Cost Of Being A Prophet
Walter Beuttler

The cost of being a prophet is our line of thought this morning. May I ask by the showing of hands, how many of the third-year class are present this morning? Thank you.

Some time ago, I was invited to be the baccalaureate speaker at the Bible school in Honolulu this coming June, but I was unable to accept because my schedule did not permit taking time. Instead of that, I'm going to invite myself to give to the third-year class a baccalaureate message. I know this is untimely, maybe it is, at least unorthodox, but I guess you understand me by now, at least a little bit. (Laughter) I just don't wait until baccalaureate day. If I don't get an invitation to speak, I'll just arrange one. (Laughter) As far as I can figure out, this morning is my last opportunity, my final word to the third-year class in regards to any chapel service.

Now the rest of you don't have to leave. In any baccalaureate service, there are a lot of other people there who listen to what the speaker has to say to the departing class. So don't walk out on me and leave the third-years behind. But I have them in mind primarily, and of course, the rest of us secondarily. If that insults you, that's all the more reason for remaining.

"Behold, one came (Mark says, one came running) and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

"He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet?

"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me. (In the same story in Mark, Jesus added, Come, take up thy cross and follow me. Matthew doesn't record it, but Mark does. What one forgets another remembers) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

"When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

"And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, (or automobiles, or TV sets, everything) for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." Matthew 19:16-30

What I want to consider with you this morning was the question of Peter. "What shall we have therefore?" When Peter went to Bible school, he was among those whose hand went most frequently into the air, either by way of protest or by way of some question. Don't criticize Peter. He was all right. I wish I was as all right as he was.

He asked, "What are we going to get out of this business of following you, of being a prophet, of being a sent-forth one, of being in the ministry." You see, he had been watching this young man, and Peter saw that this young man had so many good qualities and yet missed it. A lot of people have good qualities and yet miss it.

In the Mark account, Peter saw this young man running. He ran after Jesus. Obviously he was earnest. Seemingly he was in a hurry. Certainly he wanted to know the way to eternal life, and he was eager to have an answer, so he ran.

The story in Mark gives us another detail. It says there that he knelt. This rich young ruler came running, not hesitating, but eager, and he knelt before the Lord right in public. There were other people standing there. He didn't mind kneeling in public. He didn't mind praying in public. He knelt in the public road in the dust. He didn't even seem to be worried about having to pay for a new dry-cleaning job.

There he knelt and said, "Good Master." He recognized Christ; he recognized His qualities. He called Him good. He recognized His authority. He called Him Sovereign, Good Master. Then he asked a question, "What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? " So Jesus told him. In all self-confidence and no doubt with a certain satisfaction written all over his face, he said, "Master, all these things have I kept from my youth, what lack I yet?" It's as though he were saying, " Lord, I've met every requirement. There isn't a single thing that stands in my way." When he said, What lack I yet, he didn't think he lacked anything. It was as though he were saying, "Why, there isn't anything else. Then I qualify."

Then came the thunderbolt out of the sky, "There's one thing. Young man, you're running, you're eager, you're this, you're that, you're something else, you're a swell guy, you've got everything to your credit, you make a 100% in deportment." He made a 100% all the way through and he probably made 100% in doctrine, Good Master. And Jesus comes along with that great surprise, "Just a minute, young man, there's only one thing, just one thing."

"Only one! Why I've kept so many things, one more won't mean much." But it did.

"One thing thou lackest, Sell what thou hast, and give it to the poor." Then we're told, he was sad at that saying and went away grieved. He walked away. We can just about picture this young man walking off, his head down, he just had received one great stroke from that Good Master, " One thing thou lackest."

He refused to sell out for God. Now I'm just leading up to what I'm going to say. This is the background. Sell what thou hast. I'm going to come to ministry. This thing of following the Lord, especially when we are called to the prophetic office, and I speak of that now in the broad sense of the term. That involves a selling out. Selling out, selling down the river, our homes, our jobs, our wife, our children, our cars, our everything. Now I don't mean literally getting rid of them. That would be something else again. But what Jesus was really implying here was that no natural claim, no earthly possession, no kind of a relationship or attachment to things or person can be allowed to stand between us and the call of God if we are indeed to follow Him. That was the rock-bottom thing that Jesus was touching here. That everything we are and posses and aspire to in the natural has to be subservient and has to be subordinated to the claim of the Master. "Take up thy cross and follow me."

