Vol. 15 No. 38 – October 9, 2016
Eph 4:18, “Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.”
Here we have two descriptions of the results of having MATAIOTES, emptiness of the soul / being devoid of God’s Word.
- “Darkened in their understanding,” which is “Black out of the Soul,” that means God’s Word is not entering into the left lobe of the soul; the stream of conscientiousness.
- The second result of MATAIOTES is that they are “Excluded from the life of God.”
If you have Blackout of the Soul, if your thoughts are darkness rather than light, then the result becomes quite obvious, you have a further damaging result of MATAIOTES, which is “excluded from the life of God,” EIMI APALLOTRIOO HO ZOE HO THEOS, which is “being alienated from the life of God.”
EIMI is used here in the Stative Present, Active, Participle, that should be translated “being” at this point and not at the beginning of this verse. It means the state that the reversionistic believer is in, which is now a continual intensified ongoing action. It tells us that these “Gentiles” or better, unbelievers are performing the action of the verb due to the past and now present rejection of God and His Word in their life.
Because of their negative volition toward God, His Word, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, they are in this state of being, “excluded from,” which is the Verb APALLOTRIOO, ἀπαλλοτριόω that means, “to estrange or alienate.” It is used here and in Eph 2:12; Col 1:21, as Paul reminds these believers of the former life they had separated from Christ, which is the type of lifestyle all unbelievers live, as well as reversionistic believers. In Scripture, we see APALLATRIOO used in three ways, 1) Of being estranged from the citizenship of Israel; 2) Estrangement from life in God; and 3) Estrangement from God Himself, having become His enemy.
In our passage, this word is used to compare the life that the reversionistic believer has with God, with that of the unbeliever, who does not have a relationship with Him at all. In contrast, the positive believer who is going forward in the plan of God does have a life with God. Therefore, we could say that this is the “Get a Life” warning passage.
APALLOTRIOO is used here, like “darkened” above, in the Perfect, Passive, Participle, Nominative, Plural.
The Intensive Perfect tense emphasizes the results or present state produced by their past actions of rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, God, and His Word. Therefore, because of the past action of negative volition towards God’s Word, they are presently in a state of being estranged or alienated from a relationship with God.
The Passive voice says that they receive this alienation due to their negative volition. So, just as the unbeliever experiences this alienation from a relationship with God, so too does the believer who is in reversionism. Even though positionally the believer has been entered into the Royal Family of God, due to his negative volition, he does not experience or walk in it. The Nominative Participle emphasizes the experiential state the reversionistic believer is in.
The estrangement here is “from the life of God,” HO ZOE HO THEOS. As an unbeliever, we are led purely by our Old Sin Natures, (OSN), and had no relationship with God experientially; we had no life with God. We were excluded from that life. But now, because of Christ’s sacrifice, peace has been rendered between God and man, and now man can have a life or relationship with God through faith in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Thus, alienation has been replaced by peace initiated by God who, “came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near,” Eph 2:17. This peace means the believer has a life or relationship with God both positionally and experientially.
The warning here is that the believer can lose the experiential side of the equation, if he falls into reversionism with the result of MATAIOTIES, “black out of the soul.” Therefore, in reversionism, the believer has no life or experiential relationship with God, just as the unbeliever has no life or relationship with Him positionally or experientially. Because there is no Bible Doctrine in the soul of the reversionistic believer, they cannot have an experiential relationship with Him, because they do not know nor understand Him.
R.B. Thieme Jr. noted, “This means that all the time that you are a member of the Royal Family, all of the time that you have eternal life, all of the time that God is tapping His foot waiting to provide supergrace blessings, you have estranged yourself from the life of God provided for you on earth. The life of God is Bible doctrine. The life of God is everything worthwhile related to doctrine. The life of God is the ECS and the entrance into the supergrace life. The believer in reversionism is totally estranged from that.”
Col 1:21, “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds.”
A life alienated from God is reflected by living a life of sin rather than a life of holiness and righteousness through application of Bible doctrine in your soul. Therefore, the “estrangement from the life of God,” is the result of the OSN that leads the unbeliever in rebellion and alienation to God, as well as the believer. Even though Christ has made and brought peace, Eph 2:17, unbelievers have rejected that peace and remain estranged to Him positionally and experientially. Likewise, reversionistic believers live experientially this way, having no relationship or power in the spiritual life because they have no Bible doctrine in their soul, i.e., “Blackout of the Soul.”
Next, we have two further reasons or factors for having MATAIOTES, which are primary and secondary causes of reversionism that result in having no doctrine in the left lobe of the soul, “Blackout of the Soul,” making it impossible to experience the true spiritual life that only comes from God.
- The first reason for having MATAIOTES and a primary cause of reversionism is, “because of the ignorance that is in them.”
Here the primary cause is noted using the Causal Preposition DIA with the Accusative that means, “because of, on account of, or for the sake of, though, by, etc.” Then we have HO AGNOIA, ἄγνοια that means, “ignorance or lack of knowledge,” used also in Acts 3:17; 17:30; 1 Peter 1:14. It is the Greek negative Prefix “A” with a cognate of GNOSIS, “knowledge,” so it means without knowledge or being ignorant. Remember that ignorance can be due to a lack of knowing or understanding something, or a willful choice to reject or ignore something. In the latter sense, it is tantamount to disobedience. Here, it emphasizes a little of both. These unbelievers have willfully ignored the Gospel of Jesus Christ that results in a lack of knowledge and understanding of His Word, because they are unable to comprehend it. As a result, they live their lives under the control of the OSN, not knowing how to live righteously unto God.
By way of comparison to believers, the believer has come to know Christ and His Word, but is willfully rejecting its application. Because of their reversionism, Blackout of the Soul sets in and Bible Doctrine is no longer circulating through their souls, which leads to further and further disobedience to God and His Word. Therefore, “ignorance” is a condition apart from Christ and His Word, and it characterizes someone’s past life in sin and disobedience.
1 Peter 1:14, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance.”
This ignorance is HO EIMI EN AUTOS, translated “that is in them,” in the Customary Present Tense and Active Voice of EIMI that means this is habitually going on inside the soul of the unbeliever and reversionistic believer. They willfully have a lack of knowledge or understanding of God and His Word in the mentality of their soul and therefore, are unable to apply it to their lives resulting in disobedience to God and further reversionism.
- The second reason for having MATAIOTES and a secondary cause of reversionism is, “because of the hardness of their heart.”
Here we have the Causal Preposition DIA, “because of,” once again, which introduces the secondary cause of reversionism and the Blackout of the Soul, which at the same time is the result of reversionism and Blackout of the Soul. So, we see the negative cyclical effect of reversionism.
With it we have HO and the Noun POROSIS πώρωσις that means, “the callousness, dullness, stubbornness, or lack of feeling.” In classical Greek it was used to indicate both a literal and a metaphoric understanding related to the verb POROO, which means, “to cause a stone to form,” e.g., a kidney stone, or “to petrify, harden.” Metaphorically the verb means, “to harden (one’s senses), or to make callous.” As you may know, a callus is either hardened skin tissue or a mass of fibrous tissue, calcium, cartilage, and bone that forms progressively during the healing of a bone fracture that can be called, “scar tissue.”
POROSIS appears three times in the NT, and in each case a metaphoric sense of the word is present regarding the hardening of the heart or scar tissue on the soul, Mark 3:5; Rom 11:25; and our verse. Paul described the alienation from God of both Jews and Gentiles in terms of their “hardness,” i.e., their “stubbornness,” because they were unwilling to give up their ungodly ways or to acknowledge God’s Messiah; Jesus Christ.
From the verb POROO that means, “make hard, become stubborn, blind, or cover with a callus,” all are in view regarding the spiritual life in rejection of God and His Word. So we should translate this, “the callousness or scar tissue,” as this is where “callous” should be translated as it is in vs. 19 with a different Greek word, APALGEO, which we will note below.
With this, we have the Genitive of HO KARDIA AUTOS, “of their heart,” the place of the hardening. “Heart,” meaning the right lobe of the soul, is the place that gets calloused or hardened off, which means it is not cycling God’s Word through it and instead is cycling sin and cosmic viewpoint to the point of being adverse to Bible Doctrine.
When something is hard, as say an artery, it is hard for blood to circulate through it. The harder the artery becomes, the more likely blood flow will cease and cause death. Well, if the heart is hardened, Bible doctrine will not flow through the soul with the result of killing off the spiritual life of the believer experientially.
So combined, these two causes mean a state or condition of complete lack of understanding, dullness, insensibility, and obstinacy toward God and His Word so that it is no longer cycling through their soul, resulting in Blackout of the Soul and life that is disobedient to God.
These unbelievers and reversionistic believers are ignorant toward God and His Word because they had hardened their hearts against God. The hardening of their hearts led to a condition of callousness that made it impossible for them to experience the true spiritual life that comes only from God. Therefore, because of a lack of knowing God, “ignorance,” the first cause of reversionism, it leads to an intensified stage or secondary cause of reversionism, “hardness of the heart.”
This passage describes the flow, or better the lack of flow of God’s Word in the life of the unbeliever as an example of what the reversionistic believer also experiences. For the believer, the Word of God first comes into the mind or NOUS, (left lobe of the soul), as they learn it. This Word is then cycled to the heart or KARDIA, (right lobe of the soul), where it is stored and applied towards God and man. Yet, when MATAIOTES sets in, due to living inside of Satan’s cosmic system, as a result of being led by your OSN, it first negatively effects the left lobe of your soul, (mind-NOUS), as you stop taking in, (learning about), God and His Word. This causes “darkness in the mind” that means there is no Bible doctrine coming into the left lobe and being passed along to the right lobe of your soul, (heart-KARDIA). When no doctrine is coming into the heart, other things like sin and worldly satanic viewpoint come in and replace any previous doctrine that was in the heart. This in turn develops callouses on the heart called “hardness of the heart” or “Scar tissue on the soul,” which means it becomes more and more difficult for God’s Word to enter the heart and be applied from the heart of your soul. It means that God’s Word is choked out of our soul. As a result, further “Blackout” of the left lobe of the soul occurs resulting in further “Scar Tissue” on the right lobe of the soul. This is the negative downward spiral of reversionism that leads a believer further and further away from experiencing life here on earth with God, thereby not achieving or experiencing spiritual adulthood and the supergrace life described in Eph 3:13-16.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!