All of life can be summed up in one choice; a choice made by everyone, whether knowingly or unknowingly. The choice is simple, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15. This choice puts us on one of two ways, each going in the opposite direction. No principle, policy, attitude, methodology, philosophy, etc., can be carried from one way to the other, for they are as different as light from darkness. One leads to the gates of heaven as the seal of God is impressed, and the other leads to the jaws of hell as the mark of the beast is taken; and we all must choose which way. This decision boils down to a choice of education. Will you be educated by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, or will you choose the systems of this world, based on man’s philosophy guided by Satan himself? Being that no man can serve two masters, a choice must be made.
Such was the choice faced by Eve in the Garden of Eden. Her primary education taught her to believe God, and exercise faith in His word. Faith would have dictated that she remained enrolled in the school established in the Garden of Eden, but sight resulted in her enrolling in the school of reason, hypothesis, and conclusion. The conclusion being, that if the fruit could so transform the serpent, one can only imagine what it would do for the human being who consumes it? The results were sin, death, decay, and a knowledge of evil. Eve passed Satan’s exam with honors, only to have failed God’s simple test. Her posterity were not speared the consequences of such a choice; Cain and Abel chose different ways. Cain fully enrolled in the school of this world, and showed in graphic results the consequences of such an education. E. A. Sutherland points out in his book “Living Fountains or Broken Cisterns”, Chapter 4, The History of Fifteen Centuries, paragraph 3:
“Men are startled at the rapidity of the descent from Edenic purity to a condition where murder was easy, but it was the natural result of the educational system chosen by Cain. Reason exalted above faith makes man like the engine without the governor. Murder, however, was but one result of the decision made by Cain. He fled from the presence of God, and, with his descendants built the cities of the East. Physical needs predominated, so that the whole attention of this people was turned to the gratification of fleshly desires. Pride increased, love of wealth was a ruling passion; the artificial took, more and more, the place once occupied by the natural. In the place, of God-worship was self-worship, or paganism. This was the religious aspect, and here are to be found the first worshipers of the sun, the human progenitors of the modern papacy.”
Note the elements that emerged: murder, city building, gratification of the flesh, pride, love of wealth, artificial adornment. These are still present with us today, for the system of education introduced by Satan in the Garden of Eden is still with us. The death of Abel reminds us that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution―and perhaps a martyr’s death. Satan hates those enrolled in the school of Christ, thus a war is waged. A real war played out in the lives of every man, woman, and child. None will escape. Even those who refuse to choose are, by default, deciding on Satan’s side, for he is the master of all those who wish to remain neutral. Education is a life-long process, and birth is all one needs in order to enroll in life’s school.
The Apostle Paul understood the distinction of the two ways. His teaching stood in opposition to accepted education trends at the three main educational centers of his day. Athens, known as the mother of the then known world’s education, is still having an impact on education even in modern times through the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It was in Athens where Paul observed that the whole city was given to idolatry, and his spirit was stirred in him. (See Acts 17:16). The imaginations of man’s mind resulted in an artistic display of all that they considered as god. In ignorance they even worshipped the “unknown God”. The Apostle Paul sought to introduce them to the God that they were unenlightened of.
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” Acts 17:22,23.
Their accomplishments in the established systems of education had not led them to a knowledge of God, and thus all that they knew was classified as ignorance.
Corinth was also a major educational center of the world at that time, yet the wisdom of the people had resulted in them not knowing God. The intelligence of man was worshipped, instead of the wisdom of God being cherished. Paul describes it thus:
“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:17-21.
True education has at its center a knowledge of God. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. Any system of education that causes one to forget God has to be of some other way―that being the devil’s. Paul warns about this after spending a year and a half preaching the gospel to those in Athens.
At Ephesus, Paul pleads that, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:” Ephesians 4:17, 18. Although educated, their understanding was darkened through the “vanity of their mind”, and this led them to be separated from God through ignorance. This “ignorance” would not be the unfamiliarity of multiple facts and figures, but a fundamental cluelessness that came from not learning from the Source of all wisdom. Their education did not teach them to know God, and thus it left them ignorant. For “all the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven.” Christ Object Lessons, 96.
The children of Israel had the same experience as they left Egypt. After four hundred years of Egyptian education, they were now ignorant of God. Egyptian education always leaves one unenlightened regarding the ways of God, for “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.” (See Education, 34). The moral state of society can only be raised after man has gained a knowledge of God. Transformed through Christ, as the image of God is renewed in the soul, man is no longer ignorant. The wisdom of He who made all things, now stands open to the mind of man.
Spiritual Israel today must learn from the experience of literal ancient Israel, because “the experiences of Israel were recorded for our instruction. “All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11. With us, as with Israel of old, success in education depends on fidelity in carrying out the Creator’s plan. Adherence to the principles of God’s word will bring as great blessings to us as it would have brought to the Hebrew people.” (See Ibid., 50). The only true education that leads to success must find its principles in God’s word. An educational system that is labeled as “Christian”, does not makes it Christian. Christ said to nominal Christians, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46. Only when the principles of God govern an institution’s policies, practices, curriculum, and teachers, can it truly claim to be a “Christian” institution. A child emerging from such an institution should be an immovable protestant, with a mandate to serve God through unselfish service to mankind. As Christ is lifted up in the life of such a student, all would be drawn to Christ. Ignorance is obliterated by a knowledge of Christ.
