DIGGING FOR HEAVENLY TREASURES
Looking for Treasures
"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. Matt. 13:44.
"This parable illustrates the value of the heavenly treasure, and the effort that should be made to secure it. The finder of the treasure in the field was ready to part with all that he had, ready to put forth untiring labor, in order to secure the hidden riches. So the finder of heavenly treasure will count no labor too great and no sacrifice too dear, in order to gain the treasures of truth.
"In the parable the field containing the treasure represents the Holy Scriptures. And the gospel is the treasure. The earth itself is not so interlaced with golden veins and filled with precious things as is the word of God.
"The value of this treasure is above gold or silver. The riches of earth's mines cannot compare with it.
'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.'
"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.
"But there must be earnest study and close investigation. Sharp, clear perceptions of truth will never be the reward of indolence. No earthy blessing can be obtained without earnest, patient, persevering effort. If men attain success in business, they must have a will to do and a faith to look for results. And we cannot expect to gain spiritual knowledge without earnest toil. Those who desire to find the treasures of truth must dig for them as the miner digs for the treasure hidden in the earth. No halfhearted, indifferent work will avail. It is essential for old and young, not only to read God's word, but to study it with wholehearted earnestness, praying and searching for truth as for hidden treasure. Those who do this will be rewarded, for Christ will quicken the understanding.
"Our salvation depends on a knowledge of the truth contained in the Scriptures. It is God's will that we should possess this. Search, O search the precious Bible with hungry hearts. Explore God's word as the miner explores the earth to find veins of gold. Never give up the search until you have ascertained your relation to God and His will in regard to you. Christ declared, "'Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.' John 14:13, 14." --Christ's Object Lessons, Pages 104-112.
"The Bible is a field where are concealed heavenly treasures, and they will remain hidden until, by diligent mining, they are discovered and brought to light. The Bible is a casket containing jewels of inestimable value, which should be so presented as to be seen in their intrinsic luster. But the beauty and excellence of these diamonds of truth are not discerned by the natural eye. The lovely things of the material world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light. And so with the treasures of God's word; they are not appreciated until they are revealed by the Sun of Righteousness.
"The Bible contains a simple and complete system of theology and philosophy. It is the book that makes us wise unto salvation. It tells us of the love of God as shown in the plan of redemption, imparting the knowledge essential for all students--the knowledge of Christ...
"God has not only revealed to us the doctrine of the atonement, holding out the hope of eternal life, but His words are the manna from heaven for the soul to feed upon and receive spiritual strength. The Bible is the great standard of right and wrong, clearly defining sin and holiness. Its living principles, running through our lives like threads of gold, are our only safeguard in trial and temptation.
"The Holy Scriptures were the essential study in the schools of the prophets, and they should hold the first place in every educational system, for the foundation of all right education is a knowledge of God. Used as a textbook in our schools, the Bible will do for mind and morals what cannot be done by books of science and philosophy. As a book to discipline and strengthen the intellect, to ennoble, purify, and refine the character, it is without a rival.
"God cares for us as intelligent beings, and He has given us His word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Its teachings have a vital bearing upon our prosperity in all the relations of life. Even in our temporal affairs it will be a wiser guide than any other counselor. Its divine instruction points the only way to true success. There is no social position, no phase of human experience, for which the study of the Bible is not an essential preparation." --Counsels to Teachers, Pages 421-423.
"The word of God is to stand as the highest educating book in our world, and is to be treated with reverential awe. It is our guidebook; we shall receive from it the truth. We need to present the Bible as the great lesson book to place in the hands of our children and youth, that they may know Christ, whom to know aright is life eternal. It is the book to be studied by those of middle age, and those who are aged. The word contains promises, warnings, encouragement, and assurances of the love of God to all who accept Him as their Saviour. Then place the holy word in their hands. Encourage them to search the word, and they will in so doing find hidden treasures of inestimable value to them in this present life, and in receiving Christ as the bread of life they have the promise of eternal life.
