Spiritual meaning the peace offering

Fred R. Coulter—May 13, 2017

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Since there are a lot of people beginning to deny Christ by saying He did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary. This is not my sermon, but a list of several Scriptures you can use to refute those ideas.

Acts 3:15: "And you killed the Author of life Whom God has raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses."

  • Who created mankind?
  • Who is the Author of life?
  • Jesus Christ through God the Father

If you kill "…the Author of life…" then He had to be God.

I know the Protestants like to read John 17:1. Stop and think how was it that John was able to write down this verbatim prayer. When Jesus prayed this, John was sleeping with Peter. God had to reveal it word for word.

John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh… [Author of life] … in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God…'" (vs 1-3).

At that time Jesus was not true God. He was as much God as flesh could handle. But it's a myth to say 100% God/100% man. That's stupid! What did God tell Moses when Moses said, 'I want to see Your face'? No man can live! That means you could not put 100% God and 100% flesh, because the power and glory of God would burn it all up.

So, until He was resurrected back to life to glory, the only true God was the Father. A lot of people like to say, 'See, there's only one God.'

"…and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do" (vs 3-4).

The cross was finishing the work of the ministry and sacrifice. It was not the end of the work of Christ. It was the end of that phase of God's plan. What did He say just before He expired on the cross? 'It is finished!'

So, He finished the preaching here (John 17). On the cross He finished the sacrifice. Then He was raised from the dead and then began the spiritual work. It runs all the way through to Rev. 21, where He says, 'It is done,' or finished. That's the entire work of Christ.

Verse 5: "And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed."

How could He have only come into being of life by the begettal in the womb of the virgin Mary, if that was where He began? How could He say to the Father, 'Give Me the glory that I had with You before the world was'? Why? Because the Father and Christ planned everything!

  • 1-Tim. 3:16 says God manifested in the flesh.
  • Philip. 2 says, 'Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus,'

Who existed as God and humbled Himself and divested Himself of that glory to become a man. Everything we go through every day Jesus went through.

  • Titus 2 says of Jesus Christ, our God.

How do false doctrines come about? A little at a time! When it comes along—BING!—I've got an idea. What are you to do with that idea? Maybe good. It may be bad; it may be wicked. You prove all things by the Scriptures.

There are a lot of people out there who like to hear false doctrine and false prophets, because they get to do their own thing.

*****

It would be interesting if we could know more of how the apostles preached Christ from the Old Testament. We're going to try a bit of it today, because Paul wrote to Timothy, 'You've known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through Christ.' That's the Old Testament!

Let's go back to Leviticus, that 'nasty book with all those horrible sacrifices,' as people would say. We'll just review it a little bit. How many have heard of the book, The Law of the Offerings by Andrew Jukes? That was written somewhere in the late 1600s or early 1700s. It is a testimony as to how much knowledge of God they had in England at that time because of the printing of the Bible, and the people wanting to have it.

Look at it today. They don't want it and they're leaving the Anglican Church. Last year in the U.K. 367 mosques were built while 400 churches were closed. I think that's a testimony to the fact that if you don't study the Word of God you lose it.
Another thing about the U.K., which may make some of you Brits mad, but that's too bad: the majority of the men who became atheists or communists had their productive years in England. I don't know what's going to happen to the U.K. but they're sure losing everything that they had.

Why would I say that? Because Jukes had a very insightful Scriptural and spiritual analysis of the physical offerings! The first offering was very interesting:

The Burnt Offering

Leviticus 1:1: "And the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "If any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the domestic animals of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd… [this is a burned offering; everything was burned, nothing was eaten] …let him offer a male without blemish. He shall offer it of his own voluntary will…"'" (vs 1-3)—important to understand. That is a key thing concerning Christ.

The wholly burnt sacrifice equals Christ giving everything He had to save mankind and preach the Gospel. What did He say in John 1? 'I lay My life down of Myself!' Voluntary will! That was planned before the foundation of the world.

