Archive for the ‘Hebrews’ Category


Hebrews-study-in-contrasts

Hebrews was written by the Holy Spirit to a people who believed they knew Jesus Christ as Savior. Most everyone who read this letter had heard the voice of Jesus, whether in reality or spiritually. Most everyone had made a decision to follow Jesus. All the readers attended church, and probably gave a tithe, said a prayer, read the Old Testament, and took communion. By man’s measure of salvation, they were there, they could stand up and testify they knew they were going to heaven when they died. Some say it is hard to understand, others say it has some passages that are difficult to interpret. Everyone says there are passages that are hard to explain to young Christians. Hebrews is not normally the book given to new believers to study. However, this book is exactly what new believers need. I believe that the writer had young believer’s in mind as he or she penned it. They need to understand this truth, and learn the importance of living in it.

Who-is-the-Christian

This letter is powerful but difficult to understand. Plain but obscure. Pointed yet vague at times. Before we dig deeper into Chapter 4, I must be very honest and blunt with you, for our author is very blunt as well. Most preachers do not preach honestly about what we are going to begin discussing in Chapter 4. They either ignore it, spiritualize it or gloss it over with a thick coat of marine varnish so it appears shiny. I will not gloss it over, and if this truth makes you uncomfortable, a little squirmy, then great. This is what the Holy Spirit wants. In order to grasp the truth of Chapter 4, we need to understand the underlying purpose of Hebrews. Hebrews presents several Contrasts to bring home the truth:

CONTRASTS

A. Hebrews is a Study in Contrasts (differences)

  • „ contrasts-of-hebrewsJesus vs Angels – 1 & 2
  • „ Jesus vs Moses – 3
  • „ Jesus vs Joshua – 4
  • „ Jesus vs the Old Testament High Priest – 5
  • „ Jesus vs Abraham – 6
  • „ Jesus vs Mechizedek – 7
  • „ Jesus vs the Old Covenant – 8
  • „ Jesus vs the Earthly Temple – 9
  • „ Jesus vs earthly sacrifices – 10

THE KEY CONTRAST IS: DO YOU SHARE OR NOT?

B. Those who share in Christ and those who do not
(they have no life, no rest-now and forever)

  • Christ came to bring many sons to Glory-He had to do what was necessary to restore this world to the Glory of God and to bring many sons to God

Christian-heart-issueHebrews 2:10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.

PROOF THAT HEBREWS IS ABOUT WHETHER YOU SHARE IN CHRIST OR NOT

Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

  • Christ had to become exactly like us in flesh and blood so that we could share in His Life and victory

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

  • Through Christ, we share in a heavenly calling, whereby we can hear the Voice of God

Hebrews 3:14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

  • Contrasts2We share in Jesus Christ

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,

  • We share in the Holy Spirit, and He brings certain assurances with Him.

Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

  • We share His holiness through His discipline

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

  • We share with others

Hebrews 12:1 We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

C. How do you know if you share in Christ?

HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THE WORD OF GOD?

The Writer gives us the Key and it is the Word of God.

I want you to look at something that will at first appear obvious, but then I want to bring it a little closer to your heart:

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Right away the author lets us know that all of creation understands the Power of the Word of Christ! You will never realize the power of His Word without faith.

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Hebrews 4:6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,

Lack of Faith and Disobedience are tied together. Evidenced by refusal to hear the Word!

faith_vs_unbelief - CopyThe Jews in the wilderness actually begged Moses to stop speaking the Words of God to them! They stopped their ears and “NO MORE!” Hebrews 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

  • The truth is that many people hear the Word of Power, but most do not know its power, because they are unwilling to believe and obey

How Do You Know if you share in Christ?
The Word is Alive to You!

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

  • The Word is only powerful to those who are honest in their heart, and willing to submit to the power of the Word

heart contrastHebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

  • Faith and Obedience to the Word of God extends to those who preach the Word for they Evidence the reality of Faith by their Lives

D. The Greatest Contrast has to do with your Heart. (Chapter 3 & 4)

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

Contrast-of-heart-belief-or-unbeliefYes, the truth is that regardless of your view of Salvation, whether Arminian or Calvinistic, whether you can lose your Salvation or whether you believe in once-saved always saved-the truth is that your heart is the KEY to whether Jesus Christ makes any CONTRAST in your life!

God does not sit up in heaven and say “yes, you are saved because you said a prayer when you were 8.” That is how we tend to judge whether we are saved or not.. That is a man-centered view of Salvation.

God has a different determination of whether you are saved or not. He details it in the Letter to the Hebrews. It has to do with your heart-whether it believes or not! God doesn’t just listen to your confession of belief, He looks into the darkest corner of your heart and sees how that confession of belief interacts with your life.

God wants to see contrast, a contrast with your life in comparison to the lives of those who don’t care. You say you care and you are saved, but God wants to see a contrast.

Belief that actuates the Power of God to affect your life everyday is the aim of Hebrews.

EVIDENCE OF A BELIEVING HEART

evidence-of-believing-heartYou are either dead to God, or you have His life. I don’t care how alive you think you are. If your life has not been affected by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, you are dead to God.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

You can say a prayer, you can join a church, you can get baptized all in the strength of your flesh and will, but if the Word of God and the Holy Spirit have not touched your life in such a way that you obey in faith, you are dead.

