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Colossians 1 vs 9 - 23 - Corps Night - April 11 - 1984

Topic: logospedia
Format: mp3
Publication Date: 04-11-1984

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. 

Colossians 1:9-23
April 11, 1984

So, tonight we're in the Colossians chapter one and in verse nine. And tonight the literals that you've been given, you will notice, they are in introverted structure ABCDCBA. That's because this particular section forms a real nice crisp and clear introverted structure and something that will help you to understand this particular section. And remember this, these verses 9 to 23 form a section in themselves, it's the section on prayer, to be filled with the knowledge of God's will. The prayer to be filled with a knowledge of God's will and it starts out in the first section, verses 9, 10 and 11 with a view to the believer.
Colossians 1:9:
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you [you, the believer]....
Then in verses 12 and 13, it switches to God the Father. The Father, which corresponds to Jehovah of the Old Testament. Jehovah was God's relationship, covenant relationship with his people. Elohim was the term used for God when it was God in relationship to his creation, as the creator. So, this is the Jehovah section, verses 12 and 13. Then verses 14 and 15 refer specifically to the son of God, Jesus Christ. Then, verses 16 and 17 are the central section and they speak of God as Elohim the creator. Elohim. And those are also a parenthesis, that we'll get into a little bit later. Verse 18, then goes back to the son, Jesus Christ. Then, verses 19 and 20 come back to the Father, Jehovah. God as the Father in relationship to His family, Jehovah. And then, the last three verses 21, 22, and 23 come back to you the believer. Now in verse nine.
Colossians 1:9:
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
First of all, it says, we also, we also do not cease to pray for you. Who else was praying for them? Well, how about Epaphras? Epaphras is the one in verse 8 who has related your spiritual love for us. Epaphras was the one that taught them and then related to Paul and Timothy their spiritual love for Paul and Timothy. And that's why in verse 9, we also, Paul and Timothy, cease not to pray for you. How do I know Epaphras was praying for them?
Colossians 4:12a:
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers....
That's how I know Epaphras was praying for them. But we also, Timothy and I, we also since the day we heard it. And what was the day that they heard it? The day that Epaphras told them about it. Verse 8, Epaphras related it to them. Right? That's the day they heard it. Whenever Epaphras told them. Since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you. The words "do not cease" is a figure of speech antenantiosis. Where you say it negatively in order to emphasize the positive. The Word could have said, we continue to pray for you. But instead it puts it in the negative, we cease not to pray for you, or do not cease. Putting it in the negative to emphasize the positive. To pray for you and to desire. See that word "desire"? It's not thelo to intensely desire. It's not that word that means, to have great emotions or intense emotions, that we've had before. But it's the word aiteō in Greek, which means to ask or request. Like you request payment on a check when you hand it to a cashier at the cashier's window. What does it mean? You demand it. But you don't go out and say I demand payment on this. But you request it, but you have a right to it. You won't settle for three-fourths of what's on the check. Right. That's right. You want the full
amount, and it's your right to demand it, to request it. That's the strength of that word here, to desire, to
request, to ask emphatically, to demand that you might be filled. It's our right to ask it, to request it, that
you might be filled. And that word "filled" is plēroō to be filled to capacity. That you might be filled to
capacity with the knowledge and the word "knowledge" is epiginosis which you know is full, precise and
complete knowledge, exact knowledge. Epiginosis not just knowledge but the full, exact, precise
knowledge of His will. His intense desire in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Wisdom, what is the
wisdom? Regarding this particular administration, specifically it's that wisdom in I Corinthians 2, regarding
the Mystery. The Mystery. See it? It's that wisdom regarding the Mystery that he wants them to be filled
with the knowledge in all wisdom and then the spiritual understanding. The spiritual sunesis where your
thoughts all flow together. That is the utilization of it again, it's that spiritual understanding, that's the
Advanced class. It's putting it into practice where you're able to help people with the knowledge of that
wisdom of the Mystery that you have. You have the wisdom of Christ in you, what to do about it. How to
do things in this day and time. What's right and what's wrong according to the Word in our administration.
And then, the spiritual understanding in each situation. How do you minister to somebody in a meeting? If
somebody has a need, do you do it by your five senses? No, but you have the knowledge of the Word
which is a critic of your heart, you have the knowledge of God's Word and you also have the nine
manifestations that you can operate. And specifically when that person has a need, word of knowledge,
word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, that God can show you what the score is and what to do about it.
Right? And then you have the power and impartation manifestations to carry it out. So that's where the
spiritual understanding comes from. Because of the spiritual adeptness and perception that you have, the
inner man. Remember this same phrase came up in the Aramaic in Philippians 1:9. Philippians 1:9, where
he says:
Philippians 1:9:
And this I pray, [here he was praying too] that your love may abound yet more and more in
knowledge and in all judgment.
Here in Philippians it's your love abounding more and more in knowledge and all [remember?] spiritual
insight. Spiritual insight. Here in Colossians, it's not knowledge and spiritual insight. It's wisdom and
spiritual understanding or spiritual insight. And it's not that you might be abounding in love, that would put
it into the practical category of Philippians but, that ye might be filled with the full complete knowledge.
See it? That's the Mystery. That's the Mystery that Ephesians lays out and then Colossians corrects the error
because they were not holding the head. They were not really living according to the doctrine of the
Mystery, in Colossians. See the minute differences between Philippians 1:9 and Colossians 1:9? See how
close they are in the wording? And yet they're different. And the reason for that difference...Christ is the
head, the head of the Body and they were not holding that head. They needed to have the wisdom
reaffirmed in their lives, that wisdom of the Mystery and that Christ is the head and then the spiritual
understanding in order to walk according to that head who is Christ. So, we translated verse 9.
Colossians 1:9: (Literal)
Because of this [Epaphras' report], since [from] the day we heard it, we also do not stop praying
for you and requesting that you be filled to capacity with the full, complete knowledge of God's
will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
Colossians 1:10:
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and
increasing in the knowledge of God.
The word "worthy" is the Greek word axis. You've had it before in Philippians 1:27, we mentioned it
being in Ephesians 4:1, to walk worthy of the calling wherewith you were called. Worthy is that word that
means "balance", used of the scales, when they're in balance. So you have a worthy walk. That means your
walk balances with the doctrine. Your practice and your doctrine are one. You can't have one doctrine and
then practice something else. Your walk has to line up with your doctrine. So walk worthy, walk with a
balanced walk, of the Lord, and that Lord has to be God, as a matter of fact, the Aramaic says God. And the
Aramaic says "to" God, not "of" God, but to God and it puts it with the word "pleasing" that follows. In
other words, we're to walk with the balanced walk, worthy, being pleasing to God, in our balanced walk. In
all things. As a matter of fact, the next phrase, being fruitful in every good work. That phrase "in every
good work", the Aramaic puts it after pleasing again. We're to walk worthy, pleasing to God in all good
works. Now, wherever you put that and I like the Aramaic because it puts it first, then being fruitful, you
would still be fruitful in your good works. See? But you're pleasing in all those good works being fruitful in
them. See? And you'll see that as you look at our translation here in a minute. Then, it says, not only being
fruitful, but increasing, auxanō. Remember that one? It means to grow, grow up, increase in the knowledge
and there's epignosis again, full complete knowledge.
Now, it's interesting, you have here "when you are filled with the full complete knowledge of God's will
in all wisdom and spiritual understanding". In other words, you know the Mystery and you walk according
to it. You have the nine manifestations in operation in your life, then you can walk worthy with a balanced
walk being pleasing to God in ALL good works. And then you're fruitful and you grow up, which is what
he prayed back in verse six, remember that? Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth
forth fruit and remember the text added auxanō, and causes growth. How did we translate that? Which has
been preached to you even as it is preached in all the world. So, it produces fruit and growth in all the
world even as it has in you, from the day you first heard and fully knew, God's grace in all its truth. From
the day you first heard what? The true Word, the good news, remember? The true Word, the good news, it
was preached to you... and that true Word produces fruit and growth. And when you come to a full
complete knowledge of the Mystery, of the Word, it causes fruitfulness and growth in your knowledge of
God, your full complete knowledge of God. But it comes from the Word, back in verse six. You learn the
Word, you learn the walk, you grow up, you're fruitful, and that's what he wanted to see more and more of.
He wanted to see them filled to capacity with this knowledge. Look at verse 11.
Colossians 1:11:
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering
with joyfulness.
Strengthened and might are the same word in a different part of speech. So it would be a figure of
speech, the word there is dunamis and then a related word. So you'd have "empowered with power". That's
a figure of speech, polyptoton. Remember Polyptoton? You got that list memorized yet? Good. Alright.
According to his glorious power; the Greek word for power here is kratos and that means exerted power or
power with an impact. Unto, in the Aramaic is the prefix "b", which can mean in, by or with. Which makes
more sense than the Greek word used here and then you have patience and longsuffering and the Aramaic
says "and joy" rather than "with joy". Now "longsuffering" means a lengthy period of patience before
showing wrath. In other words, having a long fuse. Patience is used with respect to things, circumstances or
conditions whereas longsuffering is used with respect to people. You have to be longsuffering with people
and patient with the circumstances surrounding those people. When you do it with joy, then you get some
results. That joy must accompany the patience and longsuffering. Now, we'll translate 10 and 11 here.
Colossians 1:10, 11: (Literal)
Thus shall you be able to walk with a balanced walk, being pleasing to God in all good works,
bearing fruit and growing up in the full, complete knowledge of God,
empowered with all power according to His glorious exerted power, with all patience and longsuffering
and joy.
Thus what? As a result of being filled to capacity with the full complete knowledge of God's will in all
wisdom and spiritual understanding. Thus, when you have that full capacity, thus shall you be able to walk
with a balanced walk being pleasing to God in all good works, bearing fruit and growing up in the full
complete knowledge of God empowered with all power. You see, it's not just knowing the Word but then
that Word makes you able to walk with a balanced walk, to be able to please God in all things, in all good works, to bear fruit, to grow up in the full complete knowledge of God and to be empowered with power. That's the Advanced class that we happened to be into right now. To be empowered with power? Boy, the church today if they only could see this. If they only knew what was available. If they only read the Word and believed it. That's right. But to be empowered with power according to His glorious exerted power and again God's Word just... it's stumbles around with human language because of the inability of man's language to communicate the greatness of what God really wants to say. Look at that. Empowered with all power according to His glorious exerted power. With all patience and longsuffering and joy. And that's what it takes in the walk. You can't say, God give me patience and give it to me now. You can't say, God give me revelation and give it to me now. You be patient. OK? Longsuffering and with joy. See? If things aren't quite working out, well, just keep the joy. Don't get impatient. Keep a smile on your face, while you're walking with that power. But they lacked that full complete knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Now that's for you the believer, that's his prayer for you the believer. Then we switch to the Father.
Colossians 1:12:
Giving thanks unto the Father [Jehovah], which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
You see, with all this, if we're to be filled with the full complete knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so you have all these other things. That gives us cause to give thanks to our Father. Not God as Elohim creator, somewhere there out in the universe. But he's our Father, like Jehovah. He's our Father. Moses says,"Who shall I say sent me". I'll be what I'll be. Tell him "I'll be" sent you. I'll be is related to Jehovah , a form of the word. You know, tell him Jehovah sent you. It means essentially the same thing. A form of the word. Isn't that neat? I think so. Giving thanks to Jehovah. Moses didn't have a God that was somewhere way out in the universe. And he didn't have some wood block or stone someplace. He had a real God that he was in touch with. Giving thanks to the Father, he is our Heavenly Father, which hath made us, us, us, us. There's a little word that ought to just stick out and shake up your eyes. "Us". What's unusual about that word, "us"? Well, before in 9, 10 and 11, it was you, you, you. Now all of sudden it switches to us. Because it's not dealing with you the believer. Now it's general, "us", because it switched to a new section it's the Father section. Well, you think men just wrote these words haphazardly? And you will not see "you", the word "you" come up again until 21. If I looked correctly, which I'm sure I have. In verse 21.
Colossians 1:21:
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
"You", does not come up again until 21. And in 21 is where it goes back to the "you" section. In the meantime, it's the Father, what He's done for all of us. We've switched sections here. Who hath made us meet, or adequate, sufficient, confident. It's that word used of, God is our sufficiency, he's made us sufficient and so on, he's made us confident, capable to be partakers, partakers of the inheritance. A partaker means a share, or, of a common stock, where you share in a common stock. It's a part or a portion. He has made us confident for a share, is literally what it says. A share, a portion, our portion of the inheritance of the saints. Now, there's your dual genitive. See that? Partakers "of" the inheritance "of" the saints. Dual genitive, so it's really drawing attention to that phrase. And our inheritance is in the light, it's not in darkness. It's in the light. Look how we translated it.
Colossians 1:12: (Literal)
So give thanks to the Father [Jehovah], Who has given us the ability to enjoy [now] our share of the saints' inheritance in the light.
Because if you're empowered with power now, look at it. If you're empowered with power now, not sometime in the future. God wants you to have a complete knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding when? NOW. He wants you to have that balanced walk. NOW. He wants you to bear fruit NOW. He wants you to grow up NOW. He wants you to be empowered with power NOW according to His glorious exerted power with patience, longsuffering and joy.
So, you give thanks to the Father NOW who has given us the ability, made us confident to enjoy our share of the saints' inheritance in the light. NOW. You've got your inheritance coming in the future, but I want to tell you something, you can enjoy it NOW because you have the power of the head, Christ in you, to operate today. Boy, the Christians are living way below par. And I think sometimes we get talked out of it. We ought to be living miles above the rest of the world with Christ in us, and all that power to be empowered according to His exerted power. I got excited when I heard the manifestations again tonight. I'll tell you, if it weren't for those things, I don't know. I can always trust those things. Have you ever heard that before? [Laughs] It's God's Word, He's speaking exhortation and comfort to us now. And what about the other things that happened in a meeting. If somebody is walking things happen. Boy, in life, in your job, in your twig, wherever you are. Things got to happen when you're walking by the spirit. That's right. Advanced class or no Advanced class. Sure I think you need the Advanced class once a year. I've been through this thing almost every year. But, every year if I can't be in at least part of the Advanced class, I just need that to kick me in the butt once in a while. To know again the great power I have. And you do too. I don't think any of you have arrived on the third heaven yet? We should enjoy our share of the saints' inheritance NOW in the light.
Colossians 1:13:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
Who hath delivered us? The Father. Our Father. He hath delivered us from the power of darkness. That's why we're in the light, and we enjoy that inheritance in the light. NOW. Because we're already delivered from the darkness, the word "delivered" of course is, rescued. To rescue, to snatch from danger. Deliver, save. And He's rescued us, snatched us from the danger of the power exousia which means authority, delegated power, authority of darkness, darkness. There's an article I did a long time ago in a Way Magazine on darkness. It even has a dark page at the top, I don't know. But there's two words darkness, one is skotos. This was in 1969 I believe. The July/August/September issue I think is the one it is. Anyway, there's two words, skotos and skotia. Now skotos, the first one, is used of the darkness in which a man of body and soul walks. A natural man of body and soul walks in darkness and a son of God could walk when he's out of fellowship, he walks in darkness. Skotos is also used of those who are not born again of either seed. In other words, they're just natural man of body and soul. However, those who are born of the wrong seed, the seed of Satan are in skotia. It is much more emphatic, much darker than skotos, it refers to the state of darkness. The actual state of darkness. It's used of the things pertaining to the kingdom of Satan. In John 1:5: it says, the light shineth in skotia, darkness. And the darkness skotia comprehends it not. It's unable to even cast a shadow upon the light.
I John 1:5:
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
A double negative there, absolutely no skotia, no darkness. And then in.
I John 1:6:
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness [skotos], we lie, and do not the truth.
Because the believer can not walk in skotia, we lie and do not the truth. Only a man born of Satan, the
wrong seed, can walk in skotia, and so on. Well there's more to it than that but that gives you an idea.
Something I think you can work in more detail. The word "darkness", that's used here is skotos. Because we
were never in skotia, we were in skotos. OK? He's delivered us from the authority of darkness and hath
translated us, translate means to transfer, to remove from one place and place in another. The Sanscrit says,
"He gave us citizenship." The text that Bishop Pillai had, from India. To give us citizenship. Well, if you
are removed from the kingdom of darkness and brought over to the kingdom of light, then would you be
made citizens in the new kingdom? Certainly. So the Sanscrit fits real nicely. At least, that's the thought and
essence of it, when you work it. By the way, this is covered in The Bible Tells Me So chapter 7, God
Rescued Us, if you haven't read it lately. It's like removing the captives from their city and transferring
them to another area. In this case removing the captivated from one city and returning them to their proper
city. Now, "kingdom of his dear Son". See that phrase? Literally, it says in most of the manuscripts, the
kingdom of the son of His love or the son of his beloved. Or His beloved son, would be another way to say
it. You must remember that this could be a genitive of relation and be translated by the son of His love. Or
by His beloved son. There are certain manuscripts that I encountered in Germany when I was there as well
as an old Syriac text that reads: The Kingdom of the love of His son or the Kingdom by the love of His son.
In other words it was His son's love that brought us to the kingdom. If you looked at it, just the way it is in
the Greek, as "by His beloved son". That would imply by what His beloved son did. Right? Or by the
works of His beloved son. And that, I think brings out the truth of it, in the way we translated it. So verse
13 is:
Colossians 1:13: (Literal)
He has rescued us out from among the exercised influence [of the kingdom] of darkness, and He
has separated us, bringing us as citizens into His kingdom by the work of His beloved son.
And that's pretty much the literal according to usage, Dr. Wierwille gives you in the book. Now verse 14.
Colossians 1:14:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
First of all, forgiveness is remission. And this verse now switches from Father to the son. And the son
was introduced at the end of the previous verse and now these verses proceed to tell us about the son. In
whom, the son, we have redemption. The words "through his blood" are omitted in Aramaic and many of
the Greek texts. So we translated it.
Colossians 1:14: (Literal)
By His son we have redemption, the remission of sins.
Colossians 1:15:
Who is the image [Christ, the son, is the image] of the invisible God, the firstborn of every
First of all, it's talking about the son again, the son Jesus Christ, who is the image of the invisible God,
who is the firstborn of every creature. Creature is a created thing or creation. Created things or creation. Is
Mary Lawler's article going to be in the next issue of the magazine? For May/June, the GMIR article for
May/June will be Mary Lawler's paper on this word "image", and she does a fantastic job. First she shows
how screwed up religion has been over this word "image" and the different ways they've tried to distort it.
But you go back to Genesis 1:26 and 27; God said, let us make man in our what? Image. OK. Is God man?
No. Jesus Christ was made in the image of God and it tells us that other places. The usage of this word
"image" in the New Testament in Romans 1:23 to 25, where man change the glory of the incorruptible God
into an image made like unto corruptible man. The birds, fourfooted beasts, creeping things and so on...
who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,
God himself Elohim. At this point it seems appropriate to comment on the parallelism among Father/son,
Creator/creature and archetype/ image. In all three categories it is absolutely implied and obvious that the
thing derived can be neither identical nor equal to that from which it is derived. Creator/creature. It's not
identical, is it? Archetype/image, image is something that's derived from the archetype, Jesus Christ the
son, derived from the Father. Not equal, not identical. OK. Jesus Christ is currently called the son of God
throughout the New Testament. He is specifically described as the image of God in II Corinthians 4:4 and
Colossians 1:15. And then she goes into this verse and explains it very nicely. If you're an image of
something, then, you're not that something. Well, I'll let you read the article. John Crouch also prepared a
background study that is tremendous. He goes into a lot of details on this verse. I'd like to share sections of
it with you. Again he mentions II Corinthians 4:4.
II Corinthians 4:4b:
...lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Christ is called the image there and in contrast with the invisible God. God is invisible. For an image is
something set forth before and visible to the eye. Jesus Christ is the Word manifested visible to all men.
Also, in this work, John covers the word firstborn. The word firstborn is prōtotokos. That word is used in
Matthew 1:25, "and Joseph knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn prōtotokos son and he
called his name Jesus." Mary's firstborn. Did Mary have other children? Sure, they're mentioned in
Matthew 13:55 and 56 and other places. But Jesus Christ was her firstborn. Now the same idea is brought
out in Hebrews 11:28 where it says "through believing he, Moses kept the passover and the sprinkling of
blood lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them." They had their firstborn destroyed, remember,
in the passover. OK. It is apparent from these usages that prōtotokos cannot refer to God because God
cannot be born since he is the Creator of all those who give birth and the word in other contexts clearly
indicates a child firstborn into a family. Yet, the former argument is sustained by the idea that some people
promote that prōtotokos has a sense of authority through primogeniture. But the word just isn't used in that
way in the New Testament. In other words a first cause of all things. BALONEY! If it is admitted that the
word prōtotokos does not refer to God, which some people do admit. Then it is claimed by those people
that it is a reference to Jesus Christ because of his rank over all creation since Jesus Christ created all
things. And again I used that great intellectual word, BALONEY! [Laughter] But this argument does not
bear up in the context of the New Testament. John didn't say that, I threw that in here.
First of all, they want to propound their theology, their ideas and so forth. That's not Biblical research.
We've got to go to the Word and the Word has to be logical. It has to fit all the way through. Prōtotokos is
never used of primogeniture in that sense. But Christ is the firstborn. He is called the firstborn here. If they
just read verse 18, it would define it for them. He is the head of the Body, the Church, who is the
beginning, the firstborn from the what? Dead. In the gospels, Jesus Christ is called the only begotten son of
God. Right? The only begotten son of God. But he was the firstborn of Mary. But it says he is the firstborn
of God in the sense that he is the firstborn from the dead. Understand? But he was never called firstborn
from the dead until after his resurrection. Except that he was the firstborn of Mary. In Revelation 1:5, look
at it. To really understand this word, you have to have revelation, tonight. That was a little pun. OK.
Revelation 1:5:
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten [the firstborn] of the
There it is again. He is the firstborn of the dead. Now look at Romans 8.
Romans 8:29a:
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his [what?]
So, if Jesus Christ is the image of God and we are the image of Jesus Christ, then what are we? By the same logic that some people use, we would be God. Right. OK, but we're not. We're a reflection, and we're an image derived from.
Romans 8:29b:
...that he might be the [prōtotokos] firstborn among many brethren.
Now how is Jesus Christ the firstborn among many brethren? He was the firstborn from the dead. It's interesting here that this word "firstborn among many brethren." The brethren here refers to those sons of God back in..., well throughout this whole chapter especially in verse 16, you see it. And that sonship, the new birth is by a new creation. How do I know that? Ephesians 2:10 says "we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus". When it says put on the new man which after God was what? Created. It was created, it's that new creation on the inside. Now, keep that in mind and go back to Colossians. Now, you're better look at I Corinthians 15, before you do. Now it doesn't used the word prōtotokos here but, it does say the same essence.
I Corinthians 15:20:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
Jesus Christ was the firstborn from the dead. He's the firstfruits of them that slept. OK. Back to Colossians.
He's the firstborn from the dead of all creation, the firstborn of every creation, of all creation. What creation is it referring to? The first creation was Genesis 1:1, is it referring to that? I don't think so. That's the time when God created the physical universe, the soul life and the first spirit on Adam. But, since that day, the day of Pentecost rather, since the day of Pentecost, there has been a spiritual creation available from God for people in our day and time, Jesus Christ was the first one of this creation in that he was resurrected with a spiritual body, in that he was firstborn from the dead. Therefore, this meaning of firstborn refers to the spiritual birth that Christ experienced on the day he was resurrected in his spiritual body, and this is shown in Acts 13:33 where it says:
Acts 13:33:
God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
He has raised up Jesus again as it is written, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. What day? The day he was raised up. So, the essence here then, Jesus Christ is the firstborn from the dead. He's the first born from the dead of all creation, what creation? That new creation. The new birth and we're going to get a new body like he got, when Christ returns. But he's the firstborn from the dead. You got it? And defined very clearly in verse 18 (Colossians 1:18).
Colossians 1:15: (Literal)
He [the son, Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [from among the dead] of all creation.
Very simple when you get right down to it.
Colossians 1:16:
For by him [God] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
Did Jesus Christ create all things? NO! It would contradict the rest of the Word. It would fall to pieces.
Then, who created that new creature? Who gave Jesus Christ life when he was dead? Who raised him from
the dead? Who created him in His image? Elohim, God created all things. That's why God stands at the
center of this section. He is Elohim, the Creator without whom it'd be impossible for all these other things
to come to pass. Boy, isn't that terrific? God, Elohim, is at the center of this section. For by Him, God, the
invisible God, were all things created that are in heaven, and that are on the earth, visible and invisible.
Now whenever you have two things or you have a bunch of things that are given instead of the whole thing,
that's that figure of speech merismos. But when you have the two extremes what kind of merismos is it?
Polarmerismos. Remember? Polarmerismos, we've had that before too. So you have heaven and earth the
two extremes. That's a polarmerismos. Visible and invisible. There's two other extremes representing the
whole thing, polarmerismos. Whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities or powers, now there is a
series of things representing the whole. It doesn't list everything, but it's a series representing the whole
thing, that's just plain old merismos. So you've got three beautiful figures of speech right there. Besides that
verses 16 and 17 are a parenthesis added to highlight God as the Creator who created the creation of which
Jesus Christ was the firstborn. Did God create the new creation in you? In me? In each one of us? In all
born again believers? And Jesus Christ was the firstborn of all those created things. Was Jesus Christ
created? That's right, he just didn't pop up from nothing. He was created. God has to be at the center. He is
the Creator. Now.
Colossians 1:17:
And he [God] is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Which means to stand together, cohere or to be held together. By God, all things are held together.
Without Him you wouldn't have anything. You wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be here. Jesus Christ never
would have come. Nothing would have happened. So, 16 and 17, we've put in parenthesis at the center of
this introversion and we translated it:
Colossians 1:16, 17: (Literal)
(Because by God [Elohim] all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.
Thrones and lordships and rulers and authorities were all created by Him and for His purpose.
He is before all things and all things are held together by Him.)
Colossians 1:18:
And he...
Now, we switch back to Christ. How do I know that? I read the verse. [Laughs] He is the head of the
Body. Well, who's the head of the Body? Christ. How do I know that? I looked at Ephesians and a few
other places. Christ is the head of the Body. What's the subject of Colossians? They weren't holding the
head, right? Christ is the head of the body. They needed to hear this about the son.
Colossians 1:18: the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all
things he might have the preeminence.
It's interesting. This is another verse that I looked at extensively in Germany and I looked at every
manuscript that had this section that they had there. Two of the manuscripts that I looked at had "Christ" in
place of the word "he". And Christ is the head of the Body. Twelve of the manuscripts wrote "Christ"
above or beside the word "he" in the margin and about one third of all the cursive manuscripts containing
this section have a heading, electionary heading it's called, where it says "Christ is the head of the Body".
And of course it's substantiated by Ephesians where Christ is called the head. So anyways, no problem with
it. It's interesting that all those manuscripts had all those nice things in there though. The phrase "he might
have the preeminence". Bullinger gives this as meaning that "he might hold first place". So we translated verse 18.
Colossians 1:18: (Literal)
And he [Christ] who is the chief, the firstborn from among the dead, is the head of the Body, the Church, so that he holds first place in everything.
Well, if he was firstborn from the dead, he's the head of the Body, he will hold first place in all things, right?
Colossians 1:19:
For it pleased [seemed good to] the Father [supplied here by ellipsis] that in him should all fulness dwell.
It was pleasing or it seemed good. Seemed good to who? Well, who did the creating? That's right. God did. So, we're back to the Father, because it's not just what God created here. In verse 20, it ties it in to what he did for his family. The peace, the reconciliation. That's Jehovah, that's why Father is properly supplied here. We put it in brackets, in ours. "It seemed good to the Father" that in him should all fullness dwell. Fullness is plērōma. Full to capacity. This word "should dwell", the Greek is katoikeō. It means to dwell, as in a permanent residence. Not paroikeō, which would be the temporary dwelling used by a sojourner. But a permanent dwelling residence. It pleased or seemed good to the Father that all the fullness of the Father should live permanently in him. How do I know it's the fullness of the Father? Colossians 2:9 says, in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 1:20:
And having made peace through the blood of his cross...
The word "peace", having made peace, is in the Aramaic shayen. This word is so fantastic. If you haven't studied Ephesians, I just want to remind you.
Ephesians 2:13, 14:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one [both Judean and Gentile], and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.
There was even that wall in the temple, between the court of the Gentiles and the court of Israel. So that the Gentiles could never go into the court of Israel. And Christ broke down that wall making peace.
Ephesians 2:15-17:
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Now, there is this word shayen that I gave you and another word shlama that's used for peace. The word shlama is the most frequently used word for peace. Shlama means peace, safety. It's used in greetings and salutations. Shayen, that other word I gave you, is peace in the sense of a treaty of peace or of truth. It's similar to the word "pax" in Latin where a peace concluded between parties, especially between parties that were at war. So, anyway here in Ephesians in verses 14 and 15, it's this word shayen, a form of it. And in
verse 17, it's shlama, the normal word for peace. Now if you look at that in Ephesians, "he", Christ is our
peace who hath made both one. He is our peace treaty. He broke down the middle wall of partition between
Judean and Gentile, so now there's a what? A peace treaty between us. That's leading to what? The
Mystery, the one Body. It's neat. That he might reconcile both, Judean and Gentile unto God in one Body,
one Body, one Body, there it is. [Back to verse 15] One new man so making a peace treaty. There it is, a
peace treaty. Then, verse 16, that he might reconcile both, the Judean and the Gentile having made a peace
treaty between them, he can now reconcile both of them to whom? God. Remember there was still a veil
between the holy place. There was a wall between Judean and Gentile, but the Judeans couldn't even get to
God because there was a veil, and the veil was that thick, you know. A foot thick or so. It was a huge veil,
it wasn't just a little curtain like this. He first had to make the peace treaty between the Judean and Gentile
by breaking down that wall, then he reconciled both of them to God, having slain the enmity thereby, that's
where he rent the veil in two. And verse 17, came and preached shlama, the normal word for peace, to you
which were afar off and to them that were nigh. Both of them needed to have peace with God. But between
the two they needed a peace treaty. Isn't that beautiful? The usage of words. That through him, Jesus Christ,
we both have access by one spirit to the Father. That's the peace with God.
Now, back to Colossians, this is the word shayen that's used here. It's a peace treaty, to make a peace
Colossians 1:20:
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things unto himself;
by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Now blood is a figure of speech metalepsis, which is a double metonymy. In other words the "blood" is
put for the "shed blood" and the "shed blood" is put for "death". The literal of this, is in Philippians 2:8,
where it says, the death of the cross, here it's the blood of the cross which is the figure metalepsis, where
the blood is put for the shed blood, which is put for death. But literally it's the death of the cross. A lot of
figures in this area.
By him to reconcile, to bring back together that which is separated, all things to himself. But first there
has to be a peace treaty through his death. Then, he can reconcile all together, all of them to God. "By him,
I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." The reason both categories is because Adam
screwed things up on the earth, Lucifer screwed up things in heaven so there has to be reconciliation in all
category. Heaven and earth. And that is significant. Because all the sacrifices in the Old Testament were in
what category? Senses, sense knowledge in the earth category. They could reconcile things temporarily but
only in the physical realm. They could never reconcile the heavenly.
Hebrews 9:23:
It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these;
but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
See, all those things in the law, the Old Testament, were only a pattern of the things in the heavens. But
the heavenly things themselves required better sacrifices. That's why:
Hebrews 9:24:
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true;
but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
That's why Christ was the perfect sacrifice. Because he covered both the senses, the earthly, and the
heavenly realm. Isn't that beautiful? Marvelous.
Colossians 1:19, 20: (Literal)
It seemed good [to the Father] that all the fullness [of the Father] should live permanently in him
and that by him [Jesus Christ] He [the Father] should reconcile all things on earth and in heaven to Himself, having made a peace treaty through the blood of the cross [the death of Jesus Christ].
That's how the Father reconciled us.
Colossians 1:21:
And you [the believers], that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
Even you, the believers, you're a part of those earthly and heavenly things, aren't you? You're a part of the earthly category, that area that Adam messed up. Even you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, you were formerly, sometime is formerly alienated and enemies. And that's what Ephesians 2 is all about. How you were aliens, strangers from the commonwealth of Israel, without God, without hope. You were aliens, enemies in your mind, by evil works. Yet now hath he reconciled. In the Aramaic it says shayen. Yet now has he made a peace treaty. You were Gentiles, you were separated, enemies at loggerheads. It ties into Ephesians doctrine, doesn't it? The doctrinal section of Ephesians which is where they were blowing it. But he made a peace treaty with you.
Colossians 1:22:
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
Flesh just describes the body, the genitive of character, the body that's made of flesh. By whose body of flesh? Christ's. Jesus Christ's body of flesh. His carnal body. Through the death of that body, that's how he did the peace treaty. He did the peace treaty through his death, the death of his carnal flesh. That reiterates what he just said up in verse 20. And he did it in order to present you, to present YOU holy, which means set apart ones, separated ones, holy, and unblameable, which means blameless. That's Ephesians 1:4, to present us holy and blameless...Remember? Holy and blameless, and "unreproveable" is "unimpeachable". It's a legal term, meaning nothing can be laid to your charge as the result of public investigation. Nothing can be laid to your charge. You are unimpeachable in his sight or before him.
Colossians 1:21, 22: (Literal)
He has reconciled even you who were formerly aliens and enemies in the mind by evil works. Now He has made a peace treaty with you through the death of his [Jesus Christ's] carnal body in order to cause you to stand before Him [God] holy [set apart] and blameless and unimpeachable.
The word "stand" is a legal term too. When you bring someone causing to stand before the court. You cause them to stand before the magistrate. He causes you to stand before God himself, holy when you stand before God because of that peace treaty which Jesus Christ procured by the death of his carnal body, then you can stand before God, holy, set apart and blameless and unimpeachable. Beautiful. It just reiterates the great doctrine of Ephesians chapter one, two and three.
Colossians 1:23:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.
Now, isn't that wonderful? You are holy, unblameable, unreprovable in is sight if, if, if. Here we were on such a roll. It was so great and now it's all dependent on "IF". Well the Greek word is eige and it means literally if you break it down "if indeed". This appears as most people say to be a condition, if, a condition
without a conclusion. And that is why many of them mix it up with the previous verse. However, the
opposite is true. The condition is implied while the conclusion is stated. The Greek eige means, "if indeed",
or "if at least" and marks the climax of a crescendo according to the grammars, Robertson in particular. A
good translation, understanding this, would be "if" or "since indeed this is so", what we've just been talking
about. If this is so, or since this is so, what we've just been talking about... then continue in the faith. And
that word "continue" can be either indicative or imperative and nobody else translated it imperative but I
believe it should be imperative, a command. And the whole team agrees with me so that settles it. They
convinced me this is what it should be. We worked it out together. If indeed this is true, what we've just
been saying, that you are holy, blameless and unimpeachable, then continue for Lord's sake, continue in the
faith, the family faith, grounded and settled with a firm foundation and be not moved away. Not shaken.
The Aramaic word is za. And it's to shake like an earthquake, like a dance floor.
Not shaken from the Hope of the Gospel. The Hope that pertains to the Gospel, related to the Gospel.
Our Hope comes from the Gospel, doesn't it? Sure. Which you have heard and which was preached to
every creature which is under heaven, all the creation under heaven, where of I Paul am made a minister.
What does that sound like? Verse 6. Remember? Which has been preached to you even as it is preached in
all the world so it produces fruit and growth in the world as in does in you. Remember that, verse 6? Our
literal according to usage. Which you have heard and which was preached to every creature, all the creation
which is under heaven. All the creation, is what it says in Aramaic and Greek. And that is a figure of
speech, synecdoche, where the whole is put for the part. The whole creation is put for all the little created
things in there that really got the preaching. You can't preach to walls.
Colossians 1:23: (Literal)
Since indeed this is so, then continue in the family faith, having a firm foundation. Do not be
shaken from the Hope of the good news, which you hear and which is preached throughout all the
creation under heaven and of which I, Paul, am made a minister.
See, it has nothing to do with this being a condition on which you rest your holiness and blamelessness.
You are holy and blameless, and unimpeachable. Since that's so, then continue in the family faith, having a
firm foundation, don't be shaken from the Hope of the good news, which you hear and which is preached
thoughout all creation under heaven. Isn't this a beautiful section. It starts with you the believer, back in
verse 9. In 10 he's praying that you might be filled with the complete knowledge of God's will in all
wisdom. And what's the whole issue here? The Mystery. Christ in you, Jew and Gentile, one Body but
Christ at the head. The Mystery. That you might be filled with that. Because somewhere along the way,
they were lacking in that knowledge, that full complete knowledge. They had it, but they lost it or they
weren't living like it. They weren't operating all nine all the time. And they needed to get that balanced
walk back. They needed to be empowered with power, according to his exerted power. Right? And to get to
that place, to continue in the family faith with a firm foundation, not shaken, you have to realize what the
Father has done for you through the son, all because of Elohim, who made it available. Isn't it a beautiful
section? It's a masterpiece of God's Word, like all of His Word is. It's so beautiful when you get done
scrutinizing all the details. You just see how it glows, it just thrills me. And I trust it does you too.
Father, we sure thank you for this wonderful night together and the great joy we have of being together
and studying your Word and living it. And seeing the Mystery live in our day and time. Thank you again for
our George this night and for your continued healing to him and for all your people around the world in
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
God bless you!