That's why the Bible is so great, because it contains knowledge that reaches way back before the creation of the earth and reaches at the end in Revelation clear out into the epics of eternity. It tells all about man, all about God, how God deals with us at different levels, different people.

"…He shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering.…" (v 4). Showing that this represents the offeror's complete dedication to God. In fact, the burnt offerings represent:

  • Christ as the Offering
  • Christ as the Offeror
  • Christ as the Priest

Each three aspects of the work of Christ.

"…And it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him" (v 4). Not for forgiveness of sin but to make an at-one-ment with God. You are at-one with God. That will answer the question: Can a man please God?

Have you ever felt that God looks down upon His people, like when we're in a group here, and He's happy? He's delighted? He's enjoying it? His Spirit is here? Christ and the Father are in us? You're happy; you're joyful. They are! That's all possible because of the whole burnt offering, the spiritual symbolism in it of Christ giving everything He had. You read in the New Testament: 'I can do nothing of My own self. I do what I see the Father do. I do what He commanded Me to do. I do nothing of Myself.' That's the whole meaning of the burnt offering.

The Peace Offering

A peace offering is quite different. I want you to focus in on the word peace.

Leviticus 3:1: "And if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers it from the herd, whether it is a male or female… [this applies to male and female] …he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.…" (vs 1-2).

I'm not sure where the offeror was to take the knife and slit the throat, or the priest would, but either way.

"…And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle the blood against the side of the altar all around. And he shall bring near from the sacrifice the peace offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD: The fat that covers the inward parts, all the fat that is on the inward parts, and the two kidneys, and the fat on them, on the loins, and the fold above the liver, with the kidneys, he shall remove" (vs 2-4). Then they would be burned separately. Isn't it interesting?

  • the heart—you need that to live
  • the liver—it has to work or you're not going to function
  • the kidneys—you know what you just did

Verse 5: "And Aaron's sons shall burn it upon the altar, along with the burnt sacrifice upon the wood, which is upon the fire. It is an offering made by fire of a sweet savor to the LORD. And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering to the LORD is of the flocks, male or female, he shall bring it without blemish" (vs 5-6).

He shall bring it. He shall do the same thing there, v 8: "And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering… [v 9]: And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD…." (vs 8-9). The fat and do all of that, the same thing that we had of the other one.

Verse 11: "And the priest shall burn it upon the altar…" then he explains all of that. We won't go through it, but here's the long and short of the peace offering:

Part of it was burned to God, that was His portion. Symbolically God ate that part of it. Maybe this will make more sense when you see the symbolism of this in relationship to the Passover, 'Eat My flesh and drink My blood,' and so forth. That's all part of it from there.

God would eat that portion symbolically, being burnt on the altar, sweet savor to Him. The priest would take part of the offering and he would eat it and his children. Remember, the priest also represents Christ. The peace offering represents Christ in a different way, but it applies to us.

Are we the children of God through Christ? Yes, we are! There are so many symbolic things there. Jukes understood this clear back in the 17th century, 300 years plus ago.

Then they were to have a meal offering. The King James Version gets it all mixed up because they call it a meat offering. That makes you go boo-coos on trying to figure out, if you burnt it all, how do you have a meat offering? It was a grain offering, or a flour offering!

The unleavened cakes would be burnt to God. Some of them would go to the priest. Then there were leavened cakes. In this case, the offeror also ate of the peace offering. That's us, receiving a blessing from God and also receiving something from God!

There were leavened cakes. Those were not offered to God, but the priest and the offeror were able to eat that. They could eat it on the second day and on the third day.

I'm going to jump ahead to Rev. 3. Let's apply this spiritually, because we are to be a living sacrifice to God. This will help you understand this unique phrase; so, all you Laodiceans, listen up.

Revelation 3:19: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock…" (vs 19-20).

Proverbs 4:23[transcriber's correction]: "Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence..." He's standing at the door. That tells us Christ is on the outside.

Revelation 3:20: "…If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."

What does He mean "…sup with Him…"? That's the peace offering! When you repent, God gives you peace. You're no longer at war with God.

