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Hebrews 1:8-13 by Robert Dean
Series:Hebrews (2005)
Duration:58 mins 1 sec

The Integrity of the Son, Sovereign, Creator
Hebrews 1:8–13
Hebrews Lesson #020
July 28, 2005
www.deanbibleministries.org

We’re in Hebrews 1:8, and I will pick up on a little review starting back in verse 4. This is our twentieth hour in Hebrews, and we’ve made it through eight verses. At this point we will pick up the pace a little bit.

I told everyone when we got started that I was not going to spend four hours in every verse because it isn’t necessary. You have to move forward on the basis of knowledge. But there is so much loaded and packed into those first four verses that set the foundation for what this writer is challenging his readers about in terms of their spiritual lives. We need to make sure we understand these things.

The sad point about the church and Christianity today is that everybody is afraid to teach any solid doctrine. Everybody is afraid that if they use words of more than two syllables, they will scare people off, and they will go to another church where they sing two-syllable songs and repeat the same stanzas over and over again. They’ve dumbed everything down. No one can grow that way.

I am a firm believer in an educational philosophy that you have to teach about six inches over someone’s head so that they will stand on their tiptoes and stretch. Then they grow. But if you shoot for their naval area, they’ll never stretch and never grow and never come to understand the great things that the Word of God has for them and that God has provided for them.

Sometimes if things seem like you are walking through quick sand, it is okay. The Holy Spirit will make it clear to you eventually.

Hebrews 1:4 gives us the conclusion, or the driving point, toward which the author has moved in the opening prologue. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:4, ”having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”

What I want to make sure we’ve got as we go through this is that you do not lose the forest through the trees. It is so easy when you stop and look at all the details that you end up focusing so much on the details that you lose what the author is trying to communicate.

  1. I want to make sure that we have the overview as we move through this verse. In terms of review, what we’ve seen in that verse is that the closing line of the prologue states that Jesus Christ became better than the angels. That indicates development in His humanity. In His deity Jesus Christ has always been superior to the angels. But in His humanity He went through a process of growth where He is tested in all points yet without sin.

In that process of being tested, He grew spiritually. He advanced from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity the same way that you and I advance—through studying the Word under the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit. That became the model or the precedent for the spiritual life in this Church Age.

He becomes better than the angels based on His own spiritual growth and spiritual advance.

  1. The second point from that verse is that the “better” in terms of being so much better than the angels, is related to the inheritance of a more excellent name. He inherits a more excellent name. By virtue of His advance spiritually He receives an inheritance.

The parallel and application for us is that the same thing is true for us. On the basis of our advance in the spiritual life, we receive an inheritance at the Judgment Seat of Christ. There are certain rewards and blessings that are contingent upon our advance in the spiritual life today.

  1. The third thing that we learn from verse 4 is that the name that He received is related to His identification as the Son of David in relation to His fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, and with reference to His Messianic credentials.

As we have seen, those Messianic credentials not only relate to His substitutionary work on the Cross at the First Coming, but they also relate to His return as the Messianic King at the Second Coming when He establishes the Messianic Kingdom as the Son of David and establishes the New Covenant. The author moves from that statement to a development of that.

He is more advanced than the angels.”

In Hebrews 1:5–13, the rest of the chapter is going to establish the basis for saying that the Messiah is superior to the angels. I get the strong suggestion from studying this that there must have been a problem in the early church with false teachers who were promoting a worship or emphasis on angelic beings.

We’ve seen that all down through history. We have seen it in the last 10 or 15 years with an emphasis on angels, angels on TV, and angel figurines. Everybody has gotten caught up with angels in the New Age movement. We all know that Satan appears as an angel of light. We have to recognize from this passage what the role and purpose of the angels are. The point that he is going to make in verses 5–13 is very simple. 

In verses 5–6 he’s going to prove that the king priest (that’s the Messiah) is greater than angels with respect to His authority. That relates to His position. Authority without power is meaningless. So it starts off establishing His authority.

