Publication Date: 1984
Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.
He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International and served as assistant to the president.
OK. Colossians chapter three, verse 18.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands [not to your neighbours' husbands], as it is fit in the Lord.
First of all, these verses, from verse 18 down through chapter four verse one, are really a practical explanation of verse 17. Where it said:
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus [Christ], giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Whatever we do in word or deed, we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. There's one lord. One head of the Body and that's Jesus Christ. And we give thanks to Jesus Christ. NO. Give thanks to whom? God, the Father through him, through Jesus Christ. Now, to do everything in word and deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, ye wives submit, or be in subjection to your own husband. Now, just like we had in Ephesians...if you've listened to that section of Ephesians, it's a tremendous section that shows that this husband/wife relationship, as well as the children, the servants, the masters all lines up with the greatness of the one Body, the Church. See the husband and wife relationship, it says in chapter five, is a great mystery, but I speak concerning what? Christ and the Church. That's the greatest Mystery. The greatest of all. But there is a comparison, an analogy between the two. The husband and wife relationship draws a beautiful comparison for the Church, the one Body with Christ as the head. And ye wives, it says, you are to be in subjection to your own husbands as it is fit "in the Lord". The word "Lord" is "Christ" in Aramaic, because he is the head of that Body. And even if you left it as lord, it would still be, the Lord Jesus Christ, because that's where we left off in verse 17.
And we called this section, "Laboring for the practice of the Mystery". Now that word "fit", means "right or necessary", that which is fitting or becoming, your duty so to speak. It's the opposite of a word that's used in Ephesians 5:4, where you have the same word, with a prefix on it that makes it mean the opposite. In Ephesians 5:4, where it says:
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient [not proper, not right, not necessary]....
Those things are not your duty. They're the opposite of it. They're things which are not right, unnecessary and so on. So the wife is to be in subjection to the husband as it is right and proper, necessary, in the lord, in Christ. With Christ as the head. So the husband is the head of the woman. And it's a necessary and proper relationship for that wife to be in subjection to him. It doesn't mean he lords it over her. Otherwise it would say, it's an absolute requirement, no questions asked. That's not the word that's used here. It's proper and necessary because in a body, you've got to have one head. In a relationship, one has to be the head in that relationship and then the other, or others, depending upon the type of relationship, have to be in subjection. That means that one person makes that final decision if there is some disagreement over something. Now, verse 19 says:
Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
It's the husband's responsibility to initiate the love. I think of I John chapter four where it has that great section on love in I John 4.
I John 4:19:
We love him, because he first loved us.
You've been loved therefore you're able to love. God so loved that He gave. He loved you, now you in turn are to love God, love your neighbor, as yourself. But you're able to love because he first loved. Wives are able to love, husbands, as you love them. They're able to reciprocate, they're able to be in subjection, but it's up to you as the husband, the head, to initiate that love relationship. So husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. That word "bitter" intrigued me, because I know that...or at least what I remember from science class, there are four tastes. Am I right on that? Are there still four? The body hasn't changed. [Laughter] And all four of those are used biblically to represent different aspects of life. For example, salt is probably the most common, the one that you're most well acquainted with. It represents truth in all of its goodness. The covenant of salt symbolizes the telling of truth. When you take the covenant of salt, it means your words are true. You've said what you've meant and you mean what you say. In Numbers chapter 18.
All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee.
Remember, in the Eastern culture whenever two people agreed on something, then they would sit down and eat together, food that had salt in it or you might drink something that had salt in it. Normally they'd eat together and that salt in the food that they shared meant that whatever they had agreed upon, their words were true. They meant what they said, and said what they meant. It was tighter than any contract is in the Western world; there weren't any loopholes in the covenant of salt. That's what the covenant of salt was. It was the symbol of telling the truth. In Ezekiel chapter 16. Some great scriptures that Bishop Pillai elucidated for us and Bo Reheard has followed up in putting a lot of this together. And one thing we've talked about is trying to synthesize all of Bishop's material, so we've got it like you've got some of it in some of those little booklets; be able to put all that together so we have his knowledge in a source.
And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut [it never got separated from his mother], neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
And there is the custom of the birth of a prince. When a prince was born in the East, they would naturally wash him and they'd wash him with water that had a little bit of salt in it which meant that that prince, when he'd grow up to be king, would always tell the truth. He would say what he would mean and mean what he would say. His words were salted. But you weren't salted, he says to Israel, nor swaddled. When that prince was born, after they had salted him they would wrap narrow strips of cloth, two...three inches wide around him from his head to his toes, leaving space for him to breathe of course, but otherwise his whole body would be wrapped. And that meant he would be upright in his judgments as the king. Jesus Christ when he was born, they found him wrapped in what? Swaddling clothes. It doesn't mean he was poor. It meant he was destined to be a king. He would be upright as a king. He was salted and swaddled. But God's telling Israel at this point, "you weren't salted or swaddled at all. At least, you don't act like it."
