God’s Manifesto of Human Rights and Privileges
This “manifesto” (which I will record below) is an explicit and formal announcement of God’s promise, His intention, and His desire for the human race. It does not originate with mankind. It is God’s own personal declaration to humanity. It represents nothing less than the legal and emotional pronouncement of God the Father’s absolute and unchangeable will to each and every member of the human race who ever lived in the past, is living now, or ever will live in the future.
The Preamble, which I am about to give, represents the very words of God the Father Himself, if one accepts (as all humans should) the inspirational authority invested in the divine Holy Scriptures, both in the Old as well as the New Testament. This Declaration of God was given to mankind through the hand of a human mediator who represented a group of apostles. That person was the apostle Paul, who along with others, was selected by God to receive and understand this glorious and wonderful truth.
This statement of God’s will is given equally to every male and female member of the human race. It is given to all humans no matter what their social, economic, political, or religious persuasions. It is given to each person no matter if the person is under twenty-one years old or over a hundred years old. It applies equally to a person of five years of age, five months of age, five weeks of age, five days of age, five hours, five minutes, or five seconds of age, or even to any human who takes the first gulp of air into the lungs. It is God the Father’s promise to every human being (including Christ Jesus) whether the person comprehends it or not (literate or illiterate). Ignorance is not even a criterion in this issue.
In a word, it is God’s promise to all humans, whether righteous or evil, Christian or Hindu (or other religions), whether Japanese or Irish, Black, Brown or White, or any color in-between. It pertains equally to those in freedom or those who are slaves. It applies to those in prison and to those who ought to be in prison.
This teaching of God is not in the form of a covenant, which is a contract requiring obedience on the part of both parties who sign the covenant. No, it is NOT a covenant (Old or New).
It is simply a holy promise to each member of the human race. God will not fail to accomplish it. In short, this Manifesto is God’s declaration of human rights and privileges that He will award — eventually. What He has willed is given to honor YOU personally, specifically to praise His Son Jesus Christ, and also to glorify and to dignify the Father (when His quest finally ends) to become “all and in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
This Manifesto is recorded in the Bible in three consecutive chapters that we call Ephesians One, Two and Three. It starts with a blank area in the Greek manuscripts (intentionally left blank by Paul) that you can fill in with your own personal name. It ends with an “Amen” to show its official termination. I will add my own etymological or grammatical comments in double brackets to help you understand the text.
The following Manifesto from God to the Human Race is from the basic translation of Joseph B. Rotherham in his 1872 Edition, Ephesians Chapters One, Two, and Three. This literal edition is NOT EASY to read in English.
[ The text starts with chapter 1, verse 1. Chapters and verses are in bold numbers. Words in brackets are Rotherham’s and double brackets are mine (to slow you down and cause you to ponder the words). The small superscript numbers are references to footnotes where I comment on the word or verse. Rotherham’s translation is very literal, abruptly blunt, choppy and even curt to English ears. ]
“1:1 Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus through God’s will, to the saints that are [[IN EPHESUS]] 1 and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Favour [[GRACE]] to you, and peace, from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.
The Manifesto now begins. You should read it carefully and slowly — very slowly. God wants us as members of the Godhead.
“3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ, 4 according as He chose us in Him before a founding of a world, 2 that we might be holy and blameless in His presence; 3 in love 5 marking us out beforehand [[PREDESTINING US]] unto adoption of sons 4 [[SONSHIP]] through Jesus Christ unto Him, according to the good pleasure of His will, 5 6 unto [the] praise of [the] glory of His favour wherewith He favoured us in the Beloved One; 7 in whom we have the redemption through His blood, the remission of the offences, 6 according to the riches of His favour 7 8 which He made to superabound toward us; in all wisdom and prudence 9 making known to us the mystery of His will, 8 according to His good pleasure 9 which He purposed in Him — 10 for an administration of the fullness of the seasons, 10 to reunite-for-Himself 11 under-one-head the ‘all things,’ in the Christ, 12 the ‘[[ALL]] things’ upon the heavens and the ‘[[ALL]] things’ upon the earth in Him; 13 11 in whom also we were taken as an inheritance, 14 being marked out beforehand according to a purpose of Him who is inwardly-working the “all things” according to the counsel of His will; 12 that we might be unto [the] praise of His glory we who had before hoped in the Christ; 15 13 in whom you also, hearing the word of the truth, the glad-message [[GOSPEL]] of your salvation, in whom also believing were sealed with the Spirit of the promise, 16 the Holy [Spirit]: 14 who is an earnest of our inheritance, 17 unto a redemption of the acquisition, unto [the] praise of His glory. 18 15 On this account, I also, having heard of the faith on your part in the Lord, and the love which [is] unto all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks in your behalf, making mention upon my prayers, 17 in order that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in gaining a full knowledge of Him; 19 18 the eyes of your heart having been enlightened, 20 that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what [[ARE]] the riches of the glory of His inheritance 21 in the saints, 19 and what [[IS]] the surpassing greatness of His power unto us who have faith, according to the inward working of the strength of His might 22 20 which He inwardly wrought in the Christ [[MESSIAH]], raising Him from among [the] dead, and seating [Him] at his right-hand in the heavenlies, 21 over-above all principality and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the future one; 22 and made all things subject beneath His feet; and gave Him [as] head over “all things” to the Called-out assembly, 23 23 which, indeed, is His body the fullness of Him is for Himself [[SINGLY]] filling up of the “all things” in “all [[THINGS]].” 24