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 2:1-7 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Here is evidence that you share in the Life of Jesus Christ:

1 John 5:4-5 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

experience-Christs-power-to-restRest in Christ. Does that mean you don’t do anything? No, what it does mean is that you are yoked to Him and He is your primary focus. He gives  rest to your souls no matter what news you are hearing, or what situation you are facing.

  • The Word of God that penetrates your heart on a daily basis. (Manna)
  • Power to overcome the Giants of sin.
  • Courage and Confidence in the face of trials and hardships.

ARE YOU RESTING IN THE REALITY OF A LIFE IN JESUS CHRIST IN HIS VICTORY?

  • The FOCUS of your belief is to actuate the REST we have in Jesus Christ.
  • The FOCUS of the Jews in the Wilderness was to get to the Promised Land, a place of REST

overcome the world - CopyHebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

Hebrews 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

Hebrews 4:10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore strive (1 below) to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

    • “to make effort, be prompt or earnest :- do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavor”
    • Not working as if it depends upon you, but effort born from a sense of urgency and need.
    • Knowing that our ways are opposite God’s ways

This is not talking about heaven. This is talking about NOW! God wants us to know and experience the Belief that brings the Life of His Son into our lives. This is eternal life. This is the Promise. This is the Rest!

1-ephesians-2-vs-4-61As Paul said, we SIT with Jesus in the Heavenlies! We REST in Him! That Rest is evidence of our salvation.

Is Salvation confidence in a prayer, or even in a better life you think you are experiencing?

Not according to God’s Word. Salvation results in a change in your life and your desires!

Here is Evidence that you do not share in the Life of Jesus Christ:

1. Being overthrown in the wilderness (the world).

1 Corinthians 10:5-6 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

Fail to reach – hystereō (see footnote 2) –to be last, behind, posterior in place or time. In the NT, figuratively of dignity, condition, strength and the like, to be behind, inferior, to lack (see footnote 3) – fall short of recognition by God.

    • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    • Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
overcome_the_world - CopyChristians are to Overcome the World by their Faith and Belief in God and His Word!
  • For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.
    Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5  

2. Having an Unbelieving Heart

Do-you-have-unbelieving-heart

  • Look at what happened in the Wilderness because of unbelieving hearts:

Exodus 17:1-7 All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the LORD said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of  Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

  • Testing God by thinking He doesn’t care about your situation.
  • Turning back to the world and what it has – Achan
  • Relying on your own strength to get what you want.
  • Not believing and obeying God.

3. Living in your Flesh

black-heart-89479 - CopyNumbers 13:30-31 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”

The Jews did not believe they could take the land, so they refused and desired to go back to Egypt, in spite of seeing all that God had done! Then Moses pronounced God’s judgment upon them, that they would never be allowed to enter the Promised Land. So they said, let’s go in and show God that we can do it!

Numbers 14:39-45 When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people mourned greatly. And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that the LORD has promised, for we have sinned.” But Moses said, “Why now are you transgressing the command of the LORD, when that will not succeed? Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies. For there the Amalekites and the Canaanites are facing you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned back from following the LORD, the LORD will not be with you.” But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, although neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed out of the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to Hormah.

The REST of God is a REST that is supernatural, it can not be attained by fleshly efforts. They were doomed to encounter defeat!

TO GOD, THE PROOF OF YOUR BELIEF IS WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE ENTERED INTO HIS REST.

  • This REST is only possible in Jesus Christ!unbelieving-heart - Copy

(1) Because Christ is Exalted above the Angels, being the Creator God and Managing this Creation with His Life:

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. „

The Danger is that we miss out on LIFE by drifting away from our Savior „ He will roll up all the old and useless stuff in a coat-do you want to be rolled up too?

(2) Because Christ is our mighty Captain, having become a man yet still conquering sin and making atonement for us, 

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling,consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

„ If we are to share a heavenly calling, we will focus our lives upon Jesus „ Jesus has shown us that He the truth from God. „ Jesus has shown us that He is our High Priest who can be trusted and find comfort in.

(3) Because Jesus is the Builder and Faithful of God’s House:

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

„ We must watch our hearts, lest we fail to reach God’s house. „ The promise of rest requires our cooperation, desire and effort.

(4) The Rest which Christ promised is His Rest but it is not a passive rest.

Cure-for-unbelieving-heart-is-plenty-of-lettuceHis Rest is built on a bed of LETTUCE, as the next post will show.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Romans 4:16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

  • 1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
  • Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

More on how to obtain this rest in the next post…

1 “to make effort, be prompt or earnest :- do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour” James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “4704”.

2 James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “5302”.

3 Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “hystereō“.

