Heb 1:5                       This Day Have I Begotten Thee                             5/8/2011          ßą   

 

 

 

 

#1.    A More Excellent Name Than They (Heb 1:4, Rev 5:12, Phil 2:9-11, Rev 19:13, 2Thess 1:8, Rev 22:18-19)

 

 

 

 

#2.       Thou Art My Son (Heb 1:5, Psalm 2:1-12, Act 4:25-28, Luke 23:34)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Firstbegotten (Heb 1:6, Matt 1:25, Rom 8:29, Col 1:15,18, Heb 12:23, John 1:18, 3:16, Heb 11:17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Second Epistle to Timothy, 2Tim 2:15 (2X). Here is a verse telling us to:

What does it mean to “Rightly dividing the Word of truth?” What is that Word of truth? The Bible is that Word of truth. The Bible is the only place where we can find truth, for it is God speaking to us. God dictated these words to the apostle Paul, and that is why we have this Second Epistle to Timothy. What does it mean to “rightly divide this Word of truth?” It means that to understand a passage we need to partition it and to interpret it so that it is harmonious with everything else the Bible declares, for these are all words from God, and since God is not a liar we must interpret these verses so that there are no contradictions whatsoever. Let us now read 2Tim 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” But remember that the only way we can arrive at truth in the Word of God is when we receive the grace from God to interpret it correctly, and for this we have to give Him thanks, for God says in Phil 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” And where do we begin when we want to interpret the Bible faithfully? We begin by learning to know the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for knowing Him is salvation. When we look at Christ in the Bible we must distinguish Him in two ways: #1, in His Essential Being, which means that we recognize that He always was and must ever remain as God the Son, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, and #2, in His Official Character, which means that He is the Mediator between God and man, God incarnate, the person in whom two natures dwell at the same time: a Divine nature and a human nature. For example, when the Lord Jesus said in John 14:28, “My Father is greater than I,” He was pointing to Himself as the Mediator. And when the Lord said in 1Cor 15:28, “When all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all,” He was again pointing to the Mediator who shall rule the entire universe, but under God as His Father. On the other hand, when God says in John 1:3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made,” we must understand that this refers to His essential Being as God the Son, for the incarnation has not yet taken place before the foundation of the world when there was nothing else but God. Please turn to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 1:1 (2X). Now when we read the Bible we must be aware that the essential and the official glories of Christ are often found intermingling, rather than being separately classified. We see that, for example, in the first three verses of Heb 1. Here in verse 2 we have an example of the intermingling that I was talking about. We read in Heb 1:1-6,

Heb 1:1-6 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. 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 firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

First we are told in Heb 1:2 that God spoke unto us in His Son. Obviously this was on earth after the Word had become flesh. Thus this reference is to Christ in His Mediatorial character. Secondly, “Whom He had appointed Heir of all things” views Him in the same character, as the Mediator, for as God the Son no such appointment was needed, since as God the Son all things are already His. Thirdly, in the same verse 2 we read, “by whom also He made the worlds” there is clearly a change of viewpoint. The worlds were made long before the Son became incarnate, and therefore we must understand that this refers to Him in His eternal and essential Being, God the Son. We come to these conclusions because we are obligated to harmonize all the words in the Bible, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. Why did God introduce this intermingling of essential and official glories of Christ? It is to exalt the Mediator. It is to show us that the One who appeared on earth as the Suffering Servant actually possessed a dignity and majesty far beyond our comprehension. He who by Himself purged our sins is the same that “made the worlds.” The Son of God, though never ceasing to be such, became the Son of man, and this Man has been highly exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high. Look at it in another way: On the wings of omnipotent love He came down from heaven. But to return to heaven omnipotence and love were not sufficient. To return to heaven it was necessary for Him to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell and to die the death upon the accursed tree. He came as the Son of God, but He returned not merely as the Son of God, but as the Son of God incarnate, the Son of David, our brother and our Lord. He came alone, the Good Shepherd moved with boundless compassion for the lost and perishing sheep in the wilderness; but He returned with the saved sheep upon His shoulders, rejoicing, and bringing them to a heavenly and eternal home. He who had gone forth weeping, bearing precious seed, who Himself had been sown by His sacrifice unto the second death, returned bringing His precious sheaves with Him. It was when He had by Himself purged our sins that He sat down at the right hand of God. By the power of His blood He entered into the Holy of Holies. As the Lamb slain God exalted Him, and gave Him a name which is above every name. And so, what are dominant in these opening verses in Heb 1 are the Mediatorial glories of the Son.

#1.    A More Excellent Name Than They (Heb 1:4, Rev 5:12, Phil 2:9-11, Rev 19:13, 2Thess 1:8, Rev 22:18-19)

Heb 1:4, “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” When did Christ receive this inheritance? He received it when He ascended into heaven. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Philippians, Phil 2:9 (2X). He who is the Brightness of God’s glory, and the express Image of His substance, has earned this honor by humbling Himself as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. And therefore all of heaven is saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev 5:12). To this Christ is entitled, for God has highly exalted Him. But notice that all of heaven is saying this on the eve of Christ returning to this world to rapture His saints and to take vengeance on His enemies. We read in Phil 2:9-11,

Php 2:9-11  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

When is this going to take place that every knee shall bow? It will be at the end of the world when they all shall stand before His judgment throne to give account of their Christless life. In this life they will not have Christ in their thought at all. What are people thinking of when they read this verse, Heb 1:4? They will say, O yes, angels; how lovely that Christ is much better than the angels; let us hear more about the angels. And then they are glued to their TV screen to watch fanciful stories about angels, and all these stories are lies and more lies. What does God say about this? Paraphrased God says, “Why study angels when we know that Christ is so much better than the angels. We should study Christ rather than angels.” It is true that God by His providence rules this world by using angels as His instruments, but then God is totally silent about how angels carry out their task. Angels are spiritual servants of Christ, and are invisible. And when we come across “the Angel of the Lord” in the Bible we realize that this is not an angel at all, but it is a Theophany; it is Christ appearing in earthly form just to make Himself visible to mankind. Our focus should be on Christ, not on the angels. What do we read here in Heb 1:4 about Christ? It speaks about an inheritance, and it speaks of Christ having an excellent name. What is that excellent name? Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 19:13 (2X). We see in this chapter a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ coming on the clouds of glory taking possession of His inheritance, and His inheritance is to bring to Himself all those for whom He died on the cross, and His inheritance is also to take vengeance on all them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Thess 1:8). We read in Rev 19:13,

Re 19:13,  “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

This is truly His name The Word of God. But the Word of God is also the Bible, the whole Bible, and the Bible is the reflection of the infinite mind of God. And thus the Bible describes whom we worship as the only Mediator, the man Christ Jesus, and we should be careful to include everything we find in the Bible, or else we have another idol, but he is not the Christ from the Bible. God says in Rev 22:18-19 that if we leave out anything from the Bible, we have left it out of the Lord Jesus Christ, and what we then have in front of us is not the Christ from the Bible, but Christ with a nose missing, or with an ear missing, or with a soul missing, and so on. That is why we find so many times in the Bible that we should believe on His name. His name is the Word of God. For example,

Joh 2:23  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Joh 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

This is the excellency of His name, and this is the excellency that He inherited when He atoned for our sins.

#2.       Thou Art My Son (Heb 1:5, Psalm 2:1-12, Act 4:25-28, Luke 23:34)

Heb 1:5, “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?” God did not say that to any of the angels, but He said it to the Lord Jesus in Psalm 2. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 2:1 (2X). The angels are never named as sons of God, but Christ is called the Son of God. How many sons does God have? Only one! The Lord Jesus Christ. And all those who are in Christ are called the Bride of Christ. Therefore we are adopted sons of God through our relation to Christ. And thus God also calls us also sons of God. But God never said that of the angels. Here in Heb 1:5 and in Psalm 2 only Christ is in view. We read in Psalm 2:1-12,

Ps 2:1-12 Why do the heathen (the nations) rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (the nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Look how wonderful God has put together this Psalm, which gives us a summary of the whole Gospel. The first three verses illustrate the depravity of man. This is the way everyone comes into this world, as enemies of God, and enemies of His anointed Christ, desiring to do away with God and build an utopia in this world without Christ. In fact, the first two verses have been quoted in Acts 4. Put a sticker here in Psalm 2, and please turn to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 4:25 (2X). Peter and John were put in prison because they preached in the temple that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah and that He was raised from the dead. Then they preached again to the council, the rulers and elders and scribes, and the council threatened them that they should not preach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John reported to the church what came to pass, and they lifted up their voice to God and said in Act 4:25,

Ac 4:25-28  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Can you see how God rules this universe and how God orchestrated the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ? Verse 28 says, “For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” God causes His plans, His counsel, to unfold through the sins of man. God uses the sins of man to accomplish His purposes. This is how God operates. That is why men generally blame the Devil for everything, but in fact the Devil is God’s busiest servant, for God works through the sins of men. And who are these enemies of God and of Christ? Verse 27 says they are: Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel. That includes all the people of the world. Indeed all the people of the world are guilty of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus; none excepted. But there are some whose guilt is forgiven by the Lord when He suffered and died on the cross for them. When the Lord Jesus said in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” He was referring to all His elect who were also responsible for having Him crucified. He did not refer to Pontius Pilate or to the Roman soldiers who actually crucified Him, and He did not refer to the ruling council of the Jews, who caused Him to be delivered to Pontius Pilate, for the simple reason that Christ forgives all our sins or none of them. Christ is not a partial Savior who forgives only a portion of our sins, for then we still end up in Hell. Christ is not a possibility savior, but when He saves He saves to the uttermost. This is why the Arminian gospel is a condemnable heresy, for they have a possibility savior, they worship another god, but he is not the God of the Bible. Please turn to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 14:1 (2X). We have here a verse that increases our understanding of Psalm 2:6.

In Rev 14:1 the Lord Jesus Christ stands on Mount Sion, and with Him 144,000 faithful, representing all the elect who are still living on this earth. We read in Rev 14:1, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” We know who the Lamb is.  He is the Lord Jesus Christ, as seen especially from the perspective of His atonement on the cross.  Christ is the Anointed of God.  And it is the will of the Father to give Him the eternal Kingdom of God.  But in order to receive the Kingdom He had to redeem it with His blood, and He had to redeem the ones whom the Father had given Him by paying the payment that their sins required to satisfy the righteousness of the Triune God.  In that capacity He stands here as the Lamb that was slain.  But what does Mount Sion represent? There are many interpretations of this verse. One that is most logical is that Mount Sion represents the invisible eternal church on this earth.  That is usually allowable, for I have always taught that Sion is the place where God resides, and God resides in the souls of those whom He has saved; except, in this passage we cannot use this nice interpretation.  If Mt. Sion is the eternal church on earth, then what must we make of the 144,000? They too represent the eternal church of the living God on this earth.  But if they are, then Mt. Sion cannot mean the same thing. We will never be able to explain this symbolism if we take the Lamb and Mt. Sion separately.  We must interpret “the Lamb standing on Mt Sion” as one symbol; they both must be taken together as belonging together from the very outset. And for this we need to turn again to Psalm 2:6. Please turn in your Bibles to Psalm 2:6 (2X). And in this psalm we see “the Lamb standing on Mount Zion” as one symbol.  First we read of the rebellion of all people in the world. Can you see that this is an exact picture of what we have been told in Revelation chapter 13?  All the kingdoms of the earth have combined and conspired together with the definite purpose of rebelling against God and against His Christ.  The nations are raging with madness to establish their own kingdom apart from God, which means that they are worshipping the Devil and Jehovah is thrust from His throne. The Bible is seen by the nations as a hindrance, as bands and cords, instead of the beautiful Gospel of salvation that God has provided for all that believe. The Bible is seen as a Law Book, laying down the law of God time and time again, rather than the glorious Gospel that Christ has made us free from the law. The Lord Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”. (John 8:36)  He did not say this to make us antinomians, but to make us aware of His awesome power to forgive, for He also said in Rom 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”.  When we are converted from sinners to saints, we recognize that the law cannot be the dominant factor of the Bible, for we were unable to obey the law at anytime. Therefore, Christ gave us the Gospel, which means “The Good News”. That good news is: “You are no longer condemned by the law, but you have been made free from condemnation”. But this they will not believe, for unsaved mankind gravitates toward the law as the only remedy against sin. This is what Satan whispers in their ears. It shows us once again that no one will believe, for all mankind is born in rebellion against God, and delights in the ways of Satan. What is God’s attitude over against these raging nations and peoples?  God reveals His attitude against them in Psalm 2:4: “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:  the Lord shall have them in derision.” When Antichrist shall rage and establish his kingdom and apparently will have the victory, God Almighty shall laugh, but it is a contemptuous laugh. “The Lord shall have them in derision”, which means that the Lord shall heap bitter ridicule and scorn upon them. The whole thing appears so utterly foolish to Him that He laughs about it. That man could conceive of the possibility of establishing a kingdom in which the Devil should be supreme is such a piece of folly to the God in heaven that He ridicules them from heaven, and mocks at the whole plan of the dragon. It is a vain thing which they imagine, and it is an abomination in the sight of God. And why is it a vain thing?  It is vain because the Lord God Almighty has made His counsel. And that eternal counsel of the Almighty does not call for the permanent existence of such a kingdom of Satan, but for its destruction. Therefore we read in Psalm 2:6-9:

Ps 2:6-9  Yet have I set “My King upon My holy hill of Zion”. (There is the Lamb on Mount Sion) I will declare the decree:  the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

One portion of the heathen shall be given to Christ as His inheritance, for this is the portion containing His elect. They are saved by grace before the end of their earthly life. The remainder of the heathen remains unsaved. Therefore the remainder of the heathen shall be dashed in pieces like a potter’s vessel, because God has anointed His Christ, and not the Devil, over His holy hill, the stronghold of His Kingdom. Therefore it is from this psalm that we learn the meaning of the expression, “The Lamb on Mount Sion”. It means that God’s decree shall stand and that no raging nation shall ever frustrate God’s plan. It means that God’s decree calls for a Kingdom under Christ, the Lamb, the Anointed of God, and that this Lamb actually stands in authority over the nations at all times.  When the nations rage, Christ is not out of control; but He is carrying out His plan through the sins of the nations of the world.  And so, the Lamb stands on Mt. Sion, calm and powerfully in control of the situation, for this was given Him in God’s counsel from before the foundation of the world. To the natural eye He is not visible, but the spiritual eye of faith sees Him clearly. That is the meaning of the Lamb standing on Mount Sion, which is the best solution, for herewith we have actually used the Bible as the interpreter, and by this method we retain harmony throughout the whole Bible. And therefore the people of God need never despair. Next we should consider:

When different people read in Psalm 2:7, “Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee,” they arrive at two opposite conclusions. One group believes that the expression “this day”, or “today”, to be timeless, and thus they believe that “this day have I begotten Thee” refers to the eternal generation of the Son of God by the Father. What is the issue? The issue is “the eternal Sonship of Christ,” the eternal Sonship of Christ in the flesh. But when we search the Bible we cannot find anywhere that it speaks of Christ’s eternal Sonship. We do find the absolute Deity of God the Son, and we are confirmed in His eternality, but nowhere do we find that the Sonship of Christ is eternal. Heb 1:5 says the same thing as Psalm 2:7. And likewise, when we turn to Heb 1:8, look at Heb 1:8 (2X), “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.” This verse does not speak of Christ the Mediator, but of Christ in His essential Being as God the Son. Therefore, when we read in Heb 4:7 (2X), “He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To-day,” we understand that this is a confirmation that Heb 1:5 refers to a statement of God in time, not in eternity. Recently the eternal Sonship of Christ has again been blasphemously preached by the man on the radio, who claims that Christ, the Mediator in the flesh, was crucified before the foundation of the world, and that His crucifixion in AD 33 was done for the second time, and we also know that the man on the radio has a very great following. We do not need to spend time on this false teaching, but this shows us where we end up when we pursue this error consistently in all our doctrines. Clearly the eternal Sonship of Christ as the Mediator is not found in the Bible.

When we read Psalm 2:7 we hear the Father saying to the Messiah, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.” The whole context shows that it is the Father addressing the Son in time, not in eternity; on earth, not in heaven; in His Mediatorial character, not His essential Being. Nor is there any difficulty in the expression, “today have I begotten Thee” since God the Holy Spirit has already explained its force in Acts 13:33, and there we read,

Ac 13:33  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.”

There the apostle declared to the Jews that God had fulfilled the promise made unto the fathers, namely, that He had “raised up Jesus,” meaning that He had sent the Messiah unto them. In addition, we should recognize that the word “again” is not found in the Greek text of Acts 13:33. The word “again” has no business being there, since the Lord Jesus was not raised up for the second time. Look at the precise wording of the second half of Heb 1:5b,

Heb 1:5b, “And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.” The opening word “And” connects this second quotation with the first; what follows clearly fixes the scope of the first part of verse 5. Here is proof that the Holy Spirit is not speaking of Christ in His essential glory, as God the Son, but in His Mediatorial character, as incarnate. If the first part of verse 5 referred to the eternal relationship of the Son to the Father, then it would be meaningless to add in Heb 1:5b the words, “I will be”, which do not take us back into the timeless past. Also, there would be no reason for the God the Father to assure God the Son that He would be a Father unto Him.

#3.       The Firstbegotten (Heb 1:6, Matt 1:25, Rom 8:29, Col 1:15,18, Heb 12:23, John 1:18, 3:16, Heb 11:17)

Heb 1:6  “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Many are the titles of Christ. Here He is called the “Firstbegotten”, or the “Firstborn”. This NT title of Christ has its roots in the OT, especially in Genesis. The honor of the “Firstborn” in Genesis was that the Messiah shall be born out of his loins. This was the greatest sin of Esau that he despised the right of the “Firstborn” He gave away this honor to Jacob, who coveted it dearly. Esau despised the promise that the Messiah shall be a descendant of the one who has the legal right to be called the firstborn. He sold that birthright for a bowl of lentil soup. That is how much he valued it. Just imagine the insult to Christ when He was told by Esau that He was an unwanted child. Another one who squandered his birthright was Reuben by fornicating with his father’s concubine. As a result his privileges were divided, so that the dominion and the Messianic promise was transferred to Judah, and the double portion of the inheritance fell to Joseph, and the priesthood and the right to sacrifice was transferred to Levi. But remember that all these insults to Christ did not come as a surprise. God knew that these sins would come, for God knew the hearts of Esau and Reuben, and God worked out His plans by incorporating the sins of these people. God was not the author of these sins, but God set the stage and God knew how these people would respond to the challenge. The first occurrence of the word Firstborn in the NT is in Matt 1:25, “She brought forth her firstborn Son.” In Rom 8:29 we read that God has predestinated His elect to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He, Christ, might be the Firstborn among many brethren, which means that He would be their chief an most excellent Ruler. In Col 1:15 Christ is chosen as the “Firstborn of every creature,” which most certainly does not mean that He was Himself the first to be created, for never does Scripture speak of Him as “the Firstborn of God.” Instead the Scriptures speak of Him as the Head and Lord of every creature. In Col 1:18 Christ is spoken of as “the Firstborn from the dead”, which does not mean that He was the first to be physically raised from the dead, but He is the Firstborn to be raised from the spiritually dead, for He made the payment of the second death for all those who were and are in Him from before the foundation of the world. Therefore He is called the Head of the body, the Head of the eternal church, which means that all the saints shall recognize Him as the One whom they must worship and adore as their federal Head. In Heb 12:23 the eternal church is called “the church of the firstborn, which is a term that could apply either to the members of the church or to Christ as the Firstborn. However, when we check the Greek text we find that God actually said in Heb 12:23, “To an assembly, a church of the firstborn ones having been enrolled in heaven; and to God the Judge of all, and to spirits of just ones who have been perfected.” And thus in Heb 12:23 we are called “firstborn”. Since Christ is called “Firstborn” we who are in Christ are also called “firstborn.” It works this way with many of the names of Christ. However, we should make a distinction between Christ as “the Firstborn Son” and the term “the Only Begotten Son” as we find it in John 1:18, and John 3:16. This name “the Only Begotten Son” is a term of endearment. For example, in Heb 11:17 we find that “Abraham offered up Isaac, his only begotten son,” but Isaac was not Abraham’s only begotten son, for Ishmael was begotten by him also. But Isaac was his darling, just like Christ is God’s Darling. Is Christ our Darling? Is He the one whom we love more than anyone in our family?

Rev 5:11-14 shows us all heaven worshipping the Lamb on the eve of His return to the earth, when He shall come with power and great glory. Look how this corresponds with the precise wording of Heb 1:6, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Christ received the title “Firstbegotten”, or the “Firstborn from the dead” after His atonement for our sins in AD 33. And thus, when does God bring again the Firstbegotten into the world? It will be on the Last Day, when He shall rapture all the saints to be with Him forever, and He will physically kill all the unsaved and then resurrect them all before His judgment throne. The Greek text can be translated two ways. One way is the way the KJV presents it to us. The second way is marked by a different placement of the word “again”. It reads as follows, Heb 1:6, “And when he bringeth in again the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” This second translation emphasizes the second advent of Christ into this world of sin. Either way the return of Christ is in focus in Heb 1:6. This is also what Psalm 2:8-9 emphasize, right after God says, “This day have I begotten Thee.” God says in Psalm 2:8-9, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Right after the Father praised Christ for His finished atonement and declared “This day have I begotten Thee” the Father announced the reward of His elect and the judgment on all the reprobate. Can we see the contrast here? At His first advent men drove Him from the world; they crucified Him to make sure He was going to die and disappear from this world. Man does not change. Today the majority of people in the world still make every effort to drive Christ away from our children, and from our schools, and from our churches, and from our justice system, and from every corner of society. And they will lie and cheat to accomplish their Devilish intentions. They will lie about the theory of evolution, which scientifically is impossible. They will lie about the history of the early church. They will lie about humanism, and how cruel the people of Israel were when they killed all the Canaanites. They will lie about homosexuality and capital punishment. They will lie about the content of the Bible, and they will lie about Biblical interpretation, and so on and so on. And many are snared by all these lies. Think for example of the millions who are presently snared in believing the May 21 deadline of the end of the world. God has already declared that this is a lie in Deut 18:22 (2X). Paraphrased God said, “I did not send that man; this is the third time he comes with such predictions; he is speaking out of his own imagination; thou shalt not be afraid of him, for he will come again and again with predictions of the last day, but I did not send that man; he is a false prophet who has twisted the words of the Bible into a totally twisted theology; he has violated Rev 22:19.” But do people listen to what God said? No! There are millions who are following him. They have established a new cult which has done great damage to the church. This false prophet is like Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, who murdered the last governor of Judah, thereby finishing off what Nebuchadnezzar had left of that nation. And today the church is in bad shape. The church is like a dying man. But this false prophet has kicked the dying man to ensure that his death may come sooner. Now this is not the only evil doctrine which exists today. There are many others which powerfully preach to us their false doctrines. And I say powerfully, because they are supported by much money, and by TV and Radio messages, and they too have a great following. We are in the last days of the Final Tribulation Period, which should be an incentive for people to find the truth of the Bible. But one of the characteristics of the Final Tribulation is that it is a spiritual tribulation such as has not been before in history and most people have lost the interest to learn what God said the Gospel, the Good News really is. Pray that God will give us the grace to seek His salvation, and to seek to hear the true Gospel of grace alone, for it is only by His grace that we can learn and understand what He has declared in the Bible.

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.