Wordless Books and Witnessing Bracelets
(or Salvation Bracelets, or Gospel Bracelets)

Symbolism and meaning of colors varies throughout the world. For example, black is almost universally a color of death in the western world, while in far eastern cultures, such as China, white is the color of death. Regardless, making a visual tool to communicate the gospel using colors can be adapted anywhere with some imagination. Charles Spurgeon has been credited with making popular a "wordless book" that did this back in 1866. His only had three colors (black, red, white) but it quickly was expanded to four. By 1875, D.L. Moody and Spurgeon were both using a book which added gold (heaven). Credit is given to Child Evangelism Fellowship for adding green (growth) in 1939. Of course, more colors can be added to highlight additional aspects - the colors are merely tools to aid with memory and presentation. Any colors used should have direct correlation to a usage in Scriptures (i.e. white), or, in the absence of this, normal attribution within the culture being reached (i.e. black in the western world).1

The witnessing bracelet is a modern incarnation, and much more portable version, of the wordless book. An expanded, seven color3, version could be as follows:

Purple - Represents the glory of God our Creator. All that our Holy God created was to magnify His greatness and bring Him glory. When God created everything it was perfect and there was no death. We are to do everything to the glory of God.

Black2 - Represents death which came into the world by sin. Our sin separates us from the God of life, and even a single sin deserves physical and spiritual death - hell.

Red - Represents the blood of Christ. The sinless son of God, Jesus, took our sins upon him and suffered and died in our place. All who believe in Him have forgiveness of all their sins. God did this not because we deserved it, or could do anything to earn it, but solely as a free gift by His choice.


- Represents a new or clean heart. God has made us a new creation in Him.

Blue - Represents the Holy Spirit and baptism. God gives His Spirit to all who believe, guaranteeing that He will complete what He has begun. Water baptism is a Spirit led act of obedience showing others that you are a believer in Jesus Christ.

Green - Represents growing in Christ. We grow through learning more about God and what He wants for us by studying His word - the Bible.

Yellow (Gold or Clear) - Represents the new heavens and earth that God is making for all His followers. This amazing place has no more suffering, pain, or sin and even its streets are made of pure gold as clear as glass.

End Notes

1. Perhaps in China, brown could be used, instead of black, to represent the cross - a symbol of sin and death. It would still allow the same point to be communicated clearly without removing white from its point. White should remain as it directly invokes an image from Scriptures; "white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18). Its cultural tie to death can also be re-associated with Galatians 2:20, still in regards to becoming a new creation: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (NIV)

2. In the original wordless book, and in a number of witnessing bracelets, black is said to represent sin rather than death. Unfortunately this unintentionally carries a racial stereotype that "black is bad and white is good." Especially in the United States, where racial issues from the eras of slavery and segregation are still predominate, great care should be taken to use the universal western association of the color black with death.

3. I like the seven colors because of the symbolism of the number seven; completion or perfection. It can remind us that God ceased from his labor on the seventh day following creation and that we will enter into eternal rest following our earthly labors.

Article by Brent MacDonald, Lion Tracks Ministries (c) 2008