“2:1 You, too, being dead by your offences and sins 2 in which at one time you walked, according to the age of this world, according to the prince of the authority of the air of the spirit that now is inwardly working in the sons of obstinacy [[UNPERSUADABLE SONS]]; 3 among whom even we all had our behaviour at one time in the covetings of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts; and were children by nature of anger, as even the rest; 4 but God, being rich in mercy, by reason of His great love with which He loved us 5 we being indeed dead by [our] offences 25 made us alive co-jointly with the Christ (by favour have you been saved), 6 and co-jointly raised [us] up, and co-jointly seated [us] in the heavenlies, in Christ Jesus; 7 that He might point out, in the ages that should come after, 26 the surpassing riches of His favour, in graciousness upon us in Christ Jesus. 8 For, by [His] favour have you been saved through faith, and this [[IS]] not from you 27 [[FAITH IS]] of God the free gift 9 not from works, that no one may boast; 10 for His workmanship are we, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God before prepared, that therein we might walk. 11 Wherefore, keep in remembrance, that at one time you, the Gentiles in flesh, those called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision in flesh, hand-made, 12 that you were, in that season, separate from Christ, having become alienated from the citizenship of Israel, and [being] strangers to the covenants 28 of the promise, not having hope, and godless, in the world; 13 but, just now, in Christ Jesus, you, who at one time were afar off, were made near in the blood of the Christ. 14 For He is our peace who made both one [[ONE NEW PERSON]], and the middle wall of the enclosure [[THAT SEPARATED ISRAELITES FROM GENTILES IN THE TEMPLE]] broke down; 15 the enmity, in his flesh, [even] the law of the commandments in decrees, bringing to naught; that [[OF]] the two [[THE TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE, ISRAELITES, GENTILES]]. He might create in Him into one man of new mold [[A NEW PERSON WITHOUT EARTHLY DECREES DIRECTING HIM THAT WERE ORDAINED BY ANGELS, SEE COLOSSIANS 2:14–18]] — making peace; 16 and might fully-reconcile them both, in one body, unto God, through the cross — slaying the enmity thereby; 29 17 and, coming, He delivered the glad-message of peace to you the far off [[THE GENTILES]], and peace to those near [[THE ISRAELITES]]; 18 because, through Him, we have the introduction we both in one Spirit, unto the Father. 19 Hence, therefore, no longer are you strangers and sojourners; but are fellow-citizens of the saints, and members of God’s household [[TEMPLE]]; 30 20 having been built up on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus himself being chief-corner-stone; 21 in whom an entire building, in process of being fitly co-joined together, is growing into a holy Temple in [the] Lord; 31 22 in whom you also are being co-jointly builded into a habitation of God in Spirit. 32
“3:1 For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus in behalf of you, the Gentiles 2 if, at least, you heard of the administration of the favour of God which was given unto me for you, 3 that by way of revelation was made known to me the mystery, according as I before wrote in brief, 33 4 respecting which you are able, [by] reading, to perceive my discernment in the mystery of the Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men as just now 34 it was revealed to His holy Apostles and Prophets in Spirit. 35 6 That the Gentiles should be joint-heirs and a joint-body and joint-partners in the promise, in Christ Jesus, through the glad-message; 7 of which I was made a minister according to the free-gift of the favour of God which was given to me according to the inward working of His power: 8 unto me, the less than least of all saints, was given this favour to deliver unto the Gentiles the-glad-message of the untraceable riches of the Christ, 9 and to enlighten all as to what [is] the administration of the mystery which had been hid away from the ages in God who created the “all things” 10 in order that there might be made known, now, to the principalities and the authorities in the heavenlies, through means of the Called-out-assembly, 36 the manifold wisdom of God; 11 according to a plan of the ages which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have the freedom of utterance and introduction with assurance through the faith of Him. 37 13 Wherefore I am asking not to faint in my tribulations in your behalf; which, indeed, is your glory. 14 For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father, 15 from whom an entire family in [the] heavens and on earth is named, 38 16 that He may give you, according to the riches of His glory, with power to receive strength, through His Spirit, into the inner man; 17 to have the Christ reside, through the faith, in your hearts, in love having become rooted and founded, 18 that you may be full [[AND]] mighty to grasp firmly, co-jointly with all the saints, what [is] the breadth and length and height and depth, 39 19 and to get to know the knowledge-surpassing love of the Christ, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 40 20 But to Him who has power above “all things” to do, exceeding abundantly above what things we are asking or conceiving, according to the power that is inwardly working itself in us 21 to Him [be] the glory, in the Called-out-assembly and in Christ Jesus, into all generations of the age of the ages. Amen.” 41
Wow! What a Declaration from God that gives the most precious of Preambles that any human could possess or inherit. It is truly “God’s Manifesto of Human Rights and Privileges.” I want you to remember seven points of this Manifesto (and there are others) that come through divine inspiration directly from the Father. They show the reason and purpose for mankind’s existence.
