Translation has always been a problem, especially since the event at Babel in Genesis 11, which most now, in unbelief, discredit as myth.
Language and dialects vary so much, and understanding someone speaking another language can be so difficult. Yet an animal, for instance, makes entirely the same sound regardless as to which continent they are on. However, human beings have totally different means of expression that mystify us unless we are familiar with that tongue! (According to the Encyclopaedia Britannia 3-4000 there are 850 dialects alone in India.)
It has been the same story down the centuries with the translation of the Scriptures. The Hebrew text that we have today differs considerably from that which was originally given. Since the days of the Masorites, (who were a sect of Jews empowered as the preservers of the traditional text, prior to the birth of Christ, about 300BC), no Hebrew manuscript goes back more than a thousand years. Prior to that, old copies were usually destroyed when new ones took their place, therefore giving rise to a failure to preserve the original renderings.
The rabbis, especially those of the Pharisaical sect, realised that the text was gradually becoming more corrupt, and rather than change it, put some of these mistakes on record in margins, which eventually became overlooked and neglected.
In Alexandria, Egypt around 250 BC, Ptolemy II the king, wrote to Eleazer the chief Priest in Jerusalem, and asked for six translators from each of the twelve tribes to come to Alexandria and compose in isolation the Torah into Greek, thereby commencing the LXX which means 70 into the Septuagint. (Yes I can count!)
This act over the next 400 years brought about the whole of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek which became very popular with Christians and was being widely read. This caused intense dislike of the Septuagint by the Jewish Pharisees, and they instructed Aquila and Symmachus to produce from the old a new Hebrew text which differed greatly from the first; a new literal translation which was in different Hebrew and acted as a discourager of the Septuagint which eventually caused a major rift between the two, Pharisees rejected the LXX as false and insisted on adherence to the revised Hebrew text.
One can see from these acts, that unless one gets as close to the originals as possible, one is never going to appreciate the original words breathed by the holy spirit, leading to the immense diversity and deliberate error that has entered the word of God, given to Israel as the very 'oracles' that they were entrusted with.
Therefore, the three most ancient manuscripts (of Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) are the most reliable of all that the Concordant Greek text gives us today, using each Hebrew word as a reliable definition of its meaning, bearing in mind that the context more often than not determines its meaning. The revered 'Received Text' commissioned under Erasmus and completed hurriedly in two years, only commences with any definitive meaning from the 10th century AD, and is therefore fatally flawed in defining the truth revealed!!
I have mentioned this by way of introducing three words that do not appear in any other version of the Scriptures, and yet we can be absolutely certain are from within the original autographs, and therefore vital to us.
- Conciliation and
which as believers in the past we have never been familiar with due to mistranslation in the KJV.
If the nominal believer of this world understood the meaning of disruption, as opposed to the "foundation of the world" as stated in Ephesians 1:4 in the KJV, they would never be led into such error as believing that this world is only 6000 years old. Simply using the chronology within the Concordant version of Genesis shows that from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ was 5498 years, which means that we are now approaching 7,500 years of humanity being on this earth.
Creationists, therefore, who only account for 6000 years, leave themselves open to ridicule simply because it is obvious from geology alone that we are sitting on a planet that has been in existence for possibly millions of years! Ephesians 1:4:
"According as He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world."
This is the most wonderful revelation of our choice in God's plan and purpose prior to any form of evil or sin that was to affect the universe. The disruption of the world, in Greek means Kosmos (a system of and order of society) that was the event which brought about the chaos and also the darkness which we read of in Genesis 1:2.
Other versions of the Scriptures are totally incorrect in stating that the "world was without form and void"! The heavens and the earth were not created in darkness,or out of darkness, for indeed Isaiah 4:18 states categorically "that He formed the earth and made it; He created it not in vain (tohu and bohu) or confusion, but formed it to be inhabited" ! That shows that the Higgs Bosun and the search for the God particle is a complete waste of time and energy, in an attempt to prove the big bang theory.
The word translated disruption is katabole which literally means 'down casting', not as in AV which it states as foundation, as this gives the incorrect impression of something set up as such. Humanity had not yet come into existence, therefore it had to be other beings unattached to this earth, that were the cause of such darkness and chaos. This event was to not only scar this earth, but had its effect on the other planets to which we have now been able to view the disorder and signs of impact from other sources.