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt....
There's that custom. If your speech is seasoned with salt that means you're going to say what you mean and mean what you say. You're going to tell the truth when you speak. You're not going to speak things that you can slip dishonest statements in or loopholes, but you're speaking the truth; say what you mean and mean what you say. Now, that's the significance of salt.
Then sour. Look at Jeremiah chapter 31. The taste of sour represents evil and sin with all of its consequences. Remember salt represented truth in all of its goodness. So if it's sour, it represents sin, evil and sin, with all of the consequences of that evil and sin. The sour grape is mentioned here in the Old Testament.
Jeremiah 31:29, 30:
In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
The sour grape was the early grape. If you don't believe it, look at Isaiah 18:5 sometime. It says so. The earlier grapes were the sour grapes. The longer you let them on the vine, the sweeter they get, the sweeter the wine that's produced from them. I know this is true of German wine. The later the grape harvest...I assume it's true of every place, but I know it's true of German wine, that the later the grape harvest, the sweeter the wine. And if you let them on until after the frost or till after they shrivel up, then they're real sweet. So the sour grape is the early grape. And that grape sets the teeth on edge and causes suffering. That's the symbolism of it, of sour. But you don't blame it on your fathers, verse 29 says. But in verse 30, everyone shall die for his father's iniquity? No, for his own. Every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth are set on edge. So, sourness represents the evil and sin with its consequences. You're going to suffer the consequences for your own iniquity. Now, sweetness represents that which is full of joy, that which is lovely and agreeable and acceptable. Salty represented the truth, sour represented evil and sin with all of its consequences. Now, sweet represents that which is full of joy, lovely, agreeable and acceptable. Those effervescing emotions and so on. Bitterness represents the gamut of unhappy, distasteful and disagreeable emotions, including sorrow, grief, sharpness, harshness, hatred and resentment. See how they're set against each other. A sweetness is joy, full of joy, lovely, aggreeable, acceptable. Harshness on the other hand are the disagreeable emotions, distasteful and unhappy ones, like sorrow, grief, sharpness, harshness, hatred and resentment. And depending upon the context, it tells you more specifically which ones it's representing generally.
The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
Now what's a honeycomb? Sweet. If you're full, something sweet would be nice, but if you're hungry even something bitter would taste sweet. Just so it's food. You understand that, don't you? [laughter]
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart [it's rejoicing to the heart]: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
Bitterness on the other hand would be just the opposite. Now look at chapter five of Proverbs.
For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
Very sweet, when you meet that strange woman and her lips are so sweet and her mouth, her mouth is smoother than oil.
But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.
See how they're set opposites? Sweet, very sweet to the taste, but the end is very bitter. James chapter three. I'll just show you a couple of them, but you can look up these words and trace them through and just see how they fit. It'd be a great word study, all four of these.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
See, it's bitter envying. It's those untasteful or distasteful, unhappy and disagreeable emotions; envy, strife. That's what bitterness represents, but sweetness is that which is full of joy and acceptable and agreeable. Now back to Colossians. What does all that have to do with what we're talking about here? Well:
Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
Now it's not talking about sin, or truth. Salt represents truth. Sourness represents the opposite which would be sin, evil and its consequences. But it's the opposite of sweetness. Sweetness is that which is agreeable, full of joy. Bitterness is hatred, sorrow, grief, harshness, resentment, all those things. To be bitter against your wife would be to be hard on her, harsh, severe, resentful, hateful, full of grief, constantly sorrowing.
And women just don't respond to that, in a positive way. But sweetness, that which is full of joy, gentlemen, they respond to that. To love your wife then, is to be sweet on her. Do that which is full of joy, lovely and agreeable. And sometimes one stroke of bitterness takes ten years of sweetness to repair. Understand? But you wives, then in turn, will submit when the men are sweet. And I think that I'm right on that. I've never been a woman. But submit yourselves to your husband as it is proper and necessary. Proper and necessary. Where there's a proper and necessary arrangement, in the Body. But it's up to the husband to love his wife and not to be bitter, but to be sweet. See it? But if the wife on the other hand does what Ephesians says, which is the opposite... Suppose the husband does his best to be sweet. Then in Ephesians 5:4 that verse said that filthiness, foolish talking nor jesting are not convenient, they're not fitting, they're not proper, they're not the necessary things, in the Body. And if you remember from last week, I think it was, I shared this verse with you and the literal according to usage that Dr. Wierwille gave us that has to do with making God look foolish, speaking words against Him, bad mouthing Him. And if wives badmouth their husbands or make their husbands look foolish, then you're not submitting. It's not a proper and necessary arrangement. Now I think this is real beautiful, because we are talking about the husband and wife relationship. But it's being compared again to the Mystery, just like in Ephesians where Christ is the head of the Body. Christ loved the Church. Was he sweet on the Church? Sure, he was sweet, he was not bitter. He doesn't treat the Church harsh, he doesn't put the fear in it, he doesn't treat it with hate or scorn, but he's sweet. He does those things which are agreeable in the Church. Now the Church in turn, the members in the Body, shouldn't do those things that make Christ look foolish, shouldn't do those things that badmouth him, that make him look silly. So it is with the husband and wife relationship.
