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Ephesians 81-82_07 Ephesians 1:3-5

Ephesians 1981-82 Corps Teachings. Lesson 4: Ephesians 1:3-5.

Topic: logospedia
Format: AUDIO
Publication Date: 1981-82

 Victor Paul Wierwille was a Bible scholar and teacher for over four decades.

By means of Dr. Wierwille's dynamic teaching of the accuracy and integrity of God's Word, foundational class and advanced class graduates of Power for Abundant Living have learned that the one great requirement for every student of the Bible is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Thus, his presentation of the Word of God was designed for students who desire the in-depth-accuracy of God’s Word.

In his many years of research, Dr. Wierwille studied with such men as Karl Barth, E. Stanley Jones, Glenn Clark, Bishop K.C. Pillai, and George M. Lamsa. His formal training included Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Theology degrees from Mission House (Lakeland) College and Seminary. He studied at the University of Chicago and at Princeton Theological Seminary from which he received a Master of Theology degree in Practical Theology. Later he completed his work for the Doctor of Theology degree.

Dr. Wierwille taught the first class on Power for Abundant Living in 1953.

Books by Dr. Wierwille include: Are the Dead Alive Now? published in 1971; Receiving the Holy Spirit Today published in 1972; five volumes of Studies in Abundant Living— The Bible Tells Me So (1971), The New, Dynamic Church (1971), The Word's Way (1971), God's Magnified Word (1977), Order My Steps in Thy Word (1985); Jesus Christ Is Not God (1975); Jesus Christ Our Passover (1980); and Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed (1982).

Dr. Wierwille researched God's Word, taught, wrote, and traveled worldwide, holding forth the accuracy of God's "wonderful, matchless" Word.

