Ephesians Chapter 2: Words of Encouragement

Dec 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Ephesians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Ephesians Chapter 2: Words of Encouragement

Eph. 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

The supplied words “hath he quickened” fit in with the thoughts expressed in chapter 1. Or the translators could have gotten the thought of quickening from verse 5 in this chapter: “[God] hath quickened us together with Christ.”

Paul had prayed that the Ephesians might know the hope, the riches, and the power in store for the faithful Christian. It was like talking to embryos in the womb at the quickening phase.

The begettal, an initial stage, would be the acceptance of Christ. However, the quickening phase shows signs of life, movement, energy, and a fetal heartbeat. It shows not merely progress but much greater hope. There is development at this point.

One who consecrates must come to the quickening stage in order to get life on any plane. But for one to get the highest reward of divine nature, progress must continue until the individual reaches the fullness of his potential. Paul’s concern and motivation in writing the epistle were that the Ephesians not go back to the world. In addition, Paul saw that a problem was developing, as will be seen later. He was deeply disturbed, yet because he started the epistle with such an exalted theme, we can lose sight of his real motivation.

Paul wrote with great care, and his efforts were exhausting. Every word counted. When we consider, too, his poor eyesight and the difficulty in obtaining parchment and ink, his dedication is apparent.

Eph. 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Eph. 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

In speaking of the Ephesians’ past, Paul included himself in the “children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation [conduct] in times past.” He was saying, “In times past [that is, prior to consecration], we fulfilled the desires [the wills—King James margin] of the flesh and mind.”

Satan is the “prince of the power of the air,” the prince of demons. Why did Paul say “of the air”? This age is the “present evil world,” and the demons have been confined to tartaroo, or earth’s atmosphere (Gal. 1:4). Except for those who know about Christ, all are considered to be of their “father the devil,” hence “children of disobedience”; that is, a powerful influence is being exercised over the earth by the demons in the invisible spiritual atmosphere above us (John 8:44). Satan is the prince among demons in earth’s atmosphere. Previously, we were under this influence, being “children of wrath” as others are, but we were miraculously extricated—just as strongly as the Israelites were extricated from Egypt in the Exodus. God took us out of that darkness, power, and control into His marvelous light—into an escape from Satan’s dominion (1 Pet. 2:9). Jesus is in another area of earth’s atmosphere, and we are now under that influence. We must be on guard lest the wicked one again touch us or get us back under his dominion. Satan is allowed much liberty during this permission of evil, that is, up to certain limitations, for God exercises providences on behalf of individuals, nations, and events that Satan cannot interfere with. As long as we remain in the circle of God’s love, we are protected (Jude 21).

Eph. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph. 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Eph. 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

God is rich in mercy and love toward us. But the astounding thing is that He loved us “even when we were dead in sins,” that is, before we consecrated. To repeat, God loved us even before we took the step of consecration—when we were dead in trespasses and sins. For such a statement to be made shows that God sees some potential in those who go on to consecrate; hence He favors them with the opportunity to get out of the quagmire of sin. God provides a way of escape through Jesus. We are saved “by grace.”

This reasoning, based on verses 4-6, shows that God knows those who will consecrate. Thus He can exercise some providential care over them years before they come to that decision. Prior to conversion, a providence operates over such individuals.

God “hath quickened us … and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The term “heavenly places” reminds us of the Holy in the Tabernacle. The measurements show that one had to be in a kneeling or sitting position in order for the furniture to be of benefit. With the Holy being 10 cubits, or 15 feet high, the disproportionately low Prayer Altar and Table of Shewbread were a startling contrast. (No measurement was given for the Candlestick.)

Moses was instructed to build the Tabernacle according to the pattern shown to him on the mount (Exod. 25:9). Not only were the component parts of the Tabernacle given to Moses in vision, but also the assembled parts, the completed structure. Just as Moses saw the Tabernacle in this elevated manner, so Christians, as the antitypical Moses, understand spiritual things as part of their heavenly calling. The world walks horizontally on the surface of earth, while true Christians walk on an elevated plane.

Q: With the word “together” being used twice in verse 6, was Paul trying to emphasize the oneness of Jew and Gentile in Christ?

A: Yes. In fact, this theme seems to pervade all of the trouble spots that Paul saw in the ecclesia.

He wanted the Ephesians to have faith and love. Our relationship is “with Christ,” “in Christ,” and “through Christ” before God can technically acknowledge us in a more formal sense (Eph. 2:5-7,10). However, that does not mean God’s providence is not exercised over us earlier.

Comment: In one sense, at the moment we consecrate and are begotten by the Holy Spirit, we are made alive because we become a new creature. Yet there is a further quickening, or making alive, subsequently.

