Posts Tagged ‘Angels’


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.

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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.


Most people are on guard when they spend private face time with their Pastor. Especially if you are a bit older and have been in church a few years. You may have known a pastor who used your or a friends situation as a sermon illustration. You may have experienced the judgmental statements of a pastor. So we normally treat a visit with the pastor as an interrogation at the local police precinct. We watch what we say and what we do. We make sure everything is put up, nothing lying around that shouldn’t be.

Personally I would rather visit people when they are lying on a gurney waiting to be operated on. They tend to be more honest. You can tell if they are anxious. Transparent honesty is such a rare thing anymore. We wonder about our politicians, our church leaders, our teachers. We grow up learning to question people in authority, exactly because we have seen so much dishonesty

I know some of you question the truth of God’s will. To most everyone under the age of 35, the subject of God’s Will is strange, foreign, and for the most part irrelevant. They believe that life (shit as the saying goes) happens. God rarely has anything to do with it.

Let me assure you, whatever your concept about the importance of the will of God, what you think is not truth. We are easily deceived into believing any old lie the world or the devil wants us to believe. What matters is the Word of God!

This Word is Life, not just for after you are dead, but it is Life NOW! It is health, it is forgiveness, it is peace, it is hope, it is safety, it is security, it is the most powerful force this world has ever know. I can say this because this word says that Jesus Christ is the Word. No other person in the Universe ever lived a sinless life, ever faced Satan one on one and defeated Him, ever stared death in its face and defeated it! If you fail to give your life totally to Jesus Christ, you are robbing yourself of real Life. You are robbing yourself of the very presence of God! You are robbing yourself of ever being a part in the will of God. You may think you know God, but you are believing a lie. Your mind is dark, you are confused and stumbling over the falsehoods of your mind. One day instead of waking to an eternal life of joy in the presence of God, you will wake in the agonies of Hell, screaming in torment for all eternity, ever sorrowful because you knew the truth but you rejected it. There will be no second chance.

WHAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR ME?

We are looking at what the will of God for me is. And number one, the will of God for you is to know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. He doesn’t want part of you, even three quarters of you. He doesn’t want to be just one of your beliefs, and share space with Hinduism, Buddhism, humanism, or even you ism. He must be your GOD! Anything less and your mind is fooling you. You are lost in a lie. You will never know God’s Will. This is because you put your will first.

So what is the will of God for me and for you? It is to Put Him First! It is to Trust completely and confidently in Him.

Now I know you are thinking how much easier it would be if you could sit down at Applebee’s and have a nice long lunch with Jesus. I assure you that the football playoffs would not be the topic of conversation. Who is going to win the Super bowl would be the farthest thing from your mind. You would want to know what He thinks of your life, if you are going in the right direction. You would want clarity on His will for your life. You would want to know what you should be doing for Him.

If life was only that simple. So many decisions we must make. We make decisions and then our decisions make us.

  • Should I go to college? Which one? What should I major in?
  • Should I get married? Which one?
  • I can’t stand my job. Should I look for another, or should I just quit and hope something pops up?
  • A friend of mine wants me to share a place with him. Should I? Should I live at home?
  • I’m getting ready to retire? Can I afford to? Where should we live?
  • We have two children. We’re thinking about having a third. Should we have another one? Or should we think about adopting?
  • I feel like God is wanting me to go into the ministry. What does He want me to do? Missions, Youth, Pastor?

Here is how I taught my six children the importance of knowing God’s Will. I told each of my children that in order for them to get married, they had to go to college. I also did not want them to go to state colleges. I also wanted them to live on campus.

No state college because I wanted them to apply to colleges that were a bit more difficult to get into, so it made them work harder on their grades. Live in the dorms because I wanted them to grow up faster, face decisions on their own, what types of friends were best for them, how to manage money, how to do laundry, all the things they need to learn to live on their own.

So our children moved away, Pepperdine in Malibu, University of Denver, Emory in Atlanta, Mid America Nazarene,  Rockhurst, Texas Christian University.

