The assembly of believers found in Ephesus, where the most well-known, and documented region, more than in other in the First Century, next to the original “motherland”, and “Holy Spirit Outpouring” in Jerusalem, Israel. This famous city was mentioned first in the 18th through 20th chapter of Acts, 15th & 16th chapter of 1 Corinthians, 1st & 2nd epistles of Paul to Timothy, John’s Gospel, his 1st, 2nd and 3rd epistles, and finally his Revelation of Yeshua as the Messiah. This was probably a circulating letter read in Ephesus, Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis, and a number of other Messianic Congregations [ekklesia -assemly] in Asia Minor.
Author: Saul of Tarsus, or “Paul, the Apostle”
Occupation: Pharisee, Torah Scholar, Tent-Maker
Saul of Tarsus was the prize student of Rabbi Gamaliel, and as “Paul” [Greek for “small”] was called to reach the Gentiles nations, and Israel with the “Good News” of Yeshua, the Messiah.
- A Jew
- A Hebrew of Hebrews
- An Israelite
- A Benjamite
- A Pharisee of Pharisees
Audience: Primarily Greek speaking Jews, and Greek Gentiles
Background: The First Century since the Birth of Messiah, was a redeveloped society in Israel, under Roman rule, since the return from Babylonian exile, Persian and Greek rulership. Jews were subjugated on under Rome’s authority on how they could worship and serve in the Temple, or administer Jewish law in the Sanhedrin or Jewish courts. Most of Israel’s inhabitant had a high expectation of a coming Promised Messiah, who as King David’s son, would sit on his throne, thus overthrowing the present Roman Empire. This would also bring back the worship of the God of Israel, and the former lost glory of Solomon’s Temple [which was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 B.C.]. The Romans scattered the Jews as prophecy foretold, and Jews living in Greek towns like Ephesus, were surrounded by Greek culture, and pagan hedonistic lifestyle. Saul of Tarsus to the Jews, but nicknamed “Paul” [small in Greek] among the Greek Gentiles, possibly for his short stature, had to establish a Jerusalem style faith and way of life, to Gentiles who were very unfamiliar the Torah [“Law”] of Moses, the Prophets and their prophecies, or the Royal Writings [Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, ect.] of the Hebrew Scriptures, also known as the “Old Testament”.
Time: The Book of Ephesians was probably written from Rome during Paul’s first imprisonment (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; 6:20), and probably soon after his arrival there in the year 62 AD, four years after he had parted with the Ephesian elders at Miletus.
Purpose: Saul, or as he’s known among Gentile believers, “Paul” [nickname meaning “small”] intended all those believers in Messiah to grow into a mature body. The Book of Ephesians reveals the spiritual disciplines needed to develop “babes” into true sons of God. Ephesians helps to fortify and establish believers so to fulfill their purpose and God-given calling. The aim of this epistle is to confirm and equip a maturing movement of fully-devoted followers of Messiah. Paul wrote this letter to encourage Gentile believers, and to make it clear that Jews and Gentiles have been brought together as part of one body in Messiah. Paul is also concerned that his audience be made aware of the moral laws they may have been lax in following.
Ephesians One Synopsis:
1 From: Paul, an apostle of the Messiah Yeshua by [through] God’s will. To: His holy and faithful people in Ephesus who are in union with the Messiah Yeshua.
a. Who he is? “Paul” [nickname of Saul [Sha’ul שָׁאוּל֙ Hebrew name meaning “Asked for”; like King Saul] of Tarsus [his birthplace].
b. What he is? An Apostle [apostolos ἀπόστολος in Greek meaning “sent-one”]; an emissary sent on a mission, on behalf Yeshua [Yeshua], to proclaimed He is the Promised Messiah [“Anointed One”].
c. How did he come to be what he is? By the Will of God; as in Ephesians 3:7 “of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power”.
d. Who did he write to? To all the saints, or “holy ones” [hagiois ἁγίοις in Greek which means “holy” or “set-apart”].
2 May grace and peace [charis (χάρις) & eirene (εἰρήνη)] from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua, the Messiah, be yours!
a. Grace – Greek Salutations [Charis χάρις Greek for Grace as in chaíre χαῖρε, “hail [Mary]” found in Luke 1:28]. “Full of grace,” κεχαριτωμένη kecharitomene is the feminine present perfect passive voice participle of the verb χαριτόω, charitóō, which means “to show, or bestow with, grace” and, in the passive voice, “to have grace shown, or bestowed upon, one.”
b. Peace – Hebrew Salutations – Shalom שָׁלוֹם is used to Greet some in Jewish culture.
c. “Our Father” [Avinu אָבִינוּ in Hebrew from Av אָב (father) or Abba in Aramaic: אבא (daddy); Greek: Αββα (Abba spelled with Greek letters)].
d. Messiah – The title of the Anointed King of Israel; referring to Yeshua the “Anointed One”.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua, the Messiah! He has blessed us in the Messiah with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm,
a. Blessed be [are You] – Hebraic structure of blessings & prayer [“Baruch atah Adonai”].
b. Royal prayer of King David – in 2 Chronicles 29:10 “Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You [Baruch atah Adonai] Lord God of Israel, our Father (in Hebrew – Avinu אָבִינוּ], forever and ever”.
c. Spiritual blessings – The title of the Anointed King of Israel; referring to Yeshua the “Anointed One”.
d. Heavenly realms – The opposite of the earthly realms; the spiritual domain and reign of God and His “Royal Priesthood” [kingly & priestly believers, “seated in heavenly places” – Eph 1:20].
4 Just as he chose us in the Messiah before the creation of the universe to be holy [set apart] and blameless in His Presence, In love 5 He predestined us for adoption to himself through Yeshua the Messiah, according to the pleasure of His Will, 6 so that we would praise His glorious grace that he gave us in the Beloved One [Messiah].
a. Chose us – “many are called but few are chosen” [Matt. 22:14] – those who respond to the general call of salvation, and are chosen for God’s Divine Purpose and Plan.
b. Predestined – Destined before hand
c. Adoption [huiothesian υἱοθεσίαν in Greek – Sonship: (legally made a son);
d. Beloved – like King Solomon’s Song of Songs, “I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine!”
[ Ani l’Dodi, v’Dodi li – לִי וְדוֹדִי לְדוֹדִי אֲנִי]
7 In union with Him [Messiah] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our offenses, according to the riches of God’s grace 8 that He lavished on us, along with all wisdom and understanding, 9 when He made known to us the secret of His Will. This was according to His Plan that He set forth in the Messiah 10 to usher in the fullness of the times and to bring together in the Messiah all things in heaven and on earth.
a. In Union – Marriage Union of Messiah and His Bride [Ephesians 5:25-31] – Messiah loves His Bride [All Believers Corporately United], the way men are united in marriage and love their wives.
b. Redemption through His blood – Allusions to the redemption of Israel with the blood of the Passover lamb, on the doorposts of each Israeli home that was “saved”.
c. Forgiveness of our offenses – Allusions to Day of Atonement [Yom Kippur] and the sacrificial system.
d. Usher in the fullness of the times – to bring in the Messianic Age or Millennial Reign for 1000 years.
