Chapter Five

Fred R. Coulter—09/27/1991

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[Feast of Tabernacles - Day 5, 1991]

As you know I've done this in an Expanded Amplified Translation, which I did based on the Greek. I don't want to any of us to by any means assume that because I've done this expanded amplified translation that it is in anyway to be construed as now a more authoritative translation of the Word of God. It's not that at all. It's just that so that with these epistles that we can bring to bear the entire Bible to this particular study, so that we can have a better understanding of God's Word and appreciation of it. By doing this I'm not trying to set myself up as some great authority, greater than anybody else. I'm just trying to impart to you what I felt God has inspired to me in going into God's Word, to be able to do for you.

Remember, again, if you go back and review Eph. 1, 2, 4, go ahead and study it from the point of view of surveying it to see the whole flow of what Paul is teaching us, and to see again that he is pointing us toward the goal and bringing us correction and again pointing us toward the goal, and then bringing us some correction. He does the same thing in Eph. 5, because it continues right on and then it gets into the more profound relationship between Christ and the Church. Again, he does it the same way. God inspired Paul to bring us the encouragement and uplifting part of God's Word, and then bring us the correction, howbeit not in harsh terms here. The whole book of Ephesians is to be that very inspiring, uplifting real teaching tool to endure in the Church from the time of the Apostle Paul down to the return of Jesus Christ.

So, there are a lot of lessons here for us. There are a lot of things that we can learn. I encourage you not only to just take this and go back and re-read and re-study and apply all of these things. We can really gain a lot from it, from the point of view that an individual by himself—without a minister, a teacher—without someone around can go through and use this as a detailed study to learn more about salvation, learn more about God and be able to draw closer to God in prayer, study and all of the things an individual needs to do.

I think one of the most important things we need to have is when we're alone by ourselves and the door is shut and there we are before God—and before God we all stand naked and open; there's not a thought, not a word, nothing that God doesn't know. But then we can come to God and use something like this to really inspire us.

As I mentioned in the booklet (with this series) in the All About this Expanded Amplified Translation section how that the book of Ephesians has helped me tremendously in times of trial, stress and difficulty, because what I have learned to do is that when there are difficulties I always get my mind into the Word of God. I want you to use this as tool and help in your difficult times, too, so that it will help you get your mind on God's Word, to bring you back to God.

Let's go to Ephesians 5:1: "Accordingly then… [after all he's been writing] …you are become imitators and followers of God!…." Of course, this is so true: How are you to follow a man? You are to follow him as he follows Christ! We are altogether to follow God.

We can't imitate God inasmuch as we are not spirit beings, but we can use the standard of behavior that Jesus had—in the physical life when He was here on earth—as a means and as a guide whereby we can also imitate and walk in the same steps that He did. We're to be followers of God!

"…He is your example… [always remember that He is our example] …as dearly beloved children, be emulating His character" (v 1). When we are with each other in this way, with this in mind:

  • Why are we to do it?
  • Are we to do it because God says 'Do this'? No!
  • Why are we to do anything that we are to do as Christians?

Verse 2: "Even walking in Divine, Godly love, exactly as Christ also loved us and gave up Himself to God…"

Right here would be a good point to go to Philip. 2 where it says 'let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; that Who being in the form of God—actually existing as God—emptied Himself and gave up Himself' because He didn't think that being as God was anything to be grasped at or to be greedily holding onto. But divested Himself of all of His privilege as God and took upon Him the form of a man, as a man in the flesh, to become that Holy sacrifice and humbled Himself to the death, yes, even the death of the cross.

He "…gave up Himself to God as a sacrifice and offering for us (on our behalf, in our stead) for a sweet-smelling savor, a pleasant fragrance (the beautiful righteousness of His perfect sacrifice)" (v 2).
With this great exalted understanding in mind, now then Paul says, 'I want you to look at the behavior of the world.' In the light of all of this, in the light of understanding what Christ did and why Christ did it for us, Paul is saying:

Verse 3: "But fornication and sexual depravity, and lewd, impure motives and conduct…" You see the contrast in life then—don't you? What he's doing is inspiring us to that Godly kind of character so that we're uplifted and looking to that, and, at the same time, look at this filth, this garbage, this rottenness, this dung and this stupidity. 'Oh, we don't want any of that.' That's exactly how God wants us to be corrected.

