought upon His name; and they shall be mine saith Jehovah of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spares his own son that serveth him” (Malachi 3:16, 17; Matt. 5:1-14; Luke 6:48; Eph. 3:17,19; Lev. 17:23). Were the ten spies and those murmurers in the wilderness among the Lord’s jewels? Were the Corinthians, the Galatians, and the Laodiceans? But in every age God has a few jewels like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joshua, Caleb, Samuel, David and others. It is of these that Christ Says, “Fear not little flock for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the (Millennial) Kingdom.” This is the hope {bold emphasis mine, cf., the “Blessed Hope” }, and this is the prize. Phil 3:7-14. There are many portions of the word of God which belong especially to this little company and which carnal believers cannot appropriate (see Heb. 11; Rom. 8; Matthew 5—7, and the Epistle to the Ephesians). ... And was not the peril of apostasy among the Hebrews also the peril of the Corinthians and the Galatians in Paul’s day; and of the Ephesians in John’s day? And is it not the peril of believers all through this dispensation? Thus Israel is a perfect type of the Christian Church in her unbelief and disobedience and consequent failure to reach the land of promise and there abide (John 15:6). ... Let me here state an awfully solemn fact: From such passages of Scripture as Matt. 13:1-49; 16:21-27; 24:3251; 25:1-30; 1 Cor. 10:1-10; Rom. 11:14-44; and Rev. chaps. 2 and 3; as well as from an honest study of the history of Christendom, we are obligated to conclude that very few of the saved in this dispensation will be able to share in the glory of the first resurrection and the Messianic Kingdom; so that exclusion with its disciplinary and penal consequences is their sure inheritance. Truly it is a fearful thing (for a worldly Christian) to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31; 12:29). Personally, I confess that except as I follow Christ in the way of the Cross with its rejection by the world, especially the religious world, I have no hope of a place with Him in His Millennial Reign (Luke 9:23; 14:25-35). ... The children of Israel held three positions and they are all typical: (1) In Egypt under the blood of the Passover Lamb—the type of Christ; (2) in the wilderness on their way to Canaan—type of the believer’s utter dependence upon God as he journeys through this spiritually barren world; and also the natural dislike of the flesh in the believer for such a position; (3) and then in the land of promise. Let me put it thus: Israel in the wilderness, relative to the Promised Land, is a type of the Church in the world, relative to the coming Messianic, Millennial Kingdom. ... We believe that we have now established a principle which we may formulate thus: Wherever we find the adjective aiōnios associated with nouns other than those which are descriptive of God, or His attributes, we are to interpret it as confined to the age to come, and as falling entirely within the limits of the Millennial Kingdom. And in most cases it makes good sense and expresses the true meaning when rendered by the word Millennial. ... We feel sure that every honest reader now sees clearly the distinction between the free gift and the prize; and also the different methods by which each is secured; the one by faith without works, and the other by faith expressed through works. ... I would again remind the reader that the prophetic outlook of patriarchs, historians and prophets of the Old Testament, WAS NOT ON ETERNITY, but on the Messianic Kingdom. The New Testament also begins and ends with this same thought in the foreground; and rarely passes the dividing line between time and eternity. The recognition of this fact is vital to scriptural exegesis.14

THE ARGUMENT {from The 1599 Geneva Bible found at: Geneva Bible.org}

While Paul was prisoner at Rome, there entered in among the Ephesians false teachers, who corrupted the true doctrine which he had taught them, by reason whereof he wrote this Epistle to confirm them in that thing, which they 14

THE DUALISM OF ETERNAL LIFE: “A Revolution in Eschatology” (Stephen S. Craig; Rochester, N.Y., 1916).


had learned of him. And first after his salutation, he assureth them of salvation, because they were thereunto predestinated by the free election of God, before they were born, and sealed Up to this eternal life by the holy Ghost, given unto them by the Gospel, the knowledge of the which mystery he prayeth God to confirm toward them. And to the intent they should not glory in themselves, he sheweth them their extreme misery, wherein they were plunged before they knew Christ, as people without God, Gentiles to whom the promises were not made, and yet by the free mercy of God in Christ Jesus, they were saved, and he appointed to be their Apostle, as of all the other Gentiles; therefore he desireth God to lighten the Ephesians’ hearts with the perfect understanding of his Son, and exhorteth them likewise to be mindful of so great benefits, neither to be moved with the false apostles, which seek to overthrow their faith, and tread under foot the Gospel, which was not preached to them, as by chance or fortune, but according to the eternal counsel of God; who by this means preserveth only his Church. Therefore the Apostle commendeth his ministry, for as much as God thereby reigneth among men, and causeth it to bring forth most plentiful fruits, as innocency, holiness, with all such offices appertaining to godliness. Last of all, he declareth not only in general what ought to be the life of the Christians, but also sheweth particularly, what things concern every man’s vocation. 15

Ephesians 1: “Blessings of Redemption.” {The Work of the TRINITY: God the FATHER, 3-6; God the SON, 7-12; God the HOLY SPIRIT, 13-14.} {KJB Intro & text} ~ 1 - After the salutation, ~ 3 - and thanksgiving for the Ephesians, ~ 4 - he treateth of our Election, ~ 6 - and Adoption by grace, ~ 11 - which is the true and proper fountain of man’s salvation. ~ 13 - And because the height of this mystery cannot easily be attained vnto, ~ 16 - he prayeth that they may come ~ 18 - to the full knowledge, and ~ 20 possession thereof in Christ. ~

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: ¶ Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. ¶ In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 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: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all Geneva Bible (1560/1599) With Original Geneva Footnotes of both the 1560 and 1599 versions and all with Corrected Spelling. “All Geneva Bibles at Genesis 3:7 should read ‘...and made themselves breeches.’” {cited 12/26/2017 at: http://www.genevabible.org/Geneva.html} 15


things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. ¶ 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, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. ¶ Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of w is dom a nd rev ela tion in the know le dg e of him: T he ey es of y our 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, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raise d him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 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: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Eph. 1:1-14~ I NTRODUCTION .~ Blood Redemption ~ ~[~The Believer’s Position in Salvation and the Church ~]~ {The Work of the TRINITY: God the FATHER, 3-6; God the SON, 7-12; God the HOLY SPIRIT, 13-14.}

The book of Ephesians is another of the church epistles. It was written by Paul, supposedly while he was imprisoned at Rome in the year 64 A. D. Although it immediately follows Galatians in the New Testament and both are church epistles, Ephesians is entirely different from Galatians in its approach to the subject of the church. The Galatian letter is written to specific congregations of baptized believers concerning specific matters that have to do with local churches, but Ephesians is written to the church from the institutional standpoint. It is addressed “to the saints” in Ephesus, but aside from that fact there is scarcely anything in the book that applies in a specific, personal way to any given church. The discussion is all of a general nature. Because of this, many unwary people have been snared into the universal church heresy on the basis of what is said of the church in Ephesians. The great universal, invisible, spiritual church so commonly taught by the Protestant world today cannot be legitimately established from Ephesians or anywhere else in the Bible, for no such thing is taught in the Bible. The question comes up as to the difference between the church from the institutional viewpoint and the universal invisible church. The church from the institutional viewpoint embraces any and all churches that measure up to the New Testament pattern for the local church. This pattern is so specific and clear-cut that no group need be in error as to church teachings and practices. All churches which measure up to this standard constitute the church institutionally speaking.


The invisible church is entirely a different situation. Its proponents say that all saved people automatically come into a great invisible spiritual body when they are saved and that this body constitutes the true church. The first error in this reasoning is that the New Testament simply does not teach it. The second error is that it denies all specific New Testament church teachings and says that any group has the right to believe and practice anything that is pleasing to them, even with reference to the way of salvation itself. Yet all such are accepted of God on an equal basis in this great monstrosity of a universal church. The aim of the Devil in this whole Babel of confusion is to obscure the churches that are true in doctrine and practice and to cause them to lose their identity in the Protestant world. In Ephesians the subject of election and predestination comes to the student, so several lesson introductions will be devoted to this subject in the hope of clarifying Bible teachings about the matter. There are several schools of thought among Baptist people ranging all the way from pure fatalism, to the idea of the free choice of salvation on the part of man. Although it appears that many people adopt a middle of the road stand on the issue, most of them would side with fatalism if they were to take a specific stand on the issue. Regardless of this fact, an effort will be made to set forth in outline a philosophy that will enable anyone to see the way out of fatalism. The matter will be discussed in the next lesson introduction. ~ FGS.16 Verses 1-2. The Salutation [~Greetings~] 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: ¶ Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul became an apostle by, or through, the will of God. This teaches us the Divine call to the ministry. This is a point which Paul sets forth a number of times in his writings. He did not choose the gospel ministry as men choose ordinary vocations in life. Neither should any man, for the ministry is of such a nature that it cannot be performed successfully without Divine aid. Therefore a man should be sure it is the will of God before he undertakes to preach. This epistle is addressed to the saints, or holy ones, in Ephesus and the faithful ones in Christ Jesus. This limits the subjects of Paul’s address to faithful church saints. In a case like this we as Baptists should be more conservative about ascribing all the promises to all the saved. We cannot say any of the promises of Ephesians are to saved people outside the church unless such are definitely specified in some way. He invokes grace and upon the church. These are to come from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. It may be observed that all the blessings of God come to us through Christ. God has no other way of access to mankind. Of course, the Holy Spirit also comes from God through Christ to bless man.

16

Dr. Fred G. Stevenson, Studies in Galatians & Ephesians, “Studies In.”


Verses 3-6. Chosen In Christ ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. We are now blessed with all the spiritual blessings of the heavenly regions in Christ. The material blessings of the heavens chiefly await our resurrection from the dead. God elected us in Christ before the foundation of the world. It is believed the Greek text says he elected us in Christ before the world order was cast down in sin.17 This technical point makes no essential difference in the present instance. The position will be defended in the following introductions that the election and predestination mentioned in this lesson are not with reference to personal salvation, but rather the church as such is elected and predestinated to glory, and our part in these things is dependent on our accepting Christ in salvation and then entering into the church relationship. We are to be holy and blameless before Him in love. This does not mean sinless perfection in the flesh at all. It means that if we seek to know and do the will of God in religious matters, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. This love drives us on to seek more of the Word and will of God, and all we do in this respect is acceptable and well pleasing to God. Thus, we can be holy and blameless before Him. God predestinated us to the setting to the position of sonship. This is what the so-called “adoption” is in the Greek text. Galatians 4:5 tells us this setting to sonship came when the Law of Moses was taken out of the way and the people of God began to operate in church capacity. God predestinated us to this position because of His sovereign will, but He also did it to show forth the glory of His grace which He extended to us in His beloved Son. The exhibition of this grace is in the fact that the church is still standing just as steadfastly for the truth as it did at its beginning nineteen-hundred years ago. {“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”~ Isaiah 44:6-8}

Verses 7-10. The Way of Redemption ¶ In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his goo d pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 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:

A reference to the “Gap Theory” ~ “A compromise belief that a vast period of time exists between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 during which time the geologic eras can be fit.”. See Blue Letter Bible and Gap creationism at Wikipedia. 17


We have redemption or releasing from sin in the blood of Christ. There is no other way of escape from the bondage and curse of sin except the fact that Christ has fully paid for all these sins on the cross. Babies who die are saved unconditionally by the blood of Christ. Responsible people are saved by repentance and faith. The riches of His grace are made to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding. This seems to mean that we come to understand His grace as we come to understand the way of salvation and the way of God’s dealing with His people in the church. True Baptists are the only people who fully admit that salvation is entirely by grace and thus are the only people who receive all the joy to which the saved are entitled. Thus His grace abounds to them in the understanding of spiritual and Scriptural things. The common version makes it to say, “God set the pleasure of His will in Himself.” It seems more likely He set the pleasure of His will in Christ. It says He set the pleasure of His will in Him--- not Himself. Redemption was set in Christ from the beginning. All things began to be headed up in Him when He established the church in the world. He is head over all things to the church. His full headship will be manifested at the end of the Millennium. Verses 11-14. The Inheritance of the Saints 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: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. ¶ 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, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We are made heirs through the counsel of the will of God. But our inheritance is conditioned on our hearing and believing the Word of truth. Now there it is stated in plain language that our inheritance is conditioned on our own choice and not on the counsel of the will of God. The Greek text plainly says that, “Having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise.” Again our sealing is conditioned on our believing, and not on the sovereign decree of God concerning us personally. Hardshellism is not true, and we shall prove it to those who are willing to see the truth. The redemption of the possession probably refers to that releasing that will come in the resurrection from the dead when Christ will become the king of the earth and rule it in righteousness. ~ FGS. {“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. ... And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”~ 2Th 2:13-14; Rev 7:2-3}

Eph. 1:15-23~ The Exaltation Of Christ [PAUL’S PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS] ¶ Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;


That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory , may give unto you the spirit of w is dom a nd rev ela tion in the know le dg e of him: T he ey es of y our 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, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 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: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Introduction. The blessings of Ephesians are church blessings as opposed to blessings that come to all the saved. The church is elected and predestinated to a glory greater than any other group which has ever been in the world. This book talks far more of present benefits from church membership than it does of the future heavenly blessings that are to come of it. In our effort to show how and why the election and predestination mentioned in the last lesson are set in the church, applying to individuals only as they embrace church membership and claim its rights, privileges, and blessings of their own free will and choice, let us use this illustration: An airplane is scheduled, or predestinated, to fly from New York to San Francisco, the passenger being likened to the church member in our illustration does not schedule the flight, nor does he pilot the plane, but he purchases his ticket, gets on the plane, and remains aboard until the destination is reached. The church is the institution which is predestinated, and the individual chooses or rejects membership in it of his own free will. In subsequent introductions we will discuss the sovereignty of God and man’s freedom of will and how the two work together. One point in the eternal purpose of God is that He would make a creation and bring it into harmony with Himself through the works and virtues of His eternal Son. Colossians 1:19 says that it pleased God that all fullness should dwell in Christ. This has been the purpose of God from the ageless reaches of eternity, and surely no one will deny it. When we admit this, the next truth which becomes apparent is that nothing was created in its final, glorified, eternal state. All things were made to partake of whatever virtue of the eternal Son they might need to seal them forever in a state of glorification. The proof that nothing was created in its final state is the fact that angels, men, and the material creation all fell from their original state into the curse of sin. The fact that some angels once sinned and that the angels of God are now ultimately holy proves to us that the holy angels have received an eternal sealing virtue from the Son of God. They were not sealed by shed blood, for shed blood is


for sinning souls, and “soul” as used here does not include angels. It is not known what virtue of Christ angels received to seal them in ultimate holiness to God, but the facts mentioned above that some angels fell and the holy angels now do the will of God in every detail prove that these holy angels have received a virtue of Christ that has forever placed them in perfect harmony with God. The next great fact which will be further discussed later is that we know that wherever there is ability to think there is ability to will, or to choose and to decide for oneself. The whole explanation of God’s dealings with angels. and men rests on this fundamental fact. God made them with the will faculty, and He has given them the opportunity to exercise this will faculty in choosing their eternal destiny regardless of what the developments may be. This choice has always been given in Christ and it always will be so. Verses 15-16. Thanksgiving For the Saints ¶ Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

The thanksgiving of Paul is based on the fact that the church is sound and founded in the faith. At the close of Lesson 14 he pointed out some of the glorious blessings that come from participation in the church, which is elected and predestinated to glory. His joy is in the fact that the Ephesian assembly has set herself in line to enter into the glorious destiny of the church. He had heard of the faith and the love of the brethren towards all the saints. The New Testament everywhere sets forth faith and love as the motivating and working principles of the church. These motives stand in contrast with the fear that moved Israel to serve God under the Law of Moses. Faith in the New Testament as the all sufficient rule of faith and practice and love towards God, the Word, and the brotherhood are the worthy motives that prompt Christians to labor in the cause and serve God. Paul says that he does not cease to give thanks for this church, making mention of them in his prayers. There was abundance of religious error in the world in those days, exactly as there is today. Therefore, when Paul found a group operating in both the letter and the spirit of the New Testament, truly it was a thing to invoke his constant interest and prayers. Today, after we see some churches and some church members operating in a legalistic, formal way, then others who really understand the Scriptural way become a very refreshing experience. These refreshing churches remain in our memory and our prayers are for their continued success. Verses 17-19. Prayer For Understanding That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of w is dom a nd rev ela tion in the know le dg e of him: T h e ey es of y our 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, And what is the exceeding


greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Paul made his prayer to the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory. Here Christ is conceived of as the founder of the glorious church. The Father granted Him the privilege of placing the plan into operation because of His successful fight against the Devil as the Son of man in the world. The glory of God is shown forth in the church of Jesus Christ in a far greater way than it has ever been shown in any other working system in the world. This is why Paul addresses his prayer to God as he does. He prays that the brethren may receive the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the full knowledge of God. Two situations in the Bible are so different from the wisdom of the world as to be utterly foreign to its wisdom. One of these is the plan of salvation by grace, apart from any works or merits on the part of men. The other is the working plan of the church. Under this plan men are able to do works that are acceptable to God despite the sins of the flesh that are ever present with us. In the flesh we cannot please God, but we can please Him when we believe and practice New Testament teachings. Paul prays that the eyes of the hearts may be enlightened.18 This simply means that they might have spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding is no more nor less than an understanding of the working principles of the New Testament. The one who understands and accepts the Scriptures is spiritual; the one who misunderstands or perverts them cannot be spiritual. This is still true regardless how much of a display of fleshly emotionalism he makes. Paul wished the brethren to understand what is the hope of the calling of Christ. He called Israel from bond service under the Law to become free men under the church covenant. He also wished them to understand what is the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Α part of this inheritance is that these saints have faithfully proclaimed the Word for nineteen hundred years despite the efforts of the Devil to pervert their testimony. This has been accomplished by his power in those who believe. {“Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.”~Proverbs 30; cf., Pro. 9:10}

Verses 20-21. Christ Enthroned Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 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:

God worked out His mighty power in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. it is no wonder that God would have the power to raise Christ from the dead, but See APPENDIX articles: “The Bible can be successfully studied only with prayer” and “RELY ON GOD’S SPIRIT AND GOD’S WORD TO CONVINCE HEARERS” 18


the wonder lies in the fact that the virtuous works of Christ should make it a necessity of justice that the dead should be raised up. Jesus was exalted to the utmost heights of the universe in His ascension to heaven. He had won a name and a place above every name and place. Today, the Son of Man, who is our brother, is exalted to the right hand of the Most High and Most Holy God. {“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his sons name, if thou canst tell?”~Pro. 30; cf., Hab. 3:4; Zec. 3:9; 4:10; Rev. 1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6}

Verses 22-23. Christ and the Church And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

As a result of the perfect works of Christ in the world, God has placed all things under His feet and all judgment in His hands. He knows that Christ will act righteously in every detail. He gave Him full authority to originate and administer the church. Though the church was formed before the end of the life of Jesus, it is the reflection of His perfect works in the world. And, it is a special reward to Jesus for having done these perfect works. The church is not only the body of Christ, it is the fullness of Him also. This can only mean that the church is a fair and full representative of Christ in the world. This means the church has told the truth of Christ these many centuries despite the sins of the flesh and the hindrances of the world. Though we are imperfect in the flesh, we have preached the same gospel Jesus would preach if He were bodily in the world.

Ephesians 2: “Made Alive in Christ.” {Salvation by Grace through Faith “IN CHRIST”} {KJB Intro & text} ~ 1 - By comparing what we were by ~ 3 - nature, with what we are ~ 5 - by grace: ~ 10 He declareth, that we are made for good works; and ~ 13 - being brought near by Christ, should not live as ~ 11 - Gentiles, and ~ 12 - foreigners in time past, but as ~ 19 - citizens with the Saints, and the family of God. ~ ¶ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: 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. ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ


Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ¶ 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; 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: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. ¶ For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. ¶ Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Eph. 2:1-10~ Salvation By Grace [GENTILE REDEMPTION DISCLOSED] ¶ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: 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. ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that w e should walk in them.

Introduction. In our discussion of why the doctrine of fatalism denies the fundamental principles of the Bible, we noted that in the work of creation God made angels and men creatures of intelligence and that wherever there is ability to reason there is also ability to choose and decide for oneself.


Intelligent beings were created because the qualities of God are of such an infinitely noble nature that they need to be seen and appreciated. When intelligent beings give intelligent and willing praise to God it is the highest praise that is possible. This is why God gave the intelligent beings He created the will to choose and decide for themselves. By their willing acceptance of God as their Sovereign. He could receive the highest praise and allegiance possible in the realm of the universe. In this principle, however, lies the possibility of sin’s entrance in to the universe. For any time an intelligent being can choose to obey God, he can by the same token choose to disobey Him. Some angels, and latter mankind in Adam, chose to do just this. Instead of choosing God and receiving a sealing virtue of Christ to secure them in holiness to God perpetually, some of them chose to rebel against Him and attempt to set up a rival sovereignty with Lucifer as the chief. This will to rebel did not originate in God, nor did He place a rebellious spirit in the angels whom He created, but He did give them the ability and the privilege of choosing and deciding for themselves. Sin originated in their19 exercising of the faculty which God had given them--the ability to choose and decide for themselves. Thus God made it possible for angels to sin because it is the only way to gain the highest praise and glory for Himself. God could never be adequately honored without His being willingly glorified by intelligent beings. This seems to be the only explanation for the origin of sin without making it eternal in existence with God or making Him the creator of it. Either of these possibilities casts strong reflections on God Himself. Therefore, it seems we must accept the explanation just offered. Man later came on the scene with the same ability to choose and decide for himself, and God has always provided him the opportunity to choose. Those who claim God unconditionally elects some to salvation discredit Him in that they say in effect that He does not allow His intelligent creatures to exercise the faculty of will He gave them in creation. The picture of Eden is that God placed Adam in a good environment. He then instructed him as to what was good for him and what was bad. But in order to allow man to choose for himself. God did not force man to accept His counsels. On the contrary. God allowed the Devil to come into the Garden in the person of the serpent and make his plea to Adam. When this was done, it was then left up to man to make his choice for himself. Any denial of this working principle will thrust us into a philosophy of fatalism so ultimate that there is no escape from it.

{Another reference to the Gap Theory, part of which says the angels originated sin, but Rom 5:12 says: “...by one man sin entered into the world....�} 19


Adam was so constituted as the federal head of the human race that his choice not only affected himself, but also all of his descendants to remote generations. This is probably why God did not allow Adam to remain without help or salvation in the condition which he sold himself. If fatalism were true. God would have abandoned Adam and his race in sin. But the unborn children had not chosen eternal destruction for themselves, therefore God goes about making a way of deliverance for them. Always, Christ has been on the scene to supply whatever virtue or work the arising situation demands. From eternity, Christ, the eternal Son, has stood by to meet all arising situations with whatever virtue they need to set them in a position of holiness before God. These things will be discussed further in our next lesson. Verses 1-3. Children of Wrath Âś And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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 worke th in the children of disobedience: 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.

Chapter one ends with the statement that the church is the body and fullness of Christ--a position that is glorious beyond expression! The second chapter begins with a dismal statement that we by nature are dead in trespasses and sins. A trespass is a falling aside from the right or straight path. Sin as used here is missing the mark. It is a sad picture of failing miserably to measure up to the standards which a holy God demands. in the fall, man lost the ability to meet the demands of God for righteousness. To attempt to please God by his own efforts is a completely vain thing. Paul says that in our unsaved state we walked in our trespasses and sins. These trespasses and sins are also according to the course of the present age. That is, it is only natural that we should sin when we walk according to the course of the age, for the age itself is under the curse and dominion of sin. The Devil is called in the Greek text “the chief one of the authority of the air.� This makes his dominion to extend to all the environment of the earth wherein man must live. Therefore, there is no place where man may go and escape this power and influence. We are told further that this spirit of unpersuasion, or disobedience, now works in these who are unsaved. The result is that we are all by nature the children of wrath. This wrath may be viewed from two different angles, both of which Promise terrible things to these children. In the first place, sinners are the children of the wrath of the Devil. His ultimate desire for them is eternal torment in Hell. Just as God wills all good for His children, the Devil wills all evil for his. In the second place, sinners are the children of the wrath of God. This


wrath comes because God has provided a way of escape for man and he has willfully rejected the free salvation offered in Christ. Once again, we should note that we are by nature unfit for the kingdom of God. It is not necessary to wait until we have committed some great sin to come under His condemnation. He that believeth not is condemned already. There are none good enough to go to heaven without the new birth. Verses 4-5. The Mercy of God ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved ;)

We are told that God is rich in mercy. Some would have us to believe the mercy of God is so rich that it will save all men despite their rejection of salvation in Christ. God is rich in mercy, but He is equally rich in justice, and His justice demands that He deal with men on the basis of their acceptance or rejection of Christ. So, justice and mercy must modify one another in the dealing of God. However, His mercy is so rich that He gave His only begotten Son as the sacrifice for our sins that we might be saved. The mercy of God is extended richly to us because of the great love wherewith He has loved us. About the only explanations we may offer for the great love of God for man is that he is the highest and noblest of the creation of God. Also, he was created in the image and likeness of God Himself. John 3:16 tells us that God loved us to the extent He gave His own Son to save us. Mercy could scarcely be expressed in more forceful terms than this. God loved us while we were yet dead in trespasses and sins. it is easy to see how God would love a righteous man, but to see how He would love an utterly lost and ruined sinner is almost beyond our power of imagination. The Greek text says, rather, that “God has raised us up together with Christ.” We are raised from spiritual death through Christ in the new birth, but we are raised with Him to walk in newness of life when we enter the church relationship: gee Romans 6:4. Verses 6-8. Raised Up With Christ And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

We are saved by grace. This is a hard word to define accurately. From the standpoint of language. it is closely akin to joy. Thus. grace is God joyfully doing things for us which we in no way deserve. He joyfully does these things because of what Christ has done on our behalf. God has raised us up and has made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. The sitting together in heavenly places refers to the joyous experiences of saved people who are obedient to the Word of God.


God will show in the coming ages the super abundant riches of His grace in the profitable work He has done upon us in Christ Jesus. Though we are poor in understanding now, we shall understand the mysteries of the grace of God in the ages that come after our glorification. Once again, in verse eight we are told that we are saved by grace and through faith. The grace of God is the ultimate source of our salvation, and our faith is the means of our attaining it. {See APPENDIX: “The Way of Salvation” by Bogard.} Verses 9-10. Created For Good Works Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Salvation is not by works. If it were, we would have whereof to boast, but it comes instead as a free gift from God in Christ. We are not of our own works or making. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. We are told the place of good works so plainly in this lesson that no one need err who is willing to accept the Scripture teachings. We are created in the new birth unto good works. That is, the new birth puts us into the condition in which we may do good works. Good works are impossible without their being preceded by the new birth. Good works come as the results of salvation, and not in order to achieve it. God has previously ordained that we shall walk in good works as His children. Therefore, we should not devote our lives to working for the Devil when we are children of God.

Eph. 2:11-22~ One In Christ [Eph 2:11-18.~ NATURAL GENTILE POSITION~] ¶ 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; 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: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. ¶ For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit u nto the Father. ¶ Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the


building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Introduction. In our discussion of the principles which show that fatalism is unbiblical when made to apply to personal salvation, we have shown that one item in the eternal purpose of God is to bring a creation into full and eternal harmony with Himself through the works and virtues of His eternal Son. Christ has been on the scene from the beginning of the creation to meet every arising situation with whatever it needs to bring it into full and eternal harmony with God. These principles need some illustration so that they might not only be accepted in abstract from, but also when applied to actual situations. The Scriptures tell us that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It seems we are not told just when the angels were created. Some think the hosts mentioned at Genesis 2:1 refers to the angels. This may or not be true. Either way we look at it, we still do not know whether the angels were created before or after the creation of the physical heavens and the earth. Regardless of when angels were created, evidently they were created before man was, and their creation is intimately related to the creation of the heavens and the earth. There is much evidence’ that three orders of angels were created, and that the three orders were given dominion under God over the ί three realms of the created universe. These realms are the material, the intellectual, and the spiritual. The chief angels in these three realms of authority respectively were Lucifer, Gabriel, and Michael. if one will study these angels as they are presented in the Bible, he will find them without exception associated with the three realms mentioned above, If we accept these things as Bible facts, we have admitted that angels once ruled the earth with a rulership similar to that which was later given to Adam at his creation. This is exactly what the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah and the twentyeighth chapter of Ezekiel seem to teach. If an order of angels once ruled the earth, why was this rulership taken from them and given to man? The answer is that they did not remain true to the trust that was placed in them. They rebelled against God and attempted to set up for themselves a sovereignty that would rival God Himself. They were cast out of heaven into the earth, and they thoroughly wrecked the original creation of the earth over which they had been given rulership. God denied their right to rule the earth any longer because of their wreckage of the earth in their fall. They still claimed the right to do as they pleased with the earth. Instead of arbitrarily denying their claim, God instead set the /destiny of the earth in the hands of man, whom He made of dust as a kinsman to the earth. This situation explains the conflict of the ages between God and the Devil. This raises the question of how and why angels, who were created by a Holy God could sin in the first place. The answer to this has been explained thusly: Angels


were created as intelligent beings, and all intelligent beings have a will. It w the purpose of God that these angels, who were created without any sin, should willingly accept whatever virtue of Christ they needed to seal them forever in holiness to God. Some of them accepted this virtue of the eternal Son of God and they are the eternally holy angels today. Others rejected the virtue of the eternal Son of God and they are the Devil and his angels, who have infested the created universe, not from eternity, but from the time of the rebellion and fall of angels. Remember that God made them in a way that it would be possible for them to reject Him in order to gain to Himself willing glory from intelligent beings. At this point in the unfolding of things, the rulership of the earth is in controversy between God and the fallen angels. This face lays the foundation for our philosophy of the creation of man and his relationship to the earth. Verses 11-12. Condition of the Gentiles ¶ 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; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the com monwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

It is pointed out to the Ephesian brethren that they were Gentiles. “Gentile” is somewhat of a deceptive term. In the Greek text it is simply “the nations.” The same word often designates Israel as a nation. The word came to be used to distinguish between Israel. who were the chosen people of God, and the other nations. who were outside of the covenants of God. Thus, this name is partly misleading. but it also expresses a situation which actually existed. The Gentiles were called the “Uncircumcision” by the Jews as a term of scorn and reproach. Circumcision was given to Israel as the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. It was incorporated in the Law of Moses, where it signified the purifying of the flesh of Israel to make them worthy to inhabit the good land flowing with milk and honey. The Jews despised the uncircumcised nations because they did not come under the covenants of God with Israel. A peculiar statement is found in verse twelve in that the Gentiles were said to be without Christ, evidently referring to the time before Christ came into the world. This would seem to imply that the Jews knew Christ in the sense of being personally saved, but they did not know Him in the sense of His being the Head of the church. The second thought suggests that the then present condition of the Ephesians is contrasted with the time when they did not know Christ. They now know Him in a sense in which they had not known Him a generation or so before. The Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers Io the covenants nit promise. The covenants and the promises were given to a people who were already the people of God, therefore they do not pertain to personal salvation. The Gentiles were without hope in the sense explained in the first chapter of


Romans. which is, that as nations they were abandoned of God to idolatry. They were no more hopeless in the matter of attaining personal salvation than the Jews were. Job was in the same condition as these Gentiles so far as the covenants with Israel were concerned. Verses 13-16. The Two United In Christ But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. ¶ For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

The Gentiles were made near in Christ in the sense that Christ came and established the church covenant. Under this covenant the Gentiles could come into the special favor of God on exactly the same terms as the Jews. and they could stand on exactly the same grounds with the Jews in the church. It is of this change that Paul speaks at Acts 17:31, when he says, “the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Jew and Gentile were made one in the church in that each enters on the same terms, and they stand on a footing of equality in the church with the Jew having no precedence because of the fact he is a Jew. We are told that the enmity between Jew and Gentile was the law of commandments, which of course was given to the Jews. It seems that their having the Law gave the Jews a sense of superiority over the other nations. thus causing enmity between them. The one body in which the two are united is not the body of the saved, but it is the church. To say it is the saved would be to say that none of the Gentiles were saved until Christ came into the world. {See APPENDIX: “Do You Love the Jews?” from the Hope of Israel Baptist Mission.}

Verses 17-18. Access To God Through the Spirit And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unt o the Father.

