By Brother Mike (12-12-15; 55 minutes)
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets ,
In Hebrews verses 1-6 Yahweh begins an exposition to reveal to the Hebrew Christians that are on the verge of going back to the Old Covenant way of doing things that the New Covenant is superior to the Old, which is why these Hebrew Christians should think twice before surrendering themselves to the Old way of doing things. Yahweh first begins His discourse by revealing how that during Old times Yahweh spoke at many times and in many ways, but in these Last Days has spoken to us by His Son, and this is so much better than the Old because the Old was spoken by angels, but the New was spoken by the very Son of Yahweh who is the heir of all things, and who even created the whole universe. Indeed, Christ, the Son of God, is more excellent than the angels, for, unlike the angels, He is the exact representation of God, and He upholds all things by His power as well as He has been seated as ruler of all things in Yahweh's blessed will after He had made a cleansing for sins. Yes, He is more excellent than the angels who administered the Old Covenant, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they, which is the very Son of God. Furthermore, The angels are commanded to worship Him, which reveals how much better and greater He is than the angels, and, therefore, He is so much better than the Old Covenant because it was the angels who spoke in the Old Covenant, but it was the very Son of God, Christ Jesus, who spoke in the New.
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets . . .
More literally, our verse reads,
1 At many times and in many ways of Old, God, having spoken to the fathers in the prophets . . .
This verse reveals that God communicated to his people in the Old Testament not only at many times, which is self evident, but also in many ways. For instance, prophets would at times speak directly to his people in a voice, and at other times in writing. Sometimes they would act out things in order to symbolize something, and at other times they might have a dream or a vision. Still, at other times, they would speak by doing miracles, or by the sending of plagues. Furthermore, prophets could speak through various nations sent to destroy, and the list goes on. Yes, in times of Old, God spoke in the prophets to his people in a variety of ways. But, as we shall see in the next verse, God spoke at one time, and in one way, to his people during New Testament times.
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds . . .
As was stated in the previous verse, God spoke at many times and in many ways to the fathers in the prophets during Old Testament times, but, according to this verse, in these last days, He has spoken to us at one time and in one way, literally, by [his] Son. It is considered to be at one time because it was only during the 1st century AD when Christ directly spoke to us. He spoke while He was yet on earth, and He spoke directly through the apostles and a few others up until the last book of the Bible was complete in about 95 AD. Then, Christ stopped speaking directly, and, from then on, it has been left to the Holy Spirit to teach His people from the already completed Word of God as His people compare scripture with scripture. So, God spoke to us in one way, which was by his Son during the one time of the 1st century, and, ever since then, the Holy Spirit has been teaching the elect through the already completed Holy Scriptures as they compare scripture with scripture, spiritual things with spiritual.
Now, it is evident that the last days refer to the entire New Testament period ever since Christ was born and spoke to us. It was during these last days when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost in 33 AD:
Ac 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams . . .
It was also during these last days when people from all nations came flowing into the kingdom of God during the Church Age. We read of this in Micah 4:
Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it .
Furthermore, we read about the coming of scoffers during the last days in 2Peter 3:
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation .
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water :
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished :
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men .
And, finally, we read of perilous times in the last days:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy ,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good ,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God ;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away .
What we find, then, are that the last days are not just the last few days before the end of the world, but they are all the days ever since Christ was born and spoke to us. Yes, the last days are the entire New Testament period. And, it was during this period, in contrast to the Old Testament period, that God had spoken unto us by His Son so that we now have, ever since the 1st century AD, the complete record of writings from the Son, which reveal to us what the Son had spoken to us for our learning and training toward godliness and holiness throughout the New Testament age.
Now, God not only spoke to us by his Son in these last days, but God also appointed His Son heir of all things. What things? Why, all things, of course! That is, He is not only the heir of everything in this world, but He is also heir of everything in the next. What this means is that our Lord, Jesus Christ, owns everything. And, because His elect are in Him, they, in reality, own everything as well. So, although the people of the world think that they own this, and they own that, the real truth hidden behind the scenes is that we, the elect, own everything in Christ Jesus, and the world is temporarily using what is our own. Although the world cannot now see this, on the Last Day it will be made known just who the true owners of all things are: they are all the elect in Christ Jesus whom will inherit the new heaven and the new earth on the Last Day. So, although we, the elect, appear poor in this life, we are actually rich, and the world doesn't yet know this. But they will, and when they do, our riches shall be made manifest to the glory of the Father. And, this is all because Christ has been appointed heir of all things through His death, burial, and resurrection in which we have been a part if it be that we are in Christ Jesus.
