Reading: Hebrews 1:13-2:9.
The main thing in view in this passage is "world dominion in
fellowship with the Son of Man through the Cross".
"What is man that thou shouldest make mention of him? And
the Son of man that thou shouldest put him in charge? Thou
madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands. Thou
didst put all things in subjection under his feet."
This is entered into in fellowship with the Son of Man: "What
is man that thou puttest him in charge?"
"Since the children are sharers in flesh and blood He also
Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death
He might destroy him that had the power of death."
In these passages we see the crowning of the race in Christ as
its representative (and ultimately to be actually) with Christ in
glory. We read of a bringing into the place of a company which is
related to the dominion of God's new creation in Christ. That is
said to be the "so great salvation". It is salvation in its
finality, bringing the sons of God to the place of complete
dominion in fellowship with the glorified Son of Man through the
How much larger is the Holy Spirit's revelation of things said in
the Old Testament in the meaning He gives to them in the New
Testament. "In divers portions and in divers manners" (Heb.
1:1) of Old Testament truth we find its full range is never given,
but only hinted at, and the thing stopped short at a point. And
when these same Old Testament things are taken up in the New
Testament the Holy Spirit always enlarges them, expands them. In
Psalm 8 "every beast" (the earthly creation) is mentioned as the
range of dominion, but when we come into the New Testament with
that passage and bring in the Son of Man, we find the expanding of
revelation in limitless ways and the reference is to universal
dominion. And go to Ephesians and find the universal subjecting of
all things to Christ in His glorious exaltation. See also Psalm 8,
Psalm 22, 1 Samuel 2 and Isaiah 8. In Isaiah 8 there is a most
remarkable quotation about Isaiah and his sons, and that fragment
is taken and brought over and related to Christ and all the sons
He is bringing to glory. The Holy Spirit brought in the fulness of
that fragment in relation to Christ which was only hinted at in
the Old Testament in a very limited and earthly way. And again and
again there is a marvellous expanding of things in the New
Testament which was only hinted at in the Old Testament.
This matter of dominion is also expanded and enlarged from the
earthly into the universal and eternal. Psalm 8 may in the main
have related to Adam, but Adam was not in any way the Son of Man;
but if permitted in a limited way to bring that Psalm in relation
to Adam, he never attained unto that dominion in full; he missed
it. Adam was on probation unto dominion and missed it because he
failed in the probation. But the Son of Man not only secures that
of which Adam failed, fell short, but in HIM there is an expanding
which was not in the Divine thought for Adam; we gain more "in
Christ" than we lost "in Adam". The Lord Jesus brings in far more
than was in view in the Adam dominion.
Here we have dominion invested in Christ for the sons whom He is
bringing to glory, and that dominion is by way of the Cross. The
specific thing in the securing of that dominion by way of the
Cross is in the matter of the destroying of death and setting up
the testimony of Life in the Hebrew letter. There is a tremendous
place given to life triumphant over death. Right at the beginning
of the letter the second psalm is quoted: "Thou art My Son,
this day have I begotten Thee" (v.5). That specific
declaration is made in relation to the resurrection of the Lord
Jesus. When 'they' carried out the vain thing, they meditated
against Him: "they meditated", but God raised Him from the dead.
So you have the letter beginning with the testimony to the
resurrection in the power of that triumphant Life. The whole
letter is founded on that great fact.
Now the House of God is a corporate representation of Christ
personal, and the House of God comes in to display the truth of
the Son of man as He is now at the right hand of God. The whole
testimony of Jesus is gathered up into His conquest of death.
His conquest of sin and conquest of the devil are fragments only,
but in His conquest of death you gather up sin and its moral
consequences - the devil and his kingdom, and the human race, all
is included in this great inclusive triumph and conquest. In
dealing with death He has dealt with everything and has
established the testimony, which is Life triumphant over death.
"The testimony of Jesus" is that He conquered death in all that
death means, and lives in the power of a death-conquering Life. It
is again gathered up in the Man-child (Rev. 12), and the same
things are said of the Man-child as are said of the Son of Man. In
Revelation 1 and 12 the identical words are said of each; the
Man-child is coming to the throne "by the word of their
testimony" which is simply the testimony to the blood; Life
The testimony which God is more concerned to have set up and
maintained on this earth and in this universe more than anything
else is the testimony to Christ's conquering of spiritual death.
In the end-time the death pressure will be more intense and the
activities of the enemy will be more intensified along this line.
The force of the power of death will be very great, and many of us
are being forced into the testimony of Christ's conquest of death
by the very daily pressure we meet. We meet death as a mighty
working principle in this universe, to body, soul and spirit, (to
the body out of God's time and will and the devil-dragon seeking
to bring death upon it), to mind, will, and atmosphere. We are in
that - the battle of the age, and the battle of the age is
concerning death. The issue for this time is the testimony
concerning Life, the mighty power of Christ's Life, which is the
blood that effectuates there against that force of death as a
mighty death-conquering force; that force which was in the Cross
of the Lord Jesus and which has overcome death in every realm.
