I would like to share this brief compilation with you of some of Sister White’s commentary on John 17:3 – to inspire us with more of an appreciation for God’s Word, and what we most need in it, as we participate in the revival reading plan together. To know God should be everything to us, and we should let nothing get in the way! Our eternal life is at stake!
“This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” This is a knowledge of such value that no language can describe it; it is of highest worth in this world, and is far-reaching as eternity. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”
— Special Testimonies on Education, p. 217
Like our Saviour, we are in this world to do service for God. We are here to become like God in character, and by a life of service to reveal Him to the world. In order to be co-workers with God, in order to become like Him and to reveal His character, we must know Him aright. We must know Him as He reveals Himself.
A knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation. It is this alone that can make us like God in character.
This is the knowledge needed by all who are working for the uplifting of their fellow men. Transformation of character, purity of life, efficiency in service, adherence to correct principles, all depend upon a right knowledge of God. This knowledge is the essential preparation both for this life and for the life to come.
“The knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10.
Through a knowledge of Him are given unto us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” 2 Peter 1:3.
“This is life eternal,” said Jesus, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3.
— Ministry of Healing, pp. 409-410
“The excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” “The words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are spirit, and they are life.” “This is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him whom Thou didst send.” Ecclesiastes 7:12; John 6:63; 17:3, R.V.
The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God.
The life thus imparted is in like manner sustained. “By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4) shall man live.
The mind, the soul, is built up by that upon which it feeds; and it rests with us to determine upon what it shall be fed. It is within the power of everyone to choose the topics that shall occupy the thoughts and shape the character. Of every human being privileged with access to the Scriptures, God says, “I have written to him the great things of My law.” “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Hosea 8:12; Jeremiah 33:3.
With the word of God in his hands, every human being, wherever his lot in life may be cast, may have such companionship as he shall choose. In its pages he may hold converse with the noblest and best of the human race, and may listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks with men. As he studies and meditates upon the themes into which “the angels desire to look” (1 Peter 1:12), he may have their companionship. He may follow the steps of the heavenly Teacher, and listen to His words as when He taught on mountain and plain and sea. He may dwell in this world in the atmosphere of heaven, imparting to earth’s sorrowing and tempted ones thoughts of hope and longings for holiness; himself coming closer and still closer into fellowship with the Unseen; like him of old who walked with God, drawing nearer and nearer the threshold of the eternal world, until the portals shall open, and he shall enter there. He will find himself no stranger. The voices that will greet him are the voices of the holy ones, who, unseen, were on earth his companions—voices that here he learned to distinguish and to love. He who through the word of God has lived in fellowship with heaven, will find himself at home in heaven’s companionship.
— Education, pp. 126-127
In His prayer to the Father, Christ gave to the world a lesson which should be graven on mind and soul. “This is life eternal,” He said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. This is true education. It imparts power. The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe.
This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching the word of God. And this treasure may be found by every soul who will give all to obtain it.
“If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:3-5.
— Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 114
“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” O, do we know God as we should? What comfort, what joy, we should have if we were to learn daily the lessons he desires us to learn! We must know him by an experimental knowledge. It will be profitable for us to spend more time in secret prayer, in becoming personally acquainted with our Heavenly Father. In our weakness, we may come to him, and ask him to impart to us an understanding of what he will do for us, in separating from us everything that is unlike his own character.
— Review and Herald, August 15, 1907, Art. A