There is a movement, a love fest that is sweeping our country. The infatuation, or love, however you wish to describe it has everything to do with the tender feelings and warm thoughts that we have when we think about angels. It seems that angels are everywhere. You can buy their pictures in bookstores, purchase porcelain figurines depicting their cherub charm, and visit their web pages if you wish.

I was standing in line at the grocery store just this past week when I glanced at one of the tabloids positioned for my entertainment. The headline read, “Angel Leads Plane To Safety.” I thought to myself, “How appropriate that I’ve been studying the topic of angels all week and here is an example of their power and deep concern for us mere mortals.”

From tabloids to the television to magazines by the score we are seeing more and more attention given to the topic of angels. Angels are a relevant topic for us to discuss and study, but my concern is that I don’t believe many people in our society are studying angels from a biblical perspective. We are getting our information from magazine articles written by people with all kinds of spiritual convictions, we are watching TV shows like, “Touched By An Angel” whose Executive Producer is Marianne Williamson, the writer of the New Age “Course On Miracles, and we are neglecting God’s teaching concerning angels.

I was surfing the Internet this past week to learn more about angels and was amazed at the number of web pages out there concerning this one topic. I learned all kinds of insights — some biblical, some psuedo-biblical, and others outlandish. I stumbled on one website called “Angelic Creations” that was hawking a new book written by a woman who has worked tirelessly to perfect her skills at getting the attention of angels so that she can get what she needs. She writes on her web page.

At the present time, our planet contains six billion people {give or take a few million}. Each person is provided with a personal guardian angel. In addition, the guardian angels have access to the powers of multitudes of the special angelic spirits in charge of animals, plants, minerals, the weather, inanimate objects; your car, house, furnishings, and anything and everything else that is composed of energy. These billions and billions of guardian angels and helper angels are the worker bees of the entire universe…constituting one of the greatest powers in the world. This awesome power is available to us through our thoughts, prayers, and wishes…if we know how to ask.

Examples of SHORT TERM WISHES…these can be fulfilled in a short period of time

PARKING SPACES: Over 20 years ago, my first wish to my angels was regarding a parking space. To my surprise, they arranged for the exact spot I specified. Throughout the years, they have continued this service. I am not surprised anymore, but I am always thankful and appreciative. Asking your angels for parking places can be a convincing test of angel power. Use recipe #10

LOST ITEMS: The angels know the location of everything in the universe. They can help you to find the best bargains, the most suitable health professional for your ailment, your misplaced keys, notes, pets, child, or whatever you need. Make your wish, then stay alert for clues and hunches. Usually recipe #10 is sufficient. If not, use recipe #1, #3, and #4

CLIMATE CONTROL: Yes, the angels can help make your planned picnic a success. Just tell them ahead of time what kind of weather you would like. Seem impossible? We have altered the weather innumerable times to save moving days, vacations, and golf games. Use recipe #10 for on the spot. For a day or longer, use recipe #1 and #3.

LONG TERM WISHES…these may take a bit longer.

NEW CAR, HOME OR ANY EXPENSIVE ITEM: The angels can see into the future, so they know how any item will perform years down the road. We had our share of “lemons” and disappointments until we learned to use recipe #2 and #8 for all-important matters. If you are wishing for someone else it is important to use recipe #2. It carries a safety feature to prevent unsuitable wishes from being granted.

THE RIGHT MATE: This is a very important wish! The book gives storeies of our experiences and assistance in wording your wish. Again, use recipe #2 and #8. Using recipe #1 will give you faster results, but you may not be satisfied for a long-term relationship. We speak from experience!

The help of angels is a prominent theme that we see today. One man who wrote about the hit TV show “Touched By An Angel” says the reason why people have become so infatuated with angels is because angels ask nothing of us, they simply want to help us in any way possible. With the modern day understanding of angels there is no “Thus saith the Lord” there is only the nonjudgmental help that we all desire. Help with no strings attached. Help with no demand on us.

I read a very interesting excerpt from a book written by Malcolm Godwin that is worth pondering. Malcolm Godwin in his 1990 book, Angels: An Endangered Species, estimates that over the last 30 years one in every ten pop songs mentions an angel. But that was just romantic fun. He also writes,

Now our culture takes angels seriously, if not accurately. In the last two years Time, Newsweek, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, and a host of other popular magazines have carried articles about angels. In mid-1994, ABC aired a two-hour, prime time special titled “Angels: the Mysterious Messengers.” In Newsweek’s November 28, 1994 issue an article titled “In Search of the Sacred” observed that “20% of Americans have had a revelation from God in the last year, and 13% have seen or sensed the presence of an angel” (p. 54). Newsweek is right; modern society, so seemingly secular and hopelessly materialistic, desperately searches for some spiritual and supernatural meaning. If angels can provide it, then angels it will be. Certainly they are more cheerful and brighter than our long-standing infatuation with movies about demons and evil spirits, along with endless Dracula revivals.