Then in Hebrews 1:7–14 he demonstrates that the king priest is superior to angels with respect to His power. Power without authority is meaningless. You have to have both. You have to have authority and you have to have power.

So verses 5–6 emphasize His position and authority. Verses 7–14 emphasize His power.

Now he sets this up through a series of contrasts. He starts off in verse 5 with that first word “for.” It means that it is an explanation. Whenever you see that word “for”, most of the time it is the Greek word GAR. It explains the previous statement.

Verse 5 moves right into an explanation of why Jesus is superior to the angels and has a name that is higher than the angels. It is a quote from Psalm 2:7, connected to a quote from 2 Samuel 7:14, indicating that the inherited name relates to the Davidic Covenant.

This position that He has, that He is elevated to as the Son, is higher than that of the angels. He is adopted as it were. He is an adopted king. But you also have the point that He is fully divine. Both of these elements are here. The author shifts back and forth between emphasizing one aspect over the other to demonstrate the superiority of Jesus Christ. 

In verses 5–6 you have these quotes that indicate His superiority. Verse 6 is a quote from Psalm 97:7, indicating that angels are to worship him. That shows that the angels are subordinate to the Son because they are to worship Him. You have the Son as the focus in verses 5–6. Hebrews 1:6 is a transition verse that the angels are to worship Him. Then in Hebrews 1:7 it focuses on the angels. 

Hebrews 1:8 is another contrast. Verses 8–9 focus on the Lord Jesus Christ in terms of His deity. The emphasis is on the throne being forever and ever. And then it shifts back to His humanity in Hebrews 1:9.

Then in Hebrews 1:10 the focus is on His deity. He is eternal, everlasting, and never changing.

In Hebrews 1:13 there is another “but”. That shifts it back to the angels. So there it talks about the Son in contrast to angels back to the Son and then back to the angels. 

Then it concludes in Hebrews 1:14.

NKJ Hebrews 1:14, Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

That is a key verse to understand. It not only sums everything from Hebrews 1:8 down, but it sets up the challenge or the application that comes in Hebrews 2:1–4. Let me show you how it does that. Look back at verse 7. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:7, And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.’ ”

This is a quote from Psalm 104:4. “Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.”

It calls the angels spirits. It is interesting - there is a lot of debate whether PNEUMA ought to be translated “spirits” or “wind”. Nobody made this observation that the angels are made spirits in that verse. They are said to be ministers. The Greek word for “ministers” is LEITOURGOS. 

The word there isn’t DIAKONOS, which is a word for deacon or minister. It is a different word. The Greek word LEITOURGOS indicates a public servant or the minister. It’s where you get the word liturgy. It is specifically related to service with respect to God in the Scriptures.

NKJ Hebrews 1:14, Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

Guess what two words are used there? The same two words are used. The word for “ministering” is the adjectival form of LEITOURGOS and the word for “spirits” is PNEUMA. When you look at this, this whole section from verse 8 down to 14 is a development out of verse 7.

We have to understand what is going on in terms of this particular verse and in terms of the contrast. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:7, And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.’ ”

What that emphasizes is their creaturely nature. It says He made them. So they are creatures. That means they are finite. They are temporal.

In contrast to that, we have the emphasis on the Son as being sovereign. He has a throne in Hebrews 1:8. He has a righteous rule that is over the angels in Hebrews 1:8–9. 

In Hebrews 1:10–12 He is said to be the Creator. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:10–12, “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 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.”

He is eternal. This is an attribute of deity. 

Then we see the Son as the sovereign Ruler in contrast to the angels in Hebrews 1:8 and again in Hebrews 1:14. This is the flow that we have in these verses. Everything from verse 8 on develops out of that quote in verse 7. That is why it is so significant.

This quote in Hebrews 1:7 is a quote from Psalm 104:4. This is a creation psalm. It is a meditation on the creation. 

NKJ Psalm 104:1, “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,”

NKJ Psalm 104:2, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.”

That same imagery is going to be picked up in verse 12. It talks about the heavens and the earth being like a cloak that is folded up. You have this comparison throughout the Old Testament of something that is spread out. It is a very dramatic physical demonstration or picture. Then it wears out. It goes away. It is temporary.