Leaders are to be sweet with your people, not bitter, not those things that I've shared with you that bitterness represents. But be sweet with your people. If you're a Twig Coordinator, Branch Coordinator, Limb Coordinator, whatever your responsibility, be sweet with your people. You're the head in that relationship. Then the people in your fellowship, they shouldn't make you look foolish with foolish talking and jesting. See how the relationship works? Beautiful analogy! And husbands, be sweet on your wives. And wives don't make your husbands look foolish. So we translated 18 and 19.
Colossians 3:18, 19: (Literal)
Wives, subject yourselves to your husbands as this is right and necessary in Christ. Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them.
And that's the way we translated it literally according to usage. Although, to really understand that "right and necessary" and to understand the word "bitter", you've got to work those words in light of the other places they're used and the related ideas.
Children [another analogy], obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Now "all things" as to be "all" with distinction. Because if your parents told you to do something that was contrary to the Word, like go steal, go kill, then that would be an exception. For this is well-pleasing to the lord. Who is the lord? Who is the head of the Body? What are we talking about in Colossians? Christ is the head. See it? That's well-pleasing to the lord, the head, Christ.
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
"Fathers", in Aramaic it's "parents", just like it is in Ephesians 6:4. And that's the way it was translated in the literal according to usage in Ephesians 6:4. "Parents". Because, we're talking about children and parents. Parents, provoke not your children, lest they be discouraged. Because in the parent/child relationship it's not just the father, it's both parents that represent the head, the children represent the body. And parents, it says, provoke not. The word "provoke" is to provoke to anger, to the point of giving up. It's the word that's used in Ephesians 6:4. Although some Greek manuscripts use another Greek word that means to arouse or stir up to action. And that word is only used in II Corinthians 9:2. Let me look at it here.
II Corinthians 9:2b:
...your zeal hath provoked very many.
It's used in a good sense there, where your zeal inspired a lot of people, got them going. That's why I don't think that's the proper word here. I think parorgizō, the one that's used in Ephesians 6:4, to provoke to anger to the point of giving up. The negative word is the one that belongs here and it is in a number of manuscripts. So don't push your kids, your children, to the point of giving up, parents. "Lest they be discouraged", grieved, disheartened. Again parents are the head, children the body. It's the one Body in practice. As members in the Body, you obey the head. Who is the head of the body? Christ. Or in the Body, obey those heads in the Body. But not some other heads, that's outside the Body. And the parents are not to provoke. Does Christ provoke the Church, to the point of giving up? I don't read anything in the gospels like that. And all he's done since is sit on the right hand of God and stir it up on an occasion. See? He's loved, blessed and so on. Don't you as leaders provoke your people or as parents don't provoke your children to the point of giving up, lest they be disheartened, lose heart. And sometimes that's what kills people on the field, where you get too hardhearted, where you provoke them. You think, well I took it, I was in the Corps. So now you go out and you try to provoke somebody because you felt you were provoked. Well you weren't provoked beyond the point of giving up, I hope. So don't do it to somebody else. Whenever you reprove somebody, you've got to turn around and love them. And the sooner the better. I can describe situations in my own life where I was reproved and on numbers of occasions, many many times, thousand of times... [Laughter] And I'd say generally speaking within a day, the same person that reproved me, whether that was Dr. Wierwille or Harry or Ermal or anyone else. They'd be there to put their arms around me, to love me and show me and not to just keep pushing me. One time I can remember when I didn't have that love right away and didn't have the reassurance, and I held those things in my heart for a long time. But that's why I know that as a leader I can't afford to let things go on. Maybe I'm guilty of it,
but I sure have not done it intentionally. And we've got to be conscious of what we do. When you reprove somebody what do you do? You turn around and in a reasonably short period of time and put your arms around them, tell them how important they are. Provoke not, lest they be discouraged. And I know how important that is to children too. Well, we translated those verses:
Colossians 3:20, 21: (Literal)
Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the lord. Parents, do not exasperate your children, lest they become disheartened and frustrated.
