The Review and Herald

1074/1902

July 3, 1900

The Treasures of God's Word

EGW

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth it, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 1

In his lessons Christ sought to reach the understanding through the actual occurrences and events that take place in this world. Instruction of the highest value is given in the parables by which Christ illustrated the spiritual character of his kingdom. The Great Teacher used the things of nature to reflect the wisdom of the Creator. Human life in all its bearings is similar to nature. Nature and human life obey the commands of God. They answer to his majestic, wonder-working power. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 2

And he who created the world and made the lofty mountains, who opened the fountains of the great deep, who formed the mighty rocks and the lofty trees, has given man power to appreciate these wonders of earth and heaven, power to understand the lessons drawn from them by Christ. But human intelligence could never have originated these lessons, and neither can man understand them only as God by his Holy Spirit sanctifies the observation. When the mind is freed from perverting influences, it can receive and understand these lessons. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 3

The field containing the treasure represents the word of God. As the treasure was found in this field, so by earnest searching, treasure is found in the Scriptures. The Bible is God's great lesson book, his great educator. All true science is contained in the Bible. Every branch of knowledge may be found by searching the word of God. But few are true Bible students. Few understand that it contains instruction not only in spiritual matters, but in all branches of knowledge. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 4

Human reasoning alone can never explain the science of education. Spiritual eyesight is required to understand what the true higher education is. It is the education gained by searching the Scriptures, but it is strangely neglected. If men had closely, earnestly, continuously studied God's word, making the Bible its own commentator, the key with which to unlock Scripture, they would have been as much astonished at the golden treasures revealed as was the man who found the treasure in the field. But men have departed from God's great lesson book, and their senses have become confused. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 5

When the word of God is laid aside for books that do not lead to God and to an understanding of the kingdom of heaven, education is a perversion of the name. Unless men have pure mental food, thoroughly winnowed from the so-called higher education, which is mingled with infidel sentiments, they can not know God. Only those who are co-workers with God can know what true education in its simplicity means. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 6

Too often artificial knowledge is forced into the mind, to the perversion of true education. Little confidence can be placed in human reasoning. Were Christ in the world today, the veriest stripling in the schools would prate to him of so-called science. But Christ would answer: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye can not serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.... But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 7

These are precious lessons. The mountains, the rivers, the stones, are full of truth. They are our teachers. The instant the Lord bids nature speak, she utters her voice in lessons of heavenly wisdom and eternal truth. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 8

But the fallen race will not understand. The laws of nature are supposed to control the God of nature. Correct lessons can not impress the minds of those who know not the truth or the word of God. The teachers in our world have borrowed their opinions. Many have forsaken the fountain of living water, the pure snow-water of Lebanon, to drink at the low, turbid streams of the valley. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 9

Christ gave to the world a lesson that should be engraved 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.” But Satan works on human minds, saying, Do this or that action, and ye shall be as gods. By deceptive reasoning he led Adam and Eve to doubt God's word, and to supply its place with a theory that led to transgression and disobedience. And his sophistry is doing today what it did in Eden. When Christ came to our world, he selected humble fishermen as the foundation of his church. To these disciples he tried to explain the nature of his kingdom and mission. But their limited comprehension imposed a restraint upon him. They had been receiving the sayings of the scribes and Pharisees, and therefore much of what they believed was untrue. And though Christ had many things to say to them, they were unable to hear much of what he longed to communicate. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 10

Christ finds the religionists of this time so full of erroneous sentiments that there is no room in their minds for the truth. With the education given, teachers mingle the sentiments of infidel authors. Thus they have sown tares in the minds of the youth. They give utterance to sentiments that should not be presented to young or old, never thinking of what kind of seed they are sowing, or of the harvest they will have to garner as the result. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 11

How few realize that the Bible is the great instrument of God's government through probationary time! This Word is the direct unveiling of truth, and we need a far greater knowledge of its teachings than we now have. A man 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 understands and obeys the laws that govern his being, he will destroy himself by wrong habits, by using tea, coffee, and strong drink. Thus he thinks to brace himself up, but instead he loses his power of self-appreciation. He loses self-control. He can not reason acutely and correctly about matters that concern him most closely. He is reckless and irrational in his treatment of his body, and by wrong habits he makes of himself a complete wreck. Happiness he can not have; for his neglect to cultivate pure, healthful principles, that he may be a sound man, places him under the control of habits that ruin his peace. For a time he may be elated by the stimulus of alcohol, but this elation is followed by a corresponding depression, and by sluggish movements of the brain. His years of taxing study are lost, for he has destroyed himself. By indulgence he has destroyed the harmonious action of the different parts of the being. He has misused his physical and mental powers, and the temple of the body is in ruins. By acquiring earthly knowledge he thought to gain a treasure; and he laid his Bible aside, ignorant that it contained a treasure worth everything else. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 12