"To skim over the surface will do little good. Thoughtful investigation and earnest, taxing study are required to comprehend it. There are truths in the word which are like veins of precious ore concealed beneath the surface. By digging for them, as the man digs for gold and silver, the hidden treasures are discovered. Be sure that the evidence of truth is in the Scripture itself. One scripture is the key to unlock other scriptures. The rich and hidden meaning is unfolded by the Holy Spirit of God, making plain the word to our understanding: 'The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.'
"The Bible is the revelation of God to our world, telling us of the character we must have in order to reach the paradise of God. We are to esteem it as God's disclosure to us of eternal things,--the things of most consequence for us to know. By the world it is thrown aside, as if the perusal of it were finished, but a thousand years of research would not exhaust the hidden treasure it contains. Eternity alone will disclose the wisdom of this book. The jewels buried in it are inexhaustible; for it is the wisdom of an infinite mind.
"At no period of time has man learned all that can be learned of the word of God. There are yet new views of truth to be seen, and much to be understood of the character and attributes of God,--His benevolence, His mercy, His long forbearance, His example of perfect obedience. 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.' This is a most valuable study, taxing the intellect, and giving strength to the mental ability. After diligently searching the word, hidden treasures are discovered, and the lover of truth breaks out in triumph, 'Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.' 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
"The Bible, fully received and studied as the voice of God, tells the human family how to reach the abodes of eternal happiness, and secure the treasures of heaven. 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.' Are we then so dull that we cannot comprehend it? Shall we cultivate a deep hunger for the productions of learned authors, and disregard the word of God? It is this great longing for something they never ought to crave, that makes men substitute for knowledge, that which cannot make them wise unto salvation." --Fundamentals of Christian Education, Pages 382, 390, 444-445.
"As the mine has rich veins of gold and silver hidden beneath the surface, so that all must dig who would discover its precious stores, so the Holy Scriptures have treasures of truth that are revealed only to the earnest, humble, prayerful seeker. God designed the Bible to be a lesson book to all mankind, in childhood, youth, and manhood, and to be studied through all time. He gave His word to men as a revelation of Himself. Every new truth discerned is a fresh disclosure of the character of its Author. The study of the Scriptures is the means divinely ordained to bring men into closer connection with their Creator and to give them a clearer knowledge of His will. It is the medium of communication between God and man." --Great Controversy, Page 69.
"All over the field of revelation are scattered grains of gold--the sayings of the wisdom of God. If you are wise, you will gather up these precious grains of truth. Make the promises of God your own. Then when test and trial come, these promises will be to you glad springs of heavenly comfort.
"Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God's promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons. But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed. Thus 'when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.'
"The heart that is stored with the precious truths of God's Word is fortified against the temptation of Satan, against impure thoughts and unholy actions.
"Keep close to the Scriptures. The more you search and explain the Word, the more your mind and heart will be fortified with the blessed words of encouragement and promise.
"Let us commit its precious promises to memory, so that, when we are deprived of our Bibles, we may still be in possession of the Word of God." My Life Today, Pages 28-29.
"In God's word is found wisdom unquestionable, inexhaustible--wisdom that originated, not in the finite, but in the infinite mind. But much of that which God has revealed in His word is dark to men, because the jewels of truth are buried beneath the rubbish of human wisdom and tradition. To many the treasures of the word remain hidden, because they have not been searched for with earnest perseverance until the golden precepts were understood. The word must be searched in order to purify and prepare those who receive it to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. --Testimonies to the Church, Volume 6, Page 132.
"The Bible is but yet dimly understood. A life-long prayerful study of its sacred revealings will leave still much unexplained. It is the deep movings of the Spirit of God that is needed to operate upon the heart to mold character, to open the communication between God and the soul, before the deep truths will be unraveled." --Letter 37, 1887.
"In our day the church has been to a great degree content with the surface truths of revelation, made so plain and easy to be understood that many have thought these supplied all that was essential, and in accepting them they have been content. But the Holy Spirit, working upon the mind, will not allow it to rest in indolence. He awakens an earnest desire for truth uncorrupted with error and false doctrines. Celestial truth will reward the diligent seeker. The mind that is really desirous to know what is truth cannot be content in indolence.
