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Educational Excellence

Randy Skeete

Presenter

Randy Skeete

Evangelist and revivalist from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Conference

Recorded

  • December 28, 2014
    11:15 AM
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00:00 Dear Father in Heaven, Lord, thank You for this time that we can gather to hear Your message which will be brought forth by Pastor Randy. We pray Lord that you will send the outpouring of Your Holy Spirit to be with Pastor Randy. Please anoint his lips that the words that come out from his mouth will be from You and You alone. Please guide all of us listening that You will give us attentive ears, Lord. Please help us to receive Your message, that it will touch our hearts and transform us. Thank You Lord, for hearing our prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

00:34 Thank you Brother Rain, God bless you—I say that from my heart—and bless your family. Where are you from Rain? (KL) Kuala Lumpur. Okay. Nice place. I will be going there after I leave Penang. I have to preach at the church of Pastor Benjamin. Okay educational excellence Proverbs 1. I won’t tell you what verse. I will first give you the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy of education. It is found in the book Education, p. 13.1 “Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than the preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” (Ed 1:13.1)

 

02:18 And for those who will be listening by the recording the reason I am pausing all the time is we have a recording and I want the translator to get all the words I’m saying, So for those of you wondering why is he pausing all the time?—there is translation going on and all God’s people should be able to hear the message. Okay.

 

02:35 Seventh-day Adventists believe that the primary purpose of education is not to get a job but to prepare you for God’s kingdom. The philosophy of education Adventists hold says that the first or the primary purpose for education is preparation to meet God; not to get a job. Now getting a job is part of it but it is not the primary reason for education. Ellen White says the science of education and the science of salvation are one. Let’s go back over that quotation and see something remarkable when you read the Bible and you read Ellen White read microscopically. Look for little things that have big meaning. “Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim”—this aim is higher than Harvard; it is higher than the University in Malaysia; it is higher than the education you get from Cambridge and Oxford—“There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education”—when you see true education what can you assume? There’s a false education! Christ speaking in John 15:1 “I am the true vine”—what can you conclude? There’s a false vine. “I am the true bread”—what can you conclude? There’s a false bread. John 1:9 “That was the true light”—what can you conclude? There’s a false light. What I'm trying to tell you or Ellen White, “True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study.” (Ed 1:13.1)

 

Who’s in college? Raise your hand. What do you study? (maritime transportation management) What’s your name? (Ken) All right Ken, we can call you Jonah, maritime transportation management, going on the sea on boats. Okay, true education goes beyond that Br. Ken, in other words true education means when you are finished with maritime management you should be closer to God. Who else is in college? What are you studying? (nursing) What’s your name? (Sharron) All right Sister Sharron, nursing is one way to really get close to Jesus. True education is more than knowing where to stick the needle, where the muscles are and the veins are and the arteries are and how the heart beats and how to take blood pressure. There is more to nursing than that. True nurse training Sister Sharron, will bring you closer to God. If education does not do that it is not true education.

 

07:05 She goes on to say “True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is.” Here’s how we think: I'm 19, I’m 20, I’m a young adult. I have to establish my life so I need a degree that gives me a good job, that gives me a good salary, so I can buy a house, have a car, get married, and have 2 ½ children (laughter)—statistically speaking. That’s how we think. And so we want to be a dentist—good job, good money. A doctor—good job, good money. A lawyer—good job, good money. A physicist—good job, good money. No one wants to be a literature evangelist because we’re thinking what degree will establish me in this lifetime?

 

08:16 Ellen White says true education is more than a preparation for this life. It is more! She goes on to say “It has to do with the whole being” What’s another word for being? (person) What is the whole person? What aspects or sides do you, as a person, have? You are (physical). Name something else (mental). Name something else (spiritual). Name something else (emotional). You’re social. She says true education covers everything. “It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man.”—what is that? Eternity. Does the University of Malaysia prepare you for eternity? (no)—“It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental and the spiritual powers.” (Ed 1:13.1)

 

09:33 Does the University of Penang prepare you spiritually to see Jesus? (no) You name a secular school. Some of our schools don’t prepare you well to see Jesus. “It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” Now, you're all intelligent we have “joy of service in this world” and we have “higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” Where should your emphasis be? —“higher joy of wider service in the world to come”—in other words, you must consciously pursue an education that prepares you to be of service in the New World. Let’s leave that alone for awhile and go to the Bible, Proverbs 1:7.