Christ came to our world to reveal God. The gospel is his instrument of redemption. John testifies of Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 13

Christ sought to win the minds of those who were absorbed in earthly things, and teach them of heavenly things. Had the teachers of his day been willing to be instructed by the Great Teacher, had they yoked up with Christ, co-operating with him in sowing the world with the pure seeds of truth, the world would have been converted, and prepared for the society of the royal family in the heavenly courts. Had the scribes and Pharisees united their forces with the Saviour, the knowledge of Christ would have restored the moral image of God in man. The Old and New Testaments would have been the lesson book of every school; for men would have realized that therein is found true science. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 14

Christ's parables are far more than a representation of natural objects. In them is the power of true teaching, which brings conviction to mind and heart. This is not the conviction that logical reasoning produces, but a conviction deeper and more lasting. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 15

The Lord Jesus is the model teacher, and he has given to the world the Old and New Testaments as a text-book. He who created our world, the Father and King of the heavenly world, knows just how to instruct the human family. Satan has been playing the game of life for the souls of men and women; but God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked: and when the Lord of life and glory came to this earth, he came to restore the moral image of God in man, and he left an example in his lessons that he desires all teachers to follow. These lessons teach men how to escape from the degradation of sin, that mind and heart may not be filled with cheap imagery by following the common tread of the world. They are a source of divine knowledge, which will qualify the student for the higher grade. If mind and heart are not perverted by false theories, if the light proceeding from him who is the light of the world is not quenched, students will obtain an education that will be accepted by God. The mass of rubbish that has been presented will be cut away from the education given in our schools. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 16

There is no time now to fill the mind with false ideas of what is called higher education. There can be no higher education than that which comes from the Author of truth. 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. In this Word is found wisdom, unquestionable and inexhaustible wisdom, that did not originate in the finite mind, but in the infinite mind. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 17

When man is willing to be instructed as a little child, when he submits wholly to God, he will find in the Scriptures the science of education. When teachers and students enter Christ's school, to learn from him, they will talk intelligently of higher education, because they will understand that it is that knowledge which enables men to understand the essence of science. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 18

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 this search. Men of piety and talent catch views of eternal realities, but often they fail to understand, because the things that are seen eclipse the glory of the unseen. By many man's wisdom is thought to be higher than the wisdom of the divine Teacher, and God's lesson book is looked upon as old fashioned, so much so indeed as to be thought tame and stale. 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. In the place of bringing into our schools books containing the suppositions of supposedly great authors, they will say, Tempt me not to disrespect the greatest Author and the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, who gave his life for us, that by his death and resurrection we might have everlasting life. He never makes a mistake. He is the great fountain-head, from whom all wisdom flows. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 19

Those who make the word of God their study, who dig for the treasures of truth, will appreciate the weighty principles taught, and will digest them. As a result, they will be imbued with the Spirit of Christ; and by beholding, they will become changed into his likeness. They will teach like disciples who have been sitting at the feet of Jesus, who have accustomed themselves to learn of him, that they might know him whom to know aright is life eternal. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 20

No one can search the Old and New Testaments in the Spirit of Christ without being rewarded. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,” the Saviour says, “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke [of obedience] upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The Great Teacher's invitation is before you. Will you willingly respond to it? You can not draw near, placing yourself as a learner at the feet of Christ, without having your mind enlightened, and your heart quickened with a pure, holy admiration. You will then say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 21

Disobedience has closed the door to a vast amount of knowledge that might have been gained from the word of God. Understanding means obedience to God's commandments. Had men been obedient, they would have understood the plan of God's government. The heavenly world would have opened its chambers of grace and glory for exploration. Human beings would have been altogether different from what they are now, in form, in speech, in song; for by exploring the mines of truth, men would have been 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 have been not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 22

In eternity we shall learn that which, if we had received the enlightenment that it was possible for us to obtain here, would have opened our understanding. The themes of redemption will employ the hearts and minds and tongues of the redeemed through the everlasting ages. They will understand the truths that Christ longed to open to his disciples, but which they did not have faith to grasp. Forever and forever, new views of the perfection and glory of Christ will appear. RH July 3, 1900, Art. A, par. 23