Ephesians 6

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

We have reached the fifth stage of the matrix in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, which is the sixth cycle (as discussed in part 5, stage 3 — Ascension — is often split into two parts, altar and sacrifice).

So this fifth section is the “Deuteronomy” of the epistle. It is a New Covenant version of Moses giving his final words to the children of Israel before the conquest of the Land. Likewise, Paul himself, and all the other apostles (except perhaps for John, the final word) would be gone before the rulers of the Land (Revelation’s “kings of the earth”) would be wiped off the face of it forever.

As in all previous cycles, there are some real literary wonders here, which is especially satisfying to see when the passages themselves (unparsed) are so familiar. It’s like seeing old friends in a new way: the letter resurrected and alive and walking around.


Let no one (False Transcendence)
deceive you (False Hierarchy)
with empty words, (False Law given)
for [on account] (False Law opened)
of these things (Law not received)
the wrath of God comes upon (Oath/Sanctions)
the sons of disobedience. (Succession)

This is the “Initiation” stanza of this section, and so is a microcosm of the entire fifth stage. In the Tabernacle pattern, the first step is the Ark of the Covenant, so, contrary to many modern expositors who overemphasize the threat of Greek philosophy and the Roman cultus, this is a warning against Judaizers, who were the only dreal bane of the Firstfruits Church until Nero torched Rome. This stanza is thus a warning against listening to the counterfeit “Ark” of a Judaism which had rejected Pentecost and become demonic. The wrath of God was coming upon the disobedient sons, who would be disinherited, hence they are mentioned in the “Succession” line of the stanza.

Of course, the sin of these Jews is common in our society today. We have rejected God’s laws and replaced them with our own. These false laws are already being used to persecute Christians. As it was during the first century, and also during the Reformation, when these lawless begin slaughtering the true sons of God, God steps in and disempowers them, and his saints are vindicated.


Therefore do not become (T – Divine Imperative)
[joint-partakers] with them; (H – Divine Council)
for at one time you were darkness, (E – Divine Legislation)
but now you are light (O – Divine Blessing)
in the Lord. (S – Divine Household)

The structure of the Ten Commandments is apparent here. (Between AD30 and AD70, the Land and Womb of Israel became irrelevant. Abraham received a heavenly country and Israel became a nation of spiritual sons and daughters by the Spirit of Christ.) I have bolded and underlined where the “yoking” comes in. It is the people’s “bridal” response to God. [1]

Adam (Priest)  /   Eve (People)

Word from God   /   Word to God

Land (Sabbath)   /   Womb (Parents)

Knife (Murder)   /   Fire   (Adultery)

False Blessings (Theft)   /   False Curses (Witness)

Coveting House   /   Coveting Contents

Taking God’s name in vain meant “yoking” oneself to Him with an oath but not following through. At a “Division” step in Numbers, I noticed “yoking” used concerning Israel and false gods. The Ephesians are being warned against being yoked with darkness. In the book of Revelation, the Division step is the seven lamps of the Asian churches. I know some readers struggle a bit with this sort of analysis, but I hope you are able to appreciate the complexity and beauty of this “literature of the Spirit” to some degree at least.


[As children of light (Initiation)
walk,] (Delegation)
for the fruit of the light (Presentation/Firstfruits)
is in all goodness (Father)
and righteousness (Son)
and truth (Spirit)
Discerning (Transformation/Maturity)
what is pleasing (Vindication/Sanctions)
to the Lord. (Representation)

The Greek word order is important here. “Walk” is the “Delegation” line of the stanza. Ascension is the “Firstfruits” stanza, hence the reference to children. And the Firstfruits line in this stanza also refers to fruit, which is “opened” in its Triune beauty at Pentecost. The matrix strand that seems to shine here, aptly, is the sacrificial one. Notice the word “pleasing” at Sanctions, the step where God smells a sweet savor, and says “these are my beloved sons.” Interestingly, as God discerns our hearts, so we are also to discern by the Spirit what is pleasing to His.

The rest of this “Deuteronomy” stage took me hours to figure out because it is complex, but once “opened” it is a kaleidoscope of Covenant-shaped wonder.

The Ethics stanza is “opened” into its own Pentecostal speech of fivefold stanzas, and it is fitting that its “Oath/Blessing” resurrection stanza is the one that gets fully opened into the sevenfold “Creation.” It is this Testing cycle that is represented in the “fractal” graphic at top, to help you get a handle on what is going on.


