We receiving a kingdom - The Gospel dispensation, frequently termed the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, because in it God reigns among men, and he reigns in the hearts of them that believe, and his kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Which cannot be moved - Which never can fail, because it is the last dispensation.
Let us have grace - Εχωμεν χαριν· Let us have, keep, or hold fast, the benefit or gift, that is, the heavenly kingdom which God has given us. This is the meaning of the word, 2 Corinthians 8:4, and is so rendered by our translators; and it is only by this heavenly gift of the Gospel that we can serve God acceptably, for he can be pleased with no service that is not performed according to the Gospel of his Son.
If we prefer the common meaning of the word grace it comes to the same thing; without the grace - the especial succor and influence of Christ, we cannot serve, λατρευωμεν, pay religious worship to God; for he receives no burnt-offering that is not kindled by fire from his own altar.
Acceptably - Ευαρεστως· In such a way as to please him well. And the offering, with which he is well pleased, he will graciously accept; and if he accept our service, his Spirit will testify in our conscience that our ways please him. When Abel sacrifices, God is well pleased; where Cain offers, there is no approbation.
Reverence - Αιδους· With shamefacedness or modesty.
Godly fear - Ευλαβειας· Religious fear. We have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, but let that boldness be ever tempered with modesty and religious fear; for we should never forget that we have sinned, and that God is a consuming fire. Instead of αιδους και ευλαβειας, modesty and religious fear, ACD*, several others, with the Slavonic and Chrysostom, have ευλαβειας και δεους, and others have φοβου και τρομου, fear and trembling; but the sense is nearly the same.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved - We who are Christians. We pertain to a kingdom that is permanent and unchanging. The meaning is, that the kingdom of the Redeemer is never to pass away. It is not like the Jewish dispensation, to give place to another, nor is there any power that can destroy it; see the notes on Matthew 16:18. It has now endured for eighteen hundred years, amidst all the revolutions on earth, and in spite of all the attempts which have been made to destroy it; and it is now as vigorous and stable as it ever was. The past has shown that there is no power of earth or hell that can destroy it, and that in the midst of all revolutions this kingdom still survives. Its great principles and laws will endure on earth to the end of time, and will be made permanent in heaven. This is the only kingdom in which we can be certain that there will be no revolution; the only empire which is destined never to fall.
Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God - Margin, “let us hold fast.” The Greek is, literally, let us have grace; the meaning is, “let us hold fast the grace or favor which we have received in being admitted to the privileges of that kingdom.” The object of the apostle is, to keep them in the reverent fear and service of God. The “argument” which he presents is, that this kingdom is permanent. There is no danger of its being overthrown. It is to continue on earth to the end of time; it is to be established in heaven forever. If it were temporary, changeable, liable to be overthrown at any moment, there would be much less encouragement to perseverance. But in a kingdom like this there is every encouragement, for there is the assurance:
(1)that all our interests there are safe;
(2)that all our exertions will be crowned with ultimate success,
(3)that the efforts which we make to do good will have a permanent influence on mankind, and will bless future ages; and
(4)that the reward is certain.
A man subject to a government about whose continuance there would be the utmost uncertainty, would have little encouragement to labor with a view to any permanent interest. In a government where nothing is settled; where all policy is changing, and where there are constantly vacillating plans, there is no inducement to enter on any enterprise demanding time and risk. But where the policy is settled; where the principles and the laws are firm; where there is evidence of permanency, there is the highest encouragement. The highest possible encouragement of this kind is in the permanent and established kingdom of God. All other governments may be revolutionized; this never will be - all others may have a changeful policy; this has none - all others will be overthrown; this never will.
With reverence and godly fear - With true veneration for God, and with pious devotedness.
Dangers That Threaten Now—There is constant danger of allowing something to come into our midst that we may regard as the working of the Holy Spirit, but that in reality is the fruit of a spirit of fanaticism. So long as we allow the enemy of truth to lead us into a wrong way we cannot hope to reach the honest in heart with the third angel's message. We are to be sanctified through obedience to the truth. 3SM 373.1
I am afraid of anything that would have a tendency to turn the mind away from the solid evidences of the truth as revealed in God's Word. I am afraid of it; I am afraid of it. We must bring our minds within the bounds of reason, lest the enemy so come in as to set everything in a disorderly way. There are persons of an excitable temperament who are easily led into fanaticism; and should we allow anything to come into our churches that would lead such persons into error we would soon see these errors carried to extreme lengths; and then because of the course of these disorderly elements a stigma would rest upon the whole body of Seventh-day Adventists. 3SM 373.2
I have been studying how to get some of these early experiences into print again, so that more of our people may be informed; for I have long known that fanaticism will be manifest again, in different ways. We are to strengthen our position by dwelling on the Word, and by avoiding all oddities and strange exercisings that some would be very quick to catch up and practice. If we were to allow confusion to come into our ranks, we could not bind off our work as we should. We are trying to bind it off now, in every way possible. 3SM 373.3Read in context »