I want to begin to peruse the book of Hebrews, God willing, and observe if indeed this is an exposé of the transition whereby Jesus took over the position as representative of this world and refuted Satan's claim to that title. I begin by looking for clues in the first chapter.
God appointed His Son heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (1-2)
Satan evidently had laid claim to ownership of this planet because of the deal he had made with Adam transferring dominion to himself. But as we will likely see, Jesus contests every detail of Satan's claims to this world and exposes it all as being based on fraud and deception. Because it is a principle of law that any transaction based on fraud is null and void, Jesus is intent on exposing the fraud perpetrated on humanity by the deceptions of Satan and thereby empowering God to nullify the authenticity of the original agreement whereby we were trapped into Satan's slavery.
I am reminded in this verse of the story Jesus told about a king's vineyard that had been leased out to caretakers who abused and killed all whom the king sent to collect his rightful proceeds. Finally he sent his son in hopes that they would respect him but the caretakers relying on the strange logic that if they killed the son they would inherit the vineyard carried out their evil plans and killed him. It was a warning to the Jews of the twisted logic that their deceived minds were using in relation to Jesus, and it applies equally to the much greater contest going on over the control of this planet.
Not only does this say that God appointed Jesus as the rightful heir to this world but also notes that Jesus had rights based on the fact that He created this world originally which obviously Satan could not deny in heaven. But on earth he has largely convinced billions that God in fact did not create this world but that it happened according to Satan's spurious theories like the inane logic of evolution that requires enormous faith and much denial of plain truths to believe.
When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. (3-4)
Throughout these first few verses there is a great deal of explanation about Jesus being just like God. But throughout these descriptions are also references having to do with Jesus contesting the claim of Satan over this world. It looks to me like the author is setting the stage to make specific points by filling in the background bio of the One who has come to wrest from Satan the claims that have so effectively kept the world under his cruel dominion for so long.
Of course there are quite a number of issues and controversies being addressed in this book besides the claims of Satan about ownership of this world. The truth about God is also one of the main topics being addressed in this book. But primarily in this study I want to focus on the parts that expose point by point the various arguments that Satan has used to defend his position and how Jesus refutes them one by one.
I find this reference to the purification of sins to be extremely deep which I could not possibly unpack at the present very effectively. But I do believe it is close to the center of the controversy over who can lay rightful claim to the title for this world. This has to do with the issue of loyalty at its core, for as long as people believe Satan's claims and give him authority in their lives through indulgence in sin, he can continue to claim the right to be their ruler and his claims carry weight in the pure justice of heaven. So Jesus had to deal effectively with the delicate issue of sin that was so deeply embedded into the human psyche that Satan thought it could never be removed, thereby guaranteeing his own survival for eternity.
Noting that Jesus, after contesting Satan personally as a human and then returning to heaven, sat down at the right hand of the throne implies that heaven has accepted Jesus as the replacement for Satan' previous claims to represent this world in the heavenly legislature.
This verse and the following section in Hebrews begins to fill in the details concerning how Jesus carries more clout than angels. The strong inference that I see is in reference to a specific angel, namely Satan or Lucifer who is the core sticking point of this whole contest. The great war in heaven which is still not completely resolved is primarily between Satan and the Son of God. Everything else and all other controversies are extensions of this core contest over who is telling the real truth about God and about reality.
That is the next issue that emerges here. The author says that because of what Jesus did (whatever that means, and that is not yet clear at this point in the book) His reputation or name is now considered by all involved as being more excellent than the reputation of any angel.
For to which of the angels did He ever say, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"? And again, "I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME"? (v. 5)
I see strong resonance here with the original contentions that Lucifer raised in the early days of the rebellion. He contested the fact that the Son of God was really not a created being like himself and that Christ was really part of the Godhead sharing a family relationship with the Father. I see here the author directly addressing this fundamental accusation that caused so much conflict and confusion among the angels as Lucifer spread his insinuations about Christ far and wide.
