Firstly, note the seemingly strange language of Paul’s prayer – that the “eyes of your heart” might be enlightened (v18). Why does Paul not simply pray that God would enlighten their mind? Although this is seemingly only a passing comment on Paul’s part it reaffirms what I have been indicating – that man possesses two minds. The one pertains to the flesh, the other of the spirit. The one survives physical death as an intellectual memory-retaining entity (cf. Lk16:25), the other is the physical brain that is to be buried or incinerated. Such psychological duality should be obvious to all who believe in an after-life but for many Christians, including myself in the past, that reality does not tend to register. Not so Paul: “For I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rom7:23). As the passage as a whole makes clear, Paul is contrasting the law or guiding principles of the inner man, “heart” or spirit with that of the physical brain that processes the bodily senses. Such duality is not generic (i.e. spirit good, material bad) but pertains to the immediate source of the God-given soul/spirit on the one hand and the procreated vessel it inhabits on the other. It pertains to the Fall and its anthropological consequences. Here in Ephesians the apostle is aware that the brain per se does not readily receive divine enlightenment; such Life-giving wisdom is processed by the mind or “eyes” of the heart or spirit, which in the case of the Christian (and only the Christian) has been quickened such that it can relate to and communicate with God, even whilst inhabiting Paul’s “body of this death” (Rom7:24). More fundamentally this has application to whether or not one can apprehend the gospel. It is why only those who have been divinely enabled are drawn to Christ (Jn6:44) – for even having heard the gospel, our brains (the mind of the flesh) will not rightly perceive such spiritual matters.
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians is that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe” (vv18-19). In terms of the gospel, the recipients of his letter’s spiritual eyes had been enlightened – they were already Christians. But there is much more for the believer to discover during his earthly pilgrimage, especially concerning the extraordinary privileges and responsibilities that he has inherited and the glories awaiting him providing he perseveres in the Faith.
But regrettably there is a more fundamental dimension to spiritual enlightenment. It will not so much have applied to the original recipients of Paul’s letter but is very much an issue today. That is whether the gospel we have received and acted upon is the truth or whether it has been perverted through heresy or apostacy. For myself I have been shown that what I understood to be the gospel for the first 28 years of my Christian life, whilst containing truth was far from “the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. As I have explained in recent posts, the interpretation of the bible I am setting out in these Facebook blogs formalized in The Little Book of Providence is the result of two extraordinary spiritual encounters that turned my earlier (Calvinist Evangelical) understanding on its head.
Whilst humanly speaking such enlightenment was facilitated by the opportunity I had at the time to study the bible full time whilst training for Christian ministry, I know such a seismic shift in my understanding could not have occurred without supernatural intervention. I am clear that such intervention was from the Holy Spirit in view of the extraordinary phenomena with which it was associated. The blessed and holy nature of its Source was affirmed to me by the nature of its immediate consequences: my adoration of God, His Christ and my love for broader humanity were vastly enlarged – overwhelmingly and tearfully so during the period of the encounter. More objectively, the new interpretation of the bible I came to resolved what had previously been intractable tensions or seeming contradictions. Scripture became thoroughly coherent: the New Testament could be reconciled with the Old, whilst Paul no longer contradicted Jesus, James or himself for that matter.
My prayer for those reading these posts and especially any who have downloaded or purchased my book is that the eyes of your heart might be enlightened – to discern the nature of this writing. Is it wilful deception, personal delusion or the fulfilment of prophecy concerning what Scripture foretold should be disclosed in the very last days? The references to such a disclosure are cryptically alluded to in canonical Scripture (e.g. Rev10) and more overtly so in the Book of Enoch. As previously considered, that was an inspired book quoted in the bible (Jude 14&15), containing teaching that was never intended for the Church throughout her earthly pilgrimage. Rather, as its opening verse suggests, it was written to “bless the elect and the righteous who will be living in the day of tribulation when all the wicked and godless are to be removed”.
Book of Enoch prophecy HERE
Author’s Facebook page HERE