"The Master Plan" - Ephesians Chapter 3
May 1, 2019

C. R. Oliver


May 1, 2019

"The Master Plan" - Ephesians Chapter 3

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     At this point, it is necessary to review several items in Chapters 1 & 2 which affect the truths found in Chapter 3. Utmost is the redemptive work of Jesus in carrying out the plan begun before the world was made. Then, through revelation, God made the plan known to Paul and it became endemic to his task in sharing this truth to both Jew and Gentile (which caused his imprisonment). Those Jews and Gentiles, who understood and accepted the plan, experienced their sealing by the Holy Spirit. Here are the basic Scriptures used in this summary:

Ephesians 1:4-5:
4 Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own through what Christ would do for us; He decided then to make us holy in His eyes, without a single fault--we who stand before Him covered with His love. 5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And He did this because He wanted to! TLB

Ephesians 1:9-11:
9 God has told us His secret reason for sending Christ, a plan He decided on in mercy long ago; 10 and this was His purpose: that when the time is ripe, He will gather us all together from wherever we are--in heaven or on earth--to be with Him in Christ forever. TLB

Ephesians 1:13-14:
13 And because of what Christ did, all you others too, who heard the Good News about how to be saved, and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit, who long ago had been promised to all of us Christians. 14 His presence within us is God's guarantee that He really will give us all that He promised; and the Spirit's seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that He guarantees to bring us to Himself. TLB

Ephesians 2:14-15:
14 For Christ Himself is our way of peace. He has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one family, breaking down the wall of contempt that used to separate us. 15 By His death He ended the angry resentment between us, caused by the Jewish laws that favored the Jews and excluded the Gentiles, for He died to annul that whole system of Jewish laws. Then He took the two groups that had been opposed to each other and made them parts of Himself; thus, He fused us together to become one new person, and at last there was peace. TLB

Ephesians 2:22:
22 And you also are joined with Him and with each other by the Spirit and are part of this dwelling place of God. TLB

Chapter 3

Revelation (rhema) always has its proper moment in the plan of God.

God's timing is perfect and there are no surprises. Take for instance, Daniel, who was given rhema about the sequence of world governance while unveiling Nebuchadnezzar's dream figure. Nebuchadnezzar needed to know his place in history at that time. God gave it.

Every prophet in the Old Testament experienced "timed" revelation regarding the future. So, Paul joined their ranks by being given understanding of the Master plan of God for redemption.

Ephesians 3:1-5:
I, Paul, the servant of Christ, am here in jail because of you--for preaching that you Gentiles are a part of God's house. 2-3 No doubt you already know that God has given me this special work of showing God's favor to you Gentiles, as I briefly mentioned before in one of my letters. God Himself showed me this secret plan of His, that the Gentiles, too, are included in His kindness. 4 I say this to explain to you how I know about these things. 5 In olden times God did not share this plan with His people, but now He has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to His apostles and prophets. TLB

Paul shared his Rhema-knowledge in the next verse. He explained the profundity of his task and showed how Jew and Gentile alike must come to a saving knowledge of Jesus or be lost. There are not two ways-one for the Jew and another for the Gentile.

(Many years ago, a Jewish Rabbi lecturer was given chapel time at a Baptist college. He ended his program with a statement that I rejected immediately-- based on this next text. He said, "After all, we Jews and you Gentiles are both going our separate paths climbing the same mountain. At the top is God. You travel your trail and I will travel mine and 'I'll see you at the top.'")

Ephesians 3:6-7:
6 And this is the secret: that the Gentiles will have their full share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God's sons; both are invited to belong to His Church, and all of God's promises of mighty blessings through Christ apply to them both when they accept the Good News about Christ and what He has done for them. 7 God has given me the wonderful privilege of telling everyone about this plan of His; and He has given me His power and special ability to do it well. TLB

Grateful to be chosen for such a task, Paul gave praise to God for his having power and special ability.

How does God share His power? What are those special abilities?

First, realize the persons He appoints, He anoints! The whole book of Acts is filled with illustrations of these two components. In Paul's day, every disciple walked in supernatural power, whether it was demonstrated by standing preaching or by exercising authority over demons and sickness. Such power and ability still exist for the believer, though few honor it in their life. The gospel itself has power to draw men to the Savior, and those who expound it know this fact. Power over the rulers of darkness and hindering circumstances (even from prison) was demonstrated by the Apostle. Receiving and writing these epistles was deemed a special ability. Communication of the mystery of God was no easy task, but Paul recognized how often God provided him opportunity and favor. Be assured, no work of the Lord can be done without these two elements-ask any of the five-fold ministers or any others so engaged. Miracles, signs and wonders accompany the gospel and Paul experienced them all. Often the task of gospel engagement requires ability beyond the norm---God gives it!