It would have been much easier if I had just told them to go to KU, or if God had just sent a chorus of angels singing Pepperdine, Pepperdine! Instead I went with them to the College Fairs and we tried to see which colleges fit what their plans were. They had to apply and then wait to hear if they were accepted. They had to seek God in their decision. We prayed abouth where they were going to go. We also studied the colleges based upon they wanted to do with their life. They had to ask tough questions. That’s what it takes to have our eyes open to God and His Will.

I wanted my kids to learn something about KNOWING direction in life. I wanted them to learn Four simple things about discovering direction and God’s Will.

1) Honoring Parent’s is Really Important

What your parents desire is one of the greatest indicators of what God’s will is. If you are rebellious toward your parents, you are rebellious toward God. Anything you do in that state, no matter how righteous or well-intentioned, will be without God’s direction.

2) Make Decisions That Require The Lord

Jesus said to walk the narrow path. God always wants us to be in places where we must rely on Him. We are not made to live on easy-street. So put yourselves in places where you MUST rely on God for direction.

3) Finish What You Start

(The two youngest both started at one college and then after the first year transferred. That’s OK, because they still graduated. Four of my kids earned advanced degrees. They learned to finish what they started. I did not accept quitting, or delaying, or figuring out what they wanted to do.)

4) Life Has No Entitlements-No Guarantees

They are the key to becoming anything in this life.  There is no guarantee they will get a job, that Dad will always provide for them when they goof up, that there will be an automatic income, automatic retirement. They are the key to what life gives them. They need to have goals, ambitions, desires for the future. They can’t just sit around and hope the government will provide for them, or their parents, or a rich uncle. They need to look to themselves. Life is about becoming Men and Women of Character. It is by our Character that we accomplish anything in life.

NO MOANING OR GROANING ALLOWED

Sometimes moaning and groaning about not knowing God’s will is just an excuse for laziness, or selfishness, or stubbornness. God has probably been shouting at you through the authorities in your life but you don’t like what they are saying, so you are holding out for a better option.

God doesn’t operate that way. He doesn’t tolerate continual laziness, he doesn’t tolerate selfishness. And he certainly doesn’t tolerate disobedience. God will never drag you or browbeat you into obeying Him. If you chose to do what you want to do, so be it. You will have your chance to explain yourself at either of two judgments- the Great White Throne or the bema seat.

Did my kids make mistakes? Of course they did. I made mistakes when I was in college. I was even kicked out of Bible College. Would we have made those mistakes if we had gone to the college that God wanted us to go to? IT DOESN’T MATTER! THERE ARE NO DO-OVERS, ONLY DO-LEARN!

One More Thing:  Why because of a few failures would I think God had intended me to go to a different college? (or get married to someone else, or work somewhere else or _________?) How do I know that God wanted me to go to a different college? I don’t. I know that at the time I went to the college I thought would be according to His will. Was I 100% sure? NO! I had been accepted at another that would have offered a better education, more freedom. But I believed God wanted me to go to that college. The thing about the college I went to was that God used it to build character in my life because no matter the problem, I responded with humility and a willingness to learn from my mistakes.

We are such quitters in America! As soon as we experience problems we think we made a mistake. It can be our job, our marriage, the college we go to. I looked at going to another college after I was kicked out, but I believed God wanted me to finish what I started, and I did. I am so glad I did. God doesn’t like quitters either. He doesn’t like people who run away from their problems or their marriages or whatever is causing them fits at the time. Blessed are all those who ENDURE!

No matter where you go to school, or don’t go to school, or work, or marry, what defines you is not your education, or your spouse or even your job. What defines you is your character. What kind of man or woman am I becoming. That is God’s will for you-to become a man or woman of character. A man of character will always stand in the gate.

Here is what GOD values:

Psalms 11:7 The Lord is Righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His face.

I don’t care what my kids do in this life, as long as what they are doing develops their character and their righteousness. If that happens, I know they will behold the face of God! The same is true of each of us.

