By James A. Stewart
My Older Brother David who was 'in Christ before me' and who, in my early days in Christ, 'expounded unto (me) the way of God more perfectly.'
HOW SOLEMN are the words of the Lord to Jeremiah and to the people of God: 'Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you; they make you vain; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.. . .The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. . . . And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.' (Jer. 23: 16, 28, 36).
In these strange days the servants of the Lord must be careful to preach the true Gospel. Before the Gospel can be preached clearly, it must be apprehended clearly. The Christian worker must prayerfully and carefully study the great words of the Gospel, and the presentation of that blessed message as found in the Book.
Paul, the greatest of all preachers, exhorts young Timothy, 'Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' The word, 'rightly dividing' could be translated 'handling aright,' or as the modem Greek version says, 'teaching accurately' the word of truth. The Greek word Orthotomeoe, which is used here, is a metaphorical word. In present-day Greece it is used also in describing a carpenter drawing a straight line to divide a piece of wood. He does not draw a zig-zag line, but cuts straight, and is accurate in his work. He handles the tools aright in following the blueprint, and is thus a workman that needs not to be ashamed.
What is needed, therefore, is not only a mental knowledge of the Scriptures, but a strict adherence to its doctrine, and to the way in which its truths are presented. It was Chrysostom who gave the faithful warning, 'He who swerves ever so little from the pure faith, soon proceeds from this to graver errors and becomes entirely corrupted.' Only by an assiduous care in the accurate use of the words of Scripture, can we be Gospel workmen that need not he afraid of the coming Bema.
We must firmly hold the blessed evangel, and let neither earth nor hell, men or demons, turn us one hair's breadth from its truth.
Once again, we take this opportunity of thanking our kind friends around the world who continue to spread our messages. We ask prayer for these messages as they appear in magazines in different languages.
May God continue to bless you mightily in your ministry.
Yours in our wonderful Lord,
JAMES A. STEWART.