Publication Date: 04-18-1984
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.
April 18, 1984
I have here with me, the full-time research team, except Bernita Jess who of course is with George this night. And George of course is constantly improving and we're looking forward to them getting back here with us at International Headquarters. But I've got the rest of the full-time team with me. Over here on my left is Stephanie Tompary who works the Aramaic with Mrs. Jess and then next to her is Joe Wise. Joe also works the Aramaic as well as Greek and many other things that we get into. And then, over here on my immediate right is John Schoenheit. John works the Old Testament as well as the culture and things in the New Testament that we get into and many other things. And then on my far right, John Crouch. John works the figures of speech as well as Greek, Aramaic and anything else he can dabble into. He's been very helpful on our Gospel work recently. So we're going to work some things together with you here in Colossians chapter one tonight. Also, I brought along the tools that I use, and I know they've brought along some of the things they use as we work the Word prior to Corps Night each week. For example, I've got here something that the Word Processing department has produced for us. This is the 12 different versions of the Bible in here just of the book of Colossians. And they've got it all marked out, like this particular page is verse 24 of Colossians one and it's got all twelve of those versions right here where I can look at it at a glance and see how they translated the verse. I've also got an Aramaic interlinear of Colossians that Stephanie prepared for us and Joe, I guessed, you helped with this too, and Mrs. Jess. But this is a real help too, not only to have the Greek interlinear which many of you have but to have the Aramaic Interlinear too, to work from. And then of course, I have another Greek text that has notes from different manuscripts and of course a Greek grammar and I have other grammars available to me in my office. Then, my regular books. I've got all the Way books, including our scripture indexes, so we can check things out, and then, Figures of Speech, a Bible Dictionary, a couple of different lexicons, Greek lexicons, a Greek/English concordance, an English dictionary and of course, my Young's Concordance.
Those are the few of the things we have and then, other things, I know that you people have brought along here. So, we're going to work the Word with you tonight. And, you may not have all these things, but you may have certain things that you utilize when you're working the Word. Before, we get into Colossians, I want to share a poem with you that Jackie Malmberg sent to me this week, it's called "Don't Quit".
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must - but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You might succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt -
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seems worst that you mustn't quit.
I thought that was a great poem, especially in light of what we are going to get into. I also brought along one that I think is relevant from Dr. Wierwille's collection of poems in the Way "Album of Verse" and this one is called "Two Kinds of People".
Two Kinds of People
There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people - no more, I say.
Not the good and the bad, for it's well understood
That the good are part bad, and the bad are part good.
Not the rich and the poor, for to count a man's wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man;
Not the happy and sad, for the swift-flying years,
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
No, the two kinds of people on earth that I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
Wherever you go you will find the world's masses
Are always divided into just these two classes
And oddly enough, you will find too, I mean
There's one who will lift to twenty who'll lean.
In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road,
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of labor and worry and care?
And I think that's significant because in Colossians we have a man, the Apostle Paul who was a great lifter and he filled the gaps where other people were leaning. In chapter one:
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church.
Now whenever you work the Word, you want to divide it up into phrases or words even, that are things you can handle and work. In other words on a page, put down, and you ought to do this in preparation for Corps Night, where you put a verse down the page, break your verse down on the left inside and leave about three spaces between each phrase, so that you can write notes out beside it. You can even add extra notes beyond what I give you in Corps Night, you can write Greek words, Aramaic words, anything that would be significant to help you work it. Now, the way I broke down verse 24, I've got up here on the board and you want to write this down on your paper. Put "who now rejoice" on the left hand side of your paper then skip about three lines and put "in my sufferings for you", then skip about three more lines and write "and fill up that which is behind". Then skip three more lines. On these lines in between then, you write down the Aramaic words or Greek words or figures of speech or other significant facts, customs that we get into, things that are important to understand that particular verse and put it together. Now skip three lines and you put "of the afflictions of Christ", then you skip another three lines and put "in my flesh", then another three lines and put "for his body's sake" and then three more lines and put "which is the church". Then you've got one verse on one sheet a paper and you can write all your notes on there and put it all together. Now that's how we do it and we work as a team when we're working these things.