Next, we are told that it was by His Son that God made the worlds (Plural). He didn't just create this world, but he created all the worlds out in space; that is, He created the entire universe. And, seeing that we have only begun to plunge the depths of the universe, this was no small task to have created the universe. Nevertheless, we read in Genesis that God just spoke in the universe by His words. The Son of God, of course, is the Word of God, so we can see how it was the Son who was involved in the creation of the universe, for God spoke the Word who was the Son to create the universe who in 7 BC became flesh as Christ Jesus.
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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high . . .
Here, we are told that Christ, Who being the brightness of [his] glory. Actually, it literally reads, Who being the brightness of the glory. The phrase, brightness of the glory refers to the reflective brightness that Christ emits in revealing the splendor, the magnificence, the excellence, the honor, the praise, the preeminence, the dignity, and the majesty of God. Then, we read that Christ is also the express image of His person. This means that Christ is the exact expression of God, which begs the question, how can Christ be the exact expression of God if He Himself were not God? Actually, He could not! And, we shall see that Christ is God in verse 8 of Hebrews 1, but, until then, leave it to say that Christ is the exact expression of God because He is God in the flesh. Of course, there are many verses whereby to show that Christ is God, but we will not look at any of these verses at this time. We will come to know some of these verses as we continue our verse by verse study of Hebrews.
Next, we are told that the Son, Christ Jesus, is upholding all things by the word of his power. What an awesome statement! It reveals that Christ is constantly and continuously holding things in their places. He holds up the earth and all the other celestial bodies of the universe in their orbits and trajectories; He holds the atoms of matter together in their bonds; indeed, He holds the very atom itself together so that everything can even exist. He is not separate and apart from this creation, but He is in and through it; nevertheless, He is not the creation; nor the creation Him. He makes whatever we can see and not see continue to exist. So, if He were to remove His upholding hand for but a moment, everything would fall apart and exist no more. He is the great and powerful, the Mighty God as we read in Isaiah 9:16,
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace .
Now, we read,
. . . when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high .
More literally, the verse reads,
. . . through Himself having made a cleansing for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high .
This verse lets us know that it was by the atonement when Christ made a cleansing for our sins that He then sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. In other words, it was because Christ had paid for our sins on the cross in 33 AD that He then sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. The right hand is symbolic of that place under the blessed will of the Father, and the term sat down means to rule in the Bible. So, in saying that Christ sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high, Yahweh means that He now rules under the blessed will of the Majesty on High. Indeed, as a result of the atonement, Christ gained rulership not only over this world, but over the world to come and all things. There are other passages that teach the same thing. For instance, after Christ rose from the dead, we read,
Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth .
And, again, we read,
1Pe 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him .
And, in so far as Christ now being at the right hand of God; that is, raised to that place of the blessed will of God, we read,
Eph 1:20 Which he [God] wrought in Christ, when he [God] raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places . . .
And, in Hebrews 10, we read,
Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God . . .
And, again, we read,
Heb 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens . . .
Now, it should be mentioned here that not everyone believes that it was on the cross in 33 AD that Christ went through a cleansing for our sins and then sat down on the right hand of God, but there are those who are actually of a false gospel (see
The Demonstration Gospel is a False Gospel
Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth .
So, Christ did not receive all power in heaven and earth at or before the foundation of the world through some imaginary atonement, but He did so upon His resurrection on earth. And, they would reply, are you saying that Christ was not God before the foundation of the world? And, we would say, Christ, the God-man, did not even exist at or before the foundation of the world. But, the Son of God as the Word of God did exist before the foundation of the world, yet He did not become flesh until He came to earth in 7 BC as the Christ child. And, as such, the Christ could not have possibly received all power in heaven and on earth in eternity past because He did not even yet exist until He had actually become the man, Jesus Christ (now, to see that the gospel which teaches that Christ atoned for sins at or before the foundation of the world is false, see the following:
The Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the World
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they .
Another way of translating this verse could be like this:
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they .
The first part of this verse says, Being made so much better than the angels. The verb translated as Being made is in the aorist tense and middle voice of the Greek language. The aorist tense means that the being made took place in the past at one point in time, and the middle voice means that the being made so much better than the angels was in the interest of the one being made (see
Next, we are told why Christ was made so much better than the angels. It is because He has inherited a more excellent name than they. The verb in this verse translated as he has inherited is in the perfect tense, which carries the meaning of Him having inherited a more excellent name than the angels at a given point in the past with the result that this inheritance of a more excellent name than the angels continues on into the present. Now, the name of someone signifies just who that someone is, and in that Christ has inherited a more excellent name than the angels, means that who He is - His personhood - is more excellent and better than that of the angels. And, this, of course, makes perfect sense when we recognize that Christ is God in the flesh whose personhood is more excellent than any created being, even that of the angels.