Peter took all of that in and when he heard Jesus say, "Young man, you're tops. I'll tell you what you do. You sell out and use the proceeds to feed the poor." Uh! That makes me almost shudder, because I know what it means. We feed the poor only in the measure in which we sell out for God and use that to feed them, if you follow me. Shall I say, the proceeds of our sell, of our sacrifice, of our consecration, of our leaving behind, the proceeds of that is what makes your ministry to the hungry.

Peter got an idea, and it scared him when Jesus said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to get into the kingdom." I won't dwell on that too much, except to say there is a principle here. That doesn't mean that a millionaire has less of a chance to be saved than the pauper as far as God is concerned, but if his millions possess him and mean more to him than the claims of the Master, then they are his hindrance. But they don't have to be. It's his attitude, his connection, his attachment that's the reason. God often finds it necessary to strip some of His people of earthly things because of the danger of attachment to the extent where that thing becomes a snare although it's legitimate and right in itself.

And Peter watched. Peter had a long ways to go yet in sanctification. He had a long ways to go yet before he was hung up, crucified upside down for the Master. He had quite a bit to go, but at least, he went. So being still attached to some of the things of the earth that is readily seen by his attitude and the disciples' attitude in regard to position and the like. You know they said, "Who's going to be the greatest?"

Now in near consternation, he said, " Master, if that's what it's going to cost, what are we going to get out of this? If a man can't have anything, where is our pay, where is our profit, where's the benefits? What shall we have therefore?"

So we go into the ministry. "What shall we have therefore?" This question brings us right up to a crucial point, namely the danger of self-interest in the ministry and how this thing applies to all of us, but especially to those of us who are about to begin, or hope to begin, an area of ministry. The great danger of being overthrown and defeated and coming short of the purpose of God because of the insidiousness and the element of self-interest which increasingly encroaches upon the effectiveness of the ministry of many men and women today.

"What shall we have therefore?" Here we come to a fork in the road, a dividing line between, what I would call for convenience sake, the difference between true prophets and false prophets. You will find the division is made along lines of self-interest and self-preservation. Bear in mind, when I use the term prophet, I use the term broadly, simply meaning one called of God to declare His message in the power of the Spirit of God.

There is no question about this when a graduating class leaves the school. In fact, it begins before graduation, but we'll start there anyhow since this is baccalaureate day. As they go out, as a whole group, they drive off the grounds and feel happy and good. Most of them are glad to get out. I don't blame you. I felt the same way for a whole year. Then I wished I were back. You will find that their ways begin to divide. Of course, one goes here, one goes there, one stays there, one stays somewhere else, but that isn't what I mean. You will find that their ministry begins to take on a contour, one following one particular general line and another, another line. I'll explain presently.

Somehow graduation, more or less, brings us to the dividing of the ways, although the direction of that starts way before graduation. It starts at least in the second year. Some go out and become prophets whose primary aim and guiding principle is self-interest and self-preservation. Really? Oh yes! Others again crystallize more into a calling and into a ministry that is diametrically opposed to the principle of self-interest and self-preservation. No matter what they get out of it, they're going to go through. As we look back over the years, we know students who have graduated and made good. We know others who have not made good. We know others who made worse than good, who have lost the way all together and are this day out in the world, completely backslidden. That would be true of any school. That's terrible, isn't it?

"What shall we have therefore?" Let's look at these two categories of prophets. We're turning to Luke 6 to a passage we're all well acquainted with. We're acquainted with everything! But when you stand back, in this passage, as it were, and look at the entire chapter from the point that I shall read, in prospective you will discover that the Lord has an underlying thought. Shall I say, He has a common denominator, which takes you from verse 20 right down to the end of the chapter to a topic that seems to be altogether incongruous with what the section starts out. It's altogether different. The section starts out with prophets, and it ends with a house falling down. Ordinarily, we think they are two different topics, but they are not. The underlying thought in the mind of Jesus has to do with prophets, even when it goes right down to the end of the chapter and talks about the two houses. The two categories of prophets that will inevitably be found in one or the other category are finally likened by the Master to two houses. I'll get to that in due course. So we are reading, however, simply for convenience of treatment and consecutiveness of thought.