Jesus came and preached peace to the Jews, who were near. The only essential difference between the two was that the one group did mi’ have the oracles of God and the other group did have them. All have access to God through the Holy Spirit. There never was a time when all did not have access to God through the Spirit tier personal salvation. Therefore, the new relationship here refers to our going through the Spirit in the office the Spirit assumed when it e came upon the church on Pentecost.


Verses 19-22. Fellow Citizens With the Saints [~The Church as a Temple of Worship and Service ~] ¶ Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The Gentiles are now fellow citizens with the saints, and they are of the household of God. The citizenship, or fellowship, is in the church and the household of God is the church. If anyone denies it, he will be forced into the position that the Gentiles could not be saved before the coming of Christ into the world. It is not evident whether the apostles and prophets were a foundation or whether they had a foundation. Christ, the Author and Finisher of faith, is the foundation of the church (Matthew 16:18), and these who receive the New Testament faith, or system of teaching, are the ones who are built upon this foundation. The holy temple which is built in the Lord is the church. The Ephesian brethren are built into this temple. Both the local church and the church as an institution is such a temple. The church is the dwelling place of God in the world through the Holy Spirit. It is strange that Baptists will argue that this is a description of the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in all the saved when we have the demonstration of Pentecost and many other like situations to teach us differently.

Ephesians 3: “Paul’s Stewardship” {The Church within the Family of God.} {KJB Intro & text} ~ 5 The hidden mystery, 6 that the Gentiles should be saved, 3 was made known to Paul by revelation: 8 And to him was that grace given, that 9 he should preach it. 13 He desireth them not to faint for his tribulation, 14 and prayeth, 19 that they may perceive the great love of Christ toward them. ~ ¶ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner o f Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my kn owledge in the mystery of Christ) 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; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his prom ise in Christ by the gospel: 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.


¶ 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; 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: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. ¶ For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. ¶ 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, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Eph. 3:1-12~ The Church, A Hidden Mystery [~THE CHURCH MYSTERY VEILED IN AGES PAST ~] ¶ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 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; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a mini ster, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. ¶ 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; 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: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Introduction. As we continue our effort to show why there is no place in the Bible philosophy for any implication of fatalism concerning the personal destiny of men, let us note that Ephesians 3:11 speaks of the eternal purpose of God which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. From the Greek text there can be no essential difference between the purpose and the predestination of God. The one is the predetermination of a thing in the mind of God; the other is the prefixing of


boundaries in the mind of God. So it is readily seen that the net results are the same in both instances. The predestination in verse 11 is that the manifold wisdom of God is to be exhibited to the intelligences of the universe in and through the operation of the church. It is the church which is predestinated and not the individuals who compose the church. When individuals come into the church and partake of what it has to offer, they partake of its predestination. Otherwise, saved people do not partake of the predestination which God has previously determined for the church. It is exactly the same principle as that of the Great Commission being given to the church as an institution. Jesus guarantees that the church will continue to preach the gospel to the end of the age, but He does not guarantee that any individual will be faithful in carrying out the commission, nor does He force any individual to carry it out. If some individuals and churches refuse, He simply seeks and finds others who will willingly do His work. The introduction of Lesson 17 showed that angels had been unfaithful as stewards of the earth. God had denied their right to claim and perpetually banishing them from the earth, He made a kinsman redeemer for the earth in mankind. Man was kin to both God and the Devil in that he was an intelligent spirit capacitated being. Thus both God and the Devil could communicate with him. He was also akin to the earth in that his body was of the same substance as the earth. God gave him the kingship of the earth. Thus. Adam was in a position to settle the destiny of the earth right along with his own destiny in the choice he should make between God and Devil. This is exactly why God made him akin both to God and lifeless earth, so that the earth might have a brother spokesman to decide its fate. In Adam the material creation was to speak its decision between God and the Devil as its ultimate sovereign. There has never been a time since the creation of Adam that the fate of the earth was not bound up in and with the fate of mankind. The two rise or fall together. This is why the earth was cursed when Adam had brought the curse upon himself. Before the fall of man the implications are that Adam had access to the tree of life. In this tree of life was the virtue of Christ which Adam then needed to seal him eternally in holiness to God. If Adam had eaten of this tree it is virtually certain he would have come into a condition like that of the saved in the resurrection. This is as far as we can safely speculate on this matter. We cannot tell whether he would have gotten begotten children before his ultimate glorification, nor can we tell whether his choice would have predestinated his children to the same choice. The vital point is that God offered Adam glorification in the fruit of the tree of life. He rejected this offer, and being the lord of the earth he cast himself and the earth down under the bondage of sin. Regardless of whether Christ was predestinated as the slain Lamb or not, He was not presented to man as the slain Lamb until man became a sinning soul.


Upon man’s finding himself in a hopeless condition, God presented the slain Lamb to him in the animals which were slain to provide coverings for Adam and Eve. God so respects the ability of man to choose his destiny that He rushed upon the scene to provide him the opportunity of choice again when man had forfeited his own privilege of choice in choosing the Devil for his god. Giving Adam a second choice after he had sold out to the Devil hinges on the fact that he did not understand about good and evil when he made the first choice. The slain Lamb was also given for the sake of the unborn generations whom Adam had sold out to the Devil. Without this slain Lamb they would have been born, probably, with the ability to choose. but they would have had no opportunity to choose between salvation and damnation. We shall continue this essay in the next lesson. Verses 1-3. A Steward of the Mystery ¶ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

In this lesson. Paul introduces himself as a prisoner of Christ Jesus. It is said that Ephesians was the first of the prison epistles written by him. The fact of his literally being in prison furnishes the occasion for his expression of his relationship to Christ. That is. he had no choice but to be full’ obedient to Christ if he would he acceptable with Him. We are not to understand that he was forced to do the will of Christ. He was a prisoner of Christ on behalf of the Gentiles. He has been called as an apostle to breach the gospel to those nations who were not .Jews and to further the cause of the church among them. The word. “dispensation” used here actually means the commitment of the management of a household to Paul. He was given a special charge to preach the gospel to the non-Jewish nations and to bring them into the church. Paul tells us the mystery of our lesson was made known to him by revelation. When we remember that he was the most zealous of the haughty Pharisees, we can readily see that a revelation from God would be the only thing that would induce him to devote his life to bringing the Gentiles into the kingdom of God. ~FGS Some of these apostles were also prophets in the sense that the New Testament used that word. A classical illustration would be the claim of Paul in Ephesians 3:3-4 where the apostle states: “How that by revelation he made known unto me the ministry as I wrote a little while ago in a few words; Whereby when ye read ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.”20

20

Harry Rimmer, THE MAGNIFICENCE OF JESUS: The Coming King; Chapter VIII, The Magnificent Prophet.


Verses 4-6. The Mystery of the Gentile Inheritance Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the so ns of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Paul tells the Ephesians that they are able to understand the mystery by reading what he wrote to them about it. People will instructions pertaining to their business affairs until they understand them, though these instructions may be very complicated; yet, if they cannot understand what the Bible says from a hasty scanning of its pages, they will cast it aside in vexation and content themselves with a slipshod erroneous idea of its teachings. This mystery was not made known to other generations. It was not known to any of the Old Testament saints. Yet, some Baptists will tell us the mystery is salvation in Christ, or salvation to the Gentiles. Salvation was known to thousands of people in Old Testament times, including many whom we call Gentiles. This mystery can be nothing but the church, which came as a new thing with the coming of Christ into the world. This mystery is now made known to the apostles and prophets. These are the preachers in the apostolic age and those to whom the New Testament Scriptures were revealed. They are not the Old Testament prophets. for they did not understand the mystery of the church. The Gentiles are to be fellow-heirs and of the same body with the Jews. To say this is the body of the saved would be to say the Gentile nations were shut out from salvation throughout the time of God’s dealings that millions of them lived and died without an opportunity to he saved. This body is the church from the institutional standpoint. Verses 7-9. A Minister to the Gentiles 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. ¶ 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; 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:

Paul became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God, which was given to him. He did not choose himself to become a minister, nor did he invent the gospel he was to preach. Both were given him by the grace of God. We need far more of this view of the gospel ministry today and we would have less of the proclaiming of the gospels of men’s invention. A special grace was given to Paul in that he offered the Gentiles an equal place in the kingdom of God with the Jews. The Gentiles had not had such an offer previously.


Until the apostolic age the mystery of our lesson had been hidden away in God. The angels and the Old Testament prophets did not understand it (I Peter 1:10-12). Therefore, we are on uncertain grounds when we presume to point out clear prophecies of the church in the Old Testament Scriptures. Verses 10-12. The Mystery Now Revealed To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

The Greek says the manifold wisdom of God is now made known to the chieftainships and authorities in the heavenly places in the church. This means the church was not understood by the angels until its revelation in the world. Let us understand that the new thing so abundantly discussed in the New Testament is the church. No new plan of salvation way established with the coming of Jesus, but a new way of God’s dealing with His special people was established in the church. We cannot safely say the church was in the eternal purpose of God, but we can safely say eternal glory to God through Christ was to be worked out in ‘some such body as the church. An effort was made to get glory to God in Israel before the church came into existence. This observation is based on the fact that when one plan of God’s dealings with man has failed, He discards it and institutes another. This principle runs clear back to Adam before the fall. Six covenants with man were given and discarded before the church covenant was given. We have boldness and access to God because we do not stand on a covenant of works, but we have a covenant of doing what Christ has commanded in matters of religion because we believe Him. We can measure up to this standard.

Eph. 3:13-21~ According To The Riches Of His Glory [~Prayer for knowledge and comprehension of glory to God in the Church ~] Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. ¶ For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. ¶ Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above a ll that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


Introduction. As we continue our discussion of the subject of fatalism versus the freedom-ofchoice of mankind, we see there are three principles to be kept in mind. First, there is the ultimate eternal sovereignty of God. The Bible teaches this principle throughout. The rebellious angel attempted to invade this realm of the absolute sovereignty of God, but without success; see the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah. Second, there is the eternal purpose of God to make a creation and bring it into eternal glory and harmony with Himself through the works and virtues of His eternal Son. There never has been a principality or order of things created in ultimate holiness. All things and intelligences have been meant to receive a sealing virtue from Christ to bring them into eternal holiness. There never will be an order of things brought into eternal holiness apart from Christ. This embraces angels, men, and all orders of the created universe. Third, man, who is created in the image and likeness of God, is a sovereign being under God. He has the ability to think and choose. The God who created him such a sovereign being has always furnished him the opportunity to choose. This choice has always been in Christ and it always will be so. But man has been given the privilege of choice nevertheless. A fourth principle which is related to the above three and explains many things, is that man was made the lord of the earth in his creation, and this lordship is unconditional and unchanging. It is meant that the lordship of the earth has never been taken out of the hands of man, though Adam sold out himself and the earth to the Devil. Adam did not mean to surrender his own sub-rulership of the earth when he made himself subject to the Devil. He meant to make the Devil his ultimate sovereign instead of God. Adam may not have been conscious of this fact, but it is what it would have ultimately amounted to if the Devil had succeeded in defeating Christ in the battle for final supremacy. When Adam, of his own free will, forfeited his lordship, God immediately presented His own eternal Son as the Son of Man, and He revealed that in the Seed of the woman the head of the serpent should be bruised. This Seed of the woman is Christ (Genesis 3:15). The bruising of the serpent’s head embraces two things. First, the Seed of the woman will ultimately destroy anything in the way of a legitimate claim that the Devil originally had to the rulership of the earth, with reference to that original rulership of it that was given to him. Second, the Son of Man will regain to God and man all that Adam sold out to the Devil in the transgression of mankind. It has been pointed out that God from eternity has had ultimate and supreme power, but God never wields this power apart from the principle of perfect fairness and justice to all concerned. The idea that God moves at whim or pleasure, overriding the claims of angels and man, is an insult to the supremely Holy God. The weary conflict of the ages and the ultimate humiliation of the Son of God have


taken place, not as a fancy of the Supreme God, but because these things became necessities of the arising situations. Let us note briefly in concluding this introduction that Adam was made a kinsman redeemer under Christ and under God in his creation. When man utterly failed in the work that was assigned him, instead of God’s wresting his office and sovereignty from him. He placed His own Son in the office of the kinsman redeemer. Thus we see the eternal Son of God divesting Himself of His heavenly glory, fully identifying Himself with mankind, taking on Himself not only the office of mankind but also all the faults and failures of man, and bearing the infinite penalty of them on the cross and in the realm of death. One purpose of Christ in all this is to vindicate God in His placing the lordship of the earth in the hands of mankind. Another is to give man that eternal lordship which God decreed that man should have. Verses 13-16. Striving for Inward Might Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. ¶ For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Lesson 18 discussed a mystery that was revealed to Paul. This mystery was that the Gentiles were to be made members of the same body with Jews. This is not the body of the saved. but it is the church. The Gentiles had always had the opportunity to be saved, but they were excluded from the body of the special people of God, which was the nation Israel. The lesson this time goes on to discuss the working principles of the church. Paul had affection for the brethren that they might come into a fuller knowledge of God’s dealings with them in the church relationship. This was not an agonizing over lost souls, but it was a striving for a better understanding of Christian working principles on the part of those who were already saved—and who were already church members so far as this is concerned. His affliction, or his striving, on their behalf would result in greater glory to them in their being able to serve God more efficiently in truth. Let us remember that certain teachers were attempting to bring the Galatian brethren back under the Law of Moses as a rule of faith and practice. Paul desired that the Ephesians should escape such a bondage to law and that they should walk freely under the grace reign. As Paul contemplated the glory of the operation of the church, he bowed his knees to God the Father, of whom every family in Heaven and earth is named. These families refer to the various systems of God’s dealings with His creatures. They include the angels, but the family under present consideration is the church.


The brethren would be made strong in the inner man through the working of the Holy Spirit. This strength would come from believing and doing the things taught in the New Testament. The Law of Moses sought to make men strong in the flesh. Verse 17-19. Knowing the Measure of the Love of Christ That Christ may dwell in your hearts b y faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Christ would dwell in their hearts through the faith, according to the statement of the Greek text. This is not Christ dwelling in all the saved through the new birth; it is Christ dwelling in them through the New Testament system of faith and practice which they had embraced when they united themselves with the church. They were to be rooted and founded in love. This is not a “mushy” love for everything that professes itself to be religious. It is a genuine love for Christ that comes from an understanding of His works and virtues. it is also a love for His words of instruction and for the brethren who stand with us for the preservation of His truth. It was the desire of Paul that they might be given the strength, or might, to apprehend the full bounds of the love of Christ. This might was to come through knowledge, and the knowledge was to come through study of the principles taught by Paul and the other apostles. The word “saint” means holy one. He is made a saint by sanctification. This is a dedication of the life to the service of Christ. This dedication is made in entering into church membership. It is not believed anything else can be proven from the New Testament. Of course, the Old Testament saints were those who were dedicated to the service of God under the Law of Moses. When the saints came to know the abundant love of Christ, they would be filled with all the fullness of God. Of course. this is a relative matter, and we will not fully understand this love until the resurrection. There is plenty of room for us to learn, though. and our learning comes chiefly from the New Testament. Verses 20-21. Glory in the Church ¶ 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, Unt o him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

God has more power toward us than we think or ask. This power works for us in the church. God gave the church to Christ as the result of His completed works of redemption. Then Christ gave the New Testament as a perfect working rule to the church. and He gave the Holy Spirit as an infallible guide to this same church. He also gave the promise that the church would continue until the end of the age. This is as absolute a predestination of the church as could possibly be. In a manner of


speaking, an individual predestinates himself to the glory of the church when he goes along fully with it. God, who works in mighty power, is to get glory in the church and in Christ. There is little distinction to be made for men because the church is originated, instructed, and empowered by Christ. The glory of the church is only in and through Christ. Of ourselves we could do no better than Israel did under the Law, which was to make a complete failure. Can we not see that the church, still preaching the truth of the gospel after nineteen-hundred years of assault by the Devil, is the most glorious work God has ever accomplished through mankind? The Greek text says of the duration of the glory of God in the church the following: Unto all the generations of the age of the ages.” This is the most forceful way this language is able to express eternity. it seems the triumph of Jesus over the Devil in the church is a testimonial that shall remain in the endless reaches of the Heaven ages. When Christ works out a plan whereby men, who are liars by nature, will tell the truth of the gospel one generation after another for nearly twothousand years. it will be something to make angels marvel for a long time in the Heaven ages. {See APPENDIX: “The Continued Existence of the Churches” from Ashcraft’s “Contending for the Faith.”}

Ephesians 4: “Unity of the Spirit” {The “Unity” Chapter.} {KJB Intro & text} ~ 1 He exhorteth to unity, 7 and declareth that God therefore giveth divers 11 gifts vnto men, that his Church might be 13 edified, and 16 grown vp in Christ. 18 He calleth them from the impurity of the Gentiles. 24 To put on the new man. 25 To cast off lying, and 29 corrupt communication. ~ ¶ I t h e r e f o r e, t h e p r i s o n e r o f t h e L o r d , b e s e e c h y o u t h a t y e w a l k w o r t h y o f t he v oca t io n w h e rew i t h y e a r e ca l le d, ¶ W it h a l l l ow l in es s a n d me ek ne s s , w it h longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ¶ But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity capt ive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)


¶ And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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: 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, where by they lie in wait to deceive;

¶ But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 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. ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understan ding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. 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. ¶ 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. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from y ou, w it h a ll ma lice: And be ye kind one to a nother, tenderhea rted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Eph. 4:1-16~ Unity In The Faith ¶ I t h e r e f o r e, t h e p r i s o n e r o f t h e L o r d , b e s e e c h y o u t h a t y e w a l k w o r t h y o f t he v oca t io n w h e rew i t h y e a r e ca l le d, ¶ W it h a l l l ow l in es s a n d me ek ne s s , w it h longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ¶ But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)


¶ And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: T ill 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: 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;

¶ But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacte d 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.

Introduction. In the Bible, God is called by a number of different names and descriptive titles. These are used to indicate the different aspects of the character and qualities of God and the nature of His works. For instance, the Most High God refers to that character of the ultimate holiness of God as He dwells apart from and infinitely above the universe. In sharp contrast with this picture is God as the Son of Man in Christ, who came into the world and tasted the most sordid death possible for the sins of the world. it is all the same God, but He is manifested in different offices in His manifold activities. To get the matters of election, predestination, etc. fixed correctly in our minds, we must observe God from two viewpoints. One of these has to do with the eternal God who changes not. He views the future even as the past. The trouble at this point is that the human mind is not capable of coping with such situations without arriving at absurd and unscriptural conclusions. But let us now note the other extreme in the case. This extreme presentation of God is in Christ as He came into the world as the Son of Man. Though He had been promised since the fall of man. He did not come until at least four-thousand years later. Furthermore. He came and offered Himself to the Jewish nation as their Messiah. instead of accepting Him as such, because they willed to do so, they crucified Him. it makes no difference what God had foreseen and planned concerning Jesus, these Jews rejected and crucified Him as an act of their own free will. They did these things because they chose to do so and not because God had predestinated them to do so. Man is limited by the bounds of time and space. He can no more think in the terms of an infinite God than ι he can fly to a distant galaxy or see tomorrow in the same light in which he sees yesterday. It is not certain how closely man was bound by these limitations before his fall into sin, but he is almost completely so bound now. It appears that the connection of unfallen man with God was through the channel of Spirit. This connection with God was absolutely broken in the fall


leaving man and the holy God infinitely separated from each other. This grim fact is the foundational principle for the redemptive work of Christ. We are told that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. For present purposes, let us take note of the fact that in Christ. God was reduced to such terms that man could comprehend Him. even in the fallen state of man. John tells us that the Word became flesh and that in this fleshly form men beheld His glory—a glory which man is utterly incapable of comprehending apart from the revelation of Christ in human form. In his first epistle, John again mentions the fact that men have seen and examined the Word of Life in a physical way. To be comprehended by mankind, God reduced Himself to mankind in Christ as the Son of Man. He did this because it was and is the only way that man can understand God. As the Son of Man, Christ had a day of birth, a day to be crucified, a day to arise from the dead, and a day to ascend back to Heaven. The point is that the movements of Christ in the world were governed largely by the limitations and bounds that are common to mankind. The turning of many events hinges on the actual accomplishment of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was not to come upon the church until Jesus ascended back into Heaven. The church itself hinges on the fact of the actual, accomplished works of Jesus in redemption. Thus we see that God responds or reacts to man as man responds or reacts to God. This means that when and if a man trusts Christ for salvation he is saved. Until he does have a will to come to God. he never will be saved; and, the foreknowledge, election, and predestination of God have nothing to do with it in a personal way so far as man is concerned. For an essay on this, see the introduction in Lesson 21. Verses 1-6. The Principle of Unity [~THE WALK OF A WORTHY VOCATION~THE SEVEN UNITIES TO GUARD~ ] ¶ I t h e r e f o r e, t h e p r i s o n e r o f t h e L o r d , b e s e e c h y o u t h a t y e w a l k w o r t h y o f t he v oca t io n w h e rew i t h y e a r e ca l le d, ¶ W it h a l l l ow l in es s a n d me ek ne s s , w it h longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The Ephesians had been called first to salvation, but the calling which is discussed freely in this book is the call into the church relationship and walk. We are to walk in humility and meekness, with forbearance toward our brethren in love. if for no other reason, we should endure the weaknesses of our brethren because more than likely our own faults are as bad as theirs, or worse.


Verse three seems to say that the unity of the Spirit will bind us together in a mutual bond of peace. If our interests are centered on the church rather than on ourselves, we contribute immensely to the cause of peace among the brotherhood. The seven unities are: 1. One body. which is the church. 2. One Spirit, which is the Spirit which came on the church on Pentecost. 3. One hope of our calling, which is glorification in Christ. 4. One Lord, who is Christ, as He is revealed in the New Testament. 6. One baptism, which is water baptism, which procures the benefits of Holy Spirit baptism. 7. One God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Verses 7-10. The Basis of the Gift of Grace [~SPECIAL SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO THE CHURCH~] Âś But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Grace is given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. The gift of Christ is measured by the fact that He purchased the church with His own blood. His gift was unlimited, therefore the gift of grace to the church is without bounds. Christ led captivity captive when He ascended in triumph to Heaven after His works on earth were finished. He took the spirits of the saved dead into Heaven; see Revelation 6:9 and Matthew 27:52-53. Jesus ascended up on high after He had descended into the lower parts of the earth. The Bible throughout represents the lower parts of the earth as being the place where the Devil held the spirits of the dead as prisoners until Jesus went there and took the keys of death from him; see Revelation 1:8 At His return to Heaven, Christ was exalted above all principalities and powers of the universe. He is now enthroned beside the Most High God as the result of His perfect and victorious works in the world. Verses 11-13. The Purpose of Gifts [~THE PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS~Verses 12-16.] Âś And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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:

Five gifts of grace are enumerated. These are gifts of men of Divine calling to fulfill offices to which they are called:


1. The apostles are the ones so named in the New Testament, such as John and Paul. 2. The prophets gave the New Testament Scriptures. 3. The evangelists are those who major on preaching the gospel. 4. The pastors are literally the shepherds of the flock, which is the church. 5. The teachers are those whose chief office is to interpret the Scriptures. The business of these men is to set the church straight on teachings and practices, and for the general upbuilding of the body of Christ. which is the church. The reference to the “perfect man” is a figure used to describe a church working in full harmony and unity. Such a church is said to have attained the stature of Christ. This does not mean the members are sinlessly perfect. But. when a church is preaching the pure gospel of Christ it is doing exactly what He would be doing if He were in the world. It is in this sense that it attains to His stature. Verses 14-16. The Result To Be Obtained 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;

¶ But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 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 perfect man, which refers to a church body with its members standing in the unity of the faith, will escape the shaking winds of false doctrine and all the deceptions of men who seek to lead people astray in religious matters. We are promised that if we act truly in love we shall increase in all things to Christ. He is said positively to be the Head. We are told elsewhere in the New Testament that He is Head of the body which is the church. With such testimony everywhere before us when we read the Scriptures, it is hard to see why many are so eager to ascribe the large majority of New Testament church promises to all the saved. Verse sixteen is a fitting description of the church and of nothing else in the world. The saved outside the true church do not make increase of the body of Christ; they rather hinder its growth. Neither do they edify themselves nor anyone else in love. Though they are saved, they preach and practice a gospel of slavish fear right along with the unsaved apostates with whom they are identified in religious walk. We need to awaken to the fact that the New Testament is a church book and that nearly all its promises are to those who serve Christ in the church relationship. {See APPENDIX: “By This Shall All Men Know . . .” by Dr. John C. Whitcomb.}


Eph. 4:17-32~ The Christian Walk [~The Walk Of Believing Church Body Members HOW TO AVOID GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT ~] ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 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: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. 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. ¶ 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. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from y ou, w it h a ll ma lice: And be ye kind one to a nother, tenderhea rted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Introduction. In the last introduction, we were introduced to the idea that the attitude and actions of God toward man are largely contingent or dependent on the attitude of man toward God. Let us now see Scripture illustrations of this thought. For the first illustration, let us go to Genesis 6:6 where we read of God repenting when He saw the wickedness of mankind on the earth in the days of Noah. Some say God did not really repent, but that the terminology used is for the accommodation of finite human thinking. To say this is one thing; to prove it is a different matter. There is no indication of figurative language in the situation. Others say the word “repent” does not really mean repent. We are very adept at explaining away the Scriptures when they do not say what things to our own satisfaction. The fact of the matter is that the word translated repent here does mean repent, as anyone will see who traces its usage through the Old Testament. In its peculiar grammatical usage in this instance, the words say that God repented. or he grieved Himself, because He had created man. This repenting took place when man had become exceedingly wicked on the earth, and it took place because of this same wickedness. This is God reacting toward man as man reacted toward God. Next, we examine chapter thirty-eight of Isaiah, which states that the Lord commanded King Hezekiah to set his house in order, for he must die and not live longer. The king turned his face to the wall and wept and prayed to God for mercy


and an extension of life. After this prayer—and because of the prayer, the Lord sent King Hezekiah an exactly opposite message: that he should yet live for fifteen years. Again, some may say this is only language of accommodation and that the Lord did not intend for the king to die in the first place. if this is the way we are to deal with Scriptures, just who is to say what is true in the Bible and what is not reliable? God intended for King Hezekiah to die until the king prayed for an extension of life. God deals with man in harmony with the way man reacts to God, and this situation is clear proof of it. Next, we note John 3:16, which says that whosoever will believe shall have eternal life. While the Hardshells hasten to say that the non-elect will not wish to be saved because God does not convict them of sin and righteousness, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will convict the world. it is then left up to us to choose between Jesus and these authorities as to whom we believe on this subject. The best that a fatalist can do with this verse is to say God deals underhandedly with mankind in not making it clear that some are not elected. Therefore they cannot do what the verse commands and claim the blessings .it promises. Such a thing is too ridiculous for sensible people to entertain seriously. The verse meant that if and when any sinner believes Jesus from the heart he will then and there be saved. As man is capable of grasping things, the only way the eternal purposes of God affect his salvation is that God has provided the way in Christ for whosoever will accept. Election deals predominantly with plans and group movements rather than the personal salvation of people in its prominent presentation in the Bible. Although there are many illustrations which could be called upon to demonstrate our point, these are sufficient. Then let us fit it into the overview of things. When the angels to whom the rulership of the earth was given forfeited their right because of sin. God committed it to man. When man sold himself and the earth out to the Devil. God responded by permitting man and the earth to go into bondage to the Devil for the time being and by sending Christ to be the redeemer as the Son of man. God allowed the bondage because man had chosen it. He will end the bondage in due time because of the works of the Son of man demand an end to it. There is an infinitely beautiful logic in the response of God to all His intelligent creatures. Verses 17-19. The Condition of the Nations {See APPENDIX: “Rely on God’s Spirit and God’s Word to Convince Hearers”} ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God thro ugh the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.


Church members are not to walk as the nations walk. We are told that their walk is in the vanity of their mind. Let it be remembered that this was the condition of the nations in general before Christ came and set up the church; see the first chapter of Romans. Remember that these nations were all religious nations, but their religions were false and idolatrous. The point is. we are not simply In be religiously pious, but we are to be religious according to the New Testament pattern. The nations all knew God in ancient times, but they followed these steps into apostasy: 1. They walked in the vanity of their minds causing their understanding to be darkened. 2. They were alienated from the life of God by the ignorance that had come to abide in them. 3. This ignorance also came because of the hardening of their hearts. 4. They further hardened themselves and went into all manner of excesses and uncleanness. 5. The peculiar thing is that they worked out all these excesses with covetousness as a motive. It must be that they coveted glory to themselves as well as coveting material advancement. Verses 20-24. The Old and the New Man But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The saints had not learned Christ after the manner of these heathen nations. This can mean two definite things. They did not discover the ways of Christ by walking in the ways of the nations. The Scriptures tell us the world by wisdom knew not God. The meaning may be that when they learned Christ, they found His ways to be entirely different from the ways of the world. The condition of learning Christ is to hear Him and to be taught of Him. We must hear Christ of someone who knows Him to learn of Him. The world never invented nor discovered a system of teachings like His. Thus, we must go to Christ as our source of teaching. Then we must definitely be taught of Him. Many people are foo lazy or too indifferent to be really taught of Him. We would rather get some hazy idea of Him and mix it with that wisdom of the world we have and then call the result a knowledge of Christ. Also, few of us are willing to surrender what seems right to us as men to be fully taught of Christ. We are too prone to inject our “I think so� into the Scripture teachings. We should resist this tendency above all else.


