THE EXALTED SON OF GOD (HEBREWS CHAPTER ONE)

THE SON IS GREATER THAN THE PROPHETS 

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…( 1:1-2)

Hebrews is a book loaded with comparisons and at the very outset of the epistle the comparison is made between the prophets who spoke from God, but always in a limited capacity, and Christ in whom the fullness of the revelation of God is revealed.

Though no less the Word of God, the prophets could only speak in limited and separate revelations on behalf of God.  The Son, however, speaks directly as God in the fullness of God’s authority.

Jesus is the heavenly prophet whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (see Micah 5:2) and he is the one whom Moses testified should come (Acts 3:22-23). 

When asked if he was “that prophet,” John the Baptist (who was a prophet) said “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20-21) but was sent to announce his coming, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” (John 1:23).

Jesus is in a class unlike any other prophet,  for all other prophets were servants, but Jesus is Lord. They spoke as servants of the Lord, Jesus spoke with unmatched authority because he is the Lord.

THE SON IS THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS

(God) hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high… (1:2-3)

The Son by whom God has spoken is mentioned, first of all, as heir of all things. Whereas all other prophets spake in the capacity of a servant only, the Son is the heir. He is not simply an heir, but the heir of all things.

The Son is heir of God’s glory and expression. He is heir of creation and the redeemer of it, and he is the heir of God’s throne – when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high… (1:2-3)…But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:8)

The speaking of God by his Son is more than the speaking forth of the words of truth, it is the whole revelation of himself in the person of Jesus Christ. God is revealed fully by his Son.

THE SON IS SUPERIOR TO THE ANGELS

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 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? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:4-8)

As the heir of God, the Son is greater than the angels. By inheritance, Jesus obtained a more excellent name than all the angels. The name specifically being referred to here by the author of Hebrews is not the proper name, Jesus, though the name of Jesus is above every name in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth (Philippians 2:8-11).

The name being referred to by the writer of Hebrews is that of Son – “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, THOU ART MY SON, this day have I begotten thee?

Some may argue that Son is a title and not a name, but the point being made by the author of Hebrews is that God never said to the angels “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”

He then goes further giving more scriptural proof saying – “and again” – a reference to other scriptures which prove his case.

AND AGAIN, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

AND AGAIN, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

With much scriptural evidence the author of Hebrews will repeatedly pile on throughout his epistle to show how truly glorious the Son is, for the glory of the Son is one of the major themes throughout the book of Hebrews.

THE SON IS EXALTED

And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:4-8)

In 2:6-7 the author of Hebrews will quote from Psalm 8 to testify of the Son who took on human flesh to redeem us through his own  blood.

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? 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…

The Son who has been made so much better than the angels, is the same who lowered himself in holy humility, taking a position in which he too was made lower than the angels to bring redemption to humanity (2:9-10).

What does it mean that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels?

In 1:7 and 14, the writer of Hebrews tells us the angels are spirits – And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire…Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

In contrast, Jesus came in the flesh as the seed of Abraham.

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

Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. He is the God-man. He fully identifies with God, being of one with God’s divine essence and he fully identifies with humanity having humbled himself to take on flesh and blood.

It is in view of Christ’s humility  – his taking on flesh and blood to suffer for us –  that the the author of Hebrews is setting forth how Jesus was made so much better than the angels. Yes, he is far superior to the angels because of his divine essence, for the angels are commanded to worship him (1:6). Yet the message being communicating here is that of the exaltation of the Son of God AFTER he had purged our sins and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

The enthronement of the Son, post resurrection, is at the foundation of the epistle. If we miss the glorious exaltation of the Son in chapter one, we will likely miss the weight of the entire message of the epistle. The Son, who took on flesh and blood to give his life for the sin of the world, is exalted, and from this vantage point, the author will take us from one truth to another showing us the exalted Son of God.

THE SON IS ENTHRONED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (1:8-9)

The exaltation of Jesus is the exaltation of righteousness. Christ is the King of righteousness. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus saying, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice (righteousness) from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

For more on the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Jesus exalted on the throne of David follow the link at the end of this teaching.