REST: Usage Notes: signifies “to cause or permit one to cease from any labor or movement” so as to recover strength. It implies previous toil and care.William E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1940), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Eased”.

anapaúō; fut. anapaúsō, from aná , again, and paúō , to cease, give rest. To give rest, quiet, recreate, refresh (Matt. 11:28; 1 Cor. 16:18; Phile. 1:20); in the mid. / pass. form, to be refreshed (2 Cor. 7:13; Phile. 1:7, 20; Sept.: Prov. 29:17; Isa. 14:3; Ezek. 34:15). In the mid., anapaúomai, to rest oneself, to take one’s rest 

(Matt. 26:45; Mark 6:31; 14:41; Luke 12:19; 1 Pet. 4:14; Rev. 6:11; 14:13; Sept.: Deut. 33:20; Esth. 9:16; Job 10:20; Prov. 21:16; Isa. 13:20, 21; 27:10; Mic. 4:4). In relation to 1 Pet. 4:14, compare the Sept. of Isa. 11:2, where anapaúomai is also applied to the Holy Spirit resting upon Christ. Deriv.: anápausis , inner rest; epanapaúō , to cause to rest; sunanapaúomai , to rest with or together.Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 156-157.


5. Jesus Christ is Lord of all – especially Angels

  • Simply because Jesus is positioned above all does not guarantee He will be worshiped as Lord over all.
  • The Holy Spirit wants us to wrap our hearts around the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the view of Him upon the Throne!
  • The Holy Spirit wants Christ enthroned within our life, so that our living is centered upon His Majesty!

Why does the Holy Spirit consider this truth so important?

The teaching of Hebrews one should be obvious to everyone, right? But people through the ages tend to worship something or someone rather that Jesus Christ. Either they feel He is out of reach, that they must use an intermediary (as the Catholics & Orthodox Church with their ‘saints and icons’), or that He is just a “super angel” (as the Mormons and Muslims believe).

A. Consider the Jewish View of Angels

Galatians 3:19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

Now the old covenant was brought to man and maintained by angelic mediation. The angels ministered between God and men to carry on the work of the old covenant. The Jews knew this and consequently believed in angels. Some of them believed in angels to such a degree that they actually worshiped angels.

B. This Developed into Heretical Worship

How do we know? By Paul’s letter to the Colossians

Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

Paul’s statement in Colossians 2:18 shows that the self-appointed teachers at Colossae taught a doctrine of “false humility and the worship of angels.” But the pagan Greeks had no concept of angels. This is a tenet of Judaism and became further corrupted into the heresy of Gnosticism. Gnosticism (along with many other things), involved the worship of angels. Gnostics reduced Jesus Christ to an angel.

The tenor of the false doctrine at Colossae was that the Colossians were not complete in Christ (Colossians 2:8-9 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,) and needed to approach God through angelic beings. Since the angels are much inferior to the Supreme God, the Colossians would have to lower their sights, so to speak, by approaching angels first!

The basic thought seems to have been the Christian’s need to reach beyond Christ to a Supreme God through the mediation of angelic beings. These beings were of lower standing on the ascending scale to ultimate truth. Therefore the believers who sought to reach God directly or through one mediator, Christ, were presumptuous and needed a measure of self-abasement that would enable them to begin lower down on the scale. They could seek gradual completeness by invoking the mediation of lower, but more readily accessible, beings. This self-imposed humility, along with the active neglect of the body, would enhance their spirituality and their quest for completeness.

Paul’s evaluation of the Colossian heresy was that it did not amount to true humility, as they had thought, but to a type of pride and carnality — a mere “appearance of wisdom” (2:23) — that was denying the significance of Christ.

Paul corrected this heresy by stressing that all believers were members of the Body of Christ, who is the Head. Since Christ had triumphed over all “powers and authorities” (2:15), the members of Christ’s Body did not need anything beyond Christ.

So Chapter one is important to frame your view of Who Jesus Christ is, and how He relates to your faith walk!

  • Jesus is the Communicator of God’s Message to you
  • Jesus is the Creator who maintains this world through the power of His Word.
  • Jesus is the Conqueror, having purified this world.
  • Jesus is the one who is crowned as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

6. Scriptural Proof that Jesus Surpasses the Angels and is Worthy of ALL Worship

The Writer provides us five Scriptural Proofs that Jesus is better than angels. He quotes seven Old Testament verses as He weaves this truth into the New Testament,

Jesus Christ surpasses the angels in His Title, His Worship, His Nature, His Eternity, and His Destiny!

A. His TITLE (vs 4,5)

Hebrews 1:5 a more excellent name … for to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten (gegennēka– become your Father) you?” Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?”

Jesus is better than angels, because He has a better name. To what angel did God ever say “you are my Son, this day have I begotten thee?”

1)    No angel was ever called “my Son”.

The idea in the words, “I have begotten thee” are “I have begotten thee to kingly dignity.” The reference is not to entrance into life, but to entrance to an office. The Messianic reference is to the Son’s resurrection (Acts 13:33), and to the declaration of the Father with reference to the character of the Son as Son of God, this declaration being substantiated by the resurrection of the Son (Rom. 1:4). But the writer reminds his readers that such statements were never made of angels.[1]

Acts 13:33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “ ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’

Romans 1:4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

2)    No Angel was ever “Begotten”

This is clarified in Hebrews 1:6 when He states:

Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

3)    Jesus Christ is prōtótokos[2]

This is a reference to Christ’s position not just the moment of His birth (time). It is a reference to right and authority. Jesus was the ONLY begotten Son of God. He was the only one whom God declared to be His Son, His prototokos!

