Ephesians and commentary, chapter 7

    TO: World’s in residence Churches of God. Sivan 27, 5,780; 6/19/2020.

  God’s pattern of making perpetual promises, blessing and choosing Jacob’s heirs, “Israel,” as His own people per promises to Abraham is duplicated with His choosing and establishing His church family through ‘Savior Jesus.’ As studied in previous chapters; ‘end time prophecies were told through Daniel, other prophets and Jesus Himself.’ After Jesus’ resurrection He appeared to those conversing about Him, saying; (Luke 24:25-35; “You foolish people — how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them the things written about Himself in all the scriptures.) - So, as they approached the village where they were going. He ‘Jesus’ acted as though He wanted to go farther, but they urged Him, “Stay with us, because it is getting toward evening and the day is almost done.” So He went in to stay with them. When He had taken His place at the table with them, He took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. At this point their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. Then He vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us while He was speaking with us on the road, while He was explaining the scriptures to us?”  So they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and those with them gathered together and saying, “The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how they recognized Him when He broke the bread.”)

    Again Jesus appeared to His apostles and said; (Luke 24:44-49; “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day,  and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”) (About ten days after Jesus’ ascension that clothing happened on Pentecost, review ‘Acts of the apostles’ chapter 2)

    On that Pentecost, Israelites who could afford travel came to Jerusalem from many countries they’d been scattered to. They’d learned the languages used by the perspective countries and as the miracle ‘of the promised clothing was gifted’ the locals mysteriously spoke languages the scattered had become accustomed to. Minds were opened, natures were changed as beliefs in Jesus’ deeds, His resurrection and ascension were understood.

   Within about fifty years the apostate, “a twisting of truth” became so apparent that our Lord’s brother “Jude” made ‘the apostate’ his main topic. This caused persecutions of true believers, another scattering that’s still prevalent today. The apostate is so spread in our age that denominations are “as much attuned to paganism as were the Ephesians worshiping Artemis in Paul’s day, shouting ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’” (See “Acts of the Apostles” chapter 19:29-41)

    After writing about trusting people’s faith, the Hebrews writer tells of those persecuted. (Heb 11:36-40; “Others experienced mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed apart, murdered with the sword; they went about in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated, (the world was not worthy of them); they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and openings in the earth. And these all were commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. For God had provided something better for us, so that they would be made perfect together with us.”)

    God hasn’t changed, and this world’s system of things under Satan’s influence hasn’t changed. Governments and unbelieving people are inspired by demonic greed, self serving organizations, and God still calls people to come out from among unbelievers. Jesus’ apostle Paul addresses the subject at; (2Cor 6:14-18; “Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them, walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord.)

God the Father reveals, calls and opens minds

to spiritual understandings.

    Revealing through Jesus’ life, deeds, resurrection and ascension, “that God the Son and God the Father are One in purpose and planning.” God the Father does all things through God the Son “Jesus” who is, Re-creator, Creator, Deliverer, Savior, the resurrection and Mediator for believers before God the Father. (Let’s review Col 1:15-20; “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, all things in heaven and on earth were created by Him — all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers — all things were created through Him and for Him. He Himself is before all things and all things are held together in Him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that He Himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in the Son and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross — through Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”)

    As Jesus miraculously opened His Apostles minds to understand the scriptures, He opens minds today. So, there’s no boasting except through Jesus’ revelations.

   (Matthew 11:25-30; At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. (No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear and My load is not hard to carry.”) 

    Understanding is gifted to whom God the Father and God the Son chooses! Spiritual understanding can’t be conjured up or taught by intellectual means. When we understand these things, we can only boast in the Lord because we know they’re gifted.

     (John 10:7-13; So Jesus said to them again, “I tell you the solemn truth, I am the door for the sheep ‘those being called.’ All who came before Me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep, ‘called out ones’ did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out, and find pasture.”) Being saved to eternal life is only through Jesus!

     Unbelievers‘ agendas are their own. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep, he runs away.

    (John 10:14-18; “I am the good shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me – just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father – and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to My voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. This is why the Father loves Me – because I lay down My life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down of My own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from My Father.”)

    Only through Jesus can we know God the Father and only through Jesus is immortality. There’s only one church and one Shepherd. So what about the many divisionary denominations?

     (John 10:25-39; Jesus replied, “I told you and you do not believe. The deeds I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. But you refuse to believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them from My Father’s hand. The Father and I are ONE.”)

     Is there a greater idolatry than a person trusting in his or her own intellect regarding what’s right, wrong, good and evil? Is doing so attempting to make one’s self a god?      

     Repentance is a turning, a changing of one’s outlook. He gives the Holy Spirit, persevering mind and spiritual power to stay the course. We in this age aren’t the first to be called out to separate from “societies around us.” Others have trusted Him to strengthen them spiritually to live in His freedom among this world’s perverse societies.

   God foreknew all the natural desires in mankind, “particularly the desire to make gods that can be seen and touched.” (God knew the natural difficulties we would have in maintaining “a believing IN faith.”) So, God planned the “mystery of believing in” for His chosen, “making each a temple of His spirit.” (Through the imputation of His Holy Spirit in believers, “we have power to turn from gods of the imagination, intellectual thinking that’s prone to revere unscrupulous people, the worship of heavenly bodies or turning to strict rule keeping for salvation.”

     God foreknew the outcome of Israel’s turning to paganism after Moses; He knew when the western world would condone a Sodom and Gomorrah mentality. God told Moses how His people would turn to other gods and what would happen afterward.

     (Deuteronomy 31:16-23; “Then the Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die, and then these people will begin to prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land into which they are going. They will reject Me and break My covenant that I have made with them. At that time My anger will erupt against them and I will abandon them and hide My face from them until they are devoured. Many disasters and distresses will overcome them so that they will say at that time, ‘Have not these disasters overcome us because our God is not among us?’ But I will certainly hide Myself at that time because of all the wickedness they will have done by turning to other gods. Now write down for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites. Put it into their very mouths so that this song may serve as My witness against the Israelites! For after I have brought them to the land I promised to their ancestors – one flowing with milk and honey – and they eat their fill and become fat, then they will turn to other gods and worship them; they will reject Me and break My covenant. Then when many disasters and distresses overcome them this song will testify against them, for their descendants will not forget it. “I know the intentions they have in mind today, even before I bring them to the land I have promised.” So on that day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites, and the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will take the Israelites to the land I have promised them, and I will be with you.”)

      Prosperous living makes people think themselves smart. All these things happened to God’s chosen people for our learning and examples. When people aren’t led with a strong hand of God’s choosing, they follow demonically led leaders and the inclinations of their fleshly minds. (Thus mankind needs, “a nature change.” (A desiring of Oneness with God, His revealing spirit which opens understanding, granting Jesus’ faith and persevering minds to stay His course.)

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