Let's take this and carry all of this forward and come to the book of Ephesians. What did Paul write about the things of the Old Testament as they apply to us? 'These are examples for us' (1-Cor. 10). We can learn from the Old Testament and understand spiritual understanding in the New Testament, because there's a spiritual fulfillment in the New Testament.

I'm going to read the most neglected verses of Bible study, which appears in one form or another at the beginning of every one of the Epistles of Paul. Remember, you go back to Isa. 53 and it says, 'He was chastised and stricken for our peace.' Meaning that that sacrifice of Christ upon repentance brings peace between us and God! Because the carnal mind is enmity and fighting against God, so you need peace. That's what the peace offering is all about.

God wants to share the information with us. We are to eat His Word—taste of the Lord.

Ephesians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus."

That is a prophetic statement for all Christians down through time. The books of Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are the most spiritual books in the Bible. They are very inspiring and uplifting.

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." The peace offering spiritually fulfilled.

  • God has a portion
  • Christ has a portion
  • we have a portion

"Grace and peace…" Don't you want peace with God? What happens when you're in trouble and you're fighting God? You don't have any peace! This is how Paul opens every epistle. Every epistle is part of the fulfillment of the peace offering so you can grow in grace and knowledge. You can know that God loves you and God is pleased with the peace offering.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ."

We haven't received it all, yet. Eph. 2 tells us that in the ages that are coming we're going to receive them. But what do we have as a spiritual blessing?

  • the Spirit of the Father and of Christ
  • the knowledge of the Word of God
  • having the Word of God with us

This is why Christ is so hard on the Laodiceans because we all live in an age when we have the complete Bible. Think about what it would have been back there with some of the saints down through the centuries if they would have had the opportunity for a complete Bible. They would be anxious, study, pray, and all of those sort of things.

But what happens with the Laodicean? 'Oh, I'm busy, I'll pray later. I'm busy, I'll study later.' You have to make time to have your spiritual connection with God! That's why He's so hard on the Laodiceans because He has given everything to them spiritually and they're satisfied with the physical blessings.

"…every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ" (v 3). That is a prophetic statement that will take place at the resurrection.

  • What is it going to be like to have a spirit body? No more aches and pains!
  • What is it going to be like to have spiritual mind? Without the 'law of sin and death,' to drag us down!

Think what that will be like.

You fight the 'law of sin and death' within you all the time. Think what it will be like when that is over with. That won't be completely over with until the resurrection takes place.

With the peace offering, God ate part of it, the priest ate part of it and the offeror ate part of it. That means:

  • God was pleased with it
  • God was right there with it
  • the priest was right there with it
  • the offeror was right there with it

Notice v 4 to show you how involved God is. I want you to read these next couple of verses and I want you to think about all the times you have a 'woe is me,' the old Hee-Haw corn patch. Those of you from Tennessee, you know that. Yes, indeed!

Woe is me! You have a pity-party and you pity yourself, wondering why God doesn't do this for you and wondering why God does the other thing for you. You look out at the world and you look at all the wicked and they seem happy. You wonder why you're miserable. That's never happened to you? God says don't worry about the rich, 'I'm going to give them a surprise a little later.' So here we are.

Verse 4: "According as He has personally chosen us…" Think on that! This is special in the Greek. In the Greek there is a verb that's called a middle-voice verb, that the one who is the subject in doing the action, is doing it for himself.

When there is no object involved, it means that God is personally Himself choosing us. Now you know why God hates religion.

"…chosen us for Himself before the foundation of the world…" (v 4). That means He had His plan all ready to go. He had the purpose figured out. Christ was One Who volunteered, the whole burnt offering, to give His life as sacrifice. That was all planned from the foundation of the world.

He had this plan before, because in order to form the world, you have to have a plan before. It's like if you're going to build something. If it's going to be worth anything, you have to have a plan. So you draw a plan before.