Really, when you understand it, there are two ways—probably more than two ways; there are several—to be corrected:

  • let the circumstances correct you, because you've sinned and paid the penalty
  • let someone else correct you by telling you directly, 'Don't do this.'
  • go to God's Word and let God's Word tell you; look to God and don't do this

When you're focusing in on God and the high inspirational, lofty thoughts of God, then all of these things are just going to be putrid to you. That's the whole inspiration and means that God inspired Paul to write this in. Let's take these as the words of God to us, the inspiration of the words.

Verse 3: "But fornication and sexual depravity, and lewd impure motives and conduct, or grasping greediness and covetousness, never let these things be mentioned as being in any of you; rather, let it be only that which is proper, becoming and decorous for the Holy consecrated saints of God."

He saying that he wants you to remember the calling—that God the Father has called you; that God the Father has provided this for you—and don't even let it be mentioned once. We can look back and see what has happened when the Church did not conduct itself this way, when ministers did not conduct themselves this way. What happens every time you find out that a minister has committed fornication or adultery, or homosexuality? All of these things have been a viable thing that have happened to ministers down through the time in history, in the Church, and yes, even with our own experience within the Church lifetime of us—right? What does it do?

  • It destroys everything!
  • It destroys faith!
  • It destroys hope!

Paul is saying here, 'Look, this is the way out of all of this nonsense.'
Verse 4: "Neither indecency and filthiness, nor foolish buffoonery or jesting…" I've heard ministers tell some of the most awful dirty sex jokes you can even imagine. When it comes from the ministry it does something to your mind, because it shouldn't be. The Bible says 'don't let this be.'

"…these are the things which are not harmonious, uplifting or fitting, but rather… [let everything be with] …thanksgiving and praises of gratitude" (v 4). Again, I want you to see the: A: inspirational; B: correcting.

We have coming right on with this to give us a warning, v 5: "Because of this, you should be realizing and comprehending that a fornicator and sex monger, or a lewd and obscene person, or a greedy and covetous individual, who in actuality is an idolater, does not have any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. And do not allow anyone to deceive, delude, beguile or cheat you out of your inheritance by telling you that these evil things are right…." (vs 5-6).

Isn't that exactly what happened? People come along and they say, 'Well, a little leaven is okay. You can do this; God understands that.' You may even tell yourself that. You may say, 'This is not that bad.' Then a 'little leaven leavens the whole lump' and it comes in and then you start down the trail of doing these different things and what happens? Pretty soon you're entrapped and ensnared in it! He's saying, 'You're not going to be in the Kingdom of God.'

What he's trying to do is say, 'Look! Focus in on the Kingdom of God. Focus in on the inheritance of God, which is the whole purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles. It pictures when we are living with Christ in the inheritance that He has for us. Paul is saying, 'Focus in on this, because if you do these things over here, you're not going to be in the Kingdom of God. That's what he's saying in so many words.

He's saying to be on guard, and v 6: "Do not ever allow anyone to deceive, delude, beguile or cheat you our to your inheritance, by telling you that these evil things are right; for because of these very things, the wrath, punishment and vengeance of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience—those who are obstinate and unbelieving."

Boy! That sure is true in the world! I saw a magazine, which is called The Omni Magazine. They've got a special section in there: In the Search of God. If there is anything that is so absolutely true, these scientists are saying, 'Even if we could prove God, we don't know whether it's right.' This kind of thing is what leads to this kind of behavior that we just read about.
Let's see what this world is, and those are the kinds of things that in this world has led the world to what it is. Because of the lust of the flesh that we still have as human beings, 'Well, that's not so bad; God will understand.' or 'Christ has done everything for us so we don't have to do it.'

