Ms 22, 1895

Ms 22, 1895

The Bible the Most Important Book for Study in Our Schools


January 9, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in FE 444-452.

The Bible is the revelation of God to our world, telling us of the character we must have in order to reach the paradise of God. We are to esteem it as God’s disclosure to us of eternal things, the things of most consequence for us to know. By the world it is thrown aside, as if the perusal of it were sufficient, but a thousand years of research would not exhaust the hidden treasure it contains. Eternity alone will disclose the wisdom of this book. The jewels buried in it are inexhaustible, for it is the wisdom of an infinite mind. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 1

At no period of time has man learned all that can be learned of the Word of God. There are yet new views of truth to be seen, and much to be understood of the character and attributes of God—His benevolence, His mercy, His long forbearance, His example of perfect obedience. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14.] This would be a most valuable study, taxing the intellect and giving strength to the mental ability. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 2

After diligently searching the Word, hidden treasures are discovered, and the lover of truth breaks out in triumph, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” [1 Timothy 3:16.] “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man.” [Philippians 2:5-7.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 3

The Bible, fully received and studied as the voice of God, tells the human family how to reach the abodes of eternal happiness and secure the treasures of heaven. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] Are we then so dull that we can not comprehend it? Shall we cultivate a deep hunger for the production of great authors, and disregard the Word of God? It is this great longing for something they never ought to crave, that makes men substitute for knowledge that which can not make them wise unto salvation. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 4

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And the voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy: wherefore ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” [2 Peter 1:16-21.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 5

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” “For all flesh is as grass, and the glory of man is as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth forever.” 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 6

It is by the perusal of the Bible that the mind is strengthened, refined, and elevated. If there were not another book in the wide world, the Word of God, lived out through the grace of Christ, would make man perfect in this world, with a character fitted for the future immortal life. Those who study the Word, taking it in faith as the truth, and receiving it into their characters, will be complete in Him who is all in all. Thank God for the possibilities set before humanity. But a study of the many different authors confuses and wearies the mind, and has a detrimental influence upon the religious life. In the Bible [are] specified distinctly man’s duties to God and to his fellow men, but without a study of the Word, how can these requirements be met? We must have a knowledge of God, for “this is life eternal,” said Christ, “that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 7

There are in this world lords many and gods many, and “reverend” and “right reverend” is attached to the name of men who have robbed God of His title to make themselves gods in the earth. Only once in the Scriptures is the word “reverend” used, and there it is applied to Him who dwells in light unapproachable. It is the name given to an exalted God, and no sinful mortal should think to appropriate it to himself. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 8

“The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honorable and glorious; and His righteousness endureth forever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto all that fear Him: He will ever be mindful of His covenant. He hath showed His people the power of His works, that He may give them the heritage of the heathen. The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 9

Then how dare men, ignorant through disobedience, think to make themselves equal with God? He condemns them for assuming to climb up and be as gods, clothing themselves with sacred vestments to render them sacred in the eyes of the world, for God does not design that fallen man shall exalt himself to be equal with God. In placing “reverend” before their names, men evidence that they are ignorant of God and of His holiness. Did they view God as Moses viewed Him, they would be meek and lowly. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 10

And Isaiah tells us what effect a sight of the Lord had upon him. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims; each one had six wings: with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me; for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” [Isaiah 6:1-7.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 11

Let not man’s assertions be considered as truth when they are contrary to the Word of God. The Lord God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the source of all wisdom, is second to none. But these suppose great authors, who give to our schools their text books for study are received and glorified, even though they have no vital connection with God. By such study men have been led far from God into forbidden paths; their minds have been wearied to death through unnecessary work in trying to obtain that which is to them as the knowledge which Adam and Eve disobeyed God in obtaining. If Adam and Eve had never touched the tree of knowledge, they would have been where the Lord could have imparted to them knowledge from His Word, knowledge which would not have had to be left behind with the things of this world, but which they could carry with them to the paradise of God. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 12

But today young men and women spend years and years in acquiring an education which is but wood and stubble, to be consumed in the last great conflagration. Many spend years of their life in the study of books, obtaining an education that will die with them. Upon such an education God places no value. This supposed wisdom, gained from the study of different authors, has excluded and lessened the brightness and value of the Word of God. Many a student has left school unable to receive the Word of truth with the reverence and respect that they gave it before they entered, their faith eclipsed in the effort to excel in the studies. The Bible has not been made a standard matter in their education, but books mixed with infidelity and propagating unsound theories have been placed before them. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 13

There is nothing so ennobling and invigorating as a study of the great themes which concern our eternal life. Let students seek to grasp these God-given truths, let them seek to measure these precious things, and their minds will expand and grow strong in the effort. But a mind crowded with a mass of matter it will never be able to use, is a mind dwarfed and enfeebled, because only put to the task of dealing with commonplace material. It has not been put to the task of considering the high, elevated disclosure coming from God. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 14

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] As the mind is summoned to the consideration of these great themes, it will rise higher and higher in the comprehension of these subjects of eternal importance, leaving the cheaper and insignificant matters to drop as a dead weight. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 15

All unnecessary matters need to be weeded from the course of study, and only such studies placed before the students as will be of real value to them. With these alone they need to become familiar, that they may secure for themselves that life which measures with the life of God. And as they learn of these, their minds will strengthen and expand as did the mind of Christ and of John. What was it that made John great? He closed his mind to the mass of tradition taught by the teachers of the Jewish nation, opening it to the wisdom “which cometh down from above.” 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 16

Before his birth the Holy Spirit testified of John, “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 17

And in his prophecy Zacharias said to John, “And thou child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day spring from on high hath visited us. To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing forth unto Israel.” [Luke 1:76-80.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 18