11 In the Messiah we were also chosen when we were predestined according to the purpose of the one who does everything that He wills to do, 12 so that we who had already fixed our hope on the Messiah might live for His praise and glory.
a. In Messiah – Marriage Union of Messiah and His Bride [Ephesians 5:25-31] – Messiah loves His Bride [All Believers Corporately United], the way men are united in marriage and love their wives.
b. Predestined – Allusions to the redemption of Israel with the blood of the Passover lamb, on the doorposts of each Israeli home that was “saved”.
c. Who does everything that He wills to do – God’s Sovereignty to rule as King over His Creation, as He is called in Jewish Prayer “Melech HaOlam”, “King of the Universe”.
d. Fixed our hope on the Messiah – This is the ancient belief of the Jewish prophets, sages and people when reading the Law [Torah], Prophets and Royal Writings or Hebrew Scriptures in the Coming of the Promised Messiah to reign as the Son of David, Son of Man & Son of God [Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 7:13; 2 Samuel 7:8-15].
13 You, too, have heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed in the Messiah, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [arrabon ἀρραβών] of our inheritance until God redeems his own possession for his praise and glory.
a. Heard – Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God – Romans 10:14 [NKJV]
b. Believed – Faith in Action; “Faith without [corresponding] action is also dead” – James 2:26 [ISV]
c. Sealed – sphragízō σφραγίζω (from 4973 sphragís, “a seal”) – properly, to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument to stamp (a roller or seal), i.e. to attest ownership, authorizing (validating) what is sealed. Signifies ownership and the full security carried by the backing (full authority) of the owner. “Sealing” in the ancient world served as a “legal signature” which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed; like a wedding certificate [Ketubah in Hebrew].
d. Guarantee – [arrabon ἀρραβών] an installment; a deposit (“down-payment”) which guarantees the balance (the full purchase-price). A “down-payment pledge” is the regular term in Biblical times for “earnest-money,” or advance-payment that guarantees the rest will be given. The Greek word “arrabon” is a borrowed word from the Hebrew language, “arabon” עֵרָבון, found first in passages like Genesis 38:17And he said, I will send you a kid from the flock. And she said, Will you give me a pledge, till you send it? 18 And he said, what pledge [“arabon” עֵרָבון], shall I give you? And she said, your signet, and your bracelets, and your staff that is in your hand. And he gave it her, and came in to her, and she conceived by him. This word not only had the sense of a pledge, but it spoke of the earnest money that was put down for the purchase of property. Arabon is also used in modern Greek; as when a young man falls in love with a young woman today in modern Greece, and he wants to give her an engagement ring, he gives her an arrabon. It’s the word for an engagement ring in modern Greek.
15 Therefore, because I have heard about your faith in the Lord Yeshua and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I mention you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Yeshua, the Messiah, the most glorious Father, would give you a wise spirit [or “Spirit of Wisdom” – one of the Holy Spirit’s titles in Exodus 28:3; Deut. 34:9; Isaiah 11:2], along with revelation that comes through knowing the Messiah fully.
a. I have heard about your faith – Paul declares this similar statement in 1 Thes. 2:13 “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe”.
b. I never stop giving thanks for you as I mention you in my prayers – Paul had a continual prayer life, like most orthodox Jews who prayed three times a day, like simulate the Sacrificially offering times of worship in the Temple [morning, afternoon and evening – shacharit, minchah & ma’ariv]. This prayer lifestyle is demonstrated by Daniel, in his 6th chapter of his book, verse 10, “When Daniel learned that the written document had been signed, he went to an upstairs room in his house that had windows opened facing Jerusalem. Three times a day he would kneel down, pray, and give thanks to his God, just as he had previously done”.
c. Wise spirit – or Spirit of Wisdom [Sevenfold Spirit of God]. In 1 Corinthians 2:13, Paul states, “We don’t speak about these things with words taught us by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, as we explain spiritual things to spiritual people.
d. Revelation that comes through knowing the Messiah fully – or knowledge of Messiah; as Paul says in Colossians 2:2b…I pray that their hearts may be encouraged by all the riches that come from a complete understanding of the full knowledge of the Messiah, who is the mystery of God. 3 In him are stored [hid] all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
18 Then, with the eyes of your hearts enlightened, you will know the confidence that is produced by God having called you, the rich glory that is his inheritance among the saints, 19 and the unlimited greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he brought about in the Messiah when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realm.
a. Eye of your heart – or “eyes of your understanding” speaks of spiritual insight or discernment.
b. Enlightened – Illuminated with the Light of God’s Glory. In Greek, phōtízō, from Strongs #5457 phṓs, “light”) – properly, enlighten; (figuratively) God sharing His life, exposing and overcoming darkness – like the ignorance and darkness [spiritual blindness] caused by sin.
c. Inheritance – kleronomia κληρονομία from Strongs #2818 klēronómos, “an heir, apportioned inheritance by the casting of lots”) – inheritance, awarded by divine lot, i.e. the portion God (the cognate used in Eph 1:11 in Greek text). Or in a Messianic sense, one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship. As believers exalted by faith to the dignity of sons of Abraham and sons of God, and hence, to receive the blessings of God’s kingdom promised to Abraham: as in,
Romans 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law [Sinai Covenant; or Giving of the Torah], but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are “of the law” [a way of describing being Jewish] are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath [judgment on sin]; for where there is no law [Torah] there is no [description of] transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith [like Abram, or Abraham] that it might be according to grace [God’s favor or election; like when He chose Abram (Gen. 12:1-3;15:1-6)], so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. Also in, Romans 8:17 “Now if we are children, we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with the Messiah [imagery of the bride as a co-heir to her husband]—if, in fact, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory”.
d. The unlimited greatness of his power for us who believe – Faith releases the power of God; the same resurrection power that raised Messiah from the dead.
21 He is far above every ruler, authority, power, dominion, and every name that can be named, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come. 22 God has put everything under the Messiah’s feet and has made him the head of everything for the good of the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly], 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills everything in every way. – Ephesians 1:1-23 (ISV – International Standard Version)
a. Present Age [Olam HaZeh] – “This Age” since the Messiah has come.
b. World or Age to Come [Olam HaBa] – “The Age to Come” when the Messiah comes back.
c. Under Messiah’s feet – This is in comparison to Adam’s original dominion where everything was under his feet. This is first written by King David in Psalm 8:5 “For you have made him [Adam: mankind] a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.” This Psalm is applied the “Son of David”, in Hebrews 2:5 For He did not put the coming world [Olam HaBa] we are talking about under the control of angels. 6 Instead, someone has declared somewhere, “What is man [Enosh: “moral (frail) man”] that you should remember him, or the son of man [Adam: “first man from the ground”] that you should care for him? 7 You made him [Adam] a little lower than the angels, yet you crowned him with glory and honor 8 and put everything under his [Adam’s] feet.” Now when God put everything under him, he left nothing outside his control. However, at the present time [Olam HaZeh] we do not yet see everything put under him. 9 But we do see someone who was made a little lower than the angels. He is [or we see] Yeshua, who is crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might experience death for everyone.
d. Head – Represents “Headship Authority”, and is from the imagery of all true believers united as “Messiah’s Body”. In Hebrew “Rosh” [like the Hebrew letter Resh (r)], means head, chief, first, top, or beginning. As the Head of the Body, Messiah has preeminence over all, while leading and guiding the rest of the Body.