Now here is the kind of a prophet who, first of all, considers his self-interest and self-preservation. He wants to get all he can out of the ministry for himself. And not only that, in order to get all he can for himself and for his self, he so compromises and modifies his ministry in order to insure his self-interest. And shall we say, "As always, of that kind of a prophet, the world has plenty. " We're reading from Luke 6:

"Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets." Luke 6:14-26

"Woe unto you that are rich!" I can never, never forget, and I don't want to, so I can tell you, how one of our graduates was shocked beyond measure. It almost took him off his feet. He went to one of the healing campaigns. The healing evangelist said to him when they were comparing their cars, his Cadillac's and this little fellow's old jalopy. The evangelist said to him, "Why don't you get into the healing business? Look at the job I'm driving around."

The boy spoke to me. He was off his rocker. He wanted to know if there was anything to this thing. Unfortunately there is. Your Master was in the healing business too, but He drove a donkey. Don't despise the healing ministry because of it. Your Master was in it, except instead of taking one of those Egyptian steeds, one of those horses, He used a donkey. (These horses were looked upon as prize animals all over the then known world.) So don't throw in the sponge because of it.

"Who unto you that are rich!" Do you get it? And I'm not thinking only in terms of money. Woe unto you that have your rewards, your pay now, that have everything you have coming, you have it now. Woe unto you! Jesus is talking about prophets. The principle of life's beyond. That's His underlying thought.

Like the preacher who said, and I've heard him say it, "I'd never eat a hamburger. Why, I'm a child of a king! I eat T-bone steak if it cost $4.00 a platter. I'm not eating hamburgers anymore. I'm a child of a king! I'm entitled to something better." Perhaps so, but not now.

Our Master was not only the child of a king, He was King, and He had to say, "The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has a Beauty Rest mattress. No sir! He has no where to lay his head." How we can rationalize ourselves out of the cross and its meaning in our lives! All that is, is rationalization.

I heard one man say, "We are God's people. We should live in the best houses, have the most expensive cars, have the best clothes, have the best food," and all the fools said, "Amen." One fool always finds a bigger one to admire him.

" Woe unto you that are rich," for ye have received your consolation. You have all the pay you'll ever get. That's what Jesus said. If you work for your own satisfaction now, you've got what you have coming. Bless your heart; I'd like to have something else coming at the end.

"What shall we have therefore?" Is the criteria going to be what we get out of this business of the ministry, or is it what He gets out of it and what it means to Him. "Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation," your reward. You already got all the pay that's coming to you. There'll be nothing left when payday really comes.

"Woe unto you that are full!" Every need, everything, every desire is gratified. Oh you can get there if you know how to work it. "For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now!" That doesn't mean you can't have a laugh once in awhile. It means that there is a total absence of the meaning of the cross in your own life. All they have now is feasting and banqueting, fun here and fun there, a good time in the ministry.

Did you ever observe how many banquets we now have in Pentecostal circles? Sunday school teachers' banquet, superintendent's banquet, young people's banquet, congregation banquet, preacher's banquet - $3-4.00. It means nothing, banquets, banquets. It didn't use to be like that. Instead of feasting, we had fasting. Instead of fun, we had prayer. Instead of promotion, we had power. Instead of television, we had revelation.

Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep." A day of sorrow will come.

"Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!" When everyone pats you on the back, when everybody is pleased with your preaching, when nobody has any fault to find. Jesus said, "You better look out, you're in a bad spot." How come? That's what they did to the false prophets.

The false prophets were honored; they were respected; they were believed; they were valid; they were the good guys. The true prophets were sent down into the dungeon because they told the people the truth.

Oh! The danger of working for God for popularity, for being approved by men, for winning their approbation, for being a good fellow, well-liked all around. "What shall we have therefore?" Is that what we're after? Some were. "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets." Popularity, to be without criticism or what have you, is no mark of perfection, no evidence that all is well. "The servant is not greater than his Master." If you and I follow our Master, we can expect what He got. That's precisely what Jesus told His disciples.

