Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15

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Ms 51, 1900

Knowledge, Spurious and Genuine

NP

1900

This manuscript is published in entirety in 20MR 40-44.

There is a spurious knowledge, the knowledge of evil and sin, which has been brought into the world by the cunning of Satan. The pursuit of this knowledge is prompted by unsanctified desires, unholy aims. Its lessons are dearly bought, but many will not be convinced that they are better left unlearned. The sons and daughters of Adam are fully as inquisitive and presumptuous as was Eve. They venture, contrary to the will of God, to gain knowledge which results, as did Eve’s, in the loss of Eden. Satan found only one tree by which he could endanger the safety of Adam and Eve. There was no danger to them in approaching any but the tree of knowledge. He planned to attract the holy pair to that tree, and thus lead them to do the very thing which God had forbidden. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 1

When will men learn that which has been so fully demonstrated in the history of the past? The workings of Satan show that he can be neither idle nor harmless. Yet how pleasing men and women still find Satan’s allurements. Today his arguments are the same that he presented to Eve. He still uses flattery; he still creates envy and distrust, and excites the desire for self-exaltation. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 2

In educational pursuits as in all others, selfish, earthly aims are dangerous to the soul. In educational lines many ideas are advanced which proceed not from the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity, but from those who make scholastic studies an idol and worship a science that divorces God from the education. Yet because these errors are clothed in an attractive garb, they are widely received. The minds of many are not so closely connected with God that they can distinguish between the holy and the unholy, the sacred and the common. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 3

It is well to gain a knowledge of the sciences. But the acquirement of this knowledge is the ambition of a large class who are unconsecrated, and who have no thought as to the use they will make of their attainments. The world is full of men and women who manifest no sense of obligation to God for their entrusted gifts. They do not realize that God has entrusted them with talents, not for self-glorification but for His own name’s glory. They are eager for distinction. It is the object of their lives to obtain the highest place. They do not use their endowments in bringing their fellow men to Jesus. They are not helping others to study His life and character. They are not bringing them in contact with the divine life, and inspiring them with zeal to impart the light of truth. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 4

There are men whom God has qualified with more than ordinary ability. They are deep thinkers, energetic, and thorough. But many of them are bent upon the attainment of their own selfish ends, without regard to the honor and glory of God. Some of these have seen the light of truth, but because they honored themselves, and did not make God first and last and best in everything, they have wandered away from Bible truth into skepticism and infidelity. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 5

When these are arrested by the chastisements of God, and through affliction are led to enquire for the old paths, the mist of skepticism is swept from their minds. Some of them repent, return to the old love, and set their feet in the way cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. No longer are they actuated by the love of money or by selfish ambition. The Spirit of God working upon the heart is valued by them more highly than gold or the praise of men. When this amazing change is wrought, the thoughts are directed by the Spirit of God into new channels, the character is transformed, and the aspirations of the soul reach out toward heavenly things. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 6

True religion has power today. It enables men to overcome the stubborn influence of pride, selfishness, and unbelief, and in the simplicity of true godliness to reveal a living connection with heaven. The grace which Christ imparts makes it possible for men to rise superior to all the infatuating temptations of Satan. It will lead them to the cross of Jesus as active, devoted, loyal workers for the advancement of the truth of heaven. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 7

Fidelity to God has marked the heroes of faith from age to age. As they have been brought conspicuously before the world, their light has shown forth. Their obedience to the command of Christ, “Go forward” [Exodus 14:15], has led others to glorify God. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 8

There are today moral heroes, men and women who are living noble lives of self-denial. They have no ambition for worldly fame. Their will is subordinate to the will of God. The love of God inspires their ministry. To do good and to save souls is their highest aim. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 9

These have gained genuine knowledge, even the knowledge set forth by Christ in the words, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 10

Trained Workers Needed

There is a great work to be done in the Master’s vineyard. To accomplish this work, God calls for men to whom He has given ability for service. He does nothing without man’s cooperation. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 11

Whenever the Lord has a work to be done, He calls not only the commanding officers, but all the workers. He calls young men and women who are strong and active in mind. He desires them to bring into the work their fresh, healthy powers of brain, bone, and muscle. They are to take part in the conflict against principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 12

Men have nothing but that which God has given them in trust. They are not to indulge pride or to boast of their talents. They owe to God all that makes it possible for them to labor for Him. Yet every man has a part to act in preparing himself for service. By earnest study, taxing effort, he is to cultivate all his powers. Then divine power will surely combine with his efforts. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 13

Some young men are urging their way into the work who have no real fitness for it. They do not understand that they need to be taught before they can teach. They point to men who with little preparation have labored with a measure of success. But if these men have been successful, it is because they put their heart and soul into the work. And how much more effective their labors might have been if, at the very start, they had received suitable training. The cause of God needs efficient men. Education and training are rightly regarded as an essential preparation for the work of school teaching, and not less essential is thorough preparation for the work of presenting God’s last message of mercy to the world. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 14

This training cannot be gained merely by listening to preaching. Young men and women must be brought into our schools. They should have thorough training under experienced managers in the various lines of work. They should make the best possible use of their time in study, and put into practice the knowledge acquired. Hard study and hard work are required to make a successful preacher or a successful worker in any line. Nothing less than constant cultivation will develop the value of the gifts which God has bestowed upon them for wise improvement. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 15

The Training Our Schools Should Give

The teaching in our schools is not to be the same as in other colleges and seminaries. It is not to be of an inferior order, but the knowledge essential to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God is to be made the all-important theme. The students are to be fitted for God’s service not only in this life but in the future, immortal life. The Lord requires that our schools shall be training schools for the kingdom to which we are bound. Without previous training, none will be prepared to blend in the holy, happy harmony of the redeemed. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 16

Many teachers will be in danger of making their training mechanical. There is danger that a ceremonial service will take the place of genuine heart work. Thus religion will become little more than a form. The students in our schools, the members of our churches, need something deeper than this. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 17

Redemption, what is it? It is the training process for heaven. This training means more than a knowledge of books. It means a knowledge of Christ, emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God. Resistance of evil must be encouraged. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 18

Teachers in our schools must have a deep religious experience. An intellectual religion will not satisfy the soul. Intellectual training must not be neglected, but it is not sufficient. Students must be taught that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. They must be taught to place the will on the side of God’s will. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 19

There are very many whose sympathies are corrupt and debased. Such cannot sing the song of the redeemed in heaven. They would be unhappy in heaven. They would not feel at home in the society of the pure and holy. With their darkened minds and their untrained powers, they would be out of harmony with the heavenly host. They could not unite with them in ascribing praise to God and to the Lamb. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 20

God’s Word declares that the saints are to judge the world. But men and women who are not obedient to the law of God will never be entrusted with the judgment of the world. They have no respect for a “Thus saith the Lord.” They do not conform to that law which is holy, just, and good. Therefore they are not saints—holy ones. God could not trust them to act as His representatives in the judgment. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 21

God gives all an opportunity in this life to develop character. All may fill their appointed place in His great plan. The Lord accepted Samuel from his very childhood because his heart was pure, and he had reverence for God. He was given to God, a consecrated offering, and the Lord made him, even in his childhood, a channel of light. A life consecrated as was Samuel’s is of great value in God’s sight. If the youth of today will consecrate themselves as did Samuel, the Lord will accept them and use them in His work. Of their life they may be able to say with the psalmist, “O Lord, thou hast taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.” [Psalm 71:17.] 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 22

Christ’s Ambassador

The faithful ambassador of Christ is not ashamed of the banner of truth. He does not cease from proclaiming the truth, however unpopular it may be. In all places, in season, out of season, he heralds the glad tidings of salvation. Missionaries for God are called to face dangers, endure privations, and suffer reproach for the truth’s sake, yet amid dangers, hardships, and reproach they are still to hold the banner aloft. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 23

The third angel proclaims his message in no whispered tones, in no hesitant manner. He cries with a loud voice, while flying swiftly through the midst of heaven. This shows that the work of God’s servants it to be earnest and rapidly performed. They must be brave witnesses for the truth. With no shame upon their countenances, with uplifted head, with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shining upon them, with rejoicing that their redemption draweth nigh, they go forth declaring the last message of mercy to the world. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 24

These last day witnesses are bold soldiers of Jesus Christ. They have tasted of the powers of the world to come. Their feet are not on sliding sand, but on solid rock. They are not easily moved away from the faith once delivered to the saints. These will be strengthened by their Leader to cope with difficulties. They are messengers of righteousness, representatives of Christ, revealing the triumphs of grace. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 25

From these chosen men of God the truth will shine forth. It will be heard from their lips, reflected in their countenances, and demonstrated in their lives. They will be marked by purity and uncorruptness. The grace of Christ has a refining, ennobling influence on the character. Many men and women of ability, refinement, and education will throw their all on the Lord’s side. Many will part with friends, and will sacrifice every worldly interest in order to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. Their lives give evidence to the world of the power of Christianity. They witness that the gospel is what it purports to be, the power of God unto salvation. Bright beams of gospel truth are flashed from them upon the path of those who are in darkness. Their unswerving fidelity is registered in the books of heaven. 15LtMs, Ms 51, 1900, par. 26