From: Revelation: Chapters Twenty-One and Twenty-Two
TREASURES IN HEAVEN
There are at least nine treasures we can lay up in Heaven. Each of these nine treasures has a counterpart on the earth. It is impossible to pursue both the heavenly treasure and its earthly counterpart. We must choose whether to lay up our treasures in Heaven or whether to lay up their counterparts on earth.
TREASURES IN HEAVEN
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:19,20)
There are two commandments here: (1) do not lay up treasures on the earth; and (2) do lay up treasures in Heaven.
Matthew 6:21 gives the reason: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Since the issues of our life and the words of our mouth come from our heart, we can understand that wherever our heart is, that is where we ourselves are. This verse points out to us the choice that every Christian must make.
There are at least nine treasures we can lay up in Heaven:
Freedom from sin.
Opportunities for service.
Rest in Christ in God.
Each of these nine treasures has a counterpart on the earth. It is impossible to pursue both the heavenly treasure and its earthly counterpart. We must choose whether to lay up the treasure in Heaven or to lay up its counterpart on the earth.
The treasures of Heaven will be given to each Christian according to his behavior in the body. They will be handed out when the Lord returns from Heaven, although it may happen that we receive them in a measure now. Here is the fulfillment of II Corinthians 5:10:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Eternal life is not only perpetual existence. Satan has perpetual existence but he does not possess one particle of eternal life. Eternal life is a quality of life. It is the Life that Christ is. It is eternal, incorruptible, resurrection life. It is energy to overcome sin and self-seeking, to thrust aside the world, Satan, and our own lusts and rebellion. It is life lived in the fullness of the Spirit, Substance, Presence, and knowledge of God in Christ. It is Divine power!
When first we receive Christ we receive eternal life. Then we use the strength from that portion of life to pursue more life. We "lay hold" on eternal life. We seek more abundant eternal resurrection life. We sow to the Spirit of God so that we will reap life everlasting in the Day of the Lord (Galatians 6:8).
As through the Spirit of God we overcome the world, Satan, and our lusts and self-will we are given to eat of the tree of life that is in the midst of the Paradise of God. If we are faithful to Christ to the point of death we will receive a crown of eternal, incorruptible lifethe authority and power to live and rule in eternal life.
Eternal life is the Shechinah, the Glory, the Presence, of God Almighty. Eternal life is the Consuming Fire of Israel.
The Glory on the Tabernacle and inside the Most Holy Place was eternal life.
Eternal life is given to the conqueror, Gods warrior, in the form of "hidden manna" and he then is able to overcome every adversary, every obstacle, every sin, every aspect of his own rebellious, self-willed nature.
Eternal life created the earth, the other planets, the sun and moon, the stars.
Eternal life raised the Lord Jesus from the dead.
Eternal life is righteousness, joy, love, peace, the ability to perform ones will.
Satan and the demons have energy but it is not the energy of God. It is a dark, proud, lustful violence, devoid of righteousness, without joy, love, or peace.
Human beings have physical energy proceeding from the burning of oxygen. But physical energy is negligible compared to the energies in the spirit realm. All that physical energy accomplishes is to hold us upright, as it were, while we choose between Divine life and satanic life. Physical life is inconsequential and soon leaves the body, with the result that the body returns to the dust from which it was formed.
All we truly desire is found in the eternal Life of God.
The energy of sin corrupts every human being. When we receive the Lord Jesus He gives us of the Holy Spirit, not in abundance but as a guarantee of the future filling of our body with Divine Life.
The goal of redemption is to be filled with eternal life in our spirit, soul, and body.
The earthly counterpart of incorruptible resurrection life is the life of flesh and blood. Flesh and blood are our treasure on the earth. Life in the flesh consists of eating, sleeping, working, playing, and reproducing. This is the existence of an animal, such as a horse. Because of the pressure from unclean spirits these five actions of the flesh often are carried to excess in human beings.
We have a choice to make. If we live in our fleshly desires we will not grow in resurrection life. If we choose to allow the Spirit of God to crucify our fleshly life, if we present our body a living sacrifice to the Lord, then, at the coming of Christ from Heaven, we will receive a glorious body fashioned from eternal resurrection life.
We shall live forever in the immediate Presence of God and the Lamb. We shall possess love, strength, righteousness, peace, and joy that never will diminishnot throughout the ages of ages. We shall be wonderfully, marvelously, alive.
Freedom from sin.
The second of the nine heavenly treasures we will mention is freedom from sin.
