Special Feature

2011 Annual Council Worship Sermon

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pastor Ted Wilson


Series Code: SF

Program Code: SF000025

02:26 Yes, Jesus is coming again!
02:30 Amen!
02:32 That was a thrilling experience to see Pastor Conda's testimony.
02:38 What a privilege it is to be part of the Advent movement.
02:43 I want to acknowledge the presence of our past
02:51 General Conference president, Elder Paulsen.
02:55 We had him say a few words last night.
02:59 Thank you, Elder Paulsen, for being with us.
03:01 It's a wonderful privilege to be a family in God's presence.
03:07 And that marvelous quartet song, and that marvelous quartet,
03:12 I call them the singing secretaries,
03:15 all division secretaries, singing in those beautiful
03:19 languages.
03:21 And as they were singing, I saw faces light up because you
03:24 recognized the message.
03:27 What a privilege it is to be part of a movement
03:32 that is looking forward to Jesus' soon coming.
03:37 Amen.
03:38 Jesus was being honored on His triumphal entry to the city.
03:43 He and the large crowd of people were outside that ancient
03:48 capital of Israel.
03:50 And as they came to the crest of the hill overlooking the city,
03:55 Jesus stopped.
03:56 There was Jerusalem in all it's glory reflecting the declining
04:04 sun of the evening.
04:06 The pure white marble of the temple walls, the gold capped
04:10 pillars created a dazzling sight.
04:13 As Jesus looked down on the city, Luke 19:41, 42 record His
04:21 reaction and response.
04:43 Jesus wept for the cities.
04:47 He wept for the people of the cities.
04:51 He knew what was to happen in a matter of days.
04:55 He knew the rejection of His mission and the terrible results
04:59 that would ensue.
05:00 He didn't become angry or resentful; he wept.
05:04 He wept for the people of the city.
05:09 He wept with unutterable sadness because of the lack of
05:14 responsiveness to His love.
05:16 He wept for what was to become of them because of their
05:21 rejection of Him as the Messiah and the truth of His word.
05:28 How many of us are weeping with Jesus today?
05:33 Weeping for the cities and the people of this world?
05:37 How many of us are looking upon the cities of this world,
05:41 the globe, with unutterable love as Jesus did?
05:47 If ever there was a time to weep with Jesus for the cities,
05:52 the suburbs, and the people of this world, it is now.
05:56 For centuries most societies had been agrarian, or rural.
06:02 Most people lived in the countryside,
06:04 and sought a livelihood from the soil.
06:07 As of about three years ago there are now more people
06:12 living in the cities than in the rural areas of the world.
06:16 One estimate indicates that by the year 2050 approximately
06:23 seventy percent of the world's population will live
06:27 in the world's large cities.
06:31 A projected ten billion people living in the cities.
06:36 Are you weeping for the cities yet?
06:38 What are you willing to do for the people of the cities?
06:44 This burden was heavy on the heart of Christ.
06:48 It's a heavy burden on my heart.
06:52 I want to lay it on your heart today.
06:57 Matthew 9:35-38, as Ella read it today, records Christ's ministry
07:04 for the cities and the villages.
07:42 My fellow leaders of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist
07:47 Church, God is calling us to go into the cities of the world
07:53 where the laborers are few and the harvest is plenteous.
07:57 God is calling us to have compassion on the multitudes;
08:01 people for whom He wept, died, rose, and intercedes in the
08:09 Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary for them
08:12 at this very moment;
08:13 people for whom He is earnestly looking forward to in returning
08:19 to take them to heaven.
08:21 Are you willing to weep and work for the people of the large
08:27 cities of this world?
08:29 He calls for us to proclaim His love, His righteousness,
08:33 His Three Angels' Messages, His warning to a dying world,
08:37 and the powerful announcement of, yes, His soon Second Coming.
08:42 He's waiting for us to take up the role as the uniquely called
08:48 people of God, His remnant church, fulfilling the
08:51 characteristics of Revelation 12:17,
08:55 those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony
08:58 of Jesus Christ.
09:00 For over a hundred years He, God, has been asking His people
09:06 to work the cities according to His methods.
09:10 The Spirit of Prophecy is replete with instruction about
09:15 the work to be done for the cities of the world.
09:19 It is a sustainable, careful, and comprehensive work,
09:25 a work that unites every aspect of church work in its approach
09:31 to reaching the multitudes of the large cities,
09:34 and will receive God's blessing when done according to His will
09:42 with a humble heart.
09:43 101 years ago, in 1910, God spoke through Ellen White to