I think that says it pretty well.
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.
"Servants" in the Eastern culture, were a part of the household. They're a part of the family. They were not people on the outside, but they were a part of the household in the Eastern culture. You have husband/wife, children, and servants; all a part of your household. And the children, it said in Galatians...we read that at one time, don't differ from a servant. They're all a part of the household until they grow up.
And so it is in the one Body. And it makes a beautiful illustration again. Children obey, servants do what? Obey. In all things, again with distinction, your kurioi, your lords. Your "masters" is "lords". According to the flesh. Not talking about your spiritual lord here, but those masters in the senses world. If you're a servant, if you're employed by The Way International, you have a boss, he's your lord. If you're employed by a business, you have a master, he's your lord. See? Not with eyeservice as menpleasers. In other words, not just working and putting your whole heart and soul into it when somebody is watching you, so you make a good impression and get the favor of somebody. "But in singleness of heart", fearing the lord. The word "God" is "lord" in Aramaic and most of the critical Greek texts. And I think it should be lord there, because verse 23 and 24 continue:
Colossians 3:23, 24:
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to [whom?] the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve [therefore you serve whom?] the Lord Christ.
Christ is the lord, the head of the Body. And it fits again with this whole context of Colossians. Isn't that beautiful. Now, "singleness of heart". Look at Matthew six. I think there's a lot of tremendous principles in this section if you take the notes from tonight and really work it, and maybe even make a list of all the things that just make good horse sense when you're out on the field being a leader or working with people, working to build the one Body.
The light of the body is the eye [spiritual understanding]: if therefore thine eye [spiritual understanding] be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters:...
See, that's double-mindedness. You can only serve one, be single-minded.
...for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [riches].
Back to Colossians. To be single-hearted is to have a simplicity of heart and a singleness of heart. In other words to do it wholeheartedly, not double-minded, in all your ways. But with a singleness of mind, fearing the lord. To fear the lord of course, is to have respect or reverence for the lord. In Psalms 123:
Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
What do I do? I lift up my eyes to whom? To God in the heavens. I don't keep one eye up there and one eye on the earth. I'm not double-minded. I keep my eyes on whom? God. Set your thoughts on where? Things above, not on things on the earth. Christ is the head.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
In the Eastern culture, the servant would stand at rapt attention, like you see them do at the head table, and never take their eyes off the master. And when the master would make a hand signal or an eye signal, the servant knew exactly what to do and he would run to the task. That's the reverence, his watching with reverence, respect, waiting for that signal. The eyes of the servants look to the hand of their masters and the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress. So our our eyes wait upon whom? The Lord our God. Until that he have mercy upon us. Where do we keep our eyes? On God, waiting for His signals. And how does he give you signals? Revelation. Sure. But how can he give you revelation if you don't have your eyes open? You've got to have your eyes stayed on whom? God. Just like the servant. I thought about this again in relation to working on Sunday night. I know when Dr. Wierwille would always lead the meeting and I would be there leading the songs... I know you walk by revelation, but God is not going to give me revelation that contradicts something he is doing. "Just a minute Dr. Wierwille, God just talked to me." No, it does not work that way. As a servant I am working with him in that fellowship and I keep my eyes on him during that meeting, waiting for his hand signals, waiting for his eye signals. But also I keep my eyes on whom? God. So as a servant you keep your eyes on... Not with eyeservice as menpleasers, but in singleness of heart. Fearing the Lord. You got to keep your eyes, not only on what you're doing, but on God, for that revelation in whatever responsibility you have. I was thinking about this Sunday night when Rev. Martindale was sharing. I stood right back here by the piano and I believe he talked for about fifteen minutes. And for the most part I kept my eyes in his direction. I think a couple of times I looked down at something, and I looked out at the people, but out of the corner of my eye I always had my eyes stayed on him just in case. Because I'd look kind of stupid first of all, if he'd ask me a question and I hadn't been paying attention. So I got to keep my eyes on him. But by the same token, you know the logic of the Word here, I've got to keep my eyes on God at the same time. So it is in any responsibility. When you're serving, you serve your master in the flesh, your lord in the flesh. You keep your eyes on him, on what he wants done, but at the same time you walk this way with God. Because God can even show you more than you could know by your senses. Like serving the head table, at lunch or supper, whenever. The master might give you a hand signal. He wants a cup of coffee, perhaps. But that's all he tells you. And say you've never done that before. Maybe you don't know if he wants a half a cup, full cup or whatever. Of course, you've got a mouth, you can ask. But there's some situations, God can tell you what to do in that situation. But on the other hand you can know a lot of those things too by your working with your master. So you become acquainted with that master and you know what that master wants. But still there's specific situations where you need revelation.
