All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
July 26, 2010
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In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said, "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...For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." How do we lay up treasures in heaven?
Long before Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 6:19-21, He taught many things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven. In the book of Matthew it is called the kingdom of heaven, but in the other gospels it is called the kingdom of God (see Matthew 5:3 & Luke 6:20; Matthew 10:7 & Luke 9:2; 10:9). Even in this, in many of the English translations of the Bible it is not correctly translated from the Greek to English. It should have been translated "Reign of God." The kingdom of God is "the Reign of God" reigning on earth as He does in heaven. God reigns in heaven over everything that happens in heaven.
In Matthew 6:9,10, Jesus said, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name...Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." God reigns in heaven, and Jesus said that we should pray that God would reign here on earth the same as He reigns in heaven.
Why should Christians lay up treasures in heaven? This is simple to answer, for no one knows how long they will be here on earth. What we treasure here on earth will remain on earth when we leave this earth. In 1 Timothy 6:7 it says, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
Everyone who knows the LORD Jesus Christ at their LORD and Savior, knows that when we leave this earth we will not take anything with us. All that we have here on earth will remain on this earth.
God has better things for us in heaven. In heaven there is nothing that is not created by God. Even our bodies will be new heavenly bodies. In 1 Corinthians 15:35, it says, "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" Then in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 it explains, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption...It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power...It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
In considering all of this, what value is there in laying up treasures here on earth? At the same time, consider the great value there is in laying up treasures in heaven.
Treasures in Heaven
How do we lay up treasures in heaven? For Christians to lay up treasures in heaven it starts with keeping the two commandments that the LORD gave us in Mark 12:30,31, which says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." In Matthew 22:40, Jesus said, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
It is important to understand what it is talking about in the New Testament when it talks about love. The New Testament was first written in Greek. Then it was translated from the Greek to other languages. In the Greek, the word used for "the love of God" is "agape, or agapao." It is not the same as the Greek word "phileo" which is the highest form of human love. The love of God is called, "unconditional love," which means there are no conditions attached. Whereas "phileo," which is the highest form of human love has conditions. "Phileo" is the type of love that a mother has for her children, and a husband has for his wife, or vice versa. There are conditions to "phileo" (love). This is why there are so many divorces among those who operate in "phileo" (love). There are conditions in "phileo" (love) that require a certain response. In "phileo" (love) each one loves themselves more than they love others. This is normal in human love, for human love has the characteristics of Satan, the Devil. The Devil loves himself, and always prefers himself first. The Devil demands that he receives what he desires first, not considering the desires of others.
The love of God is the opposite of human love. God prefers others before Himself. The greatest example of this is when God sent His Son, Jesus, into this world to take upon Himself the sin of the whole world, even unto His own death upon the Cross of Calvary. It was the "agape" (love) of God in Christ Jesus that brought Jesus to the Cross, where He died for you and I. There were no conditions attached to the "love" (agape) of God. God did it simply because God is Love.
God created mankind in his own likeness and image. Therefore, mankind was created to walk in love (agape) toward one another. Always preferring others before themselves, even unto death.
When sin entered into the human race in the garden of Eden, mankind began to operate in "phileo" love, which is conditional. Mankind preferred themselves before others. You will see that already in Genesis 3:7-13, whereby when the LORD asked Adam "...Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?...And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:11,12). Adam thought of himself first, and put the blame on Eve. Then in Genesis 3:13, it says, "And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." This is evidence of "phileo" (love), whereby each one prefers themselves before others.
Therefore, when a person becomes truly born again of God, they receive the "agape" (love) of God in their heart. This is the love that is spoken of most of the time in the New Testament. This is the love that God requires of Christians. Christians who do not walk in "agape" (love) are still serving the Devil and do not know it.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other..." By not understanding the difference between human love and the love of God, many Christians are deceived by the Devil. They think they are serving God, when in fact they are doing what the Devil wants them to do. We cannot serve God and the Devil at the same time.
Therefore, it is very important that Christians make a full commitment to follow the example of Jesus in every area of their lives. Jesus said, we must take up our cross and follow Him. To do that, we need to walk in the love of God, not in the love of mankind.
To walk in the Love of God, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. Those who are not led by the Holy Spirit are not walking in the love of God. They are still walking in "phileo" (love) and not walking in "agape" (love). In short, they are being deceived by the enemy and do not know it. Satan has blinded their eyes, and they cannot see the true love of God, which is required of those who are truly born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
In the English language, there are no equivalent words that give us the true meaning of "phileo" and "agape." Therefore, in the English translations of the Bible they use only the word "love," or sometimes the word "charity" (which is not a good translation of the Greek word "agape"). Charity, in the English is not even equivalent to the Greek word "phileo."