Ephesians Two Synopsis:
1 You used to be dead because of your offenses [trespasses] and sins,
a. Dead – “the wages of sin is death” – Rom. 6:23; like Adam who spiritual was cut off from the “life of God”. Gentiles are described as “alienated from the life of God” – Eph. 4:17-18
b. Offenses [or Trespasses] – alluding to the “trespass offering” of Leviticus 5 to atone for the
c. Sins – alluding to the “sin offering” of Leviticus 4 to atone for the rebellion of sins
2 That you once practiced as you lived according to the ways of this present world [“This Age”- Olam HaZeh in Hebrew] and according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now active in those who are disobedient. 3 Indeed, all of us once behaved like them in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of our flesh and senses [or mind]. By nature we were destined for wrath, just like everyone else.
a. You once practiced – The “old life”; pagan ways of the Greek culture
b. Ruler of the power of the air – chapter 6 describes the “spiritual wickedness in high places”
c. By nature – Adamic fallen nature of sin and disobedience [since the Garden of Eden exile]
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love for us 5 even when we were dead because of our offenses, made us alive together with the Messiah (by grace you have been saved),
a. Rich in Mercy – The LORD revealed His attributes of Mercy to Moses in Mount Sinai, in Exodus 33:18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” 19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My Name, the LORD [Tetragrammaton: Four letters of His Name: Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh יְהוָה ], in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”. Then the Almighty further defines his merciful character in Exodus 34:5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His Name, the LORD [Tetragrammaton: Four letters of His Name: Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh יְהוָה ]. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD [יְהוָה], the Lord [יְהוָה], the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love [חֶסֶד רַב rav-chesed: great mercy or loving-kindness] and faithfulness [אֱמֶת emet: truth], 7 maintaining love [חֶסֶד chesed: mercy or loving-kindness] to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes [or simply visits] the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
b. Great love for us – Moses’ revelation in Ex. 34:6 is that the LORD has great mercy or great lovingkindness.
c. Made us alive– Paul told Titus, in chapter 3, verse 4: “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration [to regenerate or make alive again and renewing of the Holy Spirit”.
6 Raised us up with Him [Messiah], and seated us with Him in the heavenly realm in the Messiah Yeshua, 7 so that in the coming ages [“The Age to Come”- Olam HaBa in Hebrew] He might display the limitless riches of His grace that comes to us through his kindness in the Messiah Yeshua.
a. Raised us up with Him – Spiritually resurrected with Messiah
b. Seated with Him – Spiritually reigning in the heavenly realms with Messiah
c. Limitless riches – unimaginable blessings that the Lord shows His children since the limitation that disobedience creates has been lifted and removed.
8 For by such grace you have been saved through faith. This does not come from you; it is the gift of God 9 and not the result of actions [works], to put a stop to all boasting. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Yeshua to perform good actions [works] that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.
a. By such grace you have been saved – The gift of eternal life or salvation is graciously given not earned; grace and favor are the same word in Hebrew [chen חֵן ] and in Greek [charis χάρις].
b. Through faith – faith is also the gift of God; as in Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith”.
c. God prepared long ago – pre-ordained “good work” and not man’s “works of the flesh”
11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth were called “the uncircumcised” by those who called themselves “the circumcised.” They underwent physical circumcision done by human hands.
a. The uncircumcised – A phrase used to describe Gentiles by the Pharisees
b. The circumcised – A phrase used to describe Jews or converts to Judaism by the Pharisees
c. circumcision – a token or sign of the Abrahamic covenant; used by Pharisee to convert Gentiles “into” Jews according to Jewish law and their rabbinical “tradition of the elders”.
12 At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from citizenship [or commonwealth] in Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise. You had no hope and were in the world without God. 13 But now, in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.
a. Without Messiah – Israel was given prophecies of a Promised Messiah who would reestablish King David’s ancient royal throne on earth as the “embassy” of God’s heavenly kingdom; Gentiles were previously not included in the covenant, except for a promise to Abraham that he would become a “father of many nations [in Hebrew “goyim”, translated “nations” or “Gentiles”]”, and that through his seed, all the families, or nations would be blessed.
b. Citizenship [Commonwealth] –politeias πολιτείας; rights of a citizen; from polis [city]; where we get the English word “politics”. Gentiles were treated as “second-class citizens” in Israel by the Pharisees, because of their pagan lifestyle.
c. Covenants of promise – Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic covenants
14 For it is he who is our peace. Through his mortality he made both groups one by tearing down the wall of hostility that divided them. 15 He rendered the [Jewish law not God’s] law inoperative [that was against Gentiles], along with its commandments and regulations [or “having abolished in His flesh the enmity (or division), that is, the (Pharisees’) law of commandments contained in ordinances (dogmas: “man-made laws”), so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,, thus creating in himself one new humanity from the two, thereby making peace,
a. Both groups – Jews and Gentiles; Pharisees enacted “18 Measures” that made it unlawful for Jews to have any dealings with Gentiles. Peter, like all Jews of the day, felt under the restriction of the Pharisees, as he states in Acts 11:28 “He [Peter] said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.
b. Tearing down the wall – Paul was referring to the “dividing wall” in the “Court of the Gentiles” surrounding the Temple in Jerusalem, with an inscription that stated “No stranger is to enter within the partition wall and enclosure around the Sanctuary [Temple]. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue.”
c. Commandments contained in ordinances – This is not referring to God’s holy and righteous Law [Torah] which is the Word of Almighty God; instead this is referring to the extra man-made commandments or rabbinical restrictions of the Pharisees, that were encoded in Jewish law, as ordinances. They specifically restricted Jews from touching, eating with or doing business with Gentiles. Gentiles were also restricted to the outermost court of “Herod’s Temple” in an area called the “Court of the Gentiles”.
16 and reconciling both groups to God in one body through the cross, on which he eliminated the hostility. 17 He came and proclaimed peace for you who were far away and for you who were near. 18 For through him, both of us have access to the Father by one Spirit.
a. Far away – Gentiles were treated as strangers or foreigners and not given close access to the Temple; and were considered excluded from Jewish life, or the “Commonwealth of Israel”.
b. You who were near – Jews were considered near because they had close access to the priestly worship of the Temple, as they brought the offerings for sacrifice, consecration and adoration to the priests at the Temple gates.
c. both of us have access – Paul used the access that one would, or desired to have at the Temple, to the Divine Access all believers have in Messiah to the Heavenly Temple, by the unity of the Holy Spirit enabling Jews along with the fellow Gentiles to worship the same God of Israel without any restrictions of man, Pharisees or Jewish law.
