Chapter 21 of One Commentary on Ephesians, continuation of God’s Psychology.
Gist: Some differences between the ONEism of God through Christ and God’s Psychology and the Oneness of paganism, mysticism, and gnosticism.
21-1: One against Two.
We can appreciate the battle for loyalty in the Church as Dr. Peter Jones calls it, “One Against Two”, or binary against non-binary and the arguments for which as a Harvard theologian that remained faithful to Christ and the Bible in his lecture on “Confronting Neopaganism in the culture of the church”. Seems complicated as does the language of most theologians, but what it comes down to is the homosexual movement to make God’s creative pattern of two sexes, male and female into one sex; in the violations of the Godhead of Romans 1:25 to make nature and God only one; and to harmonize all religions into one with a dominance of Buddhism, Hinduism, and ancient Gnosticism. Why do they want to do that? That is a question more for later, but the answer is in the sinful nature of man that rebels actively and with all his efforts to deny everything that is God the heavenly Father or everything He has said in the Bible. We often fail to appreciate how biased and one-sided, no pun intended, the intellectual unbeliever can be in order to rationalize or mysticism that unbelief. At the end of this part on God’s Psychology in the One Commentary on Ephesians, it will be offered that when any preacher, and some of the most vocal of these neo-paganists as Preachers like J. Michael Clark of Furman University, check their words or written works for the obvious work of God the Holy Spirit on sin, righteousness, and judgment. If this three are there, you can support them as you “test the spirits, as if of God”, unless in a few rare instances found by SunGrist it is again it like Dr. Smith of the famous MTD; and the other hand like the obvious pagans of Joel Osteen, perhaps a victim of the WOF movement, where you cannot find the word trio at all. (Try it, preferable using search on a computer on written matter.)
Thank you, Dr. Jones, for the enlightenment at this world view battle of the ages, and your assistance on the battle in Theology of One versus Two; however, as Bible believers, we must distinguish between the obvious ONE and Oneness of the book of Ephesians with the Oneness of paganism and gnosticism. (You will find that almost every statement of these “futurists”, alias new pagans and new gnostics, rebels against statements of God in Ephesians about the nature and message of Oneness; and by the way you will be encouraged to know when you search for sound doctrine about these subjects online, you will find at least twice as many sound preachers of sound doctrine than the opposite, also you will note how often, for some strange reason, in the promotion of terse counters with sound against unsound, they quote from Ephesians.) According to Dr. Jones:
“The futurists speak of a “Journey toward Oneness,” carried along by “Global Spirit” (a modern form of animism). Nothing will stop them, they believe, from building a New Humanity, based on oneness, which will include the gender blur of the rising generation, which refuses to be confined to normal heterosexual distinctions.”
And in the next paragraph Dr. Jones explains who some of these futurists of paganism and gnosticism are and how they have joined themselves with a headquarters online in what they call “Vision Project”, best describe by the knowledgeable Presbyterian and Theology teacher Dr. Jones—
“An example of this virtually apocalyptic optimism is the Vision Project, an on-line site that gathers visionary statements from leading occultists, theosophists, Perennialists and interfaith globalists, such as Riane Eisler, radical feminist; Jean Houston, channeler; Barbara Marx Hubbard, director of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution; Ervin Laslo, author of Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything, Michael Lerner, editor of the journal of progressive Jewish spirituality, Tikkun; Robert Mueller, Under-secretary General of the United Nations, New Ager and founder of the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica; David Stencil-Rast, syncretistic Benedictine monk; Sarah McKechnie, president of Lucis Trust, founded by the occultic Alice Bailey; Dale McKechnie, Vice-president of the Lucis Trust, USA, to name just a few here featured.
The apocalyptic vision of a this-worldly utopia is given powerful expression by the brilliant One- spiritual philosopher Richard Tarnas. Tamas sees a rising “powerful crescendo” as many movements gather now on the intellectual stage as if for some kind of climatic synthesis [emphasis mine]” This synthesis will happen when “the human mind actively brings forth from within itself the full powers of a disciplined imagination and saturates its empirical observation with archetypal insight that the deeper reality of the world emerges.”(51] Or, as Wilber says, Enlightenment Liberalism is now ready to embrace deep spirituality. (52] The secularist logos is swallowed up/transcended and included, in mythos.”
