GEMS FROM EPHESIANS

BY:  KENNETH GREATOREX

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FOUNDATION REALITIES IN CHRIST

     Done In Christ

     In Love – Sonship

    Redemption

GOD’S PURPOSE AND POSSESSION

     The Glory of His Plan

     To the Praise of His Glory

     Sealed as His Inheritance

PRAYER OF THE FATHER’S HEART

LIVING IN THE NOW OF GOD

THE WALL BUSTER

Christ Broke Down the Dividing Wall

   No Wall Means – His Dwelling is being Built

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PART ONE
FOUNDATIONAL REALITIES IN CHRIST

When considering Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, we are over whelmed by its richness. We start at the beginning, Ephesians 1:1-2: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”. NAU

Paul’s apostleship wasn’t from some voting system, but “BY THE WILL OF GOD.” It was by our Father’s choice and purpose. We need to know that the WILL, OR PURPOSE OF GOD, IS THE DETERMINING FACTOR IN ALL THINGS. God is the beginning, the ultimate source from which ALL things originate and exist, and find their ending. The New English Bible renders Romans 11:36, “SOURCE, GUIDE, GOAL OF ALL THAT IS.”

We needn’t understand how God IS working out His purposes in the earth. He has been, and remains, the Supreme One. Contrary to some teaching, HE HAS NEVER SURRENDERED HIS SOVEREIGNTY. It is imperative that we recognize the dominion of God. When we see from our Father’s viewpoint, we perceive the starting point is NOT creation, sin, the fall, or even redemption’s plan. IT IS GOD HIMSELF! Our perspective then becomes, “what we are to Father God.”

The Ephesian Epistle is written to “THE SAINTS WHO ARE,” not some day might be. No Pope is required to make us Saints long after death. SAINTS are ALL who are HOLY – SET APART, and FAITHFUL. This results from RELATIONSHIP, NOT from human Adamic efforts. “SAINT” is God’s name for ALL BELIEVER’S. Our RELATIONSHIP is like that in John Chapter Fifteen, which is “an abiding union.”

Verse Two begins, “GRACE TO YOU AND PEACE.” Apostolic greetings are unique with the sense of “blessing” they portray. This is found seventeen times in the New Testament where we read, “GRACE AND PEACE,” or “GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE.” Grace, mercy and peace should be the RULING PRINCIPLE in our hearts, rather than law, judgment and condemnation.

The SOURCE of GRACE AND PEACE is, God OUR Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Note, it is NOT just one person’s father [me/mine], but a FAMILY relationship – OUR FATHER. Paul used this blessing ten times. Writing to Timothy and Titus, it becomes, grace, mercy and peace.

Under the Mosaic Covenant the priests could bless the people with, “Peace be to you.” We are now governed by the New Covenant. We as a kingdom of priests may bless one another, because of our covenant relationship in Christ. His GRACE makes this privilege possible!

DONE IN CHRIST!

Ephesians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”

In Verse Three, Paul’s desire to BLESS [eulogize – speak well of] GOD is awe-inspiring. It is really worship from one who was a worshiper. [See also 2 Corinthians 1:3-4] There is a reason behind this outburst of blessing God. We too should be shouting, “Glory to God! Amen! Amen! You’ve DONE it Lord!” This is because of what HAS BEEN DONE – “WHO HAS BLESSED US!” NEVER forget this is PAST tense!

We need not beg, pray, fast, confess, as that is UNBELIEF! Simply accept what He HAS GIVEN. We WERE blessed. Yes, our Father thought good of ALL of US, even though He KNEW the path we/mankind would take. He provided Jesus Christ as the Lamb slain BEFORE the foundation of the world. [Revelation 13:8] Never forget that we HAVE BEEN BLESSED with EVERY/ ALL spiritual blessings! Why do we cry “poverty” when it is all available? Perhaps because of unbelief, lack of teaching or self condemnation/feeling unworthy, all because of false religious teaching.

OUR FATHER’S plans and purposes were decreed BEFORE the fall of man and NOTHING has changed! Paul said it was, “BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” That is prior to the creation of this present kosmos/world system. BEFORE this present kosmos began, OUR FATHER CHOSE US IN CHRIST! There was no emergency plan set up due to the fall of man. To suggest that God was caught off guard is to belittle His nature and character.

He knew and chose us BEFORE ALL we can imagine began. Our Father’s plan is to have MANY SONS like His First Begotten, and to “bring many sons to glory” [Hebrews 2:10], WILL progress to its completion. This is God’s plan for every believer who will enter in. Remember as Colossians 2:9-10 says, the fullness of Deity is in Christ, and we are COMPLETE /MADE FULL in, and of, CHRIST. In short the DNA of Christ, the Son of God, is in every one of us.

Whom does our Father see IN CHRIST? He sees ALL CREATION before sin, and the fall. Yes, BEFORE IT ALL BEGAN, we WERE THERE. You may wonder how it could be. It is, and was, because we ALL are the SEED of God. ALL includes, you, me, Paul, Peter, and a man that we don’t want to accept. As Acts 17:28-29 says, “for in HIM we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, FOR WE ARE ALSO HIS CHILDREN. – “Being then the CHILDREN OF GOD – .” [Or His OFF SPRING]

We BEGAN IN HIM, and ultimately will RETURN to Him. Is not God the “SOURCE, GUIDE, and GOAL” of all that is? [Romans 11:36 NEB] Every seed carries the germ of life, or the genetic material, to reproduce after it’s kind. Some plant seeds spring up within days, while others take years. The human seed takes nine months. A life form in the appearance and likeness of the source of the seed is the result. The seed is planted into death, then it springs forth in resurrection life.

What is abundantly clear is that Good took that which was good, and in His own purposes, designed it to go into death [as a seed from a plant]. Romans 5:14 says, “death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, WHO IS A TYPE OF HIM WHO WAS TO COME. THE PLANTED SEED OF CREATION IS TO RISE INTO ANEW LIFE ENRICHED BY THE ETERNAL GLORY OF GOD.

Our UNION IN CHRIST, and relationship with Him, results in ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS being ours now. NOW, do you get it? Not some time in the distant future based upon our works and legalistic worthiness. They are from “the heavenly” realm IN CHRIST.

In Verse Four we read, “He CHOSE us IN HIM.” The Greek for “chose” is “eklegomai (Strong’s #1586). It means to pick out, or select. In the middle voice it means, to choose for oneself, from preference, favor or love. Paul as the writer, is one of the “US,” or chosen, as were the recipients of the epistle. Who else is included as CHOSEN? ALL WHO ARE IN CHRIST ARE THE CHOSEN. He chose each of us for Himself. This is Divine election. Jesus said in John 6:37, “ALL that the Father gives to Me WILL come to Me,” and in John 15:16, “YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU -.”

The answer to the question of “WHY?” is found in these specific words, “THAT WE SHOULD BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS (unblemished) BEFORE HIM.” This choice, and the method, is ALL OF HIM, AND NOT OF US!

We discredit God’s grace when we do not receive the fullness which He HAS provided IN CHRIST. Some of His BLESSINGS include being, “chosen, sanctified/holy, predestined, accepted, redeemed, forgiveness, enriched, enlightened, inheritance and sealed.” Now that ought to be enough to have some of us shouting! Yet, there is more to speak of concerning His grand plan of the ages.

Don’t try to be holy! That is RELIGIOUS WORKS. Having been raised in a background where “holiness” was a big issue, I can tell you that ALL of the MAN-MADE decrees to make one holy are religious garbage. The list of DO NOT’S was very long. Those who failed to make it were constantly being judged. Some who felt they were making the standard were proud of their so called “holiness.” Most just chafed under the burden which often was too much so many left. Little did we under stand 1 Corinthians 1:30:

“But by His doing you are IN CHRIST JESUS, who became to us WISDOM from God, and RIGHTEOUSNESS and SANCTIFICATION, and REDEMPTION,” Sanctification, is HOLINESS and because we are IN CHRIST, we ARE NOW, not some day, HOLY! When our Father sees Christ, He see us IN CHRIST. Hallelujah!