19 That is why you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Messiah Yeshua himself being the cornerstone.
a. Strangers and foreigners – Gerim is Hebrew for sojourners; or Goyim in Hebrew for Gentile [Non-Jewish Nations]. Xenoi ξένοι is Greek for Strangers; paroikoi πάροικοι is Greek for
b. Fellow citizens – chapter 6 describes the “spiritual wickedness in high places”
c. Cornerstone – a stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.
21 In union with him the whole building is joined together and rises into a holy sanctuary for the Lord.
22 You, too, are being built in him, along with the others, into a place for God’s Spirit to dwell.
a. Holy Sanctuary – The “Body of Messiah” is likened to the Beit HaMikdash, “The House of His Holy Sanctuary” [The Temple], in Jerusalem. This was also the place of the first corporate “Holy Spirit Outpouring”, recorded in Acts 2:1-4, 26.
b. Being built in him – Building the Body of Believers is like building the Temple
c. A place for God’s Spirit to dwell – The Temple is the place of the Shekhinah, or Dwelling Presence of God.
Ephesians Three Synopsis:
1 For this reason I, Paul, am the prisoner of the Messiah Yeshua for the sake of you Gentiles. 2 Surely you have heard about the responsibility of administering God’s grace that was given to me on your behalf, 3 and how this secret was made known to me through a revelation, just as I wrote about briefly in the past.
a. Prisoner of Messiah – The “old life”; pagan ways of the Greek culture; idol worship
b. This secret was made known to me through a revelation – As Paul writes in 2 Cor. 12:1 I must boast, although it does not do any good. Let’s talk about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man who belongs to the Messiah. Fourteen years ago—whether in his body or outside of his body, I do not know, but God knows—that man was snatched away to the third heaven. 3 I know that this man—whether in his body or outside of his body, I do not know, but God knows— 4 was snatched away to Paradise and heard things that cannot be expressed in words, things that no human being has a right even to mention. Also in Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years later, I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus with me. 2 I went in response to a revelation, and in a private meeting with the reputed leaders, I explained to them the gospel that I’m proclaiming to the Gentiles. I did this because I was afraid that I was running or had run my life’s race for nothing.
c. I wrote about briefly in the past – In Galatian chapter 2 and 2 Corinthians chapter 12, Paul spoke of the heavenly revelation he received about Gentiles would had accepted Messiah, being included in the commonwealth, covenants and promises given to Israel, Abraham’s physical descendants. Now believing Gentiles were included, as spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham.
4 By reading this, you will be able to grasp my understanding of the secret [mystery] about the Messiah, 5 which in previous generations was not made known to human beings as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This is that secret [mystery]: 6 The Gentiles are heirs-in-common [fellow-heirs], members-in-common of the body, and common participants in what was promised by the Messiah Yeshua through the gospel.
a. The secret about the Messiah – the mystery that Gentiles were included in the Covenant Promise of salvation and blessing.
b. Which in previous generations was not made known – there were hidden mysteries concerning Messiah, Israel and the accompanying Gentiles nations in the writings of the prophets. Simon Peter describes that even the prophets didn’t understand all that they prophesied, as messengers of God, as he wrote in 1 Peter 1:10 Even the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours, carefully researched and investigated this salvation. 11 They tried to find out what era or specific time the Spirit of the Messiah in them kept referring to when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you in regard to the things that have now been announced to you by those who brought you the good news through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things that even the angels desire to look into”.
c. Heirs-in-common [fellow-heirs] – a person legally entitled to the property, rank or inheritance of another, together with other recipients.
7 I have become a servant of this gospel according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all the saints, this grace was given so that I might proclaim to the Gentiles the immeasurable wealth of the Messiah 9 and help everyone see how this secret that has been at work was hidden for ages by God, who created all things.
a. Become a servant of this gospel according to the gift of God’s grace – The New King James Version says, “I was made a minister by the grace [favor] of God”. Grace, as “God’s unmerited favor”, enables and empowers those called by God to do what He predestined them to do.
b. By the working of His power – By the released power [energeian ἐνέργειαν: where we get the English word “energy” as released power] of His mighty strength [dunameos δυνάμεως: where we get the English word “dynamite” as potential “explosive” power].
c. Hidden for ages by God – the incremental revelation of God’s Plan through His Prophets and Apostles. Each revelation is a puzzle piece in the greater picture of His Divine Plan.
10 He did this so that now, through the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly], the wisdom of God in all its variety might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm 11 in keeping with the eternal purpose that God carried out through the Messiah Yeshua our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through his faithfulness.
a. Through the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] – the Greek word for “congregation, or A.K.A. “church”, is ekklesia, and has no reference to a building, but instead to the global assembly of “called-out” believers in Messiah, who become God’s ambassadors and earthly extension of His heavenly authority.
b. To the rulers [archas ἀρχά] and authorities [exousias ἐξουσίας], in the heavenly realm – Ephesians 6:12 says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities [archas ἀρχάς beginning, first, chief or ruler], against powers [exousias ἐξουσίας authorities], against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
c. We have boldness and confident access – boldness in Greek is parresian παρρησίαν when literally means freedom in speaking [or unreservedness in speech], implying free and fearless confidence, or “bold resolve”; confident access in Greek is prosagogen προσαγωγὴν and refers to coming towards or near someone; to have access, or approach someone with intimate “face-to-face” interaction.
13 So then, I ask you not to become discouraged because of my troubles on your behalf, which work toward your glory. 14 This is the reason I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Yeshua, the Messiah, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its name. 16 I pray that he would give you, according to his glorious riches, strength [krataiothenai κραταιωθῆναι “to be strengthened, or have dominion]” in your inner being [spiritual man] and power [dunamis δύναμις] through his Spirit,
a. I bow my knees – The Hebrew word for “to bless” [baruch EWrB*] means to bow or bend the knee [since the Hebrew word for knee “berech” Er#B# comes from the same root].
b. Ruler of the power of the air – chapter 6 describes the “spiritual wickedness in high places”
c. Strength in your inner being – The Holy Spirit abides [dwells] in our human spirit and is the source of our inner strength [from “kratos” κράτος strength, or dominion]. Luke describes this kind of strength in Luke 1:80, of John the Baptist, “So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel” [NIV]; and of the Messiah, in Luke 2:40 “And the child grew, and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” [NKJV]
17 and that the Messiah would make his home in your hearts through faith. Then, having been rooted and grounded in love, 18 you will be able to understand, along with all the saints, what is wide, long, high, and deep— 19 that is, you will know the love of the Messiah — which transcends knowledge, and will be filled with all the fullness of God.
a. You once practiced – The “old life”; pagan ways of the Greek culture
b. Rooted and grounded in love – Agricultural imagery of a tree firmly planted with it’s root growing deep into the soil, as draw water from the river. Rabbi Saul [“Paul the Apostle”] was drawing this description from the Hebrew Scriptures, like Psalm 1:1, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…his delight is in the Law [Torah: Hebrew for “Instruction” – First five books of Moses] of the Lord, and in His Law [Torah] he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper”. Also in Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit”. True believer desire to be “rooted and grounded” in the right soil so that they can continue to produce fruit unto God.
c. Wide, long high and deep – This is the four-dimensional love of God: 1. Width [Breadth; spacious; expansive broadness] of ETERNITY 2. Length [of days] of TIME 3. Height of the HEAVENS 4. Depth of the EARTH. Four directions of the cross that Messiah was stretched to reveal the Father’s love for us. Between TIME and ETERNITY [horizontal beam], and between HEAVEN and EARTH [vertical beam]. Ephesians 4:9-10 declares, “(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts [depths] of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the [height of the] heavens, that He might fill all things.)
