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Malachi 4:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

You that fear my name - The persons mentioned in the sixteenth verse of the preceding chapter, ye that look for redemption through the Messiah.

The Sun of righteousness - The Lord Jesus, the promised Messiah; the Hope of Israel.

With healing in his wings - As the sun, by the rays of light and heat, revives, cheers, and fructifies the whole creation, giving, through God, light and life everywhere; so Jesus Christ, by the influences of his grace and Spirit, shall quicken, awaken, enlighten, warm, invigorate heal, purify, and refine every soul that believes in him, and, by his wings or rays, diffuse these blessings from one end of heaven to another; everywhere invigorating the seeds of righteousness, and withering and drying up the seeds of sin. The rays of this Sun are the truths of his Gospel, and the influences of his Spirit. And at present these are universally diffused.

And ye shall go forth - Ye who believe on his name shall go forth out of Jerusalem when the Romans shall come up against it. After Cestius Gallus had blockaded the city for some days, he suddenly raised the siege. The Christians who were then in it, knowing, by seeing Jerusalem encompassed with armies, that the day of its destruction was come, when their Lord commanded them to flee into the mountains, took this opportunity to escape from Jerusalem, and go to Pella, in Coelesyria; so that no Christian life fell in the siege and destruction of this city.

But these words are of more general application and meaning; "ye shall go forth" in all the occupations of life, but particularly in the means of grace; and: -

Grow up as calves of the stall - Full of health, of life, and spirits; satisfied and happy.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But (And) unto you, who fear My Name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise - It is said of God Psalm 84:11, “The Lord God is a sun and a shield, and Isaiah 60:19-20, The Lord shall be to thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory; thy sun shall no more go down, for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light;” and Zacharias, speaking of the office of John the Baptist in the words of Malachi, “thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way, speaks of Luke 1:76, Luke 1:78-79. the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness.” “He who is often called Lord and God, and Angel and Captain of the Lord‘s host, and Christ and priest and Word and Wisdom of God and Image, is now called the Sun of Righteousness. He, the Father promises, will arise, not to all, but to those only who fear His Name, giving them the light of the Sun of Righteousness, as the reward of their fear toward Him. This is God the Word Who saith, ‹I am the Light of the world,‘ Who was ‹the Light of every one who cometh into the world.”‘ Primarily, Malachi speaks of our Lord‘s second Coming, when Hebrews 9:28. “to them that look for Him shall He appear, a second time unto salvation.”

For as, in so many places (As Psalm 1:6; Psalm 2:12; Psalm 3:7-8; Psalm 5:10-12; Psalm 6:8-10; Psalm 7:16-17; Psalm 9:17-20; Psalm 10:16-18; Psalm 11:6-7; Psalm 17:13-15; Psalm 20:8; Psalm 26:9-12; Psalm 31:23; Psalm 32:10-11; Psalm 34:21-22; Psalm 35:26-28; Psalm 36:10-12; Psalm 37:38-40; Psalm 40:15-17; Psalm 50:22-23; Psalm 52:5-9; Psalm 55:22-23; Psalm 58:10-11; Psalm 63:10-11; Psalm 64:9-10; Psalm 73:27-28; Psalm 104:33-35; Psalm 112:9-10; Psalm 126:5; Psalm 149:9.) the Old Testament exhibits the opposite lots of the righteous and the wicked, so here the prophet speaks of the Day of Judgment, in reference to the two opposite classes, of which he had before spoken, the proud and evil doers, and the fearers of God. The title, “the Sun of Righteousness,” belongs to both comings, “in the first, lie diffused rays of righteousness, whereby He justified and daily justifies any sinners whatever, who will look to Him, i. e., believe in Him and obey Him, as the sun imparts light; joy and life to all who turn toward it.” In the second, the righteousness which He gave, lie will own and exhibit, cleared from all the misjudgment of the world, before men and Angels. Yet more, healing is, throughout Holy Scripture, used of the removal of sickness or curing of wounds, in the individual or state or Church, and, as to the individual, bodily or spiritual.

So David thanks God, first for the forgiveness Psalm 103:3-5, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;” then for healing of his soul, “Who healeth all thy diseases;” then for salvation, “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;” then for the crown laid up for him, “Who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies;” then, with the abiding sustenance and satisfying joy, “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things.” Healing then primarily belongs to thin life, in which we are still encompassed with infirmities, and even His elect and His saints have still, whereof to be healed. The full then and complete healing of the soul, the integrity of all its powers will be in the life to come. There, will be “understanding without error, memory without forgetfulness, thought without distraction, love without simulation, sensation without offence, satisfying without satiety, universal health without sickness.” “For through Adam‘s sin the soul was wounded in understanding, through obscurity and ignorance; in will, through the leaning to perishing goods; as concupiscent, through infirmity and manifold concupiscence. In heaven Christ will heal all these, giving to the understanding light and knowledge; to the will, constancy in good; to the desire, that it should desire nothing but what is right and good. Then too the healing of the seal will be the light of glory, the vision and fruition of God, and the glorious endowments consequent thereon, overstreaming all the powers of the soul and therefrom to the body.” “God has made the soul of a nature so mighty, that from its most full beatitude, which at the end of time is promised to the saints, there shall overflow to the inferior nature, the body, not bliss, which belongs to the soul as intelligent and capable of fruition, but the fullness of health that is, the vigorousness of incorruption.”

