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1 Corinthians 13:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Now we see through a glass, darkly - Δι 'εσοπτρου εν αινιγματι . Of these words some literal explanation is necessary. The word εσοπτρον which we translate a glass, literally signifies a mirror or reflector, from εις, into, and οπτομαι, I look; and among the ancients mirrors were certainly made of fine polished metal. The word here may signify any thing by which the image of a person is reflected, as in our looking, or look in glass. The word is not used for a glass to look through; nor would such an image have suited with the apostle's design.

The εσοπτρον or mirror, is mentioned by some of the most ancient Greek writers; so Anacreon, Ode xi. ver. 1: -

Αεγουσιν αἱ γυναικες,

Ανακρεων, γερων ει·

Ααβων ΕΣΟΠΤΡΟΝ αθρειπ

Κομας μεν ουκετ 'ουσας .

The women tell me,

Anacreon, thou art grown old;

Take thy mirror, and view

How few of thy hairs remain.

And again, in Ode xx. ver. 5: -

Εγω δ 'εσοπτρον ειην,

Ὁπως αει βλεπης με .

I wish I were a mirror

That thou mightst always look into me.

In Exodus 38:8, we meet with the term looking glasses; but the original is מראת maroth, and should be translated mirrors; as out of those very articles, which we absurdly translate looking Glasses, the brazen laver was made!

In the Greek version the word εσοπτρον is not found but twice, and that in the apocryphal books.

In the book of the Wisdom of Solomon 7:26, speaking of wisdom the author says: "She is the brightness of the everlasting light, και εσοπτρον ακηλιδωτον, and the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness." In Ecclus. 12:11, exhorting to put no trust in an enemy, he says: "Though he humble himself, and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him, and thou shalt be unto him, ὡς εκμεμαχως εσοπτρον, as if thou hadst wiped a looking glass, (mirror), and thou shalt know that his rust hath not altogether been wiped away." All these passages must be understood of polished metal, not of glass, which, though it existed among the Romans and others, yet was brought to very little perfection; and as to grinding and silvering of glass, they are modern inventions.

Some have thought that the apostle refers to something of the telescopic kind, by which distant and small objects become visible, although their surfaces become dim in proportion to the quantum of the magnifying power; but this is too refined; he appears simply to refer to a mirror by which images were rejected, and not to any diaphanous and magnifying powers, through which objects were perceived.

Possibly the true meaning of the words δι 'εσοπτρου εν αινιγματι, through a glass darkly, may be found among the Jewish writers, who use a similar term to express nearly the same thing to which the apostle refers. A revelation of the will of God, in clear and express terms, is called by them מאירה אספקלריא aspecularia maira, a clear or lucid glass, or specular in reference, specularibus lapidibus, to the diaphanous polished stones, used by the ancients for windows instead of glass. An obscure prophecy they termed נהריא דלא אספקלריא aspecularia dela naharia, "a specular which is not clear."

Numbers 12:6; : If there be a prophet - I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and I will speak unto him in a dream; Rab. Tanchum thus explains: "My Shechinah shall not be revealed to him, מאירה באספקלריא beaspecularia maira, in a lucid specular, but only in a dream and a vision."

On Ezekiel 1:4, Ezekiel 1:5; : And I looked, and behold a whirlwind - a great cloud, and a fire unfolding itself, etc.; Sohar Chadash, fol. 33, says: "This is a vision נהרא דלא באספקלריא beaspecularia dela nahara, by an obscure or dark specular."

From a great variety of examples produced by Schoettgen it appears that the rabbins make a great deal of difference between seeing through the lucid glass or specular, and seeing through the obscure one. The first is attributed only to Moses, who conversed with God face to face, i.e. through the lucid specular; and between the other prophets, who saw him in dreams and visions, i.e. through the obscure specular. In these distinctions and sayings of the ancient Jews we must seek for that to which the apostle alludes. See Schoettgen.