I didn't mention, did I, that not only a full-time team, but we've also got some part-time members in the department that help us with different things, especially in customs and other fields like that. Besides my secretary Dorothy Yogi and Ken Brown my assistant, help us in the editing of our literals according to usage as well as our notes so that we keep it in line in English. And, it's a team effort. So, it's not just what I say, or what I put together, but it's what the team puts together on these literals according to usage. And we're all like-minded when we get done arguing the thing out and come to a conclusion on it. So, that's how we work as a team. The world can't seem to do this, each one has to do their own thing, so you've got 50 million books, and then, arguments of all kinds. But we try to come to the same conclusion, and sometimes it's takes a little while to arrive there, because you have to work it, but we eventually get there and come up with these literals according to usage for Corps Night.
Well anyway, we're in verse 24. The first phrase was "who now rejoice". Now that phrase itself is misleading, because this begins a new section in the Greek and Aramaic. It's not a relative clause like the English shows, as a matter of fact it begins a whole new sentence, a new thought, and a whole new section. Because this is the section that is called "labor for the doctrine of the Mystery". And if it begins a new section, then, it has to at least be a new sentence. So the Greek starts out, "now I rejoice". The word "now" is nun it means now, now I rejoice. Paul does not "rejoice in sufferings". He rejoices in sufferings for you. Now, you have to take that whole phrase together. That's why we put it that way on the board. Not much in the Greek and Aramaic.....Because you don't get all happy and joyful about sufferings. But whatever you do for somebody else on their behalf if you do suffer in the process you rejoice in it. That's what he's saying. OK, now that covers that next section.....And fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. Now I want to skip, "fill up...behind" and go to afflictions. That word "afflictions" is the Greek word thlipsis, which you know means pressures or pressures of life, mental pressures. And it's the pressures of Christ doesn't mean the pressures you get from Christ, it has to be a genitive of relation. A genitive of relation because it's those pressures that you get because of the work that you do for Christ. Because of the work of the ministry. The pressures pertaining to your work for Christ. That's why it's a genitive of relation. In my flesh for his body's sake. And body there is defined in the last phrase as the Church. It says, which is the Church. Now body, the Greek and the Aramaic don't add anything, neither with the last phrase, but you see that the word "body" is defined as the Church. So it should be a capital "B", because it's referring to the Body of Christ, not a physical body. OK, now we'll go back to that phrase "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ".
Joe, what is this phrase and what do those words mean? (Joe Wise) Well, Walter in the Aramaic it's the verb male which means to fill or be full. And in this particular verse, it's in the "pael" or intensive form of the verb. And often this "pael" or intensive form can be causative so that it states the cause so that it could be translated "I caused to be full". Or in English, we could say, "I supply and neither lack". It can also be used to fill an office. It's the word that would mean to fill an office. The Greek antanaplēroō people recognize the plēroō, to fill to capacity. And then of course, the prefix on the front has caused people some difficulty as to exactly what this word means. It's only used here in the New Testament, so having this one place, we needed to look at the classical dictionary to see what other people said, how it was used in other literature. But ? Scott gives a meaning to fill up or balance. And I thought this was interesting because this balance is in the financial sense of the term. If you have a certain amount of money in the bank, in your account and you have a certain number of bills; if that in the account doesn't line up with that of the bills, somebody needs to add to your account to make it balance with the bills. So there is a filling up. You fill up there. Bullinger's says, that this is simply to fill up. I thought Bower added something that was very interesting because he said fill up or complete for someone else. Now understanding this to mean, "for someone else" helps a great deal with the difficulty that people have noted in the commentaries, that has gone on for many, many years. That is the phrase "in my flesh", which is in this verse 24. Some people want to say that the lack was in Paul. So that, here it would say "I fill up that lack which is in me, which is in my flesh". Others, would say that the "in my flesh" because of the Greek and Aramaic construction would be "by or with my flesh". So, "I fill up the lack that is in you, the Colossians, with my flesh or by my flesh".
[Walter Cummins] The way it is in the King James, it sounds like Christ didn't suffer enough, so Paul had to fill it up with his suffering and his flesh.
[Joe Wise] That's one of the positions that the commentaries propose for a translation of this section. But I think understanding this verb from the Aramaic and the Greek both; the idea of filling up for someone else, tells us which way that that "in" the construction, the "in my flesh" has to go. Because if indeed, he fills up that which is behind for someone else, he would have to do it with or by his flesh.
[Walter Cummins]Where somebody else is not doing his part, Paul has to supply that, he has to fill it up.
[Joe Wise] Yeah, an interesting illustration, of course, life to me sometimes, is a big game of basketball. So, when I saw this, I saw an illustration that might be beneficial to some people that understand. If this is the Body of Christ, the key, one of the big keys to the Body of Christ is the Mystery. And so, I saw that as being the key of the basketball court. If there is a pressure that's coming against this Body of Christ. Here is a defender against that pressure. Let's say that this oppressor puts a good fake on this man. I mean, it looks like the genuine, but it's not the genuine, it's a fake. But this person goes for that fake. Let's say the Colossians...and this is where they got off (in) their doctrinal error. They went off of the true doctrine and they went for the fake or the false. This person, or the oppressor then is able to get by and he's going right for the Body of Christ. This is where Paul steps in, offering his body, takes the charge, which is a charge foul in basketball, the believers get the ball and they go down and score W.O.W. So, in this verse, Paul is with his body, his flesh, he's filling in that gap that the Colossians have missed because they went for the fake.
[Walter Cummins] I can see where the football team too, where you've got the line and somebody gets knocked out of the line and the enemy is coming through, so somebody else has to cover for it. Right. He fills up that gap or whatever. For someone else. So, that's terrific.
Now, then we've got to put all this together. We understand now what the Greek and the Aramaic are saying. We understand the heart of it. Then we've got to put it into our language, into English, so that it communicates that same heart. I wanted to share with you something I gave to the research fellowship recently as to what a literal translation according to usage is and what our goal is, "to reproduce the original God breathed message with the appropriate emphasis and heart of the original requires a literal translation according to usage, and when necessary an expanded translation. A literal translation according to usage is a translation which reproduces the thoughts and meanings of the original based on the words in the source texts [in other words the Greek and Aramaic and manuscripts] in relation to the verse [context, remote context] and to whom it is addressed. An expanded translation which reproduces the original with alternative meanings and explanatory renderings is sometimes necessary in order to communicate the heart
of the original message of God's Word. An expanded translation should not be confused with a pre-translation or paraphrase which often changes the meaning of the original in attempts at modernizing." Then later I wrote, "In the practice of Bible translation, the translator must be well acquainted with both the source languages [that means Greek, Aramaic, Latin, Hebrew] and the receptor language [which in our case would be English. We've got to know both of those. You've got to understand the originals and you've got to understand English to be able to communicate it in English. And that's why our team concept works so good because where one of us is expert in one area it helps to bolster up the others in that particular area and we work together as a team]. This translator must consider the grammatical, semantic, emotional and spiritual implication of words and phrases in the source languages and the receptor language."
In other words, we've got to look at both of those and try to communicate that original heart of the Word in our language and that's what we've tried to do here. It's not a word for word translation as we've said before, but it communicates the heart of what we've been working now in verse 24. This is our literal according to usage:
Colossians 1:24: (Literal)
Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf. With my flesh I am filling up the gaps left in the line by those who succumb to the pressures being brought against Christ. I do this for the sake of his Body, which is the Church.
"With my flesh", and we put that phrase first because that's what he's filling up with. It has to go with that in English. It's got to modify with, "I am doing". With "my flesh", I am filling up the gaps left in the line. Now with a basketball line, a football line or a spiritual line, I am filling up the gaps left in the line by those who succumb to the pressures being brought against Christ, which is exactly what you pointed out Joe. By those who succumb to the pressures...then, I've got to fill in that gap in the line. Isn't a beautiful translation? Terrific. This is what Paul had to do. When the Colossians were not living according to the Mystery or they weren't keeping their eyes on the head who was Christ, they weren't holding the head, then Paul had to get in there. He had to fill in the gaps that they were leaving. Because they were succumbing to the pressures being brought against Christ. Then, I do this for the sake of his Body, which is the Church. The reason Paul does it is for the Church. The reason any leader must do it is for the benefit of the Church. So the Church is held together as one Body. That's the Mystery.
Whereof I am made a minister [diakonos], according to the dispensation [oikonomia] of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil [plēroō] the word of God.
The word "minister" is diakonos which means one who serves in any capacity. Not drawing attention to any particular ministry, but he's one that serves in any capacity. "According to", that's our standard, according to the dispensation. And of course this is that Greek word oikonomia, which means administration. And the Aramaic word is mdabranutha. And that also means administration or direction or leadership. So the administration of God, that's the standard for what he's a minister. "Which is given to me for you, to fulfil the Word of God." And the word "fulfil" is plēroō, which means to fill to capacity. It's this Mystery, the administration of God regarding the Mystery, that finally fills up and completes the Word of God. It's the "all truth" of John 16:13. There's no more Word to be revealed. Everything was revealed in the Old Testament except one thing, the Mystery, which was hidden from ages and generations and now that's revealed and that's what completes or fills up the Word of God. Isn't that beautiful? The only other place this phraseology is used is in Romans 15:19 which I think is kind of neat.
Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Illyricum is just before you get to Rome. It's beyond Greece and Macedonia, but it's before you get to Rome. Isn't that right on the map? So you'd have to jump across the water to get to Rome now. OK, or go around the top. From all that area, from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. See, the word, "fully preached"? That's the word plēroō, where he uses that in the same sense here. I have fulfilled the Word of God in capacity, the gospel of Christ. Who did he do it for? For all those people. Now, at Colosse, he makes the same statement that he fulfilled the Word of God for them. He completed it for them. He had also completed it for all the people from Jerusalem all the way up Illyricum. So, to fulfil the Word of God is to fill out that section that was missing for them, which was the Mystery. Everything else had been revealed in the Old Testament. Now he fills it out. Isn't that beautiful? Bullinger gives this, as to perform fully. That would be the usage of it here, where you perform it in all of its fullness. Well, anyway, we translate verse 25.
Colossians 1:25: (Literal)
I became a minister [of the Church] in accordance with the administration of God [that's the standard for his being a minister] given me to complete the Word of God for you.
Then the next verse will define what it was that completed the Word of God, which was the Mystery. Before this, as I said, everything else was revealed, now the only thing left was the Mystery. The Mystery was hidden from previous generations. Now Paul is declaring that not only to the Colossians, he declared it to the Ephesians, he declared it to everyone from Jerusalem all the way to Illycum so that nobody had to be ignorant of this full, precise, complete knowledge of God's Word regarding the Mystery. This is what the all truth is.
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.
The Mystery. And that defines that part of the Word of God that's being filled up. The Mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, just like it says in Ephesians three. It was hidden from ages and generations. Romans 16 says the same thing. It's hidden from ages and generations, but now, now, now is made manifest to his saints, his holy ones, his separated ones. And we translated this, following upon verse 25...
Colossians 1:26: (Literal)
the Mystery hidden from ages and generations. Now it has been revealed to His holy ones.
The Mystery hidden from ages and generations, because that's what completes the Word of God for you. It's the only thing missing. Now, it has been revealed to His holy ones. It has been hidden, it was hidden from ages and generations. Now it has been revealed to His holy ones. And, we're all His holy ones. So, has it been revealed? Sure it has. And no one is without excuse.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
You see the word "would"? It's doesn't look like it in English, but it's a separate word in Greek, in the Aramaic too, I believe. Isn't it? That's why I've got my Interlinear here. I can follow along. But right now I can just ask Stephanie or Joe and they know.
"To whom God would make known". He would, He will. The Aramaic word is ssva, which means to will or desire. And the Greek word thelō, which means to will or to desire intensely. God wills or desired, past aorist tense is it? OK, aorist tense. God desired, past tense, to make known. "To make known" is the
Greek word gnōrizō, to make known. Related to ginōskō, but this form of it means to make known. So God
desired to make known. It's been hidden from ages and generations, that Mystery that God desired to make
known, not only the Mystery, but what is the riches of the glory of this Mystery. And this looks like one of
those dual genitives. John?
[John Crouch] I believe it absolutely is. Walter, maybe I could give a little explanation as to why we
look to this verse for figures of speech, this dual genitive being one of them. It's because, one of the things
that we do when we're going over an epistle is to look for the scope, the general subject matter, from which
we can get something like a structure. Which is why we're looking at this particular section of verses,
because the Mystery is the main topic being highlighted here. And one of the things we can ask ourselves
is, is there some verse in here that particularly highlights the subject? And if there is such a verse, that
should be the place where we should look for figures of speech or those particularly emphatic figures of
speech. And this dual genitive is one that comes right to the fore, where we have "riches of the glory of the
Mystery", two genitives right in a row. It was in 1980 and 1981 when Doctor Wierwille was teaching
Ephesians that this particular kind of figure became so emphatically important to us. We'd never quite seen
the thing in such a light before. I have some notes here that I did as a survey through the epistles at that
time and we counted 44 of these dual genitives within the epistles. Fifteen of them were concentrated in
Ephesians. So we got to saying, there must be something quite important with this figure that, when it dealt
with the Mystery, with Ephesians at the apex of the Church that God should concentrate this type of figure
at that point.
[Walter Cummins] And yet in Philippians and most of the other places, we didn't see too many, did we?
[John Crouch] Not as many, although the next runners up, you might say, are Romans and Colossians.
Romans, certainly because it's that great doctrinal treatise, and there are many elegant or noble truths that
God has to set in this figure. But then, we figured, Colossians ought to be a runner up, because it's again
reflecting on the Mystery. It is correction concerning the failure to hold to the head, which is the Mystery.
So, we counted seven that we found in Colossians, this being one of them right here. And we saw that this
was a very elegant way that God emphasizes a truth in it's magnitude and in its quality. It's not just the
Mystery, but the riches of the "glory" of the Mystery with the emphasis on that "glory", right at that point.
And we coined this term a dual genitive. If we see the form here of a genitive, then, of course what we
would do is we would go back to Bullinger's figures of speech book and see if there's some form in here
that matches what we're seeing on the page. And he had "appendix B" in the back which dealt with all the
different classes of genitives. And one of them he called, "two genitives depending on each other". Which
we then coined the phrase "dual genitive". Two genitives put on to this one noun, with the emphasis falling
on the word "glory". And with the word "glory" being hooked to the Mystery in this verse, we also figured
that the word "glory" occurring at the end of this verse, "the hope of glory", also reflected a figure of
speech. And this one is called "antimereia", an exchange of parts of speech. The way we would normally
say something like this is...
[Walter Cummin] Now, wait a minute, John. That's neat, but it's neat that "the glory" is the focal point
of both figures here. That's something. Go ahead.
[John Crouch] "Glorious hope" would be the way we'd normally say something like this. It's not just a
hope, but it's a glorious one. Now, that's one way of saying it. An adjective glorious modifying the noun
"hope". But then, particularly in Greek, when the words are switched around, "glorious" is changed to
"glory", from an adjective to a noun. Then this is an exchange of one part of speech for another and in
Greek this is called a figure of speech "antimereia", which gives the emphasis to this hope and the glory of
it, how radiant that it is. Something that in the Old Testament, when they did not have the Mystery, they
could not have seen it.
And, then we go for the scope of the passage in other epistles to find what more insight we can have on
this, such as Romans chapter 8. This is one of the great sections that deals with the hope and the glory of it.
In Romans chapter 8, starting in verse 22.
Romans 8:22, 23:
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
[Walter Cummins] That's a different hope in verse 23. Ours is different from theirs.
[John Crouch] True. And in the Old Testament they looked forward to what we have now. We have that glory, that hope of glory now in that the spirit we have received is the token. The only thing we have yet remaining is the redemption of the body. That's our Hope, that's right.
For we are [were] saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
In the Old Testament there was a Mystery. They didn't even know exactly what they were looking forward to, but now, we have it. The hope we have now, we're not looking forward to it anymore. We have that spirit born within. And then, verse 25.
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
And our hope is the redemption of the body. So this glory that they did not see in the Old Testament directly, we see it now. So that part's not a hope to us anymore. We have it.
[Walter Cummins] That's their hope, but it's their glorious hope. It's one thing, they all were waiting for and really anticipated with great expectation. But we see it, we don't have to hope for it. It's here, this is the hope of glory. CHRIST IN YOU! And this is that great verse from the foundational class that excites everybody because for the first time you realize as a believer you've got some power in your life. In the Advanced Class that we've been in here these last three weeks, on the campuses...just so jamb packed with how to manifest that power. The people don't even realize they've got it on the inside let alone manifesting it. Here again is that great verse and why it has that phrase "Christ in you" surrounded on both sides by a figure of speech. One, the dual genitive with the emphasis on the glorious. The riches of the glory of the Mystery. It's the glorious rich Mystery, which is Christ in you and it's the hope of glory! See the emphasis on that? Isn't that terrific? Oh boy! That's enough to get you excited about this verse all over again. And the reason...because the emphasis here is on Christ the head. Christ in you, the hope of glory! And if he's the hope of glory, and it's Christ in you, that's what you've got to get back to, the head. Now, look at our translation. We didn't alter the King James much because we felt that it just had the impact right there the way it was written.