We are also BLAMELESS, or, without FAULT. So, why do we keep picking at our imperfections? Rest assured, that our Father sees us without spot or tarnish and He is bringing us into that reality. IT IS ALL BECAUSE GOD WHO IS LOVE DEALS WITH US IN LOVE!

IN LOVE – SONSHIP

In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:5-6

“IN LOVE,” are the final words of Verse Four, and the KEY to our Father’s plan and purposes. LOVE is the FATHER HEART of God. Some have had terrible fathers’ and haven’t known a father’s love. Our Heavenly Father cannot be compared to such. As the songwriter said, “The love of God is greater,” and he goes on to attempt to describe in earthly language that which is beyond description. He ends by writing that if the oceans were ink and the sky’s parchment, there wouldn’t be enough space to describe God’s love.

Many years ago, as a result of a car accident, my wife Dale left her body for a brief time. She found herself in our Father’s glorious presence, and His love was so PURE, so ALL ENCOMPASSING, and even PENETRATING her being so, that she could only conclude that the love she had for me was in comparison like pure hatred.

The revelation of our Father’s love causes us to appreciate HIS PREDESTINING us to “adoption as sons by Christ Jesus to Himself.” This is NOT the kind of adoption where a non-related child is adopted into a family. We were born naturally, and are SPIRITUALLY BORN/REGENERATED FROM ABOVE. In Isaiah Six we read of a great work of devastation until all that is left is a burnt stump – Verse Thirteen. BUT, here is an essential truth. ‘THE HOLY SEED IS ITS STUMP.” Do you get it? In spite of sin and all of it’s devastation, there remains the SEED OF GOD within.

In Isaiah 53:10 we read, “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting {Him} to grief; if He would render himself as a guilt offering, He will see HIS OFFSPRING, He will prolong {His} days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” The word “OFFSPRING” is from the Hebrew word meaning SEED, or SPERM. This speaks of the SEED of Christ, WHICH WE ARE!

Isaiah 9:6 reads, “Unto us a CHILD IS BORN, unto us a SON IS GIVEN;” This is a twofold aspect. Galatians 4:1-7 tells of a natural born child being under qualified households servants who trained him until maturity was reached. Verse Five uses the identical phrase, “adoption as sons,” or the “huiothesia” as is also found in Galatians 4:4, and Romans 8:15 and 23.

Our Father’s PLAN is for us to come to the place of ADOPTION AS SONS – “TO HIMSELF.” We began as children, “Beloved, now are we CHILDREN of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be” [1 John 3:2], but our Father’s goal is for much more. Sadly, many are content to sing, dance, and be blessed, but never see our Father’s plan. We ARE A KINGDOM PEOPLE called to rule and reign with Christ, even NOW IN THIS PRESENT LIFE!

There are various SONSHIP teachings, and some seem exclusive, however we believe that SONSHIP is the available for ALL to enter into. The question is, “How many of us are willing to receive the required discipline and training?” R.B. Jones said, “A CHILD is one BORN of God, a SON is one TAUGHT of God.” And, “A CHILD has God’s NATURE; a SON has God’s CHARACTER.”

We read in Romans 8:19, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing [uncovering/unveiling] of the SONS OF GOD.” In the early 1960’s some of us sang the following chorus. [composer is unknown]

When God’s sons are unveiled,

The storms of life will cease.

Earth’s groaning will be ended,

And find sweet release.

When God’s sons are unveiled,

Heaven and earth will meet.

God’s will be done,

God’s kingdom come,

When God’s sons are unveiled.

Earth’s night be gone,

Morning will come,

When God’s sons are unveiled.

All that our Father has planned, will in its fulfillment be, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved.” NOT praise to US as many seem to want, BUT to HIM! It is ALL because of the manifestation of the GRACE OF GOD. Jesus Christ is GRACE EMBODIED. We are graced – given special honor – IN the BELOVED!

REDEMPTION

IN HIM we HAVE REDEMPTION through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight. Ephesians 1:7-8

“RE,” Have you ever considered this prefix? It comes from Latin and means. “Back,” or “again.” Many words begin with “re” return, recall, release, restoration, and redemption are but a few.

Our Re-Demption is realized by, and in, a Person. 1 Corinthians 1:30 reads, “But OF HIM you are IN CHRIST JESUS, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and REDEMPTION.” REDEMPTION IS A PERSON!

While much can be said about the processes of redemption, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His glorious resurrection and ascension to the right hand of our Father, our focus is on, “What did God have in mind when He created man?”

In Genesis 1:26-27 “God said, “Let US make man in Our IMAGE, according to Our LIKENESS;  – God created man in His own IMAGE, in the IMAGE OF GOD He created him; male and female He created them.” The question arises, “How much of the IMAGE and LIKENESS of God did Adam attain?” It wasn’t physical as God is SPIRIT. The Hebrew word for LIKENESS, “demut,” signifies the original after which a thing is patterned. The creative act of God created a man of flesh, into which He breathed spirit. Yet, the “Adam” needed to develop the nature and character of His Creator.

We are familiar with the doctrine of the “FALL of man,” BUT, one must ask, “Where did this term come from?” Two verses seem to support the term “fall,” however a careful study of the words used gives a different understanding. The Weymouth translation of Romans 3:23 reads, “for all alike have sinned, and ALL CONSCIOUSLY COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.” 1 Timothy 2:14 reads, “and Adam was not deceived, but his wife was thoroughly deceived, and so BECAME INVOLVED IN TRANSGRESSION.” Clearly a separation from our Father happened, but like the father whose son spent his inheritance fulfilling the desires of his flesh, in the end OUR FATHER knows that creation will come home to Him.

Since we believe that God has ALL KNOWLEDGE, it is clear that He was well aware of the choice that Adam would take. The extreme “free will” teaching would have us believe that God surrendered His sovereignty and that His plan for man was subject to the “free will” of created beings. If this is the case, then our Father’s plan was a failure! Or, was it? Perhaps His intention was to develop man into the fullness of His image and likeness and ALL that happened was a part of the creative process.

The following Scriptures demonstrate that God was NOT unaware that the Adamic race would for a time be a race subject to sin, and that He ALWAYS had provision to change, redeem, and restore it, NAMELY IN JESUS CHRIST. The history of redemption is the history of our REDEEMER, which finds its fullest meaning, its power and climax in, “For from [out of] Him and through Him and to Him are ALL things.” Romans 11:36

1 Peter 1:19-20 “but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was FOREKNOWN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”

Revelation 13:8 “has not been written from the FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Romans 8:29-30 “For those whom He FOREKNEW, He also PREDESTINED to become conformed to the IMAGE of His Son, so that He would be the FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Clearly the FOREKNOWLEDGE of our Father has been, and remains, the deciding factor along the way, and includes His grand purpose to “have many brethren, in the IMAGE of His Son.”

Along the way there is the obstacle of sin and death. How we view this depends upon our view of God. For some a weak, impotent, feeble God was unable to stop it. While many joyously singing “He is Lord,” they really believe that it may happen some day in the distant future and believe this will only happen by brute force. Yet, clearly Scripture teaches that He has ALL POWER and AUTHORITY NOW. That He is NOW LORD, and triumphant over sin, death, the grave and Satan.

In Job 14:14 we read, “IF a man DIES, will he LIVE AGAIN? All the days of my STRUGGLE I will wait until my change comes.” STRUGGLE just like a butterfly emerging from it’s cocoon. In the midst of his nightmare Job still knew that God was in charge and change would come, thus he could proclaim, “I know that my Redeemer lives.”

