I’m going to invite you to the Book of Hebrews as we dive into our series on looking at how Jesus was greater through the Book of Hebrews. This is the second week that we’ve been in this series together. We’re going to be Chapter One and we are really going to tackle a chapter at a time as we move forward at least for the next several chapters as it relates to this Book.
Hebrews is a very significant Book for us to consider as it relates to your faith, the identity of Jesus and what all that means for you. We put Hebrews last week. We only look at the first three verses and tried to put it in its proper context as to why this Book was written so we can make the best application to our lives. One of the things I told you last week was that Hebrews was written by Paul. Everyone that disagrees with me is wrong and when we get to Heaven we’ll all learn that together. I’m teasing. Most likely, I think it’s Paul written Hebrews Book. The reason I say that is a few, but Hebrews written to the Jewish people, under persecution. A few things aren’t talked in Hebrews that would be significant in a historical timeline if it had happened. That would be the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. If you are going to write to Jews, you probably want to mention that. You’re Temple is destroyed. Then, the persecution of Nero which breaks out in the middle of the 60s A.D.
Likely what’s happening is the author of Hebrews knows that persecution is about to take place. The reason we know that is because in Hebrews 13, he is writing from Italy, the capital where Rome is located and that dominates the Roman Empire. Everything transcends from Rome. The influences. The culture around them. During his time period, early 60s, we see the Apostle Paul and Peter both martyred. They’re both looked at as the leaders of the church. You think if you take the head off you can kill the rest of the body. They’re preparing. Whoever is writing Hebrews is preparing the people in pursuit of Jesus what their lives, knowing that it could cost them.
This author is writing in order to encourage us in our faith in pursuit of who God is. We go through adversity in our lives. The tendency is it’s a real quick means of helping us figure out what really matters. You go through hard things and you sort of let go of the peripheral things that you pretended to like were really important and then all of a sudden you realize in the grand scheme of life it doesn’t matter a hill of beans when you get to the end of the days. So, what matters in your life? Persecution has a tendency to do that.
When you read the Book of Hebrews, if Paul wrote it towards the end of his life, the stand that he is taking in Jesus literally cost him his life. He is writing this Book as if to say to you, when you face persecution, when you face pressure in life, you really want to make sure that the hill you’re about to die on matters. Is this going to support me? At the end of the day, is this what life is all about? Does this even make a difference in the lives of people? Is this really truth? Do I really need to sacrifice for this?
The author of Hebrews is writing to us to encourage us in that way to recognize the significance of who Jesus is. If I said it this way, everyone seeks a treasure in life. What you treasure will lead your heart. What guides your heart will control your life. The author of Hebrews wants us to see the rightful place for which Jesus should have control of our hearts. How He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and He’s called you into relationship with Him, and He’s given you the purpose for why you exist and what He’s called you to in this world.
When the Book starts off in the Book of Hebrews, the first three verses, the author I think intentionally does this. He in this context says some of the most shocking things that he could think to say about Jesus in order to wake up our ears and our minds and to help us understand exactly what he is trying to communicate. He spends the rest of this Book articulating for us why he can make this claim about Jesus in the first three verses and why you should let your heart lean into this Christ. Why, when persecution happens, why this Jesus can be your foundation.
He makes this statement, in Verse 1 he says, God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the province, and many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His son. Remember, we talked about, if you were here last week, we talked about the significance of this statement because if you wanted to hear from God in the Old Testament, God spoke through His prophets. We looked at this historically that after Malachi, Jewish writers continue to state, until the New Testament came about, they stated for this 400 year period, from Malachi to the New Testament that God wasn’t speaking through His prophets anymore. They said that God was silent and they couldn’t wait to hear from God again. The Book of Baruch and the Book of Maccabees and the historian Josephus. All commenting on how God had been silent for hundreds of years to His prophets.
Now, all of a sudden, this author is saying okay, God spoke in times past through His prophets and now today, He is speaking. If you were a Jew knowing that God spoke to His prophets and they’re telling you now, written to the Hebrews, written to the Jews, that God is speaking again, you would immediately ask the questions, where and what gives this person the authority? Where can I hear from God again? It tells us in this passage, in these last days, He is speaking to us and His son. So, it’s saying very plainly, in the past, God spoke to His prophets. I said very pointedly last week and today, I am not following the prophets, because in time past that’s who God spoke to, but today, who does He speak to us through?
