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
Now...back to verse 8.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
So "watch out...philosophy..." Those Gnostic ideas, which were nasty ideas, pagan ideas were prevalent in that area. Then it says "and vain deceit". Now, that's a figure of speech. Hendiadys. Where you have two things said, one thing meant. In other words, the philosophies are those things which are vain and deceitful. They're vain, deceitful philosophy. And this is based on what? The tradition of men. And the rudiments, the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. The rudiments of the world, that's that word that we had in Galatians, stoicheia, which means the fundamental or elementary principle. In Galatians four, we had this word.
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements [stoicheia] of the world.
The worldly principles or fundamentals.
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known [experientially] of God, how turn ye again [why do you want to turn again?] to the weak and beggarly elements [stoicheia, those worldly fundamental principles], whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of [for] you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
They're turning back to those worldly principles. The worldly principles are introduced into your society and your life, by whom, you learned last week. If you didn't know it before. Those born of the wrong seed. They're the ones that orchestrate and control and manipulate. Then it affects the society. Well, it's you and I that get away from that type of thing. We don't want to get back to that. We want one head, Christ. We want to walk by that rule, not by the worldly principles and not by the traditions of men. Those are vain deceitful philosophies. We want to get back to the one head, Christ. The Mystery, that's what has to live in our life. "And not after Christ..." who is the head. It's not built on Christ, the head.
Colossians 2:9, 10:
For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
Complete is that word "complete" which is the extra extensive form in the Aramaic, which means completely, completely, completely complete, absolutely complete. It's covered in The Bible Tells Me So on pages 95 and 96. You are absolutely complete in him, which is the head. The HEAD! There it is again. He's the head of or over, all principality and power.
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places [heavenlies], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him [Christ] to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Now Christ is the head of the Body and that makes him head over all what? Principality and power, because everything else is under his feet. And we're in his Body. Where does that put all the principalities and power? Under our feet. Under our feet, that's why back in Colossians. You are absolutely complete in him which is the head over ALL principality and power. He's not only the head of the BODY but he's the head over all the principalities and powers. And that's why as I said before you need not take a back seat to anybody. You have the power and the ability to command it and it's got to happen in the name of Jesus Christ. You have AUTHORITY over this world. You don't have to shake when some seed boy comes around, wrong seed. You don't have to shake when a devil spirit talks too loud. You have power much greater than all that. Boy, oh boy, oh boy. The philosophy, vain deceitful philosophy, which is built on traditions of men, and those fundamental principles of the world, or worldly principles that deceive (wrong seed coordinates), is not after Christ. But we should follow Christ, the head of the one Body, the Mystery. Because in him, Christ, the head, dwells all the fullness and you are complete in him. And that's why you have so much POWER. POWER in your life. If people only knew what they had. Can you imagine what Christendom would do? There's a lot of people on the church roll, but how many know what they have?
Well, look how we translated eight, nine and ten.
Colossians 2:8, 9: (Literal)
Watch carefully that no one steals from you by vain, deceitful philosophy based on men's tradition and worldly principles, rather than Christ, for in him all the fullness of the Godhead lives completely.
Bodily means "corporeally". In other words, completely, totally. It's in one Body. It's not in several angels, several bodies. It's not in several saints, not in several aions. It's one head, who is Christ. Everything God is... that's what is represented by this, the head God, or Godhead. It lives completely, totally in that one, which is Christ.
Colossians 2:10: (Literal)
And you are absolutely complete in him [Christ] who is the head over all principality and power.
So where does that put you? In a very key, vital and powerful position in our day and time, if you walk by that one Body.
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.