Unless Christians make a full commitment to the LORD, and walk in "agape" (love), they cannot please God. God gives us "agape" (love) in the new birth to enable us to walk in love. "Agape" (love) is a gift of God, the first fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22,23. Without "agape" (love) we cannot please God. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Faith does not operate without "agape" (love) (Gal. 5:6).
It is sad that so many Christians are teaching another gospel, not the gospel that Jesus and the Apostles taught. Thereby, multitudes of Christians have forgotten the two commandments the LORD gave us. They have been following a teaching that once you are born again, you are on your way to heaven. Just enjoy yourself, and when the time comes you will enter into eternity with God. That is not what Jesus taught, and that is not what the Apostles taught, neither does it agree with anything the Bible teaches.
According to the Bible, multitudes of Christians will not be in heaven when they leave this earth. They will be cast out along with those who do not know God. Matthew 25:31-46 is only one of many teachings of Jesus that make it clear, not all Christians will enter into heaven when they leave this earth. Another place is in Revelation 3:4,5, where Jesus said, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." What about all the others in the Church at Sardis, where will they spend eternity?
For Christians to lay up treasures in heaven, they need to start with the two commandments that the LORD gave us. The first commandment is very important. To "...love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength...," it requires that we spend time in the Word and prayer everyday. The LORD is the "living Word of God," which manifests in the natural as we live by the Word of God.
Our eternal life is dependent upon the "living Word of God." In Hebrews 4:12 it says, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (NKJV).
God knows our heart. God knows what the intents of our heart are? God knows everything and nothing is hid from God (Heb. 4:13). God has given us an opportunity to inherit eternity with God forever. But, it is only an opportunity at this time. It is not a sealed and completed eternal security. If we do not do what the LORD asked us to do, we do not have any assurance that we will be in heaven when we leave this earth.
Many of those in the positions of ministry today are making a mockery of God, using the written Word deceitfully, taking what is called the promises of God and not considering the conditions that go along with the promises. We must be very careful about what we believe and what we teach others. In Galatians 6:7,8 it says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." If you read these two verses correctly, it is actually saying that corruption is the opposite of eternal life. The opposite of eternal life is eternal damnation in hell.
It is not worth it to sow to the flesh in this life and then spend eternity in the wrong place. Eternity is a long time to spend in the wrong place.
God made it simple for us in giving us the two Commandments of our LORD. The thing that makes it difficult for many Christians today is that they do not "search the Scriptures" themselves to see what it truly says. It is interesting when we see what Jesus was saying in John 5:39, where He said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
Jesus was not just speaking to the Children of Israel, whom at that time were not born again. Jesus was speaking prophetically, to Christians. Christians who do not "search the Scriptures" themselves, could easily end up believing another gospel, not the gospel that Jesus taught, and not the gospel that the Apostles taught. But, another gospel that sounds good to the ears, but is a lie from the Devil and the spirits of this world.
When we truly get to know Jesus Christ, then we can understand the importance of the two commandments that Jesus gave us. Jesus is the LORD, and Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ. Christians are all members of His Body, which is called the Church (Col. 1:18).
Being members of the same body of Christ as all other Christians we can see the importance of keeping the second commandment of the LORD. Which says, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." This is very important, for as members of the body of Christ we have great privileges, as well as responsibilities. Every member of the Body of Christ is just as important as any other member of the body of Christ. God is not a respecter of persons. No one is more important than another.
Love is the beginning of all the commandments of the LORD. Without love we do not have anything worth living for. God is love, and all who are members of the Body of Christ must walk in love one to another. In 1 Corinthians 12:26 it says, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."
Everyone must walk in love one toward another. When we walk in love one toward another, God can use us to establish and maintain His kingdom here on earth. When God's kingdom is reigning on earth, the whole world will know that God is GOD and there is none like Him. When Christians walk in love one toward another, the blessings of God are poured out upon those who are walking in love.
The greatest blessing is the Holy Spirit, who is in control of all the gifts of the Spirit and all the operations of the Spirit in the New Covenant. When we lay up treasures in heaven, it is the Holy Spirit that does the works in us and through us.
This is the greatest blessing any Christian can receive. It is the anointing to do everything and anything God desires for us to do. We do not do the works by our ability. It is the ability of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us that does the works. Just as Jesus said of Himself in John 14:10, "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."
The treasures that are laid up for us in heaven are the results of our obedience to keeping the two commandments of the LORD and being obedient to the leading, guiding, comforting, helping, and teaching of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
God never asks us to do anything without supplying everything we need to do it. The whole New Covenant is based upon one principle, which is stated in Zechariah 4:6. It says, "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." This is the way it was from the beginning, even before Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
God has not changed. God will never change. The Devil has not changed. The Devil will never change. Therefore, it is up to people to change from following the Devil to following the LORD.
Man of himself, does not have the power to control what happens in the spiritual realm. That power is only available from a god. Satan is a god. Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).