The most intimate of His revelation of which He has given, that is Jesus. God in the flesh come to us. God has spoken a very personal way, that God has become flesh that we could know Him and see Him. That’s why Jesus said, He who has seen Me has seen the Father. It’s one and the same. That’s why He goes on further from this and makes this comment in the second half of Verse 2. Talking about Jesus, whom He has appointed heir of all things. Through Him He has also made the world. He is the radiance of God’s glory. 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.
If you ask the question, okay, God in the past spoke to these prophets. Today He speaks to Jesus. On what authority should I even care what Jesus has to say? The author is saying it’s because He’s God and He is ruling and reigning. Jesus made all of this. Jesus sustains all of this. When you think about the attributes of the Father, Jesus is the exact representation in the flesh. He who has seen the Son has seen the Father, because the nature of the Father is in the Son. God has become flesh.
We looked at all sorts of passages related to this last week. I don’t have time to go through them all, but Jesus really doesn’t give us the opportunity to say one thing that most of culture says about Jesus today, and that is He is a good moral teacher. When you study the teachings of Jesus, particularly what Jesus even said about himself in the Gospels, Jesus gave you no room to say you’re a good moral teacher Jesus. Thank you for being such a great prophet. What this passage is saying is Jesus is greater than prophets and the reason why is because He is God. Jesus didn’t give us the place to say oh, you’re just a good moral person. Jesus gave you two places on the spectrum of qualifying and categorizing Him. Either He is an insane loony person or He is God Himself. That’s it. I mean, those are the two places that when you conceive about Jesus that you can sort of put your labels on Him. You don’t say the kind of things Jesus said unless you’re crazy or you’re God.
I mean, Jesus said in John 8:58, before Abraham was, I am. Not that I existed, but that He is the self-existent one. In John 8:58, they go to stone Jesus for blasphemy for calling himself to be God. In John 10:30, the same thing. Jesus calls himself God. John 20:28, Thomas calls Him God. We looked at John 7 last week. At the end of that chapter when Jesus stands in the Temple at a celebration with Jews were made to go to the Temple. Every year, the Jews have three celebrations to celebrate, and they have to go to the Temple too. That’s God requirement in the law. One is the Feast of Booths. At the end of the Feast of Booths, which is a week long feast, the Jews live in tents. During the time of living in tents, they praise and worship God for His provision over their people and wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.
As they came out from slavery in Egypt, God put them on a journey for 40 years and God provided for them. From that time, they celebrated the Feast of Booths for God’s provision. At one point I that wilderness experience, they were out of water. God tells them to strike a rock and provides water. Living water for them to sustain life in the desert. It’s during this Feast of Booths, the last night and remembering of that rock that brought life to the people if Israel that they’re pouring out this drink offering and remembering what God has done. When all of the nation is here at this Temple celebrating, Jesus stands up in the midst of the crowd and says I am that living water. He who drinks of me will never thirst again. It’s like the water in the garden was good for a few days, but then you needed water again, but I am the representation. I am that water. Only God can satisfy like that or he’s crazy.
I mean, what friend do you know in his right mind would stand up in a group of thousands upon thousands people declaring themselves as the one who can satisfy everyone? He needs to get his head checked or He is God.
That’s what the author of Hebrews is saying to us in this passage. The reason that Jesus could claim that He’s greater than the prophets. That He is the greatest prophet, but even beyond that is because He is God Himself. If you look a little deeper in this passage, it tells us at the end of the verse, He is sitting down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Meaning, this is a picture of a king on a throne ruling and reigning. That is where He’s sitting. What is His rear end on? The throne. I’m not talking about the toilet. You know? Somebody might think it way. He literally has a throne and He is ruling and reigning from it.
Jesus is God King. He is Warrior King. What is He warring for? You. You. You think in the context of why Hebrews is written. Hebrews is talking to a church, a group about to go through persecution. They’re going to find out if their faith really is in Jesus during this time. If they really see Him as the one who sustains them, but He is going to build them up in this and on what basis. He is the glorious ruling Warrior King for you.
Categorically, this would cause a problem for the Jews, because they’ve been taught theologically there is only one God. The Old Testament is written to a society that by all intents and purposes is polytheistic, which means they believe in many gods. When God writes the New Testament, especially when you start in the very beginning of Genesis with the creation story, every statement that God makes about the creation story is honestly a statement against a deity during that day. What you find as you read throughout the Old Testament, it is heavily monotheistic. There is only one God. He wants Israel to see very plainly there is only one God. I mean, we read passages to you last week. Isaiah 43 verse 10. Isaiah 44 verse 6 and 8. Plainly say, there is only one God. There has only ever existed one God. There will only ever be one God. Before Him there was no god formed, either will be a god after Him. There is only one God. The great Shamal, which Israel reads to themselves every day. Every morning, every night a good Jew recites the Shamal.