God is saying here in Romans, the first chapter, concerning the knowledge of God and why the wrath of God is going to come: Romans 1:18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…"

That's what all these things are, and you're going to see that your television is going to become more lewd, more indecent, more filled with sex, murder and lust and repine than ever before. The wrath of God is going to come because of that, and because these people now are not punished right on the spot, does not mean that there isn't going to be punishment coming. You know that and I know that—right?

Verse 19: "Because that which may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them." They know that; they understand it. It is there, it is revealed, it is part. This world shows the glory of God for God showed it to them.

Verse 20: "For the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made…" That's how the scientists could, can and ought to understand that there is a God and can prove it.

All of these things show "…—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse" (v 20). Believe me, Christ is not going to return until this world is without excuse before God.

That may be one of those sliding factors in trying to understand when Christ will return, that we need to give God credit for. God is going to give a witness. God is going to make sure that they are totally without excuse!

Verse 21: "Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but they became vain in their own reasonings, and their foolish hearts were darkened. While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools" (vs 21-22). Then they said all of these evil things—which we're reading here in Eph. 5—that now they're all right to do.

What happens? They constitutionally kick God out of their lives, like we have in the United States and every depravity and evil sin and rottenness is listed here in the rest of Rom. 1, befalls this society. We need to be careful that we don't let these things be pouring through into our homes and into our minds and into our lives just because we happen to have television. We have to control it in the proper way.

God is not going to be mocked under any circumstances! We know in Gal. 6 it says that 'God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows that he shall reap.'

  • If he sows to the Spirit, he's going to reap eternal life.
  • If he sows to the flesh, he's going to reap corruption and death.

Ephesians 5:7: "For this reason… [because of this, what we've just covered here] …do not become one of them, by casting your lot with them, or jointly participating in their activities, because you were once… [there's only one opportunity for salvation] …the victims and instruments of spiritual and moral darkness, but now you are lights of spiritual illumination… [because you have God's Spirit and God's Word] …and examples of righteous character in the Lord. Therefore, be walking in God's way of life as children of light" (vs 7-8). That's why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

As God's children we need to be walking in light. Does not the Feast of Tabernacles bring us light, truth and understanding of God's Word? Yes, indeed! Just like the Sabbath. Just like the rest of God's Word. This is what God wants us to walk in. That's why with the Feast of Tabernacles He wants us to get away from the world, get out from the midst of it, get our mind on God's Word. That way we can have our perspectives and everything the way they need to be.

Verse 9: "For the fruit and result of the Spirit produces actions and conduct in all goodness and virtue, righteousness and generosity, Truth and sincerity." These are things that need to be the guiding and motivating things in our lives.

Verse 10: "Always be choosing, proving and practicing what is well pleasing an acceptable to the Lord (those beautiful things of love and righteousness, in which He delights and takes pleasure)."

I'm going to say right now: I know that because of the Feast of Tabernacles and what we're going though here—and you're studying this and reading it and talking about it and understanding it more—that I hope and pray—and I know that you will probably have one of the best Feast of Tabernacles that you have ever had, because your minds are being focused right in on this so that you can truly grow close to God and be tabernacling with God during this time.

Verse 10: "Always be choosing, proving and practicing what is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord (those beautiful things of love and righteousness in which He delights and takes pleasure). Never have any fellowship or agreement with the unfruitful, unproductive, depraved works, practices and deeds of spiritual darkness; but rather, be rebuking and reproving (those works of spiritual darkness)" (vs 10-11).

That is so true! Don't let the 'light of darkness' be shining into any part of your life. Let, rather, the bright light of God's Word be shining into your life. Men love darkness because their deeds are evil, but here Paul is saying, 'Don't have any part to do with that.'

Verse 12: "Because it is shameful indecent and vile to even mention the things that are being brought into the existence and practiced by them." That's the way it is in the world.

