26/06/16 Hebrews 1:5-14 “The Creator is infinitely better than His creation”

We continue looking at the qualification that Jesus the Son of God has for taking all authority over all creation. The worship of angels was known among the Hebrews. Much of this related to demonic beings which are also known as fallen angels. The worship of false gods also often involves the worship of angels (as demons). Angels (also demons) were associated with immense power, and often this power was more often to be physically observed than the power of God and His holy angels. Various religions even today worship Jesus as the archangel Michael, or prince Michael, notably the Seventh-day Adventists, although they believe that it’s another name for Jesus rather than Jesus becoming an angel.

Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally identified Michael the archangel of Jude 9 and Revelation 12:7 as Jesus Christ. (Wikipedia)


The JWs believe that Jesus rose again as the archangel Michael. From their website

Likewise, the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth……..Regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states: “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice.” Thus the voice of Jesus is described as being that of an archangel. This scripture  therefore suggests that Jesus himself is the archangel Michael. ……. Since God’s Word nowhere indicates that there are two armies of faithful angels in heaven—one headed by Michael and one headed by Jesus—it is logical to conclude that Michael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role. (https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/who-is-michael-the-archangel-jesus/)


And the doctrine of angels seems to have been practised by the Essenes.

The doctrine of angels was not evenly spread among the various parts of the Jewish people. The apocalyptic wisdom teachers imparted the knowledge that they had secretly acquired through their contact with angels, only to a narrow circle of the specially initiated. Consequently, the doctrine of angels found its widest distribution among the secret societies of the Essenes. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/angels.html)


So if Jesus were so powerful that He could overrule all people, it also had to be established that He was not only “more excellent” than the angels, but wasn’t just a super-powerful angel such as satan. It also had to be established that not one single angel could have the qualifications of Jesus Christ Son of God. In other words, this establishes the unique position of Jesus Christ, a position which not one angel could even remotely claim. Thus, Jesus is superior to (better than) all angel beings.


Matthew Henry says Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay them a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it was necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ's being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made subject.


Hebrews 1:5For unto which of the angels said He at any time, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee?” And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?”


The first quote is from Psalm 2:7, while the second quote is from 2 Samuel 7:14 – said to King David concerning his son Solomon and the building of the temple.


Also note Psalm 89:20-21a; 26-2820 I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him: 21 With whom My hand shall be established: 26 He shall cry unto Me, Thou {art} my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. 27 Also I will make him {My} firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and My covenant shall stand fast with him.


Which of the angels can claim to be God’s Son? Which angel can claim to be the begotten of God. This word “begotten” is gennao (to be born) and not monogenes (only born/begotten). However, the Greek word can still have the metaphorical meaning of God making Christ his son, thus still emphasising the relationship of Father to Son.


The second half of this verse makes this relationship clear: God is His Father and Jesus Christ is His Son. The putting together of these two quotes effectively makes Jesus “monogenes” or the only One with the true Father-Son relationship. And because not one of the angels can lay claim to this relationship, therefore only Jesus is qualified, and not one single angel.


Hebrews 1:6 And again, when He bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, He saith, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”


firstbegottenπρωτότοκος prototokos (firstborn, in particular of Christ, the first born of all creation) But again (moreover) when He brings (in) the firstborn (Christ) of all creation into the world (oikoumene – the inhabited earth, as opposed to kosmos – world, or inhabitants of earth)


The quote is said to be from Deuteronomy 32:43Rejoice, O ye nations, {with} His people: for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, {and} to His people.

Note that the LXX (Septuagint) says, Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.”

Note also Psalm 97:7bworship Him, all {ye} gods. where “gods” is ‘elohiym = rulers; magistrates; divine ones; angels; gods; God.

The LXX says, worship him, all ye his angels.”

(O.T. quotes in Hebrews are generally closer to the LXX (Septuagint – Greek) than the Hebrew.)


Thus, when the firstborn is presented to them, all the angels worship Him, yet another proof to the Hebrew readers that Jesus was indeed the Son of God with all rights to be worshipped by all the angels.


Hebrews 1:7And of the angels He saith, “Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.”


