For behold the stone that I have laid - Alluding no doubt to the foundation stone of the temple: but this represented Christ Jesus: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tried stone, a precious Corner Stone, a Sure Foundation," Isaiah 28:16. This means Christ, and none other; on him his whole Church rests, as a building does on its foundation.
Upon one stone shall be seven eyes - This is supposed to mean the providence of God, as under it all the work should be completed.
There may be an allusion to the seven counsellors, which stood always about the persons of the Asiatics sovereigns; and those who were the governors of provinces were termed the eyes of the king. To this there is an allusion in Revelation 1:4. In Christ there is a plentitude of wisdom, power, goodness, mercy, truth, love, and compassion, to direct, protect, save, uphold, purify, govern, and preserve all the souls that trust in him.
I will engrave the graving thereof - This is an allusion to engraving precious stones, in which the ancients greatly excelled. Heads, animals, and various devices were the subjects of those engravings. But what was this engraving? Was it not the following words? I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day;" and was not this when Jesus Christ expired upon the cross? This was the grand, the only atonement, satisfaction, and sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Does not our Lord refer to this place, John 6:27; (note)? Him hath God thy Father sealed; and on the inscription there was, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." See the note on the above passage.
For behold the stone, that I hare laid before Joshua - This must be an expansion of what he had said, or the ground of it, being introduced by, for. It must be something future, to be done by God Himself, since God says, “I will grave the graving thereof;” something connected with the remission of sins, which follows upon that graying. The stone, then, cannot be the stone of foundation of the material temple (Rashi). For this had long before been laid. The head-cornerstone, the completion of the building, had nothing remarkable, why God should be said to grave it. The plumbline was not a part even of the material temple. “The stone is one stone.” But to interpret it by other prophecy, one stone there is, of which God says, “Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation, he that believeth shall not make haste” Isaiah 28:16; that stone, of which our Lord reminded the Jews, “the stone which the builders refused is become the head-stone of the corner”; “Jesus Christ Himself, the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord, in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” Ephesians 2:20-21.
On this stone had Joshua, with all those typical priests, to look, in whom alone they and all have forgiveness, whose Sacrifice their sacrifices pictured and pleaded. “It,” says an old mystical Jewish book, a “is the stone of foundation, on which the earth is founded, which God Himself laid, that the world might receive blessing from it”. “The Shechinah is called the stone, through which the world subsisteth; of which it is said, ‹A stone of seven eyes, and, the stone which the builders refused.‘” This “stone,” God says, I have laid or set before Joshua, that is, for him to consider; as He speaks to Solomon and his children, of “My commandments which I have set before you” 1 Kings 9:6.
Rup.: “That the stone is the Lord Jesus Christ, the head cornerstone, elect, laid as a foundation; and that the seven eyes on the one stone are the sevenfold Spirit of God which rested upon Him, is or ought to be unknown to no one. For to Him “God giveth not the Spirit by measure” John 3:34, and “in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” Colossians 2:9. This stone was rejected by people, but chosen and honored by God.” Osorius: “This stone then, on which the house of God and our whole salvation resteth, is placed by God before that high priest. That is, the most holy Name of Jesus, the virtue piety and largeness of Jesus is, by the Divine Spirit, showed to the priest, that he might understand the End of the law and holiness, to whom all the actions of life and the offices of the priesthood were to be referred. In which stone was foreshown to the divine man, not the invisible strength only, but also the manifold light of the Divine Intelligence. For it follows;”
Upon this one stone are seven eyes - Whether they are the eyes of God, resting in loving care upon it, or whether, as the wheels in Ezekiel‘s vision were “full of eyes round about” Ezekiel 1:18; Ezekiel 10:12, the eyes are pictured as on the stone itself, marking that it symbolized a being with manifold intelligence. Zechariah speaks of the eyes of “the Lord which run to and fro on the earth” Zechariah 4:10, and John, of the “Lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, seat forth into all the earth” Revelation 5:6. Either symbol harmonizes with the context, and is admissible in language. before and afterward, I have laid it, I will engrave the graving thereof; and so it corresponds to the “It shall grow up before Him as a tender plant” Isaiah 53:2. But the contrast, that on one stone there are seven eyes, perhaps rather suggests that the eyes are on the stone itself, and He, the “Living Stone,” is pictured with an universality of sight, whereby, with a divine knowledge, He surveys and provides for the well-being of His whole Church. It has some analogy too to the sevenfold Spirit which was to rest upon Him.. “For this stone to have seven eyes is to retain in operation the whole virtue of the Spirit of seven-fold grace. For according to the distribution of the Holy Spirit, ones receives prophecy; another, knowledge; another, miracles; another, kinds of tongues; another, interpretation of words; but no one attaineth to have all the gifts of that same Spirit. But our Creator taking on Him our infirmities, because, through the power of His Divinity, He showed that He had at once in Him all the virtues of the Holy Spirit, united beyond doubt the bright gleams of the sevenfold constellation.” “None among men had together all the operations of the Holy Spirit, save the Mediator of God and man alone, whose is that same Spirit, who proceeds from the Father before all worlds.”
Osorius: “The stone is one. For as we have in God One Spirit, one faith, one sacrament of that most pure laver, so we worship One Christ, the one only Deliverer of the human race, and Author of our righteousness and everlasting salvation; and strengthened by His guardianship, we hope for immortality and eternal glory. Who, though He be One, governs all things with ineffable wisdom. For His wisdom is aptly described by the seven eyes. For the number seven generally describes an universality of good.”