It says in Rom. 1 that they are 'inventers of evil things.' Yes, they are! They are bringing these things into existence. If you lived in the first century when the Apostle Paul was, or even before television, you didn't have your mind invaded by all of this nonsense and garbage where you have to run up and turn it off, or whatever you need to do. Or you become just so absolutely overwhelmed and kind of smothered with the things of the world that you just kind of give up and let things happen. This is even more meaningful for us today, that we don't let these things happen.

Verse 13: "But all of the things, which are being reproved and exposed are being made manifest and revealed for what they really are… [the works of the devil] …because that which is exposing and revealing everything is the Light."

Then Paul gives a warning, so you can understand the condition of the Church. This is the warning before the storm. Of course, growing spiritually asleep happens to every one of us from time-to-time.

Verse 14: "Wherefore, He is saying, 'Those of you who are sleeping, WAKE UP! STIR YOURSELVES UP!…." Just like he told Timothy, 'Stir up the Spirit that is in you by the laying on my hands; for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power, love and of a sound mind.' (2-Tim. 1). That's what we need to do: stir ourselves up with the Spirit of God!

"…Even rise up from the dead (the spiritually lethargic sleep, which leads to spiritual death), and God shall shine upon you and give you light'" (v 14). Notice again, regardless of what your circumstances are, or what they may have been, what does God do? He shows us the way

  • out of that darkness
  • out of that sleep
  • out of that lethargy
  • out of that spiritual doldrums and deadness in which we find ourselves

Verse 15: "Therefore, take heed to yourselves… [Everyone has to; we're all responsible; we need to watch out what we are doing. We can be entrapped in things; we can be enslaved into things.] …be alert and watch how accurately you are walking and conducting your lives; and not as those who are foolish and destitute of wisdom, but as those who are wise, with understanding and comprehension." Obviously then, that is of God's way.

Verse 16: "Redeeming the time…" Just remember that whenever you find yourself falling short, or whenever you find yourself in a habit pattern or you're doing things that aren't right, and all of a sudden you kind of take notice of it. Redeem the time! God is there to help you!

"…(that is buying back and rescuing yourselves from the lost time)… [if you do God will help you] …because the days are EVIL and wicked" (v 16). Even more so right now than ever before.

I'll tell you one thing, if there's one thing that is absolutely true, we are living in the age of the Laodicean Church! Can be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that that is true. Who then become lukewarm, talk back to God, are naked and blind, and they are not clothed, can't see. This ties right in with that (Rev. 3:14-21). That refers to the Laodiceans. They need to wake up before they're spit out and destroyed. This is here for us.

Every one of us comes to those times—don't we? Where we don't do what we should and we know we should be doing what we ought to be doing, but we're not. We're doing something else. Come back to these Scriptures and let it, with God's Spirit, help you redeem the time—redeem the days, redeem the things that you have lostbecause the days are evil.

Verse 17: "Considering your situation, do not be foolish, empty-headed and void of wisdom… I look back and I see all the stupid things that I have ever done and this labels every one of them—being "…foolish, empty-headed and void of wisdom…"

Sometimes we go along and we just get so impetuous and it's kind like a big chain that's hanging in our nose and we're being dragged along. I saw something where some people did some things that were very stupid and foolish. It was the animal-rightists. They went into some place where there was a bullfight—and obviously, bullfighting is something that shouldn't be done—and they went in and sat down in the bullring where the bulls were that they were fighting to protest the fighting of bulls—they didn't want it to happen.

They're sitting there all pious in their stupidity, empty-headedness and vanity and guess what happens? The bull lowers his head and charges and gouges about four or five of them right in full view of the television camera taking the news picture of that instance. That is the most profound example that I can think of, of being foolish and empty-headed and void of wisdom, to sit yourself down right in the middle of a bullring and then let the bull attack you.

Spiritually, we can look back and see that there are times when we have literally done the same thing in our lives—right? Yes! So, he says, 'Don't be that way!'

