“And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom” (Hebrews 1:6-8). In our study last week we discussed Jesus as the only begotten Son of God (John 1:1-18, John 3:16, John 3:18, and I John 4:9). The statement we are reading this week is about the “firstbegotten”. This is a different statement. Jesus is the first begotten among many brethren (Romans 8:29). As we concluded last week, we whom are faithful saints in Christ are also the children of God (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1 and I John 3:1-10). Being the first begotten doesn’t stop with that point though. Jesus is also the first begotten as it relates to the resurrection (Colossians 1:12-18 and Revelation 1:5). This continues to be a declaration, from a different point, about the headship of Christ.
Being the firstborn meant something to the Jews that received this letter (Genesis 43:33, Genesis 48:9-20, and I Chronicles 5:1-2). Understanding Jesus as the firstbegotten, or the firstborn, is also significant in identifying Him in this letter as the head of the church (Hebrews 12:22-23). That, if you look at the aforementioned reference, even applies to the angels. These things establish that the time wherein they received the law by the disposition of angels (Acts 7:53) has ended (John 12:44-48).
Jesus, as the head over all things (Ephesians 1:20-23 and Colossians 2:6-10), was worthy to be worshipped by the angels of Heaven (Revelation 5:1-14). Think about what that teaches those whom would put Jesus either equal to or under the angels.
The Hebrew writer then, in verse seven, quotes Psalms 104:4. The angels of Heaven are ministers. We have to be careful with this point. Jesus came in the form of a servant (Philippians 2:3-8). Jesus embraced that role (Mark 10:35-45 and John 13:1-17). The point here contextually is not that since angels are ministers they don’t have authority. The point is, they were created for the purpose of service and that was it. Jesus on the other hand has authority that the angels were not given.
God the Father made declarations that clearly distinguished Jesus from the angels and everyone else. The Father called Jesus “God”. The deity of Christ is undeniable through the Old and New Testaments. Notice: “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. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this… And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth… Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen… And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory… Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ… And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (Isaiah 9:6-7, Matthew 1:21-23, John 1:1-5, John 1:14, Romans 9:5, I Timothy 3:16, Titus 2:13, and I John 5:20).
The deity of Christ means a lot in understanding His authority. To add to that, our Father spoke of Jesus’ sceptre of righteousness. The same Greek word translated as “sceptre” [ῥάβδος; Strong’s # 4464] is used when Jesus spoke of the rod of iron His father gave Him (Revelation 2:26-27). When we think about all of that, in connection to Jesus ruling with a rod over His kingdom, we see His authority being used for righteousness. Whether it be us in the kingdom (I Thessalonians 2:12) or angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him (I Peter 3:22); Jesus rules with an iron rod in righteousness.
When we consider the phrase “for ever and ever” regarding the reign of Christ, there is a point in time wherein Jesus returns the kingdom to our Father (I Corinthians 15:24-28). “For ever” doesn’t always mean eternal. For example, Psalm 104:5 speaks of the foundation of the earth not being moved “for ever”. Solomon wrote that the earth abideth for ever (Ecclesiastes 1:4). Yet, we know the earth is not eternal (Matthew 24:35-36 and II Peter 3:9-14). So it is, that the reign of Christ will only last till we are all ascended in Heaven to share the inheritance in our Father’s house (John 14:1-3 and Romans 8:17). It is then that the kingdom will be the kingdom of our Father (Matthew 13:36-43). Until then, thanks be to God our Father that His firstbegotten Son is our righteous King. Let’s rejoice in that (Proverbs 29:2).
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