The word αινιγματι, which we render darkly, will help us to the true meaning of the place. The following is Mr. Parkhurst's definition of the term and of the thing: "Αινιγμα, from ηνιγμαι, the perfect passive of ισυιττω, to hint, intimate, signify with some degree of obscurity; an enigma, in which one thing answers or stands in correspondence to, or as the representative of, another, which is in some respects similar to it; occurs 1 Corinthians 13:12; : Now - in this life, we see by means of a mirror reflecting the images of heavenly and spiritual things, εν αινιγματι, in an enigmatical manner, invisible things being represented by visible, spiritual by natural, eternal by temporal; but then - in the eternal world, face to face, every thing being seen in itself, and not by means of a representative or similitude."

Now I know in part - Though I have an immediate revelation from God concerning his great design in the dispensation of the Gospel, yet there are lengths, breadths, depths, and heights of this design, which even that revelation has not discovered; nor can they be known and apprehended in the present imperfect state. Eternity alone can unfold the whole scheme of the Gospel.

As - I am known - In the same manner in which disembodied spirits know and understand.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For now we see through a glass - Paul here makes use of another illustration to show the imperfection of our knowledge here. Compared with what it will be in the future world, it is like the imperfect view of an object which we have in looking through an obscure and opaque medium compared with the view which we have when we look at it “face to face.” The word “glass” here ( ἐσοπτρον esoptron) means properly a mirror, a looking-glass. The mirrors of the ancients were usually made of polished metal; Exodus 38:8; Job 37:18. Many have supposed (see Doddridge, in loc. and Robinson‘s Lexicon) that the idea here is that of seeing objects by reflection from a mirror, which reflects only their imperfect forms. But this interpretation does not well accord with the apostle‘s idea of seeing things obscurely. The most natural idea is that of seeing objects by an imperfect medium, by looking “through” something in contemplating them.

It is, therefore, probable that he refers to those transparent substances which the ancients had, and which they used in their windows occasionally; such as thin plates of horn, transparent stone, etc. Windows were often made of the “lapis specularis” described by Plint (xxxvi. 22), which was pellucid, and which admitted of being split into thin “laminae” or scales, probably the same as mica. Humboldt mentions such kinds of stone as being used in South America in church windows - Bloomfield. It is not improbable, I think, that even in the time of Paul the ancients had the knowledge of glass, though it was probably at first very imperfect and obscure. There is some reason to believe that glass was known to the Phenicians, the Tyrians, and the Egyptians. Pliny says that it was first discovered by accident. A merchant vessel, laden with nitre or fossil alkali, having been driven on shore on the coast of Palestine near the river Belus, the crew went in search of provisions, and accidentally supported the kettles on which they dressed their food upon pieces of fossil alkali.

The river sand above which this operation was performed was vitrified by its union with the alkali, and thus produced glass - See Edin. Encyclopedia, “Glass.” It is known that glass was in quite common use about the commencement of the Christian era. In the reign of Tiberius an artist had his house demolished for making glass malleable. About this time drinking vessels were made commonly of glass; and glass bottles for holding wine and flowers were in common use. That glass was in quite common use has been proved by the remains that have been discovered in the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii. There is, therefore, no impropriety in supposing that Paul here may have alluded to the imperfect and discolored glass which was then in extensive use; for we have no reason to suppose that it was then as transparent as that which is now made. It was, doubtless, an imperfect and obscure medium, and, therefore, well adapted to illustrate the nature of our knowledge here compared with what it wilt be in heaven.

Darkly - Margin, “In a riddle” ( ἐν αἰνίγματι en ainigmati). The word means a riddle; an enigma; then an obscure intimation. In a riddle a statement is made with some resemblance to the truth; a puzzling question is proposed, and the solution is left to conjecture. Hence, it means, as here, obscurely, darkly, imperfectly. Little is known; much is left to conjecture; a very accurate account of most of that which passes for knowledge. Compared with heaven, our knowledge here much resembles the obscure intimations in an enigma compared with clear statement and manifest truth.

But then - In the fuller revelations in heaven.

Face to face - As when one looks upon an object openly, and not through an obscure and dark medium. It here means, therefore, “clearly, without obscurity.”

I know in part - 1 Corinthians 13:9.

