FOUR LAYERS OF OPPOSITION
WHICH CHRIST OVERCAME
IN HIS TRANSCENDING
We need to realize that in the universe there are four layers of opposition, four layers of trouble. The first layer is Hades with death. This is the bottom layer of trouble. Hades with death retains people. Hades even sends out death to gather and grasp people. When death comes, no one can resist it. So death captures people and brings them into Hades. Hades becomes a prison and the gates of Hades retain people. No one can open these gates, and no one can overcome them. Within these gates there are many dead persons, and no one can come out of them. But the Lord Jesus said, "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). In the universe there is a struggle going on between the gates of Hades and the dead ones. Lazarus and the rich man are there (Luke 16:19-31). The rich man was struggling to get out of Hades, but the gates would not release him. This is the first layer of the problem in the universe.
The second layer is the human world. Ephesians 1 says that when Christ ascended to the heavens, He transcended above all the human names, names at His time and names in the ages to come (Eph. 1:21). History tells us that since Christ’s time, many big names have risen up against Him and against the church. Caesar Nero was the strongest one. Napoleon was one, and Hitler became one. But Christ ascended far above every name that is named. First, He rose up from the dead. Many dead persons were struggling to get out of the gates of Hades. They could not do it, but Christ could. He rose up, the gates of Hades opened for Him, and He came out of Hades. He resurrected from the dead to overcome Hades. Then in His ascension, He transcended above all the names, not only the big names opposing Christ and His church but also the small names. We were there among the small names opposing Him. He transcended above us. This is another layer of trouble which Christ overcame. In Russia, Lenin began a kind of revolution against God and against the church. Eventually, after just seventy years, who defeated whom? Christ defeated Lenin. Jesus transcended above all the names. No one can oppose Jesus on this earth without being defeated.
The third layer of trouble is in the air. In the air is the power of darkness— the rulers, the authorities, the power, and the lordship in the air (Eph. 1:21). In the air among the angelic race there are rulers, authorities, power, and lordship, good ones and bad ones. Even on the earth among human beings there are also the rulers, authorities, power, and lordship (see Eph. 1:21 and note 211).
We also need to see that the fourth layer of trouble is in the third heaven. Even the third heaven was polluted by Satan’s presence. The book of Job tells us that Satan appeared in the third heaven before God at a heavenly council, accusing God’s people (1:6-12a; 2:1-6). Thus, even the third heaven needs to be under the feet of Christ. Hebrews 4:14 tells us that Christ passed through the heavens, and 7:26 tells us that He has become higher than the heavens. He is not only higher than Hades, than the earth, and than the air but also higher than the heavens. Therefore, Christ actually passed through four layers: Hades, the earth, the air, and even the third heaven. Christ had to transcend through Hades, through the earth, through the air, and even through the third heaven to reach a place that is far above even the third heaven. Hebrews 7 tells us that today Christ is higher than the heavens. He is there as the highest One to transmit not only His authority but also His transcending power to the church that the church may be formed.
(The Issue of the Dispensing of the Processed Trinity and the Transmitting of the Transcending Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)