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God's revelation, Jesus Christ

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)

"Truth looked down from heaven and saw not the reflection of her image; for dense clouds of moral darkness and gloom enveloped the world, and the Lord Jesus alone was able to roll back the clouds . . . . "The Teacher from heaven, no less a personage than the Son of God, came to earth to reveal the character of the Father to men, that they might worship him in spirit and in truth. _ Christian Education, p. 73

"In His lessons and His mighty works Christ is a perfect revelation of God. This Christ declares through the inspired evangelist. "No man hath seen God at any time," He says; "the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." These words show the importance of studying Christ's character. Only by knowing Christ can we know God. "Those who think they can obtain a knowledge of God aside from His Representative, whom the Word declares is "the express image of his person" (Heb. 1:3), will need to become fools in their own estimation before they can be wise. It is impossible to gain a perfect knowledge of God from nature alone; for nature itself is imperfect. . . . But Christ came as a personal Saviour to the world. He represented a personal God. As a personal Saviour, He ascended on high; and He will come again as He ascended to heaven--a personal Saviour. He is the express image of the Father's person. "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9)." _ Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 295

How perfectly has God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ? Heb. 1:3; 2 Cor. 4:6

So fully did Christ reveal the Father that the messengers sent by the Pharisees to take Him were charmed by His presence. . . . As they beheld the soft light of the glory of God that enshrouded His person, as they heard the gracious words that fell from His lips, they loved Him. And when . . . they were asked by the Pharisees, "Why have ye not brought him?" they answered, "Never man spake like this man" (John 7:45, 46)." _ In Heavenly Places, p. 250 What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God." _ That I May Know Him, p. 38

If we wish to know God as He is we must find Him in His revelation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

How can we get to know God? John 14:7-9

"But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus." _ Desire of Ages, p.21 "We cannot 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. . . . Living a pure life through faith in Christ as a personal Saviour will bring to the believer a clearer, higher conception of God. . . ." _ That I May Know Him, p. 9

"Jesus presented the Father as one to whom we could give our confidence and present our wants. When we are in terror of God, and overwhelmed with the thought of His glory and majesty, the Father points us to Christ as His representative. What you see revealed in Jesus, of tenderness, compassion, and love, is the reflection of the attributes of the Father. The cross of Calvary reveals to man the love of God. Christ represents the Sovereign of the universe as a God of love. By the mouth of the prophet He said, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee" (Jer. 31:3). _ In Heavenly Places, p. 18

"Such is the character of Christ as revealed in His life. This is the character of God. It is from the Father's heart that the streams of divine compassion, manifest in Christ, flow out to the children of men. Jesus, the tender, pitying Saviour, was God "manifest in the flesh." _ Steps To Christ, p. 12

God is seeking after you

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jer 31:3)

"The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Saviour's life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings,--all are enlisted in behalf of man's redemption." {SC 21.2} "Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and to bring us into communion with him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing. The open heart will be impressed with the love and glory of God as revealed through the works of his hands. The listening ear can hear and understand the communications of God through the things of nature. The green fields, the lofty trees, the buds and flowers, the passing cloud, the falling rain, the babbling brook, the glories of the heavens, speak to our hearts, and invite us to become acquainted with him who made them all." _ Christian Edication, p. 54

What passages in the Bible represent God's attitude towards us? Hosea 11:3,4; Matt. 23:37; Luke 15:4-32

"But in the parable of the lost sheep, Christ teaches that salvation does not come through our seeking after God but through God's seeking after us. "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way." Rom. 3:11, 12. We do not repent in order that God may love us, but He reveals to us His love in order that we may repent. "When the straying sheep is at last brought home, the shepherd's gratitude finds expression in melodious songs of rejoicing. He calls upon his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, "Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost." So when a wanderer is found by the great Shepherd of the sheep, heaven and earth unite in thanksgiving and rejoicing. "Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." You Pharisees, said Christ, regard yourselves as the favorites of heaven. You think yourselves secure in your own righteousness. Know, then, that if you need no repentance, My mission is not to you. These poor souls who feel their poverty and sinfulness, are the very ones whom I have come to rescue. Angels of heaven are interested in these lost ones whom you despise. You complain and sneer when one of these souls joins himself to Me; but know that angels rejoice, and the song of triumph rings through the courts above." _ Christ's Object Lessons, p, 189

Yet, even the law of God, sacred as it is, gives only a partial understanding of the character of God. It is only in His Son that we may find the perfect knowledge of God. "To know God in His works is true science, but to know God as He is in Christ is life eternal." _ Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, p.427

"Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son!" _ Signs of The Times, January 20, 1890

A knowledge of God may be obtained from a study of His creation. Every leaf and bud and flower, every moving thing testifies of the character of God. However, in seeking to know God, these avenues of research are limited. They can give only a partial revelation of God.