The "whom" again is Christ who is the head. Also, you're circumcised with the circumcision. Now circumcised with a circumcision is a figure of speech. What is it? Polyptoton. You've had that before. Polyptoton. It's the same word in different parts of speech. Circumcised with circumcision. By the way, it's "were circumcised" not "are circumcised". Then "made without hands". That's one word in Greek. It means "unhandmade". Literally, in our language it would mean nonphysical. You know it's not physical circumcision. "In putting off"...like clothes, you put off clothes. Where you put off the body of the sins of
the flesh. Now the Greek. Most of the Greek texts read "the body of the flesh". The Aramaic reads "the body of sin". And then other Greek texts read "the body of the sins of the flesh". Well it's not a matter of...body of sins or body of flesh. Perhaps different ways in different languages or culture to represent one thing, the sin nature. To put off. When did you put off your sin nature? When you were born again. Born again. You put off that sin nature. Now you also put off things from your mind by renewing your mind. But when you were born again you put off. You took off those dirty old clothes, the sin nature. Put them in the washing machine. By the circumcision of Christ. That's our identification with Christ.
Colossians 2:11: (Literal)
You were circumcised in him by the nonphysical circumcision, by stripping off the sin nature, by the circumcision of Christ.
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
That's all part of our identification with Christ. When he was buried, we were buried with him. Baptism in his death. When he rose, we rose with him. If you want to read more about it, read Romans 6:4 and that whole context in Romans 6. Baptism. Not water. Not water. No water after Pentecost. They were baptised in the name of what? Jesus Christ. Not with water. Much greater baptism. Buried with him in baptism, wherein ye are also risen with him through the faith, believing. The believing "of" the operation "of" God. What do you have there? A dual genitive. I told you Colossians had them. Just like Ephesians did. Colossians is loaded with duals. Here, you've got "of". The believing "of" the operation or the energizing "of" God.
Now the first one is a genitive of relation. It's the believing of the operation. In other words, you believe in it. When you have believing of the operation, you have believing in it. OK. It's a genitive of relation. Who raised him, Christ, from the dead. And the word "from" is ek. It means out from among. So we translated that verse:
Colossians 2:12: (Literal)
You were buried with him in baptism, with whom you were also raised by believing in the energizing power of God, Who raised him from among the dead.
When were you buried with him? When were you raised with him? When you were born again. When you were born again. And when were you born again? When you believed in the energizing power of God who raised Christ from the dead. What's one thing you have to do to get born again? Believe that God raised him from the dead. You have to believe in that energizing power of God to raise the dead. Namely that he raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
The word "sins", plural, represents or stands for the singular "sin nature". And it can do that. Sins normally mean your individual sins, the consequence of the sin nature. But that "sins" can be used for the total sin nature. You understand? Now in Ephesians 2:1...I suggest if you haven't, you ought to listen to this section of Ephesians 2, the work that Dr. Wierwille did on it a couple years ago, where in verse one, it says:
And you [even you] hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
And "you" refers to even you. In other words, back in chapter one verse 19, to know "...what...the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe..." Then you have sort of a parenthetical thought there; "and even you". Not only us, but "even you" to know the exceeding greatness of his power. You who are dead TO trespasses and sins. Because when you're born again you are dead to trespasses and sins. But verse two then goes to time past, when you walked in those things. And verse five resumes with, even when you were in the past, dead IN sins, hath he quickened. So verse one...and I think you need to listen to that tape of this section if you haven't. Verse one is, you are dead TO sins. That's when you're born again. But verse five, you were dead IN sins and when you were he quickened you. He made you alive. And that's what makes you dead TO sins today.
Now the question is, here in Colossians, is it dead TO sins or dead IN sins? I think this parallels verse five of Ephesians because of the next phrase, the uncircumcision of your flesh, because when you were in that uncircumcision state, you were dead in your sins. But what did he do? He hath quickened together. He has made you alive together with Christ. Just like in Ephesians 2:5. The same thing. So he has quickened you together with him having forgiven you all trespasses. And the word "forgiven" is not the normal word for remit or forgive. By the way, that's one Greek word. Depending on the context, you translate it forgive or remit. Same way with the noun, remission or forgiveness. But this is not that word. This is the word charizomai. Now do you recognize a root in there? Charis, grace. And it literally means to do a person a favor. To do them a favor. In the context of remission or forgiveness though, it means to graciously remit or graciously forgive a person his debts or his sins, whatever he owes. Now I think that's real neat, in light of the next verse that we'll get to in a minute. But we translated this verse:
Colossians 2:13: (Literal)
When you were dead in sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He [God] made you alive together with him [Christ] by graciously remitting all your sins.
