Tag Archives: Adventist

Hebrews 1:1-8 Jesus the appointed Son?

 

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways” (Hebrews 1:1)

God spoke through the prophets meaning through the characters of the Old Testament. Many portions means many ages over a considerable amount of time; many ways—through the Scriptures, through dreams, through visions, through a number of different ways God communicated in the old covenant. 

In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

In these last days has spoken to us in His Son. Last days is a reference to Old Testament prophecies that then defines the time from the time of Christ until the return of Christ. Jesus isn’t just one more communication in the line of prophets. He is the final word from God. Christ (who also spoke to us through the apostles) is God’s final word to man. Not Ellen White, not Muhammad, not Joseph Smith. Now the writer of Hebrews goes through a series of affirmations related to who Jesus is. All of it has to do with this idea that Jesus is superior to everyone else (prophets) and everything else (revelation). It all comes back to this idea of where else would you turn, for every direction you turn is going to be inferior to the exalted Christ. In what form did the Son speak to us in these last days? Not in His pre-existence as God, but He spoke to us as God-Man, when He became flesh, a servant, when He became the anointed one, the Messiah.

Whom He appointed heir of all things through whom also He made the world. The Son made the world, therefore the eternal Son already owned the universe by virtue of creating it with the Father.  “All things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col 1:16). However, even in the state He spoke to us, when He was born of a woman, and became God-Man, He is declared or appointed the heir of all things such as we find when Paul says, the Messiah, “who was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4). A son is heir to everything his father owns, however, the language here is figurative because an “heir” is one who inherits something after the death of the owner. This cannot possibly be applied in this sense to Jesus because the God the Father did not die. Indeed, He cannot. Hence, the idea here is that the Son (whether in His pre-existence or God-Man existence), has authority over and possesses all things.

And 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 (Hebrews 1:3)

He is the radiance of His glory. Radiance refers to what shines out from the source of light. Whatever the glory the Father had, the Son shines out that source of light. He is not a lesser God; He’s the full radiance of God.

The exact representation of His nature. The Greek word charakter, translated “representation,” did not express a general likeness but an exact duplication of the original.Jesus’ essence or divine nature is the exact duplicate of the Father’s nature. This is because Jesus shares the same divine nature with the Father.

Upholds all things by the word of His power. The idea is not so much that Jesus upholds the universe as a dead weight, similar to Atlas shouldering the world. Rather He carries all things forward on their appointed course (Colossians 1:17). Jesus Christ’s word has tremendous power and authority. It is the greatest force in the universe.

Made purification of sins. He did so by His self-sacrifice on the Cross and by His work as the ultimate priest. The Greek word katharismos, translated “purification,” means both removal and cleansing (cf. Mark 1:44; 2 Peter 1:9). Who has authority to say you are purified from your sins? Seems to me you would have to have the authority, power, possession, and ownership over everything. You would have to be the creator. You would have to be the sustainer. You would have to be the full radiance of God. Only God has the authority to say that He covers the sins of the world!  It is mysterious and sometimes confusing to figure out how exactly that death two thousand years ago covers my sin, yet it is true.

He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. The idea of sitting down at the right hand of God is very significant. In the old covenant, the priests daily had responsibilities in the tabernacle and the temple to offer sacrifice and do their required work, but the priests were not allowed to ever sit down on the job. The reason for that is it carried the message that the work is never completed and so they always had to remain standing, always at work, because the work was never done. Christ’s intercession in heaven is not that of an Aaronic priest standing before God to offer the blood. His intercession is that of a King seated on His throne, exercising the rights and titles gained by His finished work. The sitting at the right hand of God is a well-known figure, derived from Psalm 110:1, in order to designate supreme honor and dominion over the world (Romans 8:34).

