Chapter 4

Verse 1, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

  1. When Paul speaks of himself as a prisoner, he means just that. He has been “drafted” into the service of God. He is a willing prisoner, and don’t want to be set free. He understands the consequences of sin and is very thankful God has redeemed him from the curse of the law.

  1. Paul speaks of himself as a prisoner of Christ.

  1. Eph. 3:1 - For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles

  2. I Tim. 1:8 - Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God

  3. Philemon 1:9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

  1. Paul is glad to be a prisoner of the Lord.

  1. His life has been hard, but at the end of his life, he declares that he has finished his course, he has successfully run his race, and there awaits him a crown of righteousness.

  2. Being a prisoner of the Lord is seen by every saved person when he realizes that inward yearning to be faithful to God.

  1. When he isn’t faithful, he is filled with guilt and unhappiness.

  2. The only way he can be happy in this life is to be faithful tog God even though it is hard to be different from the world.

II. The vocation wherewith ye are called.

A. The word “vocation” means “a calling” for which a person is well suited. This calling is not a hobby, or something the person can take up and put down at will. This is his life’s job, and it takes up all of his time and energy. Everything he does and says is involved in walking worthy of this honorable vocation.

  1. Eph 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: God has chosen us before the foundation of the world, therefore, we cannot get away from His plan for our lives. His plan is the best thing for our lives that ever could be.

  2. There is a difference between a vocation and a vacation.

  1. A vacation is a time of refreshing from the constant duties of producing a living. It is a time of enjoying the labor of the hands, instead of laboring with the hands.

  2. A vocation is the life work. The saved person has a life work, that of studying the Bible to determine God’s will for their lives, and then obeying God’s commands, thus being a light in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.

  1. It is a vocation we are called into.

  1. This is not a voluntary service, but mandatory service.

  2. We were called by God; not by ourselves, our parents, our friends or enemies.

  3. This is an eternal call, not a temporal call.

  4. There is no vacation from this call.

Verse 2, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Verse 3, Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Verse 4, There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

  1. One body

  1. Paul is not writing about the supposed universal, invisible mystical body of which all believers are members.

  1. There is no such creature on the entire earth.

  2. All the believers will be joined together in eternity, but all believers will not be in the bride then.

  3. Some of the believers will be in the nations living outside New Jerusalem, which bring their glory and honor into the city.

  1. Paul is not writing this letter to all the believers in the entire world, but only to the believers who live in Ephesus.

  1. Paul is saying that the church at Ephesus is one body in Christ and that they ought to act like they are one body.

  2. There is more than one body of Christ on this earth, just like there is more than one human body on this earth.

  3. Every member of every church ought to strive to be in complete agreement with other members of that same church.

  1. There will always be some disagreements because every member thinks for themselves.

  2. The most important part here is that every member would strive to understand what the other members are thinking and why they think that.

  1. There is one spirit.

  1. This is the Spirit of the living God.

  2. The Spirit of the living God will always lead God’s people to follow God.

  3. The Spirit of the living God will never speak of himself, but will always glorify God.

  4. When all the members of a particular church follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, they will all have one goal in mind.

  1. They might not all think the same thing, but the motive behind their thinking will be the same.

  2. They will want to glorify God in everything they do.

  1. There is one hope of our calling.

  1. The hope of our calling is: to be what God wants us to be, both on this earth and in heaven.

  1. This involves initial salvation and the earthly and heavenly rewards produced by redemption.

  2. This hope involves God fulfilling all his promises (about salvation) for time and eternity.

  3. All are equally the sons of God: all are equally loved and protected: all are going to heaven: all will equally enjoy the benefits of heaven: there are no degrees of believers going to heaven, because all believers are completely justified and sanctified (according to the pre-plan of God).

  4. While heaven is the same for all, the rewards and positions in eternity will be different.

  1. Rev. 3:11 - Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. It must have been possible for a person to not be faithful to God and lose the crown he had earned.

  2. I Cor. 3:11-15 - Some will build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ using the wrong materials. The bad materials will be destroyed by the fiery eyes of Christ. There will be some saved people who will enter into heaven with their coat tails smoking - they will be saved, yet so as by fire.

  3. The scripture are full of admonitions to believers to be true to God, to refute the world and to dedicate themselves to God’s service.

  4. There are plenty of warnings in scripture that believers don’t have it made, but can fall out of favor with God although they never lose their salvation.

  1. There are many operations of the Spirit in fulfilling God’s directives for our lives.

  1. I Corinthians 12:4-11 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

  2. Eph. 4:4 isn’t saying that every believer has the same job or goes about doing the work God has given him in the same way every other believer does.

