Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 84, 1901

Talk/Teachers to Have a Living Experience

Healdsburg, California

August 28, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in 6BC 1083-1084; 11MR 159-160. +Note

Teachers to Have a Living Experience. Talk at Church School Teachers’ Institute.

I wish to say a few words in regard to true education. All who are attending this Institute that they may become better prepared to teach in our schools or to exert a proper influence in any place, should make it their very first work to seek the Lord with all the heart, that they may find Him. Those who seek God and His righteousness will have divine assistance. To those whose hearts are right with God, all the instruction that is presented will have an uplifting tendency. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 1

Christ is the greatest Teacher, the greatest Educator, that the world ever knew. If you come into close relation with Him, the atmosphere surrounding your soul will exert an educative influence wherever you are. Unless you have Christ formed within, the hope of glory, all the education that you may obtain in Greek, in Latin, in the languages, or in anything else, will be of no value in securing eternal life. You must bear in mind that Christ co-operates with you when you co-operate with Christ. Constantly you are to be learning of the Great Teacher. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 2

Have you given yourselves to Christ? Or are you seeking the position of teacher in such a way that after you have enjoyed all the advantages offered at this time, you will know no more concerning the great truths which sanctify the soul than when you came here? It is necessary to know that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. Then you will know that you have a Helper, even the Lord, and an influence for good will go forth from every teacher. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 3

Teachers, be truly converted to God. Realize that in every school established, the first work is to become acquainted with God and with the principles of heaven, that in your daily work you may prove the truthfulness of the words of Christ to the woman of Samaria, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water,” which is as “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” [John 4:10, 14.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 4

In obtaining an education, there is danger that spirituality will be considered of secondary importance. We often think if we only could reach the world’s standard in education, we should have gained something. Those who believe this will prefer the society of the world to the society of those who love and fear God. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 5

Many have imagined that in order to become educated, they should place themselves under worldly influences. According to the worldly idea, in obtaining an education, spiritual things are not considered of much value. Those who choose to enter schools where our faith is not recognized are on the losing side. They lose the very things which they should value most—a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ and of that life which measures with the life of God. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 6

All who are engaged in teaching the youth in our schools must have as the foundation of their knowledge the fear of God, for this is the beginning of wisdom. They may have had years of training, and yet have not touched the very beginning, the a-b-c of spirituality, the a-b-c of devotion, the a-b-c of self-sacrifice. The science of education is to love God and to keep His commandments. Study the Word of God intelligently. It is the foundation of all education. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 7

The Apostle Paul could meet eloquence with eloquence, logic with logic; he could intelligently enter into all controversies. But was he satisfied with this worldly knowledge? He writes: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” [1 Corinthians 2:1, 2.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 8

Here is a very important lesson. We need to understand our whereabouts. We need to understand that the highest education ever given to mortals develops a spirit of humility, for it reveals how much more there is yet to be learned. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 9

The more you learn, the more you will see the necessity of putting your whole mind and interest into learning for Christ’s sake. Why are you learning? Are you acquiring knowledge so as to become intelligent in the truth? If that is your object, be assured that you will hide self in Jesus Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 10

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” [Verse 3.] Paul was a very great teacher; yet he felt that without the Spirit of God working with him, all the education he had obtained would be of little account. We need to obtain this same experience; we need to be afraid of ourselves. All need individually to sit at the feet of Jesus, and listen to His words of instruction. Let us empty from the soul-temple all foolishness, pride, and folly, and invite Jesus to take possession of heart and soul and character. When we do this, there will be no pride of spirit; for we shall more fully appreciate how much more there is to be learned. “What shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?” is a life-and-death question, a question which should be constantly before us. [Mark 10:17.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 11

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” [1 Corinthians 2:4-8.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 12

The Lord will help every one of us. He will bring to our minds things which we would not otherwise have remembered. He is rich in resources. Every faculty of our minds, every capability which we possess, we receive from the Lord. Jesus Christ died upon Calvary’s cross, that He might place us in such a relation to Himself that we could co-operate with Him in the great work of letting our light shine forth to others, that they by seeing our good works might glorify our Father which is in heaven. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 13

Put away all things like unbelief and infidelity. Press close to the bleeding side of Christ Jesus. Be willing to be partakers of Christ’s suffering, that you may be partakers with Him of His glory. There is a heaven to win. “God hath prepared for them that love him” a rich treasure, which we are enabled to receive by His Spirit. Let us cherish the Spirit of God. The Lord desires to have every one of us come into sacred relation with Him. If we do this, He will open before us the mysteries of the grace of God, as we read in the next verse: “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.” [Verse 9.] When Christ comes to take us home, we must take our minds with us, and our education should be of such a nature that we shall be fitted to compose the family of God. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 14

Those who are preparing for the heavenly home should now be cultivating a teachable spirit. If we are overcomers, we may unite with the heavenly family and see the King in His beauty. Are we being fitted to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King? 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 15

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” [Verse 10.] Like a lighted candle, the Spirit searches the hidden things of the heart which we must overcome, else we never shall see the kingdom of God. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 16

“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.” [Verses 11, 12.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 17