Now then, what about the other prophets? Jesus starts out with them.

"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said, Blessed be ye poor; for yours in the kingdom of God." Luke 6:20

See, here was the whole multitude and now Jesus looked upon His disciples and said, "Blessed be ye poor; for yours is the kingdom of God." Now this poverty isn't necessarily only having a few cents in our pockets. There is a poverty that hurts more than that. You might be poor of friends, poor in many respects, poor in spirit, as well as poor literally. The prophet of God is poor. I don't mean he doesn't eventually have an acceptable income. I'm not speaking in those terms. But he's poor. He has to take what the other prophets don't have to take. When he goes to council meetings, he sits by himself. When there's a special dinner, he's not invited. Who wants him anyhow? He doesn't follow the line. He doesn't cooperate. He's not cooperative, kind of odd, a little queer in the head, a joy killer. We better leave him alone. Ladies and gentlemen, the prophets and prophetess of the Lord, that's what is coming. "What shall we have therefore?" What are we going to get out of this thing?

"Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh." Luke 6:21

You're likely to hunger for understanding. You're likely to hunger for fellowship. You're likely to hunger literally, but there is a hunger, which is far greater and deeper than the hunger of the stomach. You hunger. You feel that people don't understand, and don't want to understand or have any intention to understand, and you hunger.

You can do something about it. Follow the popular lines. Do what everybody else does. Go where everybody else goes. Be a good guy, join the crowd, get on the bandwagon, shout hurrah. If there is no power, make a lot of noise. It won't make a difference anyway. But not the true prophet. He goes on hungry. You hunger for fellowship. They turn the other way. You hunger for many things, but there's no response. What is it? It's the prophet's calling.

I thought the prophet's calling was to get up and say, "Behold thus saith the Lord, I say unto you." Well, there's more to it than that. You have a gnawing hunger in your heart that will not leave you, but you go on hungering and ministering and following your Master.

Do you remember Jeremiah, when he wrote in Lamentations, " Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" My how that man must have felt! There he sat someplace. He wasn't moping. Oh no! "I don't understand it. Even decent people go by. Nobody cares."

Some of them said, " Where's the prophet, where's the lunatic, where's the nitwit? I guess he's thinking up a new revelation! Ha Ha Ha!"

The man cries out from the depths of his soul, "Is it nothing to you? Does it mean anything to you?"

"No, it doesn't. Keep still, you."

And you think that won't come your way? You have another guess coming. "Blessed are ye poor." Aren't you glad for God's benediction, " Blessed are ye poor. Blessed are ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled." There's a banquet coming for you, recognition will be coming for you. Not now, but it will come.

Remember how they derided your Master in His own locality among His own people, those who knew Him best, who had received Him first. It prompted the exclamation of Jesus; No prophet is without honor, save in his own country. And you'll feel the sting.

Some of you will go back to your home church, and you'll be amazed at how studious they avoid you, because rightly or wrongly, you think you now have the preacher's complex, and the seven-year itch to preach. They're going to show you that you will just have to scratch it, and some of them will treat you as cold as an icicle.

Then what? Well, I'll show them my diploma. Oh yea? Then they'll show you something. Some of you can expect to be ignored completely, and if the Lord does use you, "Uh! Look whose talking!"

More than once you'll have to think back to the Master for your own self-preservation in the things of God. You say, "How is that? I don't understand. Is that Pentecost? Well I declare ."

Look out now! You'll be the house that went down if you don't watch. I'll get to that house. You've got to come right back to your Master, the Prophet of prophets and say, "Where do I fit in now?" "The servant is not greater than his master." What they did to Him, they'll do to you, and you'll say, "Oh! Is that it?" No prophet is without honor save in his own country. "Oh! Is that the reason?" So you say in your heart, " Hallelujah! At least I'm privileged to be like Him in this respect also." If you don't, it will kill you. That's right. If you don't, you'll sink down into self-pity, into criticism - a critical attitude. You begin to boil and erupt within, and if it doesn't get cured quickly, you're headed toward disaster as far as being a prophet is concerned. It will eat the innards out of you.

"So that's the way they treat me. They don't even believe the Lord's called me. Well, I declare! If that's what Christianity is, I'll go back to where I come from." Look out, or you'll get there without going there. If you are a real prophet of the Lord, you have to see these as an antidote to the things that aim to kill you and throw you out of the race.

Suppose you do go home and they don't believe you. "I have a call to the mission field."

"Oh yea! Ha, Ha. God must be hard up to call a guy like you. Did you hear what he said? Go to the mission field! Looking for a trip? Ha, Ha!"

"You don't know me. I'll kill them."

If you don't look out, the worm gets on your inside and starts to eat you from within. After awhile, you proved they were right. Do you get me or don't you? That worm will eat you from inside out and kill the very thing that God has given to you. How do you kill the worm? Jesus said this would happen, "The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you. What they have done to Me, they will do to you, so expect it as a matter of course." That will save you.

Blessed are ye when men shall love you, and when they shall keep your company above anyone else's, and shall praise you and be identified with your name. That doesn't sound right, does it? I should say not. That will happen to the other category of prophets. Oh my, yes! Oh my, yes!

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you. People have things against you. You don't have the least idea what they got against you, but they have it, and especially so, if the stamp of God is on your ministry, a stamp which they covet, but are unwilling to pay the price for it. So they heap upon you their hatred and vengeance, because they themselves have no intention of taking the way that you take.

And when the thing begins to get you, and the worm begins to gnaw, you must go back to the Master Prophet where it says, "And I was hated without a cause." There isn't any reason for it, but I'll tell you something. There is a natural, inbred antagonism of the man of the flesh toward a man of the Spirit. The two are at enmity with each other, and if you are moving by God in the Spirit, you will incur the hatred of those that move in the natural, because the two are enemies by very nature. Therefore you must accept that as a necessary consequence. And I would almost say a necessary attribute, certainly an earmark, of being a prophet of the Lord.

You have to be able to take this being hated without a cause. People you have nothing against, never done anything to them, never said anything about them, people for whom you have a personal fondness. You cannot understand their remoteness, their distance, their attitudes, their comment. There is no cause for it, no basis. If you don't look out, something will eat you, and eat your ministry out of your life within.

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company. When they don't like to sit with you for fear somebody else would think that they agree with you. Because of some reason, you don't belong to their clan and fit into their way. There is a statement in John 7, where after Jesus ministered it says, "Every man went to his own home." Unfortunately there is a chapter division right there. Then in the next chapter it says, "and he went unto the Mount of Olives." It's too bad they put a chapter break between that thought. Can you imagine your Master? Here He had ministered, and He didn't preach for 30 minutes. Usually when He preached, He just kept going. Finally He was finished and the people went to their bungalows.

They turned on their radios and phonographs and TV sets and had an evening. You understand I'm modernizing things. But He went out to the Mount of Olives. Can you picture Him walking through the town? Nobody said, "By the way Jesus, where are You going to sleep tonight?" Who cared? "By the way Jesus, have You had any lunch?" Who cared? "And the servant is not greater than the Master." The indifference of people, the carelessness, not just the hatred, but the thoughtlessness that you feel everything is like something piercing your being. And your remedy is, "They did it to Him. Who am I?"

"And shall reproach you ." I'll tell the preacher that I don't like his kind of preaching. Somebody said, "Every time I listen to that Beuttler, I feel miserable." That's right. He walked out of church. That was out on Long Island where Wife came from. He came to me. Don't get that wrong. He walked right out. That's what he blurted out. He was under conviction.

I was ministering one year in Paris on the anger of God and some brother there said, "Brother, the preachers sure took objection with you."

I asked, "On what grounds?"

He said, "You ought to preach the love of God not the anger of God. What we need is love."

I was distressed over it because he was one of the leaders. A lady was my interpreter and she tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Brother Beuttler, don't you worry. There's a reason why he's afraid of God's anger." She told me what the reason was so I didn't worry anymore.

"And shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake." Not the right Reverend So and So. Anyhow you don't want that title anyway. Then: "In that day, mourn ye and weep." Oh no! Look here, folk: Jesus is giving to the prophet an antidote. He's giving you a pill, but you've got to take it. A pill doesn't do any good in the box.

