Last week, the study covered specific behaviors that born again Christians were no longer supposed to engage in. The text discussed concepts like fornication, which is translated from the Greek word porneia, and contains within it all manner of sexual sin, which would be considered in opposition against God's character and word. In reality, we learned several weeks ago when we covered the Nephilim and their influence on the land of Canaan that these behaviors aren’t only contrary to God, but they’re used by the forces of evil to cause man to rebel against God.
The un-redeemed heathen partake in all manner of uncleanness, but the believer is exhorted not to. As a matter of fact the word uncleanness was used in the text, and we pointed out that this word in the Greek literally means "a," which in the Greek means (without) and katharsis meaning a (purging); therefore, the heathen or un-redeemed, haven't been purged or cleansed because true purging and cleansing can only take place through our identification and association with the shed blood of Jesus. Now, we must remember that Paul is talking to the church. The letter is written to the church of Ephesus. In other words, he’s not warning the world about this; instead, he’s warning the church. Furthermore, we must consider the current state of the church and how the pews are filled with people who are engaging in porneia. I’m not speaking of people who are struggling with lust and asking God to deliver them. Instead, I’m speaking of people who are living under a diluted gospel, aren’t saved but think they are, and have no conviction about their transgression of God’s ways. Am I wrong or is that a dangerous gospel for people to sit under, where they can remain in sin, and not be convicted about their sin, and the whole while, they believe that they’re hearing the gospel? Is that the gospel? Can it be the gospel?
Once we're born again, then behaviors must change. Furthermore, Paul discussed not only our visible actions, but our audible talk. Previously, he told us to put away lying (Ephesians 4:25) and later for us not to let any corrupt communication come out of our mouths (Ephesians 4:29), and last week he told us not to engage in foolish talk, which was morologia-- from moron and logia/ speech. In others words, don't engage in dumb and fruitless talk.
Once again the thought is brought back to the conversation of the un- redeemed. Back in 4:17-19, we learned that the root cause of the heathen’s actions was that they weren't partakers of Christ; therefore, their hearts were darkened to the enlightenment, which God offers; therefore, please don't walk like them! Their eyes are closed, and they are blind, so why would we want to walk like them or talk like them?
We were supposed to end last week with verse 7, and we never got there:
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
The exhortation is don't be a partaker with them. The thought of the word partaker is connectedness. You and I aren't supposed to be connected to the world in deed or speech. We shouldn't be lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, smoking dope, getting drunk, fornicating.... And if we are engaging in these behaviors, while at the same time not being convicted about it, then something isn't right with our walk!
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
We were previously part of them, but we've been redeemed or purchased out from amongst them. The Christian, in his early walk, or sadly for some, throughout their walk, finds himself on dangerous ground because he so quickly forgets, you were sometimes darkness…. Somehow, he is convinced to believe, and this comes from the evil one, that he is more spiritual than those around him. Everything he does is of God, and no one else hears from God. This is the delusion of self- righteousness, resulting in an un-teachable spirit.
Many times, these people (I went through this myself) think they know better and are doing better than others, but in reality, they've been blinded by a spirit of religion, and they can't see. Sadly, many times, these people don't come back as quickly as the one who struggles with obvious sin, because obvious sin: fornication, drunkenness, lying....is usually depressing to the redeemed heart; whereas, the spirit of religion by its very nature is rooted in religious pride and lifts self up, feeding self into a lying frenzy, convincing the person that they are good and everyone is inferior. In addition, pride repels the heart of God; therefore, this is another spirit, a deceptive spirit that is driving this person’s actions and motives, and the sad thing is that the whole time they think they’re engaging in God’s work and the reality is that they’re being used as a tool of the enemy. Humility, on the other hand, by its very nature (at least for mortal man) is willing to admit that it doesn't know all; furthermore, it remembers that it …were sometimes darkness…. this is pleasing to God, because self is recognizing that its righteousness and victory is dependent upon God and not its own righteous actions no matter how righteous the may look. Even more encouraging is the truth that true humility is an attraction to God.
There is no better illustration that I can think of regarding these concepts than the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector who were praying in the temple (Luke 18:10), and the time when Jesus told the Pharisees that they were searching the scriptures looking for eternal life; however, the very scriptures they were searching were revealing Jesus, and the Pharisees were unwilling to come to Him (John 5:37-40).
Religious pride and an un-teachable spirit prevented them from seeing the truth. And in the parable previously mentioned, religious pride deceived the Pharisee into thinking that he was alright when in reality his heart was far away from God.
But verse 8 says that we are now children of light, so we should walk (order) our lives that way. The thought of this word children is teknon and its meaning in this sense is that the child is viewed in reference to the one that gave it birth. In other words, maybe in English the thought would be something like, “That’s your child right?” vs. “Look at that child over there.”
An earthly illustration would be when you meet someone who knew your parent from the past and they say, "You look just like your daddy."
In this sense your physical appearance connects you to your paternal father. In this verses' sense, your spiritual walk in the light connects you to Jesus of whom you were begotten. By the way, once again, the word for light here is "phos." If you will remember, we pointed out that "phos" is the same word used of Jesus when calling Him the light. Furthermore, there is a verse out of Colossians describing the translation from darkness to light, which specifically speaks of being born again from the dead: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
He is the source of light
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
When man comes to Jesus, Jesus’ light is given to man as a reflection of His light
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
The result of walking as children born of light is that the fruit of the Spirit is manifest in the life.
Namely, these fruit in this verse are:
Goodness- that which is upright and pure.
Righteousness- this word is the same word used of the Christian's justification. When a believer identifies and associates self as partaking in the death, burial, and resurrection in Christ, he is justified or declared righteous in Christ, resulting in access to grace, resulting in power to walk in righteous acts. Any other pathway will result in self- righteousness because he finds himself believing that it’s his work: fasting, praying, studying, going to church…that gives him access. When in reality, the opposite is true—a proper understanding of true righteousness, along with learning to rest in His righteousness, results in a spiritual desire for more: prayer, church, study, even fasting if it will result in a deeper intimacy with God.
Truth- is the way the Christian is to operate. When the Christian operates in truth, things can be done openly. There is no need to run around to this one or that one talking about this and talking about that. Lies are hidden and truth is up front. And we will see that further clarified when Paul explains that the right order of things is that they be made manifest or brought to the light.
Ephesians 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
The word for proving, dokizomai, was used to describe putting metals to the test. In the times of Jesus, there was a deceptive technique employed by thieves where they would "clip coins," meaning they would shave or clip pieces of the coin off and take for themselves a small portion of the weighted precious metal. Over time, they would have gathered for themselves enough to equal significant value.
So the concept of dokizomai was that the coin or metal was put to the test in order to make sure that it was what it said it was.
We better be proving ourselves! We better make sure that the motives of our hearts are right before the Lord, and that we aren't operating in some self- righteous spirit that's really causing damage to the kingdom.
Paul used the same word in his second letter to Corinth regarding believers putting themselves to the test in order to prove whether they truly be in the faith:
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
The idea being portrayed here is that the world is walking in one direction and believers are supposed to be heading in the opposite direction. But there is even more. We aren't supposed to just be silent about things. In addition to not being in fellowship with the world and their practices, we are supposed to reprove their works.
On first glance at verse 12, it would almost appear that the thought is don't talk about what they do. But the reality is that when both verses are looked at together, and two different Greek scholars agree, the thought is that what they do is so bad, and because they do it in secret, it must be exposed, it must be revealed, it must be rebuked, so the Holy Spirit can minister His conviction and repentance and restoration with God can take place.