Reply: Yes. There are two pictures, and the Apostle Paul used them in different places. One epistle emphasizes the fetus in the womb; another starts with the babe already born and shows his growth to teenage years, young manhood, and maturity. And there are two different deaths and resurrections. (1) Before consecration, we walked around dead in trespasses and sins. When we came to a knowledge of the truth, it was as if a resurrection had taken place to newness of life. (2) Going into the tomb and the change to spirit nature are another death and resurrection. Moreover, there are two justifications and two consecrations depending on what standpoint we are discussing.

However, verse 5 is clearly talking about the present life. Being raised to sit in heavenly places in Christ is likened to going from death to life. This “quickening” occurs later on, not at the moment of consecration. In other words, this quickening is likened to the quickening of the natural fetus, which occurs in the fifth month. Basically, this epistle was addressed to those who had already consecrated, to “the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:1). Paul acknowledged how he was pleased to hear of their faith and love thus far, but he hoped they would progress further by experiencing the power, or feeling, of the richness of God’s grace.

Quickening can occur many years after begettal by the Holy Spirit, or it can occur very quickly, in the first year. The timing depends on how the individual responds to God’s calling. Some consecrate and then become lethargic or stagnant for a number of years. Then an experience triggers them and they become a burning torch unto death. Quickening operates differently in different individuals, but the quicker, the better, for then one is more apt to make his calling and election sure. When there is a delay, other factors can come in and perhaps even drive one back into the world—a dangerous situation. Obviously, Stephen was quickened very quickly in order to make his calling and election sure in three years.

Comment: The explanation about lethargy would answer the brethren who conclude one is not consecrated because he shows no signs of Spirit begettal. Some could be in this lethargic condition, and that does not release them from their consecration vows.

Comment: Many do not understand what backsliding means. It is dangerous to say, “Maybe God did not accept your consecration.” We should not even suggest such a possibility. Some are looking for a way out, and they would welcome such words. Fallen human nature wants to justify itself and find some excuse for wrong behavior. There are times when a wrong should be acknowledged.

Reply: In his Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul criticized those who were still on the milk of the Word, whereas, for the length of time they had been consecrated, they should have been eating meat (Heb. 5:12-14).

Eph. 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

This verse is the conclusion to verse 6. The purpose of being raised up together in heavenly places in Christ is that in the ages to come, God will show the “exceeding riches” of His grace and kindness toward the Church, which was developed through Christ.

Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Paul reflected, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” What is the “gift of God”? Is it grace, faith, or salvation? The words “it is,” which are italicized in the King James, are supplied and should be deleted. All three—grace, faith, and salvation—are the gift of God. The offer of salvation is a gift.

There are two kinds of faith: natural and spiritual. Spiritual faith comes by hearing the Word of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Natural faith says that there is a God and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Before consecration, we did not know who or where God was, but in our heart we felt that He existed. One either is or is not born with this kind of faith. Paul said, “All men have not [natural] faith” (2 Thess. 3:2). Those who consecrate develop a second kind of faith: spiritual faith.

We must have natural faith to begin with, for without this faith, it is impossible to please God. He allows those who have natural faith to have the Word of God, an enlightenment of mind, spiritual faith. Spiritual faith is a gift received by God’s grace. As an illustration, when Jesus asked, “But whom say ye that I am?” Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 16:15-17). Notice that God had revealed this fact to Peter. Although millions in a “Christian” nation say that Jesus is the Son of God, it is another matter to truly, from the heart, think and believe this. For those who do, God has revealed Jesus’ identity to them. The revelation is a manifestation of His mercy, whether or not one goes on to consecrate.

Therefore, grace, faith, and salvation are all gifts of God, but of the three, if it is necessary to single out one, grace is probably the gift of God because of Paul’s frequent use of that term.

Faith is the means, salvation is the end, and grace is the supplied element. Hence all three are a manifestation of the gift of God. We work out our salvation—it is our own responsibility—but, nevertheless, God’s grace and mercy are extended all the while we are working out that salvation (Phil. 2:12). In addition, the just “walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 1:17). Faith is essential and cannot be separated out, and so is God’s grace—from beginning to end. And ultimately, to those who make their calling and election sure, salvation is a gift too, even though it is worked out. God’s handiwork is seen all the way through—through grace, faith, and salvation. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).

Stated another way, all three—faith, grace, and salvation—are coessential. It is hard to extract one from the other, for they are all a part of the one process that adds up to God’s gift, which is available to those who can realize it, consecrate, and prove faithful.

Eph. 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Eph. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

“For we are his [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them [in the good works].” While Paul said, “Not of works,” he also said, “Unto good works.” This concept agrees with the thought of James that faith without works is dead, and is thus in vain (James 2:20). James emphasized the work aspect, whereas elsewhere Paul stressed the faith aspect. But in two epistles, Paul combined both thoughts, showing the co-relationship of faith and works.

