Brother Thomas discusses the meaning of these words in an article under “Our Heritage” and the further implications
of the principle are outlined in articles on tertiary and higher education by writers well placed to comment.
There is an urgent need in these times to cry out against a disturbing trend which places personal ambition and
worldly advantage above godliness. Such an attitude is sheer folly in the light of the fact that all we presently see
around us in the way of social structure, wealth, status, ambition is to plunge into the abyss in the presence of the
Lord and that only will remain which is truly written in heaven and whose ultimate end is to the glory of the Father.

Our title—“Comets in the Heavens”—is taken from the final paragraph of Brother Thomas’ words: “Now where are we to find such preachers and dividers of the word of truth? They are like comets in our heavens for multitude! Let the reader choose a clear dark night, and go forth and count them.” Perhaps the irony of this statement may have escaped you! When did you last look up into the night sky and see a comet—just one comet? Are there as many true teachers of the Word in our day as there are comets visible in the skies? Teachers and preachers are not born such: they are developed by the exercise of the mind in divine things: and since we all are commanded to be teachers and preachers of the Word it is required that all spend time and effort in Bible reading and Bible study. Bible study is not an “optional extra” for the more intelligent and studious or more advanced!

How much time does this leave for the pursuit of ambition and present worldly advantage?

Paul rebuked the Hebrew believers who had failed to make progress in the Truth but had remained as babes requiring milk for sustenance (Heb 5:12–14). How shall we walk in the light unless the light of the Word illuminates our path, enabling us to clearly discern between good and evil, right and wrong? Paul makes it quite plain that it is only those who, “by reason of use” (ie habitually) “have their senses exercised” in the Word who are equipped to make right choices (Heb 5:14). Neglect Bible study for a day, a week, or longer, and decisions are not so clear-cut: choices come in pale shades of grey rather than black and white.

We have an urgent and desperate need for competent Bible students, committed brethren and sisters whose ambitions revolve around the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth: brethren and sisters who have an established habit of daily Bible reading (they do the daily readings every day); daily Bible study (they have an ongoing Bible study program); and related reading every day (they read from the works of our pioneer brethren—“Elpis Israel”, “Eureka”, “Blood of Christ”, “Christendom Astray” and so on). A brother who had always professed a very orthodox approach to education greatly surprised his audience at a combined meeting some years ago when he said that he now firmly believed in the necessity of “higher education”. His definition was that, “Elpis Israel is our Secondary Education (whilst asserting that in Brother Thomas’ day it was only Primary!) and Eureka provides a Tertiary Education second to none”. The point was very well made.

We have everything we require at our fingertips and in abundance for the advancement of our faith and the development of an understanding and way of life that could turn the world upside down.

This issue of The Lampstand contains, as its Special Feature, a series of articles on Higher Education. Previous issues have dealt with Primary and Secondary Education matters and particularly the development of our own school at Heritage College. However, indications are that there is an urgent need to address the impact and effects of changing attitudes to Higher Education on our family and ecclesial life. We recommend that you first read the article by Brother Thomas, “Preach the Word”; next read all the Special Feature articles; then re-read Brother Thomas’ article. In order to give greater impact to the importance of this topic we have re-arranged the order of the articles so that Our Heritage and the Special Feature come first in this issue.

Are we wisely buying up our opportunities in spiritual matters so that we are equipped for the vocation to which we have been called? Many do not hesitate to make adequate preparation for a career to which they aspire, often undertaking gruelling study programs over a long period of time. We are deluded if we imagine that the greatest calling in the world—a career of service to the God of heaven—requires any less commitment and preparation or can be set aside to a secondary place in our priorities.

One brother wrote concerning problems of his day: “These are not new, but old perils intensified. They spring from one root—namely, Bible neglect. Lay your axe to that root and you bring down trunk and branches. Read the Scriptures daily—aloud, if possible. Take time to grasp the sense. Consult sound expositors, as Brother Thomas and Brother Roberts. Persevere thus and you will be safeguarded against the unbelief in Moses and the prophets rampant in the world and—shame to say—not altogether unknown among professed friends of the Truth. Rigorously exclude company and habits that ‘choke the Word and make it unfruitful’. Let neither cares nor pleasures crowd God’s truth and Word from your mind. Prayerfully persevere thus, and you will grow in Christ and be enabled to ‘keep unspotted from the world’, ‘be fruitful in every good work’, ‘to endure to the end’, and sweetly realise at last that ‘the Holy Scriptures have made you wise unto salvation’ (1 Cor 10:13; 2 Tim 2:13–17; Psalm 119:97, 130; Mark 4:19; James 1:27; 2 Tim 3:15–17).” Christadelphian Standards page 85.