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him?" Christ is
brought in as the Son of Man. "We see Jesus... made lower than
the angels, because of the suffering of death." The
apostle's comment on that is, "because of the suffering of death
crowned with glory and honour," then, "that by the grace
of God He should taste death for every man". And a little
later on, "He partook of flesh and blood that through death He
might destroy him that had the hold of death, that is the devil"
(Heb. 2:14). What is the meaning of this? Why "made a little lower
than angels because of the suffering of death"? (I know there are
differences of interpretation of the words 'a little lower', but
whether 'little' is in time, 'for a little while', or in degree,
is not really the point; the fact is His condition). God has made
man capable of suffering death; when God made Adam, he so
constituted him that he could suffer death, not merely die
as a mortal being, but He made him capable of suffering death.
This is said in the same way as we would say, "You shall suffer
punishment, as a penalty or as a judgment", "The day thou
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". And when Adam sinned
in disobedience, he "suffered death". The children of that race
have entered into that penalty and judgment, they are suffering
death - under the fear and the power of death.
Now because the children of that race are sharers in
blood and flesh, He also in like manner partook of the same, that
is, He came into relationship with that race. He came with blood
and flesh because that race was a suffering, death race. It is the
question of the dominion of death, the devil's hold of death; he
has got it in his hands and is using it along the line of the
accuser. The devil has tempted man to sin, and God has said, "the
soul that sinneth it shall die." "The day thou shalt eat
thereof Thou shalt surely die." And the devil has gone to
God and said, "Death is the penalty of sin. If You are true to
Your own word, pronounce death upon him". And God has to
do it, not because of the devil, but because He is God. God,
because of what He is, has to pronounce death over His own
But here is One who allies Himself with the children of that
sinning race, but in Himself there is no sin, therefore death has
no legal hold over Him; in Himself He is perfectly sinless. The
devil cannot go to God and say He has sinned. No! He is paralysed
and in that sense destroyed, for the word translated "destroy"
does not mean annihilate, but is used in the sense of 'annulling':
"Annul him that had the power of death". So all the
accusing work of the devil when face to face with the Son of Man
is nullified, silenced. And the Lord Jesus has taken that whole
race into death and before God that race is no longer seen. What
remains? One Man is sinless and He has met all that charge and the
devil is absolutely at a standstill. That Man is your answer to
the accusations of the accuser. And God points to Him, the Son of
Where do the saints come in? We have no right to "suffer death".
The enemy is seeking to get us to take on condemnation, and when
we do so, we in effect repudiate what Christ has done in His Cross
on our behalf, and by accepting the enemy's accusations we open
the way to condemnation. The way of victory is faith's
appropriation of all Christ is now for us at the right hand of God
in the glory of His exaltation as Son of Man. In ourselves there
may be many true things upon which the enemy can pounce, but there
is such a thing as turning to the Lord and repudiating that thing,
and in faith taking hold of His moral perfections and meeting the
devil's accusations with Him.
When any child of God accepts accusation from the enemy and loses
sight of the Lord Jesus in them, and before God
for them in all His moral perfection, they come into the domain of
death and defeat. It is a battle of holding on to the Lord as our
answer on every point.
The pathway to heaven seems a growing consciousness of our utter
worthlessness; the enemy keeps your own wretched, worthless self
before your eyes to crush and press you out. But there is another
side to that worthlessness of nature: there should be a growing
appreciation of what Christ is as the perfect Man for us. And we
see growingly what the Lord Jesus is on our behalf before the
Father for us, and what Christ is universally for us; that is Life
triumphant over death. As Christ is seen in His mighty victory
over death, this is the way of Life; a growing appreciation of the
Lord Jesus. He destroyed him that had the hold of death! The way
of victory for us is by presenting the accuser with a Life against
which nothing can be laid. We stand in faith believing Christ
satisfies God for us. He is the One who answers every accusation
of the enemy against us in what He is for us. And, holding on to
that by a mighty faith, we win through with a mighty triumph.
The appreciation of the Lord Jesus and faith's appropriation of
Him is the power by which the enemy, the Accuser, Death is
destroyed; it is by a large enjoyment of the Lord Jesus. The
secret of life-triumphant is the enjoyment of the Lord Jesus. That
is not a little thing; it is a mighty thing, an ultimate thing, it
represents a mighty thing to enjoy the Lord Jesus.
When the enemy comes in like a flood on the ground of our moral
defectiveness (and that he will do with the elect of God, it is one way in which he will centre upon the people of God) the way of victory is still, in the presence of that attack, to
enjoy the Lord Jesus. It is a mighty faith that holds on to the
Lord Jesus as our answer. As long as you recognise the absolute
flawlessness of Christ, you are in victory, and you triumph over
the enemy as you keep your hands full of Him. Our rest is coming
into God's estimate of the Lord Jesus; that means something of the
power of Christ's resurrection is established in us, not as
information and doctrine, but Life is the testimony. The
light will come. God builds upon the testimony of Christ's victory
In the Old Testament we see David, when the pestilence raged and
death was abroad, was commanded by God to go to the threshing
floor of Ornan the Jebusite and offer burnt offerings and peace
offerings. And immediately, the plague was stayed, death was
arrested; and upon which David said, "This is the house of God
and this is the altar of burnt-offering". When death is
taken hold of and its power overcome by the blood of the altar,
then God begins to build His House. The building is on the basis
of Life triumphant over death.
Everything in the House of God has got to be a revelation of this
foundational thing: victory over death. The Body of Christ grows
by Life, not teaching. It is not built by truth, it is Life that