The instruction most essential is the simple kind which will shut us in with the greatest Teacher we can have—the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him alone can we reach the highest elevation. God has provided us with all the facilities and the capabilities of mind that we enjoy. Let us make the very highest use of every capability, that we may win the prize, eternal life. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 18

What is your object in obtaining an education? Is it to glorify yourself? Is it to say, “See how much learning I have?” Or is it that you may be able to help weak and trembling souls plant their feet upon the platform of eternal truth? Do you long to lift up and encourage others? If you are striving merely for the name of being a teacher, an educator, you might just as well be somewhere else. God invites everyone to be His helping hand. He invites you to carry out the principles of heaven, the a-b-c of true education. If you have never learned them before, commence to study now, and when you have thus learned, you will be fitted to teach others. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 19

If your great aim has been to learn Greek and Latin, and all these things, you need to go back to the beginning, and in the love and the fear of God learn the a-b-c of spirituality. This is the preparation essential, if you would see the King in His beauty and behold His matchless charms. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 20

The purpose of education is to glorify God, to answer His prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:10.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 21

Keep thinking of these things. “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.” [1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.] Be in a sensitive frame of mind, so that the Holy Spirit may impress upon the heart the rays of light which will come to you in any discourse that is preached, or in any advice that is given. In all your connection with your brethren and sisters in the church, be in such a receptive state that you can catch the spirit and influence that God wants you to have, that He may mold you and work through you. Do not try to work the Holy Spirit after your particular ideas, but allow the Holy Spirit to work and mold you. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 22

Because you expect to be teachers, do not think that it is unnecessary to obtain an education in the simplest duties of life. Because you are studying, do not neglect every-day duties around you. Wherever you are, weave into your life all the usefulness possible, and you will find your mind more capable and susceptible of understanding the lessons you endeavor to learn. By having these simple, practical lessons brought into your life-experience, you are better qualified to educate those who need to learn. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 23

Let there be manifested in the life of every teacher that sweetness in the family, that helpfulness, that meekness and lowliness of heart, which characterized the life of the Great Teacher. In being helpful, we shall be learning how to live faithfully to God—how to be His helping hand. He who is faithful in the little things, will be faithful in greater responsibilities. “Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” [Matthew 25:23.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 24

Those who are preparing to be teachers should have a fragrance of character, a sweetness of disposition, which savor of heaven. Put away all passion, all pride, all self-exaltation. Consider what Christ is to you, and what you are to Christ. Train yourselves never to speak a hasty word. Exercise perfect self-control. Educate yourselves to perform with faithfulness every practical duty which may come to you. True and faithful are all those who will enter in through the gates into the city. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 25

In the great mercy of God, probationary time is given to you, that you may have a preparatory heaven here below where you can develop a character that will entitle you at last to hear the blessed words, “Good and faithful servant, ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Verse 23.] Are you willing to be servants of the living God? By using all the capabilities and powers which God has given you, are you determined to reach the very highest standard, climbing the ladder of progress round after round, round after round, and getting a clearer and yet clearer knowledge of God and His ways and His works? If you do this, you will finally step from this ladder into the immortal inheritance. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 26

“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;”—and why?—“and I will receive you.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] If you have the proper qualifications of character, Christ will receive you. Realize that you are God’s property. “Ye are not your own” to make a disposition of yourselves as you please. “Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 27

We are on the very borders of the eternal world. The crisis is upon us. The end of all things is at hand. Let every one realize that he has an account to settle with God by and by. God is longing to give us a most rich and greatly needed experience. If as humble servants of Jesus Christ we place ourselves in right relation to God, He will work mightily in our behalf. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 28

As we are placed in various positions of trust, temptations and trials will come. Unless we are enlightened, unless we realize the necessity of most earnest prayer to God, unless we humble our hearts before Him, we shall lose the very essence of education. During this institute, let us do more praying than we have ever done before. We should know how to pray, and know what language to use in prayer. Let us learn how to glorify God by bearing testimony in the social meeting, or in any place where we may be called upon to speak in behalf of truth and godliness. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 29

Read and study the first chapter of the second epistle of Peter. Work upon the plan of addition brought to view in this Scripture. “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off.” [Verses 5-9.] No; with all his pride of education, he cannot see the outcome. He does not see that he will lose eternal life, because he does not submit his heart to Jesus Christ, to be softened and subdued and fashioned after the divine similitude. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 30

“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence (observe the reason for being diligent) to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things (notice what should be done in order to be transferred to the higher grade, the school of heaven) ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [Verses 9-11.] 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 31

Here is an everlasting life insurance policy for every one of us. Have we looked at these promises in a correct light? God help us to see that in His love the Lord has given us probationary time, that we may get rid of all our selfishness, pride, egotism, and seeking for the highest place; and that we may become humble, devoted Christians, leading others in the way of salvation. God is calling upon all teachers and students to have as their aim in obtaining an education, the securing of this life insurance policy, that they may have the immortal inheritance, the eternal substance, and see the King in His beauty. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 32

While obtaining our education, we have the inestimable privilege of sitting at the feet of Jesus, and at last of having it written in the books of heaven, “Ye are complete in him.” [Colossians 2:10.] O, precious, precious Saviour, who has given us all of these opportunities, that we may win eternal life! May God help every one of you to take these words to heart and meditate upon them. 16LtMs, Ms 84, 1901, par. 33