Colossians 1:27: (Literal)
To them God desired to make known the riches of the glory of this Mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of glory.
What a verse! As you've seen before, and it will always be such a tremendous verse because of the great power that we have with Christ in us.
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
"Whom" refers to that Christ in you back in verse 27. Christ in you the hope of glory which we preach
or that's what we preach, that Christ in you. "Warning" in the Greek it's the word noutheteō, which means
to confront...nouthetic counseling is a type of counseling derived from this...means to confront or
admonish. The second word, "teaching" every man, is the normal word for teaching in Greek didaskō. The
Aramaic has the normal word for teaching first then the second word is the word that means good sense or
related to that idea of good sense. But again the idea is that you not only teach, but you teach them to the
end of helping them, confronting them with the truth to give them that good sense of the Word. Why do
you do it? Why do we do it? Why do we preach? What's our word "preach"? It's just katangellō. In
Aramaic what is it? Kraz. And that lines up with kērussō normally, doesn't it? I think Aramaic is better
there. We preach it, we herald it. Look, you just got done telling them, it's Christ in you the hope of glory.
So, what do you do? Just trickle along the line. No. We herald it. Whom we herald, confronting every man
and teaching every man in all wisdom. You know, what verse that reminds me of? That reminds me of
Colossians 3:16, which we'll get to in a couple of weeks. But look at it.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another...
There you have the same thing. And it's punctuated in the King James. That's all right. It should be "in
all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another". In all wisdom teaching and confronting one another.
Same way back here. It's that Christ in you that we preach. We herald it to confront and teach every man
here in all wisdom. When we get to this very practical section of Colossians in chapter three, where it
shows you how to correct this doctrinal error, it comes with letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly. It
comes with teaching and confronting one another in all wisdom and that wisdom has to include the wisdom
of the Mystery, which is Christ in you. That's the riches of the glory of it. So we preach that Christ in you,
we herald it, confronting and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present. The word "present" is
the Greek word paristēmi, and it means to cause to stand. It's that same legal term that was used back in
verse 22, ...in the body of his flesh through death to present you or cause you to stand holy and blameless
and unimpeachable before Him. What Jesus Christ did was to make it available for us to stand in the
presence of God, to stand before God, holy, unblameable and unimpeachable. That we could stand before
His court and...there's just nothing that could be held against us, because we are holy, we are blameless.
There's nothing you can be blamed for and you are unimpeachable. No evidence that could be held against
you. Now we labor to cause every man to stand. Where? Before God. To stand before God. To stand up
perfect in Christ Jesus. Now, most of the critical Greek texts have "in Christ". And I believe that is correct.
It should be in Christ. Perfect in Christ. Because it's your fellowship, in Christ. To present every man
perfect in his fellowship with Christ. You've got Christ in you whom we preach. That's what we preach,
that Christ in you. And we preach that so you can be in Christ, got it? Just turn it around. It's Christ in you,
when you know that and you walk by it. Then you can stand before God in Christ, in fellowship with
Christ. You'll be perfect in Christ. Now that word "perfect". John Schoenheit, what is that word? Tell us the
great significance of it here?
[John Schoenheit] Well, that's a great word, Walter, in both the Aramaic and the Greek. And the
Aramaic, which of course we got from Joe and from Stephanie, is gamar. And you'll remember that's
related to gmir which is the past participle. And gamar is to be perfect or be mature. Now, the Greek is
teleios. And you'll remember that from
I Corinthians 2:6, "Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect", that are fully mature, that
are complete. And in the background of Colossians this word is especially impacting, because if you
remember, philosophy only occurs in the book Colossians. And it was, when you were teleios in Greek
philosophy, you had a perfect and mature and insightful philosophic wisdom. Also teleios is used like it
would be here in I Corinthians 2:6, of the mystery religions. A person was teleios when they were fully
initiated. It's like if you get in the Boy Scouts and you're just First Class, you know, you're not teleios.