I take airsick pills with me. I don't know if they help or not. I take malaria pills with me, one a day in certain areas, but they don't do any good in the box. This thing doesn't do any good in the box. You have to take it, the antidote, the pill. What are you going to do? "Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy ." I'll tell you folk, that's the antidote.

Of course, you have to have something to rejoice about. What do you do when you have the Word? You say, " Well, Hallelujah! Father, I thank you for the privilege of participating in the fellowship of Your Son." If you don't, you'll go under. Now that's not this kind of rejoicing that goes, " Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelu." No, no, no. This is a rejoicing that comes from an understanding of your calling and of His purpose. When they let you sit alone, you drop down on your knees and cry, "Father I thank You that You let me go through this the way Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the rest and Your Son did. Hallelujah Father! Thank you for Your blessing and Your glory and Your privilege."

Of course they'll say something, " Listen to that!"

"What's that?"

"Oh, that's that guy. He's praying."

"Shouting? He needs it!"

Ladies and gentlemen, you can go to some ministerial meetings or in some religious services, and if you drop down on your knees and pray before the service, you're marked. You're a marked man.

"Because I pray?" you ask.

"Yes."

"How come?"

"It isn't done that way." You want to stand on the outside until the bell rings and compare automobiles. And if you're really a big fellow, come in late then walk out. Just take a little sip to see what is being preached then walk out because you're so important you can't take time with that. God help us!

If you go 10 minutes before starting time to the service and go down on your knees, you'll get some comments, in some meetings I've been in. And they will leave you alone! Yes sir! " Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy." You better do that when you're alone. Give an Indian whoop and a Swiss yodel. But you better do that when you're alone. What for? "Behold your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets." Now that leads me in the direction of the final thought.

"Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like; He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, (All that hatred, all that venom, all those comments, all those attitudes and what have you, when they beat into your soul like a raging torrent) and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock." Luke 6:46-48

There you go on your errand for God in God, and their hatred beats against you and their attitude and everything crushes in on your soul. One evangelist for entertaining for a week walks out with a $400 some offering, and you come along with a Word of God. He talks ten minutes, and you minister an hour and a half under the anointing of the Spirit and walk out with $25. Then you discover the offering was double, but they cut it in two. They've done it to me because you couldn't play a ukulele and a coke bottle and what have you, one instrument with one foot and the other with the other foot, some with the ear and what have you. That's right.

And you say, "What is this? Why that man hasn't done anything but spend a week of entertainment, and I've spent my day waiting on God in prayer and know I had a message from God. Look at the reward I get!"

Wait a minute! Look at the reward that's coming. Those things beat against you.

In the Midwest I had a weekend. When it was all over they handed me a check. One of the deacons said, "Brother Beuttler, would you mind telling me how much you got?" I don't remember what it was, but I told him. He almost hit the ceiling.

He said, "What! The pastor is up to his old tricks. He takes a love offering and keeps half for himself." Whew!

All kinds of things beat against you, but if you know what you should know, it cannot shake your house, for it is built upon a rock. When all the venom, all the hatred, the comments people make and the ridicule come at you, you still stand. You go on doing your errand and knitting for God as if nothing had happened. "And could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock."

How many houses have gone down under the onslaught of the sufferings of the prophets because they did not understand that that was a part of their ministry, something that comes along by the very nature of the ministry? They could shake it down. Some of you will be shook, and shook, and shook and shook, but if you build your ministry on the teachings of your Master, and remember that "the servant is not greater than his Master," and not let that thing eat the innards out of you, you'll shake, but you'll stand, for it is " founded upon a rock."

"But he that heareth, (have you heard) and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great." Luke 6:49

You get offended, you get hurt and begin to feel sorry for yourself, you go down in the dumps, and unless you recover yourself, and quickly, there is a chance that the house will collapse. Then you have a pile of pieces on your hands.

Finally, in order to avoid such a collapse in ministry, let me suggest to you briefly 5 things. Of course you could join the other gang and be all right for now, but we're not even considering that.

1) Recognition of the Lord as sovereign.

Luke 6:46 again: "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" That is in connection with these two houses. Bear in mind, for all we know, they were the same kind of a house and were subjected to the same kind of a test, but they had a different fate. Here is one. If we are going to stand up under the vehement onslaught that will come, one basic requisite is the recognition of the Lord as sovereign. Now that's a big subject. It involves the surrender of our own sovereignty to His. That's one basic requirement.