If you're going to build a house, you have plans. A plan for the foundation, plan for the plumbing, plan for the electric, plan for the bedroom, kitchen, upstairs, downstairs, the inside, the outside, everything. What kind of roof, how steep it would be, how the water would flow, do you have a fireplace. All of those things are a plan.

Now when you get that done, you walk in and you say, 'I want this furniture here and that furniture there and that furniture over there, and this over here.' You go upstairs in the bedroom and say, 'I want these drapes and I want it to match the bedspread and the pillowcases.' All the details come later.

So, "…before the foundation of the world…" He had it planned and predetermined what He was going to do based upon our free moral agency: IFMA, independent free moral agency. He didn't make us robots. He wants us to actively be independent, just like a cell of the body. It's independent but part of the body, functioning correctly because we're loving God and keeping His commandments. All of the commandments were given for our good.

Remember this. Law-keeping does not make love; love creates Law-keeping, because love is the basis for laws and commandments! Isn't that what Jesus said? Loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and being. Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two hang all the Law and the Prophets! That means they extend from the love.

It doesn't say keep the Sabbath and maybe you'll love God. It says love God, then keep the Sabbath. Works that way.

Predetermined, personally called us before the foundation of the world. Notice the ultimate goal, this is where we're headed:

"…in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love" (v 4).

That's the whole stated purpose, the reason why we're here, where we're going, what God is doing, and everything else flows from there.

Verse 5: "Having predestinated us for sonship…" Stop and think about that the next time you have a 'woe is me.' You're going to be the sons and daughters of God! That is mind-blowing! Even to hear those words, it's hard to connect with it, because it is such a spiritual thing that's going to take place.

If I can use an analogy, it's like a woman who is pregnant and she's talking to her baby, while the baby is growing and developing in her body. The baby can hear the words, doesn't understand it. They can even hear songs and music. They know babies respond to good music and what all this jingle-jangle upside down hateful stuff that children are in there, you know. They come out hateful indeed from birth.

To the sonship of God: that means God loves you. God cares for you. God provides for you, so much so that He dwells in you. That's how He's going to do it.

"…sonship to Himself…" (v 5). Do an interesting study. Do a word study on Himself, referring to God the Father and Jesus Christ. Whenever you come across that, that means personally involved. What did Jesus say about that? 'No one can come to me except the Father draw him!' Is He personally involved in your calling? Yes, indeed. Then the next verse says 'they will all be taught of God.'

  • What are you learning here today?
  • Where does this come from? From God!
  • How do you understand it? With the Spirit of God, with the Word of God!

You're here on the Sabbath and God's presence is here in the room with us and in our minds with us. We understand it all collectively together. That's why we need to keep the Sabbath and grow in grace and knowledge, because look at what has happened to the people who quit keeping the Sabbath. They lost everything. But you grow in grace and knowledge with it.

"…to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will" (v 5).

Every atheist better sit up and take notice. God is harsh to you because you hate Him. God is harsh to you because you deceive yourself and reject Him. If and when you come to your senses, maybe when you're lying in a hospital because of some accident or you're in some war, and the body next to you is blown up and you thank God that you're still alive. You better make peace with God and then everything is going to change. Can't fight God.

"…according to the good pleasure of His own will." God is pleased when we love Him and keep His commandments. God is pleased when we love each other. How do you feel when you have a fight and argument and shout down, yell and scream, and all this sort of thing? Miserable! That's not good pleasure. Better go repent. Those things happen.

Notice what it's for. Think of this! We've only covered five verses. The whole book is fantastic.

Verse 6: "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son." Recipients of the grace of God!

If you don't have the three studies on the grace of God, and the in-depth of Love of God, the three in-depth studies on the grace of God. It is the Grace of God, God's Grace & Commandment Keeping and Grace Upon Grace. What is grace upon grace? You get that series and study it.

Verse 7: "In Whom we have redemption through His blood… [because He gave His life] …even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence" (vs 7-8).

God doesn't want us to be stupid, ignorant, dunces. If you go on Trinity Broadcasting Network you'll see a lot of them there. That's true! Why do people reject Christianity today? Because it's not Christianity and it's run by a bunch of self-serving egotistical dunces that don't know anything about the Bible. Maybe there are one or two exceptions.

