The Youth’s Instructor


October 27, 1898

Search the Scriptures—No. 3


A bare assent to the truth is not Bible religion. Men do not become Christians merely by having their names written in the church-books. This belief is proving fatal to thousands upon thousands. It does not displease Satan to have any number of names upon the church-books while the heart is not brought into unity with Christ: he can work through those who have the form of godliness without the spirit and power. There are many professed Christians whose hearts are incased in a self-righteous armor that the arrow of the Lord, barbed and true-aimed by angel hands, would fail to pierce. Man must seek God for himself; then the Holy Spirit will take the precious truth, far above the price of rubies, as it falls from the lips of Jesus, and convey it, a living power, to the obedient heart. YI October 27, 1898, par. 1

Age after age the curiosity of men has led them to seek for the tree of knowledge; and often they think they are plucking fruit most essential, when, like Solomon in his research, they find it altogether vanity and nothingness in comparison with the science of true holiness, which will open to them the gates of the city of God. The mass of books which have been thought essential for school education contains erroneous principles, which, if carried into practical life, will lead the students into false paths, away from consecration to God, away from that knowledge which will live through endless ages. YI October 27, 1898, par. 2

The one great matter that should demand our attention is higher education. As a worker, Christ did not allow his labors to be of a character merely to satisfy curiosity or to give such demonstrations of truth as to make doubt impossible. He came to open the treasures of heaven, that others might search and find. He designed that the Word should be received and searched as a new revelation. YI October 27, 1898, par. 3

Human ambition has been seeking for that kind of knowledge that will bring to men self-exaltation and supremacy. Thus Adam and Eve were worked upon by Satan until God's restraint was snapped asunder, and their education under the teacher of lies began, in order that they might have the knowledge which God had refused them,—a knowledge of the consequences of transgression. And since that time, the sons of men have had a practical knowledge of evil; but Christ came to the world to show them that he had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, to elevate and ennoble our mental powers, so that our efforts in this life might not be misdirected and lost; and it is of the greatest consequence that every student in our schools obtain that knowledge which will enable him to co-operate with God in the grand work of forming a character after the divine pattern. YI October 27, 1898, par. 4

The Lord Jesus came to strengthen every earnest seeker for truth, he came to reveal the Father. He allowed nothing to divert his mind from the great work of restoring the moral image of God in man. And we must see that the great and important work for us is to receive the divine likeness, to prepare a character for the future life. We must appropriate the heavenly truths to our special use in practical life. And we may carry with us all the treasure of knowledge that gives us a fitness for the life that measures with the life of God. YI October 27, 1898, par. 5

The knowledge of God is as high as the heaven, as broad as the earth; and most blessed of God will be those schools that study with earnest, prayerful hearts to know, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer is given, Study the Word, obey God, and you will be brought into subjection to Christ. Only those who read the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to them are the true learners. They tremble at the word of God; for to them it is a living reality. They study, they search for the hidden treasure. They open the understanding and heart to receive, and they pray for heavenly grace, that they may obtain a preparation for the future, immortal life. As the heavenly torch is placed in his hand, man sees his own frailty, his infirmity, his hopelessness in looking to himself for righteousness. He sees that in himself there is nothing to recommend him to God. He prays for the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ, to be his constant guide, to lead him into all truth; and he receives the fulfilment of the promise of Christ, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” YI October 27, 1898, par. 6

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, ... in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” YI October 27, 1898, par. 7

These words reveal the far-reaching power of true godliness. They enlarge the narrow confines of human scholarship, and present before the mind a far deeper knowledge to be obtained through vital connection with God. They bring every student who is a doer of the word into a broader field of knowledge, and secure to him a wealth of learning that is imperishable. All knowledge gained in this life of probation which will fit us to be companions of the saints in light is true education. It brings blessings to ourselves and others in this life, and will secure to us the future, immortal life, with all its imperishable riches. YI October 27, 1898, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White