Scripture Notes.


Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9.

The question as to the "fellows" of the Messiah is easily answered by the scriptures in which the expression is found. The Psalm, whence the citation in the Hebrews is taken, refers wholly to Christ as the King of Israel. This is clear both from its connection with Psalm 44, and from the language employed. In verse 2 His beauty and grace, as well as His being the blessed object of God's everlasting favour, is touchingly presented. From verses 3 to 5 we behold Him going forth to conflict with His enemies for the establishment of His throne; and in the following verse the whole truth of His person is stated, together with the consequence, that His throne as God, not His throne as Messiah, is for ever and ever. In whatever character Christ is seen in the Scriptures, the glory of His person cannot be concealed. Then, in the next verse, we behold Him again as the Christ of God: "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows." Here the kingdom has been founded, Messiah sits upon His throne, and the character of His rule is that He loves righteousness and hates wickedness. It is on this account that God anoints Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows, for in so reigning He vindicates, and makes good, the name of God in His righteous government. The "fellows" therefore will be those who are associated with Him in His Messianic sway; that is, in His kingdom on earth. If we now turn to Rev. 14 we shall discover who these are. The one hundred and forty-four thousand (the details of the interpretation have been recently given in these pages) are the believing remnant found in the land during the frightful sway of antichrist, who, having resisted all his seductions, are brought through that time of unequalled sorrow, and who are now seen enjoying the fruits of their victorious suffering with the Lamb on Mount Sion. Of these it is expressly said, "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." (v. 4.) There is, therefore, no foundation whatever for the common theological contention, that the "fellows" are other and previous kings of Israel. The word indeed might be properly translated "associates" or "companions." The meaning of the term in the Psalm must also govern, whatever the special object of the quotation, the sense in the Hebrews; and the introduction in the next chapter of the "brethren," and "the children which God hath given me," confirms this conclusion. It is of great interest to add, what is often noticed, that when the Messiah is looked upon in His humiliation, and as about to be smitten, He is termed the "fellow" of Jehovah. The word is not the same as in Psalm 45; it is one that speaks, if possible, of still more intimate fellowship. When, on the other hand, Christ is presented in His exalted glories, His people are termed His fellows; but, as ever, when His people are associated with Him, His own pre-eminent place is guarded. He is anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows.


Exodus 24:17; Hebrews 12:29.

It is more than probable that there is an allusion in the latter scripture to the former; and it is very evident that the two scriptures are morally connected. "The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring [the word might be rendered 'consuming'] fire." This was the glory of Jehovah as revealed in relation to Israel in connection with Sinai; in a word, it was the expression of His holiness as set forth in His righteous requirements. But His people were sinners, and could not, therefore, satisfy His just demands. The consequence was that this glory became in Jehovah's government, as based upon the law, a "consuming fire" in the judgment that was continually visited upon Israel because of their repeated transgressions. Moses thus said, "We are consumed [a kindred word] by Thine anger." (Psalm 90:7.) In the passage in the Hebrews the apostle says that "our God is a consuming fire." It is to be distinctly observed that it is of "our" God, the God of Christians, that he thus speaks. After the declaration that God is about to shake not the earth only, but also heaven, he proceeds, "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear," and this for the reason that the God whom we serve is a "consuming fire." Once more then the "consuming fire" is an expression of the holiness of God - in testing all our service, and in the necessary judgment of all that is evil in it. (Compare 1 Cor. 3:13.) Grace was unknown at Sinai; but while now God is known as the God of all grace, this in no wise weakens His holiness. He is light as well as love, and, whether in our worship or our service, it should never be forgotten that our God is holy, and consequently a "consuming fire" when He has to do with evil. In the holiness of God, indeed, lies our eternal security. E. D.