 

11:20 Prov. 1:7 I want to show you how to study without hardship. How to study without pursuing a grade but still get a good grade. Let’s read the 1st part of Prov. 1:7. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Is that what secular schools teach? (no) at secular schools they’ll tell you there is no god. Believe the Bible. You’re Bible believers. Education that is genuine begins where? with the fear or the recognition of who God is. That is also how you start a business when I deal with business excellence this afternoon. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge—which is what you’re in school to acquire. Nursing knowledge, maritime management knowledge, or whatever other thing you’re studying. Prov. 9:10 you have that?—I am always amused at how politely you don’t answer me. When I ask do you have that you’re as quiet as a mouse. You repent? Okay.

 

13:05 Prov. 9:10 the Bible says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”—we have knowledge, we have wisdom. Knowledge is the accumulation of information. Wisdom is the application of that knowledge required. Now, both times where do you start? with the fear of the Lord. That is Heavenly educational system. How you get it?—how you use it. Now, because that's not the way the world functions when you think like that you appear odd, strange. No one wants to look odd and strange. But the Bible says to you education begins with the fear of God, getting the knowledge, using it begins with the fear of God, Now, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and the beginning of wisdom. Okay. You start with God.

 

14:26 I told you I’d tell you how to study not for a grade but in such a way you get the grade and you get much more. Then if the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom it is not just the beginning it's what? Throughout! The entire process of wisdom requires God at the middle. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge where you begin. You begin with God. All through the experience of getting knowledge you must become connected with God. This is what the Bible says in Psalm 19:1. We are discussing educational excellence.

 

15:14 Ps. 19:1 what does it say? “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Now, what is the glory of God? (His character) God’s Amazing Grace, 322.2 Ellen White writes “the glory of God is His character.” We just read in Ps.19: 1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Ellen White says the glory of God is His character which means anyone who honestly observes the sky at night should learn something about—God. Now, that’s the heavens. So we are under a canopy of information about God in the heavenly bodies. Isaiah 6:1 that familiar passage.

 

16:43 Is. 6:1 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” Is. 6:2 “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.” Is. 6:3 “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” In Ps. 19:1 we read that the heavens declare—the entire heavens declare—the glory of God.  Now we just read the whole earth is full of the glory of God. What is the glory of God? (His character)—yes! So we can learn about God from heaven and from earth. Now there is no subject in school that does not fall under heaven or earth. Maritime management? Travel under water—that’s the earth. Who’s studying astronomy? Whether you are or not where is that? (Heavens) Who’s studying nursing? Sharron I think it is. That’s the earth. Music? That’s the earth and heaven. What else do you study? Biology? Life forms on the earth—knowledge of God. Physics? How things function—heaven and earth. Anything you study falls either between heaven or earth and you and I are between heaven and earth. We are surrounded by information about God. If that’s clear say amen (Amen!) Now, if you are studying physiology because the whole earth is full of the glory of God what should you look for? (nature) (God’s glory) If a crime is committed in this room and the detectives come what will they look for? (clues) Okay. What one specific evidence to identify the person? (fingerprints) When you study physiology look for God’s fingerprints.

 

20:04 If you are on a safari in Africa; you’re sleeping in a tent and you wake up in the morning and you see some big tracks outside your tent, a lion walked by; you better know you’re tracks, the signs and what they mean or you’ll end up being lunch for a wild animal—footprint— fingerprint—in every branch of study except crime. Are you with me? (yes) You study history—history is prophecy fulfilled. You’re studying physics—look for God’s fingerprints. Now when you make study a search for God, will God reward you? Don’t worry about the grade. Search for God. Any man who searches for God will be rewarded. God said if you seek for Me with all your heart you will find Me. And you'll find God with some good grades to reward you. If you just study for a grade it becomes burdensome.