. . . and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
We are commanded in this life to utilize every opportunity the Spirit gives us to put to death the deeds of our body. We are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for our flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
We are not debtors to our flesh that we are obligated to live according to the desires of the flesh. If we live in the desires of our flesh we will die spiritually. If we walk in the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Life, we will not spend our time and energy satisfying the lusts of our flesh.
Our physical body is dead to the Spirit of God because of the sin that dwells in it. Paul cried, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" referring to the bondages of sin in his flesh (Romans 7:24).
At the Lords coming He will deliver us from the curse of sin, from the morally impure compulsions dwelling in our flesh. He will set us free provided we are putting to death the deeds of our body today.
And every man that hath this hope in him [the hope of being like the Lord at His appearing] purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (I John 3:3)
If we are not putting to death the deeds of our body today we will not be set free from sin when the Lord comes. If we live according to the lusts of our flesh we will reap corruption, not life and righteousness, in the Day of the Lord. We indeed will receive the things done in our body.
If we have been faithful in the little we will be entrusted with the greater. To him who already has achieved substantial freedom from sin will be given complete freedom when the Lord appears. From him who has not been diligent will be removed even the small amount of freedom he has.
Deliverance from the chains of sin always is the gift of Gods grace. It is not something we can accomplish by our self-will, although we are commanded to exercise self-control in every situation to the extent we are able.
The counterpart of the heavenly gift of freedom from sin is bondage to our fleshly sins. Many who believe in Christ are unwilling to give up their fornication, smoking, drinking, profanity, filthiness, murderous rage, jealousy, envying, unforgiveness, bitterness, partying, and sorcery. These are their treasured possessions on the earth.
If we would gain the marvelous treasure of complete freedom from sin then we must, in the present hour, faithfully put to death through the Spirit the deeds of our body. It is certain that each of us will receive the things he has practiced in his body, whether they have been good or evil.
The third treasure is authority in the Kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus promises the overcomer authority of very great scope. The overcomer will govern the nations of the earth. The overcomer will be seated with Christ in His throne which, under God, is the supreme authority over the creation. The promises to the overcomer are staggering in their implications.
The counterpart of the heavenly treasure of Kingdom authority is the preservation of our "rights" on the earth and the seeking of authority to rule other people.
The individual who strives continually to control and manipulate other people is a spiritual infant. The highest level of maturity and spirituality is the place where we die to our own gain and prestige and find our life, our joy, our peace, our comfort, our reason for being, our hope, our motivation, our fruitfulness, our dominion, in the Lord. Then we are able to assist the unfolding and maturing of other people.
But if we are bound with the need to control and manipulate the people near us we continually will be anxious and bitter, and unfruitful in our dealings with others.
We Christians have many rights on the earth, for Christ has given all things to His Church. Christ, instead of encouraging us to seek authority over our neighbors, asks us if we are willing to lay down our rights as He did His.
The Lord Jesus did not clutch to Himself His equality with God. Rather He took on Himself the form of a servant. No human being who has ever lived on the earth has been treated more unjustly than Christespecially during His "trial" before Pontius Pilate.
In most instances, when two Christians are striving one against the other, the more spiritual must either give way or forfeit his testimony. The more carnal person is allowed to enforce his will in the matter. The manner in which Isaac surrendered his two wells is the type of behavior that is approved of God (Genesis 26:19-22). However, each believer must apply this principle as the Spirit gives wisdom for the particular incident.
The path to authority in the Kingdom of God leads downward through the valley of injustice, of not receiving the recognition, or money, or opportunities, or other things or situations of value that may be ours by right. God is pleased with us when we are willing to take the lowest place.
The Lord Jesus has been given a name that is above every other name because He gave up His rights and humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death. We cannot preserve our rights on the earth in every instance, making sure that everyone does what we desire, and then receive authority in the Kingdom of God.
A fourth treasure offered in the Scriptures is that of power. Power is the ability to enforce ones will. Christ exercised spiritual power while He was on the earth, healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead. Jesus has given us the power of the Holy Spirit so we can do the same works, and greater; but only as He directs us.
Our ability to behave righteously and to bring righteousness into our environment is an issue of power. We are wrestling, struggling against wicked spiritual princes who rule from the dark regions above the earth. The nations of the earth are destroying themselves in orgies of lust and violence, and we Christians do not at this time possess enough power to prevent the harm they are doing to themselves and others.
When Jesus returns He will exercise power that will crush the armies of the world and enforce Gods will in the earth. If we are victorious saints we too will rule the nations with an iron rod. The iron rod is the irresistible might of the Spirit of God who will be abiding in the saints in the Day of Christ.
The earthly counterpart of Divine power is, first of all, money; and then the other devices that represent or exert power in the physical realm. Power can be gained by invoking the demons and Satan, and by the attempt to manipulate the physical realm through what may be termed "metaphysical faith," that is, "positive thinking" and mental "imaging."
Many Christians spend the major part of their imagination, time, and energy amassing money. They are seeking to build up power that will protect them and their loved ones during misfortune. Their money is their insurance that they will not suffer harm or change, and will be able to enjoy themselves, in the event that God proves to be unfaithful or nonexistent.
God and money represent two different gods, two different powers. This is why the love of money is the root of all evil: it is the worship of a god other than the Lord.
No person can serve both God and money.
The Kingdom of God does not (in spite of what is being taught today) conquer by money (Zechariah 4:6). None of the forms of human, demonic, or metaphysical power will avail anything at all in bringing the Kingdom to the fullness of maturity and perfection.
Many Christian churches act as though money is the means of the redemption of the world. However, it never is by human might, wealth, wisdom, or talent (except as the Spirit of God specifically directs) that the work of God is accomplished. The Divine temple will be constructed only by the Spirit of God.
As far as the invoking of demons and Satan is concerned, whoever seeks power through the occult is selling his soul to Satan. He will be fortunate indeed if he escapes eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.
The current emphasis on "positive thinking" and mental "imaging" can be observed in modern secular administrative techniques, and also in the efforts of many of todays preachers of the Gospel as they seek to gain money and popularity. It is the beginning of the False Prophetthe spirit destined in the last days to give religious respectability to the government of Antichrist (Revelation 13:11-15).
The spirit of religious delusion seeks the power (two horns) of the Lamb but it speaks with the voice of the dragon.
The way of the Kingdom is the way of weakness, of patience, of the cross. If we are willing to give up human, satanic, and metaphysical forms of power we will gain the power of the Spirit of God. If we lean on some form of earthly power, such as money, we never will gain the heavenly treasure of Divine power.
Status in the Kingdom of God is the fifth treasure we will mention. Jesus spoke of those who are greatest in the Kingdom and those who are least. Paul preached and lived as one who placed supreme importance on Gods opinion of him and lesser importance on the way in which people regarded him. Paul sought the praise of God alone.
Those who turn many to righteousness will shine as the stars forever. They will sit at Jesus table in the Kingdom of God. They are known to the elect angels. In the resurrection they will receive the "Well done!" of Christ, obtaining honor in the eyes of those present. As in any other kingdom, the Kingdom of God is made up of persons of high status and persons of lesser status.
The earthly counterpart of this heavenly treasure is status and fame in the world. Jesus, the very Son of God Almighty, made Himself of no reputation. He hung naked on the cross. He was beaten and spit upon. He was abused and tormented until He lay in the dust, unable to carry His cross any farther.
If we would gain the treasure of status in the Kingdom we must go outside the camp with Christ. We must accept the reproach that always falls on Him. We must stand for Jesus wherever we are, bearing cheerfully the shame and contempt that come upon the true saint.
Are we ashamed of Jesus while we are in this world? Are we ashamed of living the life of consecration when we are among the worldly Christians who fill our land? Or are we going forth with Jesus, willing to lose all status in the eyes of people? We are to beware when all men speak well of us. We cannot seek status in the world and status in the Kingdom of God at the same time.
He who is greatest in the Kingdom of God is the servant of all. The highest good, the highest form of spiritual development and achievement, has come to us when we are ready to lose our life and find our righteousness, peace, and joy in being close to the Lord.
Another heavenly treasure is that of abilities. We understand from Romans, Chapter 12, I Corinthians, Chapter 12, and Ephesians, Chapter Four that the Holy Spirit gives one or more abilities to each member of the Body of Christ. The abilities, such as wisdom, knowledge, discernment, the working of miracles, teaching, giving, helping, and so forth are the tools we are to use to complete and perfect the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God. All of these talents are found in Christ, and He shares them with us and directs us in the use of them.
The conquering saints have been given the nations as their inheritance. The saints will rule, bless, judge, and teach the nations of the earth, as Christ guides and enables them. Think of the various abilities that will be needed as the whole earth is brought into subjection to Christ!
The Lord has given to each of us one or more talents. These talents are the "money" of the Kingdom of God. If we are faithful in what has been assigned to us we will receive more talents, more abilities, when the Lord returns from Heaven.
The earthly counterpart of spiritual abilities is human abilities. We have been born with various artistic, intellectual, mechanical, physical, and social skills. They are the abilities that are natural to us, that we learn to practice relatively easily and joyously.
