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Ephesians 81-82_08 Ephesians 1:5

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

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.

October 6, 1981
Take your Bibles and go to Ephesians tonight, please, to chapter 1 where I want to
cover one verse with you tonight that I wanted to cover so badly last week and didn’t
finish. But I felt it had to be finished before I went south, because otherwise the thing will
cool off and then I have to heat the soup all over again. But verse 5 of Ephesians 1, King
James says, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ…
himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”:
Ephesians 1:5 KJV
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to
himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Darby translates it:
Ephesians 1:5 Darby
Having marked us out before hand for adoption through Jesus Christ [to]
himself according to the good pleasure of his will.
Lamsa translates it:
Ephesians 1:5 Lamsa
And he marked us with his love to be his from the beginning and adopted us
to be sons through Jesus Christ as it pleased his will.
Knox translates it:
Ephesians 1:5 Knox
Marking us out before hand to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ.
The Amplified translates it:
Ephesians 1:5 Amplified
For he foreordained us to be adopted as his own children through Jesus
Christ in accordance with the purpose of his will because it pleased him and
was his kind intent.
The New English translates it:
Ephesians 1:5 New English
And he destined us such was his will and pleasure to be accepted as his sons
through Jesus Christ.
Good News to Modern Man:
Ephesians 1:5 Good News to Modern Man
God has already decided that through Jesus Christ he would bring us to
himself as his sons. This was his pleasure and purpose.
And the New International Version:
Ephesians 1:5 NIV
He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ in accordance
with his pleasure and will.
The Revised Version has:
Ephesians 1:5 Revised
Having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto
himself according to the good pleasure of his will.
And the…uh…the Aramaic fella. What’s his name? Murdock, Murdock.
Ephesians 1:5 Murdock
And adopted us for sons in Jesus the Messiah as was agreeable to his
Now we have the word “predestinated” in here; we have the word “adopted” or
“adoption,” we have words like: according to, the standard, according to, the standard
being, the good pleasure of his will. All of these now will have to be handled in detail.
We begin with the word “adoption” is where I want to start. I have given this
previously last year in the background study of this word, but perhaps I’ve added a few
things this year and deleted others, I don’t know. But adoption was a kind of will. The
adopted son became owner of the property, and the property could pass to a person that
was by natural birth outside the family only by his being adopted. The adoption will—the
adoption will was irrevocable and it was made in public. The term son and heir are
interchangeable. The will of an adopter is irrevocable when it was duly executed. A man
could never—an adopter could never put away an adopted son. He may put away his real
son on good grounds, but the adopted son has a stronger position than a son by birth,
according to Greek and Roman law. There is the truth of the teaching in the Church
epistles that shows that sons may be adopted but children may only be born. The two,
adopted sons and children by birth, are complementary, but they must be understood
separately before the full force of the whole truth which they combine to give can be
The adopted son became as much a member of the family as if he had been born of the
blood of the adopter, and he was invested with all the privileges of that family. And it was
by this means of adoption that the succession was continued among the Caesars. In no case
among the Caesars did the throne pass from father to son. Augustus was the great nephew
of Julius Caesar and was adopted from the Octavian into the Julian gen household.
Tiberius was no relation at all to his predecessor: he was merely the son of Augustus’s
wife, Livia, by Tiberius Claudius Nero. Nero was the great nephew of his predecessor,
Claudius who adopted him in the year A.D. 50.
Adoption was of two kinds: adoption proper and adrogation. The word adrogation is
spelled a-d-r-o-g-a-t-i-o-n.
Adoption proper where according to Roman law the father had absolute control over
his family having the same rights over his children as over his slaves. By this the child was
deprived of the right to own property, and the father could inflict any punishment he
thought fit, even to the extent of death penalty. He could sell his child into slavery or do
with him as he liked.
In the case of the adoption of a son a legal ceremony took place in which the father
went through the process of selling his child as a son to the potestas of the adopter. In other
words, I have a child. Under Roman law you want my child to be your son. You want to
adopt him. So a legal ceremony takes place in which I go through the process of selling my
child to you. This is what the scripture talks about when it says “bought with a price.” My
child is passed over completely to the potestas of the adopter. That is where I have a child
who is not of legal age.
