STUDY ON THE TREASURE N°8
This teaching is the 8th part in a series of eight. Please read the other seven parts.
Now you want to know if Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor every time and when he cheated anybody out of anything, he paid back four times the amount, or if he was undertaking to do so? No, it is rather a commitment that he is taking here. He is undertaking to obey, that is, he received the word of God, and was showing repentance. Because if it is what he was doing, if every time he cheated anybody out of anything, he paid back four times the amount, one would have already known him in the city as an honest man, one would no longer call him a sinner.
When you see the centurion, when he came to beg the Lord to heal his servant, what did people say to the Lord? "Lord he deserves to have you do this, because he did this, he did that, he is the one who has built our synagogue ..." You can read it in Luke 7:2-5 "2There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue."
When you do good, people notice that you do good, and people talk about it. Therefore, if in the case of Zacchaeus people can say: "To whom does the Lord take the risk of going like that?" It simply means that he did not pay back four times the amount so easily. But when the message of the Lord comes, he does not choose to do things little by little. He said, "Lord, I comply, I will not even wait for you to tell me what to do. I have understood, I will do it."
Intervention of someone from the fourth group: We talked about change but we did not mean that that is what should be done. We were explaining why it is difficult for man to change immediately. It is because it costs him something, it is because he prefers his stability. So we did not mean that one should do what we said, it is not in that sense.
Answer: Yes it is understood, it means the same thing. Why? Because when we do a workshop like this, what is its purpose? We are looking for a solution to a problem. Here we are stuck, and we come to you, you are consultants. We come to you with our problem. And our problem is easy to explain. It is as follows: "We find it very complicated the change God expects from us. Help us." As answer to our question, you say: "It does not matter, it is rather normal if you find it difficult. It is not immediately that you will change. It might come with time." Your answer will certainly reassure us in our position. And relieved, we will say: "Fortunately for us, even the consultants agree with us. They reassured us by telling us that it is difficult for man to change suddenly."
That is not a good solution. That is what we, in a clearer language, call solution of seduction. It is like when you find someone who does evil, and you tell him: "To put an end to your evildoings would be fine, but..." It is not how you should talk to people when you intend to save them. If we come back to the case of the high priest Eli we talked about earlier, I can give you a teaching different from the one I just gave you. Because he did reprimand his children. Sure, he did reprimand them. But how!
I heard a pastor say one day that the high priest Eli did not love God. But since I considered that this pastor was "honestly" ignorant, I did not rebuke him in front of everybody. I waited until there were only the two of us to tell him that it was wrong what he had just said. Because Eli loved God. I can prove to you that this high priest loved the Lord. He just did not realize to what extent one should love the Lord. He loved the Lord as we love the Lord today. Everyone thinks he loves the Lord, but in his own way. If we want to have at least a proof that the high priest Eli loved the Lord, we just have to see what caused his death.
As soon as he heard that the ark of God was taken, he collapsed. At least a proof that he loved the Lord, but in his own way. And it is precisely what constitutes a great trap for us today. Because I know that each of us here loves God, but in his own way, unfortunately. The Lord does not reprimand us here because we are pagans, no. We are born again Christians, baptized in water, baptized with the Holy Spirit. And it is out of love for God that we are in this place. If the Lord reprimands us in this way, it is because He wants us to inherit the great crown. If one had to speak only in terms of Christians, know that we are already Christians. But we are christians in our own way.
Therefore to solve a problem by giving a solution somewhat softened, does not really help those to whom you speak. So we understand the meaning very well. Through your conclusion, one knows that you have understood the subject. But the fact that you say this again: "You yourself should understand that when one believes, it is not so easy to get rid of what one was doing," we know it, we know that it is not that easy. But what you do is comfort people in positions which are not very interesting. You should rather make them cry and come out of their situation quickly, rather than try to console them. Alleluia! So when you want to help people, tell them the truth as it should be, so that they wake up, do not try to show them that it is not that serious what they are doing. Alleluia. So, it was a mistake indeed. I bless the Lord who enabled that this be rectified.
Comments of the report of the 5th Group
The 5th group came back to almost the same things that the other brothers had already received. The treasure according to the earth, the treasure according to God. They segmented their work very well to make the message clearer, by reading passages such as Matthew 13 where the Lord speaks in terms of treasure and shows us what the real treasure is, that is, the kingdom of God. They talked about 1Corinthians 2:9 that reminds us, if we still had some doubts, what awaits us with the Lord, if we choose to remain faithful to the Lord until the end. They also read the passage of Colossians. They stressed on the greed by mentioning the case of Balaam.