THE SON IS LORD FROM THE BEGINNING AND FOR EVER

And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?(1:10-14)

The glory of the exalted Christ is that he is both Lord from eternities past, and Lord triumphant, being exalted in his victory over death whereby he redeemed us with his blood. God, who made the worlds through his Son, gives life to the dead through the Son as well. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:6, God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

The glory bestowed on the Son is unmatched, for he is glorified and exalted as both creator and redeemer.

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CHRIST ENTHRONED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/christ-enthroned-at-the-right-hand-of-god/

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THE HEAVENLY PROPHET

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)

Hebrews is a book loaded with comparisons. At the very outset of the epistle the comparison is made between the prophets who spoke from God, but always in a limited capacity, and Christ in whom the fullness of the revelation of God is revealed.

Though no less the Word of God, the prophets could only speak in  limited and separate revelations on behalf of God.  The Son, however, speaks directly as God in the fullness of God.

Jesus is the prophet whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (see Micah 5:2) and he is the one whom Moses testified should come (Acts 3:22-23). He did not speak like the other prophets with only limited insight. He is the Heavenly prophet who came down from Heaven as the living Word of God.  

When asked if he was “that prophet” John the Baptist (himself a prophet) denied and said “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20-21). John declared that he was the one who came to announce the coming of that prophet who is the Messiah, the Son of God.

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord. (John 1:23)

Jesus was more than an ordinary prophet, he was and is the LORD! Jesus’ ministry as a prophet was not like those prophets before him, for they spake on behalf of the Lord. Jesus spoke being the Lord.

Unlike the other prophets who were chosen from among men, Jesus came down from above, not with a Word from God, but as the very Word of God in the flesh.

In the first 4 verses of Hebrews, there is an ascent from the prophets who were mere men, to the Son by whom God made the worlds, from the his humility of Christ in purging our sins, to his exaltation above all the angels of God.

The message of Hebrews begins with the Father having spoken by his Son, and it closes with the warning to not refuse him who speaks from Heaven. Jesus is the one in whom God has speaks from Heaven. He is the heavenly prophet – the Living Word of God!

HEBREWS STUDY OUTLINE

HEBREWS

Hebrews is a book of exhortation

  • A letter of exhortation to believers (13:22)

Hebrews is a book of warnings

  • Warning not to neglect our great salvation.
  • Warning not to harden our hearts against the Holy Spirit.
  • Warning not to become slothful.
  • Warning not to draw back into apostasy.
  • Warning of sin and rejection of Jesus.

Hebrews is a book of comparisons

  • Jesus is greater than the prophets.
  • Jesus is greater than the angels.
  • Jesus is greater than Moses.
  • Jesus is greater than Joshua.
  • Jesus’ priesthood is greater than the priesthood of Aaron.
  • The new covenant is greater than the old.
  • The blood of Christ is greater than the blood of animals.

Hebrews is a book of redemption themes

  • The sufferings and exaltation of Jesus Christ
  • The high priestly ministry of Christ
  • The new covenant
  • The blood of Christ
  • The reward for enduring faith

