In These Last Days: The Message of Hebrews
The Promised Son
Lesson #3 for January 15, 2022
When Adam and Eve first heard the promise, they looked for its speedy fulfillment. They joyfully welcomed their first-born son, hoping that he might be the Deliverer. But the fulfillment of the promise tarried.—Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages* 31.2.
Hebrews 1:1-4: 1 In the past, God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. 3He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word. After achieving forgiveness for human sins, he sat down in heaven at the right-hand side of God, the Supreme Power.
4 The Son was made greater than the angels, just as the name that God gave him is greater than theirs.?American Bible Society. (1992). The Holy Bible: The Good News Translation* (2nd ed.,Hebrews 1:1–4). New York: American Bible Society [abbreviated as Good News Bible].†‡
The physical organism of man is under the supervision of God; but it is not like a clock, which is set in operation, and must go of itself. [That was the teaching of Deists.] The heart beats, pulse succeeds pulse, breath succeeds breath, but the entire being is under the supervision of God. “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” In God we live and move and have our being. Each heart-beat, each breath, is the inspiration of him who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life,?the inspiration of the ever-present God, the great I AM.?Ellen G. White, Review and Herald,* November 8, 1898, par. 13;†‡ SDA Bible Commentary,* vol. 1, 1081.6.¶†‡
The word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”Ephesians 1:6. The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us.... The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages* 113.1.
When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.—Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers* 114.3; The Faith I Live By* 345.3; 18MR* 24.2 (1900).€
A crisis had arrived in the government of God…. All heaven was prepared at the word of God to move to the help of his elect. One word from him, and the bolts of heaven would have fallen upon the earth, filling it with fire and flame. God had but to speak, and there would have been thunderings and lightnings and earthquakes and destruction.
The heavenly intelligences were prepared for a fearful manifestation of Almighty power. Every move was watched with intense anxiety. The exercise of justice was expected. The angels looked for God to punish the inhabitants of the earth. But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “I will send my beloved Son,” he said. “It may be they will reverence him.” Amazing grace! Christ came not to condemn the world, but to save the world. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
The heavenly universe was amazed at God’s patience and love.—Ellen G. White, Review and Herald,* July 17, 1900, par. 5-7.†
That which alone can effectually restrain from sin in this world of darkness, will prevent sin in heaven. The significance of the death of Christ will be seen by saints and angels…. The angels ascribe honor and glory to Christ, for even they are not secure except by looking to the sufferings of the Son of God. It is through the efficacy of the cross that the angels of heaven are guarded from apostasy. [We think only of ourselves as being involved in the plan of salvation. We have been very selfish with the plan of salvation! It is for the whole universe!] Without the cross they [“the angles of heaven”] would be no more secure against evil than were the angels before the fall of Satan. Angelic perfection failed in heaven.... The plan of salvation, making manifest the justice and love of God, provides an eternal safeguard against defection in unfallen worlds, as well as among those who shall be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.—Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times,* December 30, 1889, par. 4†‡; SDA Bible Commentary,* vol. 5, 1132.8-9.†‡ Compare SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7a, 576.3; Our High Calling 45.4; The Truth About Angels 205.2.
Merely to hear or to read the word is not enough. He who desires to be profited by the Scriptures must meditate upon the truth that has been presented to him. By earnest attention and prayerful thought he must learn the meaning of the words of truth, and drink deep of the spirit of the holy oracles.—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons* 59.5-60.0 (1900).† Compare Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 10, 1891; Bible Echoes, October 1, 1892; FE 169-170; CE 100-101; The Signs of the Times, January 30, 1893; and The Signs of the Times, September 26, 1895.
Christ came to represent the Father. [Why do so many people think that Jesus came only “to pay the price” for their sins?] We behold in him the image of the invisible God. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to the world that the erroneous ideas Satan had been the means of creating in the minds of men, in regard to the character of God, might be removed. We could not behold the glory of God unveiled in Christ and live; but as he came in the garb of humanity, we may draw nigh to our Redeemer. We are called upon to behold the Lord our Father in the person of his Son. Christ came in the robe of the flesh, with his glory subdued in humanity, that lost man might communicate with him and live. Through Christ we may comprehend something of him who is glorious in holiness. Jesus is the mystic ladder by which we may mount to behold the glory of the infinite God. By faith we behold Christ standing between humanity and divinity, connecting God and man, and earth and heaven. [That mystic ladder is the one that Jacob saw in vision while sleeping as he was fleeing from his brother.]
Christ came to save fallen man, and Satan with fiercest wrath met him on the field of conflict…. Satan sought to intercept every ray of light from the throne of God. [What light was that?] He sought to cast his shadow across the earth, that men might lose the true views of God’s character, and that the knowledge of God might become extinct in the earth. He [Satan] had caused truth of vital importance to be so mingled with error that it had lost its significance. The law of Jehovah was burdened with needless exactions and traditions, and God was represented as severe, exacting, revengeful, and arbitrary. [Even today, how often is God represented in those ways from the pulpits of many Christian churches?] He was pictured as one who could take pleasure in the sufferings of his creatures. The very attributes that belonged to the character of Satan, the evil one represented as belonging to the character of God. [So] Jesus came to teach men of the Father, to correctly represent him before the fallen children of earth. Angels could not fully portray the character of God, but Christ, who was a living impersonation of God, [Doesn’t that sound like Hebrews 1?] could not fail to accomplish the work. The only way in which he could set and keep men right was to make himself visible and familiar to their eyes. That men might have salvation, he came directly to man, and became a partaker of his nature. [How is that for a comprehensive statement?]….
Christ exalted the character of God, attributing to him the praise, and giving to him the credit, of the whole purpose of his own mission on earth,—to set men right through the revelation of God. [So far, how many times has she said that His whole mission was to correctly represent the Father?] In Christ was arrayed before men the paternal grace and the matchless perfections of the Father. In his prayer just before his crucifixion, he declared, “I have manifested thy name.” [John 17:6] “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” [John 17:4] [Jesus said this before He even reached the garden of Gethsemane.] When the object of his mission was attained,—the revelation of God to the world,—the Son of God announced that his work was accomplished, and that the character of the Father was made manifest to men.?Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times,* January 20, 1890, par. 5-9.†‡
Romans 3:25-26: 25–26God offered him, so that by his blood [Footnote: by his blood; or by his sacrificial death] he should become the means by which people’s sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people’s sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus.?Good News Bible.*†‡§
©2021, Kenneth Hart, MD, MA, MPH. Permission is hereby granted for any noncommercial use of these materials. Free distribution of all or of a portion of this material such as to a Bible study class is encouraged. *Electronic version. †Bold type is added. ‡Brackets and content in brackets are added. §Italic type is in the source. ¶Compared with the first source, this source has punctuation and/or capitalization differences only. €This source has minor wording differences compared with the first source and may also have punctuation and/or capitalization differences.
Last Modified: December 20, 2021
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