And "hear" you servants...not just to get somebody favour. You don't work for somebody in the Body and say, "Well, what does this person want? What should I do to really bless them?" No. Ask God. Not just
to favour that person, brown nose, that kind of thing, but keeping your eyes on whom? God. Singleness of heart, respecting the Lord.
Colossians 3:23, 24:
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
The word "do" is "do", the second word "do" is "work". It's a different word. That second word "do" should be "work", work heartily. Whatever you do, work heartily with whole heartedness, as to the lord, the head, Christ and not unto whom? Men.
Knowing that of the Lord [Christ, the head] ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve [douleuō, as a bondslave] the Lord Christ.
That's the only place I think that that phrase is used, Lord Christ. Usually, it's Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus, Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, something else. But Lord Christ because he's the exalted lord who shall return and give out the inheritance. It really emphasizes his being exalted and his headship as the lord. And he's the head of the Body, whom we really serve or should. And he's the one that's going to pass out the reward of the inheritance. Now the reward of inheritance. You work for rewards, you have an inheritance that you receive because you're born again. You have an inheritance coming, you have the token of it which is the spirit, it says in Ephesians. And you're going to receive an inheritance. But there are rewards beyond that inheritance. The crowns, etc... In Luke chapter 14.
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense [repayment, reward] be made thee.
"Recompense" is the word "reward". That's a form of that word used in Colossians, not the exact same word, but a form of it. A reward, repayment, you pay back. I invite you to dinner, so what are you going to do? Invite me back.
Luke 14:13, 14:
But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense [repay] thee: for thou shalt be recompensed [repaid when?] at the resurrection of the just.
They can't invite you back, they can't afford it. So don't worry about getting repaid today. As a matter of fact, don't invite people that are going to pay you back. Bless the others, and you're going to get paid back when? At the gathering together, for us, the resurrection of the just for them. Now, I Corinthians chapter three. That's the principle though in Luke. There is reward, payment for the works that you do.
I Corinthians 3:8:
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
You're rewarded according to your work, your labor.
I Corinthians 3:14, 15:
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The man is going to be saved, but he's not going to be rewarded for that work. But the works that you do that are right on, you get what? Rewards.
II Corinthians 5:9:
Wherefore we labour [work], that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted [well-pleasing] of him.
We work to be well-pleasing. We're already accepted with the beloved, Ephesians says, but we labor to be well-pleasing to him. Why do we labor? For we must all appear before the bēma, the judgement seat of Christ.
II Corinthians 5:10:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat [bēma] of Christ; that every one may receive [to be rewarded] the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
You're rewarded for the good. For the bad, it says your works are burned, you don't get rewards for those. That's the bēma of Christ, the judgment seat.
I press toward [what?] the mark for [what?] the prize [of what?] of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
So we work for our rewards, for the prize. Now. Back to Colossians. Rev. Townsend hit me with some things this week that...he shared some things with me that I thought were real neat. Here in Colossians, chapter three, verse eight:
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
You put off the what? Old man, the old man with his deeds and put on the what? For where you've got the new man on, and your works are right, you're going to get rewarded. There's going to be rewards. But where you have the old man in manifestation, your works are burned, there's no reward for it. But where you've got the new man on, walking according to Colossians here all the way down...let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, the love which is the bond of perfection, wives submit, husbands love, children obey, parents don't provoke, parents, servants obey and all this. You see, it's the practical, laboring for the practical side of the Mystery, the one Body, which causes to stick together. And you're rewarded for the works that you do in the Body that are new man oriented. However, when you go back in Colossians three to verse five.
Mortify [remove from you] therefore your [those] members which are upon the earth [those who practice]; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry [all of those things are idolatry]: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on [whom?] the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
You see, those who are in the Body, who have gone back to doctrinal error, have gone beyond the point of just not getting rewards anymore. They have removed themselves from the category of practical error to the category of doctrinal error and specifically idolatry, idolatrous practices. And I would venture to say, from studying Galatians and Colossians, that when you get into doctrinal error, you have come to the point of idolatry. When you don't hold Christ as the head, then you're holding something else as the head. Right? Then you're into idolatry. You're serving another god and all these practices that go with it will follow suit, that are mentioned in verse five. So you really see in this chapter, three groups of people. Those that are into idolatry, they've slipped way back. Then there's the old man practices which is practical error. Then there's the new man practice which is right doctrine, right practice, right fellowship. See the three there? So whatever you do, we're working for rewards. But if you don't do it right, there's no reward for you. But if you slip back to idolatry, doctrinal error, then something else happens that Ephesians talks about.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
See, there you have it again, the old man and the new man. Rewards or no rewards. But then you get down to chapter five verse three:
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints [believers, holy ones]; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting [making a fool out of God], which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an [what?] idolater, hath any inheritance in the [what?] kingdom of Christ and of God.