September 30, 1981
Tonight Ephesians 1, please. Verse 3. King James reads:
Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath [past
tense] blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
The word “blessed,” Corps, in the Greek is in the aorist tense. It means a one-time deal,
one time. When you...people, when you were born again, He blessed you one time. He
doesn’t have to bless you again. It’s always there—it’s always there. It’s in the aorist tense.
That’s why it’s in the aorist tense. The reason He blessed us so that we may bless Him. He
blessed us first. Like, He loved us first in Christ Jesus that we could love. He blessed us so
that we could bless Him. How can John Paul bless the Wierwille family without us first
blessing him by getting him born? It’s so simple to me. Should be simple in your heads. So
He blessed us once and for all that we in turn could bless Him by true worship—by true
worship. And true worship is not an eleven o’clock meeting on Sunday morning. True
worship is what Corinthians speaks of when we speak in tongues, worshipping Him. “God
is spirit” that John talks about, the gospel, worshipping Him truly by way of the spirit. And
whenever you and I do that, then God is blessed. You see, God blessed so that we could
bless Him. That’s Ephesians 1:3.
In verse 6, it says:
Ephesians 1:6
To the praise of the glory of his grace,…
God blessed to the praise of the glory, to the praise of the glory, to the praise.
Verse 12, we should be:
Ephesians 1:12
…the praise of His glory.
Praise of His glory, again.
Verse 14.
Ephesians 1:14
…earnest of our inheritance…unto the praise of his [what?] {glory}.
Three times: verses 6, 12 and 14. God blessed so that we can be to the praise—to the
praise of His glory.
The Greek word is the word eulogeō (or something), it’d transliterated into English…in
our English word “eulogize”—eulogize. Well, what is an eulogy? You always hear it at a
funeral. It’s praising someone for having died, or something—No it isn’t. You know,
usually at funerals in an eulogy you tell all the good things that you never said while they
were living. That’s why I like the poem, “If there’s any praises due him, now’s the time to
slip it to him. He cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.” You know. That’s right. But
that’s the word “blessed” here in this verse. And to bless is to speak beautifully,
wonderfully, well. That’s the word.
Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God…, who hath blessed…with all spiritual blessings…
Three times the word “blessed” or in that form: blessed, blessed, blessings, is used in
verse 3. This is like a triple conjunction, for an astronomer. Any time there’s a triple
conjunction an astronomer goes hay wire. He goes wild, because man, that just doesn’t
happen too frequently where all those planets line up with the North Star just like that.
This, to me, is like a great spiritual triple conjunction. First of all, it’s the figure Polyptoton
(p-o-l-y-p-t-o-t-o-n). This figure is when the words are repeated that have the same root,
like blessed, blessed, blessing—same root, but all it has is a different inflection in the part
of speech.
The second figure this represents is the figure called Benedictio (b-e-n-e-d-i-c-t-i-o).
The word Benedictio or that figure means blessing. And this, of course, is part of the great
opening of the doctrinal section of the Book of Ephesians. A blessing.
And the third figure of these words: blessed, blessed and blessing, is the figure called
Anaphora (a-n-a-p-h-o-r-a). This is a figure in which successive phrases, clause or
sentences begin with the same word. And this figure describes and intensifies the blessing
or the magnitude of the blessing.
So when you put this all together, Corps, you have the same root repeated, you have an
act of blessing, and then you have the description where the figure describes and it
intensifies the magnitude of the blessing. That’s why I said it’s like a triple conjunction for
Blessed be the God—blessed us—spiritual blessings. Man, you know, if you get hit in
the head three times pronto (boom, boom, boom), you usually land on the floor knocked
out. But here when you get hit in the head three times with the greatness of God’s Word
that He puts the “umph” into it, that which He emphasizes, people, if you don’t know that
you are blessed, you are hopeless. That’s right. You’re just hopeless because the last one
even intensifies and it describes in detail the magnitude of the blessing—the magnitude of
the blessing, every spiritual blessing. You see why this verse alone can remake the average
Christian prayer life if he ever believed it? Blessed with every spiritual blessing.
Then comes the word “in heavenlies” or “in the heavenlies.” And the Research
Department did a fantastic piece of work in this word “heavenly” of Ephesians 1:3 in a
background study that they submitted to me that I want to share with you because it’s got
real dynamite in it.
The Greek word for “heavenly” is spelled e-p-o-u-r-a-n-i-o-s, epouranios, and this
word is formed from the adjective eouranos (e-o-u-r-a-n-o-s) meaning heaven, and epi
(e-p-i). And epi is used in an…in an emphatic sense, which would render the definition:
throughly heavenly. Throughly heavenly which sets it in opposition to anything that’s
earthly. Boy, that’s just terrific kids. Well, I’ll hit it again or we’ll get back to it.
Also, here in Ephesians 1:3 the word that’s translated “in” in the Greek is the word—
the Greek word en (e-n). It can be translated “by,” and that’s how it has to be translated.
Because if you’ve got all the blessings in the heavenlies and you haven’t got any down
here, you’re in the soup. Translating it “by” indicates means, indicates the means whereby.
If you translated “in” it’s location. In the heavenlies is the location, but if it’s “by” then it’s
