Hebrews
1-3 The Sevenfold Glory of Christ 4-5 The Son Far Above the Angels (I) 6-14 The Son Far Above the Angels (II)
The Sevenfold Glory of Christ

1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

V11God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,. Without an introductory word the letter begins directly with pointing at God’s speaking. Through what God had spoken, He revealed His thoughts. You wouldn’t have otherwise known them. God was not obliged to make His thoughts known, but it is His wonderful grace that He still did it.

The writer points his readers to the fact that God “spoke … to the fathers” in times past. That makes it clear that the readers are in the first place believers from the Israelites. To those that were converted from the Gentiles, this phrase would have been neither meaningful nor important. Also the fact that God spoke “in the prophets”, indicates that it is about readers of Jewish origin. The writer includes himself also. You can derive that from the word “us”.

God spoke to the fathers by the prophets “in many portions and in many ways”. In the course of time He had spoken to His earthly people various times at various moments and again and again by different prophets. He also spoke in various ways. Thereby you may think about warnings, teachings, visions, dreams, miracles and signs (cf. Hos 12:1010I have also spoken to the prophets,
And I gave numerous visions,
And through the prophets I gave parables.
). But all this speaking has not brought about the desired result. His people deviated again and again and much further and further away from God.

After God has spoken to His people in this way through the past ages, He finally spoke in His Son to them. This speaking happened in the last days. Those are the days that God still spoke to His people, but were coming to an end and they definitely ended when His people rejected His Son. This speaking of God in His Son happened when the Lord Jesus was on earth. It was the last attempt from God’s side to bring His people back to Himself.

However, there is a tremendous distinction between the speaking of all previous prophets, and the speaking in the Son. The prophets were people through the means of whom God addressed His people. But the Lord Jesus, the Son, is not a means through Whom God speaks. It is the speaking of God Himself! The prophets spoke in the name of God. The Lord Jesus did not speak in the name of God, but spoke as being God. He surely did that as Man on earth, but that Man is God the Son.

That’s what makes God’s speaking in the Son extraordinarily impressive. When God speaks in the Son, there is no mention anymore of partial or temporary Divine speaking, for all speaking of the Son is always and perfectly Divine. The Son is infinitely exalted far above the prophets as He is also above all other people as well as above the angels to whom the Jews were looking up to.

After the writer has introduced the Son in this way, he starts to describe the great majesty of the Son in an inimitable way. He does that by introducing to you seven glories of this Person Who is exalted beyond everything and everyone.

1. V22in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.. In the first place the Son has been appointed “Heir of all things” by God. As Son He will own in glory everything that exists. It is God’s plan to subject all things to His Son Who became Man.

He could only receive the inheritance as an heir after the testator has died (Heb 9:1717For a covenant is valid [only] when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.). Now the miraculous thing is that He is the Testator as well as the Heir. And how did He receive the inheritance as an Heir? By dying as the Testator. You may say that it is God’s inheritance and that therefore God is the testament Maker, while Christ is the Heir. But Christ is God Himself and therefore receives the inheritance through His own death (of course as Man, for God cannot die). This is an inconceivable mystery to our understanding, but to faith this miracle is a reason to bow down and worship God.

There is yet a miraculous thing in addition to that. He is the Heir, but through God’s miraculous grace you are fellow-heir of “all things”, the whole universe, nothing excluded (Rom 8:16-1716The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him] so that we may also be glorified with [Him].; Gal 4:77Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.). Shouldn’t this awareness give us the courage to persevere?

2. His second glory is His power to create. Through Him God has “also … made the worlds (the men’s world, the angels’ world and the world of the stars). The whole wide system of this universe is the work of His hands, Who has spoken to us: the Divine Christ. Without Him not one thing has come into being, that has been made (Jn 1:33All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.; Col 1:1616For by Him all things were created, [both] in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.).

