September 3, 2006
v. 1 - God- the same personage as in Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning, God...”
God has spoken! The Scriptures everywhere
claim to declare the mind and will of God!
He hath spoken of old time (“time past”) to
the fathers - “since the world began” - Acts 3:21
“in the prophets” - their formula was “thus saith
“by divers portions” - many ways - orally and
written down for over a millenium
“in multi-forms” - divers manners” (diverse)
by dreams, visions, voices, angels, by sacrifices
and illustrations, by Urim and Thummin!
How various the literature of the Old Testament -
historical, biographical, legislative, prophetic,
philosophic, poetical - revealing all through
the one eternal Mind!
In various ways has communicated His will - but
all these were but partial, fragmentary, anticipatory
utterances, leading up to the one and complete, all
absorbing “speaking of God to us in the Son” which
is placed in contrast to them all.
I remember Bro. Duncan’s series of sermons on
“The Manifestations of the Pre-Incarnation of
To the fathers....in the prophets - forthtellers
of the mind of God - not necessarily foretellers.
v. 2 - “the last of these days” - the beginning of
the ushering in of “new heavens and
a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness”
II Pet. 3:13
That day, though in the future, the first coming of
Christ was as it were, its dawn, signifying its
approach and preparing believers for meeting it.
“the darkness is past, and the true light now
shineth” - I John 2:8
Has now spoken through His Son -
a relationship to God, far above that of the
angels or of Moses and altogether unique
in its character.
“by His Son” - simple and clear, complete
Psalm 2:12 - “Kiss the Son, less He be angry
with thee and ye perish from the way”
“whom He hath appointed heir of all things”
Take your pick - I refer us to Matthew 21
“by whom also He made the worlds”
John 1:3 - “All things were made by Him and
without Him was not anything made that
Christ ordained all periods and dispensations
(ages) - all geological formations,all historical
eras - He is the Sustainer - He holds the universe
together - “in Him all things consist” - on His
fingers hang the suns and systems of immensity.
It is the Lord Christ who adjusts and governs
all the tremendous forces - physical, intellectual
and spiritual which operate throughout creation.
Isaiah 40:12, 15, 22, 26 (think of TV specials
on the universe)
“GIVE UNTO THE LORD THE GLORY DUE
UNTO HIS NAME” - Psalm 29:2
v. 3 - “Who being the brightness of His glory”
The Son, Himself essentially and independent
of His manifestation in time - carrying with it
the idea of light and the splendor surrounding
God - the glory of God is occasionally manifested
under the form of an unearthly radiance - on Mt.
Sinai, in the Holy of Holies, in the New Testament,
the vision of the shepherds, the Transfiguration,
the ecstasy of Stephen.
But the full blaze of this glory accompanying the
face of God, even Moses was not allowed to see
for no man could see Him and live.
(Explain that biblical account)
“No man hath seen God at any time” - John 1:18
“God is light” - He dwells in “the light which no
man can approach unto” - “whom no man hath
seen nor can see”
This glory the Son is to radiate and beam forth
Christ is presented as one with God - Himself
the sheen of His glory.
John 1:14, 4, 9
“and the express image of His substance”
hypostasis - the Divine Essence of God (His
hypostasis - Webster’s says - the substance or
essential nature of an individual.
“image” - charakter - a tool for graving - to cut into -
English - character, characteristic
“In Him dwelleth all the FULLNESS of the Godhead
bodily” - Col. 2:9
“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” - John 14:9
“brightness” - EFFULGENCE - a shining forth
Brightness and image are related to “glory” and
“substance” but these are words or figures, each
inadequate of the inscrutable reality.
If we may distinguish between them, glory and
brightness portrays the view of the operation and
energy of the Godhead being through the Son -
while image and substance brings out the idea
of the Son being the Manifestation of what the
Godhead is and especially of what it is to us!
Now my question is - HOW ARE YOU OR I
REFLECTING THIS IMAGE AND GLORY?
and WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?
Rom. 8:29 - “conformed to the image of His Son”
Poem – Jesus’ Hands
“and upholding all things” - or sustaining -
not only were the worlds “made through Him”
but he ever “upholds” the “all things that
were made through Him” - remember, He
as Son was appointed heir - Col. 1:17
This upholding operation must not be supposed
to have been of no effect during the period of
His humiliation - He was still what He had
been in eternity, though He had “emptied
Himself” of the state and perogatives of
Deity. Phil. 2:7
“by the word of His power” - the worlds were
framed by the Word of God
“when He had made purification of sins” -the
grand purpose of His Incarnation.
“making atonement” - the Hebrew means
properly “to cover”
"On the right hand of the Majesty on High" - the phrase
is never applied to the Son's original relation to the Father
"before the ages" but only to His exaltation as the Christ!
"All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and
in earth" - Matt. 28:18
Christ is exhibited as the True High Priest
of humanity, accomplishing what the Old
Testament signified and has “sat down on
the right hand of the Majesty on high”
vs. 4-14 - The Son superior to angels.
v. 14 - The allusion is generally to their
office of subordinate ministration in
furtherance of the Divine purposes of
human salvation, the continuance of
such office being denoted by the
present participle of “sent forth”
When on earth, Jesus received angelic
worship - angels thronged his manger-bed,
proclaiming His advent and celebrating it in
a burst of choral praise - they ministered unto
Him after the temptation and sustained Him in
His great agony - (could have delivered Him -
Matt. 26:53 - time when Peter cut off ear of
the servant of the High Priest) - angels attended
His resurrection and were in the empty tomb -
they were with Him at His ascension to glory -
and will be there when He comes again!
They now stand before His throne awaiting His
commands and eager to do His pleasure -
On behalf of those “that shall inherit salvation”
They camp around believers, they watch over
little children, they are instruments of good to
the poor and the forsaken, they carry away the
spirits of the departed and they willgather the
saints at the final judgment.
Note the dignity of man - angels minister to
him, God cares for him, angels promote his
Think of God, surrounded by His holy angels,
His thousand thousands, the ten thousand times
ten thousand, standing before Him, ready to
do His beckoning - the idea of awful majesty
overwhelmingly rises before us!
Also, think how that the very seraphim hide
their faces before His glory while they praise
Him! How shamefaced, then should sinners
be when they come into His presence - and
to put this into the context of flip-flops and
vs. 1-3 - the danger of disregarding this message
from the Son of God!!!!
A SOLEMN WARNING! The necessity of
holding fast the New Testament salvation!
Notice, its beginning was through the Lord, Himself -
Christ the Son, not through INTERMEDIATE
How prone men are to “neglect the great
salvation” - out of love of the world and secret
repugnance to Christ.
WORLDLINESS AND INDIFFERENCE
“The ox knoweth his owner and the ass
his master’s crib but
my people doth not consider” - Isaiah 1:2
What a blessing would dawn on the church,
“search the Scriptures” and make intense
application of mind and heart to the saving
truth of the gospel.
Only then will we be preserved from APOSTASY!
Myriads of believers have certified the gospel,
many upon deathbeds but don’t flirt with
damnation - “today is the day of salvation”
You will miss salvation if you neglect it!
Just as the farmers will lose their harvest
by simple neglect, so the surest way to
irremediable ruin of the soul is just to
“NEGLECT SO GREAT SALVATION”!
v. 4 - “God also bearing them witness” with signs
that accompanied the apostles ministry.
These signs and wonders, the craving for which
as a condition of belief was so condemned by
the Lord, have their true evidential value
assigned to them.
THEY DID NOT FURNISH THE ORIGINAL
BASIS OF BELIEF, WHICH RESTED ON
CHRIST HIMSELF, HIS PERSON AND
They came in only as suitable accompaniments
of a Divine dispensation and as additional
They are not to be explained away - from time
to time God continues to give attestation to
the gospel in its living power on the souls of
men and it results in the world before our
c. divers powers
d. distributions of the Holy Ghost -
gifts of the Spirit to individual
Christians apportioned variously