NKJ Psalm 104:3, He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind,”

That refers to the initial establishment of the earth. 

NKJ Psalm 104:4, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.”

Somebody asked me a question if there was an order here in Psalm 104—an order for creation. I don’t think so. This is simply a meditation on Genesis 1. It is impossible to draw a chronological order here.

Hebrews 1:3–4 are simultaneous. Job 38:4–7 indicates that the angels united and sang for joy when God laid the foundation of the earth. That indicates that the angels were created prior to the establishment of the foundation of the earth.

We learn some important things about angelology in these verses. I want to point out five of them.

Angelology

  1. We learn that angels are incorporeal beings. They have immaterial bodies. They are spirit. They can appear as light. Their flames of fire are language that portrays the light essence of their bodies. 
  2. The flames of fire indicate a possibility that the bodies are made of light or related to light. It is probably also related to the seraphim. The seraphim were the angels that flew around the throne of God. The word seraph comes from the Hebrew word that means the burning ones. Perhaps this is a reference to the seraphim as the burning ones in Isaiah 6.
  3. Angels do not have an inheritance with God as believers do. That is what sets us apart. We have an inheritance just as the Lord Jesus Christ through His advance. When we follow Him and are co-sufferers with Him according to Romans 8, we will be co-heirs with Him. So we have an inheritance that the angels do not have.
  4. Angels are not to be worshipped. They are servants of God that carry out His commands. They oversee, I believe, the operation of the universe, but they are not to be worshipped. They are a higher beings than we are at the moment, but one day we will reign and rule and judge the angels according to 1 Corinthians 6.
  5. Angels are servants who perform the will of God and serve Him and His people. That is the emphasis here. They are servants and the Lord Jesus Christ is a sovereign Ruler.

The contrast here is between the angels’ role as servants and the Lord Jesus Christ’s authority over them. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:8, But to the Son He says: ’Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.’ ”

Verse 8 makes a dramatic shift back to the Son. Hebrews 1:8–12 focus on the qualifications of the Son and what sets Him apart as superior to the angels. God the Father addresses the Son. 

NKJ Psalm 45:6, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

Hebrews 1:9 quotes Psalm 45:7.

It is interesting that an Aramaic translation or paraphrase of this is known as the Targum of Jonathan. It dates from 5 centuries AD—five centuries after Christ. It gives a paraphrase from Psalm 45:2, Your beauty O King Messiah, is greater than that of the sons of men.” 

It is clear from the Jewish Targum that they understood Psalm 45 to be a Messianic psalm, to be addressing the Messiah and the rule of the Messiah. That immediately connects it back to the Davidic Covenant.

“Who will come to rule over Israel and rule forever and ever? It is the Son of David.” 

Psalm 45 is a focus on a royal wedding. We do not know the royal wedding. We don’t know for whom it was specifically written. It portrays that future royal wedding between the bride of Christ and the Lord Jesus Christ that takes place at the end of the Tribulation period.

We are in Heaven. We get purified at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We receive our rewards, and then there is the wedding feast. The Church becomes the bride of Christ.

This reference to the eternal throne in Hebrews 1:8 tells us a couple of things:

  1. First of all, it indicates that this is the Davidic throne. This is not the throne of God. In Revelation 3 Jesus says that He is sitting on His throne—not the throne of the Father. Overcomers will be able to sit on His throne but He is currently not sitting on that throne. He is sitting at the right hand of God the Father. He does not take the throne until the Second Coming. 
  2. The second thing that we see here is that the person on the throne must be an eternal person. It is an eternal throne. It’s a shift to what it is emphasizing, to not just His humanity but also His deity. This I pointed out as we went through our study on the Davidic Covenant. It implies that the Son (the ultimate One to fulfill the covenant) would be both human and divine. As I said, either you have an eternal succession one generation after another on into eternity, or the succession ends in One Who is eternal.

