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John 17:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

This is life eternal - The salvation purchased by Christ, and given to them who believe, is called life:

  1. Because the life of man was forfeited to Divine justice; and the sacrifice of Christ redeemed him from that death to which he was exposed.
  • Because the souls of men were dead in trespasses and sins; and Christ quickens them by his word and Spirit.
  • Because men who are not saved by the grace of Christ do not live, they only exist, no good purpose of life being answered by them. But when they receive this salvation they live - answer all the Divine purposes, are happy in themselves, useful to each other, and bring glory to God.
  • It is called eternal life to show that it reaches beyond the limits of time, and that it necessarily implies -
  • The immortality of the soul;
  • the resurrection of the body; and
  • that it is never to end, hence called αιωνιος ζωη, a life ever living; from αει, always, and ων, being or existence. And indeed no words can more forcibly convey the idea of eternity than these. It is called ἡ αιωνιος ζωη, That eternal life, by way of eminence. There may be an eternal existence without blessedness; but this is that eternal life with which infinite happiness is inseparably connected.
  • The only true God -

    The way to attain this eternal life is to acknowledge, worship, and obey, the one only true God, and to accept as teacher, sacrifice, and Savior, the Lord Jesus, the one and only true Messiah. Bishop Pearce's remark here is well worthy the reader's attention: -

    "What is said here of the only true God seems said in opposition to the gods whom the heathens worshipped; not in opposition to Jesus Christ himself, who is called the true God by John, in 1 John 5:20."

    The words in this verse have been variously translated:

    1. That they might acknowledge thee, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, to be the only true God.
  • That they might acknowledge thee, the only true God, and Jesus, whom thou hast sent, to be the Christ or Messiah.
  • That they might acknowledge thee to be the only true God, and Jesus Christ to be him whom thou hast sent. And all these translations the original will bear.
  • From all this we learn that the only way in which eternal life is to be attained is by acknowledging the true God, and the Divine mission of Jesus Christ, he being sent of God to redeem men by his blood, being the author of eternal salvation to all them that thus believe, and conscientiously keep his commandments.

    A saying similar to this is found in the Institutes of Menu. Brigoo, the first emanated being who was produced from the mind of the supreme God, and who revealed the knowledge of his will to mankind, is represented as addressing the human race and saying: "Of all duties, the principal is to acquire from the Upanishads (their sacred writings) a true knowledge of one supreme God; that is the most exalted of sciences, because it ensures eternal life. For in the knowledge and adoration of one God all the rules of good conduct are fully comprised." See Institutes of Menu, chap. xii. Inst. 85, 87.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    This is life eternal - This is the source of eternal life; or it is in this manner that it is to be obtained. The knowledge of God and of his Son Jesus Christ is itself a source of unspeakable and eternal joy. Compare John 11:25; John 6:63; John 12:50.

    Might know thee - The word “know” here, as in other places, expresses more than a mere speculative acquaintance with the character and perfections of God. “It includes all the impressions on the mind and life which a just view of God and of the Saviour is fitted to produce.” It includes, of course, love, reverence, obedience, honor, gratitude, supreme affection. “To know God as he is” is to know and regard him as a lawgiver, a sovereign, a parent, a friend. It is to yield the whole soul to him, and strive to obey his law.

    The only true God - The only God, in opposition to all false gods. What is said here is in opposition to idols, not to Jesus himself, who, in 1 John 5:20, is called “the true God and eternal life.”

    And Jesus Christ - To know Jesus Christ is to have a practical impression of him as he is - that is, to suffer his character and work to make their due impression on the heart and life. Simply to have heard that there is a Saviour is not to know it. To have been taught in childhood and trained up in the belief of it is not to know it. To know him is to have a just, practical view of him in all his perfections as God and man; as a mediator; as a prophet, a priest, and a king. It is to feel our need of such a Saviour, to see that we are sinners, and to yield the whole soul to him, knowing that he is a Saviour suited to our needs, and that in his hands our souls are safe. Compare Ephesians 3:19; Titus 1:16; Philemon 3:10; 1 John 5:20. In this verse is contained the sum and essence of the Christian religion, as it is distinguished from all the schemes of idolatry and philosophy, and all the false plans on which men have sought to obtain eternal life. The Gentiles worshipped many gods; the Christian worships one - the living and the true God; the Jew, the Deist, the Muslim, the Socinian, profess to acknowledge one God, without any atoning sacrifice and Mediator; the true Christian approaches him through the great Mediator, equal with the Father, who for us became incarnate, and died that he might reconcile us to God.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Our Lord prayed as a man, and as the Mediator of his people; yet he spoke with majesty and authority, as one with and equal to the Father. Eternal life could not be given to believers, unless Christ, their Surety, both glorified the Father, and was glorified of him. This is the sinner's way to eternal life, and when this knowledge shall be made perfect, holiness and happiness will be fully enjoyed. The holiness and happiness of the redeemed, are especially that glory of Christ, and of his Father, which was the joy set before him, for which he endured the cross and despised the shame; this glory was the end of the sorrow of his soul, and in obtaining it he was fully satisfied. Thus we are taught that our glorifying God is needed as an evidence of our interest in Christ, through whom eternal life is God's free gift.
    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 680

    Christ designs that heaven's order, heaven's plan of government, heaven's divine harmony, shall be represented in His church on earth. Thus in His people He is glorified. Through them the Sun of Righteousness will shine in undimmed luster to the world. Christ has given to His church ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. He has bestowed upon His people capabilities and blessings that they may represent His own sufficiency. The church, endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depositary, in which the riches of His mercy, His grace, and His love, are to appear in full and final display. Christ looks upon His people in their purity and perfection, as the reward of His humiliation, and the supplement of His glory,—Christ, the great Center, from whom radiates all glory. DA 680.1

    With strong, hopeful words the Saviour ended His instruction. Then He poured out the burden of His soul in prayer for His disciples. Lifting His eyes to heaven, He 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.” DA 680.2

    Christ had finished the work that was given Him to do. He had glorified God on the earth. He had manifested the Father's name. He had gathered out those who were to continue His work among men. And He said, “I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; ... I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” DA 680.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 392

    The term “higher education” is to be considered in a different light from what it has been viewed by the students of the sciences. The prayer of Christ to His Father is full of eternal truth. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may also 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.” “For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hands. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The power and soul of true education is a knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” FE 392.1

    Of Jesus it is written: “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.... And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” A knowledge of God will constitute a kind of knowledge that will be as enduring as eternity. To learn and to do the works of Christ, is to obtain a true education. Although the Holy Spirit worked the mind of Christ, so that He could say to His parents, “How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?” yet He worked at the carpenter's trade as an obedient son. He revealed that He had a knowledge of His work as the Son of God, and yet He did not exalt His divine character. He did not offer as a reason why He should not bear the burden of temporal care, that He was of divine origin; but He was subject to His parents. He was the Lord of the commandments, yet He was obedient to all their requirements, thus leaving an example of obedience to childhood, youth, and manhood. FE 392.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 431

    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. FE 431.1

    Jesus continues, expressing His care for His own: “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world.” FE 431.2

    Suppose we catch the spirit that breathed in this prayer that ascended to heaven. Christ here shows what methods and force He used to keep His disciples from worldly practices, maxims, and dispositions: “I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world.” Their actions, their words, their spirit, are not in harmony with the world, “even as I am not of the world.” And the Saviour adds, “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” The children and youth should receive an education in the line that Christ has here indicated, that they may be separate from the world. FE 431.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Selected Messages Book 1, 197-8

    Sometimes our physicians talk for hours, when they are weary and perplexed, and in no fit condition to talk. Medical missionaries should refuse to hold long night sessions of conversation. These night talks have been times when Satan with his seductive influence has stolen away from one and then another the faith once delivered to the saints. Brilliant, sparkling ideas often flash from a mind that is influenced by the great deceiver. Those who listen and acquiesce will become charmed, as Eve was charmed by the serpent's words. They cannot listen to charming philosophical speculations, and at the same time keep the word of the living God clearly in mind. 1SM 197.1

    Our physicians have lost a great deal out of their lives because they have seen wrong transactions and heard wrong words spoken, and seen wrong principles followed, and have not spoken in reproof, for fear that they would be repulsed. 1SM 197.2

    I call upon those who have been connected with these binding influences to break the yoke to which they have long submitted, and stand as free men in Christ. Nothing but a determined effort will break the spell that is upon them. 1SM 197.3

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    Ellen G. White
    SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1145-6

    12. See EGW on ch. 13:34. 5BC 1145.1

    22 (ch. 5:40; Luke 12:48). No Provision for Willful Blindness—[John 15:22 quoted.]... Those who have an opportunity to hear the truth, and yet take no pains to hear or understand it, thinking that if they do not hear, they will not be accountable, will be judged guilty before God the same as if they had heard and rejected. There will be no excuse for those who choose to go in error when they might understand what is truth. In His sufferings and death Jesus has made atonement for all sins of ignorance, but there is no provision made for willful blindness.... 5BC 1145.2

    We shall not be held accountable for the light that has not reached our perception, but for that which we have resisted and refused. A man could not apprehend the truth which had never been presented to him, and therefore could not be condemned for light he had never had. But if he had opportunity to hear the message, and to become acquainted with the truth, and yet refused to improve his opportunity, he will be among the number of whom Christ said, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Those who deliberately place themselves where they will not have an opportunity of hearing the truth, will be reckoned among those who have heard the truth, and persistently resisted its evidences (The Review and Herald, April 25, 1893). 5BC 1145.3

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    Ellen G. White
    This Day With God, 84.2

    By giving His life for the life of the world, Christ bridged the gulf that sin had made, joining this sin-cursed earth to the universe of heaven as a province. God chose this world to be the theater of His mighty works of grace. While the sentence of condemnation was suspended over it because of the rebellion of its inhabitants, while the clouds of wrath were accumulating because of the transgression of the law of God, a mysterious voice was heard in heaven, “Lo, I come...to do thy will, O God” (Psalm 40:7, 8). Our substitute and surety came from heaven declaring that He had brought with Him the vast and inestimable donation of eternal life. Pardon is offered to all who will return their allegiance to the law of God. But there are those who refuse to accept a “thus saith the Lord.” They will not reverence and respect His law. They make rigorous human enactments in opposition to a “thus saith the Lord,” and by precept and example lead men, women, and children into sin. They exalt human enactments above the divine law. But the condemnation and wrath of God are suspended over the disobedient. The clouds of God's justice are gathering. The material of destruction has been piled up for ages; and still apostasy, rebellion, and disloyalty against God is continually increasing. The remnant people of God, who keep His commandments, will understand the word spoken by Daniel, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10). TDG 84.2

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    Ellen G. White
    The Acts of the Apostles, 262

    In his anxiety that the believers at Thessalonica should walk in the fear of God, the apostle pleaded with them to reveal practical godliness in the daily life. “We beseech you, brethren,” he wrote, “and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” AA 262.1

    The apostle felt that he was to a large extent responsible for the spiritual welfare of those converted under his labors. His desire for them was that they might increase in a knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He had sent. Often in his ministry he would meet with little companies of men and women who loved Jesus, and bow with them in prayer, asking God to teach them how to maintain a living connection with Him. Often he took counsel with them as to the best methods of giving to others the light of gospel truth. And often, when separated from those for whom he had thus labored, he pleaded with God to keep them from evil and help them to be earnest, active missionaries. AA 262.2

