An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 108 of 297
Sinai or in the related imposition of observances, the magnifying of the
'shadow' to the neglect of the 'substance', seems to be laid to
the charge of certain sections of the angelic host, 'world rulers of this
darkness'.  Again, in Galatians 4:8-10, the submission to 'weak and beggarly
elements', the observance of 'days, months, and times and years' is all one
and the same, in essence, as doing service 'unto them which by nature are no
gods'.  We have no definite information, but the feeling left by these
passages is that angels, who were associated with the giving and
administration of the law of Sinai (Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:1-3), and
principalities and powers, were abusing their authority and using ceremonial
religion and speculative philosophy to bring the Gentile world into a
parallel bondage, and were among the enemies that were dealt with and
defeated by the Cross.  We must never lose sight of the fact that Satan is
first and foremost, one who seeks worship, and his usurpation, rebellion and
fall, together with the alienation of the world from God and from Christ, is
directed to this end.  While, therefore, we must lovingly retain our belief
that at the cross we find Redemption, Atonement, Access and Peace, there was
also a victory over unseen forces, the importance of which will not be fully
known until we arrive at 'the end' or goal, when God will be all in all.
While we make no pretence to inside knowledge of these high matters, we
believe that what has been written above will at least enable the reader to
appreciate the cosmic relationship of his high calling, the reasons why it is
referred back to before the 'overthrow', why it is far above all principality
and power, and marvelling at the grace that reserved this calling for the
alien and the stranger, may so set his mind on things above where Christ
sits, and await the day of manifestation when we shall at last be appraised
as to the real extent of the hope of our calling.  Incidentally, this rule of
angels, principalities and powers, constitutes a kosmos, a world order, and
to this the words, 'Before the foundation of the world' refer.  (See article
Overthrow or Foundation, p. 114).
Prudence.  This word as found in Ephesians 1:8 needs
to be treated with care.  The A.V. reads: 'Wherein He hath abounded toward us
in all wisdom and prudence'.  Now 'abounding' translates the Greek word
perisseuo and suggests prodigality, giving without stint, whereas prudence
suggests careful administration, and to Abound with Prudence sounds somewhat
contradictory.  If we ignore the English punctuation and read Ephesians 1:7-9
as follows we shall be nearer the apostle's meaning.
'In Whom we have redemption, through His
blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the
riches of His grace wherein He hath abounded
toward us.
In all wisdom and prudence having made known
making it
unto us the mystery of His will'.
The prudence relates to making known the mystery of His will, milk for
babes and meat for full grown, whereas grace abounds and overflows where the
forgiveness of sins is in view.