Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

March 22, 1900

Knowing God

We can not by searching find out God: but he has revealed himself in his Son, who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person. If we desire a knowledge of God, we must be Christlike. When Philip said to Christ, “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” the Saviour answered, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?”

He who does not seek each day to be more Christlike can not know God. Living a pure life through faith in Christ as a personal Saviour will bring to the believer a clearer, higher conception of God. No man whose character is not Christlike can set forth God in a true light. He may preach Christ, but he does not show his hearers that Christ is an abiding guest in his heart.

“This do, and thou shalt live,” Christ said to the lawyer who had answered his question with the words, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Eternal life is the reward that will be given to all who obey the two great principles of God's law,—love to God and love to man. The first four commandments define and enjoin love to God; the last six, love to our fellow men. Obedience to these commands is the only evidence man can give that he possesses a genuine, saving knowledge of God. Love for God is demonstrated by love for those for whom Christ has died.

While enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, Christ gave directions regarding this love. Distinctly and clearly he laid down the principles of heaven as rules that his chosen people were to observe in their dealings one with another. These principles Christ lived out in his life of humanity. In his teaching he presented the motives that should govern the lives of his followers. “All ye are brethren,” he said. Treat the purchase of my blood as I have given you an example.

God has manifested the most wonderful love for fallen man. He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Those who partake of God's love through a reception of the truth will give evidence of this by making earnest, self-sacrificing efforts to give the message of God's love to others. Thus they become laborers together with Christ. Love for God and for one another unites them to Christ by golden links. Their life is bound up with his life in sanctified, elevated union. True sanctification unites believers to Christ and to one another in bonds of tender sympathy. This union causes rich currents of Christ's love to flow continually into the heart, and then flow forth again in love for others.

The qualities that it is essential for all to possess in order to know God are those that mark the completeness of Christ's character,—his love, his patience, his unselfishness. These attributes are cultivated by doing kind actions with a kindly heart. But Christ's requirements are not met by his people today. A strange deception is upon the people of God. Selfishness prevents the unity that should exist. True Christian love is rare in our churches. This shows that the members do not love God as they claim to. They give evidence that they need to be sanctified. It is the most fatal deception to suppose that a man can have faith unto life eternal without possessing Christlike love for his brethren.

He who loves God and his neighbor is filled with light and love. God is in him and all around him. There is no such thing as a loveless Christian; for “God is love,” and “hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.... A new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

Christ declared: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Christians will love those around them as precious souls for whom Christ died.

Mrs. E. G. White

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