God brings this truth to our hearts through His Word to us:

  • Psalms 36:10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
  • Psalms 140:13 “The upright shall dwell in your presence!
  • Prov 2:21 For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it!
  • Prov 3:32 The devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in His confidence!
  • Prov 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them
  • Eccl 7:29 “I have discovered that God created people to be upright (or virtuous) but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.” NLT (ESV -made people upright, but they pursued many schemes.)

From these verses we discover the first truth of Knowing God’s Specific Will for Your Life:

TRUTH #1.  GOD’s Will for You is to be UPRIGHT!

If this is God’s Will for you, whatever you do will always work toward that end. No matter what happens in your life, you will be given the opportunity to walk uprightly before God. The way you respond to the events, the snubs, the hurts, the heartbreaks, your stupidity, your foolishness, your transgressions, will determine the state of your heart. Everything that happens in your life, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, is either a stepping stone toward an upright heart, or a stumbling block that will keep you from God’s presence and power in your life.

God doesn’t care how you appear to the world. You may think it is all about your profession, your house, your property, your car, but NO God prizes those of Upright Heart. All that stuff will be burnt up. God’s eyes run throughout the entire earth, looking for those whose heart is upright toward Him.

You are never as Upright before God as when your are before Him in humility and prayer. Being Upright does not refer to your physical stature but the condition of your heart!

WHAT ABOUT OUR FAILURES?

Will you make mistakes? Yes! Were they God’s Will? Maybe, maybe not. But as long as you allow God to teach your heart, God will work His will in your life.

God uses earthen vessels, and yes, cracked and broken vessels, so that the Excellency of the Power might be of Him and not us!

So God  uses our mistakes, even our failings to conform us to the uprightness of His Son. Now there is a caution as to the patience of God. If you keep making the same mistakes, watch out! Stubbornness will keep you from God’s Will.

Remember what happened to the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness!

FOUR MORE VERSES TO CONSIDER…

When you read the Proverbs you immediately notice a strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God over our personal decisions. Let’s look at four verses that help us see how God works in, with, through, and sometimes in spite of our decisions to accomplish His will in us.

Proverbs 16:9-“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (HCSB)

The word used for determines is “kun, pronounced koon”. It is has a much stronger meaning than the way the KJV translates. The KJV uses “directs” which gives us the idea that God directs our steps along a path, but where we step is up to us.

The word kun is much stronger than that. It speaks of God’s control of every detail of the universe. It pictures the action of setting in place or erecting an object.

God determines and establishes your steps.

You can make your plans, you can have your life mapped out step by step, but in the end, God determines every step you take. You can only tack so far. Pretty soon you have to go with the wind.

Proverbs 16:33-“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” ESV

Casting lots was used in the Old Testament to determine God’s will. God even prescribed ‘casting lots’ to determine which tribe got which parcel of land when they had conquered Canaan. We believe it involved different colored balls or rocks, mixing them together, and then seeing which one fell out of the bag first. In that sense casting lots is like rolling dice. It appears to be a random act of chance. But God is behind those colored stones. He determines which one falls out of the bag first. This means that there are no “accidents” in life, no “random” events, and no such thing as “luck.” Even seemingly meaningless things fit into his plan.

To paraphrase Forest Gump, ’Life is like a roll of the dice, but God is in charge of how the numbers come up.”

Proverbs 19:21-“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

“You can make all the plans you like, but God gets the last word.” His purpose always prevails. Some translations say that God’s purpose shall stand. Most of our plans don’t stand. They are like the leaves that blow away in the autumn wind. But when God determines to do something, He will do it! There is no if ands or buts about it. Abraham knew that God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Why else would he keep lowering the number of righteous. God saw Abraham’s heart, and so He rescued Lot, but His purpose prevailed.

You can make all the 5 and 10 year plans you want, but just remember this. God always gets the last word. Better learn to be flexible. O, and another bit of advice, never tell God NO.

Proverbs 20:24-“A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?”

What this verse is really communicating can only be understood by understanding the Hebrew words. The word translated “man’s” comes from the Hebrew word gibbor, which refers to a mighty warrior, or a great leader. Solomon is saying that even the steps of a mighty man are directed by God. The word “anyone” in the second phrase comes from the Hebrew word “adam”, which is the generic word for man. The meaning is, “If God directs the steps of mighty men, how then can an ordinary man understand his own way?” The answer is, he can’t!

