Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 11: Things New and Old
Based on Matt. 13:51, 52
As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are dwelt upon, . . .
each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting.
While Christ was teaching the people, He was also
educating His disciples for their future work. In
all His instruction there were lessons for them. After
giving the parable of the net, He asked them, "Have ye
understood all these things?" They said unto Him, "Yea,
Lord." Then in another parable He set before them their
responsibility in regard to the truths they had received.
"Therefore," He said, "every scribe which is instructed
unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an
householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things
new and old."
The treasure gained by the householder he does not
hoard. He brings it forth to communicate to others. And
by use the treasure increases. The householder has
precious things both new and old. So Christ teaches that the
truth committed to His disciples is to be communicated to
the world. And as the knowledge of truth is imparted, it
will increase. [p. 125]
All who receive the gospel message into the heart will
long to proclaim it. The heaven-born love of Christ must
find expression. Those who have put on Christ will relate
their experience, tracing step by step the leadings of the
Holy Spirit—their hungering and thirsting for the knowledge
of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, the
results of their searching of the Scriptures, their prayers,
their soul agony, and the words of Christ to them, "Thy sins
be forgiven thee." It is unnatural for any to keep these
things secret, and those who are filled with the love of
Christ will not do so. In proportion as the Lord has made
them the depositaries of sacred truth will be their desire
that others shall receive the same blessing. And as they
make known the rich treasures of God's grace, more and
still more of the grace of Christ will be imparted to them.
They will have the heart of a little child in its simplicity
and unreserved obedience. Their souls will pant after holiness,
and more and more of the treasures of truth and grace
will be revealed to them to be given to the world.
The great storehouse of truth is the word of God—
the written word, the book of nature, and the book of
experience in God's dealing with human life. Here are the
treasures from which Christ's workers are to draw. In
the search after truth they are to depend upon God, not
upon human intelligences, the great men whose wisdom is
foolishness with God. Through His own appointed channels
the Lord will impart a knowledge of Himself to every
If the follower of Christ will believe His word and
practice it, there is no science in the natural world that he
will not be able to grasp and appreciate. There is nothing
but that will furnish him means for imparting the truth to
others. Natural science is a treasure house of knowledge
from which every student in the school of Christ may draw. [p. 126] As we contemplate the beauty of nature, as we study its
lessons in the cultivation of the soil, in the growth of the
trees, in all the wonders of earth and sea and sky, there will
come to us a new perception of truth. And the mysteries
connected with God's dealings with men, the depths of His
wisdom and judgment as seen in human life—these are
found to be a storehouse rich in treasure.
But it is in the written word that a knowledge of God
is most clearly revealed to fallen man. This is the treasure
house of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
The word of God includes the Scriptures of the Old
Testament as well as of the New. One is not complete
without the other. Christ declared that the truths of the
Old Testament are as valuable as those of the New. Christ
was as much man's Redeemer in the beginning of the world
as He is today. Before He clothed His divinity with
humanity and came to our world, the gospel message
was given by Adam, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah.
Abraham in Canaan and Lot in Sodom bore the message,
and from generation to generation faithful messengers
proclaimed the Coming One. The rites of the Jewish
economy were instituted by Christ Himself. He was the
foundation of their system of sacrificial offerings, the great
antitype of all their religious service. The blood shed as
the sacrifices were offered pointed to the sacrifice of the
Lamb of God. All the typical offerings were fulfilled in
Christ as manifested to the patriarchs, as symbolized in
the sacrificial service, as portrayed in the law, and as
revealed by the prophets, is the riches of the Old Testament.
Christ in His life, His death, and His resurrection, Christ
as He is manifested by the Holy Spirit, is the treasure of
the New Testament. Our Saviour, the outshining of the
Father's glory, is both the Old and the New. [p. 127]
Of Christ's life and death and intercession, which prophets
had foretold, the apostles were to go forth as witnesses.
Christ in His humiliation, in His purity and holiness, in
His matchless love, was to be their theme. And in order to
preach the gospel in its fullness, they must present the
Saviour not only as revealed in His life and teachings, but
as foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament and as
symbolized by the sacrificial service.
Christ in His teaching presented old truths of which He
Himself was the originator, truths which He had spoken
through patriarchs and prophets; but He now shed upon
them a new light. How different appeared their meaning!