Humble Paul could barely fathom why he was chosen for this work. He calls himself, "the least of the least," while taking no credit for any thing he might have done to deserve it.

Ephesians 3:8-13:
8 Just think! Though I did nothing to deserve it, and though I am the most useless Christian there is, yet I was the one chosen for this special joy of telling the Gentiles the Glad News of the endless treasures available to them in Christ; 9 and to explain to everyone that God is the Savior of the Gentiles too, just as He who made all things had secretly planned from the very beginning. 10 And His reason? To show to all the rulers in heaven how perfectly wise He is when all of His family--Jews and Gentiles alike--are seen to be joined together in His Church 11 in just the way He had always planned it through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Now we can come fearlessly right into God's presence, assured of His glad welcome when we come with Christ and trust in Him.
13 So please don't lose heart at what they are doing to me here. It is for you I am suffering, and you should feel honored and encouraged.

The NKJV has some elements that need to be addressed. Notice the difference in this same set of verses.

Ephesians 3:8-13:
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Whether the translators use "endless treasures" or "unsearchable riches," these components are often not the subject matter of the saints. In the Song of Solomon, the King reserved for His bride, "treasures old and new." What were these gems? In comparison to the banquet hall experience, the palanquin entry, the tender expressions of love, the caring moments of interaction in the stream of life, what could be greater than what had already transpired by walking with Him? Try this-the unfolding of the mystery hidden in Him, the joyous provisions surpassing the fondest dreams of His beloved-all these find expression as, "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered the heart of man, those things God has prepared for those who love Him."

In the book, Consumed By His Fire, there is a discussion about "the fellowship of the flame." When the Flame burning inside the believer is encountered by another with like fire, it causes each person to "know" the other by supernatural rapport. Each knows the other's belief system, personal commitments and priorities in life, without being told. Uncannily, they seem to know each other as brother and sister saints---it is like they enter into one another in a communion unlike anything the world can offer. They are examples of "the fellowship of the mystery." In this realm, there are no strangers. In this realm, there is agreement on a level beyond the ordinary. In this realm, differences fade away and there remains what Paul writes in the next chapter.

Ephesians 4:2-6:
…bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Sadly, the modern church attempts unity by other means than through this supernatural community. There is no unity possible apart from this gifting!

Notice verse 10 and who it is that declares to the kingdom of darkness the, "many-fold wisdom of God"-it is the church. (Strong uses two other words for manifold: NT:4182, much variegated, i.e. multifarious: KJV - manifold.) Those who fellowship in the mystery know the spiritual warfare, the dogmatic declarations, the depth of intrusion necessary to penetrate, "the places of the prince of the power of the air." Mockingly, we can proclaim, "Our God knew it all along!" "He planned it before He spoke this domain into existence." "His ways are beyond finding out except He reveal it to us." "He is the MIGHTY GOD!"

Those kinds of declarations are not made from earth, but rather from the throne of God, where the saint is privileged to sit in heavenly places through Christ Jesus. The bringing together of Jew and Gentile into one body has been The Father's intention forever. Now, it is a reality.

Ephesians 3:10-11:
10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,

These declarations cannot be made by a disjointed body of believers. The fractionalized church of today declares by its very existence a different confession than used here. Sitting on the throne of power with Christ is not a reality to most modern believers-but it should be.

Ephesians 3:12:
12. Now we can come fearlessly right into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome when we come with Christ and trust in Him. TLB

(Recently, an intercessor spoke to me about his ministry from the secret place of the Most High. He began by saying three basic realties must accompany the intercessor. The first is embracing forgiveness for oneself. Second, there must be an assurance that nothing of works prevails in the throne room, for it is by grace we are invited to sit on our throne next to His. Third, there must be an acknowledgement of the love which surrounds us and gives us unmitigated freedom in His presence. As His son, we may ask what we will without one moment of trepidation. We are family!

My friend then addressed the two prayers of Paul found in Ephesians chapters one and three. He said, "After much thought I concluded the difference between them is the first prayer was in deference to their faith and the second was spawned by not wanting the church to be despondent over his incarceration.")

Look now into both prayers and fathom the depth in each.