  3. When every believer does the work God has called them to do, all the various works of all the believers will fit together just exactly like God intended them to fit together.

Verse 5, One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Verse 6, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Verse 7, But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Verse 8, Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

The phrase “captivity captive” appears only three times in the entire Bible.

  1. Judges 5:12 – “Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.” This is a song of victory after Deborah and Barak has gotten the victory over Sisera. This is a reference to the victory Christ has over sin, and how He leads us to victory as He has captured us out of sin and eternal destruction.

  2. Psalms 68:18 – “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” Refers to Christ who died on the cross for our sins.

  3. Eph. 4:8 – the verse before us. The verse is here because it is a quote from the Old Testament and is used to prove that Christ is the victor for us. That He has redeemed us from an eternity in hell.

Verse 9, (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Ver. 9. Now that he ascended, &c.] These words are a conclusion of Christ’s descent from heaven, from his ascension thither; for had he not first descended from thence, it could not have been said of him that he ascended; for no man hath ascended to heaven but he that came down from heaven, #Joh 3:13 and they are also an explanation of the sense of the psalmist in the above citation, which takes in his humiliation as well as his exaltation; which humiliation is signified by his descent into the earth:

w It would seem all of this difficulty about the transference of believers to heaven at the death of Christ would be clearly understood if we knew where O. T. believers went when they died. Did they go to heaven, or did they go to a holding place for later transport to heaven?

the place where Abraham was with Lazarus in his bosom was not near to hell, but afar off, and that there was a great gulf between them, #Lu 16:23,26 and the spirits or souls of the patriarchs returned to God that gave them, when separated from their bodies, as the souls of men do now, #Ec 12:7 (Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.) nor did Christ enter any such feigned place at his death, but went to paradise, where the penitent thief was that day with him; nor were the patriarchs, but the principalities and powers Christ spoiled, the captivity he led captive and triumphed over: some interpret this of Christ’s descent into hell, which must be understood not locally, but of his enduring the wrath of God for sin, which was equivalent to the torments of hell, and of his being in the state of the dead; but it may rather design the whole of his humiliation, as his descent from heaven and incarnation in the virgin’s womb, where his human nature was curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth; and his humbling himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, when he was made sin and a curse for his people, and bore all the punishment due to their transgressions; and his being in Hades, in the state of the dead, in the grave, in the heart of the earth, as Jonah in the whale’s belly: reference seems to be had to #Ps 139:15 where “the lower parts of the earth,” is interpreted by the Targum on the place of amad aoyrk, “his mother’s womb”; and so it is by Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melec. The Alexandrian copy and the Ethiopic version leave out the word “first” in this clause. 1

Christ descended to this earth when he became a man, then, having fulfilled all the requirements for a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the elect, ascended far above the heavens to take His rightful place at the right hand of His Father.

Search for “low* & par* & ear*” These are all the results.

  1. what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? this the Papists understand of his decent into a place they call Limbus Patrum, which they make to be contiguous to hell; and where they say the patriarchs were detained till Christ’s coming; and that he went thither to deliver them out of it; and that these are the captivity he led captive; all which is fictitious and fabulous: for certain it is, that Psalms 63:9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

    Scripture mentions a “ward” where people were put when it was not know what to do with them.

  2. Psalms 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

  3. Isaiah 44:23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

  4. Ezekiel 26:20 When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;

  5. Ephesians 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

O. T. Saints who were “Gathered to their fathers”.

Genesis 49:29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, Jacob understood his body was separate from his soul and spirit, giving instructions to bury his body in the field of Ephron the Hittite, while God would take care to gather his soul to his people. There is no record of exactly where Joseph went when he died, whether to heaven or to a “holding place”.

Judges 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

2 Kings 22:20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.

2 Chronicles 34:28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 gives valuable evidence as to what happens to the soul and spirit and to the body at death. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Psalms 126:1-6 states

1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.

5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Verse 10, He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Verse 11, And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Verse 12, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Verse 13, Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Verse 14, 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;

Verse 15, But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Verse 16, From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

There ought to be a Difference

Verse 17, This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Vanity means devoid of truth and appropriateness, perverseness, depravity, frailty.

Mind means understanding.

Verse 18, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Alienated means shut out or separated from

Ignorance means lack of knowledge. They are not retarded or unable to learn Godliness, but choosing not to be acquainted with the things of God. Did not allow the light of God into their hearts. God’s works was available for them to see, but they refused to see. Hosea 4:6 - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. It was true for Israel, and it is true today.

Blindness of heart - Their desire is not toward God. Therefore, they don’t desire to be acquainted with the things of God. II Cor. 4:3,4 - The gospel is hid to those that lost because Satan has blinded their minds.