"…but be wise and understanding what the will and desire of the Lord is… [Always be keeping that in mind.] …Do not be drunk and intoxicated with wine…" (vs 17-18). In the Church of God I think there have been too many instances where there has been too much drinking and alcoholism and things. I'm just talking about in general, but it can happen, and there have been ministers who have had to be treated for alcoholism, going to Alcoholics Anonymous and even one of the Churches of God they had one minister, whom I know personally, was drinking 2-1/2 to 3 quarts of vodka a day!

You say, 'Ohhh! How could that possibly happen to a minister?' Step-by-step, little-by-little, over a period of time. Then he was the one, after he came to his senses, who went around and helped raise up similar things to Alcoholics Anonymous in the different congregations of that Church. Therefore, that's why Paul says: "Do not be drunk and intoxicated with wine…" This also tells us that they didn't drink grape juice back then. That's for all the grape juice and water people. Why must we control that? I know that during the Feast we do have alcoholic beverages and we exercise it in moderation and in due care. That is fine and good, and well pleasing to God. But with drunkenness and intoxication, what does that lead to?

"…which leads to reckless abandon of character and dissipating debauchery…" (v 18). It dissipates the body. It dissipates the health. It dissipates the mind, and then you abandon character and you start doing those things you know you shouldn't do. But because you've clouded everything with the toxicity of all of this alcoholism—as in the case I just explained of this minister—then all of these things happen. That's how people get cirrhosis of the liver and on and on. He's saying here, 'Don't let that become a thing within the Church.

"…but be filled with the Spirit and let it pervade everything you do" (v 18). This is why the Epistle to the Ephesians is so tremendous. It is so involving everyone of us in letting the Spirit of God work in our lives and pervade everything we do—guiding us and leading us and uplifting us in every way.

Verse 19: "Speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs… [that's what we're doing right now with what I'm going through right here in Ephesians] …and from your hearts and innermost being, be singing to and praising the Lord; giving thanks, being filled with gratitude and praise for everything in your life, at all times, in every circumstance (irrespective of whether you are being tried, or being blessed)…" (vs 19-20).

Too many times we like to thank God when we're being blessed, and we don't thank God when we're being tried. Why? Because we don't like being tried! I don't! You don't! But nevertheless, these things are to bring us up in the nurture and admonition of Christ. If Christ suffered for what He suffered, then we're going to suffer, too. That's all part of it. Let's also be blessing God and thanking Him and having gratitude even in times of trial as well blessings:

"…always be thanking our God and Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (v 20). This gives us, again, a lofty goal—doesn't it? Showing the debauchery of the world is nothing and that we should not be in that. But lifting our hearts and minds up to looking to God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 21 ends this section: "Submitting yourselves to one another in the reverential fear and awe of God."

If we keep these things in mind, how much fewer problems are we going to have among ourselves and between ourselves. It's going to minimize them. I don't think we can ever come to wholly—as human beings—a time when there isn't any difficulty or misunderstandings or stress or problems between brethren.

But what we can do by focusing in on God the Father and Jesus Christ constantly, we can minimize that. We can bring it down to a level that it isn't going to destroy us. That's the whole purpose of Paul writing this. Remember, he was in prison and he knew this long before he was in prison. He knew what was going to happen in the Church. He knew it, and he knew he couldn't stop it. He knew he wouldn't stop it. But he had to leave something for the Church, and the people, brethren and ministers who are faithful to be inspired with. So, that in spite of all of the problems and the absolute turmoil and the retching and tearing apart of the Church that was going to come, that everyone of us would have something to really hold onto, to really sink our teeth into, to really stay right and faithful with God.

Acts 20—remember that Paul had this in mind when he wrote this, because he gave this prophecy long before he was arrested and put in prison. Acts 20:28—he says to the ministers: "Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock…" This is to the elders at Ephesus. Remember, he came by and stopped by at Miletus and called for the elders, and this is what he was saying to them. So, he knew. Remember when Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians, this was what was on his mind so that he could hold the Church together as long as it would, to inspire and encourage the brethren to act in the love of God so that when these things took place it would accomplish two things:

  • Hopefully to minimize the effects of it

—which you can't do; you can't do by remote control. God did not desire to do that, because He's going to let everything be tried and fall where it would.