He graciously remitted ALL your sins. When did he do it? Well, for you, when you were born again. But he did it for everybody when he died and God raised him from the dead. That was the time that he remitted everybody's sins. He remitted all your sins. Then, verse 14...now I'll show you in a minute why 13 then is so great, because of 14.
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
This is how God graciously remitted your sins; by blotting out, erasing, canceling, smearing out. It's the opposite of when you inscribe something. This would be to erase it. It's also used of white washing walls that had graffiti on them. Christ erased, canceled, blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us which was contrary to us, took it out of the way nailing it to his cross. And there you have an Eastern custom. The custom of...when you owed somebody a debt, they put all your sins, your debts, on a sheet of paper and they nailed it up to the door of the city, around the door. Then everybody that came in there saw this. They saw Frank owes so and so $100, and so and so, he owes $200, and so and so, he owes $300. And everybody who walked through the gates saw this. All your sins, your debts. But then a nice guy that likes Frank comes along. And he sees..."I don't want Frank to be disgraced like this." So he says, "I'll pay off all these debts", which he does. He goes back, folds it in half like this, and he writes on it, paid in full by such and such and nails that up to the wall. Then everybody sees that he's clean. Frank no longer has any debt and now everybody is rejoicing with Frank and they're grateful for this wonderful benefactor that came along. Now that's the custom. It's in Isaiah 40:2.
Isaiah 40:1, 2:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
So what is the subject? Comfort. Now the Western mind thinks, "Well she got double the amount of sins." Now what kind of comfort is that? Well, it was doubled like this...her sins, her debts, were doubled over and marked "paid". That's what that means. That's the custom.
Now Jesus Christ, it says, took that handwriting of ordinances that had our debts on it. That's why he graciously remitted our sins in verse 13. See that? He did it by blotting out the handwriting of ordinances. He took it out of the way, doubled it, wrote "paid in full by Jesus Christ" and nailed it where? To his cross. He nailed it to his cross. So, you got any more debts? They're canceled. They're erased. They're white washed. They're all gone. Because Christ took care of it.
Now this handwriting of ordinances... Look at Ephesians 2:15. This word "ordinances", is the word dogma. It's used here it Ephesians 2:15.
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity [that's the enemy stuff, disagreement], even the law of commandments contained in ordinances [dogma]; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.
Make of the two, the Judean and Gentile, one new man. One new man out of the two, Judean and Gentile, so making peace. But he did it because he abolished the enmity, even the law of commandments in ordinances. Now those are three different words. Law, commandments, ordinances. When Dr. Wierwille presented this, he presented a background study on this that I'd like to share in part with you. This word "ordinances", dogma, means a decree, statute, resolution or ordinance. It is only used five times in the New Testament. Twice it's used of decrees from Caesar, where Caesar said he decreed something. Not a law, not a commandment, but simply a decree. Once it's used of a resolution from the apostles to the Church in Acts 16:4, where they sent a decree. It wasn't a law, it wasn't a commandment, it was a recommendation, a resolution. Twice it's used concerning what Christ abolished on the cross. Here in Ephesians 2:15 and once in Colossians 2:14. The question arises as to whether the word "ordinances" in Ephesians 2:15 refers to God's law in the Old Testament or if it refers to legal precepts which were added to the law. Such additional man-made legal precepts were added by the Pharisees and can be found in Talmud, a written record of the centuries of Judean tradition and law. Now do you think this could be referring to that here in Ephesians? Well, Jesus Christ abolished that in the Gospel period when he told them, their traditions of men were elevated...they were elevating it above the Word. Jesus Christ abolished, by his cross, the Old Testament law. It had nothing to do with those traditions. So we got to keep that straight.
Secondly, when you look at this compared with Colossians 2:14, where you have the custom of doubling, where the sins were doubled, he took it out of the way, he nailed it to his cross; the law of commandments in Ephesians in decrees or ordinances, dogma, is what made the Old Testament law a personal debt for each individual. You see it says the law of commandments in ordinances, in decrees. Law, and this goes on to explain...law is like our constitution. Commandments are like the individual paragraphs or sections of the constitution. Then the ordinances or decrees, the dogma, would be like the individual court decisions or an indictment against an individual, the things that make it a personal sin. For example, if you do something that's contrary to the constitution or law of the land, then you are indicted for it. That would be closer to this word dogma, where it becomes your own personal debt. So he eradicated the law of commandments in those personal debts, those indictments.
You have in the Old Testament, the law of Moses. Right? In that law, you have the individual commandments. But what makes it a personal debt to you? When you break one of those commandments, then a judgment is passed on you, under the law. Of course, we're no longer under the law. So that's what this word dogma means. The law of commandments in ordinances made the Old Testament law a personal debt for each individual. But Christ doubled it, blotted it out, nailing it to his cross. Marking it "paid in full". Like those things he nailed to the door...were personal debts indictments against that individual, until Christ blotted it out, marked it "paid in full" by his perfect sacrifice, his atonement, his blood, his flesh, his death. Thus neither Israel nor the Gentiles have any law of commandments posted against them. All are free from the curse of the law. Christ is the end of the law. All debts have been paid for and thus abolished
by Christ as our benefactor, our complete savior, able to save to the uttermost. That's why, verse 13, the end of it, we're made alive together with him...by graciously remitting all your sins. And how did he do it?
Colossians 2:14: (Literal)
Having canceled the handwritten account of our personal debts [dogma] with its indictments posted adversely against us, he has removed it and nailed it to the cross.
Here we expanded the translation to bring out the idea of the custom more thoroughly, because the Western mind doesn't see the great significance of this verse. But look at it. He canceled the handwritten account of our personal debts with its indictments posted adversely against us. He has removed it and nailed it to the cross. That's how he graciously remitted all our sins; how he canceled those personal debts against us. And that brings us to verse 15.
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
He didn't spoil principalities and powers. The word "spoiled" means to steal from. But that's not this word. The word in Aramaic and Greek means to put off, like clothes again. To strip off, take off your clothes. The question is what did he strip off? He didn't strip off our...our sins were stripped off, as we read back in verse 11, wasn't it? Yes...by stripping off the sin nature. That was stripped off. But that's not what it's talking about here. You also have to strip off or put off the old man. Renewed mind. That's not what it's talking about. He put off something though. Having put off...the Aramaic adds the words, "his body". He put off his body...having put off his body. Then the verb "he made a shew of...", "them" is not in the Greek. He made a shew of the principalities and powers. How did he do it? By putting off his body. But putting off his body is only half of it because he put on a new spiritual body. He not only died but God raised him from the dead. A lot of people have died. That would not make a public display of your enemy. But it was in his resurrection; he put off the body, and he put on a new spiritual body. That's how he made a shew of the principalities and powers openly or boldly. The word "openly" is "boldly". And the words "to make a shew of" means to make a public display of, to make a public spectacle of. And that he did, in the triumphal procession, which is your next word "triumphing" over them in it. That word "triumphing" is the Greek word thriambeuō, which means to lead in triumph. It's only used two places in the New Testament; here and
II Corinthians 2:14, where you have this beautiful Roman custom of the triumphal march portrayed in terms of the believer.
II Corinthians 2:14:
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph [thriambeuō] in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
And it should be translated, he leads us in triumph in the triumphal procession in Christ.
II Corinthians 2:15:
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
Because in the triumphal procession you have both the victors and the captives, the prisoners. Those that are saved and those that perish.
