True Education


Chapter 35—The School of the Hereafter

Heaven is a school, its field of study the universe, its teacher the Infinite One. A branch of this school was established in Eden, and, after the plan of redemption has accomplished its purpose, education will again be taken up in the Eden school. TEd 187.1

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived,” ... God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, NRSV. Only through His Word can a knowledge of these things be gained, and even this affords but a partial revelation. TEd 187.2

The prophet of Patmos thus describes the location of the school of the hereafter: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. ... Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:1, 2. “The city had no need of the sun, or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light.” Revelation 21:23. TEd 187.3

Between the school established in Eden at the beginning and the school of the hereafter there lies the whole compass of this world’s history—the history of human transgression and suffering, of divine sacrifice, and of victory over death and sin. Not all the conditions of that first school of Eden will be found in the school of the future life. No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power. TEd 187.4

“To him who overcomes,” Christ says, “I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7. The gift of the tree of life in Eden was conditional, and it was finally withdrawn. But the gifts of the future life are absolute and eternal. The prophet sees the “river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” “And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life.” And “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain: for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 22:1; 22:2, RV; 21:4. TEd 188.1

Restored to God’s presence, the human race will again, as at the beginning, be taught of Him: “My people shall know My name; ... they shall know in that day that I am He who speaks: ‘Behold, it is I.’” Isaiah 52:6. TEd 188.2

There, when the veil that darkens our vision is removed, and our eyes see that world of beauty of which we now catch glimpses through the microscope; when we look on the glories of the heavens, now scanned afar through the telescope; when, the blight of sin removed, the whole earth shall appear in “the beauty of the Lord our God,” what a field will be open to our study! Students of science may read the records of creation and discern no reminders of the law of evil. They may listen to the music of nature’s voices and detect no note of wailing or undertone of sorrow. TEd 188.3

There the Eden life will be lived, the life in garden and field. “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 65:21, 22. There Adam and his descendants will be restored to their lost kingship, and the lower order of beings will again recognize their authority; the fierce will become gentle, and the timid trustful. TEd 188.4

History of infinite scope and of wealth inexpressible will be open to the redeemed. Here, from the vantage ground of God’s Word, students are afforded a view of the vast field of history and may gain some knowledge of the principles that govern the course of human events. But their vision is still clouded, and their knowledge incomplete. Not until they stand in the light of eternity will they see all things clearly. TEd 188.5

Then will be opened before the redeemed the course of the great conflict that had its birth before time began, and that ends only when time shall cease. The history of the inception of sin; of fatal falsehood in its crooked working; of truth that, swerving not from its own straight lines, has met and conquered error—all will be made manifest. The veil that interposes between the visible and the invisible world will be drawn aside, and wonderful things will be revealed. TEd 189.1