STUDY ON TREASURE N°4
This teaching is the 4th part in a series of eight. Please read the other seven parts.
That is how we analyzed this aspect and we advise everyone to still consider all these elements that the Lord gives us. The list of the various points is not exhaustive, for there are many more. May the Lord reveal to you all of these aspects in your life which still take His place.
What can we do to move our treasure if it is misplaced? What should we do to bring our treasure back to God if it is not yet in God? We saw the aspect of putting off our old selves found in Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Ephesians 4:1-3 "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." The second aspect is self-denial and separation as the brothers have already mentioned in Luke 14:26-33 "26If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish. 31Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
There is another very subtle but very important element which shows that we underestimate the value of our treasure. It is the aspect of negligence. For when we understand that we have something very great, real and eternal, the aspect of negligence should disappear. There are people who love the Lord, and although they are not that idolaters, if we can say so, they are so negligent. This aspect proves that we did not really understand the value of our treasure. In this case, we only need to repent. And if by searching our hearts, we still see other idols, we must get rid of them immediately and repent. And finally, we must pray that God helps us to understand some things about this treasure as 2Timothy 2:3-7 tells us "3Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer. 5Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
To conclude, we leave you all with this question: Can you say like Joshua: But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord?
We also examined this passage of James 5:1-6 "1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you." We tried a bit to illustrate greed and the things of this world by speaking especially of wealth. Because in this passage of James, the Lord tells us: "Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you."
According to this passage, it is money that dominates this world. Everyone does everything to amass money. And silver produces many elements that go against the things of the kingdom of heaven. Money is really a root of all kinds of evil. So speaking of wealth, we really need to get rid of it. We also quoted the passage of Luke 14:26-27 where the Lord says: "26If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." And in verse 33, He says: "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
And when we go back to the examples that the brothers mentioned, such as the case of this retreat, we see that in this retreat, the Lord allows that many things occur, and serve as teaching for us. So we must take each element that the Lord gives us during this moment very seriously. Regarding the treasure, if your child is your treasure, you cannot teach him the word of God properly, or discipline him properly. If you cling to your child and cannot reprimand him according to God, know that this child is a treasure for you. And this can prevent you from living according to the Word of God. We also noted the notion of suffering in self-denial and in the renunciation of the things of the world.
A brother spoke about pride, if we have pride in us, we must do everything we can, to get rid of it and to rid ourselves of all these things. That would surely make us suffer, but we must do it with joy. James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." Whoever rids himself of the things of the earth will inherit great crowns in heaven. In the morning, we talked about suffering. 1Peter 5:9 tells us that all our brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. "Resist him, Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." Since we said that our treasure is the kingdom of heaven, we must do everything within our power to reach our goal. Our only goal is to go to the Lord, and for that reason, we really need to rid ourselves of everything and obey the word of God. It is only by obeying God without hesitation, that the way will be easier for us. We see it in the following passages Matt 11:30 "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 1John 5:3 "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome."
End of reports
Comment of Reports
The advantage of workshops for me particularly is to understand that God does not necessarily need me to teach you. No, it is true, it is not to make fun of God, it is to tell you the truth. When you gather together around the word of God, as you did a short while ago, you discover many things. And you do not say the opposite of what I would have said if I had started speaking. At least another proof that the word of God is not that complicated. It is also one of the aspects on which I spent a lot of time with the brothers. Make them understand that there are not two interpretations of the word of God. I explained to them that, from the same passage of the word of God, we can draw several different teachings. These different teachings cannot, under no circumstances, become different interpretations of this passage. So there are not ten thousand interpretations of the word of God, there is only one true interpretation. This helps us to understand that those who want to walk with the Lord always understand the word of God in a simple way. While those who do not want to put the word of God into practice, since they need a few reasons to persist in their stubbornness, and to deceive themselves, distort the word of God, twist the meaning, to support their madness.
When we take the example of this topic, five different groups studied this subject separately, yet, the various reports show us that they came out of these topics with the same results, or if you want, with the same interpretation of the word of God. Apart from a few mistakes made by the brothers of the fourth group, you will see that all came to the same conclusion. (You can find the corrections made to these mistakes below, in the comment of their report).
