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John 1:45

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Nathanael - This apostle is supposed to be the same with Bartholomew, which is very likely, for these reasons

  1. That the evangelists who mention Bartholomew say nothing of Nathanael; and that St. John, who speaks of Nathanael, says nothing of Bartholomew.
  • No notice is taken any where of Bartholomew's vocation, unless his and that of Nathanael mentioned here be the same.
  • The name of Bartholomew is not a proper name; it signifies the son of Ptolomy; and Nathanael might have been his own name.
  • St. John seems to rank Nathanael with the apostles, when he says that Peter and Thomas, the two sons of Zebedee, Nathanael, and two other disciples, being gone a fishing, Jesus showed himself to them, John 21:2-4.
  • Moses in the law -

    See Genesis 3:16; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 49:10; Deuteronomy 18:18.

    And the prophets - See Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:5; Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 53:1, etc.; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:14, Jeremiah 33:15; Ezekiel 34:23; Ezekiel 37:24; Daniel 9:24; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 6:12; Zechariah 9:9; Zechariah 12:10.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    Moses, in the law - Moses, in that part of the Old Testament which he wrote, called by the Jews “the law.” See Deuteronomy 18:15, Deuteronomy 18:18; Genesis 49:10; Genesis 3:15.

    And the prophets - Isaiah 53:1-12; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 9:24-27; Jeremiah 23:5-6; etc.

    Jesus of Nazareth … - They spoke according to common apprehension. They spoke of him as the son of Joseph because he was commonly supposed to be. They spoke of him as dwelling at Nazareth, though they might not have been ignorant that he was born at Bethlehem.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    See the nature of true Christianity, it is following Jesus; devoting ourselves to him, and treading in his steps. Observe the objection Nathanael made. All who desire to profit by the word of God, must beware of prejudices against places, or denominations of men. They should examine for themselves, and they will sometimes find good where they looked for none. Many people are kept from the ways of religion by the unreasonable prejudices they conceive. The best way to remove false notions of religion, is to make trial of it. In Nathanael there was no guile. His profession was not hypocritical. He was not a dissembler, nor dishonest; he was a sound character, a really upright, godly man. Christ knows what men are indeed. Does He know us? Let us desire to know him. Let us seek and pray to be Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; truly Christians, approved of Christ himself. Some things weak, imperfect, and sinful, are found in all, but hypocrisy belongs not to a believer's character. Jesus witnessed what passed when Nathanael was under the fig-tree. Probably he was then in fervent prayer, seeking direction as to the Hope and Consolation of Israel, where no human eye observed him. This showed him that our Lord knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together.
    Ellen G. White
    Reflecting Christ, 245.2

    The work ... has had to commence small; but ... it can be managed so as to become self-sustaining. One great means by which this can be accomplished will be by the well-directed efforts of those already in the truth to bring in others who will be a strength and support to the work. This was the way the Christian church was established. Christ first selected a few persons, and bade them follow Him. Then they went in search of their relatives and acquaintances and brought them to Christ. This is the way we are to labor. A few souls brought out and fully established on the truth will, like the first disciples, be laborers for others.... The burden now is to convince souls of the truth. This can best be done by personal efforts, by bringing the truth into their houses, praying with them, and opening to them the Scriptures.—The Review and Herald, December 8, 1885. RC 245.2

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    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 139-42

    “He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” DA 139.1

    If John and Andrew had possessed the unbelieving spirit of the priests and rulers, they would not have been found as learners at the feet of Jesus. They would have come to Him as critics, to judge His words. Many thus close the door to the most precious opportunities. But not so did these first disciples. They had responded to the Holy Spirit's call in the preaching of John the Baptist. Now they recognized the voice of the heavenly Teacher. To them the words of Jesus were full of freshness and truth and beauty. A divine illumination was shed upon the teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures. The many-sided themes of truth stood out in new light. DA 139.2

    It is contrition and faith and love that enable the soul to receive wisdom from heaven. Faith working by love is the key of knowledge, and everyone that loveth “knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7. DA 139.3

