People have treasures which they value a lot. Their treasures can be works of art, music, paintings, sculptures, or houses. Their treasure can also be themselves. They are always thinking of themselves and giving good things to themselves. Many times, people’s treasure is something that they do not have yet, but they dream about, and hope to have it some day.
How do we know what a person’s treasure is? One way to know is to listen to what he speaks about. Normally people speak about a thing that is most dear to them. The most precious treasure that we can have is Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is available to all who will accept Him to themselves. Paul writes about the treasure that he had found:
“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:5–7
Without this treasure in our earthen vessel, what is our value?
“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity.” Isaiah 40:15–17
But if we have this treasure, Jesus Christ in us, then what is our value?
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Malachi 3:16–17
“Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” Isaiah 43:4
When the Holy Spirit dwells within us, our value in the sight of God becomes very precious. We, the children of dust, the earthen vessels, are entrusted with the treasures of Jesus Christ the Lord, that the excellency of the power of God may dwell in us. Yet, how can it be that the treasure of the knowledge of the glory of God is not appreciated by many? Even some Christians who know these things, (the sacrifice of Jesus, His death for us) value it so little. There is something else that they love more.
God offers people a mansion in heaven, eternal life, yet there are so few who are interested because the price is too high. It costs people their sins and earthly treasures. Many people love sin so much that heaven and eternal life are sacrificed for it. Satan has invented a counterfeit, religion which promises heaven and eternal life without self-denial, without purity of heart. This false religion appeals to selfish people; they do not need to love God, they only need to follow outward ceremonies.
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19
How much value does the Holy Spirit have? So much value that God will not destroy a person who has the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. But, if we lose this treasure, then we are worthless, only to be cast into the fire to be burned up. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
This makes all the difference. Jesus also said, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matthew 15:14. Because they had no purity of heart, they were blind, yet they were the leaders of the people. They were priests and Pharisees. Selfishness, pride, covetousness, envy, and jealousy had defiled their hearts that they were blind and could not see God in Christ. They only saw a man whom they hated.
Christ is knocking and begging for entrance to human hearts, yet how often He must remain outside. Whoever opens his heart’s door to Christ will increase in value.
“One soul saved in the kingdom of God is of more value than all earthly riches.” –Life Sketches, p. 206
All the riches of the world God will burn in the fire, but He saves His treasures eternally. He is also our treasure, that has more value than all the riches in the world. But the treasure of souls saved are few. Isaiah writes, “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” Isaiah 1:9
What happened to the majority of the religious people? “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:21–22
People still want heaven and eternal life, but in an easier way. They still love the world, and practice a lifestyle of sin. Millions of professing Christians are professing wisdom, but are fools, losing happiness and eternal life.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3–4
There was a poor widow whose husband had died. They had not been poor before, but now she did not have any money to support herself. Finally, to pay her debts, an auction sale was called; the furniture and other belongings were sold, along with the old family Bible that she had not read for a long time. When the Bible was opened at the sale, a large amount of money was found in between the pages. There had been a treasure inside, which she had not realized. Yet this was only a small treasure; the real treasure she would have found would have been by reading it.
By the word of God we can overcome and defeat Satan. We need to read it daily, and our characters will change into the divine image. There is a danger that will take away our divine treasure, and we fail of the grace of God. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:15
Even a little root of bitterness can defile many. One dissatisfied member in the church can spread a root of bitterness that is hidden under a seeming concern for others, and finally there may be a separation among the believers.
Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:34–37
Jesus came to bring a sword, variance, and separation even among families and relatives. God’s purpose is that there is separation and shaking. The Bible says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3
Our work today is to introduce the Treasure, Jesus Christ to men, women, and children. The message of the 1888 conference, justification by faith, Christ our righteousness, is our message today. People are perishing for the want of this message. The invitation of Jesus, “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest” must be repeated to the sinsick souls, who for years have tried to establish their own righteousness, and have failed. The work of purification and sanctification which they could not do, suddenly becomes possible, and instead of a struggle they find rest, and sweet comfort.
What else will we receive? “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12. Our work is not finished. We are to bring Christ to the world. We are to lift Him up before the people. Christ is our greatest, most important treasure. His life, His suffering and death are our favourite subjects. He made us a promise. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. We must never lose Him, but have a closer union every day with Him, that our faces will shine with the peace of heaven. Amen