Example of Jacob & Esau

There were two brothers in the Old Testament, one was named Jacob, and one was named Esau. Who was the oldest? Esau. Who was the prototokos? Jacob. Jacob was the prototokos. Esau was the oldest.

Example of Reuben

Genesis 49 tells us about the character of prototokos and what it means.

Genesis 49:3, “Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellence of dignity, the excellence of power.”

Jesus is the strength, the excellence of dignity and power of God. Prototokos is not a time word; it is a right to rule word. It’s an authority word. And Jesus Christ is the prototokos in the sense that He has the right to rule.

Colossians 1:18, “And He is the head of the church, the body, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead.”

John 3: 16 says that Jesus is the only begotten, but uses “monogenes” –the only one of that class (gene). Jesus is totally unique, the only gene, the only one.

John alone uses monogenés to describe the relation of Jesus to God the Father, presenting Him as the unique one, the only one (mónos) of a class or kind (génos), in the discussion of the relationship of the Son to the Father[3]

B. His Worship (vs 6)

Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Because of His Position as the Only, the Unique, the First in position Son of God, Jesus is greater because of the Worship that is given to Him.

“And again when He bringeth in the prototokos into the world He saith let all the angels of God worship Him.”

Now the world here is not the common word for world, it’s the word for inhabited earth. Now in the mind of God Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. But as far as the Angels were concerned, the Begotten Jesus was a new thing. They did not quite understand. They had to be told to worship Jesus.

The word for world does not refer to ‘kosmos’ or creation.  It is the Greek ‘oikoumenēn’ which means the inhabited earth. Jesus was not declared the first begotten until the earth was already inhabited.

When the Angels sang at His birth, they were not worshipping Him. Listen to what they sang: Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. The angels did not quite understand what was going on. Peter writes:

1 Peter 1:10-12 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

The angels did not worship the Christ, for at that time He was made a little lower than them. Oh, I’m sure there were some who worshiped  like Gabriel, but the Bible says the Angels were like the prophets, standing on their “tippy toes” looking at Jesus and trying to figure out what was going on.

But the time will come when they will understand. That day is revealed in Revelation 5:

Here we see God sitting on the throne, holding a scroll which is the “Title Deed” to the earth. No one is found who is worthy to take the Title Deed and judge the Earth, and restore it to Creator God.  John starts to weep uncontrollably.

Revelation 5:5 But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then the Lamb steps forward and takes the scroll and opens the seals. He has gained to right, power and authority to return to the Earth and take possession of it, and to right the curse.

Look at what happens with the angels next:

Revelation 5:11-12 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”.

The angels say “oh, we understand now, and they immediately burst out in worship and praise!

This is angelic worship

Revelation 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

That’s the Amen corner of heaven, those four living creatures.

God commands His angels to worship Him. And if God, in the Old Testament (Psalm 97:7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!), commanded the angels to worship His Son, then His Son is God.

C. Jesus is Greater because of His Nature (vs 9)

Luke 24:27 refers to the conversation Jesus had with the two disciples walking to Emmaus. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures OT, “the things concerning Himself.”

There is no way that anyone, Jew or Gentile, will ever understand the Old Testament until he understands it in terms of Jesus Christ.

John 5:39 records a statement made by Jesus in the Temple, as He looked upon the Pharisees making a show of reading through the Old Testament. “Search the Scriptures.” (OT) “For in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me.”

Jesus lets everyone know that the Old Testament testifies of Him!

Jesus is also the theme of the New Testament. John gives us the purpose of the writing of his book, in John 20:31, “But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you might have life through His name.”

So both the Old Testament and the New Testament have as their theme, the person of Jesus Christ.

  • What the Old Testament concealed of Christ, the New Testament revealed.
  • What the Old Testament contained of Christ, the New Testament explained.
  • What the Old Testament gave in precept of Christ, the New Testament gives in perfection.
  • What the Old Testament presented of Christ in shadow, the New Testament presents in substance.
  • What the Old Testament presented of Christ in ritual, the New Testament presents in reality.
  • What the Old Testament presented of Christ in picture the New Testament presents of Christ in person. (John MacArthur)
    • The foretold is fulfilled,
    • Prophecy becomes history,
    • Pre-incarnation becomes incarnation.

There is no way that a man will ever understand the Old Testament apart from understanding and knowing Jesus ChristOnly Christ can remove the veil. Only Jesus Christ removes the veil and gives you understanding of the old covenant.

Jesus is superior to angels because of His nature. And here the Holy Spirit shows the basic difference in the nature of angels and of the Son Jesus Christ.

The Nature of Angels

1.  Angels are Created

  • Verse 7, “And of the angels, he saith who maketh His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire?”

Now here in this verse we see the nature of angels. What are angels? Well, first of all, who maketh His angels? That’s the word apotelo, to create. The antecedent of who is Christ. Who created angels? Christ. If Christ created angels He is what? Better than angels.

