Testimony Treasures, vol. 1


True and False Riches

“If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Verse 23. There was a point of time in the experience of such, when the light given them was not cherished, and it became darkness. Said the angel: “Ye cannot love and worship the treasures of earth, and have the true riches.” When the young man came to Jesus and said to Him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16) Jesus gave him his choice, to part with his possessions and have eternal life, or retain them and lose it. His riches were of greater value to him than the heavenly treasure. The condition that he must part with his treasures and give to the poor in order to become a follower of Christ and have eternal life, chilled his desire; and he went away sorrowful. 1TT 127.1

Those who were shown me as clamorous for the earthly crown, were those who will resort to any means to acquire property. They become insane upon that point. All their thoughts and energies are directed to the acquirement of earthly riches. They trample upon the rights of others, and oppress the poor, and the hireling in his wages. If they can take advantage of those who are poorer and less shrewd than they, and thus manage to increase their riches, they will not hesitate a moment to oppress them, and even see them brought to beggary. 1TT 127.2

The men whose heads were white with age, and whose faces were furrowed with care, yet who were eagerly grasping the treasures within the crown, were the aged, who have but a few years before them. Yet they were eager to secure their earthly treasures. The nearer they came to the grave, the more anxious they were to cling to them. Their own relatives were not benefited. The members of their own families were permitted to labor beyond their strength to save a little money. They did not use it for others’ good, or for their own. It was enough for them to know that they had it. When their duty to relieve the wants of the poor, and to sustain God's cause are presented before them, they are sorrowful. They would gladly accept the gift of everlasting life, but are not willing that it should cost them anything. The conditions are too hard. But Abraham would not withhold his only son. In obedience to God he could sacrifice this child of promise more easily than many would sacrifice some of their earthly possessions. 1TT 128.1

It was painful to see those who should have been ripening for glory, and daily fitting for immortality, exerting all their strength to keep their earthly treasures. Such, I saw, could not value the heavenly treasure. Their strong affections for the earthly cause them to show by their works that they do not esteem the heavenly inheritance enough to make any sacrifice for it. The “young man” manifested a willingness to keep the commandments, yet our Lord told him that he lacked one thing. He desired eternal life, but loved his possessions more. Many are self-deceived. They have not sought for truth as for hid treasures. Their powers are not put to the best account. Their minds, which might be illuminated with heaven's light, are perplexed and troubled. “The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Mark 4:19. “Such,” said the angel, “are without excuse.” I saw the light waning away from them. They did not desire to understand the solemn, important truths for this time, and thought they were well off without understanding them. Their light went out, and they were groping in darkness. 1TT 128.2