But to which of the angels - We have already seen, from the opinions and concessions of the Jews, that, if Jesus Christ could be proved to be greater than the angels, it would necessarily follow that he was God: and this the apostle does most amply prove by these various quotations from their own Scriptures; for he shows that while he is the supreme and absolute Sovereign, they are no more than his messengers and servants, and servants even to his servants, i.e. to mankind.
But to which of the angels - The apostle adduces one other proof of the exaltation of the Son of God above the angels. He asks where there is an instance in which God had addressed any one of the angels, and asked him to sit at his right hand until he should subdue his enemies under him? Yet that high honor had been conferred on the Son of God; and he was therefore far exalted above them. “Sit on my right hand;” see notes on Hebrews 1:3. This passage is taken from Psalm 110:1, a Psalm that is repeatedly quoted in this Epistle as referring to the Messiah, and the very passage before is applied by the Saviour to himself, in Matthew 22:43-44, and by Peter it is applied to him in Acts 2:34-35. There can be no doubt, therefore, of its applicability to the Messiah. “Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Until I reduce them to entire subjection. A footstool is what is placed under the feet when we sit on a chair, and the phrase here means that an enemy is entirely subdued; compare notes on 1 Corinthians 15:25. The phrase “to make an enemy a footstool,” is borrowed from the custom of ancient warriors who stood on the necks of vanquished kings on the occasion of celebrating a triumph over them as a token of their complete prostration and subjection; see notes on Isaiah 10:6. The enemies here referred to are the foes of God and of his religion, and the meaning is, that the Messiah is to be exalted until all those foes are subdued. Then he will give up the kingdom to the Father; see notes on 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. The exaltation of the Redeemer, to which the apostle refers here, is to the mediatorial throne. In this he is exalted far above the angels. His foes are to be subdued to him, but angels are to be employed as mere instruments in that great work.
At his second arrest, Paul was seized and hurried away so suddenly that he had no opportunity to gather up his few “books” and “parchments,” or even to take with him his cloak. And now winter was coming on, and he knew that he would suffer with cold in his damp prison cell. He had no money to buy another garment, he knew that his end might come at any moment, and with his usual self-forgetfulness and fear to burden the church, he desired that no expense should be incurred on his account (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 327). 7BC 921.1
16, 17. Paul and Nero Face to Face—Paul and Nero face to face!—the countenance of the monarch bearing the shameful record of the passions that raged within; the countenance of the prisoner telling the story of a heart at peace with God and man. The result of opposite systems of education stood that day contrasted—a life of unbounded self-indulgence and a life of entire self-sacrifice. Here were the representatives of two theories of life—all-absorbing selfishness, which counts nothing too valuable to be sacrificed for momentary gratification, and self-denying endurance, ready to give up life itself, if need be, for the good of others (The Youth's Instructor, July 3, 1902). 7BC 921.2
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Study carefully the first chapter of Hebrews. Become interested in the Scriptures. Read and study them diligently. “In them ye think ye have eternal life,” Christ said, “and they are they which testify of Me.” It means everything to us to have an experimental and individual knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, “whom He hath sent.” “For this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”—Special Testimonies On Education, March 23, 1896. FE 404.1
“The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,”—to those who are not self-sufficient, but who are willing to learn. What was the work of the God-given messenger to our world? The only-begotten Son of God clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to our world as a teacher, an instructor, to reveal truth in contrast with error. Truth, saving truth, never languished on His tongue, never suffered in His hands, but was made to stand out plainly and clearly defined amid the moral darkness prevailing in our world. For this work He left the heavenly courts. He said of Himself, “For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” The truth came from His lips with freshness and power, as a new revelation. He was the way, the truth, and the life. His life, given for this sinful world, was full of earnestness and momentous results; for His work was to save perishing souls. He came forth to be the True Light, shining amid the moral darkness of superstition and error, and was announced by a voice from heaven, proclaiming, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And at His transfiguration this voice from heaven was again heard, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” FE 405.1Read in context »