Things New and Old
This chapter is based on
the following verses:
Matt. 13:51, 52
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.
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 seeker.
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.
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
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 Him.
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.
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
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 mightier power.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 temptation.
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.
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?
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
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 godliness."
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