Ministry Partners:

Tyler & Amy Mullis
Trans World Radio

Tyler and Amy are in the Partnership Development process to raise support for the mission field as TWR missionaries, based in Cary, NC.

Tyler will serve in Information Technology/Information Systems. Amy currently serves as US Missionary Care Administrator where she assists US missionaries in field movement, administration and other missionary related issues.

The Mullis’ would be honored to partner with individuals and churches as they seek to share the gospel among the nations!

You can read more about their ministry at or visit their Facebook page. You may also read their latest newsletter.

Heaven’s Greatest Messenger
– Part I

Jesus Christ is exalted above all of God’s creation. Yes, He has always eternally existed as God the Son within the Trinity, but His lordship over God’s entire creation is uniquely tied to His humanity. As the Son of God, everything in the spiritual and physical realms are all subject to Him by God’s design.

Our Lord Jesus is the perfect manifestation of God’s nature and will. He alone completes God’s purpose for Scripture, redemption, and the creation (1:1-3). Everything we must know about God in order to have eternal life in His kingdom is found in His glorious Son (cf. Jn. 17:3).

We do not find our meaning and purpose in what has been created but in the One who created it all (Acts 17:24-28). How He chooses to reveal Himself and His purpose defines reality. That is why we must submit to the truth of Scripture as the word of God, and it is there that Jesus is unveiled as supreme. To dilute in any way what the Bible makes known about Him is to detract from His glory as the Son of God. However, at the time this letter was written, some Hebrew people had taken a lesser view of our Lord.

The inevitable Roman persecution of Jews, which would shortly result in the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jewish temple, and its system of worship (70 A.D.; cf. Matt. 24:1-2), had much to do with this. Some were being swayed by heretical views of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. It is even possible they had settled on the idea that He was nothing more than an angel. A high estimation of angelic beings among most Jews may have led them to see Jesus as nothing more than one of the heavenly host. His miracles made Him unquestionably supernatural, but they did not accept Him as God (cf. Jn. 11:47). Certain Jews had already distanced themselves from Jerusalem and developed a version of Judaism that included angel worship (e.g. Qumran community).

This stance was likely encouraged by the increasing persecution of Christians who refused to deny Christ as Lord. As history tells us, Caesar demanded such worship. However, while willing to submit to human government as having a delegated authority from God, the true church (still present in Jerusalem) would not ascribe to the Roman Emperor a title belonging only to Christ.

In order to elevate Jesus to His rightful place in the mind of his readers, the writer of Hebrews now cites the Old Testament Scripture, which plainly reveals Him as God’s Son and, therefore, Lord of all. While the Scripture describes angels as heavenly messengers of God’s revelation, Hebrews 1:4-14 declares Jesus as heaven’s greatest messenger.

A contrast is made in the rest of this chapter between Christ and angels in God’s own words. Verse four establishes this by stating that Jesus “has become so much better than the angels.” How is He better? We are promptly told: “He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” That is, while angels are glorious, supernatural beings who do God’s will, they are in no way superior to Christ, even in His humanity. Why? Because God has given to His Son the title of Lord. That is His “excellent name” (cf. Phil. 2:5-11), which He has inherited from the heavenly Father because He is begotten and blessed in His humanity.

Heaven’s Greatest Messenger – Part I
Begotten by God (vv. 5-7)
The first point of contrast is that, while angels are created (“makes His angels…” v. 7), Christ is “begotten” (v. 5) according to Psalm 2:7. In that passage, God is making the sovereign decree that the Christ would be born in time (“Today”) and absolutely established on the throne of heaven’s kingdom. He would be God’s beloved and unique “Son” — the Heir and Lord of the creation.

The apostle John frequently identified Jesus as the “only begotten Son” of God (cf. Jn. 1:14; 3:16, 1 Jn. 4:9, etc.). This does not refer to the origin of Christ’s Person (He is eternal) but to the nature of His eternal relationship with the Father. He is “begotten” or “uniquely loved” for His chosen role as the incarnate Lord and Savior. It speaks to His prominence (cf. Col. 1:15, 18; Heb. 11:17).

To further emphasize this unique position, the writer then uses 2 Samuel 7:14 — a key verse from God’s covenant with King David. The LORD promised David (the likely writer of Psalm 2) that He would establish his kingdom forever. The immediate context of the covenant deals with establishing the royal line through Solomon who, like all the kings after him would need to be disciplined by God until the Christ would come to reign. It is clear, both from Psalm 2 and the Davidic Covenant, that the Christ was the anticipated greater “Son” of David who had a unique relationship with the heavenly “Father.”

Now, contrast that with what God says about angels. As He says at the beginning of verse five, “…to which of the angels did He ever say” anything about a unique relationship of prominence? The answer is: NONE. In fact, “the angels of God” are commanded to “worship” Christ when God “brings the firstborn into the world.” The word, “again” can be translated either before or after the word, “brings.” So it can refer to either His first or second advent.