That’s the whole point of the verse. We’re like a man stumbling around in the darkness, bumping into things, tripping over ourselves, trying to find our way forward. We can’t say for sure where we’ve come from, where we are right now, or where we’re going to be tomorrow.

Only God sees the big picture of life.

So these four verses lead us to the next rule of knowing God’s Will for your life:

TRUTH #2: GOD IS GOD AND YOU’RE NOT!

Understand this and you’ll be OK. Forget this and you will keep lapping Mt Sinai.

When we forget that rule, we think that we’re in control of our own life and that everything depends on us. So we obsess, we hyperventilate, we try to control everything and everyone around us, we worry over all our decisions, and we spend hours fussing over the minutiae of life.

What a relief to realize that God is God and you’re not. Now you can rip that big “G” off your sweatshirt. You don’t have to play God anymore and you don’t have to try to control everything around you. You can sleep well when you realize that God is God and you are not.

Corrie Ten Boom was having trouble going to sleep one night because she was so worried about the affairs of her life. She tried praying but it didn’t help. Finally, the Lord said to her,

“Go to sleep, Corrie. I’m going to be up all night anyway.”

But I know there are some of you who would confess you need help. You are saying “Pastor Jim, I’m still needing some guidance about God’s Specific Will for my life. Can you give me any help?”

SHOULD I MARRY LYDIA?

When I was asking God if I should ask Lydia to marry me, I said, “God, give me a sign from your Word”. I prayed, and then I dropped my Bible on the desk so it would open to an arbitrary page. I looked down and the first verse my eyes came upon was Acts 16:14. Sure enough, there was her name Lydia. I thought, boy, you are good God.

“One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira (I thought, boy God you are really good, because she had a Chihuahua named Tyra.) a seller of purple goods (her favorite color was purple), who was a worshiper of God. Amen God, she must be the one. But then my heart sunk as I read the rest of the verse. “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul!Oh No! She’s going to marry some Paul guy!

Just kidding. I made this up to demonstrate this: If you wait for circumstances to tell you what to do, you open yourself up to being deceived. Satan can appear as an angel of light. Satan can even arrange circumstances to get you to do what He wants.

There was a woman coming to our church in Edgerton. She seemed very spiritual, very enthusiastic about God. I visited with her and was asking about her salvation experience. She shared with me that she had grown up going to church (not Baptist) but had fallen away through the years. Just a few months prior she was lying in bed when a bright light filled the room and she saw a miniature Jesus standing on her bed by her feet. She felt a warmth come over her and she knew from that vision that she was saved. I thought it was a very interesting story, and she seemed to know all the right answers as we talked more. However, as time went on she stopped coming to church, (she got upset about some piddly thing someone had said about her friend) and we still remained friends, but she fell back into her lackadaisical attitude toward God. Was she saved? All I know is that if she was depending upon that vision to save her, she could be very disappointed come judgment day. We are saved by Faith in the Word of God.

This leads me to some practical principles for knowing the Will of God for your Life. Never depend upon circumstances to guide you, never put your hope in a miniature Jesus standing on your bed.

PRINCIPLE #1:USE THE LIGHT, WISDOM AND INTELLIGENCE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS.

Sometimes people talk as if you shouldn’t use your brain at all but should wait for some mystical sign from God. I know the Bible says, “lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), but that doesn’t mean to throw your brain away either. It simply means submitting your will and your mind to God and what He wants to do. But you will still have to study the different colleges, etc, do legwork, use your experiences and the wisdom He builds into your life. God will use all of that to show you what to do.

Peter was miraculously rescued from prison hours before he was to be beheaded. Acts says an angel opened his cell, made the chains fall off of him, walked him right past the first and second sentry checkpoints, out the huge iron gate and finally out into the street. But then the Bible says “immediately the angel left him.” The angel didn’t even tell Peter where to go after that. In fact, Peter wondered if it was all a dream. What did he do next? Did he kneel down and say God, what do you want me to do? No, he used the good sense God had already given him and got out of their quick!