by means. That’s why the phrase, in heavenly places, would be better translated by
heavenly things, because that would indicate the means or the instrument by which God
blessed us rather than its location as to where He blessed us. Who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings by heavenly things, by heavenly things. And that fits, Corps,
consistently with the immediate context, which deals entirely with how (h-o-w)—how God
blessed us. And it does not deal with the location of the believer but how He blessed us.
The next occurrence of this word “heavenly” in Ephesians 1:20 where you
read in the record:
Ephesians 1:20
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him
at his own right hand [by heavenly things],
By or by that which is throu…throughly (t-h-r-o-u)—throughly heavenly, or by
heavenly things. And there again the heavenly things are set in contrast to principalities,
powers, might and dominion of verse 21 which are earthly being of the god of this world.
Likewise in chapter 2 of Ephesians 2:6.
Ephesians 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us [what?] sit together [by] heavenly
By heavenly…or throughly heavenly things.
And verses 2 and 3 of chapter 6…of, of, of, of…chapter 2 describe the Adversary’s use
of earthly power to disrupt our lives. And that’s why verses 4-6 discuss God’s view of
heavenly power to deliver us. Through heavenly things or through that which is throughly
heavenly, not earthly at all.
The next occurrence in chapter 3 verse 10.
Ephesians 3:10
[So that it might] now [be known to] principalities and powers [by]
heavenly [things]…[through] the church the [multifarious] wisdom of God,
You see, the church is the agent which is to make known the variegated, the multivarious
wisdom of God to the principalities and powers which again sets the heavenly
things as opposed to the earthly. And the church uses the heavenly things to carry out its
tasks, and not the earthly.
Then finally in chapter 6 verse 12.
Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against [what?] flesh and blood, but against [the]
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this
[what?] {world}, against spiritual wickedness [by heavenly things].
By, that which is throughly heavenly. It sets that throughly heavenly in contrast with
the earth. And verse 12 here in Ephesians 6 clarifies verse 11 where we have to put on the
62 EPHESIANS 1981—1982—Taught by Victor Paul Wierwille
whole what? {armour of God}. For we wrestle not by but by heavenly what? There’s
nothing earthly, sensual or devilish about our armour.
The Aramaic has the word “heaven” the noun instead of the Greek word for “heavenly”
In all five of the verses discussed that I have just given you, this is true of the Aramaic.
In the first four, 1:3; 1:20; 2:6; 3:10, the text reads “in heaven,” which can also be
translated “by heaven” (Aramaic). This could very well be a usage of the figure of speech
Antimereia, where a noun is put for an adjective. The true reading would then be “by
heavenly things.” I think that’s right. This it…fits the context of the Aramaic and it also
fits with the Greek rendering.
The fifth verse, 6:12 of Ephesians, has a different reading in Aramaic. It reads “under
heaven,” but that reading in no way contradicts any of the above stated principle. It simply
sta…strengthens the truth that the Devil and his hosts are not heavenly in influence but
indeed earthly, under heaven—under heaven. [Coughs and pauses.]
Dealing with the word “blessed” and “blessing” in this verse, perhaps I ought to give
you the benefit of again of the background study that the Research Department gave to me
where they say there are three usages of the word “will” in this section of Ephesians—
Ephesians 1:3-14. But really there are four because verse 1 has the word “will” in it, which
I gave you last week or the week before, I forget when. But verse 5 has it, according to the
good pleasure of his what? {will} Right. And the word “will” again is thelēma meaning
what Corps? intense desire, you got it. Verse 9 has the…another usage.
Ephesians 1:9
…the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he… purposed
in [his self]:
According to his good pleasure. And verse 11.
Ephesians 1:11
…according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel
of his own will.
So you have pleasure of his will, mystery of his will, counsel of his own will. And all
the wills are thelēma, intense desire.
And here in Ephesians 1:3-14, there are four usages of the pattern where it sets the
blessing first, the standard second and the purpose third. And of these four, three of them,
three of the usages of “will” tie into these patterns of blessing, standard, purpose, except
the first where it’s implied, where it’s understood, and that’s in verse 3 and 4.
Verse 3 blessed us with every spiritual blessing. See it? That’s the blessing. The
standard is verse 4, according as he hath chosen us. The purpose is that we should be holy
and without blame. See the will of God is carried over from verse 1, and it’s implied and
understood. It was the will of God who blessed us with what? All spiritual what?
{blessings} Right. Standard, according as he hath, what? The purpose, that we should be
holy and without what? Got it?
Now we go to verse 5. Having predestinated us, that’s the blessing. The standard,
according to the good pleasure of his will. That’s the standard. The purpose, to the praise
of the glory of his grace. And that’s the accusative case there, to the end of, or to the praise
of the glory of his grace. That’s the purpose, Corps. Verse 9.
Ephesians 1:9
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,…
That’s the blessing. He made it known to us, that’s the blessing. Talking about will
now, remember? The standard is:
Ephesians 1:9
…according with his good pleasure which he…purposed in himself.