Having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they (Hebrews 1:4)

Having become as much better than the angels. These words must be closely joined with the last clause of Hebrews 1:3; becoming better than angels is not of His pre-existence before He became flesh, but of what became of Him after He had “made purification of sins” and sat down at the right hand of God. Being made better than angels—by His exaltation by the Father (Heb 1:3, 13) is in contrast to His being “made lower than the angels” for short while on earth (Heb 2:9). Going forward from verse four, the author of Hebrews turns this conversation to Jesus being superior to the angels. Part of the argument raised by some at that time was that Jesus was just a man. He was just another one of God’s prophets but He certainly doesn’t have the authority to overthrow the message or the Law of Moses (including the ten commandments) ordained by angels (Hebrews 2:2; Gal.3:19). He certainly doesn’t have the authority to usher in a new covenant as if somehow He’s introducing something new. He’s certainly not higher than the angels nor does He have authority to do that. Hence, the author of Hebrews refutes such opinions by showing that Jesus’ words have final authority because He has become “so much better” by His resurrection, and “more excellent” than the angels by taking His seat at God’s right hand. And there is much more to Him than just a man.


He has inherited a more excellent name than they. After He had “made purification of sins” and sat down at the right hand of God, Christ inherits His more excellent name, not as the Eternal Son, but also as the God-Man after His resurrection. What is that excellent name? It is the name “Son”.  

For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? (Hebrews 1:5a)

That’s from Psalm 2 and of course the obvious answer is, “Never!” God identified Jesus as His Son, not the angels. When do the words “This day have I begotten thee” apply? An apostle has given the sure and certain answer to this question. Paul said, “God hath raised up Jesus; as also it is written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Acts 13:33). Thus, the begetting mentioned in this place is the resurrection of Christ. It was the resurrection that established all that Christ said and did, confirming the virgin birth, the incarnation, the miracles, the prophecies, everything. Christ, therefore, as the exalted God-Man, was and is far above all angels.

And again, “I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”? (Hebrews 1:5b)

This is taken from 2 Samuel, chapter 7, verse 14. This is David talking about Solomon as the future King of Israel but it is a foreshadowing of God the Father identifying one in David’s line, His Son, who will be the ultimate King, the fulfillment of the prophecy, and obviously Father never said that of the angels. It is significant that David is quoted here because David is called the “First born” (Psalm 89:27), though he was not the firstborn child of Jesse, but the youngest and the eight.

“And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:6)

And when He again brings the firstborn into the world. When He bringeth in means when the Father introduces the one with the title “Firstborn” into this world. In context, time of this introduction appears to be when the Son became the Messiah in the first advent though “again” may also refer to the second coming such “that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven [angels] and on earth [humans] and under the earth [perhaps demons]” (Philippians 2:10). This word “first born” was used both as an idea and to designate the one born first. Since the firstborn son was “first in line” and received the position of favor and honor, the title “firstborn” indicates of someone of the highest position and honor. Many of those not born first in the Bible are given the title “firstborn.” David as we mentioned (Psalm 89:27) and so is Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:9). According to Rabbi Bechai (quoted in Lightfoot) the ancient Rabbis called Yahweh Himself “Firstborn of the World.” It was a title, not a description of origin. The idea in this verse is that Jesus is superior because He is the object of angelic worship since He possesses that honor and glory of a First born or First begotten. The angels worship Him; He does not worship among them. Revelation 5 gives a glimpse of the angelic worship of Jesus. Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God, but the title Firstborn is used primarily for His resurrection (Revelation 1:4).

And regarding the angels He says, “He makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7)

This is a quote from Psalm 104. The psalmist is saying and the writer of Hebrews is now affirming that angels are messengers of God like the wind and the lightning. Angels are magnificent beings. They are created by God. They are powerful beings. They have a significant role in God’s economy. God the Father is speaking in this verse, and regarding the angels, He says, they’re just created messengers because He makes them so, and God uses them to accomplish His mission. What does the Father says regarding the Son?

But regarding the Son He says, “Your throne, God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of His kingdom (Hebrews 1:8)

But regarding the Son He says, Your throne, God, is forever and ever. Here the Father is describing the Son’s nature in opposition to the angels before. The angels were created spirits, but regarding the Son, the Father addresses the Son as God; Father says, Jesus is not only the “Son” but is “God” just like the Father. However, the angels are ministers and servants in the Son’s kingdom, where the Son sits on His throne as King, from eternity; therefore his name and person is better than theirs.

The scepter of righteousness is the scepter of His kingdom. Jesus’ “scepter” , that is, His “royal scepter”, is used here figuratively to refer to His authority and shows the characteristic of His Kingdom. Jesus, as King, has a scepter of “righteousness”, emphasizing that His authority is based on righteousness.