I have a friend that told me he was out to dinner with one of these “serious Christians” and when it came time for desert, this “serious Christian” had prayer to ask God what they should get. Do you really want to go before the throne of God for something so insignificant?

If you need to make a major decision, don’t wait for the angels to knock on your door. Use your head, study the situation, gather the facts, talk to your friends, seek godly counsel, and then submit it all to the Lord. Get yourself in a place where you wait for Him, with no personal pressure about what you secretly want.

I know from experience that often we give it to God, but we secretly have a desire to do so and so. So we wait just a bit, and when He doesn’t give us any clear direction, we do what we want to anyway. He knows your heart-and will let you do it anyway.

that’s what happened to the Hebrews in the wilderness. They said they would follow God, but they secretly wanted their old fleshly Egyptian lives. Psalm 106:15 “God gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” Sometime we get what we want, but God sends leanness to our soul, hoping we realize we don’t need that fast sports car or huge house or Rolex watch. (Believe me, I know of what I speak.)

PRINCIPLE #2: SINCE YOU CAN’T SEE THE FUTURE, DON’T EXPECT 100% CERTAINTY.

I understand that if you are facing a life-changing decision–a potential marriage, a cross-country move, a new career, which college to attend, whether or not to begin chemotherapy–you want to without a shadow of doubt that you are doing what God wants you to do.

But  too often that leaves us paralyzed by an inability to make a decision. My youngest son would always take the longest time to decide what to order at a restaurant. We are not talking about, ‘come back in a couple of minutes’. We’re talking the rest of us are finished eating before he is ready to order. I’m happy to report that with our prayers and working with him, he is much better at making decisions. He can order with the rest of us.

I understand if you have trouble deciding what to do.  Some decisions are so important they can’t be left to chance, or be made in a moment. Some of us have the personal philosophy:

“When in doubt, don’t.” If you aren’t sure about the new job, don’t take it, don’t make the move, don’t say yes, don’t make any decision with less than total certainty.

But is that good advice? Is that the way God works?

LOOK AT THE HEROES OF OUR FAITH

  • Did Noah know all about the flood? No, but he built the ark anyway.
  • Did Moses understand what it meant to lead God’s people out of Egypt? No, but he said yes when the Lord called him.
  • Did Abraham have a road map? No, but he left Ur of the Chaldees anyway.
  • Did Joshua know how the walls were going to come tumbling down? No, but he marched around Jericho anyway.
  • Did Gideon fully grasp God’s plan to defeat the Midianites? No, he doubted it from the beginning, but God delivered his people anyway.
  • Did young David have a clue of what was to come when Samuel said to Jesse, “This is the one”? No, but the Spirit of the Lord came upon him anyway.
  • Did Jehoshaphat know how God was going to defeat the Ammonites? No, but he put the singers at the front of the army and sent them out to battle anyway.
  • Did the three Hebrew children know how they would be delivered?
  • Was Daniel totally sure the lions would welcome him dropping in on them?
  • Did Peter know he could walk on water?
  • Did Paul know what would happen when he finally got to Rome?

We could add a hundred other examples from the Bible!

NONE OF THESE GREAT HEROES OF THE FAITH KNEW THE OUTCOME! THERE WAS AN ELEMENT OF DOUBT, BUT THEY DID IT ANYWAY!

The life of faith means living with uncertainty even in the midst of doing God’s will.

That’s the whole point of Hebrews 11. Those great men and women didn’t know the future, but they trusted God anyway, sometimes in the face of great personal suffering. And because they kept on believing when circumstances turned against them, they received a great reward.

Too many people want what God has never promised–100% certainty before they will act. So they wait and dilly-dally and they stop and start and hesitate and ruminate. They might as well be transformed into a stupid cow or sheep. They refuse to go forward because they are waiting for 100% certainty. That’ why I believe that it is rarely God’s will to give you 100% certainty. That will leave faith out of your life every time.

PRINCIPLE #3: GOD WANTS GUIDABLE PEOPLE WHO WILL TRUST HIM (EVEN WITH THE DETAILS).