Jan Antonsson recently wrote the following in her article, “Struggling To Get Free,” about the change process in a butterfly’s life. “I found a site on the Internet, with pictures of each stage of a butterfly’s development, which I found to be a fascinating metaphor for our spiritual growth. First, the adult female butterfly lays the eggs on plants, and from them, hatch larvae or caterpillars. Their job is to eat until they grow 100 times their original size. “A monarch butterfly egg is the size of a pinhead, but the larva that hatches from this tiny egg will grow to 2″ long in several weeks.” Next, comes the pupal or transition state, “When the caterpillar is full grown and stops eating, it attaches itself to a place to ’rest.’ It forms a chrysalis and goes into a type of hibernation. On the outside, it looks like nothing is going on, but changes are occurring inside the pupa that we can’t see. The internal systems are reorganizing and transforming into adult structures. Pupae can be inside a cocoon from a few weeks to a month.” I have read somewhere that if you were to cut open the chrysalis before the pupa is ready, it will die, a parable for why you cannot speed up someone else’s physical or spiritual development.” The full article may be read from the link below.

The whole process of REDEMPTION deals with ALL that needs to be taken care of. The purpose is to bring man into the IMAGE of God as Genesis One proclaimed. However, the process that our wise Father has/is using is not our choosing. He begins with the natural, the created flesh, and proceeds to His ultimate goal which is CHRIST IN US THE IMAGE OF GOD. The following Scriptures verify this:

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 So it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The LAST ADAM became a LIFE-GIVING. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

Colossians 1:15 He is the IMAGE of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creature [CREATION]; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

2 Corinthians 4:4 the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the IMAGE of God.

Colossians 3:10-11 and have put on the NEW SELF who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the IMAGE of the One who created him.

Many years ago my friend Alan asked, “Where do we go from restoration?” Quickly I replied, “To glorification.” He then hung a banner in his church saying, “FROM RESTORATION TO GLORIFICATION.” That is really what it is all about. Man came short of the glory of God, BUT that is not a problem to our Father. He simply plants Christ in us who is the hope of our glorification. His nature, His character are GLORIOUS!

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, ARE BEING TRANSFORMED into the SAME IMAGE from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. There is a process that is going on, a process of changing us into HIS IMAGE. Be assured that it WILL be completed, and the job will be PERFECT. The “WISDOM AND INSIGHT” of God will make it to be so for HIS PLANS AND PURPOSES WILL NOT FAIL.

Blessings in Christ! Our God REIGNS!

PART TWO
GOD’S PURPOSE AND POSSESSION
THE GLORY OF HIS PLAN

He made known to us the MYSTERY OF HIS WILL, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times that is the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. Ephesians 1:9-10 NAU

The word MYSTERY usually has us looking for something unknown. Many like to solve a mystery by their ability to reason, something like the fictional Sherlock Holmes. In the realm of the Spirit a MYSTERY [hidden secret], is a TRUTH that can only be know by REVELATION. The good news is, God has been taking the SECRET out of truth so that ALL may know.

Romans 16:25-25 tells us, “Now to Him who is able to establish – – according to the revelation of the MYSTERY which has been kept secret for long ages past, but NOW IS MANIFESTED, – – has been made known to ALL the NATIONS.” And 1 Corinthians 2:7 teaches us, “- – we speak God’s wisdom in a MYSTERY, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.” TRUTH long hidden, WAS being unveiled, and IS being unveiled.

In spite of our limited view of God, “God as God is the eternal and infinite, and as such can never be the thought-problem of human mole-like speculation.”[Erich Sauer] Our Father’s plans and purposes will be completed, as He desired, long before this creation became a literal tangible fact. Back before the, BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, the kingdom was prepared, our Father loved the Son, we were chosen, His works were finished including that relating to salvation, etc. See: Matthew 25:34, John 17:24, Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 4:3, Hebrews 9:25-25, 1 Peter 1:19-20, and Revelation 13:8.

When God said, Let us make man in our IMAGE and LIKENESS, why would He start this, and not complete it? Since it WAS already DONE in God BEFORE CREATION, why should we doubt His ability to complete His purpose? He is both the architect and the master builder. Since our beginning, and what we might call our ending is IN God, as Ecclesiastes 12:7b reminds us, “and the spirit will RETURN to God WHO GAVE IT,” “what have we to question?”

Just WHAT is His purpose? Our Father is reproducing Himself, in earthen vessels that will ultimately be glorious with His life within. He is reproducing Himself in His creation and bringing us into HIS IMAGE, through “CHRIST WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD.”

Recently I said that a certain couple reproduced themselves. Since they only have boys, I said that there were two little R- -‘s, now. Likewise, of a sister who had seven daughters, which I said were seven little D – -‘s. Augustine said, “If God is love, then there must be in Him a Lover, a Beloved, and a Spirit of love; for no love is conceivable without a Lover, a Beloved, and a Beloved.” If the result of human love results in reproduction, why shouldn’t the love of our Father result in reproduction in HIS GLORIOUS IMAGE?

Our Father’s plan began with first a natural Adamic man, until it reaches its glorious climax in Christ the LAST Adam. We know when Adam and Eve got disconnected from their relationship with God, they suddenly realized that they were naked. Romans 3:23 makes clear what they had lost. Rather than quote from a multitude of Bible translations, I present the following paraphrase: “For all have sinned [missed the mark], and lost their intimate relationship, and their covering of the glory of God. Having thus become unclothed by heritage IN ADAM, they continue to remain uncovered, and devoid of the glory, splendor, and luminosity of His presence, and nature within and without.”

The MYSTERY of His will for man, HIS KIND INTENTION, or HIS GOOD PLEASURE, can be summed up in the words of Watchman Nee, “God’s plan for man is, GLORY, GLORY, GLORY!” It always was GLORY, which is the reproduction of HIMSELF within the created man, that is His nature, His character, His glory. We dare not suggest that Adam had arrived at the pinnacle of God’s plan, as it is clear that he did not. Our Father’s purposes may seem to us to zig and zag, yet, they have always been right on course. In the end, He will sum up ALL things in Christ as he has purposed from the beginning.

That which our Father “PURPOSED IN HIM” was planned for the ADMINISTRATION, or GOVERNMENT, Greek, “oikonomia” #3622, meaning the management of a household, OF THE AGES. Adam was given the administration, or the management of the Garden of Eden, but lost his job. Christ, God’s LAST Adam has, “an administration suitable to the fullness of the times.”

There, is the summing up of ALL things in Christ, things IN THE HEAVENS and things ON THE EARTH. Now that word ALL is very inclusive whether we like it or not. The Greek word for “summing up,” is, “anakephalaiomai” #346, meaning, “to sum up under ONE head.” It means, TO GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE, under ONE. The Weymouth Translation puts it this way, “the purpose with He cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find it’s one Head in Christ.”

First Corinthians 15:20-28 is a powerful passage of Scripture, but we will quote only a part of it. Verse Twenty-five tells us, “For He MUST REIGN until He has put ALL His enemies UNDER His feet.” Acts 2:33-35 says that Christ is NOW seated at the right hand of our Father, and that He WILL REIGN until. Until when? Until 1 Corinthians 15:28 is fulfilled. “When ALL things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”

Right about now there should be something rising up within you as you contemplate the wonders of our Fathers’ plan. All has begun in Him and in the end will return to Him. In our natural world we have the picture of the water cycle. The rain falls from the sky, turns into streams and rivers, and along the way various bodies of water may develop, but in the end it stops in the sea/ocean. But is that the end? No! For the water then evaporates from the sea, and returns to the sky to again descend as due or rain. So it is in God!

We end with an old chorus that is both a prayer promise.

“Father, our very own Father,

Creator of every man,

Bring forth Thy promised salvation,

In the earth fulfill Thy plan.”

TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLOR

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose [aim, design, intention, plan, objective, goal] who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:11-12 NAU

The Williams New Testament puts it this way, “in union with whom WE WERE MADE GOD’S PORTION, since we had been foreordained in accordance with the purpose of Him who in every respect carries out the plan of His will, that we who had first put our hope in Christ might praise His glory.”