You're not complete. But by the time you reach Eagle Scout, you've been fully initiated. What is being said
here is, the Apostle Paul wants to present every man completely initiated in Christ. Not just get them to
First Class, get them all the way to Eagle. Advanced class grad. That's what he's saying. So, in the light of
Colossians, that whole understanding of teleios would light up because of what they knew from philosophy
in their background, from what they knew in the mystery religions in their background. It also occurs in
chapter 4 verse 12. And by the way, the concept occurs in a different light in the same chapter in verse 22. And it's interesting that the word "present" that we just had occurred in verse 22. But in Colossians it says "in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight." When you will be completely unblameable, unreproveable spiritually is at the return. And the same truth is found in Ephesians, where in Ephesians chapter four, verse 13, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man...", teleios, and that spiritually again is at the return. But here, in verse 28 of Colossians chapter one again, that is "fully initiated" in the greatness of the understanding of that Mystery.
[Walter Cummins] Now, this word isn't used in 22, it's the idea that you would stand, holy, unblameable and unimpeachable. And that would be your perfection, fully mature spiritually. But then, you're also to be perfect in your fellowship, in your walk, as a fully initiated one. This is that word that's used in Hebrews 5:14, "...them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
[John Schoenheit] Right, it's the word "full age" in Hebrews 5:14. Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, teleios.
[Walter Cummins]...And, that's the point that we want people to come to. Not only that they that they have Christ in them, but then they have their spiritual senses exercised to where they are fully mature and able to operate all nine manifestations all the time. That's the Advanced class. This is a verse for Advanced class on Power for Abundant Living.
Colossians 1:28: (Literal)
This [Christ in you] we preach, confronting every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, in order to cause every man to stand [before God] mature and perfect in Christ.
And there, we expanded it, putting both meanings in to capture the heart of it; mature and perfect in Christ. That means in fellowship with Christ. And that's our purpose for laboring so hard, for filling up the gaps where things are missing.
Whereunto I also labour [kopiaō], striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily [dunamis].
Labor, which is kopiaō, means not just to work but to work to the end of fatigue. To do hard work that makes you tired. And "striving according to his working". The word "striving" in the Greek agōnizomai, and that means to contend in a contest. It's an athletic term but it implies a very grueling contest; a very intense type of fighting or contending. It means putting your all into it, run until you keel over or something. It's a real grueling contest. Then, "according to his working, which worketh in me". Now "working, which worketh"; in the Greek that would be a figure of speech because you have the same word used in different forms. It's that figure of speech "polyptoton" that we've had so many times before. But in Aramaic this is worded differently here. Stephanie, you want to tell us about that.
[Stephanie Tompary] The phrase in Aramaic reads: By or with the help or assistance of the power or strength which was given to me. And it's essentially saying the same thing that the Greek is only it's reflecting it's Semitic nature, it's Semitic language. When we're working the Greek and Aramaic together, it's necessary that we understand the Greek that the Greek is saying and the Aramaic that the Aramaic is saying to be able to put them together. And I think we've done a good job of assimilating the two languages in our literal there. The interlinear Greek reads: According to his working which works in me in power. And it maintains that figure of speech, "polyptoton", which is typical for the Greek.
[Water Cummins] And the Aramaic adds the idea that it's the assistance, which is neat too.
[Stephanie Tompary] And the word for power or strength there...we know that it has to be that potential power in the Aramaic from the context that this section sits in.
[Walter Cummins] Whereas the Greek simply says dunamis, for that last word "power". OK, very good.
So putting all this together, our literal according to usage is:
Colossians 1:29: (Literal)
To this end I labor hard, striving intensely in the contest, by the energizing assistance of the
potential power within me.
"To this end I labor hard... I don't just work when I feel like it, from eight to five. I labor hard, striving
intensely in the contest, by the energizing assistance of the potential power within me." By the energizing
assistance, that's our standard. The energizing assistance of the potential power that's within me. That's
what gives me the ability to strive intensely in the contest. If it weren't for that energizing assistance of
what I have on the inside, that Christ in me, then I couldn't strive intensely. I couldn't work so hard or I
wouldn't work so hard... We work hard sometimes, in the Word, laboring in the Word, in teaching, a lot of
other things. But we work hard to make known the Mystery like Paul did so that people can be fully mature
and perfect in their fellowship with Christ, which means that they can manifest all nine manifestations in
love with the greatness of the spirit of God working within them. They can be a help to one another. "To
this end, [to that end, I work hard], I labor hard, striving intensely in the contest, by the energizing
assistance of the potential power within me".
