Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 107, 1894

Earthly or Heavenly Treasure, Which? By Mrs. E. G. White


Circa 1894

Edited from 3T 478-481.

When in greatest anxiety and care and labor is devoted to worldly interests, while eternal considerations are made secondary, Satan receives the homage of man, that he claimed of Christ, but failed to obtain. It is the selfish love of the world which corrupts the faith of the professed followers, of Christ and makes them weak in moral power. The more they love their earthly riches, the farther they depart from God, and the less do they partake of his divine nature. Were they partakers of the nature, they would have a sense of the corrupting influence in the world, and the dangers to which they are exposed. 9LtMs, Ms 107, 1894, par. 1

Through his temptations Satan purposes to make the world very attractive. Through love of riches and worldly honor he allures the affections of even the professed Christian world. By a large class of professedly Christian men any sacrifice is made to gain riches and the better they succeed in their object, the less love and interest they have in precious truth, and in its advancement. They lose their love they have for God. They act like insane men. The more they are prospered in securing riches, the poorer they feel, because they have not more and the less they invest in the cause of God. The works of these men who have an insane love for riches show that it is not possible for them to serve two masters, Mammon and God. Money is their God, they yield homage to its power. To all intents and purposes, they serve the world. Their honor which is sacrificed for worldly gain and controls the minds, until they violate the law of GOD to serve personal interests and to increase their earthly treasures. Many profess to serve Christ, but love not and heed not the letters or principles of Christ's teachings. They give the best of their strength to worldly pursuits and bow to mammon. It is alarming that so many who profess to be Christ's are deluded by Satan and turn from God to brilliant prospects of worldly gain. They become infatuated with the thought that the will have perfect happiness, in gaining honor and wealth in the world. Satan tempts them with an alluring bribe saying, “all this power will I give thee.” [Luke 4:6.] All this power, all this wealth with which you may do a great amount of good, if you will bow down and worship me. But when the object for which they labor is gained, they have no connection with the self-denying Redeemer that will make them partakers of the divine nature. They hold to the earthly treasures and despise the requirements of self-denial and sacrifice for Christ's sake. They have no desires to part with the dear earthly treasures upon which their hearts are set. They have exchanged Masters, accepted Mammon in the place of Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 107, 1894, par. 2

Mammon is their God and mammon they serve. It is thus that Satan secures to himself the worship of these deceived souls. The change has been so imperceptible that they have not detected the deceptive power of Satan, and they are conformed to the love of the world, and perceive not that they have parted with Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 107, 1894, par. 3

Satan does not come to men as he came to Christ, in the wilderness of temptation; he does not come to man directly and demand homage, but outward worship. All he asks of man is to be dazzled and allured by the presentations of worldly attractions which will if he succeeds engage the mind and affections and lessen the heavenly attractions. All he wants of en is for them to fall under the deceitful power of his temptations, to love the world, to love rank and position, to love money and to place their affections upon earthly treasure. If he secures this, he gains all he asked of Christ. But self-denial is the Christian's portion in this life. The conditions of salvation for man is ordained of God, self-abasement, and cross-bearing are the provisions made of God for the repenting sinner to find hope, comfort, and peace. The thought that Jesus submitted to humiliation and sacrifice that man will never be called to endure, should hush every murmuring voice. The sweetest joy comes to man through his sincere repentance toward God because of the transgression of his law, and through faith in Jesus Christ as the sinner's Redeemer and Advocate. Men labor at great cost for the treasures of this life, to gain some worldly advantage. Why suffer toil and endure hardships and privations? Why should the sinner be less willing to endure and suffer and sacrifice for an imperishable treasure, a life that runs parallel with the life of God, a crown of immortal glory that fadeth not away? 9LtMs, Ms 107, 1894, par. 4

The example of Christ reveals to us the fact that our only hope of victory is in continual resistance of Satan's attacks. He who triumphed over the adversary of souls in the conflict of temptation understood Satan's power, and has conquered him in our behalf, because we could not do this in our own behalf. As an overcomer he has given us the advantage of his victory, that in our efforts to resist the temptations of Satan, we may unite our weakness to his enduring might. We may resist the strongest temptation in his all-powerful name, and overcome as he overcame. 9LtMs, Ms 107, 1894, par. 5

It was through infinite sacrificed and inexpressible suffering that our Redeemer placed redemption within our reach. He was in this world un-honored and unknown, that through his wonderful condescension and humiliation he might exalt man to receive eternal honors and immortal joys in heavenly courts. Will fallen man murmur because heaven can only be obtained by conflict, self-abasement, and toil? The inquiry of many proud hearts is, “Why need I go in humiliation and penitence in my religious life?” that may obtain immortal reward, why is not the path to heaven less difficult and more pleasant and attractive. We refer all these doubting murmuring ones to the great example. Our precious Saviour in the wilderness suffering under the load of man's guilt, enduring the keenest pangs of hunger, knew why it must be endured. He was sinless and more than this, he was the Prince of heaven; but on man's behalf he became sin for the race. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] 9LtMs, Ms 107, 1894, par. 6

Christ sacrificed everything for man in order to make it possible for him to gain heaven. Now it is for fallen man to show what he will sacrifice on his own account for Christ's sake, that he may win immortal glory. Those who have any just sense of the magnitude of salvation and of its cost will never murmur that their sowing must be in tears since the reaping is to be in joy. 9LtMs, Ms 107, 1894, par. 7