The outline of Hebrews

  • The Son in whom God speaks is greater than the prophets ( 1:1-2).
  • The glory of the Son (1:3).
  • The superiority of the Son to angels (1:4-7).
  • The exaltation of the Son (1:8-14).
  • FIRST WARNING: Not to neglect our great salvation (2:1-3).
  • God’s power confirming the gospel – a foretaste of the world to come (2:4-5).
  • Humanity lower than angels (2:6-8).
  • Jesus humanity and suffering for us (2:9-10).
  • Jesus accepts us as his brethren (2:11-13).
  • Jesus defeated the devil (2:14-15).
  • Jesus is the seed of Abraham (2:16).
  • Jesus is a merciful and faithful high priest (2:17-18).
  • Jesus is the apostle and high priest of our faith (3:1).
  • Jesus was faithful to God (3:2).
  • Jesus is greater than Moses (3:3-6).
  • SECOND WARNING: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (3:7-11). Do not harden your heart through the deceitfulness of sin (3:12-15).
  • Israel fail in the wilderness because of unbelief (3:16-19).
  • We are to fear God and learn from Israel’s example in the wilderness (Hebrews 4:1-2).
  • Entering into God’s true Sabbath rest: the finished work of Christ (Hebrews 4:3-11).
  • Nothing hid from Christ (Hebrews 4:12-13).
  • Our great high priest in the heavens (4:14-16).
  • The ministry of the high priest ( 5:1-4).
  • Christ called to be a high priest (5:5-6).
  • Christ perfected as high priest ( 5:7-11).
  • THIRD WARNING: Slothfulness which results in apostasy (5:1-6:12).
    • Spiritual growth and the Word of God (5:12-14).
    • The principles of the doctrines of Christ (6:1-3).
    • Qualifications for permeate apostasy  (6:4-8).
    • Exhortation to the brethren – God’s faithfulness (6:9-11).
    • Warning against slothfulness (6:12).
  • Abraham our example of faith and patience (6:12-15).
  • God’s promises and oaths give strong confidence (6:16-18).
  • Jesus, in the presence of God, is our hope (Hebrews 6:19-20).
  • Abraham and Melchisedek (7:1-2).
  • Melchisedek, a type of Christ (7:2-4).
  • Melchisedek in contrast to Aaron and the Levites (7:5-11).
  • The change of priesthood and law (7:12).
  • The priesthood of Jesus Christ in contrast to the priesthood of Aaron (7:13-24).
  • The ministry of Jesus in the heavens (7:25-8:2).
  • The purpose of the ministry of an high priest (8:3  -4 see also 5:1-3).
  • The priesthood under the law was an example and shadow of Christ (8:5).
  • Jesus has a more excellent ministry than the old testament priests (Hebrews 8:6).
  • The fault of the first covenant (8:7-8).
  • The new covenant replaced the old (8:8-13).
  • The ordinances of divine service under the first covenant (9:1-10).
  • Christ fulfills the old testament foreshadowing (9:11-15).
  • Testaments and the death of the testator (9:16-17).
  • The first testament dedicate with the blood of sacrificial animals (9:18-22).
    • The first covenant had to be law, because the blood of animals could not take away sin. Only the blood of Jesus can take away sin.
  • Christ, fulfills the old testament type and his ministry in the heavens (9:23-28).
  • The sacrifices under the shadow (the law) had no power to put away sin (10:1-4).
  • Christ came to do the will of God (10:5-10).
  • The ineffectiveness of the priests under the law (10:11).
  • The finished work of Jesus Christ (10:12-14).
  • The Holy Spirit’s witness of the finished work of Christ & the new covenant (10:15-18).
  • The invitation to come boldly before God by the blood of Jesus and the high priestly ministry of Christ (10:19-22).
  • Exhortations to preserver in faith (10:23-25).
  • FOURTH WARNING: Willful sinning and drawing back (10:26-39).
  • The faith of the great cloud of witnesses (11:1-12:1).
  • Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (12:2-4).
  • The chastening of the Lord (12:5-11).
  • Exhortation to press on in faith (12:12-14).
  • FIFTH WARNING: The summation of all the other warnings – beware of sin and rejection of Jesus (12:15-29).
  • Exhortation to live a godly life daily (13:1-19)
    • continue in brotherly love
    • entertain strangers
    • remember those who are in prison
    • remember those who are being mistreated
    • be faithful in marriage
    • do not love money
    • remember God’s promise to never fail or leave them
    • remember those who have taught them the word of God and follow their faith
    • do not be carried away by various and strange doctrines
    • establish your hearts in grace
    • bear the Lord’s reproach (i.e., suffer for his name)
    • offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually in the name of Jesus
    • don’t neglect doing good to the needy
    • submit to those who are their leaders in the Lord
    • continue praying for him (the writer) and those with him.
  • Prayer of encouragement (13:20-21).
  • Appeal to accept the epistle as a letter of exhortation (13:22).
  • The complimentary close (13:23-25).

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For teachings that major in the epistle of Hebrews follow the links below:

Hebrews, a book of exhortation to believers 

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/hebrews-a-book-of-exhortation-to-believers/

The exaltation of the Son of God 

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/the-exalted-son-of-god-hebrews-chapter-one/

The warnings in Hebrews 

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/the-warnings-in-hebrews/

 

After the order of Melchisedek 

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/after-the-order-of-melchisedek/

The new covenant with Israel

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/the-new-covenant-with-israel/

Cleansed from dead works 

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/cleansed-from-dead-works/

Lo, I come to do Thy will

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/lo-i-come-to-do-thy-will-o-god/

Once for all

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/once-and-for-all/

The blood of Jesus speaks better things than that of Abel’s 

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/the-blood-of-jesus-speaks-better-things-than-abels-2/

Atonement 

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/atonement/

What about Ezekiel’s temple ?

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/what-about-ezekiels-temple/

JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD (PART TWO)

Muslim apologists argue that Jesus was not divine because of verses like John 5:19.

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

They claim this proves that Jesus is not God because he could only do what he saw the Father do.

Before preceding forward and showing why this is a flawed conclusion, allow me to make one observation that Muslims tend to overlook in their argument. They claim that Jesus could only do what he saw the Father do. They fail to acknowledge that their own prophet, Muhammad, could not do ANYTHING that the Father did.

Unlike Jesus, Muhammad never healed the sick, cast out devils, raised the dead, or perform miracles. Muhammad has no recorded works that resemble anything like the Father revealed to Jesus.

According to Jesus, the Father did not simply reveal to him the works that he wanted Jesus or any other man to do. According to Jesus, the Father showed Jesus all things that he himself does. Therefore, the works which Jesus did from the Father, wasn’t independent of the Father, they were the very same works that the Father himself, as God alone, does.

Muhammad could never make such a claim, and this is what Muslim apologists leave out of their argument. The works that Jesus did were the works that God himself does, and only he himself can do. This is why Jesus could claim equality with God and cite the works he did from the Father as evidence of such.

Notice the words of Jesus from John 5:19 in a wider context.

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. (John 5:16- 21)

Notice that Jesus claims that as the Father raises up the dead and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will. This is exactly what Jesus is referring to when he says, “the Son can do nothing of himself.”

God is a healing God, therefore Jesus healed. God is a miracle worker. therefore Jesus worked miracles. Jesus does not do anything except what he sees the Father do. Again,  Jesus could claim equality with God and cite the works he did from the Father as evidence of equality with God.

Notice verse 22- 23:

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the SonThat all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

When Islamic apologists attempt to make the Son-ship of Jesus Christ into a common thing, they dishonor both the Son and the Father. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who came down from above and who dwelt with the Father in eternities past.

Micah 5:2 makes mention of Jesus as the ruler who came from Bethlehem whose goings forth have been from of old, from EVERLASTING.

The apostle Peter described the honor which belongs to Jesus as the Son of God when he made the following statement:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majestyFor he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (2 Peter 1:16-17)

Notice that Peter refers to Jesus’ Son-ship as majesty, honor, and glory from God.

Islamic apologists, who make the Son-ship of Jesus Christ a common thing, dishonor God, for with God the majesty, honor, and glory of Jesus Christ is that he is God’s Son!

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To read part one click on the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/jesus-is-the-son-of-god-part-one/

YOUR DESTINY AWAITS, THE SECRET OF LIVING A SUCCESSFUL LIFE!

The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to withdrawn himself from those who think that becoming wealthy is a result of godliness.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with having financial success, the belief that riches and worldly success is on a parallel track with godliness is spiritual error.

According to scripture, it is unwholesome and contrary to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and contrary to the doctrine of godliness to believe that riches and material success is a reflection of God’s hand on one’s life.

Notice the following from 1 Timothy 6. I have selected the New Living Translation for clarity.

Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be contentBut people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. ~ 1 Timothy 6:3-12

Please take some time and consider what you have read. Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with material success, and it is a good thing to trust God for provision to meet our needs.

However, it is the pursuit of worldly riches, and thinking that material success is a reflection of godliness that is wrong. According to the apostle Paul, those who have such pursuits fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”

Paul exhorted Timothy to pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

What is it that you are pursuing? Material riches or godly character? 

I hope you will take some time and consider your pursuits. Are you aliened with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the doctrine which is according to godliness? Or, are you seeking God’s favor as material blessings?

Your input is welcomed in the comment section below.

Thank you

JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD (PART ONE)

Islamic apologist make the claim that the title Son of God,  in reference to Jesus, has no special uniqueness. They claim that the title Son of God is used elsewhere in the Bible to refer to others such as Adam (Luke 3:38) and the angels (Job 1:6).

However, the scriptures teach that Jesus being the Son of God is unique and different from all others. Jesus is unique because he is eternal and existed with God in eternities past.

Matthew 14:33 says: Then they  (Jesus’ disciples) that were in the ship came and WORSHIPPED him, saying, OF A TRUTH THOU ART THE SON OF GOD.

If Jesus being the Son of God were an ordinary title, then why was he worshipped as the Son of God?

The disciples would not have worshipped Jesus as the Son of God if being the Son of God were a common thing as with others. Unlike others, Jesus is God’s own unique Son – the only begotten Son of God.

John the baptist said, “I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34)

If Jesus being the Son of God were not unique, there would be no need for John the Baptist to bear record of Jesus as such. When we examine the testimony of John about Jesus, we see that John declared that Jesus was more than an ordinary man.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, this was he of whom I spake, he that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (John 1:15)

John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus was before him, even though Jesus came after him – a reference to the deity of Jesus Christ. John calls him Lord, saying,  I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. (John 1:23)

The title Son of God carries a weight when applied to Jesus that it does not when applied to any other man. Jesus is not an ordinary man privileged to be called God’s child. Jesus is the Lord who came down for Heaven, and eternal life comes through believing he is the Son of God. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faithWho is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his SonHe that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his SonAnd this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:9-13)

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)

THE BLOOD OF JESUS SPEAKS BETTER THINGS THAN ABEL’S

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, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. ~ Hebrews 12:22-24

What is the significance of the speaking of the blood of Jesus in contrast to that Abel’s?

When Abel was murdered by his brother Cain, God vindicated Abel by judging Cain. God confronted Cain saying: “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.~ Genesis 4:10 

Is the author of Hebrews emphasizing that Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance, but the blood of Jesus cries out for mercy?

I think it’s more than that – much more.

First, consider that the Biblical account of the murder of Abel by Cain does not make the claim that Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance. We are only told that God said “the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Though a couple of modern translations of Hebrews 12:24 give a commentary that Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance, there is nothing concrete in the Biblical narrative to conclude this definitively.

We know from the new testament that Stephen, as he was being murdered, prayed for God’s mercy and not judgment for his executors.

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. ~ Acts 7:59-60

As he was dying, Stephen prayed for God’s forgiveness for those who were putting him to death. Therefore, if Abel’s blood did indeed cry out for vengeance, we could conclude that Stephen’s blood (or death) speaks better things than Abel’s as well, for Stephen prayed for mercy for his murderers.

I think we miss something very valuable when we come to the conclusion that the contrast being made by the author of Hebrews is one of mercy and vengeance when he says Jesus’ blood speaks better things than Abel’s.

What is it that we are missing? What possibly could the writer of Hebrews be telling us?

Consider Hebrews 11:4:

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. ~ Hebrews 11:4

When we consider the context of Genesis 4, we find that Cain killed Abel over an offering, because God accepted Abel’s gift and rejected Cain’s

The writer of Hebrews tells us that, by Abel’s gift to God, he obtained witness that he was righteous, and by it – by virtue of his gift to God – he being dead, yet speaks.

God’s judgment on Cain was more than vengeance for a wrongdoing. God was vindicating Abel’s righteousness and the gift he had offered to God, which was a type of the sacrifice of Jesus. Consider how much more God vindicates the righteousness of his Son Jesus, and the gift he gave to God when he died for our sins.

In contrast to Abel, the writer of Hebrews tells us it is the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than Abel’s.

The words the blood of sprinkling is a reference to the application of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Christ’s shed blood has power in heaven where it was sprinkled in the presence of God for us, and it has power in our heart, cleansing our conscience from all sin.

Hebrews draws heavily on the priesthood and the sacrificial system of the old testament to explain the work of Christ. Under the old testament, God spoke directly to Moses (the mediator between God and Israel) from above the blood sprinkled mercy seat. ~ Exodus 25: 22; Numbers 7:89

The mercy seat was the covering of the ark of the covenant, and the place where the shed blood of the sin offerings for atonement was sprinkled annually to make atonement for Israel. Once a year, the high priest would enter into the most holy place and sprinkle the blood upon the mercy seat in the presence of God.

This was a type of the work of Christ who, consecrated for us the new and living way to God, when through the blood he shed at the cross, he entered into the presence of God having obtained our eternal redemption for us.

From there, Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us, and from there he cleanses our hearts through the sprinkling of his blood by the power of Holy Spirit.

Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformationBut Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for usFor if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? ~ Hebrews 9:6-14

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

The one whose heart has been sprinkled (or cleansed) with of the blood of Jesus Christ will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit bearing witness from God and from Christ.

The Holy Spirit bears witness to our cleansed conscience as he gives testimony to Christ and his finished work. This brings about a nearness to God from the heart and causes us to have the full assurance of faith.

The power of Christ’s blood so completely purges the conscience through it’s sprinkling that the sense of guilt and demerit are completely removed. And through the Holy Spirit the justifying voice of mercy and grace speaks within the depths of our hearts.

Through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit testifies to our conscience of Jesus’ complete victory over sin and imparts to us the victory of Christ.

Christ’s blood speaks better things than that of Abel’s, whose more excellent sacrifice than Cain’s, was only a foreshadowing of HIM who was to come.

In righteousness, Jesus gave the ultimate gift to God for us all, and through the offering of himself he brings us near to God. That is why his shed blood, sprinkled, (i.e., applied), in the presence of God and in our hearts, speaks better things than that of Abel’s!

THE REMISSION OF SINS

God has always been as merciful and forgiving God, for by his own nature he is love. The difference, however, in the old and new covenant is that the blood, by which the covenant was established.

The forgiveness we have received through the blood of Jesus is not a temporary atonement. The freedom that we receive through the blood of Christ is the remission of our sins.

Remission is the cancellation of a debt, charge, or penalty. Through the blood of Jesus, the indebtedness for our sins and the sins of all have been canceled! However, it must be appropriated by faith. 

Listed below are some of the important truths taught by scripture regarding the remission of our sins in contrast to the old testament atonement.

  • It was impossible for the blood of animals – offered under the law – to cleanse man’s conscience from sin and guilt (Hebrews 9:9; 10:1-5, 11)
  • The blood of Jesus cleanses our conscience from guilt. (1 John 1:7,9; Hebrews 7:19; 9:9, 13-14, 22;  10:1-2, 14, 19-22;  12:23)
  • The sacrifices under the Law were repeated over and over again and were a continual reminder that sin had not been permanently dealt with. (Hebrews 10:1-6)
  • Jesus does not need to offer himself for our sins over and over again. Jesus’ one sacrifice provides cleansing for sins forever. (Hebrews 7:25-28; 10: 5-22)
  • The priests, under the Law, who offered the sacrifices on the behalf of the people could not abide continually in the presence of God (Hebrews 9:6-8), neither could they continue in their priestly ministry indefinitely because they were subject to death. Therefore there were many priests who succeeded one another (Hebrews 7:19-23). Under that system of worship, man was separated from God because the way into God’s presence was not yet opened (Hebrews 9:6-10). The Law could only give a foreshadowing of good things to come – an illustration of something better that itself (Hebrews 10:1-5).
  • Christ is our great high priest. In and through him, the good things which the law could only foreshadow have become reality. Unlike the entrance of the priests under the old testament who served in a temporary tabernacle,  Jesus has entered a greater and more perfect tabernacle. Christ entered the tabernacle of God in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12).  Jesus did not enter this tabernacle with the blood of animals, but with his own blood, securing our permanent redemption. (Hebrews 9:12-14, 24-28; 10:10-14)
  • Under the law, the offerings of sacrificial animals could only provide ceremonial cleansing from impurity.  However, the Blood of Jesus Christ purifies our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. (Hebrews 9:6-14)
  • Under the old covenant, the priests stood and ministered before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, and those sacrifices could never take away sins. Jesus Christ, our high priest, offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, forever. He then sat down at the right hand of God, reigning as King till all his enemies are made his footstool. His one offering is the perfect sacrifice for all people forever. Now we can enter boldly into the Most Holy Place (the presence of God) because of the blood of Jesus. Jesus has consecrated this new and living way to God for us. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we now can draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (see Hebrews chapters 7-10)

RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION

The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:20), yet many people like to quot, be be angry and sin not, to justify their so-called righteous indignation, which is often not righteous anger at all. Instead, it is an excuse to fulfill the lust of the flesh.

When the scripture says, be angry and sin not, it is not a proof text to justify being angry. Instead it is an exhortation to get over our anger quickly and that is why the scripture says, “let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.”

Anger that goes unchecked will open to the door to the devil and give him access into our lives. Being angry is not a virtue. Having the grace to get over it quickly is. When we continue in anger it will lead us into sin and that is why the scriptures exhorts us to do the following:

Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and WRATH, and ANGER, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)

Notice in the verses above, anger and wrath, are associated with bitterness and is listed among things which grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

In Colossians 3 anger is spoken of in view of the old nature that we are to put off.

But now ye also put off all these; ANGER, WRATH, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him… (Colossians 3:8-10)

Playing the righteous indignation card (as most of us have) is no excuse for treating people unkindly because the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.

Och Hallelujah!

THE TRIUMPHANT CHRIST

THE NEW COVENANT WAS ESTABLISHED WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS

This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 27:28 see also Mark 14;24; and Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25)

GOD FULFILLED HIS PROMISE TO ISRAEL IN THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

And we declare unto you GLAD TIDINGS, how that THE PROMISE which was made unto the fathers, GOD HATH FULFILLED the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (Acts 13:32-33)

JESUS TRIUMPHED OVER ALL HIS ENEMIES IN HIS DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION 

I (Paul) Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, WHICH HE WROUGHT IN CHRIST, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:16-23) 

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM in it. (Colossians 2:15)

JESUS, THE SEED OF ABRAHAM, WAS VICTORIOUS OVER THE POWERS IF DARKNESS 

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that THROUGH DEATH he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:14-17)

JESUS REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (Galatians 3:13-17)

ABRAHAM IS THE FATHER OF ALL WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST 

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:27-29)

ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH IS INVESTED IN JESUS 

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (Authority)is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matthew 28:18)

JESUS WAS ENTHRONED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD AT THE TIME OF HIS ASCENSION

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. (Acts 2:29-32)

GOD PROMISED HIS SON THAT ALL HIS ENEMIES WOULD BE PUT UNDER HIS FEET

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they… to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Hebrews 1:3-4; 13)

  • Jesus is the express image of God
  • Jesus purged our sins
  • Jesus was enthroned on the right hand of God 
  • Jesus was reign until all His enemies are put under foot 

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15: 25-26)

JESUS TERMINATED THE OLD COVENANT THROUGH HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby… (Ephesians 2:15-16)

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. (Colossians 2:14)

Note- the hand writing of ordinance against us is a reference to the Law.

And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take THIS BOOK OF THE LAW, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for A WITNESS AGAINST THEE. For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death? Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.

This book of the Law, which was written or recorded by Moses, served as a witness against the people because they were rebellious and stiff-necked. God knew that they were going to forsake Him and serve other gods and God instructed Moses to record it as a witness against them. Not a witness for them.

After the exile into Babylon, Daniel prayed the following:

Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore THE CURSE is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in THE LAW OF MOSES the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath CONFIRMED his words, which he spoke AGAINST US, and AGAINST our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

When Colossians 2 refers to the BLOTTING OUT THE HANDWRITING OF ORDINANCES that was AGAINST US, this is exactly what is being referred to.

Through the death of Christ, the law covenant given to Israel through Moses was DONE AWAY WITH (2 Corinthians 3:7, 11) and ABOLISHED (2 Corinthians 3:13; Ephesians 2:15). It was TAKEN AWAY (Hebrews 10:2) and made OLD (Hebrews 8:13).

The covenant God made to Abraham was confirmed in Christ (Galatians 3:17) 430 years before the law.  The new covenant is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and the inheritance belongs to all who believe that Jesus is the Christ!

Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that THE COVENANT, that was CONFIRMED before of God IN CHRIST, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, CANNOT ANNUL, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if THE INHERITANCE be of the law, it is no more of promise: but GAD GAVE IT TO ABRAHAM BY PROMISE. Wherefore then serveth the law? IT WAS ADDED because of transgressions, till the seed should come TO WHOM THE PROMISE WAS MADE; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that THE PROMISE BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST MIGHT BE GIVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE. the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A SCHOOLMASTER. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE(Galatians 3:15-29)