“And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.” I Samuel 17:40
We are in the middle of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. At a critical time in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist church, we find this important statement from the pen of inspiration:
“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.” Christian Educator, August 1, 1897.
What is involved in the true science of education?
“In the highest sense the work of education and the work of redemption are one, for in education, as in redemption, ‘other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ ‘It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fullness dwell’ (I Corinthians 3:11; Colossians 1:19, R.V.)” Education, 30.
My parents and grandparents were all well educated people. They emphasized the importance of education in our lives. After I was converted to Christianity at 24 years of age, I became interested in the science of all sciences.
“The science of redemption is the science of all sciences—the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Saviour; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite—‘kept in silence through times eternal’ (Romans 16:25, R.V.); the science that will be the study of God’s redeemed throughout endless ages. This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage. As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul.” Ibid., 126.
The Lord has been leading me in the study of this science now for over forty years. I am totally convinced of the truthfulness of this statement. “Five Smooth Stones” represents some of the significant findings in this science of all sciences. This article is an overview of the basic lesson books of this science.
Webster’s definition of science is “from scientia, from scio, to know. In a general sense, knowledge, or certain knowledge; the comprehension or understanding of truth or facts by the mind.”
“ ‘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? Christ must be everything to us. ‘Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6).” Christian Educator, August 1, 1897.
In John 15:1 we find one of the most beautiful illustrations of the Christian life. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” In verse 5, we are brought into the picture. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” In other words, we can say that Jesus is the main stem.
“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Revelation 22:4), the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme—man’s uplifting—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (I Corinthians 15:57).” Education, 125.
This truth is at the center of the great controversy. It is found in the meaning of the name “Jesus”. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isaiah 43:3. “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Exodus 20:2. “He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” Psalms 89:26.
“The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary. I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption, the Son of God uplifted on the cross. This is to be the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers.” Gospel Workers, 315.
I have worked for many years in various aspects of the construction industry. The blueprint, or plan, is the center of attention. As builders, our part is to study the plan and, to the best of our ability, fulfill the requirements. If we succeed, we are rewarded. If we fail, we are punished in one way or another. The plan is simply the means by which the workers can know what is expected of them. The basic plan, or will of God, His thought expressed, is the plan of redemption. The sanctuary was one of the tools that God used to communicate this plan.
“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary:” Psalms 77:13.
In the camp of Israel, there was an exact order to follow. There were three tribes on each of the four sides, and one in the middle. One tribe on each side was chosen to bear an insignia, or banner, on which a creature was displayed. (See the illustration to right.) These same creatures were shown to Ezekiel in vision. “I saw visions of God.” Ezekiel 1:1.
“As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” Ezekiel 1:10.
Since Jesus moved into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844, we have been given even greater insight into the visions of God. One of the most significant is found in the book, Education.
“Christ came to demonstrate the value of the divine principles by revealing their power for the regeneration of humanity. He came to teach how these principles are to be developed and applied.
“With the people of that age the value of all things was determined by outward show. As religion had declined in power, it had increased in pomp. The educators of the time sought to command respect by display and ostentation. To all this the life of Jesus presented a marked contrast. His life demonstrated the worthlessness of those things that men regarded as life’s great essentials. Born amidst surroundings the rudest, sharing a peasant’s home, a peasant’s fare, a craftsman’s occupation, living a life of obscurity, identifying Himself with the world’s unknown toilers—amidst these conditions and surroundings—Jesus followed the divine plan of education. The schools of His time, with their magnifying of things small and their belittling of things great, He did not seek. His education was gained directly from the Heaven-appointed sources; from useful work, from the study of the Scriptures and of nature, and from the experiences of life—God’s lesson books, full of instruction to all who bring to them the willing hand [physical], the seeing eye [mental], and the understanding heart [spiritual].” [Emphasis added.] Education, 77.
“It [true education] is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.” Ibid., 13.
These lesson books are illustrated by the four creatures on the banners of the tribes and the creatures in Ezekiel 1.
In the New Testament, these books also relate to the four gospels.
Each of these lesson books is full of instruction for every one of God’s children. There are five main lessons that we need to learn from these four books. That is what I refer to as the “Five Smooth Stones.”
In a following article will be an overview of these five lessons. I would like to encourage all to study the book, Education, carefully and prayerfully. It is a rich resource on this important topic.
May the Lord bless each of us as we seek to know the One who is “altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16).
Lynn Alan Humes became a Christian in 1974 at 24 yrs of age, and a Seventh-day Adventist two years later. Since then he has worked in many parts of the United States, doing canvassing, restaurant work, teaching, preaching, writing, building, agriculture, and whatever needs to be done. He and his wife, Lorraine (Butler) Humes, care for her father, Dr. Maurice Butler, and are involved with many aspects of Gospel Medical Missionary work, building and agriculture in rural Tennessee. He may be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.