Truth-Teaching Devices

Christ's Parables and Symbols—We should seek to follow more closely the example of Christ, the great Shepherd, as He worked with His little company of disciples, studying with them and with the people the Old Testament Scriptures. His active ministry consisted not merely in sermonizing but in educating the people. As He passed through villages, He came in personal contact with the people in their homes, teaching, and ministering to their necessities. As the crowds that followed Him increased, when He came to a favorable place, He would speak to them, simplifying His discourses by the use of parables and symbols.—Letter 192, 1906. Ev 203.1

Charts Should Be Used—You have given much study to the matter of how to make the truth interesting, and the charts you have made are in perfect accord with the work to be carried forward. These charts are object lessons to the people. You have put intensity of thought into the work of getting out these striking illustrations. And they have a marked effect as they are presented to the people in vindication of truth. The Lord uses them to impress minds. Instruction has been given me clearly and distinctly that charts should be used in the presentation of truth. And these illustrations should be made still more impressive by words showing the importance of obedience.—Letter 51, 1902. Ev 203.2

Prophecies Taught by Simple, Inexpensive Charts—The use of charts is most effective in explaining the prophecies relating to the past, the present, and the future. But we are to make our work as simple and inexpensive as possible. The truth is to be explained in simplicity. In no case are we to follow the example of outward display set by the world.—Manuscript 42, 1905. Ev 203.3

Effective Use of Appropriate Devices—Elder S is now making an effort in Oakland.... He has pitched his tent in a central location and has secured a good hearing, better than we had expected. Ev 204.1

Brother S is an intelligent evangelist. He speaks with the simplicity of a child. Never does he bring any slur into his discourses. He preaches directly from the Word, letting the Word speak to all classes. His strong arguments are the words of the Old and the New Testaments. He does not seek for words that would merely impress the people with his learning, but he endeavors to let the Word of God speak to them directly in clear, distinct utterance. If any refuse to accept the message, they must reject the Word. Ev 204.2

Brother S dwells especially upon the prophecies in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. He has large representations of the beasts spoken of in these books. These beasts are made of papier-mache, and by an ingenious invention, they may be brought at the proper time before the congregation. Thus he holds the attention of the people, while he preaches the truth to them. Through this effort hundreds will be led to a better understanding of the Bible than they ever had before, and we trust that there will be many conversions.—Letter 326, 1906. Ev 204.3

A Sound Pedagogical Principle—The labors of Elder S remind me of the labors put forth in 1842 to 1844. He uses the Bible, and the Bible alone, to prove the truth of his arguments. He presents a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Then if any oppose his words, he makes it plain that they must have their controversy not with him. Ev 204.4

He has large lifelike representations of the beasts and symbols in Daniel and the Revelation, and these are brought forward at the proper time to illustrate his remarks. Not one careless or unnecessary word escapes his lips. He speaks forcibly and solemnly. Many of his hearers have never before heard discourses of so solemn a nature. They manifest no spirit of levity, but a solemn awe seems to rest upon them.—Letter 350, 1906. Ev 205.1

Catholics Attracted by Symbols—Elder S is arousing a good interest by his meetings. People of all classes come out to hear, and to see the life-size images that he has of the beasts of Revelation. A great many Catholics come to hear him.—Letter 352, 1906. Ev 205.2

Methods to Be Used in Closing Work—I am pleased with the manner in which our brother [Elder S] has used his ingenuity and tact in providing suitable illustrations for the subjects presented—representations that have a convincing power. Such methods will be used more and more in this closing work.—Manuscript 105, 1906. Ev 205.3

Young Men Study How to Present Symbolic Truth—The Lord has been working with Elder S, teaching him how to give to the people this last warning message. His method of making the words of the Bible prove the truth for this time, and his use of the symbols presented in Revelation and Daniel, are effective. Let the young men learn as for their lives what is truth and how it should be presented. We are living in the last days of the great conflict; the truth alone will hold us securely in this time of trouble. The way should be prepared for Elder S to give the message, and our young men should attend his evening meetings.—Letter 349, 1906. Ev 205.4

Workers to Originate Devices—Let the workers for God manifest tact and talent, and originate devices by which to communicate light to those who are near and to those who are afar off.... Time has been lost, golden opportunities have been unimproved, because men have lacked clear, spiritual eyesight, and have not been wise to plan and devise means and ways whereby they might preoccupy the field before the enemy had taken possession.—The Review and Herald, March 24, 1896. Ev 206.1

Devices to Teach, Not Entertain—By the use of charts, symbols, and representations of various kinds, the minister can make the truth stand out clearly and distinctly. This is a help, and in harmony with the Word of God. But when the worker makes his labors so expensive that others are unable to secure from the treasury sufficient means to support them in the field, he is not working in harmony with God's plan. Ev 206.2

The work in the large cities is to be done after Christ's order, not after the order of a theatrical performance. It is not a theatrical performance that glorifies God, but the presentation of the truth in the love of Christ.—Testimonies For The Church 9:142 (1909). Ev 206.3