By Earl Robertson
In Hebrews 1, the apostle says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of al1 things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding al1 things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they…. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom…. Sit on my right hand, until I make shine enemies thy footstool…”
The apostle declares that Christ was “appointed” heir of al1 things. This is in the indefinite past. He was appointed such in purpose. God purposed from eternity that Christ should be heir to al1 things. (Eph. 3:11.) “I wil1 declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Psa. 2:7.) From this passage it can be seen that Christ’s heirship is made to depend on His Sonship. Both His heirship and sonship are the result of God’s eternal purpose. The inheritance God promised Christ through sonship, he granted. (Psa. 89:28.) God’s plan is inheritance on the basis of sonship. (Rom. 8: 17; Gal. 4: 7. ) The inheritance received of Christ came from God. Christ is “heir of all things” in their totality. He is the “heir” and “Lord of all.” (Gal. 4:1; Acts 10:36.) Macknight says, being “heir of all things denotes supreme dominion over angels and men.” Christ heired a place above all “dominion.” (Eph. 1:21.) Paul says, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Col. 1: 16.) Indeed he has the dominion; he is Lord of all. He is “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36); we must sanctify him as Lord in our hearts. (1 Pet. 3: 15.)
Jesus Christ has become Heir of all things spoken by the prophets. The prophets truly testified of Christ and his heirship. (John 5:39, Acts 10:43.) The writings of the apostles abound with the facts that he possesses “by inheritance” the blessings vouchsafed to him by God Almighty through his plan. (Heb. 1:4) “All things” were fulfilled that were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Christ. (Luke 24:44.) Let us notice some of the “all things” planned by God, and spoken by the prophets that Christ became the heir of.
Called a Nazarene
“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matt. 2:23.) There is no specific statement in the prophets’ writings where this can be found. Matthew says this was spoken by the “prophets.” This is plural. The real point can be seen regarding this verse in Nathanael’s statement to Philip. Philip had said, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Then Nathanael answered, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:45,46.) Jesus was poor. (Isa 53:2; Luke 9:58.) Isaiah testified, by the Spirit, that Christ “is despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our grieves, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isa. 53:3,4.) This is what is involved in Matthew 2:23. You may compare Psa. 69:9 to this. Regarding this verse, Peter says, “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” (Acts 3:18.) This same message Paul preached. (Acts 26:22, 23.)
The point involved in these passages is that Christ, being called a Nazarene, would be poor, despised, rejected; that he would suffer, bleed, and die in shame. (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 12:2.)
Concerning David, Paul says, “Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.” (Acts 13:23) Matthew gives us this statement of an angel to Joseph regarding this Saviour: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt.1: 21.) As Paul says, God hath kept his promise. The angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds, “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11.) He came to seek and save. (Luke 19:10.) This salvation is sent to all who fear God. (Acts 13: 26.) Christ came to the sick, not the whole. (Matt. 9: 12; Mark 2: 17. ) Christ entered Satan’s house, bound him and spoiled his goods. (Matt. 12:29; Col. 2:14, 15); thus, his conquest over the devil and death was complete. (Heb. 2:14,15.) He now says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28.) “Whosoever will,” may come to the Master and live. (Rev. 22:17.) Indeed, he hath by inheritance become the Saviour of the world! There is no salvation in any other. (Acts 4:11, 12.)
Moses said, “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” (Deut. 18:15.) This is a part of the “all things” that Christ should be heir to. Peter associates this promise of Moses with God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 22:18, saying: “And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” Further, Peter says, “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers….” (Acts 3:22-26.) Moses said “God will raise up… a prophet;” Peter says “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:26.) Thus, by inheritance Jesus Christ is that Prophet. We must hear him. (Deut. 18: 15; Acts 3: 23. )
Priest on Throne
Zechariah said “Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zech. 6:13.) Thus, he was to be a priest upon his throne. From Psalms 110: 1-4 we learn also that he was a “priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” and that he was to “Sit” on the right hand of God until his enemies were made his footstool. From these passages we see that this one was to be a Priest, a Priest upon his throne, a Priest to sit and rule upon his throne. Christ is that Priest; he has a throne. (Heb. 4:14; 1:8.) Peter shows, by inspiration (Acts 2:4), that Christ is the fulfillment of this promise. (Acts 2:30-35.) Christ says that he overcame and sat down on the throne. (Rev. 3:21.)
