“To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life.”
Education (Ed 15.2)
“Heaven is a school; its field of study, the universe; its teacher, the Infinite One. A branch of this school was established in Eden; and, the plan of redemption accomplished, education will again be taken up in the Eden school.”
Education (ED 301.1)
“The system of education instituted at the beginning of the world was to be a model for man throughout all aftertime. As an illustration of its principles a model school was established in Eden, the home of our first parents. 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.”
Child Guidance (CG 294.2)
“Home Leadership” W.D. Frazee:
- Located in a garden
By being located in the country, our “garden” may provide a place to work, to learn, and for enjoyment and recreation
- Nature the lesson book
This is only possible in a country setting where there is a picture on every page.
- God as the Instructor
By using the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, by being open to His providences, and through our daily experiences, God can be our “Instructor.” (Isaiah 54:13; John 6:45)
- Parents as students
To the child, parents stand in the place of God. But parents need to remain as students in the school of Christ.
“The Garden of Eden was a representation of what God planned that the whole earth would become. It was His purpose that, as the human family increased in numbers, they would establish other homes and schools like the one He had given. Thus in time the whole earth would be occupied with homes and schools where the words and works of God would be studied, and where the students would be fitted more and more fully to reflect, throughout endless ages, the light of the knowledge of His glory.”
True Education (TEd 15.5)
“The garden of Eden was not only Adam's dwelling, but his school-room. As in that school, so in the school of the earth, two trees are planted, the tree of life, which bears the fruit of true education, and the tree of knowledge, yielding the fruit of ‘science falsely so-called.’ All that have connection with Christ have access to the tree of life, a source of knowledge of which the world is ignorant. After sin entered this world, the heavenly husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the paradise above, but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of the Son of God, man may now partake of its life-giving fruit. The tree of knowledge has its roots in the earth. It is of the earth, earthy. All who have tasted of the heavenly fruit, the bread of life, are to be co-workers with God, pointing others from the tree of knowledge to the tree of life, that they also may partake of its fruit.”
Home and Church School Manual (PH140 7.3)
“This was the method of education that God desired to establish in Israel. But 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.”
Education (Ed 34.1)
“To meet this growing evil, God provided other agencies as an aid to parents in the work of education. From the earliest times, prophets had been recognized as teachers divinely appointed. In the highest sense the prophet was one who spoke by direct inspiration, communicating to the people the messages he had received from God. But the name was given also to those who, though 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.”
Education (Ed 46.1)
“These schools were intended to serve as a barrier against the wide-spreading corruption, to provide for the mental and spiritual welfare of the youth.”
Education (Ed 46.2)
What did the School of the Prophets teach?
“Further provision was made for the instruction of the young, by the establishment of the schools of the prophets. If a youth desired to search deeper into the truths of the word of God and to seek wisdom from above, that he might become a teacher in Israel, these schools were open to him.”
Patriarchs and Prophets (PP 593.1)
Scholastic guilds (“universitas”) had a rise and later would form our University system, however through the rise of the industrial revolution this model was corrupted and instead of playing a role, gaining formal education became the standard. Martin Luther wrote of the universities:
“I am much afraid that the universities will prove to be the great gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt.”
D'Aubigne, b. 6, ch. 3; The Great Controversy (GC 140.5)
However this training was intended to strip individuality, push uniformity and prepare students for a role in an industrial complex with a focus often on achieving material success.
Universities also became a breeding ground for recruitment into satanic secret societies through the innocent front of fraternities leading to far more sinister organizations and practices.
It is important to understand the overall history to see how the false has infiltrated the true. Education is not evil if it is to prepare not just for this life but also the life to come.
“He is a Christian who aims to reach the highest attainments for the purpose of doing others good. Knowledge harmoniously blended with a Christlike character will make a person truly a light to the world. God works with human efforts. All those who give all diligence to make their calling and election sure, will feel that a superficial knowledge will not fit them for positions of usefulness.”
Christian Education (CE 51.1)
“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.”
Education (Ed 50.4)
“The mind must be trained through daily tests to habits of fidelity, to a sense of the claims of right and duty above inclination and pleasure. Minds thus trained do not waver between right and wrong, as the reed trembles in the wind; but as soon as matters come before them, they discern at once that principle is involved, and they instinctively choose the right without long debating the matter. They are loyal because they have trained themselves in habits of faithfulness and truth. By being faithful in that which is least, they acquire strength, and it becomes easy for them to be faithful in greater matters.”
Testimonies for the Church (3T 22.2)
“He only who created the mind and ordained its laws can perfectly understand its needs or direct its development. The principles of education that He has given are the only safe guide.”
Education (Ed 276.5)
“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 to 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.”
Special Testimonies on Church Schools (PH081 38.1)
“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.”
Special Testimonies on Church Schools (PH081 38.2)
“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
“I have spent one-half hour talking with two of our brethren in regard to their disposing of their property and removing their families to the southern field for the purpose of doing missionary work, having a school, and preparing their children to work in various lines in the missionary work, such as cultivating farms, building humble homes, and teaching the people the art of building and the art of cultivating the soil. The time will come that all who live upon the earth will need to understand the cultivating of the land and the building of houses and varied kinds of business. We tried to tell them that the Lord is calling for talent to be brought into the southern field, and act in various lines of education. Shall it be that we shall go into the southern field and bear the truth to those who have not heard the truth? This class must not be discouraged. The youth educated in our large cities are in great danger because they are surrounded with every kind of objectionable influence, for the world is becoming as it was in the days of Noah.”
23LtMs, Ms 126, 1908, par. 7