Sabbath, April 6, 2013
“He whose heart has responded to the divine touch will be seeking for that which will increase his knowledge of God, and will refine and elevate the character. As a flower turns to the sun, that the bright rays may touch it with tints of beauty, so will the soul turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven’s light may beautify the character with the graces of the character of Christ.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 468.
The Sun of Righteousness enlightens man progressively
1.How is the Sun of Righteousness revealed? What is His purpose?
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Luke 1:78, 79 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
“The Sun of Righteousness did not burst upon the world in splendor, to dazzle the senses with His glory. It is written of Christ, ‘His going forth is prepared as the morning.’ Hosea 6:3. Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the darkness and waking the world to life. So did the Sun of Righteousness arise, ‘with healing in His wings.’ Malachi 4:2.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 32.
“As the sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon every soul.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 464.
2.What will those who seize the rays of the Sun of Righteousness do?
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
“He who draws nigh to Christ need not try to shine. As he beholds the Saviour, he catches the divine rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness, and he cannot help shining. The light that is in him shines forth in clear, bright rays, in words and works of righteousness. Christ’s grace dwells in him richly, and heaven’s light shines through him. He honors Christ by complete obedience. He is stimulated to more vigorous action in the cause of God as he imparts that which the Lord gives him. He is a light bearer to the world, shedding light on those who are in the darkness of error.” –The Upward Look, p. 322.
“While Christ is dwelling in the heart it is impossible to conceal the light of His presence, or for that light to grow dim. On the contrary, it will grow brighter and brighter as day by day the mists of selfishness and sin that envelop the soul are dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 134.
The Sun of Righteousness’ bright beams
3.How will the Sun of Righteousness aid us in the study of the Holy Scriptures?
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
“We need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in order to discern the truths in God’s word. The lovely things of the natural world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light. So the treasures in the word of God are not appreciated until they are revealed by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.
“The Holy Spirit, sent from heaven by the benevolence of infinite love, takes the things of God and reveals them to every soul that has an implicit faith in Christ. By His power the vital truths upon which the salvation of the soul depends are impressed upon the mind, and the way of life is made so plain that none need err therein. As we study the Scriptures, we should pray for the light of God’s Holy Spirit to shine upon the word, that we may see and appreciate its treasures.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 113.
4.Why do we have to open our souls to the Sun of Righteousness?
Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
“Every room in the soul temple has become more or less defiled, and needs cleansing. The cobwebbed closet of conscience is to be entered. The windows of the soul are to be closed earthward and thrown wide open heavenward that the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness may have free access. The memory is to be refreshed by Bible principles. The mind is to be kept clear and pure that it may distinguish between good and evil. As you repeat the prayer Christ taught His disciples, and then strive to answer it in the daily life, the Holy Spirit will renew the mind and heart and will give you strength to carry out high and holy purposes.” –(MS 24, 1901) Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, pp. 327, 328.
“Blessed and beneficent are the rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness who is now pouring His enlightening, healing beams upon everyone who will open the windows of the soul heavenward.” –The Upward Look, p. 257.
5.How does the Sun of Righteousness affect the formation of one’s character?
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
“As the mind dwells upon Christ, the character is molded after the divine similitude. The thoughts are pervaded with a sense of His goodness, His love. We contemplate His character, and thus He is in all our thoughts. His love encloses us. If we gaze even a moment upon the sun in its meridian glory, when we turn away our eyes the image of the sun will appear in everything upon which we look.
“Thus it is when we behold Jesus; everything we look upon reflects His image, the Sun of Righteousness. We cannot see anything else, or talk of anything else. His image is imprinted upon the eye of the soul, and affects every portion of our daily life, softening and subduing our whole nature. By beholding, we are conformed to the divine similitude, even the likeness of Christ. To all with whom we associate we reflect the bright and cheerful beams of His righteousness. We have become transformed in character; for heart, soul, mind, are irradiated by the reflection of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Here again there is the realization of a personal, living influence dwelling in our hearts by faith.” –Messages to Young People, p. 160.
Healing under the beneficial effects of the Sun of Righteousness
6.More than the sun as a healing agency, what can be said about the Sun of Righteousness?
Malachi 4:2, first part But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;…
Psalm 103:2-4 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
“When the gospel is received in its purity and power, it is a cure for the maladies that originated in sin. The Sun of Righteousness arises, ‘with healing in His wings.’ Malachi 4:2. Not all this world bestows can heal a broken heart, or impart peace of mind, or remove care, or banish disease. Fame, genius, talent–all are powerless to gladden the sorrowful heart or to restore the wasted life. The life of God in the soul is man’s only hope.
“The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part–the brain, the heart, the nerves–it touches with healing. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care, that crush the life forces. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul, joy that nothing earthly can destroy–joy in the Holy Spirit–health-giving, life-giving joy.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 115.
7.Like the sun behind the clouds, are we always able to see the light of the Sun of righteousness?
Psalm 102:1, 2 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
Psalm 27:9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
Psalm 6:2, 3 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?
“The time will never come when the shadow of Satan will not be cast athwart our pathway. Thus the enemy seeks to hide the light shining from the Sun of Righteousness. But our faith should pierce this shadow.” –Gospel Workers, pp. 265, 266.
“When you are deeply shadowed, it is because Satan has interposed himself between you and the bright rays of the Sun of righteousness. In times of trouble the brightness is eclipsed, and we do not understand why the assurance seems to be withdrawn. We are led to look at self and the shadow of the cross, and this prevents us from seeing the consolation there is for us. We complain of the way and withdraw the hand from the hand of Christ. But sometimes God’s favor breaks suddenly upon the soul, and the gloom is dispelled. Let us live in the sunlight of the cross of Calvary. Let us no longer dwell in the shadow, complaining of our sorrows, for this only deepens our trouble.” –Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 811.
“Christ is pleased with His followers when they show that, though human, they are partakers of the divine nature. They are not statues, but living men and women. Their hearts, refreshed by the dews of divine grace, open and expand to the Sun of Righteousness. The light that shines upon them they reflect upon others in works that are luminous with the love of Christ.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 153.
“Christians are Christ’s jewels, bought with an infinite price. They are to shine brightly for Him, shedding forth the light of His loveliness. And ever they are to remember that all the luster that Christian character possesses is received from the Sun of Righteousness.” –The Upward Look, p. 372.