We call such fleshly and soulish abilities talents after the "talents" of Matthew, Chapter 25. However there is no relationship between our earthly abilities and those given us by the Holy Spirit at the time of our baptism by the Spirit into the Body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit can anoint our natural abilities if He chooses to do so. Yet the fact remains that our natural abilities are of our adamic nature.
For example, the ability to perform music is of our adamic nature. The Holy Spirit may or may not anoint the music we perform. Music is not one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in the New Testament.
Perhaps the majority of Christian churches lean heavily on music as part of the Divine service. While music is an incalculable good both in and out of the assembling of the saints, it must be kept in mind that music is a human ability and operates in the soul.
The workings of the Holy Spirit are found only among the holy servants of the Lord; but "Christian" music can be performed by any sinner. Music often is employed in the churches as a substitute for the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
We can choose to nurture our natural abilities, using them to provide security, pleasure, and achievement in this world. Meanwhile the Kingdom abilities that were given us by the Holy Spirit may lie dormant. We may not even know what our Kingdom abilities are, in numerous instances, if we are not presenting our body as a living sacrifice to the Lord.
If we use our Kingdom talents faithfully the Lord will add to them and we will have more ability with which to serve the Lord. Outer darkness is the destination of the Christian who does not put his Kingdom talents to use.
God may call any of us, as He did Moses, into a line of work unfamiliar to us, that is not natural to us, in which we are insecure. We now are in a position in which we no longer can rely on our proven abilities.
Moses felt he could not speak well enough to be Gods spokesman, so God gave Aaron to Moses to bolster his confidence. In the end it was Moses who became the lawgiver of Israel, the spokesman of the Lord. Aaron, the eloquent, the fashioner of the golden calf, became the first high priest. God knows what He is doing.
We can choose to spend our life using the earthly treasure of our own abilities to obtain security and pleasure, or we can present our body a living sacrifice and prove Gods will for our life, learning to use the abilities given us by the Holy Spirit. The latter are the "talents" for which we shall be held accountable by the Lord.
Opportunities for service.
Here is a seventh heavenly treasure. God has given to Christ the nations of the earth for His inheritance. The nations consist of people of every imaginable temperament, in every conceivable condition and situation.
When the Lord comes He will use us to restore what has been destroyed by the rule of self-seeking man, and what will be destroyed further during the days of tribulation and wrath. The sons of God will be faced with the task of rebuilding the "desolations of many generations" (Isaiah 61:4).
The members of Christs Body will be the Presence of God in Christ, the hands of the Lord extended to the meek of the earth. There will be work for us to do from the moment the Lord returns, extending into a future that has no end.
In addition there will be the task of perfecting the Bride. The ministers whom Christ has given will serve "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).
Since the perfecting of the Wife of the Lamb has not been completed on the earth, it is possible that the ministries will continue during the thousand-year period until the new Jerusalem has become "a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2).
The earthly counterpart of opportunities for service is the using of our days to serve ourselves, doing our own will instead of Gods will. We can choose to allow the Lord to make us "bread" for other people, dying to our own life and abilities so others may live; or we can keep ourselves closed up in our own little world.
Each member of the Body of Christ has an area of Kingdom service in which he or she is to be faithful today, even if it is, in the present hour, limited to household tasks or secular employment.
If the Christian is faithful in his present tasks God will entrust greater responsibility to him. In the Day of the Lord he will be given a position of service in the Kingdom of God. Opportunities for service is a treasure the Lord Jesus will bring from Heaven with Him.
Throughout eternity the servants of God will stand before Him. They will see the Face of the Father, which is the greatest privilege of all. They will govern the creation forever.
This treasure and the one that follows are the two greatest treasures of Heaven. There is nothing in the universe, barring our untroubled rest in the Fathers will, that comes close to relationships in importance. The Ten Commandments have to do with relationships; and the two laws of Jesus, to love God and ones neighbor, reveal to us the importance that God places on relationships.
The environment and things of the ages to come no doubt will be very desirable. Towering over them in importance and desirability are relationships that are immersed in the Divine love.
The Kingdom of God is very carefully designed according to relationships.
God is a Matrix, a Mold. The Lord Jesus Christ has come forth from the Matrix that God Is. God has placed His Life and Glory in the Lord Jesus. Everything that exists has been created by the Life and Glory in the Lord Jesus.
The Lord Jesus also is a Matrix, a Mold. The Church, the Bride of the Lamb, is being brought forth from the Matrix that Christ Is. The Lord Jesus desires to place His Life and Glory in the members of His Bride, and that she govern all things in the future (I Corinthians 3:22,23).
When the new Jerusalem descends it is referred to as "the bride, the Lambs wife." The Lord Jesus is not immediately seen.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (John 15:9)
A river of Life and Glory is flowing from God in Heaven through Christ. It will flow through the firstfruits of His Body and then through the rest of the Church. It will continue to flow until every saved person enters the process of being conformed to the image of God.