I would like to quote from an article by John Essex in the 1984 edition of Unsearchable Riches in which he states:
"We would suggest that the seeds of the disruption were sown when the Adversary was created, and that the opposition to the Headship of Christ developed during that first eon as more and more of the celestial beings followed the designs of Satan. Ephesians 6:12 speaks of sovereignties, authorities and world mights of this darkness; they are not of blood and flesh, but are classified as spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials.
"The first eon ended in a cataclysmic judgment (2Peter3:5-6) known scripturally as the disruption of the world. The effects upon this earth were chaos and darkness as mentioned in Genesis 1. Its effect as far as the celestials were concerned was to show that many of them were estranged from God, with no means amongst themselves of rectifying their position. Hence the need of a new creation in which form the Son of God's love could eventually come and give Himself up for all.
"The precious blood of Christ was foreknown of God before the disruption, but let us note that the Lamb was slain from the disruption, and not from the moment of Adam's transgression"
This is the only reference in all of Paul's writings that he uses this phrase 'the disruption of the world', and it is used exclusively to show our association prior to or before this event ever took place. Romans 8:29 clearly shows that:
"Whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand also to be conformed to the image of His Son."
What a glorious and humbling statement that is, that we were chosen before any of us ever had a chance to sin or commit an offence, or before there was such a thing as rebellion in the universe, so that nothing that has occurred since these actions can ever have any form of detrimental effect upon those who form the ecclesia that is the body of Christ!
God has already declared in Ephesians 5:27 that we are a
"glorious ecclesia, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing"
and that God sees (Romans 4:17)
"what is not as if it were."
There is no closer relationship given to any of the rest of creation, as is given to us in Christ Jesus! It is difficult to appreciate that heaven is far from the place that we imagine it, that it has vast numbers that are in outright rebellion toward God and His Christ, and that those celestial beings under the Adversary try every which way and more to deflect us from the standing we have. They are also dictating and teaching error in all the denominations of Christendom in order to attempt to keep any from approaching the maturity that Paul wishes us all to attain to in Ephesians 4:13-14.
The second word that I wish to discuss with you is Conciliation. This word has been abused and used out of context by virtually all other versions, for until I had my first Concordant version, like everyone else assumed that we were 'reconciled' to God as it states in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 in the KJV.
Correctly translated it reads,
"Yet all is of God,Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation, how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offences to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation. For Christ, then are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us 'Be conciliated to God. '"
There is one short sentence in Acts 20:2 that takes us through the whole period mentioned in 2nd Corinthians.It reads "passing through those parts and entreating them with many a word." At this juncture when it was written Paul first made known the truth of the conciliation, that God in Christ, is beseeching all men to be conciliated to Him!
It is impossible for God to be reconciled with most of humanity at this time, for they neither recognise or wish to be in harmony and friendship with Him. We should realise with all of the gravity that this event portrays, that when Christ went to the cross, the remedy for the sin of the whole world was dealt with in that one event. God no longer was unapproachable, for He came face to face with all of mankind out of the concealment within which the Temple and the Holy of Holies had previously made Him unapproachable. He opened His hand, and although the overwhelming majority are unwilling to accept it, nevertheless God made the first move and showed that His intention in the action He took was never to be distant, but eventually to actually dwell within all so that He is not unknown to any!
Nevertheless, God not only knows the heart of all His creatures, but prophesies through Paul in Romans 11 that He locks up all in stubborness toward Him. Not that He does not want their love, but that He can be merciful to them in the final order of things. Just as God in the Hebrew Scriptures time and time again offered life and protection by adhering to Him, so they on every count as rebellious Israel rejected all of His blessings, and in the end were so blind as to put their very Saviour to death.
It was Sir Robert Anderson who was one of the first to point out that reconciliation could not be what was inferred in 2 Corinthians for that had to be a recognition on both sides of a coming together, when the Greek word properly interpreted means katallasso meaning 'down change' which is to conciliate and is a one sided change.
Unfortunately, Sir Robert did not stop there, but then employed the word apokatalasso which means 'from down change' and assumed that these words were interchangeable, thereby making it seem as if God had made a change of mind which He had not and never does. Conciliation is concerned with God's attitude toward the world. There is no estrangement on His side, so all of the references in Romans and Corinthians that refer to reconciled are incorrect other than in Ephesians 2:16 and Colossians 1:20-21 where the reconciliation is acknowledged on both sides and is therefore mutual.
In Ephesians the estrangement is between Jew and Gentile. Both were at enmity. And therefore a change was needed on both sides, which confers becoming reconciled. Conciliation was effected at the cross, and reconciliation occurs when we obtain the conciliation. Thus, as I pointed out in Colossians they were reconciled, because as declared they were no longer enemies but as it states in chapter 1 verse 21:
"having been estranged and enemies in comprehension, by wicked acts, yet now He reconciles by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight."