This is another proof that, in reality, there are not different interpretations of the word of God. If in five different groups, you made the same report, you made the same study and drew from this study the same conclusion, this shows you that if you meet someone who tries to bring you a conclusion different to the one you had, or to what you drew from this passage, you will understand that that person simply chose not to receive what God says in this passage or through that passage. You will understand that he rather chose to fabricate, from this passage, what he wanted to see God say. Thus, we are delighted to know that the word of God is so simple and clear. So, those who want to go astray mislead themselves deliberately. And those who want to be saved do not make a lot of efforts to know what the Lord expects from them.
We will go through the points that the brothers noted down. Let us start with the first group.
Comment of the 1st Group Report
The brothers mentioned among others money, family, possessions. If the Lord, in this retreat, comes back to the same subject (I speak of the same subject because it is the only subject we studied during our December retreat, seven and a half months ago), while there are several other topics in the Bible, then we have good reasons to ask ourselves this question: Did the message or did the teaching the Lord gave us in December, really bore fruits? If yes, to what extent? And if it is the case, why does the Lord still choose to come back to this topic? For God never gives a teaching without any reason. He gives instruction only when it is necessary. Normally, for those who were there in December, unless we can demonstrate that this teaching came back now only for those who were not there in December, we have reasons to wonder as I said earlier. Because with the teaching of December, each of us must be sufficiently well-prepared, sufficiently well-balanced in the way he is living, and above us, he must be fully aware of what is he doing, of where he is going and of what is awaiting him.
And as soon as we have this knowledge, normally, we should expect nothing more from God to move forward, because it is the lack of knowledge that prevents people from moving forward. Once we have knowledge, we are supposed to move forward if this is our desire. Now, if seven and a half months later, the Lord brings the same subject back to another retreat, it is at least a proof that the teaching either did not produce the expected effect at all, or bore fruits in some people, without bearing fruits in others. And in any case, it is not interesting. So it is time we examined ourselves and if we had already examined ourselves, is time to do it once again.
So let us come back to the topic. This morning, a brother drew our attention to the question that was asked, since that was the object of the retreat of December, and it is from there that I understood more how rich this retreat of December was. And you yourselves know how the Lord blessed that retreat for those who were there. And even with all that you just did, the more I listen to you, the more I see nothing more than what the Lord had already told us. Because we had four days of retreat at the end of year, four days during which we developed all that was necessary for everyone to be raptured, for those who wanted to be raptured, to mend their ways for those who wanted to do so, to rid themselves of seduction, for those who were still deceiving themselves, and even to have knowledge, for those who thought they were ignorant. The brothers thus mentioned money, family, sport, material possessions. These are all the things that we had examined. With all the examples that you mentioned, I do not know what else I shall say, since you said everything. When a teaching becomes clear like this one, if someone does not put it into practice, it can be nothing else but stubbornness. I do not know what else to say to make people understand.
We had already said in December all that you have just confirmed, that is, if in your life, anything comes before God, you should know that before God, you are what God calls an idolater. Unfortunately, in the gospel of this century, there is no longer a sin called idolatry. The only sin that deserves the name sin is adultery. As soon as you did not commit adultery, you are a very good Christian. You can dwell in your witchcraft, in any form of idolatry, as long as you give tithes and offerings, you will be at peace with the pastor, who will come to an agreement with his god, so that you also will be in agreement with him.
You should understand that at least 95 born again Christians today out of 100 are idolaters. This simply means that each of them is bound to something, a bond stronger and more solid than that between him and God. For some people it is money. There are people for whom money comes before everything. How do we know it? We know that we all work. And when we work, we can dare to say that we work for money, because at the end of the month, we earn money. This is not what we call idolatry; this is not what we mean here. Working in order to earn a salary at the end of the month is a normal thing. It is the Lord who wants us to work, because we need some money to live on and help others. But while some understood that the work that the Lord has placed at our disposal is just there to help us spend the little time we have to spend on earth, others believe to have found in it their source of joy, happiness, pride, all their delight and treasure, since we are talking about treasure today.
