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Seek that you May Excel

Format: mp3
Publication Date: 11-11-1982

On Ephesians 4:25 where I want to begin tonight, or where we will begin tonight , the first part of what the Research Team gave me is the work that Walter Cummins published in our wonderful Way Magazine on "The Spoken Word." Also, as we cover Ephesians 4:28 tonight, I had all the information in front of me from another article that Walter Cummins has in the... has had in the Magazine. The first article on Ephesians 4:25 is entitled "The Spoken Word." The one on Ephesians 4:28 is "Workers for God." Both of these pieces of work by Walter are absolutely superb. And I believe that they should appear and will appear in our research journal GMIR whenever we begin publishing that. {GMIR Aramaic word meaning ' to perfect, accomplish , mature, complete, arithmetically to be divisible without any remainder.}

And I noticed again that some of the things that were stated are just so beautifully and logically presented, I'm truly thankful for, not only Walter, but the whole Research Department. I think our Biblical Research Department is just second to none. And it' s even going to be better by God' s mercy and grace next year and in years to come than it is at this time. And right now I do not believe that our Biblical Research Department needs to take a back seat for any academic institution or work in the world.

And I thought today, I have never... I've never thought of Walter Cummins in any other capacity than to be my assistant. I know Vince Finnegan, you know, on the books is my assistant. And that' s great. But I've never thought of Walter Cummins in any other capacity for so many years as always being my assistant. And I think he' s just the most wonderful person that any president could have as his assistant. And also to be chairmen of the Department of Greek, and then the coordinator of the Biblical research of The Way International. For any one man to have that position and that responsibility is an awesome reality and I'm real proud of Walter and real thankful for him. But I am also thankful for the rest of our wonderful men and women in the Research Department.

I would like for the Corps all over the country to go to the Magazine and find "The Spoken_Word," that's the title of it, dealing with Ephesians 4:25 and other scriptures, and before the next Corps meeting next week, you endeavor to master that great piece of work by Walter Cummins. It's just, you know, the spoken Word. Over fifty Greek words are used in the New Testament in connection with the faculties of utterance. Over fifty. And then he takes the most important ones and he lists them and it' s just. .. it' s just a piece of research work that you should really as a Corps master in your heart and in your life.

Ephesians 4:25 in the King James reads, Wherefore put away lyin g, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.

The ' putting away' was interesting to me again because of the Greek word aniko, a-n-i-k-o.

And this word is ' the putting away,' this word ' put away,' aniko, is the same root word as in 4:22, where we use the word ' rest,' meaning ' to rest.' Is that right? Yep, that is right. I taught you that,

didn't I? Did I or didn't I? Doesn't look right to me. It is the same root. What chapter am I missing? Am I missing anything? I don't know. Right now I'm screwed up, ha ha. First time today. You check the word again and I'll do that, too and see what I'm missing here.

But a-n-i-k-o is the word for ' putting away from you. ' To put away. And it' s the same root as the word ' rest.' I don't know where the word appears, but it's got to be in there.

Now, that word ' speak,' every man speak. That word ' speak ' is from the Greek word

laleo, l-a-l-e-long-o. And that' s where Walter' s article on "The Spoken Word"_c omes in because that is.. .he uses that word laleo in here, which I teach in Corinthians when I teach the Foundational Class. And he says the word is employed 24 times in I Corinthians chapter 14. I had forgotten that.

This word is truly significant. I couldn' t quite understand it Research Department, what  you said on page 26B 16, where you defined it ' to make vocal utterance,' ' to babble,' 'to talk,'  'to  exercise the faculty of speech without reference to the words spoken.' I just wondered if there might not be another word that could be substituted or utilized at this point. I know that Zachariah 8:16 is the quotation that is used here, or spoken of. And that Zachariah 8:16 adds force to what is said by using a quote, a quotation. That' s why my question to the Research Department is, How can it be without reference to what is spoken if it is truth plus the quotation of the Word of God that's given. It doesn't quite fit for me.

'With his neighbor' has to be a believing neighbor. This 'speak truth with his neighbor' is a figure of speech gnome, g-n-o-m-e, which simply is a citation. And that' s a citation from Zachariah 8:16.

