Morning Bible Study
Memorial Day was originally known as “Decoration Day”, was started in the
years following the Civil War, and intended to honor the men and women who died
while serving in the U.S. military.
Caleb & Kim
Kim and the kids got back on Thursday.
The house got set up and looks wonderful!
Thanks for all the donations and help!!
Caleb returns on Tuesday (May 29). I
think we’ll see him next Sunday.
The elders are going to allow donations to the Beller Fund through the end
We don’t know for sure who wrote the book of Hebrews, but we do have a
pretty good idea of who it was written to.
Hebrews was written to Jewish believers.
The author expects the
readers to be well acquainted with Levitical worship and sacrifice.
He will constantly quote the Old Testament in a way that expects that the
reader understands what he’s talking about.
We also know that these believers were encountering very strong
Times were so bad that some were beginning to wonder if they shouldn’t quit
We will see three elements woven throughout this letter to the Hebrews.
1. Both Testaments
Even though the Old Testament has become “obsolete” (Heb. 8:13), the entire
book of Hebrews is built upon the clear foundation of the Old Testament.
(Hebrews 8:13 NKJV)
that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what
is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
You aren’t going to understand Hebrews, or even the New Testament correctly
unless you learn the Old Testament.
2. Jesus is superior
We’ll see that Jesus is superior to angels.
He’s superior to Moses and the Torah.
He’s superior to the Levitical priests and their sacrifices.
3. Don’t quit
The ultimate goal of the book is to encourage those who are struggling with
difficult times, and help them to endure.
There’s much to find strength from and not quit.
Last week we ended in the middle of a sentence about Jesus,
(Hebrews 1:3 NKJV) 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 at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
1:4-14 Better than angels
:4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance
obtained a more excellent name than they.
:4 having become so much better than the angels
so much – tosoutos – of quantity: so great, so many
better than – kreitton – more useful, more serviceable, more
advantageous; more excellent
One of the goals of Hebrews is to show us how much better Jesus is than all
the other choices out there.
He became better than the angels because for a time, He made Himself lower
than the angels.
Today we’ll see that He’s better than the angels.
According to Jewish tradition, the Law of Moses didn’t just come through
Moses, but it came with the help of angels. (Deut. 33:2)
33:2b NKJV) …And He came with ten thousands of saints; From His
right hand Came a fiery law
Angels were very involved in the Exodus from Egypt:
23:20 NKJV) “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to
bring you into the place which I have prepared.
angels – aggelos – a messenger, envoy, one who is sent
The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is mal’ak, and carries the exact same meaning as the Greek word.
The word can be used to describe that special race of created beings that
serve God – the definition we’ll be mainly using today.
We know the names of some of the angels, such as Gabriel, and Michael.
It can also be used to describe any kind of messenger.
It’s used of ordinary humans, like John the Baptist (Mat. 11:10)
11:10 NKJV) For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I
send My messenger before Your face, Who will
prepare Your way before You.’
There is one unique “angel” mentioned in the Old Testament who does not
belong to that race of created beings like Gabriel.
That person is known as “the Angel of the LORD”, or “the messenger of
This person is known with an exact combination of Hebrew words, the mal’ak of Yahweh.
He appeared to Hagar (Gen. 16:7)
16:7 NKJV) Now the Angel of the Lord
found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.
He appeared to Abraham (Gen. 22:11)
22:11 NKJV) But the Angel of the Lord
called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said,
“Here I am.”
He was at the burning bush with Moses (Ex. 3:2)
3:2 NKJV) And the Angel of the Lord
appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So
he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was
He is found in 52 verses in the Old Testament.
This person is none other than Jesus Christ, appearing before He took on
flesh in Bethlehem.
When the author of Hebrews is making his case that Jesus
is better than the angels, he’s not talking about this personage, because it is
:4 He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name
more excellent – diaphoros –
different, varying in kind; excellent, surpassing
This is in the “comparative” form.
Not just “excellent”, but “more excellent”.
by inheritance obtained – kleronomeo – to
receive a lot, receive by lot; esp. to receive a part of an inheritance,
receive as an inheritance, obtain by right of inheritance; to be an heir, to
inherit; to receive the portion assigned to one, receive an allotted portion,
receive as one’s own or as a possession; to become partaker of, to obtain
This is a perfect tense – something done in the past with it’s results carrying on into the present.
name – onoma – name: univ. of proper names; the name
is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling
of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name,
i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences,
Contrary to some false doctrine, Jesus was not a created being like the
Jesus has always existed as God and yet functions as the “Son” to God the
He was “begotten” when He was born in a manger to a human mother, Mary.
Since God is His “Father”, He has quite an amazing “inheritance”, something
that is much greater than even the angels.
:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I
will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?
:5 to which of the angels did He ever say
did He ever say –
Said who? God the Father (still the
subject from verse 1)
To which of this race of created beings did God ever say…
Most of your Bibles will have some sort of indicator to show that the
following is a quote from the Old Testament.
It may be with italics, or
with bold print.
:5 You are My Son, Today I have
this day – semeron – this (very) day)
begotten – gennao – of men who fathered children; to be
born; of God making Christ his son
This is a quote from Psalm 2, a Messianic Psalm.
The Psalm even uses the word “Messiah” (anointed, vs.2).
It speaks about the nations one day gathering to make war against the
It ends by encouraging the nations to follow the Son rather than rebel
(Psalm 2:12 NKJV) Kiss the
Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His
wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
In the middle of the Psalm, David writes,
(Psalm 2:7 NKJV) “I will
declare the decree: The Lord has said to
Me, ‘You are
My Son, Today I have
God the Father calls the Messiah His “Son”
:5 I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son
This is a new quote.
In 2Samuel 7, David has come up with the idea of building a “house” for
God. He asks the prophet Nathan to speak
to God about this.
Nathan comes back with a word from God that David isn’t going to build God
a house, but that God will build David a house.
Included in God’s prophecy for David is the promise the Messiah being a
descendant of David with this word:
(2 Samuel 7:14
NKJV) I will be his Father, and he shall be My son…
Though part of this prophecy is fulfilled through Solomon, it will
ultimately be fulfilled by Jesus.
:6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let
all the angels of God worship Him.”
:6 when He again brings the firstborn into the world
brings … into – eisago – to lead
in; to bring in, the place into which not being expressly stated
Question: Who “brings the firstborn …”? God the Father (still from verse 1)
firstborn – prototokos – the firstborn
world – oikoumene – the inhabited earth; the universe,
Jesus had existed since eternity past in heaven with the Father. When He was born in a manger in Bethlehem, He
came into our dimension, the “inhabited earth”.
Jesus is the “firstborn” in that He was “born” of God through Mary.
The word “firstborn” also speaks of “preeminence”, being the most important
(Psalm 89:27 NKJV) Also I will
make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.
:6 Let all the angels of God worship Him.
worship – proskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in
token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the
knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound
reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make
obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to
The writer here is quoting from:
(Psalm 97:7 NKJV) Let all be
put to shame who serve carved images, Who boast of idols. Worship Him,
all you gods.
It might sound as if the writer doesn’t do a very good job quoting the Old
Testament, but he is actually quoting exactly from the
Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
:7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And
His ministers a flame of fire.”
:7 Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of
he says – Says
WHO? God the Father (the subject from
Here the write is quoting from Psalm 104:4
(Psalm 104:4 NKJV) Who makes
His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.
spirits – pneuma – spirit,
a movement of air, wind, breath
Translating this as “winds” would fit the parallel with fire better.
Angels are sometimes connected to forces of nature, such as the pillar of
cloud by day and fire by night that led the nation out of Egypt. God referred to it as His “angel”. (Ex.
(Exodus 14:19 NKJV)
the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind
them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.
ministers – leitourgos – servant; of the temple; of one busied
with holy things; of a priest
fire – pur – fire
flame – phlox – a flame
Several ideas in this passage:
Whereas the Son is “begotten”, the angels are “made” or “created”.
Whereas the Son will rule (Heb. 1:8,9), the angels will “serve”
:8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and
ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
throne – thronos – a throne seat; a chair of state
having a footstool; assigned in the NT to kings, hence, kingly power or royalty
for ever – aion – for ever,
an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity; the worlds, universe; period of time, age
sceptre – rhabdos – a staff, a walking stick, a twig, rod, branch; a rod with which
one is beaten; a staff; when applied to kings; with a rod of iron, indicates
the severest, most rigorous rule; a royal sceptre
righteousness – euthutes –
from euthus (“well” + “to place”) – straight,
level; straight forward, upright, true, sincere
:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore
God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more
than Your companions.”
loved – agapao – of persons; to welcome, to entertain,
to be fond of, to love dearly; to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a
righteousness – dikaiosune – in a
broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the
condition acceptable to God; integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness,
correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting
iniquity – anomia – the
condition of without law; contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness
hath anointed – chrio – to anoint;
consecrating Jesus to the Messianic office, and furnishing him with the
necessary powers for its administration; enduing Christians with the gifts of
the Holy Spirit
oil – elaion – olive oil
gladness – agalliasis – exultation, extreme joy, gladness
At feasts, people were anointed with the "oil of gladness". Paul, in #Heb 1:9,
is alluding to this inaugural ceremony of anointing, and uses it as an emblem
of the divine power and majesty to which to which the Son of God has been
Ac 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all
that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
fellows – metochos – sharing in, partaking; a partner (in
a work, office, dignity)
:8 Your throne, O God, is forever
Verses 8,9 are a direct quote from Psalm 45:6-7.
(Psalm 45:6–7 NKJV)
—6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of
righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You love
righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil
of gladness more than Your companions.
If you’re reading Psalm 45, you might think it’s the Psalmist talking to
God here about God’s throne, but it’s not.
The passage in Psalms can seem quite confusing because it seems to flip
back and forth between who is saying what.
The writer of Hebrews clarifies the confusion.
It’s God the Father saying this to God the Son.
God calls Jesus “God”
Is it that important that we see Jesus as “God”?
John called Jesus God.
(John 1:1 NKJV) In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Paul called Jesus God.
NKJV) For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
Jesus called Himself God.
(John 10:30 NKJV) I and My
Father are one.”
The Jews understood that Jesus was calling Himself God.
(John 10:33 NKJV) The Jews
answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy,
and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
And even here in this passage, God the Father has called Jesus God.
Jesus will be ruling on a throne “forever”.
:8 A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom
scepter – rhabdos – a staff, a walking stick, branch; a
rod with which one is beaten; a royal scepter
A “scepter” can be a walking stick, or maybe even a baseball bat.
Kings have a “scepter” that is symbolic of their power to rule.
God is saying that that the Messiah’s “scepter” is a scepter that
represents righteousness, doing things according to God’s standard.
We call that “obedience”
As a result of how the Messiah obeys, God has …
:9 anointed You with the oil of gladness
Joy in obedience
I think that sometimes we think that living a life of obedience to God is a
little like …
And that “rowing” thing looks like …
It doesn’t look very joyful to me.
God anointed the Messiah with the oil of gladness because the Messiah loved
righteousness and hated lawlessness, just like God.
In other words, Jesus had great joy because He lived of life of whole
hearted obedience to the Father.
gladness – agalliasis – exultation, extreme joy, gladness
After extensive research, I think that word looks like this:
Do you have trouble experiencing “joy” in serving the Lord?
Perhaps it’s because you might need a sort of attitude adjustment.
You need to adjust your standards, the way you “rule” your life, the kind
of “scepter” that you rule with.
If you have been deceived to think that fleshly sinful things are the only
way to experience joy, then you’ve been deceived by Satan.
Do you really feel that “joyful” after sinning?
6:23 NKJV) For the wages of sin is death…
The “Happy Dance” comes from doing what’s right … obedience.
The joy is also connected with the “anointing”. God “anoints” the Messiah with the oil of
Oil is a consistent picture in the Bible of the Holy Spirit.
If you are trying to live a life of obedience without the power of the Holy
Spirit in your life, your life is NOT going to be filled with joy. You’ll be down rowing with the slaves.
Real joy comes from knowing what the right thing is to do, and with the
help of the Holy Spirit actually getting it done.
Maybe joy is like what a baseball player experiences when he hits a home
run with his “scepter”…
Video: Best Bat Flips Ever
:10 And: “You, Lord, in
the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the
work of Your hands.
The “And” shows us this is just another of the Scriptures that are talking
about the Son.
These next three verses all come from the same passage.
:11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all
grow old like a garment;
perish – apollumi – to destroy; to put out of the way
entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin; to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed
remain – diameno – to stay permanently, remain
they will … grow old – palaioo – to make
ancient or old; to become old, to be worn out; of things worn out by time and
use; to declare a thing to be old and so about to be abrogated
:11 They will perish, but You remain
Talking about creation perishing, not angels. One day the heavens and earth will pass away.
:12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And
they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years
will not fail.”
cloak – peribolaion – a covering thrown around, a wrapper;
a mantle; a veil
fold them up – helisso – to roll
up, fold together
they will be changed – allasso (from the
word allos, “another”) – to change, to
exchange one thing for another, to transform
will not fail – ekleipo – fail; to
fail; to leave off, cease, stop; of the failing or eclipse of the light of the
sun and the moon
:10 in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth
laid the foundation – themelioo – to lay
the foundation, to found; to make stable, establish
beginning – arche –
Verses 10-12 are quoting from Psalm 102:25-27.
NKJV) —25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the
heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they
will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will
be changed. 27 But You are
the same, And Your
years will have no end.
In reading the Psalm, you would think that the Psalmist is simply talking
about God the Father, but the writer of Hebrews is telling us that this was
written about the Son.
This is very similar to what John wrote,
(John 1:3 NKJV) —1 In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in
the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing
was made that was made.
From the beginning, Jesus was involved in every aspect of Creation.
:12 they will be changed. But You are the same
All of creation around us will one day change, will one day pass away.
God on the other hand will never change.
We get very attached to the things of this world.
Our new car gets a scratch and we go crazy.
One day it will all pass away.
Invest your life in what lasts. The
things of God last.
:13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?
footstool translates two words:
footstool – hupopodion – a footstool; to make one a footstool
of one’s feet, i.e. to subject, to reduce under one’s power; metaph. taken from
the practice of conquerors who placed their feet on the necks of their
footstool – pous – a foot; often in the orient, one put
his foot on vanquished
It’s literally, “Till I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet”
:13 Sit at My right hand
This verse comes from Psalm 110:1, a recognized Messianic Psalm.
(Psalm 110:1 NKJV) The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right
hand, Till I make
Your enemies Your footstool.”
This is one of the Scriptures that Jesus stumped the Pharisees on, because
they couldn’t understand how David could be talking about his son and calling
him “Lord”. (Mat. 22:41-46)
22:41–46 NKJV) —41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying,
“What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to
Him, “The Son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’
saying: 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My
right hand, Till I make
Your enemies Your footstool” ’? 45 If David
then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one
was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question
The seat on the right side of a king was reserved for the most important
person after the king.
Who is God telling to sit on His right hand?
It’s the Messiah, not an angel.
:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those
who will inherit salvation?
:14 Are they not all ministering spirits
ministering – leitourgikos – relating to the performance of
service, employed in ministering
spirits – pneuma – spirit
to minister – diakonia – service, ministering, esp. of those
who execute the commands of others
sent forth – apostello – to order (one) to go to a place
appointed; to send away, dismiss
them who shall be – mello – to be
about; to be on the point of doing or suffering something
We are the ones who are “about to be” heirs of salvation.
This is the purpose of the angels.
Angels are here to help us, like those “helpful Honda guys”.
So what kinds of things do angels do? (besides play baseball)
1. Worship God
I’m not sure if angels play a direct part in our worship,
or that they help us in specific ways, but I’d like to state that they know how
to worship God.
5:11–12 NKJV) —11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the
throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten
thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with
a loud voice: “Worthy is
the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and
wisdom, And strength
and honor and glory and blessing!”
When you and I worship God, our main audience ought to be
God Himself – He is the one we are singing to.
But just keep in mind that angels may be joining in as
2. Serve God
103:20–21 NKJV) —20 Bless the Lord, you
His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers
of His, who do His pleasure.
When you are doing things to serve God, there may be some
3. Answers to prayer
Angels are used by God at times to answer our prayers.
Several times Daniel the prophet asked God for help, and
God responded by sending an angel (Dan. 9:21; 10:10-14)
9:21 NKJV) yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I
had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached
me about the time of the evening offering.
10:10–14 NKJV) —10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on
the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the
words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.”
While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. 12 Then he said
to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to
understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and
I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one
days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had
been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you
understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers
to many days yet to come.”
4. Invisible help
They are here to render us service
but we don’t always see them.
When Elisha was surrounded by the Syrian army, his servant
was freaking out.
Elisha prayed for God to open the servants
eyes and he saw that they were surrounded by a far greater army of angels.
Kings 6:16–17 NKJV) —16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are
more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may
see.” Then the Lord opened the
eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of
horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Jesus warned about not causing others to stumble,
18:10 The Message) “Watch that you don’t treat a single one
of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don’t you, that their
personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?
This is where the concept of “guardian angels” come from.
Have you ever had an unexplained situation where you came
out of it unscathed?
I remember a situation forty years ago, driving my 1970 VW
van filled with about eight pastors on our way to a Bible Study at Calvary
Costa Mesa. We were on the 5 freeway coming up to the 55. The traffic suddenly stopped. I put my foot on the brake as hard as I
could, and to this day I have NO IDEA how we stopped with that much weight in
the van. Except I think an angel got
squished between my front spare tire and the car in front of me.
:13 Sit at My right hand
Jesus is better
The writer of Hebrews has given us a few reasons why Jesus is better than
He is God’s Son (vs. 5)
Angels worship Jesus (vs. 6)
Angels are created (vs. 7)
Jesus is God (vs. 8)
Jesus is the Creator (vs. 10-12)
Jesus sits at God’s right hand (vs. 13)
Did you know that besides being so awesome, Jesus loves you very, very
Did you know that He took on human flesh and died on the cross in order to pay for your sins?
He longs for you to turn from your sins and to follow Him.