Are you GUIDABLE? I didn’t say GULLIBLE. I said G*U*I*D*A*B*L*E.

Guidable People are also teachable. Guidable people look to God and not to themselves. They understand that after they have done all they can, it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

  • Like Young Samuel, they say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant heareth.”
  • Like Isaiah they cry out, “Here am I, Lord, send me.”
  • Like the Lord Jesus they pray, “Not my will but thine be done.”

Guidable people always receive guidance from God! Always. Why? Because God always speaks loud enough for a willing ear to hear. Are you a guidable Christian? Or do you still feel like you have to be in the driver’s seat of life. If you are struggling with this, let me suggest these two simple prayers:

  • “Lord, let your will be done even if it means that my will is not done.”
  • “Lord, right now I’m not sure I want to do your will. But I am willing to be made willing. Do whatever is necessary to change my heart. Amen.”

PRINCIPLE #4: WHEN THE TIME COMES, MAKE THE BEST DECISION YOU CAN AND LEAVE THE RESULTS WITH GOD.

When the time to decide comes, when you’ve thought about it, prayed about it, talked it over, sought godly counsel, researched your options, looked at the circumstances, searched the Scriptures, and waited on the Lord, when you’ve done everything you know how to do and the moment of truth comes, take a deep breath, close your eyes if you need to, and then just go ahead and make the best decision you can make.

When you’ve done that, there’s one other thing to do-leave the results with God. Remember he’s God and you’re not. His purposes will stand.

I’ve already said that he wants you to know his will more than you want to know it. Knowing God’s will is His desire for your life. If you truly want to know and do God’s will, He will show you.

Jerry Sittser, author and professor at Whitworth College writes: “God has enough trouble getting us to do his will, without making it hard to find.

You are probably thinking, well, he lives in an Ivory Palace, has a comfy professorship. What does he know about finding God’s Will? How much faith does it take to be a college professor? A few years back Jerry was confronted with a horrible tragedy that no man wants to experience. He was in a car accident, and there on the side of the road, one by one, he held his Mom, his wife and his four year old daughter as they died in his arms. Following that tragedy he wrote with honesty and candor about the despair that threatened to overwhelm him-but amazingly never did. He survived because he believed in the ancient Christian doctrine of grace. He believed in grace because he lived it. And he named the book he wrote, “A Grace Disguised.”

He writes, “. . . Though I experienced death, I also experienced life in ways that I never thought possible before—not after the darkness, as we might suppose, but in the darkness. I did not go through the pain and come out the other side; instead, I lived in it and found within that pain the grace to survive and eventually grow. I did not get over the loss of my loved ones; rather I absorbed the loss into my life, like soil receives decaying matter, until it became a part of who I am. Sorrow took up permanent residence in my soul and enlarged it.”

If you are willing to be guided by God, you will discover that he will lead you step by step by step. Even through tragedies. His Grace is truly amazing. It not only carries you to the cross and into the loving arms of your Savior, but it carries you every step of your life. All that is required is the same thing that led you to ask Jesus into your heart.

VALLEY OF DECISION

To know the specific will of God for your Life requires you to go to the Valley of Decision.  If you have never gone there now is the time. In this valley you must discover the faith that God wants you to have that is the beginning point of living in the will of God. The beginning point is believing by Faith that there is a Mighty, Eternal God who cares intimately and particularly about you and what happens in your heart and life.

If you can take that step, the battle is over, all that remains is for you to submit your will to His. Every day you pray as Jesus instructed:

May your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

How is God’s will done in heaven? It is done by the angels!

Psalm 103:20 says, “Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!”

When you pray for God’s will to be done on earth, you are telling God you want to obey His Word. It means giving up control of your own life. Oftentimes we’re scared that if we give God control of our lives, He’ll mess it up somehow. We wouldn’t say it that way, but that’s how we really feel.