As I spoke at a Youth Meeting in Phoenix Arizona in 1960, this verse sprang alive. Suddenly I saw past the everyday goals of much of Christianity. Life was no longer just existing until I could escape off to some special abode, just for ME. It was more than the Pentecostal goals I had learned, or even the Latter Rain ones, a whole new dimension sprang alive. The GOAL now was LIVING TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY.

No longer could it be the ideas of self absorption and getting, but rather CHRIST. No longer did I have to strive to reach some spiritual height, or obtain some new blessing for MY benefit. I know that we “need to possess our possessions,” BUT do we understand WHY?

Modern Christianity, at least the Evangelical – Charismatic kind centers, NOT on God, but on MAN. Since man exercised what is called “free will,” it would seems that God is in debt to man to get him out of the mess he blundered into because he exercised this “free will.” We need reminding of Isaiah 46:10, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, “My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish ALL My good pleasure;” All of man’s choices are made with in the scope or intention of His plan.

The kindness of our Father is used to save MAN from sin, sickness, poverty, and on and on the list goes, BUT with NEVER a thought of what our Father’s plans and purposes are. The secular viewpoint, or philosophy, has a pyramid with soil [the earth] as the base, then vegetation is placed on top of it, then animals, and finally MAN at the very top/pinnacle.

Many of us add a fifth dimension to this order – God. BUT, unknowingly place Him one step BELOW man. God is to be used to give man ALL that man desires, with Scripture being quoted to God to tell GOD what to do. It is like the Drill Sergeant in the military said, “When I tell you to jump, you find out how high on the way up.” We have been like the preacher who took part of Isaiah 45:11 [KJV] out of context, “concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” The theory became that we could tell God what to do. And that is much of the modern gospel. This erroneous concept makes God into man’s servant. How unlike Christ, who being in the form of God took on the role of being a servant.

With the teaching of the LIMITATION OF SONSHIP we learned that Christ as a Son, functioned as a servant. John especially makes it clear that Christ only did what He saw His Father do, and He only spoke what He heard the Father say. We need to remember, while pressing into sonship our attitude should always be that of “servant-sons.”

True Christian philosophy places man UNDER GOD OUR FATHER. We have nothing to prove, nothing to get OR GAIN for personal attainment, BUT only TO BE. There is only one goal. It is HIS GOAL, HIS PLAN, HIS PURPOSES. AND, His goal, plan and purpose is to BRING MAN INTO HIS VERY OWN IMAGE.

The intent of Verse Eleven is the INHERITANCE WE OBTAIN. It is in order that we become HIS INHERITANCE. A people for HIS POSSESSION, GOD’S PORTION, a people for HIS GLORY. This is the answer to the statement and question earlier, “I know that we “need to possess our possessions,” BUT do we understand WHY?” This is the WHY! So that we may bring to the Father heart of God great pleasure as He works out His glorious plans.

Verse Twelve tells us that it is our calling to be those who are “to the praise of His glory.” We are HIS FIRST because he has made each one of us for we have been birthed of His Spirit, His seed, and our spirit returns to Him who gave it upon physical death – Ecclesiastes 12:7. SECOND, we are HIS by redemption. His mark of ownership is on us, we are marked as His very own, contrary to common opinion we are NOT our own, WE ARE HIS!

Our Father God has done a work in us. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings, and given us an inheritance in Christ, so that we should be to His praise and glory. Let us bow our hearts in worship, for He alone is worthy!

May our eyes of our hearts be open before our Father, may we see, not with carnal eyes, but those that are viewing from His viewpoint.

SEALED AS HIS INHERITANCE

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – – having also believed, you were SEALED in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 (NAU)

To be SEALED, Greek sphragizo #4972, means to set a seal on one as a mark or stamp approval, or of OWNERSHIP. It is really a final act to authenticate that which is already so. Ephesians 4:30 confirms that WE WERE SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION by the HOLY SPIRIT of God. In simple words, THE MATTER IS SETTLED AND IRREVOCABLE!

1 John 3:24 “- – We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also SEALED US and GAVE us THE SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS AS A PLEDGE.” 2 Corinthians 5:5 “- – who gave to us the Spirit as pledge/down payment.”

This PLEDGE is a COMMITMENT TO DO SOMETHING. It is to bring ALL OF US INTO OUR INHERITANCE, which is BEING A PEOPLE WHO ARE “HIS POSSESSION” AND WHO WILL BRING GLORY AND HONOR AND PLEASURE TO HIM.

There are those who love to say, “Please be patient with me, God’s not finished with me yet.” To me that is an insult to God. He who knows the end from the beginning, and is the Alpha and the Omega IS NOT FINISHED? The death of Christ was not enough? Because we have not seen the fullness, or entered into it, doesn’t mean that God still has to work at it. The PBPWMGNFWMY gang are suggesting that they are such tough nuts that God has a problem cracking them. Could this be pride?

In Jeremiah 48:11-12 God speaks of stubborn Moab that REFUSED to CHANGE. In the end He said He would tip them over, and empty and shatter their vessels. When we proudly boast that God is not finished with us yet, we may end up being exposed for all to see. God is long patient, but in the end that which He has already decreed WILL COME TO PASS. The question is simple, “When will we submit to His Lordship?”

ALL that has been written in the first fourteen verses of this chapter lead to this point. We have been CHOSEN, and BLESSED, BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. In CHRIST we are HOLY and BLAMELESS called to the ADOPTION AS SONS. As God’s own possession we CARRY HIS LIFE, HIS SEED, HIS SPIRIT, and as such WILL RULE AND REIGN IN THIS EARTH RELEASING IT FROM CAPTIVITY AS THE SONS OF GOD TAKE THEIR PLACE.

It is not for me to suggest the timing or the HOW all of this will come to pass. Our times are in His hands. Yet, there is a cry of the SPIRIT within our spirits that causes us to long for the day when the chains that have held us, chains broken in and by Christ, will fall off and He will be glorified in this earth.

There is a final aspect of REDEMPTION that we have yet to come into. There is an acquisition going on, it involves the recovery of man’s LOST GLORY. For all have sinned (in Adam as head of the Adamic human race) and fall short, that is “to be in lack, or want of.” What does man lack? HE LACKS THE GLORY OF GOD THAT HE ONCE HAD. Adam had a covering of glory, but didn’t radiate glory from within, and therefore was open to sin? Had he entered into LIFE/GLORY in the fullest sense? If he had, he would have been unproved, untested, as unrefined gold. Our Father was going to take this “mud man” and produce a heavenly man filled with the HIS LIFE, as represented by the Tree of Life,

Paul speaks of the recovery of the GLORY in Romans 8:18, “the glory which shall be revealed to/in us.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells of the ongoing change “- – are being transformed” [in the PRESENT TENSE, the change is in progress] “into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” There is a clear relationship between GLORY and the IMAGE of Christ. Remember that God made Man in His image and that Christ is the image of God. God will bring forth a people who are no longer of the first man – Adam, but of the Second Man, the Last Adam, THE one WHO IS His express image. Hallelujah!

PART THREE

PRAYER FROM A FATHER’S HEART    

Ephesians 1:15-21

As we being this section in our study of Gems from Ephesians, we begin with the Seventeenth Verse, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”

Paul prayed to The One with whom he has a personal relationship, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. He proclaims Him as, “THE FATHER OF GLORY.” The word GLORY speaks to us of the CHARACTER, the NATURE, the SPLENDOR, and PERFECTION of our God, who is the SOURCE of GLORY, the very radiant expression of His being, now revealed in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the express image of our Father, and who is bringing us into the same image. Hallelujah!

We may think that the term “FATHER” is only a New Testament term. However, there are several Old Testament verses referring to God as “Father.” One reference that we may relate to is Isaiah 64:8, “But now, O LORD, you are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.” This puts things in perspective, as ALL of us are the work of HIS HAND. When we understand this, a lot of our frustration should go, as The Master Potter knows what He is doing!