    One of the strongest evidences of true conversion is love to God and man. Those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer have a deep, sincere love for others of like precious faith. Thus it was with the believers at Thessalonica. “As touching brotherly love,” the apostle wrote, “ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” AA 262.3

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    Ellen G. White
    The Acts of the Apostles, 531

    “This is life eternal,” Christ said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. And the prophet Jeremiah declared: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. Scarcely can the human mind comprehend the breadth and depth and height of the spiritual attainments of him who gains this knowledge. AA 531.1

    None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character. By the sacrifice of Christ, provision has been made for the believer to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the standard of perfection and places before us the example of Christ's character. In His humanity, perfected by a life of constant resistance of evil, the Saviour showed that through co-operation with Divinity, human beings may in this life attain to perfection of character. This is God's assurance to us that we, too, may obtain complete victory. AA 531.2

    Before the believer is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ, obedient to all the principles of the law. But of himself man is utterly unable to reach this condition. The holiness that God's word declares he must have before he can be saved is the result of the working of divine grace as he bows in submission to the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth. Man's obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ's righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his sin-sick soul. He has not the wisdom or the strength to overcome; these belong to the Lord, and He bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek Him for help. AA 532.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Christ's Object Lessons, 114

    No one can search the Scriptures in the spirit of Christ without being rewarded. When man is willing to be instructed as a little child, when he submits wholly to God, he will find the truth in His word. If men would be obedient, they would understand the plan of God's government. The heavenly world would open its chambers of grace and glory for exploration. Human beings would be altogether different from what they now are, for by exploring the mines of truth men would be ennobled. The mystery of redemption, the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, would not be as they are now, vague in our minds. They would be not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated. COL 114.1

    In His prayer to the Father, Christ gave to the world a lesson which should be graven on mind and soul. “This is life eternal,” He said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. This is true education. It imparts power. The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe. COL 114.2

    This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching the word of God. And this treasure may be found by every soul who will give all to obtain it. COL 114.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Christ's Object Lessons, 133

    The significance of the Jewish economy is not yet fully comprehended. Truths vast and profound are shadowed forth in its rites and symbols. The gospel is the key that unlocks its mysteries. Through a knowledge of the plan of redemption, its truths are opened to the understanding. Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these wonderful themes. We are to comprehend the deep things of God. Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God, and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give. COL 133.1

    As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. The last book of the New Testament scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded the minds of many, so that they have been glad of any excuse for not making the Revelation their study. But Christ through His servant John has here declared what shall be in the last days, and He says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:3. COL 133.2

    “This is life eternal,” Christ said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. Why is it that we do not realize the value of this knowledge? Why are not these glorious truths glowing in our hearts, trembling upon our lips, and pervading our whole being? COL 133.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 110

    Oh, that every man, woman, and child who deals with human minds, may have the truth inwrought in the soul, that it may be revealed in spirit, in word, in character, and in action! The sanctifying power of the truth should lead every one who teaches in the Sabbath school, or holds a position in our institutions, to have such an experience that he may say, “I know whom I have believed.” There is transforming power in the religion of Jesus Christ, and this power must be seen upon us in far greater humility, in more earnest, living faith, that we may become a light to the world. Self must be humiliated, and Christ exalted. Why is it that those to whom God entrusts some work in His moral vineyard are so easily lifted up? CSW 110.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 45

    God would not have us in any sense behind in educational work. Our colleges should be far in advance in the highest kind of education.... If we do not have schools for our youth, they will attend other seminaries and colleges, and will be exposed to infidel sentiments, to cavilings and questionings concerning the inspiration of the Bible. There is a great deal of talk concerning higher education, and many suppose that higher education consists wholly in an education in science and literature; but this is not all. The highest education includes the knowledge of the word of God, and is comprehended in the words, “That they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent.” John 17:3. CT 45.1

    The highest class of education is that which will give such knowledge and discipline as will lead to the best development of character, and will fit the soul for that life which measures with the life of God. Eternity is not to be lost out of our reckoning. The highest education is that which will teach our children and youth the science of Christianity, which will give them an experimental knowledge of God's ways, and will impart to them the lessons that Christ gave to His disciples, of the paternal character of God. CT 45.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 169

    Teach the youth that sin in any line is defined in the Scriptures as “transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4.... Teach them in simple language that they must be obedient to their parents and give their hearts to God. Jesus Christ is waiting to accept and bless them if they will only come to Him and ask Him to pardon all their transgressions and take away their sins. And when they ask Him to pardon all their transgressions they must believe that He does it. CT 169.1

    God wants every child of tender age to be His child, to be adopted into His family. Young though they may be, the youth may be members of the household of faith and have a most precious experience. They may have hearts that are tender and ready to receive impressions that will be lasting. They may have their hearts drawn out in confidence and love for Jesus, and live for the Saviour. Christ will make them little missionaries. The whole current of their thought may be changed, so that sin will not appear a thing to be enjoyed, but to be shunned and hated. CT 169.2

    Small children, as well as those who are older, will be benefited by this instruction; and in thus simplifying the plan of salvation, the teachers will receive as great blessings as those who are taught. The Holy Spirit of God will impress the lessons upon the receptive minds of the children, that they may grasp the ideas of Bible truth in their simplicity. And the Lord will give an experience to these children in missionary lines; He will suggest to them lines of thought that even the teachers did not have. The children who are properly instructed will be witnesses to the truth. CT 169.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 406

    The Lord does not choose or accept laborers according to the advantages they have enjoyed, or according to the superior education they have received. The value of the human agent is estimated according to the capacity of the heart to know and understand God.... The highest possible good is obtained through a knowledge of God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. This knowledge is the secret spring from which flows all power.... CT 406.1