Verse twenty-two seems to say that the old man is being destroyed by the deception of his lusts. This can mean two things. First, it may mean the natural man is destroying his physical life by his indulgences’ in the lusts of the flesh. Second, it may just as readily mean he is destroying his chances of having a real spiritual life by practicing a fleshly religious system. A good example of this latter is the sects who destroy the possibility of their ever coming into real spirituality by satisfying themselves with purely fleshly emotionalism. We are to be renewed with a spiritual mind and to be clothed with the new man who has been created in righteousness, and holiness of the truth. This new man was created in the likeness of Christ in the new birth. The putting on of this new man as to our lives is simply doing what the New Testament teaches. We are saved by full submission to Christ; our lives are saved by full submission to His Word. This is why the Christian life is so prominently presented as a passive thing. We do not need to invent any additional teachings. We need to learn, believe, and do those things Christ has instituted. Verses 25-32. The Conduct of the New Man Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. 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. ¶ 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. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption . Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from y ou, w it h a ll ma lice: And be ye kind one to a nother, tenderhea rted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

We must speak truth with one another because we are formed into the same body with our brethren. if we injure our brother. we injure ourselves. Harming a brother in our church is like attempting to stamp one of our feet off with the other foot. If one hand takes a knife and cuts off the other hand, then the hand which did it will have the work of both hands to do. The statement, “Be ye angry, and sin not,” involves so many technical possibilities in the Greek as to what it really says that it would require much space to suggest them all. It is merely suggested that it means: “ye are angry, and do ye not sin?” or it may mean “do not sin in allowing anger to abide in you.” The thief who becomes a church member is to stop his stealing and work with his hands so that he may have something to give to the one having need. No evil word should be spoken. But we should speak those words which will contribute to the building up of the needful things in the church. In this light,


speaking an evil word would include teaching a false doctrine. Teaching a false doctrine is worse than telling an off-color story. What Baptist will deny it? From the context, grieving the Holy Spirit is speaking false things in a religious way. We are to forgive on a basis of absolute freeness, for that is the basis on which God forgives us.

Ephesians 5: “Be Imitators of God” {The “Marriage” Chapter.} {KJB Intro & text} ~ 2 After general exhortations, to love, 3 to flee fornication, 4 and all uncleanness, 7 not to converse with the wicked, 15 to walk warily, and to be 18 filled with the spirit, 22 he descendeth to the particular duties, how wives ought to obey their husbands, 25 and husbands ought to love their wives, 32 even as Christ doth his Church. ~ ¶ Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And w alk 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. ¶ But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 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. ¶ Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: ¶ walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of thos e things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. ¶ See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing


and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Fa ther in the na me of our L ord J esus Christ; ¶ Submitting yourselves one t o another in the fear of God. ¶ Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. ¶ Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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. ¶ So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Eph. 5:1-17~ Walk As Children Of Light [~THE CALL TO A CHRISTIAN WALK (For Church Members at Ephesus)~vs. 1-20] ¶ Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 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. ¶ But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 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. ¶ Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. B e not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: ¶ walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. A nd have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. ¶ See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.


Introduction. Once again, let us summarize viewpoints and examine scripture teachings about the foreknowledge of God, election, and predestination. Subjects such as these are in the realm of infinity and therefore are impossible to be fully grasped by the finite mind of man. Since this is true, in Christ God gave the revelation which He meant for man to understand and resolve to the terms of human thinking. Christ became the Son of man and reduced Himself to the finite for the comprehension of mankind. In Christ God responds to man as man responds to God. From this viewpoint, when man repents and trusts Christ, then God saves him as the result of his repentance and faith. By the same token exactly, men go to Hell because they reject Christ, and they do not go there because they were not elected to salvation back in eternity. The big mistake many people make on the subject of election has been in ascribing what the Scriptures say on the subject to personal salvation, when this is not the case at all, the election mentioned in Ephesians is election of the church; and, individuals come into this election when they come into the church. In fact, it is seriously questioned whether election applies to personal salvation at all, as it is brought out in the Bible. Some of the great points in election are given as follows: God elected and predestinated from eternity that a creation should be brought into glory through the works and virtues of the eternal Son. But it does not mean that God either elected or predestinated all the details that should be involved in the accomplishment of this goal. Right at this point there is danger of our making God responsible for sin if we are not careful in our thinking. God predestinated the nation Israel to glory at the time of the Abrahamic Covenant. Possibly He predestinated it even earlier. But this situation is quite different than predestination to personal salvation. In a group movement, if one individual refuses to do the will of God, he is discarded as the agent of God and a substitute is sought out by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is full of testimony to the working of this principle. On the other hand, if God predestinated a man to personal salvation, there is nothing for the man to do but submit to the will of the higher power. The third great point in election, which has already been mentioned, is the church. Once again, it is hoped these discussions will be studied for whatever merit they may have. Verses 1-2. Christ, Our Example Âś Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 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.

We are told we are to be followers, or mimics, of God as beloved children. This is the picture of children responding to a parent who showers on them all the things


of a boundless love. The gifts of the Father find a corresponding response in Christian service. It stands in sharp contrast with the fear in which some serve the Lord. We are told to walk in the same manner of love wherewith Christ loved us in His giving Himself on our behalf. Once again the love of Christ was not a mushy, senseless, fleshly love, whereby He would sacrifice all the principles He had to gain favor with men. He loved the righteousness and justice of God above His love for the world, else He would have compromised Himself to gain the world as the Devil attempted to induce Him to do in the wilderness temptations. This is why His sacrifice for us was a sweetsmelling savor to God. We are to walk in the same manner of love. When we stink worst to men because we will not sacrifice truth, we smell best to God. Verses 3-5. Shunning Moral Sins Âś But fornication, and all uncleanness, or cov etousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 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.

It is fitting to saints that fornication, all uncleanness, and covetousness should not be named among us. Not only are we the born children of God, but also we committed ourselves to walk with Him in truth when we united with the church of Jesus Christ. Every shameful thing, which is filthiness; foolish thinking, which is the babbling of a moron; and jesting. which is what we call vulgar talking, are also not to be named among us. The Christian is supposed to think and talk of Bible doctrinesand he will if he loves the Lord. Of course. much of the religious world believes verse five teaches that saved people fall from grace if they commit the sins named. If we take it in its setting, which is the way Scriptures should be viewed, these sins are completely apart from kingdom work and kingdom desire. To the extent a church saint indulges in these things he divorces himself from kingdom blessings and advancement. It may include the idea of entering the Millennial Kingdom devoid of the reward of good works. Verses 6-14. Shunning Religious Sins Âś Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: Âś walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth


make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

At verse six Paul turns from the notice of moral sins to that of religious sins. He says the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience because of vain words. This is nothing but people following a fleshly, human invented, religious system teaching false doctrines. First, we are light in the Lord because we are saved. But for practical purposes, it is far more vital that we are light in the Lord because we believe and do what His Word teaches. It was not to all the saved that Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). It was spoken to His church. The fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. In bearing fruit to God, we are to test the things that are well pleasing to the Lord. The only way in the world to do this is to seek the will of the Lord in the Scriptures. Fellowship with darkness is avoided in the same way that we bear the fruits of light-by knowing the Scripture rule and walking in it. Any time we walk in human wisdom we walk in spiritual darkness. Those who walk in spiritual darkness do things too shameful to be mentioned. As a concrete example, think of those who brazenly commit adultery and say it is no sin because they are sanctified. Verse fourteen is to be taken figuratively. Jesus quoted from the Old Testament Scriptures at Luke 4:18 to show how He had come to bring Israel out of the darkness of the Law dispensation into the light of the new order of things. Simeon prophesied essentially the same thing at Luke 1:79. The promise is that Christ will shine upon us if we will come into the place where the light is. Should we say once again that this place is the church? Verses 15-17. Watchfulness Commanded ¶ See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

We should walk most strictly, redeeming the time. We should do this because our personal stay here is very brief and uncertain. For another reason, we are told the days are evil. The Devil has more reason to hate the church than any other body which has been on earth. Therefore, we must expect the days to be very evil. Because the days are evil, we are not to be unwise, but we are to understand what the will of the Lord is. We will not find this will in supernatural visions and revelations. We will not find it in the religious inventions of men. We will not find it in a fleshly battle against the flesh. We will find and understand the will of the Lord by a prayerful. diligent, and sustained study of the Word of God. We will also find much of it in meeting the issues of life squarely on a truly Christian basis.


In this lesson much has been said about moral purity. Let us note again the New Testament basis of it. “Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). A practical application of this rule is that if one is at home studying his Bible on Saturday night, he is not reveling in a night club or dance hall.

Eph. 5:18-33~ The Church, The Bride Of Christ [~Holy Matrimony and the Proper Relationships of Each Party as Compared with that of Christ and His Church~vs. 21-33] And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Fa ther in the na me of our L ord J esus Christ; ¶ Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. ¶ Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. ¶ Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it wit h the washing of water by the word, 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. ¶ So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that lovet h his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Introduction. Although most Baptists teach that the church is the bride Christ, there are varied opinions on just who the bride is. Explanations by Baptists range from a vague statement that the church is the bride to the setting up of standards of righteousness the flesh that almost amount to sinless perfection. Let us make effort to show a Scriptural way out of this maze of confusion. There is not a more vital statement in the New Testament about the church in general and the bride of Christ in particular than is found in Ephesians 5:25-27. What we must do is get the vitality of this statement in its fullness, and we must allow it to be expanded somewhat by the teachings of the New Testament elsewhere if we would understand who the bride is.


In the first place, we are told that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. 1 John 2:2 tells us that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. This does not mean that the whole world is the church. It means Christ paid the price for the sins of the whole world. So, the whole world can be saved if it will believe. In the second place, John 3:16 tells us God gave His Son that whosoever believes in Him may have eternal life. This does not me: that all the saved constitute the church. It means that every believe will be saved. Thus we see two ways in which Christ gave Himself and we have not arrived at the church as yet. Since He gave Himself that all the world might be saved, and He gave Himself in a narrower sense to actually save all believers, we have the suggestion that He gave Himself in yet a narrower sense for the church. Our passage mentioned above tells us plainly what that narrower sense is. He gave Himself for the church that He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the Word This is not the sanctifying and cleansing whereby a sinner is saved. If it were, then the universal church theory would be true. This purifying is of people who are already saved and who have already united themselves with the church. In other words, it is no more nor less than a righteousness of works of saved people that is meant. is people who have a righteousness of works who will constitute the bride of Christ. But just what is this righteousness of works? It is at this point that some become very vague, and others become very vehement for a righteousness of fleshly works. This righteousness of fleshly works might do very well except that. Paul said there was no good in his flesh. Another exception we should note is that Israel tried for almost fifteen hundred years to live up to a standard of fleshly works as they operated under the Law of Moses. And, they miserably failed to the extent of crucifying their Messiah when He came to them. Again, when we read about the works of the flesh in the New Testament, we find they are always described as unclean and abominable. There simply is no good in the flesh, exactly as Paul said. Verse twenty-seven of our lesson insists that the purpose of Christ is to present the church to Himself without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. If the spots and wrinkles are to be taken out in the resurrection then where does the precedence of the church come in anyway? That is, wherein does the church have any preference over other saved people? But if there is not and cannot be any good in the flesh, how is Christ to have a bride without spots on her raiment? This is where the washing of water by the Word comes in.{cf., “The bathing of the water with the word.�}

The washing of water by the Word is simply believing and doing what the scriptures teach in the way of Bible doctrines and practices. The members of a church cannot be perfect in the flesh, but they can be pure in their church doctrines and practices. Cursing. drunkenness, and adultery are bad, but they are not the spots and wrinkles meant here. These spots and wrinkles are such things


as sprinkling babies, teaching falling from grace, works for salvation, the universal church, post-Millennialism, etc. If the church is holy and without blame in these respects. it need have no fear of having spots and wrinkles on its raiment at the judgement day. If these things are not true, then we had best all join those who are attempting to reach a sinless perfection in the flesh. Verses 18-21. The Principle of Righteous Works And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks alwa ys for all things unto God and the Fa ther in the na me of our L ord J esus Christ; ¶ Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

As church saints, we are not to be drunken on wine, wherein is excess, or destruction. as the Greek text puts it. Rather. we are to be filled with the Spirit. The idea is that we are to substitute spiritual singing for fleshly revelry. Three types of music are enumerated in our spiritual singing. From the standpoint of the Bible languages, their meanings are given as follows: A psalm is a song suing to the accompaniment of musical instruments. The idea of the musical instrument is intimately built into the word itself. The word, hymn, means the same thing it means to us today. It stresses such things as rhythm. harmony, tune. etc.. in our singing. Traced back to its origin, the word means to hum a tune. The word rendered spiritual songs refers to the sentiment expressed in the words of songs. In other words, it describes the poetry around which the music is built. Let us note that those who refuse to use musical instruments in their worship services deny the very fundamental meaning of the word “psalm” when they do so. The way the Old Testament Psalms were used furnishes us with a clear picture of how we are to make music in our worship services. Since Israel could sing and make a joyful noise to the Lord as they worshipped under the Law of Moses, we have a hundred times more reason to the same things, who have all the blessings of the church, which Israel did not have. Refusing musical instruments in church services illustrates the legalistic folly of those who really have no conception of what the Bible actually teaches. It is the same kind of thing that wrecked Israel spiritually. Verses 22-24. The Parallelism of Marriage and the Church [~a faithful wife, v. 24.~] ¶ Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

In the creation of mankind, the man was made what is called the federal head of the human race. This really means the ruling or governing head. Later,


woman was made as a helpmeet for man. She did not share in this federal headship. Therefore, man has a certain preeminence over woman in matters of religion. They are both by nature sinners, and they are both saved in exactly the same way. But men are Scripturally ordained to preach and serve as deacons and take other places of responsible leadership in the church which are denied to women. Women were never meant to be slaves to men. ‘Sin is what put them in that position, and the church is the body which has given woman that freedom and respect which God meant for her to have. Christ is the head of the church as the husband is the head of the wife. If he is capable of doing so, the husband makes the religious decisions for the family, except the matter of salvation itself. Therefore, we should regard the New Testament Scriptures as making all decisions for the church. Christ is the Saviour of the body, which is the church. This does not refer to the new birth, but it refers to the preservation of the body of the church in New Testament teachings and practices. The church should be subject to Christ because He created it and gave its working rules and its guiding power. Verses 25-27. The Sanctification of the Church {cf., “The bathing of the water with the word.” in The Bride’s Bath by Govett.} ¶ Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.

Christ gave Himself for the church in the sense of preserving New Testament truth in it until the end of the age. The church is sanctified in its commitment of itself to walk strictly in the ordinances and teaching of Christ. The individual makes this commitment when he comes into the membership of the church. Thus he becomes sanctified when he is Scripturally baptized. Throwing away a snuff box does not have nearly so much to do with sanctification as Scriptural observance of the Lord’s supper. Α church can be without spot and wrinkle as to the fundamental teachings of the Bible. There is no good in the flesh as long as we are in this present world. ~FGS THE SONG OF SONGS by A. M. HODGKIN, “Christ in All the Scripture.”

“O my dove, thou art in the clefts of the rock,” the Beloved says to His Bride. Hidden in the cleft Rock of Ages, “crucified with Christ,” and therefore dead to the world. “Thou art fair,” is His reiterated assurance; “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” “For Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; 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” (Eph. v. 25, 27).


“My Beloved is mine, and I am His” (ii. 16). Here the chief thought is that of her possession in Christ. He is mine, for He has given Himself for me. The secondary thought is, “I am His”—bought with His own blood. “I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine” (vi. 3). Here the thought of His ownership of her holds the chief place. “I am my Beloved's, and His desire is toward me” (vii. 10). Here His ownership swallows up every other thought. In these three verses we have the double thought which is given us in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians. Christ the inheritance of the Church; the Church the inheritance of Christ. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance” (verse 11); “The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (verse 18). Verses 28-33. The Mystery of the Church [~a man cannot love his wife too much, v. 28.~] ¶ So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Α husband and wife are joined together as one flesh. This means among other things that all their interests and affections should be mutual. In such a case, a man who injures his wife injures himself. Christ nourishes the church to the extent of giving it all its working rules in the New Testament and a complete guidance in the Holy Spirit. Α church cannot fail so long as it stays within the bounds of these. Christ so nourishes the church because it is His own body in the world. The church is the full representative of Christ in the world. What the world really sees and hears of Christ it sees and hears in the church. He nourishes the church so that He will be represented instead of misrepresented in the world. One way of stating the mystery of the church is that Christ can take a people whose flesh is still in the Kingdom of the Devil, and therefore no good at all, and cause this people to remain true and faithful to Him in matters of religion through nineteen-hundred years of the severest trials at the hands of the Devil. This is the thing the angels desired to look into (1 Peter 1:12). {“There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” Proverbs 30:18-20}


Ephesians 6: “Family Relationships” {The “Soldiers” & “Armour of God” Chapter.} {KJB Intro & text} ~ 1 The duty of children towards their parents, 5 Of servants towards their masters. 10 Our life is a warfare, 12 Not only against flesh and blood, but also spiritual enemies. 13 The complete armor of a Christian, 18 and how it ought to be used. 21 Tychicus is commended. ~ Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Chr ist; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 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. ¶ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the pow er of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. ¶ 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. ¶ Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: P ray ing a lw ay s w ith a ll pray er a nd supplicat ion in the Spirit, a nd w atching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

¶ And for me, that u t t e r a n c e m a y b e g i v e n u n t o m e , t h a t I m a y o p e n m y m o u t h b o l d l y , t o m a k e known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. ¶ 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: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. ¶ Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.


Âś Written from Rome unto the Ephesians by Tychicus.

Eph. 6:1-9~ The Domestic Life Of Christians [~Domestic conduct of believers whether: children, parents, slaves, masters ~] Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 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; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Ch rist, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 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.

Introduction. In this chapter of Ephesians there is an abrupt change in the nature of the discussion. This new discussion seems to come as an afterthought of some matters that were injected in the last of chapter five. There the discussion had to do with the church as the bride of Christ. The husband and wife relationship was brought into the discussion to illustrate the relationship between Christ and His church. In the process of the illustration. Paul gave much practical instruction on the marriage relationship. The wife is to be subject to her husband, and the husband is to dwell in all charity with the wife. The discussion here presumes that the husband and wife are both Christians. We must look elsewhere for instructions when this condition does not exist. 1 Corinthians gives the specific instructions when there are breaches of the marriage responsibility. A wife is not obliged to sacrifice her religious convictions in obedience to her husband. Neither are they obligated to live together in such cases as where adultery is found in one of them. These practical instructions are continued with instructions in family and social relationships. One striking thing about the teachings of Jesus and the apostles is that they did not go forth as social, political, and economic reformers. If we would fully admit this fact, it would keep us out of many situations in which churches have no business. Jesus paid taxes to Caesar but refused to enter a controversy wherein one brother wanted another to divide the inheritance with him. Largely on the subject of social reforms, He told the Pharisees to cleanse first the inside of the cup so that the outside might be clean also. These last things have been said because the subject of slavery comes up in this lesson. The first topic has to do with the obedience of children to parents. Allusion is made to the Law of Moses in stressing the point. Obedience to parents gave the


promise that the Israelites should live long on the land which the Lord had given them. Precepts of the Law were usually based on principles of common sense and practical righteousness. Older people have a wisdom of experience which children cannot possibly have. This is the practical value in obedience to parents. The prophecies of the last days state that children shall be disobedient to parents. This is one contributing factor to the wreckage in every phase of life that is to come in the last days. Children owe obedience to parents because parents have given them life and whatever opportunities they have in life. The next point is that parents are to walk uprightly and wisely before their children. The failure to do this is one of the great causes for the lamented delinquency of the younger generation. The parents have been delinquent before them. The third point discussed the relationship between servants, or slaves, and their masters. Slavery is a subject that has long been discussed, and it has puzzled many from the standpoint of what the Bible says about it. Let us note that slavery was a product of the fall of man into sin, and it was neither a product nor a byproduct of the original creation of God. Adam became the first slave when God pronounced the curse upon him for his transgression. It is suggested that God did no more than to tell Adam the inevitable result of his transgression in the pronouncement of the curse. So we see the responsibility falls right back on Adam instead of on God. All slavery has come as the result of this curse which man brought on himself. it is true that God said Canaan should be a servant to his brethren as the result of the lewdness of his father, Ham. Again, however, it is believed that God was merely telling this descendant of Ham of an inherited baseness of character which should follow the Canaanite race to remote generations. Verses 1-4. Duties of Children and Parents Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father an d mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The tie between husband and wife is the closest tie in human relationships. Genesis 2:24 says a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This illustration was introduced to impress on us that most intimate connection between Christ and His church in the world. Children are commanded to be obedient to their parents in the Lord, for this is right. The limitation that they are to be obedient to their parents in the Lord seems to mean they are to be subject to their parents so long as the parents walk in ways approved of the Lord. Not even a child is required to sacrifice moral and religious principles in obedience to parents.


{It is the 5th Commandment and 5 stands for “Grace” ~ “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”... “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Ps. 127; 34}

The law promised that obedience to parents would cause Israel to live long in the Land of Promise, which God had given to them: see Deut. 5:16. It has been stressed that we are not under the Law of Moses, which was aimed at the purifying of the flesh of Israel: but though we are not under the Law, we have not become spiritual or moral outlaws. There is the strongest motive possible to the church Christian to observe all moral and spiritual principles of righteousness, for we are motivated by love and faith as opposed to the fear of penalty that moved Israel to obedience. We can expect spiritual prosperity from obedience to parents. Parents are not to provoke their children to wrath, but they are to nourish them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. A parent who provokes his child to anger or discouragement has no right to expect love and respect from that child. He must command these by his walk before the child. Verses 5-8. Duties of Servants 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; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing ser vice, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

The servants who are mentioned first at verse five are really bond slaves, if we are to depend on the actual meaning of the word here translated servant. It is a well known fact that slavery is mentioned constantly throughout the Bible. Slavery came as the result of the curse of sin, which man brought upon himself. God does not approve of slavery any more than He approves of any of the other fruits of sin. However, to say God forbids slavery in many given situations in the Bible would be to say a thing one could not prove from the Scriptures. God seems to take the attitude that slavery is sometimes best in given situations. In the present instance, Paul gives directions for the relationships between slaves and owners and he does not command the owner to set the slave free. The servants, or slaves, are to be obedient to those who are their lords in the flesh. The owner is only the lord over the fleshly part of the slave, Christ being his spiritual Lord. This fact indicates a clear line of distinction between fleshly and spiritual things in the economy of Christ. It was pointed out in the introduction that Jesus refused to interfere in social, political, and economic affairs during His stay in the world. His reign now is spiritual, and He will take over the rule in these other realms of human life in the Millennium.


Servants are not to do eye-service, or careless service, but they are to serve their masters with zeal and enthusiasm because they are the spiritual servants of Christ. This is a way of telling us to make the best we can of life here, for we have a hope of infinitely better things in the world to come. Christ is pleased with faithful service of whatever nature it may be so long as it is honest and upright. This pertains only to material things. Jesus is not pleased with any religious service except that taught in the Scriptures. Slavery is a bad thing from the standpoint of the abuses that are practiced in connection with it. Verse 9. Duties of Masters 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.

Masters are to be charitable and patient toward servants, not being wrathful or unjust toward them. The reason for this is that both the lord and the slave have the same Lord in Heaven. Though a great social distinction is made between the two in the world, the Lord of Heaven is not a respecter of persons and He judges all His people on spiritual standards. Therefore, the servant may stand higher in the estimation of Christ than does the master. Therefore, the master should stand in humility before Christ as he directs the life of the man who is his servant in the flesh. Again we note that God did not create or ordain slavery, but He tolerates it along with an infinite number of other evils in the world until Christ shall have dethroned the Devil as the god of the world. Slavery in the flesh is not nearly so bad as the spiritual slavery in which the majority of the world and the religious world is held today. It has always been the policy of the Devil to direct the minds and energies of men toward the less vital things on which to work their reforms. If we could bring the world out of spiritual slavery, the matter of fleshly would be no problem at all. Many of our closest neighbors are in this spiritual bondage.

Eph. 6:10-17~ The Christian Warfare [~A call to warfare, v. 10-24 - What it Involves: 1) The warriors powerhouse, v. 10. 2) The warrior’s equipment, v. 11. 3) The warriors arch-foes, v. 12-17. 4) The ready resource, v. 18-24.~] œ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power o f his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. œ 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.


¶ Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Introduction. In this very practical lesson the Christian life is likened to a literal soldier making preparations and actually going into battle. The various pieces of his armor and equipment are likened to six different Christian virtues or resources upon which the Christian soldier is to depend. These virtues and resources are truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. According to the figure, when the warrior is supplied with all of these, he has on the whole armor of God. There are many other Christian resources that might be named, but do they not all come under one or more of these six qualities and implements just named? There is one point of doctrinal difficulty which should be noted in this introduction. It is the realm of activity of the Devil during the present age. Verse twelve tells us our wrestling is with the spiritual things of evil in the heavens. This very statement is the nearest thing we have in the New Testament to telling us positively that the influence of the Devil reaches into Heaven at the present time. The next strongest evidence of this matter is in the twelfth chapter of Revelation, where the Devil is represented as being cast out of Heaven into the earth. Apparently, the Devil does go into heaven to accuse the saints as he did in Old Testament times: see Job chapters two and three for the clear picture. However, this viewpoint requires the thought that the moves and moving forces in the twelfth chapter of Revelation describes a war and casting of the Devil out of Heaven during the Great Tribulation. Upon closer examination we find a much stronger case to the effect these things took place in connection with the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus into Heaven in the body of a glorified man. Let us go back to the beginning and trace some movements briefly. When Adam was in Eden before the fall, where all the creation was good, the Devil came to him as the tempter. Where did the Devil come from and why was he there? That is, why did God allow him to be there? The answer evidently is that he had some kind of claim to rulership over the earth as the fallen angel which he was.{“Gap Theory” alert!} On the basis of this claim God allowed him to tempt Adam. If Adam had rejected the Devil, no doubt he would have been banished permanently from the earth and from the environment of mankind. Instead, man rather made the Devil the god of the world order. Man could do this because God had given man the lordship over the earth. As we discuss these things, let us remember that God stands as the eternal Supreme Ruler of the universe. But there are many rulerships and sovereignties under His supreme rulership. The result of man’s making the Devil the god of the world is that we see


him going into Heaven in the days of Job and accusing this saint of God. Notice that the Devil clearly stands in subjection to God, according to the conversations recorded in Job. When Jesus was about to go to the cross, He said “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12:31) We are told in 1 Corinthians 15 that the last enemy to be overcome is death. Therefore death is the ultimate weapon and stronghold of the Devil. Jesus invaded this stronghold in His death and He came out victorious from the realm of the ultimate power of the Devil. He brought many saints out of death; see Matthew 27:52-53.21 Not only so, but Jesus also went into the utmost heights of Heaven in the body of a man. The taking of the glorified body of a man into the presence of the Most Holy God seems to have been one thing that pointed definitely to the final defeat of the Devil. For if one man, Jesus, can come out of death and go to Heaven in glory, then His brethren can do the same thing. With the glorified Son of Man enthroned at the right hand of the Most High God, it does not seem logical that the Devil should go into the presence and openly accuse the brethren of the Son of Man. Therefore it is suggested that our physical Heavens is as far as the Devil goes in his activities now. His great rage at this defeat in Jesus has been poured out most vehemently on the church of Jesus throughout the church age, but it grows more intense as the time for the ultimate victory of the church over him draws near. Verses 10-11. The Strength of the Warrior [~The warriors powerhouse & equipment~] ¶ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

As Christians we are strong in the Lord if we are strong at all. It is a principle taught from Genesis to Revelation that the abundance of the Christian power is of God and it is not of us. God gave food, drink, guidance, and protection to Israel for forty years in the wilderness when they were not able to provide these things for themselves. He even caused their clothing not to wear out during this long period of wandering. These things are meant to teach us that our strength is only in the Lord. Strength, power, and might are all mentioned in verse ten. These are very close synonyms, or they are closely allied in meaning, but there are slight shades of difference. Let us note them. Strength refers to qualities that are inherent in us. This suggests to us that the only way to have the strength of God is to be born again of the spiritual birth. Salvation by grace is taught even in such seemingly unimportant matters as this.

{The “firstfruits” of the “First Resurrection” and “church of the firstborn” 1Co 15:20; Rev 20:5; cf., Num 3:5-13; Psa 68:18; Isa 26:19; 49:5-12; Zec 9:11-17; Rom 8:30; Eph 4:7-10; Heb 2:9-10; 12:22-23; 1Pe 3:19; Rev 4:4; 6:9-11} 21


Power has a physical background in the Bible. It teaches us nothing in the material realm is impossible with God. It reminds us again that Jesus will one day break the power of the Devil over the creation and He will reign over the earth in righteousness. It seems this rule will be established by physical force. Might is more inclusive in its statement of ability to do. It includes the idea of intellectual and spiritual might as well as physical. It reminds us that God is able to move on all powers of the universe to accomplish His will in the consummation of things. All these shadings of power are at our command as the Lord sees fit for us to invoke their use. We are told we can stand against the wiles, or crafty tricks, of the Devil by putting on the whole armor of God. This armor is described later.

THE CALL TO WARFARE ~ WHAT IT INVOLVES: Ephesians 6:10-24

The Warrior’s Power House ~

vs. 10 .

Âś “For the rest, my brethren,â€? as a final but most important consideration—indicating an approaching 10 Âś Finally, my conclusion to the Epistle—henceforth or for the remaining charge and instruction, regarding your future conduct and brethren, be strong behavior. “Be ye all empowered in the Lord,â€? or be in the Lord, and in strengthened, as a Christian, strengthened in the Lord. This the power of his charge to the Ephesian brethren is so much like that to might. Joshua of old also. “And in the might of his strength,â€? or đ&#x;’Ş the power of Christ that works in the faithful, willing believer.~ Jos 1:1; 5:1-15,6,9; Joh 15:5; Ac 9:22; 2Co 12:9,10; Php 4:13; Col 1:11; 2Ti 2:1; Heb 11:34.


The Warrior’s Equipment ~

vs. 11 .

“Put, ye on the Penelope (whole armor suit) of God.� It is as if Paul were negatively saying, “Don’t go out undressed for warfare or to war.� The armor is God’s...not man’s. Man is to dress up in it voluntarily to have (1) security, (2) comfort, and (3) victory in spiritual warfare. God’s armor of warfare equipment is available, sufficient and offers all that is needed for every soldier of the cross, light, and truth. Armor unused is like clothes unworn. “So that ye are (all) able to stand,� like battle-ready soldiers, especially like a sentry guard, one who is prepared—not so much to march, but as to defend the fortress of the Christian life and the church against the crafty assaults and malicious strategies of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. “Against the craftiness, deceitful methods of the devil.� Satan may get or take advantage of the Christian soldier who does not put on the armor God provides for him. The devil uses base, crafty, sneaky stratagems to entrap soldiers of Christ and to assault and destroy the influence of His church.~ Ro 13:12; 2Co 2:11; 6:4,7; 1Th

âš”

11

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. đ&#x;??

2:18; 5:8; 2Th 2:9; 1Pe 5:8: cf., THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD ~ GBC.

Verses 12-13. The Spiritual Enemy [~The warriors arch-foes~] 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. Âś 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.