More than once I have heard people say, “Pray for the opposite of what you want, because God always gives us the opposite of what we ask for.” Or they say “don’t tell God what you won’t do, becasue then that is what He will want you to do” We laugh when we read that because it seems so absurd. But many of us secretly wonder if it isn’t true. We’ve all known the frustration of unanswered prayer. Either God calls the shots or you call the shots. Either He is in control or you are in control. It’s not easy to pray like that because it means giving up control of your own life. But you aren’t really in control anyway. It only seems that way.

Bob Pierce is the founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, Christian relief organizations that helps millions of people around the world. He was probably the most unlikely man to found and lead such large organizations. He didn’t have much education, he butchered the King’s English, and he lacked many social graces. In fact, he called himself a second-rater. When asked the secret of his life, he said that in his early years as a Christian he had prayed like this,

“O God, I give you the right to change my agenda any time you like—and you don’t have to inform me in advance. Amen.”

That’s the kind of prayer God can answer because it’s based on the truth that God is God and He has the absolute right to do whatever He wants. Many of us are unhappy because we’re fighting God at the point of His sovereignty. We’ve never surrendered our agenda to His control. When You Pray “Your will be done” you are trusting God to do what’s Best for You!

Many of us have gone through periods when we doubted that God wanted the best for us. Perhaps you are doubting even as I speak.

GOD HAS PROVEN HE WANTS WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU

God has SHOWED each one of us that He wants what is best for us. He showed us how serious he was when he sacrificed His only Son on the Cross. He showed us how Powerful He is when He raised Him from the Dead. He assures us that that same power can be ours. Power to conquer, power to overcome, power for joy, power for forgiveness, power to become like Jesus Christ.

Do you want that power? You knew what you had to do to receive Jesus as your savior-you had to humble yourself, admit you were a sinner, worthy of death, but rescued from sin, death and satan by the death and resurrection of God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ.

If you can pray “Jesus, forgive me of my sins, please be my one and only Lord and Savior”, how hard is it to humble yourself again and say “Father, not my will but thy will be done?” Or did you simply ask Jesus into your heart to benefit your supposed eternal life? If you were motivated by selfish concerns and not by the fear of Eternal God, perhaps that is why you are unwilling to seek HIS WILL for your life! Perhaps you should check your heart condition!

WE MUST BE WILLING TO LET GO OF THE CUP

Jesus asked if the cup could be removed, but He never asked not to do the will of His Father. Quite the contrary, Jesus was quite open about ONLY doing His Father’s will. But the fact that He asked if the cup could be removed meant that it might have been possible to do His Father’s Will without the cup. However, God said, “No, you must drink of the cup of My Wrath!”

There is an amzing revelation about the Will of God in these verses. In order to do the Will of God we must be willing to let go our our ‘CUP’. So many times I have heard people say, “I want to do God’s Will as long as it means doing this, or having this, or not moving there.” We always seem to have conditions that we want to hold on to if we consider doing ANYTHING for the Lord.

God will show you, as He has me, that doing the Will of God means being willing to let go of whatever ‘CUP’ we are holding onto. In fact, God will often knock the cup over and even break it in order to get us to let go.

What are you struggling with right now? What are you holding on to so tightly that it almost makes your hands hurt? What is it that you are afraid to give to God? Whatever it is, you’ll be a lot happier when you finally say, “Your will be done” and open your clenched fist. But you’ll never know until you let go.

C. S. Lewis said there are two kinds of people in the world, and only two kinds: those who say to God, “Your will be done” and those to whom God says in the end, “Your will be done.” Which kind are you?

A Simple Prayer

Here’s a simple prayer that may help you loosen your grip on the things with which you are struggling:

O Lord, Your will be done–
nothing more,
nothing less,
nothing else.
Amen.

As always, if you pray that prayer you will be called upon by God to be part of the answer. When we pray, “Your will be done,” God will hold us to our word. The path will be straight if we let Him direct us, or the path will be filled with potholes and dead man’s curves if we stubbornly refuse His direction.

Your will be done …

  • in my life
  • in my family
  • in my finances
  • in my career
  • in my children
  • in my dreams for the future
  • in my words
  • in my friendships
  • in my world.

Are you brave enough to pray that God’s Will be done in your life? Are you brave enough to seek to know His will? Are you brave enough to stand in His presence! If you walk in His Son, Jesus Christ, you will never fear!


