Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

A Failure to Study God's Word

That which in the counsels of heaven the Father and the Son deemed essential for man's salvation is clearly presented in the Holy Scriptures. The infinite truths of salvation are stated so plainly that finite beings who desire to know the truth cannot fail to understand. Divine revelations have been made for their instruction in righteousness, that they may glorify God and help their fellow men. CT 438.1

These truths are found in the word of God—the standard by which we are to judge between right and wrong. Obedience to this word is the best shield for the youth against the temptations to which they are exposed while acquiring an education. From this word they learn how to honor God and how to be faithful to humanity, cheerfully performing the duties and meeting the trials that each day brings, and courageously bearing its burdens. CT 438.2

Christ, the Great Teacher, sought to win the minds of men from the contemplation of earthly things, that He might teach them of heavenly things. Had the teachers of His day been willing to be instructed by Him, had they united with Him in sowing the world with the seeds of truth, the world would be far different from what it now is. Had the scribes and Pharisees joined their forces with the Saviour, the knowledge of Christ would have restored the moral image of God in their souls. CT 438.3

But the leaders of Israel turned from the fountain of true knowledge. They studied the Scriptures only to sustain their traditions and enforce their man-made observances. By their interpretation they made them express sentiments that God had never given. Their mystical construction made indistinct that which He had made plain. They disputed over technicalities and practically denied the most essential truths. God's word was robbed of its power, and evil spirits worked their will. CT 438.4

Christ's words contain nothing that is nonessential. The Sermon on the Mount is a wonderful production, yet so simple that a child can study it without misunderstanding. The mount of beatitudes is a symbol of the spiritual elevation on which Christ ever stood. Every word He uttered came from God, and He spoke with the authority of heaven. “The words that I speak unto you,” He said, “they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. His teaching is full of ennobling, saving truth, to which men's highest ambitions and most profound investigations can bear no comparison. He was alive to the terrible ruin hanging over the race, and He came to save souls by His own righteousness, bringing to the world definite assurance of hope and complete relief. CT 439.1

It is because Christ's words are disregarded, because the word of God is given a second place in education, that infidelity is riot and iniquity is rife. Things of minor consequence occupy the minds of many of the teachers of today. A mass of tradition, containing merely a semblance of truth, is brought into the courses of study given in the schools of the world. The force of much human teaching is found in assertion, not in truth. The teachers of the present day can use only the ability of previous teachers; and yet with all the weighty importance that may be attached to the words of the greatest human authors there is a conscious inability to trace back to the first great principle, the Source of unerring wisdom. There is a painful uncertainty, a constant searching, a reaching for assurance, that can be found only in God. The trumpet of human greatness may be sounded, but it is with an uncertain sound; it is not reliable, and the salvation of souls cannot be assured by it. CT 439.2

In acquiring earthly knowledge, men have thought to gain a treasure; and they have laid the Bible aside, ignorant that it contains a treasure worth everything else. A failure to study and obey God's word has brought confusion into the world. Men have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel, the prince of darkness. Strange fire has been mingled with the sacred. The accumulation of things that minister to lust and ambition has brought upon the world the judgment of heaven. CT 440.1

When in difficulty, philosophers and men of science try to satisfy their minds without appealing to God. They ventilate their philosophy in regard to the heavens and the earth, accounting for plagues, pestilences, epidemics, earthquakes, and famines by their supposed science. Questions relating to creation and providence they attempt to solve by saying, This is a law of nature. CT 440.2