Ms 11, 1898

Ms 11, 1898

The Word of God as a Study Book


June 29, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 9MR 379-380; 11MR 157; YI 06/30/1898, 07/07/1898. +Note

How much the student of nature can learn of God if, at the same time, he will become a student of the Word. If we heed Christ’s words of invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] If we will come to Him with contrition of soul, and receive Him as our personal Saviour, we shall have our faith strengthened. The promise is, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name.” [John 1:12.] If, with the Word of God our hearts, we go forth to break up and cultivate the soil, we shall find our hearts softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit of God. Our minds will be open to the teachings of God in the natural world. We shall be the better prepared to study. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 1

God calls for whole-souled consecration to His ways. It is not for you, students, to follow your own inclinations and pleasures and tastes. Your highest powers are to be carefully cherished. Show respect for the principles of your teachers. God has made them His instruments, and you are to remember that the Lord is sending light through them to you. There is but little reverence in our world, and you, as students, are to act up to the highest standard of duty in the fear and love of God. When the student fully realizes that it is Christ whom he must honor, that Christ is to be his Guide, his Counsellor, in everything he undertakes, that He alone can give a fitness for work in any position, that it is He who restores the moral image of God in man; when he understands that the very image, the character of Christ is to be reflected in man, every talent will be a power for good. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 2

Our talents are lent us of God for use, not to be perverted or abused; and when we use these gifts to the glory of God, He will increase them, that they may operate in a wider sphere. The injunction of the Word of God is: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] God and the human agent are to co-operate. Man is to work out that which God works in. He is to use the knowledge he has gained, not only in improving the opportunities that are thrown in his way, but, with a settled conviction of duty seek to use his knowledge and influence in any channel, to the end that he may gain more by their use. He who would become an all-round man will find openings every where, while the privilege of being a learner may continue throughout his life. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 3

The physical powers must be employed by those who wish to preserve their consecration to the service of the Master. A great deal of energy is to be brought into active service and turned to the very best account. But if men move inconsiderately, this energy runs to waste. The moments are freighted with eternal consequences, and we have no right to squander them. Our time belongs to God. Our talents are to be used and improved, that they may do the work of God. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 4

It is a most difficult task to get away from old customs and established ideas. But the Lord would have every idea that is false put away from teachers and students. In long periods of study a loss is sustained that but few realize; that which is crowded into the brain is of no advantage to the students. Yet the students suppose this to be all-sufficient for them. After a few years of study, students are sent from school with their diplomas, as men properly educated. In too many cases this is nothing more than a farce; but it will continue until principals and teachers receive an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as did the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 5

The philosophy of common sense is of far more consequence to the youth than the study of Greek and Latin. The brain is used too much like the abused stomach. It receives a great amount of food which it cannot take care of, and the result is that Satan comes in <with his temptations and sows the seeds> and causes ideas of infidelity, which the students have received from their study books in school education, to become a matter of great interest. A bewitching power holds the intellect, and works it until it becomes a <fruitful field of tares, a> curse in the place of a blessing. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 6

There is a higher education to obtain. “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.] Teachers need to climb the ladder heavenward instead of remaining on the plain. They are to teach the students that the knowledge of God in everything, that human wisdom is foolishness. The influence of Bible example is to be studied, and carried into the daily life. This will be a power for good. The example of the Saviour is to be presented constantly as a line of study. He is to stand above the highest earthly authority. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 7

I call upon our school faculties to be philosophers, to work on a higher plane in educational lines. Let Christ be your standard. We have a work to do to purify our facilities for education of all dross. Do not dishonor God by addressing ministers as “Reverend.” No mortal man has any right to attach this to his own name, or to the name of any other human being. It belongs only to God, to distinguish Him from every other being, however highly exalted he may be in the world. Those who lay claim to this title forego God’s holy honor, and take it to themselves. It pains my heart to see this word attached to the names of men. They have no right to the stolen word, whatever their position may be. The word “reverend” is only used once in the Bible, as attached to the name of any person, and then it is applied to God. “Holy and reverend is his name.” We dishonor God when we use this word where it does not belong. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 8

Our students need lessons that they have not yet received. There must be no letting down of the standard as to what constitutes true education. It must be raised for above where it now stands. It is not men whom we are to exalt and worship; it is God, the only true and living God to whom our reverence and worship is due. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 9

All the studies given to our youth should be of that character that will make them the most successful in the service of God, and such as will enable them to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Study the life of Christ. Follow Him from the manger to Calvary. Act as He acted. The great principles which He maintained, you are to maintain. Your standard is to be the character of Him who was pure, holy, and undefiled. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 10

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them.” “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” [Luke 2:40, 51, 52.] Let the brightest example the world has yet seen be your example, rather than the greatest and most learned men of this age, who know not God, nor Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Jehovah, our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ are alone to be exalted. The knowledge of God is eternal life to those who receive it. His holy banner is to stand elevated above all the greatness of the greatest men, above all the honor and glory of the world. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 11

The cross of Christ, teach it to every student over and over again, for Satan is ever on the watch to catch away the seed sown. The cross of Christ, how many believe it to be what it is? How many bring it into their studies, and know its true significance? Can there be a Christian in our world without the cross of Christ? Then keep it held up in your schools as the foundation of all true education. Said Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Galatians 6:14.] Let the teachers, from the highest to the lowest, understand what it means to glory in the cross of Christ. Then by precept and example they can teach their students the advantages it brings to those who bear it in self-denial and humility. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 12

Educators who will not work in these lines, are not worthy of the name they bear. Teachers, turn from the examples of the world, cease to extol the professedly great men, turn the minds of your students from the glory of everything save the cross of Christ. That cross is to be bravely and manfully borne. Christ declares, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] And to all who will lift it and bear it after Christ, the cross is <to them> a pledge of the crown of immortality <which they shall receive,> that can never fade away. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 13

The cross of Christ is to be exalted. The crucified Messiah must be the central point of all Christianity. The greatest and most essential lessons for students and teachers to obtain are those which will point them to straight paths, which lead, not to the world, but away from the world to the cross of Calvary. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 14

This is the highest science that we can learn—the science of salvation. The cross of Christ, rightly regarded, is true philosophy, pure and undefiled religion. It is eternal life to all who believe. By painstaking effort, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, teachers should impress upon their students that the cross of Christ is just as nigh them and should be as perfectly understood by them as it was by Paul, who could declare, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” [Galatians 6:14.] 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 15

For fallen man Christ was crucified. But to many who call themselves Christians this event is nothing. They deny the cross of Christ. They know it not; they glory not in it. They admit that Christ died on the cross, but because there is a crucifixion for them to experience, they will not receive the lessons that lead to self-denial and self-sacrifice. They are Christians only in name. The central point of their faith is not a risen Saviour who brings to all who receive Him the privilege of being sons and daughters of God. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 16

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” [Acts 3:19-21.] 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 17

Let the students in our school learn that the only safe ground for them to glory [in] is that which faith and obedience has made possible for them, and which will open to them the gates of the city of God. Christ is to be set forth among us. All that was lost in Adam, the cross of Christ restores to the believing student. 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 18

If teachers do their duty, they will educate from the Word of God how to form characters fitted for the country we are seeking. Let them study the Scriptures. Then their testimony will be: 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 19

“For me, Lord, for me, Thou was fastened to the cross. Thy life was given for me, that I might have eternal life in Thy kingdom. I will look to Thee for my salvation. I will cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness through Thy grace and in Thy name. Thy blood alone can cleanse me from all sin. It speaks to me better things than that of Abel. Thy suffering becomes to me wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” 13LtMs, Ms 11, 1898, par. 20