Dominion, Self-Control

Hebrews 2:1-8

We should keep in mind that Hebrews is written in and to a Hebrew, Jewish culture. The expectation was of a glorious king to conquer his enemies with a bloody sword. However, Hebrews shows that the true King conquers his enemies with his own blood. His blood enables his new army to subdue his enemies with the Good News.

I have been amazed at how many Christians are afraid of the word Dominion, and even part company over the word. But subdue, subjection and similar terms mean dominion. The Christian view of dominion means bringing everything into conformity to the Law-Word of Christ as revealed in Holy Scripture. Godly Dominion must start over one’s own spirit. SELF-CONTROL. Philippians 4:8, 9.

Hebrews 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:” gives us the theme of this chapter, as well as the entire book of Hebrews. That theme is the victory of Jesus Christ.
The Redeemed have the responsibility to take dominion in the name of Christ “over the works of they hands”, and that can only be accomplished through Christ’s redemptive work. The redeemed have not only been given the command but the power through grace to do all things to the Glory of God.

Christ’s and our victory is based upon his mediation work, which makes His people more than conquers through the second Adam, Jesus Christ who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Those in the Second Adam are commanded and empowered to do what the First Adam failed to do: subdue the earth for the glory of God by obeying the word of God.

As I have been studying and teaching through Hebrews, it has dawned on me that generally modern day Christians have no idea of the significance of, nor the importance and power of the Mediation work of Christ. We view that work simply as forgiveness of sin and freedom to boldly stand in the presence of God.

Christ’s mediation work is far more than simply forgiveness of sin and a clear conscience before God. It is the basis of the power to fulfill God’s dominion command to Adam.

Through the mediation work of Christ, former rebels against God are conquered and changed to friends and faithful servants of Christ.

The task of subduing all things under his footstool is only possible because of the mediation work of Christ, which he now carries out from the right hand of all power on high.

So today, I would like to consider some of the implications of Jesus Christ’s victory that he accomplished on the cross.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Because of the Mediation work of Christ, his people have free access to Christ’s authority over all the dark powers both in their own hearts and in this world. Starting with their own spirits, His people are commanded to apply his power to subdue all things under Christ through faithful obedience to and application of the entire command-word God.

The book of Hebrews was written to the physical seed of the first Hebrew, Abraham. (Abraham was not a Jew.) These Hebrews were being influenced to return to “the handwriting of ordinances” that were still taking place in the temple.

They are being told that Jesus Christ is now the only one qualified to Mediate between God and man. The man Christ Jesus is both the great Lawgiver, Mediator and the Judge. He is not neutral concerning man's sin and transgressions. Sin and transgression will lead to death without supernatural intervention.

With Jesus Christ as the mediator, man is face-to-face with the Judge who established the law that man transgressed. In pleading for Sodom, Abraham said, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) And he will certainly do right in that day when he tells the unconverted who have no mediator, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Mat 25:41)

The answer for man’s problem is not political. His problem is sin, which requires repentance, restitution, pardon and regeneration. Repentance and faith is the gift of God, and must come from the throne of glory. The converted sinner then has a Mediator. He then he has free and bold access to the Mediator’s total power and authority: “because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 Jn 4:17) Having “Christ in him, his hope of Glory”, the redeemed have Christ’s power and authority over the world, flesh and the devil.

Hebrews 2:1, "the things which we have heard". In the context of Hebrews, "we have heard" would be the gospel which proceeded from Father through Christ. What they heard was Christ condemning the Temple worship that was still going on at that time, and replacing that worship with Himself. (John 4)

The required Levitical sacrifices, offerings and ordinances established by Moses for the Hebrew people had been in force for 1500 year from the time of Moses, and were still being practiced at the Temple. The author of Hebrews is now proving to them from the Law, Psalms and from the Prophets that those temple ordinances were fulfilled in Christ, and were now not only useless, but are cursed by God, for they denied the mediation work of Jesus Christ.

Anything, including baptism, good works or even prayer, added to Christ is identified as idolatry.

As the author addresses those Hebrews who were tempted to return to the Temple worship with its appealing ceremonies, he warns that it is dangerous to neglect what they have heard of the Son, Who is the only mediator between God and man. Men would much rather have ceremonies and rituals than Christ, for rituals do not require humility and holiness.

