The Bible says, “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”1 This was good news because Jesus had come to “preach the gospel to the poor... to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”2

His great offer of restoration was especially important because of the urgency of the time. In just a few short years, Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed by the Roman general, Titus; and the Jewish people would be broken up and scattered. Their opportunity was almost over. Israel's clock was winding down, and she was failing her divine commission. It was at this last minute that Christ came to intervene. “He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race, all would be lost.”3 It was judgment-hour for the Jews.

When Jesus preached that the time was fulfilled, He was announcing the close of Daniel's seventy-week probation for that chosen people. When Jesus preached, repent ye, the kingdom of God is at hand, He was echoing the startling cry of John the Baptist: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire...” John was warning that Jesus—whose fan was in His hand—would thoroughly “purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; [and that He would] burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”4

While making His triumphal entrances into Jerusalem that last week of His life, Christ made it clear that He was fulfilling these very words. Judgment had come to the Jews. Their probation was at an end. Those who were spreading their coats and palm branches before Him were the stones that He was raising up to be children unto Abraham.5 By cursing the fruitless fig tree, He showed He was indeed laying the ax to the root of the tree.6

The protocol's Ministerial Element is the one that reaches out to the public with the gospel message. It requires that the message “sound forth in earnest words of warning... We must persuade men everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come.”7 “Let those who present the truth enter into no controversy. They are to preach the gospel with such faith and earnestness that an interest will be awakened. By the words they speak, the prayers they offer, the influence they exert, they are to sow seeds that will bear fruit to the glory of God. There is to be no wavering. The trumpet is to give a certain sound. The attention of the people is to be called to the third angel's message. Let not God's servants act like men walking in their sleep, but men preparing for the coming of Christ.”8

“Most startling messages will be borne by men of God's appointment, messages of a character to warn the people, to arouse them. And while some will be provoked by the warning, and led to resist the light and evidence, we are to see from this that we are giving the testing message for this time... We must also have, in our cities, consecrated evangelists through whom a message is to be borne so decidedly as to startle the hearers.”9

The Ministerial Element approaches the work of evangelism frugally, focused on two essentials: Christ and His Revelation. “There must be no time uselessly employed in the work. We must not miss the mark. Time is too short for us to undertake to reveal all that might be opened up to view. Eternity will be required that we may know all the length and breadth, the height and depth, of the Scriptures... To the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, were revealed the things that God desired him to give to the people. Study these revelations. Here are themes worthy of our contemplation, large and comprehensive lessons, which all the angelic hosts are now seeking to communicate. Behold the life and character of Christ, and study His mediatorial work. Here are infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy. Here are the depths and heights, lengths and breadths, for our consideration. Numberless pens have been employed in presenting to the world the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ; yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new, according to the mind and spirit of the human agent.”10

1Mark 1:14-15. 2Luke 4:18-19. 3Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 92. 4Matthew 3:2,7-12. 5See Luke 19-28-44. 6See Mark 11:12-14; 20-26. 7White, Evangelism, p. 217. 8Ibid p. 119. 9Ibid p. 168. 10White, Evangelism, p. 120.