 

21:25 I like to read science. I’m not a scientist but I like to read it. You know why? I’m looking for things in science I can use to apply in sermons. So it’s a joy for me to read whether it’s biology or history—I was telling a friend of mine I want to study the body. I need to know why God gave us two lungs and not one. There has to be a spiritual reason. Let me explain. The whole earth is full of His glory. The heavens declare the glory. Ellen White says every animal is a lesson book. Now, if every animal is a lesson book—of course, about God—and they were not made in God’s image—then what about us? The greatest expression of God’s image must be found in us! If God’s image can be found in the heavens and the earth and they were not made in His image as specifically as we are, then the clearest expression of God should be found in us. Why does the heart have four compartments? Why not one? There is a spiritual reason. What I'm saying to you when you open your chemistry book you pray and say Father, reveal Yourself. That’s how you study—you are looking for God. Now, when you’re looking for God in physics, chemistry, nursing, maritime management, music then your education becomes a spiritual activity. This is what Ellen White says about Daniel; beautiful expression. Mind, Character, and Personality, volume 1, p. 34.2 “As in the case of Daniel, in exact proportion as spiritual character is developed, the intellectual capabilities are increased.” (1MCP 4:34.2) That is almost a statistical statement. She says in exact proportion. What does she mean? As you grow this much spiritually your mind expands this much. In other words, it is impossible to grow spiritually and not grow intellectually. Now you combine the two, you make your intellectual pursuit a spiritual work. I’m looking for God as I study math. I’m looking for God as I study accounting. I am looking for God as I study algebra, art, graphic design—I am looking for God in everything, my young friends, if you make that your method of study and you do your best God will bless you. You will grow intellectually and spiritually because you are putting God first. Daniel 1:3—our subject: Educational Excellence.

 

25:13 Dan. 1:3 “And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;” Dan. 1:4 “children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Nebuchadnezzar wanted to teach these boys everything about Babylon using a Babylonian curriculum. They were faithful to God. We see that because they refused to eat what the King gave. It was unclean. By the way, the best the world has to offer is not good enough for the child of God. Are you with me? Who gave them the diet? the king—there’s none higher than the king on earth. They said no. The best the world has to offer is not good enough for the child of God because they glorified God. Daniel 1:17 the Bible says “As for these four children,”—they were young men—“God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Let’s read it again microscopically.

 

27:32 “As for these four children, God”—what did I tell you about making your education a pursuit of the knowledge of God? God gave them! No matter how bright you are there are some things you will never understand so God steps in and gives it to you. He explains to you what the secular genius will never understand. “God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” God rewarded these men intellectually for their spiritual integrity. You know what our problem is? We do not trust God’s way. We study physics just for a grade; and we learn nothing about God and God is dying to reveal Himself to us in physics, chemistry, math, history, biology, histology, microbiology—you name it—pathology, anatomy. God is brimming with eagerness—here I am; here I am in the skeletal structure; here I am in the muscular structure; here I am in the lymphatic system; here I am in the cardiovascular system; here are the marks of My presence in My creation; and God’s people miss them because we're pursuing a grade not a knowledge of God. A pursuit of the knowledge of God will bring the grade but getting a grade does not always bring a knowledge of God.

 

29:21 My brothers and sisters, education that God respects draws you to Him. You may graduate top of the class University of whatever and if you have not grown spiritually the world may clap, heaven does not. What will it profit a man if he gains all the secular degrees and loses his own soul? Your education must draw you to God and God will reward your pursuit of Him—through whatever subject you choose—by blessing you with good grades. We already know from this morning’s presentation: God requires excellence in everything we do. So I know you’ll work hard but your hard work will be a pursuit of God in every line of study and the results will be excellence recognized by heaven and earth.

 

30:38 Those boys were so good—remember they were slaves, they were captives; but God blessed them so much that Nebuchadnezzar placed them above Babylonians. This is a lesson for us. When you cooperate with God don't worry about the job market. Don’t choose a degree because there are more jobs available in that degree. You choose one God has led you to choose that through that degree you may serve Him. God will provide a position for you that no one else believes exists. A bad economy is not a problem for God. It's a problem for government; not God. A desert is not a problem for God. He’ll bring water from a rock. A desert is not a problem for God with respect to bread. He’ll send it from heaven. So your burden must not be well this is a bad economy so I need to study something—no! Leave that to God. You make sure I am in the path that God has chosen for me. It may be dentistry. It may be being a teacher, a literature evangelist, a medical missionary, whatever it is; your path draws you to God and you acquire a wider, broader, deeper knowledge of God because salvation is the result of the knowledge of God, a heart knowledge not just the head.

