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Volume 21 - Page 19 of 202 Index | Zoom | |
Returning to the O.T. examples of rhuomai, and in particular to Israel in Egypt, we see
that Israel were not only "rescued" but "translated":--
"By strength of hand the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt" (Exod. 13: 16).
"They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in" (Exod. 14: 3).
"The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground" (Exod. 14: 22).
"Then sang Moses and the children of Israel, they sang unto the Lord' (Exod. 15: 1).
For Israel to have been rescued from the tyranny of Pharaoh without the Red Sea
being placed between them and the land of bondage would not have been sufficient. The
opening of the Red Sea and the safe transport of Israel to the further shore is an O.T.
equivalent of the "translation" of Col. 1: 13, without of course encroaching upon the
distinctive characteristics of the N.T. passage.
If Eph. 2: reveals something of the authority from which we have been rescued,
Eph. 1: supplies material for understanding the nature of the translation:--
"What is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to
the energizing of His might power, which He energized in Christ, when He raised Him
from the dead, and set Him at His Own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all
principality, and authority, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not
only in this age, but also in that which is to come, and hath put all things under His feet,
and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness
of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1: 19-23).
The "energy" of the mighty evil spirit that dominated our lives has been rendered
inoperative by the greater "energy" of the resurrection. The ascension of Christ "far
above all", the fact that, so far as the church is concerned, He has all things under His
feet, and the further fact that, in Spirit, by faith, the church is raised and seated there with
Him, these are the realities of our "translation". No member of His body is in the realm
over which Satan has authority; in Christ he is raised "far above" his dominion. We
would safeguard this statement concerning our position by reminding every reader that
just as Israel "turned back in their hearts again to Egypt" (Acts 7: 39), so the believer
to-day, by not putting off the old man, can give place to the devil (Eph. 4: 27), and while
he can never be "lost", he may "lose".
That the "translation" of Col. 1: 13 was to have a practical effect is evident from
Col. 2: 20:--
"If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why as though living in the
world are ye subject to ordinances?"
These believers are not really "living in the world", though they were certainly
finishing their lives "on the earth". Israel, on the other side of the Red Sea, still needed
food, raiment and sleep, as in Egypt, but they no longer lived in Egypt. So the believer,
while still here in the flesh, needs food, raiment and sleep, just like his unsaved
neighbour, but he has nevertheless ceased to "live in the word". The Lord speaks of
being "in the world, but not of it" (John 17: 11, 16).
(To be concluded).