Let us take our Bibles this morning and turn to the letter to the Hebrews, and we will continue to look this great book.
Up to this point, we have looked at the preeminency of the Son of God over angels. Now the portrait of the Messiah that the book of Hebrews assigns to Him is that of complete supremacy over angels, over others, over all created things.
By way of reminder, remember that the author of Hebrews, whoever that may be, is giving information to the downcast audience who are somewhat tottering. They are questioning somethings, there are warning passages in Hebrews, four to be exact that we will be looking at as we go along.
Overall, the final revelation that God is giving to humanity is Christ, is the Son. He is vastly superior to all spiritual angelic beings, and that is the section we are looking at now. The great temptation for these Jewish Christians, of course, was to simply acknowledge Jesus as a great angel that had awesome power but not as God.
This was tempting, especially in the context of possible persecution, or being cast out of their homes or out of the synagogues or off their jobs. Even loss of life could be the threat here.
The pressure that they were under to simply stress that Jesus was an archangel or some kind of angel, but not the Son of God, was a very real thing in this book. So it was really tempting because it would not be an outright denial of Jesus. They would still say that they believe in Jesus but it would just simply change the emphasis on who Jesus is.
That is not new today, is it? In fact, some major religious systems take Jesus and make the same error. For example, Jehovah Witnesses say, “Jesus is not God. Before He lived on earth He was Michael the archangel.” Mormons say, “Jesus is a separate God from the Father. He was created as a spirit child by the Father and Mother in heaven, and is the elder brother of all man and spirit beings.”
Hinduism says that Jesus is a teacher or guru. He is a son of God, as others are. His death did not atone for sins and He did not rise from the dead.
In Buddhism, Jesus is not even a part of their system. But in the West, they do consider Jesus to be an enlightened man.
Judaism does not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, or that He rose from the dead.
Islam says that Jesus is one of 124,000 prophets sent by God to various cultures. Jesus was born of a virgin but was not the Son of God, that He is sinless, but not divine or God Himself.
I could go on in the list. And the thing about is that these religious systems, and others, by their teaching either ignore Jesus or demote Him and strip Him of His real identity as being the inheritor of the title Son of God, meaning that He is God.
This is what the book of Hebrews is going to prevent all believers of all times from going. Do not even entertain these thoughts, because if you get Jesus wrong, you get it all wrong and the end result is the damnation of your soul. That is the end result.
So we must go back to Scripture to find out who is Jesus and how does the Bible portray Him to us so we do not make that same mistake, so we do not drift away from the truth.
Sonship is the dominant motif in Hebrews, and it is used to establish the superiority of Jesus in contrast to the several rival possibilities in the minds of the readers.
In Hebrews 1:4, it says:
Having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
This very word “better” describes someone who is more prominent or higher in rank above others by virtue, and by qualitative difference. So far, Scripture has established that angels are common spiritual beings. They do have dignity, they do have rank in creation, but only Jesus is uniquely begotten of the Father. The Son is equal to the Father in every respect and in no way is He a created being. We can never put Jesus Christ on the par of angels. They do not even come close.
The Son of God is supreme over the angels as one who is like them. They have spoken the message of God, but He has spoken finally. This is God’s final revelation to us, Jesus Christ. Everything about His ministry is supreme over all the previous shadowy counterparts we find in the rest of Scripture. The types and the pictures and the sacrifices and the messages and the shadows, in all the Word of God, point to Jesus. He becomes the clarifying element of all revelation and all theology.
So far, we have looked at the Son as preeminent over angels by virtue of His position as well as by virtue of His authority. This is where I left off last time. The preeminency of the Son is shown by comparing the height to which angels attain, with the height that belongs only to the Son.
In your Bibles, look at verse 7. This is where I am going to start, looking at the height to which angels attain. Angels were God’s ministrants, but no more. In other words, they are His ministers; it is an old english word, ministrants.
Look at the passage of Scripture, which says:
And of the angels He says, "Who makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
Now, remember that I said the writer of Hebrews is quoting directly from the Greek translation of the Old Testament. This is what it says in the Septuagint.
"Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
There is a difference here. Our word and the word in many other major translations uses the word messenger, but messenger and angel really mean the same thing. An angel is a messenger! An angel is a sent one from God with authority. They do God’s bidding.
From this passage of Scripture it shows that angels are inferior to the Son of God and in verse 7, we see first that they are creatures, created to be swift and have a level of power and ability unraveled by human beings. Yet all of their powers are communicated powers, it does not come from them but from someone else, the One who created them. And we know from the Word of God that this is Jesus Christ.
A second thing in verse 7 is that it says that they are His messengers. They are His servants. He has a particular ownership to angels. However angels are exalted in Scripture, they are still instruments of divine agency. They are messengers as swift as the wind and officials who can be destructive as a consuming fire.
We see this all over Scripture, that when God wants something done, whether it be a good message or tough situation, He sends an angel. As a matter of fact, just by way of example go back to Exodus 12:29 and see how God commissions an angel to take care of His bidding on killing all the first born of Egypt.
Remember, God brought the plagues on Egypt because all of the plagues identified some god they were worshipping. They were a polytheistic culture that had many gods and each one of the curses that came upon Egypt was an attack against the gods that they worshipped. Meaning this, that the God of Moses, of creation, of the people of Israel is more powerful than any other god. That is why there are all of these curses, they knock out everyone of their gods.
That last one where it says in Exodus 12:23,
For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.
The angel is referred to in this passage of Scripture as the destroyer but this destroying angel kills all the first born of Egypt and does not touch any of the people of Israel or even their animals.
Look what it says in Exodus 12:29:
Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle.
This destroying angel was a minister of God, who is the commanding general. He told the angel to go down and kill all the first born of Egypt, and that is a tough task.
His angels are ministers of fire, of wrath, of destruction. I can go through one example after another, but I want you to turn to the New Testament for this next example.
Look at Acts 12:23, which has to do with King Herod who on this particular day, exalted himself above all gods.
And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
God not only uses angels to give good announcements, like the birth of Christ, and to fight against spiritual wickedness behind the scenes like in Daniel. He also sends them to do tasks like this, but they do not get to make a decision on their own. They are His messengers, they are the ones who do His bidding, swiftly and without argument or debate. They just do it. They are completely obedient.
Angels here are creatures and servants, and back in Hebrews 1:8 it says that they are subjects in His Kingdom. In other words, they serve before the throne while Christ sits on the throne. That is quite a difference.
This is the height to which angels rise; they are ministers, creatures, servants and they are subjects in God’s Kingdom, and that is it. But they do also have dignity and are to be respected and taken seriously.
Notice secondly, in Hebrews 1:8 that the height belongs only to the Son. The Son is God the everlasting King, and this is what it says:
But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom.”
I want you to look closely at this passage because the One speaking is God the Father who speaks directly about the Son. He references Psalm 45:6 which says:
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
This passage is speaking about the Son; God the Father is speaking about God the Son. He says, “Your throne is forever and ever.” This shows that the Son of God is God in the fullest sense of the word, you cannot get away from it. You cannot mess up the language on this one.
This is one of those direct phrases in Scripture where the Son of God is looked at by the Father in the fullest sense of the word as God who reigns.
The second part of verse 8 is very interesting because it says here, “A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” Hebrews is emphasizing His position, and the function of His eternal office as the divine Son. He occupies His throne for, the word here is “eons of eons.” It means “from all ages, from all times, from beginning when time started.” Remember, God was before time. Time becomes a problem when looking at Scripture sometimes.
If Christ was crucified before the foundation of the world, that means the plan was done before God’s time. This is not second guessing anything, it was all set in place. We are living in history and God’s plan is now unfolding, and it is still unfolding because we are still here.
We are part of that unfolding plan, I think this is a pretty exciting time to live, to be a Christian, to see everything that is going on, to know all that we know. We have the whole Bible and we know what God is up to!
So the Son in this passage rules from His throne with royal authority and His rule is with uprightness, or literally the word is with straightness. In other words, He does not defect from His Word, He does not defect from truth. There is no crookedness to be found in His Kingdom.
Every Kingdom that has been on the earth was full of crookedness. If we look even at our own government, it is crooked all over the place. That is what happens and that is why there are sinful people involved in governing authorities. But God is without sin, that means everything He does is straight. Straightforward, He shoots from the hip and He gives it to us the way it ought to be given.
The second thing is that He is not partial or prejudiced. I love Psalm 89:14, where it says:
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne, lovingkindness and truth go before you.
The everlasting rule of the Son is marked by absolute justice and equity. Is not that what we are looking for? Are we not looking for a righteous, fair, just government? Remember the best government in the world is a kingship, a theocracy. Especially when the king is God, and He is perfect.