One of the biggest parts of the deception of the satanic agenda is the infiltration of his lying magic into the house of God. The spirit of antichrist is working upon and through the children of disobedience who present themselves as ministers of righteousness:
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 (KJV) 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
There are two concepts I would like to cover regarding this thought:
(1) when the Lord first instructed me to study and research the wiles of Satan and to write a book about it, my first response was, "Ok God-- whatever you say."
Then as a I had time to consider the task and the results and what unknowing people would think, fear tried to grip my heart, and I had to spend much time in prayer. I tossed and turned and prayed and prayed. And I can tell you that there are some things I may question whether I was supposed to do it or not, but that isn't one of them.
Furthermore, one of the things that really rang loudly in my spiritual ears was this-- I would pray specifically, "But Lord most people aren't ready for this information."
God's response to my spirit was, "This is what I've called you to do. The question is, are you going to obey what I ask, because I'm ready for my people to be prepared? They aren't prepared."
As time went on He would reveal to me that the deception clouding the eyes of His people was so thick that if things don't go the way the American church was taught it would-- the result would be countless souls being lost because they would defect from the faith. Now, let me make this clear. It’s quite obvious that my writing of this book wasn’t the tool that disseminated the information the church needed in order to be awakened; however, over 200 people have been exposed to it. Furthermore, since that time, I have realized that there are multiple people who have been aware of all this deception, and in actuality, I’m a late comer to these truths.
I can tell you that this wasn't easy for me. But God has called me to do this. Some people are going to be uneasy about this. I've already lost friends because of it, and there will be people who will leave this church because of it. But it's only fair that you know what God has called me to do. You can think that I'm not supposed to, but He spoke to me, and I will not be deterred or changed by the will or comments of man.
(2) much of this Satanic deception has been infiltrating the people of God since the inception of Israel's existence. From the Harlotry with Moabite women learned from Baalam (Numbers 22-25; Revelation 2:14) to Solomon's fall (1 Kings 11), the people of God have been deceived by the spirit of antichrist. And that spirit is working more heavily now in the church than ever before.
The apostasy is here Christian (2 Thessalonians 2:3): falling away is literally apostasia
The Lord says: reprove it, expose it, rebuke it, and let it be brought to the light.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
The idea here is not that when evil is exposed it, itself becomes light. Where there is light, there is the ability to see. God wants His people to see the difference between evil and good. He wants His people to know what is well- pleasing to Him.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.—also see Romans 13:11, 12
As long as people are dead in their sin-- unsaved, they will never be able to see. This passage describes them as a sleeper or one that is dead and cannot see. However, if a person would only turn to God, they would be awakened from the dead, even awakened from their sleep.
Sadly, he is writing to Christians, and he's exhorting them that they shouldn't be walking like the world around them, since they've been born again from the dead.
God wants His people to walk in the light. Specifically, the context here surrounds specific behavior, but more specifically, it surrounds light revealing to people that which is evil vs. that which is well- pleasing to God.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
How dare you preacher, whoever you are, not preach Jesus and His cross for the way that God wrote His word! Jesus the precious one died and shed his blood His blood to set God’s people free, and now you contort the scriptures in order to increase your numbers? God help us!
Circumspectly: watchful and discreet; cautious; prudent: circumspect behavior.
well-considered: circumspect ambition._ English Dictionary
Unwise is asophos (a)= without (sophos)= wisdom
Poneros= the evil one
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
1 John 3:12
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
In this case the wicked (poneros) one specifically speaks of Satan.
So we close with the exhortation that God's people are supposed to walk with caution because the days are evil. We need to understand the times that we're in. Furthermore, our understanding of the severity of the times is supposed to make us sober- minded about our purposes on earth. We are to redeem the time, which means to buy back. This word for redeemed is that same Greek word that is used to describe our being redeemed from the world by Jesus' blood.
He purchased you out of this wicked world through the shedding of His precious blood. Now, He asks of you, and He asks of me, to redeem the time. It's time to wake up and make sure we're about our Father's business. We need to make sure that no opportunity to reach the lost is squandered.