"The kingdom of heaven is likened to 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.' He buys it that he may work it, plow up every part of it, and take possession of its treasures. It is the Holy Spirit's office to direct this search and to reward it. The searcher, while digging the field, finds leads of precious ore of which he seeks to estimate the value, and he sinks the shaft deeper, for still more valuable treasure. Thus many a rich lode is discovered. The gold fields of the earth are not so interlaced with veins of precious ore as is the field of revelation with leads that bring to view the unsearchable riches of Christ.
"The Lord would have every one of His believing children rich in faith; and this is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. From the heart the Spirit works outward, developing a character that God will approve. What a vast field of the treasures of truth did Christ add to the domain of faith to be appropriated by His disciples! We need greater faith if we would have better knowledge of the Word. The greatest hindrance to our receiving the divine illumination is that we do not depend on the efficiency of the Holy Spirit." --Ye Shall Receive Power, Page 105.
Knowing the Unknown
"'For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.' 1 Cor. 2:11.
"Revelation is not the creation or invention of something new, but the manifestation of what was, until revealed, unknown to human beings. The great and eternal truths contained in the gospel are revealed through diligent searching and humbling of ourselves before God. The divine Teacher leads the mind of the humble seeker for truth; and by the Holy Spirit's guidance, the truths of the Word are made known to him. And there can be no more certain and efficient way of knowledge than in being thus guided. The promise of the Saviour was 'When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth' (John 16:13). It is through the impartation of the Holy Spirit that we are made to understand the Word of God.
"The psalmist writes, 'Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. . . Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law' (Ps. 119:9-18).
"We are admonished to seek for the truth as for hid treasure. The Lord opens the understanding of the true seeker after truth; and the Holy Spirit enables him to grasp the truths of revelation. This is what the psalmist means when he asks that his eyes may be opened to behold wondrous things out of the law. When the soul pants after the excellencies of Jesus Christ, the mind is enabled to grasp the glories of the better world. Only by the aid of the divine Teacher can we understand the truths of the Word of God. In Christ's school we learn to be meek and lowly because there is given to us an understanding of the mysteries of godliness.
"He who inspired the Word was the true expositor of the Word. Christ illustrated His teachings by calling the attention of His hearers to the simple laws of nature, and to the familiar objects which they daily saw and handled. Thus He led their minds from the natural to the spiritual." --Ye Shall Receive Power, Page 107.
Digging Deeper Into the Mine
"'These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.' Acts 17:11.
"It is proper and right to read the Bible; but your duty does not end there; for you are to search its pages for yourselves. The knowledge of God is not to be gained without mental effort, without prayer for wisdom in order that you may separate from the pure grain of truth the chaff with which men and Satan have misrepresented the doctrines of truth. Satan and his confederacy of human agents have endeavored to mix the chaff of error with the wheat of truth. We should diligently seek for the hidden treasure, and seek wisdom from heaven in order to separate human inventions from the divine commands. The Holy Spirit will aid the seeker for great and precious truths which relate to the plan of redemption.
"I would impress upon all the fact that a casual reading of Scriptures is not enough. We must search, and this means the doing of all the Word implies. As the miner eagerly explores the earth to discover its veins of gold, so you are to explore the Word of God for the hidden treasure that Satan has so long sought to hide from man. The Lord says, 'If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching' (John 7:17, RV).
The Word of God is truth and light, and is to be a lamp unto your feet, to guide you every step of the way to the gates of the city of God. It is for this reason that Satan has made such desperate efforts to obstruct the path that has been cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. You are not to take your ideas to the Bible, and make your opinions a center around which truth is to revolve. You are to lay aside your ideas at the door of investigation, and with humble, subdued hearts, with self hid in Christ, with earnest prayer, you are to seek wisdom from God. You should feel that you must know the revealed will of God, because it concerns your personal, eternal welfare. The Bible is a directory by which you may know the way to eternal life. You should desire above all things that you may know the will and ways of the Lord. --Ye Shall Receive Power, Page 108.
Trusting In His Illumination
"'Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.' Ps. 119:34.