See also:

SON OF GOD TAKES ON HUMAN NATURE (Philippians 2:5-11)

What additional nature did the Son take upon Himself when came to earth? Paul explains it this way:

‘Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

Notice the truths that Philippians 2:5-11 states about Jesus. We will look at the passage verse-by-verse:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Here we are told that the same humble, condescending, benevolent, disinterested, self-denying disposition be in us which was also in Christ Jesus.

Who, although He existed in the form of God. In the form of God, describes our Lord’s essential, and therefore eternal, being in the true nature of God, while the “taking on Him the form of a servant” as we will soon see refers to His voluntary assumption of the true nature of man.

Did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. The Bible says Jesus did not ‘consider EQUALITY with God’ to be grasped, utilized or used to his advantage. Jesus did not regard his equality with God as an object of solicitous desire; that is, though he was fully God and equally divine with the Father, He did not eagerly seek to retain or grasp on to this equality for his own advantage, but voluntarily took on himself a humble condition – even that of a servant. Because Christ was God, He could have taken advantage of His Godhood, glory, and honor and stayed in heaven, and ignored sinful humanity. No! He did not take advantage of His Godhood or equality with God. By the way, why would Jesus even consider EQUALITY with God unless He was EQUAL? How can Christ’s decision NOT to grasp at “equality” with God at Philippians 2:5-7 be an example of humility if Jesus was not already entitled to claim equality? That is because Jesus is divine as the Father is divine, and is equal to the Father in divine nature, essence, substance.

But emptied Himself. He emptied himself; not His divinity or deity, but of its manifestation, its glory.  He emptied himself voluntarily of the “glory which He had with the Father before the world was” (John 17:5) How?

Taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Now the Son, is not just God, but he also takes on humanity, THUS becoming also the Son of Man. He is Son of God and Son of Man.  Thus, He becomes this unique God-Man. It would have been an infinite humiliation for God of glory to have assumed humanity; but our God went beyond this. Not only did he take on human likeness, but also the very nature of a humble servant. The Son who created even angels, now was “made lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:9).

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Aftermanifestation of Himself to the world in all the weakness of humanity, meaning He had not only laid aside the symbols of His divine glory, and become a man; but when he was a man, he humbled himself, and He obeyed even when His obedience terminated in death, which was a long lingering, painful, humiliating death of the cross. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him. “For this reason” meaning because the Son who did not hold onto his divinity, instead, voluntarily laid aside his glory and became this new God-Man,and died on the Cross for humanity, Father now exalts the Son back to the highest place and highest glory in response to the Son’s humility and achievement.Christ humbled himself, and He is not going to exalt himself. That would be prideful and that is not the nature or the character of God. ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’ (Matthew 23:12). Instead it is God the Father who exalts Jesus, now note this again, not as ‘God’ (which was Jesus’ pre-existence before He came to this earth), but as this humble God-Man, who was humiliated at the cross, but was resurrected defeating the power of death. Therefore, after His resurrection, Jesus is being declared or made “better than angels” (Hebrews 1:4), in contrast to His being “made lower than the angels for a little while” while on earth (Heb 2:9).

And bestowed on Him the name which is above every name. The name given is not the name Jesus, which was given him at his circumcision, but the name Jehovah (Philippians 2:11), which was indeed his before he became Messiah, and is given now to Jesus as not as God (which He existed from all eternity), but now as this God-Man, who humbled himself, added human nature to divine nature, died and rose again. The dignity and glory is expressed by “above every name”.

Notice a similar thing happens to Christ’s title as the Son of God:

‘Who was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 1:4).

Why would Christ be appointed or declared to be Son of God at the resurrection if he was already the Son of God before? The declaration is a confirmation of the resurrected divine Son of God that he truly is divine. When a king was enthroned in the Old Testament, there was an acclamation or declaration that he was formally taking up his title and inheritance which had been his by birth. Similarly, Christ our King is taking up his name, title as Jehovah, which is His by inheritance, in a newer sense as the victorious God-Man at His ascension to the Father.

