Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 102, 1898

Doers of the Word


August 23, 1898

Previously unpublished. +Note

Christ attaches great importance to the doing of the Word, as well as the hearing of it. There was a class among those who listened to His teachings who found it easy to hear, but who did not bring the truths they heard into their practical life. The divine Word is not to be treated indifferently. Paul says: “Let us therefore fear lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” [Hebrews 4:1, 2.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 1

The Lord has sent His message. His Word is to be preached, that men may understand the doctrine. We must hear with the ear of faith. The Word is not preached to please the ear, but that it may be believed and practiced. All who hear the Word are to be doers of the Word. The Saviour seeks to impress our minds with the necessity of charity, love, that earnest prayer that will ascend to God from hearts that are sincere in their religious duties. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” He says, “and all things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 2

God looks upon the heart. By a parable Christ warned His hearers: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in my name, and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:21-23.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 3

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” [Verses 24-27.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 4

Christ was walking with His disciples near the sea coast. About them were houses, some of them in the process of building, apparently in the most desirable positions; but they were built upon the sand. The disciples greatly admired the wisdom of the men who chose such beautiful and desirable locations. There was still another house, built high upon an eminence, which must require hard climbing to reach it; and it was built upon a rock. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 5

Passing on some distance, they beheld the place where a house had formerly stood; but only the ruins remained to tell the story. It had been washed away by storm and tempest, while fierce winds and tempests had not prevailed against the house which had its foundations riveted to the solid rock. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 6

Christ used this instance to impress His lesson. He pointed to the house built high upon the rock, and then to the broken framework and debris, and showed the sure result of building on a sandy foundation. The appearance of the house upon the rock was in every way as beautiful as the one that had been destroyed, and those being built by the foolish ones on the sand. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 7

In the illustration the disciples had a profitable lesson to consider. The house apparently so difficult of access, but which had stood unmoved against storm and tempest, illustrates the spiritual life of those who build upon the sure foundation, those who hear the Word and receive it as truth, and bring it into their practical life. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 8

Christ’s sayings were truth, eternal truth. The outlook to the beholders might be uninviting, but the evidence was before them in the ruins of the house upon the sand. Christ sought to reveal to His disciples the lack of wisdom revealed by the man who built his house so insecurely. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 9

The man who obeys the Word of God, Christ likened to the man whom the world had many times denounced as foolish for pleasing himself in such an apparently inaccessible place. The greatest Teacher the world ever knew looks beneath the foundation of the house, and shows the necessity of building securely on the rock. Then when the rain and tempests sweep down upon the building, it is secure. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 10

When Christ asked His disciples, “Whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter (which by interpretation means a stone) and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew 16:15-18.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 11

Here Christ referred to the words Peter had spoken: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God;” and He said, “And I say unto thee, upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” [Verses 16, 18.] The Truth, the Light, the Life of the world was to be the foundation of the Christian church. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 12

The name Peter means a rock, but Christ did not refer to Peter as the rock. He spoke of a Rock altogether stable and immovable. Isaiah in plain language defines who is the stone upon which the church shall be built: “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” “The word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” [Isaiah 28:16, 17, 13.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 13

Peter afterward wrote: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I say in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which are disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is become the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” [1 Peter 2:4-8.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 14

And Paul declared, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal. The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” [2 Timothy 2:19.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 15

Those who build upon Christ Jesus will be safe, but those who build according to the wisdom of worldly-wise men will find their wisdom foolishness. The great question for us to settle is, How are we building? What characters are we forming in this our probationary time? The Cornerstone of right character is Jesus Christ. His Word, if practiced, is sufficient to develop harmonious characters in all who believe and fashion their lives according to Christ’s character. Set Christ ever before you. “Remember now thy Creator.” [Ecclesiastes 12:1.] Recognize God as the first and last and the best in everything. Lay all the schemes and methods of your life before the One who died for you that He might bring you life and immortality. Let the cords of Christ’s love bind you to Him for time and for eternity. The life that is given to God will become most valuable. God says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold: even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:12.] 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 16

I speak to the youth, to the men and women who are young in the faith: God has you ever in view. He has bought you with a price. You are not your own to treat as suits your inclination. The Lord Jesus has His eye upon you. He is interested in you because you are His purchased possession. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building;” and you are under obligation to God to render Him perfect service. [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Look to Him, be guided by Him in all you do, in all your plans. You live, because He keeps you by His power. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 17

You are in Christ’s training school. What do you propose to do with yourself—to be taught of God, or to take yourself into your own keeping and live in opposition to your Redeemer? Do you propose to lay up treasure in this world, simply to gratify and amuse, to expend it upon your desires, and thus become unblessed of God in this life, and bankrupt for eternity? 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 18

“Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] All the physical strength you have is Christ’s. He made you for himself. He has a right to you, soul, body, and spirit. He has given you His plan [for] your life. It is to meet His requirements, that He may endow you with the gift of everlasting life. In order to become a member of the royal family, you must receive Christ by faith, believe in Him as your personal Saviour, and take your place in His service. All your possessions are God’s, not to be trifled away, not to be used in gratifying yourselves. You are to consider that the gold and silver, the houses and lands, bear the royal stamp, the signature of God. It is His property, to be used to glorify His name. You are to be His representatives, His faithful stewards, using this means to advance His work. God would have you draw wisdom from Him; then you will be all-round Christians, reaching the highest perfection of usefulness in this life. By bringing every advantage God has given you into His work, your consecrated efforts will win souls for Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 19

The Lord is greatly dishonored when His entrusted goods are used unfaithfully, and diverted to please the selfish heart. He is dishonored by these who do not care if their entrusted treasure are used to pervert their characters and the characters of others to their ruin. Just that character building which you now make, will determined your eternal salvation or your eternal ruin. 13LtMs, Ms 102, 1898, par. 20