Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 30, 1898

The Seed Is the Word


March 4, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3MR 343; RH 10/03/1899.

A company is collected on the shore to see and hear Jesus. Matthew the publican is there. After a time Jesus is published in their midst. How His form is watched by the eager, expectant throng! The sick are there, lying on their rugs, waiting to present their cases before Him. Those afflicted with all manner of diseases are there. The mighty Healer rebukes disease, and diffuses life and calmness and pease and health around Him. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 1

The miracles which Christ performed were as parables to the opposing Pharisees. He speaks in the synagogue, by the wayside, and in the boat thrust out a little from the land, He speaks to the people on the shore, feeding their spiritually famished souls with the bread of life. All had an opportunity to hear His appeals; they were made in sympathy for men. It was Christ’s God-given right to heal the woes of a sinful race. On these occasions the disciples were wrought upon in mind and heart as they looked upon those who were healed of their diseases. Their testimony was, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” [Matthew 8:17.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 2

But the crowd continues to increase. They press close about Christ until there is no room to receive them. Then, speaking a word to the men in their fishing boats, He steps into the boat, and bids them push off a little from the land. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 3

“And he spake many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up: some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away; and some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them: but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” [Matthew 13:3-8.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 4

Christ is the sower of the seed. He came to sow the world with truth. Not one tiny seed of error does He cast into the ground. He sees that the precious seeds of truth do not have a fair chance when seeds of a perverted character have taken deep root. The plowshare of truth is needed, not merely to cut off the tops of the thorns, but to take them out by the roots. He makes the doctrines of His kingdom so plain that the truth is published in contrast with error, for truth, if planted and cherished in the heart will uproot the errors that are cherished as truth. Error must be uprooted; truth must be presented in contrast with error, and thus discover to the receivers of truth the errors to be discarded. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 5

The truth is to be so clearly presented that it will show the sophistry of Satan’s deceptive power. He is vigilantly guarding his tares which he has mingled with the precious truth. He is determined to watch his own sowing, that it may spring up, and eventually eclipse the truth. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 6

“And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them.” “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” [Verses 7, 22.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 7

Now the controversy between satanic agencies and the Prince of life begins in earnest. Which will obtain the supremacy? Which will occupy and become possessor of the soul? 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 8

The gospel seed often drops among thorns and noxious weeds. The truth makes an impression upon human minds, and if it is carefully cherished, and the weeds uprooted from the heart, there will be a precious crop of grain. But if there is not in the human heart a moral transformation, if old habits and practices and the former life of sin are not left behind, if the attributes of Satan are not expelled from the soul temple, the wheat crop will be stunted. The tares will come to be the crop, and will kill out the wheat. If the heart is not kept under the control of God, the weeds and thorns of the character will be revealed in the life. The natural traits of character that are objectionable must be overcome; for grace can thrive only in the heart that is being constantly prepared for the precious seeds of truth. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 9

“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin: that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our lives may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. ... But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” [1 Peter 4:1-4, 7.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 10

“And the disciples came and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; but to them is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I unto them in parables: because they seeing see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.” [Matthew 13:10-14.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 11

Did Christ blind the eyes, so that the people could not discern? He gave them great light, and from time to time added to the light by the exposition of prophecy. What then eclipsed the light? The answer is given, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” [Verses 15-17.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 12

In heaven it was said by the ministering angels, “The ministry which we were commissioned to perform we have done. We pressed back the army of evil angels. We sent brightness and light into their souls, quickening their memory of the love of God expressed in Jesus. We attracted their eyes to the cross of Calvary. Their souls were deeply moved by a sense of the sin that crucified the Son of God. They were convicted. They saw the steps to be taken in conversion; they felt the power of the truth and the love of God; their hearts were made tender as they saw the sweetness of the love of God. In all this they heard the Father’s call, but it was all in vain. Their hearts were given to covetousness; they loved the associations of the world. With some, dishonest practices have become so interwoven with their character that they cannot overcome, unless they stop their ears to the temptations of Satan, crying as they rush through the circle of his temptations, Life, life, eternal life; Lord, save, or I perish.” 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 13

Christ came to our world to sow the seeds of truth. All who have the privilege of hearing the Word, and who receive it not, must render an account of their rejection of the instructions and warnings given. They are represented as those who “seeing see not, and hearing hear not, neither do they understand.” [Verse 13.] They will not see and hear the precious word of truth. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 14

Some who heard the parables of Christ came to Him privately and asked Him for an explanation. This was the desire that Christ wishes to arouse, that He might give them more definite instruction. All who study His Word with hearts open to receive the impressions made by the Holy Spirit will not complain that they cannot see clearly the meaning of His Word. None will come to Christ to inquire for a clearer knowledge of truth, but who will receive it. He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know truth. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 15

A heavenly light shines into the soul temple, and is revealed unto others as the bright shining of a candle on a dark path. When the mind is not clear, it is the privilege of all to go to the great Teacher, and ask Him who uttered those mysterious truths to enlighten the understanding. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 16

The mass of tradition that had been accumulating for ages, and that was taught by the priests and rulers, was regarded as truth by the disciples. But Christ said to these Pharisees, “Ye teach for doctrine the commandments of men.” And again, “Ye make void the law of God through your tradition.” [Matthew 15:9, 6.] In the last instruction given to His disciples, Christ said, “I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” [John 16:12.] The divine Teacher would bring all the rays of prophetic light to bear upon the lesson that He was the Truthbearer to the world. He would impress them with the necessity of that moral excellence of character which God and heaven require of men. He came to make known redemption, by making men intelligent in regard to its conditions; in His human life to reveal the gospel, and set an example of perfect obedience to the law of God. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 17