3. V33And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,. The third is that whatever glory of God radiates to the outside, it always happens through the Son. The Son is “the radiance of His glory”. The light of God’s glory has become visible in Him. He is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:1515He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.). It is like the sun with its beams. Where the sun is, its beams are seen, and where there are sun beams there is the sun. The beams and the sun are fully from the same nature. It is inconceivable that there are sun beams apart from the sun. The beams cannot be blocked or polluted. Whatever man did to the Son on earth, the beams could never be blocked nor darkened or blemished.

4. But fourthly, He is the Sun Himself and not only the brightness. He is not only a reflection of God, no, the being of God is in Him. The Son is “the exact representation of His nation”. Everything that God is on high, Christ is as Man. It is ‘expressed’ in Him (cf. Deu 4:15-16,2515“So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire,16so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,25“When you become the father of children and children’s children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD your God [so as] to provoke Him to anger, and Exo 33:9-11,20-239Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses.10When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent.11Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.20But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”21Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand [there] on the rock;22and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.23Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”). The whole being of God is to be found in Him as an express image.

What is visible in the Son is completely in accordance with and is identical to the invisible God. There is no thought in God without Christ being the express image of it. He Himself is God, as much as the Father and the Spirit Who in and through Him are revealed in Their full nature. You see the triune God in Him in everything He says and does.

5. His fifth glory is that He “upholds all things by the word of His power”. So that word has Divine power (Psa 33:6,96By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
9For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
). He is the Creator and He also sustains everything. After He has created everything He also looks after everything He has created, for He has created everything with a purpose. All things exist together in Him (Col 1:1717He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.), all things are held together by Him.

He doesn’t bear all things as a dead matter on His back that it does not fall, but He leads everything to a goal. The bearing implies movement and going on. An example of that you see in His daily care for all His own. To each of the countless prayers that are daily sent to Him for all kinds of matters, He can answer by the word of His power. He takes care of the maintenance of the whole creation and of each individual life.

6. The sixth Divine glory becomes visible in Him as Man. That glory is that He “made purification of sins”. Here it is not about ‘our’ sins, but about the fact of the cleansing of the sins. That He has done that, is an addition to the glory of the Son. He did that by Himself, which underlines additionally that the Son has accomplished the redemption work absolutely by Himself alone and only in His own strength. The cleansing of sins means that He has done away and removed the sins.

7. Also the seventh Divine glory you see in Him as Man. He “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”. As Man He took His seat on high after He had purged the sins. The fact that He is there proves the perfection of His work. In that way an accomplishment has been done to everything that is related to the Majesty of God. Therefore He is entitled to that place. He sits there, which indicates a situation of rest. He sits down at the right hand, which indicates a place of honor.

On Him there, seated on high, your eyes are being drawn time and again at reading this letter. Should you ever doubt whether your sins are purged, then look upon Him there, seated on high. Looking upon Him there makes an end to every doubt.

Besides, in this letter the Lord Jesus is seen four times at the right hand of God:
1. In chapter 1 (Heb 1:1-31God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.3And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,) where He in His own personal glory is seated there after He has accomplished the cleansing of the sins;
2. in chapter 8 (Heb 8:1-21Now the main point in what has been said [is this]: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,2a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.) in relation to His High Priest service;
3. in chapter 10 (Heb 10:1212but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,) with a view to the sacrifice accomplished by Him once and for all, through which He can be seated as Priest, for the sacrifice doesn’t ever have to be repeated again;
4. finally in chapter 12 (Heb 12:22fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.) where it is not related to His Person, His service or His accomplished work, but to His inner feelings of ‘the joy that laid before Him’.

Now read Hebrews 1:1-3 again.

Reflection: Meditate on the various glories of Christ and tell Him how much you admire Him for that.


The Son Far Above the Angels (I)

4having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. 5For 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”?

I think it’s a good thing to dwell for a moment on the way the Lord Jesus is presented in this letter. It is not simple to distinguish His various glories. He is, after all God and Man in one Person. I will try to explain something about it. From the previous verses you have understood that He is now seated as Man in heaven. He has taken His seat there as Man, after He had accomplished the cleansing of sins through His work on the cross.

