The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 151 of 167
Index | Zoom
I think you will see that you must not only collect scripture references, but you must
seek their meaning. Use the concordance by all means, but use it with understanding.
None of the passage you have quoted make the slightest difference to the teaching of
Ephesians, for not one passage outside the five occurrences in Ephesians uses the word in
the sense of locality, and as that was our contention you have spent your effort in beating
the air.
A.--Will you explain Heb. 9: 23, 24?
Why is first ouranoi, then epourania, then
ouranos used?*
B.--"Things in the heavens", Ta . . . . . en tois ouranois, is but another way of expressing
"heavenly things", ta epourania. Heaven, ouranos, must be viewed as comprehending
the whole. It is used of the over-arching expanse above the earth, even the atmosphere in
which the "birds of heaven" fly, and the "heaven of heavens" which is the dwelling place
of God. The same may be said of epouranios. In the one epistle to the Ephesians it
denotes that position which is "far above all principality" (1: 21), and the abode of two
classes of principalities, the good and the bad (3: 10, 6: 12). This word too, you will
see, has a wide scope. Think of these expressions as you do the word church. There are
many different called-out companies that are composed under the generic word church.
Or again, think of the word kingdom. There are many kingdoms. You will think of
other examples. Ouranos embraces the whole from the atmosphere in which birds can
fly to the position where Archangels and Principalities cannot enter. Within this all-
inclusive sphere are the epourania, and they too comprise spheres and positions that
range from the highest pinnacle of exaltation to the gifts of the Spirit abused by men on
earth. Did we but know all that there is to know about all these things, we should
doubtless realize the more the fitness of the expressions in Heb. 9: 23, 24. As it is,
however, the interchange of words does not alter in the slightest the teaching already
given concerning the glorious calling of the church of the one body.
[NOTE: * - Will C.J.P. (Scheveningen, Holland), take this as an answer to one of his
questions? Questions from other correspondents will be put into the mouth of "A" when
they are suitable to this series. An * with initials will be used on such occasions.]
The day of the Lord, and the day of God.
pp. 84, 85