21-2: First, however, before we go to war against these principalities and powers along with Satan and his many fallen fellow angels, let us continue with the exegesis, analysis, and implementations of Ephesians.
Proverbs from Ephesians
This is Part II of Paul’s parting words, and the second aspect of God’s psychology. Psychology can he divided into two broad subfields that are diametrically poles apart the cognitive, that is only concerned with what the human thinks up in his head; and behaviorism, which says don’t worry about the way they think Just change the way they act and behave.
The Bible says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” of man. What a man thinks in his mind, emotion, and will is what determines his character and behavior. This is God’s psychology. It has both the cognitive and behavioral aspect. In Part I on behavioral modification centered around “walking” we looked at some of the behavioral aspects of Ephesians 4-61 now in Part II we look at the cognitive aspect centered around “Proverbs from Ephesians,” Actually part II as treated in this commentary is primarily from Ephesians 5 and 6.
What would you think if 1 told you that the President of one of the most famous and long-established Baptist Universities in the world appears to be a behaviorist? His doctor’s degree is in psychology with a thesis on the escape techniques of rats. He is a re tired Lt, Colonel from the Air Force and trained monkeys. At this point, it would be nice to be positive| but how does a medical doctor tell a patient that they are dying of cancer in a positive manner, I don’t think there is a way and although America is, I hope, not that bad off, she is threatened more by behaviorism than either communism or socialism.
Before Watergate on the office wall of the second most powerful nan in the executive branch was a sign that read! “Get then by their (private parts) and their minds and hearts will follow.”
And lest you think it is crude to mention something like this in a religious commentary, remember that this happened only a few years ago in a U, S. government office under the flag where we say, “In God we Trust,” And those kinds of people are not dead, or of one party, or without influence in our country. Behaviorism is much alive in all kinds of management, in psychology, and in education, B, F, Skinner is the most influential educational psychologist of our time, a Behaviorist who says don’t worry about what they think just modify their Behavior to get the needed results} and who has written a Book that takes Behaviorism into government, Beyond freedom and Dignity, where he suggests that the problems of the world today have taken us Beyond the point where we can afford the luxury of freedom and of dignity.
Well, God’s approach in Ephesians 4-6 is to work on Both the mind and the Behavior, Part I concentrated on behavioral modification in terms of walking, and Part II concentrates on the mind or heart with “Proverbs from Ephesians,” Consider the rest of this chapter as a miniature attitude adjustment session from God Himself without paying hundreds per hour.
Attitude # l: BE LIKE GOD.
“In a word, as God’s dear children, try to be like him, and live in love as Christ loved us, and gave himself up on your behalf as an offering and sacrifice whose fragrance is pleasing to God.” (Ephesians 5:1,2 NEV)
That is positive! And that is attitude number one of our miniature attitude adjustment session where we look at proverbs from the book of Ephesians, chapters 5 and 6. You must look back at revelationists verses in Ephesians to get the full impact, and then look forward at chapter six. Part of Paul’s prayer in chapter 3 provides the backgrounds “So may you attain to fullness of being, the fulness of God himself.” (3*19 NEV) And then looking forward to where the Christian is admonished to put on all the armor of God—the helmet, breastplate, etc., which Bay Stedman in Spiritual Warfare says is the same as putting on Christ Himself.
Even as God the Father is over all and through all and in all, even so is the Trinity throughout and in every chapter and at the foundation of every teaching in Ephesians. Right in this section, it is copy God, grieve not the Holy Spirit, and learn Christ, in this passage for attitude number one, it is be like God and live in love as Christ loved us.
In chapter one while considering the spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms, it was God that chose us before the foundation of the world to be without blemish t in Christ that our release was secured, and cur sins forgiven; and -the Holy Spirit sealed us and provided the pledge that we would get our full heritage. The good news of peace in chapter two was that everyone has equal access to God the Father in the one God the Holy Spirit, and that Christ the Son Himself by the shedding of His blood on the cross has broken down the middle wall of partition and draw us near to God the Father. And we could thusly go on and on throughout Ephesians.
Even the Trinity of God itself is within Himself the real unity in the oneness among Christians. This was what was meant in our study of Oneness from God—the Ones of one faith, one body, etc., cluster around the individual members of the Trinity, in short, to be like God or to grieve not the Holy Spirit or to learn Christ, except for some fine points of distinction, for all practical purposes are saying the same thing. It is an attitude of striving to be like our Creator whether we consider the God who in the beginning created heaven and earth, or the Son which was the Word made flesh and through whom all things were made, or the Holy Spirit that brooded over the face of the deep and works with us most personally now on earth.
Also, you see this as a proverb like the short, terse sayings in the book of Proverbs or in Poor Richard’s Almanac. For example, for the latter—”A stitch in time saves nine,” and “Early to bed, early to rise,” etc.; and in the ease of the former, “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” or “There is nothing new under the sun,” and “…as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”
Attitude # 2: YOU ARE LIGHT.
We cone to ear second proverb from Ephesians 5 and 6, “For though you were once all darkness , now as Christians you are light. Live like men who at hose in daylight, for where light is, there all goodness springs up, all justice and truth.” (Ephesians 5:7-9 NEV)
Not you are in the light, but Christians you are light. There is good theological and biblical foundation to the song, “This little light of nine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Jesus did say, “Ye are the light of the world…” with a contrast of children of light and the children of the world of darkness, before and after, pagans and Christians as the analogy runs throughout Ephesians :and likewise does the contrast between good attitudes and bad attitudes.
We saw a lot of bad attitudes in chapter two with the contrast of what Christians were like before they were in Christ. They followed the evil ways of this present age; obeyed the wrong powers— the powers of darkness were among the rebels against God} obeyed their own instincts and notions.
To walk or live circumspectly in chapter 4 contrasted with pagans with “their good-for-nothing notions,” (4i17 NEV) Following is a description of the ever-spiraling downward of a life of evils obstinacy to darkness to death or judgment, to recklessness. Like in Romans 1 where they do not see fit to acknowledge God} then become vain in imagination and dark of heart} them God gives them up to uncleanness and a reprobate mind} and finally in recklessness, bottom one half of Romans 1 reached with impurity, dishonorable passions, shameless acts, improper conduct, and all Banner of wickedness.
Darkness! Prom Bad Attitudes! It Is something to shun any Christian friend. Do not get too close or too entangle before you have unawares started the downward spiral for which there is no return, you are light! Have nothing to do with the works of darkness. The peak of bad attitudes comes just before our first proverb. These are the bad attitudes that It Is easiest for Christians to slip Into, (Ephesians 4:31) Bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, and malice. Bitterness is sour speech and a sour spirit. Those that always complain have fallen prey to this bad attitude, Wrath Is a passionate rage while anger is a more settled hostility, it can become so natural to our character and personality that associates accept It as our norm. Clamor is shouting at people. Evil speaking Is slander, Speaking poorly of others, especially behind their backs. Malice is a combination of all these that can carry us so far as to even plot against others.
All of us to a certain extent can stand condemned on these bad attitudes| and should welcome the cure which is: “Be generous to one smother, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God IN Christ forgave you,” (Ephesians 4:32 NEV) And be like God, you are light!
Attitude #3: TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE WILL OF THE LORD.
Have you noticed how these attitudes overlay the behavior that was considered earlier; the walking or living overlays the attitude; and the cognitive in God’s psychology overlays the behavior? It is a balanced mixture of heart with mind, emotion and will and the way a Christian act which is behavior. So, it was in attitude number one. He was instructed “to try to be like him,” and then immediately with this attitude behind us, to modify our behavior by walking or living in love. Likewise, in attitude number three, the attitude of trying to understand the will of the Lord has less meaning unless first we also consider the admonition to walk circumspectly. We need Ephesians 5:15 in order to properly consider oi attitude in 5:16 and 17:
“Be most careful then how you conduct yourselves like sensible men, not like simpletons,” (15)
“Use the present opportunity to the full, for these are evil days. So, do not be fools, but try to understand what the will of the Lord is.” (16,17)
I’m so glad that the wording is to try to understand the will of God; for although the general will of God as revealed in the pages of the Bible are easy, the specific will of God which is unique for each Christian is not. What career to choose and who to marry and those other many specific decisions of life are among those classified in the specific will of God. Much of the general will of God, true for all Christians, we have seen in the revelational verses of Ephesians. God chose us from the foundation of the world to be dedicated, without blemish, and to be full of love. (1:3-5) God willed that all Christians be sealed with the Holy Spirit until complete redemption which is their heritage (1*13,1*0) He willed that we have hope, a share with all God’s people 1 and unmeasurable power, (l*18-21) He willed that we be enthroned with Christ in heavenly realms; and He wills that in the ages to come that He might display to us the resources of his grace and His kindness in Jesus, (2:6-8) God’s will generally is for all Christians to devote themselves to the good deeds for which He designed us, (2:10) And on and on through Ephesians.
God’s specific will, we must try to understand. Yet the Bible does give us certain guidelines. To know his will for each specific decisions, we are tot (l) trust God and acknowledge Him in all our ways; (2) pray for leadership through Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit; (3) be alert to open and closed doors; (*0 and use our sound mind, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. It? KJV)
The Christian has a lot more opportunity going for them in social conduct and ethics with additional motivation and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, Early Christians out-lived, out-thought, and out-died the pagans. The current opportunities of world crisis can be bought-up or redeemed for the good of the world. But since the days are evil, quick action is required. Our situation is our opportunity, unless God would lead us into another situation, “Look, Jesus said, “The fields are already white unto harvest,” Priori ties have to be established even as Colonel Hutchinson, the Puritan gave up sports and diversions as he saw the approach of the Civil War
Attitude # 4: LET THE HOLY SPIRIT FILL YOU.
Ephesians 5:18: “Do not give way to drunkenness and the dissipation that goes with it, but let the Holy Spirit fill you.*,” (NEV)
This also looks backwards in Ephesians and forward. Previously, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit and we were exhorted not to grieve the Holy Spirit; and now, we are to be filled with the Spirit) and then in chapter six, we with the rest of the armor are to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit. “We live in his environing and by his control. When occasion requires, we may have a fresh ‘infilling’ of his grace so that we will come into ‘fulness’ according to need and occasion.” (W. 0. Carver)
The sword of the Spirit and the Holy Spirit’s fullness go hand in hand as we take up the sword, the Word of God, and read “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses.*.” (Acts 1:8 KJV)
Attitude #5: HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE TO GOD.
Ephesians 5: 20: “…and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ give thanks every day for everything to our God and Father.” (NEV)
It is not easy in all circumstances every day to maintain an attitude of thankfulness. Sometimes the trials of life come rushing in on us, but it must be possible, since it is part of God’s psychology, it will be helpful if we remember that what we have most importantly as Christians is the spiritual blessings in heavenly realms where they cannot change with our daily experiences here.
Attitude #6: FIND YOUR STRENGTH IN THE LORD.
The Apostle Paul really gets down to brass tacks in the wrapping up of his parting words. The proverbs are almost completed: the attitude session Is almost over. He becomes very practical. “Finally, then, find jour strength In the Lord, In his mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10 NEV) It is the same Greek words used to express the strength and the power that is available to Christians when Paul prays in chapter 1 that we might know the vast resources of God’s power that can be ours and gives the measure of it. It is measured by nothing less than the same power that brought Christ forth from the grave.
Attitude #7: PUT ON THE HELMET OF SALVATION.