There are a series of figures of speech, Corps, in chapter four which just put the 00mph, the highlight, to the particular things that are set whereby you put off the old man. This phrase here 'speak every man truth with his neighbor'  is one of them. The other one appears in verse 26, 'be  angry and sin not.' ' Steal no more' is another one. 'Corrupt communication' is the fourth one.  'Grieve not the  holy spirit' is the fifth one. ' All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking' is  the sixth. And  then  ' be kind' and so forth, is the seventh.

You see, the last phrase in that verse, in King James, For we' re members one of what? [Another] And it' s relative to the neighbor. Now you just look at that. Wherefore put away  lying, speak  every  man truth with his what? [Neighbor] For we are members  one of  another.  That  doesn't  mean just  a neighbor who lives next door, but it has to be a believing neighbor because  we are members  one of what? [Another]. You could not be a member ' one of another' ifhe  was an  unbeliever.  That's how I know this is going to  work. This tells me that the neighbor  is  a  believer.  And  this  ' we' re members one of another' continues the imagery of the Body of Christ.

The literal  according  to  usage of this verse is as follows:   Wherefore  put away the  lie... and I believe in my heart, before I go on with the literal that until man is born again, it's all a lie anyways. And that' s why I believe that this translation will fit in the light of that knowledge. Because when  a man is not born again, his whole  life is just a  lie. Now you're  born again,  and that ' s  why  I think the text states it ' wherefore put away the lie,' the life you' ve been living , the screwed up life you have lived outside of God. It' s been just a life of a lie. It' s not truth. It' s just the opposite of truth and that's my reason for translating it this way... Wherefore put away the lie.

You've got to go with that translation. You have no other text to go by both from Aramaic and Greek it's 'lie.' Not 'lying.' If the Research Department has anything to share in the light of that, I'd be blessed to hear, but you' ve heard my reasons for translating it, Research Department, this way.

Now since they're born again, their whole life is changed, so the life of lying, and living a lie, and being a lie, and being false, is to be put away.

And every man... this is the translation ... and everyone, everyone. The word ' man' you could use because it's an inclusive noun, but I prefer to use the word ' one.'

Wherefore put away the lie and everyone speak the truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another. That is literal according to usage.

Now for the expanded according to understanding. It's not bad. Because of this... What we coughing for? Everybody sick?...Because of this... and the reason I went in the expanded along this line is because verse 24 last week told us that we are created by God in righteousness and in true purity, through holiness. Twenty four.

That's why 25, Wherefore ... 'wherefore' can be translated 'because of this.' Because of this what? Being created in righteousness and truly pure. See it's an inside job.

Because of this being created in righteousness and truly pure by the grace and the love of

God.. .Because of this being created in righteousness and truly pure, you put away, completely lay to rest the lie that you have been and were living and each one of you speak the truth using a quotation from the Word with his believing neighbor for we are members one of another in the Body of the Church.

Robinson {Edward} said, he translated, 'speak every man truth with his neighbor' and he said it's from Zachariah 8:16 which adds force to what is said by using a quote. That's why I translated that. I think that' s great. It adds force to what is said. If you're speaking to someone, it adds force to what you say by using a quote, a quotation from God's Word. In other words, ' you share the Word with them.' That' s why I went with that translation. I want to give it to you again in this sense.

Speak the truth using a quotation from the Word, which means 'share the Word.' Quote the Word to them. Tell them what the Word says, with his believing neighbor. Why? For we are members one of another in the Body of the Church. This verse is just mind blowing.

Here, you have a born-again believer neighbor who needs to grow up a little more. So what do you do? Each one speak the truth to that neighbor, that believer, using the Word, quoting the Word because we' re members one of another in the Body of the Church. It's a real positive thing to do.

Verse 26 in King James reads, Be angry.. .ha ha... we like that one, don't we. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

Here is a verse of Scripture that' s very, very difficult for most people. And it' s not too easy for us either. But I think we are able to share the truth of the greatness of this and it's been burning in my heart for a long time to do this with our people.

Everybody has problems with ' how can you be angry and not sin?' You know, how can raise hell with something and not be sinful in doing it? Teed off and not be sinful. And how can you go... and what does it mean 'don't let the sun go down upon your wrath?' See.

In the context, here, verses 26 and 27 deal with your believing neighbor, specifically. Then the Greek word for ' anger' which is from the root orge, o-r-g-long-e means 'anger together with the desire of revenge .' That' s bad. That' s a heavy. The Hebrew word means ' to kill, and all the tumults of passion that terminate in killing.' So it's a real heavy word when it said ' be angry.'

