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Hebrews 1:4-14

Angels who Worship the Son

 

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Jesus' superiority to angels is stressed in the book of Hebrews.

There is no name exalted higher in honor and glory than the name of Jesus Christ. All of the major ideas in Hebrews are centered around the titles of Christ as the Son of God and the Great High Priest.

God has given Him "the name that is above every name, and at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11 NASB95). (All Scriptures are New American Standard Bible NASB95 unless otherwise stated).

The writer of Hebrews declares with majestic splendor the glory of the Son of God. God has spoken His final word of revelation through His Son who came in the flesh to give a perfect understanding of God and His purpose for mankind. The Son is the "appointed heir of all things" and is the Creator who "made the world." "He is the radiance of His [God's] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power." We stand in awe of such a person and realize that only He could possibly be "made purification of sins." He is the perfect high priest and the perfect sacrifice that covers every sin of everyone who believes on Him. Only His atoning death can deal with our sin problem. The blood of Jesus Christ covers all our sins. Then "He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." He alone is exalted high above every person and all creation including the good angels. The Son "having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they" (Hebrews 1:4). He is in permanent possession of the "name" that is better than the angels.

Jesus Christ the unique, one and only, one of a kind, Son of God is:

The Prophet through whom God has spoken His final word.

The Creator of the universe.

The Heir of all things.

The Radiance of God's glory.

The Representation of God's perfect being.

The Sustainer of all things by the word of His power.

The Priest who made purification for our sins.

The eternal King who sat down permanently on the throne of glory.

The Son who has a name better than the angels.

The Son is "better" superior, stronger, more powerful than the angels and is worshipped by them.

The writer of Hebrews draws out a contrast  between the angels who are God's servants and the Son who created them. The angels are "messengers" of God sent out from Him to do His work. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).

Peter was in prison sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and there were guards in front of the door watching over the prison in Acts 12:6. He was there because he would not shut up about the resurrection of Jesus. "And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, 'Get up quickly.' And his chains fell off his hands" (Acts 12:7). The angel led Peter out of prison to freedom. Later, an angel struck Herod "because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died" (Acts 12:23). An angel gave Paul encouragement in a fierce storm. Paul told the men on board the ship, "For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar, and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with  you. Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God, that it will turn out exactly as I have been told" (Acts 27:23-25).

A distinguishing characteristic of Hebrews is the number of references and quotes from the Psalms in the Old Testament. Our author builds his argument on how Jesus is vastly superior to the angels by quoting seven Old Testament passages. He gives His full attention to the greatness of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the focus of his thinking throughout this epistle. Christ sat down  at the right hand of the Majesty of God on high after He had made purification for our sins, and was raised from the dead. Christ sat down in glory "having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they."

The author states seven facts about Christ in Hebrews 1:2-3 and then quotes seven passages from the Old Testament in verses 5-13 to drive home his message (Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 104:4; 45:6-7 102:25-27 and 110:1). The worshippers reading this letter would be very familiar with these songs and Jewish hymns. The author of Hebrews has the deep conviction that the Son, Jesus the Messiah, has fulfilled these Scriptures.

One of the literary characteristics of the author of Hebrews is the unusual way of citing the Old Testament authors. He has the conviction that God continues to speak today through the Scriptures he quotes. In contrast to the other New Testament authors he does not give the human author of his quotes except in 4:7; 9:19-20. He places his emphasis on the divine authorship of the whole Old Testament by ascribing the passage quoted to God. He does not give the names of the human writers that God used.

It is majestic beauty how the Holy Spirit guided the author in choosing the words that were originally written under His guidance. The Spirit directed him in the use of the Old Testament, the way he cited and arranged the Scriptures, and the interpretative summary of the great truths. The Holy Spirit is the author of Hebrews  interpreter.

Angels were very important to ancient Judaism (Deut. 33:2; Psa. 68:17; Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2).  Because of the length of presentation on angels at the very beginning of the letter, there must have been an extreme emphasis or preoccupation with angels in this group of believers. They had gone off on a tangent. The first-century Essene sect within Judaism had a highly developed angelology and regarded angels with more veneration than they should have.  Hebrews 1:4-2:18 is dealing with angels and the infinite superiority of Jesus Christ over them. The author uses the phrase "to which of the angels" in vv. 5, 13 to open and close off his literary discussion of the angels.

A MORE EXCELLENT NAME (HEB 1:4-5)

"The name" signifies the whole character and personality of the Son as superior to the angels.

The Son, Jesus Christ, is "much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they" (Heb. 1:4). This is the first use of the word "better" (Greek, kreitton)  which draws out the contrast between Jesus and His order with all that went before Him (Heb. 6:9; 7:7, 19, 22; 8:6; 9:23; 10:34; 11:16, 35, 40; 12:24). There are only six other appearances of this word in the New Testament. Christ is "so far better," "much superior to," "much better than" the angels. The rest of the chapter describes how Jesus is much better.

Jesus has "inherited a more excellent name than they." The use of the perfect tense in the original implies that what He inherited remains His. He is now in the eternal permanent possession of that name. The name has the distinction of superiority. "More excellent" (diaphoros) means outstanding, excellent.

Christ is superior to the angels because of His exaltation to the right hand of God. Moreover, His title "Son" further exalts Him. He has the rank and dignity of the Son of God.

Beginning with verse five the author gives Biblical proofs using seven quotations from the Old Testament to prove the Son is more excellent than the angels.

"For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You'? And again, 'I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me'?" (Hebrews 1:5).  

God is the speaker. The answer to the two rhetorical questions is a definite "no." God never did say such a thing to any angel. B. F. Westcott said the title "Son of God" is never given to a person in the Old Testament. No angel has ever been given the title "Son of God" anywhere in the Bible. The author is stressing the fact that title "Son" is applied only to Christ. The emphasis is laid upon the "Son" who is not shared by others. He is a unique, one of a kind, Son. "My Son You are." No one else has that relationship with God.

King David referred to Jesus Christ as God's Son in Psalm 2:7. The Old Testament refers to angels collectively as the "sons of God" (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). However, it does not refer to any one angel as a Son of God. The title Son of God is a title that refers to only one of the Davidic kings (2 Sam. 7:14), and this statement is fulfilled only in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Son of God. In a typological sense the author of Hebrews applied the prophecy of 2 Samuel 2:7 to Jesus Christ. It is the everlasting King Himself who in the psalm quotes Yahweh as saying to him, "Son of mine You are!" The angel Gabriel announced: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32). God the Father declared from heaven at the baptism of Jesus, "You are my beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased" (Mark 1:11; cf. Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Luke 3:22; 9:35).

Psalm 2:2 refers to the Messiah, the Anointed One, who is king over all (Psa. 2:6-8) and God's Son (Psa. 2:7). The psalmist is clearly saying God is directly addressing the Messiah and calling Him my Son. 

What "name" did Jesus inherit that makes Him greater than angels? When Jesus rose from the dead He was enthroned as king and seated at the right hand of God. When a Jewish king was enthroned there was an acclamation that he was formally taking up his title and inheritance which had been his by birth. The formula was given by God. "You are my Son. Today I have begotten you" (Psalm 2:7; 89:27). The writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14: "For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”?" (Hebrews 1:5).

Moreover, Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but He is also the promised son of David (2 Sam. 7:14; 1 Chron. 17:13; Luke 1:32-33, 68-69). Psalm 2:8 stresses the rule of the Son over the whole earth after His resurrection. The apostle Paul declared, "God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You" (Acts 13:33). David was one of the prophets referred to in Heb. 1:1, in whose person God spoke in times past. Therefore, God placed David's Son, the heir of all things in Hebrews 1:2, on His everlasting throne in the eternal kingdom.

John Owen observes correctly: "These words are taken from the answer returned from God unto David by Nathan, upon his resolution to build Him a house. Both Solomon and the Lord Christ are intended in these words; Solomon literally and typically, the Lord Christ principally and mystically. They express the eternal, unchangeable love which the Father bore unto the Son, grounded on the relationship of Father and Son. . . It is His design in all things to glorify His Son."

The "name" that is superior to the angels is "Son of God." Many have suggested Jesus, Lord or Yahweh based on Philippians 2:9-11.

This is also stressed by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:4 when he says Jesus "who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord."  

When was this declaration made? The word "today" could to Jesus' return to heaven after His resurrection and ascension. The eternal Son of God exercised all His prerogatives that are implied by the title when He was raised to the Father's right hand. The idea is the inauguration of the theocratic king which would correspond to the historic manifestation of the divine King. The apostle Paul applied it to the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4). It may be best not to refer to a moment in time or circumstance, but to understand it to mean an eternal relationship. In verse five he said, "I will be to Him a Father." The argument will be the same whether it refers to the resurrection and ascension or to His eternal preexistence.

"Today I have begotten you" (v. 5). The begetting is used figuratively. It is not the beginning of life or a physical birth, but the entrance or appointment to the divine office as the Son of God. Our Lord is "Son of God" not by creation, nor adoption. He is the eternal Son of God. This is the acclamation when God places David's Son, the heir of all things in verse two on His everlasting throne as King in the eternal Kingdom of God. He is exalted to the right hand of Majesty on high.

We need to stress very clearly Jesus has always been the Son of God, just as He has always been heir of all things in verse two. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, not only from the time that He assumed our nature, but from all eternity. When Christ rose from the dead He was declared Son of God and heir all things on a new foundation. He reigns as the God-man Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God not by His eternal right down through eternity, but by His victory over sin and death. He reigns as the Son of God by the power of His resurrection from the dead.

Let me make it very clear that Jesus is not the archangel Michael as the cults teach. Jesus is the Son of God full of deity. Jesus is the Son of God; He is not an angel. He is God of very God.

The author of Hebrews is stressing the fact that God never made such a statement to any angel. No angel has ever sat at the right hand of God in power and majesty. All that belongs to the Father, belongs to this unique one of a kind Son.

The first two Old Testament quotations declares that Jesus is the Son of God, the next quote says He is worshipped by angels.

ANGELS WORSHIP Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:6-9)

"And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, 'And let all the angels of God worship Him'" (Hebrews 1:6). Verse six may either refer to Psalm 97:7 or Deuteronomy 32:43. The angels worship Him as Yahweh.

The title "firstborn" (ton protokon) denotes preeminence and rights of inheritance in a family lineage. "Firstborn" does not refer to time but to position, rank, dignity and preeminence. Jesus was not created as the cults teach such as Arians and Jehovah's False Witnesses. Jesus has existed from all eternity as the Son with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the eternal Godhead. The author of Hebrews, like the apostle Paul, has in mind all the rights and privileges of a firstborn son of a king who would rule with authority and power. In Jewish society, the oldest son or "firstborn," received a double portion of the inheritance. He was responsible for the family after the death of the father. He had a higher rank than his brothers. Even the younger son could be elevated to the place of the "firstborn" (Gen. 48:17-20; Exo. 4:22). King Solomon was not the first born son of David. He was the tenth son of David chronologically (1 Chron. 3:1-5). The title "firstborn" in Heb. 1:6 does not refer to the first born chronologically, but sovereignty, unique one of a kind, superiority as the Messiah as declared in Psalm 89:17. "I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth" (Psalm 89:27). Here the title "firstborn" is a title given to  the Messiah. Angels are servants; Jesus is the Sovereign Son. Jesus was called "the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29), "the firstborn of all creation" (Col. 1:15), and "the firstborn from the dead" (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5). In deed, they are members of "the church of the first-born" (Heb. 12:23). Jesus is superior in position and dignity in the eyes of God because He is "the firstborn." Therefore, Christ is superior to the angels because God commanded them to worship Him.

When will He "again" appear? The context strongly favors the Second Coming of Christ. This bringing Him again is still future. "When He again brings the first-born into the world." The reference is to the second coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His messianic kingdom. Later the writer of Hebrews will declare, "So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him" (Hebrews 9:28). 

The emphasis is on angels worshipping Jesus. When God brings Christ "again" a second time into the world, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him." "Worship" (proskuneo) means to fall down and worship, to prostrate oneself before" the Lord God.

It is going to be a great day of majesty when all the angels in heaven bow to Jesus, and on the earth every human being bows before Him, and under the earth all demons, all creation worships Him. Angels will worship Jesus when He returns as second time (Matt. 13:41; 16:27; 25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7).

Jesus is so superior to the angels that all angels worship Him. All the other religions of the world say Jesus is not to be worshipped. However Jesus the Son of God is full of deity. He is God with us and we must worship Him alone. "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me'" (John 14:6). 

The writer of Hebrews continues: "And of the angels He says, 'Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.' But of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 'You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions'" (Hebrews 1:7-9).

God is the speaker in verses seven and eight.

The angels were created by the eternal second person of the Godhead. Psalm 104 refers to the Lord God as creator and sustainer of all things, including angels. "He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers" (Psalm 104:4).  Winds and flaming fire symbolize the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. The Son is the creator and sustainer of the universe.

That God "makes" implies they are creatures and He could reduce angels to the elemental forces of wind and fire, where as the person and authority of the Son of God are above all change and decay. The angels are God's messengers clothed with His power to accomplish His will. They execute His commands with the speed of the wind and the cleansing of fire. They are servants who serve the Son!

The angels are described as God's "messengers, flaming fire" emphasizing their spiritual nature, invisibility, power and servants. "Flame of fire" denotes them as agents of God's judgment and illumination.

"The glory, honor and exaltation of angels lies in their subservience to the providence of God. It lies not so much in their nature, as in their work and service. Their readiness and ability to serve the providence of God is their glory," writes John Owen.

In contrast to angels, the Messiah can be addressed not merely as God's Son in verse five, but actually as God. He is both the Messiah and the out shinning radiance of God's glory and the very image of His substance. Of the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever." It would be perfectly accurate to translate pros ton huion "to the Son." The cults don't like that statement. We have a King of whom we have to say God is His God and He is God! It is referring to Jesus! Only the Son of David, Jesus Christ, fulfilled the words of this psalm. Angels worship Jesus Christ because He is the Son of God in the sense that He is God. "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." The fifth quotation is from Psalm 45:6-7. This is a great Messianic Psalm describing the final triumph of the Son who is greater than all of David's descendents. The anointing referred to here probably took place after Jesus' ascension to heaven. God addresses His Son at His enthronement in heaven. The Messiah is God, yet God anointed Him. The Messianic Son is rightfully called God by God the Father (John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Titus 2:13). The Son is clearly addressed as God because He is God.

"Throne" symbolizes the Son's rule or dominion which is eternal. It is "forever and ever." "Your throne" implies that the Son is King. He sat down at the right  of the Majesty on high (v. 3). The angel Gabriel said to Mary the mother of Jesus before Jesus' conception: "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end" (Luke 1:32-33). The "throne" belongs to Jesus alone.

The character of His reign as sovereign is described as "righteous" (euthute). This is opposite of crooked. A crooked scepter was an emblem of an unjust government. Christ's scepter is upright because He is always just and right. Every aspect of Christ's rule is based on righteousness. The laws of His kingdom are righteous, holy, and just. They proceed from His love to righteousness, and His hatred of iniquity.  

"You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions" (Hebrews 1:9). This "righteousness" (dikaiosune) or uprightness is the opposite of "lawlessness" (anomia) and is the compelling motive for the conduct of  a person's whole life. The hatred (miseo) is a strong hatred, to persecute in hatred, to detest, abhor lawlessness.

The Old Testament declared the righteous king who would rule in righteousness. "'Behold, the days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land'" (Jeremiah 23:5). It is fulfilled in the coming of Jesus the righteous king: "And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!'" (Revelation 15:3).

B. F. Westcott observed, "The Son in His work on earth fulfilled the ideal of righteousness; and the writer of the Epistle looks back upon that completed work now seen in its glorious issue."

Jesus told His disciples, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33).

Angels serve; the Son rules on His eternal immutable throne of righteousness. The Son is addressed as both God and as Lord. The Son exercises royal sovereign power, but the angels are mere ministers.

The last part of Hebrews 1:9 says, "Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions." "God, who has made Himself known as your God." 

Jesus Christ is the Lord and King of whom God spoke through the Hebrew prophets. He is the Anointed of Yahweh from eternity to eternity.

The author has demonstrated that the Son's superiority to the angels is based on His divine nature. Just as Philippians 2:5-11 has the great declaration of the glorious exaltation of the Suffering Savior after His extreme humiliation, our author declares the outpouring of blessing and glory which took place after the humiliation. Christ reigns in total power and dominion.

The Jewish metaphor of anointing guests at a feast is used here of the joy which the Father blessed His Son in His evidence of divine justice. The "oil" is symbol of gladness.

It was time to celebrate. Let us sing; let us celebrate! We are the "companions" (metochos) of Christ who have an intimate relationship with Him (Heb. 3:1). "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Hebrews 2:10-11). As joint heirs with Christ we share in His gladness (Rom. 8:17).

The Son is God in the fullest sense of the word. Let us bow and worship Him. He is God! That is what the angels do.

JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD IS GOD (HEB 1:10-12)

Perhaps with the exception of the Gospel of John, the deity of Jesus Christ is more powerfully declared in Hebrews than in any other New Testament writing.

"And, 'You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end'" (Hebrews 1:10-12).

"Laid the foundation of the earth" is figurative for creation which was "in the beginning" in Genesis 1:1. 

The author has already been speaking clearly of the deity of the Son in vv. 8-9. Now he presses his point by quoting Psalm 102:25-27 which also refers to immutability of the Messiah who is the creator. The author of Hebrews applies this great messianic song to Christ, the eternal Son of God. The unchangeableness of God is applied to the Son. The speaker in this Psalm is God, and the Son is addressed here as "Lord." Once again, it is a strong argument for the Son's deity. The Son is the Creator. What was said of Yahweh is now applied to Christ who is the creator and sustainer of the universe (Col. 1:16; John 1:1-3). Hebrews 1:2 tells us God made the world through the Son. Everything that can be said about God as creator can be said about the Son as creator of the universe. Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe. He is God. Therefore, the Son is superior to His creation including the angels. While the angels were spectators at creation (cf. Job 38:7) they were subject to Him. The Messiah is the one who will bring the universe to its grand consummation (Isa. 51:6).

The creation will pass away, "perish" (apollumi), with the idea of change, yet the Son will remain. He will be unchanged. The Son is eternal. The heavens and earth will grow old and wear out and become useless just like an old garment. We know from other passages of Scripture they will give way to the new heavens and the new earth. They will change like an old garment, "but You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end." Over and over again, the author speaks of the Son's eternity.

Everything on earth is going to burn up as we know it, however the Son will have an unending rule throughout eternally (2 Peter 3:10-12; Rev. 21-22). The Son's eternal abiding character and  nature is stressed.

Jesus Christ as the Son of God is the foundational idea in Hebrews. All of the other teaching in Hebrews, including the High Priesthood, rests on this truth.

Jesus has always been the pre-existent Son, who became the incarnate Son at His physical birth and is now the exalted Son of God in heaven. These verses speak of "His eternal and absolutely immutable existence," writes John Owen. "He is God over all, omnipotent and eternal." Moreover, "The whole world . . . is wholly at His disposal."

ANGELS ARE SERVANTS (HEB. 1:13-14)

Jesus is the sovereign; angels are servants.

"But to which of the angels has He ever said, 'Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet'? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13-14).