"All over the field of revelation are scattered glad springs of heavenly truth, peace, and joy. These fountains of joy are within the reach of every seeker. The words of Inspiration, pondered in the heart, will be as living streams flowing from the river of the water of life. Our Saviour prayed that the mind of His followers might be opened to understand the Scriptures. Whenever we study the Bible with a prayerful heart, the Holy Spirit is near to open to us the meaning of the words we read. The man whose mind is enlightened by the opening of God's Word to his understanding will not only feel that he must more diligently seek to understand that Word, but that he must have a better understanding of the sciences. He will feel that he is called to a high calling in Christ Jesus.
"The more closely connected man is with the Source of all knowledge and wisdom, the more he will feel that he must advance in intellectual and spiritual attainments. The opening of God's Word is always followed by a remarkable opening and strengthening of man's faculties; for the entrance of His words giveth light. By contemplation of great truths, the mind is elevated, the affections purified and refined; for the Spirit of God, through the truth of God, quickens the lifeless spiritual faculties, and attracts the soul heavenward.
"Then take your Bible and present yourself before your heavenly Father, saying, 'Enlighten me; teach me what is truth.' The Lord will regard your prayer, and the Holy Spirit will impress the truth upon your soul. In searching the Scriptures for yourself, you will become established in the faith. It is of the greatest importance that you continually search the Scriptures, storing the mind with the truths of God. You may be separated from the companionship of Christians, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. You need the treasures of God's Word hidden in your heart, that when opposition comes upon you, you may bring everything to the test of the Scriptures. --Ye Shall Receive Power, Page 113.
Meditating on God's Word
"'O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.' Ps. 119:97.
"Men need not the dim light of tradition and custom to make the Scriptures comprehensible. It is just as sensible to suppose that the sun, shining in the heavens at noonday, needs the glimmerings of the torchlights of earth to increase its glory. In the Bible every duty is made plain, every lesson is comprehensible. The gift of Christ and the illumination of the Holy Spirit reveal to us the Father. The Word is able to make men and women and youth wise unto salvation.
"'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works' (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God's Word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times.
"Little benefit is to be derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty or to comprehend its depth of meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory. Even while you are walking in the street, you may read a passage and meditate upon it, thus fixing it on the mind.
"Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages, we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given. When Nathanael came to Jesus, the Saviour exclaimed, 'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile' (John 1:47). Nathanael said, 'Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee' (verse 48). And Jesus will see us also in the secret place of prayer, if we will seek Him for light, that we may know what is truth. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance." --Ye Shall Receive Power, Page 115.
The above quotations are priceless, aren't they? Before I read my Bible, I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and enlighten me in my understanding of the Scriptures. I usually read some of the above quotations to help me realize the significance of reading and meditating upon God's Holy Book. I read these quotations to keep from getting into a 'mere routine, out-of-habit, casual reading of God's Words where the mind is not fully taxed.' Oh, how easily one gets into this unfruitful effort and a bad habit to boot. 'Little benefit is to be derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty or to comprehend its depth of meaning.'
Through meditation, the Holy Spirit gives us 'new' insight, revelation, and beauty to old familiar texts. We get a deeper understanding and a heartfelt appreciation of subjects such as the incarnation, Christ's earthly ministry, His baptism, His crucifixion, His resurrection, His atonement, His present ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary as our High Priest, His character of benevolence and love, etc.
This is exciting and worth all the 'time and trouble' it takes to focus and tax our energies in the study and meditation of the Bible. A life-long prayerful study of its sacred revealings will leave still much unexplained. A thousand years of research would not exhaust the hidden treasures the Bible contains.
Just putting this document together motivates me to start digging deeper than ever before. I want to find these treasures that are just sitting there waiting to be found by the earnest seeker. When we have these treasures in our possession, the Word of God is assimilated into the very warp and woof of our being. It has become a part of us. The precious diamonds of truths would have wrought transformation of Christian character which would not happen unless we put away forever the casual, superficial reading of God's Eternal Words and start digging real deep into God's Mines for beautiful heavenly treasures.
Chopin's Etude No. 3 Midi