A flood of light and spirituality was brought in by His
explanation. And He promised that the Holy Spirit should
enlighten the disciples, that the word of God should be ever
unfolding to them. They would be able to present its truths
in new beauty.
Ever since the first promise of redemption was spoken
in Eden, the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of
Christ have been the study of human minds. Yet every
mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has
presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new. The
truths of redemption are capable of constant development
and expansion. Though old, they are ever new, constantly
revealing to the seeker for truth a greater glory and a
In every age there is a new development of truth, a
message of God to the people of that generation. The old
truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the
old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths
are understood that we can comprehend the new. When
Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His
resurrection, He began "at Moses and all the prophets" [p. 128] and "expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things
concerning Himself." Luke 24:27. But it is the light
which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies
the old. He who rejects or neglects the new does not really
possess the old. For him it loses its vital power and
becomes but a lifeless form.
There are those who profess to believe and to teach the
truths of the Old Testament, while they reject the New.
But in refusing to receive the teachings of Christ, they
show that they do not believe that which patriarchs and
prophets have spoken. "Had ye believed Moses," Christ
said, "ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me."
John 5:46. Hence there is no real power in their teaching
of even the Old Testament.
Many who claim to believe and to teach the gospel are
in a similar error. They set aside the Old Testament
Scriptures, of which Christ declared, "They are they which
testify of Me." John 5:39. In rejecting the Old, they
virtually reject the New; for both are parts of an inseparable
whole. No man can rightly present the law of God
without the gospel, or the gospel without the law. The law
is the gospel embodied, and the gospel is the law unfolded.
The law is the root, the gospel is the fragrant blossom and
fruit which it bears.
The Old Testament sheds light upon the New, and the
New upon the Old. Each is a revelation of the glory of
God in Christ. Both present truths that will continually
reveal new depths of meaning to the earnest seeker.
Truth in Christ and through Christ is measureless.
The student of Scripture looks, as it were, into a fountain
that deepens and broadens as he gazes into its depths.
Not in this life shall we comprehend the mystery of God's
love in giving His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
The work of our Redeemer on this earth is and ever will [p. 129] be a subject that will put to the stretch our highest
imagination. Man may tax every mental power in the
endeavor to fathom this mystery, but his mind will
become faint and weary. The most diligent searcher
will see before him a boundless, shoreless sea.
The truth as it is in Jesus can be experienced, but
never explained. Its height and breadth and depth pass
our knowledge. We may task our imagination to the
utmost, and then we shall see only dimply the outlines
of a love that is unexplainable, that is as high as heaven,
but that stooped to the earth to stamp the image of God
on all mankind.
Yet it is possible for us to see all that we can bear
of the divine compassion. This is unfolded to the humble,
contrite soul. We shall understand God's compassion just
in proportion as we appreciate His sacrifice for us. As we
search the word of God in humility of heart, the grand
theme of redemption will open to our research. It will
increase in brightness as we behold it, and as we aspire
to grasp it, its height and depth will ever increase.
Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ; we
are to draw constantly from Him, partaking of Him, the
living Bread that came down from heaven, drawing from
a fountain ever fresh, ever giving forth its abundant
treasures. If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing
our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him,
we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life.
Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with
God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak
His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to
us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often
our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to
commune with us as He did with Enoch. When this [p. 130] is in truth the experience of the Christian, there is seen in
his life a simplicity, a humility, meekness, and lowliness
of heart, that show to all with whom he associates that he
has been with Jesus and learned of Him.
In those who possess it, the religion of Christ will
reveal itself as a vitalizing, pervading principle, a living,
working, spiritual energy. There will be manifest the
freshness and power and joyousness of perpetual youth.
The heart that receives the word of God is not as a
pool that evaporates, not like a broken cistern that loses
its treasure. It is like the mountain stream fed by unfailing
springs, whose cool, sparkling waters leap from rock to
rock, refreshing the weary, the thirsty, the heavy laden.
This experience gives every teacher of truth the very
qualifications that will make him a representative of Christ.
The spirit of Christ's teaching will give a force and
directness to his communications and to his prayers.