Every day we are influencing people either toward Christ or away from Christ. This fact is inescapable. Whoever is not gathering with the Lord is scattering from the Lord.
If we remain shut up in ourselves, not gathering people to the Lord, not giving ourselves to others as we should, not using our Kingdom talents, we will have a minimal (if any!) entrance into the Kingdom of God.
If we have assisted many in their struggle to enter Christ we will be welcomed by happy friends who will greet us with love when we pass into the spirit realm. We will have an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of God, being greeted joyfully by Christ and by those whom we have strengthened.
Great multitudes of people will be converted when the Light of God arises on the Body of Christ (Isaiah, Chapters 60 and 61). All these men, women, boys, and girls will come to us. Look at the family we shall have then! This is why the "barren" are to rejoice, "for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife" (Isaiah 54:1).
We will inherit people if we allow the Lord to make us "barren" in terms of our own rights, possessions, and opportunities in the present life.
If we walk carefully with the Lord Jesus we soon will find He puts us through a program that strips us of all we depend on. Every relationship we have with people, with circumstances, with things, must be brought down to death and then raised again in the newness of resurrection life. The adamic race, and all that is of the adamic race, is corruptible and temporary.
Nothing is eternally alive in the Presence of God, nothing can survive in the Kingdom of God, until it has died and been raised in Christ into eternal life.
Eternal fruit can come only from what has died in Christ and been raised again in Christ. Until a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains by itself. Becoming willing to die to all that is treasured may prove to be the most difficult of the decisions the believer in Jesus is invited to make. But there is no other route to eternal life and eternal relationships.
Next to the Lord Himself, people are by far the greatest inheritance of all.
The earthly counterpart of this heavenly treasure is fleshly relationshipsmarriage to people, circumstances, and things.
Jesus informed us that those who do the will of God are His brothers and sisters. Our first loyalty is to God.
Again He exhorted, "Let the dead bury their dead."
We know it is Gods will for us to be faithful in all our family relationships. We never will be able to enter the Kingdom of God if we are not a person of integrity and faithfulness to those who are dependent on us. However, it is true that unless we hate father and mother (in comparison with our love for Christ), and our own life as well, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
We can choose to spend our life engrossed in fleshly relationships, or we can set our heart on the Kingdom relationships that we have now and will have in abundance in the future, while at the same time fulfilling our role well in our present earthly relationships.
We can clutch to ourselves the people and things that please us, or we can submit to the death of the cross, allowing the Lord to remove from us what we have set our heart on and to give us the true, eternal relationships. Where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.
Rest in Christ in God.
Truly, the rest of God is one of the greatest of all treasures. The degree of rest in Christ we possess varies from believer to believer.
Some Christians have made a profession of faith in Christ but as yet are not aware of the wonderful entrance into Christ that is available even in the present life. Other Christians have been taught concerning the life of abiding in Christ and have exercised the faith, courage, trust, and diligence required for full entrance into the Father and the Son (Ephesians 3:19).
O to live as Jesus lived, as Paul lived, in the full flowing of the Life of God! What a battle, what a labor is necessary if we are to press past all fear and unbelief and enter the rest of God! What a state of glory we live in as God becomes our Salvation and we begin to draw water with joy from the wells of salvation!
When we die physically we cannot bring our material possessions or accomplishments with us into the spirit realm. However, we will bring the kind of personality we have become in this world, and we will bring the degree of rest in Christ in God we have obtained.
It appears likely the victorious saints will see the Lord Jesus face to face when they die. Some of these believers will have the Father and the Son living in them to a much greater extent than is true of the others.
Christ will meet all believers, when they die, as an external Person. In certain instances, however, the Life of Jesus that has been formed in the believer will answer to the external Jesus. No doubt such saints will be hurried to Christs throne for they have become an eternally inseparable part of His very Life.
The earthly counterpart of Gods rest is a life lived in our soulish self-centeredness and self-love. We believe in Christ but we must have Him on our own terms. In the deceit of our soul we (perhaps without realizing it) are attempting to manipulate Christ, as we do all other persons, to our advantage.
If we would escape the horrible dungeon of self-centeredness we must take up our cross. It is only as we are crucified with Christ that Christ can live in us.
If at any point in these nine areas we choose to cling to the earthly counterpart, our Christian personality will be influenced adversely. We will miss the fullness of the rewards promised to the overcomer and the full glory of rest in Christ in God.
Christ has commanded us, realizing what is at stake for us: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on the earth but do lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."