Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


In View of Christ's Near Return

The thought to be kept before students is that time is short and that they must make speedy preparation for doing the work that is essential for this time.... I am bidden to say to you that you know not how soon the crisis will come. It is stealing gradually upon us, as a thief. The sun shines in the heavens, passing over its usual round, and the heavens still declare the glory of God; men are pursuing their usual course of eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage; merchants are still engaged in buying and selling; publications are still issuing one upon another; men are jostling one against another, seeking to get the highest place; pleasure lovers are still attending theaters, horse races, gambling hells, and the highest excitement prevails; but probation's hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally decided. There are few who believe with heart and soul that we have a heaven to win and a hell to shun; but these show their faith by their works. CT 413.3

The signs of Christ's coming are fast fulfilling. Satan sees that he has but a short time in which to work, and he has set his agencies to work to stir up the elements of the world, that men may be deceived, deluded, and kept occupied and entranced until the day of probation shall be ended and the door of mercy be forever shut. CT 414.1

The kingdoms of this world have not yet become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. Do not deceive yourselves; be wide awake and move rapidly, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Do not encourage students who come to you burdened with the work of saving their fellow men, to enter upon course after course of study. Do not lengthen out to many years the time for obtaining an education. By so doing you give them the impression that there is time enough, and this very plan proves a snare to their souls. CT 414.2

Many are better prepared, have more spiritual discrimination and knowledge of God, and know more of His requirements, when they enter upon their course of study than when they are graduated. They become inspired with an ambition to become learned men and are encouraged to add to their studies until they become infatuated. They make their books their idol and are willing to sacrifice health and spirituality in order to obtain an education. They limit the time which they should devote to prayer and fail to improve the opportunities which they have to do good. They fail to put to use the knowledge which they have already obtained and do not advance in the science of winning souls. Missionary work becomes less and less desirable, while the passion to excel in book knowledge increases abnormally. In pursuing their studies they separate from the God of wisdom. Some congratulate them on their advancement and encourage them to take degree after degree.... CT 415.1

The question was asked, “Do you believe the truth? do you believe the third angel's message? If you do believe, then act your faith.” ... Probationary time will not permit of long-protracted years of drill. God calls; hear His voice as He says, “Go work today in My vineyard.” Matthew 21:28. Now, just now, is the time to work.... CT 415.2

“The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” Nahum 1:3. O that men might understand the patience and long-suffering of God! He is putting under restraint His own attributes. His omnipotent power is under the control of Omnipotence. O that men would understand that God refuses to be wearied out with the world's perversity and still holds out the hope of forgiveness even to the most undeserving! But His forbearance will not always continue. Who is prepared for the sudden change that will take place in God's dealing with sinful men? Who will be prepared to escape the punishment that will certainly fall upon transgressors? ... CT 415.3

There is a large work to be done, and the vineyard of the Lord needs laborers. Missionaries should enter the field before they are compelled to cease labor. There are now open doors on every side; students cannot afford to wait to complete years of training, for the years before us are not many, and we need to work while the day lasts.... CT 416.1

Understand that I say nothing in these words to depreciate education, but I speak to warn those who are in danger of carrying that which is lawful to unlawful extremes, and of making altogether too much of human education. Rather insist upon the development of a Christian experience, for without this the education of the student will be of no avail. CT 416.2

If you see that students are in danger of becoming engrossed in their studies to such an extent as to neglect the study of that Book which gives them information as to how to secure the future welfare of their souls, then do not present the temptation of going deeper, of protracting the time for educational discipline. In this way all that will make the student's education of value to the world will be sunk out of sight.... CT 416.3

As long as time shall last, we shall have need of schools. There will always be need of education; but we must be careful lest education absorb every spiritual interest. There is positive peril in advising students to pursue one line of education after another and in leading them to think that by so doing they will attain perfection. The education thus obtained will prove to be deficient in every way. The Lord says: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:19-21. CT 417.1

Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. In the providence of God he received a broad education, but a large part of that education had to be unlearned and accounted as foolishness. Its impression had to be blotted out by forty years of experience in caring for the sheep and the tender lambs. If many who are connected with the work of the Lord could be isolated as was Moses, and could be compelled by circumstances to follow some humble vocation until their hearts became tender, ... they would not be so prone to magnify their own abilities, or seek to demonstrate that the wisdom of an advanced education could take the place of a sound knowledge of God.... CT 417.2

The disciples of Christ are not called upon to magnify men, but to magnify God, the Source of all wisdom. Let educators give the Holy Spirit room to do Its work upon human hearts. The greatest Teacher is represented in the midst of us by the Holy Spirit. However you may study, though you may reach higher and still higher, and occupy every moment of your probationary time in the pursuit of knowledge, you will not become complete. When time is over, you would have to ask yourselves the question, What good have I done to those who are in midnight darkness? To whom have I communicated the knowledge of God or even the knowledge of those things for which I have spent so much time and money? CT 417.3

It will soon be said in heaven, “It is done.” “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12. When this fiat goes forth, every case will have been decided. CT 418.1

Far better would it be for laborers to take less work and go about it slowly and humbly, wearing the yoke of Christ and bearing His burdens, than to devote years of preparation for a large work and then fail to bring sons and daughters to God, fail to have any trophies to lay at the feet of Jesus.... CT 418.2

How many who know the truth for this time are working in harmony with its principles? It is true that something is being done; but more, far more, should have been done. The work is accumulating, and the time for doing it is diminishing. All should now be burning and shining lights, and yet many are failing to keep their lamps supplied with the oil of grace, trimmed and burning, so that light may gleam out today. Too many are counting on a long stretch of tomorrow, but this is a mistake. Let everyone be educated in such a way as to show the importance of the special work for today. Let everyone labor for God and for souls; let each show wisdom and never be found in idleness, waiting for someone to set him to work. The “someone” who could set you to work is overcrowded with responsibilities, and time is lost in waiting for his directions. God will give you wisdom in reforming at once; for the call is still made, “Son, go work today in My vineyard.” “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 3:7, 8. The Lord prefaces the requirement with the endearing word “son.” How tender, how compassionate, yet withal, how urgent! His invitation is also a command.—Special Testimonies On Education, 108-146; written March 21, 1895, to the teachers in the Sanitarium and College at Battle Creek, Michigan. CT 418.3


To know oneself is great knowledge. True self-knowledge leads to a humility that will open the way for the Lord to develop the mind and mold and discipline the character. No teacher can do acceptable work who does not bear in mind his own deficiencies and does not put aside all plans that would weaken spiritual life. When teachers are willing to lay aside that which is unessential for the life eternal, then it can be said that they are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and that they are building wisely for eternity. CT 419.1