 

32:22 And so you’re in school and you’re studying. You must change your philosophy. Do not be afraid. Union with God will improve you in every area of your life. Let me say something that may be a little unkind but true: in this part of the world people worship education. They see it as a god that will take care of them. I was—many years ago—speaking at a camp meeting; an Asian camp meeting. I won’t identify the nation. A young man came to me and said I need to talk to you.  I said fine let’s talk. He came. He sat down and started to cry. I said why are you crying? He said when I take my Bible to study it my father has kicked the Bible out of my hand and told me pick up your physics’ book because the Bible will not get you into medical school. So I said is your father an Adventist? He said he’s an elder. The boy’s father literally kicked the Bible out of his hand and his reason was that Bible will not get you into medical school study physics, chemistry! Why? the father worshipped education.

 

34:04 Speaking to a young lady; she’s crying. Why are you crying?—my parents encourage me to study on Sabbath—are your parents Adventists?—yes!—why?—They think if I study hard I will score well on the MCAT in the United States the exam that will get you into medical school—in Malaysia I don’t know, the Malaysia Aptitude Test; so studied on Sabbath because her parents did not see education as a spiritual work.

 

34:40 Spoke to another young lady, crying again. These stories encourage me; they are young people who want to do what is right. They really are but they are intimidated by whomever. I said why are you crying? she said Pastor, I have one foot in the church one foot in the world. I said why? She said when I was in college, preparing for college I begged my parents I want to go to an Adventist school. Her parents said no! The quality of education in Adventist schools is too low. You need to go to a public school that is recognized like Harvard or Yale or Notre Dame or Stanford or something. She said so that’s where they sent me. When I got to that school every belief that I had was challenged, shaken. I was shaken. She said I have one foot in the church one in the world because of my experience at that secular school. Why did the parents insist? They had no confidence in the Biblical philosophy of education but they call themselves Adventists. I say again in some cultures education is worshipped. The Bible says thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

36:07 The purpose of education my dear brothers and sisters, is not to prepare you to get a job—that's not the first purpose. The first purpose is to get you ready to meet Christ when He comes. Now does Christ want you to work? Yes! The Bible says remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor. God can't command you to labor and then not give you work! As a matter of fact, God requires more work than He requires rest. So you serve a God who believes in work. He was the first man to work. Ellen White says work was given to develop character. So God will give you work. But we worry about the wrong things. We must pursue a knowledge of God in our education my young brothers and sisters. I don't know how many young people are in the church but have no connection to Christ—in the church but no connection to Christ. Too busy pursuing a degree to get connected to Christ; when the two should be the same. Many young people come to church on Sabbath to attend a service not to worship God. Those are two different things—many young— and old—come to church on Sabbath to attend a service not to worship God! You can change that. Educational excellence—that's God’s requirement but God’s method must be the one we follow. A knowledge of Him as the basis of education—regardless of the line of study you pursue Ellen White says when we go in search of truth regardless of the line of study our minds eventually come into contact with the mind of God. She said the effects of that on our mind are beyond calculation. When your mind touches the mind of God something happens to you. How can you bypass that opportunity to connect your mind to the mind of God?

 

38:29 I told you a lot this morning. I believe you're thinking of what you’ve heard. I'm not telling you to go and drop out of school. I’m not saying that. I am saying change your attitude. I’m not saying leave school and go to the mountains, grow vegetables and whatever. I’m not saying that. I am saying just change your view, your approach. Whatever you’re studying now, you’re searching for God as you study nursing. You're looking for God as you study commerce. You’re looking for God as you study sociology. You’re looking for God as you study whatever. Let your education be a pursuit of God; a search for God. There lies the basis for your excellence—you see when God is involved God takes over. We’ll talk about that this afternoon when we talk about business excellence. When God is involved He takes over and He runs the ship. When He's not involved you're in charge accidents will happen. Let me pause—ask me a question. We are recording so we don’t want to record silence however lovely it is. Ask me a question.

 

40:10 Don’t just smile like sunrise, ask me a question. Somebody just raise your hand. I’ll try my best with God’s leading to answer any questions based on what I’ve said. Well then, let me ask you this: what did I say that really stuck in your mind, perhaps opened your eyes, caused you to take a second look? Anything I said? I want to make sure you heard something other than my voice. Someone? Yes, Joseph. (There are people in some societies that worship education.) Absolutely! They see it as their savior. Someone else? Yes, Alex.

 

41:20 (Real education begins with the fear of God.) First step and also all through the process—God! Remove God and you may have information but you don’t have heavenly education. Someone else. Yes, Caleb.