And ye shall go forth - , as from a prison-house, from the miseries of this lifeless life, and grow up, or perhaps more probably, bound as the animal, which has been confined, exults in its regained freedom, itself full of life and exuberance of delight. So the Psalmist Psalm 149:5, “The saints shall exult in glory.” And our Lord uses the like word, as to the way, with which they should greet persecution to the utmost, for His Name‘s sake. Swiftness of motion is one of the endowments of the spiritual body, after the resurrection; as the angels, to whom the righteous shall be like, Luke 20:36, Ezekiel 1:14 ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Here is a reference to the first and to the second coming of Christ: God has fixed the day of both. Those who do wickedly, who do not fear God's anger, shall feel it. It is certainly to be applied to the day of judgment, when Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire; to execute judgment on the proud, and all that do wickedly. In both, Christ is a rejoicing Light to those who serve him faithfully. By the Sun of Righteousness we understand Jesus Christ. Through him believers are justified and sanctified, and so are brought to see light. His influences render the sinner holy, joyful, and fruitful. It is applicable to the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit, brought into the souls of men. Christ gave the Spirit to those who are his, to shine in their hearts, and to be a Comforter to them, a Sun and a Shield. That day which to the wicked will burn as an oven, will to the righteous be bright as the morning; it is what they wait for, more than those that wait for the morning. Christ came as the Sun, to bring, not only light to a dark world, but health to a distempered world. Souls shall increase in knowledge and spiritual strength. Their growth is as that of calves of the stall, not as the flower of the field, which is slender and weak, and soon withers. The saints' triumphs are all owing to God's victories; it is not they that do this, but God who does it for them. Behold another day is coming, far more dreadful to all that work wickedness than any which is gone before. How great then the happiness of the believer, when he goes from the darkness and misery of this world, to rejoice in the Lord for evermore!
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 468

The fact that although they could find no sin in Christ the Jews would not receive Him proved that they themselves had no connection with God. They did not recognize His voice in the message of His Son. They thought themselves passing judgment on Christ; but in rejecting Him they were pronouncing sentence upon themselves. “He that is of God,” said Jesus, “heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” DA 468.1

The lesson is true for all time. Many a man who delights to quibble, to criticize, seeking for something to question in the word of God, thinks that he is thereby giving evidence of independence of thought, and mental acuteness. He supposes that he is sitting in judgment on the Bible, when in truth he is judging himself. He makes it manifest that he is incapable of appreciating truths that originate in heaven, and that compass eternity. In presence of the great mountain of God's righteousness, his spirit is not awed. He busies himself with hunting for sticks and straws, and in this betrays a narrow and earthly nature, a heart that is fast losing its capacity to appreciate God. 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. DA 468.2

Jesus continued, drawing a sharp contrast between the position of the Jews and that of Abraham: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.” DA 468.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 157

God desires His people to show by their lives the advantage of Christianity over worldliness. We are to live so that God can use us in His work of converting men and women and leading them to wash their garments of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. We are His workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Through us God desires to reveal His manifold wisdom. Therefore He bids us let our light shine forth in good works.—Manuscript 73a, 1900. 2SM 157.1

[Appeared in Notebook Leaflets, the Church, No. 3.]

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 285

The evidence of true value and worth in men who are in responsible positions is the fact that they have a daily Christian experience in the things of God. They find music in the words spoken by Christ. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning.” If men will receive the ministration of the Holy Spirit—the richest gift God can bestow-they will impart blessings to all who are connected with them. TM 285.1

But God cannot reveal Himself through some who are entrusted with responsibilities. He cannot make them channels through which His grace and compassion and love can flow; for they insult His goodness by exhibiting a masterful spirit toward those whom they regard as being in error and needing reproof, eclipsing Christ's love and mercy by their own unsanctified passions. The enemy of all good is allowed to rule in their hearts, and their lives will reveal his attributes. They claim that the word of God directs them, but by their actions they say, We want not Thy way, but our way. TM 285.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 280

But the rule-or-ruin system [See Appendix.] is too often seen in our institutions. This spirit is cherished and revealed by some in responsible positions, and because of this God cannot do the work He desires to do through them. By their course of action those who reveal this spirit make manifest what they would be in heaven if entrusted with responsibility. TM 280.1

Those who will look at human souls in the light of the cross of Calvary need not err regarding the estimate which should be placed upon them. The reason why God has permitted some of the human family to be so rich and some so poor will remain a mystery to men till eternity, unless they enter into right relations with God and carry out His plans, instead of acting on their own selfish ideas that because a man is rich he is to be more highly respected than his poor neighbor. God makes His sun to shine on the just and on the unjust, and this sun represents Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, who shines as the light of the world, giving His blessings and mercies, seen and unseen, to rich and poor alike. This principle is to guide our conduct toward our fellowmen. The Lord is the teacher of the highest moral sentiments, the loftiest principles; and no man can deviate from these and be guiltless. It is the highest insult to God's goodness to doubt whether He would be willing for us to impart to others the blessings, spiritual and temporal, which He has freely given us. TM 280.2

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