Before that time He indeed was in heaven, but not as Man. He was not eternally Man. He became that through His birth on the earth. John speaks about “Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (2Jn 1:77For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ [as] coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.) and about “the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:1414And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.). Thus the Lord Jesus existed, for He is the eternal Son of the eternal Father, but He became Man, or, as John says, ‘came in the flesh’ or ‘became flesh’. That can only be said of a person who has been there already, but now comes in a different way.

And how did that happen? God the Holy Spirit conceived Him in Mary (Lk 1:3535The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.). Therefore the Lord Jesus is the Son of God in two ways. First of all He is God the Son from all eternity. Secondly He became Son in a new way through His birth on the earth. As Man He could also call God His Father.

His eternal Sonship is present throughout this letter. Sometimes this also comes forward, as in the previous verses in His glory as Creator and as Bearer of all things. But in this letter the emphasis is mainly on the fact that He is the Son of God as Man. In His Person countless glories are present. As limited people we cannot see the extent of all those glories as a whole. We can see them ‘in part’ (1Cor 13:99For we know in part and we prophesy in part;), which means that we are able to see and admire just a part of that glory at a time. This is how the writer approaches this issue here.

V44having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.. We go back to our study of chapter 1. We have arrived at verse 44having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they., where the writer hooks up on the previous by comparing now the glory of the Son with the angels. Angels used to have an exceptional place in the Judaic system. The earthly people of God received the law through angels (Acts 7:5353you who received the law as ordained by angels, and [yet] did not keep it.”; Gal 3:1919Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.). And when the Lord (Yahweh) appeared in the Old Testament He did that normally also in the guise of an angel, as the Angel of the Lord.

To a Jew the angels were the highest beings next to God. They deeply respected them. John for example wanted to worship an angel (Rev 19:1010Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”; 22:8-98I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.9But he *said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”). To a Jew a human being was much lower than an angel. Now the Lord Jesus became Man. This is what He is in heaven. That created a problem for the mind of the Jew. How can Christ become Man and is still above the angels?

As the eternal Son and also as Creator He has always been exalted above the angels. The Jews, however, still had to develop a sense for the fact that He is still above the angels as Man and this because He is the Son of God as Man. To the angels that was not an issue. They saw in Him, also when He was as Man on earth, their Lord and Master. Angels honored Him at His birth (Lk 2:10,13-1410But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
). And during His life they served Him and were ready to do that (Mt 4:1111Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and [began] to minister to Him.; 26:5353Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?; 1Tim 3:1616By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.).

Now as Man He has returned to heaven, ‘on high’ (verse 33And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,), where He had always been as the eternal Son. There God granted Him a glory He did not have before that time. By taking this place as Man, a dimension has been added to the distance in glory which was there between Him and the angels. That is indicated by the words “so much better”.

Here is also a mention of ‘become’ something, which indicates that it was not present before. The distance between Him and the angels has always been immeasurably great and cannot grow greater. His excellence above the angels can indeed still get more emphasis. That happens by the new name He has inherited. That name is given to Him by God after He had died (besides, inheritance is connected to death), was resurrected and had returned to heaven. It is the Name above every name (Phil 2:99For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,).

Then the moment has come for the writer to prove His excellence above the angels. For that purpose he quotes many portions from the Old Testament that speak of the Messiah. The believers to whom he wrote were very familiar with that. The portions quoted should persuade them. They give a unanimous testimony. In seven quotations from the Old Testament – specifically the Greek translation of that (the Septuagint) – the excellence, which is beyond all things, of the Son is shown.