2) Recognition of the purpose of our ministry.

Mark 10:45: "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." The purpose of our ministry is not to be ministered unto, nor pampered, nor praised, not to be complimented, not to be recognized, but to minister. If you take the other view, it will kill you because you don't get it. You have to say, "My calling is to give, to give, to give. What they give me is none of my business. My business is to give." Oh! It will affect you, but it isn't your business.

Then you won't be like the preacher I told some of you in class who came to a meeting and sat next to me and almost wore the seat of his pants out trying to get recognition. I was sitting in the back with him. He came in after me and sat down and kept saying, "Amen, Hallelujah, Glory, Hallelujah." Finally he got mad and said, "What kind of preacher is that anyhow? He knows me. He knows I'm a Reverend. I belong up there. This isn't my seat. My seat's up on the platform. Hallelujah, Glory, Amen!" Did that fellow get mad! After awhile he got up and walked out. He didn't get recognition. I don't think he deserved it.

The purpose of our coming is not to be recognized, but to give. Jesus came to minister, not to be ministered unto.

3) Delight to do the will of God.

Psalms 40:8 speaking of Jesus, " I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." Delight to do the will of God, which involves an inner delight even in the things that hurt us, that people do to us, because it is the will of God. Not that He makes them do it, but that they will do it and that is a part of the price of our ministry. So you delight, especially since they did the same thing to your Master. You can go to Jesus and say, "Now I know how it felt ." Well how do you know? Because of how it affected you.

4) Making the will of God our meat, our sustenance.

Again in John 4:34 it says, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me." Jesus lived, as it were, on the will of God. He ate it. It was His meat. And if it is the will of God that we suffer for His sake, then we eat it and say, "Hallelujah! That's part of the thing that I'm to eat by His grace." That way you don't turn sour.

5) The reward of a hundredfold satisfaction of a satisfied God.

Finally and lastly, back to our text, Matthew 19:29. Recall the question of Peter, "What shall we have therefore?" Jesus answered them, "Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

"Shall receive an hundredfold ." In another Gospel it makes it clear this hundredfold is in this present time, in this life an hundredfold. In other words Jesus said to Peter, "I'll tell you what you get out of this. You'll get a hundredfold." Now He didn't mean you'll get a hundred houses (You would have some tax bill), a hundred brethren, a hundred sisters, a hundred fathers, a hundred mothers (That would be difficult wouldn't it?), a hundred wives (That would be 99 too many wouldn't it?), a hundred children (That would be quite a few mouths to feed to say nothing of keeping them getting along with each other). Well, Jesus said that, but what did He mean?

What shall we have therefore in this life? Listen, an hundredfold - in other words - a hundred times more satisfaction than houses, lands, wife, and children or automobiles could give us. Namely, our reward is the manifold satisfaction of a satisfied and satisfying God. What shall we have therefore in this life? The manifold satisfaction of a satisfying and satisfied God, and that's worth more than anything else.

Shall we have a word of prayer? Praise God!

Prayer

"Our Father, this is indeed a serious matter. We realize that it makes one think and perhaps pause, if not hesitate, but You do not want us to step carelessly into the ministry thinking that every earthly desire is going to be satisfied. Rather, You would want us to calculate, to take into account the cost, and there make a deliberate, intelligent, thoughtful decision to follow a course which will either take us down on the bandwagon of popularity, or a course that will take us in the blood-stained, tear-stained path of the prophets of old. You want us to decide whether to go down that popular road where the way is paved where so many things are in our favor in a natural way, or whether You still want us to choose that tear-stained path with so many thorns, so stony, so steep, so difficult, so exhausting, so demanding, so narrow, so alone, and so long.

"Our Father, You did not keep Your disciples in the dark. You laid the issue before them as You do this morning, but we would pray that our faith shall not fail. That on the last day of our service with this class, some shall be induced to decide and re-decide to cast their lot with the prophets of old unto an eternal reward in Christ Jesus our Lord in Whose Name we ask Thee. Amen."

Think it over and then we'll sing the song, Ready to Go, Ready to Stay, Ready to do Thy Will. Think it over and make your decision.