Jesus Is Superior to Angels – Part One
Brent Riggs – www.seriousfaith.com Hebrews 1:3–14 (NKJV) 3… when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 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”? 6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” 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. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” 10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 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.” 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Jesus is superior to the Angels.
This is one of the major points the writer of Hebrews makes to his Jewish audience who not only made angels a big part of their religion, they had really expanded it past Scripture and had begun to wander away from just what the Bible said. Here is an overview of the mindset of the Jews at that time towards angels:
- they esteemed angels as the highest beings next to God.
- believed angels were the mediators between men and God.
- They believe God lived surrounded by angels.
- They believe that angels did not eat and drink
- They believed that angels were God’s senate and that God never did anything without asking the angels.
- Some Jews believed also that angels objected to the creation of men and were annihilated for their objection.
- Others believe that they objected to the giving of the law and they attacked Moses on the way up Mount Sinai.
- They believed there were seven presence angels
- They believed that there were 200 angels who controlled the movements of the stars and kept things on course.
- Jews believed that there was one super special angel who was the calendar angel.
- They believed that there was a mighty angel who took care of the seas, frost, dew, rain, snow, hail, thunder, lightning.
- There were also angels who were the wardens of Hell and the torturers of the damned.
- They believed there were “recording angels” who wrote down every single word which every man spoke.
- believe every nation and child had a guardian angel
- there were so many angels that one rabbi said “Every blade of grass has its angel.”
As you can see, the writer of Hebrews not only had to address the BIBLICAL truth about angels, but also the superstitious and unbiblical beliefs about angels.
- The word angel is an infusion of an old English/Germanic word “engel” and the French word “angele”; that basically means “messenger of God.”
- The Bible clearly teaches that angels do exist and that we may have actually encountered them or will encounter them during our lives and we either may have realized it only later or may have not even realized it at all.
- God’s revelation never aims at informing us regarding the nature of angels. When they are mentioned, it is always in order to inform us further about God, what he does, and how he does it.
- Angels are personal spiritual beings who have intelligence, emotions, and will.
- Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14) without true physical bodies.
- Because they are created beings, their knowledge is limited.
- They do seem to have greater knowledge than humans
- Angels know the Bible and the world more than humans do and gain knowledge from it (Jas 2:19; Rev 12:12).
- Angels gain knowledge through long observation of human activities. THIS IS HOW ANGELS CAN BOTH HELP US AND TEMPT US.
- Are sent by God to help believers (Hebrews 1:14).
- They praise God (Psalm 148:1-2;Isaiah 6:3).
- They worship God (Hebrews 1:6;Revelation 5:8-13).
- They rejoice in what God does (Job 38:6-7).
- They serve God (Psalm 103:20;Revelation 22:9).
- They appear before God (Job 1:6;2:1).
- They are instruments of God’s judgments (Rev 7:1;8:2).
- They bring answers to prayer (Acts 12:5-10).
- They aid in winning people to Christ (Acts 8:26;10:3).
- They observe Christian order, work, and suffering (1 Corinthians 4:9;11:10;Ephesians 3:10;1 Peter 1:12).
- They encourage in times of danger (Acts 27:23-24).
- They care for the righteous at the time of death (Lk 16:22)
- In the Bible, Angels have a place that is higher than men in terms of special creation. After the fall of the angels, they were no longer subject to sin, they are holy, they are powerful, they are wise.
Twenty Seven Facts About Angels
- They are mentioned 273 times in 34 biblical books.
- They were all created by God.
- They report directly to God.
- They were present at the Creation of the world.
- They announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds.
- They do not marry.
- They were created to live forever.
- Their purpose is to glorify God.
- Some angels help human beings.
- Some angels harm human beings.
- They are spirit beings.
- They are invisible beings.
- They are innumerable.
- They possess intelligence.
- They possess will.
- They display joy.
- They display desire.
- They are stronger than men.
- They are more intelligent than men.
- They are swifter than men.
- They are not omnipresent.
- They are not omnipotent.
- They are not omniscient.
- Some are cherubim.
- Some are seraphim.
- The majority remained true to God.
- They will join all believers in the heavenly Jerusalem
Names of Angels in the Bible:
- the angel of Yahweh
- Angel of God
- commander of the Army of Yahweh
- Angel of the Lord
- the four angels, the seven angels, the two angels
- the Angels around the throne
- the Angels at the four corners of the earth
- the angel ascending from the East
- the Angels the seven trumpets
- the Angels are three messages
- Michael and his angels
- the angel with the Golden censer
- the angel with a sickle, seven angels of seven bowls
- the angel announcing the fall of Babylon
- the Angel standing in the sun
- the angel with the key and chain
- the 12 Angels at the gates of the new Jerusalem
CLASSIFICATION OF ANGELS
- Angels who are rulers. Eph 6:12, Dan 10:13, Rev. 12:7.
- Angels who are highest ranking. Ju 9, Dan 12:1, Eph. 3:10)
- Angels who are prominent individuals. Dan. 10:13; 12:1; Jude 9, Rev. 12:7–9, Dan. 9:21; Luke 1:26, Daniel 8:15, Luke 1:11–20, Isa. 14:12
- Angels who are divine attendants. Gen. 3:24, Exod. 25:17–22, Ezek. 1, Isaiah 6:2.
Angelic Appearance in the Bible
- The physical appearance of angels varies, based on their categorization.
- The feature of a brilliant white appearance of angels occurs only in the NT (Mark 16:5).
- The term “guardian angel” does not occur in the Bible.
- Angels intervene in human history but in unique situations to assist believers (Psa. 34:7; 91:11–12; Acts 12:6–11, 15).
- Hebrews 1:14 confirms that angels do service to believers but by God’s will and under His direction.
Angels at Christ’s Return
- Angels predicted Jesus would personally, bodily, visibly come again to earth (Matt. 25:31; Acts 1:11).
- In His second advent Christ will descend from heaven (1 Thess. 1:10) with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God (1 Thess. 4:16; 2 Thess. 1:7).
Angels and the Final Judgment
- The theme of angelic involvement in divine judgment occurs in both the OT and NT.
- The NT offers several examples of angelic participation in the judgment of evil, including immediate judgment (Acts 12:23) and a futuristic and final judgment (Rev).
- Rev. 14:17–20 describes angels as gathering the unbelievers for the purpose of judgment.
- Angels will gather the “wheat” and the “tares” in the name of “the Son of Man” and by His authority (Matt. 13:36–43).
TWO DIFFIULT LABELS FOR ANGELS
- SONS OF GOD and THE ANGEL OF THE LORD
Some other things the Bible says about Angels:
- Angels were created to live for eternity: Luke 20:
- Angels were present when God created the world: Job 38:1
- Angels do not marry: Matthew 22:30
- Angels are faster than men: Daniel 9:21
- Angels are not meant to be worshipped: Revelation 19:10
- Angels have a will: Isaiah 14:12-14, Jude 1:6
- Angels express like longing and wanting to know what they do not know: 1 Peter 1:12
- Angels are too numerous to count: Psa 68:17 Heb 12:2