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    May 30, 1895

    “Seeing the Invisible” The Present Truth 11, 22, pp. 341, 342.

    ATJ

    THE Christian is to see, and does see, the invisible. He is to “look at the things that are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18), and he is to see—he can see—the things that he looks at.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.1

    “The things that are not seen are eternal;” and the things that are eternal are the things of God; for He is “the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,” and “the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen” (Romans 1:20), though not with the natural eyes—the eyes of this world.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.2

    There are things even of the natural order, which are invisible to the natural eyes unaided. There are innumerable worlds that cannot be seen at all—that are invisible—without the telescope; there are the countless forms of life in this world of ours that are invisible without the microscope. And all men are eager, and delighted, to use either the telescope or the microscope whenever it is possible, in order that they may see these things that are otherwise invisible. And the invisible things even of the natural order awake more interest, and engage more profound study than do the visible things.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.3

    Why should not then the invisible things of the spiritual order awake interest and arouse study as well as the invisible things of the natural order? It may be answered that they do. Yes, that is true; but the interest shown, and the study carried on, in this line, is so largely done in a defective way, that, practically, the effort amounts to very little, and brings no benefit to the greater part of mankind.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.4

    THE FATAL DEFECT

    THE one grand defect, and, indeed, a fatal one, in the efforts of the greatest part of mankind to see the invisible things of the spiritual order, the invisible things of God, has always been that it is attempted to be done in the natural way and with the natural faculties. Because of this the gods of the heathen have always been but the reflection of the natural character of the worshipers, and even then must needs be represented before the devotee in some shape visible to the natural eye, whether it be in the form of the heavenly bodies, or of sticks or stones, or of graven or molten images, or of pictures. So that all false worship—all idolatry—is but the result of effort to grasp the spiritual in the natural way, to comprehend spiritual things with the natural faculties.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.5

    But it is eternally true that “spiritual things are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-14. The truly spiritual things—the things of God—it is impossible truly to discern in any other than the truly spiritual way. For “God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. It is only by the Spirit of God that the things of God can be discerned. For, “as it is written: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.6

    Thus it is evident that God has put within the reach of man the means by which he can see “the invisible things of him.” And the Spirit of God and the revelation which He by that Spirit has given, are the means by which men may know the things of God and may see the invisible things of Him. For, again it is written: “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11, 12.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.7

    Although it be eternally true that spiritual things are only spiritually discerned; and although it be evident that it is by the Spirit of God alone that the things of God are known; yet it is also true that even this good Spirit men desire to see—they desire that it shall be visible—before they will receive it, even as it is written: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him.” John 14:16, 17. Thus the sole means by which the things of God can be made known to the world—even this the world insists shall be discerned and known in the worldly way. But this will never do. This the Lord could never, by any means, allow in any degree.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 341.8

    GOD’S WAY MUST STAND

    GOD can never accommodate himself nor his ways to the ways of this world. This world is wrong, and all its ways are wrong ways. And for the Lord to accommodate himself in anything to the ways of this world, would be only to confirm the world in its wrong ways. If the world could see God, or the things of God, with worldly eyes, and could know God or the things of God with worldly knowledge, this would at once reduce God to the level of this world, and all the things of God to the level of the things of this world. And this would be only to confirm, by the sanction of God, this world forever in its own ways as they are, making the ways of this world the ways of God, and making iniquity and transgression and sin eternal.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 342.1

    But God wants to turn this world from its own ways unto Himself, that it may know Him as he is. He wants to lift this world up to Himself and to His ways, instead of allowing the world to bring Him down to its own level and to confirm it in its own wickedness. And in order that this may be accomplished, He must, in the very nature of things, require that the world shall see with other than worldly eyes, and know with other than worldly knowledge. The world must forsake all worldly elements and all worldly methods, and accept and use exclusively the means which God has supplied, or else it can never see God as He is in truth.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 342.2

    And whosoever will do this will see Him as He is, and everywhere, and to all eternity. He who would refuse the use of the telescope and the microscope, the means by which alone he can see the invisible things of the natural order, might strain his eyes till the faculty of sight should be lost, in an effort to see those things, and all in vain; for without these instruments he simply cannot see the things which he would see. Even so the things of God can no man see, who refuses to use the means which God has supplied for this purpose. Without the instruments which God has supplied, man may strain all his powers to the breaking point in the effort to see God as he is in truth and all in vain; without these he simply cannot see him. And this, not because God has arbitrarily fixed it so that he shall not see Him if He does not do so, and so, and simply and only because that if he will not use the instruments by which alone the invisible things of God may be seen, literally he cannot see them. “Except a man be born again [born from above, margin] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 342.3

    What, then, are the instruments by which men may see the invisible things of God? We shall answer this next week. A. T. JONES.PTUK May 30, 1895, page 342.4

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