Page 7 - May 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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his afternoon I was meditating on   gifts,” but in Ephesians 4, it is “given gifts,”
              the assembly Bible reading in Ephe-  and there is a difference.
        Tsians 4. It saddens me that I have to   The phrase “captivity captive” is found
        miss these meetings, but I am encouraged   three times in our Bible, and Judges 5:1
        to hear that others are coming, wanting   explains the meaning. Israel had sinned
        to learn, and enjoying the Scriptures. As a   and was oppressed by the Canaanites
        young believer, I learned it was an aspect   under Sisera. The Israelites under Barak,
        of fellowship and I was responsible to be at   and inspired by Deborah, defeated the
        the prayer meeting and Bible study. Some   oppressor. The ones who were captors
        are unable to be there because of distance   ended up being captives.  David sees this
        or sickness, which is understandable and   as the Lord in the Ark defeating Israel’s
        the Lord knows.                      enemies so they could enjoy peace in the
          Since  I  am  missing  the  meetings  as   Promised Land. The gifts were spoils taken
        well, I am passing on some thoughts on   from the enemy and shared with the Lord’s
        the section. “Wherefore he saith when He   people. “He shall divide the spoil with the
        ascended up on high, He led captivity cap-  strong” (Isa 53:12, KJV) refers to the Mil-
        tive and gave gifts unto men.” The apostle   lennial day when the Lord Jesus lets His
        is  quoting  Psalm  68  and  three  things   own share in His kingdom.
        should be noted: He ascended, He led, and   This passage could hardly refer to Abra-
        He gave. The context is plain – this refers   ham’s bosom, for those who were there
        to the ascended Christ.              were not put in another place of captivity.
          Through the years, I have learned to   However, think of what our Lord did in
        watch carefully when OT verses are quoted   His ascending “far above all principalities
        in the NT, for the Holy Spirit often makes   and powers.” He defeated death at the
        little changes which thrill my soul with   cross, “That through death He might de-
        their meaning. Psalm 68 is generally ac-  stroy him that had the power of death, that
        cepted as the time when David brought   is the devil; and deliver them who through
        the Ark of the Tabernacle (a picture of   fear of death were all their lifetime subject
        Christ) up to Jerusalem. It traces the Ark   to bondage” (Heb 2:14, KJV).
        from Sinai to Zion; from the wilderness to   So we can sing, “O death, where is
        the kingdom.                         thy sting, O grave, where is thy victo-
          In this span of time, God’s people had   ry?” (1Cor 15:55, KJV). Again, we can rejoice
        come through their long journey, enemies   in the words of the Lord Jesus. “I am he
        had been defeated, and the land of Canaan   that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am
        was theirs. Do you see how this fits with   alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell
        the Ephesian letter: “Blessed with all spiri-  and of death” (Rev 1:18, KJV). We have the
        tual blessings in heavenly places in Christ   Lord Jesus ascended, not to Mt. Zion, but
        Jesus?” However, in Psalm 68 it is God   “far above all principalities and powers.”
        Who is spoken to. “Thou hast ascended,   The Lord Jesus led, not earthly kings and
        Thou hast led, and Thou hast received gifts   enemies, but death and Satan, defeated by
        for men.” The Spirit now changes this to   Him and one day to be destroyed. The Lord
        apply to the Lord Jesus, and so we see an   Jesus gave gifts, not the spoils of earth, but
        OT passage teaching us about Christ. Note   the gifts of the Holy Spirit, for the blessing
        the difference. In Psalm 68, it is “received   of His Heavenly people, the Church.

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