That is where this is all heading and culminating. Yet, that Kingdom is still working now. This everlasting rule of the Son is marked by justice and equities, and angels are servants under the Son’s just, fair, loving rule. What a privilege they have to actually experience His pure justice and straight justice firsthand right in His presence.
In fact if you look at Hebrews 1:9 which continues the thought, it says this about the incarnate Son:
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.
We get a glimpse here in this passage of Scripture at the perfection of the Son’s obedience. Here, it describes the character and the conduct of Jesus Christ. When we come to the New Testament, what does it say about Jesus. That He knew no sin, right? He always did what was pleasing in the Father’s sight. His holiness was unspotted and His conformity to the divine will was perfect in principle, perfect in the extent, and perfect in the duration.
Now, we may begin to gain some insight concerning the Son’s love of righteousness and His hatred of lawlessness. Where does that take Him? Well the whole book of Hebrews is heading there. Where does it take Him? The measure of His love for righteousness and His hatred for lawlessness culminates in His sacrificial death. That is where it all comes together. Why? He voluntarily submits. The King of all glory voluntarily submits to suffer all that was necessary to the vindication of divine righteousness and His display of divine mercy to the salvation of lost souls like you and I.
To me, that is just a tremendous thought. That is why when you get to the New Testament you have Peter saying this in 1 Peter 3:18:
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.
Look at another passage right here in Hebrews 10:5-14:
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
“Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me;
6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have taken no pleasure.
7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
(in the scroll of the book it is written of me)
to do your will, O God.’”
8 After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have not desired, nor have you taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet . 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
In other words, His love for righteousness and His hatred for lawlessness leads Him to the cross because we could never have kept the law perfectly to be made right with God. We had no righteousness of our own to offer God and to be accepted into His presence and Kingdom. So someone had to do it for us and had to be the perfect, sinless, righteous Son of God who reigns as King, gets off His throne, disrobes Himself of His glory and comes to earth as a man to die on a cross. What an awesome message! And you who know Christ as your Lord and Savior, are part of it. It does not get better than this.
This means that the second part of Hebrews 1:9, which says:
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions.
The oil of gladness refers to the joy with which God has blessed Him in acknowledgment of His vindication of divine justice as mentioned again in Hebrews 12:2, which says:
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
To be anointed here is synonymous with being invested with royalty or to be made a king. In other words, the Son, Jesus Christ, is a king! It is saying that in this passage of Scripture.
He attains a level that no angel has ever or will ever attain. He sits on the throne, He reigns on the throne, where as they minister around the throne.
I want you to notice in Hebrews 1:9 again, where it says:
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness, therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions.
The companions’ joy is great, but the Son’s joy is even greater. The question is, who are the companions? Are they angels? Or are they saints? Actually the word companion literally in the Greek means, “to share with, to participate in.”
So whoever these companions are, have to be participating in something that is being talked about in the context here. As I thought about that, I began to think to myself that it is not talking about angels or saints at this point in Scripture.
These companions are best viewed as other rulers. Those who participate and share in the ruling element of a kingdom, like David, like Saul, like Solomon, who went before Him.
Remember, the writer of Hebrews is quoting from the Psalms, and the Psalmists are speaking of Jesus as the Messiah, as a Prince. So the response is, “God, even thy God, has raised Jesus to a Kingdom far more abounding with enjoyment that has ever been conferred on any ruler ever.”
I believe the best interpretation there is that the companions are other rulers. They shared in the glory of ruling and the power that comes with ruling, and the ability they have to order people around. How would you rule in your kingdom, righteously or unrighteously? There is a share in with others who have ruled before Him. But the blessing bestowed upon the Kingdom in which the Son rules, far exceeds any kingdom of man or angel.
Remember, Satan has a kingdom. The kingdom of demons, which he is in charge of. But Satan is only an angel, and Christ rules over him. The conclusion is really inescapable here that the Son is preeminent over angels because they are subject to His rule of kingly authority and to His very will on what He wants them to do. Even demons are in some ways, as theologians have said, on a long leash.
The last section of Scripture has to do with the supremacy of the Son to angels, and we look at Hebrews 1:10 to the end where the point is that the Son is preeminent over the angels by virtue of His unchangeable nature and His eternal power.
Now we see the divinity coming through that person who reigns on the throne. The perpetuity of the Messiah’s throne is actually secure by the eternity and the immutability, or the unchangeableness, of the Son.
In this next section we see six things that represent the Son who sits on the throne. Here is the first thing, he goes back and reiterates for us in verse 10, quoting from Psalm 102:25, that the Son represents the Creator of all things. It says:
And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands.
Psalm 102:25 says:
Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.
Jesus was the agent through Whom the entire universe of space and time was created. Jesus created every speck of dust in the 100,000,000 galaxies; He also created the microscopic systems that have no measurable size, and are invisible to the naked eye. The things we cannot even see under a microscope, things that we do not even know are there, the dark matter in space that scientists are studying with great intensity today.
In other words, the creation of all things is distinctly ascribed to the Son. Listen to what God asks in Job 38:4:
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? 6 On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Many believed that the sons of God that shouted for joy refers to angels. In other words, angels were worshipping spectators while Christ was creating the world.
They were maybe the angelic choir while Christ was creating the world. This is the first thing.
The second thing that the Son represents back in our text in verse 11 and 12, is that He is the Author of creation. He is not only the Creator, but the Author of it. That is why you see that theme come up in Hebrews where He is the Author of salvation, He is the Author of creation, He is the Author of what is going on.
Here in this passage, in Hebrews 1:11-12, it says:
They will perish, but you remain; and they all will become old like a garment. 12 And like a mantle you will 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.
In other words, all the changes in which this creation has and will pass through, is authored by Jesus Christ. The present system of things will undergo a great change just like the old system underwent a great change.
You might ask, “What old system underwent a great change?” Well let us look at 2 Peter 3:5-7, 10, because remember it is the mockers who are saying to the preachers that everything has remained the same and nothing has changed. Look at what it says in this passage:
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
We know that the whole world was flooded, right up to the highest mountain. That is why there are seashells and fossils on the tops of mountains. They got there by the water bringing them up and laying them down in the ground.
2 Peter 3:10-11 says:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.
For those who know this, your life better be different. Your life needs to be changed by this very truth. 2 Peter 3:13 continues and says:
But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
In the end when it all comes together and everything is done and the curse is done, and Christ is reigning on His throne, then we will experience in its fullness Christ’s righteous reign.
Back in Hebrews 1, I want you to notice the passage again in verse 11 which says:
They will perish, but you remain; and they all will become old like a garment. 12 And like a mantle you will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed.
Just think of it, God is just going to roll up the world and pack it away. He can do that because He is the Creator. When He says it is done, it is done. When He pulls the plug, it is done. Why? He’s the Creator. You see how exalted Christ is above any angels?
Now, we do not know how it is going to be done. But what is amazing is that we do know who is going to do it. We know Him personally, Jesus Christ the Son. If He is your Lord and Savior, you know this that the Son who creates the world alone destroys it.
The point here in this section of Scripture amid all the changes that will take place, is that the Son remains unchanged. He stresses this, that He is unchangeable, He is immutable, which is the theological word.
He who before time and creation will be the same after the heaven and earth perish. This should be clear to those who know the Lord and know now why they were brought into the realm of hearing the gospel to be saved. For you that are believers and know your stance before God, this should be great encouragement for you in the light of an ever changing, falling apart world that we see every single day before our eyes.
It is Hebrews that says this in Hebrews 13:8:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
This is a great comfort! That becomes the third thing that the Son represents. He represents the changeless One. Look back at the middle section of Hebrews 1:12:
But you are the same.
There is a stress there. You may not realize this, but I hope you do. It is very comforting to know that God who has created the heavens and the earth, who has given us the Word of God, who has authored salvation, is not going to change direction on us. He is not going to change His plan. He is not going to go back on His promises ever because He remains the same in those things. They are connected with His character. That is great comfort; God is consistent.
In fact, it is a promise to the person who was made right with Him. It was Paul who said it like this in Romans to those Greeks and Jews who were listening to the gospel. Listen to what it says in Romans 10:12-13:
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him. 13 for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
God in His own character, proclaims this message when someone comes in repentance and faith to Him, what does He say here? “I will save you. This is the reason why I came, this is the reason why I planned this in eternity before the world was ever created, so you could be saved, so you could be made right with me.” And He will not change that plan for anybody, and if anybody tries to change that plan, it will be the damnation of their souls and those who hear him. He is the same.
Tomorrow when I get up, the world may change, my job may change, my health my change, but He will be the same. He promised He will give us a new body, He will take us to heaven, and that we will be Him. He cannot go back on that, He cannot change that. That is great comfort. That means that if you are a believer, you cannot lose your salvation. No one can take it from you unless God takes it Himself, but He says, “Once I give it, I am not taking it back. It is yours.”
He does all this work for you to be saved, then He is going to fiddle around with it? No way! He is not going to do that. God is not fickle like that. He is the changeless One.
Look at the fourth thing He represents back in Hebrews 1:11, is that He is the eternal One.
They will perish, but you remain.
And again in Hebrews 1:12, it says at the end:
But you are the same, and your years will not come to an end.
What we are talking about is that Jesus, the Son, is the eternal and independent being. He needs no one. He was in the beginning when neither man, nor angel, nor creature of any kind existed. When there was nothing but God in the universe, when God was all. That is where Jesus was, meaning that He is the eternal One.
That is why when Moses said, “Lord when I go to Pharaoh, who shall I say sent me?” And Jesus said this, “Tell Him I AM sent you.” That is the name that God gave Himself, which means simply “I am.” There is no beginning, no end. “No one can change me, I am the God who created, I am the God who speaks to Moses, I am the God who sends His Son into the world to die for sinners.” He is God, He is the One that you are to call upon to have your soul cleansed and redeemed and made right. He is the eternal One.
The fifth thing, in Hebrews 1:13, is that the Son represents the ruler of the universe. It says in this passage:
But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
A king seated on his throne issues forth his orders, administers his justice, displays the splendor and majesty of his office, and to sit near the king when on the throne is the emblem of rank. It is the emblem of dignity and the power in the kingdom.
A seat on the right or left hand of the king is just another word for the most dignified station in the kingdom. Sitting on the throne at the right hand of the king indicates that he who sits there reigns along with the king.
In other words, for Jesus the Son to bear this designation is equivalent to saying that He is the ruler of the universe.
The last thing Jesus represents at the end of Hebrews 1:13 is the victory over all the Son’s enemies. It says:
“Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”
So Jesus is to occupy this dignified place until even God makes His enemies His footstool. His enemies include anyone who oppose His great and just and wise rule, and that includes of course Satan and his demons and legion of angels that fell from God’s presence. It would include all unbelievers, all unrepentant sinners and ungodly people, all institutions both civil and ecclesiastical which are inconsistent and opposed to the reign of truth and purity and order and happiness which is His purpose to establish.
Now I thought at first that this could be a picture of a warrior on a field of battle in which the victor puts his foot on the captive’s neck and makes the neck his footstool. That was a common practice back then, for the king who won the battle to put his foot on the neck of the one who he had victory over, using his neck as a footstool.
But there is much more in this picture here. Here is the picture of a prince who is secure on his throne in which his enemies being so far from being able even to disturb him and his kingdom, let alone to try to overthrow his throne.
Instead, the Bible says that His enemies will be a footstool for His feet, quoting from Psalm 110. This means that His enemies become a person or group that is under complete subjection to the One who sits on the throne through His rule and authority, in which the king can do anything he wants, whenever he wants.
They have no power or authority at all whatsoever. It just shows the security and stability of the Kingdom of God in which He will put all His enemies, not just some but every single one, under His feet. It intimates that the power by which the enemies of the Messiah are completely put down is the very power of God.
I believe that is why Paul brings up in Corinthians a very difficult passage of Scripture. But he brings the whole thing together as far as this issue is concerned, where he says in 1 Corinthians 15:25-28:
For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For he has put all things in subjection under his feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
In other words, when God the Father subdues all of Christ’s enemies, then Christ will offer it all back to the Father. There will be no more enemies. See how superior and preeminent Jesus is to the angels. Angels are not governing spirits, but ministering spirits.
Just as it says in Hebrews 1:14:
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
The angels are His servants, and even more than that they are servants of those for whom He lived and died and suffered and reigned to save and bless! The angels are sent forth by the Son to minister to the saved until they obtain their full possession of their inheritance.
Whatever the angels are doing behind the scenes, they are doing for those who inherit salvation. They are making sure that you and I get that inheritance in its fullness. When people say they have a guardian angel, however, is not what I am talking about.
What I am saying is that God, under His orders, sends His angels out for those who got saved. Who knows also if the angels protect us until that time the gospel can be heard by us. So we can hear it and be saved!
I think of my own life, I should have been dead a few different times now. But I knew that when I heard the gospel and became a Christian, that God was involved a long time before that all happened. He brought me to that and He protected me, and gave me the gospel and I believed and repented, and here I am now. And here you are.
It is kind of comforting to know that this is in the Bible. But we cannot see them, they are invisible. I do not know what they are up to, but I do know that they are up to this.
So when we go out and proclaim the gospel, we can depend on this too. This is part of it.
I came across a story that I wanted to share with you. A man named Jim Marstaller recounts the following story told to him by his uncle Clyde Taylor, who founded the National Association of Evangelicals. Dr. Clyde Taylor and the writer’s uncle Charlie Marstaller were missionaries in the early 1920s to a headhunting tribe in South Africa. They were beside the river in a forest living in a thatched hut. One day late in the afternoon, they noticed a dugout being paddled down the river with only one man in it. They immediately thought it was the warriors coming to kill them. Because the dugout can hold up to 40 men. They realized that night they could be killed.
Uncle Clyde and Charlie had a 22 rifle in their hut and took it and some amo out into the tall grass off the side of their dwelling where they stayed all night in their own private prayer meeting. They expected that if they were attacked they would shoot the gun into the air to frighten the headhunters away.
Well to their surprise, nothing happened that night. They had no trouble at all from the tribe. In fact, they finished their term and left South Africa. They both returned nine years later.
One day, they encountered one of the men of the tribe who came to kill them that night. He had become a Christian. So they asked the native about what happened that night, why he did not kill them.
This is what he said, “I remember that night. There were 44 of us and we were going to come and set your hut on your fire. And when we got there and surrounded your hut, we realized that we could not attack you because there were hundreds of men dressed in white with swords and shields standing around your hut, with some even on the roof. That is why we could not attack you and that is why I am a Christian now, because I realized that your God is greater than anything I have ever known.”
Uncle Clyde realized that God had protected them with His angels and used this account to be an encouragement to many others throughout the rest of his life.
That is just one example. You can hear these stories all over the place. I tried to pick one that I never heard before. This is encouraging.
See, God is for us! Do you realize that? God is for us so let us go out into Satan’s territory and take souls for Christ. Why? We have the advantage, he does not. Even though he wants to discourage you, he wants to cause disillusionment and doubt and whatever he can with the deadly deeds in your life to keep you from doing what God wants you to do. We have the advantage.
Jesus Christ, who is the Creator, the Author, the changeless One, the eternal One, the Ruler, and the Victor over all enemies has given to us angels to be servants to those who would inherit salvation. That is encouraging.
Do not drift from this truth in Scripture concerning who Jesus Christ is. Satan’s greatest attacks against believers is to doubt the person and the work of Christ. And if he can get you to doubt that, then he has got you in almost every other area.
Let us stay strong and let us live for Christ with all that we have because of who our Lord and Savior is.
Now in conclusion, if these wavering persecuted Jewish Christians were being tempted to say that Christ is an angel to escape persecution, or to neglect or ignore or fudge about who Jesus really is, they incur the wrath of God. The truth of God’s Word makes it clear that the Son Jesus Christ has a supremacy over angels and over all of them. He is exalted and they are inferior. He is the Son of God and His person, His work, His position, and His authority cannot be changed.
Let us pray. Lord, thank You this morning for the Word of God. I pray, as I do often, for those who have not come to know You as their Lord and Savior. I pray that they would come and call upon You, knowing that You are a God who bends Your ear down to listen to those who repent and call upon You in faith. Thank You, Father, that You draw sinners to Yourself. And thank You, Lord, for all of the things You have done way before we came to hear the gospel in our lives, to make us ready, to draw us, to bring us to that place where we see ourselves as sinners and we see the only way to be rescued from the condemnation and damnation of sin is in the person of Jesus Christ.
And I pray, Lord, that we would continue to live with that truth, be firm in that truth, not fudge that truth, not ignore that truth or lay that truth aside, but that we would ever be challenged in our hearts and minds to be thinking about your supremacy. So I pray, Lord this morning, that we as believers would give ourselves wholeheartedly to Your work. And whatever occupation You call us, it is all Your work, please use us there to be a light and testimony in a dark world to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ. And Lord, continue to grow us strong in the faith that we would not waver, we would not fudge, we would not ignore any of these things that You have for us in the Word of God. And Lord, this morning we want to give You praise and honor for Your preeminence. We bow as Your servants, along with the angels before Your majesty. I pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.