To make yourself aware of the power of these quotations you ought to step into the shoes of the believing Jew. This also is not a simple portion, but your effort to conceive something of it will be rewarded abundantly. It took me quite a while before I succeeded to comprehend a bit about how impressive this testimony is from the Old Testament. First of all I will give you the quotations in a row:

1. He is higher than the angels and is being worshipped by them (verses 4-64having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.5For 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”?6And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”, quotations from (1) Psa 2:77“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
; (2) 1Chr 17:1313I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.; (3) Psa 97:77Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images,
Who boast themselves of idols;
Worship Him, all you gods.
);
2. His throne is forever, therefore exalted above all thrones (verses 7-87And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.”8But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom., quotations fro
3. (4) Psa 104:44He makes the winds His messengers,
Flaming fire His ministers.
; (5) Psa 45:77You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
);
4. He is exalted above His companions (verse 99“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”, a quotation from (5) Psa 45:88All Your garments are [fragrant with] myrrh and aloes [and] cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
);
5. He is exalted above His creation, for there comes an end to that (verses 10-1210And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands;11They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment,12And 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.”, a quotation from (6) Psa 102:2626“Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
);
6. He is exalted above the time (verse 1212And 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.”, a quotation from (6) Psa 102:27-2827“But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.
28“The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”
);
7. He is exalted above His enemies (verse 1313But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet”?, a quotation from (7) Psa 110:11A Psalm of David.
The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
); and once again:
8. He is exalted above the angels (verses 13-1413But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet”?14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?, a quotation from (7) Psa 110:11A Psalm of David.
The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
).

In these quotations you also see a chronological order. They are about
1. His birth (verse 5a5For 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”?),
2. His presence on earth in fellowship with the Father (verse 5b5For 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”?),
3. His return to the world (verse 66And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”),
4. His kingdom in the millennium (verse 88But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.), and
5. the eternal situation after the millennium (verse 1111They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment,).

V5a5For 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”?. The first proof (verse 5a5For 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”? - Psa 2:77“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
) shows the superiority of the Son above the angels by pointing at His position as Son. God has never said to a certain angel personally: “You are My Son.” Angels were actually called sons of God (Gen 6:22that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.; Job 1:66Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.), but then it is about sons as creatures, as Adam is also called son of God (Lk 3:3838the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.). Here the name ‘Son’ is given to the Messiah, born on earth. It is therefore about His relation in time. He has been through eternity the eternal Son of the eternal Father and now His relation as Son born on earth is added to that since His birth.

There are people who are teaching that He only became Son when He was born, while His eternal Sonship is being denied. However, if He first and only became Son by His birth, then the order in Psalm 2 (Psa 2:77“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
) should have been: ‘I have begotten You, You are My Son.’ However, first it is written: “You are My Son.” Then it is determined that that Son was “begotten”, which means, He became Man. In this way the eternal relation is being determined first and thereafter the new relation.

V5b5For 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”?. The second quotation (verse 5b5For 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”? - 2Sam 7:1414I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,; 1Chr 17:1313I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.) is written in the future tense: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.” That cannot possibly refer to His relation to His Father in eternity, for that has no beginning. It refers to His relation in time, from His birth. God makes clear here how the Messiah will be related to Him.

These words firstly regard to Solomon, the son of David. Solomon is an example of the Lord Jesus as the Prince of Peace. Therefore the Holy Spirit can quote and apply these verses to the Son of David, the Lord Jesus (cf. Mt 1:11The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:). An application to angels is impossible.

Do you know to whom this quotation is also applied? To you and me! Just read what is written in 2 Corinthians 6 (2Cor 6:1818“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.). In connection to that section the issue is that you behave in such a way that God really can call Himself your Father and that He can acknowledge you as His son or daughter. Then you look like the Lord Jesus, Who He also calls Son.

Now read Hebrews 1:4-5 again.

Reflection: What have you learnt about the difference between the Lord Jesus and the angels?


The Son Far Above the Angels (II)

6And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 9“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” 10And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; 11They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, 12And 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.” 13But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet”? 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

V66And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”. The third quotation (verse 66And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” - Psa 97:77Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images,
Who boast themselves of idols;
Worship Him, all you gods.
) is about worshipping the Son. Only a Divine Person is worthy of worship. God appeals to “all” angels to do that, not just a few. They are called “the angels of God”, which means, creatures who are nearest to Him and who are instruments of His power and government. In that position they ought to worship the Messiah.