From chapter One:

Ephesians 1:15-23:
15 That is why, ever since I heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and of the love you have for Christians everywhere, 16-17 I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that He has done for you. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future He has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ's have been given to Him! 19 I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him. It is that same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in heaven, 21 far, far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader. Yes, His honor is far more glorious than that of anyone else either in this world or in the world to come. 22 And God has put all things under His feet and made Him the supreme Head of the Church- 23 which is His body, filled with Himself, the Author and Giver of everything everywhere.

Should our prayer be the same as his? He prayed CONSTANTLY for basically three things. First, he prayed for clarity to understand who Christ is and what He did at Calvary and beyond. Second, he prayed for their hearts to be flooded with light in order to see their place in the future plans of the Lord. Third, he prayed for them to understand how great Christ's power is in order to help those who believe in Him.

THAT should be our prayer for the modern church! Too many enter their places of worship and have no clue about these aspects. They have no depth of person in Him and therefore have no knowledge of what God is willing to invest in them. These are critical facets in the believer's walk and vast numbers are ignorant of God's plan for them. God help us all!

From Chapter Three:

Ephesians 3:13-18:
13 So please don't lose heart at what they are doing to me here. It is for you I am suffering, and you should feel honored and encouraged.

14-15 When I think of the wisdom and scope of His plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God--some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth- -16 that out of His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love; 18-19 and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so, at last you will be filled up with God Himself. TLB

Again, our prayers for the modern church should emulate Paul, for the gross ignorance of the majority shows a lack of understanding of the true nature of Christ and His love. If ever "inner strengthening" is needed in the body of Christ, it is now! The inward man of the Spirit is our communication center connecting us to the Throne room.

"Christ feeling at home in the heart of the believer" is an interesting take on the relationship of trust placed in Him. The living translation uses the phrase "more and more," suggesting there are levels or strata based on one's trust in Christ.

Ephesians 3:17: that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts,

Colossians 3:16:
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:16-18:
You are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
     "I will dwell in them
     And walk among them.
     I will be their God,
     And they shall be My people."

     17 Therefore
     "Come out from among them
     And be separate, says the Lord.
     Do not touch what is unclean,
     And I will receive you."
     18 'I will be a Father to you,
     And you shall be My sons and daughters,
     Says the Lord Almighty."

Paul cries out to God in their behalf in order for them to "feel and understand" and "experience" the unfathomable love of Christ" and "be filled up" with Him. O' that the church would begin to experience what is prayed for in this passage. Preachers and teachers must again enter the sacred halls of the hearts of men and cry out for this! There is no "falling away" in this community bound by faith and love, but without being a part of this holy band, there is little hope of tenacity in one's commitment to Christ.

This poetic verse found penned on a prison wall says it all:

If we could ink the ocean fill,
And were the sky of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


(Reports come from many places directly to our ministry offices and in this issue, we are sharing some of what we read. It is exciting to "know what's going on" in the lives of those who serve in foreign lands. Our prayers and support need to be directed toward each of those featured in this report.)

From Africa (Kenya): Missionary Portia Sharp of Sharp Ministries:

     Facing three months activities preaching in Women's Meetings, as well as Sunday Services, Portia sends this report. The picture includes a wonderful meeting with the American Embassy Ambassadors and having lunch with them on the Embassy grounds.

(Pray that Portia continues to have "glowing" reports of the Lord's blessing, like those found in her emails listed below…)

Notes from the field:
Tomorrow I will help with the launching of the school of ministry here at Joy Christian Fellowship. They are coming along in this new adventure for them. I will also preach in their church on Sunday

Further notes:
I'm preaching this morning "the anointing makes the difference;" 2nd session will see which sermon the HS settles me on. One is the "Blessing," if obedient, the other is the work of the HS in our lives. For the 3rd session, it's with ladies, so I will talk about "you are valuable." Tomorrow, I'll speak on "How to overcome in perilous times." After service tomorrow, we will take a shuttle back to Nakuru; it's about a 3-hour trip. I begin a ladies' meeting on Thursday thru Sunday of next week, with another the following week Friday-Sunday and more after that also.
I don't think I told you, I took a day trip (like all day drive with short visit) past Kisumu to meet a bishop and wife of "word of faith Kenya." She is over many women's conferences. As we visited, she invited me to go with her group in September to speak at conference in Uganda (so 8 hours on the road was worth that invitation). I told her I'd pray about it and if God said, "ok," I'd go.