The purpose being verse 10.
Ephesians 1:10
That in the [administration] of the fulness of times he might gather….
That’s the purpose. And the final ones are in verses 11 and 12. The blessing is:
Ephesians 1:11a
In whom we have obtained [what?] an inheritance…
That’s the blessing. The standard is:
Ephesians 1:11b
…according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel
of his own [thelēma] will:
Purpose is in verse 12.
Ephesians 1:12
That we should be to the praise of his glory…
You see how tremendous the Book of Ephesians truly is? The literal translation of
verse 3 of Ephesians 1 is:
Ephesians 1:3a Literal translation according to usage
God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is blessed….
(May I have some coffee please.)
Ephesians 1:3a Literal translation according to usage
God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is blessed….
That’s the literal.
Ephesians 1:3b Literal translation according to usage
…He blessed us with every spiritual blessing throughly heavenly by Christ.
(Thank you.) The literal according to usage of verse 3 is:
Ephesians 1:3 Literal translation according to usage
God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is blessed. [Then] God blessed us
with every spiritual blessing by heavenly things by Christ.
Verse 4. King James.
Ephesians 1:4
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Again to reiterate the “according as” sets the standard for God’s blessing. The standard
is that He chose us. He chose us before the foundation or before the overthrow. And it’s
His choosing that implies His will from verse 1. He chose us. He didn’t have to. He did it.
That implies His will. And God’s ability to choose us is latent within His foreknowledge.
And this “chosen” here…“chosen us” is in the middle voice in Greek, which means He
chose us for Himself, like an earthly family chooses that son or that daughter for
themselves. If you don’t like it, you’ve got it anyway. You better like it because you made
the decision to have the baby.
The reason God is able to predestinate or predetermine is because of God’s
foreknowledge. God is omniscient, all wise; He’s omnipotent, all powerful; He is
omnipresent, everywhere present.
And the word “before the foundation” or before the overthrow is true of Jesus Christ
only and the Church of the Body to which you and I belong. Everything else is from. But
Jesus Christ was before and the Church of the Body is before the overthrow. Chosen
before the foundation. And the word “foundation” means casting down, overthrow. The
Greek is katabolē, meaning overthrow, throwing down.
And that “of the world,” the kosmos….That’s used of the order of the world, and so
katabolē is the overthrow or the disruption of the orderliness of the order of the world.
When God originally formed, made and created there was no disorder.
“…that we should be” expresses the purpose, and this purpose clause indicates that it’s
future. Future from the time of God’s choosing us. Very simple. You couldn’t believe until
after you got born. Right? Got old enough to hear the Word and believe the Word, for
believing comes by hearing and hearing by what? That’s why it has to be future. You talk
about the integrity and accuracy of God’s Word. Kids, you just got to stand in utter
amazement of the greatness of the Word, that this purpose clause indicates future from the
time of God’s choosing before the foundation of the world. Had to be future. If it was any
other tense than what it is future, the Bible would fall to pieces.
“…before him” in love—There are two Greek words translated “before.” One is the
Greek word katenanti (k-a-t-e-n-a-n-t-i). This word means before in the essence of down in
front of or directly across from. It denotes locality. Like this clock that’s telling me it’s
twenty-four minutes after nine Ohio time. That clock is directly in front of me. It, it, it…it
indicates its locality. It’s sitting there. That’s where it’s located. That’s this word katenanti
that I gave you translated “before” in the Word. It’s used twice in the gospel of Mark and
Luke, twice it’s used of a village directly in front of the people. Like you drive into New
Knoxville, when you get to Hoge Lumber, New Knoxville is directly in front of you. Once
it is used of being directly in front of the treasury; once directly in front of the temple, and
of Abraham it’s used in the Book of Romans as being directly in front of God. All the
occurrences put emphasis on the locality. Do you understand? On the locality, the location
of it, the location. Directly in front of me is that clock.
The other Greek word is the word katenopion (k-a-t-e-n-o-p-i-o-n). This word means
down within eyesight. Now if this clock was back where Mrs. Wierwille is, way at the
back of the auditorium, it still would be down in front of me, the location. The only thing is
I couldn’t read the top hand. It wouldn’t be staring me right in the face. Do you
understand? That’s why this word means in the sight of. It’s used of the presence; the
emphasis is on the presence, its visibility, rather than its location. Katenopion is down in
the sight of, directly in the face of, directly in the sight of. It denotes eyesight, presence—it
denotes presence not locality but presence in eyesight. So presence in locality and presence
in eyesight could be—go together. But on the other hand, they could be separated.
[Example of clock.] Get your…get the clock back there and read me the time. Put it up
here, it’s directly in my presence. It’s not only the locality of it, but it’s also directly in my
eye sight.
This Greek word is used 5 times. Twice it speaks of Christ directly in the sight of or
presence of God. Three times without blame directly in the sight of God. Ephesians 1:4 is
one of them.
And now, Corps, hold your seats. You’ve been thinking this will be electrifying. All