Verse 9: "Having made known to us the mystery of His own will…" Jesse Watters of Fox News ought to go out and do a little survey this way:

  • What is the will of God?
  • Do you know what His will is?
  • Do you know what pleases God?

I wonder what the answers would be? Terrible!

You understand the secret of God. How many people in the world—and there are 7-1/2 billion people, and God loves all of them to give them water, air, food, all the things for clothing, things that they can do, but they're out there blind.

You ask someone like that: What's the will of God? 'I don't even believe in God.' How many people know the secret of God? Start with Christ and go all the way back, hardly anybody! Maybe Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and some of the kings.

You come forward from Christ in His ministry and He told His apostles, 'To you—not to the world—it has been given to know the secrets or the mysteries of God.' That's something! That's that we're going to be His sons and daughters. That's what mystery means—secret of His own will.

Why did He create human beings? Well, you see, you have to have the whole plan of God. You have to understand about the second resurrection. God is so interested and concerned for even those wicked that He has blinded, as long as they have not committed the unpardonable sin—and there are some out there who have—He's going to resurrect them to a second physical life. He will reveal to them His plan for them.

I think on that every once in a while, more than every once in a while. What a time that's going to be. You imagine what's going to happen when all of those who went down with the Titanic are resurrected? How about all of those who were vaporized in Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

If you watch all of these WWII, and war movies, the thing I can't understand is where did the Germans get all the ammunition, even clear down to the last weeks of the war? That's a lot of ammunition! Think about probably millions of bombs that were dropped and billions of bullets that were fired and people that were killed. The wasted lives, God is going to resurrect them all. What a thing that's going to be!

We'll be the ones to help teach them. Don't wonder how God is going to handle it, because we don't even know the fundamentals about the universe, yet. All we can do is see what it looks like, and that's about all we know. He's done this for you.

"…according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself" (v 9). That's why you're made in the image and likeness of God.

Remember that the next time you watch a National Geographic channel on the life of gorillas. The scientists say they have 95% of the genes of human beings. They're missing 5%, the most important 5%, and so therefore, they're gorillas and not human beings. It was not to prove evolution, it was to disprove evolution, because if you don't have human genes, you're going to remain a gorilla.

Verse 10: "That in the Divine plan for the fulfilling of the times…" And where does this go back to? Gen. 1:14, setting the appointed times!

We don't know the times going back in eternity and we don't know the times going out into eternity.

"…He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose… [which He proposed before the foundation of the world] …Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will" (vs 10-11).

Who is going to go against the will of God? Think about it. No one!

Verse 12: "That we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ." The firstfruits!

We're going to have Pentecost here pretty quick. The firstfruits! The firstborn! What God wants from all of us—remember this—that's why we have the whole burnt offering. He wants all of us. He wants the first of everything you have, first of everything that He gives you:

  • first of your thoughts
  • first of your work
  • first of your offerings
  • first of your salary
  • first of whatever

Did He not ask for the firstborn offering of man and beast? Yes, He did! Redeem the sons and redeem the males and the females would be used for the Feast. The male belongs to God. So, in a sense, that points to Christ, because Christ was the firstborn of Mary. The Bible just fits together so fantastically.

Verse 13: "In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." With this then comes repentance and baptism and all of that is loaded into it.

Verse 14: "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." How much did it cost God to redeem us? Christ, He gave Himself!

We're just going to do Eph. 1 & 3 on this Sabbath today to understand more in depth of the Word of God. This is why we study and pray and study and pray, and keep the Sabbath and keep the Holy Days, and we look at every one of those things as spiritual building blocks of understanding, to have spiritual intelligence that comes from God. That's fantastic.

  • God loves us
  • Christ died for us
  • Christ rose to give us eternal life
  • the Father Himself has called us
  • we're special in God's sight

You may look in the mirror some time and look at your face when you wake up and say, 'Who is that? Who are you?' I do that every once in awhile. That's so that we get our minds on God.