  • Individually to us in our lives, hearts and minds, minimize the effect of it so that when the trials come we will know how to recover ourselves out of it.

That's what the book of Ephesians has done and awful lot for me in my life, and I hope in your life.

Verse 28: "Take heed, therefore, to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood." That's a powerful price for the Church. Every minister needs to go back and read this every once in a while and remind himself who the Church belongs to, and the price that it cost God.

Verse 29: "For I know this: that after my departure grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock." They're going to tear it asunder! That's why Paul is writing here and saying, 'I've got this in my thoughts. God, inspire me what I need to write to inspire these people to help them as much as I can.

Verse 30: "And from among your own selves men will rise up speaking perverse things… [That's what he's saying here: Don't let anyone deceive, beguile, or cheat you out of your reward of God.] (For what purpose?): …to draw away disciples after themselves."

Remember, Paul had this in mind when he was writing Ephesians. When he's talking about wives and husbands, he's talking about the Church and Christ. Also, it gives us an example that when the Church goes bad, the relationship with Christ suffers, just as every marriage where there are women who are not doing this—as it says here in Eph. 5—and there are men who are not being the kind of husbands they ought to, everything falls apart.

There isn't one of us that has not gone through ups and downs in our marriage, that we know for sure that this is true. I want you to look at the world and understand why this society in the world is as bad as it is:

  • women are not being the wives and women they ought to be
  • men are not being the husbands and men that they ought to be

Therefore, the society is going down the tubes, and we are being led astray by all kinds of fornication, sexual uncleanness and destruction of the family. And it lies right within the husband and wife to do the best that they can and follow God's way.

Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, subordinate, subject and submit yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord." That doesn't mean that the wife becomes the 'punching bag' of the husband. But how many problems and difficulties are solved because of this? Many! Women need to understand and realize—and I'll just state it categorically here—no woman at any time, though you're married to him, you do not know what is in your husband's mind. Most of the mistakes that women make are because by nature they think they know what's in the mind of a man. You don't!

Also, the women's movement wants to remain women, but become as men. You can't have it all! Men, because of that, are fragile, you need to understand that. They may not let you know it, but they are fragile. They need the help and support of a wife. That's why God created women. That's why they are to be subordinate and in subjection and submissive "…to their own husbands as unto the Lord."

Verse 23: "Because the husband is the head and leader of the wife, even as Christ is the Head and Leader of the Church, which is His body; and He Himself is the Savior, Deliverer, Provider and Preserver of the Body, which is the Church. In exactly the same manner, as the Church is subordinate, submissive and subject to Christ, even so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything in the marriage estate" (vs 23-24).
Now, Paul doesn't leave it there. He doesn't go along and say, 'Women are all the cause of all the evil in the world'—which is the same thing that Adam said—remember when God came and said, 'Why did you do this?' Adam said, 'The woman!' The woman said, 'The serpent!' Same thing! So, Paul doesn't leave it there. He says, 'Okay, you husbands, don't you get so absolutely just filled with so much barbarianism in you that you beat up your wives and you treat them like slobs, and you make them less than nothing and put them under your thumb.'

He says, v 25: "Husbands, be loving your wives with Godly Divine love, in exactly the same manner as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her." That's a tall order—right? Yes, it is!

Again, we have the same thing. Paul is teaching the ideal that we need to keep in mind, realizing that we need to strive for that. In the one case for the husbands; in the other case for the wives. But together, if we strive for this and realize that we need to come together in Christ…

(go to the next track)

…we're going to have much better marriages.

Why did he do it this way? Verse 26: "In order that He might sanctify her (that is make her Holy, pure and righteous), having cleansed and purified her from sin and error by the washing and cleansing of the water through the Word, through the grace, command and mandate of God."

So, it all has to be out of the Word of God that these things are coming from, for us. This is the goal. I just have to admit that I've fallen way short of these things many times. A lot of people think a minister and his wife ought to have an absolutely perfect relationship: 'He's a minister. He's been ordained. She's a minister's wife, she ought to be nearly perfect.'

No, that's not so! I can tell you that. I can tell you that there have been some very difficult times in my married life. That's not to reveal any confidential thing about anything. I am not an easy person to live with—period! That's just the way it is. With that caveat, I'm preaching to myself while I'm preaching to you. And hopefully, in all of it, we can all grow in grace and knowledge, and love and understanding. Paul said, 'Until we all come into the unity of the faith.'

Verse 27: "That He might place her beside Himself… [in the kingdom as spirit beings] …as the glorious, gorgeous, untarnished Church, not having a single spot or stain, wrinkle or blemish, or any such thing; but that she might be consecrated, Holy and completely blameless. In exactly the same manner… [that's what it means in the Greek] …the husbands are duty-bound…" (vs 27-28). You see where the correction comes? God is not partial to men. God is not partial to women. Therefore, the instructions and corrections come to both. But notice again how Paul does this:

  • he does this to inspire
  • he does this uplift
  • he does this inspire us to be motivated to make the corrections and changes ourselves

Because in the final analysis you have to do any changing and correcting; each individual by choice and determination and by free will and desirous willingness to do so. It's the old story, 'you lead a horse to water—you can even take him in the water and drown him—but if doesn't want to drink, he ain't going to drink.' It's the same way with us. Paul is trying to inspire us to make us change our lives:

  • by seeing what we need to do
  • by looking at what we have been doing
  • by seeing what God wants us to do

Verse 28: "In exactly the same manner, the husbands are duty-bound and under obligation to God, to love their wives as their own bodies… [and much more than that] …anyone who is loving his wife in this manner, loves himself, because no one at any time has really and truly hated his own flesh…" (vs 28-30).

There have been some demon-possessed and inspired persons who destroy the flesh, cut on themselves and all that sort of thing. That's not talking about that kind of thing, because that is not the person, in reality, doing it, but the demon in him. We're talking about those of us today, because no one as a Christian "…at any time has really and truly hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, exactly as the Lord does the Church, for we are members of very own body…" (vs 29-30).

How do you think you got to where you are in the Church, being called, and all of that. It's through the Body of Christ! Therefore, I put "…of His very own flesh…" Let's read it in the King James so that we get a contrast here.

I know for years, when I first came into the Church, I could not understand this, because how could it be that, as it says in the King James, v 30: "For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones."

  • Christ was resurrected—isn't that true?
  • Christ is now spirit—isn't that true?
  • Yes!

How then can we become members of His body, of His flesh when it is now a spirit body? Of His bones, when it is now a spirit body? One day it dawned on me why it said that. That's why I put it in this translation.

Verse 30: "For we are members of His very own body, of His very own flesh (through the crucifixion…)…" That's what it is because Christ became flesh! 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' The Word became flesh for what purpose?

  • For the suffering of death!
  • For the forgiveness of our sins!
  • That we can be married to Christ!

That's what it means that "…we are members of His body, of His very own flesh (through the crucifixion and all that means)…" (v 30).

Then I couldn't figure out "…and of His bones"What on earth do bones have to do with the spiritual reality of being in the Church of God. It finally dawned on me one day.

In the bones, in the very heart and core of the bones is bone marrow. In that bone marrow is the very physical substance and life of our physical being—correct? Yes! Your bone marrow is reproducing blood cells, so the bone marrow is the generating factories of your very body, the innermost part of your very being that keeps your physical body going. That is why when people are so wracked with cancer, they say 'let's have a bone marrow transplant.' The doctors know that that gives physical life.

When it's talking about the bones, it's taking about another very important thing that is true: Where did women come from in the first place? God took one of Adam's ribs and from it He fashioned a woman!

So, combining these two thoughts together, Adam was the first man—right? Jesus Christ is the second Adam—right? The analogy is this: "…(…and of His bones as Adam's wife Eve was created from his own rib, so also as a counterpart for Christ, the Church, as a spiritual creation, is created from his innermost Being)" (v 30).