Simeon said of Christ, “Lord, now lettest thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Jesus and John were represented by the educators of that day as ignorant, because they had not learned under them. But the God of heaven was their teacher, and all who heard were astonished at their knowledge of the Scripture, having never learned. Of them, they had not, truly; but from God they had learned the highest kind of wisdom. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 19

The judgment of men, even of teachers, may be very wide of the mark as to what constitutes true education. The teachers in the days of Christ did not educate the youth in the correct knowledge of the Scriptures, which lies at the foundation of all education worthy of the name. Christ declared to the Pharisees, “Ye are both ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God,” “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.” [Matthew 22:29; 15:9.] And He prayed for His disciples, “Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” [John 17:17-19.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 20

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak ye also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily, My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations: that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” “Six days may work be done; but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy unto the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath of the Lord shall surely be put to death.” Has Satan succeeded in removing the sanctity from the day thus distinguished above all others? He has succeeded in putting another day in its stead, but never can he take from it the blessing of the Lord. “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” [Exodus 31:12, 13, 15, 16.] What can be more positive and clear than these words? And has God changed? He will remain the same through all eternity, but man “has sought out many inventions.” [Ecclesiastes 7:29.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 21

The Bible is full of knowledge, and all who come to its study with a heart to understand, will find the mind enlarged and the faculties strengthened to comprehend these precious, far-reaching truths. The Holy Spirit will impress them upon their minds and souls. But those who give instruction to the young, need first to become fools that they may be taught. If they ignore a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” and pluck from the tree of knowledge that which the Lord has forbidden them to have, which is a knowledge of disobedience, their transgression brings them into condemnation and sin. Shall we extol such men for their great knowledge? Shall we sit at the feet of those who ignore the truths which sanctify the soul? 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 22

“As I live, saith the Lord, surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with fury poured out will I rule you.” Why do not the educators of today heed this warning? Why are they stumbling, not knowing at what they stumble? It is because Satan has blinded their eyes and the stumbling block of their iniquity is presented before others by their precept and example. Thus other eyes are blinded, and those who ought to walk in the light, are walking in darkness, for they do not steadfastly behold Jesus, the Light of the world. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 23

Great light was given to the Reformers, but many of them received the sophistry of error through misinterpretation of the Scriptures. These errors have come down through the centuries, but although they be hoary with age, yet they have not behind them a “Thus saith the Lord.” For the Lord has said, I will not “alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” [Psalm 89:34.] In His great mercy the Lord has permitted still greater light to shine in these last days. To us He has sent His message, revealing His law and showing us what is truth. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 24

In Christ is the fountain of all knowledge. In Him hopes of eternal life are centered. He is the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, and if we desire to enlarge the minds of the children and youth and win them, if possible, to a love of the Bible, fasten their minds upon the plain and simple truth, digging out that which has been buried beneath the rubbish, and letting the jewels shine forth. Encourage them to search into these subjects, and the effort put forth will be an invaluable discipline. The unfolding of God, as represented in Jesus Christ, furnishes a theme that is grand to contemplate, and that will, if studied, sharpen their minds, and elevate and ennoble the faculties. As the human agent learns these lessons in the school of Christ, trying to become as Christ was, meek and lowly of heart, he will learn the most useful of all lessons—that intellect is supreme only as it is sanctified by a living connection with God. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 25

The warning and instruction given in the Word of God with regard to false shepherds should have some weight with the teachers and students in our schools. Advice should be given to the students [not] to take them as their highest authority. What need is there for students to bind off their education by attending Ann Arbor to receive the finishing touches? It has proved to be the finishing touch to very many as far as spirituality and belief in the truth is concerned. It is an unnecessary discipline, opening the mind to the sowing of tares among the wheat; and it is not pleasing to our Great Teacher to glorify teachers who have not ears to hear or minds to comprehend a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 26

In thus honoring those who are educating directly away from the truth, we do not meet the approval of God. Let the words of the Lord, spoken to the world through the prophet Isaiah, have weight with us. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” [Psalm 34:18.] “To this man will I look,” saith the Lord, “even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” [Isaiah 66:2.] The humble, who seek the Lord, have wisdom unto eternal life. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 27

The greatest wisdom, and that most essential, is the knowledge of God. Self sinks into insignificance as it contemplates God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. The Bible must be made the foundation for all study. Individually we must learn from this lesson book which God has given us, the condition of the salvation of our souls, for it is the only book that tells us what we must do in order to be saved. Not only this, but from it strength may be received for the intellect. The many books which education is thought to embrace, are misleading, a deception and a delusion. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” [Jeremiah 23:28.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 28

Satan is now stirring up the minds of men to furnish to the world literature which is of a cheap, superficial order, but which fascinates the mind and fastens it in a network of satanic contrivances. After reading these books, the mind lives in an unreal world, and the life, so far as usefulness is concerned, is as barren as a fruitless tree. The brain is intoxicated, making it impossible for the eternal realities, which are essential for the present and the future, to be pressed home. A mind educated to feed upon trash is unable to see in the Word of God the beauty that is there. Love for Jesus and inclination to righteousness is lost, for the mind is composed of that upon which it feeds. By feeding the mind upon exciting stories of fiction, man is bringing to the foundation “wood, hay, stubble.” [1 Corinthians 3:12.] He loses all taste for the divine Guidebook, and cares not to study the character he must form in order to dwell with the redeemed ones and inhabit the mansions which Christ has gone to prepare. 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 29

God has most graciously granted us a probation in which to prepare for the test which will be brought upon us. Every advantage is given us through the mediation of Christ. If the human agent will study the Word, he will see that every facility has been freely provided for those who are seeking to be overcomers. The Holy Spirit is present to give strength for victories, and Christ has promised, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] 10LtMs, Ms 22, 1895, par. 30