October 3

Ephesians 5

In chapter 4, we saw the humility required to live in in unity with others, to receive the leadership Christ established in his kingdom, and to live a life of holiness from a position of surrender. In chapter 5, Paul continues on in his letter, encouraging the church family to yield to the God-kind of love, a love that lifts one another up instead of tearing one another down. The opposite of the love of God is seen in using the power of words to harm another person. Verse 4 says, “Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, no coarse jesting; but instead voice your thankfulness to God. The opposite of love is also to engage in immorality, including sexual impurity, greed, and other forms of wickedness. Paul also admonishes the church family not to drink to the point of being drunk, losing inhibitions and control of our soul and body, opening ourselves up to the influence of evil spirits. Instead of filling up with intoxicating drink, fill up with the Holy Spirit, and continue to fill up with the Holy Spirit! Instead of being drunk with wine, be drunk with the Spirit, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Spiritual songs are songs given by the Holy Spirit in the moment, God giving us the melody and the words to sing. Sometimes these songs are sung in tongues, or unknown languages, with the help of the Holy Spirit. If given publicly, like a message in tongues, the Spirit will then cause the interpretation to be sung.

In verses 21-33 Paul moves on to discuss how we should yield to one another as Christians, then wives to husbands, and husbands to Christ. In his unpacking the truth of submission, Paul uses the relationship of a husband loving his wife and a wife yielding to her husband as a response to his love as reference to Christ and the church. As a wife, in love with her husband, I can say that reciprocating love comes naturally. It is much more difficult to love when the husband is not loving, but God offers His love supernaturally. Love is a choice, and we must love whether we are shown love or not. If we look to a spouse to be the fulfillment or completion of our person in unconditional love, we will be disappointed. If we look to God to complete us, then sharing love with someone unlovely is possible.

In addition, I like verse 33 in the Amplified version, “le the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].” We know we are living the marriage God intends for us when we love and respect each other, with exceeding admiration that goes beyond normal value. To respect in this manner, we have to see our spouse through God’s eyes, a son or daughter of God, made in His image and likeness. That person is a vessel of God’s Spirit and precious anointing, capable of accomplishing the impossible through Christ. Let’s not limit one another, but esteem one another with the eyes of their Maker.

Isaiah 27-28

Isaiah 27 is also part of what is known as “Isaiah’s Apocalypse” because it describes the very end times, including the Day of the Lord and the Millennium. Chapter 27 is about the restoration of Israel. In verse 12 it mentions the gathering of the Jews from the nations, using the idea of threshing. To thresh is to remove the edible part of the plant, the grain, from the straw where it has been attached. If we look at Hosea 2:23, we see the idea of scattering the Jews around the world as a sower intentionally casts seed on the ground. God did not simply scatter the Jew haphazardly; God strategically sowed the Jews into the nations so that He could reap them later. The prophecies of scattering and gathering are mentioned several times in the prophetic old testament books. God scattered the Jews in 70 AD when the temple and the city was destroyed. God prophesied this for their survival and their growth, but God has also taken the last two thousand years, since 70 AD, to focus on reaching the Gentiles. Satan, knowing the prophecies on the scattering and gathering, tried to stop the growth of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, slaughtering 6 million of 17 million Jews in 1945. Again, like in the days of Herod, Satan made the attempt to stop prophecy from being fulfilled, trying to stop the growth and survival of the Jews in a foreign land. However, Satan cannot stop what God has begun. Because of the Holocaust, Jews were scattered even further, moving into other European nations, Palestine, and China. There are over 20 million Jews worldwide today, and growing.

In addition, Isaiah 27 describes the blowing of a trumpet, but not just a trumpet, “the great trumpet.” The trumpet will cause Jews to gather together in Jerusalem. Read Revelation 11:15-19 and read about the seventh trumpet. The seventh trumpet comes with loud voices, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”

Isaiah 28 addresses both current and prophetic events. This passage refers to Hezekiah and the conflict with Sennacherib of Assyria. Prophetically, in verse 5, it mentions “in that day” which refers to the Day of the Lord. Apostle Paul quoted verse 11 when teaching on the New Testament phenomenon of speaking in tongues. And of course, Jesus is seen as the cornerstone in verse 16.

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