Our wrestling is not with flesh and blood, but it is with principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness. Let us note them briefly. Principalities means headships or rulerships. The Devil is a ruler. Powers here means authorities. Note that authority is ascribed to the Devil. He got his authority as a world ruler from Adam back in the fall of Eden. Rulers of darkness describes the violence with which the Devil rules, and indicates how he holds the world in spiritual darkness. Spiritual wickedness in high places describes the nature of the power of the Devil. He is a spirit being and it appears his sphere of influence not only covers the earth, but it plagues the heavenly bodies as far away as the sun at least, or the sun does not shine in an ideal way upon the earth. Three heavens are distinguished in the Bible. The first is the region of air around the earth. The second is the region of the stars and the planets. The third is


the abiding place of God. We cannot tell from the statement here whether the Devil goes into the Heaven of God during this age. See the introduction for a further discussion on this point. We are to take to ourselves the whole armor of God in order that we may be able to stand in the evil day. In many places in the New Testament an evil day is mentioned; and, many times the people of God are told how they may be saved from this evil day. This evil day is the day of antiChrist and the end of the age. All saints are warned against it for two reasons. First. the evil day might come just any time so far as we know. Second, we are supposed to leave a heritage in the church that will help following generations to stand faithful to God if a testing time comes in their day. We should live with the coming generations and their destiny much in view. ~FGS vs. 12~ “But your conflict or struggle is not against feeble flesh and blood. ”

In addition to the armor of the soldier for battle, Paul used the term “pale” to indicate the hand to hand nature of encounter one has with the Devil, much as that of the struggle of wrestlers. “Not against flesh and blood” indicates our struggle is not merely against man. “But toward the rulers;” Not a wrestling, struggling with flesh and blood, so much as a fight with principalities or rulers, here used in the sense of powers of evil that are devil-inspired. “Against or toward the authorities,” evil order of angels or spirits, demons that influence and harm men. Evil spirits are under chains of restraint on the extent to which they may harm man, by the permissive will of God. Their certain judgment is sealed. “Against this world-order of rulers of darkness,”. Their evil and dark enmity against God is to terminate in defeat of their head, the Devil, to whom they are slaves and serfs. These demons and spirit-rulers operate world-wide, universally. “Toward or against the spiritual retinue or hosts of wickedness,” (we struggle). The term “spiritual wickedness” is used to indicate, by way of special emphasis, that this struggle is more than that against “flesh and blood.” It indicates a band of “spirit pirates;” hosts, hordes, or armies of wicked characters. “in the heavenlies.” means super-earthly, not merely tied to the earth, but also operating in space super-terrestrial (above the earth) and subcelestial (below the heaven) where Christ intercedes. The Christian soldier’s struggle with Satan and sin is against an horde of hostile spiritual pirates of the soul who must be resisted.~ Lu 8:26-33; 13:34; Joh 12:31; 14:30; 16:30; Ac 19:11-18; Ro 7:22-23; 2Co 4:4; Eph 1:21; 2:2; Heb 2:14; 1Pe 5:8-9.

vs. 13~ ¶ “Therefore take ye up,” or “receive ye in your behalf,”

... because your enemies are such as these, for your own good and the honor of the Lord, “take up,” or “receive ye” (Gk. analabete) as one who dresses in soldier array or armor, as in. “The whole armor of God,” or “all the warfare equipment of


God.” It lies at the Christian’s feet to perfectly equip him for every struggle and battle with Satan and sin, if only he will act in taking it up, putting it on, fitting it to his own need and use. “In order that ye may be able to resist,” The armor of God for the Christian soldier, the church member in particular, is adequate for both defensive and offensive needs and purposes. “In the wicked day,” the evil or dishonorable day when the battle is in full array. “And having wrought all kind of things thoroughly of your own accord or volition, to stand;” all things pertaining to your struggle, to stand when the conflict is ended—neither dislodged nor fallen in the struggle, but standing victorious as a sentry guard when the battle is over.~ De 1:41; Ro 8:37; 1Co 15:57; 2Co 10:1; 4:1-18,5; 2Ti 2:15; 3:15,16; 1Jo 5:4. ~GBC Both are the “Lord of Demons” God’s War on Terror by Walid Shoebat

Muslims are to seek refuge in what the Qur’an names Rabul-Falaq “the Lord of the Dawn.” But from what are they seeking refuge? Ironically, it is against “the mischief of the evil that He (Allah) created…the mischievous evil of Darkness as it becomes intensely dark” (Qur’an 114:1-3). Allah is the producer of the mischievous evil of darkness, the very entity the Bible warns us we wrestle against, which are “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12). These are indeed the works of “the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24). Only through the God of the Bible, was I able to see that Mohammed was standing on quicksand and sought “refuge in the Lord of men and Jinn (demons), the King of men and demons, the God of men and demons” (Qur’an 114:1). Jinn are demonic “fiery spirits.” This was the ruthless God of Islam, so ruthless that He said, “I swear by those who violently tear out souls and drag them to destruction” (Qur’an 79:1). Why would Allah swear by angels that tear out and destroy souls? Mawaridi states that these are the angels of the air, which penetrate back and forth from heaven to earth. They are those who allegedly manage the affairs of Allah both in the heavenly and earthly realms. Biblically speaking, these Jinn can be none other than the hosts of demons that serve under their prince—the prince of the power of the air—who is none other than Satan. {“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”~ Pro. 30}

Verses 14-17. The Armor of the Warrior [~The warriors arch-foes~] {part 2} ¶ Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

In the figure of a soldier, we are to gird our loins with truth. The loins were girded to give added strength to the body by averting a strain which would cause a


permanent disabling for warfare. Being wrapped in truth will prevent our being crippled religiously. The heart is to be protected by the breastplate of righteousness. {i.e., “faith and love” 1Th 5:8} The imputed righteousness of Christ will keep us out of Hell, and a righteousness of works will keep us out of religious error. {And fit for Paradise and the Millennium}

The feet of the soldier should carry him surely and swiftly to battle and away from danger. The Christian soldier is to have his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace will do more than anything else in the world to turn our enemies into our friends. Every child of God should be able to tell a sinner how to be saved. {And right Bible reasons for baptism and gospel service.} The shield of faith will turn away all the fiery darts of the enemy. The opposing armies shot flaming arrows at one another in Bible times. These were turned aside and made harmless if caught on a shield. Faith is the gift which keeps us from being consumed by the cares, burdens, and dangers of life.{Gen 15:1, first mention: “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward,” This must involve the “Blessed Hope” }

The good soldier is to have on his head the helmet of salvation. This is the one thing that will deliver him from eternal death.{“the hope of salvation” 1Th 5:8. Rewards!} The weapon of offense of the Christian soldier is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This is all we need to preach to the world for the salvation of men. It teaches there is personal salvation for every believer and there is no hope of salvation for the present world order as such.~FGS. {NOTE: it is the Spirit’s sword!} vs. 14~ ¶ “Stand ye therefore,” or “take your-stand”

... with all your armor on. It is too late to put it on when the enemy has come. Stand fast in liberty; Stand fast in one Spirit; Stand fast in the Lord, immovable. “Being girded around your loins with truth,” or “having girded yourself, by your own accord or voluntary choice, not by compulsion,” with truth. Isaiah combines righteousness and truth or faithfulness as the girdle of the loins of our Lord’s reign. Truth supports for warfare. “And putting on the breastplate of righteousness or which is righteousness.” Isaiah described man’s sinfulness when truth had “fallen in the streets” and the Lord “brought salvation” and “put on righteousness as a breastplate,”. The breastplate or righteousness, imputed to the believer through faith in Christ, is to be “put on” from without, by speech, conduct, and manner of life set forth in the Word of truth, to put Satan at bay, to stand him off. Isa 2:1-22; 11:5; 59:14-17; Mt 4:11; Joh 8:32; 17:17; 1Co 5:8; 2Co 5:21; Ga 5:11; Php 1:27; Col 4:18; 1Th 3:8; 5:8; 1Pe 5:8,9; 2Jo 1:1; 3Jo 1:1.

vs. 15~ “And your feet shod, or under-bound.”

... Having shod your feet, which need to be protected, stand. The feet were to be shod with military sandals, not a mere house sandal, ready for a battle stand. Let


it be remembered that the living and written Word of truth is a “lamp and light” to a good soldier’s feet and path. “With readiness or preparation,” or making ready the mind and attitude for warfare and battle; a firmness of mind, a good footing, ground, or foundation. “Of the good news (gospel) of peace,” The preparedness which comes to the soldier is from the gospel message of peace in Jesus Christ. It is a peace which gives a sense of freedom, relief, and release from the burden of sin and provides a spirit of courage for battle. With this peace within one may face the foe with courage. Ps 36:9;119:105,130; Isa 52:7-8; Na 1:15; Joh 14:27; 16:33; Ro 5:1; 10:15; Col 3:15.

vs. 16~ “In all things,”

or above all things with highest priority among all pieces of Christian armor. “Taking up the shield of faith,” or the shield “which is faith” to block or shut out or turn away the enemies’ arrows and darts; for without it men cannot please God, be saved. This faith-shield was the instrument of Divine provision by which the roster of the faithful stood. “By means of which ye shall be able” or enabled, empowered against special assault of the enemy. “To quench,” To suppress the fearsome means, blows, or instruments from the evil one. Sometimes ancient warriors poisoned tips of arrows or set the pitch-coated wooden arrow with fire then shot it into his victim. Faith in God is the shield that protects God’s warrior from enemy torture to the soul. “All the poison darts of the wicked one,” “the one having been equipped with fire,” the Devil himself. Satan’s attacks on the life and soul of man are here described as with “fire-tipped” arrows or darts, to kill and destroy. Faith is the antidote, protection that gives victory. Pr 25:18; Joh 1:11,12; Eph 2:8,9; Heb 11:1-39; 1Jo 5:4; Jude 1:3-4.

vs. 17~ “And the helmet of salvation (deliverance) take or receive ye, in your own behalf, ”

... for your own need. The helmet is salvation with security against eternal death. The helmet is for the head and must be put on before one can be a warrior (Christian warrior), before the right hand takes up the sword. “And the sword (sharp warfare instrument) of the Spirit” The sword is supplied by the Spirit, inspired and true from the beginning. “Which is (exists in) the Word of God,”. It is said to be sharp with soul-cutting power.~ Ps 119:11,160; Pr 6:20-35; Isa 59:17; Joh 1:1,14; 5:24; 1Th 5:8; 2Ti 3:16; 4:22; Heb 4:12; 2Pe 1:21; 1Jo 1:1; 5:7; Re 1:16; 2:12;19:13-15. ~GBC

Translation a Requirement of Bible Study Now, here is where the rubber meets the road. After all, none of this matters if it doesn't mean something practical for us. If we accept the idea that “given by inspiration” can only apply to the original language in which the words were given, we are consigned to never grow in our understanding of God's word, no matter how much biblical Hebrew or Greek we learn. Huh, you say? 1st Corinthians chapter 2 is a contrast of human wisdom and the wisdom of God (1Co 2:6-7). Verse 13 shows one of the key methods of studying God's word:


1 Corinthians 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” If we want to understand God’s word and grow in it, we must take this precept and apply it to Bible study. Not only are God's holy words something “which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” Jesus said: John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). Scripture is spirit. Bible words are spiritual things. Do you want to grow in the word? Then read 1Co 2:13 (and Isa 28:10) and learn to compare spiritual with spiritual. The simple Bible study term for this is cross referencing. What does this have to do with translation? The Old Testament originals are mostly in Hebrew. The New Testament originals are mostly in Greek. How do you compare anything in the New to the Old? Or from the Old to the New? The Bible critics are all left behind at this point because they believe that Scripture is only given by inspiration in their original languages.22

Eph. 6:18-24~ The Secret Of A Victorious Fighter [~A call to warfare, What it Involves: 4) The ready resource.~] P ra y ing a lwa y s w ith a ll pray er and supplica tion in the Spirit, a nd wa t ching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

¶ And for me, that u t t e r a n c e m a y b e g i v e n u n t o m e , t h a t I m a y o p e n m y m o u t h b o l d l y , t o m ake known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. ¶ 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: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. ¶ Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. ¶ Written from Rome unto the Ephesians by Tychicus.

Introduction. In earlier introductions we saw how the book of Ephesians stands in sharp contrast with some of the other epistles of Paul in that it presents the church chiefly from the institutional standpoint. About all the practical difference this situation makes is that church teachings and practices are discussed from the general standpoint, rather than dealing with actual problems and questions that come up in the workings of a given congregation. The epistle to the Galatian churches deals with actual problems that arose in the experiences of these churches in actual practice. The instructions to the churches of Galatia are good for any church any time, but Ephesians is written more from the viewpoint of being

cited 12/20/2017 from: Inspired Translation of Copies Required for Bible Study ©2011 Brandon Staggs, The Magnified WORD, n.p. print. 22


directed to all the churches of the age. It is only the difference between dealing with theoretical cases and actual cases. The secret of victorious fighters is mutual prayer, mutual interests and mutual hopes on the part of these saints. Paul was a missionary who traveled widely among the churches and mission points. We are told at Acts 20:4 that Tychicus was of Asia. He was doubtless from Asia Minor where there were many churches. The point we should see here is that neither Paul nor Tychicus had any reason to have more interest in the church at Ephesus than they had in many other churches in many locations, yet both of these preachers did manifest a vital interest in this church. They did it simply because there was a close bond of union among all the churches in those days. The present day spirit of isolationism which is manifest in a few churches and a good many ministers was absent from the churches and ministers of the apostolic age. They had fellowship very freely among the various churches and ministers in those days. Perhaps we should note the formation of the church at Ephesus before we leave this introduction. The Scriptural account is given in the nineteenth chapter of Acts. This church is notable because it is one of the three that came into existence under peculiar circumstances in the New Testament record. The other two being the church at Samaria and the church in the household of Cornelius. The church at Ephesus proves that a religious body does not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church without Scriptural baptism. Paul went to this city and found there a group of disciples. Evidently they were disciples of Apollos, who was a mighty man in the Old Testament Scriptures, and he claimed to be performing the baptism of John the Baptist. Evidently, neither he nor these disciples of his knew that Jesus had already come and performed His ministry. Therefore, they did not know that Jesus had gone back to Heaven and had sent the Spirit upon the church on Pentecost. This is why these disciples answered Paul that they had not heard anything about the Holy Spirit. When Paul outlined to them all the facts in the case, they gladly believed him and he baptized them into the name of the risen Lord Jesus. The sending of the Holy Spirit upon the church was dependent on the manifestation of Jesus as the risen and triumphant Lord over death. When these disciples were Scripturally baptized, Paul laid hands on them to signify the authority to baptize which he had received from the church at Antioch of Syria; see Acts 13:1-3. The Holy Spirit then came upon the group as it did on the church in Jerusalem on Pentecost. These things are so clear in the account in the nineteenth chapter of Acts that it is hard to see how Bible students have overlooked them and the import that is involved in them. The vital point is not the personal salvation of the group of disciples at all; it is the formation of the group into a Scriptural church, and the response of God in the giving of the Holy Spirit to the new church as soon as the Scriptural requirements were met. đ&#x;˜‡ {This is vital! Rarely taught by Protestant commentators.} đ&#x;˜‡


Evidently these first disciples in Ephesus were Jews, but being a city in Asia Minor, no doubt Gentiles were brought into it almost from its beginning. ~FGS Dr. Morris on Ephesians 6:18-19. Praying always. Persevering prayer, not just for personal deliverance, but also in supplication for others, is the invisible, but powerful, weapon that assures that God Himself, with His angels, is also fighting for us. mystery. Once again (see also Ephesians 1:9; 3:3-4, 9; 5:32), as he closes the epistle, Paul speaks of that past mystery hidden in God since creation, which he now wants boldly to make fully known.23~HMM

The Warrior’s Ready Resource ~

vs. 18-24 .

vs. 18~“Continually praying in every season (in every condition or circumstance of time) in (the) Spirit,â€? or sincerity. As one stands in warfare, ready for combat, to be an effective stand, though girded with proper armor, one must be instant in prayer, constant, honest, earnest Spiritual prayer. “By means of all prayer and petition.â€? Here, variety and earnestness in every element of prayer is emphasized, such as: (1) confession, (2) request for pardon, (3) thanksgiving, (4) praise, (5) petition for others, and (6) petition for personal needs. “And with reference to prayer (also) watching,â€? watchfulness, readiness, with a view to never neglect prayer, either in preparation for or in time of engagement in the Christian warfare. One is never to be drowsy or listless while standing as a sentry guard. He must be alert, attentive, awake, vigilant in intercession, never give up. “In all perseverance and petition,â€? or in every kind of perseverance and supplication for others. “Concerning or relating to all the saints,â€? the church as the housekeeper of God, administrator of His worship and work on earth. Only when we pray for others of the brotherhood may we pray for ourselves. vs. 19~Âś “And (pray) on behalf of me,â€? Peter and John prayed for boldness and strength from God to witness and work in spite of their enemies, Ac 4:29-31. The strength they requested, they received. “in order that (speech liberty) may be given to me.â€? Paul, the mighty apostle to the Gentiles, requested that they bombard heaven’s throne on his behalf. He knew that the “effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much,â€? Jas 5:16. “In opening my mouth,â€? “In boldness or with liberty,â€? Col 4:2-4. True saints must learn to approach the intercessory throne of 23

Henry M. Morris, Morris Bible Notes,.

đ&#x;‘? Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; đ&#x;¤´ 18

Mr 13:33; Lu 18:1; 21:36; Ac 1:1,14; 2:42; 6:4; Ro 12:12; Col 4:2-3; 1Th 5:17,18; 1Ti 2:1-8.

đ&#x;—˝ Âś And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the 19


heaven, as invited, with boldness and assurance, Heb 4:14-16; gospel, 7:25; 1Jo 2:1-2. “To make clear or comprehensible the đ&#x;˜Ž mystery of the good news,â€? (1) of salvation, in the sense of redemption from hell; (2) service for the Lord in the church; and (3) an heirsetting for honor and service with â˜&#x; Him in the coming kingdom ages—the Millennium and the “The Sovereign Christâ€? Heaven of Heaven ages, matters hidden from the world in former ages, Eph 3:2-10. It was given to the disciples, as an organized witnessing assembly, the body of Christ, called the “kingdom of heaven,â€? by Matthew, to know and understand the mysteries of God hidden from other ages, Mt 13:11,19. It was that Jews and Gentiles might worship in the ⛓ one body (church body) equally having access to offices of 20 service and admission to worship privileges of baptism and For which I am the Lord’s Supper, Ro 1:16; Eph 2:14-17; Ga 3:28. vs. 20~“On behalf an ambassador in of whichâ€? (mystery of the good news, as I have already bonds: that described it.) “I am an ambassador in chains, or a chain-bound one in prison restraintâ€? In service to the therein I may Lord, Paul spoke of himself as: (1) an apostle, Eph 1:1; (2) a speak boldly, as I prisoner, Eph 3:1; (3) a minister, Eph 3:7; and (4) an ambassador, even while in chains, here and in 2Co 5:20; Ro 1:15; 11:13; Ga 2:9. At ought to speak. this writing Paul was in handcuffs. “in order that (even) in prison-bond, or shackled, I may speak out boldly or with liberty of the Spirit,â€? Ac 4:29-31. Paul desired Divine đ&#x;—˝ liberty or freedom of boldness in speech, a liberty or boldness that he might receive from the Lord through the prayers of others, 1Th 2:2; Heb 4:16. “As it becomes me to keep on speaking,â€? to speak without timidity, fear, or as a cowed person, 1Ti 4:15; Eph 4:15; Ac 4:20. vs. 21~Âś “Yet in order that you all have a conception 21 Âś But that ye of all things about me.â€? The “alsoâ€? indicates there are others, other churches interested in Paul’s affairs or also may know my circumstances, Php 1:12; Col 4:7. “Even what I am doing, affairs, and how I practicing, or the behavior of me,â€? “how I fare,â€? in the do, Tychicus, a reflexive sense. “Tychicus, the beloved and faithful beloved brother brother, even a servant or minister of common things and faithful in the Lord,â€? Col 4:7-9; Ac 20:4; 2Ti 4:12; Tit 3:12. This Tychicus was charged with delivering this letter of Ephesians to the minister in the church at Ephesus and perhaps to pass it or copies of it to Lord, shall make churches and missions in Laodicea, Colosse, and Crete. He was faithful in the sense of trustworthy, Mt 24:45. “Shall known to you all


apprise you of all things,â€? (relating to my imprisonment), things: Col 4:10-17, Tychicus, a companion missionary and fellow helper of Paul, was a servant in material and spiritual 22 Whom I have matters, a trustee steward of God, and worker with Paul, 1Co 4:1,2; Col 1:1; 4:18. vs. 22~“Whom I have sent, with his sent unto you consent, willingness, or readiness.â€? Tychicus here is for the same identified as having been sent to the Colossians as well as to the Ephesians and for the specific purpose of exchanging purpose, that ye information of or pertaining to the churches and brethren, might know our Col 4:7-9. “To you all for this very or specific purpose.â€? affairs, and that “In order that you all might know about the things he might concerning us,â€? concerning Paul, Tychicus, and Luke, Paul’s physician, and other Christians of the church in comfort your Rome, their experiences, testimonies, and needs. “And in hearts. order that he might comfort your hearts.â€? What a đ&#x;’Œ gesture!! What a spirit!! Even in prison Paul was interested 23 in the comfort, hope, assurance, and welfare of the Ephesian Peace be to the brethren, a continent away, See 2Co 1:3-6; 7:13. vs. 23~“Let brethren, and peace be to or toward the brethrenâ€? of the church at Ephesus and throughout Asia. This is a closing benediction love with faith, of peace and love to and for the church brethren addressed from God the at Ephesus and wherever the letter was carried. “And love Father and the with faith or fidelity.â€? Let it be to you, 1Co 16:24. This love Lord Jesus accompanies faith that works for good. For faith that avails “works by love.â€? “From the Father (even) God;â€? 2Co 1:3. “As Christ. well as (the) Lord Jesus Christ,â€? the connection of the đ&#x;‘‘ first and second persons of the Godhead indicates a jointbestowal of spiritual blessings, 2Co 13:14. vs. 24~“May grace đ&#x;˜‡ 24 or unmerited favor be with all those continually Grace be with loving,â€? “progressively loving,â€? or “preserving in love,â€? all them that Joh 13:34-35; 2Co 8:9; 12:9; 2Pe 3:18; Jas 4:6; 1Pe 5:5. The “all them that love our Lord loveâ€? Christ in an incorruptible manner of life seems to be an all-embracing prayer desire of God’s goodness to be upon Jesus Christ in one and all then, there, and thereafter who should love the sincerity. Lord in an affinity of church fellowship and service as Amen. soldiers of the Lord, Eph 3:21. “The Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility;â€? That is, those living the way they profess. đ&#x;˜‡

Paul did not pray God’s unmerited favors upon church members of Ephesus and Asia Minor who live corruptible, immoral, and unethical lives. To have done so would have ignored the principle Ec 12:13-14; 1Co 3:13-15; Heb 12:5-11 of blessings for goodness and obedience and chastisement for wrong.


Verses 18-20. Mutual Prayers P ra y ing a lwa y s w ith a ll pray er and supplica tion in the Spirit, a nd wa t ching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

¶ And for me, that u t t e r a n c e m a y b e g i v e n u n t o m e , t h at I m ay o p e n m y m o u t h b o l d l y , t o m ake known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

In this lesson the Scripture departs from the figurative language and states plainly what the elements of success are in the Christian life. We are to pray and make supplication to the Lord in every season. The word rendered prayer is a general term describing prayer. It seems to bear the idea of rendering praise and thanks as we make our petitions to God. Certainly these should be strong elements in our prayers to the Lord, for He always blesses us far above our merits or deserts. Supplication means the same thing as intercession. It refers to those requests we make in a very urgent manner of the Lord. It is insistently asking for our desires. We are to pray in the Spirit. For one thing. this means we are not to pray with our minds engaged with fleshly desires as we pray. For another thing. it means we are to pray in harmony with the will of the Holy Spirit. We can always learn the will of the Spirit by seeking it in the study of the Word of God. If we pray according to New Testament teachings we will not pray for things to gratify the lusts of the flesh. We are to watch in the Spirit in all perseverance or continuity, and we are to make supplication of intercession for all the saints. The great point here is that we are to keep close watch as we make our prayers that they may be in harmony with the will of God. If they are made in the Spirit, they are according to the will of God. Generally speaking, “saint” is a word reserved in the New Testament for church members. It is doubtful whether it can be proven it ever means anything else in its New Testament usage. The reason for this is that a saint is one who is consecrated to service, and we consecrate ourselves to service when we unite with the church. Of course, Israel was the sainted people of God while the Law of Moses was in effect. {“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Psa 50:5} Paul requests that prayers be offered on his behalf that the Word may be given to him to open his mouth boldly in the preaching of the gospel. This may mean that he desires an opportunity to preach. It may also mean his desire is to have freedom of expression when he does preach. Every preacher knows it is easy to preach logically and convincingly at times, and it is almost impossible at other times. He was an ambassador in bonds. He was in prison at the time of this writing. He may refer to his bonds figuratively in that he was obligated to preach the Word of God as opposed to any human wisdom.


Verses 21-22. Mutual Interests ¶ 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: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

We are told in verse twenty-one that the Ephesians should learn the things pertaining to Paul from Tychicus. One view of this matter which we may take is that Paul had revelation from God. Therefore he was in a position to instruct all the churches. However, there is much evidence that the churches were interested in him simply as a beloved brother who as laboring in a common cause with themselves. Paul and Tychicus were interested in the church at Ephesus just as they were interested in all the churches everywhere, which were laboring in the same gospel they preached; therefore, was a strong bond of fellowship and common interest among them. This fellowship was enjoyed without anyone’s exercising lordship over anyone else. It was strictly a case of mutual interests and mutual labors. Fellowship and co-operation extended as far as the churches extended in the New Testament times. The hearts of the brethren would be comforted when they heard of the blessings of the Lord on the labors of Paul though he was in prison in Rome. It is specifically stated that Tychicus was sent that they might know these things. Association meetings could be a great source of mutual encouragement to all the churches who participate. Verses 23-24. Mutual Hope ¶ Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. ¶ Written from Rome unto the Ephesians by Tychicus.

If the brethren have the love of God in their hearts and the faith that comes from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, then they will have the peace of God in their hearts and among themselves as brethren. We are told at 1 Corinthians 13:13 that the three spiritual gifts remaining to us after miraculous gifts were taken away are faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is that godly Christian love. In the order of things, love is closely followed by faith as a Christian gift, although hope furnishes our driving motive to continue in service in spite of hindrances. When these abound among us we have inward peace, no matter what the material circumstances are about us Paul invokes the grace of God upon all who love the Lord in sincerity. The love of the Lord is not in lip service. That is, not every one who says he loves the Lord really does. To say one loves the Lord, and then to disobey His doctrinal commandments is as contradictory a situation as could possibly be. Jesus said, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” The one who says


he loves the Lord but perverts the gospel is simply prevaricating, and that is all there is to it. Paul was not praying for all the saved in this instance; he was praying the grace of God upon church saints. ~ FGS. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. ~Revelation 2:4. This also was typical of the churches of the late Apostolic period; their zeal and faithfulness were still strong, but the warmth of their original love—for one another, for the lost {esp. the Jews, cf., Rom. 1:16*}, for the Lord—as beginning to cool. But this sad testimony can be applied to multitudes of churches in every age, and every church needs continually to search its heart and test its love. It was to the Ephesians, in fact, that Paul had written as he closed his epistle: “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity” (Ephesians 6:24). A “first love” (or “chief love,” or “best love”) is a sincere love. Do we love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, or have we lost our first love? That is the great question.24~HMM. {*see end of article “Note”: “Take the GOSPEL to the JEWS”}

APPENDIX WHY SAINTS: “SEE WHAT IS THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY” “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” Excerpts out of: The Work of Christ in the Covenant of Redemption; Developed in Seven Dispensations, 1883; and The Dispensational Expositions of the Parables and Prophecies of Christ, by J. R. GRAVES, 1887; copyright, 1928, by Bap tist Sunday School Committee; Texarkana, Ark— Tex.

THESE Expositions are eminently providential. Had their author not been stricken down by a severe and protracted affliction,25 they doubtless would never have been written....He can truly say these years were spent in Beulah, in almost unalloyed spiritual enjoyment of the “full assurance of hope,” while he rested on the sunlit river of death for the hourly expected summons to pass over. ...

The Scheme of Christs Parabolic Teachings FROM a careful study of the parabolic and prophetic teachings of Christ, I am convinced that He designed to unfold to the understanding of His disciples the whole scheme of His redemption, from its inception onward through all its progressive stages and its mysteries (Mark 4:11), as connected with His visible “kingdom of heaven on earth,” until its glorious consummation at the end of the age. ... “I am here using church and kingdom as synonymous terms, and it is evident that this body of disciples John called the “bride,” is referred to as the “kingdom of God,” “of heaven,” “of Christ,” by all the evangelists; but so soon as like bodies of disciples were multiplied they were called churches of Christ, and no one of them “kingdom of God, or Christ.” The explanation of this is easy. The churches of Christ are the constituencies of his kingdom—each church Henry M. Morris, PHD. The Revelation Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Prophetic Book of the End Times, (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 1983), 50. See also Dr. Morris’ most excellent book: The Genesis Record. 25 He received a stroke of paralysis while preaching In the First Baptist Church, Memphis, from which he lay in a critical condition for months, and confined to his bed or room for nearly two years. 24


being the unit or integral part of the kingdom—and all the churches under one divine constitution and the sole headship of Christ, constitute the outward visible form or manifestation of Christs kingdom on earth.”26

...—the comprehensiveness of His redeeming work—whether it extended to one race or nation or embracing all races and all nations. If the malignant opposition of Satan is to be continued until the end of the Gospel Ages to obstruct the progress of this merciful work, we should expect that the character of his subtle machinations and the extent of them would be also illustrated in His parabolic teachings. And, then, the Jewish nation, having been for four thousand years Gods peculiar people, the possessors of all the covenants and the promises, we should expect He would instruct His disciples the attitude this ancient people would assume towards the newly-organized kingdom of Christ and His purposes with reference to them. ...—the ultimate rewards of the one and the destiny of the other party, and the ultimate destiny of this once fair and beautiful, but now wrecked and ruined, earth. Now, all these features of His gracious work in connection with His earthly kingdom are fully illustrated by the parables and prophecies he delivered to His disciples; ... but we must seek the proper “likeness” between the principal features of the parable and one or more of the particular phases in the administration of “the kingdom of heaven,” ... The author, after more than three years of patient study of the prophetic Scriptures since writing “The Seven Dispensations,”{1883} has modified his views set forth in that work touching two questions, viz.: 1. Will all Christians of all ages compose the Bride of Christ? and (2) will all Christians at the advent of Christ be “caught away to meet Him in the air?” He is now thoroughly satisfied that these questions should be answered in the negative, and his reasons will be apparent to all who examine his expositions of The Virgins, The Talents, and The Pounds. It has been said, “A wise man by investigation sometimes changes his opinion, but a fool never.” ... Some Reasons for Offering These New Expositions of the Parables of Christ to the Public It is my conviction that no part of the word of God, unless it be the prophecies, has been more generally misinterpreted by commentators, and therefore misunderstood by the people, than the parables of Christ. Most of them have been interpreted, by even Calvinistic writers, to teach that salvation, or the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, can and must be purchased by the personal merits or endeavours of the sinner himself. Examine the current expositions of the “Hid Treasure,” of the “Costly Pearl,” and “The Labourers,” etc. We are told that the treasure, as well as the pearl, is salvation, or the blessings connected with the kingdom of heaven; and the sinner must not only diligently seek to find, but to sell all and PURCHASE it. So, by the Parable of the “Vineyard Labourers,” we are taught that sinners, some young, some old, enter the vineyard - the service of God - and all work for the same reward, i.e. salvation, as the price of their work! Take even Christs statement in Matt. 11:12. It is universally interpreted as teaching that the sinner can and must obtain the blessings of the kingdom of heaven as the result or reward of his own intense personal exertions; while everywhere in God’s word it is taught and emphasized that it is Christ himself who came to

26

J. R. Graves’, The Work of Christ in the Covenant of Redemption; Developed in Seven Dispensations.


seek and to save the lost, and that salvation is of Gods free grace through Christ, and that “not of works, lest any man should boast.”... Certainly all Christians who believe that salvation is by grace, without works or deeds of law, will agree with me that such interpretations are exceedingly pernicious, because subversive of the fundamental principles of Christianity, and lead the sinner away from instead of to Christ. It is a constant and surpassing wonder that Calvinistic expositors construe so many of the parables to the support of Arminianism, and make them teach that a child of God may, by an act of simple improvidence (as in the case of the improvident virgins), or slothfulness (as in the case of the slothful servant, in the Parable of the Talents and the Pounds), be finally lost. I think Christ designed to teach and illustrate by His parables the great fundamental facts that underlie the covenant of redemption, and His dispensational work in the administration of His government, and His dealings with sin, until He has consummated His work in righteousness at the end of the coming or Millennial Age.27 While some of His parables had, without doubt, application to His hearers, and were spoken for their personal instruction in righteousness, yet we know the principal ones were pregnant with the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven for the instruction of His disciples, and all who, with honesty of heart, desired to be instructed. Christ himself declared this: “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” - Matt. 13:11. ... And one of the greatest mysteries of the administration of the kingdom of Christ,28 Paul tells us, was that in the fulness of time the Gentiles were to be made partakers and fellow-heirs, with the Jews, of God’s grace in Christ Jesus: “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 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; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:”- Eph. 3:3.