Sharp Ministries Intl
PO Box 130851
The Woodlands, Tx. 77393
Web: https://www.sharpministries.com/
Telephone: (832 326-3474
Twitter: @portiasharpministry
Email: Portia@Sharpministries.com
Kenya Telephone: 254-748-820-995

From Romania: Missionary Georghi Cazacu:

The report came that on a Sunday night, while returning home from Moldova, a drunk driver on the wrong side of the road plowed into the missionary's car head-on. Bro. Cazacu suffered many broken bones (three breaks in one leg and one in the other). The other passengers suffered injury to their wrists, arms, ribs and lungs. The report came that in the hospital the doctors put rods in his legs and will soon have to replace his knee. Here is Bro. Bishop, one of the passengers, visiting with Bro. Georghi.

Dale Nisson reported: I received a phone call from Pastor David Cook on Wednesday saying he had just talked with Ghiorghi on the phone. Ghiorghi told David that he had been released from the hospital and was at home. The doctors were able to fix three broken bones in one leg and one broken bone in the other. The knee, on the leg with three broken bones, is crushed and his leg is swollen. Surgery to totally replace the knee will be done at a later date after the swelling goes down. Ghiorghi does not have health insurance or auto insurance. His auto was totaled. He is also under tremendous pressure for all the people who look to him for help. What will they do now?

(Bro. Ghorghi supports pastors, orphanages and has adopted several children.) Contact Information in the US:

Dorothy Maue
US Administrator

Gospel Ministries International, Inc.
PO Box 661
Belleville, IL 62222
Telephone: (618) 239-0215

Email: gmiius@sbcglobal.net

"Changing Lives, Restoring Families and
Transforming Nations, By Making Disciples
of our Lord Jesus Christ"

(Pray funds come in and his complete recovery is assured.)

Prayer Alert:

When the first report came from Romania, we sent out a prayer SOS to Robin and Greg Salmon and their intercessory groups worldwide. This is the response immediately from Robin.

          "I am praying NOW!! I have also sent this out. Stand by.

This is How We Fight Our Battle!!!

IT IS WRITTEN: Judges 5:20

They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.

Prayer Bullet: Therefore, Lord God Almighty fight for our Brother Georghi Cazacu Now in Messiah Y'shua name.

Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth and of all that is seen and unseen, I Thank You for executing Your Word of Psalm 91 over Brother Georghi Cazacu. I Thank you for Angels that have kept charge over him. I Thank you for honoring your Own Word. I Thank You for receiving my prayer and the prayers of your children.

For you O Lord, are the Great Physician. By ALL POWER for which you are known by ALL CREATION to be ALMIGHTY God arise and declare total healing in the Body, Mind and Soul of our Brother Georghi Cazacu right now we ask this of you in the Name of our redeemer Messiah Y'shua.

Serpentine Powers Programmed to Steal, Kill, and destroy, you are a Liar. Meshiac Y'shua said He saw you fall like lightening. Whom You Seek, has Risen. His Name is above every name. IT IS WRITTEN: EPHESIANS 2: 21,22 Far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and then He was named above every name, not only in this age; but also in the one that is coming: and He made all things subject under His feet and gave Him authority over everyone in the congregation, which is His Body, the extension of the One Who fills everything in every way. Y'shua has not given you this authority. You are operating illegally. By the Word of The Lord God Almighty and in the Name of Messiah Y'shua depart by fire, return no more in Messiah Y'shua name.

Anything strengthening satanic attacks against Brother Georghi Cazacu, be bound with hot chains and fetters from Heaven and be burned to ashes in Messiah Y'shua name!

Every satanic army organized against Brother Georghi Cazacu's life receive the judgement of Almighty God now, in Messiah Y'shua name.

O Lord, let the joy of the enemy over the life of Georghi Cazacu be turned to complete sorrow in Messiah Y'shua name.

Every battle waged against Brother Georghi Cazacu by the kingdom of darkness, receive disgrace and defeat by the armies of the God of Israel, in Messiah Y'shua name.

Lord God Almighty release your healing enzymes from the North, South, East, West gates pour it out, pour it out over our Brother now, in Messiah Y'shua name.

(Robin's email is: robin@donationsfromtheheart.org)

From Mexico: Bro. Bob Ledden, Missionary:

This report comes from an associate of Bob's saying he fell sick, having lost a lot of blood, and was in need of transfusions. The doctors found the internal source and cauterized it, but further exploration revealed some intestinal polyps that had to be removed. This caused Bob to borrow on a short-term basis $1550, as he had no medical insurance. Bob has been under stress from having to leave Guatemala due to government duress. Please pray the funds will come in and he will mend quickly. Below is one of his ministry photos.

Bob Ledden Ministries, Inc.
1321 SW Phyllis Dr
McMinnville, Oregon 97128


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