In Galatians 4:19, Paul wrote, “My children, with whom I am AGAIN in LABOR until Christ is FORMED in you.” A developmental change was needed. Paul labored once for their birth, and now again for their MATURITY. Many of us as parents have gone through this process with our children. At times bringing them to maturity may be more difficult than their initial birth. The same holds true concerning our spiritual growth, and that of others we relate to.

Paul continues his prayer by asking for, “a SPIRIT of WISDOM and of REVELATION” for the church in Ephesus. How often we struggle to understand, when we need only to receive of the SPIRIT, WISDOM and REVELATION. This doesn’t come from studying and research, but is “gifted” to us by the Spirit. That means, it is birthed spiritually. It has gone through the process of implantation, death, and springing forth into life, to the point where we finally see. What do we see? We have a revelation, an uncovering of Christ [1Corinthians 1:30]. Colossians 1:10 says, “INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.” It is not more information we need, but we need to receive ALL OF CHRIST, by receiving Him as God’s full provision. [See the article: Christ – God’s Only Provision]

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” Verse 18.

The term “eyes of your heart,” speaks to us of the ILLUMINATION of our spirit. This give birth to the knowledge of, and the positive expectation of, HIS CALLING. Philippians 3:14 calls this, the “upward” or “high” calling, which is of the heavenlies, the place we NOW dwell, and NOW reign in/with Christ. This is the place of heir-ship, the place of sonship, for His WEALTH is in His SAINTS. We may not have completely entered in as yet, but in the mind of our Father, IT IS ALREADY SO. He can only complete His working in us, as we submit to Him. Then it becomes evident to all, that CHRIST IS OUR LIFE “and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Verse 19a.

Do you get it? HIS POWER toward us “believing ones” REIGNS SUPREME! It is over and beyond all other powers. Yet, for many, their God is weak and their Christ is weak. Regretfully they see their problems, fears, and especially Satan and demons, reigning supreme as nearly conquerable giants. They must age spiritual warfare. This comes from a lack of understanding that the work is FINISHED and Christ is VICTOR. A few mop up situations may remain. The truth is, WHAT YOU HAVE YOUR EYES ON IS WHAT YOU WILL SEE.

One recalls the old chorus, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His wonderful face,” and wonders why this is so hard for many. Can it be that we have yet to truly see HIM as the Mighty Conqueror, Lord of Glory, The King of Glory, The Mighty One, the Majestic One, who NOW rules and reigns supreme?

Once we sang, “We’re marching to Zion,” for we viewed Zion as some far off heaven. NOW it is time to sing, “WE’RE MARCHING IN ZION.” Not TO, but IN. Let’s stop leaving everything to some unknown future date and enter into the things of God now!! March Zion, March! YOUR KING REIGNS! Shake off the shackles that bind you and arise in His glory, for this is God’s NEW DAY. It is the day of His Lordship, and the day of His triumph, and OURS in Christ.

“These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from [out of] the dead” Verse 19b & 20a

This GREAT POWER speaks of the all powerful Divine ENERGY that overpowers all else. The powers of death we have so feared are broken. When our Father raised Christ from the dead, it was a all-powerful event. Revelation 1:5 tells us, “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood–“

This raising of Christ from the dead was a MIGHTY VICTORY! Others had been dead and raised to life, only to die again, BUT when Christ was raised, He WAS RESURRECTED to a life to which death could lay no claim against. It was RESURRECTION LIFE!!! The word “from” is taken from the Greek word “ek”#1537, and means, “OUT OF.” Christ came OUT OF DEATH, and destroyed its power. The authority of death has been broken!

The FIRSTBORN of the dead, is the same One who is the FIRSTBORN among many brethren. As He is so shall we be, as we are beholding Him. Because He lives, we shall and are also. Because He is risen, we are also. He’s the Captain of our salvation, the Prince of Life. He’s in the Father, and we are also. He is a Son, and we are sons also. He has been glorified, and so shall we be, all because He lives.

“and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.” Verse 20b – 22.

Not only was Christ raised OUT OF death, He was RAISED to, and SEATED IN, the heavenly realm. All power has been given to Him. At His name ALL Knees will bow in adoration and worship. He is now SITTING because He is at REST. The battle is over and done and ALL lesser authorities are under His feet. The picture is like that of a victorious soldier standing with his foot on his enemies neck.

Christ is seated because there are no more wars for Him to win, and no more foes to defeat. He has gotten the victory. Hallelujah! And now, all the nations are under Him, and all peoples under His feet. Therefore, we may reign on high at His right hand in power and victory. We may reign in this life we now live because of His indwelling life.

“The LORD says to my Lord: “SIT at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The LORD will stretch forth your strong scepter from Zion, saying “Rule in the midst of your enemies.” Psalm 110:1-2. And, “The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, UNTIL I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” Acts 2:34a-35. Christ is NOW ruling, HIS KINGDOM is NOW, and we are ruling and reigning now in Christ. This is that day, Heaven is His throne, and the earth His footstool, and through sons His glory now is being unveiled, even as we await to see the fullness of it.

Can we accept, and believe, that HE HAS PUT ALL things UNDER HIS FEET? ALL, does not mean some. It means 100%, not 99%. It means that sin, death, hell, Satan, demons, and whatever you want to name, have been stripped of their power. ALL are under His feet and must obey Him. Hebrews 2:8 tells us, “You have put ALL things in subjection under His feet. For in subjecting ALL things to Him, He has left NOTHING [no thing] that is not subject to Him. BUT now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him.”

He is reigning UNTIL. Romans Eight sheds light some light on this UNTIL. This creation is longing with much anticipation for the revealing of the sons of God, [Romans 8:19] when it shall be set free from the slavery and bondage that it is now in. Now it groans as in childbirth, BUT, new birth is in sight. In the ending, it will not be as in the beginning, for that was in part. IT WILL BE MUCH MORE, for those called to be sons of God will become, far more than the first man Adam ever was. We are of the LAST ADAM, God’s SECOND MAN! We are destined to live and move and have our being in the GLORY of our Father.

“Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and authority.” [1 Corinthians 15:24] ALL other powers, dominions, and authorities that are now permitted to fulfill the purpose our Father has for them will be abolished when their purpose for existence is completed.

“and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Verse 22b – 23

When we look at things in the natural we see many who are reigning as kings in/over Christ’s church. The ekklesia – the called out ones, the church, is HIS BODY. Yet we have made it into a system of religion. Those called to freedom, have returned to spiritual bondage. Despots have risen to rule over God’s people and enslaved them in fear. Fear of death, fear of hell-fire, fear of poverty if one doesn’t tithe or give in abundance, fear because one has not prayed enough, fasted enough, read one’s Bible enough, witnessed enough, and much more.

All of this activity of doing what appears to be good things, has the outward appearance of spirituality, but it is ALL DEAD WORKS! Where is the voice of the Spirit in all of this? Truly the Lord will speak out of Zion to those false shepherds who encourage activities rather than spiritual growth, and bring them to account. Because of this many of the people of God have been scattered, some in discouragement have turned aside, others searching for food wander in the wilderness. But, there is an oasis in the wilderness that the Lord our God will provide, for He will not see the righteous forsaken or His seed begging bread. Yes, for the hungry in heart, He says, “Come and receive of Me.”

It is time that we KNOW that CHRIST is the HEAD, not man, of HIS church, which is HIS BODY. We must all, “hold fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from/of God.” [Colossians 2:19] Relationship to The Head is life giving whether directly or via the “joints and ligaments.”.

There is something marvelous about the Body of Christ. While much could be said on this matter, we ask the question, “Can you have a living body without a head?” Now, if the head is CHRIST, what are the other parts of the body? If you cut my leg off you would say that it was Kenneth’s leg, or a part of Kenneth. Even so, every member of the Body of Christ, is Christ, because He is in us and we are in Him. There is no cause for us to think we are something super spiritual, for all that we are is bound up IN CHRIST. The life we now live is His life! Hallelujah!