    The education received by Moses, as the king's grandson, was very thorough. Nothing was neglected that would make him a wise man, as the Egyptians understood wisdom. But the most valuable part of Moses’ fitting for his lifework was that which he received as a shepherd. As he led his flocks through the wilds of the mountains and into the green pastures of the valleys, the God of nature taught him the highest wisdom. In the school of nature, with Christ as his teacher, he learned lessons of humility, meekness, faith, and trust, all of which bound his soul closer to God. In the solitude of the mountains he learned that which all his instruction in the king's palace was unable to impart to him—simple, unwavering faith and a constant trust in the Lord. CT 406.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 427

    What book can compare with the Bible? An understanding of its teachings is essential for every child and youth, and for those of mature age; for it is the word of God, given to guide the human family to heaven. In the world today there are gods many and doctrines many. Without an understanding of the Scriptures it is impossible for the youth to understand what is truth, or to discern between the sacred and the common. CT 427.1

    The word of God should stand as the highest educating book in our world and should be treated with reverential awe. It should be placed in the hands of the children and youth as the great lesson book, that they may know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. CT 427.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 488
    Ellen G. White
    Country Living, 23.5

    I think how the angels must feel seeing the end approaching, and those who claim to have the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, huddle together, colonize, and attend meetings, and feel discouraged and dissatisfied if there is not much preaching to benefit their souls and strengthen the church, while they are doing literally nothing.—Letter 16e, 1892. CL 23.5

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    Ellen G. White
    Evangelism, 181

    Avoid Sickly Discourses—Short, plainly made points, avoiding all rambling, will be of the greatest advantage. God would not have you exhaust your energies before you come into the meeting, either in writing or in any other employment, for when you come with a tired mind you give a very imperfect discourse to the people. Put your freshest energies into the work and let not the slightest dullness of imperfectness be seen in any of your efforts. Ev 181.1

    If from any cause you are tired and exhausted, for Christ's sake do not attempt to give a discourse. Let another who is not thus exhausted speak, short, to the point, or else have a Bible reading; anything but sickly discourses. These will do less harm where all are believers, but when the truth is to be proclaimed before a people who are not in the faith, the speaker must prepare himself for the task. He must not ramble all through the Bible but give a clear, connected discourse, showing that he understands the points he would make.—Letter 48, 1886. Ev 181.2

    Artificial Embellishments—God calls upon the ministers of the gospel not to seek to stretch themselves beyond their measure by bringing forward artificial embellishments, striving for the praise and applause of men, being ambitious for a vain show of intellect and eloquence. Let the minister's ambition be carefully to search the Bible, that they may know as much as possible of God and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. The more clearly ministers discern Christ, and catch His spirit, the more forcibly will they preach the simple truth of which Christ is the center.—The Review and Herald, March 24, 1896. Ev 181.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Faith and Works, 115.1

    “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). The heritage of the people of God is discerned through faith in the Word of God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). FW 115.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 223

    Those teachers who have not a progressive religious experience, who are not learning daily lessons in the school of Christ, that they may be ensamples to the flock, but who accept their wages as the main thing, are not fit for the solemn, awfully solemn, position they occupy. For this scripture is appropriate to all our schools established as God designed they should be, after the order or example of the schools of the prophets, imparting a higher class of knowledge—mingling not dross with the silver, and wine with water—which is a representation of precious principles. False ideas and unsound practices are leavening the pure, and corrupting that which should ever be kept pure, and looked upon by the world, by angels, and by men, as the Lord's institution—schools where the education to love and fear God is made first. “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” “Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” FE 223.1

    Let the teachers who claim to be Christians be learning daily in the school of Christ His lessons. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” I ask you, Is every educator in the school wearing the yoke of Christ, or manufacturing yokes of his own to place upon the necks of others, yokes which they themselves will not wear, sharp, severe, exacting; and this, too, while they are carrying themselves very loosely toward God, offending every day in little and larger matters, and making it evident in words, in spirit, and in actions, that they are not a proper example for the students, and are not having a sense that they are under discipline to the greatest Teacher the world ever knew? There needs to be a higher, holier mold on the school in Battle Creek, and on other schools which have taken their mold from it. The customs and practices of the Battle Creek school go forth to all the churches, and the pulse heartbeats of that school are felt throughout the body of believers. FE 223.2

    It is not in God's order that thousands of dollars shall be expended in enlargements and additions in institutions in Battle Creek. There is altogether too much there now. Take that extra means and establish the work in suffering portions of other fields, to give character to the work. I have spoken the word of God upon this point. There are reasons many do not see, that I have no liberty to open before you now; but I tell you in the name of the Lord, you will make a mistake in your adding building to building; for there are being centered in Battle Creek responsibilities that are altogether too much for one location. If these responsibilities were divided and placed in other localities, it would be far better than crowding so much into Battle Creek, robbing other destitute fields of the advantages God would have them privileged with. FE 224.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 272

    “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” “I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.” Here is the work laid before us, to be representatives of Christ, as He in our world was the representative of the Father. We are to teach the words given us in the lessons of Christ. “I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me.” We have our work, and every instructor of the youth in any capacity is to receive in a good and honest heart what God has unfolded and recorded in His holy word in the lessons of Christ, meekly to accept the words of life. We are in the antitypical day of atonement, and not only are we to humble our hearts before God and confess our sins but we are, by all our educating talent, to seek to instruct those with whom we are brought in contact, and to bring them by precept and example to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. FE 272.1

