Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - The Superiority of Jesus' Name

Derek Prince - The Superiority of Jesus' Name

Derek Prince - The Superiority of Jesus' Name
TOPICS: Bible Study, Hebrews Bible Study, Authority

We’re going to continue now in Hebrews 1:4. As your outline points out, this is the first of the seven comparisons which are contained. This time it’s a comparison between Jesus and angels. The writer sets out to show how Jesus is absolutely unique and supreme and in a totally different category and on a totally different level from any angels. So we’re going now back to Hebrews 1:4, which is really in this version, and probably in your translation also not the beginning of a new sentence but just the end of the previous. The previous verses have stated these seven facts about Jesus, the last one being that He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Then it goes on: having become so much superior to the angels, as He has inherited a name that is more excellent than theirs.

If we want to know how much more excellent Jesus is than angels, we need to know how excellent His name is. I think the obvious place to turn there is Philippians 2. If you want to turn there we’ll do it. I see everybody turning in their Bibles. I don’t want to upset you but you might as well start in Ephesians 1 while you’re about it where it says in verse 21: God has exalted Jesus above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age, but also in the one to come. So, He’s far above every name and in Philippians 2 verse 9 it says: Wherefore God also highly exalted him [that’s the King James], and gave Him the name which is above every name. Not "a" name but "the" name. The name which is above every name. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, things in heaven, things on earth, things under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So His name is totally supreme. At His name, all created beings will bow and all will confess that He is Lord. As we see how superior His name is, turning back to Hebrews 1, that is the measure of how much He Himself is superior to all others. And at the end of Hebrews 1:4 it makes an interesting statement. It says "as much as He has inherited a name that is more excellent than theirs". Did you notice that? I will offer you my understanding of that. I can’t say for sure that I’m right, but it’s a rather strange phrase, "He has inherited a more excellent name". Philippians says "God gave Him [or bestowed upon Him] the name that is above every name". In Philippians where we looked it says, "Wherefore God also highly exalted Him".

What I understand by that is Jesus earned His exaltation. He came into His inheritance by right because He met the conditions. What were the conditions? He humbled himself to the lowest point. So God has also exalted Him to the highest place. See, both those passages in Philippians and here in Hebrews indicate it wasn’t a whim of the Father to bestow this name upon Him; it was the appropriate reward for what He had done. Because He humbled Himself more than all others, He is exalted above all others. He came into His name by inheritance. Again, notice the theme of inheritance, which is here right in the opening verses. And there’s a suggestion, I think, that if we’re going to come into our inheritance we have to meet the conditions as Jesus did.

Now we have in the next verses seven Old Testament passages unfolding the uniqueness, and supremacy of the eternal Son. You understand, these words were written to people for whom the Old Testament was authoritative whereas much of the New Testament probably had not yet been made available to them. So the writer goes back to the Old Testament, he selects seven passages. In each of them he shows how Jesus is the one referred to and how it depicts His exaltation far above all others, including all angels. This is a very helpful passage to understand how we as believers in Jesus and in the New Testament should interpret the Old. It is definitely something of a mental exercise. Believe me, it isn’t all that simple. We’re going to go through it thoroughly. I trust I’ll be able to do it all in this session. If not, we’ll leave whatever may be necessary to the next session. Your outline should help you.

You see at the bottom of Page 1/2, "Seven Old Testament Passages". Okay? The only one on that page is in verse 5 of the epistle which is what we’ll look at. Actually, there are two passages quoted in verse 5. I’m translating now verse 5: For to which of the angels did he ever say. That is, did God the Father ever say. Now we have the first quotation: You are My Son, I today have begotten You. That’s taken from Psalm 2. So we will now turn to Psalm 2 and look at the psalm. Psalm 2. I am going to the New American Standard but I may suggest some alternatives. The actual verse that’s quoted is Psalm 2:7. "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee.’"

What the writer of Hebrews is saying is, God never said that to any angel. It puts Him immediately in a totally different category from all angels. This second psalm is what we call a Messianic psalm. In other words, its theme is the Messiah. I think it’s important that we go through the whole psalm quickly and see its structure. It’s really such a clear example of the way in which Messiah is presented in Old Testament prophecy and figures. So I’m going to go through our outline on Page 1/3 pretty closely. This psalm presents one who is four things. Are you there? Number one, "the Lord’s anointed". Anointed is the English translation for "Messiah," or mashiach, which is the Hebrew word, which means "anointed".

Let’s get that clear right now. The Hebrew word is mashiach, the Greek word is Cristos, the English word is anointed. Whenever we speak about Jesus Christ, whether we know it or not, we’re saying "Jesus the Messiah". Cristos is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word mashiach. And they both mean "anointed". It presents one who is the Lord’s anointed. Verse 2: The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed: That passage was quoted in Acts 4 by the apostles when they had been forbidden to preach any more in the name of Jesus. Then it reveals one who is the Lord’s king. Verse 6: "But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion". So He’s "the Lord’s Anointed," and the Lord calls him "My King". Then He’s the Lord’s Son. Verse 7: "He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee.’"

The Hebrew word for son there is ben, which is the normal word. But at the end in verse 12 of psalm 2 it says to the kings and rulers: Do homage to the Son,. And it's capital s. The Hebrew word is bar, which is another word for son. And in certain phrases was habitually used as a title of Messiah. Let’s go back and just look at the outline of that whole psalm because it all centers around Jesus. If you’re still following in my outline it’s set out very clearly there. It predicts seven things in relationship to Messiah. First of all, it predicts the rejection of Messiah by earth’s rulers. That’s in verses 1–3. The kings of the earth and rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed. Their declaration is "Let us tear their fetters apart, and cast away their cords from us"! We don’t want to be bound by the requirements of God.

Second, it predicts the Lord’s anger at those rulers. Verses 4–5: He who sits in the heavens laughs, the LORD scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His fury: This is a frightening statement that it produces anger and fury from God.

Third, it predicts Messiah being anointed as king on Zion. Verse 6. God says to the kings and rulers of the earth, "Do what you will but I have installed My King on My holy hill of Zion". That’s the heavenly Zion, I understand. But the word that’s translated in the New American Standard "installed," I believe, is literally "anointed". It was, of course, always the practice when installing a king in Israel to anoint him. I understand there was a heavenly anointing ceremony for Jesus. That’s my personal understanding.

Number four, it predicts the Lord’s acknowledgment of Messiah as His Son. You see, in verse 6 the Lord speaks, God the Father. He says: "As for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain". Verse 7, it’s the Son who speaks, not the Father. He says: "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He [the Father] said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee.’" What day was that? What event was it? The resurrection, that’s right. Begotten again from the dead. So Jesus, as we saw in Colossians, is twice the firstborn: firstborn before all creation and firstborn from the dead. There’s no question in my mind this speaks of resurrection. The beginning of the new order, the new creation, the head. We saw all that in Colossians 1.

The fourth prediction of Psalm 2 is that God the Father acknowledges the Messiah as His Son through resurrection. We’re not going back to eternity; this is in the unfolding course of redemption.

The fifth prediction, Messiah is declared ruler over the whole earth. Verses 8–9, the Father says: "‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. Thou shall rule them with a rod of iron,.’" The word translated "rule" is the same word used for a shepherd. The word "rod" refers to a shepherd, but instead of having a rod of wood He will have a rod of iron indicating the severity of His judgment.

Then the sixth prediction is a warning to earth’s rulers to submit to Messiah before judgment falls on them. We’ll read that in verses 10–12: Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD [or serve the LORD] with reverence [or with fear], and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son [or kiss the Son, be reconciled with the Son], lest He become angry, and you perish in the way. For His wrath may soon be kindled. I personally feel that’s a message to earth’s rulers today: You don’t have much longer to make your peace with the Son. Notice the combination of two things in Psalm 2:11. "Worship the Lord with reverence," "rejoice with trembling". I always think that’s the right balance. You rejoice, but you also tremble. It isn’t only trembling, that’s slavish fear. It isn’t only rejoicing, that’s presumption. But, it’s rejoicing with trembling.

And finally, the seventh prediction of Psalm 2, the last line of it: How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! Or trust in Him. So there’s a promise of blessing to all who trust Messiah. Let me just quickly read through those seven predictions. You notice again number seven. The following things are predicted. One, rejection of Messiah by earth’s rulers. Two, the Lord’s anger at those rulers. Three, Messiah anointed as King on Zion. Four, the Lord’s acknowledgment of Messiah as Son through resurrection. Five, Messiah declared ruler over the whole earth. Six, a warning to earth’s rulers to submit to Messiah before judgment falls on them. And seven, a promise of blessing to all who trust Messiah. I trust all of you are blessed. That’s one way to qualify for being blessed.