T HE M USTARD T REE

AND B IRDS OF THE A IR {A sobering “rescue” of Dr. Graves’ parable expositions.}

THE MUSTARD TREE HIS is one of the four parables delivered in connection to teach and illustrate the same sad fact—the malignant, subtle and persistent opposition of Satan, the great adversary, to the work Christ undertook to accomplish. In the Parable of the Tares we see how stealthily Satan oversowed with tares the field which Christ sowed with good seed. In the Parable of the Leaven we see a false [or deceived] church, under the symbol of a woman, hiding, stealthily infusing, false doctrine into the true doctrine of Christ, to corrupt and thereby pervert it. In the Parable of the Mustard Tree and the Birds of the Air,

T

{see “The 3 Stages of Christ’s Kingdom~Church~Bride”} [See Rev. 3:21. The Millennial Kingdom of “a thousand years,” is primarily ‘the kingdom of Christ/Messiah: and this coming “Kingdom” must be distinguished, in the minds of His disciples, from His Eternal Kingdom in “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1).]~{NOTES in square brackets found with this version of Graves’ Parables at: http://www.themillennialkingdom.org.uk/TheParablesAndPropheciesOfChristExplained.htm by W. Tindle.} 27 28


which is prophetical, we learn how His kingdom, when it became large and prosperous, would be injured by the introduction into it of foreign, hostile influences. The principal features of this parable are: 1. The insignificant seed sown. 2. The sower. 3. The tree. 4. The fowls of the air. 5. Their work—lodgement in the branches.

1. By the small seed sown it is evident the kingdom of Christ in its incipiency is symbolized. It was at first, indeed, the least of all kingdoms ever founded. Greece and Rome commenced with but a few hundred men and their leader: but this with the King and the few people prepared for Him by His herald, John the Baptist. It was the object of the world’s ridicule and scorn and fierce opposition. Those who beheld it did not believe that anything could possibly come of it; it was, indeed, the most insignificant of all kingdoms. It was pointed forward to by Isaiah as “a handful of corn on the top of the mountain,” and by Daniel as a stone cut out of the mountain without hands. The sower of the seed was the same personage who is represented as sowing the good seed in the Parable of the Tares, and in the subsequent parable, and He it was who founded His kingdom by His own personal efforts, and not through the agency of others; for the stone was cut out without hands - human agency. Let this vital fact be constantly borne in mind that Christ has but one kingdom, and that this He “set up,” organized Himself, during His personal ministry on this earth, and not through the agency of others before His advent or subsequent to His ascension. It was a part of the work that was given Him to do, and which made it necessary for Him to come to this earth. Religious organizations set up by men since the ascension of Christ, though called churches, certainly are not churches, nor do they compose in whole or in part the kingdom of Christ. As He never set up but one kingdom, and never has had but one, so from the day He set it up He has always had one. From the day He constituted it, although the malignant enemy has done all in his power to impede its growth, and to destroy it, nevertheless, like the stone of the mountain, it has never ceased for one hour to roll, and, like the mustard tree, for one moment to grow; and, blessed be God, it will roll on, and grow on, until under the personal administration and reign of Christ it shall become “a great mountain and fill the whole earth.”29

With this prophecy (Dan. 2:44) and this parable before his eyes, how can a candid interpreter of God’s word say that this kingdom has for ages together ceased to exist, or deny that there has been an unbroken succession of the true churches of Christ since as the constituents of His kingdom? The kingdom could not exist for one day or an hour without the existence of one or more true churches of Christ. 29


The mustard tree symbolizes the kingdom of Christ - small at first and insignificant, yet growing steadily on until, by its wide-spreading branches and cooling shade, it will attract “the birds of the air.” The stone became a great mountain, and the handful of corn on the mountain top waved like the forests of Lebanon. So the little handful of disciples which Christ first organized into a kingdom has already become a large and far-spreading empire, and the birds of the air are everywhere seeking lodgement in its branches. THE BIRDS OF THE AIR t is important that we ascertain who are represented by these. It is as true as it is an old adage that “the Scriptures are their own interpreters.” It is certainly a doubtful procedure to explain one part of the Scriptures independent of other Scriptures, since no Scripture is of private - i.e. separate - interpretation. As in algebra, although we make several independent equations in working out a given problem, if we find the value of x or y in one we can safely substitute that value for the x or y in each of the other equations. In the Parable of the Leaven and Meal we found that leaven in both the Old and New Testaments represented that which is corrupt, false doctrine, and therefore this must be its true meaning in the Parable of the Leaven and Meal. Let us apply this rule. In the following Parable of the Sower, they were fowls, “the birds of the air,” that caught away the seed that was sown by the wayside. Christ interprets these to represent the agencies Satan employs to catch away the good seed of the gospel [of the kingdom], which was sown in the hearts of the class of men represented by the “wayside.” “Satan employs a variety of agents, as wicked men,[30] and other evil spirits.” – Williams’ Commentary in loco. We are safe, therefore, in interpreting fowls of the air as representing “wicked” [or deceived] men. What is done by the emissaries and men under the instigation and influence of the wicked one, is properly said to be done by himself. Here the fowls of the air are doubtless wicked men moved by Satan. They appertain to his kingdom; and he is the prince of the powers of the air - the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience. This “tree” was cultivated for its seed, and when ripe vast quantities of it were destroyed by the birds of the air. They did the tree no good, but injury. Every orchardist knows how destructive the birds are to his fruit trees, and several kinds of fruit, as cherries, of which birds are peculiarly fond, have to be constantly guarded, and the birds driven out, to secure anything like a crop.

I

[NOTE. He also is in the business of the employment of regenerate men whom he has duped! We draw this conclusion from Post-millennialist and Anti-Millennialist Christians.] 30


These “fowls of the air” did not come to sing, but to “lodge” - to roost - in the branches. If any one doubts the result of this use of a tree, or a forest of trees, let him examine a pigeon or turkey roost, where they do, in multitudes, congregate at night to lodge. The limbs are broken down and the tree defiled with their excrescences; its beauty and symmetry defaced, its growth impeded; and, unless the lodge or roost is soon broken up, the tree is destroyed. This was a prophetic parable, pointing forward to the time when the kingdom of Christ would become so extensive and popular that the [duped regenerate and] unregenerate and wicked worldly men and women - would flock into it, not to succour and cultivate, but simply to lodge in it - use it for their own advantage. The result of the gathering of the children of this world into any church of Christ is to it what the lodging of a multitude of the “birds of the air” is to a young and tender tree. They will effectually deface its beauty, mar its symmetry, break down its moral strength, and if they are not driven out they will ultimately ruin the church itself. Turn and read the most earnest exhortations of the apostles to the early churches to cut off and put away from themselves all worldly and wicked* characters. It does not follow because wicked men should not be rooted out of the earth before the end of the next age, that therefore the manifestly ungodly should not be excluded from the church.[* See 1 Cor. 5:13, R.V.] The teaching of this parable agrees with that of the apostles everywhere that, unless unregenerate and wicked men and women are strictly kept out of, and excluded, when found in, the churches of Christ, they will be corrupted and their moral and spiritual influence destroyed. This Scripture is being fulfilled before our eyes in this age. The churches have become so conformed to the world that they have become popular with the world; all persecution for Christ’s sake has ceased, and worldly, wicked men and women are flocking into the churches. In fact, it has become fashionable to be an active and much respected member of “some church”—of some religious organization called a church. It is also a fact, owing to the multitude of those “lodgers”—unregenerate worldly men and women - in our churches, that scriptural discipline has become impossible, and the spiritual life and moral power of our churches are paralyzed. An aged and thoughtful pastor not long since remarked in our hearing that he feared that not more than half of the members of his church were truly regenerated men and women. I have heard several pastors in the last five years make substantially the same remark. Verily, verily, the fowls of the air are flocking to lodge in the branches of the symbolized “Mustard Tree.” There can nothing be gathered from this parable to favour the theory that the whole world will be truly converted and gathered into the kingdom of Christ before His second coming. If by the fowls of the air wicked men are represented, then the parable teaches that “the kingdom of heaven” - the true churches of Christ that


constitute it - in the latter days, will be filled with unregenerate men, and the last phase of Christianity in this dispensation will be worse than the first - the field overcrowded with tares, the pure doctrine of Christ perverted by the infusion of deadly error, and the kingdom of Christ demoralized by a worldly, unregenerate membership. The advocates of that theory known as the Church-Branch Theory refer to this parable, and to this alone, for its support. I suppose the misunderstanding and misconstruction of the parable originated the theory. The mustard tree, they claim, represents the one true church of Christ; and, as the tree is composed of many branches, so the church is composed of many denominations; indeed, that all the so-called denominations claiming to be churches that have existed, or that now exist, on this earth, taken together, have constituted, and do now constitute, the church. There are many and insuperable difficulties in the way of this most irrational and absurd theory. 1. Christ has no visible or invisible organization called “the church.” There is no visible or invisible organization on earth known in the word of God as “the church,” composed of all existing churches. It is a mere conception, not a reality. Whenever the phrase “the church of Christ” occurs, it is a figurative expression, by metonymy one being put for all. 2. Christ did not say that His church was like a mustard tree, but that His kingdom was. And the branches of this tree would therefore represent the constituents of which the kingdom is composed - all of Christ’s true local churches. 3. The branches of this mustard tree, like the branches of any other tree, were identically of the same wood, and not each of a different kind of wood. And these branches were organically united with the one body, and therefore with each other, like the members of our bodies, and each “branch” bore identically the same seed. But in the conceptional tree of the church-branch theory the tree is all branches, without any trunk or body. And, stranger yet, if it is indeed possible for anything to be stranger, each branch is of a widely different species of wood, and bears radically different doctrines, having no organic connection with each other, and of course not with its body or trunk, for it has none. Most wonderful freak of nature! Most wonderful monstrosity! Nothing more monstrously absurd, save the church theory built upon the idea! The kingdom of heaven, of God, of Christ, is composed, as I have said, of all Christ’s true local churches. These are the only executives of His kingdom, and they alone give it visibility. These churches are not heterogeneous and radically diverse, and therefore antagonistic bodies, but homogeneous - essentially alike and therefore harmonious. Christ himself said that a house divided against itself could not stand, and a kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. Christ, therefore, did not


build His “church,” which He calls His house, or constitute His kingdom, of diverse and antagonistic organizations, like the various existing denominations that must conflict with each other because holding different, contradictious doctrines, and, from the very nature of the case, as one prevails in a given section all the others are exterminated by it. Built of such heterogeneous material, His house would soon fall and His kingdom be brought to desolation. Surely what a flagrant perversion of Christ’s teachings is this gross travesty of this parable, by which it is wrested so as to contradict the unfigurative teachings of Christ and his apostles! If I do no more by these expositions than to rescue this one parable from such misleading teachings, my humble effort will not be altogether in vain. But by another and a large class of expositors it is claimed that Christ intended to teach by this parable that ultimately the whole world will be Christianized and gathered into His church or kingdom, because He said, “The fowls of the air lodged in the branches of this tree.” But, unfortunately for this theory, Christ in the next parable tells us that the “fowls of the air” represent the devil - i.e. evil spirits or wicked men - since he used these to accomplish his wicked purposes, and in this case his purpose is certainly not to help the kingdom of Christ, but to injure it by the introduction of wicked men into it. I can not doubt that this parable is a prophecy foreshadowing the fact that in after years Christianity would become so extended and popular that His churches which compose His kingdom - would be demoralized by the introduction of masses of unregenerate members. The thoughtful student of church history is impressed with no fact more forcibly than that the great apostasy of the primitive churches which occurred in the third, fourth and fifth centuries was brought about by the introduction of the world—unregenerate men—into those churches and this was effected by corrupting the true doctrine of Christ by the introduction of the leaven of false doctrine, sacramental salvation, viz: teaching that the grace of remission of sins and regeneration, and consequently salvation, was communicated alone through the ordinances of the church. Hence the Catholic aphorism, “No salvation out of the church” - a doctrine still held by the Catholics and all Protestant State churches until this day. The natural result of this teaching, as all can see, was to bring all infants and the whole world - all “the fowls of the air” - to lodge in those “churches,” and thus has this prophecy had a fulfilment before our eyes. And every thoughtful Christian will freely admit that the greatest danger that now menaces the kingdom of Christ in this age is the easy and rapid introduction of the worldly and unregenerate into our churches. A willingness to join the church and be baptized is, alas! too generally accounted a satisfactory qualification for the rite and church membership. Unless


this tendency is speedily and effectively checked, a second and general apostasy will follow, as certainly as one sun-set follows another, from the same cause. This parable should impress both the ministry and membership of our churches with the sacred duty of guarding with holy vigilance against the entrance of the unregenerate into our churches, and, by the exercise of a strict gospel discipline, driving out all “the fowls of the air” that are now lodging in them. *** Dr. Parsons, in his Development of Antichrist, says: “The Parable of the Leaven represents the results which will be manifested in the kingdom of Christ during the age from the corruptions introduced by those within the church. The meal will be leavened by heresies and perversions during all this dispensation. “All the parables of Christ illustrating the mystery of the administration of His kingdom plainly betoken a mixed and corrupted state of things to the end of this dispensation, and the Spirit confirms this in the revelation of this great apostasy: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. - 1 Tim. 4:1-3. “Also that times of great peril shall be in the last days; that formality and hypocrisy will abound; that all who adhere to godliness shall suffer persecution; and that evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”31

THE NEW LIFE WITH ITS NEW BIRTH AND KINGDOM {“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, ... Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ... Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”} [John 3]

Our Lord’s conversation with Nicodemus has in all ages been noted for its deep importance. It has its difficulties, some of which are due to inaccurate renderings. The reader will therefore find a few differences between this and the usual version.* * Instead of “again,” the margin in the Old and the Revised Version reads “from above.” The latter is the true translation: it is so given in this same chapter: John 3:31. The translators, old and new, sometimes render [the Greek word …] by ‘beget,’ sometimes ‘bear.’ The former is the true rendering: Matt. 1:2. Sometimes both renderings are given in the same verse: John 5:1, 18, corrected in the Revised Version. The Greek [word …] in this passage is sometimes rendered ‘spirit,’ sometimes ‘wind:’ John 3:8. I suppose it should be rendered ‘wind’ all through. It cannot be ‘the Spirit,’ for there is no article, any more than before ‘water.’

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night, and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that Thou art come (as) a

31

J. R. GRAVES’ LANDMARKS, a Non-Published print, {excerpts of his works I’ve gathered ~SM}.


teacher from God; for none can do these signs that Thou doest, except God with him!’ “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee: Except a man be begotten from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” The Saviour here is in conversation with a Pharisee. Who were the Pharisees? (1) Men who added to the word of God the traditions of the elders. (2) They trusted in themselves that they were righteous; and hence refused Jesus, the Son of God; for they need no Saviour who are able to save themselves. {32} The Pharisee was the ‘Ceremonialist’ of his day: the strictest of the sects of Moses. He was aged, and respectable, an elder of the Sanhedrim. Are you, my reader, like him, a Pharisee? He came to Jesus;—conscience urged him. ‘You ought to do honour to this great Teacher.’ He came by night. The fear of man restrained him from coming by day. He would lose his reputation with his friends and associates, if he countenanced the strange instructor from Galilee, the itinerant teacher, who was voted not to be ‘respectable.’ Have you, my reader, come to Christ? Or are you ashamed of Him? Afraid to confess Him? Christ invites you to Himself (Matt. 11:28) as the only ‘Giver of Rest.’ And He asks the confession of Himself with the mouth, as well as the belief on Him with the heart: Rom. 10:9-13.{33} Nicodemus was a candid man. He gave Jesus the honourable title of ‘Rabbi,’ though the Saviour had not been brought up in the schools of the Pharisees. He owns Him to be a teacher from God. He admits the reality of the miracles wrought by Him, and the proof of His mission thence arising. This was all true, but it was not enough to save. It was only to give to our Lord a place already occupied by others. Moses was a teacher sent from God, and accredited to Israel by signs of power. But Moses cannot save. God was with Joshua, and with Elijah; but neither of these can save. My reader, what think you of Christ? Many would answer that they hold Him to be the Chief Instructor, the Sinless Man, the Perfect Example. Now that is quite true, but it does not go far enough. We need a Saviour. Jesus must be “the Lamb of God” to bear sin and it away; or there is no [eternal] salvation for sinners. He must be a Priest ascended to God’s throne, to present the blood that atones. He must be “the Son of God,”—[or ‘God the Son’]—to give weight and effect to His work on behalf of sinners. Nicodemus owned that ‘God was with Him.’ But Scripture says, that He is “GOD WITH US:” Matt. 1:23. Do you believe that? Do you give Him worship? Eight times is worship said to be rendered to Him in the Gospel of Matthew 2:2, 11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9, 17. Now these things are written to instruct us. Our Lord’s reply seems far astray from the ruler’s opening speech. {Reminds us of what many ask: “If I’m saved, why do we need the teaching of the upcoming Millenial or 1000 yr. reign of Christ? Going to Heaven when I die anyway so ‘what needeth it?’” Maybe we need to look into this.} 33 {This confession is before the church when seeking baptism and admission to the church body and kingdom.} 32


“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be begotten from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This appears to be a word addressed to the Pharisee’s heart. He, it would seem, came desirous to learn from the Saviour, how the ‘kingdom of God,’ of which John the Baptist and Himself spoke so much, was to be entered. And the whole conversation is given, as I believe, to illustrate the Holy Spirit’s testimony at the close of the previous chapter, that our Lord was aware of the thoughts of men; and needed none to tell Him on what business, and in what state of heart those came, who sought His company. “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25

The Saviour then, in solemn words, resting upon His own authority, declares the necessity of spiritual regeneration. Each must be begotten from above.* * [See the Greek word …{or margin in KJV}] This is its sense throughout John’s Gospel; John 3:31; 19:11, 23. It is an adverb of place. To make it an adverb of time—‘from the beginning’—will not suit the sense here. It supposes ‘again,’ but it reaches beyond ‘again’ in sense.

It is equivalent to “from heaven.” Thus John Baptist says of Jesus: “He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh out of the heaven is above all:” John 3:31. Are all men God’s sons? Many are teaching that doctrine. The Saviour denies it of all that love not Himself. “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:” John 8:44. That is the reason for the necessity in all men of the change here named. Our Lord is confirming the opening words of this Gospel. “He (Jesus) came to His own (Israel), and His own (people) received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of God (even) to them that believe on His name: Who were begotten, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God:” John 1:11-13. Are you, my reader, “begotten of God”? Have you received Christ? Do you believe on the name of the Only-begotten Son of God? This saying overturned the foundation of Moses’ law. Jesus was not as some imagine, merely clearing away the rubbish with which the Scribes and Pharisees had encumbered the law. He here announces another foundation altogether. Moses’ legislation was addressed to the flesh. It attached to those begotten of Abraham’s family, born of the flesh. Its seal was set on the flesh. It laboured to cleanse the flesh. It addressed itself to the power of the flesh to obey God. Man needs not new instruction, in order to mend by his efforts the old nature. He requires the impartation of a new life. When God condemns anything, He takes the best specimen; and in the condemnation of that, all others of the same kind find their sentence. And our Lord here is confirming John the Baptist’s testimony. ‘Think not’—said the stern instructor—‘that you will enjoy the day of the glory announced, because Abraham is your father. God will raise up a new set of sons to Abraham; sons of his faith, though not of his flesh:’ Matt. 3.


“He cannot see the kingdom of God.” This refers, not to the kingdom {so-called} of grace, but to the millennial ‘kingdom of glory’{cf., The 3 Stages of Christ’s Kingdom~Church~Bride}. Birth of Abraham’s race would have admitted to the kingdom of David or of Solomon. But a better kingdom is coming, which shall overturn that of Satan; and the Lord Jesus shall be the Ruler of it. It shall be “the kingdom of the saints:” Dan. 7:18-27. But that holiness is not of the flesh, or of any generation of man ‘from below:’ John 8:23. The Law of Moses bound with its cords the old nature. But that nature was from below: and Moses could not give the new nature. The kingdom of heaven demands regeneration from heaven. The proof that it is not the kingdom of grace that is in question, is that the kingdom of grace and the Church can be entered, without either regeneration of the Spirit or immersion in water.* The present is “the word of the kingdom.” But its coming is in power. Hence, in the Acts, Paul says to those who were already [regenerate] believers and united with the Church, that the kingdom has a something yet future. Paul was “confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many troubles we must enter into the Kingdom of God:” Acts 14:22. God, - says Paul to the Thessalonian believers, who were already in church fellowship,- “is inviting you into His own kingdom and glory:”{“... hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” ~KJV} 1 Thess. 2:12. Jesus Himself speaks of His kingdom as not derived from earth, but future{NOTE} (John 18:36), requiring resurrection and our Lord’s [second] coming in order to [enter** into] its glory: Luke 22:15-30. See also 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 15:50. [* That is, in the sense of Christ ruling in the hearts of His redeemed people: and ‘grace’ guarantees entrance (to all who are regenerate)—into His eternal kingdom in “a new heaven and a new earth”; but only after His Millennial Kingdom upon this earth has ended, (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).] ** There is an interpretation of Phil. 3:11, which suggests that all the dead in Hades who are saved by ‘grace,’ will be resurrected when our Lord returns: not so! It is not a standing up out from amongst the resurrected dead, which is being taught by Paul, but a resurrection “out from the dead” in Hades! The ‘outresurrection’ itself is the subject matter, which the inspired apostle sought to “attain”. Only those, from amongst the eternally saved dead in the underworld, who “attain” unto that select resurrection of reward, will ‘enter’ the coming millennial ‘glory’: the remainder will not (by Christ) have been “considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection [out] from the dead:” (Luke 20:35, N.I.V.).]

So understood—the stern statements ‘None can enter—except,’ take all their fulness of meaning. God will see to it, that no word of His Son shall fall to the ground, and that no defaulter in the points named shall enter the millennial kingdom. Thus also the disciples between ‘seeing the kingdom’ as the result of regeneration of the Spirit; but the not ‘entering’ it, unless, beside the inward regeneration of the Spirit, there be also the birth out of water, stands on the same footing of God’s oversight. ... ~ by R. Govett. {Must read more & pt. 2 at W. Tindle’s “The Millennial Kingdom.” A GREAT apocalyptically vital work! .. IMHO ~ SM.}

{NOTE: “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.’” ~No mention of “future” in the sense of where it IS, only where it is not FROM, i.e., its origin and authority; and not excluding the present reality of His kingdom on earth, “Camping in Canaan’s Land” cf., The 3 Stages of Christ’s Kingdom~Church~Bride.}


The Bride’s Bath

W

by R. Govett { Found R. Govett at: https://www.themillennialkingdom.org.uk & https://archive.org }

HAT is the Church of God? A special body of the saved, the description of which and of its privileges is given at large in the Epistle to the Ephesians. Israel was God’s earthly people, called with an earthly calling; to be blessed, upon their obedience, with all fleshly blessings in the chief land of earth. But when Messiah, their Deliverer, came, they rejected Him, and slew Him. When, in the patience of God, the Holy Ghost came down with miracle and prophecy to testify to Jesus as the risen Christ foretold by the prophets, Israel still refused to listen; and stoned Stephen, by whose words of inspiration God called on them to repent. Now had not Satan herein won a decisive victory against the Most High? Had he not falsified the glorious pictures given by the Old Testament prophets? To the angels themselves on high it must have seemed so at the first glance. But no! This astonishing crisis only served to develop at length to their eyes the ‘greatly-varied’ wisdom of God. It served as the fitting opportunity to draw out of God’s bosom a secret which from eternity had lain hid there; and which was then specially revealed to a witness raised up after Stephen’s martyrdom, and after Jerusalem’s rejection, as ‘the city of murderers.’ Then God began to call out a “new man,” a heavenly body rejected by the earth, but accepted by God on High. Then the Father began to disclose His purpose to glorify His Son with a new glory. Israel’s prophets foretold ‘the traceable riches’ of Messiah—His glory as Son of Man, Son of Abraham, and Son of David, on the earth. But the Most High had destined for Messiah ‘untraceable riches,’34 not revealed to Israel’s prophets. He designed to give Him a heavenly people partakers of His rejection, while earth was refusing Him; to be also partakers of His glory hereafter. He intended to frame for Him a mystic and heavenly body, consisting of elect ones chosen from all eternity to be spiritually knit to Christ, the Risen Head. The Holy Ghost was sent down, and still abides on earth, to gather out the members of this mystic body; and to knit them to one another and to their Head on high. This body could not begin to be till after Israel’s rejection by God, and the Law’s setting aside.{NOTE} For that middle wall of partition set aside the Gentile as unclean, and severed between the flesh of Abraham, and all other flesh on earth. But the crucifixion of Jesus under the Law’s curse paralyzed the Law. And now the framing of the new man, in spirit raised from the dead, and exalted to heaven in Christ, is that work of God which is at this day going on through the Holy Ghost descended to earth. Jesus is the new man, the second Adam, to whom the kingdom of glory belongs–a kingdom over earth and heaven. And the Church of Christ is the new Eve, object of the chief affections of the Son of God. Her place as the Bride of Christ is altogether special and peculiar. For her the Son surrendered Himself to law’s curse and to death. When the foes of the Lord came upon Him in the garden He allowed them to take Himself, but only on the condition that

34

Anexicnaston plouton : Eph. 3. {but the Jewish root, Romans 11:15-27; “The first Christian church ever gathered was composed of believing Jews, and Jews only. The first gathering was the “root” of the whole tree—the “first fruit” of the lump. (See Lev. 23:16; Neh. 10:37.) Now, into this tree the Gentiles have been grafted by faith since the gospel was first preached in the house of Cornelius, while the unbelieving Jews have been rejected, and the kingdom taken from them.” ~ J.R. Graves’, Seven Dispensations, pg. 281.} NOTE


His beloved ones should therefore go free. He was made a curse for them, that they might be blessed through Him. Supreme is this love of Christ! In the midst of this Epistle occurs a passage, which, while showing to Christian husbands and wives how to behave towards each other, introduces new views of the relation between Christ and the Church; and of His plans towards her: Eph. 5:25-32. “Husbands, love your wives, even as the Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having purified her with the bathing of the water with the word,35 that he might himself present to himself the church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Greek.) The words found in our version—“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”—have proved a difficulty to many, and great have been the differences of opinion about their meaning. The view of them held by some students of Scripture in our day seems to me not the true one. Accordingly I propose, with the Spirit’s help, to investigate the sense of the passage. First, then,

What is the Cleansing spoken of? Many interpret the words as though they signified— ‘The Word of God is the mystic water in which, as in an element, the church is washed and cleansed.’ This has probably arisen from finding a part of the idea suggested by the words of the Established Version. No doubt Paul might have written such a sentiment; but if so, it must, in the original, have been expressed in other words. Those he has employed do not contain such a meaning; but one very different. Let me state some of the objections to the above interpretation. 1. Why, on such a view, does ‘water’ occur at all? The bathing in the Word of God, as an element, is intelligible. But ‘the washing of water by the word’ confounds us. 2. The Word of God, specially considered as an outward application or bath, is not said to cleanse. The blood of Christ and literal water are. Water is the appointed element of cleansing in the Old Testament and the New alike. “He shall bathe his flesh in water, and he shall be clean:” Lev. 14:9; 15:13; 17:15. “Your hands are full of blood. Bathe yourselves, make you clean:” Isa. 1:1-16; Acts 2:38. “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins:” Acts 22:16. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having the heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and the body bathed in pure water:” (Greek) Heb. 10:22; John 2:6; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Peter 1:9. ‘But Jesus says—“Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you:”’ John 15:3. It should have been rendered, as it is by Alford and Rotherham,—“Already ye are clean by reason of the word which I have spoken unto you.” Jesus, then, is referring back to what is narrated in a previous chapter. He had told Peter, that one who was bathed needed only to have his feet washed, and was then clean all over: John 13:10. Now the disciples had both been baptized, and had had their feet washed. Of them, therefore, it was true that they were clean.

35

Tῳ loutrῳ ton udatos en rhmati.