Here is Balaam, a great prophet of God, we know what awaits the prophets of God with the Lord. And those who were prophets of God in the past and who served God are now with the Lord, waiting for us as you can see it in the book of Revelation. They are just expecting that we arrive, so that the feast begins. Here is someone who was destined for an eternal crown, but who rather preferred to become attached to the things that will perish, the things which will be of no use to him. He left the ministry to go and preach the kind of message people want to hear, to get money. It is what the prophets of God have become. They compromised themselves to put Christians at ease. That is why I thank the Lord for the pastors who chose to repent, even if it means losing the faithful and the tithes. The tithes were not really their problems, because to commit oneself to following the truth, one must be delivered from greed. And I blessed the Lord for these brothers. Unfortunately one does no longer find such brothers today.
Greed: We talked about the case of the rich young man, of Lot's wife. We insisted on these cases very well. They also mentioned the case of Ananias and Sapphira. They reminded us through Psalm 37:4 what we have to do. They came back to lust, and there are several forms of lust now as you know. They quoted the case of Gehazi. There are lots of Gehazi in churches today. They invited us to rid ourselves of everything that still binds us.
Renunciation, Separation are the same elements we studied in December. Since they are the same things that block us every day. Nobody wants to deny oneself. Nobody is ready to get rid of the things that bind him. Sometimes pagans are more important to us than God. And in the meantime, we serve God. And as soon as you try to tell someone to reexamine his walk before God, he asks you who you are to judge him. Alleluia!
The brothers also mentioned points such as negligence, fortunately they finished by giving us a glimmer of hope, because they reminded us that we still have the opportunity to repent. So you must understand tonight that it is not late yet. Even if we were still in idolatry, know that by the grace of the Lord we can still repent after this message, and we can still be part of those who will reign with the Lord. They also quoted 2Timothy 2 and as conclusion, they rather asked us another question. Who can say today like Joshua: But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord? For many today rather say: But as for me and my household, we will serve our stomach, we will serve ourselves. We will enjoy life to the full before leaving, as if there were a life on earth. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
May the Lord bless you abundantly! Beloved that is the essence of what we can get out of this topic and I believe the Lord cannot be clearer than that. Each of us now is able to know where his treasure is. All that I can tell you now from the Lord is that, if after a self-examination, you find out that your treasure is somewhere else, know that if the trumpet sounds, you will not be raptured. And if, unfortunately, you die before the rapture, it is rather at the Last Judgment that your case shall be examined. So you better choose now. If you want eternal glory, look unto the promise. If you want to remain attached to the things your eyes see, and contemplate them, know at least what awaits you: The wrath of God. And if you have already understood that life on earth is vanity, whether the Lord comes in a few days or months, or even if He chooses not to come, anyway we will not live eternally on earth. So if you have understood that, you better make God your Treasure.
When we consider what happened in the world in the last few weeks (we intended to talk a bit about it when we planned to talk about the events of the end of age), you see how many disasters strike the world now. Not a single day goes by without a new disaster somewhere. Fire, flood, accident, every day there is something to report somewhere. If I take the example of England, where for nearly two or three weeks, the flood swamped a large part of the country, you yourselves know how each person works now for his comfort on earth. As soon as you managed to buy your house, you say to yourself: I am well settled now; I have made it to the top. "Everyone is now measured by the kind of house he has. That is why people are competing with each other to know who has the biggest house, who has the most beautiful house, who has a detached house instead. Because when you want to buy an apartment now, if you see a semi-attached house, the price will be affordable. One should be a loaded person to have detached house, alleluia. And when you manage to have one with a garden behind, you worship it as God.
When the flood occurred the other day, all these houses with large gardens, fully-equipped, that one spends days and hours to maintain, to cut flowers which tend to jut out a tiny bit, all these luxurious villas were completely deluged with water. One heard people crying: "All my carpet got completely wet, I have lost this, the cars, everything is in the water." The damage was estimated at more than five billion pounds, about eight billion euros; all that people suffer to amass every day. When you preach this message to them, they believe that you came to insult them. And when things like these happen, then they start to whine, and the insurance begins to contest that it will not pay for everything. It says that everything is certainly insured but that not everything was insured against natural disasters. Alleluia! When God is your insurance, you are insured against everything. You have understood. May the Lord bless you abundantly! Beloved, that is all for our first workshop. It was wonderful! May God be praised!
Do you have some questions about this message that the Lord just gave us?
Questions - Answers
Question: There is a group who talked about treasure in the plural form. They spoke in terms of the amount of treasures that one should have in heaven, I would like to understand that.
Answer: They speak in terms of crowns and blessings that are accumulated with the Lord.
Question: I thought that the treasure of a Christian is Jesus.