Transcendence – Ark/Law
[Do not (T)
have fellowship (H)
with the works unfruitful (E)
of darkness, (O)
but instead expose (S)
Hierarchy – Torn Veil
[the things indeed (T)
in secret (H)
being done by them (E)
of which shameful (O)
it is even to speak] (S)
Ethics – Light of the Lamb
Everything (T)
exposed (H)
by the light, (E)
is made visible (O)
everything indeed. (S)
Oath/Sanctions – Open Veil
Therefore it says, (Day 1 – Ark)
“Awake, O sleeper, (Day 2 – Veil)
and arise (Day 3 – Bronze Altar)
from the dead, (Day 4 – Lampstand- Spirit)
[and will shine (Day 3 – Golden Altar)
upon you (Day 6 – The Man)
Christ.”] (Day 7 – Rest)
Look carefully then (T)
how you walk, (H)
not as unwise but as wise, (E)
making the best use of the time, (O)
because the days are evil. (S)

Notice how the torn veil is a curse to those who were hiding behind the Law of Moses, and yet for the believer the torn veil is the blessing of an open veil.  For the unbeliever, the face of God means exposure and death, the fulfillment of Circumcision. For the believer, the face of God means revelation and life, the fulfillment of Baptism: “these are my beloved sons.” [2]


The Maturity step fittingly contains wisdom and music. That’s how we know it’s the Maturity step. This is the Law for the resurrection Body.

Therefore do not be foolish, (Ark)
but understand what is the will of the Lord. (Veil)
And do not get drunk with wine, (Altar)
for that is debauchery, (Table)
but be filled with the Spirit, (Transcendence – God)
addressing [each other] (Hierarchy – Priests)
in psalms (Ethics – Kings)
and hymns (Sanctions – Prophets)
and spiritual songs, (Succession – The Nations)
singing and making melody (Incense Altar)
[in your heart to the Lord], (Mediators)
giving thanks always
and for everything
to God the Father
in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
submitting to one another
out of reverence (fear)
for Christ.

The Veil is removed as we confess our sins. The wine is a worldly substitute for wise drinking of the blood of Christ on the Altar, an abuse of the Table of self-examination. Israel’s priests could not drink the wine of God, yet we can. We are kings but we are still Priest-Kings. The Lampstand/Ethics is expanded into a fivefold Covenant scroll; the Shekinah/Succession/Glorification is expanded into a sevenfold Creation resulting from the opening of that “little book” in our worship.

Other than that, words actually fail me here. This is so beautiful.


Conquest corresponds to the Covenant vows, and to Adam and Eve on Day 6, so that’s why Paul puts these exhortations here.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife
even as Christ is the head of the church,
[He being the Savior of the body].
Now as the church [is subjected] to Christ,
so also wives should submit [to their husbands
in everything.]

Notice the symmetry: Husband | Wife | Church | Savior | Church | Wives | Husbands, yet is moves from a singular husband and wife to a plurality, the Church being a multiplied Body of Christ’s faithfulness in the Garden.

Husbands, love your wives, (Creation/Initiation)
as Christ loved the church (Division/Delegation)
and gave himself up for her, (Ascension/Presentation)
that he might sanctify her, (Testing/Purification)
having cleansed her (Maturity/Transformation)
by the washing of water (Conquest/Vindication)
with the word, (Glorification/Representation)

The matrix really shines here, don’t you think? Marriage is presented as a sacrifice to God. Notice Christ’s love at the “Passover” step, and the washing of water at the “Pass-through” or “baptism” step.

so that he might present
[it to himself glorious,
the church not having
spot or wrinkle
or any such thing,
that she might be holy
and without blemish.

Although these two previous stanzas each follow the pattern, they actually follow the pattern when combined as a forming and a filling, a head and a body, with the word at the centre as the “Ethics” and the presentation of the Bride at Trumpets. If you don’t get that, don’t worry. There’s another example coming up which is easier to see. This mystery of which Paul speaks is an unlocking of the sacrificial rite, the head and the body being presented to God separately, both by fire, but only the body requiring washing (baptism). With both transformed into sweet smoke, the body is reunited with the head in the heavenly realms, the sons of God approaching the throne of Christ “in clouds” in Daniel 7.

