Treasures of Darkness
Treasures of Darkness by Bill Britton
Gods Hidden Riches
Isaiah 45:1-3 “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”
In Romans 11:33 Paul wrote: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord?” This scripture identifies the depth of the riches of God as being in the mind of God. God said He would give us the treasures of darkness and the hidden riches of secret places. Sometimes it is very difficult for us to keep our faith when we are going through dark passages and dark places. We like to stay in the light where we can see the reason for what is happening. We want to live in a positive realm. Yet the Psalmist said that sometimes our walk would take us through the valley of the shadow of death, and that God would be there. There are treasures to be found even in dark places if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
ISRAEL’S DARKEST TIME
One of the darkest times in Israel’s history was described somewhat in Psalms 137. “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” They were in Babylon, how could they sing? How could they rejoice or see anything but the darkness and despair of their horrible experiences? That was their attitude about the thing they were going through. I’m sure that there is no one in this country who has gone through anything like the children of Israel. Their homes had been destroyed. Many of their loved ones had been murdered. Their temple was burned to the ground. The walls of their city were torn down. Zion, the beautiful city of God, was destroyed and they were taken captive in chains. Most of them would never see their promised land again. Yet the Babylonians asked them to sing!
I haven’t suffered that experience in the natural. I have lost a home or two because of various circumstances. Usually it was because the Lord was telling me to move on just when I thought I was getting settled. Yet, I have never experienced anything like Israel went through. So we can understand as they were on their way to Babylon they did not feel like singing. Many times I am sure they did not know where their children were. In the confusion, the battle, and being taken captive into different places of Assyria, they wondered what happened to their children, their husband, wife, Mom or Dad. In the midst of all that darkness there was a treasure.
TREASURE TO BE REVEALED
During this time of great darkness for Israel, there was a man that experienced a treasure he had never seen or heard of before. A treasure so tremendous, that it is recorded for 48 chapters in the living pages of God’s book. That man was a priest in the temple. If he had a family, they were gone! He was there by the rivers of Babylon where the rest of Israel was hanging their harps on the willows. Their heads were down. All they could see was the dark sand of the desert, yet he was looking up. Ezek. 1:1 says: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” I wonder how many Israelites lifted their eyes in the midst of all their darkness and caught a glimpse of the treasure that was there in the heavens. Ezekiel was one man. The only one recorded that I know of, that in the midst of all the darkness and despair, he was looking up and seeing visions of God!
Ezekiel changed the course of history for Israel. He pointed out their sin. He showed them the rottenness in the holy place. He showed them the filthiness in the priesthood. Then he showed them God’s coming new temple filled with the glory of God. He showed them a Zadok priesthood that was going to go behind the veil and minister right in the very presence of God. I want to tell you that this man saw things that angels’ eyes desired to see and did not fall upon. This man caught a vision of the TREASURES OF DARKNESS that angelic beings who have never known the darkness of losing a loved one, or of being taken captive, could ever see. He saw things angels couldn’t look at. He was taken behind the veil, he saw the glory of that new priesthood and the glory of that new temple.
What am I saying? Let’s quit moaning and groaning when we find ourselves in a place of darkness. LOOK UP AND SEE THE TREASURES OF DARKNESS AND THE HIDDEN RICHES OF SECRET PLACES! A saint of God is not raised on a bed of roses or developed in a hot house. A saint of God is developed in the fires of tribulation, in the testing, trials and darkness. Yes, God is making saints. He’s not making excuses. He’s not giving out reasons. God is not required to give reasons for what He does. He’s not required to give us reasons for what’s happening to us. He just asks us to believe that unto those who are the called according to His purpose, all things are working together for their good. If you can’t believe that, you are going to miss the treasures of darkness and the hidden riches of secret places. Hallelujah!