Only God is eternal. That draws this together. The throne is a Davidic throne that references the humanity of Jesus Christ. That it is forever and ever indicates the deity. 

The next thing we learned is that the verbiage, the words that are used here, fit other verses that relate and describe the Davidic Covenant. For example, 2 Samuel 7:16.

NKJ 2 Samuel 7:16, And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”

That’s right out of the passage on the Davidic Covenant.

NKJ Psalm 89:3, I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David …”

NKJ Psalm 89:20, I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him …”

We will see in verse 9 that God anointed Him with oil. We see this similarity of verbiage. 

NKJ Isaiah 9:7, Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

We see a parallel between that and the emphasis in Hebrews 1:8. The characteristic of His kingdom is a righteous rule. That is what the scepter of righteousness describes. He doesn’t have a physical scepter that is righteous. It is a picture of His rule. He will have a scepter that indicates His rule and His authority and His power. It is a descriptive genitive, and Isaiah 11:4 picks up this same terminology. 

NKJ Isaiah 11:4, But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.”

NKJ Psalm 89:14, Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.”

Mercy is the Hebrew word chesed. It indicates the everlasting faithful loyal love of God. Again and again in the Psalms we see this connection between righteousness and justice on one hand and loving kindness and truth on the other hand.

This forms the core of God’s essence: righteousness, justice, love, and truth.

That is the core that I refer to as the integrity of God. It is the basis of all His actions to human beings. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:8, “But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.’ ”

That phrase “the scepter of righteousness” means that His kingdom is going to be governed by perfect righteousness. The government that is going to be established in the Millennial Kingdom is going to be perfect:

Perfect execution. Perfect administration. And a perfect judicial system.

There won’t be any flaws. No matter how good any human system is, there are always flaws. There are failures. God knew that in His omniscience. When He delegated judicial responsibility to the human race, He knew in eternity past that people would make mistakes and execute innocent people. There would be many other problems.

Nevertheless, He still delegated that responsibility to man. It is never fair to say that because we make mistakes that we shouldn’t have capital punishment. We may need to go back and evaluate our consistency and go back to make sure that capital punishment is dealt with in an abbreviated time—six months to a year in my opinion. Maybe that is too long in many cases. This idea that it stretches on and on and year after year as it costs the taxpayer millions of dollars is absurd. Righteousness during the Millennial Kingdom will see a quick execution of justice.

NKJ Hebrews 1:9, You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

This is another quote from Psalm 45:7. 

What is he saying here? What’s the significance of this quote? It’s tied to the previous verse indicating the righteous rule of the Messiah. But in this verse, it’s not reflecting on His deity. Remember I said in verse 8 there is an emphasis on His deity. But in verse 9 it focuses on the human qualifications. 

This first phrase is quite significant. Where do we find another passage like that in the Scripture? Jacob I love. Esau I hated.” Is this talking about love vs. hate? Or, is this a figure of speech? It’s an idiom.

Whenever you have this love–hate expression, it is talking acceptance and rejection. Here it is talking to the Son. “You” refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The aorist tense verb indicates that which took place in the past during His incarnation on the earth. During His time on the earth He loved righteousness and rejected lawlessness. 

We have three words to deal with in this:

In the Septuagint (LXX), which is the translation that the writer of Hebrews used, he uses the aorist active indicative of AGAPAO.

In the Masoretic text, that is the Hebrew original, it used the Hebrew word ‘ahav in the qal perfect. It is used for attraction to something as opposed to chesed that is used for faithful loyalty. So it emphasizes rapport.

Then the Greek text and the majority text use the Greek word AGAPAO in Hebrews 1:9. 

What does all of that mean? That means that the emphasis of love has to do with attraction as opposed to sentimentality, emotion, or something of that nature. It indicates the affinity between the character of the humanity of Lord Jesus Christ and the integrity of God the Father. He loves righteousness. In His humanity He was consistent with the character of God the Father. In contrast He hated or rejected wickedness, or lawlessness, as it is translated in the Greek.

