A certain fearful looking for of judgment - From this it is evident that God will pardon no man without a sacrifice for sin; for otherwise, as Dr. Macknight argues, it would not follow, from there remaining to apostates no more sacrifice for sin, that there must remain to them a dreadful expectation of judgment.
And fiery indignation - Και πυρος ζηλος· A zeal, or fervor of fire; something similar to the fire that came down from heaven and destroyed Korah and his company; Numbers 16:35.
Probably the apostle here refers to the case of the unbelieving Jews in general, as in chap. 6 to the dreadful judgment that was coming upon them, and the burning up their temple and city with fire. These people had, by the preaching of Christ and his apostles, received the knowledge of the truth. It was impossible that they could have witnessed his miracles and heard his doctrine without being convinced that he was the Messiah, and that their own system was at an end; but they rejected this only sacrifice at a time when God abolished their own: to that nation, therefore, there remained no other sacrifice for sin; therefore the dreadful judgment came, the fiery indignation was poured out, and they, as adversaries, were devoured by it.
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment - The word “certain” here does not mean “fixed, sure, inevitable,” as our translation would seem to imply. The Greek is the same as “a ( τις tis) fearful expectation,” etc. So it is rendered by Tyndale. The idea is, that if there was voluntary apostasy after having embraced the Christian religion, there could be nothing but an expectation of the judgment to come. There could be no other hope but that through the gospel, and as this would have been renounced, it would follow that the soul must perish. The “fearful apprehension” or expectation here does not refer so much to what would be in the mind itself, or what would be experienced, as to what must follow. It might be that the person referred to would have no realizing sense of all this, and still his situation be that of one who had nothing to expect but the terrors of the judgment to come. And fiery indignation - Fire is often used in the Scriptures as an emblem of fierce punishment. The idea is, that the person referred to could expect nothing but the wrath of God. Which shall devour the adversaries - All who become the adversaries or enemies of the Lord. Fire is often said to devour, or consume, and the meaning here is, that those who should thus become the enemies of the Lord must perish.
And fiery indignation - Fire is often used in the Scriptures as an emblem of fierce punishment. The idea is, that the person referred to could expect nothing but the wrath of God.
Which shall devour the adversaries - All who become the adversaries or enemies of the Lord. Fire is often said to devour, or consume, and the meaning here is, that those who should thus become the enemies of the Lord must perish.
When Christ shall come in His glory, the wicked cannot endure to behold Him. The light of His presence, which is life to those who love Him, is death to the ungodly. The expectation of His coming is to them a “fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.” Hebrews 10:27. When He shall appear, they will pray to be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them. MB 26.1
But to hearts that have become purified through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, all is changed. These can know God. Moses was hid in the cleft of the rock when the glory of the Lord was revealed to him; and it is when we are hid in Christ that we behold the love of God. MB 26.2
“He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the King shall be his friend.” Proverbs 22:11. By faith we behold Him here and now. In our daily experience we discern His goodness and compassion in the manifestation of His providence. We recognize Him in the character of His Son. The Holy Spirit takes the truth concerning God and Him whom He hath sent, and opens it to the understanding and to the heart. The pure in heart see God in a new and endearing relation, as their Redeemer; and while they discern the purity and loveliness of His character, they long to reflect His image. They see Him as a Father longing to embrace a repenting son, and their hearts are filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. MB 26.3
The pure in heart discern the Creator in the works of His mighty hand, in the things of beauty that comprise the universe. In His written word they read in clearer lines the revelation of His mercy, His goodness, and His grace. The truths that are hidden from the wise and prudent are revealed to babes. The beauty and preciousness of truth, which are undiscerned by the worldly-wise, are constantly unfolding to those who have a trusting, childlike desire to know and to do the will of God. We discern the truth by becoming, ourselves, partakers of the divine nature. MB 26.4Read in context »
You can have rest and peace only as you find it in Jesus. The world, its maxims and its customs, are the parents of unnumbered sufferings. Many suffer with ungratified wishes. They bind burdens on themselves—their ungratified desires. With the condemnation of conscience—not having harmony with God, and with an apprehension of His displeasure and wrath—their existence is a matter of continual anxiety. There is a dearth of heavenly consolation in suffering. They are fearful of punishment. There is a fearful foreboding of the future.... TDG 264.4Read in context »
The confession was forced from his guilty soul by an awful sense of condemnation and a fearful looking for of judgment. The consequences that were to result to him filled him with terror, but there was no deep, heartbreaking grief in his soul, that he had betrayed the spotless Son of God and denied the Holy One of Israel. Pharaoh, when suffering under the judgments of God, acknowledged his sin in order to escape further punishment, but returned to his defiance of Heaven as soon as the plagues were stayed. These all lamented the results of sin, but did not sorrow for the sin itself. SC 24.1
But when the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and the sinner will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God's holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth. The “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” illumines the secret chambers of the soul, and the hidden things of darkness are made manifest. John 1:9. Conviction takes hold upon the mind and heart. The sinner has a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and feels the terror of appearing, in his own guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. He sees the love of God, the beauty of holiness, the joy of purity; he longs to be cleansed and to be restored to communion with Heaven. SC 24.2
The prayer of David after his fall, illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin. His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his guilt; no desire to escape the judgment threatened, inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness—to be restored to harmony and communion with God. This was the language of his soul: SC 24.3Read in context »
Some of our brethren have expressed fears that we shall dwell too much upon the subject of justification by faith, but I hope and pray that none will be needlessly alarmed; for there is no danger in presenting this doctrine as it is set forth in the Scriptures. If there had not been a remissness in the past to properly instruct the people of God, there would not now be a necessity of calling a special attention to it.…The exceeding great and precious promises given us in the Holy Scriptures have been lost sight of to a great extent, just as the enemy of all righteousness designed that they should be. He has cast his own dark shadow between us and our God, that we may not see the true character of God. The Lord has proclaimed Himself to be “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” 1SM 372.1
Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, “It is the third angel's message, in verity.”—The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890. 1SM 372.2Read in context »