In the second chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus he specifically addresses the fact that the Gentiles had been given the same opportunity to qualify for salvation as had the Israelites. All of the churches Paul founded and to whom he wrote His epistles were comprised of Gentiles. In the focal passages of chapter 2 he reminds them of their PAST spiritual condition. The fact that they were not God’s people but now are His people is the “headline.” Why they were not previously God’s people is the “fine print” we will be examining. The following “fine print” will inform all Catholics and Protestants that they are spiritual Gentiles–not God’s people.
In verse 1 Paul reminds the former spiritual Gentiles that, though THEY WERE SPIRITUALLY DEAD BECAUSE OF THEIR SINS before coming to the Lord, they had been “quickened”–brought to spiritual life by Jesus Christ. It is one thing to be brought to life; it is quite another thing to remain alive. Gentiles were given life by Christ’s death. In his letters to former spiritual Gentiles Paul repeatedly drew attention to that which would KEEP THEM ALIVE SO THAT THEY COULD RECEIVE SALVATION upon Christ’s return. Question: what was keeping the QUICKENED Gentiles alive? Paul answers this question in Romans 7:9 where he writes: “I was alive (zealously religious) WITHOUT THE LAW once, but when the COMMANDMENT (LAW) CAME (became known to him) sin revived (he learned what sin was) and I died” (realized that he was spiritually dead because he had broken God’s Law, which is His definition of sin–1 Jn. 2:6). Paul received his Gospel directly from Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:12). It was Christ Who introduced him to the Law and told him he had to obey it in order to remain alive and receive eternal life. Question: what does this say about those in the “Law nailed to the cross” group? Answer: it says that they are spiritual Gentiles–spiritually dead just as was Paul prior to his conversion.
In verses 2,3 Paul tells the former spiritual Gentiles in the church that they had been sinners prior to becoming Law-keepers. He reminds them that before their conversion they “walked in obedience to the ‘prince of the power of the air’ who controls the ‘children of disobedience'”–disobedience to God’s Law. Paul is telling us that those who disobey God’s Law (Genesis to Revelation) are Satan’s children who live in obedience to him. The Holy Scriptures tell us that those who disobey the commandments are God’s enemies (Rom. 5:10/ Phil. 3:18/ Jam.4:4). Paul says that such church people walk in Satan’s false “power”–the power to sin and get away with it. It is Satan’s false prophets who tell them that they can (actually must) sin with impunity if they believe in Jesus and repent after each sin. Or, as a friend once told me, they can save them up until Sunday and repent of them en masse. As one Catholic girl told my daughter after attending Sunday mass: “I’m good for another week.” Church leaders (false prophets) operate under the direction of Satan’s fallen angels, biblically known as “devils.”
Jesus dealt with these evil spirits while on earth by casting them out of people whom they controlled (Mat. 4:24). Note that He told His apostles to do the same in Matthew 10:8. Note also that His modern day apostles are to follow in His ministerial footsteps (Jn. 14;12). His apostles continue to deliver people from demonic bondage today. Note that Satan is called the “prince” of the power that saturates the air. To be a prince one must have subjects over whom to reign. Satan–the “prince”–reigns over his fallen angels who were cast out of heaven with him when he attempted to overthrow God.
In verse 3 Paul tells the Gentiles in the church that they were not alone in their rejection of God. He states that “we” (Israelites) had also failed to obey God in the past when they, like the Gentiles, lusted after the things of the world while rejecting God’s call to focus on spiritual things such as righteousness and holiness. Note that Paul called both sinning Israelites and sinning Gentiles “children of (God’s) wrath.” God displayed His wrath on Israel by repeatedly sending heathen (Gentile) nations to conquer and enslave them. After several years of enslavement Israel would repent and cry out to Him for deliverance from their enslavement. He would hear their cries, have mercy on them and free them by the hand of a warrior or a judge. They would obey the Lord for a time, then return to sin. He would send another enemy to conquer and enslave them. They would repent. He would free them. The sin-defeat-enslavement-repent-deliver-sin …. cycle was repeated many times as recorded in the Book of Judges. The Israelites simply refused to learn the lessons the Lord was teaching them.
God repeatedly punished Israel for sinning against Him. Like their ancient Israelite ancestors, modern Israel (the United States and Great Britain) have continually suffered at the hand of the Lord, and for the same reason (sin) generation after generation. Note that God eventually sent Israel into slavery in Assyria and Babylon, thereby destroying their nation. Until 1948 Israelites had no home nation. Read Who and Where is Israel Today? Key word–Who. Then, in accordance with His prophecies, God raised up the nation again in the land He had promised Abraham. Today that nation is known as “Israel,” which is a misnomer. This nation should be called “Judea” because it is populated by people of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. These people were nicknamed “Jews” by Bible translators. Students of history know that the formation of “Israel” in 1948 was made possible through the work of the United States and Great Britain–their Israelite brethren. For many years those two Israelite nations ruled the world, just as God promised Abraham they would. Then, following WWII, they began their downward moral slide into apostasy. Today America and Britain lead the world in sin and degradation and the Jews continue to reject their Messiah. For this reason God will soon do to them what He did their ancient ancestors. He will send heathen nations against them who will defeat them and take the survivors back to their home nations as slaves. The United States, Great Britain and Israel will cease to exist as nations. The world will once again be engulfed in war. Due to man’s invention of the nuclear bomb, man is now capable of erasing himself from the face of the earth. According to those who know, there are enough nuclear warheads to destroy every man, woman and child in existence several times over. Only the return of Jesus Christ will prevent mankind from doing exactly that. L.J.