God’s Way of Education

That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: Psalm 144:12.

The Bible in Education by A T Jones is a book about this worlds system of education that we have all been affected by. It all goes back to ancient Babylon and Greece.

True education is more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come. Page 13 Education.

The school system was initially designed by God to prepare the pupil for eternal life. Schooling is necessary not only to find employment one day, but also to prepare for eternal life.

Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Job 22:1.

Gods Original Plan of Education

8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalms 32:8

It’s God who is to instruct us.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Prov 9: 10. 

12With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. 13With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding. Job 12:12,13

6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Prov 2:6

If we want to learn something, anything then we are to go to the source of all knowledge and follow Gods method of education. If we are to be plants that grow after the divine similitude, how will God facilitate this? We are to look at the original model of education.

The system of education instituted at the beginning of the world was to be a model for man throughout all aftertime. Page 20 Education.

The system of education established in Eden centred in the family. Adam was the son of God. And it was from their Father that the children of the Highest received their instruction. Theirs, in the truest sense, was a family school. In the divine plan of education as adapted to man’s condition after the fall, Christ stands as the representative of the Father, the connecting link between God and man; He is the great teacher of mankind and He ordained that men and women should be His representatives. The family was the school, and the parents were the teachers. The education centring in the family was that which prevailed in the days of the patriarchs. Page 33 Education.

What was this system?

The garden of Eden was the schoolroom, nature was the lesson book, the Creator Himself was the instructor, and the parents of the human family were the students. page 20.

God was the instructor.

The holy pair [Adam and Eve] were not only children under the fatherly care of God, but students receiving instruction from the all-wise Creator. They were visited by angels, and were granted communion with their Maker, with no obscuring veil between. They were full of the vigor imparted by the tree of life, and their intellectual power was but little less than that of the angels. {CE 207.1}

Adam and Eve were visited by heavenly messengers who gave them counsel and instruction. We will now look at biblical history of education.

Biblical History

…when brought out of Egypt there were among the Israelites few prepared to be workers together with Him in the training of their children. The parents themselves needed instruction and discipline. Victims of lifelong slavery, they were ignorant, untrained, degraded. They had little knowledge of God and little faith in Him. They were confused by false teaching and corrupted by their long contact with heathenism. God desired to lift them to a higher moral level, and to this end He sought to give them a knowledge of Himself. Page 33.

When the Word of God held its proper place in home and school, Israel was prosperous, and worldly nations said of them, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. Then we read that they would forget the things of God, and fail to teach their children the Word. These untaught children mingled among the heathen and learned their works, and they served their idols, which were a snare unto them. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions… And He gave them into the hands of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them… Many times did He deliver them. Ps 106:35-43. The history of modern Israel (or us today) may be written in the same language as ancient Israel, substituting only modern terms and phrases to impress more vividly the comparisons.

The Levites were educators:

The educational work which the Levites received for their peculiar duties, would tend to make them the teachers of the others, the transcribers and interpreters of the law, the chroniclers of the times in which they lived. (Thus they became to the Israelites what ministers and teachers are to the people now, and this teaching and training the people in morality and religion was no doubt one of the chief reasons why they were set apart by God from the people, and yet among the people.—Ed.) Smiths Bible dictionary.

When Gods plan of education was not carried into effect he provided a means, God provided other agencies as an aid to parents in the world of education. The name Prophet was not only given to those who received direct inspiration, but also to those who not so directly inspired, were divinely called to instruct the people in the works and ways of God. For the training of such a class of teachers, Samuel, by the Lord’s direction, established the schools of the prophets. Page 45 –46 Education.

In these schools, the pupils sustained themselves by their own labor in tilling the soil or in some mechanical employment. Page 47 Education.