"By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,--God's thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, "I have declared unto them Thy name . . . . Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which "seeketh not her own" has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto." _ The Desire of Ages, p.19

According to the apostle Paul, by what means has God "spoken" unto the world in these "last days?" (Heb 1:1-2)

God's great purpose is the manifestation of His chatacter to the universe. God spoke to mankind in many ways in an effort to get men to understand what He was really like. But even though He revealed Himself through the writings of Moses to be a God "merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth," the true nature of His character could not be revealed by mere words. A living manifestation of God's character was needed and this was unfolded in the life of Christ. God "spoke" to the world by His Son in the sense that in Him, God finally was able to reveal Himself in the fullness of His glorious character of love.

What event emphasized to the disciples the fact that Jesus' authority to speak for God was greater than all who had gone before Him? Matthew 17:4,5

The disciples were sure that Jesus was a great prophet but they did not yet fully realize the exalted nature of their Lord. The realization that He was the divine Son of God had not yet come home to them, in spite of Peter's confession that "thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16)." The sight of Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus seemed to Peter to be a confirmation of the fact that Jesus was one of the great prophets equal to Moses and Elijah. He proposed to build three tabernacles, one each for Moses, Elijah and Jesus, to show that he regarded Jesus as being equal with these prophets. But God corrects him. None is equal to Christ. This was His beloved Son and they should listen to Him above all others. No other servant of God should ever be placed in His category.

Where must we look if we desire to see the glory of God? (2 Cor 4:6)

"But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus. . . ." _ The Desire of Ages, p.21

"To comprehend and enjoy God, is the highest exercise of the powers of man. . . . No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." In Christ was "God manifested in the flesh, reconciling the world unto himself." In Christ was the brightness of his Father's glory, the express image of his person." _ Review and Herald, RH, May 30, 1882

"Jesus did not represent his work as differing from that of his Father. His plans were not independent of God. He moved in perfect harmony with God; his every act carried out his Father's will. His life was the mind of God expressed in humanity. He had come to the world in the Father's name, that through him we might have life . . . .." _ Review and Herald, February 15, 1898

How closely does Jesus represent the character of God the Father? (John 14:9)

". . . . Christ Himself is the pearl of great price. In Him is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character . . . ." _ Christ's Object Lessons, p. 115

Key Thought

God's greatest desire is that we should know Him as He is. In Jesus He has revealed the fullness of His character, therefore to understand God we must behold Christ.

What did John mean by saying that no man had seen God, when Moses Enoch and Elijah were all already in heaven? (John 1:18)

John was making it clear that the only person who was qualified to reveal what God was really like was the Son of God. He was the teacher who came down from heaven. He had first-hand knowledge of what He was talking about. All the prophets spoke of what they had heard, but Jesus spoke of what He had seen, what He knew. He revealed God in His life because He was of the same nature as God, being His only begotten Son. John says, ". . . . and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14). No man, (no previous prophet or teacher) had ever seen God (had a personal intimate knowledge of His nature and character).

The point is that we must turn to Jesus if we wish to have clear ideas of God's character.

What guarantee do we have that the deeds which Jesus did when on earth were exactly what God would have done in His place? (John 1:14)

"None but the Son of God could accomplish our redemption; for only He who was in the bosom of the Father could declare Him. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it manifest. Nothing less than the infinite sacrifice made by Christ in behalf of fallen man could express the Father's love to lost humanity." _ Steps to Christ, p.14

John says that the glory which they beheld in Jesus was "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father." Only one being could have lived such a life and revealed God's glory in such a way. Jesus was guaranteed to behave like God because He was born of God. He was the begotten Son of God having by nature the life and character of God. Because of this He was guaranteed to behave like the Father in every situation which arose.

Key Thought

Because He was the true Son of God Jesus was exactly like God in character. So must we also be like God who become His sons by the impartaion of His life.

(Source: Restoration Ministry)

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