Our message has been grounded in sound Scriptural argument. From its earliest days it has been referred to as "the truth," and when this expression has been adopted into the vocabulary of a new believer, we feel that the message has taken proper root. We have amplified the term by applying "present" to "truth," so as to characterize its urgency.
The Bible worker is a teacher of present truth. The principles of righteousness by faith, as brought to light in the Reformation, are re-emphasized by us. Important truths were then restored during this period, but the reformatory work in doctrine was greatly arrested. These doctrines must now constitute the preparatory message for the second coming of Christ. Modern, erroneous teachings will be displayed in their true nature when present truth is properly presented.
A series of twenty-five studies is perhaps the maximum of truth-teaching by the Bible worker. While some readers will require more instruction, many will never be able to receive that much. Time is short and personal workers are few. With terse directness, our arguments must be skillfully presented. As these subjects are repeated with various readers, the Bible worker may soon trust to memory in following textual sequence and argument.
We are blessed today with many fine patterns of Bible readings. Frequently, a Bible worker will adopt the style that most appeals to her, one suggested by some evangelist's methods, whose logic and clarity of presentation have impressed her. But what appeals to one may not appeal to another, and on this point Bible workers of experience need caution. The forcefulness of the Bible worker's message lies in personal study and in unique presentation. Factual truths must be mastered, and presented with the conviction and charm of our own personalities. Stereotyped teaching will soon become dead teaching. The message must always be studied with new delight by the Bible teacher, and with new appeal to the reader. Then truth will grow in the life of the teacher, and spring up into eternal life in the heart of the reader.
The present hour brings to us a tremendous challenge. Seventh-day Adventists are no longer unique in Bible study. Other denominations have learned that sincere souls want to study the prophecies of the Word. They have learned that personal work in the home is the key to evangelism, and they have adopted the use of charts and other aids to help clarify facts. We may no longer rest smugly satisfied that on these points we are outstanding as a denomination. Today we need to become "giants" in teaching Scriptural truth and argument. The errors taught in connection with the return of Jesus are so finely spun that we need to be ready to meet them. Our whole background of knowledge on these great prophetic counter-interpretations demands more expansion than many Bible teachers have realized. Whole new systems of interpretation must be challenged, and not merely replied to. Our tools for teaching truth must be resharpened and repolished. Earth's climax hour is upon us. Calling men and women out of Babylon today requires that the Bible teacher be filled with the Spirit—become a veritable dynamo of truth. Bible teachers must be skillful discerners of human nature and able technicians of the human mind. These skills are not the product of worldly education, however; they emanate from the Source from which Daniel drew his wisdom.
Our concern must be to build up solidly and beautifully this important structure of truth. Laying a firm foundation for the elementary principles of doctrine, "let us go on unto perfecAion." No flimsy doctrinal workmanship will fortify the soul against the last great deception just ahead. The Sabbath must be preached more fully. Every Bible worker must be challenged into examining well both tools and methods. The time is here to don the whole armor of truth, to wield the Spirit's sword with a dexterity equal to the hour, and to expect a glorious triumph for the third angel's message. This is a wonderful hour for the personal Bible teacher. May God make us each sufficient for the task.
Teaching Present Truth
I. Truth Analyzed. COL 39, 40.
1. What is truth? Prov. 22 :21 ; John 17:17; I John 2 :4 ; Ps. 119:142, 151, 160. .
2. What is present truth? 2 Peter :12.
3. Present truth topics suggested by Ellen G. White:
a. Christ's second coming. AA 513.
b. Signs of times. AA 535, 536.
c. New earth. AA 601.
d. Sin—origin and results. AA 503.
e. Justification by faith. AA 373
f. Sanctuary truth. AA 228-230, 246.
g. Two laws—moral and ceremonial. AA 553.
h. Resurrection truth. AA 320.
i. Three angels' messages. EW 258.
j. Daniel and Revelation. AA ch. 57.
II. The Challenge of Truth.
1. Truth fits into progress. AA 282; Ps. 119 :96.
2. Truth must be obeyed. AA 285, 422, 423.
3. Truth will triumph. AA 593.
III. Worker's Confidence in Present Truth.
I. Attitude of messenger affects the message. AA 595.
2. Truth's power to awaken slumbering senses. AA 520, 555.
IV. Steps in Presenting Message.
1. Capturing attention, AA 459, (580).
2. Holding the interest. AA 555.
3. Clinching points of truth (reviewing). AA 259.
4. Gaining decision for acceptance.
V. Building on Truth's Foundation. AA 596, 597.
1. Line upon line; precept upon precept.
2. Logical sequence of texts.
3. Quantity of new truth—length of study.
4. Word builds character. AA 475, 530, 599.
L. C. K.