 

41:48 (Search for God.) That’s the key to making education stress-free. Search for God. If someone told you there’s gold under this floor, would you start digging? (Yes!) Is digging hard work? (Yes!) But you would dig, why? There’s gold! You dig. Now here’s God buried in biology. You dig with this. You dig! Yes—this is no longer pursuing a grade this is pursuing a revelation that brings the grade. Yes, what’s your name? O, yes, Sharron.

 

42:37 (If you just focus on the subject and exclude God you have a limited knowledge. If you include God when you study you have a broader grasp that exceeds others.) Yes, always include God! Never include God in your sin. Include Him in everything else. Don’t pray before you lie, don’t do that or before you steal, don’t include God in your sin; include Him in your studies. Someone else, what comment do you want to make? Yes, my good brother, give me your name again. (Joseph.)

 

43:32 (Union with God will improve every area of your life.) Guaranteed! Union with the devil will destroy every area of your life. You choose. Someone else. What’s your name? (Iseema) Yes, professor, what’s your question?

 

44:07 (The best the world offers is not good enough for God’s people.) Because our standards are up here, the world’s are down here. Nebuchadnezzar said this is royal food! Daniel said I want royal food from above. You see, there’s a difference. There’s the King of the Universe. There’s the king of Babylon. The best the world has to offer is not good enough for God’s people. Believe that! Live by that! Whether by dress, diet, whatever. The best the world has for you is not good enough and never will be because the world doesn’t care about God. Someone else, say something. Yes my brother, your name is? (Clifford)

 

44:58 (True education is more than getting a job.) It prepares you—yes, for this world —but for the higher joy and wider service in the world —let me tell you something about the world to come. The world to come is a continuation of this one, without sin. God does not bring down a curtain that separates this life from that life. Ellen White says our first day in heaven is the same as our last day on earth. That's why when Jesus Christ comes He’s not coming to change character. He’s coming to change location. You go to heaven with the character He finds you with. So you just move smoothly from one place to the next. Not from one character to the next. There is no break between this life and the next. You just move into the other without sin. If you’re lazy in this life and you manage to be saved God will not give you big responsibilities in the life to come. You’ll be saved but He’ll give you a small thing. If you are hard working in this life, in the life to come God will reward you with big responsibilities; that's why every person is saved but every person gets a different reward. We don’t want to be saved for the reward we just want to do our best because that is what pleases God. Someone else then we close. (I have a question.) Yes, ask the question.

 

46:38 (What happens to doctors in the next life?) I can't give you specifics. All I can tell you my brother, are you a doctor? (no) Okay, the knowledge you are acquiring now as a doctor will somehow aide you as you learn things about the body that no doctor knows right now. The information in one cell has not yet been exhausted. There is information in one cell that has not yet been exhausted. Whatever you learn now you’ll add to it because we will learn and learn—life in heaven, on the new Earth is unending education. So whatever you study as a doctor keep it; nurse, historian, whatever, keep it. Somehow you will use it in the world to come but I don't have the specifics. Someone else? God bless you for listening so attentively I think. Yes, Alex.

 

47:44 (True education should cover the entire being: social, mental, physical, emotional, whatever.) The entire being is lifted up, drawn closer to Christ if that person follows true education. Anything else? All right. Whenever you lecture people or you talk don’t give them too much at once because people need to think of what they’ve heard. I’m sure you’re thinking and heard many strange things so I’m going to let you go. What’s the subject this afternoon? Excellence in business. Do not miss it, invite some friends to come and listen. God bless you. I really mean that from my heart, God bless you. Heads bowed. Eyes closed.

 

48:46 Our Father in Heaven, we thank you so much, dear God, for the simplicity of Your word. We thank you Lord, for the light in the pages of Ellen White’s writings. I thank you Father, for this high privilege you've given me to stand before these fine young people, to speak to them on Your behalf. Father in Heaven, I choose to believe that in every heart is a genuine desire to serve You but each one has challenges. Father in Heaven, let something I said in the first session and something in this session result in someone's life being changed. Bless them, bless their families, provide their needs, dear God, keep them close to Your bosom, let no power on earth drive them from You, dear God, but let them find their safety, their joy, their fulfillment in union with You. Bless all the other sessions, dear God. Bring us back this afternoon to learn as the Bible instructs us on business excellence. Bless us as we lunch together; help us to do that as Christians. Thanks again, Father, for the life You've given to me and the privilege of service. Bless the translation, dear God, save us when You come. In Jesus’ name I pray. Let God’s people say amen.

 

 

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