"And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Master thy Yahuwah with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: This do, and thou shalt live" (Luke 10:25-28).
The positive question of the lawyer was as positively answered by the Master. The condition of salvation specified was the doing of the commandments of Yahuwah. After receiving this positive answer, the lawyer asked, "And who is my neighbor?" Yahushua then gave the parable of the robbed, wounded, and dying stranger who was aided by the good Samaritan, to illustrate what he meant by loving our neighbors as ourselves. Through obedience to the commandments of Yahuwah, our characters are built up in such a way that we may safely be intrusted with the gift of eternal life. Justice, truth, love, pity, forgiveness must be found in the heart of the follower of Yahushua, for in his sermon on the mount Yahushua said, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20). Merely to profess to believe the commandments of Yahuwah, while following the example of the priest and Levite, who left the needy, suffering one to die, without lifting a hand to help him, will not insure eternal life. He who treats a suffering soul in this way reveals the fact that he does not love his neighbor as himself, and his profession has no practical value.
"The law of the Master is perfect, converting the soul" (Psalms 19:7). The Master Yahushua weighs men in the golden scales of the sanctuary, and gives them credit as far as their practice of the great standard of righteousness will justify.
"And, behold, one came 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, Yahuwah" (Matthew 19:21). The faith of this young man did not penetrate beyond the surface. He did not discern in the Master the Son of Yahuwah, one equal with Yahuwah, who is the way, the truth, and the life. But Yahushua answered, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, which?" (Matthew 19:17). The Master Yahushua specified several precepts of the Decalogue, and quoted, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," as a necessary requirement. "The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet?"(Matthew 19:20). Mark states that "Yahushua beholding him loved him," but he 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" (Matthew 19:21).
The young man had inquired of the Master, "What lack I yet?" and Yahushua had told him. But when he "heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions" (Matthew 19:22). In this requirement to sell what he had and give to the poor, Yahushua had revealed to the young man the plague spot of the heart, and he wished no further enlightenment. His decision was made. He had come full of admiration for Yahushua, running unto him, and kneeling down before him. Yahushua looked upon the ardent young man, and saw material for the working out of a beautiful character; but the young man had not taken into account what was meant by practicing the commands of the law. Yahushua laid before him the cost of eternal life. He revealed to him what was involved in the doing of the commandments of Yahuwah. Nothing short of loving Yahuwah with the whole heart, and his neighbor as himself, fulfilled the law. Yahushua sought to clear the mist of deception from his soul, to give him spiritual eye-sight that he might discern the fact that he had not met the standard of character required by the law of Yahuwah.
The question asked of Yahushua involved the whole conduct of life, and in the answer Yahushua revealed the scheme of redemption. He revealed the young man to himself, by presenting before him the moral standard of righteousness. The young man had thought that he understood all the requirements of the law. He had asked, "What lack I yet?" Satisfied with his morality, confident of his piety, he imagined that he was above the average, and if not quite perfect, very nearly so. He desired to receive instruction if he needed any, that he might be perfect in himself. Yahushua revealed to him the fact that he was building upon his own self-righteousness. He showed him what he was lacking in the knowledge and practice of the law. The love of self, the love of the world, was the barrier which stood between him and Yahushua, and Yahushua alone could remove this obstruction. The young man had never known himself before, never realized how he was idolizing earthly treasures. The opportunity was offered him to use his intrusted talents of earthly treasure in doing good, in blessing the needy, thus laying up an enduring substance in heaven. He was offered the privilege of choosing to follow the Master whom he had called good, and whom he really admired, or to hold fast his earthly possessions and forfeit eternal life. He never understood how little love he had for his neighbor, or how much his earthly possessions were to him until he was required to part with them. He went away very sorrowful. He preferred his property rather than the company of Yahushua. He preferred his earthly substance rather than the treasures he was assured he would have in heaven. He loved the passing things of this life rather than eternal life.
The young man could not have the world and the heavenly treasure also. His neighbors were in suffering need of the good things which had been lent him of heaven, through which he was to bless the widow and the fatherless. Instead of distributing to the needy, he was hoarding up his treasure, and still considering himself a doer of the commandments of Yahuwah. He did not understand the spirituality of the law, and the worthlessness of a formal, ceremonial obedience. He did not comprehend what were his eternal obligations to Yahuwah. He had no practical experience. He neither understood the holy, paternal character of Yahuwah nor the relation he sustained to his fellow-men. He did not look upon his possessions as a trust from Yahuwah over which he should act the part of a faithful steward. He did not realize that he was to dispense of his abundance, doing good with his possession. He did not accept the conditions upon which eternal life was granted. He refused to obey the commandments which he claimed he had kept from his youth up. He did not realize Yahuwah's great love in giving his Son for the salvation of the world. He did not comprehend the spiritual nature of the gospel, nor realize the necessity of repentance, of prayer, of holiness on the part of all who would enter the kingdom of heaven. If he had accepted the invitation of Yahushua to follow him, he would have been enlightened, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, which renews and sanctifies the soul.
The Son of Yahuwah presented to the young man eternal riches, but he did not estimate the eternal treasure as of more value than the temporal treasure. He had not kept the ancient precept which enjoined love to his neighbor, and pointed out the duty of relieving his necessities. He had no practical experience in doing deeds of benevolence, in showing kindness and loving consideration. But the Master Yahushua proposed to set before him an example of obedience. Yahushua was free from every taint of selfishness. He pleased not himself. His whole life was one of disinterested benevolence. He invited the young man to follow him. O, if he had only obeyed, appreciating the heavenly treasure above the earthly substance, what gain it would have been to him!
How many who profess to keep the commandments of Yahuwah are virtually acting as did this young man! They put from them the grace and truth revealed in Yahushua, and although professing to keep the law, they stand as transgressors. But selfishness and idolatry cannot live in the heart of him who keeps the commandments of Yahuwah. How many, when tested and proved by the royal standard, will be found wanting,--lovers of self, idolaters, worshiping their possessions, hoarding their earthly treasure, and neglecting their fellow-men, loving themselves better than they love Yahuwah. There are many who profess to be children of Yahuwah, but who are deceived, and need to be aroused by the sacred truths of the word of Yahuwah.
To every soul who is inquiring, "What shall I do that I may have eternal life?" (Luke 18:18), the answer comes from the divine Son of Yahuwah, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17). Does Yahushua tell us to do that which it is not possible for us to do?--No, never. The path of obedience is possible, and it leads to the tree of life. This is the path that leads to the paradise of Yahuwah. The requirement of Yahuwah to obey and live was given to Adam. The only way to life is found through obedience to the commandments.
By: Ellen White
Review and Herald
March 28, 1893
We have taken out from the original article all pagan names and titles of the Father and Son, and have replaced them with the original given names. Furthermore, we have restored in the Scriptures quoted the original names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired writers of the Bible. -WLC Team