1. First and foremost, it should be recognized that this IS NOT a covenant. It is simply a PROMISE without the slightest contingencies! All normal covenants are CONTRACTS between God and man. This includes the Old and New Covenants of the Bible made between God and Israel. In all contracts there are stipulations and conditions that make the agreements binding. In any contract both parties can agree to perform (or refrain from performing) certain actions in order for the contract to be in force. If any of the parties breaks the stipulations of the agreements then the contracts themselves can be repealed, and there can be punishments and/or retributions for failing to meet the agreed conditions written or stated in the contracts. But this Manifesto is NOT a covenant (or contract). It is a simple PROMISE or declaration from the Father that contains no contingencies, no stipulations, and no conditions that involve any performance on the part of human beings. Though we are encouraged to be decent and upright (and do good works), there are no moral, ethical, social, religious, political or “godly deeds” that we need to perform to obtain this promise. This does NOT mean we should avoid good works (we should do them), but they are not essential requirements. The Manifesto is not based on our works.
2. Remarkably, there are no threats of any ultimate judgments or punishments that God might angrily bestow on us in the afterlife for not practicing good deeds now. This Manifesto centers only on our terminal rewards (not on any intermediate chastisements that we may encounter through wrong actions motivated by our normal hardness of hearts that God has now given to us to endure). Note! The Scriptures show that God is responsible for giving all humanity their hardness of hearts, and this includes (alas) even our own hardness of hearts that we mature Christians express daily (see Romans 9:9 to 11:36). God will change our hearts in His time.
3. Lo and behold, there are no gender distinctions in this Manifesto. While the Father retains His top authority, the female part of the Family of God gets precisely the same reward that the male members are promised. There is not the slightest superiority in males, nor is there the slightest inferiority in females. No one rules or supervises any other human being in this Manifesto. There are likewise no national or racial discriminations in the Manifesto. It applies to all those who make up the human race: Israelites and Gentiles — that is, Blacks, Browns, Yellows, Whites or any colors or shapes in between. It is not to Israelites or Gentiles that the rewards of this Manifesto pertain, but they are given by grace to the “new persons” (made up of newly created human beings of both sexes and all races by the will of God). These “new persons” are given heavenly citizenships by grace and are placed freely and equally by God into His Holy Temple, into God’s very Household or Family. There are also no social discriminations in the rewards of the Manifesto. Whether you are rich or poor, free or slave, prisoner or non-prisoner, democrat or republican, tory or labour. There are also no age distinctions because a person might be a minor or a youth. If one is twenty years old, it equally applies as to a man or woman a hundred years old. It applies if the person is five years old, five months, five weeks, five days, five minutes, or even if one has just received the breath of air that makes a person a “living soul.” Its application is universal — to all mankind.
Indeed, everyone is embraced. Each human of all ages (and all ages to come) is promised to sit one day on the right hand of God. And strangely, nothing in the Manifesto says one must do any commandments or perform any laws to receive these grand and majestic promises. In fact, the commandments contained in decrees (either given by men or ordained by angels on behalf of God) are no longer applicable in the terms of this Manifesto. 42 It gives mankind complete freedom and equality within God’s Family. See the epistles to Timothy and Titus for more details.
4. At first when Paul saw this Manifesto that had no contingencies for mankind to perform in order to sit on the right hand of God, he felt apprehensive (and rightly so). He thought that Christians might “go hog wild” in bad conduct and forget all about the restrictive regulations and social customs within which we humans should live at the present. This Manifesto actually frees mankind from all human and angelic governments (Roman or Jewish) and places each human into a position of rank (in a legal sense) that is higher than all humans or angels. When Paul saw what this Document of Freedom actually declared, he must have expressed a fearfulness and an outright terror of what the Roman and Parthian governments might do to Christians if such freedoms were encouraged to be enacted by Christians who lived within the political societies that then existed. This document is simply too revolutionary to establish in our present human societies because it places everyone from Emperor to slave, rich to poor, from one race to another race, whether youths or elderly, or males and females, all into an equal position of rank and worth (under the Father and Christ).
The concepts in the Manifesto might be good philosophy some might say, but there is not a human society in the world that would allow such a document of freedom and universal equality to be legislated into effect. Paul knew this. So, in Ephesians 4:14–32 Paul admonished Christians to respond to it by living decent and upright lives as best they could and to obey the laws within the societies that then prevailed. He says the same to us. Though we are free of all punishments, retributions and judgments in God’s eyes, our human societies are not yet ready to establish these profound principles of freedom and equality that the Father now gives to all the human race. Still, when we come before the bar of God, we simply show God His Manifesto. He will invite us immediately to sit on His right hand and equally sit next to Him on His throne.
5. Therefore, in Ephesians chapters four to six, Paul gives practical advice (indeed, commands) to live decently and within the bounds of the normal customs that govern mankind at the present. He said the wives, who are now completely equal with their husbands in God’s eyes, should still (for now) submit to the rules established by our present societies. Yes, Paul suggested that we obtain any freedom and equality that we can muster as the Manifesto states, but Paul still advocated caution and wisdom in such matters. He did NOT want Christians to start a revolution now to achieve this plan of God to equalize mankind’s status. He also told slaves that though they were now free in Christ, they should still submit to their masters. He told children to remain submissive to their parents. True enough, the Manifesto makes all free and equal, but we must wait for God to exalt us in His time. He will do it. It is His promise. In God’s eyes, females are now the equals of men.
In the meantime, we should all live by the rules of our societies, salute the flag, pay taxes and obey the civil laws (Romans 13:1–7). And alas, if Christians should become profligate in the eyes of society, God can respond in chastisements in this life (Colossians 3:5– 6, 25). He can even delay the time for granting us the rewards of the Manifesto. We could even miss out on the “Kingdom phase” (the Millennium) by such evil actions (Ephesians 5:5). But on no account can we lose our ultimate salvations — which are awarded by grace. Recall that even the Christian sinner in Corinth was handed over to Satan for chastisement, though Paul knew the person would ultimately be saved (1 Corinthians 5:1–5; see 1 Timothy 1:20). Like any parent, God chastises, but He also protects.
These things happen because God has the prerogative of hardening peoples’ hearts whenever He pleases (Romans 9:9–33). God promised in the Manifesto, however, to take away our hardness of heart that He allowed Satan to place in us that causes us to act the way we normally act. 43 Yes, God will soon substitute our hardness of heart with the spirit of His love. Our very natures are destined to be changed by the working of God’s Spirit in our lives which He will infuse into our mental framework (1 Peter 1:4). God will take away the hardness of heart that He placed in all of us. 44 This is God’s doing. It is not our own “change of heart.” It is not because of our attempts to be righteous. But, God will finally produce in each of us His divine qualities that motivate Him and His Son. Our attitudes that promote good are of God’s creation, not ours.
6. Though the Manifesto itself is found in the first three chapters of what we call “Ephesians,” there are further comments by Paul on this grand and strategic plan of God to bring all humans into His divine Family. The Book of Colossians is a companion epistle to Ephesians which elaborate on its principles. From Colossians 3:12 to the end of the book, Paul gives encouragement to practice Christian virtues and “not to rock the boat” by trying to establish the full equality teachings of God now. Sure, you should free yourself as much as you can, but it is God who will complete your freedom in Him and grant you your certain Jubilee.
7. It has been a joy for me to present the promises of God in this Manifesto. It represents the mature Gospel of Christ and God’s teaching to the entirety of the human race.
1 The earliest and best manuscripts do not have the geographical indication “in Ephesus” in the text. This epistle was actually a circular letter that Paul intended to reach all Ekklesias within his jurisdiction. The epistle simply came to “Ephesus” last and got deposited within that area. It is perfectly proper to call the epistle “Ephesians” to identify it for reference, but it was intended to be a letter for universal distribution. Thus, you can insert even at the present time your own city or town, or your own home (or even your own individual name) and this procedure meets with Paul’s intention. The message of the letter is actually God’s Manifesto for all Mankind and is to be understood as written to each individual human. ELM
2 The Greek actually means: “the throwing down of any world system.” The word “throwing down” (Greek: kataboles) has given problems to some translators. There is, however, no difficulty in knowing what Paul meant. If you have a building or a wall already built and you “throw it down,” it means you destroy it or disrupt it. On the other hand, if you are just beginning to build or construct a building or wall, the “throwing down” means to cast stones into a rugged spot in order to make a smooth or level “foundation” on which to construct the new building or wall. The context of the Manifesto shows that Paul intended the word to mean “foundation” (as Rotherham and the King James Version translate it), rather than a supposed “disruption” that some think Moses intended in Genesis 1:2. This is error. The Darwinian theory of Evolution prompted some translators to see a special “disruption” in Genesis 1:2. Moses meant no such thing. We do not need modern scientific theories to explain what God meant in this Manifesto to the human race.