The truth is, in Him we live and move and have our being. Everything that consists of our life and living is because of what God has created, physical and spiritual, visible and invisible, and gave it to us. Now look what He's going to give us.

Verse 15: "For this cause, I also, after hearing of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is among you, and the love toward all the saints." That's the thing. Love you have to work at, because it doesn't come naturally.

Some people, I include myself in that, I have the kind of natural disposition that in many ways I'm not a very nice person at all. I know some of you are that way, too, male and female. That's why we need repentance and forgiveness, growing and changing, overcoming, because that is how God is molding us.

Verse 16: "Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers." Here is the prayer. It's written down here because this prayer is still being fulfilled because of the last phrase in v 1, to the faithful in Christ Jesus, down through all ages:

Verse 17: "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" (v 17).

That's why we study and pray. It's an amazing thing that God would personally do this for each one of us.

I couldn't help but think of that reading this book by Andrew Jukes. How did he understand all of this concerning the law of the offerings unless he had a lot of spiritual knowledge in the New Testament.

Verse 18: "And may the eyes of your mind be enlightened…" That's when you go along and study, you understand. Kind of like 'a light goes on.' 'Really, that's what it means.' You get all excited!

"…in order that you may comprehend…" (v 18). God wants us to know. Comprehend means that you have a grasping knowledge and understanding of it.

"…what is the hope of His calling…" (v 18). As long as there's life, there's hope! Can some brethren who have departed repent? Yes, there's the prodigal son!

"…and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (v 18).

Paul writes that we are 'joint heirs with Christ' (Rom. 8) and that He has inherited all things (Heb. 1), which is the universe. Now you know why we have to overcome and be spiritually-minded. God is not going to have war in heaven any more.

"…the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…" (vs 18-19).

You might not feel it, you can't see it, but God's power and Spirit is there to work. If you have any doubt in that, remember nobody knows what electricity is. They know how to use it but they don't know what it is. That's a good example for us of the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit and it works in our minds as we yield to God and pray and grow and overcome!

"…His power toward us who believe, according to the inner working of His mighty power" (v 19).

Only the Spirit and Truth of the Word of God can change and convert the carnal mind! Nothing else can do it. Can't be done by going out to improve-yourself classes. Won't work!

Verse 20: "Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above every principality and authority and power and lordship, and every name that is named—not only in this age, but also in the age to come; for He has subordinated all things under His feet, and has given Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body—the fullness of Him Who fills all things in all (vs 20-23).

That's why God hates hierarchy! Those poor people who still are stuck on the false premise that HWA had all the knowledge of God; he didn't. He had some; we have some; God has all! Never treat a man like God.

Some people say he had all the knowledge. That's not to put him down. I would say this, if he were alive today in the flesh, he probably would admit it. We have to admit it. What do we really know? I think that the older we get, the less we really know in comparison to what knowledge is. We may have gained in knowledge and understanding, that is true. But compared to what we need to have, we know little.

For example, every day your heart beats 100,000 times. You think nothing of it, as long as it's working right. When it's not working right, it'll let you know. When I read that, I thought, 100,000 beats a day! I thought, how stupid are we. And breathing. You ever think about breathing? No, until you're running out of breath!

Sidebar: I remember one time I was eating a plum, a prune before it's dried, and I took a nice bite and it stuck in my throat. I was driving the car and I choked. It was getting serious, I could hardly breathe. No one was ready to run out there and do the Heimlich move. Finally I was able to pull over and I appreciated the value of breathing after that got out of the way.

Just like everything else. How many things has God set in motion that we don't even have to worry about? You don't have to worry about the law of gravity. If I walk on this carpet, will there be less gravity and I'll rise above it, or there will be too much gravity and I can't move my feet. See, all those things automatic because of the love of God.

Why were Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians so inspired? Because he was in prison. God gave Paul extra spirit to write and to think. He was in Rome and he wrote this.