Now, there’s another kind of adoption, when I have a child who is of legal age, and
that’s called adrogation. When the child to be adopted grows up to be an adult, he was
adopted by the form called adrogation. The law demanded that the adopter should be at
least 18 years older than the adopted. And the effect of adoption was fourfold:
(1) A Change of Family—The adopted person was transferred from one gens to
(2) A Change of Name—The adopted person acquired a new name, for he assumed the
name of his adopter and modified his own name by the termination ianus. Thus,
when Caius Octavius of the Octavian gens was adopted by Julius Caesar, he
became Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
(3) A Change of Home.
(4) New Responsibilities and Privileges—While the adopted son may have suffered
many losses, there were…these were far more than counterbalanced by his gains,
for he received a new capacity to inherit. In the case of the adopter dying intestate
(that is without a will), the adopted son acquired the right of succession, the right
of dominion, lawful authority, the absolute power of authority in the family.
In Galatians Paul writes of “the child differing nothing from a slave,” and goes on to
say “Thou art no longer a slave but a son.” Paul also alludes to tutelage in Galatians where
we have such phrases as “kept in word,” “tutor to bring us to Christ,” “under guardians and
stewards,” and “children held in bondage.”
So far as the ceremony was concerned, the difference between the transferring of a son
into slavery and his becoming a member of a family was very slight. In one case the
adopter says: I claim this man as my slave. In the other: I claim this man as my son. The
form was almost the same—the spirit that differed.
The apostle here in Ephesians uses as an illustration the Roman practice of legally
adopting a child, and thus, not only bequeathing to him the material possessions of the one
adopting, but also gives him his civil status. Thus, God takes a believing sinner,
regenerates him, and by means of this makes him his child, a born one. Then he takes this
child and places him in a legal position as an adult son, huios. We thus become joint heirs
with Christ, having been raised to a civil status as adult sons in which we become heirs of
God inheriting jointly with Christ all that he possesses as an heir of God by virtue of his
sonship and work on the cross.
When a slave was appointed heir, although expressly emancipated by the will which
gave him the inheritance, his freedom commenced not upon the making of the will, nor
even immediately upon the death of the tester, but from the moment when he, the officially
adopted son, took certain legal steps, which were described as entering upon the
In the last words of a passage of Ephesians 1:14, “to the praise of his glory” is an
allusion to a well-known Roman custom also. The emancipated slaves who attended the
funeral of their emancipator were the praise of his glory. Testamentary emancipation was
so fashionable and so in vogue as a form of posthumous vanity and pretension, the desire
to be followed to the grave by a crowd of freed men wearing the cap of liberty was so
strong that shortly before the time when St. Paul wrote, the legislature had expressly
limited the number of slaves that an owner might manumit by will.
Now sonship by adoption in the Old Testament was used in the present-day sense of
our word adoption, not according to the Greek and Roman laws of adoption.
In the New Testament the Greek word huiothesia issued, meaning the place of a son,
and is translated “adopting a son.” The context determines whether the Greek and Roman
laws of adoption apply. For instance, the Greek laws of adoption are in Romans 8:15, 23;
Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:5. But referring to Israel in the present-day sense of adoption is
Romans 9:4. In both cases the translation is “adoption of sons.”
Now the words “good pleasure of his will” in Ephesians 1:5. It seems to me (may I
have some coffee, please) that the words, “the good pleasure of his will,” in Ephesians 1:5
must be considered a figure of speech. And the entire Research Department concurs with
this. In one way when you just first look at it, it appears that those words, “the good
pleasure of his will,” make sense literally. But in another way they do not. (Thank you.)
You see, whenever the word makes sense literally, that it means what it says and says what
it means literally, then it’s never a figure of speech. It becomes a figure of speech when it
has usage of words that cannot just be literal.