What we need to know is the fact that each of us was in God’s mind and plan before He cast down a “foundation stone” (so to speak) of the universe. Or, before God designed, founded, and made any cosmos or world system, He chose each of us humans to be in Christ Jesus. We were individually reckoned to be a part of His firstborn Son who then existed alongside God the Father. It was Christ who did the actual creating of the universe, both things seen and unseen (see Colossians 1:15–22; Hebrews 1:8–12, 2 Timothy 1:9). ELM
3 The verb is in the infinitive present tense. It does not mean “might or should be holy and blameless in his presence” as though some doubt or chance could impede our position of righteousness and blamelessness in the sight of the Father. The wording by Paul means that we are now (and continually will be) reckoned to be “holy and blameless” in God’s eyes. As we will see later in this Manifesto, our righteous and holy positions with the Father come not by any works we might do (whether good or bad), but we are made righteous by God placing us into a position of blamelessness before He even made a “foundation” for the universe. ELM
4 The Greek has “sonship” (that is, a single son) because we are reckoned to be “in Christ.” Christ was the single Son in whom we are to be exalted and glorified. Though God the Father has several other “Sons of God” who are His children like Christ Jesus and are NOT angels (see Genesis 6:2 and Job 1:6; 2:1), our positions are found in a single Son (God’s Firstborn, Christ Jesus) and NOT in any of the other “Sons of God” that we know so little about in the Bible. ELM
5 Notice that our individual status reckoned by the Father as being “in Christ” was not according to the simple desire of God (which frankly would be good enough to secure our salvations and exaltations), but Paul made it stronger by saying it was “the good pleasure of His WILL.” Note: When God the Father “wills” something, it will always come to pass. ELM
6 Not a single offence, transgression, or any sin whatever, is presently accounted to our record since we are “in Christ” (and we have been “in Christ” from before the world’s foundation). No offences, transgressions or sins are found in Christ or us. ELM
7 God granted our position of sinlessness and blamelessness as a free and unmerited “favor” (or grace) to each of us. ELM
8 Each of us who recognizes “the mystery [[secret]] of His will” is able to understand and accept the teachings of this Manifesto that was given to Paul and other apostles. It is God’s WILL that is in force, not simply a wish. ELM
9 One of the most pleasurable things God ever accomplished (as a matter of pleasing Himself) was to grant us His divine favor and grace that we each (and all) have by being placed “in Christ” before the foundation of the world. ELM
10 God will bring to pass all the promises in this Manifesto when a time arrives in the future called the “administration [[dispensation]] of the fullness of seasons [[times]].” God has a divine chronological time-plan for showing these glorious and wonderful truths to each member of the human race. Only a few of the elect (such as yourself) now understand these sublime and majestic promises. However, in the “fullness of times” God will bring all the promises of this Manifesto to a complete fulfillment in Christ (and in US), and then God will finally become “all things and in all things.” ELM
11 It is God’s will that He (Himself) reunite with all His creation, especially us who are His children and are now part of the human race. He wants all humans, no matter who they are, to be re-united to Him. And without doubt and without failure, God will do the re-uniting that He planned to do in Christ Jesus His Firstborn Son. ELM
12 The uniting of the human race will happen because God the Father will place all humans into a position of being “in Christ,” and this will involve all beings in heaven or on earth. This final uniting will occur when we are all in a happy state of accepting one another as God made us. We will in the future come to understand that God created us all to be the way He wanted us to be. We are in our present state because God made us as we are. ELM
13 This reconciliation, when God the Father becomes “all things and in all things” (1 Corinthians 15:28), reaches out to include “the things in the heavens [[angelic powers and principalities]] and the things on the earth [[we human beings]].” The uniting with the Father by virtue of being “in Christ” involves and embodies not only “all humans” who ever lived or ever will live, but it takes in “all the things” that are in the heavens. The reconciliation is all encompassing and all-embracing. ELM
14 The Greek word that Rotherham and many other translators render as “inheritance,” has a very important etymological meaning that contains (in a practical and simple way) a cardinal truth of the Holy Scriptures that remains hidden to the awareness of most people — even most translators). The Greek word means: “we were assigned by lot.” Before the foundation of the world systems or the universe there was a divine lottery held in heaven that determined several things in the blueprint of God the Father in making Christ the Head (under God) of the Body of people who would become God’s divine children. The use of the lottery was the fairest way God could design that would allow certain people to emerge on earth to become His divine Family of human beings who were (and are) destined to become His own Children of God just like Christ Jesus is a Son of God. And though there is no chance or doubt regarding the fulfillment of the plan and purpose of God the Father to redeem and save His children (you, me, and all humanity), there was a normal and unfixed lottery used by God to determine who would be who, what, would be what and when would be when.
(1) The first lottery must have determined who were to be males and who would be females to comprise the normal complement of the two sexes that make up the human race. So this Manifesto states in Ephesians 3:15–16, that God created a family both in the heavens and on earth, and families are made of males and females. That is why God said in 2 Corinthians 6:17–18: “I will receive you and I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be MY SONS and DAUGHTERS.”
(2) After that, God selected by lottery who would become the Adam, the Noah, the Abraham and the Jacob who would produce His “priesthood” nation. The national lot (selection of the priestly nation) fell on “Israel” (the Elect of God, see Romans 11:25–33).