A little further down in verses 24-25 he conclusively establishes that you cannot be moved from the expectation of the evangel you hear, which is being heralded in the entire creation which is under heaven, of which I Paul became the dispenser, and in verse 25 he alone confirms that
"in accord with the administration of God, which is granted to me for you, to complete the word of God."
He then proceeds on to reveal that this was a secret which has been concealed from the eons and from the generations, yet was now made manifest to His saints, to whom God wills to make known what are the glorious riches of this secret among the nations, which is; Christ among you, the expectation of glory.
The Colossians were once estranged, and remained so, long after the death of Christ. When this estrangement ended then they were fully reconciled. No other conclusion is possible but that the reconciliation of the universe, founded on the blood of His cross, is not a mere conciliation, but a full reconciliation only to be accomplished when all estrangement between God and his creatures is finally done away.
I would like to relate a visit that took place in 2002 and again in 2005. Geoff and Iris Bowlzer and myself drove the fifteen miles from Laodicea to what was Colossae, in modern Turkey. (Acording to Tacitus, the Roman historian). Nothing remains there other than masses of boulders and stones that once were buildings. If you seek Colossae now you have to go to Honaz which is a small town nearby. Colossae had never been excavated, and apart from much local removal of artefacts, is totally derelict. As you look each way you see the remains of massive upheavals, and many of you may not be aware that at the end of 60AD or very early 61AD, a massive earthquake took place that completely destroyed Laodicea, Colossae and much of the Lycus valley, even diverting parts of the Menander river.
My point is this, Paul probably wrote the prison epistles somewhere between 60-63AD. If when the prison epistles were written,(and they were composed onto vellum and taken on their journey, perhaps by Tychicus to the safe hands of Epaphras, Philemon and Onesimus), we may ask if Paul had become aware of this earthquake where he was in Rome. Perhaps many of those in Colossae suffered the loss of their homes their livelihood or perhaps even their lives. One day we shall know and meet all of those that Paul had loved dearly but had never visited!
My third word that evades virtually all other versions is the Consummation or the 'end' as described in the KJV at 1 Corinthians 15:24. If you look in the keyword concordance you will not find this word, for it directs you to the word 'finish', under which there are three variations of that word.
Teleo is the first one that has the meaning of an act of accomplishment, a task that has been carried through or brought to fruition. In this word we can grasp the meaning of 1 Corinthians 10:11 within which Paul is giving a resumee on the history of Israel's failings, and he states in verse 11:
"Now this befalls them typically. Yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained."
You notice that it is in the plural, and therefore not related to 1Corinthians 15. In this light the consummation of the ages has arrived, (not the one that must wait two more eons before it can be realised) but that spiritual consummation effected by the readjustment of the eons. Paul is here referring to the imperfect transitory administrations of the past that have now been brushed aside. So revolutionary is this period that Paul now refers to it as God Himself coming forward to win men to Him, and unhindered by sin and personal weakness, gives them the highest place in all the universe under Christ!
Bearing in mind that during the next eon of the Millennial rule,(when Christ is on this earth and Israel will return to sacrifice law and ceremony) emphasises the fact that, in spirit, we are beyond these earthly administrations, for they revert to the Davidic covenant within which they will keep what they could not keep without a new heart within them. This is far short of the transcendent favours and standing that is ours.
The second part of finish is the telos which has a different meaning in that it refers to a finality or an ultimate conclusion that brings all before it to a close. This is the meaning of the wonderful verses in 1 Corinthians 15: 20 onward:
"Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the Firstfruit of those that are reposing. For since in fact, through a man came death through a man also comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as in Adam all are dying, thus also in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class: The Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence; thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty, and all authority and power. For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy is being abolished : death. For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him who subjects all to Him. Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him who subjects all to Him, That God may be All in all."
What a wonderful portion of scripture that is, that shows how God is indeed over all, for He is AL in the Hebrew, the Subjector of all, to the point that even Christ when His work is completed abdicates from His position of subjecting all to the Father and handing over the Kingdom to God which will be a Kingdom for all eternity.
It is sad that so many of the denominations of Christendom are unable to share these truths with us. Their doctrines and commandments of men have already decided that the Bible erroneously states that there is a hell and that those of humanity that do not repent will enter into it conscious. As if that were not bad enough, for those that do believe in the great white throne judgement of God, that He brings them out of the torment that they have endured, judges them and then puts them back into hell for ever and ever with conscious suffering! What a terrible twisting of the Scriptures, and what an even greater maligning of a God that wishes above all to be the Saviour of all mankind, especially of believers!
Due to a lack of light on the consummation, many translations have changed vital words such as chastening to punishment, eonian to everlasting, and even where there is light, justification is debased to pardon or forgiveness, and grace is trodden on by the deception of punishment that is not accounted for by the sacrifice of Christ!
These perversions of scripture recall Ephesians 4:14 to me, in which Paul states:
"that we may by no means still be minors surging hither and thither and being carried about by every wind of teaching, [blown about by every wind of doctrine as it states in the KJV], by human caprice, by craftiness with a view to the systematising of the deception."
In verse 23 of 1Corinthians 15 we read that following Christ, who has been beyond the dominion of death since His resurrection
"Those who are Christ's will be vivified at His presence."
As Paul is showing here this resurrection is a part of all being made alive, he does not go into any of the details of this second class, or tell us when this presence takes place. He uses the term parousia the 'beside being', which is broad enough to include all those who are His at His coming, which must also include a later period at the conclusion of the last heptad of seven years, when Christ literally appears on this earth. As He states in 1Thessalonians 4:17:
"the dead in Christ shall be rising first."
(This does not happen to Israel for they await 75 days before their resurrection as Daniel states.)
"Thereupon we, the living who are surviving, shall at the the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord. So that, console one another with these words."
Looking at the state of this world, and the breakdown of law, order and the sheer terror that many face as to the future, how welcome are those words of Paul to console one another of His coming for us prior to the events within Revelation.
We enter the celestials to be forever with the Lord, and apart from Christ, the very first of creation that will experience God being all in us. Having shed our mortal bodies, no longer susceptible to weakness and disease and suffering, but with as it states in Philippians 3:20:
"For our realm is inherent in the heavens [meaning that it always was since before the disruption], out of which we are awaiting a Saviour also, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the body of our humiliation, to conform it to the body of His glory, in accord with the operation which enables Him even to subject all to Himself."
And in Colossians 3:1:
"If then you were roused together with Christ, be seeking that which is above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Be disposed to that which is above, not to that on the earth, for you died, and your life is hid together with Christ in God. Whenever Christ, our Life should be manifested, then you also shall be manifested together with Him in glory."
Truly, this is a glory and a glorious body of spiritual flesh that is beyond our wildest imaginations. I might remind you that when Paul met the Lord in Acts 9, a light flashed out of heaven, and he heard a voice which caused him to not only be speechless, but blinded him for three days, during which he ate nothing. In Daniel 10, Daniel was met by a messenger of the Lord that so vitally affected him that he lay motionless on the floor having been sick, perplexed and awestruck by the vitality of this celestial messenger. And this was only a messenger!
Our brief has yet to be given us. We shall be presented before the Dais, and there will be applause from no less than God, not for what we have done, but what He has chosen to do through us, having been chosen and called by Him for His purpose. We will have experienced this change in our lives for some considerable period before the consummation. There will have been the Millennium lasting 1000 years followed by a new heavens and a new earth as mentioned in Revelation 21. An earth of such size and grandeur that will have no sea. Have you ever thought how God will transport all those left on this earth to that one, and that the old one disappears as Peter states:
"the heavens being on fire, the earth decomposes by combustion, and a new heavens and earth appear"
which Paul has already seen, and given a splinter in the flesh because of the ineffable declarations that he heard and saw!
That period may well be thousands of years away; we have no way of knowing God's timing now. After this period of time, Christ, along with all those that are His, will have traversed the furthest regions of the universe, enlightening all those that are celestial by birth, but lacking in appreciation and love of God, His plan and purpose. Christ will bring every creature celestial, terrestrial, and subterranean under obedience to Him, and then He passes a universe to the Father within which He will be All in All!
Finally, at that time verse 24 of 1Corinthians will take place, in which all those that have never known or wished to know of God have served a period of separation from Him in the grave at the second death, and as will have already taken place, at the throne of judgment they will be made aware of the judgment passed upon them outside of the blood of Christ, but in the knowledge that it is not for eternity but for the length of time that God has ordained within which all rule and enmity toward Him, commenced by spiritual wickedness in the heavens, will be finally eliminated from His universe.
What a glorious time that will be, and what marvels will God yet reveal to all His creatures, when He is All in them!
If you found this talk helpful, please tell others.
You may use this copyrighted material for unlimited personal use.
Any other uses require written permission.
© David Osgood 2011