The expression of Christ in the earth, the body of Christ, becomes, and is, “THE FULLNESS OF HIM WHO FILLS ALL IN ALL.” This is both a majestic and humbling statement. That we who are made from the mud of this earth should attain to such a place as this, speaks wonders of the glory of our Father and His plan. The prophets spoke of the whole earth being filled with God’s glory as the waters cover the sea. BUT, it is more than this planet earth that they spoke about. It is OUR EARTH that is being filled with His glory. As this is happening a change is taking place, and we will arise from our earthen cocoons and begin to radiate the glory of the Son. The clay of our vessels will be transformed into gold as we partake of the Tree of Life, and this LIFE IS IN HIS SON.

Kenneth & Dale live in Kitchener Ontario Canada, and would enjoy hearing from you. You may contact Kenneth Greatorex by email to comment on any of the articles. If you would like to receive the email teaching, FRESH MANNA, or news of new articles on this website, please let me know so that you will be added to the list. 

PART FOUR

LIVING IN THE NOW OF GOD

Few appear to accept the NOW IN GOD. Most things are put of for the future. The question is, “Do we believe what God has said about the NOW?” To be honest, we look and see little resembling God’s kingdom, or victorious living NOW. We question how these things can be so, and think they must be for another time. When we judge with our natural eyes, we see natural things, and our judgment is then based on something other than TRUTH.

When Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:12 about “seeing in a mirror dimly,” he described the problem we face. The Greek word for “darkly/dimly” means, “an ENIGMA,” or, “to speak in a riddle.” Jesus spoke in parables and riddles so that those who thought they where “wise” couldn’t understand. Unless we understand by the revelation of the Spirit, or until we see “face to face,” we walk in spiritual dimness/darkness, unable to grasp the truth.

Concerning the word “enigma,” John Gavazzoni says, “That’s what we face when this NOW ACCOMPLISHED, kingdom work in the Christ arises out of our spirits demanding expression, yet words fail us. This though, will lead us to find the sufficiency of expression in the Spirit of Truth, rather than in our carefully crafted word structures.”

We are writing about the realities of the walk of the SAINTS in this PRESENT TIME. Many of God’s people, including some who may be on the “cutting edge” of truth, are hobbled with a TIME DISTORTION. Their understanding tends to be swayed by their eschatology – beliefs about things assumed as final events. This causes spiritual and emotional havoc for many, and minimizes the need for spiritual growth. The Kingdom of God is assumed to be a mere 1000 year event in the future, rather than a PRESENT REALITY.

It is essential that we briefly consider Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar dream, which dealt with the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman Kingdoms, AND the ultimate setting up of a KINGDOM that would supercede all of them, in Daniel Chapter Two.

Daniel said, “In the days of THOSE KINGS [Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman] the God of heaven WILL SET UP A KINGDOM which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2:44-45 NAU

Daniel also said, “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone [CHRIST] that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” [2:34-35] Briefly stated, the KINGDOM OF GOD HAS BEEN SET UP. Christ is NOW reigning, and we are NOW reigning with Him.

Peter quoted Psalm 110:1 in his Acts Two message. “The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a foot stool for your feet.” He is PRESENTLY ruling and reigning. He is NOW King of kings and Lord of lords, ALL authority is His NOW. We need not look toward whatever the future may bring, but rather rejoice in the reality of His Kingdom in the NOW. This brings us to a place of rest in the sure knowledge that, “For He must reign [now reigning] until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 1 Cor. 15:25

In this “Gems from Ephesians” series we have seen much from the heavenly view of God’s ultimate purposes and intentions, while the Second Chapter begins with some DONE things, things of the past that are foundational for us. Then it takes us to the PRESENT REALITY, our PRESENT position in God as found in Ephesians 2:4-6.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” NAU

Where are we NOW? Is our confession one of hope to be, of maybe some day, or of living by the carnal nature rather than the PRESENT REALITY of the CHRIST NATURE? It matters not that you think you are less than perfect. What you are judging has been dealt with in Christ. Leave it alone. You cannot perfect the Adamic flesh nature. Start to see the CHRIST NATURE dwelling in you NOW. It is time to stop being double minded, as either we live after the flesh, or the Spirit of Christ.

If all we can see is terra firma, the earthly, then we are missing spiritual reality. WE ARE NOW SEATED with Christ in the heavenly realms! Our lives are swallowed up in victory, and death has no dominion over us. The dead belong in the grave. That is where we went when our Father placed us in Christ. When He died, we died. The old man is dead! Romans 7:24 uses the illustration of a man convicted of murder who was required to carry his victim on his back as long as he lived, and thus the call for deliverance from this horror. However, Christ is alive, we are alive with His life, therefore we need not carry death with us.

John wrote, [1 John 3:2] “Beloved, NOW are we the children [not KJV sons] of God.” This is PRESENT REALITY, yet, not the finality. For, “We know that when He APPEARS [is manifested], we will be like Him, because WE WILL SEE HIM JUST AS HE IS.” As Christ reveals Himself to us, our spiritual eyes open wide, and we BECOME AS HE NOW IS. Our limited vision is enlarged to behold HIM in His glory. We were created in the image of God, and NOW we become the reality of His image in Christ Jesus, who is the express image of our Father. We are no longer just children, but sons walking in maturity.

Many insist on seeing themselves as sinners. However, BEING CONSTANTLY SIN CONSCIOUS IS A CURSE. It means our eyes are upon SELF, and NOT Christ. This erroneous belief was recently stated by a man during an altar call for the unsaved. He said, “I’m only a sinner saved by grace.” Then added, “I will always be a sinner,” and continued on and on disgracing the Christ within him. My instant prayer was, “Lord open his eyes to understand Ephesians.” Like many, all he could see was sin, and more sin, NOT Christ.

We must know that we are SAINTS NOW, and that the living Christ DWELLS IN US, and sin has no dominion/authority/control over us. The new “en-Christed” man is free from the slavery of sin, as Romans Six so clearly declares.

Galatians 2:20 is dynamic! “I HAVE BEEN [past tense] crucified WITH [in union with] Christ [when He died, we died]; and it is no longer I who live, [Is this double talk? NO! We died in Christ!] BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME [when He arose, we arose]; and the life which I now live in the flesh I LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, who loves me and gave Himself for me.”

For many “faith” is a problem, as it is often based upon religious works. The good news, IT IS NOT YOUR FAITH, IT IS HIS FAITH! You cannot produce it by Bible quoting, prayer or fasting. Ephesians 2:8-9 informs us that it is by GRACE. It is not a mental faith, it is a faith that is RESIDENT IN HIM, and imparted to us. IT IS HIS FAITH, NOT OURS and what a rest this is! [For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.]

Verse Six reads, “And raised us UP WITH HIM, and seated us WITH HIM. We have been “revivified” or made alive again in Christ. This is what has happened. And, WE [not just me, but a corporate WE] are NOW seated in the heavenly realm. Years ago when a preacher was trying to illustrate this truth, he had me stand beside him and he took hold of my arm. When he said, “Seated together with him,” we sat down, and when he said, “and raised us up,” we stood up. This was repeated several times, and is a lesson I have never forgotten. IN CHRIST this is a PRESENT reality for we are “jointly-seat” with Him!

Romans 6:8 tells us, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with [continue to live in union with] Him.” Because we died in Him we live NOW in Him. It is a NOW participation in His life! There is a rest in God when we accept this reality and when our struggle to be something we already are comes to an end, for in our union with God, there is rest that’s complete, peace and joy beyond measure. We need not struggle to become what we NOW are IN Christ.

NOW, we are raised and UNITED with His life, “so that so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. We know little of the future, except that is in His. Like many, I have proclaimed what I believed God was going to do, only to learn my sense of timing was wrong. We do know that in the ages to come, however many our Father has planned, we will be demonstrations of HIS GLORY, yet, regardless of that, THE FUTURE IS NOW in God.

Verse Ten, “For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” The word “workmanship” is from the Greek word “poiema,” from our English word POEM is derived. We are His Poem, His Masterpiece, the expression of His very life, the CHRIST LIFE.