Answer: You are right; the treasure of a true Christian is Jesus. But the brothers speak here about the crowns and reward that await us with the Lord. They are not saying that they have many Gods, or that besides Jesus as treasure, they have another one. With a pure heart, we understand plainly what the brothers want to say. God does not say that He will limit the number of crowns that we must have. I do not even see why to talk about treasures in the plural form raises a question. The basic text itself speaks of treasures in the plural. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth... Therefore, this kind of question constitutes a distraction. And it shows in which state of mind some people are when it comes to understanding the things of God. Whatever, even if the basic text had not talked of treasures in the plural form, the brothers would not be wrong in saying what they said. If we have several treasures with God, there is nothing wrong with that. If every crown represents a treasure, it is normal that we have many treasures for those who work very well. Likewise on earth, there are people who have many treasures, alleluia! Your wife is a treasure, work is a treasure, family is a treasure, your car is a treasure, your property is a treasure, the title that one bears or the job that one has is a treasure, entertainment is a treasure, sport, etc. Even animals constitute a treasure for some people.
Question: When we spoke of separation, speaking of children, do we have to part from the love we have for them when it is too excessive with regard to God?
Answer: No, the idea is not to part from the excessive love one has for his children. You just have to make sure that the love you have for them is different from the love you have for God. No, we should really love our children and with an excessive love. But this excessive must be written with a small "e" while the excessive of God must be written with a capital "E". That is simply what this is all about. But let be reasonable, you cannot love your children like Abraham loved Isaac. No one can love his children like Abraham loved Isaac. He loved him with an excessive love, except that his excessive was written with a small "e", and he loved God with an excessive love, that time with a capital "E". That is why when God told him, "Give me your child," he looked at both "e", one of them was big, and the other small, and he obeyed immediately. Alleluia! Abraham was willing to die for his son, but he was ready to sacrifice him to the Lord.
Intervention: I asked this question in order to be able to pass on to others what we learnt as teaching.
Answer: Yes, beloved, you must love your children. But children should never and under no circumstances take the place of the Lord or prevent you from serving the Lord. I gave you the example of the people for whom their child is an idol. I gave you the example of an assembly where I was going, where when one was preaching, children could play like they wanted without anyone reprimanding them. There are even some people who can miss a church service because of their children. That is at least a proof that they are serving their children and not God. And that is how you know if God comes before your children or if your children come before God. It does not mean that we should not love our children. You must love your children, but your children should be in their place and must never be in the place of God. Because it is God who created the children, you are not the one who created them.
If God wants to take these children back, He will take them without consulting you. That is what many do not understand today. When God says "correct the children," they stubbornly refuse to correct the children as if they want to show to God that they love their children. Yet you have no power over the child, the day God will want to take him back, he will not consult you. So it is just because we are so much blinded. Therefore, you must love the children, but you should love them according to the Lord. The child comes after the Lord. The Lord comes before the child. That is the principle. And the Lord means the activities of the Lord, the things of the Lord, the instructions of the Lord. All that the Lord asks you to do. All this must come before the children. If God sends you to do something, you say, "Lord my children have a programme, I should honour it, my children have this, they have that ..." know that you are telling God: "My children first." And when you behave that way, the Lord rejects you.
That is why the high priest Eli, to whom God had promised the priesthood, I would say forever, because God promised to make him reign, he and all his descendants, that is why he lost this privilege, just because for him, his children carried too much weight, had too much importance and the Lord repented of all that He had promised him. God told him, "Far be it from me! Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained." When you reprimand your children feebly before God, you are despising God, He who told you how to manage and educate children. It is a disdain. And what does God say? "Those who despise me will be disdained." We really have to choose what we want to do. Alleluia.
Question: It is in relation to Isaac. Since Abraham sacrificed his son, so God was his treasure. God Himself sacrificed his Son for man. Can we really say that man is the treasure of God?
Answer: Absolutely beloved, you did a very beautiful conclusion. We are really the treasure of God. That is why God invested all that He invests in us, to the point of sacrificing His only Son. And if only He sacrificed Him for the Righteous, it would make sense. He sacrificed Him for people like us, pitiful sinners. It is at least a proof that we are the treasure of God. And it is for this reason that when God cherishes us so much, and sees us live the way we live, despise Him the way we despise Him, it breaks His heart. It is a bit what we discussed here yesterday. It was yesterday that we were talking about that. Yesterday we talked about the place that the Lord granted us. That is what aroused the jealousy of satan. And it is precisely for that reason that satan fights us every time. He does not understand why God can make us His treasure. So, let us make the effort to really respond favourably to this wonderful call of love of the Lord to us. Alleluia! God proved us the greatest love by sacrificing for us, in the state in which we were, the most valuable treasure He had. We have all the reasons to say: Lord, I would at least like to be grateful to You, for this love that one cannot describe, to which one cannot even respond. Alleluia! Thus, you should never forget it: We are treasure of God.
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
feel free to make copies of this article and give them out.
To download it, click HERE , or on the PDF icon.