Satan-SHows-Jesus-the-KingdomsSatan took Jesus up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant, and said “All this power will I give you and their glory, if you would only worship me”. Satan must have known about Psalm2:8, for God had told Christ:

“Ask of Me, and I will give YouThe nations for Your inheritance,And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”

Cross upon my HeartThis was the desire of Jesus Christ, the inheritance of the nations. Yet Jesus, emaciated with hunger and dehydration, had set a guard on the doorway of His hearts’ desires. He responded with a rhema taken from Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20, which Christ had personalized into “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve.” Jesus had submitted all His desires, fleshly or otherwise, to the Worship and Service of God His Father. There could be no compromise.

As Satan’s viewed all the kingdoms of the world, his focus was not upon the people, with their problems and needs, but upon the power and glory they held. It was the same allure that led him to revolt from God’s command in the first place. Satan had said in his heart: I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. (Isa 14:13-14)

Jesus-Angels-01Perhaps that is why Satan misquoted Psalm 91 in his last temptation of Christ. He left out the Hebrew word דֶּרֶךְ‎ derek“. He said the angels have charge over him, to keep thee, and they shall bear you up. But that totally changed the meaning of Psalm 91. In stead of being self-serving, the angels had a “higher way” in view. They had the purpose of Almighty God in view. For the angels are to keep him “derek” – “in the way”. They were to keep watch over Jesus to make sure God’s will was not thwarted. Jesus is the way, and He committed himself to following God’s will. Satan was attempting to thwart the will of God by tempting Christ to go his own way-the way of Satan. That is why Satan left that one word out, for he is the great Deny-er of God’s will. He left the path that God had for him, and now he wants everyone to follow him. He wants to be exalted, he wants the power, he wants the glory. Satan is overjoyed when we do not follow the path that God has for us, the path that He chooses.  He loves it when we lean on our own understanding rather than God’s. For to follow our own way is to sit in the assembly of Satan, and to bow before him. To deny God His proper place as God of our life, is to welcome the death that sin condemns us to.Jesus came to save the people of the world

Satan I Will be like Most High GodSatan focused on the power, the self-glory, and the pride in going your own way. Those were the reasons that led to his revolt. So why should they not work on God’s Son? Because he had not come to earth for those things. In fact, He had left the glory, the power, the splendor so that he could become a servant to mankind, to reach out and touch the needs of fallen men. Of course Jesus wanted the nations, but not without the people. He came not for power but for you and me. When Satan saw the kingdoms, he saw only the power. When Christ saw the kingdoms, he saw the people imprisoned by their sin. Christ came into this world arms outstretched, reaching, not for power, but simply to touch you and me. His desire is that we be freed from death to LIFE and to share in His inheritance, and that we share in the power of His coming Kingdom.

Jesus to the thief on the CrossWhen Satan proclaimed his famous “I will’s”, he did so as he was reaching for the stars. Jesus proclaimed on the Cross as his arms were reaching out to the thief next to Him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Jesus reached not for power, but to take our sin upon him. Jesus reached not for kingdoms, but to be impaled by nails. Jesus reached not for power, but to be shamed by crucifixion upon the cross. Jesus reached for the Cross in order to touch us with His life!

Good Samaritan came to himJesus had compassion on us, dead in our sin, and came to where we were, just as was said of the Good Samaritan: he was moved with compassion, and came to him.” That is why Satan’s offer from on top the mountain did not tempt Christ. That may have been Satan’s desire, to ascend on high, but Jesus “came DOWN from heaven” so that all those who receive His Touch will receive LIFE and be lifted UP to heaven! Jesus came to touch sinners

Satan Falls from HeavenSatan came DOWN from heaven to lift himself UP. The only way he can succeed is to bring as many as possible DOWN! Now, which way would you rather be heading? Do you know the Savior’s TOUCH?

Prayer: Open my eyes and heart Father, to see how much Jesus Christ cared for me. May I turn away from following my own way, and welcome the touch of Christ, bringing new life and new purpose, following Your Path!

From Pathway of Blessing