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Hebrews 1:10  (King James Version)
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<< Hebrews 1:9   Hebrews 1:11 >>


Hebrews 1:10-12

To us, the physical seems so solid, indestructible, and permanent, at least in terms of our own brief existence. But Hebrews tells us to get our attention off the immediate, the "around and about," the physical. We are to reorient our lives, our thinking, our focus, toward the eternality of Christ's dominion.

A profound reality of God and His Word is that they are changeless. "You remain," Hebrews 1:11 says, but we grow old and die. The eternal values never change, and even more exciting, they can be taken through the grave.

What is important in our lives? The immediate gratifications offered by this world? The things we possess? The accomplishments we achieve? If so, we will not likely see God very frequently. Or, we can ask, what in our lives demands our time, effort, and thought? An objective answer to this may reveal what we really worship.

We cannot identify with or worship anything transient. Something must "remain" or "continue" (ASV), as verses 10-12 tell us. Something eternal must abide; something unchanging must continue. To this we can cling, and within it, we can live our life by faith.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Do You See God? (Part One)



Hebrews 1:1-14

The author's direct and indirect references to the threefold offices of Jesus Christ—prophet, priest, and king—provide a link between Hebrews' first and second chapters. Christ holds all three at once, which is impressive. He is a Leader every knowledgeable individual should yearn to serve under because, under His leadership, great things will be accomplished. Those under Him will share the rewards of His achievements.

In Hebrews 1, the author describes the Son as the One through whom God spoke prophetically as “Son” (verse 2). In verse 3, He is the High Priest who provided purification for sins. In verses 6-14, we see Him prophetically, ruling from His throne in His Kingdom, alluding to His royal authority. These verses look far into the future, assuring us that His holding of the office of High Priest is a settled, eternal issue.

Why? The answer appears in Hebrews 1:9: God places Him in that office, anointing Him “with the oil of gladness more than [His] companions,” because He “loved righteousness and hated lawlessness,” as demonstrated by His sinless life. He most certainly qualified for it. The quotation from Psalm 45:6-7 is no idle saying. Jesus was head and shoulders above all others in terms of His qualifications to lead.

These brief statements set the stage for the rest of the epistle. Hebrews 1 is a primer of what He has already done and will continue to do and expand upon for the members of the God Family. Remember, Christ Himself dogmatically states, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). God is glorified by His Family producing fruit, and without Jesus Christ, no fruit can be produced. Without His work, our salvation would be impossible. As High Priest, He is the literal link between us and sharing eternity with God in His Family. Without Him, we could expect only death in the Lake of Fire.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Ten): Christianity's Claims



Hebrews 1:1-14

During the first century, a number of very vocal Jews were hesitant about accepting Jesus Christ as High Priest under the New Covenant. The conference recorded in Acts 15, held to resolve their doubts, provides evidence of this group's existence. However, through the human author, God led, as it were, with a knockout punch in Hebrews' first chapter. Reading the powerful and true statements about Christ from God's own Word, laid out with devastating logic, a convert could find nothing to contradict.

Is there any other person besides Jesus, be he angel or human, whom God names as His only begotten Son? Is there anyone else whom God names as His Son who will inherit all things? Through whom the entire creation came into being? Who has given life itself to all creatures including humans?

God does not stop there. He continues His direct attack. Did God appoint any other person besides the One who became Jesus of Nazareth as “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person”? Does anyone else also uphold all things in creation by the very word of His power?

Did anyone but His only begotten Son purge us of our sins by sacrificing His perfectly lived life in an extremely painful death? Did anyone else rise from the dead and ascend to heaven to be seated at the Father's right hand, filling the second-highest position of power and authority in the entire universe?

All these questions challenge the skeptics to justify their reasons for rejecting Him as High Priest. Is there any room for even an angel, a creation of Jesus and thus on a lower plane than He, to be considered? And that is only the beginning of the questions that surely arose.

What God establishes at the very beginning of this magnificent epistle did not directly answer a few of the Jews' central doubts. What really perturbed the doubters was that Jesus of Nazareth appeared to be just another human, and He obviously died as all humans die. These facts, based on sight, not faith, did not meet their expectations.

The Jews' expectations about the appearance of the Messiah were built—and twisted from time to time—over a 1,400-year, on-and-off knowledge of God. Frankly, in terms of time, it was far more often “off” than “on.” God did not praise even one king of the ten northern Israelite tribes for leading a period of righteous rule over them. The tribes in the southern kingdom, Judah, occasionally had a David, Hezekiah, or Josiah rise to the point of God giving such praise. However, this kingdom eventually fell, and God judged that its conduct had been worse than that of the Kingdom of Israel!

Jesus was born among these people of Judah, and to them, He preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Jews had had an especially long period of free access to the prophets God sent through the centuries, so they had had access to the Scriptures as they came into existence through the prophets. Hebrews 1:1 declares that God ensured that this witness occurred: “God . . . at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.” The Israelites were never totally without access to God's guidance. Their problem was they did not believe deeply enough what He said to allow them to use it to bring Him glory. Like many modern Americans, they mostly did their own thing.

They were not totally wrong on everything, but they were in error enough that they could not come to correct conclusions to give them an accurate picture. For example, some Jews understood enough of the Promised Seed prophecy (Genesis 3:14-15) to know that it would be fulfilled by a great leader among the Israelites. They also knew He would be “the Anointed” and the “Messiah” and lead Israel to material greatness among the nations.

That scenario does not even begin to scratch the fullness of the Promised Seed's accomplishments, let alone that all nations will benefit both spiritually and materially from His greatness. They had only the slightest inkling that His appearance and subsequent accomplishments would bring salvation to the Gentile world too.

So, they had difficulty with the concept that Jesus of Nazareth was both God and man at the same time—even with the idea that He could be divine while in the flesh. They had trouble connecting their understanding of the Promised Messiah with Jesus' public ministry of both words and healings of mind and body, with His sacrificial death, and with the spiritual gifts He gives to heal the elects' minds and spirits, even though a spiritual mind can see that the prophecy in Genesis 3 contains hints of them. To some Jews, influenced by Judaism, these elements were a leap beyond their abilities to grasp.

When Christ's three-and-a-half years of ministry concluded and the church began, virtually everyone called and converted was a Jew. It was not that Jesus did not preach to Gentiles. He preached to the Gentile Samaritans as early as John 4, and His message attracted them, but none were converted during His ministry. Gentiles grasped some level of the truth, but not until God sent Peter to the home of Cornelius, a Roman soldier, and he and his family were converted and baptized into the Family of God, did the middle wall of division separating the Israelites—most specifically the Jews—and the Gentiles began to dissolve, little by little, within the church, the Israel of God.

The biblical record does not suggest in any way that the Gentiles called into God's church had any more difficulty being converted to Jesus Christ than Jews. The Jerusalem Conference resolved much of the “Gentile problem” challenging the Jews, and the church began moving to correct any remaining issues tied to this dispute.

Three things assisted the Jews through this issue:

  1. The apostles' and others' consistent, truthful teaching from the Old Testament in Sabbath services and Bible studies.

  2. The called Gentiles quick understanding of the truth, at least partly a result of their not having to overcome false, Jewish teachings.

  3. The gradual writing of gospels, letters, and other material by the apostles, especially those that became part of what is now the New Testament.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Eight): Hebrews 1



Hebrews 1:6-14

We should understand Hebrews 1:6-14 as comparisons made by the author to heap praise on Jesus Christ of Nazareth in contrast to any angel whom one might consider as being on the same level or even above Him.

In this first chapter, the apostle reveals the main line of his approach to the subject of who is qualified to be High Priest to the children of God under the New Covenant. He does so by using an irrefutable argument based in Scripture: that Jesus of Nazareth is far superior even to those whom some acknowledge to be primary contenders from the created world, particularly those from the angelic realm. However, Jesus is as much superior to any angel as any creator is superior even to the absolute best of his creations. The pre-incarnate Jesus, the Word, is the Creator (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16), and He created the angels and gave them life just as He did to all living things in this creation.

Our Creator and Savior has made His decision regarding the order among His created beings quite clear. Angels are valuable and highly qualified servants who are far more intelligent, powerful, and morally pure in the roles they currently fill in His purpose than human beings are. Even so, they are not created for the more exalted offices He is creating us to occupy. Therefore, we should clearly understand He created them to serve under us in the positions for which He is preparing us. This truth is both awesome and humbling at the same time.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Twelve): The Son's Superiority Over Angels



Hebrews 1:10-12

What the world will soon face in the end time gives Christianity a vital position to claim mankind's attention and service. Under God's dominion, the earth and the life it bears have never stopped changing. For instance, God exhibited some of His mighty powers in the Noachian Flood, changing the entire world. Hebrews 1:10-12 combined with prophecies in the gospels and Revelation foretell in terrifying language that the earth and even the heavens will, at God's direction, undergo tremendous changes as Christ's return nears. Who can truly imagine what people will have to witness and endure before He completes this phase of His purpose? Christianity's claim represents that safety is to be found at His side. Why not move to escape within God's merciful claim on us?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Ten): Christianity's Claims



Hebrews 1:10-12

Malachi 3:6 reads, “For I am the LORD, I do not change.” Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” If the Kingdom claims us as one of its own, God may require us to experience some dangerous, even life-ending, situations. Under humans, governments go through constant changes even during peacetime, and the process of change ramps up as enemies vie for control through warfare of some sort, including politics.

The Bible assures us, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Our attachment to Jesus Christ—our Redeemer and Brother—must be unaffected by all external changes. In Him is safety. He is giving us the time we need to bind us to Him, but the dissolution of all things, though out of sight now, could soon come into view as our God moves toward the conclusion of His purpose.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Ten): Christianity's Claims



Hebrews 1:10-12

In Psalm 102, these words apply simply to the eternality of God, but here they are applied directly to Christ without qualification. By God's Spirit in us, He has also made us understand that Jesus was the God of the Old Testament. As far as we know, not many Jews grasped this reality, but the passage presupposes this fact. The writer of Hebrews uses it as another opportunity to exalt Jesus Christ above angels. Unlike them, He lives eternally.

The author's remark about clothing helps as it addresses the subject of created things in contrast to the eternal God who created all physical things. The quotation's mention of clothing that will be rolled up and disposed of illustrates an eternal truth. All of the physical creation is slowly but constantly wearing down. It is absolutely, relentlessly perishing. From this, we extract a fundamental truth of life: Jesus Christ, the Creator God, began the universe, and He will end it. A new heaven and a new earth will be established (Revelation 21:1), but through it all, He remains the same (Hebrews 13:8).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Eight): Hebrews 1



Hebrews 1:10-12

This verses contain a vivid contrast to Ecclesiastes 1. In nature, everything is undergoing constant change from one generation to another. In contrast, God changes not; He is permanent.

Though Solomon reaches the despairing conclusion that the crooked cannot be made straight, God is saying to His children, on the other hand, that now is the time to effect positive, worthwhile changes with His help. These changes will eventually become a permanent part of our personality because the great Creator is working within us.

We find ourselves, then, in a situation where life appears to be vain and absurd, but for the Christian it is not. God has designed things so that we, being able to see the contrast, consciously make the choices in our lives to move toward the permanent and eternal, effecting the changes we need to make in our character to be carried through the grave.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles (Part 1)



Hebrews 1:10-12

Here, stated in a simple form, is the second law of thermodynamics. The whole creation is slowly running down. God has built a certain amount of entropy into the system, which, if not managed through the constant operations of dressing and keeping, will bring it to a state of disorganization. The Reader's Digest Encyclopedic Dictionary defines entropy as "the irreversible tendency of a system, including the universe, toward increasing disorder and inertness." The principle is that neglect of natural things is destructive.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Four




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Hebrews 1:10:

Leviticus 23:24-25
Hebrews 1:6-14
Hebrews 1:10-12

 

<< Hebrews 1:9   Hebrews 1:11 >>



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