God has the treasures of darkness and the hidden riches of secret places. He has them to give to us! He creates the circumstances that bring about an open door into the treasures of darkness. He said “I have it to give and I will give it.” We get so busy sometimes looking at each other we forget to look at Him.Ninety per cent of the problems in church life would be solved if we would only look at Him and not start looking at the carnality in each other. I don’t think there is anyone who can find carnality in other people any quicker than I can, because I am so used to living with it in myself. I am familiar with it and I can find it in other people. I can get disgusted with other people very easily because I am used to being disgusted with myself. If we continue, we will have nothing but bickering, backbiting, chewing and devouring one another until there is nothing left of us but a bloody mess. The treasures are found when those that are going through dark places lift up their heads and look at Him and see Him even in their brothers and sisters. You must have a high vision to see Jesus in each other all the time.
THAT WE MAY KNOW HIM
The reason God is going to give us treasures of darkness is so we will know that “I the Lord which call thee by thy name am the God of Israel.” (Isaiah 45:3) If we don’t know who God is, we are in trouble. He wants to do something for us so we will know who He is. He is going to put us in dark places, He is going to hide us away so that we can find the treasures and know that He is God. There is no other way for you to find the treasure. We can’t do it in ourselves.
Isaiah 45:4-6: “For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.” To those who have experienced the Lord there is no other power in the world. The devil is dead. He is only alive in those who don’t know the Lord in His life. He said “there is no God beside me.” There is no other force or power. There is nothing that can touch you because He is God.
I CREATE LIGHT AND DARKNESS
Isaiah 145:7 says: “I form the light, and create Darkness: I make peace, and create evil and: I the Lord do all these things.” Some people want to give the devil the credit for creating the darkness. They want to put all their troubles on the devil. But God said: “I did it. When you have trouble or darkness – I created he darkness. I created the circumstances.” He does not intend for us to be defeated in our circumstances or lost in our darkness. While in our darkness He wants us to find the treasures of darkness. In our troubles He desires us to find victory that we cannot find in a peaceful land.
The word “evil” in Isa. 45:7 is the word “rah” in Hebrew, which means trouble, problems or suffering. It doesn’t mean sin. God does not create sin. Sin is created when you are tempted out of the lust of your own heart. Sin does not come from God, but problems do. This is so we will find the treasures of darkness.
Isaiah 45:8 – “Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.” I am anxiously awaiting, and watching even now, the development of that body of people who are going to be so one in Jesus, that they will know that He is the creator of everything. When they can believe and walk in this, there is going to be a people of such victory on this earth that every power of darkness will flee at the very presence of them. The fact of the matter is that the Bible says the king of Babylon heard them coming and his loins waxed weak and his knees began to knock. This king of Babylon lost his strength when he heard this great army coming. (Jer. 50:41-43)
If we can only realize that as we walk in the spirit we scare the devil to death. That is the truth! Have you ever noticed what happens when a man of God who is filled with the spirit, and is walking in the Spirit, comes into a place where there is evil? There may be a bunch of men around who are cursing, and he doesn’t have to say a thing. Somebody in that crowd is going to get mad and come over and challenge him. They are going to get so upset, but he doesn’t have to do anything. He doesn’t have to start flinging his arms around or start preaching. There will just be an animosity coming from the evil powers. Why? They are frightened by the anointing of God in the people that know Him as the creator.
COMMAND YE ME?
Let us continue in Isaiah 45:9. “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, what makest thou? Or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, what begettest thou? Or to the woman, what hast thou brought forth? Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” I used this text years ago from the King James’ version to begin to command the Lord. I didn’t know any better. We started commanding the Lord to do certain things. That is not what this scripture says whatsoever. In fact, it says exactly the opposite. In the Revised Standard Version it brings it out as it does in the original language. It’s a question. It says: “Concerning the work of my hands command ye me?” The very tone of the original language here is a question.
In Moffat’s translation it says: “And would you question me about the future? Would you dictate to me about my work?” Sometimes we get sort of big for our little britches as so-called manifested sons and think that we can just command this and command that and when it doesn’t work we say: “you just didn’t have enough faith. The man of God came here and you have this need. The man of God prayed the prayer of faith for you. But you didn’t have enough faith to receive it.” And we put the burden on their backs. I never read where Jesus did that. He never had a failure and then blamed it on the poor fellow that couldn’t believe. A man said to Jesus “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” The Lord did the job.