“Greater things than these shall ye do,” said Christ to His disciples, “because I go unto the Father.” [John 14:12.] Through the Holy Spirit’s working, the disciples would remember the lessons Christ had given them, and their language would fully express the divine thought of God. It would be as infallible as the language of the ten commandments. Thus the truth would come down through pure channels, commending itself to the hearts of the receivers. Christ’s followers plant their feet, not upon the word of pope or prelate, not on the word of the clergy, who mystify everything that is plain, and confuse the minds of the ignorant; they place their feet upon the sure foundation. God has given them a platform on which to stand, even the eternal Word of truth, and there their feet will stand on the Rock of ages. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 18

Christ is no longer seen in this world in human flesh as the great Teacher, going about doing good, healing the diseases of the body, and saying to the sinsick soul, Thy sins be forgiven thee. But because He has come and suffered for sin, because He died as our sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, His voice is now heard through His ambassadors whom He has sent to proclaim a crucified and risen Saviour an Advocate who has ascended to the throne of God. This additional power and efficiency Christ’s disciples have in lifting up a crucified Redeemer before a fallen race, and pointing them to heaven to declare Him at the right hand of God. There are the greater things upon which the mind lays hold, the mystery hidden from eternal ages. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 19

In his human wisdom, man may employ arguments that are wholly without truth, but God declares, “The world by wisdom knew not God.” “The seed is the Word.” [1 Corinthians 1:21; Luke 8:11.] We are to take our position in the school of Christ as humble learners. He speaks as one having authority. He affirms that all that is written in the law and the prophets is the Word of the living God. It is the inspiration of One infallible, the divine communication to holy men of old who speak as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 20

Prophecy, the law, and the gospel are not dependent upon argument for support. They are essential for the salvation of men. They are to be believed because they have a “thus saith the Lord” for their authority. The Lord will hold His children responsible because He speaks. The gospel is not to be argued to test the reasoning powers. Man is on probation to prove whether he will accept the ransom Christ has provided in His sufferings and death—a full and complete remedy for the poisonous fangs of the serpent. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 21

All the speculative opinions, which through the devising of Satan have been brought into religious controversy, are to be separated from the truth. This was the work of the Redeemer in coming into the world. The opinions and speculations of men had become abundant, they occupied the ground with a multitude of theories which made truth hard to be distinguished from error. But the time has now come when we are to know the truth, and the truth is to make us free. Obedience to the commandments of God does not bring the soul into bondage. The sayings of Christ have a value above that of silver or gold, but if the seed is accepted by those who graft it on to the wild olive tree, the fruit it bears can only be wild olives. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 22

All who receive Christ in truth will believe in Him. They will see the necessity of having Christ abiding in the heart by faith. They will escape from the control of their hereditary and cultivated tendencies, their pride, vanity, self-esteem, worldliness, and every sin, and will reveal Christ in their lives. If God’s Word is eaten as the bread of life, they will become thoroughly aroused to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God that worketh in them both to will and to do of His own good pleasure. Men must cooperate with God. They must reveal the respect they have for His Word by obedience to His laws. They will not disobey the commandments of God, eating of the tree of knowledge which is forbidden. They will heed the requirements of God. In this they are eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, the representation of the tree of life. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 23

All the lessons of the natural world reveal the providences of God. He who has this lesson book opened before him, and becomes a student thereof, will find himself looking into a fountain that deepens and broadens beneath his gaze. From the Old Testament, he can store up the most precious instruction, the gospel being the key. The teachings of Christ contain the most precious seed of the gospel, and the heart is to be the receptacle of this. But if the heart is not cleansed from sin, Christ cannot dwell there. Tares and wheat cannot grow together in the heart. One will be the controlling element. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 24

In the words of the apostle Peter we may see what may be the result to the soul in whose heart the good seed is sown: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. ... Be ye all or one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 25

“For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good: let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are open to the righteous, and His ear is open to their prayer: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you as evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” [1 Peter 3:3, 4, 8-16.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 26

In the heart that receives the good Word of life, a decided change takes place. “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue: and to virtue knowledge: and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience: and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 27

“For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he is purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fail: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:3-11.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 28

The grace of God never stirs the heart of the truly contrite soul in vain. He will go on from strength to strength. Each lesson received from Christ will prepare his heart to receive still more instruction, carrying him forward and upward, nearer and still nearer heaven. The soul imbued with the Spirit of God finds a warfare constantly before him. He is to fight the good fight of faith. He does not think the time of security has come. God is calling him to higher, nobler achievements, upward toward the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 29

All who strive to reach this standard are marked by the sanctification of the spirit through the truth, which mark God has put upon his character. The work of sanctification is the work of a lifetime. The true Christian is unresting in his endeavors. He is ever climbing, never content with that which he has attained. The more he seeks a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, the more he desires to reflect the divine image. Every gift imparted to him by God is used to draw others in the same line, to hunger and thirst after righteousness. If he enters the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice only, the more willing is he to hide himself in Christ, and sacrifice all for Him. 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 30

We are to walk in the footsteps of Christ. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:5-9.] 13LtMs, Ms 30, 1898, par. 31