Christ-Centered Three-fold Message Preaching

Jesus Christ--the embodiment of all Christian truth.

Bible Lecturer, Loma Linda, California

All Adventists will agree upon the va­lidity of the following items: First, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of all es­sential religious truth. He is the center of all true doctrine. Second, the various doc­trines comprising the Adventist faith should be presented as radiating from Christ, as the spokes radiate from the hub of a wheel. Third, the everlasting gospel of the threefold message of Revelation 14: 6-14 binds all these truths into a harmoni­ous unit, as the rim binds the spokes into a unit for movement.

All this is accepted. But how much are we doing to follow this concept in the presentation of the truth in the sermons in the evangelistic campaign, in the Bible studies with the interested, and in the Bible correspondence courses for teaching the truth? Much more needs to be done in these matters along the line of this con­cept. Increased results will be attained. Certainly no one has used this concept to its full potential. Someone needs to pre­pare a new Bible correspondence course that will make a more effective use of this concept than the courses now in use.

There is no one fixed method for car­rying out this concept in the sermons of the evangelistic campaign. One man may do it one way with success. Another may do it in an entirely different way with equal or even greater success.

We offer these suggestions for a new ap­proach for unfolding the doctrines as cen­tralized and personalized in Christ the truth, and tied into the threefold message, to which we owe our existence as a sepa­rate people of destiny. These suggestions are as applicable and as practical for a series of Bible studies in the home as for sermons of a public evangelism campaign. They also fit the Bible-in-hand method or Gift Bible Evangelism.

The first subject is entitled "The Bridge to a Troubleless World." The basic idea is that Jesus Christ has made a bridge across the gulf of sin by His incarnation, sinless life, crucifixion, resurrection, ascen­sion, and second advent. By accepting Him we pass from death to life. His second ad­vent will prepare the way where we can live in a perfect world free from trouble, war, sickness, old age, and death.

The Wheel of Truth

Inside the Bible each one receives a card on which is printed the wheel of truth. On the hub is the emblem of the cross, with the words around it, "Christ the Truth." Then from the hub there radi­ate seventeen spokes. None of these are la­beled, because the plan is for each hearer to place the label on each spoke as the successive sermons are preached. The rim of the wheel is labeled, "The Everlasting Gospel for These Last Days, or The Three­fold Message of Revelation 14:6-14." At the close of the first sermon the people are asked to take the card and label spoke No. 1, "Christ the Only Saviour," then insert the card back in the Bible.

At the next meeting the people are handed the same Bible they used at the first meeting. The second subject is "Life Story Written Before Birth." This deals with the striking fulfillment of the Messi­anic prophecies of the Old Testament in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. At the close of the study they are asked to take the card with the wheel and label spoke No. 2, "Christ the True Messiah."

The third subject is "Was Christ Both God and Man?" In this study the pre-exist­ence of Christ as the eternal Son of God is shown from the Word, also that He is the Creator of this world, and other incontro­vertible evidences of His deity. The peo­ple are asked to label spoke No. 3, "The Deityship of Christ."

The other subjects follow on, dealing with the Second Advent, the signs of His appearing, the threefold message as God's present truth for our day (no attempt is made at this time to interpret or identify Babylon, the beast, et cetera. It is estab­lished that this is the closing message of the gospel and that the objective of these studies is to discover from the Bible the meaning of these terms), the home of the saved, justification, sanctification, the Ten Commandments as Christ's eternal stand­ard of righteousness (on this subject it is shown how the abolished laws mentioned in the New Testament are the ceremonial laws of Moses and certain of his civil stat­utes. The item of not being under law but under grace, is cleared up. Then no one needs to use this later on as an objection to get around the Sabbath), the Sabbath as the sign of Jesus Christ as God the Crea­tor and only Saviour, the sanctuary and the judgment, conditional immortality, Christian stewardship, Christian temper­ance, Christian standards, baptism, et cetera. In each case the hearers label the spokes in keeping with the successive un­folding of the truth.

This plan can be a real help to the pastor in his follow-up after the evangelist has gone. He can tell the people, "We will keep on studying the Bible together in keeping with this wheel of truth. Addi­tional truths will thus come from Christ the truth for our encouragement and help."

A Christ-centered Method

As the people fill in these spokes one by one as the studies or meetings proceed, the drawing power of Christ is experi­enced. He is the magnet of the universe When He is lifted up, He draws them to the foot of the cross in surrender. As the people see each truth centralized and per­sonalized in Christ, and all bound together in a harmonious unit in the full scope of the threefold message, they are drawn to accept each successive truth as it is un­folded. Then they gladly embrace the threefold message as the full-truth gospel message for this mighty closing hour.

They will see that Seventh-day Advent­ists are not a sect nor an ism—not some strange people with fanatical and extreme views. They will see that we are evangeli­cal, New Testament Christians. They will see that Adventists are not merely another denomination among some two hundred and fifty. They will see that they represent the divinely appointed prophetic move­ment of Revelation 14:6-14----God's rem­nant of Revelation 14:12 and 12:17. They will understand that they are not merely uniting with another church but are tak­ing hold of that which God has appointed for our day—the closing gospel message that is making ready a people for the Lord at His second advent.

God has given you the wheel of truth. Take it and go places in carrying God's truth everywhere.

Consider what great exploits Paul did under God with the wheel of truth for his day. We have all the truths Paul had, and in addition the special truths to meet the needs of this closing period. May we be like those described in Daniel 11:32: "The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." Let us go on­ward with the message that will bring the King from heaven to usher in the long­looked-for better day.

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Bible Lecturer, Loma Linda, California

February 1968

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