Verse 19, Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Past feeling means they have come to the place of becoming insensitive to their own sense of sinfulness, or misery or judgment to come. This doesn’t mean they aren’t sensitive to the needs of others when calamity comes to them. If there is an earthquake, many people will send to their aid. This shows they are not past feeling some things, but they simply don’t recognize their sinfulness and the coming judgment of God.

Lasciviousness means wantonness, unbridled lusts, excesses of outrageous shameless wickedness. The reason they have given themselves over to these terrible sins is because they have lost their sense of sin and the coming judgment. Because they don’t believe anything is right or wrong, but in “situation ethics,” they think they might as well give themselves over to “enjoy themselves” while they are still alive.

Uncleanness means physical or moral impurity of lustful living. They don’t see, feel, or know of their uncleanness because they will not look into the perfect Word of God to see what He says.

Greediness means the desire to have more. I Tim. 6:10 - The love of money is the root of all evil. A person can be greedy of anything, but greediness doesn’t refer to holiness.

Learning to Live the Christian Life

Verse 20, But ye have not so learned Christ;

I. It may seem strange to us that saved people who are members of one of the Lord’s local churches would have to “learn Christ,” but this is the truth.

A. Sometimes, we think people that are saved church members automatically know how to live, and what God expects of them and we become disappointed with them when they don’t perform like we think they ought to.

1. But the Christian life is not automatically acquired.

a. If you are saved, and have a hard time fighting off sinful thoughts and actions, you are NORMAL.

b. I Corinthians 10:13 states that there is no temptation taken any person but what is common to all.

  1. With all these temptations, God makes a way to escape that you won’t have to succumb to that particular wickedness.

  2. Every saved person will endure temptations, and when they call on God in those temptations, they will learn that God will give a way to escape. The temptation will remain, but the way of escape will be revealed to them.

2. The problem is not whether you are saved or not because if you were really saved to start with, then you are still saved.

a. The problem is not with your emotions, because you have the exact same emotions you had when you were saved, both the good emotions and the bad emotions.

b. The problem is not with your heart because you have received a sinless heart from Christ when you were saved, but you have kept the old sinful nature you were born with.

c. The problem is with your mind because the mind has not been saved, and must be taught what to think so the body will know how to act.

B. Examples of teaching.

1. Mark 9:31 - Jesus taught his disciples about his coming death, burial and resurrection. They could not know without being taught.

2. Luke 11:1 - Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. We might think we understand fully how to pray, and do not need to be taught, but this isn’t so. The apostles had to be taught the principles of proper praying, and we do to.

3. Acts 11:26 - When Barnabas found the church at Antioch, he searched for and found Paul, and they two stayed at Antioch for a whole year, teaching the church the fundamentals principles of proper Godly, spiritual service.

4. Acts 18:24-28 - Apollos was very interested in preaching the Word, but knew only the baptism of John. Aquila and Priscilla took him and instructed him more perfectly in the way of God. Then he was a better teacher than before, mightily convincing the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. He did a better job because he was better instructed.

5. Philippians 4:11 - Paul stated that he had learned to be content in whatever condition he found himself in. He had learned to have plenty, and to suffer loss.

C. Years ago, in my early ministry, I was pastoring and making my living doing carpentry work. I mentioned on the job that I was going to have to go home and study for a message. One of my coworkers thought it real strange that a preacher would have to study. I asked him if God put a funnel in preachers heads, and poured information into it. He thought that when a “real” preacher got up to preach that God automatically filled his mouth with the right words. I told him God wouldn’t put the right words in the preachers mouth if the preacher hadn’t put the right doctrines in his mind through a study of God’s Word. Many preachers have made the mistake of simply saying what comes off the top of their heads, instead of saying what comes off the top of the Word.

D. Many churches today are very interested in getting folks saved, and that is important, but the Great Commission commands God’s churches to not only “get folks saved,” but to baptize them with the right authority, then continue with them, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Jesus has commanded. Matt. 28:18-20.

II. Learned Christ means to come to understand, to increase one’s knowledge, to learn by use and practice, to be in the habit of.

A. This is the opposite of Hosea 4:6.

B. The Christian life is not automatic.

1. Living right is a difficult thing for all the saved.

2. There remains two natures in the saved, one which draws them toward evil, and one that draws them toward holiness.

III. Some would say they want religion without doctrine.

A. What of the Doctrine of Christ? Baptisms? Laying on of hands? Resurrection of the dead? Eternal judgment? (Heb. 6:1,2)

Verse 21, If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

There is a progression in this verse:

  1. that ye have heard him.