And the way I believe it's used in God' s Word, ' be ye angry' means ' it's a long time anger with your believing neighbor until a change has ensued.' The desire to... of revenge is a change. And I, knowing the Word in the light of the new birth, it's where a change finally comes about. Until that time, you just, long-term, you just stay put witnessing the Word, sharing the Word. You do not dislike the believing neighbor; you simply dislike that he is not fully accepting the Word and walking on it. So it' s a long-term anger until a change has ensued. You just stay faithful.

I don't know what else to do with those words. It is a righteous anger. Yet it is a righteous anger without sin.

Among the scholars, there is a disagreement on these words. Well, I don't know about my being a scholar; that I don' t anything about being about. But it's simple to me because righteous anger is commanded by God's Word when it says ' be ye angry.' Well, the scholars can fight about it. I don' t care. It' s a command. Not just permitted to get teed once in a while when somebody' s off of God' s Word, a believer is off of God's Word. You' re always teed off righteously at any believer, born-again believer, who is off of God' s Word. And for those of us in the Way Ministry, it' s been a lifetime.

Get into it with them on... Oh what subject do you want to talk about? Baptism? Food? One God? See. All that stuff.

The Aramaic is accurate in the words ' and sin not.' It literally translates ' and you will not sin.' Again, this ' be angry and sin not' is that figure gnome. Quotation. A citation from the Old Testament. It' s from Psalm 4:4. But in King James, Psalm 4:4, it's translated 'stand in awe.' The real sense of the Hebrew is ' one of admonition;' sin not. Where we' re admonished to not sin. Sin not.

' Let not the sun go down on your wrath. ' Ha ha. That again is beautiful. People went to bed when the sun went down, when it got dark. That's when they went to bed. So what that simply is saying, ha ha, ' don't go to bed teed off.' Don' t let the sun go down on your wrath. In other words, go to bed; don' t go to bed mad. ' When you go to bed' is what it means. Let not the sun go down when you go to bed. And they went to bed when the sun went down. When it got dark, they went to bed, see.

' Upon your wrath.' And the word ' wrath' here is basically ' irritation.' Ha ha. Previously when I taught Ephesians, I made mention of this fact, ' don' t let righteous anger shake you, wondering if it was right on. When you go to bed, go to sleep.'

Now, this is what we have done with it in the literal, ha ha, according to usage. I got more papers up here than Carter has liver pills, or something. Then, I can' t find my... whatever it is I take off of it.

Okay, verse 26. You be righteously angry.. .this is literal according to usage.. .and you will not be sinning. Don't go to bed even with a momentary irritation, ha ha.

I don't think you get nearly as much fun out of this as I do. It's neat. It's absolutely scrumptious, see. At the opening, is that heavy word, remember? Anger. So it's a real heavy time. So what he is saying, in the heavy time, when your standing on God' s Word  and sharing that with the  believing  neighbor, you' re righteously angry... you're not sinning. And  you don't  even go to  bed with a momentary irritation. In other Words, when you go to bed, thank God the day is over. Say your last prayer and start snoring.

Boy, that would save a lot of sleeping pills, wouldn' t it? Practicing that principle. Boy, oh boy, what a tremendous Word. And hardly anybody understands verse 26. They argue about it, but they don' t get the understanding.

Now this is the expanded one according to understanding, I hope. And again, I would like to just lay some things before the Corps, and especially before the Research Department. I translated the first part of verse 26, You always stay angry with an all-out desire to have them to change which anger will not be sin on your part.

Then I have another translation of that first part of it: You be righteously angry, 'teed off' with sin... 'Teed off' I put in quotes. But don't  you sin  by acting  ' holier than thou'  vaunting  yourself  by acting so righteously like you never sin.

I do not know which one of those two the Research Department feels would be the better. The last part of the phrase that I translated which would go with both of these that I have given you here on the expanded one for understanding. This, the last part, goes with that first one and with the second ... also.. .even if it is only a momentary irritation.  When you go to  bed, go to sleep. That's what I did with it.

Now, verse 27. King James says, Neither (or neither) give place to the Devil. The word 'place' is simply a portion, a part. No believer will give full place to the Devil, but he may be giving a part, a portion. He' ll mark off a spot, ' this is Devil' s permission over here, over here, no permission, you know. And you really give the Devil a portion or a spot if you stew about it after you go to bed and you toss and you tum and can' t sleep.