So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth. The knee should bow, or bend, in token of honor, or worship at the name of Jesus. Only to Jehovah we must bow. If you still have any doubts if Jesus is and has been the Almighty Jehovah, notice this verse, speaking of the one true Almighty God, Isaiah prophesied: ‘Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am Godand there is no other. By myself I have worn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear’ (Isaiah 45:22-23).

Jehovah God says that there is no God beside Him, and that every knee will bow to Him only, and every tongue will swear that He is God. Who is the Lord God that every knee will bow?

And that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. What is the name above every name? The word “Lord” is the word constantly used in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament to refer to Jehovah. The context would suggest that meaning here, for the worship paid is obviously to God alone. Every true believer will acknowledge that Jesus is Jehovah Almighty.

To the glory of God the Father. The acknowledgment of the glory of Christ is the acknowledgment of the glory of the Father. “That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him” (John 5:23).


Hence, before Jesus came to this world, the Bible teaches us that He existed continually as the eternal Son of God (or even God the Son), but when He came into this World some 2000 years ago, He was made flesh through a virgin, made lower than angels, meaning he became a human being to become our messiah, our sacrifice, the Son of Man, and High priest and more. So, remember, the Word was not always ‘flesh’ before entering the human race some 2000 years ago. Neither was the ‘Word’ the Messiah or Christ in His eternal existence. “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed one” or “chosen one.” What a God! What a Savior! To say that the Son was not equal with God, or that the Son was not fully God, or not the God of the Old Testament is an insult to our Lord and the truth of Scripture.

See:

The Only Begotten Son (John 1:1-18)

Father gave the Son to have life in Himself? (John 5:1-27)

PROVERBS 8: IS WISDOM JESUS?

Some like Jehovah Witness’s and others say Proverbs 8 is talking about Jesus, given that Jesus is referred to as the “Wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Hence they suggest that Jesus had a beginning. Is that what Proverbs 8 says? Let’s look at these verses:

“Does not wisdom call, and understanding raise her voice?? (Proverbs 8:1). “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 8:12) ““The Lord created me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. From eternity I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. When there were no ocean depths, I was born, When there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was born;” (Proverbs 8:23-26). Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was His delight daily,” (Proverbs 8:30)

So this is how some and JW’s read the above passage. Verse 12 identifies “wisdom” as the one speaking in this passage. “Wisdom” is Jesus who says he was “created” by God and became his master worker at Father’s presence (verse 30). He was involved in the creation process, after he himself was formed since he was the earliest of his achievements.

  • Firstly, neither Jesus nor any of the writers of the New Testament apply Proverbs 8 to Jesus.
  • We ask JW’s and others, if “wisdom” is an actual person (Jesus) in this text, then who is “understanding” in verse 1?

Does not wisdom call, and understanding raise her voice? (Proverbs 8:1)

  • We ask JW’s and others, who is “prudence” in verse 12 with whom “wisdom” is said to reside?

I, wisdom, dwell with prudence..” (Proverbs 8:12)

At this point, the JW’s and others usually do not have an answer except to ask how we understand these verses. Solomon is using a figure of speech called “personification.” He attributes the qualities of being a person to Wisdom, Understanding, Prudence in order to make the reading more enjoyable and to have a greater impact. This text, therefore is not a literal description of Christ, but a poetic personification of wisdom, poetically saying that God “got” His wisdom before He did anything — i.e., that God has always had wisdom. This is obvious throughout Proverbs. Consider Chapter 7:4-5.

“Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words”

  • If wisdom is Jesus, is Jesus your sister? If wisdom had to be created at a point in time, are we to conclude that Jehovah God had NO wisdom until He created it? Imagine the folly of reading Jesus into these poetic words! Did the Father also have a beginning because it mentions “the beginning of His way” (Proverbs 8:22)

The personification of the divine attribute of wisdom begins in chapter one: “Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square” (1:20). In chapter seven wisdom is called “my sister”. Wisdom also lives together with prudence; yet another personification (8:12).

Referring to Jesus in this passage is both out of place and goes against what Solomon is trying to teach. Solomon is not referring to Jesus in Proverbs 8, but is simply using a figure of speech called personification, as he does throughout Proverbs. If this is talking about Jesus, it is then teaching that Jesus is as eternal as Wisdom, because God has always had wisdom.