  2. That you have been taught by him.

  3. You have been taught the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.

I. “Heard Christ” means to give audience to, to pay attention to.

A. The words of God has not only entered into the ears, but also into the heart. He’s made a difference to you.

B. There is a difference in hearing and being taught.

1. Some people hear the sounds, but the words have no meaning to them at all.

2. Some people hear and understand the words are good and ought to be obeyed, but they don’t obey them.

3. Some people hear and understand the words are good and ought to be obeyed, and they do obey them, but not out of a heart of love, but a heart of obligation.

4. The blessed are those that not only hear the words, but understand them out of love, and obey them accordingly.

II. Taught by Him means to be instructed by His Word.

A. Many people are looking for some man, a preacher, or teacher to come along and teach them how to live.

1. God does use human instrumentally to teach, but without the Holy Spirit, a person’s word cannot teach.

2. This will never happen, because they are looking to the wrong place for their instruction.

3. Every person must learn how to live by finding examples in the Bible.

4. I Cor. 10:11 - The Old Testament is our example.

5. When was the last time you read your Bible so you would understand God’s will for your life?

B. I John 2:27 - The anointing you received when you were saved is the Holy Spirit of God, and this spirit remains within you and continues to teach you God’s Word.

1. You cannot learn God’s Word apart from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

2. You do not need any man to teach you, but God will use his people to show you additional doctrines from His Word.

III. Truth is in Jesus means that this is true in any matter under consideration. John 18:37 - Pilate asked Jesus “What is truth?”

Verse 22, That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

I. Put off means to lay aside, or stop doing as in former days, the days before salvation and church membership.

A. This is action on the part of the believer.

B. Many times it has been taught that we serve God with our hearts, and this is true.

1. We must serve God because we love Him.

2. We must also set our minds on His Word and will so that our hearts will be able to have the right kind of love so we can serve Him.

II. Conversation means more than just what you say, but how you live, your daily conduct, or behavior.

III. Which is corrupt refers to the former way of life. Any person that won’t admit their former life was filled with wickedness hasn’t received newness of life. The former life was filled with wickedness, not because of wicked acts, but because we were a very wicked and very sinful person.

IV. According to deceitful lusts means that the individual was following the desires, longings, and cravings of the body, which wasn’t toward God. These are deceitful lusts. They promise satisfaction, but deliver bondage and restrictions, finally eternal destruction.

Verse 23, And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

I. Renewed means to be made fresh, alive, and whole once again.

II. Spirit of your mind refers not to an emotional condition of stupid blissfulness where a person is completely unaware of their natural surroundings, but to a deliberate concentrated desire that our understanding be enlightened, that the intelligence of our awareness be fully attuned to spiritual things. That we would have our minds “geared” to thinking like God wants us to think.

A. Romans 12:1,2 - We need our minds renewed so we will correctly understand what God’s will is.

B. II Corinthians 4:3,4 - If the gospel of Christ is hid, it is hid to those that are lost, whom Satan has blind their minds, lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine unto them.

C. Many people today seem to think that it doesn’t matter what you put into your mind just as long as you continue the outward observance of religion.

1. This is a lie from Satan.

2. What goes into our minds affects what we think, which automatically affects the way we act.

3. 2 Timothy 3:5 - In the last days people will have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. This is exactly what the passage before us is saying.

III. Some might have trouble understanding the “Spirit of the mind,” but this refers to the particular mode of thinking, considering, and judging soberly, calmly, and impartially whether a particular thing is of God or of Satan.

Verse 24, And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

I. Put on the new man - This is the work of the individual Christian and is not automatically done.

A. It is very amazing that many people see the Christian life as easy for some and hard for others.

1. The Christian life is hard for everybody.

2. Some people just want it more than others.

3. Others understand they must not yield to their sinful desires.

4. Others hid their sinful desires, even from themselves.

5. We are all sinners, but we don’t have to follow the lusts of the flesh.

B. I remember one young man who believed he wasn’t saved because he continued having trouble with his sinful lusts after he was saved.

1. He didn’t understand the battle others had not to sin.

2. They told him they had trouble with sin, but he didn’t believe them because it didn’t look that way to him.

II. Verse 25-32 is a long list of things the saved person ought not do.

A. These scriptures are not teaching how a lost person can live a “Christian” life, but how a saved person can live so as to please Christ.

B. These scriptures reaffirms to the saved person what the Holy Spirit has already showed him.

C. When the saved person reads this list, they will agree that it is truth because the Holy Spirit they received when they were saved agrees. I John 2:27.

