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Acts 8:35

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Began at the same scripture - He did not confine himself to this one scripture, but made this his text, and showed, from the general tenor of the sacred writings, that Jesus was the Christ, or Messiah; and that in his person, birth, life, doctrine, miracles, passion, death, and resurrection, the Scriptures of the Old Testament were fulfilled. This preaching had the desired effect, for the eunuch was convinced of the truth of Philip's doctrine, and desired to be baptized in the name of Jesus.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Opened his mouth - See Matthew 5:2.

At the same scripture - Taking this as a “text” to be illustrated.

Preached unto him Jesus - Showed him that Jesus of Nazareth exactly corresponded to the description of the prophet, and that therefore he referred to the Messiah, and that the Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth. How far Philip detailed the circumstances of the life and death of Christ is unknown. What follows shows also that he stated the design of baptism, and the duty of being baptized.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Philip was directed to go to a desert. Sometimes God opens a door of opportunity to his ministers in very unlikely places. We should study to do good to those we come into company with by travelling. We should not be so shy of all strangers as some affect to be. As to those of whom we know nothing else, we know this, that they have souls. It is wisdom for men of business to redeem time for holy duties; to fill up every minute with something which will turn to a good account. In reading the word of God, we should often pause, to inquire of whom and of what the sacred writers spake; but especially our thoughts should be employed about the Redeemer. The Ethiopian was convinced by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, of the exact fulfilment of the Scripture, was made to understand the nature of the Messiah's kingdom and salvation, and desired to be numbered among the disciples of Christ. Those who seek the truth, and employ their time in searching the Scriptures, will be sure to reap advantages. The avowal of the Ethiopian must be understood as expressing simple reliance on Christ for salvation, and unreserved devotion to Him. Let us not be satisfied till we get faith, as the Ethiopian did, by diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, and the teaching of the Spirit of God; let us not be satisfied till we get it fixed as a principle in our hearts. As soon as he was baptized, the Spirit of God took Philip from him, so that he saw him no more; but this tended to confirm his faith. When the inquirer after salvation becomes acquainted with Jesus and his gospel, he will go on his way rejoicing, and will fill up his station in society, and discharge his duties, from other motives, and in another manner than heretofore. Though baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, with water, it is not enough without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Lord, grant this to every one of us; then shall we go on our way rejoicing.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 107-11

Philip's work in Samaria was marked with great success, and, thus encouraged, he sent to Jerusalem for help. The apostles now perceived more fully the meaning of the words of Christ, “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8. AA 107.1

While Philip was still in Samaria, he was directed by a heavenly messenger to “go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza.... And he arose and went.” He did not question the call, nor did he hesitate to obey; for he had learned the lesson of conformity to God's will. AA 107.2

“And, behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.” This Ethiopian was a man of good standing and of wide influence. God saw that when converted he would give others the light he had received and would exert a strong influence in favor of the gospel. Angels of God were attending this seeker for light, and he was being drawn to the Saviour. By the ministration of the Holy Spirit the Lord brought him into touch with one who could lead him to the light. AA 107.3

Philip was directed to go to the Ethiopian and explain to him the prophecy that he was reading. “Go near,” the Spirit said, “and join thyself to this chariot.” As Philip drew near, he asked the eunuch, “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” The scripture that he was reading was the prophecy of Isaiah relating to Christ: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth: in His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation? for His life is taken from the earth.” AA 107.4

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 152

The same angel who had come from the royal courts to rescue Peter, had been the messenger of wrath and judgment to Herod. The angel smote Peter to arouse him from slumber; it was with a different stroke that he smote the wicked king, laying low his pride and bringing upon him the punishment of the Almighty. Herod died in great agony of mind and body, under the retributive judgment of God. AA 152.1

This demonstration of divine justice had a powerful influence upon the people. The tidings that the apostle of Christ had been miraculously delivered from prison and death, while his persecutor had been stricken down by the curse of God, were borne to all lands and became the means of leading many to a belief in Christ. AA 152.2

The experience of Philip, directed by an angel from heaven to go to the place where he met one seeking for truth; of Cornelius, visited by an angel with a message from God; of Peter, in prison and condemned to death, led by an angel forth to safety—all show the closeness of the connection between heaven and earth. AA 152.3

To the worker for God the record of these angel visits should bring strength and courage. Today, as verily as in the days of the apostles, heavenly messengers are passing through the length and breadth of the land, seeking to comfort the sorrowing, to protect the impenitent, to win the hearts of men to Christ. We cannot see them personally; nevertheless they are with us, guiding, directing, protecting. AA 152.4