What is the truth about angels today? Are angels morally indifferent to our lives? Are angels singularly focused on helping us get what we want in life? Are we to worship angels? Does God have anything to teach us about the existence of angels and their purpose in God’s great plan? Oh, I am so glad you asked because this morning we are going to be spending our time together taking a look at angels according to Hebrews 1:4-14. As we study God’s Word we are going to find that Jesus is far superior to the angels in every way. Won’t you turn in your Bibles and let’s read together.

4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 7 In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” 10 He also says, “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” 13 To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:4-14 NIV)

It is important to recap our study time from last week as we are now building upon last week’s instruction from the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Last week we learned that Jesus is superior to the prophets. We learned the many ways that Jesus exceeds the greatness of the prophets, the spokesmen of God. The seven ways that Jesus exceeds the greatness of the prophets are: He is the heir of all things, He is the Creator, He is the manifestation of God’s being, He is the perfect representation of God, He is the sustainer of all things, He is the Savior, and Jesus alone is the exalted Lord.

This week we are building upon the superiority of Jesus, but instead of continuing his discussion of Jesus’ superiority over the prophets, now the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews leads us in a study of Jesus’ superiority over the angels. The writer of Hebrews spends time teaching us about the superiority of Jesus over the angels because there are those in the church and in society who have elevated God’s created beings to the status of their Creator. The growing adoration and fascination that angels are gaining in our society today is not a new phenomenon. There were many Jews in Jesus’ day that held angels in higher esteem than God had intended. The Jews believed that angels were the highest beings next to God. John MacArthur has written in his commentary on Hebrews,

Most Jews believed that angels were very important to the Old Covenant. They esteemed these creatures as the highest beings next to God. They believed that God was surrounded by angels and that angels were the instruments of bringing His Word to men and of working out His will in the universe. Angels were thought to be ethereal creatures made of fiery substances like blazing light, who did not eat or drink or procreate…They believed two hundred angels controlled the movements of the stars and that one very special angel, the calendar angel, controlled the never-ending succession of days, months, and years. A mighty angel took care of the seas, while others superintended the frost, dew, rain, snow, hail, thunder, and lightning. Still others were wardens of hell and torturers of the damned. There were even recording angels who wrote down every word that men spoke. There was an angel of death and, on the other hand, a guardian angel for every nation and even every child. Angels were so numerous that one rabbi claimed that every blade of grass had its angel. (MacArthur, Hebrews, pg. 24-25.)

Everything changes and yet everything remains the same. What is the difference between the ancient Jews and the lady selling her book on getting what you want from the angels? Not much. I am so glad that God loves us so much that He has given us His eternal Word to teach us, lead us, and guide us into truth because we are so easily deceived and led astray. Let’s turn to our study this morning and pray for God to teach us from His Word.

In verses 4-14, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews shows us how Jesus is superior to the angels. He does this by citing seven Scriptures from the Old Testament and showing us how Jesus is the fulfillment of each verse.

The first aspect of Jesus’ superiority over the angels is His title. The writer tells us that God never called one of His angels “Son” as He did Jesus. In verses 4-5 we read,

4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? (Hebrews 1:4-5 NIV)

There are two Old Testament quotations listed by the writer — Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14. The title of “Son” is far superior to any name ever given any angel and it is tied to Jesus’ incarnation. Jesus inherited the title “Son” when He was born into this world to die for the forgiveness of our sins. This is very important for us to understand because folks will knock at your door and try to convince you that since Jesus is called “God’s Son” that He is in some way inferior to God. This is absolutely absurd. Jesus inherited the title “Son” in willing submission, as an expression of God’s love for a lost world.

No angel could ever save us, but God has demonstrated His love for us by giving us Jesus, His only Son, who came to die for our sins.

The second aspect of Jesus’ superiority over the angels is His worthiness for worship. Jesus is never called to worship the angels, but the angels are commanded to worship Jesus. In verse 6 we read, 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Verse 6 alludes to a verse found in Psalm 97. The Psalmist writes,

7All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols-worship him, all you gods! (Psalm 97:7 NIV)

People have been tempted to fall at the feet of angels in worship throughout the ages, but worship is reserved for God alone. In Revelation 22, God sent His angels to show John what was about to take place. John says,

8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” (Revelation 22:8-9 NIV)

Jesus alone is worthy of our worship. He is God who has come in the flesh. The one who has won our salvation. He is the one who has made us, bought us with the price of His blood, and who has promised us eternity in His glorious presence.

There is no angel who has ever existed who has ever been worthy of one moments worship. No angel would ever ask us to worship him, no angel would ever accept our worship, no angel would ever desire our worship. The angels of God desire one thing and one thing only, and that is to do God’s will! They just want to worship the Lord, to do His will, and to bring glory and honor to His holy name. The day is coming, as we are told in Revelation 5, that the voices of the angels will fill the heavens with singing. Listen to what will come from their mouths.

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:11-12 NIV)

Thirdly, Jesus is superior to the angels because He is the Creator. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews makes it clear to us that Jesus is superior to the angels because He is the Creator. He writes in verses 7-8,

7 In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:7-8 NIV)

The key to understanding the difference between Jesus’ nature and the nature of the angels is found in one little word. When we read, “He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire,” a quote from Psalm 104:4, we see the key quite clearly. The Greek word for “make,” means “to make or create.” Jesus was not made, He has existed as God throughout all of eternity. On the other hand, angels are created beings, created by the gracious hand of our Lord to be His messengers and servants.

Paul wrote to the Colossians in the very first chapter and gave them an education concerning the origination of all things when he wrote,

16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 NIV)

John MacArthur has written in his commentary on Hebrews,

He is obviously superior to them. Not only were they created by Him, but they are His possession, His angels. They are His created servants, His ministers, His winds and flame of fire. (pg. 32)

It is inherent within us to worship, to find something or someone bigger than us to praise, seek to emulate, and adore. We see it happen all of the time as folks drool all over themselves about the latest athlete, actor, politician or public figure who captures the hearts of the world. The problem is that we must be very careful whom we offer our adoration. No person can save us, no public figure can forgive us, and no angel can transform our hearts and minds. Jesus alone is eternally God, the one who has made us, who can save us, forgive us, and transform our hearts and minds.

The fourth way in which Jesus is superior to the angels is His eternal existence. Sometimes we live this life as if it will go on forever. We live as though everything around us will just continue on into eternity. The Bible teaches that just as everything in creation had a beginning, so the end will come. God has promised that the end will come. In 2 Peter 3 we read about the scoffers who look around and say, “Where is His coming?” with a smirk on their faces. Take a look.

3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:3-7 NIV)

The end of all things as we know it is not simply the belief of Christians. Scientist have taught one of the most basic, foundational teaching of science for many years and it is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Paul S. Taylor writes in his book, The Illustrated Origins Answer Book,

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics describes basic principles familiar in everyday life. It is partially a universal law of decay; the ultimate cause of why everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time. Material things are not eternal. Everything appears to change eventually, and chaos increases. Nothing stays as fresh as the day one buys it; clothing becomes faded, threadbare, and ultimately returns to dust.2 Everything ages and wears out. Even death is a manifestation of this law. The effects of the 2nd Law are all around, touching everything in the universe. Each year, vast sums are spent to counteract the relentless effects of this law (maintenance, painting, medical bills, etc.). Ultimately, everything in nature is obedient to its unchanging laws. (Paul S. Taylor, The Illustrated Origins Answer Book.)

In Hebrews we see this same truth set forth for us by the writer. He shows us how the Lord laid the foundations for the earth in the beginning and how He will roll up all of creation like a used garment, but He will continue to reign as Lord and God. Take a look with me at verses 10-12,

10 He also says, “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” (Hebrews 1:10-12 NIV)

The writer of Hebrews did not originate the idea of the end of the material world. We read in Psalm 102,

25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. 27 But you remain the same, and your years will never end. (Psalm 102:25-27 NIV)

The fifth way in which Jesus is superior to the angels is in His future reign as Lord and God. The last way in which we are taught the superiority of Jesus over the angels is future oriented. During His incarnation Jesus made Himself a slave, a servant, an offering of God for the sins of humanity. Once His task was completed He took His seat at the Father’s right hand to rule over all of creation. The day is coming when God will make every enemy of Jesus to bow before His glorious throne. On that day the angels will remain servants of God and servants of you and me, those who have inherited salvation. The writer of Hebrews states,

13 To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:13-14 NIV)

The Bible teaches that when Jesus returns God will put every authority, every opposing force, and every power under the feet of Jesus. Jesus will reign and rule the universe in righteousness and truth.

I hope that you are beginning to get the point of the writer’s thesis, “Jesus is superior to everything and everyone. There is no other name but the name of Jesus that has the power to accomplish God’s perfect will, to deliver us from our sin, and to secure our place in eternity.” You may be touched by an angel, but you can only be saved by the Lord. I hope that this morning you will ask the Lord of glory to come into your heart as Lord and Savior.

Touched By An Angel, But Changed By The Lord!
Hebrews 1:4-14