Hebrews chapter 1 vs 4 to 14 - When Angels Whisper - J Stewart Gillespie 

'Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.'(Heb 1:4) 

13 X angels are mentioned in Hebrews 

Interesting that they are spoken of this frequently 

Interesting that they are spoken of with this frequency: 

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Heb 1:4) 

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? (Heb 1:5) 

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. (Heb 1:6) 

And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. (Heb 1:7) 

And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. (Heb 1:7) 

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? (Heb 1:13) 

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; (Heb 2:2) 

For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. (Heb 2:5) 

Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (Heb 2:7) 

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Heb 2:9) 

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (Heb 2:16) 

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (Heb 12:22) 

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Heb 13:2) 

The central reference: 'the Word spoken by Angels' 

So what is all this about angels? 

Academic explanation: 

PE Hughes: Dead Sea Scrolls 

The Dead sea community was looking for 2 Messiahs: 

Kingly (Ps 45) 
Priestly (Ps 110) 

Both Messiahs would be subject to the Angel Michael 

So therefore intellectual Judaism had great interest in angels 

Confusion existed amongst intellectual Judaism as to the identity of the Messiah 

Is that the explanation? 

This seems to me not so much an explanation as a question needing an explanation; why were the Rabbis into angels? 

The real explanation 

For this I will not turn to the Dead Sea scrolls from Palestine but to Margaret fae Cumnock! 

Margaret; simple Christian faith, this brought persecution from family. 'What does your sister believe?' Nothing very much but she gave me an angel; a crystal angel, this angel looked after me when I travelled to the other side of the world. 

Why angels? 

Last time considered in Hebrews: 

A triplet of tragedy: 

Departure from the sanctuary 
Distance from the word 
Discouragement from the world 

This leaves a void 

A spiritual void, prompting the return to the old ways, to the temple, offering, priest hood, law and Judaism 

Something in the old form that was reassuring, routine and religious, but no reality. 

What can fill that gap left by the reality of God? 

The occult! 

To 'the word spoken by angels' – the central reference to angels in this letter 

Were they not only turning back to the Old Covenant but were they like the Colossians beginning to listen to the revelations from angels? 

Were they in danger of this? 

Perhaps Satan was preparing the way for this pending disaster. 

The angels – fallen angels 

Recall to whom the writer is ministering in all of this: 

Genuine but discouraged believers (Heb 12:1ff) 
Those who drift (2:1ff) 
Those in danger of an evil heart of unbelief (chps 3+4) 
The Disinterested (chp 5) 
The fake and the false (chp 6) 

In presenting the angel issue the writer is surely ministering to those who are recoverable rather than to the lost cause of the apostate (chps 6 + 12): 

To the Peter who fell – fearful Peter 

and not: 

To the Judas who despised – false Judas 

If that is the case it introduces this rather concerning thought; that Christians, real Christians are open to the distraction of angels, the attraction of angels, the influence of angels. 

Some had ceased to hear the voice of God (chps 3+4) 

They were not listening to the voice of God (chp 12) 

But they were being drawn to: 

“the word spoken through angels” (2:2) 

This is at first a strange thought 

For this would mean that as a believer I cannot assume that: 

every feeling 
every emotion 
every thought 
every exercise 
every influence 
every desire 
every flash of inspiration 
every special feeling of revelation 

is necessarily of God! 

Yet this is exactly what the scriptures confirms: 

“try the spirits” (1 John 4:1) 
“beware of dogs....” (Phil 3:2) 
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph 5:18) 
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Rom 7:14) 
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1Co 5:5) 
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12) 


Lets us not assume that every: 

every feeling 
every emotion 
every thought 
every exercise 
every influence 
every desire 
every flash of inspiration 
every special feeling of revelation 

is of God 

It may well not be 

At times they were listening to Angels! 

How do we know His presence? 

The Revelation of God – the 'name' (1:4-5) – name is linked to character and reputation 

We often ask a persons name to tell us who a person is to distinguish between people. 

In the Bible, a name is more tan who a person is, a name is WHAT a person is. 

A name communicates something of their character: 

Eve – the 'mother' of all people 
Abraham – father of a multitude 
Jacob – usurper 
Benjamin – son of my right hand 
Jesus – Jehovah Saves 

His name is declared: 

In Psalm 2 before His enemies 
Acts 13 – before the world 
Heb 1 – before angels 
Heb 5 – in  the Sanctuary 

“Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee...”(Heb 1:5) 

“begotten” : 'γεννάω' : can mean: 

To be born, to come from, to be brought from: Matt 1:2-16; Acts 7:8,29 
To be brought into: Matt 2:1,4; John 16:21 

John 16:21 gives both senses of this word: 

'A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered (γεννάω) of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born (γεννάω) into the world.' 

(Joh 16:21) 

We generally don't distinguish between these 2 things – for us there is no significant difference between: 

Born from the womb 
Born into the world 

In John 16:21 they are but perspectives on the same moment but they are separable: 

It is possible to come from the womb but not into the world (Job 3:11,16) : 'The infant which never saw light' 
It is possible to come into the world but not from the womb: Adam, Eve 
The double sense of begotten is usually but not invariably true. 

It is perhaps this sense in which Christ is described as the 'begotten' not in the sense of having a beginning of existence at birth but a commencement of manifestation. 

This sense of begotten meaning a manifestation of what is rather than a beginning of what has never been is hinted at in Romans chp 9:10-13: 

These children are seen to exist before they are 'begotten' (9:11) 
They exist between conception (9:10) and birth (9:11) – in this time: 

Promises were made 
Prophecies were stated 
Purpose of God was revealed 
Personalities were recognised 

The Response – causes us to worship (1:6) 

The Rule of God – 'the throne' (1:8-9) 

The Righteousness of God – 'the sceptre' (1:8) 

The Rejoicing in God – oil of gladness 

The Wrath of God – the footstool (1:13) 

Contrast Satan in Isaiah 14:4ff 

Satan possesses a broken sceptre (Isa 14:5) – but your Saviour, Christ sits with a sceptre of righteousness (Heb 1:8) 

Satan rules the nations in anger (Isa 14:6) 

The rejection of Satan brings singing but the Reign of Christ brings singing! The earth breaks forth in singing with Satans demise (Isa 14:7) but it is Christs reign that brings the 'oil of gladness' (Heb 1:9) 

Satan is swallowed up by death and hell (Isa 14:9-011) and Christ, your Saviour Christian; destroys hell and death (Heb 2:14ff) – it doesn't get any better than that! 

My Saviour triumphs over the grave, Satan is swallowed up by the grave. 

Satan is “fallen from heaven” ( Isa 14:12) but Christ has been exalted to heaven (Heb 1:3,13) 

Lucifer is the son of the morning (Isa 14:12) but my Saviour is the Son of God (Heb 1:4ff) 

Satan desired to “exalt my throne above the stars of God” (14:13) but of Christ “thy throne O God is forever and ever” (Heb 1) 

Satan : “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation' (Isa 14:13) but Christ is declared as Son on the Mount Zion of Psalm 2 and Heb1:4 

Satan 'opened not the house of his prisoners' (Isa 14:17) but my Saviour 'delivered then who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (Heb 2:15) 

Satan was discarded “as the raiment of those that aew slain” (isa 14:19), but my Saviour folds up the universe as a 'vesture' (Heb 1:12) 

Satan 'prepared a slaughter for his children' (14:21) but we are the brethren (Heb2:11ff) and are delivered from death and destruction (Heb 2:14ff) 

Of Satan: 'Thou shalt be joined with him in burial' (Isa 14:230) but of my Saviour we are joined with Christ in resurrection (Heb 2:10-11,14ff) 

If you find a better Saviour let me know about Him! 

Satan lost a place: 

Eden (Ezek 28:13) – cf. Heb 2 
Mount of God (Ezek 28:16) – cf. Heb 1 + 12 
Sanctuary (Ezek 28:18) – cf. Heb 8 -10