    O I so much wish that the Lord of heaven would open many eyes that are now blind, that they might see themselves as God sees them, and give to them a sense of the work to be done in the fields of labor. But I have no hope that all the appeals I make will avail, unless the Lord speaks to the soul and writes His requirements upon the tablets of the heart. Cannot every living human agent have a high and elevated sense of what it means to have a large and important field of home missionary work appointed to him, without the necessity of going to far-off lands? And while some must proclaim the message of mercy to them that are afar off, there are many who have to proclaim the message to those who are nigh. Our schools are to be educating schools to qualify youth to become missionaries both by precept and example. Let the one who is acting in the capacity of teacher ever bear in mind that these children and youth are the purchase of the blood of the Son of God. They must be led to believe in Christ as their personal Saviour. The name of each separate believer is graven on the palms of His hands. The Chief Shepherd is looking down from the heavenly sanctuary upon the sheep of His pasture. “He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” O precious, blessed truth! He does not treat one case with indifference. FE 272.2

    His impressive parable of the good shepherd represents the responsibility of every minister and of every Christian who has accepted a position as teacher of children and youth and a teacher of old and young, in opening to them the Scriptures. If one strays from the fold, he is not followed with harsh words and with a whip, but with winning invitations to return. The ninety and nine that had not strayed do not call for the sympathy and tender, pitying love of the shepherd. But the shepherd follows the sheep and lambs that have caused him the greatest anxiety and have engrossed his sympathies. The disinterested, faithful shepherd leaves all the rest of the sheep, and his whole heart and soul and energies are taxed to seek the one that is lost. And then the figure—praise God—the shepherd returns with the sheep, carrying him in his arms, rejoicing at every step; he says, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.” I am so thankful we have in the parable, the sheep found. And this is the very lesson the shepherd is to learn,—success in bringing the sheep and lambs back. FE 273.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 285

    I have a very deep interest in the educational institution at Battle Creek. For years my husband and myself were greatly exercised in reference to establishing a school in which our youth and children should have advantages of a superior character to those found in the common public schools, or in the colleges of the world. The Lord plainly specified what should be the character of the influence and instruction the school should maintain, in order that the important work might be accomplished for which the school was designed. As the knowledge and fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it was necessary that the study of the Bible should have a prominent place among the various branches of scientific education. The standard of the school was to be of high order, and the principles of vital godliness were ever to be kept before the students as a most essential feature of education. “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” The youth were to be instructed in regard to the times in which we live, and to be made to understand that which will come to pass before the closing up of the world's history. FE 285.1

    One reason why it was necessary to establish institutions of our own was the fact that parents were not able to counteract the influence of the teaching their children were receiving in the public schools, and the error there taught was leading the youth into false paths. No stronger influence could be brought to bear upon the minds of the youth and children than that of those who were educating them in principles of science. For this reason it was evident that schools must be established in which our children should be instructed in the way of truth. In our schools it was specified that the youth were to be taught in the principles of Bible temperance, and every influence was to be brought to bear upon them that would tend to help them to shun the follies of this degenerate age, which were fast making the world as a second Sodom. FE 285.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 341

    The Lord does not choose or accept laborers according to the numerous advantages which they have enjoyed, or according to the superior education which they have received. The value of the human agent is estimated according to the capacity of the heart to know and understand God. “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” The highest possible good is obtained through a knowledge of God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent.” FE 341.1

    This knowledge is the secret spring from which flows all power. It is through the exercise of the faculty of faith that we are enabled to receive and practice the word of God. No excuse can be accepted, no plea of justification received for the failure to know and understand the will of the Lord. The Lord will enlighten the heart that is loyal to Him. He can read the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is useless to plead that if it had been so and so, we would have done so and so. There is no if about God's requirements; His word is yea and amen. There can be no question in the heart of faith as to the power of God to perform His promises. Pure faith works by love, and purifies the soul. FE 341.2

    To the distressed father, seeking for the tender love and pity of Christ to be exercised in behalf of his afflicted son, Jesus said: “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” All things are possible with God, and by faith we may lay hold on His power. But faith is not sight; faith is not feeling; faith is not reality. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” To abide in faith is to put aside feeling and selfish desires, to walk humbly with the Lord, to appropriate His promises, and apply them to all occasions, believing that God will work out His own plans and purposes in your heart and life by the sanctification of your character; it is to rely entirely, to trust implicitly, upon the faithfulness of God. If this course is followed, others will see the special fruits of the Spirit manifested in the life and character. FE 341.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 376

    He who chooses a course of disobedience to God's law is deciding his future destiny; he is sowing to the flesh, earning the wages of sin, even eternal destruction, the opposite of life eternal. Submission to God and obedience to His holy law bring the sure result. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” This is a knowledge of such value that no language can describe it; it is of highest worth in this world, and is far-reaching as eternity. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” FE 376.1

    When we aim at a low standard, we shall reach only a low standard. We commend to every student the Book of books as the grandest study for the human intelligence, as the education essential for this life, and for eternal life. But I did not contemplate a letting down of the educational standard in the study of the sciences. The light that has been given on these subjects is clear, and should in no case be disregarded. But if the word of God which giveth light, and giveth understanding to the simple, had been welcomed into the mind and the soul-temple, as a counselor, as a guide and instructor, the human agent living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, there would have been no need of reproof because of the backslidings of the students after the blessing of God had come to them in rich rays of divine light, to glow in heaven's holy fire upon the altar of their hearts. Many allowed amusements to have the supremacy. This was not the course that Daniel pursued in obtaining the education which revealed through him the supremacy of heavenly wisdom above all the wisdom and knowledge of the highest schools in the courts of proud Babylon. God opens the understanding of men in a marked manner if His words are brought into the practical life of the student, and the Bible is recognized as the precious, wonderful book that it is. Nothing is to come between this book and the student as more essential; for it is that wisdom which, brought into the practical life, makes men wise through time and through eternity. God is revealed in nature; God is revealed in His word. The Bible is the most wonderful of all histories, for it is the production of God, not of the finite mind. It carries us back through the centuries to the beginning of all things, presenting the history of times and scenes which would otherwise never have been known. It reveals the glory of God in the working of His providence to save a fallen world. It presents in the simplest language the mighty power of the gospel, which, received, would cut the chains that bind men to Satan's chariot. FE 376.2