Wickedness back in Hebrews 1:8 is ANOMIA. ANOMIA is the alpha prefix plus the word NOMOS, meaning law. It means literally without the law.

Some would translate it lawlessness in the sense of breaking the Mosaic Law. But that is not the idea. The way the word is used is to indicate the transgressions of God’s standards. It is the violation or transgression of a standard of law, not the Mosaic Law. The law indicated by this word ANOMIA is the transgression of God’s character—not some human law code or the Mosaic Law. This is clearly seen from 1 John 3:4.

NKJ 1 John 3:4, Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

This equates the word ANOMIA with HARMARTIA. It is a synonym for sin. That is the conclusion of verse 4. Sin is lawlessness. It is a clear statement of the meaning of ANOMIA. When we read in verse 9 that You have loved righteousness”, it is the standard of God’s character. You have hated lawlessness” could be rendered “You have rejected sin.” That is in the process of the spiritual growth in the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He always took a stand for righteousness when His volition was involved. He chose righteousness and rejected sin. He never operated independently of the Father’s character. This is the doctrine we call the Impeccability of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Impeccability is based on the Latin root pecare which means to sin. The “im” prefix is a negative, so it means without sin. Jesus Christ lived in His humanity without sin. He never sinned. This qualified Him to go to the Cross in fulfillment of the Old Testament type. He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The lamb there refers to the lamb that was chosen for the Passover meal and for the sacrifices. There was to be a lamb that was without spot or blemish. There was no sin in the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, He was fully qualified to die on the Cross as a substitute for our sins. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:9, You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

The Greek for therefore is DIA TOUTO which means “for this reason.” For what reason? For the reason that He was impeccable. On the basis of that reason. The reason is stated.

The word “anointed” is the aorist active indicative of the Greek word CHRIO. It is the basis for the noun CHRISTOS, that means to be anointed.

There is another Greek word for anointing called ALEITHO. It describes the everyday things you would do—taking a shower or putting oil on your skin. That was a non-religious or non-ritual use of anointing.

But this is a ritual relationship. God has anointed you. There is a spiritual significance to the word CHRIO. It is only used where there is spiritual significance. It is the basis for the Greek word CHRISTOS or the Hebrew word mashiyach. We could translate it “the appointed one” because that is the significance of being anointed. God had signified this person for a particular role.

Priests were appointed or anointed. Kings were appointed or anointed. Sometimes we use the word anointed, and we get this funny pious feeling.

Let’s bring it down to everyday significance. The way this was signified was the anointing oil. Here it is not necessarily literal. It is a figurative expression. He has anointed you with the oil of gladness. It’s not literal oil. You have been anointed with gladness. The adjectival genitive indicates the joy that the Lord Jesus Christ possessed that will characterize His rule and reign in the Millennial Kingdom.

The phrase “oil of joy” didn’t signify oil used when He was baptized in the Jordan River. It describes the characteristic of His rule. It is a righteous rule. It is a rule characterized by joy and happiness throughout the Millennial Kingdom. 

There is one more important word in this verse. That is the last word, “companions.” It emphasizes those who are with Him as co-heirs. 

Another verse that talks about the oil of gladness is Isaiah 61:3.

NKJ Isaiah 61:3, To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

The Greek word METOCHOS refers to those who are companions, or participants, with the Lord Jesus Christ. The analogy is of those who were David’s companions in the wilderness. When David was rejected by Saul, he went off into the Judean wilderness. There, others who were being persecuted by Saul joined him. They were David’s mighty band.

They formed a cadre of leaders while he was in the wilderness. When he finally became king after Saul died, it was that cadre of David’s mighty men that ruled and administered the kingdom under Him.

That is the Old Testament type of what is happening today. We are like David’s mighty men. The Lord is gathering together this group of companions who are being trained today to rule and reign with Him in eternity. This is the significance of the phrase “being anointed with oil.” The companions are not angels. They are the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ from the Church Age. 

Hebrews 1:8–9 emphasize the throne as righteous and eternal. This is due the Lord Jesus Christ because He is qualified in His humanity by His love for righteousness and His rejection of the lawless sin. It is the same thing that is to characterize the believer who is advancing in preparation to rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ.