20 Now to the One who can do infinitely [exceeding abundantly] more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among [in] us— 21 to him be glory in the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] and in the Messiah Yeshua to all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
a. Infinitely [exceeding abundantly] – hyperekperissou ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ from hyper ὑπέρ above, or beyond; ek ἐκ means out; and perissos περισσός exceeding some number or measure; over and above; exceeding what is necessary. God is not limited by human circumstance or inability.
b. The power that is working among [in] us – dunamis, or potential power becomes “energized” or released when we ask, or pray in the awareness of God’s unlimited power which goes beyond our own ability.
c. To Him be glory in the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] – The Father gets glory out of our lives when we are operating in His unlimited power and dominion as true believer, as the Messiah, or anointing of the “Anointed One” works through us.
Ephesians Four Synopsis:
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to live [walk] in a way that is worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 demonstrating all expressions of humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another in love.
a. Prisoner of the Lord – Paul’s common self-designed title to keep himself humble inspite of the very great calling to the nations he received. Desmios δέσμιος in Greek means someone who is bound in bonds, as a captive slave or prisoner. A Prisoner is one who goes and comes at the command of his master. Paul was communicating that he was a servant of God, not on his own will, but by the will of his Master, and God-given grace that was bestowed on him.
b. To live [walk] in a way that is worthy of the calling – peripatesai περιπατῆσαι in Greek means to walk, hence Hebraistically (in an ethical sense): to conduct one’s life, live. The original Hebrew equivalent is Halakh El^h* , or the noun, halakhah hk*l^*h& , which is used for the category of Jewish law that teaches a Jew how to “walk”, or live in a Gentile world, as a light in a dark place. Halakhah is often translated as “Jewish Law”, although a more literal translation might be “the path” or “the way of walking”. The word derives from the root [ilh] that means to go or to walk.
c. Humility, gentleness, and patience – these are the characteristics of a servant who submits to his/her Lord.
3 Do your best to maintain the unity of the Spirit by means of the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit. Likewise, you were called to the one hope of your calling.
a. Unity of the Spirit – Gerim is Hebrew for sojourners; or Goyim in Hebrew for Gentile [Non-Jewish Nations]. Xenoi ξένοι is Greek for Strangers; paroikoi πάροικοι is Greek for
b. One Body – many members; but we’re all “one body” in Messiah
c. One Spirit – the Spirit of God unites all believers; Jews & Gentiles, males & females, bond & free, rich & poor.
d. One Hope of your calling – this is an expectation of the goal of all believers to fulfill Messiah’s calling to reconcile the world back to God.
5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in all.
a. One Lord – One Lord means One Sovereign King as Master of the Universe [as we say in Hebrew Melech HaOlam – “King of the Universe”].
b. One Faith – unity among believers is based on our mutual faith in the Messiah
c. One Baptism – all true believers are immersed in “living waters” which was part of the conversion process for Gentiles to enter into the Abrahamic faith, performed at a river, or immersion pool [called a mikvah מִקְוֶה in Hebrew] at the Temple or a local synagogue. The rabbis would say that they were symbolically “born again” or “from above”. The waters of immersion are compared to the “water of the womb”, in John 3:3-8.
d. One God & Father of all – God as the Father of us all, is the source of all. Moses declared that the Lord was “the God of the spirits of all flesh”, in Numbers 27:16. God is called the “Father of spirits” in Hebrew 12:9. Malachi tell us, “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?
7 Now to each one of us grace has been given proportionate to the measure of the Messiah’s gift. 8 That is why God says, “When he went up [ascended] to the highest place, he led captives into captivity and gave gifts to people.”
a. Grace has been given – Grace is a gift of God; like the Torah which was given at Sinai
b. Messiah gift – Messiah gave his gifts to those He came to save. God took the natural gifts or abilities in man [Adam], and fulfilled them to there highest level in our Messiah. Moses is the perfect “type and shadow” of these giftings: Moses was an “apostle”, or “sent one”; Moses was a “prophet”, Moses was a “evangelist” or messenger of the Good News to deliver Israel; Moses was the “pastor” or shepherd of physical sheep, and the Shepherd of God’s People, Israel; and of course Moses was Israel’s primiere rabbi [“Moshe Rabbeinu” – “Moses, Our Rabbi”], or teacher of the Torah [Law of God]. Yeshua is the “prophet like unto Moses” and fulfills all these giftings.
c. He led captives into captivity – this is a quote from Psalm 68:18 says “You have received gifts among men”, while the text in Aramaic reads “you did give gifts to the sons of men” from the Peshitta. The Aramaic Targums of Psalm 68 explains these verses, 17-18, in light of Moses as the first prophet of Israel on Mount Sinai: “The chariots of God are two myriads of burning fire, two thousand angels guiding them; the presence of the Lord rests on them, on the mountain of Sinai, in holiness. You ascended to the firmament, O prophet Moses; you captured captives, you taught the words of Torah, you gave gifts to the sons of men, and even the stubborn who are converted turn in repentance,[and] the glorious presence of the Lord God abides upon them. The Rabbi, Saul from Tarsus, better known as, the Apostle Paul, used first century understanding of Psalm 68, from the Aramaic translation concerning Moses, as a comparison of fulfillment for Messiah.
9 Now what does this “he went up” [ascended] mean except that he also had gone down into the lower parts of the earth? 10 The one who went down is the same one who went up above all the heavens so that all things would be fulfilled.
a. He went up [ascended] – “Aliyah” עֲלִיָּה in Hebrew; means to “go up”, like Moses who went up Mount Sinai to experience the Glory of God, and receive the Word of God, the first principles of the Oracles of God [Ten Words, or “Ten Commandments”]. Messiah is compared to Moses, as the “prophet like unto Moses”, as in Paul’s quote of Moses in Deut. 30:11-14 in Romans 10:4-8 For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on Torah, “The man who does these things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down), 7 or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith that we are proclaiming. TLV – Tree of Life Version
b. Lower parts of the earth – Some scholars see the “lower parts” as the earth, and other the underworld, or “under the earth”. Nonetheless, the “type and shadow” is Moses again, who not only ascended the mountain up to the Father, but also descended down the mountain to save the people from the sin of the “Golden Calf”. Moses was on the same “Mountain of God”, in Horeb, or Mount Sinai, when he experienced the “Burning Bush”, and the angel delivering the Word of the Lord, that he had to go down the mountain, down to Egypt, to get Pharaoh to set captive Israel free.
c. So that all things might be fulfilled – Scholars and Jewish sages refer to Psalm 68:18 to its undeniable context of Mount Sinai, the victory over Pharaoh and his armies, an the giving of the Torah, and Ten Words of the Covenant [A.K.A. “Ten Commandments”]. Yeshua came not to destroy the Law [Torah] that Moses delivered to Israel, but instead, as the “New Moses”, to deliver Israel from their new enemy [Rome], their sins, and to “fulfill all righteousness” [Matt. 3:13-15; Rom. 8:3-4], the “righteousness of the Law [Torah]”.