How do we know if we are more attached to money than to God? It is quite simple. The brothers mentioned the case of Abraham. If God comes now and tells you to leave early tomorrow morning, and that the first thing to do is to go to your bank or your banks to empty everything in your account or in your accounts, and to go and put it at the disposal of God, will you think twice before complying? If the answer is yes, know that for you, money comes before God. It is as simple as that. But if you are willing to do it without hesitation and without asking God what is the matter with Him, know that for you, God comes before everything. And if you want a simple example, you can find it in Genesis chapter 22 where it is written: God told Abraham to take his son, and since God knows to be precise in His instructions, he said to Abraham: your only son, as if Abraham had five sons. Hallelujah! Know that the Lord takes His time to tell us things, so that we understand very well what He wants to tell us, so that we understand very well that He did not make a mistake.
That is why when you think about it now you say to yourself: Does God Himself think about it carefully? He knows that I have only one son, and He tells me again: your only son as if I had five sons. He knows what He is talking about. He wants to give you more precisions. As He already knows that you will think about it, because as soon as He will tell you: "Take your son, go and sacrifice him", as soon as He leaves, the first question that will come to your mind will be: did God, before speaking know that I have only one son? Maybe He forgot that I had only one son. No, to prove you that He did not forget, He tells you: "Take your son, your only son, and go to sacrifice him to Me." We can read this passage; we have all our time Hallelujah! Genesis 22. Everyone should be on page already. Beloved, you should already know where every book in your Bible is. You should learn to find your way in the Bible, so that you do not lose time searching for books while the teaching is going on.
Thus, let us read Genesis 22:1-4 "Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." Verse 3 Abraham spent weeks and months to think about it and to hesitate to see whether he will obey or not. Is it what is written in your Bible? No! We all agree that none of this is written in our Bibles. Someone tells me that it is rather the Bible of Barnabas. You may be right. Let us continue beloved. Verse 3 "Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance."
See how one can know where his treasure is. And if the Lord chose to remind us this teaching, even for those who thought they had understood it, I think we should understand this teaching again very well today. And in December we stressed more on the fact that the Lord gave us this teaching so that no one finds himself one day either on earth after the rapture, or outside the gates of Heaven, saying: "Lord but I loved you with all my heart." Because each of us knows how to deceive himself in that way. The Lord spoke to us so clearly that there was no way to either deceive God or ourselves. And it is also what the Lord is trying to do with us now, by giving us this teaching which I would qualify down to earth, with a language that even the deaf can hear.
We have Abraham who, as a married man and especially a married man from the past, could desire nothing else but to have children, or at least, to have a son who would inherit from him; because it is what occupied the heart of people in the past. I insist on people from the past, because nowadays, the mentality of men has changed. Child does not mean much to some; with what we experience now, this is almost normal. But for Abraham, it was not the case. The wealth of parents from the past was children. It was even children who were the proud of the parents. You have a passage of Ps 127, which tells us that the sons born in one's youth are a blessing, isn't it? It is said: Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalms 127:4-5 "4Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. 5Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."
Here is Abraham who did not succeed in filling his quiver, but who did want only one and did not have. He spent all his youth waiting from God, praying, interceding, without having anything. As someone who was faithful to God, he ended up saying: "Lord Your will, and not mine." Hallelujah! When he is old, waiting for the Lord to take him on high for rest, the Lord speaks to him about children. Amazed but happy to know that he can finally get what he spent more than 99 years of his life waiting for, he blessed God and had this child.
Sometime later, God comes and tells him: "your child, your only child, Isaac, hallelujah!" Put yourself in his shoes. The normal man would say, "I thought God was intelligent. This time, I really realize that He himself sometimes says unreasonable things." No, that is what everyone now would say to God. But we have just read together, I started by talking about it, but I wanted that we read it together to verify how it is written. The Bible tells us that the next day, early in the morning Abraham got up to comply.
Who here can still obey God in this way? And what are we talking about here? We are not talking about money, we are not talking about useless material possessions that seem so difficult for us to put at the disposal of God. We are talking about someone's only son. If he had seven sons, he could have said: "To give one of them, it is still okay, let us give Him one, and I am going to be content with the other six."
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
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