Today, the decision is being made on all sides. Men, thinking they are wise, have figured out a way to merge the philosophy of the world with the wisdon of God, or so they think. Their integration of “Faith and Learning”, so called, results in a papal form of education. Can two walk together except they agree? What concord hath Christ with Belial? As impossible as it was in the Garden of Eden to have two masters, so today, it is impossible to mix light with darkness. Christ’s ways are not Satan’s ways, and thus the system of education established by each will not be compatible. We are reminded by inspiration:
“Let not God’s people in any of our institutions sign a truce with the enemy of God and man. The duty of the church to the world is not to come down to their ideas and accept their opinions, their suggestions, but to heed the words of Christ through His servant Paul, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” This means in a special sense marriage with unbelievers, but it covers more ground than this: it means in our instrumentalities ordained of God, in our institutions for health, in our colleges, in our publishing houses.” Testimonies to Ministers, 271.
When our schools became “government-assisted institutions”, we showed disregard for the commands of Jehovah, and religious purity could be maintained no longer.
A basic principle that will always prove true, is outlined in the following statement:
“True education is a grand science; for it is founded on the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. Christ is the greatest Teacher this world ever knew, and it is not the pleasure of the Lord Jesus that the subjects of His kingdom, for whom He died, shall be educated in such a way that they will be led to place the wisdom of men in the forefront, and delegate to the wisdom of God, as revealed in His holy word, a place in the rear.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 328.
Our school libraries are filled with more books by infidel authors promoting their agnostic thoughts than thoughts of God. There are more school cafeterias, or feeding programs, that violate the simple laws of health given in preparation for heaven, than those that promote God’s plan for health in our ranks. Our school syllabi are received from government officials, not designed with Biblical principles in mind. Our teachers are appointed by literary qualifications, and not by divine appointment. Our students are trained to fit into this world, and not to enter the world to come. All these are found in the broad way, and show that the wisdom of man is in the forefront. (See Matthew 7:13). Thus, only ignorance of the true God, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent, will result. The wisdom of God must be placed above the knowledge of man for education to transform the character in preparation for heaven.
In closing, consider the words of Inspiration, for they are present truth:
“THE EARLY REFORMERS FOUND IT NECESSARY TO HAVE THEIR OWN COURSES OF STUDY, TEXT-BOOKS, TEACHERS, METHODS, PRINCIPLES, ETC. THEY SEPARATED THEMSELVES COMPLETELY FROM THE POPULAR SCHOOLS OF THE DAY. IT REQUIRED COURAGE AND FAITH IN THOSE DAYS TO TAKE SUCH A STAND, AND IT WILL REQUIRE EVEN MORE COURAGE AND FAITH FOR THOSE WHO ARE PREPARING FOR TRANSLATION TO TAKE THE STAND WHICH THE TESTIMONIES ARE PLEADING FOR THEM TO TAKE. THEY KNEW THAT IF THEIR CHILDREN SHOULD GO TO THE SCHOOLS WHERE THE POPULAR EDUCATION WAS GIVEN THEY WOULD RECEIVE THE MARK OF THE PAPACY, OR THE BEAST. THOSE WHO ARE LIVING UP TO THE LIGHT AT THE PRESENT TIME, WILL SEE, EVEN MORE CLEARLY, THAT IF THEIR CHILDREN CONTINUE TO GO TO THE POPULAR SCHOOLS, THEY WILL RECEIVE SUCH PRINCIPLES AS WILL COMPEL THEM TO ASSIST IN GIVING LIFE TO THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST. ANY ONE WHO HAS A KNOWLEDGE OF THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE, AND WHO WILL TAKE THE TROUBLE TO EXAMINE THE STUDIES AND METHODS OF THE POPULAR SYSTEM OF EDUCATION, CAN SEE THAT THE BOOKS ARE FILLED WITH THOSE ERRORS WHICH WILL OBLIGE THOSE WHO ARE RECEIVING THEIR EDUCATION FROM THEM TO TAKE THE DREADFUL STEP WHICH WILL BRING UPON THE WORLD A RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL DARKNESS, GREATER THAN HAS EVER BEEN KNOWN BEFORE.
“THE COMMAND FOUND IN REVELATION 18:4, “COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE,” MEANS TO COME OUT OF THOSE INSTITUTIONS WHICH WILL PLACE IN THE MINDS OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, PRINCIPLES WHICH ARE APT TO MAKE THEM JOIN THE CLASS OF WORSHIPERS OF WHICH WE READ IN 2 TIMOTHY 3:5: “HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF.” AS FAITHFUL WATCHMEN, WE SHOULD BE JUST AS DESIROUS OF GETTING OUR CHILDREN OUT OF THE POPULAR SCHOOLS AS WE ARE TO CALL THE OLDER PEOPLE OUT OF THE POPULAR CHURCHES. THE POPULAR CHURCHES ARE ONLY A PRODUCT OF WORLDLY EDUCATION, SO TO GET AT THE ROOT OF THE MATTER, WE MUST SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THAT WHICH CREATES THE CONDITION IN WHICH ALL THE RELIGIOUS WORLD, AT PRESENT, FINDS ITSELF.” Pamphlets, 081, “Special Testimonies on Church Schools”, 37-38.