these usages, all five, deal with directly in the presence of God as simply opposed to being
in the vicinity of God. Abraham was in the vicinity of; you are directly in the face of God.
That’s what Ephesians says: directly in the presence of God. I didn’t write the book. We
are holy and without blame directly in the face, in the presence of God. That’s why we can
come boldly to the throne of grace that Colossians talks about. People, what did Abraham
do for Lot in that city? You know, he finally got it down to ten people didn’t he? God said
if there are ten righteous I won’t destroy it. He wheeled and dealed with God. Hey, you’re
directly in the presence of God. Do you think maybe you could wheel and deal? Oh
people, we’ve lived so below par. Well, that’s its usage. And both the Aramaic and the
Greek substantiate what I have just said.
This “holy and without blame” is also a figure of speech, the figure is Pleonasm (p…pl-
e-o-n-a-s-m). Pleonasm—I don’t know how to pronounce it (a-s-m) …asm, I guess
…asm. The word means redundant phrases or clauses are used. If you’re holy, you’re
going to be without, what? blame, so it’s that figure. He puts the double emphasis on it so
to speak. You’re holy, holy, holy, without blame. That’s the figure. You see, holy is all
that’s needed. If you’re holy, you’re without what? That’s why without blame is
redundant. That’s why it’s a figure. Like bless and curse not. Well if you bless you won’t
what? Redundant. The word…same figure.
The words “in love” don’t belong here; they belong at the beginning of the next verse.
And I’ll give you the literal translation, if I can find it here; here it is…of verse 4.
“According as He chose us in Himself before the overthrow of the world,…”. (I hope
that’s right, let’s do it again. Okay.)
Ephesians 1:4 Literal translation according to usage
According as He chose us in Himself before the overthrow of the world,
that we should be the sanctified ones, unblemished in His presence.
Right…Now the expanded one. I like this; it’s sort of cool.
Ephesians 1:4a Expanded translation
In this manner is how God did it [colon]:…
You see, the literal was “according as,” right? Well “according as” is the manner.
That’s why in the literal 3 according to usage I translated it: In this manner is how God did
it (colon). Now He’s going to tell us how He did it.
3 Dr. Wierwille misspoke. This is the expanded translation instead of the literal according to usage.
Ephesians 1:4b Expanded translation
…He chose us for Himself before the overthrow of the order of the world,
that we absolutely would be the sanctified ones, scarless…
If your body is scarless, you have never been what? blemished. Scarless—not even a
birthmark or a mole. Scarless…
Ephesians 1:4c Expanded translation
…directly in the sight and presence of God.
Think it through. Look at it again.
Ephesians 1:4a Expanded translation
In this manner is how God did it: He chose us [repeats: He chose us] for
Himself before the overthrow of the order of the world,…
That’s why you could say “from before the foundation” but the word “overthrow” is
the word that’s in the text and we love to use it.
Ephesians 1:4b Expanded translation
…before the overthrow of the order of the world, that we absolutely would
I told you it was future, remember, when I worked it a while ago—there it is: absolutely
would be, future. Absolutely—no ifs, ands or buts about it.
Ephesians 1:4c Expanded translation
…absolutely would be the sanctified ones, scarless directly in the sight…
Directly in the sight—not location but in the sight. The emphasis is on the sight, not the
location. The location is there too but as I told you: if this clock was way back there were
Dotsy is seated or outside of the BRC still I could see the clock through the window but I
couldn’t tell the time. It wouldn’t be right in my face. You and I are directly—
Ephesians 1:4d Expanded translation
…directly in the sight and presence of God.
Oh people, what a revelation! Yeah. Well [laughter].
I think the next verse is too long for me to handle tonight, and I got to have something
to do next week anyways so we don’t run out. But I got to read you the literal according to
usage of verse 5 before I close. I’ll build it for you next week and show you why. I just
read you the great literal of verse 4. And he goes on in verse 5, and in love.
Ephesians 1:5 Literal translation according to usage
And in love He, God, marked us, branded us, unto Himself, even placed us
as His adopted sons by Christ Jesus [or in Christ Jesus] according to that
which pleased His [God’s] intense desire.
He set us in the Body. Remember that? This will all come up next week when we get to
it. But we’ll have to handle adoption, we’ll have to handle three figures of speech in this
verse. That’s why it’d take me another half hour and I’m tired, see so we are going to quit.
But kids, this revelation that God gave to the Church, the Body, how we’ve all been talked
out of it, and how even the best of us when we started getting talked into it find it difficult
to really align ourselves up with it. But when you’re honest, we are what the Word of God
says we are; we have what the Word of God says we, what? {have}—directly in His
[Prayer] Well Father I sure thank you for the privilege of the greatness of your Word
that lives in our hearts and lives for sharing it with your Corps. Thank you Father for
blessing the Corps so beautifully and wonderfully. And for allowing us all to be a part of
the greatness of the outreach of your Word in this day and time and hour through Christ
Jesus our lord. Amen.
Good night. God bless. I love you Corps. And remember this is the 39th Anniversary
week with the celebration of the 39th Anniversary this coming Sunday, opening the 40th
year of biblical research and teaching of our ministry.
God bless. I love you. You’re the best. Thank you.