See, some now serve their own bellies. They've slipped back to idolatry, to serving other gods. And for them there is no inheritance. This is not eternal life inheritance because they still have eternal life. But it is "no reward of inheritance" that Colossians talks about, because they have gone way outside of the household, back to doctrinal error, back to idolatry. They have returned to their vomit. It says, no inheritance, right?
II John 7, 8:
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist [wrong seed]. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
Or receive a reward in full. Because, if you don't and you slip back to what they want you to slip to, idolatry, which is doctrinal error, not holding the head Christ, but serving angels, serving other gods, then you lose those things that you worked. You're still born again but you lose the rewards.
II John 9, 10:
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the [what?] doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.
And if somebody in the Body, Colossians says, does this, you mortify him, you remove him from your house. Now that does not mean...let me explain this. People come to twig... it's not necessary to throw somebody out of twig. Anybody that has the hunger to come to twig, let them come. But it doesn't mean that you have to hang around with them. If somebody is a spiritual pain in the back and really doesn't want to stand on the Word doctrinally, what does it say? Remove yourself from them. It doesn't mean you have to take them by the shirt and pants and throw them out. Because those that really aren't hungering and thirsting will eventually stop coming. But you don't have to fellowship with somebody. You don't give them God speed, it says.
II John 11:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Now if somebody is not holding the head, but they're setting up all these other heads, angels and so on, and so on. Then you've got a problem. Now, Deuteronomy chapter 13. And this is the chapter that Rev. Townsend shared with me that I thought it fits so beautifully with Colossians, and really fits with this third category, those that have slipped back into doctrinal error, idolatry.
Deuteronomy 13:1, 2:
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
Even if he has a sign, a vision...remember? Colossians two, they were into their visions, they were into those things that they saw, rather than what the Word said.
Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him [respect him], and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him [not other gods]. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be [what?] put to death [mortified, literally in the Old Testament. We remove him from us, different administration, but they put him to death]; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
Very clear. Isn't that neat. I think it is.
Deuteronomy 13:6, 7:
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
Now, this is a very close friend, a relative, a brother, a son, a daughter.
Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely [do what?] kill [mortify] him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
Now, this was people in your own fellowship, that you were to remove from you. There it was to kill them. In our administration, you remove those from you. Is there any reward of inheritance for them? None. But they have slipped way out of fellowship. People get worried about...when you make a statement like this, "Am I going to lose my rewards, because last night I cussed?" There are three categories. I want you to understand that. There's a difference between being out of fellowship and being into idolatry. Keep that straight in your mind. Don't get off on these tangents. Now, if he's in the fellowship, you remove him, you don't have fellowship with him, as we read last week.
If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
Now this is outside of the pale of believers, outside of the family, other family, not those born again, if we apply this to our administration.
Certain men, the children of [whom?] Belial [devil, born of the wrong seed, the manipulators], are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
Boy, I really see the fight now, between the heads in the Body and the heads on the other side trying to get you, the heads in the Body, the leadership to go away from the one true head, which is Christ.
Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
That's the total unbelievers. But even in the Body, you've got those that fall back into idolatry, try to get others to serve other gods, other heads than the one true head. How pertinent this is to Colossians. And in chapter three you see those three distinct categories. For us there is a reward of inheritance when you work. And if you don't labor...certain works that are contrary to the Word, it's out of fellowship. There are simply no rewards for that work. But, you are rewarded for the other things. But you slip back into idolatry, you're
still saved, born again, but I cannot guarantee any rewards from the Word. Because II John says you lose it...and here...between this and Deuteronomy and these other references...it's a whole different category of people.
But he that doeth wrong [injustice] shall receive [paid back or rewarded] for the wrong [injustice] which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
According to I Corinthians, there is simply no reward for those types of works, and there is no respect of persons. I think it would be a great study sometime. You can copy these scriptures down. Exodus 2:23-25; and Leviticus 26:9. It talks about God having respect to the children of Israel. But in this administration according to Acts 10:34, Peter finally discovered that with God, there is no respect of persons, because Cornelius, a Gentile, also believed. So there is no more discrimination, respect of persons. And yet, even though God favored his people, Israel, according to Deuteronomy one verses 16 and 17 and Deuteronomy ten verses 17 and 18, when it came to matters of judgment among God's people, God never had a respect for persons. He was always upright in his judgment. Like we have two believers. He'd never favor one over the other, or princes, those that had more money, or had goodly apparel. James talks about that too. There is no respect of persons. It doesn't matter if you're a Twig leader, Branch leader, Limb leader, Region leader, Assistant to the President or anything else; a Corps teacher, a Corps listener. Whatever you are, there is no respect of persons. You're going to be rewarded right down the line. Now, there's a respect of conditions. You do the right works, you get rewards. It's that simple.