God makes this appeal “when He again brings the Firstborn into the world”. That certainly refers to His birth in Bethlehem. Then God brought Him into the world and the angels were praising God (Lk 2:1313And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
). But God will bring Him again into the world. Then He will not come as a Babe, but in power and majesty (Rev 19:11-1611And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.12His eyes [are] a flame of fire, and on His head [are] many diadems; and He has a name written [on Him] which no one knows except Himself.13[He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses.15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”). He shall come as ‘the Firstborn’, which means that He will be in the midst of others and amongst them He will take the first place. That also appears from the description of His return in Revelation 19 (Rev 19:11-1611And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.12His eyes [are] a flame of fire, and on His head [are] many diadems; and He has a name written [on Him] which no one knows except Himself.13[He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses.15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”). He is also the Firstborn of the whole creation (Col 1:1515He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.), the Firstborn from the dead (Col 1:1818He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.; Rev 1:55and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—) and the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:2929For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;).

V77And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.”. The fourth quotation (verse 77And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.” - Psa 104:44He makes the winds His messengers,
Flaming fire His ministers.
) shows that angels have been made to something, namely “winds” and “ministers”. The Son however is not made to something. The messengers, these invisible creatures, are swift and invisible as the wind, but their work is observable. They are ministers with a power of flame of fire, terrible, terrifying and consuming. Therefore angels are exalted far above men. But the Son is exalted immeasurably far above the angels. While He is the Son, the angels are being compared with no more than the elementary forces of wind and a flame of fire.

V8-98But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.9“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”. The fifth quotation is from Psalm 45 (Psa 45:6-76Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
7You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
) (verses 8-98But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.9“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”). Psalm 45 is a Messianic psalm, wherein the Divinity of the Messiah is emphasized strongly. The psalmist addresses the Messiah with “God”. As it is said, the Son has not been made to something, as the angels were, but God acknowledges Him in what He is: God. God speaks about His “throne”. That is His earthly throne, which ends to exist when He takes possession of an eternal throne. It is an eternal throne because righteousness is the foundation of it.

The Messiah practices His kingdom, whereof the scepter is the symbol, as a righteous King. Nobody can question His kingdom and nobody can criticize the righteousness of His reign. Each ground is missing to question or criticize that. Regarding the angels, they do not sit on a throne, but they are standing before the throne, ready to serve.

He is entitled to that place. He proved that when He was on earth. He showed that He loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Therefore He was a pleasure to God and therefore God anointed Him with the oil of gladness above His companions (i.e. the believing remnant of Israel).

The wonderful thing in this quotation is that on the one side you see that the Divinity of the Lord Jesus is affirmed again as well as His eternal throne. On the other side you see Him as the faithful Man on earth where He made God-fearing people His companions, above whom He at the same time is highly exalted.

V10-1210And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands;11They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment,12And 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.”. But His glory is presented yet more extensively: He is Lord (Yahweh). There can be no misunderstanding about this because of the sixth quotation (verses 10-1210And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands;11They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment,12And 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.” - Psa 102:26-2826“Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
27“But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.
28“The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”
). The quotation starts with ‘and’, which makes it clear that it hooks up to the previous verse and adds to what already has been said about the Son. In Psalm 102 He is not only seen as Man, but as Man in the deepest humiliation, in His suffering and finally in His death.

However, He is also acknowledged by God as the Maker of heaven and earth. The psalm is the prophetical expression from the heart of the Savior, in the prospect of what He endured on earth as Man. But you also hear God’s answer to Him in this quotation. The answer implies that, however deeply He was humiliated, He was at the same time the Creator. That answer is quoted here by the writer. You read that God addresses His Son with: “You, Lord.” To the readers of the letter (and for you too) this means that the Jesus of the New Testament is the Yahweh of the Old Testament.

Then you read the quotation about “the beginning” (Gen 1:11In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.; Jn 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.). He is at the beginning of all things. All things owe their beginning to Him Who Himself has no beginning. He also has no end, though His works do have, for they will perish. Mockers do say that all things remain, as from the beginning of creation (2Pet 3:44and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For[ever] since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”), but they will for sure discover they are cheated. The material world has no life in itself and is neither eternal, as its Creator is. Here in one phrase you move from the beginning to the perishing at the end, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 21:1. It indicates the huge contrast between the Creator and the creation.