Hear oh Israel. Shamal [inaudible 00:12:07]. Hear oh Israel. The Lord your God is one. There is only one God. They are a solely monotheistic society. Now, all of a sudden, we are saying Jesus is God. How does that work? No doubt, we are getting into the Trinitarian teaching here. I’m going to dive more into that next week. They’re trying to figure out, now how does Jesus fit into this. They begin to speculate. Well, He’s definitely a messenger of God because He said some godly things so maybe He is angelic by nature, showing divine possession but not really God Himself.
In Hebrews 1:4, though, the author starts to argue this for us. He says, having become as much better than the angels as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. Jesus isn’t just a glorified being. He doesn’t just have this angelic holy power. I mean, the Jews revered angels in their day. In fact, when you read the Old Testament, you see in Deuteronomy 33 at the beginning of Deuteronomy when God gives the law at Mount Sinai. He is surrounded by the myriad of His angels blazing with fire. They highly revered angels. Angels were God’s messengers sent to carry out His work in this world. Maybe then, if we’re trying to think about how Jesus fits into this that maybe He’s more of an angelic being.
One of the beauties of seeing the nature of God in the Old Testament and the fact that it is so heavily monotheistic and helping us understand that there is only one God. There will only ever be one God. That when you read the nature of this God in the Old Testament, you can see the nature of that God being played out in the New Testament. That’s why the author of Hebrews says the exact representation of His being. To look at Jesus is to behold the nature of God. He is God in the flesh which, if that’s true, you know what that says to us? How personable, real, tangible this God comes for you. What kind of love is displayed in that God that sacrifices so much?
The Jews are just trying to think through, how does this fit that He’s calling Jesus God in this passage, but yet there’s only one God. You think in this society, the kind of pressure that would be placed on them.
If you’re a Jew, first century, the Book of Acts, Chapter 8 tells us the persecution of the church starts in Jerusalem. Stephen’s martyred. The fear of that persecution and further martyred in the church out of Jerusalem begins to spread throughout the new world. Then, it gets all the way to Rome where Caesar is and Nero is about to take Christians and light them on fire to light up his gardens at night. Are you sure that Jesus is God? I mean, the society around Him would say, hey, about you just say Jesus is a good moral teacher. How about you just say, Jesus is a spiritual being and you’re spiritual so you pursue Him for spirituality. Just do anything with Jesus, but just don’t call Him God. If you don’t call Him God, your family will love you. Your society will not kill you and Rome will embrace you.
I mean, you could imagine the pressure on the first century just to renounce the teaching of Jesus in the early church. Coming from Rome, coming from other Jewish family members, just the cost of what it means to pursue Christ. Now, if you’re interested in things, if you want to study angels, it contrasts in this chapter, verses on angels. I’m not going to highlight this when I walk through this passage. Just so you know, if you want to look at the verses related to angels, verse 7, verse 14 talk about it.
It says in verse 7 of the angels he says, who makes His angels wind and His ministers a flame of fire. So, it’s saying angels are made. The word wind is also spirit. So, it’s saying angels are spirit beings and they minister with holiness for God. So, God uses them to accomplish things in this world. Verse 14, are they not all ministering spirits sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? So, it’s literally saying God’s people have guardian angels. Some of you overwork yours. Give them a break. No. I’m just kidding.
God’s people have angelic beings or guardian angels. Now, don’t pray to them. I’m not saying pray to them. It’s saying God creates angels to carry out His work in this world. There’s a drastic contrast between created and calling something God, because God is not created. God is.
The author of Hebrews in making this claim, this is what he says about thinking about angels, thinking about Jesus and His identity. In verse 40, it says, having become as much better than the angels as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. This idea of name now, from verse 4 on, he is going to build for us this excellent name that is Jesus. What does it mean that Jesus has an excellent name? In our culture, we’re a little bit different than Jewish cultures. Sometimes we just pick names because they sound cool. Right?
