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The book of Hebrews and the deity of Christ

Today teaching theology is absent from most Church’s and because of this many of the members become subject to the cults who have honed their arguments and convince them Jesus is not God or there is no tri unity in His nature.

Jesus cannot become  peoples savior without them knowing that He is Lord. To be Lord means more than just master but to the Hebrews it meant Yahweh the creator. The book of John concentrates on the deity of Christ. It starts with His preexistence and goes through His life and His claims proving where he came from. His miracles are presented as proof of who He claimed to be. Old Testament typology is used to prove that Jesus was claiming to be the I Am of the their deliverer from Egypt and the true tabernacle.

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. This means to have a respect for our maker, wisdom is when we act upon knowledge we received, to ignore it is not wisdom. There is very little fear of the Lord in the Church today. I think it’s mainly because we have gotten away from understanding of who Jesus is. He is God.

The best and only place to start in finding this out is in the Scriptures where eyewitness accounts are historically recorded. It is the most thoroughly documented teaching in the Scripture and the early Church. It also happened to be the most attacked doctrine throughout history and still is today.

There is no more clear evidence of the fact of Jesus being God in any book of the Bible than in the Book of Hebrews. The writer of Hebrews whoever he was had a superior understanding of Judaism and the functions of the tabernacle, sacrifices and their prophetic significance. The writer of Hebrews used the three most important subjects to the Jews, the angels, the priesthood, and the sacrifices, and we find the Son is compared to them all, is called superior.

Scripture consistently states God is eternal and does not change.  If there is an eternal Father, then there is an eternal Son. These are terms of relationship to one another. The title Lord (which is Yahweh) is applied to the Father, to the Son and to the Spirit.  All three are called LORD, (YAHWEH).  They are three persons but one Lord and God.

“I the Lord do not change” (Mal.3:6). The God of the Scriptures is presented as eternal in his nature, unchanging. (Deut. 33:27). “ From everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps.90:2). The word also teaches that all three persons of the Godhead are also eternal, all belong to the order of eternity. Anything that undergoes a change in nature cannot be God. Change describes something not retaining its own being. Only something that is created is subject to change. Therefore God’s attributes, characteristics and persons are as eternal as His nature.  

Heb.1:2 states that God has in these last days spoken to us by His Son whom he has appointed heir of all things, “through whom He made the worlds.” This agrees with Jn. 1:3: “all things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.” All means all, not all other things as the Jehovah’s Witnesses insert in Col.1:15. Here we see the Bible teaching that Son exists prior to creation, which makes Him more than just a creature.

However more than ever we need to be able to prove this. The Bibles evidence of this fact is not lacking, it is overwhelming. The same Son that was manifested in the flesh was present at creation. This is the same Son that was in the bosom of the Father before any thing was created Ex Nihilo (Jn.1:14,18). If Hebrews 1:2 tells us that God made the worlds through the Son.  The Son had to have existed before anything was created, to cre­ate everything that exists, so does the Father. Therefore they are both uncreated. 2 Pet .3:5: “they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old.” Ps.33:6: “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” v.9 “For He spake, and it was done, He commanded, and it stood fast.” Christ is the word, the word is a person Ps.148:1-6: “For He commanded and they were created.”  Col. 1:16-17 Speaking of the Son; “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” The text is revealing that it was “in Him” that all things were created (Greek- en as the essential instrumental of agency).

Here we find the consistency of the teaching in New Testament of his pre-existence as the Creator yet as Heb.1:2 says it was through Him God made everything. We can see the Sons role was not a secondary one but primary. Scripture teaches that creation was from the Father- through the Son- and by the Spirit. The Father as the source created through the Son who is the agent and the Spirit was the power. If the Son is not pre-existent then why should we believe the Father is? If we apply the same rules of interpretation to both, this is the only conclusion we can come to. But the truth is that they both exist eternally. How then could God make the worlds through the Son in Heb.1:2 If He did not exist prior to creation? This text should stand alone from any attacks of anti Trinitarians.

The book of Hebrew’s chapter one explains the Son's participation in creation and his incarnation. Heb.1:3: “Who being the brightness of His glory and express image of his person.” Athanasius had used Heb. 1:1-4 in his controversy with Arius to prove Christ did not having a beginning His true essential nature was of God. There are a number of Greek words that are explicit in their explanation. Being  (Greek:oon) meaning Absolute and timeless existence (Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament) "glory" is the expression of the divine attributes collectively. It is the unfolded fullness of the divine perfections, (Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament) "the very image” (or impress) of his substance." (ibid.) He is the perfect representation of another person therefore He too is a person of that nature. Jesus is called the exact image, the word used is an illustration of an engraving tool that would stamp its impression on a coin or seal. It bears the image produced by it having the exact reproduction of the original. Yet the image is not the same identity as the seal. Neither is the Son the identical person as the Father except in his nature. The impress would be found in His humanity as Col.2:9 states in him dwells the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.”

Heb.1:3 calls Christ “The effulgence of his glory the very image of His substance,” This is what was within Him and expressed by His life, His teachings and actions. Here Jesus shows that He has the glory of God that manifested itself in the Old Testament and dwelt in the tabernacle. It is this glory that was revealed on the Mount of transfiguration when this image became visible to the disciples.  The Fathers voice from heaven testifies  “this is my beloved Son hear him.” Notice that he says to listen to Him. God was not pointing to a human but the Son. In Jn.17:.5 Jesus prays “And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with thine own Self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” Here is Jesus asking to be restored to His glory that He always had but was presently hidden under the veil of flesh.

In speaking of the Son in Heb.1:4: “having become so much better than the angels.” How, did he become better?  By exaltation at the resurrection that returned Him to His former position in heaven. He already was better in nature before His incarnation, being deity, the very one who created all the angels. Yet He was made a little lower than the angels. Heb.1:5: “For to which of the angels did He ever say “you are my Son today I have begotten you?” Here the writer is proclaiming the Son as superior to all the angels. Angels as a species are called Sons of God (Elohim) (Psalm 29:1), but no single angel is ever called God’s Son, they are called the sons of God collectively. No creature is ascribed to them the name of " My Son".  Angels are the greatest of Gods creation and the Son is said to be unique, how? Because the Son of God is of the same nature as His Father! This should shut down any thought entertained of Jesus being an angel as the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim. Actually the whole of chapter one and two of Hebrews compares Him to angels and He is superior. (V.5) “To which of the angels does he say you are my Son?” (V.13) “To which of the angels did He say sit at my right hand?”  The answer is not one.

In Heb.2:5 it states, “He (God) has not put the world in subjection to angels.” If the world is subject to Jesus (and it is) then He is not an angel. God did not put any angel in control of all things, so Michael the Archangel cannot be God’s Son.

In Heb.1:6 The Father tells all the angels to worship the Son. Certainly God is not telling angels to worship another angel or a human? To worship any creature except God is forbidden, yet here we have God the Father telling the angels to worship the Son. What Father is saying is that Jesus is the eternal Son. This certainly should settle the issue if He is an angel or a man. This quote is found in both Deut. 32:43 and Ps 97:7 of the Septuagint where it speak of angels worshiping the Son. The only way Angels can worship the Son is because they are subordinate to Him. Jesus said “That all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Does the Father command us to give the same honor to a human that we are to the Father who is God?  No, so Jesus is more than a man.

The Father speaking, in v.8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O’ God is forever and ever... God, even thy God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (Heb.1:8) Here is God the Father saying to the Son He is God and he has a throne which is eternal. Does a human have a throne that is forever or is it God? The Jehovah’s Witnesses go the furthest in reinterpreting this to say God is the throne, this means He’s become a chair. The lengths some will go to to deny His deity.

In the Hebrew Ps.45:6-7 (kic'akaa 'Elohiym `owlaam wa`ad)  means” Thy throne, O God, is forever, and to eternity.” : the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” The Son also has a kingdom. The later part of the verse is better translated, "O God, thy God hath anointed thee." The title God is given to two individual persons, God says to another who is also God, that he has anointed him with the oil of gladness. There are two and both are called Elohim.

 Isaiah prophesies Isa.42:1: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen,( Jesus) in whom my soul delights in, I ( the Father) have put my spirit (Holy Spirit) upon him.” There are three persons in this verse, the speaker is one person, the servant is the other who is to be anointed, the third person is the Spirit of God. When we come to the New Testament we find who the other is that is anointed. This event occurred at Jesus’ baptism as he had the fullness of the Spirit rest upon Him. All the functions and gifts of the Spirit were active and present in Christ. It is this event that is spoken of in Luke 4:17-18: “And there was delivered unto Him (Jesus) the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He (Yahweh the father) hath anointed me (Jesus).”

Irenaeus one of the early church's greatest theologians writes in 200 A.D.  “The Father is the anointer, the Son the anointed, the Holy Spirit the unction. As the word declares through Isaiah the Spirit of God is upon me because he has anointed me, The Father sent the Spirit over the Son who is god also. Three Coherent persons, the giver of the command to the receiver and the spirit as the executor.”   Jesus was anointed as a human above all who maintained a priest or kingly office, for He is King of Kings. What better source do we have to confirm the deity of the Son?

In Heb.1:10 The Father speaking of the Son says, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands... and they shall be changed: but thou art the same.” This is a quote from the Old Testament of Psalm 102:25 and is speaking of God.   The writer attributed the "name" Yahweh to the Son in Heb 1:10, and the Father addresses the Son as eternal and being immutable “they will perish, you will remain”.

We know from Scripture the Father is eternal (James 1:17). This is never disputed by anti Trinitarians. Since it is essential for God to possess an eternal nature and exist in this manner to create all things. What is disputed is that the Son is also eternal. Speaking of Jesus “whose goings forth are from old (ancient times) from everlasting (from eternity).” (Micah 5:2)  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) meaning His nature is unchangeable.

Heb.1:.10 the Father still speaking to the Son “and You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the Earth and the heavens are the work of Your hands.” This agrees with Jn.1:1-3; Heb.1:2; Col.1:15-17. The words “the foundation of the Earth” and  “heavens” means all parts of the universe, all that was made came through His hands. So the Father states the Son is the Creator of all things. If the Son is the creator, then the Son is God the creator of Gen.1:1. The testimony of the Father who is recognized as God, should be heeded. It is impossible for the Son to not really be Lord or God, if the Father calls him such. Since God cannot lie. It is clear the writer meant to apply it to the Lord Jesus to prove conclusively that He is deity. No one, on reading the Psalm 102:25-27 would question it referred to God, neither should they in Heb.1:10.

Heb.3:2-6: We find Christ is faithful to Him who appointed Him just as “Moses also was faithful in all his house.” That He is counted to have more glory than Moses, for “He who built the house has more honor than the house.” As v.4 states  “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.” V.6 “But Christ as a Son over his own house whose house we are.” Christ is the head of the house- the body of Christ. He is the architect (builder) of all things (Col.1:15-17) therefore He is God. In Jn.14 we are told just as the earth was formed by His hands He went to heaven to prepare a place for His household, that where He is we may be also. He is the wisdom personified in Prov.8:22 and called the master craftsman in v.30. He as the Son is attributed to be co-creator with the Father in Prov.30:4 when Agur asks what is Gods name what is his sons name if you know? It is God who created all things.  The New Testament is not lacking in attributing divine creatorship to His hands as in Jn.1:1-3: “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. V. 10 “and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” Col. 1:16-17: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Rev. 4:11:"You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (The whole chapter of Heb.1 attributes Christ being the creator by His Father). In Acts 4:24-25 the disciples in “one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” Certainly to call one Lord meant to the primitive Church He was God.

“In all things He had to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in all things pertaining to God.”(Heb.2:17) How was He made like His brethren? In His humanity, as God took on human flesh.  The purpose was so he can understand the human condition experiencing it personally.

Heb.4:14: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” The priestly function is tied with the New Covenant, it is dependent on the God/man accomplishing salvation and distributing the benefits of it for those who enter into the Covenant by faith. We see this Scripture clearly states that Jesus is still the Son and has not changed to another person. He was the Son before and He is the Son for all eternity. He's continues in his mediatorial role, Heb.6:20:  “He is our high priest forever,” 7:3 “abides continually,” V.17: “forever.” The mediatorial roles insist that there is another person who is God, for its functioning.

 If he is only a man how can he pray and intercede for everyone. 1 Jn.2:1: “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Jesus is our advocate to the Father.  An advocate means someone who is as a defense lawyer and pleads our case to another authority. But this advocate is sinless, which no man ever was. Can a man hear all our prayers at the same time, can he pray for everyone, Can he answer all our prayers? The only way possible is that He is more than man, but is the God/man.

 “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek, (Heb.5:6)  To function as an eternal priest in an eternal priesthood, proves Him to be the eternal God/man. 1 Cor.5:21: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”  Jesus is both man and God two natures in one person and because of this He is able to mediate for both parties. “Now a mediator does not mediate for one only but God is one.”(Gal.3:20)   One who mediates has two sides to reconcile, mankind and God.

The writer of Hebrews In 5:9-11 identifies the Son as the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him. To be the author means the source and originator. Since God is the source of all things eternal and in Isaiah he calls out “look to me all the ends of the earth to be saved”, there is salvation in no other (Acts 4:12), because God (the Son) alone can save and forgive sins.

Again the theme of Hebrews is using comparisons of the Son to three most important subjects in Judaism, angels, the priesthood, and the sacrifices. Showing he is better and greater than all of them, in Heb.7:15 the author states “And it is far more evident, if in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of the fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.” This Son is called by God the high priest of the order of Melchizedek which never ends.

The author of Hebrews contrasts the two priesthood’s.  Jesus served as a priest on earth not from the tribe of Levi but of Judah (Hebrews 7:14;8:4) which is unheard of. There is only two mentions of the Melchizedek priesthood in the Old Testament and one was before the Levitical priesthood was established.(Gen.14:18;Ps.110:4) When the Old Testament law was given in exodus a priest was required to be a descendant of Levi. High priests who performed the atoning sacrifice on the Day of Atonement were required to be descendants of Aaron, Levi's great grandson (Numbers 18; Hebrews 5:1-4). To be an Aaronic priest, one had to trace their ancestry to Aaron, to be a Melchizedek priest was of a divine appointment. Christ is a priest from the line of David, from the tribe of Judah He was not from the Levitical order.  The Melchizedek priesthood is superior because it is eternal in contrast to Aarons priesthood that was temporary and continually changed due to death of the priest.  While the Levitical priesthood ministered to only one nation, the Melchizedek priesthood is able to minister to all.

Upon Christ’s resurrection, He became an eternal priest “according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:5-10; 6:19-20). Jesus is the eternal Son who died once and resurrected continuing in his priesthood forever as His priesthood is based on an endless life. The only one who can guarantee forgiveness has to be the mediator of the New Covenant vs.22-28 This is a perfect priesthood unlike the old which changed, this continues forever  administered by the eternal Son of God to all who are in the house of God. (Heb.9:15-10:21) Christ became the high priest after he sacrificed his life and went to heaven, now sitting down in His mediatorial role at the right hand of the Father. In Heb.7:26 He became higher than the heavens, (v.28)  “For the law appoints as high priests men who have weaknesses, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.”

 No prophet or king was allowed to hold the three ruling offices in Israel. Jesus holds to all three offices eternally, but He functions in them Chronologically. He came as a prophet (Jn.4:44), today he is currently holding the office and functioning as our high priest (Heb.5:6,10). He was announced as King in his first coming but was rejected (Mt.12:22-45). At his second coming He will be realized as King and accepted. (Isa.9:6; Mt.25:34-45).  

Just believing in Jesus doesn't save you, although you may feel good and secure about Him. He must be understood as Lord, God, without  this you don't have Christianity nor do you have the true Christ.

The Son is just as real and present before the creation of the world as the Father is. Who said so? The Father!




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