This word 'the Devil,' ' the Devil' in the Aramaic is a very interesting and exciting Word to me and it blesses my heart. It' s a compound word where the first part means ' to eat' or ' to devour.' The latter

' to slander' or ' to accuse. '  So when I got to translating  this, literally according  to usage, verse 27 reads: Do not give any portion or space or an opportunity to the Devil. So I used those three words synonymously: portion, space, opportunity. Do not give any portion or space or an opportunity to the Devil.

The expanded according to understanding: And you will not give a toehold, an opportunity or an occasion for the Devil to eat you. Ha ha. I get more fun than you ever will out of working this stuff, huh.

You see, and to me, that communicates to my understanding. John 10:10. The thief cometh not but for to what? [Steal, kill, and destroy] Right. To eat you out. To beat you. And that's why that Aramaic word, on the word ' Devil' really thrilled me.

And that ' s why I put it into the expanded translation: And you will not give a ' toehold.' Now, at L.E.A.D., you know how important it is to get a what? [Toehold] Ha ha. And when you' re really climbing in, you' re blessed for a toehold. How thankful you are when you get a foothold. Now the adversary can never get a foothold in a believer' s life until he first has a toehold. That's why I translated it that way.

Do not give... and you will not give a toehold ... shave all the rocks off... an opportunity or an occasion for the Devil to eat you. And that' s exactly what he likes to do to believers.

Now we go to verse 28. King James says, Let him that stole steal not more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. And here again, is another great work that I believe should be in our research journal GMIR, Walter' s work on " Workers for God."

It' s just tremendous where he... you know... he just goes into God' s men are called many things in the Word. They' re called: fellow workers, ministers, or servants, slaves, fellow slaves, partners, messengers, soldiers, fellow soldiers, athletes, fellow athletes, stewards, ambassadors, witnesses, all of those. And he covers them so beautifully. And I love very much how he covered the word ' slave,' because it' s a much stronger word than to be a minister, or to be a servant. It is to be one who is branded, marked out, sold out. And baby, from that day on, there are no ifs, and' s, or but' s. You never budge on it. You are branded. Most believers are never branded. They may be servants, they may be ministers, but they are not branded. When you' re branded, you stay faithful. You do not budge. You do not change. You stay put. If all hell breaks loose, you still live the believing Word.

I think the prophet once said, If I was in the midst of hell, God I know you' d be there. (Psalm 139:8) He' d be there. That' s the doulos. That, of course, is just a tremendous piece of work.

And the other great part that I think... and this is a second piece that I want the Corps to master before next Wednesday night, " Workers for God," the work on ' witness.' You see, it's the same word basically that's translated ' martyr,' see. And we got a lot of those canonized. That's not at all what a witness is. A witness is a living example, not a dead one. The word 'martyr' simply means that you lay down your life in witnessing. And boy, when you put the doulos together with ' witness,' then you' ve got power for abundant living. It's just a fantastic work by Walter and I' m real grateful that it was published. Because once it' s in print, people can take a look at it if they want to.

I'd like a cup of coffee, please.

Now, we are in verse 28. The Aramaic translation is ' and he who was stealing.' I understand it from the English, ' let him that stole,' past tense. The Aramaic is real simple, real strong. ' And he, the one who is born again, who was, past tense, stealing.'

Thank you.

His whole life was one of those before he was born again.

Whenever you bring a cup of coffee to a right-hand man, you put the handle to the right. When you serve a cup of coffee to a left-hand man, you put it on the left-hand side and put the handle to the left. Corps principle number seven or something, ha ha. Mrs. Wierwille would say, Well, be thankful you even get a cup of coffee. [Laughter] Ah, you're wonderful.

See, ' let him who stole, steal no more.' 'Stole and steal,' that' s a figure of speech and is polyptoton p-o-l-y-p-t-o-t-o-n. It' s a repetition of the same root word in different parts of speech or reflections. But, that's not earth shaking right now in my heart.

You see, in some Eastern culture, it was not considered a sin or a shame to steal because that's the way they lived, the only way they lived. Somebody told me... or not only told me, one of our people, but it was in a national magazine, that the basic culture of Russia today is to steal. And in some respects I can understand this. If you don't have anything and you're starving to death and there' s a loaf of bread you can get a hold of... steal the dam thing. I understand that.

So this verse is really sharp, really sharp. Let him who stole, even though that man previously considered it the way to live and there was no shame in it, no sin in it. He said, Well, let that fellow who stole, steal no more. Something has happened on the inside of that man. Something that happened, where He is able to meet all of our need according to His riches in glory. Christ in you, the hope of glory. More than conquerors.

