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The Epistles of Paul - Ephesians Part 1: The Purpose of His Will
The entire purpose of the Bible is to record the account of the making and keeping of certain promises which Yahweh God had made to one man whom He chose out of all other men for which to execute His will and to display His being and sovereignty. That plan has not changed, and that same God has often asserted that He does not change. In spite of anything which they themselves had done, the twelve tribes of Israel, as they are reckoned by the apostles and by Christ Himself, were considered worthy of receiving those promises and they are still the focus of the purpose of the will of God, which is the primary subject of Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. Only by completely ignoring the language of Paul here in the first chapter of this epistle can one imagine that the Old Testament and the New are somehow disconnected from one another, and that somehow God has chosen a different people. But if Paul's words are observed, one can only come to the conclusion that the people of the promises in Christ are the same people of the promises in Moses, and indeed they are. Here once again we shall see that Paul of Tarsus had taught Christian Identity.
As we had demonstrated during our recent presentation of the Book of Acts, and especially presenting Acts Chapter 28 here in January of 2014, prior to his arrest in Jerusalem Paul of Tarsus had already written eight of the 14 epistles which we have from him. This would include those which we have already presented here: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. The other four which we have not presented here as of yet are 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy and Titus. Of the remaining 6 epistles, all written while he was a prisoner, one seems to have been written while Paul was under arrest in Caesareia, which is Hebrews. Two more epistles were written by him from Rome and before Timothy had voluntarily joined him there, which are this epistle to the Ephesians and then 2 Timothy, in that order. The remaining 3 epistles, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, were all written from Rome after Timothy had joined him, and shortly before his execution which he was anticipating as he wrote 2 Timothy to ask the younger apostle to come to him.
There is, in mainstream academia, contention over whether Paul himself had written this epistle, and further contention over whether this epistle was even written to the Ephesians. That Paul wrote the epistle is supported by the ancient Christian writers Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Hermas, Polycarp and Tertullian, and the epistle is attributed to Paul in the earliest lists of Christian canonical books. We have no real reason to doubt, either from circumstances or contents, that Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians as the epistle itself asserts and displays. That Paul wrote the epistle is doubtless from the narrative of the epistle itself as well as from all credible ancient testimony.
However the contention over whether or not the epistle was originally addressed to the Ephesians has slightly greater merit, but that too can be ascertained. This contention stems from the fact that in the oldest surviving manuscripts of the epistle, which are found in the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), the words “in Ephesus” are wanting from the opening verse of the epistle. This is what we said in our presentation of Acts Chapter 28, where we recounted the writing of each of Paul's epistles in greater detail:
Ephesians was written from Rome, which is evident in 2 Timothy 4:12 where Paul explained that he had sent Tychicus to Ephesus, and we see that Paul is a prisoner when he wrote Ephesians (i.e. Ephesians 3:1), and Tychicus had brought that letter to Ephesus (Ephesians 6:21) before Paul wrote 2 Timothy (2 Timothy 4:12). Perhaps the “full armor of Yahweh” prayer at the end of the epistle reveals that Paul had not yet defended himself before Caesar, something there was no mention of in the epistle, but that he was about to do so, which he mentions later in 2 Timothy. [We shall discuss this again at length when we present Ephesians chapter 6.]
In addition to this internal evidence in the epistle itself as well as what may be concluded from 2 Timothy, early Christian writers such as the 2nd century Irenaeus (i.e. in chapters 2 and 8 of Book 5, of his Against Heresies), the 3rd century Tertullian (i.e. in Books 3 and 4 of Against Marcion), his successor Cyprian, the late 2nd or early 3rd century Clement of Alexandria (i.e. in Book 4 of the Stromata and in chapter 5, Book 1 of Paedagogus) and the even more ancient writers such as Ignatius of Antioch and Caius, the Presbyter of Rome all cite this epistle which they all had also said was written “to the Ephesians”. These many ancient witnesses are not all of the evidence which we may find in support of the facts that Paul of Tarsus had written this epistle and that he had written it to the Ephesians, however it certainly should be more than sufficient evidence.
