Monday, May 7, 2012



Read John 1:37ff.
With the calling of John and Andrew and Simon, of Philip and Nathanael, began the foundation of the Christian church. John directed two of his disciples to Christ. Then one of these, Andrew, found his brother, and called him to the Saviour. Philip was then called, and he went in search of Nathanael. These examples should teach us the importance of personal effort, of making direct appeals to our kindred, friends, and neighbors. There are those who for a lifetime have professed to be acquainted with Christ, yet who have never made a personal effort to bring even one soul to the Saviour. They leave all the work for the minister. He may be well qualified for his calling, but he cannot do that which God has left for the members of the church. {DA 141.2}
“There are many who need the ministration of loving Christian hearts. Many have gone down to ruin who might have been saved if their neighbors, common men and women, had put forth personal effort for them. Many are waiting to be personally addressed. In the very family, the neighborhood, the town, where we live, there is work for us to do as missionaries for Christ. If we are Christians, this work will be our delight. No sooner is one converted than there is born within him a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus. The saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. {DA 141.3}
“All who are consecrated to God will be channels of light. God makes them His agents to communicate to others the riches of His grace.”

It’s among the more fantastic things that Jesus said about what it means to believe in Him. The statement was made under the heat of his passion just before His crucifixion, as if it were His farewell message to the people at a Feast of Tabernacles:
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37, 38).
The evidence that we truly believe in Him will be seen in the quality of the spiritual food, or refreshing “water of life,” that we share with others. We can’t help it—that “water” is continually flowing like an artesian well to refresh the people the Lord brings us in contact with. You and I don’t need to worry about it, or be anxiously concerned (well, we are of course concerned lest we may muddy the “waters” somehow), but we don’t make the water flow out from our hearts. That’s just the nature of the “water of life,” it flows up continually.
It’s what Paul said is “the truth of the gospel” (Gal. 2:5), which is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). New Covenant truth is explosive “gospel.” “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason the hope that is in you . . .” (1 Peter 3:15).
A prayer that is according to the will of God (1 John 5:14) and therefore sure to be answered in our behalf is a prayer for understanding of the pure truth of the New Covenant in contrast to the Old; the Old leans toward bondage (Gal. 4:24). For sure, that is not “water of life”! Only the New Covenant has life in it.

“The Third Angel’s Message in Verity” Wins Souls

“He who believes in Me,” said Jesus,
“... out of his heart will flow rivers
of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV)

You Want to See Success!
Ellen White sensed in the 1888 message something special that would convict honest-hearted people and make them “obedient to all the commandments of God.”
In other words, if we could learn to present justification by faith correctly, such people would begin to keep the Sabbath.
Shy, diffident, tongue-tied church members come “alive” when the 1888 Good News finds a home in their hearts. Somehow, sometime, somewhere, the agape message will “out.” The soul-winning “power” will not be in their personalities, but in the message itself. And you don’t need a doctoral degree to tell it!
Study One:
The Holy Spirit Wants to Give Success


1. What special task has He appointed us to do? Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:14-16.

Note: He has “commanded” that the Good News ideas in the message of Christ's righteousness “be given to the world” as “the third angel’s message in verity" (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 92; Review and Herald, April 1, 1890).

2. What makes this ministry a very happy one? Luke 4:17-19; Acts 8:26-37.

Note: “This Ethiopian represented a large class who need to be taught by such missionaries as Philip—men who hear the voice of God and go where He sends them. There are many who are reading the Scriptures who cannot understand their true import. All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 109).


1. Why has the Lord called Seventh-day Adventists into existence? Rev. 14:6.

2. What is the meaning of the term “everlasting gospel”? Acts 13:32, 33.

3. What is the only way people can be “won” to eternal life? Rom. 1:16, 17.

Note: There is a difference between “warning” people and “winning” them. Warnings of the nearness of the end and impending judgment are necessary as part of the message; but unless the heart is won by genuine Good News, convincing the mind of cold doctrines will be love’s labor lost. “The trouble with our work has been that we have been content to present a cold theory of the truth” (Review and Herald, May 28, 1889).

Our concern now is not merely to achieve baptismal statistics to enhance our Laodicean pride, but preparing people to endure unto the end, prepared to “stand in the day of God.”