    The light shines from the sacred pages, in clear, glorious beams, showing us God, the living God, as represented in the laws of His government, in the creation of the world, in the heavens which He hath garnished. His power is to be recognized as the only means of redeeming a world from degrading superstitions which are so dishonoring to God and man. Every student of the Bible who not only becomes familiar with revealed truth through the education of the intellect, but also through its transforming power upon heart and character, will represent the character of God to our world in a well-ordered life and a godly conversation. The entrance of the word giveth light. The mind is expanded, elevated, purified. But many have pursued a course of action inconsistent with the knowledge of truth and the wonderful light through the descent of the Holy Spirit of God in so marked a manner upon hearts in Battle Creek. Great sin and loss resulted from the neglect to walk in the light from heaven. In plunging into amusements, match games, pugilistic performances, they declared to the world that Christ was not their leader in any of these things. All this called forth the warning from God. Now that which burdens me is the danger of going into extremes on the other side; there is no necessity for this; if the Bible is made the guide, the counselor, it is calculated to have an influence on the mind and heart of the unconverted. Its study, more than any other, will leave a divine impress. It will enlarge the mind of the candid student, it will endow it with new impulses and fresh vigor. It will give greater efficiency to the faculties by bringing them in contact with grand and far-reaching truths. It is ever working, drawing; it is an effective instrument in the converting of the soul. If the human mind becomes dwarfed and feeble and inefficient, it is because it is left to deal with commonplace subjects only. FE 377.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 381

    I have some matters which I wish to present before you in regard to education. The teachers in our schools have great respect for authors and books that are current in most of our educational institutions. All heaven has been looking upon our institutions of learning, and asking you, What is the chaff to the wheat? The Lord has given us the most precious instructions in His word, teaching us what characters we must form in this life to prepare us for the future, immortal life. It has been the custom to exalt books and authors that do not present the proper foundation for true education. From what source did these authors obtain their wisdom, a large share of which does not deserve our respect, even if the authors are regarded as being wise men? Have they taken their lessons from the greatest Teacher that the world ever knew? If not, they are decidedly in the fault. Those who are preparing for the heavenly abodes should be recommended to make the Bible their chief book of study. FE 381.1

    These popular authors have not pointed out to the students the way that leads to eternal life. “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. The authors of the books current in our schools are recommended and exalted as learned men; their education is in every way deficient, unless they themselves have been educated in the school of Christ, and by practical knowledge bear witness to the word of God as the most essential study for children and youth. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Books should have been prepared to place in the hands of students that would educate them to have a sincere, reverent love for truth and steadfast integrity. The class of studies which are positively essential in the formation of character to give them a preparation for the future life should be kept ever before them. Christ should be uplifted as the first great teacher, the only-begotten Son of God, who was with the Father from eternal ages. The Son of God was the great teacher sent into the world as the light of the world. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Father was represented in Christ, and the attention in education must be of that character that they will look to Him and believe in Him as the likeness of God. He had a most wonderful mission to this world, and His work was not in a line to give a full relation of His personal claims to deity, but His humiliation was a concealment of His claims. This is why the Jewish nation did not acknowledge Christ as the Prince of life; because He did not come with display and outward appearance, for He hid under the garb of humanity His glorious character. FE 381.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 384

    It is of immense importance, in the light of the lessons of Christ, that every human being should study the Scriptures, that he may be convinced in whom his hopes of eternal life are centered. The Bible should ever have been made the great, grand book of study, which has come down to us from heaven, and is the word of life. Should that book which tells us what we must do in order to be saved, be set aside in a corner, and human productions be exalted as the great wisdom in education? The very knowledge children and youth need to obtain for usefulness in this life, and that they may carry with them in the future life, is found in the word of God. But this is not encouraged and presented before them as the most essential knowledge, and as that which will give the most correct information of the true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. There are gods many and doctrines many. There are maxims and commandments placed before our youth as the commandments of God. It is impossible for them to understand what is truth, what is the sacred, and what is the common, only as they understand the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. FE 384.1

    The word of God is to stand as the highest educating book in our world, and is to be treated with reverential awe. It is our guidebook; we shall receive from it the truth. We need to present the Bible as the great lesson book to place in the hands of our children and youth, that they may know Christ, whom to know aright is life eternal. It is the book to be studied by those of middle age, and those who are aged. The word contains promises, warnings, encouragement, and assurances of the love of God to all who accept Him as their Saviour. Then place the holy word in their hands. Encourage them to search the word, and they will in so doing find hidden treasures of inestimable value to them in this present life, and in receiving Christ as the bread of life they have the promise of eternal life. FE 384.2

    The lesson book, the Bible, contains the instruction of the character they must have, the moral excellence of character which must be cultivated, which God and heaven require. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.” FE 385.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 403-4

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the covenant was made that all who were obedient, all who should through the abundant grace provided, become holy in character, and without blame before God, by appropriating that grace, should be children of God. This covenant, made from eternity, was given to Abraham hundreds of years before Christ came. With what interest and what intensity did Christ in humanity study the human race to see if they would avail themselves of the provision offered. FE 403.1

    “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” These words are an eye opener to all who will see. The knowledge of God is a knowledge which will not need to be left behind when our probation closes, a knowledge which is of the most lasting benefit to the world and to us individually. Why, then, should we put the word of God in the background when it is wisdom unto salvation. “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.” We are neglecting our salvation if we give authors who have but a confused idea of what religion means, the most conspicuous place and devoted respect, and make the Bible secondary. Those who have been enlightened in reference to the truth for these last days will not find instruction in the books generally studied today, in regard to the things which are coming upon our world; but the Bible is full of the knowledge of God, and is competent to educate the student for usefulness in this life and for the eternal life. FE 403.2

    Study carefully the first chapter of Hebrews. Become interested in the Scriptures. Read and study them diligently. “In them ye think ye have eternal life,” Christ said, “and they are they which testify of Me.” It means everything to us to have an experimental and individual knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, “whom He hath sent.” “For this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”—Special Testimonies On Education, March 23, 1896. FE 404.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 413

    So we see that the highest line of earthly education may be obtained, and yet the men possessing it may be ignorant of the first principles which would make them subjects of the kingdom of God. Human learning cannot qualify for that kingdom. The subjects of Christ's kingdom are not made thus by forms and ceremonies, by a large study of books. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent.” The members of Christ's kingdom are members of His body, of which He himself is the head. They are the elect sons of God, “a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people,” that they should show forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. FE 413.1

    “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hateth Him, He will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.” If God's commandments are to be binding for a thousand generations, it will take them into the kingdom of God, into the presence of God and His holy angels. This is an argument that cannot be controverted. The commandments of God will endure through all time and eternity. Are they, then, given us as a burden?—No. “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.” The Lord gave His people commandments, in order that by obeying them they might preserve their physical, mental, and moral health. They were to live by obedience; but death is the sure result of the disobedience of the law of God. FE 413.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 415

    The students in our schools are to consider the knowledge of God as above everything else. Searching the Scriptures alone will bring the knowledge of the true God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. “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.” “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”—Special Testimonies On Education, March 26, 1896. FE 415.1

    Our Children Demand Our Care and Attention, The Review and Herald, April 28, 1896
    The Childhood of Jesus, The Bible Echo, May 11, 1896.

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 446

    Let not man's assertions be considered as truth when they are contrary to the word of God. The Lord God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the source of all wisdom, is second to none. But those supposed great authors, who give to our schools their textbooks for study, are received and glorified, even though they have no vital connection with God. By such study man has been led away from God into forbidden paths; minds have been wearied to death through unnecessary work in trying to obtain that which is to them as the knowledge which Adam and Eve disobeyed God in obtaining. If Adam and Eve had never touched the tree of knowledge, they would have been where the Lord could impart to them knowledge from His word, knowledge which would not have had to be left behind with the things of this world, but which they could carry with them to the paradise of God. But today young men and women spend years and years in acquiring an education which is but wood and stubble, to be consumed in the last great conflagration. Many spend years of their life in the study of books, obtaining an education that will die with them. Upon such an education God places no value. This supposed wisdom gained from the study of different authors, has excluded and lessened the brightness and value of the word of God. Many students have left school unable to receive the word of God with the reverence and respect that they gave it before they entered, their faith eclipsed in the effort to excel in the various studies. The Bible has not been made a standard matter in their education, but books mixed with infidelity and propagating unsound theories have been placed before them. FE 446.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 484

    God calls upon the teachers in our schools not to become interested in the study of political questions. Take the knowledge of God into our schools. Your attention may be called to worldly wise men, who are not wise enough to understand what the Scriptures say in regard to the laws of God's kingdom; but turn from these to Him who is the source of all wisdom. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Make this first and last. Seek most earnestly to know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. Christ and His righteousness is the salvation of the soul. Teach the little children what obedience and submission means. In our schools science, literature, painting, and music, and all that the world's learning can teach are not to be made first. Let the knowledge of Him in whom our eternal life is centered come first. Plant in the hearts of the students that which will adorn the character and fit the soul, through sanctification of the Spirit, to learn lessons from the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. Thus students will be fitted to be heirs of the kingdom of God.—Letter 95, June 16, 1899. FE 484.1

    God's Purpose Concerning Our Youth Today, The Youth's Instructor, June 22, 29, 1899
    Marriages, Wise and Unwise, The Youth's Instructor, August 10, 1899
    Self-culture, The Youth's Instructor, August 17, 1899
    True Education, The Youth's Instructor, August 31, 1899

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    Ellen G. White
    God's Amazing Grace, 324.4

    The sum and substance of the whole matter of Christian grace and experience is contained in believing on Christ, in knowing God and His Son whom He has sent. But here is where many fail, for they lack faith in God. Instead of desiring to be brought into fellowship with Christ in His self-denial and humiliation, they are ever seeking for the supremacy of self.... AG 324.4

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    Ellen G. White
    In Heavenly Places, 72.6

    To know God is, in the scriptural sense of the term, to be one with Him in heart and mind, having an experimental knowledge of Him, holding reverential communion with Him as the Redeemer. Only through sincere obedience can this communion be obtained.... HP 72.6

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    Ellen G. White
    In Heavenly Places, 279.3

    God sends trials to prove who will stand faithful under temptation. He brings us into trying positions to see if we will trust in a power out of and above ourselves. Everyone has undiscovered traits of character that must come to light through trial. God allows those who are self-sufficient to be sorely tempted that they may understand their helplessness. He suffers the deep waters of affliction to go over our souls, in order that we may know Him and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, in order that we may have deep heart longings to be cleansed from defilement, and may come forth from the trial purer, holier, happier. Often we enter the furnace of affliction with our souls darkened with selfishness; but if patient under the crucial test, we shall come forth reflecting the divine character. When His purpose in the affliction is accomplished “he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday” (Psalm 37:6). HP 279.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Lift Him Up, 261.1

    And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3. LHU 261.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Lift Him Up, 267.3

