Publication Date: 1984
Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.
He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International and served as assistant to the president.
May 9, 1984
Let's go to the book of Colossians. Well, anybody that's had their ears open these last few weeks, and I have done my best to catch up on what's been going on, really ought to have been blessed in a magnificent way if you can count to three. First of all, there is no trinity. But also Dr. Wierwille's great teaching from a week and a half ago on Sunday night, on the three judgments, which I think was absolutely tremendous. And some of the lines in there regarding what we should be working for is our real rewards which are future. And a lot of people really haven't locked into that yet; that our rewards are spiritual, they're future. Things that you get at the bēma and not the temporal rewards you get from the world. And that is certainly something we ought to keep our eyes on. But the three judgments...and he opened up a field that I think we can do a lot more work on as he suggested...and which a group of our research fellowship has been working on...and that ought to give them some great direction along that line.
Now, of course, I didn't get to hear Rev. Fort's teaching from two weeks ago, but I heard Rev. Martindale's teaching from last week and it certainly tied into Galatians. And it'll tie into about anything in the Word, because behind all the things that were going on, like the doctrinal error at Colosse for example, you have the issue of people that were being persuaded or enticed or those that they had to beware of, look out for, because they were teaching vain deceitful philosophy that was contrary to the Word. Trying to get people into the same things the Galatians were getting into. Only this was a matter of just persuading them not to hold the head, who is Christ.
And that's the third thing, is holding the head, which is where we were in Colossians a few weeks back. The doctrinal issue at Colosse: Colossians is written to correct the doctrinal error that crept into the church due to the misuse of the revelation given in the book of Ephesians and that great revelation regarding the Mystery. And their error was not holding the head who is Christ as we see in chapter 2 verses 18 and 19. But I want you to look at chapter one again.
And he [Christ] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead....
That is a central key concept to this entire epistle, that Christ is the head of the Body. It's not that you have several heads, several angels or several saints or other things that you worship or look to for guidance. You look to one head for guidance and that head is Christ, the head of the Body.
Colossians 1:18, 19:
...that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him [in Christ] should all the fulness dwell.
All the fullness of God dwells in Christ, lives permanently in Christ. And Christ is the head of the Body. And where does Christ live? In you, in the believer.
Colossians 1:26, 27:
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery [and there is that dual genitive] among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
So the fullness of God dwells in Christ, lives permanently in Christ. And Christ is the head of the Body and Christ is in you, the hope of glory.
Whom [which] we preach [the Christ in you is what we preach], warning [confronting] every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present [cause to stand] every man [cause every man to stand] perfect [a fully mature initiated one] in Christ Jesus.
That's what we preach, that's what we proclaim. And as Rev. Martindale brought out last week. If the seed boys on the wrong side are proclaiming their wares and trying to control, manipulate, orchestrate and all those other "ates" that they do, then we as believers are to not slack on preaching Christ in you, the head. Christ in you the hope of glory. That every man can stand before God perfect, fully mature, fully initiated in Christ. Boy, if there's one thing we can never forget, it's the Mystery.
There might be a lot of other things in the Word you study and after a period of time you don't remember them anymore, so you have to go back and read it again. But the Mystery is one thing you never forget. The Mystery. If the Mystery dies...and that's the first thing he'll try to hit you on, is to get away from the Mystery and especially not holding head. Because if you don't have one head you've got several heads. Like you've got a head, I've got a head, somebody else has a head. Now we've got at least three denominations because we're going by three different sets of guidelines. Three heads. Right? See how it works? And you've got division in the Body. You don't have one Body anymore. You're back to Judeans, Gentiles and everything else. And that's why verse 29 says, I work so hard.
Whereunto I also labor [I work hard], striving [in the contest] according to his working [energizing, the energizing power of God], which worketh in me mightily.
The energizing power of God that's where? In me. In me. The energizing power of God is in me. It's Christ in me. And that's what gives me the stamina and the ability to strive in the contest and to work so hard. And the reason I work so hard is because I know if the Mystery dies or if you don't believe it, there is no hope for that one Body being held together. It's got to live. And our ministry basically is the only one I know of that really knows and understands the Mystery, knows and understands the manifestation of the spirit, which is the external manifestation of what you have on the inside, how to operate all nine. You know there's some that specialize in one or two or three. But to have all nine at work in your life is what God designed those manifestations for. See they were much further ahead in the Old Testament. And we're supposed to be a peculiar people, a special people. We ought to have all nine in operation. Today in the Body you don't usually even have one, but we've got to do that and keep the Mystery. Don't ever forget the Mystery like they did at Colosse.
For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.
Now he said back in 29, he's striving in the contest and that word was agōnizomai remember? Agōnizomai. This word is agōn that word "conflict". And it means the contest. You know what "great" contest I have for you. I have a great contest going on on your behalf, or for you. The words "I would", is I wish or I intensely desire, thelō in Greek. That you should know that "great" conflict or contest, agōn, that I have for you. And not only for you but for them at Laodicea. And a few Greek, Latin and Aramaic manuscripts add "and to them at Hierapolis." Remember Hierapolis was one of those tri-cities. You had Colosse, Laodicea and Hierapolis all together in that area. They are all three mentioned back in chapter four.
For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you [talking about Epaphras], and [for] them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
All three places. So, all three are mentioned. I think you could...we didn't put it in the literals...what I did is I wrote in after Laodicea, I put in brackets "and Hierapolis". Because obviously they were included in this area, this tri-city area. So, he has a great contest, he works hard and he strives in the contest because of the energizing power of God within him. And he has a great contest for these people and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh. Now "my face in the flesh" is an idiom that just means "personally". They haven't seen me personally. Those who had not seen him personally were the new people that were there that had not been there when Paul was first in Asia and taught the Mystery. But they were the new people, those that had not heard him teach the greatness of the Mystery yet. And perhaps they were persuaded more by those that were presenting their cases, those born of the wrong seed, to try to persuade them away from the one Body because they had not heard it from the lips of Paul and they weren't as strong. So verse two. Why do I have such a great conflict?
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.
Notice, it says "their" hearts. Those who have not seen Paul. And those who had not heard the Mystery from the lips of Paul. Those that did not know him personally. There it says "their" hearts, but then you go to verse four.
And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
"You". It goes back to "you". So in verse two it's "their" hearts and then verse four it goes back "you", "all of you". He wants those whom he has not have the privilege of really teaching, that their hearts might be encouraged, comforted is encouraged, being knit together sumbibazō, which means to knit or join together, as in an opinion, where you knit together in an opinion or join together. The same word is used in Ephesians four verse 15.
Ephesians 4:15, 16:
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ;
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Who's the head? Christ. See it's fitly joined together and compacted. The word "compacted" is sumbibazō. It's not only fitly joined together or laid out together, but it's also knit together. You can lay things out...like I think of...you cut out the pattern for a dress. You have all these pieces laying there but you've got to sew them together. Knit together. By that which every joint supplieth and this is in the context here of the ministries. Those ministries are vital to seeing that it is knit together. And it's in conflict or in contest with, those of the wrong seed who orchestrate and coordinate the things that go on in the world. So that's this word sumbibazō, knit together.
Now back to Colossians 2. "That their hearts might be encouraged, being knit together in love." Agapē, the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. His contest was for those at Colosse, for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis and all those who had not seen him personally yet. But he had already taught the
Mystery to these others that he had seen. So they should already have comforted hearts, knit together in
love, the riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the Mystery. They should
have known that Mystery. Right? But perhaps those that had not seen him personally yet, really didn't have
it in their hearts. That's why the word "their" is used there. Now the word "and" is omitted in the Aramaic
and at least one Greek text. Unto all riches. The word "unto" in the Greek it's the preposition eis and it can
mean unto or to, or when it indicates purpose or result which it does here. You could translate it to the end
of or to the end that. Indicating the result of their hearts being encouraged, being knit together in love to the
end that, or to the end of. All riches, this is the end result, that they have all riches of the full assurance of
understanding. The words "full assurance", means full persuasion. It's a form of the word that's used in
Romans where it says Abraham was fully persuaded. When he was fully persuaded, "what God had
promised, he's able also to perform", then he got results. When you're fully persuaded then you're believing.
The riches of the full persuasion of understanding. And that word "understanding" is sunesis. Remember?
Like the rivers flowing together. It's the thoughts in your mind flowing together, when they come together
then you have sunesis, understanding. Before that you have a bunch of facts in your mind. I always think
about like in a math class where the teacher gives you a formula and he says here plug in these numbers,
it'll work. And you keep working with it and playing with it, and all of a sudden you understand what that
formula is for. And then it becomes a part of you. The things flow together. It's not just a bunch of numbers
that you plug in. But you understand it, the things flow together in your mind. That's understanding,
sunesis. And here we have one of those dual genitives. See it? The riches "of" the full assurance "of"
understanding. Now "riches" describes the understanding. It's a descriptive word. Full persuasion and
understanding sort of go hand in hand. Because when you understand something, then you're fully
persuaded of its benefit. Again the math formula. The teacher tells you it works, well you sort of believe it
and then you try it out but all of a sudden when that flows together and you really understand the formula
you're fully persuaded it'll work every time. But on the other hand the more fully persuaded you are of
something the greater it builds that understanding in your life. It opens up greater doors for understanding.
That's why I say they go sort of hand in hand. And we translated it "having all rich understanding with full
persuasion" because I think that communicates the heart of that.
Then you have the word "to" and it's again the word eis, indicating to the end of, the result. It's the
second result. And this result sets in apposition with the first result. The first result was expressed as a dual
genitive, the riches "of" the full persuasion "of" understanding. Likewise the second result to the end of the
acknowledgment "of" the Mystery "of" God is a dual genitive. So there you have two dual genitives right
together. And they sit in apposition with each other which means the second one is really a further
elaboration or an explanation of the first one. The word "acknowledgment" is epignōsis. Remember? Not
just knowledge but it's that full, precise exact and complete knowledge.
Now the last phrase. "And of the Father and of Christ" is omitted in many manuscripts. Some
manuscripts say the acknowledgment of the Mystery of God. Some say the acknowledgment of the
Mystery of Christ. The question is, which one is original and correct? It talks about the Mystery of God in
places, it also talks about the Mystery of Christ. Right here in Colossians 4:3, it says the Mystery of Christ.
To speak the Mystery of Christ. Well, if it's the Mystery of God it has to be a genitive of origin, in other
words the Mystery that comes from God. Understand? The Mystery from God. If it's the Mystery of Christ
then the genitive has to be a genitive of relation, you would translate it the Mystery pertaining to Christ. It's
not the Mystery from Christ but it's the Mystery regarding Christ or pertaining to Christ. And the research
team feels that it should be the Mystery of or pertaining to Christ. Because the subject in Colossians is
what? The Head. Christ. They weren't holding the head. So why not? Why wouldn't God bring up what the
subject of that Mystery is. The mystery pertaining to Christ. The head. And you see Christ come up quite a
bit in these next few verses.
Colossians 2:1: (Literal)
I want you to recognize how greatly I exert myself in the contest for you...
And that's because back in 29, he told them, I work hard, striving in the contest, according to the
energizing power of God within me. Remember that? Well, he says, I want you to recognize how greatly I
exert myself in the contest for you.