The Southern Africa Union Conference (SAU) hosted a Revival and Reformation rally in Johannesburg, South Africa. To a stadium of more than fifteen thousand people seated, Dr Letseli, SAU President, in his opening remarks said: “Revival cannot be manufactured but has to be received. We are to wait on the Lord and receive the gift of revival that the Lord wants to bless us with.”
Dr Ted Wilson, President of the world Church of Seventh-day Adventists, exclaimed that it was exciting to see such a diverse gathering of people united in Jesus Christ. He said that in Christ we are united regardless of our colour, age, language or cultural background. He also called upon the youth to merge their energy and focus on the wisdom of those older, to be a blessing to the world. “The devil wants to divide and conquer… therefore be united in Christ and to the Word. Draw close to Christ and come together. Press together, press together … don’t fight for individual rights but look to Christ and the centre and circumference of our faith.” Effort Bhebe from South Africa exclaimed that the emphasis of the President’s message was timely and relevant and was glad that he clearly outlined that unity is found only in Christ.
More than fifteen thousand people agreed with Ted Wilson as He openly proclaimed: “Christ is our righteousness and only hope as we rapidly come to the close of earth’s history. I believe that Jesus is coming soon!” They responded with load Amens and waving hands. He also urged: “We are coming to the close of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. I urge you to re-read the book, “The Great Controversy.” Seventh-day Adventist members around the world will distribute approximately 175 million copies of that book in various versions during 2012 and 2013.”
Speaking to the theme for the day he said: “Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart… Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits, and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this they must blend.” Quoting from the book “Steps to Christ,” and Selected Messages, which beautifully explains our justification and sanctification relationship to Christ and His righteousness. He said: “Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us.”
Speaking on perfection he also said: “we are not to think of ourselves as perfect except that we are perfect in Christ’s righteousness – what He does for us justifying us and what He does through us sanctifying us. Selected Messages, Book 1, page 259, tells us, “Christ is the centre to which all should be attracted; for the nearer, we approach the centre, the closer we shall come together … growing into the character and image of Jesus.”
We are not to have any thoughts that we are righteous in our own right. We are completely dependent on Christ for any changes in our lives as we submit to Him never boasting of being perfect or having attained perfection. We read in “True Revival,” page 62, “No one who claims holiness is really holy.
So how should we understand the plan of salvation in these last days of earth’s history just before Christ’s second coming? Cheap grace will not do it. It denies the power of the Holy Spirit to change the life day by day to become more and more like Christ. Legalism will not do it. It blocks the only way to salvation which is total dependence on Jesus Christ, our only way to salvation. An intellectual, higher critical approach will not do it. It destroys the very miracle of conversion and sanctification and strips God’s salvation of its power to change lives.
As the entire gathering rose to their feet joining Ted Wilson, to accept Christ and His righteousness to work in their lives, a peaceful calm filled the stadium attributed to the presence of the Spirit of God.
The Southern Africa Indian Ocean Division, together with the Southern Africa Union Conference agree and unites with Dr Ted Wilson that “the call for revival and reformation is not something produced by the General Conference but is the work of the Holy Spirit. This is not some legalistic initiative but is centred in Christ and Him alone.”
Dr Paul Charles
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