The angel of God spoke to Mark about Christ saying: “And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” (Luke 1:32.) It was promised earlier through Isaiah. (Isa. 9:7.) God fulfilled this promise as affirmed by Peter in Acts 2:30, 31.
The throne of Christ is in heaven. David said “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” (Psa. 103: 19.) Keep in mind that Jesus Christ was to rule while he was a Priest on his throne. (Zech. 6:13.) His throne was not, is not now, never will be on earth. His rule is a spiritual one. There is no way for this throne and ruling to be on the earth. The apostle says, “For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest.” (Heb. 8:4.) “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my foot stool” he tells us. (Isa. 66:1; Acts 7:49.) Christ’s reign is spiritual, and not physical. Paul says of Christ our priest, “yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16.) Knowing that Christ is not reincarnated, but yet is ruling as priest on his throne (which throne is in heaven), he is therefore ruling in heaven. Paul says that we will “henceforth” — from here on -know Jesus Christ in the flesh no more. This should, to any honest person, be enough to show that Christ’s–our priest’s–throne is not on earth but in heaven.
Daniel, the prophet “saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Dan. 7:13, 14.) This word “dominion” means rule or authority. The word throne is used by metonomy of one who holds dominion or exercises rule and authority. Christ is the one Daniel saw ascend to the Ancient of days (God Almighty) and receive dominion. “To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” (1 Pet. 5:11; 1 Pet. 4:11.) These two passages prove Christ to be the possessor of the dominion that the Son of man was to receive from the Ancient of days. Christ himself testified: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18.) The apostle Peter says that Christ “is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (1 Pet. 3:22)
The Psalmist said “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psa. 72:8); and Christ said that he had been given this dominion “in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28: 18); therefore, he is both “Lord and Christ” to the house of Israel (Acts 2:36), and is “reigning over the Gentiles.” (Rom. 1 5:12.) He is, by virtue of the fact that God gave him dominion, ruling and reigning over the Jew and Gentile alike. (Acts 10:34,35; 15:7-11.) Jesus Christ by his sovereign right “broke down the middle wall of partition” between Jew and Gentile, established his kingdom and gave his law which applies to “all nations” alike. (Eph. 2:14-16.) God spoke to Christ saying “Thy throne,” “thy scepter,” “thy kingdom.” (Heb. 1:8.) These belong to Christ!
Christ Given a Kingdom
Ezekiel speaking of the one nation that would be made of all nations under the rule of Jesus Christ said, “And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.” (Ezek. 37:24.) Of course the prophet did not have reference to David himself, but to his seed. David was dead when the prophet said this, and has remained so. “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” (Acts 2:29.) Ezekiel by the Spirit of God was restating the same promise regarding David’s posterity that God told David would happen. “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (2 Sam. 7:12,13.) Thus David must be dead when God would do with his posterity the things promised!!
Daniel says he saw the Son go to heaven and stand near before the Ancient of days, “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.” (Dan. 7:13, 14.) This means the Son became king. Kings possess kingdoms. The “dear Son” has a kingdom. (Col. 1:13.) In the parable of Luke 19:12-15, a “nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” The citizens of this kingdom realized the king could reign over them. (vs. 14.) But verse 15 says, “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom,” thus proving the fact of his possessing a kingdom, his kingdom. (Emphasis mine, E. R.) So he went to heaven to receive a kingdom says Daniel and the parable; but the parable also shows that he returned having received it. Further, the Hebrew writer tells us this: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (Heb. 12:28.) In Acts 1 and 2 we learn this same thing, that Christ went to heaven to receive a kingdom, which he did with great power. Thus he is king over this kingdom.
By having inherited the kingdom and kingship, Jesus Christ has a right to command in his name. Since Christ is the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” his name (authority) alone is high. (1 Tim. 6:15.) His citizens are to preach repentance and remission of sins “in his name” among all the nations. (Luke 24:47.) Peter said “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38.) Having become the “heir of all things,” God put “all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22, 23.) Therefore, whatever this kingdom, body, or church may do it must do it in his name or by his authority. (Col. 3:17.) We must remember it is “His throne,” “His scepter,” “His kingdom.” He is head over all things to it. He “heired” it; God gave it to him; God made him King; therefore, we should be highly pleased to be citizens and subjects of his in this glorious kingdom knowing that he will cause “all things” to work together for our good. (Rom. 8:28.)
Truth Magazine VI: 11, pp. 19-22