Now we’re going back to Hebrews 1:5, the second half of the verse, the second quotation from the Old Testament. Now the quotation: I will be to Him for a Father, and He will be to Me for a Son. Notice the emphasis in both these on the Father/Son relationship. That is taken from 2 Samuel 7, we’ll turn there. Second Samuel 7, we’ll begin reading in verse 12. This is a message to King David sent to him from the Lord through Nathan the prophet. It’s a prophetic message. 2 Samuel 7, beginning at verse 12. "When your days are complete, and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant [literally your seed] after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; Let’s not go any farther. That was partially fulfilled in Solomon but not completely".

Look at it, verse 13: "He shall build a house for My name". Solomon did that. "I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever". That was not fulfilled in Solomon. This is an example of many such instances in the Bible where a human being is a foreshadowing of Jesus, but an incomplete one. So you get a certain truth but it’s not completely fulfilled, you have to wait for Jesus, for the complete fulfillment. That is a very common way of presenting prophetic truth in the Old Testament. So, going back now to Hebrews 1, the second part of verse 5, the writer says God never said that to any angel. "I will be Your Father, You will be My Son". So that’s His second Scripture to show how immeasurably superior Jesus is to all angels.

The next one is going to bother you. It’s in verse 6 and I’ll read it first and then we’ll see why it’s bothersome. Are you with me? Hebrews 1:6. And when He brings back again the firstborn into the world, He says. Is that how it’s translated? It’s referring to the return of Jesus. All right? Not to His first coming but when He comes back again into the world. He says: And let all the angels of God worship Him. Now where does it say that? The answer is in Deuteronomy 32:43. But before you turn there, let me warn you, you won’t find it! We’ll look at Deuteronomy 32:43 as we have it. Are you with me? Deuteronomy 32:43. "Rejoice, O nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people".

Now there’s nothing about the angels worshiping Him. What is the explanation? The explanation is that the writer of Hebrews habitually quotes not from the Hebrew text of the Bible but from the Greek text. How many of you knew there was a Greek translation called the what? Septuagint. So called because it was theoretically translated by seventy people, all of whom came up with the same translation. That’s a myth, I don’t believe it. But that’s the legend about it. There were probably seventy translators but they didn’t all independently come up with identical versions. It was translated in Egypt somewhere about the Second or the First Century BC, and it was habitually used in most parts of the ancient world where people didn’t know Hebrew, just like you habitually read an English translation because you can’t read the original Hebrew. But, the text that the translators of the Septuagint used was not identical with the Hebrew text, which is the standard Hebrew text today.

Have I communicated that? The standard Hebrew text today is called the Masoretic text. It means "the one that’s been handed down by tradition". And I think round about the Ninth Century of the Christian era, or the Eighth Century, it was standardized by the rabbis. It’s never been changed since. They came out with what you could call their "authorized version". However, interestingly enough, other Hebrew texts have since emerged which in some respects agree more with the Septuagint than with the Masoretic Hebrew text. Primarily, the Dead Sea scrolls, which nobody ever knew about until l947. But as you probably know, there is a complete text of Isaiah all the way through in the Dead Sea scrolls, basically in agreement with the Hebrew text we have with just a few differences.

In other areas, particularly in Jeremiah, 1 and 2 Samuel, and a few other areas, there’s quite a number of passages in these alternative texts which are not included in the Masoretic text which is where we get basically our English translation from. If you use the Jerusalem Bible, they refer pretty frequently to the Dead Sea scrolls and other versions. The Septuagint version, which I have, is a lot longer for this verse than the one we have here. And, I wrote it out, the extra part in Greek, and I’ll read it to you. "Rejoice, O heaven, with Him, and let all the sons of God worship Him. Rejoice, O nations, with His people, and let all the angels of God give Him strength [or glory]". Okay?

So, if you take that and put one piece with another you get the statement here quoted: "Let all the angels of God worship Him". I hope you’re not confused. I’m not responsible for the situation, I’m just trying to describe it! Okay. Almost all the quotations in Hebrews are taken from the Septuagint, not from the Masoretic text. Which, in a way, was natural, for somebody writing in Greek. Just like if you were going to write a letter to somebody and explain your understanding of salvation, you would quote from the English Bible, not from the Hebrew Bible. So that’s somewhat similar. Basically, I would say the Septuagint is not a very good translation. That’s my personal opinion. Going back to Hebrews 1:6 and accepting this as part of Scripture, "Let all the angels of God worship Him".