When Adam and Eve submitted to the words of the serpent, and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil Satan gained access to the minds of all people born in the flesh. Satan has blinded the minds of people to the truth, which is the LORD God (the Word of God, which manifests in this world by the anointing of the Holy Spirit).
When God sees the hearts of people, that they truly desire to be free of the works of the Devil, the Holy Spirit manifests the Word of God in their lives. God looks for those who will believe His Word. When they believe the Word of God the Holy Spirit helps, guides, comforts, leads, and teaches them the Truth, that they can live by the Truth, and spend eternity with God in heaven.
This was already made clear in Genesis 5:21-24. It says, "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah...And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters...And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years...And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." In Hebrews 11:5, it says, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
God has not changed. God is still the same and always will be the same. It was Enoch's choice to walk with God. When Enoch chose to walk with God, the two of them (Enoch and God), walked together. This has always been the way God does things on this earth. Man must choose to do things God's way, not the way of Satan (the god of this world). When we make the choice to walk with God, God gives us the ability and power to do whatsoever God desires for us to do.
The power over the Devil and all the works of the Devil comes by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Without the anointing, man does not have power over the Devil. Even Jesus, who was the Son of God, when He came into this world did not have power over the works of the Devil until He received the Holy Spirit. In Acts 10:38 it says, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
The power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit only operates according to the will of the Holy Spirit, not the will of man (1 Cor. 12:7-11). The Holy Spirit searches the hearts and minds of people, and makes intercession for them. The Holy Spirit does the works of God according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26,27).
It is only when Christians have the right attitude toward God that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit can work in their lives to set them free of the works of the Devil. God's ways are clear in the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation. God is righteous and God requires righteousness to walk with God. This is all explained in detail in the Epistle of First John.
In 1 John 1:5-7 it says, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." This is the beginning of our deliverance from the works of the Devil. In 1 John 1:8-10 it explains this by saying, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us...If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness...If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
Then in 1 John 2:3-5 it says, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments...He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him...But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."
This has always been the way with God, and God has not changed. We must change and follow God's plan, not the ways of the world. God's ways are always the right way to go. God never changes, and will never change.
Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve would not listen to the LORD, but followed the Devil. In Genesis 4:6,7, it says, "And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?...If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." Cain did not rule over the thoughts that the Devil put in his mind. Cain continued in unrighteousness and slew Abel His brother (Gen. 4:8).
In 1 John 3:8-12 it tells us, "He that committeth (continues in) sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil...Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (continue in) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot (continue in) sin, because he is born of God...In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother...For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another...Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."
Christians cannot continue in sin and still have fellowship with God. God is righteous and just. God will forgive those who repent, and walk in the Light of His Word. But for those who continue in sin, and do not keep the Two Commandments that the LORD gave us, God is not obligated to forgive them.
In Matthew 6:14,15, Jesus said, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you..But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
The Blood of Jesus is shed for the sins of the whole world, but only those who repent, and live righteous will be forgiven. This is the message that was preached from the beginning, from Genesis through Revelation. God will not change, therefore we must submit ourselves to God and resist the Devil, before the Devil will flee from us (James 4:7).
Anyone who preaches another gospel is nothing but a thief and a robber that is listening to the voice of another, not the voice of Jesus Christ, who is LORD over this creation.
The way to lay up treasures in heaven are explained in the Epistles of the New Testament. In Romans 12:1,2 it says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service...And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." This is our responsibility. God has not promised to do this for us.
Then in 2 Timothy 2:15-26 it says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth...But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness...Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some...Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity...But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour...If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work...Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart...But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes...And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient...In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth...And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
God will use the vessels of honor for His glory. But the vessels of dishonor could be cast out on that last day. Jesus said, He will separate the sheep from the goats. The goats will go into everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:31-46).
Those who preach Ephesians 2:8,9, and do not include the Ephesians 2:10, could be preaching another gospel, not the gospel that Jesus and the Apostles taught. In Ephesians 2:8-10 it says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God...Not of works, lest any man should boast...For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." We are not saved by works, but we must walk in good works.
In James 2:20,26, it says, "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?...For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Christians must be involved in good works, which are an operation of the Holy Spirit working in our lives to set the captives free, and restore to God those who have gone astray.
In Revelation 1:8, Jesus said, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." In John 15:4-6, Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me...I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing...If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." Christians need to know and understand their position in Christ Jesus. It is not eternal security. What we do determines our future.
The LORD is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To remain in Him and not be cast out and burned we must do our part. There is a lot that is required of us. God is not doing everything without any obligation on our part.
It is not we who will be doing the good works, but God needs a vessel of honor to work through to do the works that are required by His Word. God gave us His Word, and God cannot change His Word. God and His Word are one, they cannot be separated.
This is Part 1 of "TREASURES IN HEAVEN." Get the following parts to this mini-book series, they will help you to turn your life in the right direction and keep yourself following Jesus. All books on our Web sites are free. You can download as many free books as you desire. Go to our Web sites at: