A. These verses contain Apostle Paul’s Ministry Statement. Paul goes on to say in the 10th verse: “To the intent that NOW unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places (The Angels).” Paul is referring to our “But Now” Spiritual Impact in the heavenly places.
Eph. 2:6-7, CBOC will be “raised up together and made to sit together, in Ages to Come.” We are going to be an eternal testimony, because God is going to “shew the exceeding riches of His Grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” But Paul is teaching here in verse 10, that Right NOW, our ministry is to make an Impact in heavenly places.
B. In our first lesson, “Angels Looking Over Us,” you & I do NOT have “guardian angels” watching over us in the Dispensation of Grace. People point to the “ministering spirits” in Hebrews Chp.1, as angels. Well, “ministering spirits” are referred to as angels, but NOT in the Dispensation of Grace. *That is Israel’s program! The “spirits, salvation & angels” spoken of in vs. 14; Hebrews 2:3 & Psalm 91, belong to Israel. That’s Not Our Mail!
C. In fact TODAY, the Angels need us, we don’t need them! *We are SEALED in Christ with the Holy Spirit. We have the CEO of Heaven giving us His undivided Attention & Protection. The Holy Spirit is the Personal Representative of the Godhead securing your inner man. We live in a secure environment of the Holy Spirit. NO, we don’t have guardian angels today! *But we do have a relationship with Angels Today, in the Disp. of Grace!
D. Vs 10; READ: talks about our relationship with Angels. The “INTENT” (purpose of God) for the angelic hosts that fill up the government of the heavens is that right NOW, through the CBOC, they might know/learn about the “Manifold Wisdom of God.”
*Yes, we do have an “Unseen Guest,” & an “Unseen Balcony,” where the Angelic host is watching /observing us.
E. The Reason the Angels are Watching Us, is because they are trying to learn something from you & I. We have been given some understanding about the Manifold (multifaceted) Wisdom of God that they didn’t know anything about. “The Angels desire to look into: “(the Mystery of the Manifold Wisdom of God, & God’s Eternal Purpose).
1 Peter 1:9-12; The “things that the Angels desire to look into.” They couldn’t figure it out! They had a desire to know it. Know what you ask? The Angels want to know what God is doing right now in the dispensation of grace.
A. The Angels have been observing creation from the very beginning. They know God has a plan! The angelic host is watching today to learn it from us. And we see it here in scripture, first proclaimed by the “preaching of the unsearchable riches of Christ” & then “to make all men see.” Putting On a visual demonstration of what the fellowship of the mystery is all about. NOTICE: the Angelic Creation, (Elect Angels) as they hear us teach the doctrine and they see the truth of the Oneness of the Body of Christ live out in us, they (Angels) see it, they learn it, in doctrine and in practice.
B. So, the Angels are learning, and everything we do has a “Spiritual Impact” that goes throughout the whole universe. When you and I study the Manifold Wisdom of God, we learn where we fit, in life! Where we fit in the plan and purpose of God. Where we fit in the CBOC. Where your very life fits in the Christian life!
*We all have been young, and when you’re young, you have questions. Where do I fit in? What do I do? How do I live? How do I function? We’ve all asked those questions. It is so sad when we meet people our age who still haven’t figured that out yet. (Pause).
C. That is why studying the scripture is the Key to Life! It is life! When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the LIFE…” (St. John 14:6). *Paul puts our being in Christ this way: “But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and the redemption:” (1 Cor. 1:30). The ULTIMATE BASIS OF REALITY (LIFE)!!!
D. Eph. 3:10; “To the INTENT that NOW…” God has intentions, a purpose, a plan, an Ultimate Goal. That RIGHT NOW, you and I are a demonstration of the Manifold Wisdom of God. *READ: Eph. 1: 7-10 = Riches of His Grace=God’s Eternal Purpose*
VS 8 “Wherein (which) He hath (has) abounded (supplied) toward us in all wisdom and prudence (spiritual understanding); *God has taken His wisdom and prudence (spiritual understanding) and sent it our way. How did He do it?
VS 9 “Having made known unto us the Mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He had purposed in Himself: *God refers to this “Mystery of His Will,” in (Eph. 3:10); as the “Manifold (multifaceted) Wisdom of God.”
Eph. 3:11, “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”
Eph. 3:11, points back to Eph. 1:9-10 & describes the “Manifold Wisdom.” Eph. 1:9; “Having Made known unto us the Mystery of His Will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself “
*(PURPOSED: “carried out”) 3:11.