(3) Then the lottery selected the period of history into which all humans would be born (either in the Old or New Testament periods, or in our present End-Time period, or in the Millennium). We were each “marked out” by the lottery. That is what the Manifesto states in the next verse. It says we were, “marked out beforehand according to a purpose of Him [[GOD]]” (verse 11). ELM
15 Note the time period that certain people were selected by the lottery to appear on earth and receive the message of the Gospel. Paul stated that people were “marked out” to be those “who had before [[IN TIME]] hoped in the Christ” (Ephesians 1:12). In 1 Timothy 2:4–6 the apostle Paul said that it was the will of God that all men be saved, but NOT that all men would come to a knowledge of their salvation (that they have in Christ) at the same time. The message of the Gospel was to be given to each person “in due time,” or, as the actual Greek states “in its own time seasons” [[PLURAL]] (1 Timothy 2:6). There are special seasons of time (plural), selected by God before the foundation of the world by lottery, for each human to come to know what His Manifesto means to each person. You and I have been selected now, others later. ELM
Each of you, according to the Manifesto, was selected by a lottery (1) to be a male or female, as well as (2) to be an Israelite or a Gentile, or (3) to be one to recognize the mature truth of God (or not to know the truth of God) at a set and predetermined time in history. This procedure was the fairest way that God the Father could provide to justify many things that would occur to His people (including you). Some of the human race were destined to have great blessings with few bad experiences and others were to participate in many bad circumstances with few blessings in a human sense. But everyone, without fail, was to taste the good and bad (Genesis 3:5–6). Yet with the Manifesto, God redeems and restores all blessings and favors, through His reconciliation to each human being, in Christ. ELM
16 Your salvation and redemption in Christ is absolutely sealed by nothing less than the Spirit of Promise given to you as stated in this Manifesto. Your salvation is certain and intractable, and is not based on your good or bad works. ELM
17 Yes, the word means inheritance, but within the etymological significance of the word we have its full intention. It is never far from its primary root denoting lottery. The word really means “the enjoyment of being selected by a lottery.” The simple fact is, God used a lottery to give us our present status. ELM
18 Our redemption “in Christ” is to acquire what was procured for us by God the Father. God will give us the entirety of the universe (both that which is seen and that which is presently unseen by us), and He will perform it in order to praise Himself and His Son, Christ Jesus — and to praise and glorify US who are a part of the allotment. We obtain His glory! The lottery was favorable to us now. ELM
19 What is contained in this Manifesto and other sections of Scripture that comment on it, represents “a full knowledge of Him” that you were unable to know or appreciate until you read and understood God’s Declaration of Human Rights and Privileges. ELM
20 We are told in no uncertain terms that it is God who enlightens our minds to fathom these wonderful truths we are privileged to comprehend. Jesus said,
“No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him” (John 6:44).
“Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:65).
Paul stated in Philippians 2:13,
“For it is God which works in you both TO WILL and TO DO [[TO PERFORM]] of his good pleasure.”
And Paul also said,
“the grace of God is given you by Jesus Christ ... who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:4, 8).
So, it is up to the Father and Christ Jesus to enlighten you (and every other human) with the truth of the Gospel. Each of you was selected to be either a male or female (by an election through a lottery) and to receive the Gospel at this time in history. You have had nothing to say in the matter, nor has any other human being that is either close to you or remote. God has done the choosing for you. It was God who “enlightened” you to know of His divine truth. ELM
21 Again, the Greek means: “the enjoyment of an allotment” that was secured to you by a divine lottery devised by God. Your present status was by a lottery. ELM
22 We have faith (whether little or much) because of the inward working of God’s power and strength, not of ourselves. It is God’s might that saves us. ELM
23 What glorious teaching! Christ Jesus now sits on the right hand of God in heaven above all angelic powers. His name is above all other names in the universe. And Christ now hands over that same power, privilege and right to His Body (called the Ekklesia, or the Called-out-assembly) that represents US who are now in Christ, those who will always be in Christ. ELM
24 Everything in the universe will finally be filled up “in Christ” and “all things” will finally comprise His Body (the Ekklesia). No one will be left out. All will come to repentance and faith when God removes the hardness of heart that He has placed on all humans (including ourselves) — see Romans 9:9–33. The “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) will then be placed in all. ELM
25 The great and wonderful teaching of this Manifesto shows that while we were dead in sins and trespasses (degraded and depraved in our moral, ethical and social attitudes) God reached down and made us “alive co-jointly with Christ.” We are told in Romans that through God’s Son substituting His life, death, and resurrection with us, the Father reconciled Himself to us.
The reuniting was NOT when we were repentant and trying to be good, and NOT when we were trying to honor God and His ways. That’s right, it was NOT when we were asking God to forgive us for those sins that God then reconciled us to Himself. No, the reconciliation occurred when we were “ungodly” (Romans 5:6), when we were abject “sinners” (Romans 5:8) and when we were outright “enemies” of God (Romans 5:10). Of course, we now know through the revelation of the Manifesto, that our alienation and reconciliation were within the plan and purpose of God from before the foundation of the universe. But it was only when Christ Jesus came with His divine message, and then augmented it with the teaching of the Manifesto (the Mystery of God), that all humanity, including ourselves, has come to be aware of God’s mercy and grace.
And what does that reconciliation hold for each of us? It means that we can now sit on the right hand of the Father (at this very moment in a legal sense) just as Christ Jesus is now sitting in that position of glory. This is the divine allotment God the Father gives to each member of the human race because He decided to put (in a legal sense) all punishment for our sins and offences on the back of His Son throughout His life, through the ordeal of His death on the tree of crucifixion and through the glory of His resurrection back to abundant and resplendent power at the right hand of God.
This divine propitiation and conciliation devised and enacted by the Father was accomplished on behalf of the whole world. The actions of Christ that secured our redemption, the holy and unblemished works of Christ, resulted in the whole human race being reconciled to God by being made as righteous and holy as is Christ Himself. This forgiveness involved just not us who become Christians during this age, but it reached out to capture within the web of God’s love even those humans who were unrepentant and at the time evil. The apostle John said, “And he [[JESUS CHRIST]] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). And remember what John said in two beautiful verses of the Scriptures,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting [[EONIAN]] life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him [[CHRIST]] might be saved” (John 3:16–17).