Moffat’s translation of Isa. 45:11 says: “Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: ill you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? I made the earth, and created man upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host I have aroused him in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways; He shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward, says the Lord of hosts.” Who is God talking about? I’ll tell you the one who doesn’t work for price or reward, and that is a son. The servants work for their price. They get their rewards, and there are rewards for those who work. The servants expect pay for their work,, but the son doesn’t work for pay because he is working for his own property. That kingdom that belongs to his father also belongs to him. He works because he loves the kingdom and his father. God said that this son that he is raising up is going to set the captives free. He is not going to do it for price or reward.
A GOD WHO HIDES HIMSELF
Isa. 45:14-19 says: “Thus saith the Lord, the labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee, in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God. Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. They shall be ashamed and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”
In the midst of all that God is saying concerning himself to His people and unveiling and revealing Himself and His greatness to them, the prophet says in Isaiah 45:15, “you’re a God that hides Himself”. Moses wanted to see God one time, but God told him he could not look upon His face. He wouldn’t have been able to contain that. God told him he could see his hinder parts, in other words, the acts that follow the presence of God. As the presence of God came through, He hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and let Moses see the effects of the passing presence of the Lord. No man can look upon the face of God and live, but we can see the after effects of His presence. We can see souls that are transformed, born again, brought forth in newness of life. We can see the glory of God shining upon the faces of those He has visited. He lets us see Himself in one another. Still,”Thou art a God that hideth Thyself.”
THE CARNAL MIND
First of all, what does God hide from? God hides from the carnal mind for it cannot see or find God. In I Cor. 2:9-12 we read, “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His spirit: for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” These are those that are of a spiritual mind. We have received the spirit of God for the purpose of unveiling to us the things that God has prepared for His own. The carnal mind doesn’t understand these things. Paul goes on to say in verses 13-15: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” We must come to the place where criticism for one another is gone and we recognize our brother or sister can be walking in the Spirit. We can’t judge a man when he is following the Spirit of God. There is therefore now no condemnation to those that walk in the Spirit, not after the flesh. If I am walking in the Spirit and I make a decision based upon what God is showing me, that cannot be condemned. It may be tested or examined, but if I have walked in the Spirit, there will be no condemnation. Some people may say: “Do you know I saw brother so and so going in a certain place?” If I know my brother and know that he walks in the Spirit, then my answer would have to be: “I don’t know why he is there or what caused him to go there, but I know the Spirit Led him. I know he is going there because God told him to go.” I have to give that much to my brother until it’s proven otherwise.
God hides Himself from the natural or carnal man. The natural man cannot absorb the nature of God. It takes a revelation by the Spirit of God. Even reading the Bible will not help me if I only try to interpret it by logic and the analytical part of my brain. It requires an unveiling by the spirit of God to make the Word real to us.
In Phil. 3:18, Paul refers to some in the midst of the Philippian church as the enemies of the cross of Christ. Then in verse 19 he says: “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Carnal men mind earthly things. Their attention is given only to the things of the earth. They have no sensitivity to the spiritual things of God.
What an example we have in the brother of Jacob. Jacob was a younger brother. He came too late to receive the inheritance. The inheritance belonged to the firstborn. Now they were twins, but one was born before the other and by custom, the firstborn gets the inheritance. Jacob believed that if he had a great enough desire for the spiritual things of God he could circumvent the customary rules and regulations and obtain that which was not his by birthright. But the older brother had little or no concern for spiritual things. His belly was his god. His hunger motivated him. His natural desires drove him and he sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. God help us, folks, the churches of America are filled with people who have very little concern for spiritual things. Many of their reasons for going to church are based upon something else – sometimes upon necessity or prestige or boredom, just something different to do.
