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From Heaven With Love

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    Nathanael's Secret Prayers Are Heard

    When Philip called him, Nathanael had withdrawn to a quiet grove to meditate on the prophecies concerning the Messiah. He prayed that if the one announced by John was the Deliverer, it might be made known to him. The Holy Spirit rested upon him with assurance that God had visited His people. Philip knew that his friend was searching the prophecies, and while Nathanael was praying under a fig tree, Philip discovered his retreat. They had often prayed together in this secluded spot hidden by the foliage.HLv 87.2

    The message, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write,” seemed to Nathanael a direct answer to his prayer. But Philip added, “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Prejudice arose in Nathanael's heart, and he exclaimed, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”HLv 87.3

    Philip said, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” In surprise Nathanael exclaimed, “Whence knowest Thou me?” Jesus answered, “Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”HLv 87.4

    It was enough. The divine Spirit that had borne witness to Nathanael in his solitary prayer under the fig tree spoke to him in the words of Jesus. Nathanael had come to Christ with an honest desire for truth, and now his desire was met. He said, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel!”HLv 87.5

    If Nathanael had trusted to the rabbis for guidance, he would never have found Jesus. It was by seeing and judging for himself that he became a disciple. So today, many trust to human authority. Like Nathanael, we need to study God's Word for ourselves and pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. He who saw Nathanael under the fig tree will see us in the secret place of prayer. Angels are near to those who in humility seek for divine guidance.HLv 87.6

    With the calling of John, Andrew, Simon, Philip, and Nathanael, began the foundation of the Christian church. John directed two of his disciples to Christ. Then one of these, Andrew, found his brother. Philip was then called, and he went in search of Nathanael. These examples teach the importance of making direct appeals to our kindred, friends, and neighbors. There are those who have never made a personal effort to bring even one soul to the Saviour.HLv 88.1

    Many have gone down to ruin who might have been saved if their neighbors, common men and women, had put forth personal effort for them. In the family, the neighborhood, the town where we live, there is work for us to do. No sooner is one converted than there is born within him a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus.HLv 88.2

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