Heb 6:6 “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (The Hebrews are being addressed. After knowing and accepting the truth of Christ’s mediation, they rejected Christ, and returned to the Temple for their mediation. Rejecting Christ’s mediation for the Temple mediation put Christ to an open shame. Rejecting the Truth, there is no place to turn.)

Peter issues the same warning to the Hebrews in 2 Pet 2:

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

The redeemed must earnestly heed his every word, "less at any time we should let them slip." Because the gospel comes from the highest possible source, from the very throne of God, the redeemed are under the most urgent necessity to hear and obey.

We should keep in mind that the Gospels and Epistles were written in and to a 1500 year old “Hebrew culture” as it existed through the Tabernacle and Temple. Israel received the temple ordinances that were in effect only until the appointed time of the reformation.

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

This letter is telling the Hebrews that Christ is that reformation, and the Temple system is abolished and any desire to return to it is apostasy.

The meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances were added because of the transgression. After hearing the Commandments from the mount, the people asked for a mediator. All of those laws were the schoolmaster that pointed to the mediation work of Christ.

The schoolmaster. In Galatians 3:18-29, Paul is speaking of the oppressive ordinances as delivered at the mount for the priesthood. He was not referring to the laws of holiness as found in the Commandments, for they are forever established in the heavens.

The promise to Abraham was not that God would provide a new or different law of holiness. Abraham, and all the Saint of old, understood that his inheritance was never through faith in the law of holiness, that is, the Commandments.

John 8:56 tells us that Abraham knew that his inheritance was through faith in the promised Redeemer/Mediator who would come, Jesus Christ. That promise of the Mediator was continually before the Hebrews in the form of the meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances required in the Temple.

Colossians 2:14 tells us that all of those laws were nailed to his cross. But many could not accept that Christ was the fulfillment of all those Temple ordinances.

The laws of righteousness reveal the holy nature of the Thrice Holy God. (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8) The Commandments were never given to equip man to stand before the Holy Creator God, though human nature tries to use them to be right with God.

The Commandments reveal man’s sinfulness, and his need of a Mediator, who would be “the man Christ Jesus”. From eternity past to eternity future, the Commandments define righteousness and holiness. They set forth the standard by which his people are to be “holy even as he is holy”. They reveal the everlasting character of our holy God before whom every person must stand and give an account for himself.

Hebrews 9:10 “the time of reformation.”

The time of reformation was the time when the old manner of worship through the meats, drinks, washings and carnal ordinances were replaced with the new manner of worship through the mediation of Jesus Christ.

The time of reformation… Reformation produces a reformed man through the work of Christ. That is, fallen man is reformed into a new creation in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ tells us that the new newly reformed man will delight in the laws of holiness. (The Psalmists spoke of his delight in God’s law many times, as did Paul. Ps 1:2, 119:70, 77, 174, Rom 7:22.)

Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

V. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward.

In chapter 1, the author had shown that angels are simply messengers of God with no independent power. Any independent power attributed to angels is denial of the all sufficiency of Jesus Christ.

Angels can have no part in mediation, for the Son is the only mediator between God and man. Seeking help from angels is clearly idolatry, an abomination to God, and it is apostasy from any profession of faith. Obviously, the same goes for seeking help from “the Saints”.

Hebrews 1 tells us that angels have always had an appeal because they have no law nor power to enforce law. Angels are popular because people want a lawless religion with no worry about a holy, just, righteous and avenging God against sin. People are interested in angels because they believe that somehow there is a mystical power in angels which offers safety from judgment. They want to believe that angels can bring blessings upon them in spite of their lawless lifestyle.

Many people have made large sums of money from the simple minded by offering images of, books and movies about angels with a promise of mystical help. Man looks for any help that does not require the God of the Bible Who demands holiness and obedience to his law-word.

The author quotes Psalms 110:1 in Hebrews 1:13 “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

The author also uses Psalms 110 in 10: 13, to prove the superiority of both Christ and men over angels. Evidently there was a problem with the Hebrews venerating angels. In fact, it was a common belief that it was an angel who delivered God’s Commandments to Moses.

Man's created status is clearly above that of angels, for angels are simply "ministering spirits".

However, in some way, these messengers of God had a hand in the revelation of God’s law at the Mount. This influenced the Hebrews to exalt angels above simply being messengers of God sent forth to minister for “them who shall be heirs of salvation".

Their word had the force of law, “and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward”. But that law was not their law. It was God's law.

Stephen said,

Acts 7:52 “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

Stephen was witnessing to the Hebrew religious leaders who were proud of their “righteousness” according to their very corrupt understanding of God’s law. Yet Stephan tells them they are hypocrites, and the angels are witnesses to their hypocrisy.

There were attending ranks of angels who witnessed the giving of the law at the Mount. And now in the presence of those same angels, Stephen tells them that they have not kept the law of which they are so proud. Stephen tells them that in the day of their judgment, the very angels who witnessed the giving of the law to the Hebrews at the Mount will testify against them. Those angels will also testify against all who profess love for Christ, but do not live that profession by keeping his commands. (John 14)

Speaking to the large crowed that followed him, the Lord said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

V. 2. That law was and is steadfast and sure, and changes not. The law is based on and expresses the character of God and his holiness. Matthew 5:17-19, 1 Peter 2:21-23.

God's Holy Commandments reveal his Holy Character. Therefore, changing any part of God's Holy Commandments is to attribute a change in God's character, and must be identified as idolatry.

Everything that man can know about the Father this side of eternity is revealed to us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, and in His word, starting in Genesis 1:1.

V. 3. God's justice requires punishment for every transgression, “for the wages of sin is death”.

It was not the angels, but it was the Son who was the first messenger of the Gospel. It was the Son whom the apostles saw and heard.

Many Hebrews to whom this book was written had never seen nor heard the Son, so they may have doubted the validly of this new Gospel message. So the Apostles remind them that the Gospel which they are now hearing is being presented by eye-witnesses of Christ’s ministry here on earth.

How shall we escape his judgment if we ignore the mediation work of Christ for the salvation of sinners? How shall we escape if we ignore the mediation work of Christ that equips us to fulfill the purpose of man’s creation?

V. 4, God the Father also bore witness of His Son Jesus Christ with signs, wonders, miracles "and gifts of the Holy Ghost" which were given as proof to the apostles "according to his own will".

The Holy Spirit is stressed, reminding us that he is fully an equal person of the Godhead. The Spirit’s will is his own will, yet it is in total unity with the Father and the Son.

1 Corinthians 12 tells us that individual members of the body of Christ have unique gifts and abilities with which to fulfill their created purpose.

V. 5. "the world to come" speaks of the future triumph through Christ’s work of redemption and mediation. Psalms 45 foretells the triumph of his new creation in time and in eternity.

Again, angels are placed in their proper order. The promised subjection of “the world to come” was not given to the angels, but to the Son who works in and through the redeemed. He works through them by his grace from his exalted position over all powers and authorities. There can be no exaltation of the angels over the elect, nor over Jesus Christ, for they are simply ministers of God, assigned to do his will.

The signs, wonders, and miracles as well as the gifts of the Spirit of v. 4 were not given to confirm any power to angels. Rather they were given to confirm the absolute authority, power, Lordship and the Mediation of Jesus Christ for sinful man.

V. 9. Jesus is the Son of Man, the Messiah. He is the one who suffered and made atonement for our sins.

Vv. 6-8. I find great comfort, encouragement and confidence in the future as Psalms 8 is quoted here.

Psalms 8: 1 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.Р» O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3 ¶ When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Note the emphasis on the world-conquering power of the blood of Christ, not the power of the bloody sword.

Man is the heir to God's grace and salvation because he was brought into existence by God's creative word. His created purpose was clearly established at the beginning,

Gen 1: 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Man’s created purpose is reaffirmed throughout Scripture, which is to “have dominion over all the works of thy hands, and subdue all creation by obeying the word of God.

How does stone masonry help subdue all creation to Jesus Christ?

1 Cor 10:31, do all things to the glory of God.
Ecc 9:10, by doing whatever our hand finds to the best we can. Do it to the best of our ability.

As my wife continually says, take the time to do whatever we do to excellence, which will bring glory to God. Do not take shortcuts. Be honest. Do it with a joyful spirit, and the list goes on and on as outlined in Scripture. As others observe our Christen character, actins and work, it should be obvious that we are different. (Matthew 5:16. 1 Pet 1 makes it clear that our consistent Christian testimony will result in the salvation of souls.)

The purpose of Christ’s mediation work was and is to restore man as a new creature in Christ Jesus. Only through the grace of God in Christ can man fulfill his purpose, as he does all things “to the glory of God.”

The author of Psalms 8:6 and Hebrews 2:7 are clearly speaking about man, yet the Spirit is looking forward to Christ as the head of the new humanity. Though both man and angels were created by God, it is man not angles who were created to be over the works of God’s hands. It is only through Christ that man can accomplish his great task.

Adam fell, and from that time on, man has tried to implement Psalm 8 on his own terms, and according to his own word. Over the ages, fallen sinful man has done everything in his fallen power to fulfill Psalms 8:6 and Hebrews 2:7 & 8 in his own name. Sinful men desire is to give to himself dominion over the works of God’s hands, and put all things under his own sinful feet. “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:”

Hebrews 2:8. Though David wrote Psalms 8 thinking of God's creative purposed for men, the author of Hebrews shows us that it is fulfilled only in Christ Jesus. This Psalm looks ahead and guarantees the triumph of the Messiah as he works through his people from his throne on high.

Jamieson Fausset Brown comments:

Psalms 8:1, 84:1. “The Psalmist gives vent to his admiration of God’s manifested perfections, by celebrating His condescending and beneficent providence to man as evinced by the position of the race, as originally created and assigned a dominion over the works of His hands.” (JFB)

Hebrew's author uses Psalms 8 to prove that the salvation accomplished by Christ establishes a new order of things, a New World Order, if you please; it was established 2000 years ago. That new order equips man to pursue and fulfill his original creative purpose to “have dominion over all the works of thy hands” for the Glory of God. Dominion in not the angels but man’s created purpose. For in Christ, the administration of angels is done away with.

The world is not placed under angels, but it has been placed under man who is to be in subjection to the Man, Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 2:7, 8 remind us of the purpose of man's creation is to rule over all the “the works of his hands”. He must do that through proper application of the Word of God, and for the glory of God

Jesus Christ is even now reigning in his kingdom; he reigns over all creatures, over his own people and over all principalities and powers. All of the powers under heaven are even now doing his will as he carries out his mediation work on earth through the Holy Spirit working in men.

We heard a message by Joe Moorecraft in which he made an astounding prophecy. He said he knew exactly what Donald Trump would do as president. That is, he would do what has been predetermined by God himself.

I believe all of scripture teach that all human powers will be subdued through Christ’s redemptive work. 1 Corinthians 15: “25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet”, and then the end will come.

He reigns and subdues his enemies through his ambassadors, as they fulfill their responsibility, obey the great commission and properly use the whole armor of God.

Do a little research, and you will find that God is doing an amazing work among the Muslims in the strict Muslim nations. Hundreds and even thousands of Muslim families are being converted to Christ, and are preaching to their neighbors with great effect.

Though the Muslims are being protected by the gates of hell, God is working behind the gates, and He will tear them down from the inside. The spirit of God cannot be contained by terror and intimidation.

It must be the Spirit of God who will supply the proper religious leadership and teaching. He shall supply his supernatural desire and the power in the elect to do His revealed will.

According to the prophets, the second coming does not at once follow this triumph. Rather, there will be an era of triumph commonly identified as the Millennium, when Christ shall reign through His people. This will be a multitude of years that precede the end. The redeemed, those who are new creatures in Christ, will do what Adam failed to do; that is, subdue the earth as faithful and obedient ambassadors of Jesus Christ. His ambassadors will do only what their Sovereign would do if He Himself were present in the flesh.

Then the last enemy, death, is destroyed. The destruction of death follows the destruction of the fall's first consequence of sin, the binding power of sin. It has been destroyed by the power of the resurrected Christ.

1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

The triumph of Christ through his people is promised by the Prophets, particularly Isa 65.