Now that we have established the writing of this epistle, we must consider who it was written to. However the answer to the question of Ephesian identity is a complex one, covering at least 10 centuries, so we shall only discuss it very briefly. According to Strabo and other ancient Greek writers, ancient Miletus was in the earliest times occupied by Carians who had migrated “from the isles”. They were said to have been forced out of the islands of the sea and into the mainland of Anatolia by Dorians and Ionians. The nearby city of Ephesus was also in the earliest times occupied by Carians. These people were allies to the Trojans, and along with the Cilicians of antiquity they took Trojan princes as their kings. They were even said to have themselves once lived in the Troad, and at another time to have been subject to the famous king Minos.
Some time after the Trojan War, and before the 8th Century BC, Ionians from Athens invaded the Anatolian coast, and subjected and/or founded a collection of cities which became known as “Ionia” although they never had a fully Ionian population. While Thucydides, the Athenian general and a fairly biased source, in the 5th century BC insisted that the inhabitants of these cities, and particularly of Miletus, were from this point “nothing but Ionian”, the record proves quite differently. Herodotus tells us that while Ionian troops invaded Miletus and killed the Milesian males, they took Carian women as wives once they settled there, and that Carians continued to inhabit all the surrounding countryside. (Book 1 paragraph 143 ff.) It is also evident in Ephesus and other Ionian cities, that Carians continued to live in their environs, and even in the cities themselves, although they were for some time subject to Athens. So perhaps Thucydides was referring to the culture and language of the people of Ephesus rather than merely to their race.
About or not long after 700 BC, Gyges the Lydian king took Ephesus and several other cities from the Athenians. In the century which followed, the Lydians also fought a protracted war against Miletus in an attempt to subject that city, which ended in a truce. Ephesus was evidently destroyed completely by passing Kimmerian tribes around 650 BC. Ionians rebuilt it, and the Lydian king Croesus subjected it again around 560 BC. These things are known from the little which Herodotus discusses from that period. However much of Greek history from the 12th through the 7th centuries BC is wanting any contemporary narrative accounts, so we must rely on the writers of the 5th century and later.
With the coming of Cyrus and his successors, the cities of Anatolia easily fell into Persian hands. The Milesians had made a truce with the Persians even before they were actually confronted. Ephesus and other cities, under Lydian rule, then attempted to resist the Persians but were defeated. Herodotus says that the Phocians abandoned their city at this time and took to the sea, but the rest of the Ionian cities became subject to Persia. The Phocians had founded Massalia, or what is now known as Marseilles on the Mediterranean coast of France, as well as other cities in the West. During this period Thales of Miletus, who was identified by Herodotus as a “Phoenician by race”, was considered to be one of the better counselors among the Ionians, and by the Greeks he was later known as one of the “seven wise men” of antiquity.
After the Greek victories over the Persians at Salamis, Plataea and Mycale, the Athenians gained control of the Ionian cities once again, but it was quite short-lived. During the Peloponnesian Wars we find Ephesus and other cities revolted to Sparta, and then because Sparta received assistance from the Persians they were soon once again under Persian rule. Shortly thereafter they fell back under Dorian rule, and large numbers of Dorians occupied the city. Then from the time of Philip they were under Makedonian rule, and then the Dorians gained them twice after the death of Alexander but lost them for good to Antigonus the Makedonian general. Ephesus was later ruled by the Attalic kings of Pergamos, and in the Roman period it was taken from the Romans for a time by Mithridates, the king of Pontus. But under Augustus, Ephesus became the capital of Roman Asia, and became a major center of commerce. By some estimates, its population grew to well over 400,000 citizens by the end of the first century AD, many of whom were Roman. However more conservative figures revise that number to only as many as 56,000. In any event, first century Ephesus seems to be a mixed population of Japhethite Ionians and perhaps some Shemitic Lydians and Persians, along with a greater number of Israelite Dorians, and the Carians, Makedonians and Romans who also descended primarily from the ancient Israelites through either the Trojans or the Phoenicians. Ephesus being made the capital city of Roman Asia, it became quite a cosmopolitan city with a typically diverse population. However diversity in the first century was to a great extent only a diversity of White people, and it was nothing like it is in the far more corrupt world of today.
As a digression, among the notable citizens of Ephesus in antiquity was Menander, the historian who is quoted at length in Flavius Josephus' writing Against Apion. Menander had translated the ancient chronicles of Tyre from Phoenician into Greek, and Josephus quoted them at length to show in part the antiquity of the kingdom of Judah. Sadly, the rest of Menander's valuable work is lost and what is left is only that which is known from surviving manuscripts of Josephus or of the later Christian writers who had quoted Josephus in antiquity. The work in its entirety would be very valuable, as the fragments of Menander found in Josephus where they have been verified by inscriptions are shown to be quite accurate, and have helped historians to date such important historical events as the building of Tyre (1208 BC), the start of the building of Solomon's temple (967 BC), the founding of Carthage (825 BC), and the beginning dates for the reigns of Hiram King of Tyre (980 BC) and also of Solomon (971 BC). These dates are verified when compared to other historical sources and to Scripture itself. Modern Jews and their Zionist Christian dupes like to imagine that Menander of Ephesus had an interest in the ancient chronicles of Tyre because of the large numbers of Hellenized Judaeans who were said to inhabit the city in the Hellenistic period. While it is true that there were many Judaeans there, it is more likely that just as Herodotus had said of Thales, Menander may also have been aware of the Phoenician origins of his own city and many of its people.
Paul of Tarsus had visited Ephesus twice. His first visit to the city was evidently only for a short time and Paul had left abruptly for Jerusalem, where in Acts chapter 18 Luke tells us that he had been there for “a good while” and that the Ephesians had begged Paul to stay, but Paul departed with a promise to return to them. Priscilla and Aquila had accompanied Paul on this first visit to Ephesus, and while Paul went on to Caesareia, Jerusalem and Antioch, Luke's narrative seems to indicate that Priscilla and Aquila were left behind in Ephesus, where they are described as having first encountered Apollos.
After leaving Antioch, where Paul had ostensibly had that visit with Peter and the other apostles which he described in the epistle to the Galatians which was written at that time, and then after visiting Galatia and Phrygia as he had passed through Anatolia into Asia on land, Paul once again came into Ephesus. On this second visit there he had spent a considerable time in the city, although Luke had only recorded some of the events of this ministry in Acts chapter 19. Paul left Ephesus after the troubles with the silversmiths, and went into the Troad, traveling on to Makedonia and then to Greece to visit the Corinthians for the last time. During this journey he wrote his epistles known as 1 Timothy, Titus and 2 Corinthians.
Leaving Greece, Paul and many of the other apostles who had been working with him convened in the Troad, where the epistle to the Romans was written, and then they passed by sea through Miletus en route to Jerusalem. It is when they reached Miletus that Paul had sent to Ephesus for the elders of the Christian assembly, and addressing them as it is recorded in Acts chapter 20, we learn that his ministry while he had been in Ephesus had lasted for three years (Acts 20:31). It would be difficult to surmise that his ministry in Ephesus had lasted so long from the scant record of events which are provided by Luke in Acts chapter 19. However it is evident from Acs chapter 20 that Luke was not with Paul in Ephesus. In Paul's farewell speech to the Ephesians he indicated that he would not see them again, and he was correct. When he reached Jerusalem he was arrested, and being sent as a prisoner to Rome two years later, he was never freed. It must be that Paul had written this epistle after having spent considerable time in bonds in Rome, and from Ephesians chapter 6 it is apparent that he is preaching the gospel, and, evidently, that he was about to finally face Caesar in defense of his preaching. So this epistle was evidently written some time in 61 or perhaps in early 62 AD. In 2 Timothy, Paul summons the apostle to Rome, and Ephesians was written before 2 Timothy was written.
With this background, we shall begin to present Paul's epistle to the Ephesians:
1 Paul, ambassador of Yahshua Christ by the will of Yahweh, to [A interpolates “all”; the text follows P46, א, B, D and the MT] the saints who are in Ephesos, and faithful in Christ Yahshua.
As we have already mentioned, the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) are all wanting the phrase “in Ephesus”, where the remaining words may be read “to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Yahshua.” This is a rare occasion where the Christogenea New Testament does not endeavor to follow the oldest manuscripts, because we believe that this epistle was indeed written to Christians at Ephesus for reasons which we have already described. Therefore here our text follows the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D), and the Majority Text. Comparing the accounts concerning Tychicus, who was from Asia and apparently therefore an Ephesian (Acts 20:4, 21:29), and who was sent to Ephesus by Paul and who must have delivered this epistle (Ephesians 6:21 and 2 Timothy 4:12), although the evidence is only circumstantial it is nevertheless manifest that this epistle was written to the Ephesians. Seeing the habit that Paul’s letters were copied and shared among various assemblies (as we may see in Colossians 4:16), while this is only conjectural it is likely that this one was also copied in such a manner, and that therefore it is quite possible that some later scribes may have purposely omitted the reference to Ephesus, while others had retained the words. It is apparent in many of the subscripts which scribes had added to copies of the epistles later on, that the assemblies of Christians in various cities had unduly vied for attention as former domiciles of the apostles or as subjects of their one-time attention.
2 Favor to you and peace from Yahweh our Father, and Prince Yahshua Christ. 3 Blessed is Yahweh, even the Father of our Prince, Yahshua Christ, who has blessed us among the Anointed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.
Literally the opening phrase of verse 3 may be read “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Yahshua Christ...” The Codex Vaticanus (B) wants the words rendered “even the Father”, where we would have written “Blessed is the God of our Prince, Yahshua Christ...” The term ἐν χριστῶ is typically translated “in Christ”, however, as we have demonstrated many times, Paul uses the term to refer to the Anointed as the Body of Christ collectively, and not merely to Yahshua Christ Himself.
The Greek phrase ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις (ἐπουράνιος, 2032) is “in the heavenly places” here and in verse 20, as well as in Ephesians 2:6, 3:10, and 6:12. This phrase only appears in this precise manner in Paul's writing in this epistle to the Ephesians, although the word is used elsewhere in Paul’s letters in other forms either as an adjective, heavenly, or as a Neuter Substantive referring to heavenly things. The word οὐρανός (3772) is heaven, or as we may say in modern language, space, and that word also appears several times in this epistle. Liddell & Scott define ἐπουράνιος as in heaven or heavenly, and earlier classical writers used the tern to refer to heavenly places, or even to the gods above, which among pagans were also perceived to be in heaven.
4 Just as He has chosen us, with Him before the foundation of the Society, for us to be holy and blameless before Him. With love 5 having preordained us into the position of sons through Yahshua Christ for Himself, in accordance with the satisfaction of His will, 6 for the praise of the honor of His favor, of which He has favored us among the beloved. [D interpolates “in His son” at the end of verse 6.]
The beloved are not merely believers. Rather, the beloved are the children of Israel, and those being favored which Paul speaks of here are those of the children of Israel fortunate enough to receive the message of the Gospel. The queen of Sheba is recorded as having said of Solomon in 2 Chronicles chapter 9: “8 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.” In Hosea chapter 11 we read: “1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” So while Christ was symbolically called out of Egypt, that the prophecy would be true of Him as well, it is nevertheless true that the children of Israel collectively are the son called out of Egypt, and that Yahweh God loved all of Israel we see that Israel is the beloved.
In Luke chapter 24, Yahshua Christ Himself is described as having upbraided certain of His followers as fools and slow of heart because they did not “believe all that the prophets have spoken”. Therefore Christians cannot disregard anything that the prophets have spoken. This is the same Luke who recorded the words of Zacharias, the father of John the baptist, at the beginning of his Gospel where he professed the purpose of the Messiah and he said “68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”
Today's denominational Christians would regard all of the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning Christ, but then they purposely disregard all of the prophecies and the covenants and the promises to the fathers concerning their children, and the laws in commandments which were designed to keep them. If Yahweh is God, and if He has given us His Word in the prophets, then the prophets are a description of a plan which is fulfilled in Christ, and which is not set aside since Christ Himself had proclaimed that He had come to fulfill that plan. As He said in Matthew chapter 5: “17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” If God has cast away His people, whom he foreknew, then He has destroyed the prophets who attest that He would not do such a thing.
It is not only what Christ Himself had suffered that is what He had come to fulfill. Rather, it is the reconciliation of the long-dispersed children of Israel, none of whom were ever called Jews, which that suffering would effect which is what He came to fulfill! Denominational Christians only regard the first and immediate part of the Gospels, and neglect the greater purpose of God which was expressed for Christ in the prophets which was the purpose of the Gospel. Contrarily, Identity Christians regard the whole purpose of God.
In Part 10 of our presentation of Paul's epistle to the Romans, while discussing Romans 8:15, we had demonstrated from classical writings such as those of Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch that the word υἱοθεσία essentially means only to place a son, while another Greek word, εἰσποίησις, was commonly used to describe the actual act of adoption. The translators of the King James Version and all of the versions which have followed have taken for granted that the word means adoption, but in truth the word only refers to the placing of one who is already a son, and a son may be placed by his father for purposes other than adoption. A son may be disowned, as the ancient children of Israel were disowned, but a son may be placed back into the household, as we see happen in the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke chapter 15.
In Hosea chapter 5 we read one example in the prophets that Yahweh God had disowned both Israel and Judah because of their sin: “3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled. 4 They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD. 5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them. 6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.”
But then later on in Hosea chapter 13, we see an example of how Israel would be preserved in spite of their sin, in a Messianic prophecy: “9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. 10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? 11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. 12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid. 13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children. 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”
This is the story of the Bible: it is about one family which would become many nations and as the sand of the sea, but which had fallen from the grace of God on account of their sin. In spite of that fall, those people would be delivered and preserved by their God for His glory. The sole purpose of Christ was to reconcile Israel to their God, and there is no other purpose in Scripture. If one is not of those same genetic children of Israel, one has no part in that purpose. The method of that preservation is described in part in Jeremiah chapter 31. In that chapter we see that over 100 years after Hosea, over 100 years after the children of Israel were taken away by the Assyrians and the Northern Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, the same people are being spoken of where it says: “20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.” So mercy is a matter of prophecy for the same children of Israel of the Old Testament. Judah, most of which had also been taken into Assyrian captivity when Jeremiah had written, but the remainder of which was about to go into Babylonian captivity, is also considered in that same chapter where it says: “24 And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks. 25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” But the reference to husbandmen is really a prophecy of the apostles of Christ, for which reason they were called pastors, and this is how “every sorrowful soul” of Israel and Judah would be replenished, in the promise of the New Covenant which follows: “31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
So the promise of a new covenant is a promise for the same people of Israel which are punished for their sin by their God for breaking the old covenant. Here Paul attests that the people to whom he writes this epistle were chosen “with Him before the foundation of the Society” and “preordained … into the position of sons”. The Greek word for preordained is προορίζω (Strong's # 4309) and it means to predetermine, to decide beforehand, to predestinate, to foreordain or to appoint beforehand. One other place it appears in Paul's writing is in Romans chapter 8 where he said: “28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
If Yahweh God predetermined, decided beforehand, predestinated, foreordained or appointed beforehand “before the foundation of the Society” those men and women who were to be with Him place “into the position of sons” and “conformed to the image of his Son” then we must be able to determine who it was that He was speaking about from the prophets of the Old Testament. However Paul himself, in Romans chapter 8, explicitly informs us that those who were chosen for this destiny were only those whom Yahweh God had foreknew. As even the King James Version translated Romans 8:29 in part: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son...” So we see in Jeremiah chapter 31 that a new covenant would be made “with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” because they had broken the old covenant. Then in Amos chapter 3 the Word of Yahweh says to the same children of Israel: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
That only one race of people, the children of Israel alone, are the chosen, foreknown and predestined people of God is the entire story of BOTH the Old Testament AND. That these people alone would receive the new covenant and the mercy of God is not only a matter of prophecy in the Old Testament, it is also the entire purpose of the New Testament as it was described in Luke chapter 1. In like manner we may read from Psalm 33: “11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Then again from Psalm 105: “6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. 7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.” The plan of Yahweh God as outlined in the words of the prophets and as fulfilled in Christ has not changed. In spite of the lies of the Jews and the denomination churches, it shall indeed be fulfilled. But understanding that plan one must first come to understand Christian identity, as it was taught by Paul of Tarsus in Romans chapters 4 and 9, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, in Galatians chapters 3 and 4, and here in these first two chapters of Ephesians.
7 In whom [speaking of Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the dismissal of transgressions in accordance with the riches of His favor [A has “kindness”] 8 which He makes abundant for us, with all wisdom and understanding
As we have just read in Hosea, Yahweh said of the children of Israel “12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid…. 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” Likewise He said to those same children of Israel in Isaiah chapter 49: “7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.” Then later in that same chapter: “25 But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. 26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”
Yahweh is the Saviour of Israel, and the Redeemer of Israel. There is no other saviour or redeemer in Scripture. Therefore it says of the Messiah concerning the children of Israel in Isaiah chapter 53: “4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Likewise Paul had informed the Galatians of Christ, in chapter 4 of his epistle to them: “4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Paul had also told the Galatians that “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith”, and if one is not a child of Israel who was under the law, then one is not in Christ and cannot be justified by faith. One cannot be redeemed unless one is of the seed of them who were put away for transgressions.
So Yahweh proclaims a little further on in Isaiah chapter 50: “Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. 2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?” Then again in Isaiah chapter 51: “2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” As Paul had explained in Romans chapter 4, the faith of Abraham was his belief that his seed would be increased, until they were many nations, that it was to these nations that Paul had his ministry, and in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 it is explained that those same nations, which were Israel according to the flesh, were the nations of the Greek society which had turned to paganism.
The universalist who scoffs at this truth may say something like “Oh, but John tells us that Christ died for the sins of the whole world”. Indeed, the apostle had written that Christ “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” However in the context of the epistle, where the apostle says “our” he refers to himself and the “little children” whom he addresses. But since the same apostle tells us that “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4), and since the law was only given to Israel (Psalm 147:19-20) and since only Israel was under the law, and since sin is not imputed where there is no law (Romans 5:13), then the reference to the sins of the “whole world” in 1 John 2:2 can only be a reference to the sins of every Israelite in any given place in the world. It cannot be a reference to anyone not of Israel, since sin is transgression of the law and nobody else was ever under the law to transgress it. But even the phrase “whole world” does not mean what the universalist scoffers think that it means. They are wise only in their own conceit, or perhaps deceit.
9 making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His satisfaction, which He purposed within Himself
The last phrase may have been rendered “which He appointed upon Himself”. In order to find the record of this purpose which Yahweh God had made known to us, one must search through those same prophets which Christ had come to fulfill, and the Word of God says in Isaiah chapter 54: “5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” [As a digression, the God of Israel shall be called the God of the “whole earth”, or “whole world” when Jeremiah 30:11 and Jeremiah 46:28 are also fulfilled. In those places Yahweh said “I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee”, where it is evident that the “whole world” will indeed belong to the children of Israel.] Then in Isaiah chapter 59 it says: “20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. 21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.”
In Romans chapter 8 Paul had written: “28 But we know that to those who love Yahweh all things work together for good, to those who in accordance with purpose are called.” That Greek word rendered as purpose is πρόθεσις (Strong's # 4286) and it is more literally a placing in public, a public notice or was even used of the statement of a case in open court. The verb which appears here in Ephesians 1:9 is a related form of that same word. Paul's words here and in Romans chapter 8 fully infer that Yahweh had previously made a public notice concerning those whom He had called. That notice is certainly not a mystery, for it is indeed found in the Old Testament where it had been made known, and where it is stated on many occasions that Yahweh has called the children of Israel and has excluded all others. We read from Isaiah chapter 48: “12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” No such public notice was ever made by Yahweh God for any other people. Therefore it is exclusive to the people of the children of Israel: who are for the most part the surviving portion of the White Adamic race of today. It is only they who are called according to purpose. Anyone else who claims to be called is not called according to the purpose of God, and therefore they must be seen as the apostle Jude had perceived, as infiltrators into the Body of Christ: “12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”
10 for the stewardship of the full measure of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth in Him.
The Greek word οἰκονομία (Strong's # 3622) is primarily the management of a family, as Paul usually uses the term. However here the purpose of Yahweh concerning the “full measure of the times” is the subject, and therefore it is written as stewardship. It may have rather elaborately been rendered “for the management of the family of the full measure of the times”. Later on, in Ephesians 3:2 and 3:9, Paul speaks of the purpose of Yahweh concerning the children of Israel, and the word is translated literally since it refers to the children of Israel, the “family of the faith”, as Paul had referred to Israel in Galatians 6:10.
We read in part in Daniel chapter 7 the purpose of Yahweh God in relation to the times of which Paul speaks: “7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” The “holy people” of Daniel being scattered are the same children of Israel who have a promise by Christ of being gathered, and we read in John chapter 11: “51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” Paul's dispensation of the Gospel is meant so that all things pertaining to Israel could be summed up in Christ, “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity” as it is explained of the Messiah in Daniel chapter 9.
Likewise we read in Ezekiel chapter 34, in part: “1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?… 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. [Here the phrase “beasts of the field” is a reference to the Assyrians, Babylonians, and the other Adamic nations which partook in destroying ancient Israel.] 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.” These are the dispersions of the children of Israel which happened throughout the centuries leading up to the time of Ezekiel, who was writing over 600 years before Christ. Then we read in a Messianic prophecy further on in that same chapter: “12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. [Therefore Christ said in Matthew chapter 15 “I am come but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.] 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.” It is the purpose of God for the children of Israel to be separate from all other peoples, and not to be mixed with all other peoples, which is the purpose of the enemies of God as it is described in Ezekiel chapter 38 and Revelation chapters 12 and 20.
11 In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being preordained according to the purpose of He [D has “God”] who accomplishes all things in accordance with the design of His will.
This is the only time which the verb κληρόω (2820) appears in the New Testament, in the Aorist Passive first person plural ἐκληρώθημεν, which along with the conjunction καὶ is translated as “we have also obtained an inheritance”. The noun, κληρονομία, appears frequently. But here the Codices Alexandrinus (A) and Bezae (D) have instead “In whom also we have been called...”
We may read another glimpse of this design of which Paul speaks from Deuteronomy chapter 32: “7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” The land of Canaan cannot be the land in question, since that land was taken from other people. Rather, there was a later promise which shows that the land of Canaan could not be the land of Deuteronomy, found in 2 Samuel chapter 7: “10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more...” This being spoken to David while he was in Jerusalem, neither ancient Judah nor Israel could be the land of Deuteronomy 32:7.
In 1 Peter chapter 5, as the King James translators understood it, we see that the children of Israel remained the heritage of God in the New Testament, where it reads: “1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
The message has not changed from Old Testament to New Testament. The children of Israel have an inheritance in Yahweh their God, which they received from their fathers. On the other hand, Israel is the heritage of Yahweh their God, as Christ has also received from His Father. This is an interlocking two-way relationship between the ancient children of Israel and their God which cannot be broken by the whims of man, or by the lack of understanding among men.
This inheritance in Christ is, as Paul says here, “preordained according to the purpose of He who accomplishes all things in accordance with the design of His will” and that design is expressed throughout the writings of the prophets in the Old Testament. That is the purpose for which we have the books of the prophets in the first place, so we can look back and see that God is true. There is nothing in the prophets about a universal church being the people of God. There is nothing in the prophets about Israel being substituted with any other people. There is nothing in the prophets about the redemption or salvation of anyone other than Israelites. Rather, Yahweh says of the children of Israel in Hosea chapter 5 that “I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me”, and in Jeremiah chapter 30 “11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
The children of Israel, the children of God long ago scattered abroad, would be regathered in Christ. That is the design outlined throughout the books of the prophets. But at the same time there is a promise by God to make a full end of all nations wherever the children of Israel are scattered. It is far past the time that Christians learned to distinguish between these two parties: those to be gathered in Christ, and those of whom a full end is going to be made. In the eternal plan of God, one's origin truly determines one's destiny. Contending with this is to contend with the design of God.
In Jeremiah chapter 31, in that same chapter which promises the New Covenant, it says “1 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. 2 Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.” This same rest is depicted in a slightly different way in Revelation chapter 12: “13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” The woman with the twelve stars represents the body of the twelve tribes of the ancient Israelites.
That period of rest is finished, and the nourishment in the Gospel of Christ has long been dispensed to the people of God. Subsequently it says in the Revelation: “15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” Christians have a further obligation to recognize the nature of this flood from the mouth of the serpent, as it says further on in that same chapter of Jeremiah: “27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.” Identity Christians have been saying for a long time, for at least fifty years, that today those days have come, and now it should be more evident than ever. Because the woman has joined herself to the beast, the Revelation depicts her once again in chapter 17 as “a woman ... upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication”. This is the state of the people of God today, whereby the woman has become a whore, and as they are being overrun with the flood of the serpent, we see that “the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” Fortunately for His people, the design of Yahweh God is to save the children of Israel from these their sins. So Paul continues:
12 For which we are to be in praise of His honor, who before had expectation in the Christ, 13 in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth - the good message of your deliverance - in which also having believed, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, 14 which is a deposit of our inheritance, in regard to redemption of the possession, in praise of His honor.
The Greek preposition εἰς (1519) is “in regard to” in verse 14 here, but may have been written “unto” or “until”, or even “against”, as we have an idiom today where we may say that we make a payment “against” a purchase or a loan. Liddell & Scott in their definition for εἰς (II.) explain such similar uses of the word by the Greeks.
Where Paul says “in which also having believed, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise”, he is not stating that the promise comes upon the belief in the Gospel, but only that one receives the Holy Spirit in the assurance of the receipt of the promise through hearing the Gospel. The promise exists independently of the belief. Once one realizes that he is a recipient of the promise, because of the apparent fulfillment of their destiny by the children of the tribes of Israel as it is outlined in the Old Testament, then one praises the honor of Yahweh.
The phrase “who before had expectation” may have been written as “who had expectation in advance”. Not all of the children of Israel remained cognizant of their history, however the awareness of the Messianic prophecies was certainly not confined to Judaea, as we may see in the story of the magi in Matthew chapter 2, or the reference made by the Samaritan woman, part of the remnant of ancient Israel which were left behind by the Assyrians, in John chapter 4 (4:25). However it was not a mistake that the White nations of Europe had accepted the Gospel of Christ.
But only these children of Israel “before had expectation” in Christ, and as Paul had taught this same Gospel of Reconciliation to the Corinthians and the Galatians, here he is also teaching it to the Ephesians, whereby he expected the Christians of Ephesus to have been of the descendants of ancient Israel according to the flesh: of those same twelve tribes whom he says share in that hope which he mentioned in Acts chapter 26: “7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.” The people we now know as Jews never had such hope, because they were never truly Israel. They were Edomites who had absconded with the identity of the children of Israel and have always been opposed to the promises made to Israel. Christ Himself had said this to them, as it is recorded in John chapter 10: “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” The denominational churches which teach that the Jews are Israel are denying the words of Christ who said that they were not Israel.
We may once again see who had “before had expectation” in the promise of redemption in Isaiah chapter 43: “1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” By the laws of Yahweh God one can only have an expectation to redeem something which one had already once possessed, and if one cannot redeem it, only one's next-of-kin can redeem it for him! Only the children of Israel and their descendants, their “seed after them”, had ever had this promise. This is the entire significance of the Christ being the Kinsman Redeemer of the children of Israel.
This is also the entire purpose of the Gospel as it is described by the Word of Yahweh in Isaiah chapter 52: “1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” This is the purpose of His will.