And indeed, the entire world (every person) has been redeemed and reconciled to God. When the world truly realizes this fact (which only God can reveal unto them when He removes the hardness of heart that He saddled on their minds), the whole human race will repent and be saved. ELM
26 This is in the “dispensation of the fullness of times” mentioned in the Manifesto at Ephesians 1:10. This is the final eon or age when all are saved. ELM
27 It is NOT your faith, or MY faith, that allows us to be saved. This is because our own faiths are too weak even to be considered capable of saving us. The faith that saves, is the FAITH of Jesus Christ (see Galatians 2:16). Indeed, we are told in this verse of the Manifesto that faith (that particular faith, the faith of Christ) is a gift from God to all of us. The attributes of righteousness that many people feel are necessary for humans to perform in order to be saved (such as repentance, belief in Jesus, confession of Jesus and accepting the Gospel) ARE ALL GIFTS FROM GOD.
Repentance is God’s gift (Acts 11:18). Belief is a gift from God (Philippians 1:29). Confessing the lordship of Jesus is a gift (1 Corinthians 12:1–3). And the ability to believe and accept the Gospel are gifts bestowed by God the Father to each of us (John 6:44, 65). Indeed, there are NO WORKS that we must do to be saved, and that is precisely what the Manifesto states in Ephesians 2:8–10. Of course, the Manifesto goes on to say that we should live decent lives and that we are created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10), but those good works (or, alas, even bad works) are not contingents of our salvations given by the Father because we are “in Christ.” After all, we were given our inheritance by divine lottery before the foundation of the universe — before any of us did any works. As Paul put it in 2 Timothy 1:9,
“Who [[GOD]] has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [[BEFORE EONIAN TIMES]].”
When you and I are reckoned by the Father to be “in Christ,” it means that we inherit everything He inherits (including His righteousness, sinlessness and blamelessness). Note how Paul worded it in 1 Corinthians 1:30,
“But of Him [[GOD THE FATHER]] are you in Christ Jesus, who [[CHRIST JESUS]] was made UNTO US wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification [[MADE US TO BE HOLY]], and redemption.”
Yes, these attributes of God are given UNTO US by virtue of our being “in Christ.” These are the moral, ethical and social attributes of Christ. Because He has all those wonderful qualities of sinlessness and righteousness, and because He is a substitute for us in the eyes of the Father, we are now awarded those same virtues as being a part of our spiritual and mental characteristics. True, we do NOT actually show them being accomplished in our lives because of our weakness of flesh, but we still have been awarded those identical attributes through the grace of God. This is because we are reckoned to be (at the present) “in Christ.” This is the basic teaching of what our salvation in Christ is all about. You are now accepted in the eyes of the Father as if you were none other than Christ Jesus Himself. Indeed, when the Father sees Christ, He sees YOU. And (it is almost impossible to believe, but is true as shown in this Manifesto) when the Father sees YOU, He sees Christ Jesus (representing YOU) sitting on God’s right hand with every perfection and holiness that Christ now has. ELM
28 The unconverted Gentiles were not part of any covenant, old or new, before their conversion. Now, with the advent of the Mystery no association is necessary for Jew of Gentile. DWS
29 That is, the hatred and jealousy they had among themselves for each type of people on earth. Now we are “a brand new type of person” who has heavenly attributes and a non-earthly citizenship. We are members of God’s Family. We are no longer earthly Israelites or Gentiles. We are now children of God. ELM
30 We are now members (at the present time and always in the future) of God’s own divine “household” (God’s own divine Family). We are His sons and daughters and we presently sit (legally) with Him on the right hand of the Father in Christ Jesus. We do not stand or sit before or under God, but at His right hand. ELM
31 We are now reckoned to be part of the divine and sanctified “Holy Temple of God.” Each of us makes up a “stone” in that Holy Temple. And believe me, if ONE STONE of that Temple is tarnished or missing or is left out, then the whole Temple of God itself is ruined and judged to be in a nonsanctified state. Each one of us is as much a part of that Holy Temple (even now) as are the apostles, as are the prophets of old, as are all the righteous saints of all time and even as much as the chief corner stone Himself, Christ Jesus. It is God the Father’s Manifesto to YOU (and you PERSONALLY) that your “stone” representing YOU will always find a place in the Holy Temple that the Manifesto describes. Nothing you could do or not do will keep you out of that Temple (eventually). This means that no matter what you have done shamefully (or not done righteously) in the past, present or future, you are sealed and sanctified because of the Father’s reconciliation with you, with me and with the world through the efforts and actions of the Firstborn, Christ Jesus. You are part of God’s Holy of Holies. ELM
32 His Spirit thus assures your salvation because God now dwells in you. Because the Father is now resident in you in a spiritual sense, you are considered holy, righteous, and sinless. Note how the apostle John put it because you have been re-born as a “new person” as shown in the Manifesto: “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for [[because]] His seed [[god’s conceptual spirit]] remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).