In these schools the following subjects were taught;

  1. Wisdom
  2. Knowledge
  3. Science
  4. Manual labor
  5. Music
  6. Poetry
  7. Temperance
  8. Morals
  9. Law

10. History

11. Reading

12. Writing

13. Numbers

Daniel

An example of a biblical character who had been taught in the schools of the prophets was Daniel:

At the first siege of Jerusalem, 607 BC, Daniel was not over eighteen years of age; about the age of the prince Zedekiah, who afterward ruled in Jerusalem. Daniel had a godly mother who knew of the prophecy concerning the destruction of their city. She repeated to her son the words of God, that some day Hebrew children must stand in the heathen court at Babylon. Carefully did this mother teach her son to read the parchment scrolls of the prophets. The history of Israel was studied; the story of Ndab and Abihu was told and retold. The effect of strong drink was impressed upon the mind. The laws of his own being were studied. He knew that excess in eating and drinking would so dull the mind that the voice of God could not be heard. This education was not gained in the schools of the time, for they had departed from the plan of God; but holy mothers, living close to the everlasting Father, led their children by precept and example, by word and song, to form characters that would stand the test. It was the age when most of the young men in the capital of Judah were wild and reckless. God chose from their midst certain ones whom He could trust in a foreign land. Now can be seen the results of the home training. They had not been educated in the schools of Jerusalem, much less in those in Babylon. On examination, these four passed as skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science. God had fulfilled his promise in these children of the home school, Pages 22-33 Daniel the Prophet – Haskell.

Daniel and his three companions were skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science. This education was acquired in the college, or school of the prophets, in Jerusalem. The Bible in Education – page 83. AT Jones.

The third feature of Daniel’s education is that he understood science. Where did Daniel or his teachers find any formulated science? Solomon lived and taught four hundred years before Daniel’s school days. Solomon was wiser than all men. And what Solomon knew was not kept to himself, locked up in his own understanding; but he taught it to the people. It was so plain and simple that common people could understand it.

Solomon thoroughly understood what is now called botany, zoology, ornithology, and entomology, and ichthyology, and meteorology. Solomon knew more of all these sciences than any man today knows of any one of them. And he taught them to all the people; for he spake of them all.  The bible in Education A T Jones. page 102.

He did not give learned and high sounding discourses on these subjects; he spake of the things themselves. Likewise also the beasts, the birds, the creeping things, and the fishes were studied and discoursed upon as they were alive and before his eyes. The bible in Education page 102.

Solomon therefore did not dissect rats as is done in high schools or universities, he didn’t pull flowers apart, he studied them as they were.

Jesus

The childhood and youth of Jesus were spent in a little mountain village. Through the Holy Spirit the mother of Jesus received wisdom to co-operate with the heavenly agencies in the development of this child. Desire of Ages page 67:

From the earliest times the faithful in Israel had given much care to the education of the youth. The Lord had directed that even from babyhood the children should be taught of His goodness and His greatness, especially as revealed in His law, and shown in the history of Israel. Song and prayer and lessons from the Scriptures were to be adapted to the opening mind. Fathers and mothers were to instruct their children that the law of God is an expression of His character, and that as they received the principles of the law into the heart, the image of God was traced on mind and soul. DA page 69.

The mother had a large part to play in Education.

Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. DA page 70.

He was not exempt from temptation. Jesus was placed where his character would be tested. DA page 71.

By the time Jesus was 12, he knew his mission.

Moses

Another source of the present system of worldly education today came from Egypt. However, mosses studied in Egypt. It was not he teachings of the schools of Egypt that enabled Moses to triumph over all his enemies, but an ever- abiding faith, an unflinching faith, TE page 120.

It took another forty years to break the yoke of Egypt’s education system and to understand the true science of education so they might have a place in Canaan. Christ is calling men away from the Egyptian system of education.

Enoch

Enoch would labour among the worldly people before the flood but then he would withdraw from society for certain periods.

In the midst of a life of active labor, Enoch steadfastly maintained his communion with God. The greater and more pressing his labors, the more constant and earnest were his prayers. He continued to exclude himself, at certain periods, from all society. After remaining for a time among the people, laboring to benefit them by instruction and example, he would withdraw, to spend a season in solitude, hungering and thirsting for that divine knowledge which God alone can impart. Communing thus with God, Enoch came more and more to reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with a holy light, even the light that shineth in the face of Jesus. As he came forth from these divine communings, even the ungodly beheld with awe the impress of heaven upon his countenance. {PP 86.4}

There are some unbalanced ideas about how we should totally exclude ourselves from all worldly society and that we cannot associate with anyone worldly. But we need to be among worldly society to be a witness and at the same time have periods away from that kind of society so to not be totally influenced by it. The other extreme is Lot and his wife who were living right in the midst of Sodom we don’t want that either but nor do we want to hide our light under a bushel.

The Origin of Education in the World Today

When Christianity began in the world, the Word of God was its educational book. However, there was a time in the world which claimed to be education; and not only education, but the only education in any true sense. The whole theory of Greek education, both in science and philosophy, was doubt and scepticism. The principal ideal of that philosophy is expressed in the word doubt. The history of philosophy is but the history of doubt. The bible in Education – AT Jones.

There were three educational centers in the world at the time:

Corinth – the vanity fair of the roman empire.

Ephesus – the most magnificent cities of Asia

Athens – the mother of the worlds education.

The apostle spent eighteen months planting Christianity in Corinth and then wrote;

It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe 1 Cor 1:21.

That which was accepted by the world as education was the means of their not knowing God. In Ephesus Paul established a Christian school which continued for 2 years. Many of the gentiles became Christians. Athens was a city full of idolatry, it was full of idols of gold, silver and stone graven by art and man’s device expressing their ideas of God; and the time of this ignorance God endured but now calls every man to repent. The education of Athens culminated in art; that art was idolatry; and that idolatry was but the manifestation of ignorance. The worlds education, Greek education, at that time, was only ignorance. We see the apostasy with the bringing in of ignorance creeping into the church. When the apostasy gained ascendancy under the Christian name, the original Greek philosophy and science – Greek ignorance – in the professed Christian church we see the apostles warning of this. They saw the consequences that must result from the entertainment only of the small beginnings that were apparent, even in their day. Many recommended the study of philosophy and acquaintance with the Greek and Roman literature. It led teachers of it to involve in philosophic obscurity many parts of our religion, which were in themselves plain, and easy to be understood. It recommended to Christians various rites to nourish superstition, something we see religiously observed by even today. Finally it alienated the minds of many in the following centuries from Christianity itself. The result of all this is expressed in one word – the papacy.

To professed Protestantism today, the bible is not held in any true sense as an educational book. The science of the unbelieving world, the philosophy and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, have a far larger place than has the bible. The highest course in university is the classical.

1844 and the Three Angels Messages

God tried to prepare a people to give out the three angels messages.

When the truth for these last days came to the world in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels messages, we were shown that in the education of our children a different order of things must be brought in: T Vol 6 page 126.

So if that were the case in the 1800’s, what significance does it have today? There were many schools advocating reform prior to 1844. In the book Christian Education by Sutherland, you’ll read of many colleges debating prior to 1844 where either the bible was taught as the most important, or the classics. Some colleges reformed, and some didn’t.

The curriculum of education in many universities was chosen for them. The courses were arbitrary and were suited to the needs of the papacy. The Lord, in order to prepare workers for the midnight cry, inspired the reformers to attack the course of study that held the students mind on the dim and musty past. God was endeavouring to arouse the popular churches to accept Christian education. This meant a reform in the location of their schools. A few years prior to 1844, many educational reformers were influenced to establish schools away from the city and on the farm. The methodists, as early as 1735, under the direction of the Wesleys at Whitefiled attempted to carry out God’s idea of education in Georgia. Studies in Christian Eduacation page 45 E A Sutherland.

It is not always wrong to go to university. I suppose it depends on which course and how intense it is. Waldensian youth went to university.

It was not uncommon for the Waldensian youth, after having completed all the education they could gain in their native land, to go to one of the universities in the surrounding countries. In these institutions of higher education, their purpose was twofold. Not only were they able to extend their field of study but they quietly and with great care opened the truth to the other students as they showed an interest. Converts to the true faith were won, and from these centers of education, they took the seeds of truth back to their native lands. At times the principles of truth were found permeating the entire school, but try as they might, the papal leaders were unable to trace the teaching to its source. Unknown source.

The youth of today may bear a weighty testimony in favor of true temperance. These principles, cherished, would fit young men who are rooted and grounded in the Scriptures, to enter worldly universities, and while taking a course of study, disseminate the truths of the gospel, and at the end of their course, come forth unsullied. There were consecrated youth among the Waldenses who entered worldly universities, and, while gaining their education, scattered the seeds of the Reformation. The papal authorities could not, by the most careful inquiries, find out who had introduced the so-called heresy; and yet the world had been accomplished, bearing fruit in the conversion of many who became leaders in the cause of Protestantism. Story of Daniel the Prophet page 30. – Haskell.

Another downfall of university courses today, is that so much time must be given to study which can often leave little time for bible study or attendance of church meetings.

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecclesiastes 12:5.

The relation of the Word of God should sustain toward other subjects in the school curriculum, has been waged the war of educators for ages. The story of this contest between the two forces over the position of God’s Word in the education of the young can be read in bible history in Judges 2:17-19. E A Sutherland.

Degrees

The granting of degrees, prizes, honors, is borrowed from the papal system of education. The bible in Educaiton AT Jones.

In our institutions of learning there was to be exerted an influence that would counteract the influence of the world, and give no encouragement to the indulgence in appetite, in selfish gratification, pride, ambition, love of dress and display, love of praise and flattery, strife for high rewards and honors as a recompense for good scholarship. All this was to be discouraged in our schools. It will be impossible to avoid these things and yet send them to the public school’ R& H Jan 9 1894.

Before 1844 God was endeavouring to do all for Protestant denominations what is now endeavouring to do for SDA’s. The education reform prior to the midnight cry proved a failure. Who can tell how much weight this failure had in reducing the Protestantism churches to the condition called Babylon. Degrees develop class distinction, aristocracy and imperialism. In heaven will be the true graduation which we should be aiming for.

Revelation 2:10. 10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

When EA Sutherland came to Battle Creek he opposed the system of granting degrees and all that went with it, (the cap and gown) the graduation, the show, the pride, because he knew that it was part of the papal system, which was then current in the USA. He called it making an image to the beast.  When Battle creek college was moved to Berrien springs in 1901, God’s messenger warned, get out of Battle Creek. In 1902, the Battle Creek Sanitarium burnt down. They began their work in order to begin a Christian school which was not accepted by the men at headquarters.

No greater mistake was made than the mistake that has been made in separating the fear of the Lord – religion – from science. A T Jones.

Psyhcology

Psychology is a science in the world today that is held in high esteem yet is a subject of man’s devising and not that of God.

There are 3 root sciences – mental, moral and physical science. Through a microscope a mind can study intricate things in the natural world. Through a telescope, the mind can study the planets. But how can a mind investigate the mind. Isn’t this is what we see in the world today with psychology? Its physically impossible. With the mind we investigate other things, but in order to investigate and to know the mind itself we must have another mind. But the individual mind can find back of itself another Mind. That Mind is the original and ultimate mind; as so the source of all knowledge and all truce science. Who would find knowledge, the truce science of the mind, let him ask of Him who is the source of the mind. The bible in Education – AT Jones

Above all other books, the Word of God must be our study, the great text-book, the basis of all education; and our children are to be educated in the truths found therein, irrespective of previous habits and customs. In doing this, teachers and students will find the hidden treasure, the daily life. T Vol 6 page 131-132

Prov 22:6. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

Is that how it is for students today? What should we do?

2 Cor 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,  18   And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  

See also Gods University

Posted on September 12, 2010, in Education and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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