The quote found here in verse six is derived from the Greek translation of Deuteronomy 32:43, which calls for both the Gentile nations and angels to worship Christ the Lord when He comes in judgment. Psalm 89, which reflects upon God’s covenant with David, also speaks of the Christ as God’s “firstborn” (Ps. 89:27), and it clearly identifies Him as superior to the heavenly host (Ps. 89:6).

God says of the “angels” (v. 7) in Psalm 104:4 to be His creation. As mentioned earlier, unlike the begotten Son, God “makes His angels spirits.” That is, they are spiritual beings and thus supernatural (not of the physical realm), but they are nonetheless “His ministers” or “servants.” They are messengers as the name “angel” suggests (Gr. – angelos) — those sent from God with a message, and we frequently find them in Scripture to be involved with His judgment (“a flame of fire.”).

We read in First Peter 3:22: “[Jesus Christ] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.” As we noted in our study of verse three, the right hand of God is the position of greatest honor and authority. It is a place of submission to the Father, which the Son has willingly taken in His incarnation for the purpose of redemption.

And even though human beings are now lower than the angels in ability, access to God’s throne, and immortality (Heb. 2:6-8), they will one day be equal in those respects to angels (Lk. 20:36). In fact, the writer of Hebrews will go on to say in chapter two that redeemed humanity will be restored to their place of glory and honor to reign with Christ over the creation. He is clear that “Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death [is now] crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death” for the saints and make us join heirs (Rom. 8:17).

Our Lord Jesus Christ is exalted above all of God’s creation including the angels. His humanity does not lessen His prominence as God’s Son. In fact, it is because He is the unique Son of God — beloved for His chosen role as the incarnate Lord and Savior — that He inherits all things from the Father and reigns over everything in heaven and on earth.

This makes Jesus a greater messenger of God than any angel. He is God’s greatest revelation, but He is also the Great Revealer who brings the light of heaven’s truth to us (v. 3). He is not someone bearing a reflection of the light (Matt. 5:14; Eph. 5:8; 1 Thess. 5:5; 1 Pet. 2:9) — He is the light itself whose source is the Father in heaven (Jn. 8:12).

A holy angel or a Christian is but a humble messenger of heaven, but the Son of God, though He humbled Himself and came in the likeness of men, is nonetheless the Lord from heaven (1 Cor. 15:47). His appearance in God’s creation is as the Father’s own beloved Son who personally reveals God and His will to us. It is the difference between a king personally making an announcement or one of his servants making it.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God? Do you submit yourself to Him as the One who has obtained from God the Father the most excellent name of Lord?

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© Copyright 1997-2017 Richard E. Clayton, Jr. All rights reserved.

God’s Greatest Revelation –
Part II

Everything about your life and mine depends on the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Our very existence, and the quality of it both now and forever, cannot be defined apart from Him. He is our only access to the heavenly Father who reveals His own nature and will in His Son as our Lord and Savior.

The letter to the Hebrews begins by emphasizing this reality. Before he makes the argument that Christ and the New Covenant of grace are superior to everything pertaining to the Old Covenant of law, the writer establishes that the Son is the Father’s greatest revelation to us (Heb. 1:1-3).

We have already considered in part one of this study that Jesus completes the Scripture (vv. 1-2a). That is, while God progressively revealed Himself and His will in the Old Testament, He has completed that revelation in His Son. Speaking through the prophets, God established His law and promised a Savior.

But the law and the promise were not fulfilled until Jesus Christ came into the world and accomplished God’s redemptive purpose. What is that purpose? It is to justify sinners by grace through faith in Jesus, who both kept God’s law perfectly and suffered for our sins as a sinless sacrifice. So God has spoken to us in these last days through the Person and work of Christ. God’s Son is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the promise of the New Covenant.

Hebrews 1:1-3 not only speaks of the progressive revelation of God, which culminates in Jesus Christ as the completion of Scripture, but it further identifies Him as the completion of the creation and redemption.

God’s Greatest Revelation – Part II
Jesus Completes Creation (v. 2b-3b)
By completing the creation we mean that God has revealed His Son as Lord of the creation. He who created all things has come into the world in Christ to redeem a remnant of humanity and also the universe that is cursed because of mankind’s sin. And He will sustain His creation until that purpose is complete.

This is made clear by five distinguishing statements:

1) God’s Son has been “appointed heir of all things.” This means that all of creation in the spiritual and physical realms ultimately falls under Christ’s authority (cf. 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Col. 1:16). However, it specifically refers to His lordship over this fallen universe, which God intends to redeem along with the saints (Rom. 8:19-23). This is by God’s sovereign decree (Ps. 2; Dan. 7:13-14), as confirmed by the word, “appointed” (i.e. “ordained” or “established”).

2) It is through Christ that God has “made the worlds.” This has specific reference to His role in creating the physical universe, including the earth, but it is not a reference to the planet on which we live. Rather, the word, “worlds,” can be translated as “ages.” It can refer to periods of time, but the context here seems imply every “aspect” of the physical creation. In other words, Christ created time, space, matter, and energy — everything that defines the existence of the universe.

