The Angels
Hebrews 1:4-14
Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.…

Scripture speaks often of the angels. Let me remind you of some of the doctrines which the Bible contains concerning them. In the first place, human beings know nothing about angels except what God pleases to tell them. Hence all that human poets have imagined about them is of no value, unless it agrees with the Scripture. With regard to the angels, I may notice three tendencies to error. The first tendency to error we see in the Epistle to the Colossians, and we may call it "the Gnostic error," when men, following their own speculative reason, endeavour to penetrate mysteries which are not revealed, and form erroneous views of the angels as to their nature, and their relation to God and to Christ. Secondly, the Romish error, according to which the angels are placed in a false mediatory position, and are invoked, when men rely upon their intercession, or call upon their aid. And the third tendency is what I may call the Protestant one — to think too rarely and in too isolated a manner about them, and not to remember vividly that they are constantly with us, that we and they are members of one great family.

1. Notice the multitude of angels: "We have come to an innumerable company of angels."

2. This innumerable multitude is a polity, a state. There are gradations in it, groups, orders, legions of angels. There is a kingdom with gradations, with order. This kingdom is intimately connected with the kingdom of grace. When a sinner is converted, the angels rejoice; and when Jesus comes again, the angels will come with Him. They will last for ever, though they are not yet seen by us; and when all that is unreal and shadowy shall disappear, then they shall be made visible at the appearing of our great God and Saviour. Whenever there is a crisis in the history of God's kingdom the angels appear, as at the giving of the law, and at the incarnation of the Son of God. When He conies again multitudes of angels shall come with Him and separate the evil from the good; before the angels Jesus shall confess His people. Angels are connected not merely with salvation and with the spiritual kingdom of God, but with all the kingdom of God; with all physical phenomena. God does not move and rule the world merely by laws and principles, by unconscious and inanimate powers, but by living beings full of light and love. His angels are like flames of fire; they have charge over the winds, and the earth, and the trees, and the sea. Through the angels He carries on the government of the world. Now, glorious as the angels are, they are in subjection to Jesus as man; for in His human nature God has enthroned Him above all things. Their relation to Jesus fixes also their relation to us. We know they love us; for they rejoice when a sinner turns from ungodliness and takes hold of salvation as it is in Jesus. They watch us in our dangers, in our difficulties. And after having ministered unto God's people to the end of this age, they shall rejoice when they hear His voice saying unto the children, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." For Jesus' sake, "are they not all ministering spirits?" Oh, how great is Jesus! How great is the covenant of grace! How great is the glory of the Son, and how wonderful is our position as children of the Father!

(A. Saphir.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

WEB: having become so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have.

The Angelic Hierarchy
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