In Jewish culture, name had everything to do with Jesus’ identity. That’s why today we’ll say and we pray in Jesus’ name. In the name of Jesus. Amen. You’ll hear people say that. What does that mean? It’s not like this voodoo curse you put at the end because you magically say Jesus’ name and all of a sudden it happens. What it’s saying is you’re praying with His authority. His identity. The nature of who He is, is represented in that prayer. That’s the only reason you’re even able to pray, because of what Jesus has done. Name has to do with identity. It represents nature.
They’re about to show us why Jesus’ name is much more excellent than just an angelic being. If I just threw this out, and you’re going to see this tossed around in this passage. It’s like in our culture today. We get the idea of name related to God with Son. We have a hard time in seeing how Jews refer to name and then Jesus is called the Son of God and what that even means. People that phrase Son and they make it mean as literal as possible, because Jesus is called the Son of the Father, that the Father then had a kid and Jesus is His Son. That’s not what scripture is talking about at all. It’s the way of mimicking the reflection of or the nature of.
If I just gave you some examples, just think through this. Okay? In the New Testament, when you read the work Son, Judas is called for example, the Son of Perdition. Perdition means hell. Hell didn’t have a baby. James and Jude are called the Sons of Thunder. The Son of Thunder doesn’t mean thunder had a kid. The representation of thunder is demonstrated in their character. Barnabas is called the Son of Encouragement. It’s not telling us that encouragement had a baby. It’s telling us that Barnabas represents what is encouragement. In our culture today, we use the same phrase as son of, but we usually say bad words about people after that. What we’re saying about them is that they irritate the snot all over you and you’re trying to express that in a very ungodly way, so don’t do that. Right?
You get what I’m saying? When it’s talking to us about scripture, it’s not saying that Jesus was born. I’ll tell you why in a little bit later, but Jesus can’t be born. It’s nature. If He’s going to be God, because He would be less than deity. I’ll explain to you why in a little while. The phrase Son of as it relates to Jesus is helping us to recognize the nature of God is in Him.
That’s why it tells us Colossians 2:9, the fullness of God dwells in Him in bodily form. That God became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1-14, and we beheld His glory, the glory is the only begotten full of grace and truth.
If we’re being honest, when it talks about Jesus being the Son of God, in verse 18 of John 1, it says He is the only begotten. Meaning, it’s not trying to teach us that we can all become sons of God. That’s not what it’s teaching us at all. What it’s saying He’s the only begotten Son. It’s saying that He is the only one. It literally means in Greek, He is the only one of this kind or class. He is the only one in flesh that you could ever look at and say that is God in the flesh. Jesus is in the category all to His own. The nature of God is in Him.
That’s what this more excellent name is. If you are going to put your life down on this, you need to know it’s dependable. The author of Hebrews goes through this in context in verse 5 and on. This is written to Jews. The Jews had a beautiful way in studying scripture. They didn’t just tell you to embrace something because. They built it on a foundation. What you see, if you have the Book of Hebrews open, if you look at verse 5 down to verse 13, most translations take this section of scripture and what they do is they actually indent it multiple times. The reason they indent it is because they want you to know the author of Hebrews is drawing from something. Where is he drawing from? The Old Testament. This is what the Jews call a [inaudible 00:21:38]. He is taking a picture from the Old Testament and he is making his argumentation. He is saying in verses 1 to 4, this is who Jesus is. If you ask the question, okay, well, then prove it. I want to know. How do you know that this is who Jesus is? Well, let me go back to the Old Testament and show you that this is a foundation that God has laid from the beginning.
God’s not looking at this and like oh, man. These people are messed up. What are we going to do about this? I don’t know. Angels, what do you think? We should probably rescue them. Okay. Let’s send Jesus I guess. That’s not how this worked. What he is saying in the Old Testament is that God has orchestrated this throughout history. Let me just show you how the hand of God has been in this all along. How Jesus has been declared from the beginning. He goes back into the Old Testament and he quotes these [inaudible 00:22:19]. I want to tell you, this takes a little bit of time to do this in the Bible, but if you do this in scripture, it is so much more beautiful. It helps you to not rip portions of the Bible out of its context.
If you can see when the Bible indents passages like this or quotes from the Old Testament, if you go back to that section and you read the context from when it was written, why it was written, man, it adds such enormous beauty to scripture to help you see how God has orchestrated this from beginning to end. His divine hand for you. Warrior King for you.
What he does in Hebrews Chapter 1 verse 5, he begins to quote. Let me read it to you. For to which of the angels did he ever say you are my son. Today I have begotten you. Again, I will be a father to him and he shall be a son to me. Now, I want you to know this. When Jews quoted Old Testament, they didn’t have chapter and verse divisions like we do today. They had letters. They had scrolls. They rolled it out. They read it. It was wonderful. Right? Beautiful. God’s word to them. When they would quote a section of scripture, they’re not just saying and this is exactly the words I mean. They want you to look at these words, but what they want us to recognize is there’s a context here. Right? They want you to recognize that this passage, this thought, this phrase, is ripped out in entire context and it means something to the Jews.
When he’s quoting here in verse 5, he takes what I think are two of the most important passages in the Old Testament and he starts off with the identity of Jesus. In the first part, you’re My Son today. I have begotten you. Psalm 2. The second part, I will be a father to Him and He shall be a son to Me. 2 Samuel Chapter 7. Let me just explain to you why this is important. Psalm Chapter 2 was a kingship Psalm. Not just kingship. The Jews also understood it as a Messianic kingship. Meaning, when they read Psalm Chapter 2 and this is verse 7, when you look at the context of this verse, you realize a mere man, a mere king, in flesh, can’t fulfill this. That while it’s talking about the kings of Israel, it has to be something more divine than just the kings of Israel. That a mere man cannot qualify here.
In fact, I would say that this section of scripture is so important, that this passage is quoted several times in the New Testament. The first two times it’s quoted, it’s by God the Father over Jesus. When Jesus is baptized, Matthew Chapter 3 verse 17, at the transfiguration of Jesus where He reveals His glory to His inner circle of disciples. In Matthew Chapter 17 verse 5, the Father says it twice to Jesus. You are My beloved Son, whom I am well pleased. Today I have begotten You. What the Father is doing is He’s showing His approval of Jesus being anointed for the position as saving king in this world. Jesus is baptized. That’s His anointing for the ministry. Jesus is transfigured. That’s His anointing recognizing His authority to die on the cross for our sins, but it’s a Messianic kingship Psalm identifying for us exactly who this Jesus is.
In fact, Peter quotes the same verse again in 2 Peter 1:17 when he reflects back over what Jesus has accomplished. Then he goes on from there and he quotes 2 Samuel 7. 2 Samuel 7:14-16 is an important verse for Jewish history. It’s one of those, it’s so important if you were a Jew and you wanted a tattoo, this verse would be one you would consider, because what it says in this passage of scripture, it’s a promise to King David. He says to King David, your throne David will be forever and forever.
Now, if you look in Jewish history today and you look at that and you take that physical, literal, there is no King David or anyone of King David’s throne ruling and reigning today in this world. When you read this phrase, your throne oh David will be forever and ever. I mean, you can just ask the question, what dynasty has ever accomplished that? What individual has even held any amount of duration in his ruling? Every leader comes to an end. Every dynasty comes to an end. How can someone rule forever and ever unless he be God?
What this individual is doing, he’s going back in Hebrews Chapter 1 verse 5 and he’s saying look at this Messianic Psalm. You guys would sing this over your king, but you ultimately knew the Messiah would fulfill this. Look at this statement in 2 Samuel 7 that talks about the kingdom of David ruling forever and ever and Jesus is of the kingdom of David. There is no one that can fulfill this lest God become flesh. That is the only way someone could rule on a throne forever and ever. Immortal he would have to be.
Then, he goes on in verse 6, and when he again brings the firstborn into the world, he says and let all the angels of God worship Him. Firstborn is another one. Jimminy Christmas. We read that and we think, God had a kid. He was the firstborn. Then, you got to get into some theological hurdles if you want to hold to that view, because Jesus obviously came 2000 years ago, and there’s people that have existed before that. How in the world could He be firstborn, unless you take a biblical understanding of what firstborn means. Okay?
There is the word firstborn that can literally mean your firstborn child. Then, there’s this idea of firstborn that means the pre-eminent one. The one who has the authority. In Israel’s history, the father, the patriarch, when he would pass on, they would hand the inheritance off to the kids, but one of the children received double portion to carry the family name on. The person that carried that family portion or carried the portion of the family on in the future was considered the firstborn. Sometimes, it could literally be the firstborn, but not always. Psalm 89 verse 27. Solomon was like the tenth born to David. In Psalm 89 verse 27, Solomon is called the firstborn. What does that mean? Not that he’s literally firstborn, but that he is the pre-eminent one. He carries the family forward.
Jesus in this passage is referred to as the firstborn to help us see He is the pre-eminent one. He is ruling and reigning. Into the world, He says, and let all the angels of God worship Him. The author of Hebrews is going back again into Psalm 97 which is again kingship Psalm of God’s creation and how the angels are called to worship Him.
Then, it goes in Psalm 107, it says, quoting from Psalm 107, or 104, excuse me, verse 7, it says, and of the angels, He says, who makes His angels winds and His ministers of flame of fire, but of the Son He says, your throne oh God is forever and ever and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. You have loved righteousness, hated lawlessness, therefore God, Your God has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.
What it’s saying in this Psalm, it’s contrasting the angel and God here. In Psalm 104, it’s talking about creator God. That’s what’s quoted in verse 7 and how God made these angels. Then, it contrasts the angels who were simply ministers to the Son who was the One who rules. In verse 8, he’s quoting in this passage of scripture, excuse me, Psalm 45. Psalm 45 again is a kingship Psalm. Israel would sing this Psalm over their kings when they were married. Psalm 45 is a kingship Psalm at a marriage celebration which Israel would sing about the lineage of this king wanting his throne to be forever and ever. They’re thinking about the promise of 2 Samuel 7.
When Israel would sing this Psalm, they wanted to see that king in his marriage, that family to move forward, and so they would sing this Psalm, but here’s what they ultimately knew in this kingship Psalm. It was also Messianic and the reason they knew it was Messianic is because no king could rule forever and ever. Every king’s rule came to an end, but who could rule forever? God.
It says this interesting phrase about Him. It describes this king. We’ve looked at the description of this king in multiple ways. Ruling, reigning, creating all things, subduing all things, upholding all things. Hebrews 1 describes all of that, but in verse 9, it says this, that God the Father says therefore God. Your God has anointed You with oil of gladness above Your companions. God the Father is looking to Christ and calling Him God. I realize I could into Trinitarian teaching here. I’m not going to quite do that today. I’m going to save some of that for next week. I want us to just see this for a minute, because this is an interesting phrase. If you think in Israel’s day, their singing to their kings and they’re calling them God. How in the world can they do that? Right? The Bible plainly says, there’s only one God and there will only ever be one God.
What’s important to recognize is that this phrase God in this passage is actually Elohim. Elohim is a generic word. In the Old Testament, Elohim could mean anything. It could mean a judge who is ruling. Anyone that’s exercising authority. It could be a judge that’s ruling. It could be a king that’s ruling. It could be a president. It could be a whatever. Anyone with any authority. They could be referred to as an Elohim. Even God Himself could oftentimes be referred to as an Elohim.
They could sing this Psalm talking about their king, because all they’re saying is Elohim. Elohim. Elohim. Ultimately, they knew that this didn’t exactly fit the description of their king because this phrase says forever and ever. When it comes to the nature of God and we talk about Him being an Elohim, what does this mean? I want us to know that it doesn’t mean that Jesus became a God, because it violates the nature of what scripture says.
Scripture plainly says there is only one God. Isaiah 43:10. Isaiah 44 verse 6 and 8. Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verse 4. There is only God. There will only ever be one God. That’s all that there ever has been. It tells us in Malachi 3:6, His nature never changes. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. It tells us that in Hebrews Chapter 13 verse 8 about Jesus. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. It’s not saying Jesus became a God, but Jesus is God. Why do I say Jesus can’t become a God? Well, one. It violates what we just said. The Bible tells you there’s only one and there only will ever be one. I want you to even think about this in a philosophical sense. When you think about the identity of God, the Bible tells us that he is the great I Am. I Am literally translates as the self-existent one.
Now, people sometimes will ask the question, where did God come from? You know, it operates under the basis that everything had to come from somewhere because all things have a point of origin for which they exist. Do you know when it comes to the idea of God, you can’t answer that question. The reason is, is because in order to exist as we understand existence, you need time, space and matter. You need a time from which to exist, and a space from which to come, and matter from which to sustain on that you can exist in. Right? When it comes to the idea of God, God created all of those things. God is outside of time, space and matter. Therefore, He has no place and time and place of origin from which to come from. He is. He is the one from which all things find its purpose and meaning and its existence. That’s why when God gives Himself a name, He says I Am. I Am the self-existent one.
When Moses asked Him what His name was in the burning bush, He says His name is I Am, which defines everything else in creation. Everything that exists finds its purpose in God. Its origin begins in God. God is the only being which finds His existence within Himself because He is the sustaining one. What it says in a nutshell is God is not inadequate in any way.
