What Is Higher Education in God’s Sight?

“Higher education is an experimental knowledge of the plan of salvation, and this knowledge is secured by earnest and diligent study of the Scriptures. Such an education will renew the mind and transform the character, restoring the image of God in the soul. It will fortify the mind against the deceptive whisperings of the adversary, and enable us to understand the voice of God. It will teach the learner to become a co-worker with Jesus Christ, to dispel the moral darkness about him, and bring light and knowledge to men. It is the simplicity of true godliness—our passport from the preparatory school of earth to the higher school above.

“There is no education to be gained higher than that given to the early disciples, and which is revealed to us through the word of God. To gain the higher education means to follow this word implicitly; it means to walk in the footsteps of Christ, to practice His virtues. It means to give up selfishness and to devote the life to the service of God. Higher education calls for something greater, something more divine, than the knowledge to be obtained merely from books. It means a personal, experimental knowledge of Christ; it means emancipation from ideas, from habits and practices, that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness, and which are opposed to loyalty to God. It means to overcome stubbornness, pride, selfishness, worldly ambition, and unbelief. It is the message of deliverance from sin.

“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 in reality it is vanity and nothingness in comparison with that science of true holiness which would open to them the gates of the city of God. Human ambition seeks for knowledge that will bring to them glory, and self-exaltation, and supremacy. Thus Adam and Eve were influenced by Satan until God’s restraint was snapped asunder, and their education under the teacher of lies began. They gained the knowledge which God had refused them—to know the consequences of transgression.

“The tree of knowledge, so-called, has become an instrument of death. Satan has artfully woven his dogmas, his false theories, into the instruction given. From the tree of knowledge he speaks the most pleasing flattery in regard to the higher education. Thousands partake of the fruit of this tree, but it means death to them. Christ says, ‘Ye spend money for that which is not bread.’ Isaiah 55:2. You are using your heaven-entrusted talents to secure an education which God pronounces foolishness.

“Upon the mind of every student should be impressed the thought that education is a failure unless the understanding has learned to grasp the truths of divine revelation, and unless the heart accepts the teachings of the gospel of Christ. The student who, in the place of the broad principles of the word of God, will accept common ideas, and will allow the time and attention to be absorbed in commonplace, trivial matters, will find his mind becoming dwarfed and enfeebled. He will lose the power of growth. The mind must be trained to comprehend the important truths that concern eternal life.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 11–13. [Emphasis added.]

“The Bible is God’s great lesson book, His great educator. The foundation of all true science is contained in the Bible. Every branch of knowledge may be found by searching the word of God. And above all else it contains the science of all sciences, the science of salvation. The Bible is the mine of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

“The true higher education is gained by studying and obeying the word of God. But when God’s word is laid aside for books that do not lead to God and the kingdom of heaven, the education acquired is a perversion of the name. . . .

“By many, man’s wisdom is thought to be higher than the wisdom of the divine Teacher, and God’s lesson book is looked upon as old-fashioned, stale, and uninteresting. But by those who have been vivified by the Holy Spirit it is not so regarded. They see the priceless treasure, and would sell all to buy the field that contains it. Instead of books containing the suppositions of reputedly great authors, they choose the word of Him who is the greatest author and the greatest teacher the world has ever known, who gave His life for us, that through Him we might have everlasting life.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 107, 108. [Emphasis added.]

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