Hebrews 1:2 it says “By His Son whom He hath appointed heir of all things and by whom also He made the ionus.” He made the universe of time space. He made the ages. He made the world.

Jesus made the angels. So we know first of all that they are created beings.

“Who maketh His angels.”

What kind of pronoun is His? It is possessive. Whose angels are these? They are His own angels. He makes His own angels. This is a quote from Psalm 104:4.

2. Angels are Messengers of His judgments

Psalm 104:4 He makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.

His ministers are winds and flames of fire. You say why would they be called winds? Well, invisible, powerful, rapid movement. Then they’re called flames of fire.  Angels not only blow or move rapidly and invisibly and powerfully to carry out God’s bidding, but they are also flames of fire. Fire usually refers to divine judgment.

  • Angels are God’s executioners. Angels execute judgment.
  • If you are an unbeliever, you do not want to be “touched by an angel.”

a.  Genesis Chapter 19 we see the destruction of Sodom.

Genesis 19:13-22 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Angels are sent to destroy Sodom. And they had to grab Lot and his crew and drag them out of the city. Now you remember his wife was warned not to look back and she did and turned into a pillar of salt.

b.    We see this in Psalms 78

Psalm 78:49 He let loose on them his burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels.

c.     We see this in Matthew 13:

Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Angels are created beings, created by Jesus Christ and possessed by Him. Angels then are created servants. They do not operate independently. They operate at God’s direction and Christ’s direction.

The Nature of Jesus

Hebrews 1:8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

a.    The Son is the eternal God!

The Father says to the Son, “thy throne Oh God is forever and ever.” The Father acknowledges the Son as God.

John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Then in verse 9, He moves back to the incarnate Son-ship and sees Jesus incarnate.

b.    The Son Loves Righteousness

Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

This verse tells us something about Jesus in His incarnation. “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.” Now those words reveal not only the actions of Jesus, but His motives. He didn’t just do righteousness. He loved righteousness.

If you love God’s right standards, he would hate the wrong standards. The two are inseparable. One cannot exist without the other.

When there is true love for God there will be true love for righteousness and there will be total hatred for sin. Jesus hated sin. You see it in His temptation. You see it in His cleansing the temple. You see it in His death on the cross.

The more you and I become conformed to Jesus Christ, the more we’re going to find we love righteousness and hate sin. And you can pretty well tell how close to being conformed to Christ you are by your attitude towards righteousness and toward sin.

c.     Jesus is anointed above the Angels.

Hebrews 1:9 “therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Companions simply means associates. The Greek word implies an association. And the point that is being made here is that Jesus Christ is greater than angels and angels were only messengers of God. Christ was a messenger from God, but greater than they. And so companions has reference to angels. And in the Old Testament Christ was even called the messenger of the Lord or the angel of the Lord.

And so He’s exalted above the others. That’s a clear statement that Jesus is better than angels. When Jesus Christ is anointed that puts Him on top. He is greater than His fellows, superior to angels. He is the anointed.

Jesus was God’s anointed. And notice that He was anointed with the oil of gladness. When did this happen? Jesus received His coronation when He went to heaven after His resurrection. It was at that time that the Father exalted Him and gave Him the name above every name. He assumed His kingship at His ascension.

Verses 8 and 9 establish Christ’s deity. They establish His exalted position. They mention His kingship. They reveal the excellence of His rule. They show the perfection of His incarnate character. They indicate His willing submission to God in Sonship. They announce His coronation. They reveal His preeminence. Just those two verses.

  • So His title, His worship, His nature show that He’s better than angels.

D. His Eternity (vs 10-12)

Hebrews 1:10-12 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

Here the Holy Spirit quotes Psalm 45:6-7 to show that Christ is better because He is the eternal creator and will exist eternally.

Hebrews 1:10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;

If Christ was there in the beginning to create, He must have been before the beginning, which makes Him without beginning. To create in the beginning He must have been before the beginning and thus without beginning.

Hebrews 1:11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment,

Jesus is no created being. He is eternal. He is immutable, which means He never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And so He contrasts the passing of the temporal with the eternal.

Hebrews 1:12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

The Holy Spirit is saying that everything folds up. Christ will roll the mountains up. He will roll the moons up. He will roll the planets us. He will roll the Stars and the planets. Thinks that in our mind are permanent, fixed, immovable, Christ will roll up like a used newspaper.

In 2 Peter we are told:

2 Peter 3:3-4 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

People nowadays are saying that Jesus isn’t coming, that God is a myth, or He doesn’t care about us. Everything will continue like it is, you only go around once so grab for all the gusto you can. It is up to us to take care of this planet. So we need to watch carbon emissions. We need to curb global warming. We need to help Mother Nature.

This old planet is millions of years old and it’s got to last another million years.

“They shall perish, but thou remain. They shall become old as doth a garment.” Clothes get old you throw them away. And look at this, “as a robe you will roll them up.”

Did you know that God is going to roll up the heavens like an old coat?

In Revelation 6:14, we see the rolling up of the heavens:

Revelation 6:14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

During the tribulation it will be as if the heaven’s are stretched to all the possible corners and the corners are all cut and it just rolls right up like a scroll. That is what will happen to the heavens.