Comment: “Walk” seems to be a theme of Paul in this epistle. “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Eph. 4:1). “Walk not as other Gentiles walk” (Eph. 4:17). “Walk in love” (Eph. 5:2). “Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8). “Walk circumspectly … redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15,16). There is a great responsibility for those who consecrate to walk not as they formerly did but according to their new course of life.

Ephesians, as an epistle, is trying to stir us up through encouragement. In other places, Paul stressed admonition again and again. Here he held up the tremendous and awesome goal, and then tried to encourage and incite us. In other words, he de-emphasized admonition in his Epistle to the Ephesians. Actually, we need both encouragement and admonition to be well rounded out, but Paul had a burden on his heart that he was trying to express to the Ephesians, as will be seen later on in this epistle.

The word “ordained” in verse 10 is rendered “prepared” in the Diaglott. Paul was saying that there is a prepared course of good works if we walk faithfully in Jesus’ footsteps. God “ordained” that we should follow a certain course.

Comment: Paul used the term “good work(s)” several times. Some “profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works” (Titus 2:7).

Jesus “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). “Put them in mind … to be ready to every good work” (Titus 3:1). “Maintain good works for necessary uses” (Titus 3:14).

Reply: In other words, elsewhere, such as in his Epistle to Titus, Paul explained what he meant by the term “good works” in Ephesians 2:10.

Before proceeding, we will co-relate a portion of the Book of Acts to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, as follows.

Acts 18

Paul went to Ephesus at the end of his second missionary tour in approximately AD 54-55.

“And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

“And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.

“When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; “But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

“And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.

“And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.” (Acts 18:18-23)

This was Paul’s first trip to Ephesus. He preached in the synagogue and was fairly well received. The Jews wanted him to stay, but he determined the Lord’s will was for him to go to Jerusalem. However, he said he would return. Note: Jews were the ones who heard him at this time. Paul probably stayed about a week.

“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

“This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

“And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

“And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:

“For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” (Acts 18:24-28)

Subsequently, in Paul’s absence, Apollos, a Jew, came to Ephesus and eloquently explained the Scriptures. However, he knew “only the baptism of John.”

Acts 19

“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

“And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

“Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

“And all the men were about twelve.

“And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.” (Acts 19:1-8)

Paul returned to Ephesus a short time later to find that Apollos, in telling that Jesus was the Messiah, had preached only John’s baptism to the Jews. Hence those who had accepted Jesus and consecrated had received John’s baptism. In the meantime, Apollos had left and gone to Corinth, so he was not at Ephesus at this time.

Upon his return to Ephesus, therefore, Paul had the Jews rebaptized—into Christ this time—in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Note: Both Paul and Apollos had preached in the synagogue, so their converts were mostly Christianized Jews, and they needed Jesus’ baptism. Paul preached in the synagogue for three months.

“But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

“And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

“So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

“And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

“And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

“And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

“And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” (Acts 19:9-17)

After preaching in the synagogue for three months, Paul went to the school of Tyrannus to preach for two years. (In all, Paul was in Ephesus for a total of three years.) The school was probably an open amphitheater for public use. Now Gentiles were becoming converts, and they eventually outnumbered the Jewish Christians.

Also, Paul began to develop a reputation. “God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul.”

Attention was attracted to Paul through this God-given ability. As a result, many came to hear him.

All they which dwelt in Asia [Minor] heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks,” through Paul. In other words, all residents of Asia Minor had some cognizance of Paul’s preaching of the new religion pertaining to Jesus. This statement shows how diligent Paul was, how zealously he worked for two years without the aid of modern conveniences, media, and communication. Such was his service in the school of Tyrannus.

“And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.

“Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

“So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

“After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

“So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

“And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.

“For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;

“Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.

“Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

“So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

“And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

“And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.

“And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.

“And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.” (Acts 19:18-31)

Conversions resulted in the burning of expensive occult books. In other words, these were thorough conversions.

The Temple of Diana was at Ephesus. Demetrius, a maker of statues of Diana, was stirred to anger when he heard Paul’s preaching because the business trade of Ephesus was adversely affected. Paul had taught that icons and shrines made by human hands were not gods and thus were not to be worshipped. In his opposition to Paul, Demetrius mentioned this reasoning. He realized that the preaching of Christ undercut the worship of Diana.

Eph. 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Eph. 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

The “covenants of promise” are the Abrahamic and the Law covenants. The Abrahamic Covenant was made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). Although it will ultimately include all the families of the earth, only these few individuals and the nation of Israel had benefited from it at that time. Paul’s teaching showed that this covenant is to be far more embracive and that even the Jew is not identified with the spiritual aspect unless he obeys the covenant and exercises faith in it. The Law Covenant was added to the Abrahamic Covenant 430 years later.

“Remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh.” Here Paul specifically addressed Gentile Christians. The Epistle to the Ephesians as a whole was addressed to both Jew and Gentile Christians, but in chapter 2, Paul especially wanted to help the Gentile converts. He wanted to strengthen their faith.

Eph. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Eph. 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Both Jewish and Gentile Christians are made one through Jesus. The “middle wall of partition” is a reference to the Temple of Herod, which kept Jews and Gentiles separate, for Gentiles could not go beyond the (outer) Court of the Gentiles.

The “middle wall of partition,” the barrier between Jew and Gentile, was figuratively eliminated through Christ. God’s exclusive dealing with Israel ended in AD 36. From then on, there has been no more barrier, for all are one in Christ. Stated another way, the spiritual “middle wall of partition” was broken down in AD 36, when Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, was begotten by the Holy Spirit.

From one standpoint, Gentile Christians were proselytes to the new religion of Christ, which had originated among the Jews. In the Ephesian class were Jews according to the flesh who had accepted Christ. However, there was a “barrier” tendency—the attitude that something was different between a Gentile Christian and a Jewish Christian. The sensitivity to this imagined difference had to be eliminated. The faith structure of both had to be based on Scripture. Paul spoke strongly with statements such as “The wall is broken down” and “There is no male or female, Jew or Greek … in the body of Christ” (Gal. 3:28 paraphrase). Paul could speak boldly because he was sure he was right from a scriptural standpoint.

Gentile proselytes to Judaism had been confined to the Court of the Gentiles, and now this separation was happening to a certain extent in the minds of some with regard to the Christian faith. This distinction had to be eliminated, for it was wrong to perpetuate a difference into Christianity.

Eph. 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Eph. 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Jesus made of Jew and Gentile “one new man.” Paul was speaking of the Church as a collective body, which was composed of many, many individuals, both Jew and Gentile. Stated another way, a mixed group of Jews and Gentiles was made into “one new man.”

Jesus “abolished … the law” to only believing Jews. To unconverted Jews, the Law was and is still binding. The only way a Jew gets out from under the Law is by acceptance of Christ and consecration. He must die to his former condition and be reborn through baptism into Christ.

The coming of Jesus Christ was a remarkable breakthrough. The Cross of Christ is the centerpiece in the plan of God. Through his faithfulness to the ignominious death on the Cross, Jesus brought to light life and immortality and made “one body” of male and female, Jew and Gentile, bond and free (2 Tim. 1:10). The character of the individual is what is important—being conformed to the image of God’s dear Son is the standard.

Eph. 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Eph. 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

The sublime feature is God Himself, the Author of salvation, who called the Church into true unity through the Holy Spirit as “one new man,” that is, 144,000 body members conformed to and under one Head, Christ Jesus.

Eph. 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Eph. 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Eph. 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Paul’s words had a unifying effect, for he was saying that converted Jews and Gentiles were equal in Christ. Both were in the family of God through Christ.

Comment: We usually think of a foundation as being on the bottom, but here Jesus, the chief cornerstone, is at the top of a pyramid structure.

Reply: Two perspectives were used here. The Church is built upon the foundation of the gospel of Christ and the teachings of the apostles and the Old Testament prophets. In addition, the Church is built up into Christ, the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building is fitly framed together; that is, the building goes up on an angle to match the perfect pyramid stone at the top. Other pictures elsewhere also show Jesus as the foundation down below. For instance, he said he would build his Church upon this “rock,” and “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:11).

Comment: As in Ephesians 1:10, Paul used the illustration of a pyramid here. “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.”

Reply: Yes, that will be true in the finished picture. Here Paul was talking about the unified body in the present age, which is gathered, or “fitly framed together,” growing into a building, into a “holy temple” in Christ.

Eph. 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Jewish and Gentile Christians are built together for a habitation, or dwelling place, for God through the Holy Spirit. There is no differentiation between the two in Christ. The Holy Spirit works, cutting out of the “mountain,” the earth, “without [human] hands” the stone that will smite the image (Dan. 2:45). Like the invisible activity of the wind, the Holy Spirit develops and unifies the “stone” class, The Christ. Stated another way, this great power, the Holy Spirit, forms a single stone.

In the illustration of the building of Solomon’s Temple, the stones were brought to the Temple site already quarried, shaped, polished, and fit for their designated positions. God calls individuals for the 144,000 according to a particular niche He has for each one. If that spot is not filled by one individual, it will be filled by another individual along the same lines for a work, or a purpose.


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