Good morning church! We are picking up where we left off a couple of weeks ago in Hebrews chapter 1. We only made it as far as the first three verses.
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Written to the Hebrews who would have held the angels in very high regard. The writer is not knocking down the angels, he is simply demonstrating how much better Jesus is. So today we are going to some about angels and more about Jesus. We spent quite a bit of time a couple of weeks ago on this introduction and demonstrating through it that Jesus is God. Not a lesser god as some would say, and I’ll touch on that a little later, and not created by God. There is One God one essence, in three distinct persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
You’ll remember that what I described the theme of Hebrews to be was and is, Jesus is better. So this morning, that will be demonstrated, and you could actually write this above verse 4 in your bibles, Jesus is better than the angels.
What are angels? The word was not translated simply anglicized. Meaning made English in form or character. It was just made to sound English, rather than translated into English.
Greek angelos literally means “messenger” but
So Biblically we see the usage both to refer to earthly messengers. We see an example of this in the book of Revelation when in chapters 2 and 3 Jesus writes 7 letters to the churches and those letters are addressed to the angles of those churches. It is probable that these letters were addressed not to spiritual beings, but rather literal physical beings, most likely being the pastors of those churches.
We also see the word being used throughout the Scriptures in reference to spiritual beings. Spiritual beings that are referred to in both the Old and the New Testaments of 300 times, but even with that, they are spiritual beings that we have limited knowledge of.
When we look at verse 4 this morning Heb 1:4
4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Here is not talking about earthly beings, or earthly messengers, It is not saying Jesus has become so much better than all the pastors, right, that goes without saying. The pastors job is simply to point others to Jesus. So this it talking about the heavenly messengers or heavenly beings.
What are they? I think there is a ton of misinformation out there or at the very least mis-beliefs out there about angels. Angels are created beings. The are not our departed loved ones. When human beings die, we don’t transition into angels looking out for us below. Anything you have heard or been taught about that did not come from the Bible.
When you die Christian, you’re earthly body will be done away with, I was expecting an amen from some of you on that one…when you die, you will be given a resurrected by, a glorified body that is designed to live in the eternal realm in Heaven, a body that won’t wear out over time and need parts replaced.
So angels are different from humans, humans are different from angels. We actually referenced Colossians chapter 1 in our introduction to Hebrews, used then to establish the deity of Jesus, lets look there again to see what it says about angels.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Those words principalities or powers are used to refer to angelic beings. Created beings. Jesus wasn’t created, He is eternal. Always was, and forever will be. So when were the angels created? I believe they are a part of the creation that we see in the very first verse of the bible, Gen 1:1
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
That they would be part of what God created in the heavens, along with the stars, the planets, the moon, the galaxy's, etc. in Gen 2:1 we read about the hosts of the heavens.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
I believe the word hosts here is also referring to angelic beings. We know from God’s dialogue with Job, that the Angels were created before man as He says to Job in Job 38:4, 7
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.
7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
So the angels or the morning stars sang and rejoiced together as they witnessed the creation of the earth. If this is referring to angels, then they were indeed created before mankind. Some would jump to this to argue against a verse in our chapter today, about the angels not being called God’s Son. There is another verse in the first chapter of Job that is also used in that argument as it says, Job 1:6
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
So here again we see the term the sons of God to represent angelic beings, here fallen angels specially, because Satan was among them. For now just take note that sons is used in a figurative form, and only ever when speaking of them collectively, but never in naming one individually. Satan here is counted among them, him being just an angel, a created being, not a god, just a fallen angel. So all the worlds problems began with a prideful worship leader.
We know from the bible that angels don’t reproduce like mankind. We all are the offspring of one man and one woman. God created Adam and from Adam he created Eve, they had children, and generations came forth. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew that it doesn’t work that way for the angels.
When the Sadducees were grilling Jesus about the resurrection (which they didn’t believe in btw) that’s why they were sad-you-see! He responds to them and says, Matt 22:29-30
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
So angels don’t marry, nor do they reproduce. They were all created by God, before man came on the scene. There are lots of them. On Wednesday night as we were looking at the prophecies concerning Jesus in Isaiah chapter 53 and talking about how worthy the Lamb of God is of our praise and our worship when referenced a verse in Rev chapter 5 and I want to look at it again because it talks about angels there.