In the same way husbands
should love their wives
as their own bodies.
He who loves
[the of himself
For no one ever hated his own flesh,
but nourishes and cherishes it,
just as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.

We are now at the Sanctions step of the Sanctions stage in this section, so it is “vow upon vow.” Here, the husband’s body is on the Altar. As it is “cut open” as Adam, Eve comes out of the “scroll” as a wonderful “there-and-back-again,” with Adam as her Alpha and Omega. Just as the Father sends the Spirit to the Son, who replies in righteousness, so the Son sends the Spirit in love, who gathers the Bride and presents her to Him as a perfectly complementary body. The “hating” appears at Testing, which is where Adam failed, and supports the position that Adam was right there watching when Eve was being seduced.

“Therefore a man (Genesis)
shall leave (Exodus)
his father and mother (Leviticus)
and hold fast (Numbers)
to his wife, (Deuteronomy)
and the two (Joshua)
shall become one flesh.” (Judges)

You can see the Ten Commandments here once again, very subtly. The promise of Land comes in Genesis and is postponed in Numbers. Deuteronomy is the Bridal Body, a new Israel, at Joshua we have blessing and cursing, Adam and Eve on Day 6 before God in the High Priest, the captain of Salvation (and we will cover his clothing in the next post). One flesh refers to the union of Jew and Gentile at Booths, of heaven and earth in the Shekinah, where Adam and Eve are joint-heirs, representing the glory of God. As Doug Wilson wonderfully puts it, “marriage as manifest glory.”

This mystery is profound,
and I am saying that it refers
to Christ and the church. (Bridegroom as Head)
However, let each one of you (Ethics)
love his wife as himself, (Bridal Body)
and let the wife see
that she respects her husband.

This one is more subtle, but again we have a head and body, which also work as a single structure:

“Therefore a man
shall leave his father and mother
and hold fast to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.”
This mystery is profound,
and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself,
and let the wife see that she respects her husband.


This is the Succession step, so Paul moves to Israel and the nations, the womb and the Land of the New Covenant. Here is it children and slaves and masters, but it is intriguing in that it puts the slaves in centre, so it is a subtle retelling of the Abrahamic Covenant and its fulfillment under Moses and Joshua, a “there and back again” from Canaan to Egypt to Canaan:

Transcendence (Abraham & Isaac)
obey your parents in the Lord,
for this is right.
“Honor your father and mother”
(this is the first commandment with a promise),
“that it may go well with you
and that you may live long in the land.”

Notice the blessing upon Joshua at Conquest/Sanctions, and “live long” at Succession in this stanza.

Hierarchy (Jacob & Joseph)
Fathers, (Sabbath)
do not provoke (Passover)
your children (Firstfruits)
to anger, (Original Pentecost)
but bring them up (Trumpets)
in the discipline and [admonition] (Atonement)
of the Lord. (Booths)

Child rearing is to be festal. Enough said.

Ethics (Moses & Aaron)
obey your [fleshly] masters with fear and trembling,
with a sincere heart,
as you would Christ,
not by the way of eye-service,
as people-pleasers,
but as servants of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart,

Notice “eye-service” as the seven eyes of the Lampstand. It means attempting to fulfill the Law without the Spirit dwelling within us as internal government.

Sanctions (Joshua & Caleb)
rendering service with a good will (T)
as to the Lord and not to man, (H)
knowing that whatever good anyone does, (E)
this he will receive back from the Lord, (O)
whether he is a slave or free. (S)

Slave or free is multi-faceted here. It refers to the fact that all Christians, regardless of station in society, have the same inheritance in Christ. But at the “Booths” step, it also points back to the types of Jew and Gentile which were now redundant, Jews being “bound” sacrifices like Isaac that the Gentiles might eventually be free from the curse. (See the chapter “Binding and Loosing” in God’s Kitchen.)

Succession (Israel & the Nations)
do the same to them,
[giving up the] threatening, (Bronze Altar – Moriah)
knowing that [also of them and also of you (Isaac bound:Firstfruits)
the Master (Holy Fire – Sinai)
is in the heavens], (Incense Altar – Zion)
and that there is no partiality (Temple Mount transfigured)
with him. (The nations loosed)

Again, the Greek “giving up” is a deliberate reference to Ascension in this stanza. Everything is sacrificial.

[1] For the reasons why I present the Ten Words in this fashion, see Bible Matrix II.
[2] See A King Among Sons.

Share Button

Comments are closed.