Behold I will engrave the graving thereof - As of a costly stone. What the graving is, is not explained; but manifestly it is everything which concurs to its beauty.. “This stone is of earth, and of the power and workmanship of God.”. “It signifies Him who had His birth in virgin-earth, but framed skillfully by the power of the Holy Spirit.” That Precious Stone was further graven, through the providence and will of God, when Jerome: “He caused it to be wounded by the nails of the Cross and the soldier‘s lance, and in His passion took away the iniquity of the earth in one day, of which it is written, “This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24. Beautiful were the gifts and graces which Christ received, as Man; but beautiful beyond all beauty must be those glorious scars, with which He allowed His whole Body to be riven, that, “throughout the whole frame His love might be engraven.” Ribera: “What even in the Body of the Lord can be lovelier or more lightful than those five Wounds, which He willed to retain in His immortal Being, lest the blessed should be deprived of that splendor, surpassing far the light of sun had stars?”
And I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day - On “one day” in the year was the typical atonement; in one day absolutely, God Himself would make the iniquity of that land to depart. “One day” is always emphatic, that things are crowded into it, which seemed too much for one day. Year by year came the day of atonement: its yearly repetition showed that nothing lasting was effected. On “one day” that removal should be, which needed no renewal. A Jewish writer confessed the mystery, while he said, (Rashi), “One day; I know not what that day is.” Ask any Christian child, “On what day was iniquity removed, not from the land only, but from all lands?” he would say, “On the day when Jesus died.”
“If any man's work abide, ... he shall receive a reward.” Glorious will be the reward bestowed when the faithful workers are gathered about the throne of God and the Lamb. When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead; he was not able to endure the sight. But when mortal shall have put on immortality, the ransomed ones are like Jesus, for they see Him as He is. They stand before the throne, signifying that they are accepted. All their sins are blotted out, all their transgressions borne away. Now they can look upon the undimmed glory from the throne of God. They have been partakers with Christ of His sufferings, they have been workers together with Him in the plan of redemption, and they are partakers with Him in the joy of beholding souls saved through their instrumentality to praise God through all eternity. 5T 467.1
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The world was stirred by the enmity of Satan, and when asked to choose between the Son of God and the criminal Barabbas, they chose a robber rather than Jesus. The ignorant multitudes were led, by the deceptive reasonings of those in high position, to reject the Son of God, and choose a robber and murderer in His stead. Let us all remember that we are still in a world where Jesus, the Son of God, was rejected and crucified, where the guilt of despising Christ and preferring a robber rather than the spotless Lamb of God still rests. Unless we individually repent toward God because of transgression of His law, and exercise faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, whom the world has rejected, we shall lie under the full condemnation that the action of choosing Barabbas instead of Christ merited. The whole world stands charged today with the deliberate rejection and murder of the Son of God. The word bears record that Jews and Gentiles, kings, governors, ministers, priests, and people—all classes and sects who reveal the same spirit of envy, hatred, prejudice, and unbelief manifested by those who put to death the Son of God—would act the same part, were the opportunity granted, as did the Jews and people of the time of Christ. They would be partakers of the same spirit that demanded the death of the Son of God. TM 38.1
In the scene representing the work of Christ for us, and the determined accusation of Satan against us, Joshua stands as the high priest, and makes request in behalf of God's commandment-keeping people. At the same time Satan represents the people of God as great sinners, and presents before God the list of sins he has tempted them to commit through their lifetime, and urges that because of their transgressions, they be given into his hands to destroy. He urges that they should not be protected by ministering angels against the confederacy of evil. He is full of anger because he cannot bind the people of God into bundles with the world, to render to him complete allegiance. Kings and rulers and governors have placed upon themselves the brand of antichrist, and are represented as the dragon who goes to make war with the saints—with those who keep the commandments of God and who have the faith of Jesus. In their enmity against the people of God, they show themselves guilty also of the choice of Barabbas instead of Christ. TM 38.2Read in context »
When men, themselves liable to temptation, erring mortals, shall be free to pronounce upon another's case, who is humbled in the dust, and shall take it on themselves to decide by their own feelings or the feelings of their brethren, just how much feeling the erring one should manifest to be pardoned, [they are] taking on themselves that which God has not required of them. When I know that there are those who have fallen into great sin, but we have labored with and for them, and God has afterwards accepted their labors, when these have pleaded for me to let them go and not to burden myself for them, I have said, “I will not give you up; you must gather strength to overcome.” These men are now in active service.... TSB 241.3Read in context »
Why do we not become enthused with the Spirit of Christ? Why are we so little moved by the pitiful cries of a suffering world? Do we consider our exalted privilege of adding a star to Christ's crown—a soul cut loose from the chains with which Satan has bound him, a soul saved in the kingdom of God? The church must realize its obligation to carry the gospel of present truth to every creature. I entreat of you to read the third and fourth chapters of Zechariah. If these chapters are understood, if they are received, a work will be done for those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness, a work that means to the church: “Go forward and upward.” 6T 296.1
Wherever a church is established, all the members should engage actively in missionary work. They should visit every family in the neighborhood and know their spiritual condition. If professed Christians had engaged in this work from the time when their names were first placed on the church books, there would not now be such widespread unbelief, such depths of iniquity, such unparalleled wickedness, as is seen in the world at the present time. If every church member had sought to enlighten others, thousands upon thousands would today stand with God's commandment-keeping people. 6T 296.2Read in context »