The Signs of the Times


January 18, 1899

Hidden Treasure


“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” ST January 18, 1899, par. 1

In ancient times it was customary for men to hide their treasures in the earth. The country was always in danger of being invaded by marauding armies, and the earth was looked upon as a safe hiding-place. Often the owner himself was unable to find the treasure he had secretly buried. It was not uncommon to find in neglected land old coins and ornaments of gold and silver. ST January 18, 1899, par. 2

A man hires land to cultivate, and as the oxen plow the soil, buried treasure is unearthed. As the man discovers this treasure, he sees that he has a fortune before him. He restores the gold to its hiding-place, making sure that no one knows of his discovery. He returns to his home, and sells all that he has to purchase the field containing the treasure. His family and his neighbors think that he is acting like a madman. Looking at the field, they see no value in the neglected soil. But the man knows what he is doing, and when he has a title to the field, he searches every part of it to find the treasure that he has secured. ST January 18, 1899, par. 3

This parable illustrates the truth that painstaking effort should be made to secure the heavenly treasure. The treasures of the Gospel are hidden, for many have eyes, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; they have intellect, but they discern not the hidden treasure. A man might pass over the place where treasure had been hidden. In dire necessity he might sit down to rest at the foot of a tree, knowing not of the riches hidden at its roots. So it was with the Jews. They had eyes, but they did not see Christ. The treasure-house of all knowledge was opened to them, but they knew it not. ST January 18, 1899, par. 4

Christ wept over Jerusalem, saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” “Therefore,” He said, “speak I to them in parables; because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive; for this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” ST January 18, 1899, par. 5

Christ gave the Jewish people abundant evidence that He was the Messiah, but His teaching called for a decided change in their lives. They saw that if they received Christ, they must give up their cherished maxims and traditions, their selfish, ungodly practises. It involved a cross to receive changeless, eternal truth. Therefore they would not admit the most conclusive evidence that God could give to establish faith in Christ. They professed to believe the Old Testament Scriptures, yet they refused to accept the testimony contained therein concerning Christ's life and character. They were afraid of being convinced, lest they should be converted, and be compelled to yield up their preconceived opinions. The Treasure of the Gospel, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, was among them, but they rejected the greatest Gift that heaven could bestow. ST January 18, 1899, par. 6

“Among the chief rulers also many believed on Him,” we read, “but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagog.” They were convinced; they believed Christ to be the Son of God; but it was not in harmony with their ambitious desires to confess Him. They had not the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, the faith that would have made them doers of the Word, and secured for them the heavenly treasure. They were seeking worldly treasure. ST January 18, 1899, par. 7

And today the world is eagerly seeking for earthly treasure. Men think that if they could obtain their desires, they would have peace. But were they to gain all that they seek, they would not find rest. These longing souls forget that they carry the disturber of their peace with them. By precept and example they exalt earthly riches above eternal riches. Minds which should have been educated to reach the highest attainments, allow worldly business to exclude God from their thoughts. They are restless and unhappy, and they wonder why it is. But if they would seek for the peace Christ came to give, they would find rest. He declared: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ST January 18, 1899, par. 8

The Saviour saw that men were absorbed in getting gain, and He undertook to correct this evil. He sought to break the infatuating spell which was paralyzing every spiritual sinew and muscle. Lifting up His voice like the trump of God, He cried, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” He presents before fallen humanity the nobler world they have lost sight of, that they may behold eternal realities. He takes them to the threshold of the infinite, flushed with the indescribable glory of God, and shows them the treasures there. ST January 18, 1899, par. 9

Many poor souls torture themselves, many go on long pilgrimages, thinking to find Christ. But if this were the way to secure the treasure, many would be in a hopeless condition. The afflicted, the lame, and the blind would fail to find Christ. But salvation is given without money and without price. It is not necessary to go on pilgrimages to gain it. All we are asked to do is to believe on Christ as our personal Saviour, and be doers of His Word. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” ST January 18, 1899, par. 10

“The righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation? ST January 18, 1899, par. 11

The treasures of God's Word are to be sought for, and they are found by all who seek for them in sincerity. But they are hidden from those whose minds are filled with worldly, ambitious thoughts. Paul speaks of a class who have lost their spiritual eyesight. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” ST January 18, 1899, par. 12

Paul speaks of a class who have lost their spiritual eyesight. “If our Gospel be hid,” he declares, “it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 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.” ST January 18, 1899, par. 13

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. The Scriptures are not to be adapted to meet the prejudices and jealousy of men. They can be understood only by those who are humbly seeking the hidden treasure. These receive the truth of prophecy, and submit to its authority. They are sanctified, soul, body, and spirit. 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 imposes. Such believers are represented by the man who found hidden treasure in a field. ST January 18, 1899, par. 14

Philip found the Lord, and fully believed in Him. He was so filled with joy because he had found this treasure, that he went to look for Nathanael. He found him under a fig tree, and said unto him, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” The treasure that Philip had found was a knowledge that Christ, the Son of God, was among them. ST January 18, 1899, par. 15

If the heavenly treasure could be made plain to the eye of men, as the gold was revealed to the man's wondering, delighted eyes, those thus blessed would be so rejoiced that they could not hide the treasure. They would go everywhere, saying, Hear what the Lord has done for me. Their hearts would be filled with rejoicing; for the value of this treasure is above gold or silver. The contents of the richest of earth's mines can not compare with it. “It can not be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.... 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.” ST January 18, 1899, par. 16

“Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.” He may conjecture and imagine, but he can not see the treasure with the eye of faith. Christ gave His life to secure for us this inestimable treasure. But without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, no treasure for any perishing soul. Received by faith into the heart, the Gospel changes the whole man. Taken into the life, it transforms the character, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. By it the impure are cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb. Mrs. E. G. White. ST January 18, 1899, par. 17