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“The Light of the World” (UL 184)

The Upward Look, Chapter 184

The Light of the World

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5. {UL 198.1}

Before the fall of Adam, not a cloud rested on the mind of our first parents to obscure their clear perception of the divine character of God. They were perfectly conformed to the will of God. A beautiful light, the light of God, surrounded them. Nature was their lesson book. The Lord instructed them in regard to the natural world and then left with them this open book that they might behold beauty in every object upon which their eyes should rest. The Lord visited the holy pair, and instructed them through the works of His hands. {UL 198.2}

The beauties of nature are an expression of the love of God for human intelligences, and in the Garden of Eden the existence of God was demonstrated in the objects of nature that surrounded our first parents. Every tree planted in the Garden spoke to them, saying that the invisible things of God were clearly seen, being understood by the things which were made, even His eternal power and Godhead. {UL 198.3}

But while thus God could be discerned in nature, this affords no solid argument in favor of a perfect knowledge of God being revealed in nature to Adam and his posterity after the Fall. Nature could convey her lessons to man in his innocence, but sin and transgression brought a blight upon nature, and intervened between nature and nature's God. Had man never disobeyed his Creator, had he remained in his state of perfect rectitude, he could have understood and known God. But when man disobeyed God, he gave evidence that he believed the words of an apostate rather than the words of God. . . . {UL 198.4}

Adam and Eve listened to the voice of the tempter, and sinned against God. The light, the garments of heavenly innocence, departed from these tried, deceived souls, and in parting with the garments of innocence, they drew about them the dark robes of ignorance of God. The clear and perfect light of innocence, which had hitherto surrounded them, had lightened everything which they approached; but deprived of that heavenly light, the posterity of Adam could no longer trace the character of God in His created works. {UL 198.5}

Therefore, after the Fall, nature was not the only teacher of man. In order that the world might not remain in darkness, in eternal, spiritual night, the God of nature must meet man in Jesus Christ. The Son of God came to the world as a revelation of the Father. He was "the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."--Manuscript 86, July 3, 1898, "Notes of the Week of Prayer." {UL 198.6}

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