    The soldier of Christ must meet many forms of temptation, and resist and overcome them. The fiercer the conflict, the greater the supply of grace to meet the need of the soul; and the very nature of the grace received will enlarge the capacity of the servant of Christ to know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. The soul of the believer will go out in intense longing to know and understand more of the truth and righteousness of Christ. All who advance in the divine life will have increased ability to search for truth as for hid treasure, and will appropriate the truth to their own souls. The true Christian will understand what it means to pass through severe conflicts and trying experiences; but he will steadily increase in the grace of Christ to meet successfully the enemy of his soul, who works through human agency to cause the ruin of the servants of Christ. By passing through severe ordeals of trial, the follower of Christ will better understand the ways of God and the plan of redemption, and will not be ignorant of the devices of the enemy. The darkness will press upon his soul at times; but the true light will shine, the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will dispel the gloom; and although Satan seeks in every way to discourage him by presenting obstacles before him, through the grace of Christ he will be enabled to be a faithful witness of the things which he has heard from the inspired messenger of God. He does not despise or neglect the message received, but commits his knowledge to faithful men, who in their turn are to be able to teach others also. In communicating the light to others, the Christian proves the truth of the word that “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18) (The Review and Herald, June 16, 1896). LHU 267.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Maranatha, 76

    This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3. Mar 76.1

    Only by knowing God here can we prepare to meet Him at His coming.... But many of those who profess to believe in Christ do not know God. They have only a surface religion. They do not love God; they do not study His character; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. They do not know what restful love is, or what it means to walk by faith.... They fail of understanding that it is their duty to receive, in order that they may enrich others. Mar 76.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Medical Ministry, 102

    In the word of God are grand truths that are worthy of intense study. Shall we neglect these great fundamental truths in order that we may enter into speculation over what has not been clearly revealed? I am frequently asked, regarding some theoretical doctrine, questions that I feel no liberty to answer. I sometimes reply to those who ask me such questions, “You have the word. If the Lord desired you to know in regard to this matter, you would find your knowledge in the word of God, and would not need to ask me. If we reach heaven, we may then understand the matters that are not clear to us now.” Let us study the great truths of the Scriptures; they are sufficient to tax our minds to their utmost capacity. MM 102.1

    “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Oh, do we know God as we should? What comfort, what joy, we should have if we were to learn daily the lessons He desires us to learn! We must know Him by an experimental knowledge. It will be profitable for us to spend more time in secret prayer, in becoming personally acquainted with our heavenly Father. In our weakness we may come to Him and ask Him to impart to us an understanding of what He will do for us in separating from us everything that is unlike His own character.—The Review and Herald, August 15, 1907. MM 102.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Messages to Young People, 189

    Young men and young women may obtain the highest earthly education, and yet may be ignorant of the first principles that would make them subjects of the kingdom of God. Human learning cannot qualify anyone for the heavenly kingdom. The subjects of Christ's kingdom are not made thus by forms and ceremonies, or by long study of books. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” ... MYP 189.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Messages to Young People, 191

    To learn science through the interpretation that men have placed on it is to obtain a false education. To learn of God, and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, is to learn the science of the Bible. The pure in heart see God in every providence, in every phase of true education. They recognize the first approach of the light that radiates from God's throne. Communications from heaven are made to those who will catch the first gleams of spiritual knowledge. MYP 191.1

    The students in our schools are to regard the knowledge of God as above everything else. Only by searching the Scriptures can this knowledge be attained. “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.... The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.... But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”—The Youth's Instructor, November 24, 1903. MYP 191.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 52.3

    Minds Not to Be Crowded With Useless Things—Education, as it is conducted in the schools of today [1897], is one-sided, and therefore a mistake. As the purchase of the Son of God, we are His property, and everyone should have an education in the school of Christ. Wise teachers should be chosen for our schools. Teachers have to deal with human minds, and they are responsible to God to impress upon those minds the necessity of knowing Christ as a personal Saviour. But no one can truly educate God's purchased possession unless he himself has learned in the school of Christ how to teach. 1MCP 52.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 53.2

    Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to understand this, we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). If this is the price of heaven, shall not our education be conducted on these lines?—The Christian Educator, August 1, 1897, par.4. 1MCP 53.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 358.2

    Students to Learn to Obey God—I see that a great sentiment must be worked to, and out, under the divine direction in our schools. But the one great lesson the students must learn is to seek with all their heart, mind, and strength to know God and obey Him implicitly. The science of the salvation of the human soul is the first lesson of life. No line of literature or education in book knowledge is to become supreme. But to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent, is life eternal. 1MCP 358.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 561

    True Principles Circulating Through Entire System—Conformity to the world can be prevented by the truth, by feeding on the Word of God, by its principles circulating through the entire life current and working out that word in the character. Christ exhorts us by the apostle John to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). This is plain language, but it is God's measure of every man's character.—Manuscript 37, 1896. 2MCP 561.1

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    Ellen G. White
    The Ministry of Healing, 410

    “This is life eternal,” said Jesus, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. MH 410.1

    “Thus saith the Lord,
    Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
    Neither let the mighty man glory in his might,
    Let not the rich man glory in his riches:
    But let him that glorieth glory in this,
    That he understandeth and knoweth Me,
    That I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness,
    Judgment, and righteousness, in the earth:
    For in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”
    MH 410.2

    Jeremiah 9:23, 24. MH 410

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    Ellen G. White
    Our High Calling, 45.5

    Jesus placed the cross in line with the light coming from heaven, for it is there that it shall catch the eye of man. The cross is in direct line with the shining of the divine countenances, so that by beholding the cross men may see and know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. In beholding God we behold the One who poured out His soul unto death. In beholding the cross the view is extended to God, and His hatred of sin is discerned. But while we behold in the cross God's hatred of sin, we also behold His love for sinners, which is stronger than death. To the world the cross is the incontrovertible argument that God is truth and light and love. OHC 45.5

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