In a sense, in Isaac the transfer of life was accomplished but it was not fully completed. We know this by the fact that Isaac still begat Esau whom God hated (Rom. 9:13). This means that within Isaac the natural life still remained. Thus, we may say that in Isaac the transfer of life was not completed thoroughly. It was completed in Jacob.
FIRSTLY BEING THE SUPPLANTER JACOB • At first, Jacob was a supplanter. His name means a supplanter. To supplant means to take the place of another, or to get something, through subtle means. Jacob was one who stole in a secret way. For instance, he stole from his uncle, Laban. Laban thought that Jacob was helping him with his flocks, but while Jacob was helping Laban, he made a flock for himself. This is an example of Jacob’s supplanting. At the first, Jacob certainly did not have the transfer of life.
TRANSFORMED INTO ISRAEL, THE PRINCE OF GOD • God had a way to deal with Jacob. He transformed Jacob, the supplanter, into a prince of God. Although it took God a long time to accomplish this, at a certain time He told Jacob that his name was being changed from Jacob to Israel (32:27-28). Thereafter, he was called Israel. God did the same thing to Jacob that He had done to Abraham: He changed his name and his strength. When God came in to deal with Jacob, Jacob was truly a supplanter. He even wrestled with God. He was so strong in a natural way that even God found it difficult to subdue him. We should not laugh at Jacob. We are the same as he was. We are so strong that even God finds it difficult to subdue us. When God comes to deal with us, we wrestle with Him. Although it is difficult for God to subdue us, eventually we shall be subdued by Him. Jacob’s wrestling forced God to touch his thigh, to touch the strongest part of his being. After that happened, he was lame. From that day onward, his supplanting was over. The supplanter had become a prince of God. Throughout the remainder of his days he did not steal again. His supplanting hands became blessing hands. He no longer supplanted; he only blessed. He stretched out his hands to bless whomever came to him. He even blessed Pharaoh, the greatest king on earth at that time (47:7, 10). The supplanter became a blesser. This is the prince of God. Here we have the full transfer of race with the complete transfer of life. This is God’s calling. God’s calling began at Genesis 12:1 and will continue until the coming of the New Jerusalem. All the supplanters will be terminated and become the princes of God. The New Jerusalem will come in, not only as a transfer of race, but also as a transfer of life.
IN THE BELIEVERS
BEGINNING WITH REGENERATION • In principle, the experience is the same with the believers today. With the believers, this transfer of life begins with regeneration (John 3:3, 5). After being regenerated, we are in the process of the transfer of life.
ACCOMPLISHED BY THE EXPERIENCE OF SPIRITUAL CIRCUMCISION • With the believers, the transfer of life is accomplished by the experience of circumcision, by the putting off of the flesh (Col. 2:11; Gal. 5:24). Today God is circumcising us, and this circumcision lasts quite a long time. I believe that many among us are still under God’s circumcising hand. You may still cling to your fleshly strength or to your natural man. This requires God to come in and cut, or circumcise, that part of you. Hence, we all are in the process of being circumcised. In other words, we are in the process of transformation.
COMPLETED AT THE REDEMPTION AND TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR BODY • The transfer of life will be fully completed at the time of the Lord’s coming back. At that time our body will be fully redeemed and transfigured (Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:21). Then we shall be the called ones, not only in the transfer of race, but also in the complete transfer of life. At that time we shall enjoy all of the blessings that God promised to our father Abraham. This is God’s calling. God’s calling is not for Abraham’s natural descendants. God’s calling is for the people who follow Abraham to exercise the obtained faith, to live by and in God, and to experience the transfer of life by the working of God. As a result of this process, we shall be altogether another people, a people of God’s calling. Then we shall enjoy all the blessings of God’s promise. All that God promised to Abraham will be the blessings of the New Testament gospel in which we all shall participate through faith in Christ.
(Abraham—Called by God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)