4. How is a person “led to repentance”? Romans 2:4.

Note: As surely as God is good, He is leading every human being to repentance. But while many say “No!” to His leading, some are ready to respond. Now let us cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and pray that we won't get in His way as we tell people of that “goodness.”

5. What truth of the gospel brings conviction and leads to full consecration? John 12:32, 33; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18; 2:1, 2.

Note: “Christ crucified—talk it, pray it, sing it, and it will break and win hearts. ... Souls are thirsting for the water of life. Do not allow them to go from you empty. Reveal the love of Christ to them. Lead them to Jesus, and He will give them the bread of life and the water of salvation.

“The theme that attracts the sinner is Christ and him crucified. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus stands revealed to the world in unparalleled love. Present Him thus to the hungering multitudes, and the light of His love will win men (and women) from darkness to light, from transgression to obedience and true holiness. Beholding Jesus upon the cross of Calvary arouses conscience to the heinous character of sin as nothing else can do” (Review and Herald, Nov. 22, 1892).

6. This being so, in what practical, simple, even easy way, could one begin helping someone to understand the message?

Note: You might try a simple Bible reading rather than a contrived Bible study.

Begin with John 3:1-21, or Psalm 22, or wherever his/her interest is. Your “outline” is there in the Bible text, all prepared; you won’t even need any “notes.” Your “preparation” will be a prayerful reading of the text alone first, verse by verse. You can mark your own Bible for emphasis or with notes for comments. But you have nothing to fear. If you forget all your “notes” and “comments,” no big deal, what is important is letting the Bible speak. The Bible will “speak” as your voice conveys its import, for your voice will echo the voice of Christ if your own soul is “won” by the truth therein. "The shepherd of the sheep . . . calleth his own sheep by name, . . . and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:2-4).

7. How must the Bible be read in order to win hearts? Neh. 8:8; 1 Cor. 2:3, 4.

Note: “Let us put all the Christlike tenderness and love possible into the voice.”

“However great a man’s knowledge, it is of no avail unless he is to communicate it to others. Let the pathos of your voice, its deep feeling, make its impression on hearts.” “Govern your voice, put all the pathos and melody in it you can” (Evangelism, pp. 174, 175, 183).


1.   If the love of this truth is welcomed in your heart, nothing can stop it from flowing “out” in some way to others. Ponder the promise of Jesus in John 7:38.

Note: When “the message of Christ’s righteousness” is understood and believed, there will be no need to urge church members to work for others.
2. As you have time, please study these passages in your Bible, and consider what they say about how good the Good News is:

• Gal. 5:16-18 (what are “the things” you “cannot do”? Good or bad?)
• Rom. 3:20-28; 5:7-21 (the simplicity of justification by faith).
• Matt. 11:25-31 (is it hard to be saved?)
• Rom. 8:31-39 (if one believes this, can he worry?)
• Rom. 10:6-11; Heb. 2:9-18 (how near, or how far away, is Christ?)

Study Two:
Only If You’re Hungry,
Can You Feed Someone Else!


HOW to meet people with a happy approach and make friends.
HOW to find interested people willing to learn.
HOW to arouse an interest and cultivate it.
HOW to learn the art of asking the right questions.
HOW to present the love of God in a way that will motivate to a response.
HOW to encourage your friend to study on his own.
HOW to meet his practical spiritual needs.
HOW to handle objections, or difficult questions.
HOW to pray for souls effectively, and know our prayers are heard.
HOW not to get discouraged.
HOW to “grow” along with our students.
HOW to motivate, rather than manipulate, to decide for Christ and His truth.
HOW to present the testing truths, and when.
HOW to prepare the student for a meaningful baptism.
HOW to prepare him to face inconsistencies, weaknesses, lukewarmness in the church.
HOW to root him and ground him in the truth so he will never fall away.
HOW, in short, to "win people" who in turn become "soul winners.”


1.      Before you can effectively convey “the everlasting gospel” to someone else, you must first understand its “glad tidings.” Acts 13:32, 33.

“And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,  God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again” (Acts 13:32, 33).

Note: “God will give additional light, and old truths will be recovered, and replaced in the framework of truth; and wherever the laborers go, they will triumph. . . . Every ray of light received is to be communicated to others. One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,—CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Review and Herald Extra, Dec. 23, 1890).

