In a stirring appeal that has sent waves throughout the Adventist world, Elder Ted N. C. Wilson, newly elected president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, spoke straightly during his keynote sermon address, Sabbath, July 3rd, 2010 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. This concluded the 10 day GC Session and was attended by nearly 70,000 Seventh-day Adventists gathered from around the world. For those who have not heard yet, the sermon can be viewed or read at the links listed below.
Heralded by many as a return to our fundamental roots as Seventh-day Adventists, others on the more liberal side have go so far as to label Elder Wilson’s appeal as “retrograde Adventism”. What was said that brought about such strong reactions on both sides?
Four notable themes brought forward were: 1) a call for revival and reformation; 2) a return to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy; 3) a call to go forward and proclaim the three angels messages more fully; and 4) making preparation for the latter rain.
We can strongly agree with Elder Wilson that these are some of the greatest needs facing the church today as it continues to compromise with the world on many fronts and stray away from its divinely appointed mission and teachings. What is truly ironic is that this appeal for revival and reformation is nothing new but has been active in the church ever since the Shepherd’s Rod message was introduced to the leading brethren in the church in 1930, exactly 80 years ago. Coincidently, it is also 120 years from the year 1890, exactly two years after which the Seventh-day Adventist church body had an opportunity to hear and accept the 1888 message of Christ’s righteousness brought by Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner to the church leaders at the infamous GC Session held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a result of the majority of the church body rejecting this most precious message that would have closed the gospel within a couple of years, the church entered into an antitypical 40 year wilderness wandering that was well acknowledged in Adventist periodicals of that era and brought to light most clearly by Taylor Bunch in a widely circulated tract entitled “Forty Years in the Wilderness“. The light that is bring the 144,000 living saints from the Seventh-day Adventist church and a Great Multitude from the world into the promised land returned in its full glory right on God’s appointed time table in 1930. Yet tragically, the leading brethren at that time rejected and treated this message with scorn and contempt and have gone to almost super-human efforts to keep it from falling upon the laity as the former rain leading to the latter rain until this very day.
We pray and hope that Elder Wilson’s appeal will be taken to heart this time and pursued to its logical end by all earnest Seventh-day Adventist brethren who are thirsting and hungering for righteousness and seeking for true revival and reformation. Perhaps unknown to most SDA’s is that the very divinely appointed message meant to bring this about has been knocking on the doors of the church for eighty (80) years in the writings of a meek and lowly Sabbath School teacher by the name of Victor T. Houteff whose initial appeal was entitled “The Shepherd’s Rod: The 144,000 of Revelation 7–A Call for Reformation“. Isn’t about time for all of us as sincere Seventh-day Adventists looking for our Lord’s soon appearing to earnestly investigate the claims of the The Rod for ourselves before we judge for or against? How much longer can time go on without a message coming straight from the heavenly portals to arouse us from our Laodicean slumber at this most critical hour?