Colossians 3:22-25: (Literal)
Bondslaves, be obedient in all things to your lords in the flesh, not with eye-service pleasing men, but wholeheartedly with reverence to the lord. Whatever you do, work wholeheartedly as to the lord and not to men, knowing that you shall receive the reward of the inheritance from the lord, for you serve the Lord Christ. He that does an injustice shall be repaid for the injustice, and there is no respect of persons.
Masters [lords], give unto your servants [bondslaves] that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master [lord] in heaven.
Just and equal reminds me of Proverbs chapter one.
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom [this is the purpose, the curriculum of study] and instruction [moral discipline, you've got the wisdom then, you've got the moral discipline to go along with it]; to perceive [discern] the words of understanding [discernment]; To receive the instruction of wisdom [good sense, prudence], justice, and judgment, and equity.
In the Hebrew it's righteousness, justice and equity. Righteousness is doing what is right. Justice would be payment for what is wrong. And equity is that which is equal. The punishment fits the crime. So you receive the instruction of good sense, prudence, in the categories of knowing what is right and if somebody doesn't do right, how are they punished? What's equal and fair? For example, raising a child and they do something wrong. What do you do? Take a ball bat and beat them over the head? No. The punishment fits the crime. Adults, the same way...we have this thing in our government system that you cannot punish someone beyond what would be equitable for that crime. So here in Colossians, "You masters, lords, give your servants what is just and equal, knowing that you have a lord in heaven." And that's all it says to the masters, so we translated that:
Colossians 4:1: (Literal)
Lords, provide your bondslaves with justice and equality, knowing you also have a lord in heaven.
And of course, the justice and equality is not just in punishment, but on the good side too. You reward them. The rewards are for services rendered. The punishment is for the lack of proper service. That goes two ways. I want you to understand that.
Now chapter four verse two then would begin a new section. And this is, Prayer for God's will to be made known, and that will regarding the Mystery, the one Body, with Christ as the head.
Continue in prayer [to persevere, or persist, give constant attention to prayer], and watch [keep your eyes open] in the same [in prayer] with thanksgiving.
That key concept I brought up last week that permeates Colossians; thanksgiving. Because you've got a lot to be thankful for, because it's already been done.
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.
The genitive of relation, the Mystery pertaining to Christ. Why does it say that here? Because Christ is the what? The head, of the Body, the one Body, the Mystery. For which I am also in bonds. And the word "bonds" is that figure amphibologia, where it has two intended meanings. He was literally in bonds and spiritually he was in bonds to Christ.
That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
It's your ethical responsibility to speak the Mystery in the one Body, with Christ as the head. And of course that sounds very similar to Ephesians chapter six.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Again, it's your ethical, spiritual responsibility to speak the Mystery pertaining to Christ, the head.
Colossians 4:2-4: (Literal)
Persevere in prayer, and be constantly watching in prayer with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us also, that God will open a door of utterance for us to speak the Mystery pertaining to Christ, for which I am in bonds, that I may reveal it and speak of it as I should.
That is our responsibility. And how is it going to be made known unless you and I do it?
Walk in wisdom [that's a good idea] toward them that are [what?] without, redeeming the time.
Very, very, very important. Them that are without. They're not the unbelievers. They may be born again, but they're in the category of chapter three, verses five through seven, mortify those members upon the earth. Born again, but they've slipped back to what? That's why you walk in wisdom toward those. They're those that through philosophy, vain deceit, the traditions of men, the rudiments of the world, try to get you away from the one head, Christ. They try to get you, through their own visionary experiences, to go back to something else; worshipping angels, many heads. We sometimes waste time on those who don't want to believe. We cast our pearls before swine. It says you walk in wisdom toward those that are without. Outside the household. They are born again, but they're not standing in the household.
Galatians 6:10 says be especially good to those that are of what? The household of faith. But those that are without, you walk in wisdom. In I Corinthians five, a very interesting verse of scripture, verse 12. After it lists those idolaters, railers, drunkards, extortioners, it says, with such an one no not to eat. We're not to keep company with those fornicators, idolaters.
I Corinthians 5:12:
For what have I to do to judge them also that are [what?] without? do not ye judge them that are within?
You've got enough time with the people on the inside. So those who are on the outside, don't keep company with. We've got to help each other in the Body. That's where our judgmental activity is, to help and bless. But them that are without, God is going to do the judging.
I Corinthians 5:13:
But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Those that are into idolatry. You walk in wisdom, according to Colossian, towards them that are without, redeeming the time, making the best use of your time.