See, it's up to us to make known the greatness of God's Word. And if we don't speak it, how is it ever
going to get spoke? Right? And if the world is going to hear it, how is it going to hear it, unless we get out
and stir up a little bit of smoke? I think the song goes something like that. But, the thing is to speak the
Mystery. Speak the Mystery. And that's what they weren't doing. They were not holding the head who is
Christ. They were getting into philosophy or being drawn away from Christ by getting into those things that
were persuading them, those philosophical arguments. But we're to speak the Mystery. And boy,
throughout the centuries, I have not read anything outside of maybe a little bit here and there, nobody has
really hit the greatness of the Mystery and understood it like we do in this ministry today... in Power for
Abundant Living. Where else have you heard the greatness of the Word? And yet, how clear it is as to what
the Mystery is. It's one Body. It's not some ecumenical movement that the world is trying to promote, you
know, worldwide peace. They'll never get it that way. It's Christ in you and the unity of the one Body that
we endeavor to keep. That unity of the one Body that Ephesians laid out, that's what makes our ministry so
unique. It's first of all, the greatness of the Mystery and I think secondly that we teach people how to walk
by the spirit, how to operate word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits. And then the
impartation manifestations to carry out the job. That it's not just, "Well Christ is in you, but some day you'll
really have some power." NO! You've got that power today and it can be manifested. Boy, that's something.
That's our ministry today. These verses speak very loud.
I was thinking too, with Word in Business and Profession coming up, Word in culture is the goal of that
outfit. To get Word in culture you've got to speak and live the Mystery. When you speak the Mystery and
you live the Mystery, Christ in you, then you'll have Word in culture. And by maintaining the unity of that
one Body, which is the Mystery. Not the ecumenical movement. To realize that it's Christ in you and that
you have all that power that you learned in Power for Abundant Living. Word in culture, I think is wrapped
up in verse 28. This, Christ in you, we preach that Mystery among the Gentiles, the riches of the glory of
the Mystery which is Christ in you, which is the hope of glory. That's what we preach. If you're going to get
Word in Culture, you've got to preach Christ in you, confronting every man and teaching every man with
all wisdom. In order to cause every man to stand before God mature and perfect in Christ. If you want to
get Word in Culture, you've not only got to teach them, they've got Christ in them, but teach them how to
walk by that Christ in you, which means getting them operating all nine manifestations of the spirit, which
means everybody that's going to be at Word in Business and Profession has to someday be an Advanced
class grad. At least if not on the books, at least in the Word, in practice. They've got to be fully mature and
perfect in Christ, in their fellowship. And to do that you've got to operate the nine manifestations of the
spirit. Now, how do you get them to that place? It's up to the Corps, the Corps. And verse 29 is the Corps.
"To this end, I labor hard, striving intensely in the contest by the energizing assistance of the potential
power within me." That's what the Corps has to do if the Word is going to live in Culture. We've got to
teach that Christ in you. We've got to confront men, teach men that they can stand perfectly mature in
Christ. To that end, we labor hard. The Corps must labor hard, striving intensely in the contest by the
energizing assistance of the potential power within me. And, if somebody doesn't do it, verse 24, we've got to fill in the gaps. Look at it.
Colossians 1:24: (Literal)
Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf. With my flesh I am filling up the gaps left in the line by those who succumb to the pressures being brought against Christ. I do this for the sake of his Body, which is the Church.
If somebody doesn't stand, they don't operate that Christ in you, then you have to stand for them. You've got to fill in the gaps. I do this for the sake of his body, you don't want his body to have holes in it. You want to fill it up. "which is the Church."
Colossians 1:25: (Literal)
I became a minister [of the Church] in accordance with the administration of God given me to complete the Word of God for you:
To make it fully known and complete it, the last bit of truth that can be known.
Colossians 1:26, 27: (Literal)
the Mystery hidden from ages and generations. Now it has been revealed to His holy ones. To them God desired to make known the riches of the glory of this Mystery among the Gentiles, which is …
Colossians 1:27-29: (Literal)
…CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY. This [Christ in you] we preach, confronting every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, in order to cause every man to stand [before God] mature and perfect in Christ. To this end I labor hard, striving intensely [earnestly] in the contest, by the energizing assistance of the potential power within me.
God bless you. Keep living the Mystery.