Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 6:6

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Then flew - Isaiah is represented as standing out of the temple; the seraphim as in it.

Having a live coal - The Vulgate renders this, ‹A stone.‘ This is, probably, the original meaning of the word; see 1 Kings 19:6. It at first denoted a hot stone which was used to roast meat upon. It may also mean a coal, from its resemblance to such a stone.

From off the altar - The altar of burnt-offering. This stood in the court of the priests, in front of the temple; see the notes at Matthew 21:12. The fire on this altar was at first kindled by the Lord, Leviticus 9:24, and was kept continually burning; Leviticus 6:12-13.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, Joh 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God's temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God's temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means "burners;" they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God's commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ's satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A live coal - The word of prophecy, which was put into the mouth of the prophet.

From off the altar - That is, from the altar of burnt-offerings, before the door of the temple, on which the fire that came down at first from heaven ( Leviticus 9:24; 2 Chronicles 7:1;) was perpetually burning. It was never to be extinguished, Leviticus 6:12, Leviticus 6:13.

Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 22

Impartation of Christ's Grace—The riches of the grace of Christ which He is ever ready to bestow upon us, we are to impart in true, hopeful words. “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” If we would guard our words, so that nothing but kindness shall escape our lips, we will give evidence that we are preparing to become members of the heavenly family. In words and works we shall show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Oh, what a reformative influence would go forth if we as a people would value at its true worth the talent of speech and its influence upon human souls!—. VSS 22.1

Counsel, Encouragement, and Reproof—The talent of speech was given to us that we might speak, not words of faultfinding, but words of counsel, words of encouragement, words of reproof.—The Review and Herald, July 20, 1905. VSS 22.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 331.1

Have those who have burned up all their pictures of friends and any kind of pictures they happened to have, come up to a higher state of consecration for this act, and do they seem in words, in deportment, and in soul, to be ennobled, elevated, more heavenly-minded? Is their experience richer than before? Do they pray more, and believe with a more perfect faith after this consuming sacrifice which they have made? Have they come up into the mount? Has the holy fire been kindled in their hearts, giving new zeal and greater devotion to God and His work than before? Has a live coal from off the altar of sacrifice touched their hearts and their lips? By their fruits you can tell the character of the work.—Manuscript 50, 1886. 3SM 331.1

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 23

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 23.2

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 370

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 370.3

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