We notice that this is something that is to happen when God brings back the firstborn [that’s Jesus] into the world at the close of this age. All the angels are ordered to worship Him. That is clear proof that He is higher than the angels, because the angels are worshiping Him. No one is ever to be worshiped in Scripture except God Himself. So it establishes His divinity and His supremacy to the angels. I don’t intend to stay any longer on that, I hope we got over that rather bothersome passage all right. We’re now going on to verse 7. Chapter 1, verse 7: But of the angels He says, "Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire". That is quoted from Psalm 104:4. This is an introductory passage to the psalm portraying the glory and majesty of God. It says in verse 4: He makes the winds His messengers, flaming fire His ministers.

That’s the translation I have here. I don’t really like it. I have to tell you, I think the good old King James is better which says: Who makes his angels spirits, his ministers a flame of fire. At any rate, what it is saying is: Angels are servants. Okay? I’m sure I’ve left an unanswered question in the minds of some of you. The word for wind in Hebrew is ruach, which is also the word for "spirit". So you have to determine which way to translate it. I personally think it’s much more intelligent to translate it "makes His angels spirits" than this. "And His ministers a flame of fire". I hope you understand the point is that angels are servants. Okay? So that proves they’re not on the same level as Jesus. Going on to verses 8–9. Now this again is a very important passage. Hebrews 1:8: To the Son [you have to put in ‘He says’], "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever..". Literally "for the age of the age". Or, "an age that’s made up of ages".

That’s a fantastic concept, isn’t it? Not just an age made up of years, but an age made up of ages, which is made up of years. "Your throne, O God, is for the age of the age, and the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of His kingdom. You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; for this reason, O God, Your God anointed You with the oil of rejoicing above your companions [or fellows]". I’m going to say that again. "Your throne, O God..". And notice it’s God who is addressed. "Is forever and ever, and the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of His kingdom. You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness [they probably say iniquity]; for this reason, O God, Your God anointed You with the oil of rejoicing above your fellows". What I’m pointing out to you is that there are two persons in those verses, each of whom is called God. All right? That’s the Old Testament.

Let’s go back to Psalm 45:6–7. I’ve never tried to do this before, this is rather difficult. I hope you’re with me. If you go to the beginning of Psalm 45 you see that it’s a theme of praise and worship of the king. My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King. In this translation it’s a capital K. So, it’s the Messiah, the King Messiah, who’s the theme of this. And we will not go into the other verses till we get to the ones quoted which are 6–7. Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; therefore God, Thy God, has anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows.

The English translation does not exactly agree with the way it’s translated by the writer of Hebrews because in verse 7 of Psalm 45 what the writer of Hebrews translates is "Therefore O God, Thy God, has anointed Thee". Whereas this one says "Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed thee". But it doesn’t make any difference because in verse 6 the person being addressed is called "O God". Are you with me? So whatever way you translate it, and either translation is perfectly possible, you come up with this result: There are two distinct persons, each of whom in the Old Testament is called God. And the Hebrew word there used is Elohim, which is the normal word for the one true God. But, as I’ve explained to those of you who have listened to me before, it’s plural in form. I–m is the plural ending.

So you have the whole mystery of the Trinity really in that one word Elohim. But you see, the king who’s anointed is called God. And it’s God who anoints the king. So whatever way you look at it, you come up with something that’s very remarkable. There are two distinct persons, each of whom is addressed as God. And one of them is the King who’s going to rule with the scepter of righteousness. Let’s go through my outline just to try to make this more clear. We’re on Page 1/4. This passage emphasizes the divinity of Messiah. Previously it’s been emphasized his Sonship, but now it speaks about His divinity. And the following points I make. First, the person addressed is Himself God. Hebrew: elohim. Second, He’s a king and He has a kingdom. Third, He’s totally committed to righteousness. He loves righteousness and He hates lawlessness. Fourth, it’s this reason that God anoints Him as Messiah.

Again, Messiah earned His position. It wasn’t bestowed on Him out of a whim or out of favoritism. He was anointed because of His absolute, total commitment to righteousness. He loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. That was the reason why God anointed Him, or made Him Messiah. And five, He has fellows [or companions] who are also anointed but not in the same degree. I think I’ll leave you to meditate on that, it’s a very, very clear presentation out of the Old Testament of Jesus as Messiah and His disciples. Going back now to Hebrews 1:10–12. This is the sixth Scripture. I hope I’m not confusing you.

The sixth Scripture, and it’s a lengthy one. Beginning in verse 10: And [in other words, here’s another quotation coming:], "You, in the beginning, O LORD, founded the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old as a garment, and like a cloak [or a mantle] You will roll them up; and as a garment they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will never pass away". What do they say there? Give me a good translation. "Never come to an end". It really means never run out. So that’s the next passage, it’s taken from Psalm 102:25–27. I will confess to you for many years I found it difficult to see how the writer of Hebrews could include this.

Let’s look in Psalm 102:25–27: "Of old Thou didst found the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end". Now "they," obviously, that is God the Creator that’s addressed. Maybe you have no problem, I don’t want to start one for you. My problem was, Why does that refer to the Messiah? Except on the basis of the fact that the New Testament teaches that all things were created by Him. But that is not an argument for people who are coming out of the Old Testament. So it won’t do.

See what I’m saying? So, I spent much time studying this psalm and I came to a conclusion. If you go back to the beginning of the psalm, the psalmist is in deep distress and depression. Everything has gone wrong and he says in verse 6 rather pathetically: I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places. I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop. Then he goes on to talk about his enemies, and he says in verse 11: "I’m withering away like grass".

Then he turns to the Lord and the tone changes. He lifts up his eyes to the Lord in faith, and says in verse 12: But Thou, O LORD, dost abide forever; and Thy name to all generations. Thou wilt arise and have compassion on Zion; for it is time to be gracious to her, for the appointed time has come. Surely Thy servants find pleasure in her stones, and feel pity for her dust. So the nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. God is going to intervene through the Messiah on behalf of Zion in a way that will bring glory to His name and all nations will see it. That’s the theme.

Now verse 16, I prefer the other translations. This one puts it in the past tense. For the LORD has built up Zion. I don’t like that. You find the New International Version, the King James and most of the other versions put it in the future. For the LORD will build up Zion, He will appear in His glory. One of the great indications that the Lord is getting ready to appear in His glory is that He is building up Zion. So here it speaks about the Lord, the Messiah, building up Zion and appearing in His glory. That cannot be God the Father. See my process of reasoning?

So, when it comes to the end I understand now why the writer of Hebrews says this was addressed to the Messiah. Of old Thou didst found the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. It’s not addressed to God the Father, it’s addressed to the Lord who will appear after He has built up Zion. Are you with me? If you never had the problem you probably don’t appreciate the solution. But you can think it over for yourself. To me, it’s been a real problem because I could see exactly the application of all the other passages quoted but this one I found difficult. We’re going back to Hebrews 1:13, which is the seventh quotation from the Old Testament.

Notice again it has to be seven. I didn’t do anything to make it that way, it just came out. Alright. Verse 13: But to which of the angels has He ever said, "Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet"? That is taken from Psalm 110. Let’s look in Psalm 110 for a moment. Psalm 110, verse 1: The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet". The LORD is God, who is "my Lord". Well, rather than try to expound that myself, I’ll turn to the words of Jesus. This passage is quoted in the three synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. It’s also quoted by the apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:34–35. All those references are in your outline.

Let’s just look in Matthew 22 because Jesus Himself faces the Pharisees with the interpretation of this passage. Matthew 22, beginning at verse 41: Matthew 22, beginning at verse 41: Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, "What do you think about the Christ..."? The Messiah. If you want to get the real implication you must say "Messiah" there. "What do you think about the [Messiah], whose son is He"? They said to Him, "The son of David". Everybody at that time believed that. Which, of course, is true. He said to them, "Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The LORD said to My lord, sit at My right hand, until I put Thine enemies beneath Thy feet.’"

You see, everybody agreed this is a picture of the Messiah, but what the Pharisees had never seen is though He was the son of David, David speaks about Him as "my Lord". How can that be? That’s the question. Verse 45, Jesus presses it home on them. "If David then calls him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son"? He doesn’t say He isn’t his son, but He said, "What kind of a son is He that His father calls Him 'my Lord.' And there’s no answer given. And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question".

This passage, Psalm 110:1, interestingly enough occurs in the three synoptic gospels, that’s three times; once in Acts, that’s four times; here in Hebrews 1, that’s five times; and I think twice more in Hebrews. So it is almost certainly the most quoted verse from the Old Testament in the New, which is interesting. We’re doing very well, I didn’t believe it was possible, but we’ve got to the end of chapter 1, there’s one more verse left. Verse 14 of chapter 1. Verse 13 said, "To which of the angels did he ever say, ‘Sit at My right hand’"?

And then verse 14 says: Are they not all ministering spirits, who are being sent forth to serve for those who are due to inherit salvation? Again, the contrast is brought out. Angels are servants; the Messiah is God’s Son. He’s the King, He’s God Himself. See, those passages quoted there bring out He’s the king, He’s the Messiah, He’s the Son of God and He is God. Those are not true, those statements, of any angels. Congratulations to all of us, we’ve got through the first chapter!
Are you Human?:*