But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet”. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:13–14)
Here, within only the first chapter, is the seventh Old Testament quotation, from Psalm 110:1. It climaxes the teaching of the full superiority of Christ to angels.
First we see the destiny of Christ, and then that of angels. No angel has ever been promised a place at God’s right hand. Only the Son will sit here. The destiny of Jesus Christ is that ultimately everything in the universe will be subject to Him. “At the name of Jesus every knee [will] bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth” (Phil. 2:10). Jesus Christ, in God’s plan, is destined to be the ruler of the universe and everything that inhabits it. “Then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. … And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:24–25, 28). He is subordinate to the Father, but only in the relationship of Son. The son of a king may be the equal of his father in every attribute of his nature, though be officially subject to his father. So the eternal Son is equally divine, though He is officially in subjection. And under His feet are placed all the kingdoms and authorities and powers of the world. When does that happen? At His Second Coming, when He comes in glory.
Notice the destiny of God’s angels: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? Jesus’ destiny is to reign. The angels’ destiny is to serve forever those who are heirs of salvation. What a wonderful, awesome prospect for Christians! In addition to being forever in God’s presence, our destiny is to be served by angels forever.
Elisha and his servant were once menaced by the king of Syria and had no way to defend themselves. “Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:15–17). Who were riding the horses and chariots? Angels. Angels protect and deliver the believer, the saint, from temporal danger. Angels rescued Lot and his family, snatching them out of Sodom. Angels got down into the den with Daniel and stopped the lions’ mouths. What a marvelous, comforting truth to know that angels minister to us! Their destiny is to continue to minister to us throughout eternity. But Jesus’ destiny is to reign. He is therefore immeasurably superior to the angels.
So we find that the Son of God is superior to angels in every way, with each of His superiorities having been described in the Old Testament. Jesus is Messiah. He is God in the flesh. He is the Mediator of a New Covenant, a covenant better than the Old.
In this brief fourteen—verse chapter, we see the deity of Jesus Christ established by divine names. He is called Son, Lord, and God. By divine works He creates, sustains, governs, redeems, and purges sin. By divine worth He is the one to be worshiped by the angels and all other creatures in the universe. By divine attributes He is omniscient, omnipotent, unchanging, and eternal. In all these ways the superiority of Jesus Christ is proclaimed.