2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

And so men come and go. Worlds come and go. Stars come and go. Angels are subject to decay as the fall of angels indicates. Jesus Christ never changes, is never subject to change, is never subject to alteration. He is eternally the same.

Therefore Jesus is superior to angels in title, in worship, in nature, in eternity and finally in destiny.

E.  In His Destiny

Verses 13 and 14 tell us that the destiny of Jesus is greater than angels. This is the seventh Old Testament quote and it’s from

Psalm 110:1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

It climaxes the full superiority of Christ to angels. First we see the destiny of Christ and then that of the angels.

1.    The Destiny of Christ

Hebrews 1:13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

Well, the answer is no angel.

The destiny of Jesus Christ is that ultimately everything in the universe be subject to Him. That at the name of the Jesus every knee should bow, things above the earth, on the earth, and under the earth.

Jesus Christ in God’s plan is destined to be the ruler of the universe and everything that inhabits it.

1 Corinthians 15:22-27 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.

You say when does that happen? It happens at His second-coming. It happens when He comes in glory.

Revelation 19:15-16 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

The destiny of Jesus Christ is an eternal reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Hebrews 1:13 says “Sit at my right hand”

Angels Never Sit! Why? Their work is never done. Fortunately, we Christians will be able to do that once in a while. Hebrews 4:9 says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” And you remember in Revelation 14:13 where “Blessed are they which die in the Lord for they shall rest from their labors.” But no angel ever sits down.

Jesus sits down because it’s over. He reigns.

2.    The destiny of angels in verse 14.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Angels are going to serve us forever. What do angels do for believers?

  • Angels protect & guard saints.

2 Kings Chapter 6. Elisha and his servant were being menaced by the king of Syria? Elisha and his servant are just being menaced, you know, by the king of Syria and they don’t have any way to defend themselves. But listen to this,

2 Kings 6:15-17 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

You know who they were? They were angels.
  • Angels deliver from danger.

Remember the angels that grabbed Lot and his family and rescued them from the destruction of Sodom? Remember the angels went into the lion’s den with Daniel and stopped the lions’ mouths? Angels minister to us. We are never alone. Their destiny is to minister to us throughout eternity.

Jesus’ destiny is to reign. He surpasses the angels. So we find then that the son of God is superior angels in every way. And every one of his superiorities is confirmed in the Old Testament.

Jesus is Messiah. He is God in flesh. He is the mediator of a new covenant, better than the old.

Hebrews One is the first page of the Resume of Jesus Christ.

  • Titles: He’s called Son, Lord, and God.
  • Position: He is creating, sustaining, governing, redeeming, and purging sin.
  • Accomplishments:  He is omniscient, omnipotent, unchanging, and eternal.
  • Awards: He is the one to be worshipped by the angels and all creatures in the universe.
And so the Holy Spirit proclaims the superiority of Jesus Christ.

You say “So what?” Well, that’s undoubtedly what the writer thought you’d say. So He wrote the first verse of Chapter 2.

Hebrews 2:1-3 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,

If God expected a reaction to the law that came to the angels, what do you think He expects from you to that which came through Jesus Christ? Therefore, we ought to give Jesus more earnest heed for how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?

What is Your Destiny?

In 1991 a Gallup poll showed that 78 percent of Americans expect to go to heaven when they die. However, many of them hardly ever pray, read the Bible, or attend church. They admit that they live to please themselves instead of God. I wonder why these people would want to go to heaven.

In an article title, “Are We Ready for Heaven?” Maurice R. Irwin points out that only 34 percent of the American people who call themselves Christians attend church at least once a week. He says, “We sing, ‘When all my labors and trials are o’er, and I am safe on that beautiful shore, just to be near the dear Lord I adore will through the ages be glory for me.’ However, unless our attitudes toward the Lord and our appreciation of Him change greatly, heaven may be more of a shock than a glory.” Daily Bread, July 31, 1992.

Fast forward 20 years, and the number of Christians attending church is below 24%. Yet the majority of Americans continue to believe they are going to Heaven when they die…Many, I fear, will discover exactly what “Shock and Awe” truly is!


[1] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 44.

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 1250..

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 995.


Hebrews 1 – The Majesty of Jesus vs the Majestic Angels

The Holy Spirit presents the Glories of Jesus first, and then answers any questions the readers might have

Jesus Surpasses

  • Superior or more excellent (KJV) is diaphoros, which can mean varying, but in this instance means different in a surpassing way.

Hebrews 1:1-4 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

1. Jesus is the Communicator.

  • In the past, God spoke prophetically
  • In the present, God speaks personally

Vs 1: but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,

  • Jesus was not a messenger of God as in the past, when God uses prophets, visions, burning bushes, donkey’s, even fruit (Amos 8:1)

A.  Jesus is the Message.

How do we know He is the message, and not just a messenger as so many religions claim? Hebrews 1:2 boldly proclaims„

Jesus is the radiance of the Glory
„ Jesus is the exact imprint of God
  • Here He is described as the charaktér tés hupostáseōs autoú – “the exact image of His [God’s] essence” Whatever the divine essence is, Jesus is said to be its perfect expression. The writer of Hebrews thus sets forth a high Christology affirming the deity of Jesus Christ.[1]
  • Jesus is the very character (impression) of God

If anyone realized the majesty of Jesus, it was the Apostle John. He witnessed the transfiguration, he leaned upon His chest at the last supper and he held Mary at the crucifixion. Here is his eyewitness account of the majesty of Jesus:

1 John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

God Himself  came to us and spoke directly with us- in the flesh, in His words and in His life!

