And he laid it upon my mouth - Margin, ‹And he caused it to touch my mouth.‘ This is the more correct rendering. It was a slight, momentary touch, sufficient merely to be a “sign or token” that he was cleansed.
Thine iniquity is taken away - That is, whatever obstacle there existed to your communicating the message of God to this people, arising from your own consciousness of unworthiness, is taken away. You are commissioned to bear that message, and your own consciousness of guilt should not be a hinderance. To understand this, it should be remembered that “fire,” among the orientals, has been always regarded as an emblem of “purifying.” Thus the Sabeans, the followers or Zoroaster in Persia, worshipped “fire,” as the emblem of a pure divinity; see Malachi 3:2-3; compare Matthew 3:2. Every minister of the gospel, though conscious of personal unworthiness and unfitness, should yet go freely and cheerfully to his work, if he has evidence that he is called and commissioned by God. “Is purged.” Is purified, is removed - תכפר tekupâr from כפר kâphar “to cover, to overlay;” then to make an atonement for, to expiate, to cover sin, to pardon it, to affect or to procure forgiveness; and then to purify in general, to make whole; compare the note at Isaiah 43:3. This does not mean, that the fire from the altar had any physical effect to purify him from sin, but that it was “emblematic” of such a purifying; and probably, also, the fact that it was taken from the altar of sacrifice, was to him an indication that he was pardoned through the “atonement,” or expiation there made. The Jews expected pardon in no other mode than by sacrifice; and the offering on their altar pointed to the great sacrifice which was to be made on the cross for the sins of human beings. There is here a beautiful “union” of the truths respecting sacrifice. The great doctrine is presented that it is only by sacrifice that sin can be pardoned; and the Messiah, the sacrifice himself, is exhibited as issuing the commission to Isaiah to go and declare his message to people.
From the representations given by the Holy Spirit to His prophets, let us learn the greatness of our God. The prophet Isaiah writes: 8T 281.1
“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 8T 281.2Read in context »
Jesus knew that He could do the scribes and Pharisees no good, unless they would empty themselves of self-importance. He chose new bottles for His new wine of doctrine, and made fishermen and unlearned believers the heralds of His truth to the world. And yet, though His doctrine seemed new to the people, it was in fact not a new doctrine, but the revelation of the significance of that which had been taught from the beginning. It was His design that His disciples should take the plain, unadulterated truth for the guide of their life. They were not to add to His words, or give a forced meaning to His utterances. They were not to put a mystical interpretation upon the plain teaching of the Scriptures, and draw from theological stores to build up some man-made theory. It was through putting a mystical meaning upon the plain words of God, that sacred and vital truths were made of little significance, while the theories of men were made prominent. It was in this way that men were led to teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and that they rejected the commandment of God, that they might keep their own tradition (The Review and Herald, June 2, 1896). 5BC 1089.1Read in context »
The live coal is symbolical of purification, and it also represents the potency of the efforts of God's true servants. To those who make so full a consecration that the Lord can place His touch upon their lips, the word is spoken, Go forth into the harvest-field. I will co-operate with you. GW 23.1
The minister who has received this preparation will be a power for good in the world. His words will be right words, pure and true, fraught with sympathy and love; his actions will be right actions, a help and a blessing to the weak. Christ will be to him an abiding presence, controlling thought, word, and deed. He has pledged himself to overcome pride, covetousness, selfishness. As he seeks to fulfil this pledge, he gains spiritual strength. By daily communion with God he becomes mighty in a knowledge of the Scriptures. His fellowship is with the Father and the Son; and as he constantly obeys the divine will, he becomes daily better fitted to speak words that will guide wandering souls to the fold of Christ. GW 23.2Read in context »
Let not narrow ideas proscribe and bind about your labors. “The field is the world.” The doctrines of truth are plainly revealed on every page of the word of God, and yet the enemy has power to blind the minds of the self-sufficient, so that the plainest and simplest utterances may not be understood. Let the truth be taught to our children. Let them be armed with the revelation of the word of God. Let them be able to tell what is written in the Scriptures of truth. Let the minister from the desk, with lips touched with a coal from off the altar of heaven, speak the words of life that will burn their way into the heart and soul of those who, although wise in the wisdom of the world, do not comprehend the wisdom that is from above. CSW 78.1
The question, “What is truth?” should be asked with decided interest. We must respond to the command of God, and go forward from light to a greater light. There is no such thing as the soldiers of Christ standing still, careless and inactive. There are constant improvements to be made. The providence of God is leading us on step by step in the path of obedience. Let parents and teachers impress upon the minds of the children that the Lord is proving them in this life, to see if they will render obedience to Him with love and reverence. Those who would not be obedient to Christ here would not obey Him in the eternal world. The Lord is seeking to fit them for the heavenly mansion that Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love Him.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 31, 32. CSW 78.2Read in context »
When the students thus beheld Jesus, the suspension of their studies was counted as no loss. They were catching glimpses of Him who is invisible. They earnestly sought the living God, and the live coal of pardon was placed upon their lips. The Holy Spirit wrought not only for those who had lost their first love, but also for souls who had never placed themselves on the Lord's side.... Tokens of His grace and favor called forth rejoicing from the hearts of those who were thus blessed, and it was known that the salvation of God was among His people.... CT 370.1
Why should we not expect the Holy Watcher to come into our schools? Our youth are there to receive an education, to acquire a knowledge of the only true God. They are there to learn how to present Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour. They are there to gather up precious rays of light, that they may diffuse light again. They are there to show forth the loving-kindness of the Lord, to speak of His glory, to sound forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.... CT 370.2
Again and again the heavenly Messenger has been sent to the school. When His presence has been acknowledged, the darkness has fled away, the light has shone forth, and hearts have been drawn to God. The last words spoken by Christ to John were: “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. When we respond to God and say, “Lord, we come,” then with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation. CT 370.3Read in context »