The quote is from Psalm 104:4


angelsἄγγελος aggelos (messenger, one who is sent, angel) Note that the same word is used in 2 Corinthians 12:7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Matthew 11:10For this is {he}, of whom it is written, “Behold, I send my messenger (John the Baptist) before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee.”


spiritsπνεῦμα pneuma (Holy Spirit, spirit; movement of air; wind; breath; a human soul that has left the body; a spirit higher than man but lower than God – eg angel, demon) Here “spirits” could denote beings inferior to “the Son of God”, that is, subservient to someone who is God.

ministersλειτουργός leitourgos (public minister; servant of the state/ruler/king; servant priest in the temple) Servants, not ruling in any way, while the Son rules.

Note that “a flame of fire” can mean “lightning”


Some commentaries (Eg Ellicott) suggest that Psalm 104:4 could be read Who maketh winds His messengers, flaming fire His ministers.” Others (Eg Barnes) suggest "who makes his angels like the winds, or as swift as the winds, and his ministers as rapid, as terrible, and as resistless as the lightning (or “strong like a flame of fire”.

Others (Eg Jamieson) suggest that it is God who makes (that is, dictates what is to be done) His servants, the angels, to be like the wind, or like lightning, that God commands and the angels obey. Note that “makes” can also mean “to be the author of”. The exact meaning of this verse is disputed, but ultimately it has to mean that the angels are subordinate to the Son, as the creature is subordinate to the Creator. Romans 9:20bShall the thing formed say to Him that formed {it}, “Why hast Thou made me thus?”


Pulpit Commentary says – And in this case the passage (Hebrews 1:7), as cited, at any rate expresses well the general doctrine of the Old Testament about angels, viz. that, unlike the Son, they are but subordinate agents of the Divine purposes, and connected especially with the operations of nature.


Hebrews 1:8-98 But unto the Son {He saith}, “Thy throne, O God, {is} for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness {is} the sceptre of Thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, {even} Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.”


The quote is from Psalm 45:6-7. The context of Psalm 45 shows clearly that this is another example of being better than the old – “above Thy fellows”.

The Son here is called God (Your “thronos”, O “Theos”). Any who doubt the Godhood of Jesus would have to mistranslate the clear meaning of this verse to support their doubt.

And not only is He the Son who is God, He is God for all eternity (“for ever and ever” or “for aion and aion” or “for eternity and eternity”)! The throne was a symbol of majesty or dominion, all authority.


sceptreʽράβδος rhabdos (staff; walking stick; branch; rod with which one is beaten; rod of iron (severe, rigorous rule); royal sceptre) It was the symbol of His authority in the same way that the sceptre is the symbol of authority in government. In this verse it symbolises the righteous rule of the Messiah. “kingdom” is used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah. Thus the Son here is eternally God, the I AM, the ever-existent Majesty, a reign symbolised by righteousness; not one of the angels could ever aspire to this!


Not only does Jesus have the authority of God Himself, and is higher than the angels, He is now praised for His attributes. He is here praised for His righteousness, that is, His ability to be just in all His dealings with mankind. Nothing He says will be against the law, not one judgment will be corrupt, thus all His sayings are to be trusted absolutely.

2 Corinthians 5:21For He hath made Him {to be} sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Hebrews 7:26For such an high priest became us, {who is} holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;


God the Father has anointed God the Son. Anointing spoke of consecration to office, usually to a position of significant authority. In particular, the word chrio (hath anointed) meant consecrating Jesus to the Messianic office, along with its power and authority.


oil of gladness – oil of exultation; exuberant joy; gladness.

The word used for “gladness” is also used in the following:

Jude 24Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present {you} faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

Luke 1:14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at His birth.

Also note Luke 1:44bthe babe leaped in my womb for joy.


Jesus was given a greater anointing than all others who might lay claim to having authority, such as earthly kings and rulers. Thus Jesus is also known as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

1 Timothy 6:14-1514 That thou keep {this} commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in His times He shall shew, {who is} the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Revelation 19:16And He hath on {His} vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 17:14 reverses the titles.)

Deuteronomy 10:17For the Lord your God {is} God of Gods, and Lord of Lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:


Hebrews 1:10-1210 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.


This passage is quoted from Psalm 102:10-12. From the context of Psalm 102, we can see that it has to do with the eternalness of Jesus who is God. All other things will change in time, will finally perish, but Jesus who is God remains the same throughout all eternity.

Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Malachi 3:6aFor I {am} the Lord, I change not;


Thus another attribute is established: that of consistency and reliability throughout eternity, that is, trustworthy and faithful. What was spoken then by the Son who is God is still the same today because He changes not! And when He speaks of eternal life, His promise is sure because He will exist for all of that eternity! Only the I AM is ever-eternal; only God may have the title the Great I AM. It is a statement of His godhood, a claim that none other than God may make.


Hebrews 1:13But to which of the angels said he at any time, “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?”


When we look at where the quote comes from, we can see that it is clearly speaking of the Son who is also God.

Psalm 110:1The Lord said unto my Lord, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

Treading on your enemies was what the conquering warriors did to the vanquished.

Zechariah 10:5aAnd they shall be as mighty {men}, which tread down {their enemies} in the mire of the streets in the battle:

To make your enemy your footstool was to put your foot (in its battle gear) on top of the body of the one you had brought down; it was a statement of absolute victory. The vanquished would become the footstool of the conqueror.

Thus we see another attribute of the Son who is God: He is the mighty conqueror. When we read Revelation, we see clearly that the final victory – the one that counts – is to Jesus the Son who is God.


1 Corinthians 15:23-2823 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then {cometh} the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy {that} shall be destroyed {is} death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under {him, it is} manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

From this we can see that once all things are put under the feet of Christ, then Christ delivers the kingdom into the hand of the Father. All things will be made subject to the Son who is also subject to the Father who has caused all things to be subject to the Son. Note the exception in Vs 27: the One (that is, God the Father) who has put all things under Him (that is, God the Son).

Also note the following:

John 17:9-10; 21-239 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. 10 And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them. 21 That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, {art} in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. 22 And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.


The point of Hebrews 1:13 is to demonstrate so clearly that angels could never be as those who might put their feet on those whom they conquered. The One who has spoken in these days is the One who will one day conquer all His enemies.


Hebrews 1:14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?


Angels are merely servants of those to whom salvation has been given, that is, those who have believed by faith in the promises of God for salvation to all who would call on the name of the Lord. Thus, while the Son of God is God in every way (He is the “express image”), angels, while much more powerful and intelligent than man, are required to serve those of mankind who will inherit by right of adoption the kingdom promised to the Son.


ministeringleitourgikos (carrying out the act of public minister, servant of the state/ruler/king, servant priest in the temple) See “ministers” in Vs 7.

ministerdiakonia (service, ministering, of those who by the command of God proclaim and promote religion among men, office of deacon) More as a servant of God rather than being a public servant of the ruler/state/temple.

Matthew 20:28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered (diakoneo) unto, but to minister (diakoneo), and to give his life a ransom for many.


Likewise, those who are adopted into God’s family come in as joint heirs alongside the Son, consequently having the right of authority over angels.


So how does this apply to us today? Far too many churches are paying attention to the needs of angels rather than the needs of the Son of God, who is superior to all the angels. Remember that demons are still just angels, and although angels are extremely rational and intelligent, far more powerful and capable than man, they are still under the authority of those who will inherit salvation! We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, and cannot lose any spiritual warfare unless we choose to lose, which means that the immense power and capabilities of demonic angels must be limited by the One who created them.


And how do churches pay attention to the needs of angels? Noting that demons are still angels, I point out that there are many ways by which demons may enter a church and take some measure of control: (a) through tares and other compromised people (even Christians can be compromised by demonic influence or control – Eg through freemasonry, or habitual sin), (b) through heresies, such as Calvinism (Calvin’s belief in limited atonement denied an effective salvation to the majority of people), Pentecostalism (where tongues, and slaying in the spirit are accepted as evidence of the Holy Spirit without the testing of spirits as required by the Word of God) etc, which add or take away from the gospel to present a different gospel, and (c) demonic mantras as evidenced by rock music, yoga, martial arts, etc which can invite demons into their worship, effectively turning it into a worship of demons. Why do so many claim to worship God when they are inviting demons in to share their worship?


The church today has to return to interpreting the Bible without the aid of denominational doctrines that only serve to confuse the real truth. If we add to or take away from the truth in the Bible, we end up presenting lies. And the inconsistencies of most doctrines point to the lies involved. The Bible is truth; when will we desire the truth sufficiently to be able to put all the lies to one side?


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