II Corinthians 2:16:
To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
To the captives it smells like death, because they're heading for the gallows. To the other, the savor or sweet smell of life unto life. To the victors it's the smell of life. And who is sufficient for these things? That Roman triumphal procession, just to review it, is the highest honor bestowed on a returning general.
There were five criteria for the triumph, if you were going to have a triumphal procession. Number one, the victory had to be complete and decisive. You couldn't have any half battles. Number two, the victory was over a foreign foe. It could not be a civil war. It had to be over a foreign foe. Number three, at least 5,000 of the enemy had to die in battle. Number four, territory had to be added to the state. And number five, the battle had to end the war. Christ leads us in the triumphal procession. This is a military term and it means the war is over. The war is over! He's already won. See it? Now this triumphal procession...when the army would come back and they had fulfilled these five criteria; they would start a procession outside of the city of Rome and they would march downtown to the capital of Rome. And they did it in this order. First came the senators and the magistrates. Secondly came the trumpeters. Third was the floats; and they'd have pictures representing the cities that were captured in these floats. Number four was the spoils, the gold, the silver, the jewels, and all that stuff...armor. Then number five; they had 70 white oxen that were later sacrificed. Seventy white oxen in the procession. Number six, after the oxen, came the captives, the prisoners in chains. And most of them were heading to be executed. But they walked in that triumphal procession. And by the way, all the people lined the streets and they had laurel branches lining the streets, and the incense constantly burning; the sweet smell of death unto death to those captives. Those prisoners smelled that incense. To them it was the smell of death. They knew they were heading for the gallows. But for the victors it was a sweet smell of life. They were victorious. Then after these prisoners, you had the musicians and incense burners. Then number eight was the general in a decorated chariot with a purple robe on and a gold crown holding an ivory scepter and a laurel branch. And then after this victorious general were all of his soldiers. And that was a triumphal procession.
In II Corinthians 2:14, God always causes us or leads us in triumph, in Christ. He leads us in triumph. The war is over. The battle was decisive. The enemy is killed and he's leading the captives in this procession and we are following him. Back to Colossians.
Colossians 2:15 (Literal)
By putting off his body, he has boldly made a public spectacle of the principalities and powers [how did he do it?] by leading them as prisoners in the triumphal procession.
The war is over. The principalities and powers are in chains in the procession. He's made a public spectacle of them, leading them as prisoners in the triumphal procession. Where are they heading? To the gallows. They're destined to doom. So where does that put you and I? We're the soldiers. We're the ones following the general in this procession. We're the victors; not just a quartet either. But we're the victors, we're the winners. That's why I said before, you don't have to take a back sit to any devil spirit. You don't have to take a back seat to any seed boy. You don't have to take a back seat to anybody because you are the victor. You are the conqueror and you have the head in the head chariot, who is Christ. You are in command as long as you recognize that head and as long as you're in fellowship. As long as you walk rooted, strengthened in your roots, built up, edified by renewed mind living. As long as you reach that place where you burn some bridges. Or all of them. Where you're established and you're constantly giving thanks for what you have. You walk with God. You walk with His son Jesus Christ, because you have the head Christ in you. And all the fullness of God is in Christ and it's Christ in you and he's the head. That's what keeps the one Body together. So as long as you and I maintain that doctrine, we won't get into doctrinal error and nothing can stop us. We take a back seat to nobody. Devil spirit or whatever. We have unlimited power with Christ as our head. And I thought, it's no wonder that the princes of this world would not have crucified the lord of glory if they had known the Mystery. To know the power that we have today. Boy, that really makes that fifth session of the foundational class live for me. WE HAVE UNLIMITED POWER. WE'RE ALREADY VICTORIOUS.
Father, we sure thank you for the victory and the privilege we have of working your Word, and that we truly can walk forth as more than conquerors in this day and time. Father, let nothing deter us from the greatness of this marvelous wisdom, the Mystery, in which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, that we truly are victorious in life, and that we can be on top of every situation spiritually. Thank you Father in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen. God bless you.