Jesus Christ is the brightness of His glory – ‘the radiance shining forth from the source of life” He speaks the very light of Life! For God is Life!

Jesus has a living message that is to be heard everyday! As out High Priest, he knows the struggles and trials we face, and has a fresh message that will speak to our heart as we need it. This is why we must seek His daily bread! Each day we must gather fresh manna from Him. He is our “Bread of Life!”

This is what He was saying to the crowd when He preached the Sermon on the Mount. Do not be satisfied with a stale word or tradition from the past! Seek the truth daily from the Living Son of God:

Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Do you listen to Jesus each and every day? Does His message excite and thrill you anew every morning? Or are you mired in the past, content with old habits or traditions? Jesus is the Living Message!

Jesus spoke with His Father every day, receiving a fresh outflow every day. He gave us an example…that we should follow in His steps…

B.  As the Heir of all things, We should stop and listen.

“Whom he appointed the heir of all things” and as the HEIR, He has all the stuff we need! How much time do you spend worrying and fretting about stuff, when you should be going to the one who has it all! Listen, observe, follow, desire, and make Him your Lord. We spend so much time chasing stuff instead of following the one who holds all the stuff.

2. Jesus is the Creator

He created you. You are not evolved from monkeys or iridescent goo. You are no accident.

A.  Jesus is the Manager of the Creation

The worlds are upheld by the Word of His power! Take away Jesus and the universe falls apart!

Is your world being upheld by the Word of His power? Is your world out of control, upside down, discombobulated? Then you are not tapping into the power of His Word! No matter how chaotic this world may seem, Jesus is in control. He upholds it by the Word of His power! Shouldn’t you embrace His Word for your world?

B.  Jesus is the Power of the Universe

Do you believe in His Word? Do you know His power? Are you trusting in His power?

Jesus is not just the Creator, He is the Power that controls and manages the entire creation! The amazing truth is that He wants us to ask Him for this same power to be a part of our lives! Listen to what He says:

  • „ John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
  • „ John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
  • „ John 16:23-24 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

3. Jesus is the Conqueror!

Hebrews 1:3.”After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Jesus made a once and for all “purification of all sins of all mankind for all time!” Jesus conquered the greatest enemy in the entire universe, stronger than any foe ever dreamed up by Marvel Comics! Jesus defeated the “Death Star” of Sin! 

„ Hebrews 1:3 “when he had by himself purged our sins” sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

„ “Making purification” is a reflective tense, indicating that the thing done returns to the doer. „ All Glory belongs to Jesus Christ, for all glory reflects back upon Him!

„ I’ll never understand why our Jewish friends cannot see that Jesus was sacrificing Himself as the atoning lamb. The priest had 146 external requirements that he had to meet to be qualified as a priest of the Lord. Our Jewish friends reject Jesus as Priest because He failed only one-He was not of the tribe of Levi! If they would see the Scriptures that declare Him as the Eternal Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, they might believe. The Psalms even declares this:

Psalm 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Jesus is the Message of God’s Steadfast Love, and His Word is the Justice that manages our world and His Righteousness is ours by faith, for He has purified this world of sin!

4. Jesus is Crowned as Lord of All

Hebrews 1:3-4 He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become* as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

*”to become.” The Son became better than the angels, inferring that at one time He was lower than the angels. The writer does not deny that He was, and is, essentially and eternally better than the angels. He is speaking here of His glorification which was conditioned upon His fulfillment of the requirements of His human state, which He emphasizes. After He had passed through the experience described in Philippians 2:6-8, He sat down on the right hand of the divine Majesty as Messianic sovereign, and thus became and was proved to be that which in reality He always was, superior to the angels. The superiority here is not that of moral excellence, but of dignity and power. He became superior to the angels when He resumed His pre-incarnate dignity at His resurrection. The writer tells us in 2:7, 9, that for a little time, i.e., during His incarnation previous to His glorification, He was made lower than the angels[2]

The proof of the surpassing Jesus Christ can be seen by all those who behold God. Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of our Majestic God! Their radiance is now one! Their authority is now one! Their power is now one!

But simply because He sits on the right hand of Majesty, this does not mean that you can behold His Majesty in your life. The only way you can behold the Majesty of Jesus Christ, hear His message, experience the power of His Word and know the purification of sins that He offers, is for you to bow before Him in humility and repentance, and make Him your Lord and King!

5. Jesus Christ is Lord of all – especially Angels

  • Simply because Jesus is positioned above all does not guarantee He will be worshipped as Lord over all.
  • The Holy Spirit wants us to wrap our hearts around the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the view of Him upon the Throne!

Why does the Holy Spirit consider this truth so important?

People through the ages tend to worship something or someone rather that Jesus Christ. Either they feel He is out of reach, that they must use an intermediary (as the Catholics & Orthodox Church with their ‘saints and icons’), or that He is just a “super angel” (as the Mormons and Muslims believe).

A. Consider the Jewish View of Angels

Galatians 3:19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

Now the old covenant was brought to man and maintained by angelic mediation. The angels ministered between God and men to carry on the work of the old covenant. The Jews knew this and consequently believed in angels. Some of them believed in angels to such a degree that they actually worshiped angels.

B. This Developed into Heretical Worship

How do we know? By Paul’s letter to the Colossians

Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

Paul’s statement in Colossians 2:18 shows that the self-appointed teachers at Colossae taught a doctrine of “false humility and the worship of angels.” But the pagan Greeks had no concept of angels. This is a tenet of Judaism and became further corrupted into the heresy of Gnosticism. Gnosticism (along with many other things), involved the worship of angels. Gnostics reduced Jesus Christ to an angel.

The tenor of the false doctrine at Colossae was that the Colossians were not complete in Christ (Colossians 2:8-9 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,) and needed to approach God through angelic beings. Since the angels are much inferior to the Supreme God, the Colossians would have to lower their sights, so to speak, by approaching angels first!

The basic thought seems to have been the Christian’s need to reach beyond Christ to a Supreme God through the mediation of angelic beings. These beings were of lower standing on the ascending scale to ultimate truth. Therefore the believers who sought to reach God directly or through one mediator, Christ, were presumptuous and needed a measure of self-abasement that would enable them to begin lower down on the scale. They could seek gradual completeness by invoking the mediation of lower, but more readily accessible, beings. This self-imposed humility, along with the active neglect of the body, would enhance their spirituality and their quest for completeness.

Paul’s evaluation of the Colossian heresy was that it did not amount to true humility, as they had thought, but to a type of pride and carnality — a mere “appearance of wisdom” (2:23) — that was denying the significance of Christ.

Paul corrected this heresy by stressing that all believers were members of the Body of Christ, who is the Head. Since Christ had triumphed over all “powers and authorities” (2:15), the members of Christ’s Body did not need anything beyond Christ.

So Chapter one is important to frame your View of Who Jesus Christ is, and how He relates to your faith walk!

  • Jesus is the Communicator of God’s Message to you
  • Jesus is the Creator who maintains this world through the power of His Word.
  • Jesus is the Conqueror, having purified this world.
  • Jesus is the one who is crowned as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But to behold His Majesty, you must crown Him King and Lord of your life!


[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book.

[2] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 42.


Hebrews is the “Better” Book, about our Surpassing Savior

Hebrews 1:4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

  • Superior or (more excellent KJV) is diaphoros, which can mean varying, but in  this instance means different in a surpassing way.
  • Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason. Thomas Aquinas
  • So our Salvation depends upon a SURPASSING SAVIOR!
    • Everything about Jesus is Superior and Surpasses that which took place before Him.
    • Hebrews is the only book that specifically calls Jesus a priest, although implied in others
    • This is probably what Jesus explained to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27)
    • Hebrews, more than any other book, expresses the unity of the message of the 66 books of the Bible
    • The author never refers to the human author of the Old Testament references, but always ascribes them to God or Christ!

A superior workman turns out a superior product, so Hebrews shows that the  Messiah, the Founder of the New Testament is better than the founders of the First Testament, who were the prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, and Aaron. Therefore, the testament He brought in is superior to and takes the place of theirs. In the light of this, we can better understand the words, “But now hath He (Messiah) obtained a more excellent ministry than they (prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron), by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant (the New Testament), which is established upon better promises”[1].

Commitment to Following Christ with all of your life will produce everything which is BETTER for you!

The Surpassing Life of Jesus

1. Jesus is superior to angels.

2. Jesus has a Name which is more excellent.

Hebrews 1:4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

3. Jesus has a more excellent ministry

4. Jesus mediates a better covenant based upon better promises

Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5. Through Jesus we have promise of better things

Hebrews 6:9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.

The Surpassing Life we share with Jesus

1. We Have a Better Hope

Hebrews 7:19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

2. We Have a Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

3. We have Better Promises

Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

4. We Have a Better Sacrifice

Hebrews 9:23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 10:5-6 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.

5. We Have Better Possessions

Hebrews 10:34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

6. We Have a Better Home

Hebrews 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

7. We will Have a Better Life

Hebrews 11:35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.

Hebrews 11:40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

The Surpassing Life Focus

1. Endure for the sake of Better

Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

2. Sacrifice and Do good for the sake of Better

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

3. Draw Near to God in Better Hope

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

4. Be Better at Provoking

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

5. Better produces Joy even in the face of loss and tragedy

Hebrews 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Hebrews is the Better Book which details the Surpassing Life of Jesus Christ. Not only did Jesus surpass everthing before Him, He offers His surpassing life to us, so that our lives will benefit and share in His surpassing life. And if we share in His surpassing life, our lives will focus on Him, and that focus will produce changes in our works and priorities.


[1] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 142