Jesus’ testimony has established their cleanness. But they were not cleansed by means of the word, but by means of the water. ‘But another Scripture says—“Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth:”’ John 17:17. Here a different word is used. It is not “cleanse,” but “sanctify;” and it is not “by means of,” but “in.” 3. I object again another point to the theory stated on page 5{i.e., “above”}. The first principle of true interpretation is, Try the literal first. Only if that fails to give a good sense, may you resort to figure. Do we then obtain a good sense, if we take both the “bath” and the “water” literally! We do. Then Paul is referring to literal immersion in water, as God’s rite of visibly cleansing believers. That then is the true sense. Then mystic washing and mystic water must be set aside. 4. In this instance there is additional evidence against the interpretation I am combating. The article is found in the Greek before both “washing” and “water.” Then it is as if the apostle had said—‘Christ cleanses the church by the well-known bath of the well-known water.’ Now the use of literal water in baptism has in all ages been wellknown in the church. Mystic bathing in mystic water is a proceeding not well-known. Then the apostle is referring to literal baptism, and not to some supposed figurative washing. 5. The omission by our version of the article before “water,” has given occasion to the interpretation now combated. Its insertion at once overthrows it. The apostle is not speaking of “water” in general, but of its special use in the church. 6. The position of the two words “water” and “word” respectively, adds another argument. If the sense had been—‘The bathing in the word, which is represented by water,’36— the word would have come first, as being the element in which the church was cleansed. But now the water comes first, because it is really the element of cleansing. “The word” occupies only a secondary place in the passage; as it should do, when the true sense is perceived. The passage refers to baptism. Let me now proceed to establish the real sense of the phrase. It should be translated— “The bathing of the water with the word.” {Tῳ loutrῳ ton udatos en rhmati. “the washing of water by the word” Eph. 5:26 KJV; “the bathing of the water in the saying” YLT; “τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος ἐν ῥήματι” mGNT & TR from Blue Letter Bible.}

1. First then—It should be rendered—‘The bathing of the water.’37 It has the same sense in the only other occurrence in the new Testament: Titus 3:5. The Greek word for ‘washing’ is a different one. (niptein.){niptein38} That used by the apostle signifies ‘bathing.’ (louein.){louein} As the word ‘bath’ with us has two senses—sometimes importing (1) the vessel or room in which the bathing takes place; and sometimes (2) the act of bathing, I employ the word ‘bathing’ as the true rendering of the Greek word in question.39 Jesus distinguishes between the two words, ‘wash’ and ‘bathe,’ in a passage which is a key to this. “He that is bathed

Even then the water would be literal, and the reference would be made directly to the rite of baptism. Loutrῳ. {LoutrO} 38 {cf., nipter /nipˈtər/ ~ noun ~ The ecclesiastical ceremony of washing the feet, the same as maundy; ORIGIN: Gr niptēr a basin, from niptein to wash. ~Chambers Dictionary} 39 In the Apocryphal “Acts of Thomas,” loutron refers to baptism. “Thou hast cleansed them with thy bath:”§ 25. Balaneion is the word used by Eusebius to signify the bathing room: iii, 28.—Latin, ‘Balneum.’ 36

37


(leloumenov) needeth not save to wash (niptein) his feet:” John 13:10. The neglecting to observe this distinction in our Version has clouded the sense. Where no limit is set to its meaning, to ‘bathe’ intends the immersion of the whole person. ‘Did you bathe this morning?’ Where bathing is partial, we add a word. ‘I took a footbath.’ “Whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water.” Lev. 15:5-8. Every one who ate of a creature that had died of itself “shall both wash his clothes, and bath in water:” Lev. 17:15. Our version inserts the word ‘himself’ after ‘bathe’ in these cases; but it is quite unnecessary. Hence the ‘bathing’ here is in entire correspondence with the word ‘baptism’ (or ‘immersion.’) ‘The bathing of the water’ is the same as ‘the immersion in water.’ “Go and bathe seven times in Jordan.” “Then went he down and dipped seven times in Jordan:” 2 Kings 5. (Hebrew.) 2. ‘The bathing of the water,’ denotes an act once accomplished, and no more. Hence, in this same Epistle, Paul had mentioned among the means of unity which God had devised for the church—‘one baptism’ (or ‘immersion.’) 3. There is another mis-translation in this passage, which further misleads the English reader. It occurs in the rendering of the past participle. “That he might sanctify and cleanse it.” From this we naturally suppose that the ‘cleansing’ comes after the ‘sanctifying.’ But it really precedes it. The sacred writer speaks of the cleansing as already accomplished. “That he might sanctify her, having purified her by the laver of the water,” is Alford’s rendering. “Having cleansed it by the bathing of water in the word,” is the American revised translation. In this acknowledgement—that the cleansing precedes the sanctification—Calvin, Ellicott, Eadie, Olshausen, and others join.* Thus it answers to the divinely-given place of baptism. Baptism is an act which follows properly at once upon faith. “And now why tarriest thou?” was said to one who had been a believer but three days.{Acts 22:16} The total cleansing, then, which follows on faith was designed to set forth the Saviour’s intent to purify those whom he exalts to glory. It is a cleansing presented to the eye of the spectator, at once complete; never more to be repeated. But sanctification is a gradual process, only begun with faith, and sustained continuously after baptism. * If our translators had rendered the Greek of Matthew 28:19, as they have translated here, it would have been right. “Go ye, therefore, teach, and baptize.” There it is the present participle. But then baptism must only come after teaching. And how, then, would infant baptism be right?

Baptism is a bath designed for all the church, and for none but the Church. Hence it can rightly be administered only to those whose faith shows them to be elect. It is intended for the church as a body corporate. It is administered rightly to each individual member of it, as soon as he shows himself. It is a bathing of the entire man; because each is altogether sinful, and needs an universal cleansing. Moreover, the forgiveness of our God is an universal forgiveness. 4. It is further to be observed, that baptism is a bathing commanded by Christ. For him the church is destined. He gave the command for the church’s cleansing in the water of baptism, after His resurrection: Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16. And thus, in this Epistle, the apostle writes,—“One Lord, one faith, one baptism:” (where ‘faith,’ as is usual, precedes ‘baptism’) Eph. 4:5. The twelve apostles so understood the Lord; and hence, to Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile, they commanded immersion in water. Nor was this a rite of Jewish significance alone; Paul bore it to the Gentiles; it was designed for the church, which is neither Jewish nor Gentile.


But further difficulties face us. What means that expression—“by the word”?40 And to what does it attach itself? 1. Some would connect “the word” with ‘sanctify.’ ‘That he might sanctify it by the word, having cleansed.’ But that is forced. The order of the Greek shows, that it is naturally to be construed with the two previous substantives. As Eadie says—“The only reason for adopting (this expedient) is the confessed difficulty of explaining the words in their obvious and natural connection.” We have some instructive parallels to the phraseology here employed taken from this very Epistle. (1) Jesus broke down the middle wall of partition, “having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of the commandments with ordinances:”* Eph. 2:15. Here is the same omission of the second article by our translators. I would translate “with ordinances,” denoting that beside the moral commands of Moses’ law, there were also ceremonial observances added to, and completing it. *Ton nomon twn entolwn en dogmasi.{Ton nomon tOn entolOn en dogmasi.} (2) At the close of the same chapter is found another case. “Ye are being builded together for an habitation of God in spirit:” Eph. 2:22. There is no article here before ‘habitation,’ because the church was not God’s well-known dwelling-place{nor the only church in “the kingdom of his dear Son” Col. 1:13; Isa. 4:5.}. God’s previous one was the material building at Jerusalem. Hence this passage, by the force of contrast, beautifully confirms the former. The church is a spiritual building, not a material one. Thus the words ‘in spirit’ are connected with the two previous nouns as here, and the phrase comes in to qualify and characterize the former description. (3) “Circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter”—gives a third instance:41 Rom. 2:29. In this case there are no articles; for the well known circumcision of the Jew was the literal one of the flesh. Here, too, the words ‘in spirit, and not in letter,’ come in to qualify the previous account of the circumcision, of which Paul was speaking. These parallels will help us in the next difficulty. How are we to render the preposition? The English version gives it—‘by the word’—confirming the idea of the English reader, that the Scripture is the instrument of the cleansing. Now it is true, that the Greek preposition used does often signify the instrument. ‘He slew with the sword.’ (en) But that will not suit the present place. For, as has been shown, the water cleanses; the word does not. Had ‘the word’ been spoken of as the real instrument, another preposition would have been used. ( dia.) The phrase is, I doubt not, characteristic. It is of the nature of an adverb. The cleansing bath is primarily of water. But that does not give its whole nature. It is a religious bathing, and so is discriminated from all other baths, by the words in question. Hence, we should render it “with the word.” The bathing in water is primary in point of time; primary in regard of cleansing, and first presented to the eye. But the words used in baptism come in also, and have their necessary, though secondary place.42 In baptism the eye is first struck, then the ear.

40

en pnmati. {en pnmati} Peritomh kardias en pneumati, ou gramati. {Peritomh kardias en pneumati, ou gramati.} 42 If any should prefer to take ev as ‘in’ local, I would not object. Then the formula of words used in baptism and the element would be looked on as conjoined; and the immersion would be considered as taking place in them both conjointly. It would then be a reference to the Saviour’s command in Matthew—“Disciple all the Gentiles, immersing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Here the water is not mentioned, though of course understood. But the immersion is said to be into the name of 41


This view accounts for the absence in the Greek of the article before ‘the word.’ Of the present rendering of the preposition (en) by “with,”43 there are many examples. Take some from Matthew 5:13; 7:2; 20:15; 22:37; 25:16; 26:52. And some occurrences from our Epistle, Eph. 1:3; 3:12; 4:19; 5:18; 6:2, 15, 16, 18. Thus our passage would run parallel with such a sentence as this—‘Dr. Jones recommends to those troubled with indigestion, the daily employment of the cold-bath, with friction.’ Here the words ‘with friction’ belong to the two previous substantives; and are a qualification of ‘the cold bath.’ Omit ‘friction,’ and you have not fully carried out the physician’s prescription. The bath is the primary, the friction the secondary recommendation. You would gather also from such a prescription, that the ‘friction’ was to come after the ‘bath.’ But what is meant by “the word”? (rhma. ) {Rhema (ῥῆμα in Greek) literally means an “utterance” or “thing said” in Greek. It is a word that signifies the action of utterance. ...In Christianity, it is used in reference to the concept of Rhematos Christou; Jesus Christ's sayings.~ cf. Wikipedia article, esp. Plato and Aristotle’s use of logos/sentence/proposition & rhema/verb/predicate.}

1. It does not here signify—‘the Gospel in general,’ or ‘the New Testament considered as God’s revelation.’ Then another Greek word would have been used. (logos.){logos} 2. But the word employed signifies a special command, or saying of God. “There came a word of God unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness:” Luke 3:2. “At thy word I will let down the net:” Luke 5:5. Jesus predicts His rejection. “But they understood not this saying. “They feared to ask him about this saying:” Luke 9:45. So Matt. 26:75; Mark 9:32; 14:72; Luke 18:34. The Greek word, then, signifies ‘a saying of God,’ as in all cases where Paul uses it. And in this place it refers to the baptismal command, and to the formula of baptism, or the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, into which the believer is immersed. The two are closely related. The command to baptize contains the formula of baptism; and so both are embraced by the Greek term. (rhma.) 3. In English we are obliged to insert the article before “word.” But in the Greek of this place, it is not found. Why is it not used? The article occurs before ‘the bath,’ and ‘the water,’ why is it absent from ‘the word’? Because the apostle designed to make prominent the two first substantives, and to make the third subordinate. If ‘the word of God in general’ had been intended, the article would have been employed before it, as it is in Acts 4:31; 6:2, and other places. There also a more common Greek word is employed. Professor Hodge says:“Commentators, almost without exception, understand the expression in the text to refer to baptism. The great majority of them, with Calvin, and others of the Reformers do not even discuss the question, or seem to admit any other interpretation to be possible. The same view is taken by all the modern exegetical writers. This unanimity of opinion is itself almost decisive. Nothing short of a stringent necessity can justify any one in setting forth an interpretation opposed to this common consent of Christians. No such necessity here exists. Baptism is a washing with water. It was the washing with water with which Paul’s readers, as Christians, were familiar, and which could not fail to occur to them as the washing intended.”

God. On this the Spirit’s eye may have glanced. In the words which follow is a confirmation of this. “Teaching them to observe all things,” answers to the sanctification of the believer after his baptism. 43 En. “It is used to mean what accompanies and characterizes, where we should say “with,” “in the power of”— en rabdῳ , “with a rod.” Darby, vol. xiii, 186, 189. “Implying simply contact, close proximity, etc., in, (that is, at, on, by, near, with.”) Robinson’s Dict. of N. Testament.


Thus, then, each succeeding step of our inquiry has confirmed the conclusion, that the Holy Spirit is here speaking of the rite of baptism. The more accurate the translation, the more clear and certain becomes the reference. The presence of the article before the two first substantives proves that Paul is treating of something well known to his readers—a bath in water, in the ordinary sense of the term. The universality of the water’s application to the person in immersion discovered the Lord’s design entirely to cleanse His church. It is a special cleansing, the preparation for especial glory: as the priests of old were singled out for a special bath, before their entry into the Lord’s House. The apostle is here hinting at the church’s being the new Eve, as Jesus is the second Adam. As Eve was ‘builded’ out of a rib taken from Adam’s side, so we are “members of Christ’s body, out of his flesh, and out of his bones.” (ek.) After creating Eve, the Lord God brought her to the man. Thus Christ ” shall himself present to himself the church glorious.” Eve needeth no bath, for there was then no uncleanness to wash away; no spot or wrinkle, or any blemish. But the fall has come in. The fall has made necessary the universal cleansing. The leper may not come into God’s camp without an entire laving of his body. The priest must first be immersed, ere he can with comfort or obedience approach his God. This bath, as a religious cleansing, needs to be distinguished from all other immersions by the use of the Word of God. Without Christ’s command, the bathing were no ordinance of His. As Augustine beautifully says—“Take away ‘the word,’ and what differs the water from any other water? The word is added to the element, and a sacred ordinance 44 is the result; and it is, as it were, a visible word.” How many and important, then, are the aspects of the baptism of the believer! (1.) Now it presents him as the justified by faith: as dead, buried, and risen along with Christ his Justifier: Rom. 5; 6. (2.) Now he is seen as cursed by the old husband, the Law; dying to that, that he may belong to Christ the risen, and serve Him in a new life under grace: Rom. 7. (3.) Then it represents to the eye the Spirit’s regeneration; and the believer dies to the flesh, and is born out of water, spirit of the Spirit: John 3. (4.) To an eye enlightened by the Spirit of God, immersion exhibits at once the burial of the guilty antediluvian beneath the waters of wrath, and the coming forth of the accepted son of Noah into a new world beyond the sweep of judgment: 1 Peter 3. (5.) Looked at from another point, the spiritual eye beholds in the believer buried beneath the waters, the Egyptian of unbelief swallowed up in judgment; and yet the Israelite man of faith, accepted through the Lamb’s blood, passing through death and judgment into the land of God: Heb. 11; 1 Cor. 10. (6.) In the same rite he beholds the priests of a better birth than of Aaron’s line, consecrated by a better blood and a better bath than that of the old covenant, coming forth clad in the righteousness provided by God, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ: Heb. 10. (7.) And the present passage discovers to us a new aspect. The new Adam has ordained this bath for the new Eve. It is a bath designed, not for the world, which is still lying in the net 44

Latin, ‘Sacramentum.’


of the Wicked One, uncleansed, unforgiven of God; destined, not for the Paradise of God, but for the lake of fire. This bath is for God’s cleansed ones, destined to live with Christ in the new eternal Eden. God’s plan is to set the mark of cleanness on that which is really clean. First is to come the inward cleansing; then its outward exhibition. Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their contrary conduct. “Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside45 of the cup and of the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also:” Matt. 23:25-26. “Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools! did not he that made the outside make the inside also?” Luke 11:39-40. God’s plan then is first to cleanse the soul, then to apply His cleansing rite to the body. Baptism applied to the body, while the soul is uncleansed and unforgiven, is contrary to His mind. Bind together the sign and the thing signified, and all is well. Use the sign where the thing signified is not, and both the giver is guilty of falsehood, and the accepter is deceived. Blue-lights burnt and minute-guns fired are the signs of a ship in distress. But what if the captain fire minute-guns and burn blue-lights while all is right on board? Then he is guilty of deceit, and the life-boat crew that goes out to aid him has just ground of complaint. The green flag is the signal that all is right along the railway line. But what if the signal-man show it to the express while a train blocks up the way? Then law holds him responsible for the awful crash that ensues; for the broken carriages, the damaged goods, the wounded and killed passengers. Now baptism given to the unbeliever is even such a deceit. The giver will be held responsible by God, for the effect produced upon the receiver. To set the sign of salvation upon him who is going straight to perdition is sad guilt. It is often also a too effectual sop to the conscience of the receiver. But there is another and an opposite fault. There may be the neglect or refusal on the part of the believer to receive the sign commanded. Strange that it should be so! That any who have the cleansing of God, should hesitate to seek and to receive the sign of that cleansing! Specially when it is the commanded answer to the love of Christ! Did not he surrender Himself to foes, to condemnation, to the torments of the cross, the curse of the Law, the wrath of God, the bitterness of death? In return He asks that those who belong to Him, His cleansed ones, accept the bath of the water together with the words He has appointed! “If ye love me, keep my commandments!” Specially, too, when this trifling sacrifice stands connected with honour so great, as to be the associate of the King of kings, the Son of the Living God! The especial bath is the token of peculiar honour in the day to come. Will any dare to omit the cleansing appointed by Christ, and designed for His glorifying and our joy? This act of obedience is not in deed necessary to salvation. But it is certain that deliberate disobedience to a known command cannot take place without loss and shame in the day of account before Christ. Will any tell the Lord of glory to His face, that they considered His baptismal command of no importance? And will He be pleased? The first Eve broke through the Lord’s forbidding. She ate the fruit. Was it of no importance to her, and to us? The second Eve is tried in like manner by a positive command. Can she be disobedient, and yet 45

To entos. ‘that which is within the cup’ gives a wrong idea.


receive no hurt, either now or in the day of reward according to works? Are we the children of Abraham? Abraham obeyed the command of circumcision the self-same day: Gen. 17:23. Are we the sous of Abraham spiritually, if we put off for years obedience to an easier command? Faith is good; “the obedience of faith” is better still. Disobedience entailed the loss of Paradise on Eve. Disobedience lost Saul the kingdom. Disobedience dethroned Vashti, the queen. And of the Pharisees’ disobedience to the immersion commanded by John, the Spirit says:—“The Pharisees and lawyers rejected the council of God against themselves, being not baptized of him:” Luke 7:30. Naaman disobedient retains his leprosy. Dipped seven times in the Jordan he returns cleansed, with skin and with heart like a little child’s. He may stand before the prophet of God now, and talk with him. The cleansed leper after his bath may enter the camp: Lev. 14:8. Ruth, the stranger, after her bath and arraying shall be the accepted bride of Boaz: Ruth 3:3. Esther, the purified, shall become the queen of the Great King. “And behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to each as his work shall be:” Rev. 22:12. Obedience is the path of present blessing, and of future joy.

THE END. RELY ON GOD’S SPIRIT AND GOD’S WORD TO CONVINCE HEARERS from Mike Matthews editor in chief of Answers Magazine. Modern intellectuals are no different from the proud Greeks of Paul’s day, who lived “in the futility of their thinking.” They were “darkened in their understanding . . . because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17–18). How do you break through the darkness? It’s not enough to demolish their wrong beliefs by cold, hard logic. Blind men cannot see the truth except with new sight given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). Thankfully, God’s Spirit is already at work convicting sinners of their unbelief, using His Word as His primary tool. By relying on the Scripture’s own claims, rather than your wisdom or clever arguments, God empowers His words to convict hearts and point them to Christ (see John 16:12–15 and Hebrews 4:12). Knowing this, the apostle Paul did not rely on “persuasive words of human wisdom” to overwhelm his listeners with intellectual arguments, which they might not even grasp (1 Corinthians 2:4). Instead, Paul spoke plainly to sinners “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that their faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). Yet God does not demand blind faith. Our faith is reasonable. In fact, it is the only logical and reasonable choice available to mankind. And explaining that simple fact is the secret to a biblical defense of the Bible. 46

BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW . . . by Dr. John C. Whitcomb What does this have to do with knowing that the Bible is true? Our main role is to honor the Author of the Bible by our own lives and words. You may not have heard of this as “evidence” before, but it is extremely important for Christians to realize. Through our Bible-enriched words and our changed lives, we give evidence of the truth of the How Do We Know Anything Is True? Part One: The Ultimate Proof: Can We Prove the Bible Is True? by Mike Matthews editor in chief of Answers magazine. cited 12/20/2017 {The Magnified WORD, n.p. print.} 46


One who inspired the Bible and says it is “living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). If our individual lives do not exhibit Jesus’s transforming power, why should anyone believe that His words had the power to create the universe? Not just God’s truthfulness but the whole gamut of His qualities convinces sinners about the truth of His Word. In fact, one of the most profound character traits of the Author of the Bible—love—is critical when we can testify about Him. God’s unique self-sacrificial love (agape in the original Greek) is unlike any love we experience in normal life. This love comes from God, and He wants sinners to see it in His followers, as part of our effective witness. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7–8). Whenever God’s love is reflected through a believer’s life and words, unbelievers will recognize something genuinely divine. They will sense that the God of Scripture is real, and they will be convicted about the truth and power of His Word. Here is the way our Lord explained it: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34– 35). How does this work in practice? When unsaved people living in spiritual darkness observe God’s special self-sacrificial love at work, they will be deeply affected by seeing something they have never experienced. A powerful example is a loving relationship between a Christian man and his wife, and between Christian parents and their children. Another example is the deep love displayed within a local church (Ephesians 4:15–16). This love cannot be explained or experienced apart from the true and living God, who created every human being with a mind, a soul, and a conscience that can know Him and see Him in His Word. God’s love compels us to go out and share the truth about salvation (2 Corinthians 5:14). As we “sanctify the Lord in our hearts,” the Holy Spirit will then use our lives and words— spoken “with meekness and fear”—to convince sinners about the truth of His Word. The bottom line: God Himself vindicates His Word as people see Him honored in His Word and in the lives of His children.47

THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD It is reported by the poets of Achilles, the Grecian captain, that his mother, being warned by the oracle, dipped him—being a child—in the river Lethe, to prevent any danger that might ensue by reason of the Trojan war; but Paris, his inveterate enemy, understanding also by the oracle that he was impenetrable all over his body, except the heel or small part of his leg, which his mother held him by when she dipped him, took his advantage, shot him in the heel, and killed him. Thus every man is, or ought to be, armed “cap-a’-pie” with the panoply—the whole armor of God. For the devil will be sure to hit the least part that he finds unarmed; if it be the eye, he will dart in at that casement by the presentation of one lewd object or other; if it be the ear, he will force that door open by bad counsel; if the tongue, that shall be made a world of mischief; if the feet they shall be swift to shed blood. —Spencer ~GBC

47

1. God’s Character: by Dr. John C. Whitcomb cited 12/20/2017 {The Magnified WORD, n.p. print.}


THE SOVEREIGN CHRIST The Kingdom of God (or “of Heaven” especially in Matthew) was announced by Jesus when He began His ministry. Mt 12:28; Mr 1:14-15; Lu 9:27; 11:20; 16:16; 17:20-21; 21:20-24,3133; Joh 3:3-5

Oddly some say that the church Jesus established is not the Kingdom over which He is King. But Jesus and Philip taught about the kingdom in Acts. Ac 1:3; 8:12 Paul, responding to Jesus’ voice from heaven, preached the Kingdom of God until his dying day, and spoke of it as a present reality. Ac 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23,31; Ro 14:17; 1Co 4:20; Col 4:11; 2Th 1:4-5

There is no lack of teaching about the present reign of Jesus at the Father’s right hand. Mr 16:19; Ac 2:33; 7:55-56; Ro 8:34; Col 3:1; Heb 10:12; 12:28; 1Pe 3:22; Re 3:20-21. The Kingdom of Christ is still growing like the proverbial mustard seed. The number of professing Christians today is more than one billion worldwide. That’s several times more than the entire world population at the time of Christ (thought to be around 180 million). Lu 13:18-22; Mr 4:26-33; Mt 28:16-20 —Power Bible Editors.

THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF THE CHURCHES. from Ashcraft’s “Contending for the Faith.” Those modern church historians who follow the historical-critical method of church demand precise details concerning the churches during the so-called “dark-ages” and up until 1609-1611 when more definite information concerning the churches and their leaders became available. Following their demands of precise details would even reject some of the first century church history. Consider the following examples given by John T. Christian: “Some of the apostles were disciples of John the Baptist (John 1:35), but there is no record of the baptism of others, though they were baptized. Paul, the great missionary, was baptized by Ananias (Acts 9:17, 18), but it is not known who baptized Ananias. Nothing definite is known of the origin of the church at Damascus. The church at Antioch became the great foreign missionary center, but the history of its origin is not recorded. The church at Rome was already in existence when Paul wrote to them his letter.” John T. Christian further stated, “These silences occur all through the New Testament, but there is a constant recurrence of type, a persistence of fundamental doctrines, and a proclamation of principles. This marked the whole apostolic period, and for that matter, every period since that time.” “This recurrence of type is recognized even where error was detected. The disciples desired Jesus to rebuke a man who walked not with them (Mark 9:40), but this Jesus refused to do. The church at Corinth was imperfect in practice and life. The Judaizing teachers constantly perverted the gospel, and John the Evangelist, in his last days, combated insidious error, but the great doctrines of the atoning work of Christ, conversion and repentance, the baptism of believers, the purity of the church, the freedom of the soul, and the collateral truths, were everywhere avowed. At times these principles have been combated and those who held them persecuted, often they have been obscured; sometimes they have been advocated by ignorant men, and at other times by brilliant graduates of the universities, who frequently mixed the truth with philosophical speculations; yet always, often under the most varied conditions, these principles have come to the surface.” “Baptist churches have the most slender ties of organization, and a strong government is not according to their polity. They are like the river Rhone, which sometimes flows as a river


broad and deep, but at other times is hidden in the sands. It, however, never loses its continuity or existence. It is simply hidden for a period. Baptist churches may disappear and reappear in the most unaccountable manner. Persecuted everywhere by sword and by fire, their principles would appear to be almost extinct, when in a most wondrous way God would raise up some man, or some company of martyrs, to proclaim the truth.” “The footsteps of the Baptists of the ages can more easily be traced by blood than by baptism. It is a lineage of suffering rather than a succession of bishops; a martyrdom of principle, rather than a dogmatic decree of councils; a golden chord of love, rather than an iron chain of succession, which, while attempting to rattle its links back to the apostles, has been of more service in chaining some protesting Baptist to the stake than in proclaiming the truth of the New Testament. It is, nevertheless, a right royal succession, that in every age the Baptists have been advocates of liberty for all, and have held that the gospel of the Son of God makes every man a free man in Christ Jesus.” “Paul stated a significant promise: ‘Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen’ (Eph. 3:21). Ellicott translated the passage: ‘To all the generations of the ages of ages.’ The glory of Christ was to exist in all of the ages in the church. The church was, therefore, bound to exist in all of the ages.” John T. Christian concluded, “The author believes that in every age since Jesus and the apostles, there have been companies of believers, churches, who have substantially held to the principles of the New Testament as now proclaimed by the Baptists. No attempt is made in these pages to trace a succession of bishops, as the Roman Catholics attempt to do, back to the apostles. Such an attempt is “laboring in the fire for mere vanity,” and proceeds upon a mistaken view of the nature of the kingdom of Christ, and of the sovereignty of God, in his operations on the earth. Jesus himself, in a reply to an inquiry put to him by the Pharisees (Luke 17:20-24), compares his kingdom to the lightning, darting its rays in the most sovereign and uncontrollable manner from one extremity of the heavens to the other. And this view corresponds to God’s dealings in the spiritual realm. Wherever God has his elect, there in his own proper time, he sends the gospel to save them, and churches after his model are organized.”48

DO YOU LOVE THE JEWS? from the Hope of Israel Baptist Miss ion.

God loves them with an everlasting love! (Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Jeremiah 31:3). Should we not also love them? It is amazing how many Christians will tolerate the Jews but do not really love them. A certain Christian who did not love the Jews once dreamed that he had died and was carried into heaven. It was glorious beyond expression. Angels led him into a wonderful mansion prepared for him. But after some days he felt uncomfortable for he asked himself: “Where is Joseph whose story in the Bible I liked so much? Where is David the sweet psalmist of Israel? Where is my beloved apostle Paul? And above all, where is our blessed Lord and Saviour?” He asked one of the angels for an explanation. And the angel said: “O my dear, we thought you did not like the Jews. Therefore we placed you in a part of heaven, where you would never see them.”-This gave him such a shock that he woke up. Suddenly he realized that these men and most writers of the Bible and the Lord

Robert Ashcraft, Contending For the Faith, John T. Christian, p. 21-23 and citing William Jones, The History of the Christian Church, xvii. Philadelphia. 1832. 48


Jesus Himself were Jews. He was pleased that he could still change his attitude toward the Jewish people. Yes, when we think of the Jewish writers of the Bible and the blessings which they brought to us (2 Peter 1:21; Jeremiah 15:16; Psalm 119:72, 97, 127); when we consider that salvation was given to us through the blood of the King of the Jews (John 4:22; 19:19); when we realize that we gentiles became partakers of the wonderful blessings in the New Covenant which God had made with Israel (Jeremiah 31:31; Romans 9:4; 11:17-20; 15:27; Ephesians 2:11-13; 3:6), then we shall show true gratitude to the Jewish people: We will love them as Paul did. 49

~ THE WAY OF SALVATION ~ from “The Baptist Way-Book” by Ben M. Bogard Eph. 2:8-10: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, etc. Salvation by grace is a fundamental Baptist doctrine. The Scriptures are clear and plain on the doctrine. The passage quoted teaches us that good works have nothing to do in obtaining salvation, and that instead of works bringing salvation, it is salvation that causes good works. Rom. 11:6-7: 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. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {blinded: or, hardened} This passage perfectly exposes the error that salvation results from a mixture of grace and works. If salvation is by grace at all it is altogether by grace; and if it is by works at all it is altogether by works. Salvation is by grace. Work follows as a result of salvation. Faith without works is dead, but the faith the live faith is exercised first and the works follow. Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. The kind of faith which does not result in works is not the saving faith referred to in Eph. 2:8-10. The meritorious ground of salvation is the suffering and death of Christ Eph. 1:7: ¶ In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace . There is no good in men. That which we call good is unclean in Gods sight. Isa. 64:6: ¶ But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. The sinner obtains salvation the moment he exercises faith in Christ. The following passages make this clear: The believer is not under condemnation. John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Take the GOSPEL to the JEWS, excerpt from “1. LOVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE”; Hope of Israel Baptist Mission. 49


The believer shall never perish. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The believer has everlasting life. John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. The believer is justified. Rom. 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: The believer is a child of God. Gal. 3:26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Granting that the following verse means the ordinance of baptism, it does not mean that we literally put Christ on in baptism, but only that being actually children of God by faith we symbolically put Christ on in baptism, i.e., we imitate Him. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal. 3:27. The heart is purified by faith. Acts 15:8: And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. The believer is born of God. I John 5:1: Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. {Is born: Gr. has been born} The believer is saved. Eph. 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: If anything is clearly taught in the Scriptures it is that salvation is by grace through faith, and not by works or ceremonies.50

“ARE SAVED” OR “HAVE BEEN SAVED” IN EPHESIANS 2:8? Greek scholar Daniel Wallace, though critical of the KJV {emphasis mine} in general, acknowledges that the KJV correctly translates this intensive perfect at Ephesians 2:8. He says:

“it should be noted that as many faults as the KJV has, it frequently has a superior rendering of the Greek perfect over many modern translations. (Recall that the KJV was produced during the golden age of English, during Shakespeare’s era.) For example, in Eph 2:8 the KJV reads “for by grace are ye saved,” while many modern translations (e.g., RSV, NASB) have "for by grace you have been saved." The perfect periphrastic construction is most likely intensive, however. The KJV translators, though not having nearly as good a grasp on Greek as modern translators, seem to have had a better grip on English. They apparently recognized that to translate Eph 2:8 with an English perfect would say nothing about the state resulting from the act of being saved” (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 575). Read more articles from: The King James Version is Demonstrably Inerrant.

THE BIBLE CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY STUDIED ONLY WITH PRAYER. “If thou criest after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding. ” (Proverbs 2:3)

The Psalmist prays that he may behold wondrous things in the Word of God. He says:

THE BAPTIST WAY-BOOK: The Baptist Way PART I ~ The Scriptural Way CHAPTER I ~ Ben M. Bogard Sermons & Lessons, n. p. print. 50


“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. ” (Psalm 119:18.) By “law” he means the word and testimony of God. The Apostle Pail prays the spiritual eyes of the Ephesians may be opened to the truth. He says: “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened. ” (Ephesians 1:18.) On that Sunday night after His resurrection our Lord met His disciples in the upper room and opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures; as it is written: “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” (Luke 24:45.) The Lord opened the understanding of Lydia, the seller of Tyrian purple; “Whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken by Paul.” (Acts 16:14.) And why pray? It is all plain enough. To be sure, the writing is there; but that writing, those words, are as much a revelation today as when first given. Only through the power of the Spirit can you read and understand. The living God alone can take the veil off the mind, alone reveal the book till it becomes a revelation. The prayerless man cannot read the Bible intelligently. He cannot divide it: Read, study, know the Bible without prayer! The thing is impossible. There is bottom logic in that statement. The man who wants to know, who feels his inability, will cry out to God for light. The indifferent, surface reader will go on and pray not and - find not. It is true you can breathe a silent prayer and ask the Lord to enlighten your mind; you can so press your desire before God that it will be as a prayer; but it is our privilege to lift up the voice, to “cry” for it. And why not? Today man can hear man almost whisper round the world. If we raise our voice in prayer shall not He who made the ear hear? There is a blessing in audible prayer. It shuts out the thoughts that come from the disintegration of mind and the suggestion of wandering spirits. There is immensity of realism in it. Talking out loud to God just as though He were in the room and you were beholding Him in open face! We are told the Lord in Heaven listens for the voice of prayer and testimony; as it is written: “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened (listened) and heard it, and a bo ok of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. ” (Malachi 4:16.) He who would study the Bible with joy and find it a continual revelation of the mind and will of God must learn to bend his knees in prayer and cry unto the God who gave it to open mind and heart and understanding51

51

I. M. Haldeman, How to Study the Bible.


QUESTIONABLE SCRIPTURES EXAMINED. from “THE CHURCH: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE:” by L. L. Clover, D.D., Th.D. President Emeritus of Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, Minden.

So far as the often quoted Dana and many, otherwise, sound Baptists are concerned, the church is positively a local congregation on earth but when it reaches heaven it will, for no reason the author can see, become universal. This theory, it seems to the author, makes God to be inconsistent; the church, in the final analysis, to be a nonentity, and removes all hope for permanent rewards. The question is often asked, “If the church is to continue, or if there is a glory church, will each local church retain her individuality in glory?” The writer believes each local church will retain her identity in glory, {cf. Isaiah 4:5—ed.} just as each individual will retain his identity. However, the writer does not believe that each local church will be a separate unit in glory. Each of the local churches coming together will form one great assembly; the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, the glorious ekklesia. This will be the fulfillment of Christ's plan for His church as revealed in Ephesians 5:25-27, which reads: “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.”

Strong says of the church: “The church of Christ in its largest signification, is the whole company of regenerate persons in all times and ages, in heaven and on earth.”3

Strong gives the following scriptures to affirm his argument: Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:10; 5:24-25; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 12:23. Mr. Strong, however, presents another side of the church, or what he refers to as, “the local aspect of the church.” Concerning this he says: “The Scriptures, however, distinguish between this invisible or universal church, and the individual church, in which the universal church takes local and temporal form, and in which the idea of the church as a whole is concretely exhibited ...The prevailing usage of the New Testament gives to the term ekklesia the second of these significations, it is this local church only which has definite and temporal existence.”4

Dana says: “There are twenty-six passages in the New Testament in which the use of ekklesia presents reasonable grounds for differences of opinion in interpretation. That is to say, these passages may, with greater or less degree of plausibility, be made to conform to more than one theory of the church.”5

The writer does not believe any passage of scripture can be made to conform to the universal church theory. These questioned scriptures shall be examined one by one to see how many of them, if any, will support the universal theory. First notice is given to Matthew 16:18, which declares:

3 Strong's Systematic Theology, The Judson Press, . Page 887. 4 Ibid., Page 889. 5 A Manual of Ecclesiology, Dana, Central Seminary Press, Kansas City, Kansas, 1944. Page 37.


“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Strong and others use this verse to establish the mystical, invisible church. Some say its only reference is to the church in the institutional sense. These writers seem to have trouble connecting this verse to any particular church. The author asks why? It has been proven that Jesus instituted the first church during His personal ministry. Even Strong admits that during the personal ministry of Jesus: “There was a treasurer of the body (John 13:29), and as a body they celebrated for the first time the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-29).”6

In addition to what Strong has said it is known; there was a body to which others could be added (Acts 2:47); they practiced baptism (John 4:1-2); they also had a rule of church discipline (Matthew 18:17). What more did they need to become a church? A church is a tangible thing, it exists or it does not exist. It is not a growth or a process of development from a germ or state of incipience. There was a Church at the time Jesus spoke the words found in Matthew 16:18. Jesus Himself was the founder and builder of that church. Some seem to think this first church of Jerusalem could not be the object of this reference because within a few years it ceased to exist. This, however, is a misunderstanding of the facts as the Bible reveals them. In Acts 8:1-4 it is found that this church, “scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” Every true church has come from that first church. This is God's method of church propagation or continuance. It was a local church that Jesus built. It was this local church to whom He gave the commission. To this local church the Holy Spirit came, and through this church to all others. Thus Jesus built, and is building His church. Matthew 18:17, shall now be examined. It declares: “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

The reference in this verse is positively to a local church. It would be impossible to refer the erring brother to a universal, invisible church. Now since this positively refers to a local church, what reason is found to believe that Matthew 16:18 points to a universal church? Next, Acts 7:38, is considered, which relates: “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; who received the lively oracles to give unto us.”

Some use this verse to substantiate the Old Testament church theory, which is but a prop for the universal theory. Yet this verse does not, in any sense, establish an Old Testament church, neither does any other verse, because there was no such thing. This verse no more proves the existence of an Old Testament church than the word ekklesia proves the Greek assemblies to be churches. The Hebrew word “Qahal” meant congregation or assembly.

6 Strong's Systematic Theology, The Judson Press. Philadelphia, Page 901.


Qahal was translated ekklesia in the Septuagint because the two words means the same thing. So in Acts 7:38, it is the congregation or assembly of Israel; not the church, but the type of the church. {cf. 1 Cor. 10:6, 11 -Ed.} Hebrews 2:12 is a passage that is a source of trouble to many, and some say that the reference has nothing to do with the New Testament church. The verse reads: “Saying, I will declare thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.”

This is a quotation from Psalm 22:22 and it does refer to the New Testament church. In Psalm 22:22 the passage is prophetic, and finds its fulfillment in Matthew 26:30. On this occasion there was a song service in the church, and Jesus was present. Since this is an irrefutable fact, why deny that this passage can have any reference to the local church? Attention is turned to Acts 20:28 which reads: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

This verse is a stumbling stone to many. They know each saved one is a purchased one, redeemed, that is, bought back by the blood of Christ; so they say the church is made up of, and must include, all the saved on earth and in heaven. But this is an erroneous conception of what is taught in this verse. Though each saved one is a purchased one, it does not follow that each purchased one is a member of the church. This is a logical conclusion from the teaching of the New Testament as to the nature and function of the church. It is absurd to attempt to use this verse to establish the universal church. It is impossible for one to become a member of the church before salvation. After salvation church membership is optional or voluntary. Even Strong says: “The church, unlike the family and state, is a voluntary society. Membership in the church is not hereditary or compulsory.”7

In other words one is not born into the church, it is something to which one must present himself and ask for membership. Furthermore, there are definite qualifications prerequisite to membership in the New Testament church. Strong admits this fact by saying: “The qualifications for membership... are these: regeneration and baptism, i.e. Spiritual new birth and ritual new birth; the surrender of the inward and of the outward life to Christ; the Spiritual entrance into communion with Christ's death and resurrection, and the formal profession of this to the world by being buried with Christ and rising with him in baptism.”8

One must be saved, one must be received by the church, and one must be baptized before membership in a New Testament church. It is absurd to attempt to use this verse to establish the universal theory. It would be impossible for the bishops to oversee and feed the church of God if it were universal and invisible. Break this verse down and it is found that “the church of God, which he purchased with his blood,” is the church in which the Holy Spirit has made them, the subjects of Paul's address, bishops (tenders and feeders) of the flock. Now who were the subjects of Paul's address or who were the men to whom Paul spoke? In verse 17 of this same chapter it is revealed they were elders in the church at Ephesus. So, in this case, “the church of God which he purchased with his blood,” is

7 Ibid., Page 893. 8 Ibid., Page 900.


nothing more, nothing less, than the local church in Ephesus, and pop goes another universal bubble. To claim the readers attention next is I Corinthians 12:28, which states: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles...”

The universal theorists say this verse can only point to a universal, invisible aspect of the church. They say this, it seems, because the verse does not apply to the church at Corinth. It is true that the verse does not apply to the church at Corinth. However, it teaches nothing that will uphold the universal theory. On the other hand its teaching strongly indicates the church is local. It requires only a brief analysis to determine this truth. What function could apostles, teachers, etc., have in a universal, invisible church? They could not talk of it, teach it or anything of the kind. Their function strongly indicates the thing into which they were set (the church) was something they could assemble, to which they could preach and teach; a local congregation which is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Ephesians and Colossians the word ekklesia is found thirteen times. Some scholars say that in these letters is found a view of the church which is peculiar to these epistles, and that to only two of the thirteen instances can a local meaning be attached. One thing can be said, that in no instance can a universal meaning be attached, and the writer believes the local idea is attached to each of the thirteen references. Before going into a detailed study of these passages another theory is mentioned in which Paul uses the term “ekklesia” in these epistles to represent spiritual Israel. Caution in using the term “spiritual Israel” is advised. In Ephesians 1:22-23 it is stated: “And hath put all things under his feet, and given him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

Here is given a rather lengthy quotation from the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary: “Put all things under (hupetaxen) `put in subjection under' (Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:6; 1Cor. 15:27). Not only is He infinitely exalted (V. 21) but He has universal dominion. The original grant of it to man is realized for him in Christ, to the church for her special advantage. The Greek order is emphatic: 'Him (exalted and supremely glorious as He is) God gave as head over all things to the church. Had it been any one save Him, her Head, it would not have been the boon it is. But as He is Head over all things who is also her HEAD, all things are hers (I Cor. 3:21-23). He is over (‘far above’) all things in contrast with ‘TO the church’ vis., for her advantage. The former are subject; the latter is joined with Him in His dominion over them. 'Head' implies not only His dominion, but our union; therefore, while we look upon Him at God's right hand, we see ourselves in heaven (Rev. 3:21). For the Head and body are not severed by anything intervening, else the body would cease to be the body, and the Head cease to be the Head (Chrysostom). 23. which is (hetis) inasmuch as she is, His body His mystical body. Not merely figurative. He is really, though spiritually, the church's Head. His life is her life. She shares His crucifixion and His consequent glory. He possesses everything, His fellowship with the Father, His fulness of the Spirit, and His glorified manhood, not merely for Himself, but for her, who has a membership of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (ch. 5:30). Fulness. The church is dwelt in and filled by Christ. She is the receptacle, not of His inherent, but of His communicated plentitude of gifts and graces.”9

This lengthy and perhaps confusing exegesis has been given, not that the author agrees perfectly with it, but that the student might have a more clear conception of that 9 Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Eerdman's Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1948. Vol. VI, Page 402.


intricate relation of Christ to His church. The relationship of Christ to His church is spiritual, and in a sense it is ideal. In other words there is a spiritual and an ideal significance, as well as the institutional, attached to church. But, these significations are always secondary to, and never hide, the local idea. These verses say three things about Christ: First, “All things have been put under His feet.” Second, “He is the head of the church.” Third, “The church is His body.” He is the Head of the church, and the church is His body. That much is clear, but the question arises among many, what constitutes His body? The amalgamation of all the saved of all the ages, regardless of what they believed or taught, is, or will be at some future time, the body of Christ is what the universal advocates would have the student believe. This is impossible because the New Testament teaches that the church, the body of Christ, is the pillar and ground of the truth.[1Timothy 3:15] The best rule of scripture interpretation is to let scripture interpret scripture, remembering that all scripture must harmonize. Now when this rule is applied here and this question is brought into the light of 1 Corinthians 1:2; 12:27, one will find that the body of Christ is the local church. Perhaps some will object, saying, one head, many bodies. This objection will be offered because of a failure to understand that the language or the terminology is metaphorical. There are many metaphors to be found in the Bible; such as, “lamb of God,” “bride of Christ,” “body of Christ,” “I am the vine,” “ye are the branches,” etc. Webster defines the word metaphor as: “A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another by way of suggesting a likeness, or analogy between them, as the ship plows the sea, a volley of oaths.” Even so, the words “bride” and “body” are applied to the church to reveal the close relation between the church and Christ. That there is mystery involved in this relationship, the writer would be foolish to deny; but there are also many other mysteries that cannot be explained; for instance the omnipresence of God. God said of husband and wife: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Ge. 2:24).

Paul speaking of this verse said: “This is a great mystery:” (Ephesians 5:32).

Jesus said: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).

Who can explain these things? Shall it be said that because our explanations are inadequate these things are not true? Think of a grape vine, row after row, vine after vine, each vine producing fruit, each fed the same food and from the same source: but each a separate and distinct entity complete within itself. The writer has never heard anything about a big universal, invisible, mystical grape vine. Jesus on one occasion referred to the fruit of the vine (Matthew 26:29). Does any person suppose He was referring to a big universal vine composed of all the little vines both wild and tame? The utter foolishness of this suggestion is plain, even to a child. Then why not see the absurdity of the universal church theory? Looking next to Ephesians 3:10, these words are found:


“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”

The George Ricker Berry interlinear, gives the following translation of this verse: “That might be known now to the principalities and the authorities in the heavenlies through the assembly the multifarious wisdom of God.”10

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown say of the verse: “Through the church, the theater for displaying God's wisdom (Luke 15:10; 1Corinthians 4:9) the mirror in which angels contemplate it . . .”11

What in this verse points to a universal church? Emphatically nothing! The verse simply tells the student that from eternity the Lord had chosen the church, the instrument through which, in this age, He was to work in the world. The mirror through which to reveal His great wisdom, power, and plan of salvation, even to the angelic host. Furthermore, this verse implies that great responsibility rests upon the church to maintain a oneness of teaching, a regulated system of doctrine and a strict adherence to the teaching of the New Testament. These thoughts lead the student back to 1 Timothy 3:15, which declares the church to be the pillar and ground of the truth. Anything less than that could hardly reflect God, in whom there is no variableness, neither shadow made by turning (James 1:17) to the world much less to the great angelic host. This verse then, rather than promoting the universal theory, deals it a death blow. Next to be examined is Ephesians 3:21, which states: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end.”

This verse is approached now to see if it has a universal connotation, or any significance other than the spiritual and ideal. It is to be noticed first, that this epistle was written to the church at Ephesus. It is possible that it was a circular letter (Galatians 1:2, Colossians 4:16) to be read in several churches. However, that makes little difference because they were each local churches. In other words Paul was addressing himself to the local church. With this thought in mind, reading nothing into the verse that is not there, not turning from the light shed by other passages, what can be found? Simply that the church is the personal instrument or organization, instituted by Christ Jesus; anointed by the Holy Spirit, ordained of God, through which God will keep His name, His glorious plan of redemption, and His system of doctrines before the world. Further-more, it is the agency or medium through which God will receive glory, ages without end. Now which church is it that is the object of Paul's address? Is it a large universal, invisible church the Bible knows nothing about? No! Each local church is that particular church, the theater for the manifestation of that wonderful plan of salvation effected by Christ and offered to the people of this dispensation; the glory of which belongs to God and will be received by Him through the local church. Some seem to think the church will come to an end in the heaven age. This theory will not harmonize with the following verse of scripture. Ephesians 5:23-32 reads: “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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be unto their own husbands in everything . . . 10 The Greek New Testament Interlinear, Geo. Ricker Berry, Wilcox & Follett Co., 1954. Page 505. 11 Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Eerdman's Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1948. Vol. VI, Page 407.


Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it: ...That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word . . . 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 . . . So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church . . . For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones ... For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

There is some controversy as to the teaching of these verses. Some insist Paul is using the husband-wife relation to show the Christ-church relation; that these verses prove the church is the bride of Christ. Others declare Paul is using the attitude of Christ toward the church to illustrate the attitude the husband ought to have toward the wife. Regardless of what the verses teach relative to these things, it in nowise changes some of the plain statements such as “Christ is the head of the church”; “The church is the body of Christ.” There is an intricate and inexplicable oneness involved in both the husband-wife relationship and the Christ-church affinity which, even Paul says is a great mystery. In what sense are to be taken the words “the church?” Is it the institutional, the local, or the universal? Many say the universal, but Dr. L. D. Foreman has well said: “If these verses teach a universal church they also teach a universal wife.”12

Dr. Foreman believes the words “the church” are used here in the institutional sense, with which the author agrees, but the local sense is neither lost nor hidden. In fact, the local aspect of the church is very apparent in every reference to the church. But the age old question comes, which church is the bride of Christ?; of which church is Christ the head?; which church is the body of Christ? It can be answered with another question, i.e. of which wife is the husband the head? When there is an answer to the last question there can also be an answer to the first. How can Christ be the head of each local church? How can each local church be His bride? This is not known; neither is it known how the Holy Spirit, a person, can dwell in the heart of each saved person on earth. No more mystery is attached to one than the other. Attention is now directed to Colossians 1:18, which declares: “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning: the firstborn from the dead: that in all things He might have the preeminence.”

The universalist's argument is that since this verse does not refer to a particular church, as 1 Corinthians 12:27, no local meaning can be attached to it. There is the same argument on Verse 24, which reads: “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church.”

Though it is true Paul does not follow these statements with the declaration that the church at Colosse is the body of Christ, neither did he say “for His body's sake, which body ye are.” But does it suggest, even remotely, that the church at Colosse was not the body of Christ? Does a Bible truth once established, as 1 Corinthians 12:27, need to be invariably repeated? Rather, when a Bible truth is once established all other Scripture must harmonize with it. Many passages seem to be dark and very confusing until brought into the light of definitely and positively clear statements. (Then why should the student 12 Bible in Eight Ages, Foreman, Seminary Baptist Press, Little Rock, Ark.


go out into the infinite and mystical trying to find an explanation for these verses that will harmonize with all of the scholars? The scholars are not agreed among themselves on many different subjects. For example, if one tries to please them all one will have to accept evolution, the universal brotherhood of man, and deny the virgin birth of Christ. But at the same time one will have to reject evolution, deny the universal brotherhood of man, and accept the virgin birth of Christ. These are just a few of the paradoxes to be found if one tries to go along with all the scholars[cf. Deut. 29:29.-ed.]). The ekklesia of these passages could not mean the great invisible aggregate of all the saved. If so the Scripture would be contradicting itself because these passages would fail to harmonize with the eighty-five scriptural references which point to the church as a local body. Neither do these passages refer to spiritual Israel, but rather to the local church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Some one must always ask; how many bodies, how many wives, does the Lord have? When one finds how many churches He has he will have the answer. Many object and cry “impossible” “plurality” “polygamy” and “impossible to understand.” It must not be forgotten that the terminology is metaphorical, and it is not ours to understand, but to believe. When one tries to understand the eternal God; who had no beginning and no ending, when one tries to understand the omnipresence of God it will cause the mind to stagger. But one thing is known, when all of the churches have been brought together in the resurrection there will be but one body, one bride. It will not be made up of all the saved, but of all the local churches of Jesus. There are yet a few scriptures that are used to argue the universal theory. These shall be examined and the first to claim the readers attention is Romans 16:23, which states: “Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you.”

This verse is supposed to teach that Gaius made all of the Christians welcome when they came to Corinth, thus he was the host of the great mystical and invisible church. The language of the verse is very simple and so is the statement, “Gaius mine host, and of the whole church.” Even a child can see how utterly impossible it would have been for Gaius to be host to a great universal, invisible church composed of all the saved of all the ages both living and dead. At the time Paul wrote these words many churches had no meeting place except in private homes. Thus they were referred to as “the church in thy house.” So it is only logical to believe that Gaius was accommodating this particular church in his home. Next in order is 1 Corinthians 6:4, which admonishes: “If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.”

If the student will study the context of this verse, he will find that the reign or the judicial aspect of the church is future. Therefore, the immediate application is to the church in Corinth, rather than to an ecclesiastical body, which alone has the ability and the right to execute judgment. 1 Corinthians 10:32 urges: “Give no offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.”

If this statement were found in any epistle other than 1 Corinthians, the universal theologians would make much of it. However, since it is in this epistle, and in chapter 1,


verse 2, the explicit declaration, “to the church of God at Corinth,” is found, there is very little that can be said. Therefore, it was the church of God at Corinth, to whom they were to give no offence. The following four verses are of no special value to the universal theorist, however, they are sometimes used in attempt to bolster the theory. “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:9). “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jew's religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God and wasted it.” (Galatians 1:13). “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:6). “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” (Acts 8:3).

The word church as used in these verses refer so clearly and distinctly to the church at Jerusalem they require no comment. The verse that is to follow properly belongs with the four quoted above. However, since there is some question concerning its reference to the church, it is listed, and shall be discussed, separately. “Then had the churches (church) rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” (Acts 9:31).

This verse had to do with the period after the conversion of Paul when the church had rest from persecution. The records show only one church, the church at Jerusalem, which Paul persecuted. In fact, the records reveal no church other than the one at Jerusalem until the one at Antioch was established. The argument, concerning this verse, set forth by the universal theorist seems to center around the word “church” singular, and the word “churches” plural. The King James version has “churches” the Revised Version, “church.” Most scholars seem to believe the word should be rendered “church” singular. For example A. T. Robertson says: “The singular ekklesia is undoubtedly the true reading here (all of the great documents have it so). By this time there were churches scattered over Judea, Galilee and Samaria (Galatians 1:22) but Luke either regards the disciples in Palestine as still members of the one great church at Jerusalem ... or he employs the term ekklesia in a geographical or collective sense, covering all of Palestine. The strict local sense we have already seen in 8:1 and 3 and Matthew 18:17 and the general Spiritual sense in Matthew 16:18. But in Acts 8:3 it is plain that the term is applied to the organization of Jerusalem Christians even when scattered in their homes.”13

W. O. Carver says: “The church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace. The church still includes all believers in the whole of Palestine. Either, as Baptist and other democratic denominations hold, the development of independent, local organizations had not yet arisen, or the term is applied in a general sense to include all believers in this territory. In Galatians 1:22, referring to this same period, Paul speaks of the churches of Judea, which lends color to the second interpretation. Still it may well be, as many Baptists (Broadus, et al) have held, that Paul speaks from the standpoint of his writing several years later, while Luke speaks here from the standpoint of the fact at this time. In this view the differentiation into churches took place between the two dates. We must remember that throughout the New Testament period churches included in their organizations more territory and more people than later

13 Word Pictures in the New Testament; A. T. Robertson, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1930. Vol. III, Page 128.


custom provided. Always the disciples of a city and the surrounding territory seem to have remained in a unified single church organization, however, many centers of worship and service may have been needed.”14

Strong says: “Broadus in his commentary on Matthew, page 359, suggests that the word ekklesia in Acts 9:31 denotes the original church at Jerusalem, whose members were by the persecution widely scattered throughout Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and held meetings wherever they were, but still belonged to the original organization ... When Paul wrote to the Galatians, nearly twenty years later, these separate meetings had been organized into distinct churches, and so he speaks, Galatians 1:22, in references to that same period, of the churches of Judea which were in Christ.”15

Brown, of Jamieson, Fausset and Brown say : “Then had the churches.-But the true reading here seems to be 'The Church' which Lachmann and Tisschendorf adopt, (and DeWette, Alford, and Lechler approve, though not Meyer). Indeed, it is hardly conceivable that churches in any proper sense of the term, should have been formed this early throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria.”16

At the time of the great persecution (Acts 8:1-4) the biblical records reveal no hint of any church other than the one at Jerusalem. Of this period Carver says: “Saul of Tarsus will be a great leader of the effort to put down the church. As yet there is but one church. No differentiation into groups in the various cities has been made. All Christians thus far are in the one Jerusalem group.” 17

Acts 8:3 shows Paul entering upon his career of hate and persecution of the Christians. Acts 8:4 tells that the Christians were scattered abroad, by this persecution, and went everywhere preaching the word. Verses 5-40 of the same chapter give a word picture of the great work done but nothing is heard about a new church until the church at Antioch. This persecution could not have extended more than three or four years, so with Brown, of Jamieson, Fausset and Brown the author agrees: “It is hardly conceivable that churches in any proper sense of the term, should have been formed this early throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria.”18

After letting the light of all the evidence shine upon this controverted verse, it seems positively certain the church at Jerusalem, with her scattered constituents, was the church referred to as having rest from persecution. Subsequent Baptist history in America reveals a similar circumstance. The records show that the Pennepack Church was instituted by Elias Keach, 1688, in Pennepack, or Lower Dublin, Pa. The records further reveal this church had constituent groups or congregations in Trenton, Chester and other small towns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In later years these constituent congregations were organized into churches. The readers attention is now directed to the much controverted, and indeed hard to understand, Hebrews 12:18, 22-23, which states: “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest ... But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”

14 15 16 17 18

The Acts of the Apostles, Carver, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tenn., 1916. Page 101. Strong's Systematic Theology, The Judson Press, . Philadelphia. Page 892. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Eerdman's Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1948. Vol. VI, Pages 62-63. The Acts of the Apostles, Carver, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tenn., 1916. Page 79. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Eerdman's Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1948. Vol. VI, Page 63.


Before entering into a study of these verses a few quotations from the scholars shall be given. The American Commentary says: “And to an innumerable company...And to myriad ones, a festal host of angels, and a congregation of firstborn ones, who are registered in heaven. Such is, perhaps, the best construction of these difficult and disputed words.”19

A. T. Robertson says: “To the general assembly (Panegurei). Old word (from pas and aguris, agerio). Here only in N.T. Panegurizo occurs in Isaiah 66:10 for keeping a festal holiday. Possibly to be connected with aggelon, though not certain. Church of the firstborn (ekklesiai Prototokon). Probably an additional item besides the angelic host as the people of Israel are called the firstborn (Exodus 4:22). The word ecclesia here has the general sense of all the redeemed, as in Matt. 16:18; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:24-32, equivalent to the kingdom of God. Who are enrolled in heaven (apogegrammenon en ouranois). Perfect passive participle of apographo, old verb to write off, to copy, to enroll as in Luke 2:1, 3, 5 (only N.T. example). Enrolled as citizens of heaven even while on earth (Luke 10:20; Phil. 1:27; 3:20; 4:3; Rev. 8: etc.). To God the judge of all (kritei theoi panton.)”20

William R. Newell says: “Literally the greek of verses 22-24 reads, But on the contrary ye are come to mount Zion and to the assembly of firstborn ones enrolled in heaven and to God judge of all and to spirits of righteous ones perfected and to Mediator of new covenant, Jesus and to blood of sprinkling speaking better than (the blood) Abel.”21

Charles B. Williams Translation says: “But you have come to mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless host of angels, to the festal gathering and assembly of God's firstborn sons enrolled as citizens in heaven, to a judge who is the God of all, to the spirits of upright men who have attained perfection.”22

The Pulpit Commentary says: “The Jewish church was shut out from intercourse with the rest of the world; but our fellow citizens under the new Covenant are: (1) The Holy Angels: Myriads of Angels, a festal assembly, the celestial hierarchy. (2) The saints on earth: the church of the firstborn who are enrolled in album of heaven. Israel was mustered and numbered at Sinai; and so the New Testament Church although dispersed all over the world, forms but one society of firstborn ones, each of whom is a prince of the blood of God. (3) The believers of the ancient church: the spirits of just men made perfect. The disembodied souls of the Old Testament saints could not be made perfect, apart from us, chapter 11:40, and thus we now form one brotherhood with them, as well as with departed believers who lived in Christian times. . .23

Dr. Dana says: “The plain unstrained interpretation is to understand the author as meaning that the redeemed in Christ have direct access to the very glorious presence of God, surrounded by hosts of angels in their festal gathering as an assembly of enrolled citizens of the heavenly city. The desire to depict a church in glory appears to be the chief reason why many interpreters overlook this plain meaning and as a result involve the passage in intricate difficulties...” 24

Thus is presented, in substance, what most of the commentators say in interpreting these verses. The student will not overlook the fact the commentators unanimously interpret the word church to mean all the saved of all the ages. It is well, however, to remember first, though a man has written a commentary and is found to be right in many things, it 19 American Commentary on the New Testament, American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia. Vol. VI, Page 176. 20 Word Pictures in the New Testament, A. T. Robertson, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1930. Vol. V, Page 440. 21 Hebrews Verse by Verse, William R. Newell, Moody Press, Chicago. 22 The New Testament, Charles B. Williams, Moody Press, Chicago, 1954. Page 503. 23 Pulpit Commentary. 24 A Manual of Ecclesiology, Dana, Central Seminary Press, Kansas City, Kansas, 1944. Page 66.


does not follow that he is infallible. He is still a man and subject to error. Second, most of the commentators are members of man-made churches. If the church of the Lord Jesus Christ does not include all of the saved then many people, including the commentators, have no part in it. This is not a pleasing prospect, therefore many efforts are made and many interpretations are strained, in an attempt to prove the church is composed of all the saved of all the ages. A consideration of this entire letter is very important to a comprehensive study of these verses. This letter was written to Hebrew Christians. The purpose was to convince the Hebrews of the excellence and superiority of Christ and the church age over Abraham, Moses and the old dispensation of law, circumcision and ceremony. In other words this letter is related to the Jewish problem of the new dispensation. The student will remember there were three mountains outstanding in the mind of any Hebrew. First, there was Mount Moriah, upon which Abraham was instructed to offer his son in sacrifice to God (Genesis 22:2). Mount Moriah was again the place of sacrifice, after David had sinned against God by numbering the people (1 Chronicles 22:1). It was upon Mount Moriah that Solomon built the great temple (2 Chronicles 3:1). Second, was Mount Sinai; the place where God came down to the people in fire and smoke, typical of judgment (Exodus 19:16-18). Third, was Mount Zion; this is the higher hill in Jerusalem, the place where David dwelt after he had overthrown the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6-9). Upon the return of our Lord, the tabernacle of David shall be built again (Acts 15:16-17). Mount Zion is to be the site of the great millennial temple (Isaiah 2:2-3; Micah 4; Psalm 48; Psalm 68:15-35). The last nine chapters of Ezekiel give a word picture of this great temple. The Jews were familiar with the prophetic future of Mount Zion; therefore to them it represented freedom, joy, and a great outpouring of grace. So the writer of the Hebrew letter, taking advantage of their knowledge, in substance, says: “you, that have believed unto salvation, have not come to Mount Sinai, as did your fathers, the mountain of fire, smoke, fear and great trembling which was typical of bondage and judgment: but you have come to Mount Zion, the place of grace and freedom from fear and judgment (Romans 8:2). You have come to the heavenly city, the eternal Jerusalem, of which the earthly Jerusalem was only a type, And to an innumerable company of angels (Revelation 7:11-12) to the general assembly and church of the firstborn.” In other words the writer of this epistle is trying to make these Hebrew Christians conscious of the fact they have passed from the old dispensation of legalism (Galatians 3:13, 24-25) into the glorious age of grace and freedom. Albert Barnes expresses the aim of the inspired writer when he says: “By the phrase 'ye are come,' the apostle means that this was the characteristic of the new dispensation, that it conducted them there, and that they were already, in fact, inhabitants of that glorious city. They were citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem (Phil. 3:20) and were entitled to its privileges.”25

Thus the purpose of the inspired writer is clearly seen, but what do the verses teach relative to the church? Do they reveal a great and final gathering of a universal church? The word 'ekklesia' seems to be used here in its common classical sense of 'assembly.' It

25 Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1956.


would be impossible, however, to prove the church is universal on that evidence, because the local church is an assembly. The scholars do not agree as to what the word, in these particular verses, teaches. Some of them seem to believe the word ekklesia points to both the angels and redeemed, of all the ages, in one festal gathering which is to be a future realization. Others seem to believe it points to the future gathering of all the redeemed around the throne of God. Still others believe the word refers only to the redeemed on earth who are, though still on earth, enrolled in heaven. Thus the scholars do not give conclusive proof but rather confuse the student. Nevertheless, a careful study of the verses will reveal they present no just cause for confusion. The students attention is again directed to the purpose of the inspired writer. Here, it seems, is to be found the key which opens the door of understanding to the otherwise mysterious statements. In the attempt to show these Hebrew Christians the superior blessings and privileges of the new dispensation the writer makes the emphatic declaration, “ye have come.” It is well for the student to remember these statements are all in the present perfect tense. These people had passed from the old dispensation, with its priesthood, carnal ordinances, and the veil which stood between them and the mercy seat; all of these things were limited to types and shadows. In this age from which they had just passed they were shut up to the blessings which were theirs to enjoy in the new age. Galatians 3:23, states: “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.”

