Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 92, 1898

The Revelation of God


July 6, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 7MR 371.

The things of nature upon which we look today give us but a faint conception of Eden’s beauty and glory, but the natural world, with unmistakable voice, proclaims the glory of God. And in this book of nature opened to us—in the beautiful, scented flowers, in their varied and delicate coloring, God gives to us an unmistakable expression of His love for fallen man. After the transgression of Adam, God might have destroyed every opening bud and blooming flower, or He might have taken away their fragrance, so grateful to the senses. In the earth, seared and marred by the curse, in the briars, the thorns, the thistles, the tares, the law of condemnation is discerned, but in the delicate color and perfume of the flowers, we may learn that God still loves us, that His mercy is not wholly withdrawn from the earth. 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 1

Nature is filled with spiritual lessons for mankind. The flowers die only to spring forth into new life, and in this we are taught the lesson of the resurrection. All who love God will bloom again in the Eden above. But everything in nature cannot teach the lesson of the great and marvelous love of God. Therefore the Father sent His well-beloved Son into the world and with His own voice declared Him to be a perfect revelation of Himself to man. 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 2

To the question of Thomas, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, except by me. If ye have known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” [John 14:6-8.] The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork, but Philip could not accept nature as his God. “Jesus saith unto him, 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? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father, which dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” [Verses 9-11.] 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 3

We are to behold the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. God has revealed Himself in Christ. In the person of His only begotten Son, the God of heaven has condescended to stoop to our human nature. His voice has spoken from the highest heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17.] And again, at the visit of the Greeks to the temple, when Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify thy name,” the answer was given, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again. The people therefore that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.” [John 12:28-30.] 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 4

“Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” [Psalm 2:6, 7.] The Father in heaven has a voice and person which Christ expressed. Those who have a true knowledge of God will not become so infatuated with the laws of matter and the operations of nature as to overlook or refuse to acknowledge the continual working of God in nature. Deity is the author of nature. The natural world has in itself no inherent power but that which God supplies. How strange then that so many should make a deity of nature. 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 5

God furnished the matter and the properties with which to carry out His plans. Nature is but the Lord’s agency. The hand of God is continually guiding the globe in its mysterious march around the sun. The same hand that holds the mountains and balances them in position guides and keeps in order the respective planets. All these wonderful glories in the heavens are but doing the work appointed them. The great and mighty God employs His agencies that vegetation may flourish. He sends the dew and the rain and the sunshine that verdure may spring forth and spread its green carpet over the earth, that the shrubs and fruit trees may bud and blossom and bring forth. It is not to be supposed that a law is set in motion for the seed to work themselves, that the leaf appears because it must do so of itself. It is through the immediate agency of God that every tiny seed breaks through the earth and springs into life to give food to man. Every leaf grows, every flower blooms, through the working power of God. 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 6

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. The heart beats, pulse succeeds pulse, breath succeeds breath, but bear in mind that the 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 heartbeat, each breath is the inspiration of that God who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life, the inspiration of the ever present God, the great I AM. 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 7

Idolatry of nature is a farce, it is the invention of men who know not God and who are trying to keep out of sight a knowledge of the true God. When Nehemiah proclaimed a fast, the Levites poured forth a confession of the greatness of God, “Thou, even thou art God alone: thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all: and the host of heaven worshipeth thee.” [Nehemiah 9:6.] 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 8

The apostle Paul when holding forth the Word of life to the Athenians, and presenting before them the majesty of the living God in contrast to their idolatrous worship, declared; “God that made the world and all things that are therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life and breath and all things: and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being: as certain also of your own prophets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the godhead is like unto gold or silver or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” [Acts 17:24-29.] 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 9

There is scarcely an operation of nature but we will find reference made to it in the Word of God. The Word declares, “He maketh the sun to arise, and the rain to descend.” [See Matthew 5:45 and Job 38:26.] He “maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains.” “He giveth snow like wool: He scattereth the hoar frost like ashes.” “When he uttereth his voice there is a multitude of waters in the heavens ... He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” [Psalm 147:8, 16; Jeremiah 10:13.] 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 10

These words of holy writ say nothing of the independent laws of nature. God is the superintendent as well as the Creator of all things. The divine Being is engaged in upholding the things which He has created. God has laws which He has instituted, but they are only His servants through which He effects results. It is God who calls everything in order and keeps all things in motion. 13LtMs, Ms 92, 1898, par. 11