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 116

Christ “came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11. The light of God shone into the darkness of the world, and “the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5. But not all were found indifferent to the gift of heaven. The merchantman in the parable represents a class who were sincerely desiring truth. In different nations there were earnest and thoughtful men who had sought in literature and science and the religions of the heathen world for that which they could receive as the soul's treasure. Among the Jews there were those who were seeking for that which they had not. Dissatisfied with a formal religion, they longed for that which was spiritual and uplifting. Christ's chosen disciples belonged to the latter class, Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch to the former. They had been longing and praying for light from heaven; and when Christ was revealed to them, they received Him with gladness. COL 116.1

In the parable the pearl is not represented as a gift. The merchantman bought it at the price of all that he had. Many question the meaning of this, since Christ is represented in the Scriptures as a gift. He is a gift, but only to those who give themselves, soul, body, and spirit, to Him without reserve. We are to give ourselves to Christ, to live a life of willing obedience to all His requirements. All that we are, all the talents and capabilities we possess, are the Lord's, to be consecrated to His service. When we thus give ourselves wholly to Him, Christ, with all the treasures of heaven, gives Himself to us. We obtain the pearl of great price. COL 116.2

Salvation is a free gift, and yet it is to be bought and sold. In the market of which divine mercy has the management, the precious pearl is represented as being bought without money and without price. In this market all may obtain the goods of heaven. The treasury of the jewels of truth is open to all. “Behold, I have set before thee an open door,” the Lord declares, “and no man can shut it.” No sword guards the way through this door. Voices from within and at the door say, Come. The Saviour's voice earnestly and lovingly invites us: “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” Revelation 3:8, 18. COL 116.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 103.6

Faithful sentinels are on guard, to direct souls in right paths. HP 103.6

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 473

If the Lord desires us to bear a message to Nineveh, it will not be as pleasing to Him for us to go to Joppa or to Capernaum. He has reasons for sending us to the place toward which our feet have been directed. At that very place there may be someone in need of the help we can give. He who sent Philip to the Ethiopian councilor, Peter to the Roman centurion, and the little Israelitish maiden to the help of Naaman, the Syrian captain, sends men and women and youth today as His representatives to those in need of divine help and guidance. MH 473.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1057

27. An Example of Obedience—When God pointed out to Philip his work, the disciple did not say, “The Lord does not mean that.” No; “he arose and went.” He had learned the lesson of conformity to God's will. He realized that every soul is precious in the sight of God, and that angels are sent to bring those who are seeking for light into touch with those who can help them. 6BC 1057.1

Today as then angels are waiting to lead men to their fellow men.... In the experience of Philip and the Ethiopian is presented the work to which the Lord calls His people (The Review and Herald, March 2, 1911). 6BC 1057.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 57-8

God declares: “I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, Thou art My people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” Hosea 2:23. “And He said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6. 8T 57.1

God has poured out richly of His Holy Spirit upon the believers in Battle Creek. What use have you made of these blessings? Have you done as did the men upon whom the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost? Then “they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 8:4. Has this fruit been seen in Battle Creek? Have the church been taught of God to know their duty, and to reflect the light which they have received? 8T 57.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 130

The Lord is acquainted with all our circumstances. When that Ethiopian traveler was reading the Scriptures, as he rode in his chariot, angels of God were looking upon the scene. One of the disciples was sent to meet the chariot, and when he came to the place, he saw the man studying the Scriptures. Philip said to him, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” He answered, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” Then Philip opened to him the Scriptures. And when he had heard and believed, the Ethiopian asked, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:30, 31, 36). UL 130.2

This experience shows the Lord's care for His people. It was the Spirit of God that led this man's mind to the Scriptures. But he could not interpret their meaning. Then the Lord sent one of His servants to enlighten his mind, and to make him understand. UL 130.3

When the Ethiopian asked, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip did not wait to see how he would hold on to the faith. He said, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Verses 37, 38). UL 130.4

The Lord wants everyone of us to fill the very place He has appointed us. If we will walk in simplicity and godliness, and trust in the Lord, just as the little child trusts its earthly parent, He will enable us to do the work He has given us to do. If we will seek the Lord, He will work for us.... The Lord will work out our salvation for us, if we will commit the keeping of our souls unto Him as unto a faithful Creator.... UL 130.5

It is not we who make the impression upon the mind and heart. Angels of God make the impression. They see every effort we make, and they soften the hearts and enlighten the minds of those for whom we are working, so that heavenly impressions can be made, and hearts and minds can be led to see and understand.... UL 130.6

You are not working alone. When you are tempted to become discouraged, remember this: Angels of God are right around you. They will minister to the very earth, causing it to give forth its treasures. This is the instruction I am trying to give to our people. I want them to understand what could be accomplished, if they would work the will of the Lord. It is the Lord who has given the instruction. Let us follow His directions.—Manuscript 13, April 26, 1909, “To the Workers and Students at Hill Crest School.” UL 130.7

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