He is eternally the Same. His years will last endlessly, even now He has become Man, for also as Man He has no end. The creation will be changed, but He Himself is the Eternal and the Unchangeable. “Will be changed” indicates a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 20:1111Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.; 21:11Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer [any] sea.). Creation will be like a “garment” and He will deal with the creation as with a “cloak”. A garment finally grows old and you can fold up a cloak or change it for another one. That is not the case with the Son. Christ is Creator and also Re-creator.

V1313But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet”?. The seventh quotation (verse 1313But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet”? - Psa 110:11A Psalm of David.
The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
) is in accordance with the seventh glory of the Son in verse 33And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,. Not only His Person is glorious and Divine, not only does He take the first place towards all creatures in the universe, but He has His own place at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. He Who had been with God in eternity, came to earth, was despised, but still will rule soon, is now seated at God’s right hand.

Psalm 110:1 is the verse from the Old Testament quoted the most in the New Testament. That’s because only this verse in the Old Testament actually says something about the present place of the Lord Jesus in heaven after His suffering, dying and resurrection and before His return.

He is now seated, while the angels are always standing (Lk 1:1919The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.; Rev 8:22And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.). When Michael and his angels have fought against the dragon and his angels and have defeated them (Rev 12:7-87And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.), they will return to God’s presence and stand there in their place of humble servants, awaiting the next order. What God says to His Son He will never say to the mightiest angel.

V1414Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?. The chapter ends with a question that consists of a conclusion. Angels minister, but Christ rules. Angels are ministers of God, but also of the believers. Angels are spirits, they have no terrestrial bodies. They see the believers, they are spectators of what the believers do and don’t do, as 1 Corinthians 11 (1Cor 11:1010Therefore the woman ought to have [a symbol of] authority on her head, because of the angels.) proves, and they provide them with assistance where it is needed, because the believers are companions of the Son.

The believers are presented here as “those who will inherit salvation”. With salvation in this letter is meant the millennial kingdom. Therefore you should see salvation here as something that lies in the future. Salvation is also seen as something that you already possess. Therefore you may know for sure that you are saved on the ground of your conversion to God and your faith in the Lord Jesus (Eph 2:88For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God;).

It is important that you, to know what the expression ‘salvation’ means, look at the context in which it is written. Salvation often means to be placed on a new territory, beyond the reach of evil spirits and connected to Christ. In the quoted Ephesians 2:8 the issue is that you are already in heaven now, safe and sound in a territory where you are connected to a glorified Christ.

As it is said, in this letter it is about salvation as something of the future. That implies that we sometimes have to go through a tough and difficult way before we reach that salvation. That applied to the Jewish believers anyhow. Therefore they urgently needed a ministry of empowerment, comfort and protection.

The Lord uses among others His angels to minister His own. He deploys them, He sends them. They go on His command. Like when He sends an angel to Cornelius (Acts 10:33About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had [just] come in and said to him, “Cornelius!”) and to Philip (Acts 8:2626But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert [road].)). He deploys them to bring Lazarus to Him (Lk 16:2222Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.). God uses angels to protect us (Mt 4:66and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’;
and
‘ON [their] HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
; 18:1010“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.; Acts 12:1515They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.”). These angels are the elected or holy angels (Mt 25:3131“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.; 1Tim 5:2121I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of [His] chosen angels, to maintain these [principles] without bias, doing nothing in a [spirit of] partiality.).

You see a multitude of ministries that the angels do and that on your and my behalf. Therefore not the angels are worthy of praise (they would reject it, Rev 22:8-98I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.9But he *said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”), but the Lord of the angels: the Man Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator and Heir of all things.

Now read Hebrews 1:6-14 again.

Reflection: Which glories of the Lord Jesus have you learnt about? Worship Him for them.

Read more