“For to which of the angels did He say, Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee?” And again, I will be a Father to Him and He shall be a Son to Me?”
This is the first of several Old Testament passages used to document the superiority of Jesus Christ over angels. There is no question in His deity that Christ is superior to angels because in His deity He is infinitely superior to all creatures. In fact He is the creator of all creatures. We now have a question to introduce several Old Testament quotations demonstrating the fact that Jesus Christ is now infinitely superior in His humanity to all angelic creatures.
The first documentation is from Psalm 2:7. “Thou art my Son” means there is an eternal relationship between the first and second Persons of the Trinity. Jesus Christ has always been God, and there never was a time when He wasn’t God. One might say that the word “Son” indicates that He didn’t exist as long as the Father. However, this is language of accommodation; this is indicating the function (not their essence) of the members of the Godhead in the plan of God. In the divine decrees the Father does the planning, and the Son executes the plan as far as the human race is concerned. Therefore, this is language of accommodation rather than language of some chronological sequence.
“Today” introduces another concept which refers specifically to the time of the virgin birth – the time of the birth of the humanity of Jesus. In proving the superiority of Christ over angels inevitably you must start out with His deity. God the Son always existed, there never was a time when the Father existed before the Son or the Son before the Father, there never was a time when both of them did not exist. Since both of them have always existed it becomes necessary to understand this in those terms. If you are going to prove superiority, start out with what Christ always was: Jesus Christ was always God. He was just as much God as God the Father. “Thou art my Son” links the two of Them together. Jesus Christ also created angels, He created man, but He now must become a man. There is no question about His superiority in deity but in order to start at the proper place, the deity of Christ is brought into focus first. “This day” is an adverb referring to a point of time in history when Jesus Christ became true humanity. Jesus Christ became true humanity at the moment of the virgin birth and this caused Him to be different from the Father — now He is the God-Man, undiminished deity and true humanity in one Person forever. But the source of this unique union is still God the Father as the planner. God the Father is the author of this grace plan. Christ was born without a sin nature, without the imputation of Adam’s sin; and He had to use His free will refuse to commit personal sin.
Psalm 2:7 is the divine decree related to the Hypostatic Union — Jesus Christ is the unique person of the universe. He is different from God the Father because He is true humanity. He is different from God the Holy Spirit because He is true humanity. He is different from angels because he is the God-Man; He is different from man because He is God; He is different from man because He is perfect man. The very first documentation we have indicates that Jesus Christ is unique.
The deity of Jesus Christ was not compromised in the moment that He became a true member of the human race. If He had a human father, and if He had a normal birth, then there would be a compromise of His deity and He could no longer be deity because He would have had a sin nature. But He did not have a normal type birth, he had a virgin birth. His birth was unique, there is only one virgin birth in all of human history and there will only be one. In this way Jesus Christ became true humanity without compromising His deity. Furthermore, there was no imputation of Adam’s sin. Therefore Jesus Christ is unique from the moment of His birth. That means He had a unique life, that means that His death was unique: both His spiritual death, bearing our sins and His physical death, that means His resurrection was unique — He is the first-fruit of all believers — and it means that everything regarding Christ was unique — the resurrection, the ascension, the session. On the basis of what Jesus Christ did man, who is inferior to angels by physical birth, becomes superior (positionally) to angels through the new birth. God the Father turned the universe upside down the day that Jesus Christ was born. Nothing would ever be the same again. God the Father knew that when Jesus Christ was born into the world that the time would come when all of the sins of the world would have to be poured out upon Him and God the Father Himself would have to judge God the Son.
As deity, Jesus Christ could never be placed under the authority of the other members of the Trinity. He is coequal and coeternal. It is impossible for Him to be under authority as long as He is God, but as man He placed Himself under the authority of the Father. It’s about function within the Godhead. Under the relationship of the Father to the humanity of the Son, the Father has the authority and Christ was obedient - “even obedient unto the death of the Cross.” And the night before the Cross occurred Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane said, “Father [recognizing the authority of the first Person of the Trinity] if it be Thy will let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless not my will but Thine will be done.” The first person of the Trinity is the Father and the second person of the Trinity is the Son, and the Son obeys the Father. Therefore, this is language of accommodation so that you and I can understand a principle: when Jesus Christ became true humanity God the Father was in charge. “I have come to do the will of the Father”, Jesus said. The first two quotations document the superiority of the deity of Christ over angels and the superiority of the Hypostatic Union of Christ over angels. (II Samuel 2:17)
Jesus Christ is the God-man, being fully divine and fully human. In theology we call this union “The Hypostatic Union.” This term is derived from the Greek word for same essence, “hupostatis.” Jesus Christ is the essence of God, being Himself fully God. He is also the essence of man, being fully man. Jesus Christ is the unique person of the universe. This union of deity and humanity uniquely qualifies Christ to be the only mediator between God and mankind. (John 10:31; 12:45; 14:7; 15:24; Colossians 2:9) His birth was also unique because it was the only virgin birth in history. This means that Christ was born without a sin nature. Without a sin nature and under the control of God the Holy Spirit, Christ was not able to sin and able not to sin. In His deity, He could not sin and in His humanity He was able not to sin. Deity remains deity and humanity remains humanity. Therefore, Jesus Christ is both God and man in one Person, forever. (Hebrews 4:15; I Peter 1:19) The Hypostatic Union of Christ is personal in that a new Person came into being at the Virgin Birth. Christ was not merely in harmony with God nor did He merely indwell or possess the humanity of Jesus. Jesus was born a man, in the same way that we are born, yet He remained deity. This is why He is so unique! (John 14:18-21; Romans 8:9-10; II Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 3:17-19; Colossians 1:27; Revelation 3:20)
“And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”
This is the third Old Testament quotation from Psalm 97:7 referring to the Second Coming of Christ when He is brought back into the world to set up His millennial reign. The Second Coming is a part of the Father’s plan and a part of the Father’s schedule for human history. Christ isn’t born a second time; He comes to earth a second time. When Christ returns as the King of kings and Lord of lords it will be evident that He is superior to all angels. “Worship” is the recognition of the absolute authority of Jesus Christ. At the Second Coming He is the authority, and not just for mankind but for the whole angelic creation.
“And of the angels He says, “Who makes his angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.”
Now Psalm 104:4 is quoted from the Old Testament and means that Christ will be face to face with the angels and will say something to them. The One who is speaking is the One Who made angels spirits (winds). Jesus Christ created the angels and he made them spirits, referring to the essence of the angels. Angels are called spirits in Matthew 8:16; Mark 1:27; 6:7; Acts 5:16; 1 Peter 3:19; Revelation 16:13. The word “spirit” itself refers to the essence of angels. This is one reason why they are invisible. Jesus Christ is the creator of angels. And He not only made them spirits but He also made them a “flame of fire.” The word ministers is the Greek word “leitourgos,”which is used for the function of angels. It should be translated “sacred servants.”
A flame of fire is the Greek word “puros,” which is used for fire, and the Greek word “floc”for flame. As a flame of fire, the elect angels under the command of God administer judgment and judicial punishment when commanded to do so by God. In other words, Christ not only created angels but He also created their job. He is superior to them; He created their being; He created their function. They are His creatures as well as His servants therefore He is superior to them.
“But of the Son He says, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.”
The next quotation is from Psalm 45:6-7. This refers to the throne of Christ in contrast to the function of servitude of the angels. The elect angels are sacred servants and the worshippers of Christ and He is the ruler over them. While the angels are servants administering under Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ is the Ruler forever and ever over them. And as a ruler He has a scepter as a sign of rulership. A scepter was a badge of authority for kings. The rod or the scepter is found in many areas of the ancient world. The shepherd’s staff had the same concept with the sheep. This concept is given in Leviticus 27:32; Micah 7:14. It is possible that the scepter even originated among pastoral peoples where the shepherd had a staff which was his authority, and the king became the shepherd of the people, and therefore he had a rod (scepter).
What kind of a scepter is this? It is called a “sceptrer of righteousness,” but that is not a correct translation. The Greek word for scepter is “euqutes” and does not mean righteousness. (“Righteousness” would be the Greek word “dikaios” or “dikaiosune.”) But, “euqutes”means straightness. It means “a scepter of straightness.” Straightness refers to perfect standards of the Laws of Divine Establishment. Jesus Christ will reign forever under perfect laws, divine laws, the Laws of Establishment. The scepter represents the authority, and the One who holds the scepter is the One Who makes the Laws of Divine Establishment function in the Millennium.
God has ordained certain laws, that we call the Laws of Divine Establishment for the survival and freedom of the human race during the course of human history. Anarchy exists when segments of nations ignore these laws. The Laws of Divine Establishment provide the freedom to fulfill God’s plan under many types of government as ordained in the divine decrees. The Laws of Divine Establishment are designed and directed toward both believer and unbeliever. These laws operate from the Fall of Man to the Second Coming of Christ, as well as in the Millennium with some modifications. These laws directly affect freedom, civilization, authority, evangelism, spiritual growth, and perpetuation of the human race. They are as important to us as is the law of gravity. The Laws of Divine Establishment define freedom in terms of privacy, property and authority. There is no such thing as the enjoyment of life or freedom without authority. All systems of freedom function under authority. Both the privacy of the individual and the function of legitimate authority are necessary for the function of human freedom. Therefore, the four divine institutions, volition, marriage, family, and nationalism are the basis for the Laws of Divine Establishment. And when one or more of these get “out-of-whack” a nation will eventually destroy itself from within or be destroyed by other nations. God also has divine laws for angels and nature. All these laws are designed to resolve the Angelic Conflict using an inferior creature, man.
“Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy companions.”
This is the rest of the quotation from Psalm 45:7. Jesus Christ as the King is holding the scepter of the divine establishment. The basis for the function of the divine establishment laws is righteousness, and that means justice. Now we have the Greek word “dikaiosune”for the principle of righteousness. Notice that “dikaiosune”refers to justice as a characteristic of the Ruler; “euqutes” refers to the principle on which He rules — divine establishment. Lawlessness stands for antiestablishment; lawlessness means not just violation of laws, not just criminal activity, but lawlessness means rejection of authority.
“Therefore” means because of the perfect function of the Laws of Divine Establishment under the rulership of Christ. Jesus Christ is perfect and unique, righteous and just, superior to angels, and He will supersede Satan (an angel) as the ruler of this world. The emphasis here is on the humanity of Christ — “because of this, God the Father hath anointed,” which means to be appointed, to be commissioned. The Ruler of this world at the Second Coming will be Jesus Christ.
And Christ is anointed with the oil of gladness. In the ancient world they did not have commissions in written form, they used anointing of oil. This is a reference to ceremonial oil used for the appointment of a king. The word “above” means “above and beyond” referring to the ultimate happiness of Christ that is above and beyond the happiness of angels. Thy companions means associates and it is a reference to angels who are associated with Christ. Therefore it should be translated “above and beyond your angelic associates.” In other words, Christ is superior to angels even in His happiness (something that we can share with Him as believers).