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    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 231

    “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14, 15. DA 231.1

    The Messiah's coming had been first announced in Judea. In the temple at Jerusalem the birth of the forerunner had been foretold to Zacharias as he ministered before the altar. On the hills of Bethlehem the angels had proclaimed the birth of Jesus. To Jerusalem the magi had come in search of Him. In the temple Simeon and Anna had testified to His divinity. “Jerusalem, and all Judea” had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist; and the deputation from the Sanhedrin, with the multitude, had heard his testimony concerning Jesus. In Judea, Christ had received His first disciples. Here much of His early ministry had been spent. The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin,—His Sonship to the Eternal. DA 231.2

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    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 292

    These disciples had been for some time associated with Jesus in active labor. John and James, Andrew and Peter, with Philip, Nathanael, and Matthew, had been more closely connected with Him than the others, and had witnessed more of His miracles. Peter, James, and John stood in still nearer relationship to Him. They were almost constantly with Him, witnessing His miracles, and hearing His words. John pressed into still closer intimacy with Jesus, so that he is distinguished as the one whom Jesus loved. The Saviour loved them all, but John's was the most receptive spirit. He was younger than the others, and with more of the child's confiding trust he opened his heart to Jesus. Thus he came more into sympathy with Christ, and through him the Saviour's deepest spiritual teaching was communicated to His people. DA 292.1

    At the head of one of the groups into which the apostles are divided stands the name of Philip. He was the first disciple to whom Jesus addressed the distinct command, “Follow Me.” Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. He had listened to the teaching of John the Baptist, and had heard his announcement of Christ as the Lamb of God. Philip was a sincere seeker for truth, but he was slow of heart to believe. Although he had joined himself to Christ, yet his announcement of Him to Nathanael shows that he was not fully convinced of the divinity of Jesus. Though Christ had been proclaimed by the voice from heaven as the Son of God, to Philip He was “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45. Again, when the five thousand were fed, Philip's lack of faith was shown. It was to test him that Jesus questioned, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip's answer was on the side of unbelief: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” John 6:5, 7. Jesus was grieved. Although Philip had seen His works and felt His power, yet he had not faith. When the Greeks inquired of Philip concerning Jesus, he did not seize upon the opportunity of introducing them to the Saviour, but he went to tell Andrew. Again, in those last hours before the crucifixion, the words of Philip were such as to discourage faith. When Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” the Saviour answered, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.... If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.” From Philip came the response of unbelief: “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” John 14:5-8. So slow of heart, so weak in faith, was that disciple who for three years had been with Jesus. DA 292.2

    In happy contrast to Philip's unbelief was the childlike trust of Nathanael. He was a man of intensely earnest nature, one whose faith took hold upon unseen realities. Yet Philip was a student in the school of Christ, and the divine Teacher bore patiently with his unbelief and dullness. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, Philip became a teacher after the divine order. He knew whereof he spoke, and he taught with an assurance that carried conviction to the hearers. DA 293.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Evangelism, 446

    Tact Required to Break Down Prejudice—Nathanael was praying to know whether this was indeed the Christ of whom Moses and the prophets had spoken. While he continued to pray, one of those who had been brought to Christ, Philip by name, called to him and said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Notice how quickly prejudice arises. Nathanael says, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip knew the strong prejudice that existed in the minds of many against Nazareth, and he did not try to argue with him, for fear of raising his combativeness, but simply said, “Come and see.” Ev 446.1

    Here is a lesson for all our ministers, colporteurs, and missionary workers. When you meet those, who, like Nathanael, are prejudiced against the truth, do not urge your peculiar views too strongly. Talk with them at first of subjects upon which you can agree. Bow with them in prayer, and in humble faith present your petitions at the throne of grace. Both you and they will be brought into a closer connection with heaven, prejudice will be weakened, and it will be easier to reach the heart.—Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 149 (1886). Ev 446.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Welfare Ministry, 60

    Christ's Method Brings True Success—Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”—The Ministry of Healing, 143. WM 60.1

    This was the way the Christian Church was established. Christ first selected a few persons and bade them follow Him. They then went in search of their relatives and acquaintances, and brought them to Christ. This is the way we are to labor. A few souls brought out and fully established on the truth will, like the first disciples, be laborers for others.—The Review and Herald, December 8, 1885. WM 60.2

    The Divine Example of Personal Evangelism—Jesus came in personal contact with men. He did not stand aloof and apart from those who needed His help. He entered the homes of men, comforted the mourner, healed the sick, aroused the careless, and went about doing good. And if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we must do as He did. We must give men the same kind of help that He gave.—The Review and Herald, April 24, 1888. WM 60.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Welfare Ministry, 64-5

    There is a large field open before the self-supporting gospel worker. Many may gain valuable experiences in ministry while toiling a portion of the time at some form of manual labor, and by this method strong workers may be developed for important service in needy fields.—The Acts of the Apostles, 355. WM 64.1

    Go in the Spirit That Endued Paul—Go to your neighbors one by one, and come close to them till their hearts are warmed by your unselfish interest and love. Sympathize with them, pray with them, watch for opportunities to do them good, and as you can, gather a few together and open the Word of God to their darkened minds. Keep watching as he who must render an account for the souls of men, and make the most of the privileges that God gives you of laboring with Him in His moral vineyard. WM 64.2

    Do not neglect speaking to your neighbors and doing them all the kindness in your power, that you “by all means may save some.” We need to seek for the spirit that constrained the apostle Paul to go from house to house, pleading with tears and teaching “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888. WM 64.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Conflict and Courage, 280.1

    Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. John 1:45. CC 280.1

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    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 145

    From the day when she heard the angel's announcement in the home at Nazareth Mary had treasured every evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. His sweet, unselfish life assured her that He could be no other than the Sent of God. Yet there came to her also doubts and disappointments, and she had longed for the time when His glory should be revealed. Death had separated her from Joseph, who had shared her knowledge of the mystery of the birth of Jesus. Now there was no one to whom she could confide her hopes and fears. The past two months had been very sorrowful. She had been parted from Jesus, in whose sympathy she found comfort; she pondered upon the words of Simeon, “A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also” (Luke 2:35); she recalled the three days of agony when she thought Jesus lost to her forever; and with an anxious heart she awaited His return. DA 145.1

    At the marriage feast she meets Him, the same tender, dutiful son. Yet He is not the same. His countenance is changed. It bears the traces of His conflict in the wilderness, and a new expression of dignity and power gives evidence of His heavenly mission. With Him is a group of young men, whose eyes follow Him with reverence, and who call Him Master. These companions recount to Mary what they have seen and heard at the baptism and elsewhere. They conclude by declaring, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write.” John 1:45. DA 145.2

    As the guests assemble, many seem to be preoccupied with some topic of absorbing interest. A suppressed excitement pervades the company. Little groups converse together in eager but quiet tones, and wondering glances are turned upon the Son of Mary. As Mary had heard the disciples’ testimony in regard to Jesus, she had been gladdened with the assurance that her long-cherished hopes were not in vain. Yet she would have been more than human if there had not mingled with this holy joy a trace of the fond mother's natural pride. As she saw the many glances bent upon Jesus, she longed to have Him prove to the company that He was really the Honored of God. She hoped there might be opportunity for Him to work a miracle before them. DA 145.3

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    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 292

    These disciples had been for some time associated with Jesus in active labor. John and James, Andrew and Peter, with Philip, Nathanael, and Matthew, had been more closely connected with Him than the others, and had witnessed more of His miracles. Peter, James, and John stood in still nearer relationship to Him. They were almost constantly with Him, witnessing His miracles, and hearing His words. John pressed into still closer intimacy with Jesus, so that he is distinguished as the one whom Jesus loved. The Saviour loved them all, but John's was the most receptive spirit. He was younger than the others, and with more of the child's confiding trust he opened his heart to Jesus. Thus he came more into sympathy with Christ, and through him the Saviour's deepest spiritual teaching was communicated to His people. DA 292.1

    At the head of one of the groups into which the apostles are divided stands the name of Philip. He was the first disciple to whom Jesus addressed the distinct command, “Follow Me.” Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. He had listened to the teaching of John the Baptist, and had heard his announcement of Christ as the Lamb of God. Philip was a sincere seeker for truth, but he was slow of heart to believe. Although he had joined himself to Christ, yet his announcement of Him to Nathanael shows that he was not fully convinced of the divinity of Jesus. Though Christ had been proclaimed by the voice from heaven as the Son of God, to Philip He was “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45. Again, when the five thousand were fed, Philip's lack of faith was shown. It was to test him that Jesus questioned, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip's answer was on the side of unbelief: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” John 6:5, 7. Jesus was grieved. Although Philip had seen His works and felt His power, yet he had not faith. When the Greeks inquired of Philip concerning Jesus, he did not seize upon the opportunity of introducing them to the Saviour, but he went to tell Andrew. Again, in those last hours before the crucifixion, the words of Philip were such as to discourage faith. When Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” the Saviour answered, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.... If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.” From Philip came the response of unbelief: “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” John 14:5-8. So slow of heart, so weak in faith, was that disciple who for three years had been with Jesus. DA 292.2

    In happy contrast to Philip's unbelief was the childlike trust of Nathanael. He was a man of intensely earnest nature, one whose faith took hold upon unseen realities. Yet Philip was a student in the school of Christ, and the divine Teacher bore patiently with his unbelief and dullness. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, Philip became a teacher after the divine order. He knew whereof he spoke, and he taught with an assurance that carried conviction to the hearers. DA 293.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Faith and Works, 87.3

    When the grace of Christ is implanted in the soul by the Holy Spirit, its possessor will become humble in spirit and will seek for the society of those whose conversation is upon heavenly things. Then the Spirit will take the things of Christ and show them unto us and will glorify, not the receiver, but the Giver. If, therefore, you have the sacred peace of Christ in your heart, your lips will be filled with praise and thanksgiving to God. Your prayers, the discharge of your duty, your benevolence, your self-denial, will not be the theme of your thought or conversation, but you will magnify Him who gave Himself for you when you were yet a sinner. You will say: “I give myself to Jesus. I have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write.” As you praise Him you will have a precious blessing, and all the praise and glory for that which is done through your instrumentality will be given back to God. FW 87.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 365

    Ministers of Jesus Christ should apportion some part of God's vineyard to men who are standing idle in the market place. If they blunder, then correct their mistakes, and set them at work again. Many more have been hindered from going forth into the work than have been encouraged to trade upon their talents, and yet it is by using their ability that they learn how to employ their talents. Many have gone to Battle Creek to obtain an education who could have been better instructed in their own country. Time has been lost, money has been needlessly expended, a work has been left undone, and souls have been lost, because of the miscalculations of those who thought they were serving God. The Lord lives, and His Holy Spirit presides everywhere. The impression must not prevail that Battle Creek is the Jerusalem of the world, and that all must go up there to worship. Those who desire to learn, and who make every possible effort to acquire knowledge, walking conscientiously in the light of the truth, need not journey to Battle Creek. God is our teacher; and those who would improve their talents where they are, will be blessed with teachers sent of God to instruct them,—teachers who have been preparing to do a work for the Master. To spend more time, to expend more money, is to do worse than to lose it; for those who seek to obtain an education at the expense of practical godliness are on the losing side. That which they acquire in educational lines during the time when they should have entered upon the work, is mere waste and loss. The heavenly intelligences are waiting for human agents with whom they can co-operate as missionaries in the dark parts of the earth. God is waiting for men to engage in home missionary work in our large cities, and men and women are retained in Battle Creek when they should be distributed in the cities and towns, along the highways and hedges. They should be calling and bidding men to come to the marriage supper, for all things are now ready. There will be missionaries who will do good work in the Master's vineyard who do not go to Battle Creek. FE 365.1

    Those who go to Battle Creek meet with temptations that they did not suppose could exist in that place. They meet with discouragements which they need not have had, and they are not helped in their religious experience by going to that place. They lose much time because they know not what they are to do, and no one is prepared to tell them. They lose much time in following occupations which have no bearing upon the work for which they desire to fit themselves. The common and the sacred work are co-mingled, and stand on a level. But this is not a wise policy. God looks on and does not approve. Many things might have been done that would have had lasting influence, had they worked moderately and in humility in the place where they were. Time is passing; souls are deciding either for evil or good, and the warfare is constantly increasing. How many who know the truth for this time are working in harmony with its principles? It is true that something is being done; but more, far more, should have been done. The work is accumulating, and the time for doing the work is diminishing. It is now time for all to be burning and shining lights; and yet many are failing to keep their lamps supplied with the oil of grace, and trimmed and burning so that light may gleam out today. FE 366.1

    Too many are counting on a long stretch of a tomorrow; but that is a mistake. Let every one be educated in such a way as to show the importance for the special work for today. Let every one work for God and work for souls; let each one show wisdom, and never be found in idleness, waiting for someone to come around and set him to work. The “some one” who could set you to work is overcrowded with responsibilities and time is lost in waiting for his directions. God will give you wisdom in reforming at once; for the call is still made, “Son, go work today in My vineyard.” Some may still be undecided, yet the call is still heard, “Go work today in My vineyard.” “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” The Lord prefaces the requirement by the use of the word “son.” How tender, how compassionate, yet withal, how urgent! His invitation to work in His vineyard is also a command. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”—Special Testimonies On Education, March 21, 1895. FE 366.2

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    Ellen G. White
    The Great Controversy, 350

    Saith the Lord: “My people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:26. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5. When on His resurrection day these disciples met the Saviour, and their hearts burned within them as they listened to His words; when they looked upon the head and hands and feet that had been bruised for them; when, before His ascension, Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands in blessing, bade them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel,” adding, “Lo, I am with you alway” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:20); when on the Day of Pentecost the promised Comforter descended and the power from on high was given and the souls of the believers thrilled with the conscious presence of their ascended Lord—then, even though, like His, their pathway led through sacrifice and martyrdom, would they have exchanged the ministry of the gospel of His grace, with the “crown of righteousness” to be received at His coming, for the glory of an earthly throne, which had been the hope of their earlier discipleship? He who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” had granted them, with the fellowship of His sufferings, the communion of His joy—the joy of “bringing many sons unto glory,” joy unspeakable, an “eternal weight of glory,” to which, says Paul, “our light affliction, which is but for a moment,” is “not worthy to be compared.” GC 350.1

    The experience of the disciples who preached the “gospel of the kingdom” at the first advent of Christ, had its counterpart in the experience of those who proclaimed the message of His second advent. As the disciples went out preaching, “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand,” so Miller and his associates proclaimed that the longest and last prophetic period brought to view in the Bible was about to expire, that the judgment was at hand, and the everlasting kingdom was to be ushered in. The preaching of the disciples in regard to time was based on the seventy weeks of Daniel 9. The message given by Miller and his associates announced the termination of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, of which the seventy weeks form a part. The preaching of each was based upon the fulfillment of a different portion of the same great prophetic period. GC 351.1

    Like the first disciples, William Miller and his associates did not, themselves, fully comprehend the import of the message which they bore. Errors that had been long established in the church prevented them from arriving at a correct interpretation of an important point in the prophecy. Therefore, though they proclaimed the message which God had committed to them to be given to the world, yet through a misapprehension of its meaning they suffered disappointment. GC 351.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Lift Him Up, 81.1

    We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write. John 1:45. LHU 81.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 25-6

    There is yet much precious truth to be revealed to the people in this time of peril and darkness, but it is Satan's determined purpose to prevent the light of truth from shining into the hearts of men. If we would have the light that has been provided for us, we should show our desire for it by diligently searching the word of God. Precious truths that have long been in obscurity are to be revealed in a light that will make manifest their sacred worth; for God will glorify His word, that it may appear in a light in which we have never before beheld it. But those who profess to love the truth must put to the stretch their powers, that they may comprehend the deep things of the word, that God may be glorified and His people may be blessed and enlightened. With humble hearts, subdued by the grace of God, you should come to the task of searching the Scriptures, prepared to accept every ray of divine light, and to walk in the way of holiness. CSW 25.1

    In searching the Scriptures you are not to endeavor to interpret their utterances so as to agree with your preconceived ideas, but come as a learner to understand the foundation principles of the faith of Christ. With eager interest, with fervent prayer, come to the word of God, that you may know what is truth, manifesting the same spirit as did Nathanael when he earnestly besought the Lord that he might know the truth. Light will come to every earnest seeker for truth, as it came to Nathanael. Jesus saw him as he bowed in prayer under the fig tree, and while he was still petitioning for light, the messenger came to call him, and to lead him to the Source of all light. CSW 25.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Selected Messages Book 1, 414-5

    Nathanael heard John as he pointed to the Saviour and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)! Nathanael looked at Jesus, but he was disappointed in the appearance of the world's Redeemer. Could He who bore the marks of toil and poverty be the Messiah? Jesus was a worker; He had toiled with humble workingmen, and Nathanael went away. But he did not form his opinion decidedly as to what the character of Jesus was. He knelt down under a fig tree, inquiring of God if indeed this man was the Messiah. While he was there, Philip came and said, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” But the word “Nazareth” again aroused his unbelief, and he said, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” He was full of prejudice, but Philip did not seek to combat his prejudice; he simply said, “Come and see.” When Nathanael came into the presence of Jesus, Jesus said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael was amazed. He said, “Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee” (John 1:45, 46, 47, 48). 1SM 414.1

    Would it not be well for us to go under the fig tree to plead with God as to what is truth? Would not the eye of God be upon us as it was upon Nathanael? Nathanael believed on the Lord, and exclaimed, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man” (John 1:49-51). 1SM 415.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 37-8

    Those who become interested have to meet sophistry and misrepresentation from popular ministers, and they know not how to answer these things. The truth presented by the living preacher should be published in as compact a form as possible, and circulated widely. As far as practicable, let the important discourses given at our camp meetings be published in the newspapers. Thus the truth which was placed before a limited number may find access to many minds. And where the truth has been misrepresented, the people will have an opportunity of knowing just what the minister said. 6T 37.1

    Put your light on a candlestick, that it may give light to all who are in the house. If the truth has been given to us, we are to make it so plain to others that the honest in heart may recognize it and rejoice in its bright rays. 6T 37.2

    Nathanael prayed that he might know whether or not the One announced by John the Baptist as the Messiah was indeed the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. While he was laying his perplexities before God and asking for light, Philip called him, and in earnest, joyful tones exclaimed: “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45. 6T 37.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 428

    Let those who desire to work for God begin at home, in their own household, in their own neighborhood, among their own friends. Here they will find a favorable missionary field. This home missionary work is a test, revealing their ability or inability for service in a wider field. 6T 428.1

    The case of Philip and Nathanael is an example of true home missionary work. Philip had seen Jesus and was convinced that He was the Messiah. In his joy he wished his friends also to know the good news. He desired that the truth which had brought such comfort to him should be shared by Nathanael. True grace in the heart will always reveal its presence by diffusing itself. Philip went in search of Nathanael, and as he called, Nathanael answered from his place of prayer under the fig tree. Nathanael had not had the privilege of listening to the words of Jesus, but he was being drawn toward Him in spirit. He longed for light, and was at that moment sincerely praying for it. Philip with joy exclaimed: “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth.” John 1:45. At Philip's invitation Nathanael sought and found the Saviour, and in his turn joined in the work of winning souls for Christ. 6T 428.2

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