Think about it like this. This is fun. Let’s see if our minds crack open here. Does God think? Have you ever considered that? Does God think? In order to think, it implies that there is something you need to know because you do not know. Is there anything that God does not know? No. It would make Him inadequate. It would make Him in some degree incapable. There isn’t anything God doesn’t already know, therefore, God doesn’t think. He doesn’t have to think. He is. All things find their origin of existence in Him. That’s why it’s impossible to become a god.
If you look at that categorically in history, if you go read Isaiah 14 and you see the fall of Satan in Isaiah 14, do you know why Satan fell? The fall of Satan is in Isaiah 14. Satan fell because it tells us Satan desired to become like God. When you read in the Book of Genesis in Chapter 1, when Satan comes to the Garden of Eden, he talks to Adam and Eve. Do you know what lie Satan perpetrates with Adam and Eve? Eat of the fruit, because on the day you do, you shall surely become like God. I could never be God. I’m inadequate. Even if I continue to grow as a being, I can never sustain what it means to be all adequate. That’s why I say, if you think about polytheism and people believe in a duration of gods, I just ask the question, whatever god exists today that people might find authority in, I would say well, what god created that god? What god created that god and what god created that god? Wherever it started, the point of origin, that’s the God I want to worship because that’s the one that has the power to do it all anyway.
When it comes to Christianity, it starts off monotheistic and it just simply explains it as only being one God because the nature of God can only exist in one being to begin with and He has created all of this. When it talks about this idea of Elohim to the Jews in the Old Testament, they could read it as a ruler, but ultimately they knew it didn’t completely satisfy in just a being because this God is described as forever and ever. Completely adequate. Always adequate. Never lacking in nature. Never changing. There’s only one God and only ever will be one God. Then, it goes on.
In Psalm 110 and 102 are recorded in the rest of the section. 102 is the first part. Verses 10 to 12, he says, Lord, You Lord in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish but You remain. They all will become old like a garment. Like a mantle You’ll 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. Then he goes on, but to which of the angels have You ever said, sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet? You see this in Jesus. Right? He’s quoting this relating verse 10 to 12 to Jesus, that Jesus is adequate. He doesn’t lack. The nature of God is in Him. He’s controlling all things. He has the authority to roll them up and to carry forth from the world and He doesn’t change, though the rest of life will change.
Then, he describes His throne. That all this will be laid at Your feet because You are God ruling and reigning. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. What does this mean for us? I get to the end of this and just seeing the nature of Christ just laid out, how do you relate any of this to us? You consider the theme of Hebrews, the writer starts off with this prophetic idea that Jesus is the ultimate prophet. Why? Because, he’s God King. Warrior King coming for you forever and ever. 2 Samuel Chapter 7 and Psalm 45.
Hebrews 12:28 goes on to say this, that now in Christ you serve a kingdom that is unshakable. When you think about the cost of following Jesus and the way it affects relationships around you, how do you rest secure? Well, this King rules forever and ever. In fact, He’s on that throne right now. He is sitting at the right hand of the Father ruling right now. That kingdom is unshakable. In fact, when Jesus in the Book of Mark Chapter 1, when He shows up, verse 14, He says in verse 14, this declaration that the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe. Return to Him. Then, at the very end of the Book of Mark, look at what He says to us. This is the last real teaching He is giving His disciples before the crucifixion. Look at what He says in verse 23. When He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them and they drank from it and He said to them, this is My body of the covenant which is poured out for many. This Warrior King, fighting this battle against sin, for you. Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
How can you be a king unless you possess a kingdom? Right? When we partake of communion, like we’re going to do here in just a minute, Jesus gave that as a symbol of a king who is ruling and reigning, who sacrifices life for you on the promise of yes, He is ruling and reigning right now, but the fullness of the kingdom isn’t here yet. That the fullness of the kingdom will arrive when the King returns for His people and we will celebrate it together in a kingdom that is unshakable.
But, there’s still today. There’s still the battle being waged. How do you find encouragement in the King? I think in scripture there are a couple of passages that I’ve loved. Isaiah 6 and seeing the glory of God being made known with His angels. One that I really like is in 2 Kings Chapter 6. 2 Kings 6. The story of Elijah is being told. The King of Aram comes against Israel. As he desires to come against Israel, every time he goes to fight a battle, Israel already knows where that battle is going to take place and they are already prepped before the king even gets there. The King of Aram starts to get mad. He’s like, we have to have a spy in our kingdom that’s reporting this to Israel. The warriors for King Aram just say, wait a minute. It’s not that we have a spy, it’s that Israel has a prophet. That prophet is telling the king what’s going to happen before it happens. So, the King of Aram is like, let’s get rid of this prophet. Where does he live? Well, his name is Elijah and he lives in Dothan.
So, they bring this entire army down on this town to kill this one individual. As the story is told in 2 Kings 6, that Elijah is there with his servant. You can imagine, if you’re in this moment and you’re just these two individuals and an entire army comes to crush you, you’re like Elijah, did you know that this was going to happen? You’ve managed to tell the king every battle that’s about to take place before it takes place and now all of a sudden we’re surrounded on every corner of the mountain around us. How in the world are we going to escape this? I hope you wrote your Will. Did you tell your good byes to everyone? Oh my gosh, we’re going to die. That’s the kind of demeanor he’s got. Right?
That’s the kind of demeanor we get when life is difficult. Does God love me? Does God care? Where is He? This battle, it’s too much. Where is Warrior King? Then, Elijah prays for his servant. He says this, open his eyes Lord so that he may see. Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elijah. I kept thinking about this passage and I thought about my kids. God, they need to know how worthy You are. God open their eyes that they may see.
Now, I’m not telling you and I don’t want to pray this prayer in a very literal sense like, I’m not going to tell you take this verse, apply it to your life and all of a sudden you’re going to see angels everywhere. If that’s possible this morning, I’m telling you, I don’t want to see it happen, because you’ll watch someone urinate right on stage. Like, man, it’s too much for me to handle. Okay? Here’s the point of what this narrative is saying, is that unaware to us, there is a battle taking place. You’ve already seen it in Hebrews Chapter 1 verse 14. Who do God’s angels fight for? His people. His people.
Peter, I’ll tell you about this guy in just a minute. In the Book of 1 Peter, Peter talks about angels and prophets this way. He says this, it was revealed to them, talking about the prophets, that they were not serving themselves but you. These things which now have been announced to you through those who have preached the gospel about Christ, to you by the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven, look at this, things and which angels look and long to see. What it’s saying is this about angels. Angels are looking at God’s divine hand taking place in history. They’re looking at humanity. They’re looking back at God. They’re looking down at humanity. They’re looking back at the glory of God. They’re watching guys do stupid things on earth. They’re looking back at this great God and they’re like why does God love them? Why did God become flesh to die for them? Why would such a glorious God do that? I mean, if you asked me today, why does God love us? Honestly, I’ve given Him no reason. There’s nothing I’m going to do to impress God. I can’t explain that kind of love, but yet He’s done it and I just take it. I just embrace it. Right?
It’s saying angels right now in this room thinking about the glory of God being a new gathering to worship this God. Your treasure of your heart looking at all of this playing out in the history. How great that is. Even today, it still happens. This isn’t something that was just told of old. This is told of right now because that King still rules and reigns.
One of my favorite stories about a missionary. John G. Patton. He goes to the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. 1800s. Vanuatu is cannibalistic. He and his wife move there thinking oh, we might get a couple days to share Jesus with them and then we’ll be lunch. Literally. They tell a story early on in their experience where they’re living in their hut and they’re trying to minister to this village. Early on one night, as they get ready for bed, surrounding their hut is a tribe. They begin to panic because they know they’re there to take their lives. They’re about to be eaten. So, the family just runs inside and starts to pray. The next morning comes and they’re still safe. They’re blown away. They thought this was the end.
A year later, the chief of that tribe that surrounded his home came to know Christ. Now, having that relationship with Him, John Patton felt it appropriate just to talk to him about that night and ask him why did you guys not kill us? Why did you not eat us? He said, we wanted to. That’s why we came there, but we couldn’t get past the army of men that was standing around your house. John Patton’s like, what army? I don’t know. Whatever army you brought with you. We just couldn’t get by. The village chief describes them as shimmering with swords drawn pacing back and forth in front of this house and they are unable to penetrate past to get to the people that they wanted to devour.
John Patton knew. The God of Angel Armies standing by my side. Now, I’m not going to tell you that’s going to be every one of your experiences. What I’m saying is Warrior King stands for you. The reason he is able to do this is because of the nature which he possesses. He is God. At the end of the day, with all the pressure you face in following Jesus, is it worth it? Yeah. Why? Because, the God of Angel Armies stands with you.