That becomes our standard. Now we are not always going to meet that standard—we each have an old sin nature. We are going to fail. Sometimes we are going to fail miserably. That is why the Lord always meets us in forgiveness. That is why we have I John 1:9 so that we can admit or acknowledge the sin in our lives. The Lord forgives us. There is complete and total cleansing at that point so that we can continue our spiritual advance. 

I always caution folks to remember that just because you are forgiven doesn’t mean that the consequences are removed. Even though David was forgiven by the Lord for his sins of adultery, murder, conspiracy, and cover up, he still had to go through four stages of significant divine discipline that destroyed his family and brought misery into his life for the next ten or fifteen years all because of the decisions that he made.

He is forgiven by God. He is back in fellowship. He can apply the Word of God and Bible doctrine as he grows through that discipline so that cursing is turned into blessing.

But, the consequences aren’t removed just because you’re forgiven. Too often we get the idea that somehow the consequences are removed. We need to realize that many times He does not remove the consequences so that we can learn from those failures.

Hebrews talks about the METOCHOS in several passages. In Hebrews 3:1 the writer addresses the audience as holy brethren, partakers. That is METOCHOS of the heavenly calling. That is our destiny—to rule and reign with Him.

Not every believer will reach that destiny. Some of us will fail. We will enter into Heaven with smoke and with the loss of our rewards according to 1 Corinthians 13. Nevertheless we do not lose our salvation. 

NKJ Hebrews 3:14, For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end …”

That is, we become METOCHOS. The third class condition means maybe we will, and maybe we won’t. Some of us won’t make it because we failed to mature as believers. We take Bible class lightly. We take the Word of God lightly. We become arrogant and think we can get away with sin in our lives. We use 1 John 1:9 as a license to sin. So we don’t go anywhere. Then we are failures in the Christian life.

If we want to be partakers, we must hold firm until the end. In other words, we don’t find we are to hold fast to the end. The spiritual life doesn’t end until the Lord takes you home.

So don’t reach a stage and then relax. This happens a lot. I’ve seen this a lot with older people. They get to be 75 or so and feel that their spiritual life isn’t as significant. But we are to hold fast to the end. Those who hold fast to the end and reach spiritual maturity are those who will rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Then we come to our next set of quotes. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:10, You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”

This is our 7th set of quotations. The background is from Psalm 102:25–28.

NKJ Psalm 102:25, Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. 27 But You are the same, and Your years will have no end. 28 The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before You.”

This is clearly seen in Colossians 1:16–17. Verse 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. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”

It is the Lord Jesus who is the active Creator in the creation process in Genesis 1. God the Father is the Architect of the plan. The Son was the Project Manager. He is the One who oversaw the construction and did the actual creating of the six active days of creation. The Lord Jesus Christ is seen here as the Creator. Now remember, if He is the Creator, that is in contrast to the angels who are made in verse 7. If the angels are creatures and the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator, then He is superior to the angels. 

This is something important. We could stop and exegete our way through each word in Psalm 102, but that is not the writer’s point. What I find interesting is that apparently in the midrashic technique of the Jews, if they wanted to make a point, they would quote four verses just to make one point. That one point was a clause in these verses.

We see this in Peter’s pentecostal sermon. On the day of Pentecost when he quotes from Joel 2, he talks about the Lord’s return. Nowhere in Joel 2 does it mention speaking in tongues. That is the only thing that happened on the day of Pentecost.

So why is He quoting Joel 2? He quotes three verses from Joel 2. He quotes a whole passage and all he is doing is making a point that this is the same kind of activity today. He quotes all these verses to make one simple point. It is a standard approach. The writer of Hebrews does this again and again. He quotes three verses and makes one simple point, and that is that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator. Verse 11 says that the creation itself is temporary. It will perish but you remain. They will change, but you don’t change. 

This whole quotation is to emphasize three points:

  1. He is the Creator
  2. The creation will perish, but He will not. 
  3. He will never change.

Then we come to verse 13. It is a contrast again. 