  • Is Christ involved in our lives? Yes!
  • How? From His innermost being to us, through God the Father!

Doesn't that give us a more profound and meaningful understanding that we are of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. From the innermost part of His Being!

Verse 31: "And in correlation (to this spiritual analogy, which is a type)… [now he comes back down to the earthly things for us] …a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to and cleave to his own wife, and the two of them shall become… [over the period of their lifetime] …one flesh and blend their lives into one"—that the two now are no longer two, but one. That is the great challenge and the great goal in a married life that we need to have. That is the great goal of God the Father and Jesus Christ and the Church.

Verse 32: "This mystery…" And it is a mystery! A tremendous mystery of God that this could be so, and that we—as the saints of God—can become the bride of Christ.

"This mystery is great, immense and supreme…. [The greatest and most fantastic thing we could ever understand as human beings. And the greatness and glory of God and all that He has for us.] …I am speaking concerning the relationship between Christ and the Church (and their eternal destiny). However, let everyone of you also be loving his own wife exactly as himself; and the wife would see that she is revering her husband" (vs 32-33).

The whole standard is so high and the goal is so lofty to shoot for, we're going to find ourselves just kind of like the guy with the pea-shooter trying to hit the mark a hundred feet away; it's going to fall short. We can see ourselves falling short of this, but this is the goal that we need to look to.

Let's tie this in with the Feast of Tabernacles. Let's go back here to Rev. 19. First thing that is going to happen after we're resurrected before we come back down to the earth is that the Church is going to be married to Christ.

When we understand that the resurrection is on Pentecost, and when we understand that the book of Ruth was to be read on the Day of Pentecost—and you've often wondered about the book of Ruth, haven't you? Yes! Ruth was a Gentile woman; Boaz was an old Jewish man. Boaz represented the ancient qualities of Christ living forever. The woman represented that which was not accepted by God, being a Gentile.

They were married and they had a child, and the offspring was Jesse. Jesse was the one who became the father of David, from whom the root, the branch, led to Christ.

That's why the book of Ruth is read on Pentecost, and expand that toward the New Testament in the light of what I just read here. Let's read Rev. 19 that talks about the whole meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles and the marriage of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:1: "And after these things I heard the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying… [that's us resurrected] …'Hallelujah! The salvation and the glory and the honor and the power belong to the Lord our God. For true and righteous are His judgments; for He hasjudged the great whore… [that great counterfeit; that evil adulterous woman that runs this world and destroys human beings and brings them into poverty and degradation] …who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and He has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.' And they said a second time, 'Hallelujah! And her smoke shall ascend upward into the ages of eternity.' And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, Who sits on the throne, saying, 'Amen. Hallelujah!'" (vs 1-4)—'So be it, praise God' is another way of saying the same thing.

Verse 5. And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all His servants, and all who fear Him, both small and great.' And I heard a voice like that of a great multitude… [that's us, brethren and the angels with us] …and like the sound of many waters, and the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty has reigned'" (vs 5-6). That's the whole meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Verse 7: "'Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.'" That's us, brethren! That's why we need the Word of God. We need to take it and

  • wash us
  • scrub us
  • clean us
  • uplift us
  • inspire us
  • motivate us
  • make ourselves ready

Verse 8: "And it was granted to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright… [not any spot, wrinkle, stain or blemish or any such thing] …for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said to me, 'Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God'" (vs 8-9).

Let's keep that in mind, that we are going to reign forever and ever and ever in the close marriage estate relationship with Jesus Christ into all eternity!

Scriptures in Ephesians from The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, An Inspirational Study by Fred R. Coulter

All other Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Ephesians 5:1-5
  • Romans 1:18-22
  • Ephesians 5:7-21
  • Acts 20:28-30
  • Ephesians 5:22-29, 31-33
  • Revelation 19:1-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Philippians 2
  • Galatians 6
  • 2 Timothy 1
  • Revelation 3:14-21

Transcribed: 11-31-12
Corrected: 2-1-13