Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 8: Hidden Treasure
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But there must be earnest study and close investigation.
Sharp, clear perceptions of truth will never be the reward
of indolence. No earthy blessing can be obtained without
earnest, patient, persevering effort. If men attain success
in business, they must have a will to do and a faith to
look for results. And we cannot expect to gain spiritual
knowledge without earnest toil. Those who desire to find
the treasures of truth must dig for them as the miner digs
for the treasure hidden in the earth. No halfhearted,
indifferent work will avail. It is essential for old and young,
not only to read God's word, but to study it with
wholehearted earnestness, praying and searching for truth as for
hidden treasure. Those who do this will be rewarded, for
Christ will quicken the understanding.
Our salvation depends on a knowledge of the truth
contained in the Scriptures. It is God's will that we should
possess this. Search, O search the precious Bible with
hungry hearts. Explore God's word as the miner explores
the earth to find veins of gold. Never give up the search
until you have ascertained your relation to God and His
will in regard to you. Christ declared, "Whatsoever ye
shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may
be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My
name, I will do it." John 14:13, 14. [p. 112]
Men of piety and talent catch views of eternal realities,
but often they fail of understanding, because the things that
are seen eclipse the glory of the unseen. He who would
seek successfully for the hidden treasure must rise to higher
pursuits than the things of this world. His affections and
all His capabilities must be consecrated to the search.
Disobedience has closed the door to a vast amount of
knowledge that might have been gained from the Scriptures.
Understanding means obedience to God's commandments.
The Scriptures are not to be adapted to meet the
prejudice and jealousy of men. They can be understood
only by those who are humbly seeking for a knowledge
of the truth that they may obey it.
Do you ask, What shall I do to be saved? You must
lay your preconceived opinions, your hereditary and
cultivated ideas, at the door of investigation. If you search
the Scriptures to vindicate your own opinions, you will never
reach the truth. Search in order to learn what the Lord
says. If conviction comes as you search, if you see that
your cherished opinions are not in harmony with the truth,
do not misinterpret the truth in order to suit your own
belief, but accept the light given. Open mind and heart
that you may behold wondrous things out of God's word.
Faith in Christ as the world's Redeemer calls for an
acknowledgment of the enlightened intellect controlled by
a heart that can discern and appreciate the heavenly treasure.
This faith is inseparable from repentance and
transformation of character. To have faith means to find and
accept the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God." John 3:3. He may conjecture and
imagine, but without the eye of faith he cannot see the
treasure. Christ gave His life to secure for us this
inestimable [p. 113] treasure; but without regeneration through faith in
His blood, there is no remission of sins, no treasure for
any perishing soul.
We need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in order
to discern the truths in God's word. The lovely things of
the natural world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the
darkness, floods them with its light. So the treasures in
the word of God are not appreciated until they are revealed
by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.
The Holy Spirit, sent from heaven by the benevolence
of infinite love, takes the things of God and reveals them
to every soul that has an implicit faith in Christ. By His
power the vital truths upon which the salvation of the soul
depends are impressed upon the mind, and the way of life
is made so plain that none need err therein. As we study
the Scriptures, we should pray for the light of God's Holy
Spirit to shine upon the word, that we may see and
appreciate its treasures.
Reward of Searching
Let none think that there is no more knowledge for them
to gain. The depth of human intellect may be measured;
the works of human authors may be mastered; but the
highest, deepest, broadest flight of the imagination cannot
find out God. There is infinity beyond all that we can
comprehend. We have seen only the glimmering of divine
glory and of the infinitude of knowledge and wisdom; we
have, as it were, been working on the surface of the mine,
when rich golden ore is beneath the surface, to reward the
one who will dig for it. The shaft must be sunk deeper
and yet deeper in the mine, and the result will be glorious
treasure. Through a correct faith, divine knowledge will
become human knowledge. [p. 114]
No one can search the Scriptures in the spirit of Christ
without being rewarded. When man is willing to be
instructed as a little child, when he submits wholly to God,
he will find the truth in His word. If men would be
obedient, they would understand the plan of God's government.
The heavenly world would open its chambers of
grace and glory for exploration. Human beings would be
altogether different from what they now are, for by exploring
the mines of truth men would be ennobled. The mystery
of redemption, the incarnation of Christ, His atoning
sacrifice, would not be as they are now, vague in our minds.
They would be not only better understood, but altogether
more highly appreciated.
In His prayer to the Father, Christ gave to the world a
lesson which should be graven on mind and soul. "This
is life eternal," He said, "that they might know Thee the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."
John 17:3. This is true education. It imparts power. The
experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom
He has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It
gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every
impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of
the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son
of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion
with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the
rich treasures of the universe.
This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching
the word of God. And this treasure may be found by
every soul who will give all to obtain it.
"If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice
for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and
searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou
understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of
God." Prov. 2:3-5.
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