D. It is very possible there are some saved people who will deny they have these evil desires.

1. Paul would not have written about them if he didn’t have them.

2. They are present in the heart and mind of every believer.

Verse 25, Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

A saved person can lie. We are to be very careful that what we say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Verse 26, Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Have you ever gone to sleep at night and still be mad at somebody.

This is not only bad for your body, it is against the clear commandments of God.

Verse 27, Neither give place to the devil.

The word “place” refers to a space reserved for the devil.

Is there a portion of your life, a time each day, that you have reserved to use just for the fulfillment of your sinful lusts?

Verse 28, Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

I know this sounds odd, but the saved person must concentrate on not stealing.

It is a natural thing for a person to lust after the possessions of another.

We must “steal” ourselves against this lust, and be glad when others have things we cannot afford.

Have you ever heard the expression, “I wish I had what he had, and he had a wart on his nose.” This is a “funny” expression to some, but not a very good one.

Verse 29, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Let us not gossip about anything.

If we don’t have anything good to say, let us not say it.

We don’t have to talk about the Bible all the time, like some folks think saved people do.

There is a lot of good we can say which will help others.

Verse 30, And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit of God is leading us to obey the things just mentioned in the previous verses.

Verse 31, Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Here is a list of things the saved person must avoid in order to be pleasing to God.

Verse 32, And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

This is a list of things the saved person must do in order to be pleasing to God.

The fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – 600,000 prepublication copies ordered. Largest by 3 times over John Grisham’s The Brethren.

Martin Marty, quoted in Timothy Jones, “Great Awakenings,” Christianity Today, November 8, 1993, 24.

  1. 96% believed in God (although their interpretations of “God” varied.)

  2. 89% looked forward to an “eternal life”

  3. 81% felt they would be reunited with loved ones after death.

Belief in the Beyond,” USA Today, April 20, 1097, quoted in Matt Nisbet, “New Poll Points to Increase in Paranormal Belief,” Skeptical Inquirer (vol. 22 no 5, indicated that one out of five persons believed in reincarnation (John P. Newport, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1998], 46).

Which if any of the following to you believe at least to some degree?




Spiritualism (i.e., communication with the dead)












(Margin of error = +/- 3=5%

What kind of people seek wickedness?

  1. The curious, who experiment with demonic forces without having a fully formed system of religious beliefs. A number of teenagers, for example, get involved in the occult due to nothing more than curiosity.

  2. The dissatisfied, “whose religious experience has left him unfulfilled and skeptical.”

  3. The bereaved, “whose bereavement inclines him toward anything that offers knowledge of the dead.”

  4. The psychically inclined, “who wants to develop suspected latent powers.”

  5. The rebellious, “who recoils from the status quo in the church and in society, and seeks a viable alternative elsewhere.”

  6. The credulous, who are ready to believe just about anything and everything.

  7. The conformist, who looks at his or her peers and say, “Everyone does it,” and decides “to be another who ‘does it.’”

  8. The children of practicing occultists, “who are conditioned from childhood.”2

There are a lot of people that are strongly disillusioned with religion and the promises of God. They do not see professing Christians living a victorious life, but see them cast into the same gloominess of despair when troubles come upon them. They see them living the same way they do, dressing the same, believing the same things. They do not see them trusting Almighty God for anything, but constantly see them trusting everything but God.

They see the multiplicity of religions as confusing, ridiculous and unnecessary. They see people reading everything but the Bible, and see the proliferation of Bibles as mystifying.

Television shows are wildly popular, and are leading almost everybody farther and farther away from God.

  1. Start with The Walton’s where dad doesn’t go to church much, and the children are pretty much left on their own. They grow up and marry, then divorce, and move back home.

  2. The Smurf’s is a children’s show about witchcraft, casting spells, and generally getting what you want.

  3. I Dream of Jeannie is a program about a witch who does cute things for her master.

  4. Now television programs progressed to main stream witchcraft in the following:

    1. PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (CBS).

    2. Poltergeist: The Legacy (Fox).

    3. Millennium (Fox).

    4. The X-Files (Fox).

    5. Profiler (NBC).

    6. Charmed (WB).

    7. Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (ABC).

    8. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (WB)

In 1997, AOL offered “TARROT TO GO”, promising “Your future is available today.”

Games: Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering and Vampire: The Masquerade.

1 Copied from John Gill, his notes on this verse.

2 This list is copied from Harry Potter and the Bible by Richard Abanes, page 221,222. His footnote explains this information was adapted from W. Elwyn Davies, Principalities and Powers, (Minneapolis, MN. Bethany House 1975), 303-304; cf. Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Handbook of Today’s Religious (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, 1983; 1992 editions), 153.