It is the CHRIST LIFE within that qualifies US for “good works.” Good works are not human efforts. They are expressions of Christ. The “fruit” of the Spirit of Galatians 5:22-23 is ninefold, yet one expression of Christ. In Genesis we had a tree whose fruit made one wise, and so we learned good and evil, and became SELF-dependant. Mankind failed to partake of His life then, yet, in spite of that, we can NOW, and must, for it is Christ who is our life.

In Revelation we again find the Tree of Life, and it has twelve fruits. They are for the good of others, the healing of the nations. The expression of Christ, the fruit of Christ, in the earth, IN OUR EARTH, is the ministry of “good works.” Ministering His life is much more important than just preaching, or doing the so called “mighty acts” that many glory in. [I suggest you read my father, George Greatorex’s, message, “Ministering His Life.”]

The great French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal said,”Jesus Christ is the CENTER of everything, and the OBJECT of everything; and he who does not know Him, knows nothing of the order of the world, and nothing of himself.”

“Knows – – nothing of himself.” This has been the problem of many. We only know after the flesh and not the spirit. Most often we see ourselves as walking in defeat, hanging on somehow until the end. We keep looking at that which Christ has done away with, and consider it to still be in effect. Thus, we have failed to see ourselves IN CHRIST. Rather, we have prayed for an escape route out of here.

A story was told about a man who in his desperation to find work took a job at a zoo. His first job was to wear the skin of a Gorilla that had died the night before as a bus load of children were coming that day. Once he got started in the act he got a bit too enthusiastic as he swung from one monkey bar to another, and then he fell into the Lions’ den. He began to shout, “Help, get me out of here.” The lion walked over and put one paw on his chest and said, “Quiet! Or, you will get us both fired.”

There are two lessons we may learn from this story. The FIRST is that we need not fear the lion. “Your adversary [opponent as in a lawsuit], the devil, prowls around LIKE a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” [1 Peter 5:8] Now, the devil is doing his job, BUT, we have failed to accept that he is a toothless and powerless loud mouthed, and only acts LIKE a lion. He may wear a lion’s skin, yet, in spite of that, HE IS NOT A LION. We need to see that the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is the mighty conqueror, AND, we are NOW IN HIM.

The SECOND lesson is the truth that while we are covered with fleshly skins, even as the man was covered by the lion’s skin, the fact is that we have died, and alive IN US is CHRIST. We may look human, but within is the very life of the Son of God.

2 Corinthians 5:16 from NOW [Gk. nun] on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet NOW we know – no longer.” Our first response is the truth that He now has a glorified body, however, that isn’t all. CHRIST IS NO LONGER A SINGLE PERSON [i.e., Jesus Christ], CHRIST IS A MANY MEMBERED BODY! Can you separate a head from a body and call it “the body,” and, say it is alive? NO! “THE CHRIST” on this earth today is all of us. Not our flesh as such, rather it is the SPIRIT of Christ within. CHRIST IN US THE HOPE OF GLORY!

In 1 Corinthians 1:30 we are told, “By HIS DOING you ARE IN [Present tense] Christ Jesus, who became to us WISDOM from God, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SANCTIFICATION/holiness, and REDEMPTION.” It isn’t our doing. It is ALL HIS DOING! Because we are IN CHRIST, we too are righteous, holy, redeemed [set free], and walk in the wisdom of our Father. Can we receive this? It is not self building, but CHRIST living, and Christ exalting.

One of the Greek words that is translated NOW in English is, “NUN,” [Strong’s #3568]. This word means, NOW, THE IMMEDIATE PRESENT, AT THIS INSTANT. Some of the Scriptures it is used in are given below.

“There is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those who are IN CHRIST JESUS.” [Romans 8:1] What did Galatians 2:20 tell us? We learned that it is based on His indwelling, and NOT our attempts to live righteously. There is no way that we can live the Christian life. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE! So stop trying. NOW, let the indwelling CHRIST LIVE in and through you HIS LIFE! CHRIST is our LIFE. See Colossians 3:4.

Ephesians 3:10 “- the manifold wisdom of God might NOW be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly -.” This isn’t an assault on the “gates of hell,” or to cast down wicked spirits, as some may think. “Gates,” means the “authorities” are defeated. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall as lightning from heaven.” [Luke 10:18]

The MANIFOLD [variegated – many forms] WISDOM OF GOD is made known by the CHURCH. This springs from the heart of our Father, and is expressed in, and through, the many membered Body of Christ. It flows from Christ the head to each and every member of Christ. The “temporary spiritual heavenly authorities” must stand in awe and defeat, for they too, must bow in worship and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord.

Jesus is NOW Lord! Jesus is NOW Victor! He HAS overcome sin, death and the devil, not some day might. All authority is NOW His. He is the head of the Body. Therefore, we stand in the power of His might and glory. As He IS, so are we. This isn’t for some future age. IT IS FOR NOW!

Ephesians 5:8 “for you WERE formerly darkness, but NOW you ARE LIGHT IN THE LORD; walk as children of Light.” Jesus WAS the Light of the world. NOW, WE ARE the LIGHT of the World. The only light the world sees is YOU and ME. It is the CHRIST in us that they see NOW.

In these days of so much entertainment and talent being passed off as praise and worship we are reminded in John 4:23-24, “But an hour is coming, and NOW IS, – will worship the Father IN SPIRIT and TRUTH – . Those who worship Him MUST worship IN spirit and truth.” True worship is SPIRITUAL. Do all of the fleshly things you desire, they aren’t worship, regardless of how good they seem, nor how much Scripture you think supports your actions. Jesus said that the hour NOW IS for spiritual worship, for worship in truth. The flesh cannot produce the spiritual no matter how much it may stir our souls.

Romans 8:22 “For we know that the whole creation [2937 ktisis – ALL of God’s CREATION WHICH WE ARE] groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together UNTIL NOW.” Surely Paul must have been wrong, was the world not in a mess then? How much more now? IN GOD, CREATION IS NOW BEING SET FREE, whether or not the carnal eye sees it. Either we see from the heavenly view, or we go on with our eyes blinded by he who has been a liar from the beginning, the devil. Choose whom you will believe. Christ is totally victorious, or, He is not. The angelic declaration in Isaiah 6:3 was, “The whole earth IS FULL OF HIS GLORY.” Not will be, but right then WAS full of glory. It is imperative that we see from our Father’s panoramic view from the ages past to those yet ahead! Let us the called and chosen, the workmanship and poem, of our Father, rejoice that even now in the midst of all that would seem to contradict spiritual revelation, rest in the heavenly realms enthroned with Christ, even while our feet walk on this earth. Remember: When we judge with our natural eyes, we see natural things, and our judgment is then based on something other than TRUTH.

PART FIVE

THE WALL BUSTER

For He Himself is OUR peace, who made BOTH groups into ONE and BROKE down the barrier of the dividing WALL, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of Commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into ONE NEW MAN, thus establishing peace, and might RECONCILE them BOTH in ONE body to God through the cross, by having put to death the enmity. Ephesians 2:14-16 NAU

JESUS CHRIST the world’s GREATEST PEACEMAKER, demolished the barriers between two hostile factions. Ephesians 11-18 deals with the separation between Jew and Gentile, and that He brought it to an END. Some have failed to grasp this truth, as they seem to believe the separation continues, the reality remains. However, Jesus Christ made PEACE between man and his Creator, and ended the alienation between groups by bringing ALL into the ONE NEW MAN. Throughout history, a Gentile could become a Jew through circumcision, and Judaism has indeed been a religion with many proselytes from the time of Moses on. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 23:15. Now, IN CHRIST, all believers are the true Jew.

The fact is, GOD WAS NOT AT WAR WITH MAN, but MAN WAS WITH GOD. The reconciliation truth is this: Man is RECONCILED TO GOD – NOT GOD, TO MAN. This has resulted in the issue being resolved once and for all time. Access to our Father is now continuous, and with confidence.