But then shall I know - My knowledge shall be clear and distinct. I shall have a clear view of those objects which are now so indistinct and obscure. I shall be in the presence of those objects about which I now inquire; I shall “see” them; I shall have a clear acquaintance with the divine perfections, plans, and character. This does not mean that he would know “everything,” or that he would be omniscient; but that in regard to those points of inquiry in which he was then interested, he would have a view that would be distinct and clear - a view that would be clear, arising from the fact that he would be present with them, and permitted to see them, instead of surveying them at a distance, and by imperfect mediums.

Even as also I am known - “In the same manner” ( καθὼς kathōs), not “to the same extent.” It does not mean that he would know God as clearly and as fully as God would know him; for his remark does not relate to the “extent,” but to the “manner” and the comparative “clearness” of his knowledge. He would see things as he was now seen and would be seen there. It would be face to face. He would be in their presence. It would not be where he would be seen clearly and distinctly, and himself compelled to look upon all objects confusedly and obscurely, and through an imperfect medium. But he would he with them; would see them face to face; would see them without any medium; would see them “in the same manner” as they would see him. Disembodied spirits, and the inhabitants of the heavenly world, have this knowledge; and when we are there, we shall see the truths, not at a distance and obscurely, but plainly and openly.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Charity is much to be preferred to the gifts on which the Corinthians prided themselves. From its longer continuance. It is a grace, lasting as eternity. The present state is a state of childhood, the future that of manhood. Such is the difference between earth and heaven. What narrow views, what confused notions of things, have children when compared with grown men! Thus shall we think of our most valued gifts of this world, when we come to heaven. All things are dark and confused now, compared with what they will be hereafter. They can only be seen as by the reflection in a mirror, or in the description of a riddle; but hereafter our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error. It is the light of heaven only, that will remove all clouds and darkness that hide the face of God from us. To sum up the excellences of charity, it is preferred not only to gifts, but to other graces, to faith and hope. Faith fixes on the Divine revelation, and assents thereto, relying on the Divine Redeemer. Hope fastens on future happiness, and waits for that; but in heaven, faith will be swallowed up in actual sight, and hope in enjoyment. There is no room to believe and hope, when we see and enjoy. But there, love will be made perfect. There we shall perfectly love God. And there we shall perfectly love one another. Blessed state! how much surpassing the best below! God is love, 1Jo 4:8,16. Where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face, there charity is in its greatest height; there only will it be perfected.
Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 361.4

Jesus is waiting with longing desire to open before His people the glory that will attend His second advent, and to carry them forward to a contemplation of the landscape of bliss. There are wonders to be revealed. A long lifetime of prayer and research will leave much unexplored and unexplained. But what we know not now will be revealed hereafter. The work of instruction begun here will be carried on to all eternity. The Lamb, as He leads the hosts of the redeemed to the fountain of living waters, will impart rich stores of knowledge; He will unravel mysteries in the works and providence of God that have never before been understood. LHU 361.4

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 670

The disciples still failed to understand Christ's words in their spiritual sense, and again He explained His meaning. By the Spirit, He said, He would manifest Himself to them. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things.” No more will you say, I cannot comprehend. No longer will you see through a glass, darkly. You shall “be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” Ephesians 3:18, 19. DA 670.1

The disciples were to bear witness to the life and work of Christ. Through their word He was to speak to all the people on the face of the earth. But in the humiliation and death of Christ they were to suffer great trial and disappointment. That after this experience their word might be accurate, Jesus promised that the Comforter should “bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” DA 670.2

“I have yet many things to say unto you,” He continued, “but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” Jesus had opened before His disciples a vast tract of truth. But it was most difficult for them to keep His lessons distinct from the traditions and maxims of the scribes and Pharisees. They had been educated to accept the teaching of the rabbis as the voice of God, and it still held a power over their minds, and molded their sentiments. Earthly ideas, temporal things, still had a large place in their thoughts. They did not understand the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, though He had so often explained it to them. Their minds had become confused. They did not comprehend the value of the scriptures Christ presented. Many of His lessons seemed almost lost upon them. Jesus saw that they did not lay hold of the real meaning of His words. He compassionately promised that the Holy Spirit should recall these sayings to their minds. And He had left unsaid many things that could not be comprehended by the disciples. These also would be opened to them by the Spirit. The Spirit was to quicken their understanding, that they might have an appreciation of heavenly things. “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come,” said Jesus, “He will guide you into all truth.” DA 670.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 804

The resurrection of Jesus was a type of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The countenance of the risen Saviour, His manner, His speech, were all familiar to His disciples. As Jesus arose from the dead, so those who sleep in Him are to rise again. We shall know our friends, even as the disciples knew Jesus. They may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured, in this mortal life, and they rise in perfect health and symmetry; yet in the glorified body their identity will be perfectly preserved. Then shall we know even as also we are known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. In the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, we shall recognize the lineaments of those we love. DA 804.1

When Jesus met with His disciples, He reminded them of the words He had spoken to them before His death, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalm concerning Him. “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” DA 804.2

The disciples began to realize the nature and extent of their work. They were to proclaim to the world the wonderful truths which Christ had entrusted to them. The events of His life, His death and resurrection, the prophecies that pointed to these events, the sacredness of the law of God, the mysteries of the plan of salvation, the power of Jesus for the remission of sins,—to all these things they were witnesses, and they were to make them known to the world. They were to proclaim the gospel of peace and salvation through repentance and the power of the Saviour. DA 805.1

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Ellen G. White
Education, 303

“These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.... They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters.” Revelation 7:14-17. Ed 303.1

“Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:” now we know in part; but then shall we know even as also we are known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. Ed 303.2

“They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” Revelation 22:4. Ed 303.3

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Ellen G. White
Education, 306

Of every gift that God has bestowed, leading men to unselfish effort, a record is kept in heaven. To trace this in its wide-spreading lines, to look upon those who by our efforts have been uplifted and ennobled, to behold in their history the outworking of true principles—this will be one of the studies and rewards of the heavenly school. Ed 306.1

There we shall know even as also we are known. There the loves and sympathies that God has planted in the soul will find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages, the sacred fellowship that binds together “the whole family in heaven and earth”—all are among the experiences of the hereafter. Ed 306.2

There will be music there, and song, such music and song as, save in the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard or mind conceived. Ed 307.1

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Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 96.3

Self-righteousness is the danger of this age; it separates the soul from Christ. Those who trust to their own righteousness cannot understand how salvation comes through Christ. They call sin righteousness and righteousness sin. They have no appreciation of the evil of transgression, no understanding of the terror of the law; for they do not respect God's moral standard. The reason there are so many spurious conversions in these days is that there is so low an appreciation of the law of God. Instead of God's standard of righteousness, men have erected a standard of their own by which to measure character. They see through a glass darkly and present false ideas of sanctification to the people, thus encouraging egotism, pride, and self-righteousness. The doctrine of sanctification advocated by many is full of deception, because it is flattering to the natural heart; but the kindest thing that can be preached to the sinner is the truth of the binding claims of the law of God. Faith and works must go hand in hand; for faith without works is dead, being alone. FW 96.3

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Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 368.1

Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. AG 368.1

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 651

In this life we can only begin to understand the wonderful theme of redemption. With our finite comprehension we may consider most earnestly the shame and the glory, the life and the death, the justice and the mercy, that meet in the cross; yet with the utmost stretch of our mental powers we fail to grasp its full significance. The length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of redeeming love are but dimly comprehended. The plan of redemption will not be fully understood, even when the ransomed see as they are seen and know as they are known; but through the eternal ages new truth will continually unfold to the wondering and delighted mind. Though the griefs and pains and temptations of earth are ended and the cause removed, the people of God will ever have a distinct, intelligent knowledge of what their salvation has cost. GC 651.1

The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. In Christ glorified they will behold Christ crucified. Never will it be forgotten that He whose power created and upheld the unnumbered worlds through the vast realms of space, the Beloved of God, the Majesty of heaven, He whom cherub and shining seraph delighted to adore—humbled Himself to uplift fallen man; that He bore the guilt and shame of sin, and the hiding of His Father's face, till the woes of a lost world broke His heart and crushed out His life on Calvary's cross. That the Maker of all worlds, the Arbiter of all destinies, should lay aside His glory and humiliate Himself from love to man will ever excite the wonder and adoration of the universe. As the nations of the saved look upon their Redeemer and behold the eternal glory of the Father shining in His countenance; as they behold His throne, which is from everlasting to everlasting, and know that His kingdom is to have no end, they break forth in rapturous song: “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His own most precious blood!” GC 651.2

The mystery of the cross explains all other mysteries. In the light that streams from Calvary the attributes of God which had filled us with fear and awe appear beautiful and attractive. Mercy, tenderness, and parental love are seen to blend with holiness, justice, and power. While we behold the majesty of His throne, high and lifted up, we see His character in its gracious manifestations, and comprehend, as never before, the significance of that endearing title, “Our Father.” GC 652.1

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 676-7

Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying: ... for the former things are passed away.” “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24. GC 676.1

There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the glorified new earth, “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” “Her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” Saith the Lord: “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Isaiah 62:3; Revelation 21:11, 24; Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3. GC 676.2

In the City of God “there shall be no night.” None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. “And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day. GC 676.3

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 303.1

Then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. Mar 303.1

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 466

And the natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. From the study of the word of life, students may come forth with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled. If they are, like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they may advance as he did in all branches of learning. Being pure-minded, they will become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty will be quickened. They may so educate and discipline themselves that all within the sphere of their influence shall see what man can be, and what he can do, when connected with the God of wisdom and power. MH 466.1

Our lifework here is a preparation for the life eternal. The education begun here will not be completed in this life; it will be going forward through all eternity—ever progressing, never completed. More and more fully will be revealed the wisdom and love of God in the plan of redemption. The Saviour, as He leads His children to the fountains of living waters, will impart rich stores of knowledge. And day by day the wonderful works of God, the evidences of His power in creating and sustaining the universe, will open before the mind in new beauty. In the light that shines from the throne, mysteries will disappear, and the soul will be filled with astonishment at the simplicity of the things that were never before comprehended. MH 466.2

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 353

Heavens Is a Real and Wonderful Place

Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 ML 353.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 254

College View, Nebraska

September 26, 1904

Dear Sister Marian,

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 316.1

God's greatest gift is Christ, whose life is ours, given for us. He died for us, and was raised for us, that we might come forth from the tomb to a glorious companionship with heavenly angels, to meet our loved ones and to recognize their faces, for the Christlikeness does not destroy their image, but transforms it into His glorious image. Every saint connected in family relationship here will know each other there. 3SM 316.1

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Ellen G. White
Steps to Christ, 113

The children of God are called to be representatives of Christ, showing forth the goodness and mercy of the Lord. As Jesus has revealed to us the true character of the Father, so we are to reveal Christ to a world that does not know His tender, pitying love. “As Thou hast sent Me into the world,” said Jesus, “even so have I also sent them into the world.” “I in them, and Thou in Me; ... that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:18, 23. The apostle Paul says to the disciples of Jesus, “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ,” “known and read of all men.” 2 Corinthians 3:3, 2. In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world. If you are Christ's follower, He sends in you a letter to the family, the village, the street, where you live. Jesus, dwelling in you, desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him. Perhaps they do not read the Bible, or do not hear the voice that speaks to them in its pages; they do not see the love of God through His works. But if you are a true representative of Jesus, it may be that through you they will be led to understand something of His goodness and be won to love and serve Him. SC 115.1

Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven. They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ. Their life and character should be such that through them others will get a right conception of Christ and of His service. SC 115.2

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 432

“I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Revelation 21:22. The people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and the Son. Now we “see through a glass, darkly.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. We behold the image of God reflected, as in a mirror, in the works of nature and in His dealings with men; but then we shall see Him face to face, without a dimming veil between. We shall stand in His presence and gaze upon the glory of His countenance. SR 432.1

There immortal minds will study with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There is no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body. SR 432.2

And as the years of eternity roll, they will bring richer and more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed beat with a stronger devotion, and they sweep the harps of gold with a firmer hand; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise. SR 432.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 706

By faith we should look to the hereafter and grasp the pledge of God of a growth of intellect, the human faculties uniting with the divine, and every power of the soul being brought into direct contact with the Source of light. We may rejoice that all that has perplexed us in the providences of God will then be made plain; things hard to be understood will find an explanation; and where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken purposes, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. Says the apostle Paul: “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 5T 706.1

Peter exhorts his brethren to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Whenever the people of God are growing in grace, they will be constantly obtaining a clearer understanding of His word. They will discern new light and beauty in its sacred truths. This has been true in the history of the church in all ages, and thus it will continue to the end. But as real spiritual life declines, it has ever been the tendency to cease to advance in the knowledge of the truth. Men rest satisfied with the light already received from God's word and discourage any further investigation of the Scriptures. They become conservative and seek to avoid discussion. 5T 706.2

The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God's people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what. 5T 707.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 309

But what is this compared with the joy that will be theirs in the great day of final revealing? “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face;” now we know in part, but then we shall know even as also we are known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. 6T 309.1

It is the reward of Christ's workers to enter into His joy. That joy, to which Christ Himself looks forward with eager desire, is presented in His request to His Father: “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” John 17:24. 6T 309.2

The angels were waiting to welcome Jesus as He ascended after His resurrection. The heavenly host longed to greet again their loved Commander, returned to them from the prison house of death. Eagerly they pressed about Him as He entered the gates of heaven. But He waved them back. His heart was with the lonely, sorrowing band of disciples whom He had left upon Olivet. It is still with His struggling children on earth, who have the battle with the destroyer yet to wage. “Father,” He says, “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” 6T 309.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 267

“These things have I spoken unto you in parables,” He said; “but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in parables, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.” John 16:25, margin. 8T 267.1

When on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, they understood the truths that Christ had spoken in parables. The teachings that had been mysteries to them were made clear. The understanding that came to them with the outpouring of the Spirit made them ashamed of their fanciful theories. Their suppositions and interpretations were foolishness when compared with the knowledge of heavenly things which they now received. They were led by the Spirit, and light shone into their once darkened understanding. 8T 267.2

But the disciples had not yet received the complete fulfillment of Christ's promise. They received all the knowledge of God that they could bear, but the complete fulfillment of the promise that Christ would show them plainly of the Father was yet to come. Thus it is today. Our knowledge of God is partial and imperfect. When the conflict is ended and the Man Christ Jesus acknowledges before the Father His faithful workers, who, in a world of sin, have borne true witness for Him, they will understand clearly what now are mysteries to them. 8T 267.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 328

*****

“Blessed is the man” whose “delight is in the law of Jehovah....
He shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water,
That bringeth forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also doth not wither;
And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
8T 328.1

Psalm 1:1-3, A. R. V. 8T 328

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 27

The pure in heart live as in the visible presence of God during the time He apportions them in this world. And they will also see Him face to face in the future, immortal state, as did Adam when he walked and talked with God in Eden. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. MB 27.1

Christ is “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), and it is His mission to restore to earth and heaven the peace that sin has broken. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1. Whoever consents to renounce sin and open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace. MB 27.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 68.2

The angels who do always behold the face of the Father in heaven would prefer to remain close by the side of God. But the Lord gives to every angel his work for this fallen world. Divine help is provided for men. They have the opportunity of cooperating with heavenly intelligences, of being laborers together with God. The possibilities of gaining a fitness for the presence of God, of being enabled to see His face, are placed before them. Heavenly angels are working to bring the human family into a close brotherhood, a oneness described by Christ as like to that existing between the Father and the Son. How can men so highly honored by God fail to appreciate their opportunities and privileges? How can they refuse to accept the divine help proffered? How much it is possible for human beings to gain if they will keep eternity in view. UL 68.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 156.3

The real evidence of a living God is not merely in theory; it is in the conviction which God has written in our hearts, illuminated and explained by His words. It is the living power in His created works seen by a sanctified eye. The precious faith inspired of God gives strength and nobility of character. The natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. All the philosophies of human nature in which God has not been recognized as all in all have led to confusion and shame. The life which we live by faith in the Son of God is a series of triumphs not always seen and understood by the interested parties, but with results reaching far into the future, where we shall see and know as we are known. UL 156.3

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