The final quotation is Psalm 110:1 which speaks of the Messiah exalted  to the Father's side and ruling over all enemies. Jesus quoted it in Matthew 22:43-45. Peter quoted it in his Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:34-35. It is the most quoted and alluded to in the New Testament as referring to Jesus the Messiah. Synagogues in the first century A.D. accepted and taught this Psalm as messianic.

The author turns his thoughts to Christ sitting at the right hand of God the Father. It is a picture of the exaltation of Christ unto His glorious administration of the kingdom. "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25). The kingdom and rule of Christ is everlasting, permanent and immovable. The Scriptures speak of two aspects of the kingdom. There is the sense in which it is in the realm of the heart of every believer. He rules in "the internal spiritual power and efficacy of it in the hearts of His subjects," says Owen. There is also the outward aspect with glorious administration of it in the world.

Obviously, no angel was ever told to "sit at My right hand." They stand around the throne ready to serve. In verse three the Son "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." In verse eight, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever." And now he says, "sit at My right hand." God said it to His Son. "Sit at My right hand" in exaltation in power, rule and authority. He continues His heavenly session.

God the Father is speaking and the Person spoken to is the Son--the Lord. Christ reigns over all in the kingdom that the Father gave to Him. "As He was God, he was David's Lord but not his son; as He was man, He was David's son, and so absolutely could not be his Lord; in His Person, a He was God and man, He was David's Lord and David's son--which is the intention of our Savior's question (Matt. 22:45)" wrote John Owen.

"I make Your enemies a stool for Your feet." Ancient kings put their heels on the necks of their vanquished foes in token of complete subjection. The picture is complete supremacy of Christ over all His foes. The Messiah King will reign over the messianic kingdom and all enemies of God will surrender to Him.

Angels never have this kind of authority. They are not sovereigns ruling the kingdom of God. They are servants, not sovereigns.

What do angels do? They are ministering spirits sent out to serve and worship. They worship the Son, and they minister to "those who will inherit salvation." Wow. God sends them out to help us to serve Him.

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).

"Are they not" (ouchi) always expects a negative answer. "Ministering (leitourgika) spirits" execute the will of God. They have no ruling power; they render service to God. They are "sent out to render service" denoting continuous action. They have been commissioned by the Master to do His bidding. They "serve" (diakonia) minister in spiritual things.

Jesus the Son is sitting on the throne as eternal Kin; the angels are sent out as servants.

There is only one King, but there are many angels who serve Him.

We are those who have inherited (kleronomeo) salvation. It is a promise that we will come into the full possession of salvation by an absolute gift. It is all of grace; we did not merit it. The word "salvation" (soteria) occurs seven time in the book of Hebrews which is more than in any other book in the New Testament. It is salvation in the fullest sense. We have been delivered from sin and have entered into permanent relationship with God effected by Jesus Christ. He paid the price in full and purchased our salvation. Even thought our salvation awaits a full realization in the future, we enjoy the blessedness of it today.

ABIDING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Each of these seven quotations from the Old Testament in Hebrews 1:5-14 focuses our attention on the glory of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 

1. Jesus Christ is much better than the angels because He is the Son of God (Heb. 1:5a; Psalm 2:7).

2. Jesus Christ is much better than the angels because He is the fulfillment of the promised messianic son of David (Heb. 1:5b; 2 Sam. 7:14).

3. Jesus is much better than the angels because He is the sovereign whom angels worship (Heb. 1:6; Deut. 32:43; Psa. 97:7).

4. Jesus Christ is much better than the angels because His ministry is eternal (Heb. 1:7; Psa. 104:4).

5. Jesus Christ is much better than the angels because He is the eternal sovereign ruler (Heb. 1:8-9; Psa. 45:6-7).

6. Jesus Christ is much better than the angels because He is the immutable creator of all things including angels (Heb. 1:10-12; Psa. 102:25-26).

7. Jesus Christ is much better than the angels because He is the sovereign ruler over all His enemies (Heb. 1:13; Psa. 110:1).

Further study on Angels.

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Title:  Hebrews 1:4-14 Angels who Worship the Son
Series:  Study on Hebrews

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2010. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for over ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Ecuador.

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