A record in the Old Testament, I forget where it is, but it's in there, that it' s never, you never need to borrow or steal bread or... what is that in the Old Testament? Begging bread. One person stand and tell me. {Psalm 37:25, I have been young and now am old; yet have I seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread.} Psalm 27:25 who? {Psalm 37:25} 37:25. All the years, he's never seen the righteous to have to do what? {Beg bread} Beg bread.

First of all, I wish the Christian world could hear this. Secondly, I wish our government in the United States could understand it. The Word says, If you don't work, you don' t eat. A lot of that stuff. Well, what we've been doing is stealing from the people who are willing to work to give to the people who don' t want to work. That's a bunch of crap. That's stealing. That's why this verse is so hot in my soul tonight. Let him who stole, quit stealing, dang it. See.

Many years ago I was really knocked for a loop along some of this line in India, from Dr. Williams. I think he loved India maybe like I love the United States, I don' t know. Because only a man knows how much he loves his own country, I guess.

But... as we were traveling together, he said to me, Dr. Wierwille, I hear you have whores in the United States.

You know, I never had given it a thought. I just took it for granted. [Laughter] And I said, yeah. He said, Why does a rich country like the United States have whores?

And I said, I don't know.

And he said, I can't understand it. Cannot your women make enough money to live? Yeah, but they figure that' s cheaper and more pleasurable or something, I don' t know. And he said, Well, I think it's sinful that the United States has whores.

And I said, What do you mean?

And he said to me, why, I can understand India. He said we don' t enough food, we don' t have enough of anything hardly for a lot of people. And we have whores because that' s the only way they can continue to live physically.

And I thought to myself, well boy, that' s slapping me in the face good. And I took it as a wonderful lesson. There is no excuse in the United States for any women being a whore because she doesn' t need to get screwed and paid for it in order to get money so she can live. There's plenty of work available and if there isn' t she ought to get born again, then there' s a guarantee of work. ..other work, available. I tell you, when you' re honest, some of these men in other countries have some real logic behind their thinking. How would you have liked to have handled that? I just simply admitted, Well, I think we' re wrong in the United States. But I said, I think you' re wrong in India, too, because no reason to have whores here if you get them born again.

So I don' t know. But this verse today as I worked the final working on this verse 28 is when my heart really went back and burned with that truth that Dr. Williams had stated. Because in many Eastern cultures, it was not considered as sin or as shame to steal, if it was a matter of livelihood. You sometimes wonder who will live in the greatest condemnation before God and justice and judgment when the time comes.

For in most of what are called poor countries even, there is sufficient money, food, and other things for the people to live if those in positions of authority were not so selfish and egotistical, and want it for themselves , and let the rest of the world die... or a country die.

The word ' labor' in verse 28 is the word which literally means ' hard work resulting in fatigue.' That's how I felt coming from the woods last night. And I didn' t do anything. It was just hard work being there with the rest of you. Today I got so tired of being with some, I came home. Ah, you' re wonderful.

' Working with his hands' is an Eastern cultural type of thing. Today in our culture, you could have it, you know, the truth is working with your mind or working with your hand, whatever you' re working at. But in Eastern culture, every son was to be trained to work with his hands, even if he was the son of a king. Had to learn a trade, a profession of business.

Jesus Christ was a saddle maker. He made them to ride, I guess, what do you want? Tennessee Walkers , or? See. I think not only did he do that, Paul did it, too, you know. Someday I'm going to find a...or Walter, or some of those, are going to find me a manuscript to prove it. .. and a wonderful carpenter by trade. Many times doing carpentry work and being a saddle maker were sort of in the same household, because building carpentry and having saddles to use for their business and carrying on, were very, very closely aligned. Well, I won' t argue the point, but I wish we' d keep looking.

II Thessalonians.. .Do your hands ever get so dry you can hardly hold anything? Golly, mine are so dry tonight, I wonder why? II Thessalonians, chapter 3:10... this we commanded you that if any would not work, neither should he what? [Eat] Right. Even unemployment is no excuse for stealing. He just doesn' t eat. Goes and gets work. Boy, when I first saw the greatness of these principles many years ago, and then of course, I uniquely by God' s grace, inculcated that into our W.O.W. program and very dynamically in the Corps leadership.