But, at what point in the past, one might ask, did Christ first obtain a more excellent name than the angels? Well, in the sense that Christ as the Word of God had existed from eternity past, He has always had a more excellent name than that of the angels, but in the sense of Christ as God in the flesh, which is what is being represented here, He inherited a more excellent name than the angels when He became flesh at conception and was then born in 7 BC. Indeed, this is when Christ, the man, became one with Yahweh, the eternal Spirit, and when He inherited a more excellent name or personhood than that of the angels.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son ?
In this verse, Yahweh is proving by scripture that Christ inherited a more excellent name than the angels. We read, For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? Here, Yahweh is calling Christ His Son, which is something that the angels have never been called. It fact, our verse is a quote from Psalm 2:7, which reads,
Ps 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee .
The point being made is that the angels have never been called the Son of God, but Christ has. This is what makes His name so much more excellent than the angels. And, notice that the LORD (translated Yahweh in Hebrew) says of the Son, this day have I begotten thee. What day is Yahweh referring to? There are those who believe that this day wherein Yahweh had begotten the Son was in eternity past when the Father first named the second person of the Godhead, Son, and when the Son had risen from the dead in payment for our sins before the world was even created. They quote Romans 1:3 to support this, where we read,
Ro 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead . . .
They say, see, Christ was first declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, and this, they say, took place in eternity past at or before the foundation of the world. The problem with this is two-fold. First, Romans 1:4 does not say that Christ was declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, but it states that Christ was declared to be the Son of God WITH POWER by the resurrection from the dead. So, the Son of God already existed before the resurrection, and He was declared to be the Son of God WITH POWER when He rose from the dead. It is not saying that the second person of the Godhead became the Son at the resurrection, but, rather, it is saying that Christ, the Son of God, became the Son of God WITH POWER at the resurrection. Second, the resurrection did not take place in eternity past, but it took place on earth in 33 AD. For this is when Christ received all power as we read in Matthew 28 after Christ had risen from the dead:
Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth .
But, if the day that Christ, the Son of God, was begotten was not in eternity past at some imaginary resurrection, when was He begotten? Why when He was literally conceived and then born, of course. We read,
Mt 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us .
And, again, we read,
Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins .
So, the day in which the Lord said, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee refers to the day in which Christ was begotten into this world in 7 BC. It is not referring to some imaginary day in eternity past before Christ, the Son of God in the flesh, even existed.
Now, we read in the latter part of our verse, And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? This verse is taken from 2Samuel 7:14, where we read beginning in verse 12,
And when thy [king David's] days be fulfilled, and thou [king David] shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed [king Solomon who typifies Christ] after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom
13 He [king Solomon who typifies Christ] shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever .
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men . . .
Notice that the context of the passage is King David's seed, King Solomon, who shall build an house for Yahweh, and Yahweh will establish his kingdom for ever. But, because King Solomon's kingdom was not established forever, we know that King Solomon typifies Christ whose kingdom has been established forever. In other words, the spiritual meaning to this passage is foretelling the establishment of Christ's kingdom, which Yahweh would establish forever. And, it is in this context when we read, I will be his father, and he shall be my son. So, by quoting 2Samuel 7:14 in Hebrews 1:5, Yahweh is more than just revealing another verse wherein Christ is called Yahweh's Son, and, as such, He obviously has a more excellent name than that of the celestial angels, but, He is also revealing that Christ is the king of a kingdom that would be established by Yahweh forever. This all the more sets Christ apart as superior to the angels as they are never referred to as kings, but they are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him .
In this verse, Yahweh is continuing His argument that Christ is more excellent than the angels, and this is because when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. In other words, the angels or messengers are commanded to worship Him, and so it is that the lesser worships the greater, and, by this, it is revealed that Christ must be better and greater than the angels; otherwise, why would Yahweh command the angels to worship Him?
Now, we first read, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world. The firstbegotten or firstborn, of course, refers to Yahweh's firstborn Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born into this world through Mary as Yahweh's firstborn into this world. He was also Mary's first born as we read in Matthew 1:
Mt 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS .
And, again, we read,
Lu 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn .
But, Christ was not only the firstborn of Mary and Yahweh, but He is also called the firstborn from the dead as we read in Revelation 1:
Re 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth . . .
And, again, we read,
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence .
Being the firstborn from the dead means that Christ was the first of all creation to have risen from the dead in His new resurrected body, and all those who are in Christ - the elect - are a part of that resurrection as they were spiritually resurrected when they had become saved, and they will be completely resurrected with new bodies on the Last Day. But, first, the first fruits, which are Christ risen from the dead, and, then, us, who have now already spiritually risen from the dead in Christ, but who will complete our resurrection from the dead on the Last Day when these bodies shall be changed and rise incorruptible, and all creation shall be burned up and then changed to incorruptible to become the new heaven and earth where we shall dwell forevermore in the presence of the great I AM, Yahweh, the Almighty.
Now, in the latter part of our verse, we read, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. This reminds us of Luke 2 where it is revealed that the angels worship Him at His birth. We read,
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger .
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying ,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men .
It is because the angels worship Christ that it is clear the Christ is much better and greater than the angels. This is important because it was by mandate of the angels that the law was given as we read in Acts 7:
Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition [mandate] of angels, and have not kept it .
And, we read in Hebrews 2,
For if the word spoken by angels [the law] was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him . . .
But, Christ is greater than the angels or messengers, which means that He is also greater and better than the law that the angels spoke and mandated. And, this is what Yahweh is teaching, namely that Christ of the new covenant is greater than the angels and the law that was administered by the angels. And, the reason this is being taught, as we shall discover later on in Hebrews, is because this group of Christians who were once literal Jews are being tempted to return to their old ways of doing things according to the Old Levitical Priesthood and Law. Yahweh through the book of Hebrews seeks to keep them from falling away back to the Old by enlightening them to how much better Christ and the new covenant is, and how in Christ the old covenant is fulfilled. We read of this in Hebrews 2 where Yahweh addresses the Hebrew Christians, and says,
Heb 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip .
Now, if you will remember, we already stated that Christ is the firstborn from the dead; that is, He is the first human to have been resurrected into His new glorious body, and this took place on earth after the cross when Christ rose from the dead, and then later ascended into heaven where He was glorified. But, there are some who are of a false gospel (see
The Demonstration gospel is a False Gospel
So, if Christ was the firstborn to rise from the dead, how is it that Moses and Elijah, for example, seem to have appeared in their resurrected bodies before the actual resurrection of Christ on earth took place? We read of this transfiguration before Christ rose from the dead in Matthew 17 where we read,
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light .
3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him .
4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias .
5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him .
6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid .
7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid .
8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only .
Now, returning to our question, if Christ was the firstborn to rise from the dead, how is it that Moses and Elijah seem to have appeared in their glorified risen bodies before the actual resurrection of Christ on earth took place? The answer is not so easily grasped, but let me try to explain. The fact is that although the resurrection actually took place on earth in 33 AD, the effects and power of that resurrection were carried both forward and backward in time so that not only could others be resurrected after the cross - for after Christ's resurrection the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (Mt. 27:52-53) - but the Old Testament elect could be raised as well, even as Moses and Elijah were transfigured into their glorified bodies. To put it another way, even though Moses and Elijah appear to have been resurrected in time before Christ was, they were not because the resurrection of Christ transcends all time as God who rose from the dead transcends all time or carries backward in time in such a way that Christ is still the firstborn from the dead regardless of when a particular elect was resurrected in time. Once again, whether one was resurrected after or before the actual resurrection of Christ, Christ is still the firstborn from the dead because the power of the resurrection of Christ to resurrect the elect was carried forward and backward in time from the actual time that Christ was resurrected on earth in 33 AD. Admittedly, this is difficult to grasp even as the eternal realm is difficult to grasp, but, nevertheless, it is the truth. Eternal Yahweh through Christ, who rose from the dead in 33 AD, transcends all time to make the power of the resurrection both effective in the future as well as the past for all those who are in Christ Jesus. This is why some could be resurrected before the time after the cross.
Before the Hebrew Christians fall back into their Old ways, Yahweh wants them to know that to do so would be to forsake the New Covenant that is so much better and greater than the Old Covenant. Whereas the Old Covenant was spoken in by angels or messengers at a variety of times and in a variety of ways, the New Covenant was spoken in at one time and in one way by the very Son of God Himself who is so much better than the angels. Unlike the angels, He not only created the universe, but He upholds all things by His great power. And, He is not only the brightness of Yahweh�s glory, and the exact representation of His person, but after he made a cleansing for sins, He became ruler over all things in the blessed will of Yahweh. Furthermore, Christ is so much better than the angels, and, therefore, so much better than the Law that was ushered in by the angels, because He has inherited a more excellent name than they, and that name is the Son of God, the Son of Yahweh, which all the angels are commanded to bow down to. So, how is the Old Covenant that was instituted by angels, better than the New Covenant that was instituted by Christ? It is not! Therefore, as we read in Hebrews 2:1,
1 . . . we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip .
Now, to the true elect of Yahweh, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .