The Higher Course
The Desire of Ages 829-835
In this final lesson we will be discussing God’s design for higher education including high school and beyond. “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness-godlikeness-is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble. He will advance as fast and as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge. But his efforts will be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth.” (Education 18-19)
The true higher education is what makes students acquainted with God and His word, and fits them for eternal life. It was to place this life within their reach that Christ gave Himself an offering for sin. His purpose of love and mercy is expressed in His prayer for His disciples. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, who thou hast sent.” Every instructor of youth is to work in harmony with this prayer, leading the students to Christ.
In true education learning never stops. “In the school of Christ students never graduate” As long as we live on this earth we are to continue learning of Christ and His ways and our learning will continue on throughout eternity.
As we consider choices for higher education we are counseled to stay away from schools that:
- Indulge the Appetite
- Encourage selfish gratification of the senses
- Encourage pride
- Encourage selfish ambition
- Encourage love of dress and display
- Encourage love of praise and flattery
- Encourage strife for high rewards and honors as a recompense for good scholarship
A few points to reflect upon
- “We must maintain a position against every species of sophistry that bewilders in this degenerate age, when error is glossed over, and so mingled with truth that it is almost impossible for those who are not familiar with the distinctions that the Scriptures make between the traditions of men and the word of God, to distinguish truth from error.”
- “We are not to elevate our standard just a little above the world’s standard; but we are to make the line of demarcation decidedly apparent.”
- “We are under solemn, sacred covenant to God to bring up our children, not for the world, not put their hands into the hands of the world, but to love and fear God, and to keep commandments.”
- “When those who have reached the years of youth and manhood see no difference between our schools and the colleges of the world, and have no preference as to which they attend, though error is taught by precept and example in the schools of the world, then there is need of closely examining the reasons that lead to such a conclusion.”
A few questions to consider when deciding between Worldly Colleges, Christian Colleges or Apprenticeship:
- Does the program I want to follow embrace God’s guidelines?
- Does the school I wish to attend teach and practice God’s principles of true education?
- As a young person do I really understand my character?
- Have I walked in all the light God has given me? OR do I bend principles to suit my desires?
“Teachers should work circumspectly. Those who are often with God in prayer, have holy angles by their side. The atmosphere that surrounds their sould is pure and holy; for their whole soul is imbued with the sanctifiying influence of the Spirit of God. They should be learners of every day in the school of Christ that they may be teachers under the Great Teacher. They must learn of Christ, and become one with Him in the work of training minds, before they can be efficient teachers in the higher education the knowledge of God.”
“The true higher education is what makes students acquainted with God and His word, and fits them for eternal life. It was to place this life within their reach that Christ gave Himself an offering for sin. His purpose of love and mercy is expressed in His prayer for His disciples. ‘These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ Every instructor of youth is to work in harmony with this prayer, leading the students to Christ.