Even as we concluded the psychology of behavioral modification centered around walking with the need to put the proper footwear on the Christian’s feet, the sandals of the preparation of the gospel of peace) even so we now come to conclude the psychology of the mentality centered around attitudes with proper headwear—the helmet protects the head. Elsewhere, it is the hope of salvation. Brother, that is a mental attitude. The hope of salvation represents all that we reasonable expect to happen based on the Word of God—past, present, and future. He was saved initially by the grace of God, not of works) we continue in salvation by grace, sealed by the Holy Spirit) and we have assurance in the future of full salvation with glorification of body and all that we are, when Christ comes again.
21-3: Next, a Review of One in the book of Ephesians.
- Ephesians 1:10-12.
“That in the dispensation (horrors, this is not the dispensationalism of Scofield, that great gnostic of the Protestant Falling Away) of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
You have to read this in the context of the description of the Blessed God our Heavenly Father in verses 1-9– Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…” and neither paganism or gnosticism nor the futurists of a certain other kind of Oneness can get a foot in the door here as you have a distinct God from Jesus and us of believing humanity; HE IS THE FATHER OF OUR REAL AND HISTORICAL LORD JESUS CHRIST, thus we get a good foundation in Bible of a beginning understanding of the Trinity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which Dr. Jones also recommends as a counter to pagans and gnostics in the church body today. By the way, did you notice in the very basic statement of faith of Ephesians 4:4-6, the unity and peace basis for agreement throughout the whole body of the Church, the complete Trinity is mentioned.
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.’ (4:4-6)
All it takes is a little confidence and awareness in the Bible to keep these bad people and preachers to get off the ground on their efforts to destroy “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)
NOTE: Much of the Oneness of the Bible and Ephesians in particular is not being seen now on earth because it has yet to find fulness in the new earth at the Second Coming and because the falling away of both Catholicism and Protestantism has clouded the Oneness of John of all Christians of all times. The opposite, which was once more evident, is being countered now; that is, the obvious oneness Jesus talked about between His first disciples and later disciples that would believe in their words. Unfortunately, we as Christians and the church without this recommended unity of Jesus have given these scoffers (gnostics, futurists, and pagans) fodder for their unbelief! And so, as we will look at some of the other ones in Ephesians, we will find they still remain incomplete or shattered in this falling away as not yet achieved, awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. Yet the kingdom of Christ goes on generation after generation on an invisible scale compared to the chatter of these scoffers, yet to be seen when every eye shall see Him at His coming. In many ways with the helmet, belt of truth and all the armor provided by God and in Ephesians we must fight battles like stated in a movie, “We don’t have to win just fight.” Of course, while we are losing more and more battles in this time of the falling away, the war has been won and we know it.
- One in Ephesians 2:13-18 and notice that God the Trinity is there also!
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
Even as these scoffers have no answer for the historical Jesus that lived a perfect life, that performed many miracles to testify to Himself and the Father, that died on the cross for their sins, they have no real answer for the historical events of the cross and resurrection.
- With all the Oneness God the Father and the Son are seeking to achieve between Jews and Gentiles also remained unseen today, the scoffers have more fodder for their scoffing’s on a substitute oneness of man and God, Ephesians 2:14-17. And it is true that we await according to Romans more of this oneness, even though some increasing evidence today with Christians and Jews in Israel, to be fulfilled after the predicted in the Bible fulness of the Gentiles is complete.
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”
Even as God “made both one”, that is Jew and Gentile, you can count on it continuing to happen in the invisible somewhat Church and in fulness on the new earth. The futurists have this vast false optimism of a new global humanity of all religions much harder to believe than the Bible on God’s new creation on the new earth.
…And sorry we have run out of time and space, so the approximately ten more ONEs of Ephesians will be given simultaneously as we consider the completion of the parts of God’s Psychology in the One Commentary on Ephesians. Thank you for your patience and perseverance.
NOTE: The image above, one of the milder ones, of the Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburg is just one example of how witches and paganism is alive and well, thriving in both Ireland and Scotland like a religion. To those, paganism is a compliment. In case you are interested you can online by searching modern Paganism in Ireland and Scotland.
If you have the courage and fortitude to read Dr. Peter Jones lecture or listen to it, following are the links for you: