Sabbath, October 25, 2008
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.
• To learn to know well the true kingdom of light that drives away darkness.
• To reveal, through personal testimony, that we are children of the light.
• To give a good testimony of the light through our physical, mental, and spiritual health.
“But those who live for God and heaven, pointing out the way of life to others, will find that the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. And they will hear by and by the welcome invitation, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ The joy of Christ was that of seeing souls saved in His glorious kingdom; and for this joy He ‘endured the cross, despising the shame.’ But soon ‘He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.’ How happy will those be, who, having shared in His work, are permitted to share in His joy!” –Counsels on Stewardship, p. 213.
The kingdomof light
1. Who is the center of the kingdom of light? What are His rays?
John 1:4, 14 In him was life; and the life was the light of men… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
“Just as the sun compares with the lesser lights in the heavens, so did Christ, the Source of light, compare with the teachers of His day…. Measured by finite minds, men are called learned and great, but with all their boasted wisdom, their science and learning, they cannot thus know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent…. No man who has ever lived, or who ever will live, can claim to be the infallible guide, the supreme revealer of truth. Men may seek to reach the highest standard in learning, but there is One, ‘a teacher sent from God,’ who still stands higher than they. No human teacher can equal Him.” –That I May Know Him, p. 97.
2. What is the sceptre of the kingdom of light?
Psalm 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
“Of Christ it is written, ‘Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.’ ” –The Signs of the Times, September 4, 1893.
3. Who else is part of the kingdom of light? What do they see, and of what do they drink daily?
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Revelation 19:7, 8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
“All who choose Christ’s kingdom of love and righteousness and peace, making its interest paramount to all other, are linked to the world above, and every blessing needed for this life is theirs. In the book of God’s providence, the volume of life, we are each given a page. That page contains every particular of our history; even the hairs of the head are numbered. God’s children are never absent from His mind.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 313.
“We must each come to the fountain and drink for ourselves. A thousand around us may take of the stream of salvation, but we shall not be refreshed unless we drink of the healing stream ourselves. We must see the beauty, the light of God’s Word for ourselves, and kindle our taper at the divine altar, that we may go to the world, holding forth the Word of life as a bright, shining lamp….” –That I May Know Him, p. 172.
Children of light in a dark world
4. What will characterize our Christian service if it is to be a source of light?
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 25:14, 15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
“The parable of the talents … has a personal and individual application to every man, woman, and child possessed of the powers of reason…. When the master of the house called his servants he gave to every man his work. The whole family of God are included in the responsibility of using their Lord’s goods. Every individual, from the lowliest and most obscure to the greatest and most exalted, is a moral agent endowed with abilities for which he is accountable to God…. The spiritual, mental, and physical ability, the influence, station, possessions, affections, sympathies, all are precious talents to be used in the cause of the Master for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died.” –In Heavenly Places, p. 224.
“To walk in the light means advancement and progress in spiritual attainments. Paul declared, ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but … forgetting those things which are behind,’ constantly beholding the Pattern, I reach ‘forth unto those things which are before.’ To walk in the light means to ‘walk uprightly,’ to walk ‘in the way of the Lord,’ to ‘walk by faith,’ to ‘walk in the Spirit,’ to ‘walk in the truth,’ to ‘walk in love,’ to ‘walk in the newness of life.’ It is ‘perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ ” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 200.
5. What attitude do God’s children have toward sin?
Ephesians 5:11-13 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 266.
6. What should be taken into consideration when evil must be rebuked?
Galatians 6:1, 2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
“While ministers of Christ must denounce sin and ungodliness, impurity and falsehood, while they are sometimes called to rebuke iniquity among the high as well as the low, showing them that the indignation of God will fall upon the transgressors of His law, yet they should not be overbearing or tyrannical; they should manifest kindness and love, a spirit to save rather than to destroy.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 486.
7. How careful should we be with the defects of our brethren? Why?
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
“God does not want us to place ourselves upon the judgment seat and judge each other…. When we see errors in others, let us remember that we have faults graver, perhaps, in the sight of God than the fault we condemn in our brother. Instead of publishing his defects, ask God to bless him and to help him to overcome his error. Christ will approve of this spirit and action, and will open the way for you to speak a word of wisdom that will impart strength and help to him who is weak in the faith.…
“Instead of finding fault with others, let us be critical with ourselves. The question with each one of us should be, Is my heart right before God?
Will this course of action glorify my Father which is in heaven? If you have cherished a wrong spirit, let it be banished from the soul. It is your duty to eradicate from your heart everything that is of a defiling nature. Every root of bitterness should be plucked up, lest others be contaminated by its baleful influence. Do not allow one poisonous plant to remain in the soil of your heart. Root it out this very hour, and plant in its stead the plant of love. Let Jesus be enshrined in the soul.” –That I May Know Him, p. 187.
Rays of light in the health message
8. What other rays of light has the Lord bestowed upon His people to make them shine in the world?
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 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.
“December 10, 1871, I was again shown that the health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel’s message as the hand is with the body. The law of ten commandments has been lightly regarded by man; but the Lord would not come to punish the transgressors of that law without first sending them a message of warning. The third angel proclaims that message. Had men ever been obedient to the law of ten commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not be.
“Men and women cannot violate natural law by indulging depraved appetite and lustful passions, and not violate the law of God. Therefore He has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us, that we may see our sin in violating the laws which He has established in our being. All our enjoyment or suffering may be traced to obedience or transgression of natural law.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 69.
9. How can we preserve spiritual and physical health?
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
“God desires us to reach the standard of perfection made possible for us by the gift of Christ. He calls upon us to make our choice on the right side, to connect with heavenly agencies, to adopt principles that will restore in us the divine image. In His written word and in the great book of nature He has revealed the principles of life. It is our work to obtain a knowledge of these principles, and by obedience to cooperate with Him in restoring health to the body as well as to the soul.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 16.
“Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent upon physical strength and activity; whatever promotes physical health, promotes the development of a strong mind and a well-balanced character. Without health, no one can as distinctly understand or as completely fulfill his obligations to himself, to his fellow beings, or to his Creator. Therefore the health should be as faithfully guarded as the character. A knowledge of physiology and hygiene should be the basis of all educational effort.” –Child Guidance, pp. 360, 361.
10. How can we have a living experience and receive advancing light?
1 John 3:18, 19 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
“If we ever know the truth, it will be because we practice it. We must have a living experience in the things of God before we are able to understand His word. This experimental knowledge is what strengthens the intellect and builds us up into Christ our living Head.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 97.
“The people of God must move from a settled principle, making it their first principle to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then go on from light to still greater light….” –This Day with God, p. 50.