For some people going to church is just tradition. They are not motivated by a hunger for the reality of a living God. And that was Esau, he had no desire for spiritual things. When the choice came between his inheritance and a mess of pottage, he chose to feed his belly! Therefore, God would not reveal himself to Esau. God would not let Esau see the treasures of darkness. Esau never received a revelation of how great the potential of his inheritance was. If he would have known what he was selling, he never would have sold it. If people today knew that for a few years in the pleasures of sin, they are selling out eternity in God and the joy that lasts forever, they would never do it. But God hides himself from them. Why? Because their mind is full of earthly things and the carnal mind cannot receive the things of the spirit of God.
I’m reminded of King Saul. Saul was a man that was head and shoulders taller than anyone in Israel. Saul was out looking for mules when Samuel first met him. Samuel told him that God said he was going to be the leader of Israel. When it came time to anoint Saul before all Israel, they had to search him out and find him. He had hidden himself because he was so shy and humble at the time. Then the people began to give him honor and authority. One of the worst things you can do to someone who is not touched by the spirit of God and slain by the sword of the Lord is to give them authority, especially in the church. I have seen churches destroyed because men received authority who were helped, not slain by the word of the Lord, who weren’t dedicated to the cross. So it was with Saul. He was helped by God while he was little, but then he became strong and God hid Himself from him. Saul could not see the glory of God’s real kingdom. He tried to build everything for himself. Anybody in Israel that looked good, he drafted them into his army. He worked the girls in his kitchens. The people worked in his vineyards. He was trying to build up his own treasures. He never got a glimpse of the glory of God’s kingdom.
Abraham saw a city which had foundations whose builder and maker was God. After he had seen the city, nothing else in this world could attract him any further. He had seen the glory of God! God revealed Himself to Abraham and he saw a city. He didn’t waste trying to build his own city or kingdom.
In Philippians, Paul makes one of the saddest comments that I have found in the New Testament. After he says he is going to send Timothy to them, he adds that Timothy is the only one he can find that is still looking out for the kingdom of God. Everyone else was looking out after their own little kingdom. He had no one else. Timothy didn’t care a thing about his own profit, he just wanted to bless the people of God. I believe there are still some in the land today that are not trying to build their own kingdom. Why? Because God has revealed Himself to them, but He hides Himself from the carnal mind.
OUR TRIAL OF FAITH
God hides Himself in our trial of faith at times. Peter 1:5-7 says: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now – a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” If need be? Why would I need to be in heaviness, through manifold temptations, even if just for a time? Why would anyone have to go through trials, tests and temptations? Peter went on to say, “that the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried by fire might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” There is a trial of your faith that must come to you, in order that your faith may result in praise, honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. He is a God that hides Himself at the time of our trials. And we cry out “God, where are you?” I wonder how many times God has heard that cry down through the ages. Saints of God who became shaky while sitting in a prison cell or on the backside of the desert. Wherever they are, as they are going through great temptations or trials, they are saying: “Oh God where are You? Why have You left me alone?” I doubt there is a day that goes by He doesn’t hear this. Where is God? He is hiding Himself.
In 2 Cor. 4:16-18 it says: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory) while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Sometimes we might feel like asking Paul if he knows how heavy our afflictions are. Yet when we read a little farther in 2 Corinthians we find out that Paul knows plenty about afflictions. (I wouldn’t trade mine for his.) He says these light afflictions work for us, while God is hiding Himself from us. In the midst of our afflictions, when we do not understand where God is and why He is not solving all our problems, He is there. Albeit, He is hiding Himself from us.
In Isaiah 50:10 it says: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” This is one of the most beautiful scriptures for those who are having problems understanding where God is in the midst of their troubles. I’ve had to quote this scripture many times down through the years to those who were troubled. It seemed like their world was falling apart and they were walking in darkness. They were doing the best they could, but they had no light and they could not understand why God was hiding Himself from them. They had to learn to trust in the Lord. They had to put their feet on the rock Christ Jesus. Don’t let anything move you into the realm of doubt or fear, or onto that sandy spot of frustration. Don’t let anything move you, stay right on God and stand. If you don’t know how to walk or where to go, then stand still on God. Don’t let anything move you.
I can’t tell you how many times I had to dig my fox hole and just crawl in it. I remember one time in Guadacanal in the Solomon islands. There was a full moon and the Japanese were taking advantage of it. At that time of the war they had the air supremacy. They were flying over and bombing us every day. During the night with a full moon shining they could fly over the islands and see the ships anchored in the harbor off the island. They would bomb the ships and airfield. We had been alerted and each one of us had dug a fox hole. I dug one just big enough for me. When the alert sounded, I just flipped out of my tent and got down in that little fox hole. It wasn’t very big. It was just big enough that if a bomb landed out there somewhere, the shrapnel that flew close to the ground would fly over my head. But if it landed in the fox hole with me, there wouldn’t have been anything to send home. I got in my fox hole and just sat there. I pulled out my little New Testament and started reading by the light of that full moon. I thought “Well, if a bomb falls in this fox hole with me, I want to be doing something good”. Now that was in the natural. I couldn’t do anything about it. The Japanese were up there and I didn’t have a rifle that would shoot that far. There was nothing I could do to stop them from coming. Nothing I could do to keep the bombs from dropping. If one was destined to drop in my fox hole with me, there was not one earthly thing I could do, so there was no use to worry. Why sit there and worry, sweat and chew my fingernails or pull my hair? That wouldn’t do any good. I was willing to do anything that would help. Yet, there was nothing to help except get in my fox hole and wait it out. After they dropped their bombs and went back home, I would crawl out of my fox hole and go back to bed.
I want to say something to you in the Spirit. Sometimes I get into situations where I find myself under bombardment by the powers of darkness, by doubts, frustration, problems. I can’t do anything about them. I just go out there spiritually, get in my fox hole and wait. I can’t do anything about what’s going on. There is a place we come to where we do everything we can – obey the voice of His servant, trust in the Lord, yet, there is darkness all around. In the midst of my trials and tribulations it seems like God has a tendency to hide Himself. If we just stay upon God and walk in faith, He will reveal Himself and soon the light will come shining through, He doesn’t hide Himself forever.
I think of David down at the cave. As a little fellow he had been anointed of God by Samuel the prophet. Samuel was a man of God with many years of experience. He was the prophet of Israel. He was recognized by all Israel as a man that God would not let his words fall to the ground. Never had there been a case where Samuel had prophesied anything that it failed to come to pass. David, as a young shepherd boy, came before this man of God. Samuel poured a horn of oil on him and said: “thou art to be the king of Israel”. A couple years go by and where do we find David? He was in a cave hiding, like a flea on a dog’s back. He was running from Saul, running for his life! Do you suppose he was saying, “Where are you, Lord? You spoke those words. I am supposed to be victorious. I am the man who killed Goliath. There was a day when Israel sang songs about me. Now they are still singing songs, it’s a funeral dirge.”
There was a time when he went over to the Philistine camp to keep Saul from finding him. The king of the Philistines got to thinking that David could be dangerous. Some of the people began to tell the king that he had better watch David. David heard about it and he knew that if they were afraid of him, they would kill him. The Philistines were a little superstitious about insane people. No one would ever kill a crazy man, it was bad luck. So David went around acting like a crazy man, letting his spit run down over his beard, scratching on the walls. They said, “is this that David that killed Goliath? We don’t need to be afraid of him, don’t bother him.” What a humbling process that was. Here is the man that had the horn of oil poured on him. He was anointed to be the king over Israel, God’s nation. Here he is acting like a crazy man. Even the enemy thought he was nutty. I want to tell you, you don’t know how nutty the enemy thinks you are. He will challenge you. You may even fear for your life as David did. Yet he went from acting like a crazy man to taking over some of the enemies territory and eventually becoming king over Israel as the prophecy stated. Look for the treasures of darkness that God will reveal during your trials. Then you also will rise up in spiritual authority and put the darkness and the powers of darkness under your feet. God has treasures of darkness, hidden riches for those who look unto Him and stand upon His Word.
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