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removed from "ifs" and "buts". The word "partakers" in Eph. 3: 6 is specifically
related to "His promise in Christ by the gospel, whereof I (Paul) was made a minister",
whereas the partaking of Heb. 3: is placed in a context that takes us back to the
wilderness experiences of Israel, where it is definitely recorded that God was grieved
with most of those who wandered the forty years in the wilderness. It is in this
connection that the word "partaker" applies as we can see by the contingent statement,
"For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast
unto the end" (Heb. 3: 14). Is that "Ephesian truth"?
Again, this same people are reminded that this failure to "go on unto perfection",
typified in the wilderness, is a truth for them to consider; the words are:
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tested of the
heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good
word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them
again unto repentance" (Heb. 6: 4-6).
Is that "Ephesian truth"?
It is abundantly evident that the mere occurrence of similar words in any two epistles
does not necessarily make those two epistles teach the same calling, hope, or sphere of
blessing. Let us therefore leave this very unsatisfactory method of arriving at truth, and
let us compare the two epistles to discover where they are at one and where they diverge.
The epistle to the Hebrews opens with a reference to "The fathers" to whom God had
spoken by the prophets (Heb. 1: 1). These selfsame "fathers' "tempted" God in the
wilderness (Heb. 3: 9). Is this "Ephesian truth"? It must not be objected that only
selected portions of Hebrews are "Ephesian truth"; the whole comprises all its parts. We
read of these "fathers" in Rom. 9: 5 where they are exclusive to "Israel according to the
flesh". No such reference is found in Ephesians; there "the fathers" are entirely out of
In Heb. 1: there is great insistence upon "angels". Do angels figure in Ephesian
truth? They are found in I Corinthians and in II Thessalonians, where they are in entire
harmony with the dispensational place of these epistles, but they are never mentioned in
Ephesians. There, we read of "principalities and powers" being beneath the feet of
Christ, but Peter, who was a minister of the circumcision, includes "angels" when he
speaks of "principalities and powers" being beneath the Lord's feet. This links Hebrews
with the circumcision, but severs it from Ephesians. Angels are intimately associated
with Israel, their hope, and their calling, consequently they have a prominent place in
Hebrews. They are closely connected with the inheritance of this epistle, where,
associated with the heavenly Jerusalem, we have an "innumerable company of angels"
(Heb. 12: 22). Clearly this is not Ephesian truth.
Again, when the Apostle would stress the fact that the Saviour became man, he said,
"For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of
Abraham" (Heb. 2: 16). Inasmuch as Abraham is never mentioned in Ephesians, and that