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Remember, whatsoever is of "good report", is graciously attractive speech...Philippians 4:8, think these things. Here it is. Your speech, graciously attractive. It says speak the truth in what? Love. How about Ephesians 5:4, foolishness, jesting all that screwy talk that makes God look like a fool. Get rid of it, that's the opposite of letting your speech be always with grace. Or Ephesians 4:29, let no corrupt communication proceed where? Out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edification. It's got to edify, edify. Let your speech be always with grace seasoned with salt. And I've already shared that orientalism with you, the custom. That word "seasoned", means, "prepared fitly". It's used in a culinary sense of seasoning the food properly to where it's just right to the taste. But that word "seasoned", to prepare fitly, is also used in other senses of all kinds of things that require art and cunning. Anything that requires an art and a cunning to do.
Now, you artists ought to perk up your ears, you fine arts people, you musicians. When you season the music just properly or you season the art just perfectly. Then you've got a beautiful work. It's got to be prepared fitly, properly. Your speech has to be prepared fitly with the salt, the truth. Say what you mean and mean what you say. And speak the Word, that's the truth. That you may know how you ought to answer every man. Any man that asks you a reason of the hope that's within you. You know how to answer him, if you've got the Word burning in your hearts, and especially the Word of the Mystery, the one Body. They'll
tell you that the Greek and Latin authors used this word, used "salt", to express wittiness of speech, where you're witty in your speech. To "rub a city with salt" meant, to speak satirically about the city. Because when you talk satirically about someone, it's like rubbing salt in their wounds, it makes them smart. But the people watching, laugh, because you're so witty. That's how it was used among the Greeks. But I don't think that's the intention here. I think the Eastern custom of the salt representing the truth of the Word is right. There are sometimes where satire may have its place. And sometimes where irony and wittiness and that type of thing has its place. But it's the truth that makes the difference. When your words are seasoned, filtly prepared with salt, with truth, then you're able to answer any man. You know how to answer them. Because you've got the truth in your soul and in your heart. You speak the truth in love.
Colossians 4:5, 6: (Literal)
Walk in wisdom with respect to those outside [the household], making the most of every opportunity, properly seasoning your words with salt, speaking always with grace, so you know how to answer each one appropriately.
Because that's what Colossians is all about, those outside the household. They're born again, but they're back into idolatry. Mortify them, remove them from you...teaching other heads, angels and that type of thing. It says, walk in wisdom toward that group, with respect to those outside the household. We've got to keep speaking the Mystery. We've got to walk in wisdom to maintain that unity of the one Body. And there are those that don't any longer want to walk with the ministry and to know the great Mystery. I was thinking yesterday how you go to any college, what do you teach or what do you speak or what do you do your paper on? Whatever you want to. If it disagrees with somebody else, so what? Now, we research and we disagree with each other at times. But when it comes to teaching the greatness of God's Word we come to those points where we do agree and that's where we teach. Where we can see how the Word fits together. And that's what maintains that likemindedness. Nobody else in the world is concerned about unity.
When you go to college, have you ever heard a professor say? "Now we must be unified in what we speak". No, if you want to be a communist, you can be a communist in most of the universities. If you want to be an atheist, agnostic or believer, you can be anything you want to be, speak what you want. All different things. It's only in this ministry, and it's because we know the Mystery, the one Body, that we're so concerned about unity of the spirit, about likemindedness. And how do you get to be likeminded? By listening to what I say? No. By going to the Word, reading the Word and making the Word your own. If you study the Word and I study the Word, it's one Word and we've got to come up with the same thing. There might be points where we're stumbling around because we just don't quite understand a few things, but I want to tell you something, I have never seen any other group that is like we are. Because we love God, we love His Word and His Word fits. And when you work His Word what can you come up with? When you get done working it throughly, when you've thoroughly and throughly gone through it, it's got to fit. It's God's Word. There is one author with one intention in mind. And that Mystery of Christ in you, who knows it, who understands it? So how are they going to get to the place of being unified in this day and time. They talk about unity, they talk about peace in the world, they're never going to have it. Why not? Because they're not coming to the prince of peace and to the greatness of the Mystery which gets rid of all respect of persons. It gets rid of all discrimination. It's what brings everybody together in one Body. And if we don't speak it, how are the rest of the people in the world ever going to hear about the greatness of that which can bring people together. This is it. This is the Mystery. And there's one head. And if somebody gets so far out they're into idolatry and worshipping other heads, then what do you do? Walk in great wisdom, your words seasoned with salt. Speak the truth and in love and then it'll live.
Well, Father, we sure thank you for the privilege we have to speak your Word and to stand faithfully as a Corps upon your Word. Thank you Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Good night. God bless you!