NKJ Hebrews 1:13, But to which of the angels has He ever said: ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’ ”?

We are going to go back and look at the limitations of the angels. He quotes Psalm 110:1. 

NKJ Psalm 110:1, A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ ”

We have studied this verse in relation to the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. He ascended to Heaven where He sat at the right hand of the Father.

According to Psalm 2:8, He was asking God to give Him the nations as an inheritance. In that interim period between His seating at the right hand of the Father and His return to earth to take the inheritance, God the Father is working to build this band of companions who will be the associate rulers with the Lord Jesus Christ in the future. So this is the Lord’s position during the Church Age. 

God never said this to any of the angels. This is a special statement directed only to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 110:1 is also very important because it indicates at least a dual personage in the Trinity. Who is speaking? It is David who is the greatest king on the face of the earth at that time. Who is David’s superior? There is none. When he said “my lord,” he can’t be referring to any human being because David wasn’t under the authority of any human being. He can only be referring to God. At the time it is fulfilled, it is the risen Lord. 

Hebrews 1:13 emphasizes that the Lord Jesus Christ is over the angels in His session.

According to Ephesians 1:17–19, He ascended over the angels, the principalities, and the powers.” He is over them and seated at the right hand of the Father. Then there is a conclusion. It ties it together and picks up the terminology from verse 7. 

NKJ Psalm 104:4, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.”

In Hebrews 1:14 he concludes: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

The word for “ministering” is the adjectival form of LEITURGOS. It is the same word we saw back in verse 7 referring to the angels as ministers.

“Spirits” is the same word that we find back there, PNEUMA. What this verse tells us is that the angels are ministering spirits sent forth by God the Father to minister.

That word is DIAKONIA that indicates service. 

Who are those who will inherit salvation? Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. This verse is an interesting verse because this is the only verse that people go to for the concept of guardian angels. Who does this verse indicate that the guardian angels are for? Unbelievers? Believers? Only for believers!

Does this mean that God assigns the watch over those not yet saved because He knows they will be saved? Every believer has an angel that watches over him and serves in relation to his own life in various ways carrying out the will of God. We don’t know all the ways that are involved and certainly it has to do with protection in the angelic conflict.

So these angels are ministering spirits that serve those who will inherit salvation. 

Now we get two interesting words. The word for inherit is KLERONOMEO. It is simply the verb “to inherit”. It is a present active infinite indicating that we are inheritors of salvation. This connects back to the idea that the Lord Jesus Christ is the One in verse 4 who, because of His spiritual growth, inherited a more excellent name than the angels. If we advance, we also have this inheritance. 

That brings us to the last word, and that is a word that is so important to understand. That is the Greek word SOTERIA, translated “salvation”. The question that we have to address is this phase one salvation? Or is this phase three glorification?

That is the important concept because in our culture what we have been taught to think is that it is justification salvation at phase one. But we are going to see in the next few verses that this concept is not talking about phase one justification, but glorification, reaching and achieving all the fullness of your salvation.

What the verse indicates is that these ministering spirits are set for those who will inherit salvation. This is the potential for every single believer—to be a joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ.

This isn’t talking about getting saved. It is talking about working out the consequences of your salvation in terms of spiritual growth so that when we are raptured or face to face with the Lord we will hear the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

That is the exciting challenge of the book of Hebrews for every one of us. Are we going to be consistent? Are we going to keep at it until the Lord comes back or the Lord takes us home? Or will we fall by the wayside? Are we going to press on until we reach spiritual maturity that we may be prepared for our future destiny with Him? 

We will come back and do some more study on SOTERIA next time. The key verse in the next four verses is the well-known phrase in verse 3. 

NKJ Hebrews 2:3, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him …”

As I am going to point out, it is not talking about neglecting the justification. But if we neglect that future destiny—that full phase-three glorification that God has in store for every believer, how shall we escape the shame of the Judgment Seat of Christ, if we neglect that destiny that God has set aside for every one of us.