To make the message live as it is being presented is the constant problem of the Adventist evangelist. We need, as never before, effective aids in illustrating the message. Some have resorted to sensational devices, schemes, and ideas, thinking such would fasten the truth in the mind of the audience. All too many times the sad experience of loss of prestige, and actually the loss of spiritual power, has accompanied such an abuse of the art of illustration. But the right use of charts and devices is to be urged, as they are a power in enforcing truth.
I have always felt that the real key to a successful proclamation of our full message to the public lies in a clear presentation of the sanctuary and its services, as it is so closely related to the cardinal doctrines of the message. When we rightly present the sanctuary truths, we present a background to this message that is positively unanswerable by our sharpest critics. We have a most historic message. It is rooted in the very center of God's plan for saving men.
Thus, in proclaiming the sanctuary services, the 2300 days, etc., we actually present our strongest evidences of the deity of Christ, the fatherhood of God, the atonement, the second coming, the end of the world, the intercession of Christ, the judgment, the remnant movement, the commandments of God, and the Sabbath.
To illustrate these truths, and to meet the ever-growing challenge of futurism, is a real present-day problem. The idea of a future secret rapture is sweeping through the ranks of Christendom with startling rapidity. It projects all the mighty events into the future. We must meet this challenge. It must be turned back and decisively answered. It is a most insidious doctrine and one of Satan's best-laid schemes to lull the present generation to sleep.
The appalling tragedy of it all is that the basis of this perversion is attached to the prophecies of Daniel. The devil has succeeded to a large degree in leading the world astray on the Sabbath truth. Now, as one last desperate attempt to overthrow the remnant movement, he is confusing the truth of the second coming by an effort to divide this great event into what is called the secret rapture ...manifestation. Between these two events of this corrupted interpretation, followers of this false theory locate the antichrist, thus making him appear after the coming of Christ and our "gathering together unto I-Iim," in complete opposition to Christ's teaching. (2 Thess. 2:5-3.)
Construction of the Chart
In order to meet this challenge we have devised the accompanying chart, adapted from one used by the Ministerial Association.* At least four sermons are required to cover the events on this chart. It holds the people, develops a large interest, and creates lasting impressions.
The device measures 20'x4', mounted on twoand-one-half-foot standards. It is constructed of plywood and is put together by bolts and turn nuts so that it is easily taken apart. The accompanying picture presents the chart as it appears when fully developed after the fourth night.
As already described in the foregoing article, slots are cut in the plywood through which the signs, dates, etc., can be slipped. These are made of sign cloth, and the letters and figures are painted on sign cloth and held in place by a three-fourthinch hem at the top and bottom, into which a small quarter-inch dowel pin of the proper length is inserted. The cross is cut out of red cardboard and held on the chart by thumbtacks ; glass-headed thumbtacks are preferred.
The horizontal and vertical lines on the chart are produced by the use of ribbons. The horizontal lines are wound on large fishing reels which are fastened on the back of the chart. These ribbons are slipped through slots in the plywood, according to their desired positions. The wide line is made with a two-inch red ribbon. After the ribbons have been drawn into position they are held in place by glass-headed thumbtacks. The vertical lines hang down behind the board, and can simply be pulled through to their position.
By the use of this chart the whole message unfolds step by step. The audience is held in constant expectancy as to what will come out next, for all the ribbons, dates, and words are behind the board to begin with and are brought into position at the proper time. When all is finished, we have a most attractive chart, and the message is indelibly impressed.
Combined With Sanctuary Model
For the first night of the sanctuary series, I use a model sanctuary about fifteen feet long (not shown in the picture). With this in the foreground and the chart behind, a most effective result is obtained.
The second night I present the first part of Daniel 8 and 9, stopping at the beginning of the seventieth week. The chart is built up to that point. Then I draw the parallels from the model sanctuary up to that point.
The third night I speak on the seventieth week of Daniel 9. I plan for a consecration service that night, and an earnest appeal is made to the congregation. Again the parallel is drawn from the model sanctuary, and the seventieth week of the chart is developed.
The fourth night I speak on the judgment-hour message of Daniel 7 and Revelation 14. By this time our crowds have doubled and the interest is keen. Again I draw parallels from the sanctuary model, and by this time the 2300-day prophecy and fulfillment have been fully explained. This leads us to the last phase of this series, the second coming.
On the fifth night of this sanctuary series I endeavor to bring a strong message against the futuristic interpretations of the seventieth week and its perversions of the second coming. The tremendous possibilities of this approach and how it opens up the doctrine of the second coming will immediately be seen. The lower chart is used during this night, and the futuristic conception of the second coming is compared with the full arid beautiful message.
As I compare the two charts and appeal to the lessons of the model sanctuary the people are deeply moved. They have no doubt concerning the truth we hold dear and the fallacy of the Rome-inspired secret-rapture theory. The possibilities of this method are tremendous. Many prophecies and related subjects can be illustrated by the progressive chart, and in my experience the effect upon the people is most heartening.