His witness to Christ will not be a narrow, lifeless
testimony. The minister will not preach over and over
the same set discourses. His mind will be open to the
constant illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Christ said, "Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My
blood, hath eternal life. . . . As the living Father hath sent
Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, even
he shall live by Me. . . . It is the Spirit that quickeneth;
. . . the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and
they are life." John 6:54-63.
When we eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood, the
element of eternal life will be found in the ministry.
There will not be a fund of stale, oft-repeated ideas. The
tame, dull sermonizing will cease. The old truths will be
presented, but they will be seen in a new light. There will
be a new perception of truth, a clearness and a power that [p. 131] all will discern. Those who have the privilege of sitting
under such a ministry will, if susceptible to the Holy
Spirit's influence, feel the energizing power of a new life.
The fire of God's love will be kindled within them. their
perceptive faculties will be quickened to discern the beauty
and majesty of truth.
The faithful householder represents what every teacher
of the children and youth should be. If he makes the word
of God his treasure, he will continually bring forth new
beauty and new truth. When the teacher will rely upon
God in prayer, the Spirit of Christ will come upon him,
and God will work through him by the Holy Spirit upon
the minds of others. The Spirit fills the mind and heart [p. 132] with sweet hope and courage and Bible imagery, and all
this will be communicated to the youth under his instruction.
The springs of heavenly peace and joy, unsealed in the
soul of the teacher by the words of Inspiration, will become
a mighty river of influence to bless all who connect with
him. The Bible will not become a tiresome book to the
student. Under a wise instructor the word will become
more and more desirable. It will be as the bread of life,
and will never grow old. Its freshness and beauty will
attract and charm the children and youth. It is like
the sun shining upon the earth, perpetually imparting
brightness and warmth, yet never exhausted.
God's holy, educating Spirit is in His word. A light,
a new and precious light, shines forth from every page.
Truth is there revealed, and words and sentences are made
bright and appropriate for the occasion, as the voice of God
speaking to the soul.
The Holy Spirit loves to address the youth, and to
discover to them the treasures and beauties of God's word.
The promises spoken by the great Teacher will captivate
the senses and animate the soul with spiritual power that
is divine. There will grow in the fruitful mind a familiarity
with divine things that will be as a barricade against
The words of truth will grow in importance, and assume
a breadth and fullness of meaning of which we have never
dreamed. The beauty and riches of the word have a
transforming influence on mind and character. The light
of heavenly love will fall upon the heart as an inspiration.
The appreciation of the Bible grows with its study.
Whichever way the student may turn, he will find displayed
the infinite wisdom and love of God. [p. 133]
The significance of the Jewish economy is not yet fully
comprehended. Truths vast and profound are shadowed
forth in its rites and symbols. The gospel is the key that
unlocks its mysteries. Through a knowledge of the plan
of redemption, its truths are opened to the understanding.
Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these
wonderful themes. We are to comprehend the deep things
of God. Angels desire to look into the truths that are
revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching
the word of God, and praying for greater lengths and
breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which
He alone can give.
As we near the close of this world's history, the
prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our
study. The last book of the New Testament scriptures is
full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded
the minds of many, so that they have been glad of any
excuse for not making the Revelation their study. But
Christ through His servant John has here declared what
shall be in the last days, and He says, "Blessed is he that
readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and
keep those things which are written therein." Rev. 1:3.
"This is life eternal," Christ said, "that they might know
Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast
sent." John 17:3. Why is it that we do not realize the
value of this knowledge? Why are not these glorious
truths glowing in our hearts, trembling upon our lips, and
pervading our whole being?
Find out more today how to purchase a
copy of this enlightening book about the parables of Christ.
In giving us His word, God has put us in possession of
every truth essential for our salvation. Thousands have
drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no
diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord
before them, and by beholding have been changed into the [p. 134] same image. Their spirit burns within them as they speak
of His character, telling what Christ is to them, and what
they are to Christ. But these searchers have not exhausted
these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage
in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation.
As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are
dwelt upon, rays of light will shine forth more distinctly at
every attempt to discover truth. Each fresh search will
reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been
unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the
incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial
work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long
as time shall last; and looking to heaven with its unnumbered
years he will exclaim, "Great is the mystery of
In eternity we shall learn that which, had we received
the enlightenment it was possible 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 which 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. Through endless ages will the faithful Householder
bring forth from His treasure things new and old.
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