Pure in heart - In opposition to the Pharisees, who affected outward purity, while their hearts were full of corruption and defilement. A principal part of the Jewish religion consisted in outward washings and cleansings: on this ground they expected to see God, to enjoy eternal glory: but Christ here shows that a purification of the heart, from all vile affections and desires, is essentially requisite in order to enter into the kingdom of God. He whose soul is not delivered from all sin, through the blood of the covenant, can have no Scriptural hope of ever being with God. There is a remarkable illustration of this passage, quoted by Mr. Wakefield from Origen, Contra Cels. lib. vi. "God has no body, and therefore is invisible: but men of contemplation can discern him with the heart and understanding. But A Defiled Heart Cannot See God: but He Must Be Pure Who Wishes to Enjoy a Proper View of a Pure Being."
Shall see God - This is a Hebraism, which signifies, possess God, enjoy his felicity: as seeing a thing, was used among the Hebrews for possessing it. See Psalm 16:10. Thou wilt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption, i.e. he shall not be corrupted. So John 3:3; : Except a man be born again, he cannot See the kingdom of God, i.e. he cannot enjoy it. So John 3:16. He that believeth not the Son, shall not See life, i. e shall not be put in possession of eternal glory. The Hindoo idolaters vainly boast of what the genuine followers of Christ actually enjoy - having the Divine favor witnessed to their souls by the Holy Spirit. The Hindoos pretend that some of their sages have been favored with a sight of their guardian deity. - See Ward's Customs.
Probably our Lord alludes to the advantages those had, who were legally pure, of entering into the sanctuary, into the presence of God, while those who had contracted any legal defilement were excluded from it. This also was obviously typical.
Blessed are the pure in heart - That is, whose minds, motives, and principles are pure; who seek not only to have the external actions correct, but who desire to be holy in heart, and who are so. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
They shall see God - There is a sense in which all will see God, Revelation 1:7. That is, they will behold him as a Judge, not as a Friend. In this place it is spoken of as a special favor. So also in Revelation 22:4, “And they shall see his face.” To see the face of one, or to be in the presence of any one, were terms among the Jews expressive of great favor. It was regarded as a high honor to be in the presence of kings and princes, and to be permitted to see them, Proverbs 22:29, “He shall stand before kings.” See also 2 Kings 25:19, “Those that stood in the king‘s presence;” in the Hebrew, those that saw the face of the king; that is, who were his favorites and friends. So here, to see God, means to be his friends and favorites, and to dwell with him in his kingdom.
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8. For three hundred years Enoch had been seeking purity of heart, that he might be in harmony with heaven. For three centuries he had walked with God. Day by day he had longed for a closer union; nearer and nearer had grown the communion, until God took him to Himself. He had stood at the threshold of the eternal world, only a step between him and the land of the blest; and now the portals opened, the walk with God, so long pursued on earth, continued, and he passed through the gates of the holy city, the first from among men to enter there. 8T 331.1
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; ...for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5. 8T 331.2
To such communion God is calling us. As was Enoch's must be their holiness of character who shall be redeemed from among men at the Lord's second coming. 8T 331.3Read in context »
To know what constitutes purity of mind, soul, and body is an important part of education. Paul summed up the attainments possible for Timothy by saying, “Keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22. Impurity of thought, word, or action will not be indulged by the child of God. Every encouragement and the richest blessings are held up before the overcomers of evil practices, but the most fearful penalties are laid upon those who profane the body and defile the soul. CT 103.1
Teachers, blessed are the pure in heart—now; not, Blessed will be the pure in heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8. Yes, as did Moses, they shall endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. They have the assurance of the richest blessings, both in this life and in the life that is to come. CT 103.2
Students, if you will watch and pray, and make earnest efforts in the right direction, you will be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Christ. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14. Be determined that you will make the school a success. If you will heed the instruction given in the word of God you may go forth with a development of intellectual and moral power that will cause even angels to rejoice, and God will joy over you with singing. Under such discipline you will secure the fullest development of your faculties. Let not the buoyancy and the lust of youth through manifold temptations make your day of opportunity and privilege a failure. Day by day put on Christ, and in the brief season of your test and trial here below maintain your dignity in the strength of God, as co-workers with the highest agencies of heaven. CT 103.3Read in context »
Then, mothers, teach your children, line upon line and precept upon precept, that the righteousness of Christ is the only dress in which they can be admitted into heaven, and that robed in this apparel they will be constantly doing duties in this life which will glorify God.20 CG 418.1
A Necessary Part of Education—No education can be complete that does not teach right principles in regard to dress. Without such teaching, the work of education is too often retarded and perverted. Love of dress and devotion to fashion are among the teacher's most formidable rivals and most effective hindrances.1 CG 419.1Read in context »