2. For a beginning, identify the “glad tidings” in these passages:

(a)  Matthew 11:25-30; compare Acts 26:13, 14.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

“Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

Note: The common idea is that it is very difficult to be a genuine Christian; especially it seems Adventists think that way. They don’t realize how these statements of Jesus contradict their mind-set, which makes it difficult for them to win souls. He actually says it is “easy” to be saved and “hard” to be lost if we understand and believe the “glad tidings”!

(b) Romans 4:23 to 5:1-21; mark the two key thoughts—what genuine love accomplishes, and those “much more” grace abounding statements.

Note: The chapter division should begin with 4:23-25. For whose “offenses” did Jesus die? “All men”—see Isa. 53:6. Therefore, for whose “justification” was He raised? The same, for “all men.”
“God’s act of grace [at the cross] is out of all proportion to Adam’s wrongdoing. For if the wrongdoing of that one man brought death upon so many [that is, all], its effect is vastly exceeded by the grace of God and the gift that came to [the same] so many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.
“And again, the gift of God is not to be compared in its effect with that one man’s sin; for the judicial action, following on the one offence, resulted in a verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following on so many misdeeds, resulted in a [judicial] verdict of acquittal. . . .
“It follows then, that as the result of one misdeed was [judicial] condemnation for all people, so the result of one righteous act [the cross] is [judicial] acquittal and life for all” (Revised English Bible).

Chapter 5 makes it clear that His sacrifice has given “a verdict of acquittal” to “all men” (compare 1 Tim. 4:10; 2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 1:9; 1 John 2:2; John 1:29; 3:16-18). Christ restored the “whole race of men to favor with God” (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 343), and made it possible for “all” to enjoy life and eat their “daily food” (The Desire of Ages, p. 660). What transforms this justification into experiential justification by faith is the “love of God . . . shed abroad in our hearts” (how that “love” motivates will be the topic of Study Three). We welcome that love.

(b)  Romans 8:3, 4; 10:6-11; Hebrews 2:9-18.

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:3, 4).

“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [from above]:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:6-11).

“. . . that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9-18).

Note: You can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will find no story of a lost sheep that must seek his Shepherd. But there is a parable of a Good Shepherd seeking His lost sheep (Luke 15:1-10). Mark in your Bible the evidences of that seeking Savior, and those repeated statements of how close He has come to us. Note the contrast in the “afar off” “Christ” of the “Immaculate Conception” dogma and its related distortions (1 John 4:1-3). We can’t win souls by presenting a Savior who is “afar off.”

(c)  Galatians 5:5, 6, 16-18.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Note: Faith actually works. And grace is stronger than sin! We have often missed the “glad tidings” in this passage, understanding it backwards. The ten commandments become ten promises to the one who understands the gospel (Ellen G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1105). The truth of the two covenants is so encouraging that hearts begin to warm immediately on hearing it.

The true message of the Bible is “glad tidings” for all, including alcoholics, drug addicts, or whosoever will “come.” You want to communicate this “glad tidings” clearly. But first of all, believe it yourself!

3. Is salvation dependent on our holding on to God’s hand, or on our believing that He is holding onto our hand? Isa. 41:10, 13; Phil. 1:6.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Is. 41:10.
“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Is. 41:13.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

Note: Salvation does not depend on our initiating a “relationship” with Jesus, but on our believing and appreciating how He has initiated a relationship with us by becoming our Savior.

4. How can you see “glad tidings” on every page of the Bible? Luke 24:27; Gal. 3:8 (even Genesis is full of the gospel!); Rom. 10:15.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk. 24:27)

“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” (Gal. 3:8).

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rm. 10:15).


1. At any given moment, in any circumstance, there is “Good News” for you and for the person you seek to help. 2 Cor. 1:19, 20; Rom. 8:31, 32.

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Cor. 2:19, 20).

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31, 32).

Note: Even if one is on his death-bed, God has “glad tidings” for him if he can listen and believe, receiving the gift of repentance God gives. From where every human being stands, no matter how discouraging, you can tell him there is a path leading to heaven. But warn him that he “receive not the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1).

2.      As you have time this week, please read the following “agape” passages (the original word for love), and note what soul- winning power is in that word: 1 Cor. 13:1-8; Eph. 3:14-19; 1 John 4:8-18; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15.