Hebrews 9:7-10, declares: “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”

They had come, that is, passed into the age which brought them, as priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9) to the very throne of God. Hebrews 7:19 reads: “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”

Romans 5:2 declares: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Hebrews 4:16 reads: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Thus they had come to the great festal assembly of angels gathered around the throne of God; to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to the church of the firstborn. In brief, this is the summing up of the blessings and special privileges that accrue to those of the new dispensation. The church is the very center of the new dispensation even as the nation of Israel with her system of worship was the center of the old. The church is God's official representative on earth in this age, as Israel was His official representative on earth in the old. The world has received the New Testament through the church, and Jesus said the church was the salt of the earth and the


light of the world. The Holy Spirit gave us a strong hint that she is the bride of Christ (2Corinthians 11:2) to further honor the church and show her importance the Holy Spirit said: “Ye shall judge angels” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). Realizing the preeminence of the church in this dispensation which is many times referred to as the 'church age,' and keeping the purpose of the inspired writer in mind, one cannot fail to see the propriety of this reference; “ye are come ... To the general assembly and church of the firstborn . . .” It makes little difference whether the word is used in the classical or the institutional sense, it's place in the reference would be the same. The primary purpose of the inspired writer is not to depict a future gathering, but to make these Israelites know that, among other blessings and privileges received, they had been permitted to see; and the writer believes, to become a part of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some, perhaps, will object to the argument that the blessings mentioned by the inspired author of the epistle are present blessings. These objectors seem to believe the references are to blessings and privileges which cannot be realized before the heaven age begins; thus they attempt to make the church universal in the heaven age. However, where facts begin arguments must end: the statements, “ye have not come . . . ye have come” are in the present perfect tense in both cases. The writer understands that the glories of these blessings cannot be fully realized on earth. Paul said: “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”- 1Corinthians 2:9

That, however, does not alter the fact these are present possessions. They have their beginning here and their consummation in the heaven age. In other words the writer of this epistle in one grand scope of vision carries these Hebrew Christians from the present through the resurrection, the millennial reign with Christ, and the beginning of the heaven age. Some who are so urgent in their desire to establish a universal church will object to the argument that these Hebrews were members of a church. Despite the objections it seems in all probability they were church members. They had received the gospel from Christ, or through the church, and it seems only reasonable that in either case they would have been church members. Then in chapter 10:25, they are told not to forsake the assembling of themselves together. This verse, so far as the writer knows, has never been thought to apply to anything but a New Testament church. In recapitulation it can be said; every Scripture in the New Testament that pertains to the church has been examined and not one has been found that will uphold the universal church theory. The etymology of ekklesia in both its classical and Septuagint usage proves the word to have only one meaning; 'local.' The usage of the word in the New Testament proves that the Holy Spirit meant for His readers to understand the ekklesia to be a local body. Finally, our Lord's choice of the word proves that He meant for His people to understand His ekklesia to be a local congregation. These are facts neither wishful thinking nor oratorical argument will be able to refute.


Why Some Hold the Universal Theory. Why is the universal church theory the prevalent theory? It is a well known fact that almost all of the scholars believe that the church is made up of all the saved of all the ages, but why? The writer thinks it easy to understand why the average person will believe that one church is as good as another, and that all saved people belong to the church. They believe it for the same reason people believed the world was square; because it seems reasonable. The average person has nothing but a superficial knowledge of the Bible and they are excusable, perhaps, on that ground. But why will the scholar, with his historical and linguistical Bible training, believe it? If it could be proven all the scholars were dishonest it would be understood, but this cannot be done for many of them are sincere in what they believe and teach. The big question 'why,' is still unanswered unless the reader will consider the Devil, his attitude and his tactics. Bringing the Devil in to help establish a fact will not be thought scholarly. Nevertheless, the writer is not ashamed, because God in the book of all books has warned men of the Devil's purpose and power. 1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 20:10, Genesis 3, and Matthew 4, will reveal to any student of the Word that the Devil can do much to control men's thinking, and that the Word is the very thing he uses, many times, to accomplish his purpose. In fact, the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, is one continuous display of the Devil's activity in his efforts to defeat the plan of God. He has left nothing undone; he has not failed to exercise any effort that might hinder the cause of the Lord Jesus. Then, since the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, it is not surprising to find the Devil making every effort possible to destroy the church. The universal church theory is his greatest masterpiece; it is the nearest thing to a deathblow that he has been able to deal the church. Someone has well said, “The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.” So the Devil instituted the universal theory and today, so far as the world is concerned, the church is nothing more than a name, and the truth is anything one wants to believe. Salvation is thought of as a system of ethics, having its roots in sociology rather than in Bible truth. Every member of a man made church must somehow justify himself, and men searching for self-justification will grasp at a straw. The universal theory is that straw; the great panacea, covering all the errors, and justifying all the man-made institutions which call themselves churches. History. This study of the local church would not be complete without at least a passing glance at what the early writers, in the first and second centuries, had to say in regard to the church. The first of the ancient writers to claim our attention is Clement, the author of “The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians.” This book was written approximately …, A. D. 95 to 97. It is an epistle from the church at Rome to the church at Corinth. It was presented to King Charles I by Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, and is now in the British Museum. In the English translation is found the word “church” six times. Chapter 1:1 states:


“The church of God which is at Rome, to the church of God which is at Corinth ...”, 26

Clement thought of the church as local. It should be recognized that Clement was a disciple of Peter, and later became bishop (pastor) of the church at Rome. In the introduction to the epistle it is stated that Jerome says he was an apostolical man, and Rufinus says, he was almost an apostle. Eusebius calls this the wonderful epistle of St. Clement, and says that it was publicly read in the assemblies of the primitive churches. The purpose in writing the epistle was the correction of certain seditions which had arisen in the church at Corinth, but it is not even hinted that the pastor, or the church in Rome had any authority whatsoever over the church at Corinth. The position assumed by Clement was admonitory and advisory. The epistle is from one local church to another local church with not the slightest suggestion that the church in Rome failed to recognize the sovereignty of the church in Corinth. These words are found in Chapter 5: “Through zeal and envy, the most faithful and righteous pillars of the church have been persecuted even to the most grievous deaths.”27

It is an outstanding fact that an honest and sincere study of the early writers will reveal that they thought of the church as one, in doctrine and in purpose, the pillar and ground of the truth. But with none of the writers had the local church lost her identity. That fact is obvious from the writings of Augustine, who is designated as the father of Roman Catholicism. (Catholicism had existed in germ before Augustine). Since there existed only one system of teaching and all the teachings came through the various churches, it is easy to understand why they would think of the churches as one universal church, even to the extreme. Since there were no saved people, at least very few, that did not belong to the churches the conclusion that none could be saved outside the church was logical. Despite these theological vagaries, they did not use the word universal in the sense that it is used by our modern theologians. The author feels if it is possible to prove anything, he has proven both by the Scriptures and the early writers that the ekklesia is not a universal, invisible, mystical body but a local body.

Eschatology. Since the fall of man and the corruption of creation by sin, God has had a plan for the salvation of man and the subjection of all things unto Himself. This plan manifestly centers in Christ. Its revelation, its progress, and its consummation are all linked with Him. The church, as the body of Christ, is the great and final instrument that Christ is using in this last age in the consummation of His plan or the work which His Father has given Him to do. That this age (the church or Gentile age) shall come to an end is known. That the second coming of Christ will manifest the end, all orthodox scholars agree. The second coming is an established fact. No other event is more clearly revealed by scripture.52

26 Anti-Nicene Fathers, Eerdman's Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1953. Vol. I. 27 Ibid. 52 Excerpt:, The 3 Stages of the Kingdom~Church~Bride of Christ, chap. 4: “THE CHURCH: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE:” by L. L. Clover.


Bible Doctrines Affected by Modern Versions by Paul L. Freeman

Introduction The battle for the Word of God is going on today as it always has. The work of the Evil One himself has ever been to cause men to doubt the Word (Gen. 3:1), to corrupt the Word (2 Cor. 2:17), and to misquote the Word (Luke 4:10-11). There are many Modern Versions on the scene today all claiming to be more accurate or more readable renderings of the Word of God. Most of these versions follow the MINORITY Greek Text even though that text exhibits a corruption throughout. The King James Version was translated from the MAJORITY Greek Text which agrees with about 95% of all available manuscripts. The MAJORITY Greek Text can be traced back to the Peshitta (Syriac Version) about 150 A.D. Many Christian Colleges and Universities have switched over to the MINORITY Greek Text (known as Westcott and Hort or Nestle and Aland) for the classroom while still using the King James Version in public preaching. Since there are over 5,000 differences between the MAJORITY and MINORITY texts a problem immediately faces the student. The King James Version he brings to the classroom is subjected to constant editing by the teacher who is using a Greek Text different from the one the King James Version was translated from. The student is well aware that God did not inspire two different Bibles. He must make a choice and for the sake of harmony or teacher satisfaction he will usually accept his King James Version minus the MINORITY Text corrections as the Word of God. Should there be an area where agreement cannot be reached he is told to decide on the proper rendering by exercising his spiritual discernment. The schools that are following this double standard will admit that when the King James Version is no longer needed for Public Relations they will make the complete change to the New American Standard or the New International Version. These two are seen to follow the MINORITY Greek Text. Those who want to replace our King James Version with new Modern Versions are constantly stating that no Bible Doctrines are affected by the changes. One school recently published an article by one of its' teachers in which he said that, “BOTH TEXTS ARE THE WORD OF GOD.� It is difficult to understand how two texts differing in over 5,000 places can both be the Word of God. It only serves to show the absolute desperation on the part of the MINORITY Text champions to defend their indefensible position. The purpose of this volume is to show the changes made by the MINORITY text and how they affect the Bible Doctrines which Christians have always believed. Though I do not consider any change in the Word of God to be unimportant, I have singled out the most glaring examples. A careful reading will show that the Fundamental Doctrines of the Christian faith have been affected many times. Are we to believe the scholars when they tell us that no important doctrines are affected by the new Modern Versions? It is obvious that they are not correct. What they really mean to say is that when all the changes have been made the Bible Doctrines are still there somewhere else in the Bible. If there are ten verses showing the Virgin Birth of Christ, and they have removed two, there are still eight remaining to prove the doctrine. That may satisfy them, but the Fundamental believer sees that as a piece by piece destruction of the Word of God. We would accuse them of taking away from the Word of God. They would accuse us of using a Bible which has many additions inserted by overzealous Christian copyists. The issue now becomes quite clear. We must either believe that overzealous heretics have corrupted the original Word of God or believe that overzealous believers have added to the original Word of God. I can understand why heretics would want to corrupt the original Word of God, but I cannot believe that Christians would add one word to the Word of God which they have been entrusted to copy and pass along. The Spirit of God within Christians would put a holy awe and reverence around the sacred word and guided by that same Spirit they would copy what God had given them. My conclusion is that the new Modern Versions are based on Greek manuscripts that have been corrupted by heretics who changed the Word of God to agree with their rejection of the Deity of Christ and their Humanism regarding salvation. The Greek Text underlying the King James Version is not filled with additions made by overzealous Christians. It is the Word of God preserved by the Spirit of God and it exalts the Lord Jesus Christ, giving him his proper place and the glory due unto his name.


Changes in Their Proper New Testament Order are Now Listed: Ephesians. Eph 1:1 “at Ephesus” is left out. It is hard to conceive that the Spirit of God addressed an epistle and then lost the address. Eph 3:9 “by Jesus Christ” is removed. It is a Bible doctrine that all things were created by Jesus Christ and without him was not anything made that was made. This change detracts from the Deity of Christ which is made evident by the fact that ALL THINGS were created by Him. Eph 5:30 “of his flesh, and of his bones” is left out. The Bible teaching is that the believer is vitally conjoined to Christ for a new life and walk in the Spirit. We are “quickened together with Christ,” “raised up together,” and “seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” God likens this to the marriage relationship where two people become one flesh. Eph 6:10 “my brethren” is dropped. These words make it very clear that Paul's instructions concerning Christian living are for Christians who by the new birth have become Paul's “brethren.” There is a great danger that unsaved people {or immature non-churched believers} might get the impression that by imitating the things that Christians do they can become Christians.53{i.e., without the Scriptural prerequisites of church membership.}

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WITH AN EARTHLY MISSION By Bro Jim Brasseal, Pastor Landmark MBC Presented at the Rocky Mountain Missionary Baptist Association Meeting hosted by Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, Lakewood, CO on August 10, 2012. {cited 12/20/2017 from Landmark Missionary Baptist Church website http://www.landmark-lakewood.org/kingdom.php}

Introduction “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). In his prayer to the Father for his disciples, Jesus said, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). The phrase “not of this world” means that His kingdom and the work of His disciples did not originate with this wicked world system. This wicked world system operates “according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). These verses show that you can be living and working in this world and, at the same time, not be a part of this wicked world system. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). Jesus also said to the same little flock of disciples, which we can identify in Matthew 16:18 as his first New Testament church, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be William Evans, Brandon Staggs, Paul L. Freeman, Timothy S. Morton, Frank Logsdon, Richard Flanders, Charles V. Turner, Jack McElroy, and Ian R. K. Paisley, The Magnified WORD, n.p. print. 53


bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). In the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew, Jesus referred to the kingdom in 5:3, 5:10, 5:19-20, 6:10, 6:33, and 7:21. Please consider these three verses. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19). “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). A.T. Robertson in Word Pictures in the New Testament defines “the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God” as the “reign of God” and “the reign of God in the heart and life” in his commentary on Matthew 3:2 and Matthew 5:3 (Vol. 1, page 24 and 40, respectively). Arthur W. Pink in An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount gives the same definition. My pastor, C.A. Walker, gave me a selection of books in February of 1958 that were very helpful in my understanding of the kingdom question. The writers were J. R. Graves, T. T. Eaton, J. N. Hall, Ben Bogard, and J. B. Moody. I compiled a notebook with every scripture that spoke of the Lord’s kingdom and studied the books from Pastor Walker. I studied the reference to the kingdom in the old doctrinal statement of the American Baptist Association. “We also hold in common what real Baptists have ever held: That the great commission was given to the churches only. That in kingdom activities the church is the unit and the only unit; that the churches have, and should exercise equal authority and responsibility should be met by them according to their several abilities.” The sense of this doctrinal statement (#10) is explained more completely by J. R. Graves on pages 262 and 263 of the 1883 edition of Seven Dispensations, reprinted by the Baptist Sunday School Committee in 1928. {“I am here using church and kingdom as synonymous terms, and it is evident that this body of disciples John called the “bride,” is referred to as the “kingdom of God,” “of heaven,” “of Christ,” by all the evangelists; but so soon as like bodies of disciples were multiplied they were called churches of Christ, and no one of them “kingdom of God, or Christ.” The explanation of this is easy. The churches of Christ are the constituencies of his kingdom-each church being the unit or integral part of the kingdom--and all the churches under one divine constitution and the sole headship of Christ, constitute the outward visible form or manifestation of Christ’s kingdom on earth. “Jesus Christ has a kingdom on earth and he has churches, but each one is an integral portion of his kingdom.” (A. P. Williams, D. D.)


“The church is the visible earthly form of the kingdom of Christ, and is the divine organization appointed for its advancement and triumph. Organized and governed by the laws of the invisible King, and composed of the subjects of the heavenly kingdom, who, by the symbol of fealty, have publicly professed allegiance to him--the church [i. e., churches] fitly represent the kingdom. Hence the apostles, in receiving authority to establish, under divine inspiration, the form and order of the church, received the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Wherever they gathered disciples they organized a church, and at their death they left this [i. e., these] as the distinctive and only visible form of the kingdom of Christ on earth.” H. Harvey, D. D. “The Church,” pp. 24, 25. To make this plain to the most common reader, let me illustrate: Provinces, not individuals, are the constituents or parts of a kingd om, and these are the executives of the kingdom. A kingdom may consist of only one province. So the kingdom of Christ--”of God,” “of heaven”--during the ministry of John and Christ, consisted of but one church, constituted of that body of baptized disciples which Christ received, from John, and those disciples which were added to them from time to time during Christ’s ministry. This stage of the kingdom was the blade of the mustard seed just appearing, but it was his ecclesia-assembly, church-as well as his kingdom. The accepted definition of a Christian church is, a body of Scripturally baptized disciples accepting Christ only as their Redeemer, his sole authority for their government, his teachings for their faith, and administering the ordinances as he delivered them. ”}

“The Doctrine of the Kingdom” (Lesson # 29) in Dr. Ben Bogard’s study booklet, Fifty-two Doctrinal Lessons, was especially helpful. {“All the passages which seem to teach a future kingdom very likely refer to the heavenly phase of the kingdom when Jesus shall turn the kingdom over to the Father.”- Ben M. Bogard (1868 – 1951) [52 Doctrinal Lessons, 29.19]}

The promise in our Church Covenant, “To be zealous to advance the kingdom of our Savior,” became clearer as I studied the material given to me by Pastor C. A. Walker. My first Greek teacher at the Seminary in Little Rock was Dr. Fred G. Stevenson. We had good doctrinal lessons along with our Greek vocabulary. I can remember his words, “There is no new plan of salvation in the New Testament. God always has and still does save sinners by grace through faith. The new matter in the New Testament is a new covenant, a new order of Christian service in the membership of a true church. Too many Baptists are feeding at the trough of Protestantism to get their lessons on the kingdom and the Lord’s church.”{cf., FGS} Dr. L. D. Foreman, president of the seminary, emphasized these points. “The first great theme of the entire Bible is that Jesus Christ died for all mankind and that eternal salvation is offered to ‘whosoever believeth in him’ (John 3:16). Another great theme of the New Testament is that our lives can give glory to God by faithful service in the Lord’s church (Ephesians 3:21).” One of my brethren asked me this question: “Does John 3:3 teach that one enters the kingdom of God at the moment he is born again?” Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of


God” (John 3:3). I believe that the word “see” has the meaning “to understand.” It is absolutely necessary for one to be born again for him to have any understanding of God’s covenant work. The first step in being a part of the Lord’s work is to know Jesus Christ in salvation. In the Old Testament days of Israel, salvation was not a requirement to have a part in the nation. Many who served as king in Judah or Israel were wicked, unconverted men. A lost person may get into church membership, but that would be contrary to Bible teaching and example. Understanding the four different stages of the kingdom of God was beneficial in harmonizing the different verses and parables about the kingdom. This definition will fit in any of the four phases: the Kingdom of God is the realm of righteous faithful service to God in the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ as mediator.

Phase I, the Jewish Phase The beginning of the kingdom of God was in the personal ministry of Jesus Christ with Jesus calling out Jewish disciples to establish his church body, which worked under his pastoral leadership. Remember the words of Jesus, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:5-7). Salvation has always been available to Jews and Gentiles. In his wisdom, God chose that, in the transition from the law covenant to the New Testament order of Christian service in his church, the work would begin with the nation of Israel. The Lord gave a parable about the keepers of the vineyard who were unfaithful in doing the master’s work. The Lord explained that the vineyard would be let out to other husbandmen. Then, the Lord gave this conclusion to the parable: “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). Some in Israel did receive the message of Jesus, but most of the nation rejected his message. Paul describes most of Israel. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3).

Phase II, the Gentile Phase The transition to the Gentile church age begins with the Apostle Peter’s ministry in the home of Cornelius, a Gentile soldier, in the city of Cesarea (Acts 10:1-48). This change fulfills the words of Jesus about the kingdom (Matthew 21:43). Any individual Israelite can be saved today if he will receive Jesus the Christ by faith. The important words “whosoever believeth” given in Acts 10:43 still apply to any Jew or Gentile. Writing of Israel as a nation, Paul wrote, “blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25). Paul also uses


the illustration of olive branches being broken off and wild olive branches being grafted in to show how the Lord turned away from the nation of Israel and turned to Gentiles to carry out his world-wide commission (Romans 11:19-24). In the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, Paul gave a condensed history of Israel in the Old Testament. He then preached that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, Jesus died on the cross as a spotless lamb, and Jesus arose from the grave after three days and three nights. He preached about God’s wonderful work in the early New Testament age. Many of the Jews were filled with envy and spoke against Paul’s message (Acts 13:14-52). Please notice the words of Acts 13:46, “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” The Gentile kingdom age continues to this day and, in this meeting of our Rocky Mountain Association, we have messengers from Gentile New Testament churches. However, I do know of born again Jewish people who are members of true churches. Remember, the blindness that happened unto Israel is only “in part” (Romans 11:25). Paul writes of his fellow-workers unto [for] the kingdom of God (Colossians 4:11). John writes of being a brother and companion in the kingdom (Revelation 1:9). Many of the verses about the kingdom show that this stage of the kingdom is connected to faithful, scriptural service in the work of the Lord’s churches. Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). I believe that he was instructing the disciples who were already following him to give first place to that realm of righteous, Christian service, which operates under His authority. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men” (Romans 14:17-18). Please notice how serving Christ is connected to the kingdom qualities of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. You can be a fellow worker and companion in this phase of the kingdom of God if you follow these steps. 1. Become a child of God by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior (John 1:12-13). You cannot understand [see] nor have any part in the kingdom of God until you are saved (John 3:3). 2. Follow Christ in scriptural baptism and become a member of a true New Testament church. 3. Live a Christian life, take up your cross daily, let your light shine, and work to take the gospel message to the uttermost regions of this world. Some of the questions about Ephesians 5:1-5 and Galatians 5:16-26 can be answered if we understand that kingdom service requires the new birth but also involves more than having everlasting life. Participation, faithful service, and an inheritance in the Lord’s work require a faithful decent moral lifestyle.


The main message of the book of Hebrews is that we have a better covenant and a better course of Christian service in this New Testament age than Israel had under the Law of Moses. There is a stern warning that a New Testament church can turn away from the truth of God’s Word. “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6). “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers [fellow-helpers and partners in fellowship] of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence [faith and assurance] stedfast unto the end” (Hebrews 3:12-14). The relationship between faithfully serving God and the kingdom work is highlighted in Hebrews 12:28. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” The individual child of God cannot lose his salvation. A New Testament church can lose its special place as the espoused bride of Christ and its authority to work as a commissioned agent, using the keys [authority] of the kingdom given by Jesus Christ. The removal of the candlestick is another warning that a church can lose its place of service (Revelation 2:5). A saved person can have his unfaithful works (wood, hay, stubble) destroyed at God’s judgement of his life, yet still be saved (I Corinthians 3:12-15). If a saved person turns to a fleshly ungodly lifestyle (Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:36), that person can no longer have an inheritance or be a fellow-worker in the kingdom. This loss is effective in God’s sight even if the church of his membership fails to act in a scriptural way to exclude the offending member.

Phase III, the 1000 Year Reign of Christ on this Earth This section brings us to end-time events, which are often hard to understand. I will accept help for my understanding from any of you. Each passing day brings us closer to “the fulness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:25). The present phase of the kingdom will end with the return of Jesus Christ. The transition to a new phase does not end the Lord’s kingdom. The same kingdom, which was proclaimed by John in Matthew 3:2 and Jesus in Matthew 4:17, enters into a more glorious stage. The great image seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was interpreted by Daniel to reveal four great world kingdoms: 1. Babylonian 2. Persian 3. Grecian 4. Roman.


Daniel said, “And in the days of these kings [Roman] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom [the kingdom proclaimed by Jesus in Matthew 4:17], which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44). Daniel also saw in a vision “one like the Son of man” (Daniel 7:13). “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). There are many questions about how God will deal with Israel and other nations in the tribulation period. We do have definite promises that Christ will reign as king over this entire earth after the tribulation period. His glorious reign will be a time of peace and knowledge. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. ¶ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:9-10). Jeremiah speaks of how God did watch over Israel and Judah to “pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict” (Jeremiah 31:28). God promised through Jeremiah to “watch over them, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 31:28). In the rest of the chapter, God promises to make a glorious new covenant with wonderful blessings for the restored nation of Israel (Jeremiah 31:28-40). This promise is repeated in Hebrews 8:8-13. One important statement made by James at the conference in Jerusalem needs to be considered in connection with the reign of Christ on this earth. At the beginning of the conference, Peter had spoken about how God would visit the Gentiles and take out of them a people for his name. This statement refers to the Gentile church age. In Acts 15:16, we read the words of James who used Amos 9. “After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up.” The message given by God’s angel to Mary also promised that Jesus would reign as king on the throne of David. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:31-32). This promise is given in the Old Testament. “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).


Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones and the vision of the two sticks joined as one are object lessons from the LORD to teach that Israel will be unified and established as a glorious nation with one Shepherd and one King, Jesus, sitting on the throne of David (Ezekiel 37 and 38). Revelation 20:6 teaches that others will be on this earth to reign with Christ as he rules over the restored nation of Israel. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” The first resurrection is described in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. In that resurrection, the saved who are still living and the saved of all ages who have died will receive their new glorified bodies and “so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:18). The resurrection for God’s people is described in I Corinthians 15 with this wonderful news given in verses 42-44: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” I am not an expert in end time events, but I will give my understanding of the order of some of those events. 1. The first resurrection 2. The judgement seat of Christ for God’s people 3. The marriage of Christ and His bride 4. Satan is bound for 1000 years 5. Christ begins His kingdom reign on this earth 6. Satan is loosed, gathers an army to oppose Christ, and is defeated and cast into the lake of fire 7. The end of the millennial kingdom age 8. The resurrection of the lost and the great white throne judgement for all lost people {and probably includes unfaithful believers who missed the reign of Christ in punishment}. 9. The new heaven and new earth where God’s redeemed will enjoy being with the Lord and serving Him forever. The kingdom age here on this earth will be a time of learning as all of God’s people learn more about God’s grace. Isaiah provides a description of that golden age. Isaiah 2:2-5 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against


nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.”

I believe that there will be a special reward and a special place of service for the bride of Christ (that is, those in New Testament churches who have walked in fellowship and obedience to Jesus Christ).{cf., Isaiah 4} The redeemed of the Old Testament will also be rewarded for faithful service. We do know that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets will be in the millennial kingdom (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28). The parable in Luke 19:11-19, in which our Lord speaks of rewards for faithfulness, can be applied to the millennial kingdom. “And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities” (Luke 19:17). “If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon [on the foundation of Jesus Christ], he shall receive a reward” (I Corinthians 3:14).

Phase IV, the Final Stage When the millennial kingdom age closes, the LORD God creates a new heaven and a new earth. The holy city, New Jerusalem, comes down from God out of heaven. Two verses describe a momentous event. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (I Cor. 15:24-28).

Our service to God will continue for all eternity. “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3). What a blessed privilege! We can serve our Lord now and serve him in eternity!

CAMPING IN CANAAN’S LAND written by Albert E. Brumley I have left the land of bondage with its earthly treasures I've journeyed to the place where there is love on every hand I've exchanged the land of heartaches for the land of pleasure I'm camping, I'm camping, in Canaan's happy land Out of Egypt I have traveled through the darkness dreary Far over hills and valleys and across the desert sands Thoughts of land that's safe and homeward I shall not go weary I'm camping, I'm camping, in Canaan's happy land Yes I've reached the land of promise with the saints of glory My journey ended in a place so lovely and so grand I've been led by Jesus to this blessed land of story


I'm camping, I'm camping, in Canaan's happy land Every day I'm camping (camping) in the land of Canaan (Canaan) And in rapture I survey its wondrous beauty grand (Oh, Glory) Glory, hallelujah (I have) found the land of promise (And I'm) camping, I'm camping, in Canaan's happy land >>>â&#x20AC;&#x201D;> Friday, April 27, 2018 <â&#x20AC;&#x201D;<<<

~~~ The Shayne Moses Project Quarterly Studies ~~~

{This Ephesian study is not finished and will be ongoing, perpetual and periodically revised as the Lord leads. ~ SM}

Studies in Ephesians  

Pieces from various authors gathered & edited by the Shayne Moses Project for the "Elect" Never to be finished till the Lord's Parousia.

Studies in Ephesians  

Pieces from various authors gathered & edited by the Shayne Moses Project for the "Elect" Never to be finished till the Lord's Parousia.

Advertisement