I believe that keeping the original early accusations in mind as we study the key events surrounding Jesus coming to this earth is vital to making sense out of what is really going on. God is going back and addressing lingering questions in the minds of unfallen beings by sending Jesus to this world to reveal the real truth about God. So it should be no surprise that some of the things being addressed here may have more to do with resolving issues in heavenly realms as well as dealing with questions in our thinking and perceptions.
The phrase, to which of the angels, I believe is a direct challenge to the assertions of Satan that he should be considered one of the 'sons of God' who assemble as representatives of the many worlds in the councils of heaven (see Job 1:6-7) In addition, God is here exposing the reality that even if Satan could maintain that he was just as much a son as all the others holding that title, that he has relinquished that position in the way he has acted throughout his rebellion. By rejecting every aspect of a proper Father/son relationship Satan has effectively disqualified himself from even claiming legitimacy in using that title.
And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM." (v. 6)
Worship is the core issue that has created the great war between Christ and Satan. In the very early days of the rebellion when the question of Christ being God or not was the hot topic of dispute throughout heaven, God called a constituency meeting of all the angels and clarified this issue and conducted a worship service in which everyone willingly worshiped the Son. But we are told that even though Lucifer participated in this willingly (forced worship only produces the heart of a rebel), inside he refused to release his hold on the pride that his accusations against Christ had created in his heart. As a result this event became a key turning point in his history and his choice to cling to his own invented theories instead of fully repenting sent him down the path that took him to where he is today.
Very soon after that worship service the jealousy that had begun to grow in Lucifer's heart toward the worship that the Son was rightfully receiving became the core issue that consumed his own heart and still does to this day. Worship is what Satan craves the most and he will stop at nothing to try to get it from anyone he thinks he can. Thus this verse specifically addresses the issue of who should receive the worship of all the angels, for this argument over who deserves worship is as old as history itself.
At the core of the controversy is this issue of worship. And the implications involved in worship are much deeper than most of us have ever considered. Our concepts of this topic are riddled with false assumptions that keep us largely in the dark about what is really going on in worship. We have such confused ideas about even what worship is that we can't grasp the real significance of what is being discussed here. But the closer one comes to appreciating the true nature and definition of worship the more sense we can see in what is being discussed here. For at the core of true worship is always a recognition of and an appreciation for the nature and character of the being that we are worshiping.
The reason that Lucifer succeeded in deceiving so many highly intelligent beings into following and even worshiping him in place of God is because he successfully convinced them that God had flaws in His character that Lucifer knew about because of his superior insights and closeness to God. By accepting Lucifer's assertions and accusations that God was not as perfect as He was purported to be, it infused doubts into the hearts of worshipers so that their worship became contaminated and diluted. Thus the way was opened up for the worship of other gods in addition to the one true God.
This can be seen somewhat in the use of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan as asserted that God is both good and evil and therefore is not completely deserving of our full respect, love and worship. Satan has insinuated – and we have long embraced those insinuations – that perfect good and selfless love is simply an illusion because there is some element of evil in everything, even God. Humanity has been infected with this diminished view of perfection and God ever since our first parents ate from Satan's tree and even some of the authors of the Bible mingled in these notions in the way they reported events about God's dealings with mankind.
Jesus is the only reliable source whereby we can once again discern the real truth about God that has so long been obscured by the myriads of lies introduced by his accuser. Only by focusing on Jesus and seeing His absolute perfection in every respect can the darkness of the lies of Satan be fully exposed for the fraud that they really are. And even more importantly, only by dwelling on and coming to know Jesus intimately and individually can we ever be saved from the effects of the many lies that fill the environment both internally and externally for each one of us. Only in coming to see the perfect beauty and attractiveness of Jesus as He represents the perfect love of His Father will we begin to be able to enter into the worship of God as we are designed to enjoy.