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
Later in this Book, Hebrews we read Heb 12:22
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
Other translations say countless thousands. Some believe that the number of angels is the same number of human beings from Adam to the last man or woman born upon the earth, that comes from Matthew 18:10
10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
The idea is that ever human or at least every little one has at least one angel guarding over them. I don’t think you can be dogmatic about those arguments from that verse. The point of the verse is to not despise the little ones. Although there are certainly many examples of angels looking over us in their service to God. The bible never paints them as our servants or slaves, but they are deployed to do the work of God.
We see angels as messengers, certainly to Mary the mother of Jesus, again at the tomb on the morning of the resurrection. We see angels active in the spiritual realm. One great example concerns Elisha from the book of 2 Kings.
At that time the King of Syria was making war against Israel. The King is talking to his servants and identifies where his camp is going to be, and Elisha then tells the King of Israel hey, watch here, be ready there. And the King of Syria gets frustrated, he is told that the things that he says at night in his bedroom is being shared with the King of Israel by the Prophet Elisha. The Syrian King orders that the location of Elisa be found so that he can send for him. That is quickly done.
14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then 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.
Angelic beings, principalities and powers like we talked about earlier that were unseen by Elisha’s servant, until the Lord opened his eyes and let him see. We know that angels are unbelievably powerful. There is a story in 2 Kings chapter 19 when the Assyrian army has come to attack Israel and a single angel goes into the Assyrian camp at night and kills 185,000. Just a single angel. Not Michael, not Gabriel, we don’t even have a name. Andy the angel? Joe?
We know that angels are of a higher order than we are. We are in chapter 1 of Hebrews, look at the next chapter with me just for a quick second, 2:5
5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.
Now this is quoting Psalm 8 and literally speaking about the ramifications of Jesus deity, taking on humanity, making Him fully God and fully man. But it also tells us about us, we are lower than the angels.
Two final things Mankind is made in the image of God, we don’t ever see that same description of the angels. Man is made with body, soul, and spirit. Angels are spirit creatures, created by God. Most of the time they are in that state. Most often when we see them in the bible the reaction is fear and trembling or maybe even the desire to worship as they are awesome! When an angel appears to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, we see this kind of a reaction.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
At the very end of this book, we see that they do however seem to be able to take on the form of a man…Hebrews 13:1-2
1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
My encouragement to you is to limit what you believe or think about angels to that what we see in the scriptures. If you want a book that is based on the biblical evidence only, in other words, only what it true and not something made up in the mind of the author. Billy Graham wrote a good book simply titled Angels. I also recently heard that Dr. David Jeremiah has also written one, I haven’t personally read it, but have confidence that that would be OK as well.
Keep it all in perspective though. Angels are awesome, they are of a higher order than us. However, they learn from us about the marvel of salvation. No angel has ever died to redeem all the fallen angels. At the fall of Lucifer, sides were chosen, there is not redemption for the fallen angels. We only know the names of three angels. Lucifer who said he would ascent higher than God and fell, and we know of Michael, The Archangel, so the highest of the order of angels, and Gabriel is named in the bible as the angel that spoke to Daniel.
I don’t think we should order angels around, or assume you could give the angels guarding over you commands. Jesus never tells us to pray to angels. Right? His instruction was that when we pray, we should say what? Our Father in Heaven. Pray to the Father in the name of the Son, the mediator between God and Man, the Godman. OK, Hebrews chapter 2 for real now.
4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
The way this verse begins is interesting to me. That Jesus had become so much better than the angels. Especially in light of how much effort is made in this first chapter to clearly demonstrate the deity of Christ. This could just as easily say, since Jesus is God, then He is eternal. He always was and so always has been better than the angels. That statement is 100% truth. Yet, because of the incarnation. Because with no loss of deity or Godliness, Jesus took on humanity. Remember, He’s not part God and part man. 100% God and 100% Man.
Because he was also man, this verse is also true as it is written. In chapter two it tells us that He was made perfect through His suffering. Now, if you grew up in a Bible teaching church, you might be wondering why in the world I’m wasting any time on this at all. Jesus is better than the angels, well duh. We know this already.
The Hebrews here didn’t know it. They read about angels talking to the prophets. They read about an Angel interpreting a dream for Daniel, angels ministering to Jesus, and there was some confusion. But that didn’t end in their day and age, there remains confusion about it today. Two religious movements today that you guys are very familiar with I’m sure still don’t know what you know.
I actually feel sorry for them. They aren’t the same as us, because they worship a different Jesus. I feel sorry for them because they have been generationally deceived. They are very devoted to their religion, so much so that there is probably not a home represented here in this congregation that hasn’t had their door knocked on by one of them. The first group being the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the JW’s. All of these things that I’ve said about Jesus this morning, they don’t agree with. All of these things that I’ve said about Jesus this morning are found in this book. There is no debate about this book, it is truth, it is the Word of God.
The Jehovah’s witnesses believe and teach that Jesus is not a part of the Trinity, One God in three persons. They believe that Jesus was a creation of God Jehovah. Not higher than the angels, but actually Michael the Archangel. The teaching is that God took the life-force of Michael and put that in the womb of the virgin Mary to have Him become man. Following the cross, his human side was annihilated and He once again becomes Michael.
Another false region based upon lies is The church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, who most of you know as Mormons. They don’t worship the same Jesus either. They too teach that Jesus was a created being, actually a spirit child of God, who Himself was created by a god. But their foundation is that Jesus was a spirit child of god along with His younger brother Lucifer. When Jesus was chosen over Lucifer to be Savior of the World, Lucifer rebelled and was cast from Heaven.
Here is the problem with both of those beliefs. If Jesus is not fully man and fully God, then we cannot be saved. Because like we read Wednesday night in Isaiah, all we like sheep have gone astray, and gone our own way, we have all sinned. And the price for that, or the wages of our sin, is death. Biblically speaking, eternal separation for a Holy God. Jesus is the perfect propitiation, or the perfect one to die a substitutionary death for us, because He was like us, in all ways tempted like us, but unlike us, He was without sin, so He could die in our place. If He was only an angel, the sacrifice wouldn’t be enough. Jesus is better than the angels.
In Verse 5, the author now quotes from several different scriptures as the bible is the best commentary on the bible, he uses the bible to make his point. I’ll read what we have here, rather than where it is quoted from in the interest of time, but for you note takers that don’t have cross references in your bible. In verse 5 he is quoting both Psalm 2 verse 7 and 2 Samuel 7 vs 14 and it says, Heb 1:5
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?
As I read earlier from Job, in a generic sense, there are some Old Testament references where God refers to angels as a whole as sons of God, yet never to an individual angel, not to Michael, not to Gabriel, never to an angel did He say, you are My son…let me address another one of the false religions objections here, as it says I have begotten You, so the argument becomes, see, Jesus was begotten He is a created being.
Again, using the bible to explain the bible. The apostle Paul tells us, defines for us what begotten means in Psalm 2 verse 7. This is all getting a little deeper here than we usually do on a Sunday morning, but this chapter is so important concerning Jesus. In Acts chapter 13, we learn that this begetting doesn’t refer to creating Jesus, or the birth of Jesus, but is applied to the resurrection of Jesus. Humanity and deity defeating death. Let me read it to you. Acts 13:28-31
28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead. 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.
32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ 34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’
OK, So God calls Him His SON. verse 6 quoting here actually in verses 6&7 are Deuteronomy 32vs 43 and Psalm 104vs4 Heb 1:6-7
6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”
So God commands the angels of God to worship Jesus. The lesser always worships the greater. If Jesus was a created being and not God, then what God is telling the angels to do here would be idolatry. The worship of someone or something other than God. God is a jealous God, who forbids all forms of idolatry. Verse 7 tells us that the angels belong to Him. Verse 8 settles the issue of deity once and for all. Jehovah God, calls Jesus the Son God, there is not higher authority. Lets look at it.
8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
Quoting here Psalm 45vs 6&6 and then Isaiah 61vs 1, 3 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A Scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. Verse 9 Heb 1:9
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
Verse 10 now quotes Psalm 102vs25-27 Heb 1:10
10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
Verse 11 speaks of the second person of the Trinity, Jesus as being self existent and eternal it quotes several scriptures. Isaiah 34vs4, Isa 50vs9, chapter 51:6, and finally Heb 8vs13. SO verse 11 Heb 1:11
11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment;
Verse 12 Heb 1:12
12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”
This references a verse later in this book, Heb 13vs8 which demonstrates the unchangeable nature of Jesus as God. Closing out here, verse 13 Heb 1:13-14
13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Jesus here is exalted, an equal at the right hand of God where the angels are sent forth to do the work of God, ministering to us who will inherit salvation, to serve God through their service to us. Jesus is better.
Grace and Peace