To receive power - That is, Jesus Christ is worthy to take, λαβειν, to have ascribed to him, power - omnipotence; riches - beneficence; wisdom - omniscience; strength - power in prevalent exercise; honor - the highest reputation for what he has done; glory - the praise due to such actions; and blessing - the thankful acknowledgments of the whole creation. Here are seven different species of praise; and this is exactly agreeable to the rabbinical forms, which the author of this book keeps constantly in view. See Sepher Rasiel, fol. 39, 2: "To thee belongs כבוד cabod, glory; גדולה gedulah, magnitude; גבורה geburah, might; הממלכה hammamlakah, the kingdom; התפארת hattiphereth, the honor; הנצח hannetsach, the victory; וההוד vehahod, and the praise."
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain - See the notes on Revelation 5:2, Revelation 5:9. The idea here is, that the fact that he was slain, or was made a sacrifice for sin, was the ground or reason for what is here ascribed to him. Compare the notes on Revelation 5:5.
To receive power - Power or authority to rule over all things. Compare notes on Matthew 28:18. The meaning here is, that he was worthy that these things should be ascribed to him, or to be addressed and acknowledged as possessing them. A part of these things were his in virtue of his very nature - as wisdom, glory, riches; a part were conferred on him as the result of his work - as the mediatorial dominion over the universe, the honor resulting from his work, etc. In view of all that he was, and of all that he has done, he is here spoken of as “worthy” of all these things.
And riches - Abundance. That is, he is worthy that whatever contributes to honor, and glory, and happiness, should be conferred on him in abundance. Himself the original proprietor of all things, it is fit that he should be recognized as such; and having performed the work which he has, it is proper that whatever may be made to contribute to his honor should be regarded as his.
And wisdom - That he should be esteemed as eminently wise; that is, that as the result of the work which he has accomplished, he should be regarded as having ability to choose the best ends and the best means to accomplish them. The feeling here referred to is what arises from the contemplation of the work of salvation by the Redeemer, as a work eminently characterized by wisdom - wisdom manifested in meeting the evils of the fall; in honoring the law; in showing that mercy is consistent with justice; and in adapting the whole plan to the character and needs of man. If wisdom was anywhere demanded, it was in reconciling a lost world to God; if it has been anywhere displayed, it has been in the arrangements for that work, and in its execution by the Redeemer. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 1:24; compare Matthew 13:54; Luke 2:40, Luke 2:52; 1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:8; Ephesians 3:10.
And strength - Ability to accomplish his purposes. That is, it is meet that he should be regarded as having such ability. This strength or power was manifested in overcoming the great enemy of man; in his control of winds, and storms, and diseases, and devils; in triumphing over death; in saving his people.
And honor - He should be esteemed and treated with honor for what he has done.
And glory - This word refers to a higher ascription of praise than the word honor. Perhaps that might refer to the honor which we feel in our hearts; this to the expression of that by the language of praise.
And blessing - Everything which would express the desire that he might be happy, honored, and adored. To bless one is to desire that he may have happiness and prosperity; that he may be successful, respected, and honored. To bless God, or to ascribe blessing to him, is that state where the heart is full of love and gratitude, and where it desires that he may be everywhere honored, loved, and obeyed as he should be. The words here express the wish that the universe would ascribe to the Redeemer all honor, and that he might be everywhere loved and adored.
By faith look upon the crowns laid up for those who shall overcome; listen to the exultant song of the redeemed, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hast redeemed us to God! Endeavor to regard these scenes as real. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in his terrible conflict with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places, exclaimed, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” The Saviour of the world was revealed to him as looking down from heaven upon him with the deepest interest; and the glorious light of Christ's countenance shone upon Stephen with such brightness that even his enemies saw his face shine like the face of an angel. LHU 280.5Read in context »
The first chapter of Hebrews contrasts the position of the angels and the position of Christ. God has spoken words concerning Christ that are not to be applied to the angels. They are “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation,” but Christ, as Mediator, is the great Minister in the work of redemption. The Holy Spirit is His representative in our world, to execute the divine purpose of bringing to fallen man power from above, that he may be an overcomer. All who enter into a covenant with Jesus Christ become by adoption the children of God. They are cleansed by the regenerating power of the Word, and angels are commissioned to minister unto them (Manuscript 57, 1907). 7BC 922.1Read in context »
Those who enter the city of God will have the golden crown placed upon their heads. That will be a joyful scene, which none of us can afford to miss. We shall cast our crowns at the feet of Jesus, and again and again we will give Him the glory, and praise His holy name. Angels will unite in the songs of triumph. Touching their golden harps, they will fill all heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb. HP 216.6Read in context »
The pure element of love will expand the soul for higher attainments, for increased knowledge of divine things, so that it will not be satisfied short of the fullness. Most professed Christians have no sense of the spiritual strength they might obtain were they as ambitious, zealous, and persevering to gain a knowledge of divine things as they are to obtain the paltry, perishable things of this life. The masses professing to be Christians have been satisfied to be spiritual dwarfs. They have no disposition to make it their object to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; hence godliness is a hidden mystery to them, they cannot understand it. They know not Christ by experimental knowledge. 2T 266.1
Let those men and women who are satisfied with their dwarfed, crippled condition in divine things be suddenly transported to heaven and for an instant witness the high, the holy state of perfection that ever abides there,—every soul filled with love; every countenance beaming with joy; enchanting music in melodious strains rising in honor of God and the Lamb; and ceaseless streams of light flowing upon the saints from the face of Him who sitteth upon the throne, and from the Lamb; and let them realize that there is higher and greater joy yet to experience, for the more they receive of the enjoyment of God, the more is their capacity increased to rise higher in eternal enjoyment, and thus continue to receive new and greater supplies from the ceaseless sources of glory and bliss inexpressible,—could such persons, I ask, mingle with the heavenly throng, participate in their songs, and endure the pure, exalted, transporting glory that emanates from God and the Lamb? Oh, no! their probation was lengthened for years that they might learn the language of heaven, that they might become “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” But they had a selfish business of their own to engage the powers of their minds and the energies of their beings. They could not afford to serve God unreservedly and make this a business. Worldly enterprises must come first and take the best of their powers, and a transient thought is devoted to God. Are such to be transformed after the final decision: “He that is holy, let him be holy still,” “he which is filthy, let him be filthy still”? Such a time is coming. 2T 266.2
Those who have trained the mind to delight in spiritual exercises are the ones who can be translated and not be overwhelmed with the purity and transcendent glory of heaven. You may have a good knowledge of the arts, you may have an acquaintance with the sciences, you may excel in music and in penmanship, your manners may please your associates, but what have these things to do with a preparation for heaven? What have they to do to prepare you to stand before the tribunal of God? 2T 267.1Read in context »