Ephesians 3:1: "For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, if indeed you have heard of the ministry of the grace of God that was given to me for you; how He made known to me by revelation the mystery (even as I wrote briefly before, so that when you read this, you will be able to comprehend my understanding in the mystery of Christ), which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men… [How precious is eternal life?] …as it has now been revealed to His Holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (vs 1-5). God gave it to them all at the same time.

Verse 6: "That the Gentiles might be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel, of which I became a servant according to the gift of the grace of God, which was given to me through the inner working of His power" (vs 6-7).

Let's stop and think about the Apostle Paul. He was Saul before. What was his spirit? Hard, heavy, superior, going arresting Christians, even consenting unto their death!

Later he said he was the least of the apostles. Later he said, 'I am the sinner.' Notice what he says here, progressive humility through the life of Paul. This is a good example for us.

Verse 8: "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, was this grace given, that I might preach the Gospel among the Gentiles—even the unsearchable riches of Christ; and that I might enlighten all as to what is the fellowship of the mystery that has been hidden from the ages in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ" (vs 8-9).

Think about that and think about the fact that this was written for us. The inspiration and the original writings that he wrote to them comes down to us. This is fantastic.
Verse 10: "So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places." Even some of the angels don't understand what God is doing. That's an amazing thing.

Verse 11: "According to His eternal purpose, which He has wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord." What we have is eternal, not transitory, permanent for all ages.

Verse 12: "In Whom we have boldness and direct access with confidence through His very own faith. So then, I beseech you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which are working for your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 12-14).

Right there in prison, getting on his knees. I'm convinced he didn't have a pillow to do it. I don't know if it was stone or concrete. Could have been one of the other in Rome.

Verse 15: "Of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." That's why it's the sonship of God, the Family of God.

Notice this prayer for us. This is one of the most inspiring parts of the writings of the Apostle Paul in any place in the Bible.

Verse 16: "That He may grant you…" Remember the last phrase in the first verse: and to all the faithful in Christ Jesus. That goes down in time to us and forward in time to those that God will call.

"…according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man" (v 16).

That's what we need. We're going to face difficult times, terrible challenges, many upsets. Many things are going to take place you wouldn't even expect. One of them I'm happy about and I'll say it again, that Hillary didn't become president.

Verse 17: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Have the mind of Christ and the heart of Christ.

Verse 18: "And that being rooted and grounded in love…" (v 18). Everything must flow from the love of God.

  • the love of God to us
  • our love back to Him
  • our love to the brethren
  • our love to the others

Whenever it doesn't function right, we repent and realize that we need to grow in grace and knowledge and love.

Verse 18: "And that being rooted and grounded in love, you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints… [God wants us to know] …what is the breadth and length and depth and height… [of God's plan] …and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses human knowledge; so that you…" (vs 18-19).

Here's the goal. Everything starts out chapter one down to here. It ends right here. Eph. 4 picks up some other things.

"…so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (v 19). What is that going to be like?

Since we still have to grow in grace and knowledge, he gives us two more verses:

Verse 20: "Now to Him Who is able… [has the power] …to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think… [because God with His Spirit knows our thoughts] …according to the power that is working in us, to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all generations, even into the ages of eternity. Amen." (vs 20-21).

Scriptural References:

  • Acts 3:15
  • John 17:1-5
  • Leviticus 1:1-4
  • Leviticus 3:1-9, 11
  • Revelation 3:19-20
  • Proverbs 4:23
  • Revelation 3:20
  • Ephesians 1:1-23
  • Ephesians 3:1-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 21
  • 1-Timothy 3:16
  • Philippians 2
  • Titus 2
  • John 1
  • 1-Corinthians 10
  • Isaiah 53
  • Ephesians 2
  • Genesis 1:14
  • Romans 8
  • Hebrews 1

Also referenced:

Book: The Law of the Offerings by Andrew Jukes

Sermon Series:

  • Grace of God
  • God's Grace & Commandment-Keeping
  • Grace Upon Grace
  • Love of God

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 7-5-17
Formatted: bo—7-9-17

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