Sabbath, May 4, 2013
“We can trace the line of the world’s great teachers as far back as human records extend; but the Light was before them. As the moon and the stars of the solar system shine by the reflected light of the sun, so, as far as their teaching is true, do the world’s great thinkers reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Every gem of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the World.” –Gospel Workers, p. 50.
The true Light
1. In what manner does Jesus present Himself?
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
“God is light; and in the words, ‘I am the light of the world,’ Christ declared His oneness with God, and His relation to the whole human family. It was He who at the beginning had caused ‘the light to shine out of darkness.’ 2 Corinthians 4:6. He is the light of sun and moon and star. He was the spiritual light that in symbol and type and prophecy had shone upon Israel. But not to the Jewish nation alone was the light given. 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.
“‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.’ If you strive in all humility to understand what is the mind of Christ, you will not be left in darkness. Jesus says, ‘He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” –(The Youth’s Instructor, October 13, 1892) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 903.
2. Do all who are enlightened receive the light? What is the consequence?
John 1:9-13 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
“We must walk in the light which shines upon us, otherwise that light will become darkness. God requires of us to exhibit to the world, in our character and works, that measure of the spirit of union and oneness which is in accordance with the sacred truths we profess and with the spirit of those prophecies that are fulfilling in these last days. The truth which has reached our understanding, and the light which has shone on the soul, will judge and condemn us, if we turn away and refuse to be led by them.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 262, 263.
“It is not God that blinds the eyes of men or hardens their hearts. He sends them light to correct their errors, and to lead them in safe paths; it is by the rejection of this light that the eyes are blinded and the heart hardened. Often the process is gradual, and almost imperceptible. Light comes to the soul through God’s word, through His servants, or by the direct agency of His Spirit; but when one ray of light is disregarded, there is a partial benumbing of the spiritual perceptions, and the second revealing of light is less clearly discerned. So the darkness increases, until it is night in the soul.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 322.
The only Light that lightens the path
3. Where does this precious light come from? What is specific about the true Light?
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ Psalm 119:105.
Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
“There is only one true religion, only one way to heaven; only one light to illuminate the way as the pilgrims press on. As we follow on to know the Lord, we shall acknowledge at every step that Christ is the Light of the world, that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and we shall find that the path that He bids us follow is ‘as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’ Proverbs 4:18.” –The Upward Look, p. 233.
“In order to arrive at truth, we must have a sincere desire to know the truth and a willingness of heart to obey it….
“Instead of questioning and caviling concerning that which you do not understand, give heed to the light that already shines upon you, and you will receive greater light. By the grace of Christ, perform every duty that has been made plain to your understanding, and you will be enabled to understand and perform those of which you are now in doubt.” –Steps to Christ, p. 111.
4. Is it important how we walk in the light?
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.
“There is need of constant watchfulness, and of earnest, loving devotion; but these will come naturally when the soul is kept by the power of God through faith. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to commend ourselves to divine favor. We must not trust at all to ourselves nor to our good works; but when as erring, sinful beings we come to Christ, we may find rest in His love. God will accept every one that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified Saviour. Love springs up in the heart. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there is an abiding, peaceful trust. Every burden is light; for the yoke which Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure. The path that before seemed shrouded in darkness becomes bright with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. This is walking in the light as Christ is in the light.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 353, 354.
A worldwide mission
5. What does Jesus ask of His disciples?
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“Christ’s followers are to be more than a light in the midst of men. They are the light of the world…. As Christ is the channel for the revelation of the Father, so we are to be the channel for the revelation of Christ. While our Saviour is the great source of illumination, forget not, O Christian, that He is revealed through humanity. God’s blessings are bestowed through human instrumentality. Christ Himself came to the world as the Son of man. Humanity, united to the divine nature, must touch humanity. The church of Christ, every individual disciple of the Master, is heaven’s appointed channel for the revelation of God to men…
“In like manner the disciples of Christ are set as light bearers on the way to heaven; through them the Father’s mercy and goodness are made manifest to a world enshrouded in the darkness of misapprehension of God. By seeing their good works, others are led to glorify the Father who is above; for it is made manifest that there is a God on the throne of the universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 40, 41.
Light bearers in the world
6. With what does the Lord compare His disciples, who faithfully proclaim the three angels’ messages?
Philippians 2:14, 15 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 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.
Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
“God requires His people to shine as lights in the world. It is not merely the ministers who are required to do this, but every disciple of Christ. Their conversation should be heavenly. And while they enjoy communion with God, they will wish to have intercourse with their fellow men, in order to express by their words and acts the love of God which animates their hearts. In this way they will be lights in the world, and the light transmitted through them will not go out or be taken away.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 122, 123; Christian Service, p. 20.
“In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import–the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 19.
7. As darkness spreads, how will the true Christians shine in this world in view of Christ’s second coming?
Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
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.
“… And in the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan’s supreme effort is made to cause ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,’ to receive, under penalty of death, the sign of allegiance to a false rest day, these faithful ones, ‘blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,’ will ‘shine as lights in the world.’ Revelation 13:16; Philippians 2:15. The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine….
“‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’ Isaiah 60:1. Christ is coming with power and great glory. He is coming with His own glory and with the glory of the Father. And the holy angels will attend Him on His way. While all the world is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of His second appearing. The unsullied light will shine from His splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who have served Him. While the wicked flee, Christ’s followers will rejoice in His presence.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 720.
“What is light? It is piety, goodness, truth, mercy, love; it is the revealing of the truth in the character and life. The gospel is dependent on the personal piety of its believers for its aggressive power, and God has made provision through the death of His beloved Son, that every soul may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Every soul is to be a bright and shining light, showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. ‘We are laborers together with God.’ Yes, laborers; that means doing earnest service in the vineyard of the Lord. There are souls to be saved–souls in our churches, in our Sabbath schools, and in our neighborhoods.” –(Review and Herald, March 24, 1891) Christian Service, pp. 21, 22.
For personal study
- Hebrews 3:7-10
“Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, temptations manfully resisted, meekness, kindness, mercy, and love habitually revealed, are the lights that shine forth in the character in contrast with the darkness of the selfish heart, into which the light of life has never shone.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 44.