But hold on a minute! Does this statement mean we do not sin any more? Of course NOT! Even John said earlier in his epistle: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). What it does mean, however, is that God the Father NO LONGER recognizes us as being sinners, even though we are.
Even when we were “dead in trespasses and sins,” God made us alive and righteous in Christ (Ephesians 2:1, 5). In the Day of Judgment, God will not find one sin within any of us. When He sees us, He sees Christ, in whom there is NO SIN. When He sees Christ (who has no sin and is our substitute), He also sees US whom He does not recognize any longer as sinners. And though we should be decent, honest, fair, upright and discreet in all things (and openly doing good works), those works are not factors in salvation. ELM
33 He wrote about the Mystery briefly in Ephesians chapter one. ELM
34 Paul said the Mystery of the Manifesto was “just now” revealed. He meant a short few days or weeks before in 63 C.E. This was “brand new” revelation. ELM
35 This teaching of the Mystery was so advanced (and it was reckoned as being highly philosophical), that God waited until 63 C.E. to reveal this mature teaching of the Manifesto to His people and to the world at large. It was too revolutionary to reveal to “babes” in Christ. The message of the Mystery is still too much “beefsteak” for some “babes” to chew on today. One reason for this is because it has seldom, if ever, been taught in Christian churches by preachers and priests. It is now time, however, at this End of the Age, to reveal anew these wonderful and majestic truths to the world. ELM
36 Even the highest and most dignified of the angelic powers in the heavenlies were not aware of the sublime teaching of this Manifesto called the Great Mystery of God. And who was the mediator to teach the angelic powers these awesome and wonderful truths? It was Paul and his helpers PLUS “the Called-out-assembly” (as Rotherham puts it). That organization was the Ekklesia in which all of us are members. It represents the Body of Christ. God even reveals His truth to angels through us. We are higher in rank than all angelic beings. ELM
37 Note that our assurance of salvation is through “the faith of Him” [[CHRIST’S FAITH]], NOT through our weak faiths. Christ’s faith is imputed to us. ELM
38 God is a Family. The top position belongs to God the Father. Second in command (and in unison with the Father in everything) is Christ Jesus. Then, there happens to be US (we humans created to become members of that divine Family).
We hear so much from Catholics and Protestants about the Godhead being a “Trinity.” Their “Trinity” is a fiction of the imagination concocted by men claiming to be theologians but who have no right to divulge such nonsense not compatible with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. The true “Trinity” that represents the present Godhead is: first, there is God the Father; second, God the Firstborn Son (Christ Jesus); and third, God the US (I mean WE men and women who make up the human race). All three of these factors comprise one, single Godhead [[THE ELOHIM]] who created and governs the entirety of the universe. Thus, the third member of the true, biblical Trinity is the totality of the human race. For more information on this important subject of the Godhead, see my book 101 Bible Secrets that Christians Do Not Know. The true “Trinity” is also found in one verse of the Holy Scriptures, and the apostle Paul penned it. It is found in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God [[THE FATHER]], and one mediator [[GOD THE SON, CHRIST JESUS]] between God and men [[WHO ARE GOD THE US]], the man Christ Jesus.” This Manifesto which has been created and uttered by God is designed to show how men will become members of the single Godhead. We are all created to become a part of that divine Family of God. We will sit on the right side of God in the Holy of Holies. Mankind is the third member of the Godhead. The reason for our creation in the image of God is to become a part of the Godhead. ELM
39 The whole universe (both the seen and the unseen) is destined to become our inheritance by our being “in Christ.” Nothing is left out of our inheritance. ELM
40 That you and I (and the human race) may become as full and thoroughly complete as God Himself is full and complete. God will then be all and in all. ELM
41 The “Amen” is a formal conclusion of the scriptural writers to terminate an authoritative document. ELM
42 See Colossians 2:8–23 where it shows the decrees given by angels through Moses at Sinai — Sabbaths, Holydays, dietary laws that separate mankind from one another socially and religiously — are “blotted out.” ELM
43 This is similar to the hardness with which God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and the hearts of all people, including the hardening of our own hearts — see Romans 9:9–33. And, when God hardens the heart, no man can soften it. ELM
44 What kind of a heart has God given to humans? Let us see God’s own appraisal of His gift that He has bestowed on humanity. You may be surprised to discover what constitutes “your heart.”
Look at Jeremiah 17:9.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The word
in that verse in Hebrew means
“incurable” as in Jeremiah
When the desires of the human heart (yours, mine, or any
human being) are put into action, what is the result? An example is,
“And God saw
that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every
imagination of the thoughts of his HEART was only evil continually”
And Christ said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).
This is the kind of “heart” that God placed in all of us. So, before any of us start announcing how good we are (and I am one of the nicest guys I know), let us be aware of our real condition. Only a change in our nature will solve the problem of the human heart. But thanks be to God, He promises to change even our hard hearts into being like God’s own heart and mind. He is the only one who can do it. We cannot. ELM
Order our Book: Essentials of New Testament Doctrine to read all the chapters.
© 1976-2021 Associates for Scriptural Knowledge - ASK is supported by freewill contributions