TRANSLATED OUT OF
THE POWER OF DARKNESS
(The following is an excerpt from an article by Jessie Penn-Lewis, “Translated Out of the Power of Darkness.” It appeared in The Overcomer, Vol. 3, published by The “Overcomer” Office, Leicester, England, September 1911. It was later revised and reprinted in booklet form. Watchman Nee’s translated excerpt was based on portions of both versions.)
“It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dearly-loved Son.” (Col. i:13; Weymouth).
What is God’s purpose concerning the believer in Christ, and the powers of darkness? To see this we must turn to the work of Christ at Calvary, and understand Calvary’s victory. On the Cross of Calvary He flung off from Himself the principalities and powers of evil, and put them to open shame. The soul identified with Christ in His death is translated with Him, and in Him, “out of the kingdom of darkness” into the “reigning life” of the Ascended Lord. Through Calvary’s victory you have been in God’s purpose translated out of that Kingdom of darkness, not to be walking in its sphere, not to take its view point, nor its standards, its ways, its wickedness.
But before this becomes actual experience you need first to apprehend God’s full ideal for you, and that He has translated you out of the power of darkness, so that the prince of darkness HAS NO FURTHER CLAIM ON YOU, NO RIGHT to you; for God “hath raised us up together (with Christ) and made us to sit with Him” in His reigning life. However much you may come short of it in experience, remember you must never lower God’s ideal for you; but ever keep in sight His intention, and ask Him to lead you on to the life He purposes for you. Your position is that you are “TRANSLATED OUT OF THE POWER OF DARKNESS.” Then how much hold will you practically give the enemy in yourself, and your life? What is your WILL in the matter? What is your attitude towards Him? Is your will what God’s will is—”translated out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son;” raised, and made to sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus?”
THE PRACTICAL WAY OF VICTORY.
Now as to the practical outworkings of this position. First of all there must be simplicity of faith in Christ and purity of thought toward Him. Paul said, “I fear lest as the serpent beguiled Eve, your MIND should be corrupted from the simplicity of faith that is in Christ.” Paul would hardly be afraid of what could not take place, or be anxious about the impossible. So you cannot say it is “not possible” for a Christian to be beguiled. Eve was innocent, yet she was beguiled; and the knowledge of this fact led Paul to be anxious about this for the Corinthians. We must walk in simplicity of faith and purity of thought, as those who are delivered, and translated, and raised together with Christ.
Next, there is the need of care in speech (Matt. v. 37) and after that forgiveness—”lest Satan should get an advantage” (2 Cor. ii, 11). The unforgiving spirit always gives Satan an advantage. Paul appears to have been keenly on the alert against the Adversary, taking care that he did not gain any advantage in his actions. In 1 Tim. iii, 6, we read, “Not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the judgment of the devil.” Apparently the devil has a right to judge any who are “puffed” up. The Apostle is speaking about a Christian—albeit a young one—and of the possibility of this believer falling under the “judgment of the devil” directly he gives him ground. The enemy seems to have certain rights which even God respects, and that right includes the power to “judge,” or have some power over any believer who gives him occasion. What force this gives to Ephes. iv, 27, “GIVE NO PLACE to the devil!” In all these passages you have warnings to the children of God.