11 And it is he who gifted some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, and still others to be pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints, to do the work of ministry, and to build up the body of the Messiah 13 until all of us are united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God’s Son, and until we attain mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah.
a. Some to be – the offices that Messiah walked in were the natural giftings and callings of the patriarchs of Israel. He fulfills these offices in the perfect function that the Father originally intended. In Messiah’s ascension he gave those perfected giftings to those he discipled, the same way that Moses imparted his calling and anointing on Joshua, and the way that Elijah dropped his “mantle” [calling, anointing and spirit] on Elishah.
b. Fivefold Ministry:
APOSTLE [EMISSARY OR SENT-ONE]: Yeshua is the “Sent One” from Heaven who came to His Mission Field, the Earth. Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, [Yeshua the Messiah]. Matthew 21:11 So the multitudes said, “This is Yeshua, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
PROPHET [SEER & SPOKESPERSON] : Yeshua is the “Prophet like unto Moses” spoken of in Deut. 18:15-17. Deut. 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear……
Matthew 14:5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.……..21:11 So the multitudes said, “This is Yeshua, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Mark 6:4 But Yeshua said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”
Acts 7:37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear’ [Deut. 18:15]. Read Luke 7:16; 24:19
EVANGELIST [MESSENGER OF GOOD NEWS]: Yeshua is the Anointed “Evangelist to preach the Gospel [Good News]” spoken of Isaiah 61:1: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings [basar – “good news”] to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.
Yeshua fulfilled Isaiah 61:1, reading the Haftarah, or Prophet Reading [which comes after Torah reading] in the synagogue in Nazareth in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
PASTOR [SHEPHERD]: Yeshua is the Good Shepherd, or “Pastor” in Jer. 3:15:
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep Hebrews 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Yeshua from the dead, that great Shepherd [poimen ~ pastor] of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray [quote: Isaiah 53:6], but have now returned to the Shepherd [poimen ~ pastor] and Overseer of your souls.
TEACHER [RABBI]: Yeshua as a rabbi, or “Master Teacher” of the first century taught Torah in the synagogue and the Temple:
John 3:1 Now there was a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jewish people. 2He came to Yeshua at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You, a teacher, have come from God. For no one can perform these signs which You do unless God is with Him!” TLV
c. Until all of us are united in the faith – Unity does not deny or destroy Diversity in the Body of Believers. We can discuss differences without dividing among brothers. Frictions, factions and schisms plagued the early first century movement as it does today in the 21st century. This kind of demonic divisiveness is really as old as “Cain killing Abel” over what is acceptable or excellence in the giving of offerings, or worship unto God. We must strive to push back the darkness of the Devil’s deception, and work towards keeing “shalom in the home”, or the “bond of peace” [Eph. 4:1-6] in the House of God.
14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed like waves and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, or by clever strategies that would lead us astray. 15 Instead, by speaking the truth in love, we will grow up completely and become one with the head, that is, one with the Messiah, 16 in whom the whole body is united and held together by every ligament with which it is supplied [every joint supplies]. As each individual part does its job, the body builds itself up in love.
a. Little children – Grace is a gift of God
b. Whole body is united – The imagery of physical growth and alignment with the head, is related to the spiritual health and assimilation within the Body of Messiah. Unity is the key to real growth.
c. Every joint supplies – the opposite of this illustration is Ezekiel’s “Valley of Dry Bones” where the joints, ligaments and bones were disconnected from each other, as a description of the House of Israel, and there need for it’s “scattered bones”, symbolic of “scattered sheep”, being regathered.
17 Therefore, I tell you and insist on in the Lord not to live any longer like the Gentiles live, thinking worthless thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. 19 Since they have lost all sense of shame, they have abandoned themselves to sensuality and practice every kind of sexual perversion without restraint. 20 However, that is not the way you came to know the Messiah.
a. Not to live any longer like the Gentiles live – this was written to Gentiles who had become believers in Messiah, who were being encouraged not to go back to their old pagan ways
b. Darkened in their understanding – Messiah gave his gifts to those He came to save
c. Separated from the life of God – the pagan Gentile world was spiritually dead because its perverse sinful lifestyle.
21 Surely you have listened to him and have been taught by him, since truth is in Yeshua. 22 Regarding your former way of life, you were taught to strip off your old nature, which is being ruined by its deceptive desires, 23 to be renewed in your mental attitude, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new nature, which was created according to God’s image in righteousness and true holiness.
a. Old nature – this refers to the “flesh”, or Adamic carnal nature of our physical man
b. Be renewed – this refers to the mind being renewed “in the Spirit”, or transformed, as in Romans 12:2. The mind is the core of the “soulish man”, which affects also the emotions and will of man.
c. New nature – this refers the new “spiritual man” which is created in the image of God, the way Adam was created before the “Fall”.
25 Therefore, stripping off falsehood, “let each of us speak the truth to his neighbor,” for we belong to one another. 26 “Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity to work. 28 The thief must no longer steal but must work hard and do what is good with his own hands, so that he might earn something to give to the needy.
a. Let each of us speak the truth to his neighbor – this is a quote from Zechariah 8:16, “These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;
b. Be angry, yet do not sin – this is a quote from Psalm 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
c. Do not let the sun set while you are still angry – Psalm 4:4 says to “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still”. Meditating on your bed keeps you from letting the sun go down, while you are still holding unforgiveness or anger.
29 Let no filthy talk be heard from your mouths, but only what is good for building up people and meeting the need of the moment. This way you will administer grace to those who hear you. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.
a. Filthy talk – Corrupt communication that contradicts the character of a true believer
b. Building people up – using words that edify, and build up others spiritually, instead of tear them down
c. Administer grace to those who hear you – the influence of God’s grace and favor on those who listen to our message of the Gospel, and observe our lifestyle, that either confirms those words, or contradicts them.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, quarreling, and slander be put away from you, along with all hatred. 32 And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another just as God has forgiven you in the Messiah.
a. Filthy talk – Corrupt communication that contradicts the character of a true believer
b. Be kind to one another – showing the compassion of God that reflects the Lord’s attributes of mercy revealed to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7 “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
c. Forgiving one another – we should forgive one another the way God lovingly forgives us, because of the Messiah’s finished work and atonement.