A. Eph.1:10; = THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD:“That in the dispensation of the fullness 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:” *NOTICE: If you’re going to understand the “Eternal Purpose of God,” you’re going to have to understand Dispensational Bible Study!
B. The fact is, that today most of the so-called church doesn’t know what that means. That’s why organized religion is walking around, “the blind leading the blind.” They don’t understand Dispensational Bible Study, and they don’t know what they’re doing! To be relevant (meaningful) to the community, you’ve got to speak the truth! We are instructed to let the world be who they are, and we be who we are! *CF. Romans 12:1-2; “And be not conformed (in agreement, secret collusion) to this world: but be ye transformed (progressively changed as you mature spiritually) by the renewing of your mind (Godly values), that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” *That’s how you preserve (maintain, keep in good condition) the world!
C. There is purpose and wisdom in the Book. The Angelic creation knows that, and they look to us to be instructed about it. Again, what do the Angels need to know? The Manifold Wisdom of God. What is that? *Eph. 1:9; “He made known to us the “Mystery of the Father’s Will, according to His good pleasure which He had purposed in Himself.” * Well, when did He do that? Before the world began! Who was back there when the world began? God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. Nobody else!
D. He purposed it in Himself! No, we weren’t there, but He told us about it, He revealed it to us. What did He reveal? “That in the dispensation (program) of the fullness of times:” (the fullness of something is when the end results are known; when the reason God did it has arrived.) The dispensation of the fullness of times: Is experiencing why God created the Universe. “Time” is the period/space (length, breadth, & depth) during which the universe exists. “He (God) might gather together in One (Body, in one functioning unit,) all things that are in heaven and on earth; even in Him.” (Under Headship of Jesus Christ)
E. What Did God create in heaven and earth? Cf. Colossians 1:16 (READ). “VISIBLE & INVISIBLE.” So, there are some visible things and there are some invisible things created in heaven and in earth. “whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all these things were created by Him, and for Him: *All These realms of governmental authority are designed to manage creation, all these things were created by Him and for Him.”
Cf. Revelation 4:11; “Thou art worthy, Oh Lord, to receive glory an honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
A. When God created the universe and the creatures in the universe, God created them for His pleasure. They were created by Him and for Him.
God had a plan and a purpose for them to be made manifest. SEE: Colossians 1:18-19.
“that in all things He might have the preeminence (superiority, supremacy). For it pleased the Father that in Him (the Son) should all fullness dwell. *The Father’s Will is that in all creation, Jesus Christ is the Supreme hero. Jesus Christ is designed by the Father to be the celebrity of the universe. The preeminent one, above all others, everything was created for the purpose of exalting His wisdom.
B. Eph. 1:10; “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times………………………………………” God Is going to gather together in One (Body), all of creation, all principalities, powers, dominions, & thrones. All functional positions of the universe & all the creatures that fill them, in heaven and on earth. And God Is going to use their positions to exalt His Son, and all of creation is going to be gathered together in One functioning unit (Body), for the purpose of exalting an honoring The Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
C. Christ is the One that all of this exalts. He’s the one to be praised, because the Father finds All of His joy and delight in His Son. And God desires you to find the same joy and
delight then he finds in His Son. “God is Love.” *1 John 4:19 says: “We love him, because He first loved us…..” *God says, “I want you to love My Son, because look how much He loves you.”
The father loves the Son supremely & The Son loves the Father supremely, every member of the Triune Godhead loves each other supremely. God Has designed creation to demonstrate that, and to fellowship with Him in it. WE Are called to fellowship with His Son. That’s what life is all about.
D. Life is not about figuring out how to get a new car, etc. If you are going to buy a new car, you had to figure that out, that’s understandable. But the issue here is, there’s some wisdom from God about how to deal with His creation and how to enjoy His creation. By the way, having a new car might be in His will. After all, He’s given us all things richly to enjoy. But the way you richly enjoy for example, a new car, isn’t by going out getting in debt over your head so that you’re sinking. Amen.
Some of you are in debt so deep until you can’t even float. Your head is underwater, and you can’t see where you’re going. And you wind up not enjoying anything, you become a slave! The borrower is a slave to the lender. That was the lust of your flesh and the lie of the adversary that said, here is happiness and fulfillment. Freedom doesn’t come that way! Happiness is a result! Freedom is a fruit! Fruit of what? Fruit of love, by serving one another.
The Angelic creation (the Angels) need to understand “the Manifold Wisdom of God, which is to say, the Mystery of His will.” They need to have it put on display among us.
A. Proverbs 3:19; Colossians 1:9
There Is more information in your Bible about creation. Genesis chapter one, is not the only place you can go to get information about creation. In the book of Job, the book of Proverbs and Isaiah, there is more information. You cannot understand Genesis Chp. 1, without understanding Isaiah, Chp. 40. And you can’t understand Isaiah 40 without understanding Job, Chp. 38.
B. Proverbs 3:19-20; “The Lord by wisdomhave foundedthe earth; by understanding has He established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.” *These 3 terms wisdom, understanding and knowledge, describe over and over in scripture, what God did when he created the universe, the earth, man, Israel & the Body of Christ.
C. God took His wisdom, knowledge an understanding and put it into His creation. Now, in Jesus Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. So, He put the wisdom and the knowledge that is in his Son, in creation. SEE: Romans 1:20; “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (men) are without excuse:”
READ: Colossians 1:9 = (Paul’s prayer). Paul says I want your life to be filled (under control) with the knowledge of the Will of the Father in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding that God had when He created the universe. I want you to be filled with all the wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding.
D. The CBOC, is the embodiment (the visible representation) of wisdom, knowledge and understanding in that one spiritual body of believers. GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE:. “that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He would gather together in one, all things in heaven and on earth; even in Him.” Eph. 1:10. *All the wisdom & knowledge that’s in His Son, that God put on display in creation, that’s what creation is all about.
E. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” By the way, do you know who was there watching? SEE: Job 38:1-4 vss. *Job, the 1st book written* Now there was a problem with this issue of creation. Listen to the conversation God was having with Job.
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, who is this that darkens council (questioning my authority and wisdom) by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins (stand up) like a man, and I will ask you, then you instruct me!
A. The point is this, Job didn’t have a clue about who was responsible for creating the universe. So, God rebukes Job for questioning His authority and wisdom & calls him out!
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare, (tell me) if you know and have understanding”. Job 38:4. *ANSWER: Job was nowhere! He wasn’t created yet! And so, God continues to question Job. VSS. 5-6; “Who hath laid (determined) the measurements of the earth, if you know? Or who stretched the (measuring) line on it? On what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid (the earth’s) cornerstone? Divine Blueprint!!!
B. NOTICE: VS. 7; “When the morning stars sang together, and all The Sons of God shouted for joy.” *Well, there was somebody there watching when God laid the foundation of the earth!! “The Sons of God,” the Angels!
The Angels watched God put creation together and they shouted for joy! They were excited as they watched God creating heaven and earth. NOTICE: The Angels did not know what God’s plan was, He kept it hidden in Himself. It was a Mystery!!
C. Isaiah 14:12; “How art thou fallen…”(now here is a character that’s fallen, he’s fallen from heaven. (SEE: Luke 10:18). ”O Lucifer, son of the morning!” And God desired to have a creation of sons. “Sons of the morning” (bearers of light – Angels.) *Remember Job 38:7? This represents the first morning, the morning of creation.
Lucifer was the leader of the creatures that were there on the day of creation. “When the
morning stars sang together.” They had a leader, originally an Elect Angel name Lucifer, created to be a leader of the morning stars. But something happened to him, Lucifer fell from his position in heaven! “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Lk. 10:18.)
D. Isa.14:12 “How art thou cut down to the ground (fallen), which did weaken the nations!” Lucifer went out in creation and instead of strengthening the nations and lifting them up, he sought to destroy them. How did he do it? Verse 13. “For thou hast said in thine heart, (here is lucifer’s original plan, recorded also in Ezek. 28:15, The most beautiful and wisest creature God ever made, “wiser than Daniel, vs 3). “till iniquity (sin) was found in thee” (vs 15). “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty (pride), thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of the thy brightness” (beauty.) (vs 17). (1 Tim. 3:6).
A. Isaiah 14:13, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven (I just got kicked out), I will exalt my throne above the stars (above the Angels.) I will sit also up on the Mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north (the Angels will have to come to me.) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (everyone will worship me) I will be like the most High.” (Satan’s Ultimate goal is to be LIKE God!)
B. In the Bible, the title “most high,” is found in Genesis 14:19, 22. The definition for the “most high God” is the “possessor of heaven and earth.” The “most high God” possesses all authority in heaven and earth. SEE: Eph. 1:19-23. Creation was created in order to give Jesus Christ Top position in heaven and earth. Satan says, I want to be just like Him, I want to take His place and he devised the plan to do just that!
C. And he went out and sold that plan to some of the angelic creation and they launched the rebellion in heaven. This act of rebellion determined the elect Angels from Satan and his fallen Angels. God then developed a reconciliation program. He took a piece of dirt and made a man. God did something with man that Satan couldn’t see. God breathed into man’s nostrils and man became a living soul. There is something so special about the soul, that God was willing to give His Only Son to die for it! Satan can’t see it or phantom it. And the Angelic creation doesn’t understand it. It is a mystery to them.
D. God had a plan to restore the earth under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that’s what the nation of Israel was all about. But at the same time there was the heavenly government that God had no agency to restore. God made the earth for man, man was made of the earth, earthy. He used man to restore authority in the earth. The heavens were sort of left out, or so Satan thought! And then God interrupted the plan that He prophesied and promised for the earth.
And then God said (paraphrase) “Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you, I’ve got an agency that I’m going to take over heaven with!” God took “the wise in their own craftiness.” God is going to form that agency in the heavens through the blood of Jesus Christ. Satan had been trying to kill that blood line all the way through your Bible, and he finally came to Calvary, and he did!
*READ: 1 Cor. 2:6-8 “Howbeit we speak wisdom (manifold wisdom of God) in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom…before the world (began). “Which none of the princes (rulers) of this world knew: (nor the princes/rulers of Eph. 3:10) for had they known it, they would not have crucified The Lord of glory.”
E. If Satan would have been smart enough to figure out what God was going to do, he wouldn’t have done it (killed the son of God.)
A. Satan didn’t function as a son, he functioned as a fool! A self-serving sinner. God desires sons. In the Bible sonship is a very special thing. *In Gal. 4:1-2 (Read), the son is an heir, he is going to inherit everything, but he is a child, he is a juvenile. He hasn’t reached adulthood yet. He’s under tutors and governors. Tutors tell you what to do and governors tell you what not to do, until a time appointed by the father. Now, there is going to come a time when daddy says, OK, you’re grown now. You’re now able to do on your own volition (choice/decision) what I’ve had tutors and governors tell you to do.
B. Gal. 4:4-5 (Read), Being under tutors and governors was the same as being under a performance system, the law. In other words: “Do this, don’t do that!” Tutors and governors.
Vs. 5, Christ died “to redeem them that were under the law.” Adoption of sons, God wants to take you out of the position of being under the law (tutors and governors) and put you into the position of being a Full Grown, Son and able to function on your own volition. That means doing what your father wants you to do however, you’re going to do it on your own volition. If you want to learn how to be a dad, learn how to be a son. **Sonship, God desires sons. He desires adults in the family, not “neophyte’s” (babes, juveniles, spiritually immature).
Vss. 6-7. God wants us to grow up and be released into maturity. “And because ye are sons,…thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” An adult son does willingly, voluntarily that which formerly he did out of fear of failure, fear of the instructor (under the law). And even when he doesn’t, it is no longer a question between a master and his servant. It becomes a question between a son and his father. God wants us to be adults. He wants us to understand what He is doing.
C. We are called upon to live in that adult sonship position, as members of the body of Christ, in the maturity that God gives us in Christ. And everyone of us has a different level of maturity to live in. And once we have attained maturity, put it on display! Because the Angelic creation needs to see in us what they didn’t see in Lucifer! The Angels had no ability to have all the knowledge that you & I possess today. We’re never going to know it all until we’re “seated with Him,” but letting that which we know live, put on display, that is sonship.
D. The greatest thing for dads, is to see their sons do voluntarily, of their own choice, what he would have chosen for them to do. God the father wants to see good dads and good sons. Now, that’s not leaving the ladies out, because you are “Sons of God” too! It Is the position of being the adult in the family of God. And where you are today, living in the maturity that God has given you in Christ. Handling the details of your life as God would handle them. THINKING LIKE GOD! (*As Brother Sheppard would say!)
A. Having God’s wisdom work through you where you are. And even when you make a mistake, it’s still between the father and the son. I never become the slave or servant, nor the outcast. That’s what the Angels need to know, they need to know the wisdom of God. The manifold wisdom of God that we demonstrate. They need to see His eternal purpose put into life, into flesh and blood, what it looks like. The elect Angels see us prosper and they are encouraged. The fallen Angels see us falter and fail and they point their accusing finger at us and say “SEE!!” *But then they see the grace of God sustaining us. They see, “My Grace is sufficient for you,” and they are instructed by us.