Biblical Principle #99: Humans Elevated Above Heavenly Creatures

Biblical Principles List

Principle

The heavenly creatures—the first sun, moon, and stars of creation—are brought lower than GOD’s elect humans.

Explanation

Genesis 37 records two dreams that Joseph, son of Jacob, had:

5 Then Joseph had a dream, and reported it to his brothers. 6 Thus he said to them, “Hear this dream I dreamed: 7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 So his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” 10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come and bow down on the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Genesis 37:5-11 OSB

It seems clear that one message from Joseph’s second dream is what Jacob said to him about Joseph’s family bowing down to him as Joseph would become ruler over all of Egypt, including them, as foreigners in need of food due to the famine of the day.

And yet, there is another meaning that we can see, given our knowledge of how Scripture speaks of the heavens.

We have previously established that, when GOD created the heavens, this included the heavenly beings such as the angels.

In that same Principle, we noted that Scripture equates the heavenly creatures with the sun, moon, and stars, by all appearances stating they were created one and the same.

We previously established that Joseph is a type, or shadow, of Jesus.

Remember that the second world—the world system that existed when all of the Bible was written—was ruled by angels. Like Joseph, Jesus was born into that world. The angels ruled the nations and, by the time Jesus was born, Satan had corrupted all of them. As the psalmist wrote:

5 For all the gods of the nations are demons …

Psalm 95 [96]:5a OSB

Therefore, when Jesus became human, He was temporarily made lower than the angels. Toward the late 60s A.D., the writer of Hebrews described Jesu in this manner:

5 For He did not subject to angels the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But someone has testified somewhere, saying,

“What is man, that You think of him?
Or a son of man, that You are concerned about him?
7 You have made him for a little while lower than angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor;
8 You have put everything in subjection under his feet.”

For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of His suffering death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 2:5-9 NASB

In this passage, the Hebrews writer quoted from Psalm 8:

4 For I shall look at the heavens, the works of Your fingers,
The moon and stars You established.

5 What is man that You remember him,
Or the son of man that You visit him?

6 You made him a little lower than the angels;
You crowned him with glory and honor.

7 You set him over the works of Your hands;
You subjected all things under his feet,

Psalm 8:4-7 OSB

As a human, because of how Jesus accomplished the will of the Father, GOD elevated Jesus high above all the angels (the heavens).

But it does not stop there. Remember that one of the common terms the Bible uses for the heavenly creatures is “the sons of God.”

The apostle John wrote in amazement:

1 See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are. For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know Him.

1 John 3:1 NASB

GOD took us from our lowly sub-angel existence and, because of Jesus, elevated us high above the angels and all heavenly creatures. That is amazing! It was for this reason that Paul could encourage the first century Christians in Corinth:

3 Do you not know that we will judge angels?

1 Corinthians 6:3a NIV

Only one who has authority over another is allowed to render judgment upon that person.

Therefore, Joseph’s dream of the heavenly hosts bowing down to him also is a prophecy of a time that was yet to come when the heavenly hosts would be brought below (humbled underneath) the righteous humans through the victory of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

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