Ephesians Five Synopsis:
1 So be imitators of God, as his dear children. 2 Live lovingly, just as the Messiah also loved us and gave himself for us as an offering and sacrifice, a fragrant aroma to God.
a. Imitators of God – mimētḗs μιμητής (the root of the English term, mimic, “one who imitates, emulates”) – properly, the positive imitation that arises by admiring the pattern set by someone worthy of emulation, i.e. a mentor setting a proper example. Paul the Apostle uses this word when he tells the Corinthian believers, “Imitate me, as I do the Messiah” [1 Cor. 11:1]
b. An offering and sacrifice – There are five levitical offerings in the sacrificial system instituted by Moses for Israel, described in Leviticus 1:1-7:38. The Messiah fulfilled all five offerings.
c. He led captives into captivity – this
3 Do not let sexual sin, impurity of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you, as is proper for saints. 4 Obscene, flippant, or vulgar talk is totally inappropriate. Instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you know very well that no immoral or impure person, or anyone who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.
a. Impurity of any kind – Don’t let you good be evil spoken of, and avoid the appearance of evil
b. Vulgar talk – any corrupt communication that compromises your profession of faith in Messiah
c. Inheritance – the gifts and blessings passed down from a father to his son, the heir of his household; the firstborn son received a double portion to take care of his siblings, in case of incurred debt, enslavement, or imprisonment, in the absence or death of the father.
6 Do not let anyone deceive you with meaningless words, for it is because of these things that God becomes angry with those who disobey. 7 So do not be partners with them. 8 For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, 9 for the fruit that the light produces consists of every form of goodness, righteousness, and truth.
a. Partners – an silent accomplice is still a partner to the sin or crime
b. Darkness – the opposite of the light that believers are encouraged and commanded to walk in; the “old lifestyle” of sin; mostly defined by the pagan world of their day in which the text was written.
c. Light in the Lord – God is source of Light [like the sun in the sky], His Son is the “Light of the World”, and true believers reflect the Father’s Glory, and like Messiah, are “lights in this world”.
10 Determine what pleases the Lord, 11 and have nothing to do with the unfruitful actions that darkness produces. Instead, expose them for what they are. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by these disobedient people in secret. 13 But everything that is exposed to the light becomes visible, 14 for the light is making everything visible. That is why it says, “Wake up, sleeper! Arise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.”
a. Determine what pleases the Lord – Faith and Obedience to His Word
b. “Wake up, sleeper” – Promise from the Scriptures, that the prophets of Israel testified, concerning the Coming Messiah, and the resurrection of the dead. Allusion is made Isaiah 29:19 “Your dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust…21 For, behold, the LORD comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain; Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you”, and Daniel 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence”.
c. Messiah will shine on you – John 1:4-9 says “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world”. Paul writes about Messiah shining light in 2 Cor. 4:4-6, which says “In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of the Messiah, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but rather Yeshua the Messiah as Lord, and ourselves as merely your servants for Yeshua’s sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Yeshua the Messiah.
15 So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, 16 making the best use of your time because the times are evil. 17 Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Stop getting drunk with wine, which leads to wild living, but keep on being filled with the Spirit. 19 Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; you will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts;
a. Wine – was symbolically used as a symbol of joy; but abused this liberty turned into bondage.
b. Filled with the Spirit – “intoxicated” by the Spirit; Wine is a symbol the “Joy of the Spirit”
c. Spiritual songs – or “songs of the Spirit”; inspired spontaneously by the Spirit. Paul wrote the Corinthians [14:26] about the proper use of their spiritual giftings, and said “When ye come together, each one hath a psalm [song], hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying”.
20 You will consistently give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Yeshua, the Messiah; 21 and you will submit to one another out of reverence for the Messiah. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.
a. Submit to one another – Mutual Ministry & Marriage Submission in the Body of Messiah
b. Wives submit – Submission to the Head of Household, like believers submit to their Lord
c. As to the Lord – Messiah is the model for the husband, and focus for his wife.
23 For the husband is the head of his wife as the Messiah is the head of the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly]. It is he who is the Savior of the body. 24 Indeed, just as the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] is submissive to the Messiah, so wives must be submissive to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives as the Messiah loved the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] and gave himself for it,
a. Savior of the Body – Messiah saves believers, like a husband is willing to save his wiofe from danger
b. Husbands, love your wives – God speaks to the husband first the way He spoke to Adam in the Garden, before the creation of Eve.
c. Messiah loved the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] – Messiah love for His People should be the example for men to unconditionally and sacrificially love their wives.
26 So that He might make it holy [set-apart] by cleansing it, washing it with water and the word, 27 and might present the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] to himself in all its glory, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind, but holy and without fault.
a. He might make it holy [set-apart] – the first step in the Jewish model of marriage is Betrothal or Engagement, call in Hebrew Kiddushin קידושין referred to as sanctification, or holiness in English, on account of the bride becoming “sanctified” (set-apart) to the groom.
b. Washing it with “water” and the Word – Complete Jewish Bible reads this passage from the context of water immersion before marriage, “Ephesians 5:26 In order to set it apart for God, making it clean through immersion in the mikveh [immersion pool of living water], so to speak”
To the uninitiated, a modern-day mikveh looks like a miniature swimming pool. In a religion rich with detail, beauty, and ornamentation — against the backdrop of the ancient Temple or even modern-day synagogues — the mikveh is surprisingly nondescript, a humble structure. Its ordinary appearance, however, belies its primary place in Jewish life and law. The mikveh offers the individual, the community, and the nation of Israel the remarkable gift of purity and holiness. Mikveh before marriage, strictly speaking, is not contingent upon a commitment to regular observance of Family Purity. Even so, it should not be understood as unrelated to this larger framework. It is simply the first time a Jewish woman is commanded to purify herself in this way. It is an awesome and auspicious way to start a new life together with one’s beloved.
c. Without a spot or wrinkle – The soon-to-be married couple would immerse in the waters of the mikveh [immersion pool], and then received white garments to cover them, representing purity. Their would be no stains or blemishes on their garments, like the ones worn by the priests in the Temple for Yom Kippur, “The Day of Atonement”.
28 In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly].
a. As they love their own bodies – similar to the ancient “V’ahavta” text and prayer, found in Leviticus 19:18 “love your neighbor as yourself”, what Messiah called the second of the “Two Greatest [in priority] of Commandments”, known by some as the “Golden Rule”.
b. Nourishes and tenderly cares for it – The way one cares for himself
c. As Messiah does the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly] – Messiah commands us to follow Him, in the way He teaches, but also in how He fulfills the Torah.
30 For we are parts of his body—of his flesh and of his bones. 31“That is why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a great secret, but I am talking about the Messiah and the Messianic Congregation [ekklesia -assemly]. 33 But each individual man among you must love his wife as he loves himself; and may the wife fear [revere; respect; honor] her husband [like they reverence the Lord.
a. Leave his father and mother – this is a quote from Genesis 2:24
b. This is a great secret – Paul uses a Jewish law of Biblical interpretation used by first century scholars and scribes , called “PaRDeS”: P=Peshat: simple reading of the text; R=Remez: a hint or alluded meaning found in the text; D=Drash: like the word “Midrash” meaning to search or research, and draw out meaning in the text, like in a parable; S=Sod: Mystery, or secret meaning in the text, like the “Mark of the Beast” , which is the numerical value of the name of the False Messiah [or Antichrist]. Rabbi Saul, or the “Apostle Paul” was draw out meaning concerning Messiah, from the Genesis passage.
c. Each individual man among you must love his wife – The man’s command is LOVE while the woman is RESPECT. Woman naturally RESPECT men who show them REAL LOVE.
Ephesians Six Synopsis:
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother—” (This is a very important commandment with a promise.) 3 “—so that it may go well for you, and that you may have a long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up by training and instructing them about the Lord.
a. Honor your father and mother – this is a quote from Exodus 20:12, where the LORD says “that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you”, which Paul describes as a promise connected to the commandment, and the first of all such commandments.
b. Fathers do not provoke your children to anger – You can’t correct an behavioral or attitude problem with an attitude. Parents must mimick the model that they want their children to follow.
c. Training and instructing – this is the mandate given to Israel, and all godly parents, to teach the Torah of God’s Instructions to their children, found in Deut. 6:4-9, which says, ” “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear, trembling, and sincerity, as when you obey the Messiah. 6 Do not do this only while you’re being watched in order to please them, but be like slaves of the Messiah, who are determined to obey God’s will. 7 Serve willingly, as if you were serving the Lord and not merely people, 8 because you know that everyone will receive a reward from the Lord for whatever good he has done, whether he is a slave or free.
a. Slaves – indentured servants who were mandated by the courts to pay off a debt that they themselves, or their family-member owed to a boss or owner; not the same as abusive slavery of a people or race by a king, dictator, or evil task-master. This similar to the responsibility one may have to a present-day employer, or boss.
b. Serve willingly – Serve them in the mindset that you are really serving your Heavenly Lord
c. Receive a reward – This reward is the natural outcome of obedience, and the spiritual satisfaction of pleasing the Father.
9 Masters, treat your slaves the same way. Do not threaten them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
a. Masters, treat your slaves the same way – Slave owners or Employers were not allowed to abuse them slaves, servants or employees.
b. Same Master – One God and Father of all [Eph. 4:6]
c. No favoritism – He is no respecter of persons: Jews or Gentiles; males or females; rich or poor; bond or free.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, relying on his mighty strength. 11 Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the devil’s strategies. 12 For our struggle is not against human opponents, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in the darkness around us, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.
a. Be strong in the Lord – When finishing a book of the Torah, the Jewish journey of study would continue, and in Hebrew the words, “Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek!”, which means “Be strong, be strong, and you will be strengthened!”
b. Put on the whole armor of God – Surely Paul being a Roman citizen was familiar with the armor of Roman military, but as a rabbi, or teacher of the Hebrew Scriptures, and trained by one of the greatest Pharisees, Rabbi Gamaliel, he would have a wealth of military battles, weaponry, and victories to draw from in the History of Israel, found in the “Old Testament”.
c. rulers, authorities, …powers…..evil spiritual forces – four levels of demonic spiritual warfare in the Heavenlies
13 For this reason, take up the whole armor of God so that you may be able to take a stand whenever evil comes. And when you have done everything you could, you will be able to stand firm. 14 Stand firm, therefore, having fastened the belt of truth around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and being firm-footed in the gospel of peace.
a. Whole armor of God [fully-armed] – Exodus 13:17 in the Complete Jewish Bible describes Israel’s victory or Egypt this way, “ After Pharaoh had let the people go [sent them out], God did not guide them to the highway that goes through the land of the P’lishtim (or Philistines), because it was close by; God thought that the people, upon seeing war, might change their minds and return to Egypt. 18 Rather, God led the people by a roundabout route, through the desert by the Sea of Suf. The people of Isra’el went up from the land of Egypt fully armed.
b. May be able to take a stand – Some of Israel’s stand against its emenies:
First Battle – “Battle of the Kings” in Genesis 14
- ABRAM / ABRAHAM in Genesis 14 First Biblical Warrior
- JOSHUA defeated Jericho w/ a silent march & shofars
- SAMSON used the jawbone of an ass
- DAVID defeated Goliath using guerrilla warfare
- GIDEON defeated the enemy with 300 men
- THE MACCABEES defeated Antiochus “Epiphanes”
c. S.T.A.N.D. – can be seen as an acronym for “Stay Tough And Never Doubt”
d. Belt of TRUTH –Girded w/ the Word:
Exodus 12:11 ” ‘Here is how you are to eat it [the Passover lamb]: with your belt fastened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand; and you are to eat it hurriedly. It is Adonai’s Pesach [Passover]. 12 For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals; and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt; I am Adonai [LORD]. CJB
a. Shoes of Peace [Shalom] – Preparation of the Gospel
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news [“Gospel”], Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things [“Gospel”] , Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” NKJV
b. Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Isaiah 59:17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate, salvation as a helmet on his head; he clothed himself with garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal.
16 In addition to having clothed yourselves with these things, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one, 17 also take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times with every kind of prayer and request. Likewise, be alert with your most diligent efforts and pray for all the saints.
a. Shield of FAITH – Large shield that covered the entire person [spirit, soul & body]
b. Helmet of SALVATION: Isaiah 59:17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate, salvation as a helmet on his head; he clothed himself with garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal.
c. Sword of the SPIRIT – Rhema [Spoken] Word of God, than when uttered, pierces the darkness, and defeats the enemy; offensive weapon
d. Intercessory PRAYER – this other piece of offensive weaponry coupled with the WORD, or “S-WORD” [“Spirit Word”] is a dynamic duo that can’t be stopped. We also win when we pray the WORD, not just for ourselves, but also as intercession for others in the faith.
19 Pray also for me, so that, when I begin to speak, the right words will come to me. Then I will boldly make known the secret of the gospel, 20 for whose sake I am an ambassador in chains, desiring to declare the gospel as boldly as I should.
a. Pray also for me – The Apostle coveted the intercessory prayers of those who knew and understood the dark demonic forces that the enemy tried to use against Paul to stop his journey of faith and sharing of the Good News of Messiah.
b. I am an ambassador in chains – Paul describes himself as an official representative and spokesperson of the Heavenly Kingdom that sent him on assignment.
c. Desiring to declare the gospel as boldly as I should – even in the fear of beatings, imprisonment, or sudden death.
21 So that you may know what has happened to me and how I am doing, Tychicus, our dear brother and a faithful minister in service to the Lord, will tell you everything. 22 I am sending him to you for this very reason, so that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts.
23 May peace and love, with faith, be with the brothers, from God the Father and the Lord Yeshua, the Messiah! 24 May grace be with all who sincerely love the Lord Yeshua, the Messiah!