Now these words, “good pleasure of his will,” are formed from an unusual construction
which is exactly opposite of the normal wording, and therefore, because of this unusual
construction which is exactly opposite of the normal way it’s done, therefore, it’s a figure
of speech. And the figure of speech is called Hypallage. It’s spelled h-y-p-a-l-l-a-g-e,
which is an interchange of construction or an underchange of it.
Walter, I think I’d like for you to come in please while I’m on this. Maybe we can help
the Corps more if you’re sitting here with me. Bullinger in his Figures of Speech on
page 535 has the word Hypallage, or it’s called interchange. It’s interchange of construction.
And this word differs from Antiptosis. That’s why I’ve got Antiptosis here; I’ve
got Hypallage; And I’ve got this Antimereia—what is it? [Walter pronounces: Antimereia].
Antimereia. All three of these figures are involved here. You see, this Hypallage, as I
understand this Walter, it’s a…see it’s a…well, if I just read this—makes sense:
relates…belongs [mumbles while reading]…united…so that what is said of or attributed to
one thing ought to be said of or attributed to the other. In the case of two nouns, the latter
in regimen, they are interchanged in sense, not in Antiptosis.
We need to maybe define all three things first, huh? Then maybe we could understand
better. Okay.
Hypallage is where you change one noun, how is that now Walter?
[Walter Cummins] You have two nouns: one’s the governing noun; and one’s in
regimen or in a genitive construction, and you switch their position.
[Dr. Wierwille] You switch it? Okay.
[Walter Cummins] Right. So the first noun that was governing becomes the second
noun in regimen and vice versa.
[Dr. Wierwille] Good pleasure of his will. Good pleasure is what now?
[Walter Cummins] That’s the governing noun.
[Dr. Wierwille] Okay. Will?
[Walter Cummins] Of will would be the genitive.
[Dr. Wierwille] Right. Good pleasure of his will. The ordinary construction would be
the will of his good pleasure.
[Walter Cummins] Right.
[Dr. Wierwille] That’s why it’s a figure.
Now, this Antimereia is an exchange of parts of speech. One part of speech is used
instead of another, a noun for a verb or a verb for a noun.
Then this Antiptosis is exchange of cases where one case is used instead of another
So in Hypallage you have one noun used as an adverb? How’s that stated now?
[Walter Cummins] As a genitive.
[Dr. Wierwille] As a genitive, okay.
[Walter Cummins] And one as governing noun.
[Dr. Wierwille] Right—one noun as a genitive and another as a governing noun.
Now—“Hypallage differs from Antiptosis in that it relates to an interchange of construction
whereby an adjective or other word, which logically belongs to one connexion,4
is grammatically united with another, so that what is said of or attributed to one thing
ought to be said or attributed to the other.” That’s sort of neat.
[Walter Cummins] Maybe we should give them an example of these other two, like
Antimereia, the one you always use is mighty angels [Dr. Wierwille: Yeah], which
becomes angels of might, putting the adjective as a genitive construction. But in Antiptosis,
if you had angels of might, to change it would be angelic might [Dr. Wierwille:
Okay]…angelic might, where the first one becomes an adjective [Dr. Wierwille: Right],
whereas in Hypallage they switch positions. They both stay as nouns.
[Dr. Wierwille] Right, that’s why it’s undercut. This noun slips under the other. See?
Good pleasure of his will. See? So…well, I hope that’s as confusing to you as it is to me.
{Audience laughter.} You know, I can work this greatly when I sit in the privacy of my
own mind and I work these things in figures. It’s when you try to explain it to somebody
that hasn’t worked figures too much that it seems to be more difficult. But—see? Well…
[Walter Cummins] I think your examples here though of Hypallage will be selfexplanatory.
[Dr. Wierwille] I think this will clear up a lot of mud. I’ll try.
Now, do we have this in here? The Greek word thelēma (I’ve given you that earlier you
know, long time ago—t-h-e-l-e…long ē-m-a.) occurs 64 times in the New Testament. Of
these, 37 times is associated with another noun in a genitive relation.
4 See Bullinger’s “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible” page 535.
However, the word thelēma is itself in the genitive case only 13 times. In nine of these
the prepositions dia and ek precede the word. In all but the four remaining instances
thelēma is the governing word in the genitive relation (will of plus a noun). The four
instances where thelēma is being governed by a noun are: “good pleasure of his will”
Ephesians 1:5, “mystery of his will” Ephesians 1:9, “counsel of his will” Ephesians 1:11,
and then there is one more in Colossians 1:9 “and knowledge of his will”—only four. And
this wording is exactly opposite the normal wording which would be “the will of His good
pleasure.” That would be the normal way. The will of His mystery. Right? The will of His
counsel [unaudiable]. The will of His knowledge. That would be the normal way. But the
figure is “good pleasure of his will,” “mystery of his will, “counsel of his will,”
“knowledge of his will.” That’s why it’s a figure, and that figure marks the emphasis of
that which is important in His Word. Two nouns standing in a genitive relationship
exchange places, that’s Hypallage. Two nouns standing in a genitive relationship exchange
places. For example, in Ephesians the normal expression would be “the will of His good
pleasure,” its Hypallage is the good pleasure of His will. This means the emphasis is on the
first noun named: good pleasure, mystery, counsel. Rather than emphasizing “will,” it
emphasizes what His will concerns in each usage.
I think that is significant. All right. I think that’s enough on that one, huh? Thank you
Walter. I hope it isn’t muddy for you anymore. All it takes is work. If you’ll work it, you’ll
have the understanding it. It’s not that difficult. It’s just a matter of keeping first things
first in your mind.
Now, we go to the text proper now, the Ephesians 1:5.
“Having predestinated”—The Aramaic literal meaning is marked before, marked
before in the sense of being branded or stamped. That’s the word “marked” (you know),
put the seal on you, stamped, branded.
And the words “in love” that were in the Greek in verse 4 open up verse 5 and they are
in the Aramaic in the fifth verse. “According to” that would be in love, in love branded us
or stamped us to Himself. That’s the Aramaic.
The Greek is the word proorizō (p-r-o-o-r-i-z-o), meaning foreordained from pro
(p-r-o), meaning before, and horizō, to define, to make a border. The participle,
predestined, is subordinate to the verb, he chose, or he elected in verse 4. It is not temporal
indicating time; not temporal meaning He chose us having first predestinated us, but rather
it indicates means, not time, meaning He chose us by predestinating us. Does not mean He
chose us having first predestinated us. It means He chose us by predestinating us. Thus, the
question is not who is predestinated but to what are they predestinated.
There are three Greek words I want you to put down. I will give you all the Scriptures
relating to them, and when you have worked all of those that’s all that can be known from
the Word regarding it.
The first word is the word is proginōskō (p-r-o-g-i-n-long ō-s-k-long ō), proginōskō.
All of you students know what the word pro means and you also know what the word
ginōskō means. When you put these two together, these two words together the Greek
words, they are translated foreknow twice (Romans 8:29; 11:2); translated foreordained
once (1 Peter 1:20); translated know (k-n-o-w) once (Acts 26:5); and translated know
before (2 Peter 3:17). Now that’s the Greek word proginōskō, translated foreknow twice,
foreordained once, k-n-o-w once and k-n-o-w before once.
Now the other Greek word is prognosis (p-r-o-g-n-o-s-i-s). Medical people understand
that one, nurses, prognōsis, transliterated directly over into that word of prognosis. This
Greek word is translated foreknowledge twice (Acts 2:23 and 1 Peter 1:2).
Now another closely related word is progonos (p-r-o-g-o-n-o-s) and progonos is
transliterated into our English word progeny, offspring. And this word is used twice. Once
it’s translated forefathers in 2 Timothy 1:3; once it’s translated parents in 1 Timothy 5:4.
The reason I’m teaching this again to the Corps is because you must really work this
until you have a full understanding of predestination. The Calvinistic teaching of
predestination is totally devilish, and it, of course, has ruined many, many lives. And that
teaching—it was simply God picks one person, sends him to heaven; He picks another one,
sends him to hell because He has freedom to do as He pleases. That is not predestination.
The reason God is able to predestinate and chose us by predestinating us was because He
foreknew, foreknow, know before. He foreknew that we would believe because of His all
wisdom. The word—big word is omniscient. Omniscient, meaning all smart, all wise. He
foreknew. Had I foreknown that a little girl would come along at 1:50 this afternoon and
they would call her Rebecca Alison (this will cost Alison Heaney a pretty dress, I
guarantee ya). Had I had all that foreknowledge I could have said well the Geers are going
to have a little baby girl this afternoon at 1:50 Ohio time and they’ll call her Rebecca
Alison Gear. God has that. He knew us before the overthrow, before the foundation, you
understand? That’s why the key to predestination is not where He picks out one and sends
him to heaven…but because He knows man’s choice, freedom of will. And that’s why it’s
so important. He chose us by predestinating us because He knew, He foreknew.
Foreknowledge is the key to foreordination or predestination.
And I love the association with the word “progeny.” Just like I taught you if I had
known Rebecca Alison was coming along today at 1:50, you see, it puts it in the family.
Predestination deals basically with the family, whom He foreknew, those He predestinated.
Now, the word “adoption” as I have taught you at length and told you everything I
know about it, simply means He placed us.
And the word “children” in that verse—is the direct object of the adoption. It’s adopted
sonship. Really something.
And as you work this some interesting things manifest themselves: we are children of
Abraham the Word says by adoption. Number two, Jesus Christ paid the price for our
adoption. Number three, we are free born, free (not born)…freed slaves, emancipated
slaves. Number four, we as sons of God are accepted by God by irrevocable adoption.
Number five, we are born of seed.
When I put this all together, my heart stands in utter amazement, appreciation. And it is
so big that God did such a wonderful thing for us, His sons and daughters today, that we
were called like in Abraham, adopted him in Christ, we are freed slaves, freed doulos,
doulos that are marked, but we are free. And He has irrevocably adopted us and in addition
put seed in us. Five things He’s given to every born-again believer. Wait until that hits you
someday. Then you’ll wonder why you’re ever long-faced like a cow {audience laughter}
or down in the mouth about anything, about anything. Then you’ll see that the only reason
we could ever be is either we do not know the Word or at the moment we are not believing
what the Word says. Otherwise we would not be down; we’d always be up. For even in the
midst of hell, Thou art there, the Word says. So in the midst of all the opportunities with
which we could be confronted we still are what the Word of God says we are and we have
what the Word of God says we have. And He put us into five major relationships with
Him, predestined us. And He did this by Jesus Christ, and He did it to Himself.
And then “according to” again sets the standard for our predestination to sonship.
“…of his will” is that which pleased Him, His will, His intense desire.
And that’s all that’s to that verse, except for the translations. And this is how I
translated it literally according to…whatever it is…literal, then usage later. This is literal
from the text, verse 5:
Ephesians 1:5 Literal translation according to usage
And in love He marked us out beforehand unto Himself, even placed us as His
adopted sons by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will.
Expanded according to usage:
Ephesians 1:5 Expanded translation
And in love God marked us, branded us unto Himself, even placed us as His
adopted sons by Jesus Christ, according to that which pleased God’s intense desire.
It could either be translated “in Christ Jesus” or “by Jesus Christ.” And you noticed
which one I chose. And the reason I chose this after conferring with Walter and our people
in the Research Department is because if you’ll notice the verse carefully, very carefully:
and in love God marked us, He branded us unto Himself, even places us as His adopted
sons—even placed us as His adopted sons through somebody’s work. Which one? That’s
why it’s by Jesus Christ. By the work of Jesus Christ.
I gave you 1 Corinthians 7:23 or bought with a price, all that stuff tells you. Placed us
as His adopted sons by Jesus Christ according to that which pleased God’s intense will.
God’s intense will was Jesus Christ, the coming of His only begotten son, and on the basis
of that, Corps, we put the translation “by Jesus Christ” rather than “in Christ Jesus.”
because “in Christ Jesus” is fellowship; “by Christ”—“by Jesus Christ” is by what he
wrought so that we could be finally in him. That’s why we went with the “by