The Son of God has been God the Son for all eternity, and before He came to earth as Jesus the Christ, He was present and active in the creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1). John the apostle affirmed this when he identified Jesus as the eternal Word of God (Jn. 1:1-2). He further declared: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (v. 3).

3) Jesus is “the brightness of [God’s] glory.” This “brightness” (i.e. radiance) refers to Jesus as the manifestation of God, and it literally means “to shine forth.” Sinners cannot see the true essence of God in His spiritual glory (Ex. 33:20), but Jesus is the expression of God sent forth to us. Otherwise, we could not know our Creator. A light source, such as the sun, manifests itself by the light it produces. Christ is the light of God — His incarnate radiance. He is distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit but of the same Divine essence, nature, and being veiled in His humanity (cf. Matt. 17:2).

Our Lord said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12; cf. 9:5). The apostle John also wrote that, in Christ “was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn. 1:4-5). Christ is God’s expression of Himself to give the light of truth to our sin-darkened hearts so that we might be reconciled to Him. Paul said it this way: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6; cf. v. 4). That passage teaches us that Christ is the fulfillment of the symbolism set forth in the creation of physical light.

4) The Son of God is also “the express image of His person.” This corresponds with the previous point. The word, “image,” is the source of our English word, “icon.” In other words, Jesus is a replica of God’s person, but it is more than that. The term, “express image,” was used in Greek culture to describe the imprint made by a stamp on a wax seal. So the Lord is the precise, perfect “imprint” of God’s nature on the human race — not a marred impression of His likeness as all the rest of Adam’s descendants. The very essence of sin is to fall short of God’s righteous standard and no longer express His holy image (Rom. 3:23). However, God sent His Son to express it without flaw. As Paul writes in Colossians 2:9: “…in [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

5) Finally, we read that, in His Son, God is “upholding all things by the word of His power.” Christ, who was active in creating all things by His command, is also active in sustaining all things by that same authoritative word. The idea expressed in this statement conveys a continual action. Jesus Christ keeps the sin-tainted creation, which is in the process of decay, from falling into complete chaos and oblivion.

Without Christ’s constant work of “upholding all things” all things would cease to exist! The slightest variation of the natural laws our Lord has put in place by His command would mean the end of the universe as we know it. Its destruction is inevitable after all things are made subject to Christ (2 Peter 3:8-13), but until then, He maintains it to accomplish God’s redemptive purpose (cf. Rom. 11:36).

Jesus Completes Redemption(v. 3c)
As God’s greatest revelation, Jesus Christ not only completes Scripture and creation, but He completes redemption. The Divine purpose from eternity past has been to deal with sin and its consequences for the glory of the Trinity — to reconcile fallen human beings to their God that they may know and glorify Him. That is exactly what Jesus did when He came into the world, and that is a major theme of this letter.

We are told that He alone has accomplished this task of reconciliation. Our Lord “by Himself purged our sins” (cf. Titus 2:14). That is, He made us holy in God’s eyes. How? He did this when He bore our sin on the cross. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).

God looked at our sin when He saw Christ on the cross, and He poured out His wrath on His own Son instead of on us for all eternity in Hell. The death required for violating God’s law was satisfied (1 Pet. 3:18). Now God looks at the Christian and sees us, not as sinners, but as saints — justified (declared no longer guilty) by the blood of Christ (Rom. 3:24-26). The phrase “by Himself” does not appear in some older manuscripts, but it is nonetheless clearly implied. Jesus, and only Jesus, accomplished the redemption of sinners!

Christ made the one and only effective sacrifice that God would accept, which all the Old Testament sacrifices merely anticipated. And once He purged our sins, He “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” In other words, His work as High Priest was done because He offered Himself completely as the true sacrifice for sin.

The “right hand” is the position of honor and authority. God is the supreme Authority — the “Majesty on high.” For Jesus to be seated at the Father’s right hand represents His exaltation as King of kings and Lord of lords in relation to all of God’s creation. There all authority in heaven and on earth has been granted to Him, and there He intercedes for His saints (cf. v. 13; Matt. 28:18; Rom. 8:34; 1 Pet. 3:22, etc.). So much more could be said about the redemption He has accomplished, and this letter will certainly elaborate on that.

As an author might write a sequel to his original novel and bring closure to the story, Jesus has come to complete God’s story as Prophet (Scripture), Priest (redemption), and King (creation). The first volume (the Old Testament) left the readers with anticipation, but the story is finished in Christ. As the brilliant, express image of God, we discover Him as Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Heir to God’s kingdom. Everything finds its meaning and purpose in God’s Son.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace by the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:15-20).

This is Jesus Christ — God’s greatest revelation to us. Is your hope and trust in Him?

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© Copyright 1997-2017 Richard E. Clayton, Jr. All rights reserved.