Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 8: Hidden Treasure
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"The depth saith, It is not in me;|
And the sea saith, It is not with me.
It can not be gotten for gold,
Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
It can not be valued with the gold of Ophir,
With the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
The gold and the crystal can not equal it;
And the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or of pearls,
For the price of wisdom is above rubies."
This is the treasure that is found in the Scriptures.
The Bible is God's great lesson book, His great educator.
The foundation of all true science is contained in the Bible.
Every branch of knowledge may be found by searching the
word of God. And above all else it contains the science
of all sciences, the science of salvation. The Bible is the
mine of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
The true higher education is gained by studying and
obeying the word of God. But when God's word is laid
aside for books that do not lead to God and the kingdom of
heaven, the education acquired is a perversion of the name.
There are wonderful truths in nature. The earth, the
sea, and the sky are full of truth. They are our teachers.
Nature utters her voice in lessons of heavenly wisdom and
eternal truth. But fallen man will not understand. Sin
has obscured his vision, and he cannot of himself interpret
nature without placing it above God. Correct lessons cannot
impress the minds of those who reject the word of
God. The teaching of nature is by them so perverted
that it turns the mind away from the Creator.
By many, man's wisdom is thought to be higher than
the wisdom of the divine Teacher, and God's lesson book is [p. 108] looked upon as old-fashioned, stale, and uninteresting. But
by those who have been vivified by the Holy Spirit it is not
so regarded. They see the priceless treasure, and would
sell all to buy the field that contains it. Instead of books
containing the suppositions of reputedly great authors, they
choose the word of Him who is the greatest author and
the greatest teacher the world has ever known, who gave
His life for us, that through Him we might have
Results of Neglecting the Treasure
Satan works on human minds, leading them to think
that there is wonderful knowledge to be gained apart from
God. By deceptive reasoning he led Adam and Eve to
doubt God's word, and to supply its place with a theory
that led to disobedience. And his sophistry is doing today
what it did in Eden. Teachers who mingle the sentiments
of infidel authors with the education they are giving,
plant in the minds of youth thoughts that will lead to
distrust of God and transgression of His law. Little do
they know what they are doing. Little do they realize
what will be the result of their work.
A student may go through all the grades of the schools
and colleges of today. He may devote all his powers to
acquiring knowledge. But unless he has a knowledge of
God, unless he obeys the laws that govern his being, he
will destroy himself. By wrong habits he loses his power
of self-appreciation. He loses self-control. He cannot
reason correctly about matters that concern him most
closely. He is reckless and irrational in his treatment of
mind and body. By wrong habits he makes of himself a
wreck. Happiness he cannot have; for his neglect to
cultivate pure, healthful principles places him under the
control of habits that ruin his peace. His years of taxing [p. 109] study are lost, for he has destroyed himself. He has
misused his physical and mental powers, and the temple of
the body is in ruins. He is ruined for this life and for the
life to come. By acquiring earthly knowledge he thought
to gain a treasure, but by laying his Bible aside he
sacrificed a treasure worth everything else.
Search for the Treasure
The word of God is to be our study. We are to
educate our children in the truths found therein. It is an
inexhaustible treasure; but men fail to find this treasure
because they do not search until it is within their possession.
Very many are content with a supposition in regard to the
truth. They are content with a surface work, taking for
granted that they have all that is essential. They take [p. 110] the sayings of others for truth, being too indolent to put
themselves to diligent, earnest labor, represented in the
word as digging for hidden treasure. But man's inventions
are not only unreliable, they are dangerous; for they place
man where God should be. They place the sayings of
men where a "Thus saith the Lord" should be.
Christ is the truth. His words are truth, and they have
a deeper significance than appears on the surface. All the
sayings of Christ have a value beyond their unpretending
appearance. Minds that are quickened by the Holy Spirit will
discern the value of these sayings. They will discern the
precious gems of truth, though these may be buried treasures.
Human theories and speculations will never lead to an
understanding to God's word. Those who suppose that they
understand philosophy think that their explanations are
necessary to unlock the treasures of knowledge and to
prevent heresies from coming into the church. But it is these
explanations that have brought in false theories and
heresies. Men have made desperate efforts to explain what they
thought to be intricate scriptures; but too often their efforts
have only darkened that which they tried to make clear.
The priests and Pharisees thought they were doing
great things as teachers by putting their own interpretation
upon the word of God, but Christ said of them, "Ye know
not the scriptures, neither the power of God." Mark 12:24.
He charged them with the guilt of "teaching for doctrines
the commandments of men." Mark 7:7. Though they were
the teachers of the oracles of God, though they were
supposed to understand His word, they were not doers of the
word. Satan had blinded their eyes that they should not
see its true import.
This is the work of many in our day. Many churches
are guilty of this sin. There is danger, great danger, that
the supposed wise men of today will repeat the experience [p. 111] of the Jewish teachers. They falsely interpret the divine
oracles, and souls are brought into perplexity and shrouded
in darkness because of their misconception of divine truth.
The Scriptures need not be read by the dim light of
tradition or human speculation. As well might we try to
give light to the sun with a torch as to explain the Scriptures
by human tradition or imagination. God's holy word
needs not the torchlight glimmer of earth to make its glories
distinguishable. It is light in itself—the glory of God
revealed, and beside it every other light is dim.
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