One may ask, “Where was the war fought and won?” Hebrews 10:5, 10 tell us that a BODY (of flesh) was prepared for this purpose. While there was a battle in the soul, the real war was fought IN HIS FLESH resulting in physical death [Vs 15]. There He ABOLISHED the ENMITY, the Law of Commandments and it’s ordinances for ALL time, and the war, and the hatred, and the antagonism between man and God.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

Hebrews 2:14-15 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Man’s relationship to our Father God was changed for better, for all ages, by the death of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:21-22 states, “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind,” (hostile is from the Greek word “echthros” means – an enemy one hates)“yet He has NOW reconciled you in His FLESHLY body through death,” The FLESH COVERED man Adam lost his fellowship with God. This is why the battle was primarily fought in the FLESH, as it was FLESH that had transgressed. (Hebrews 10:5,10)

We must remember that the religion of Moses, The Law, functioned in the FLESHLY DOMAIN. There the list of things to do, or not do, could only be obeyed by the flesh. Even the sacrifices were of physical or fleshly substance. The Mosaic Covenant required Circumcision of the flesh. In the early church Jewish converts wanted the Gentiles who were also reconciled to God through Christ, to follow the Law of Moses and be circumcised. This was correctly rejected by the apostles. (Acts 15.)

CHRIST BROKE DOWN THE DIVIDING WALL

We must never forget that Christ BROKE down the wall. IT NO LONGER EXISTS! The Greek word for BROKE is “luo.” It means to break, deliver, loosen and destroy. Jesus Christ BUSTED IT DOWN. It was smashed, destroyed, and discarded, never to be rebuilt again.

When the WALL was BUSTED DOWN, ALL MEN for all time, not just a few, became RECONCILED to God. PEACE was established, and ALL divisions were done away with. The Jews and Gentiles were made into ONE MAN, for IN CHRIST there are, and will not be, DIVISIONS.

With reference to Colossians 3:10-11, “and have put on the new self who is being renewed to true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him, where there is NO distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but CHRIST is all, and in all.” E. Stanley Jones said, “There can be no RACIAL distinction (Gentile/Jew), distinctions over religious rituals (circumcision), or cultural distinctions (barbarian/Scythian), or social or economic distinctions (slaves/free).”

This fact is also clearly stated in Galatians 3:27-29. “For ALL of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed your- selves with Christ. THERE IS NEITHER JEW nor GREEK, there is NEITHER SLAVE nor FREE MAN, there is NEITHER MALE nor FEMALE; for you ARE ALL ONE IN Christ Jesus. And IF YOU BELONG TO CHRIST, then you are ABRAHAM’S DESCENDANTS, heirs according to promise.” There are no others who are Abraham’s seed, because Christ was the Promised Seed, and we are His. (Galatians 3:16-19) See also Romans 9:6-8, where it is indisputable that the true descendants/seed of Abraham are not necessarily the physical descendants of Abraham.

The breaking down of the “middle wall of partition” has brought deliverance to ALL. We are free from anyone, or any group, being better or more deserving of God’s grace than any other. Any belief otherwise is contrary to Scripture, for IN CHRIST there is only ONE BODY, and in the realm of the Spirit ALL became ONE.

This NEW MAN has set women free. There is NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE, for IN CHRIST, all HAVE BECOME ONE. While our flesh may be male or female, what matters is THE REALM OF THE SPIRIT. He or she, walking in the SPIRIT HAS BECOME ONE. Romans 8:9 tells us, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” ALL TRUE MINISTRY is SPIRITUAL. Religion placed a bondage on women because of the desire to control, and an incorrect appreciation of the meaning of submission/subjection, as well as a spirit of legality has super- seeded the Spirit of Christ.

Now IN CHRIST, the TRUE JEW is SPIRITUAL. Romans 2:28-29 states, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” [For more on this topic read, “Tracing The Seed Of Abraham,” under General Writings.]

Our PEACEMAKER, our RECONCILER, has made ONE NEW MAN, in ONE BODY. This ONE MAN, in ONE BODY, has a name, it is CHRIST. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 reads, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are ONE BODY, SO ALSO IS CHRIST. For by one Spirit we were ALL baptized into ONE BODY, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were ALL made to drink of ONE SPIRIT.”

NO WALL MEANS – HIS DWELLING IS BEING BUILT

With the WALL BUSTED DOWN, the present truth now is; “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

God once dwelt, to a limited degree, in earthly tents and temples. However, all these are done away with, IN Christ, and can NEVER be restored for His use again. Even Solomon, when dedicating the Temple, recognized that God could not be restricted to a physical building, yet some of us still regard buildings, and other places as holy. (2Chronicles 6:18)

Stephen, while giving his defense, quoted the prophet Isaiah, “But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. “However, the Most High DOES NOT DWELL in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me? says the Lord, “Or what place is there for My repose? ‘Was it not My hand which made all these things?'” Acts 7:47-50

We who are of our Father’s household, and members of His family, are being built on the foundation of apostolic ministries, who as Ephesians 3:5 says, are receiving revelation in/by the Spirit. This is not position building, but a ministry of HIS LIFE, and the laying down of their lives in the building of His temple in the lives of God’s people.

Jesus Christ is the corner (cornerstone) that all else lines up with, and WE ARE JOINED TO HIM, and fitted together to grow into a holy temple. This holy temple is not of bricks and mortar, but a spiritual temple. 1 Peter 2:4-6 speaks of us coming to Christ the living stone, and that we also are living stones, being built up as a spiritual house, and a holy priesthood that offers up spiritual sacrifices. This SPIRITUAL TEMPLE is composed of males and females, young and old, fat and skinny, all colors, of any and all ethnic backgrounds, from all nations, from ages past until such ages in the future as out Lord is pleased, as nothing else matters BUT CHRIST!

We, may rejoice that this SPIRITUAL TEMPLE is, THE DWELLING PLACE OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT. Some have asked, “Where do you dwell Lord?” and, “Where is the place of your rest?” The answer is God chose to dwell in us, the body of Christ, He has found His rest in Zion the place of His holy habitation. It is there that lost fellowship and communion is restored forever.

“For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. “I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread. “Her priests also I will clothe with salvation, and her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.” Psalm 132:13-16

Zion is the place of His habitation. Zion was once a hill in earthly Jerusalem. Heaven and earth cannot contain His glory, and WE HAVE BECOME HIS HABITATION. We are ZION. We are the New Jerusalem. Yes, we are the PLACE OF HIS REST.

In comparing the old with the new, the writer to the Hebrews wrote, “For you have not come to a material object all ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and storms and trumpet-blast and the sound of words – a sound of such a kind those who heard it entreated that no more should be added. For they could not endure the order that had been given, “Even a wild beast, if it touches the mountain, shall be stoned to death” (Exodus19:12-13); and so terrible was the scene that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” On the contrary you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the ever-living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to countless hosts of angels, to the great festal gathering and Church of the first-born, whose names are recorded in Heaven, and to a Judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus the negotiator of a new Covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks in more gracious tones than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:18-24 Weymouth – The NT in Modern Speech)

Consider the death and fear of the Old Covenant, and then the present reality of the New Covenant in Christ. That the war is over and peace reigns in the heavenly realms where we too dwell. What a joy this NOW is! We don’t have to look toward anything to be fulfilled. Rather, we receive all that our Lord has accomplished, because HE IS THE FULFILLMENT!

When the wall was busted down, and the veil rent in two, the way into the Holy of Holies was there for ALL regardless of human qualifications. No longer did an earthly High Priest enter in only once a year as the death knell had been sounded to that system, and in fact, that whole structure came completely down in 70AD. NOW Christ our ever living High Priest is always there and WE ARE INCLUDED IN HIM! We are RECONCILED to our Father, and communion is now restored. Throughout the ages to be we will rejoice in Him! AMEN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GEMS FROM EPHESIANS, Parts 1-5 [Kenneth Greatorex]          1

 

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