09:51 reinvigorate the work in the cities, and speaks to us today
09:55 in the book, Medical Ministry, page 304.
09:59 If you haven't picked up that book lately,
10:01 I invite you to do so.
10:02 It's one of my favorite Spirit of Prophecy books.
10:05 There is, and I quote,
10:11 If it was true 101 years ago, I'll tell you,
10:15 it is truer today.
10:17 When the cities, well...
10:58 This is God's message for us today in response to revival
11:04 and reformation.
11:05 We are to be reconverted and to focus on the important issues
11:10 that God has for His remnant church to address.
11:14 We are to become completely engaged in our overall
11:19 quinquennial theme and mission to tell the world.
11:25 We're to be prepared personally, and corporately,
11:28 by the Holy Spirit in our devotion and humble submission
11:33 to the will of God.
11:34 The world around us, as I think is very evident, is crumbling
11:40 and disintegrating: politically, economically, socially,
11:45 ecumenically, and in the natural world.
11:49 I believe Jesus truly is coming again.
11:55 Let's not get caught up in the Devil's trap questioning
11:58 the fact that Christ's coming is soon and thereby participate
12:03 in the age-old complaint recorded by Peter in
12:08 II Peter 3:3-9.
12:10 What is soon?
12:12 Let's not get caught up in that.
12:54 The fact is that Jesus is coming soon.
12:58 He Himself said three times in Revelation 22, the last chapter
13:05 of our precious Holy Word.
13:11 Martin Luther, the great reformer of the Protestant
13:15 Reformation, proclaimed profound thoughts that are found
13:18 in The Great Controversy, page 303.
13:31 We are living at the end of time.
13:34 The signs around us are ominous, and God is calling each of us
13:39 to be revived and reformed through His Spirit,
13:42 so we can increase our work in the cities
13:45 according to His plan.
13:48 When that is done we are promised that we will see
13:53 a mighty movement such as we have not yet witnessed.
13:58 Let's pray that the Latter Rain will fall in abundance
14:04 as we carry out the work for the cities.
14:07 God's people are to accomplish this great task through revival,
14:13 reformation, and a quiet submission to the word of God,
14:19 and counsel from the Spirit of Prophecy,
14:23 intense prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit,
14:26 and a willingness to obey God's commands.
14:31 Now let's move forward in using Christ's method,
14:36 as indicated in the book, Ministry of Healing, page 143,
14:41 a familiar passage to all of you.
15:01 Let's follow Jesus in our personal spiritual growth,
15:06 and in all that we do for Him.
15:09 Revival and reformation is so important, and is why everything
15:15 we do this quinquennium is dependent upon it
15:19 until the Lord returns.
15:22 It is the foundation of our activity.
15:25 We need the Lord's power, not our own.
15:36 The Holy Spirit's power is vital, absolutely vital
15:41 for direct outreach to the most challenging bastions
15:45 of the Devil's power: the cities.
15:48 The result of personal and corporate revival
15:52 and reformation through the power of the Holy Spirit
15:56 is outreach and evangelism.
16:00 Recently I read a proposed article by someone who was
16:04 grateful for the call of revival and reformation,
16:08 but this person wondered about outreach.
16:12 Apparently we had not successfully communicated
16:16 that evangelism was part of the title of revival and
16:20 reformation document that we voted last year at the Annual
16:25 Council of 2010.
16:27 Revival and reformation has effected everything we are doing
16:32 including our overall evangelistic theme of
16:36 "Tell the World", also The Great Controversy project.
16:40 The projects and work of our various dynamic departments,
16:44 our administrative activities, and our institutional
16:48 activities.
16:49 There should be no doubt that as a product of revival
16:54 and reformation we are calling for the greatest evangelistic
16:59 explosion and outreach for the urban and suburban areas
17:04 and centers of the world: comprehensive urban evangelism
17:09 mission to the cities.
17:12 In addition to reaching rural areas, which we're quite good at
17:17 through God's power, much valiant work has also been done
17:21 to reach the cities with the Three Angels' Messages.
17:24 We've focused on hope for the big cities, on the 1040 window
17:30 and more.
17:31 The dedicated regional conferences in the
17:35 North American Division, their presidents', conference staffs,
17:39 evangelists, pastors, and members have made unusual
17:44 efforts to reach the urban centers in their territories,
17:48 and God has blessed.
17:50 Seventh-day Adventist Church entities around the world
17:54 have given attention to the challenges of the large cities.
17:58 However, the work in the cities is not easy,
18:04 and many times we have given uneven, sporadic, inconsistent
18:10 attention to the enormous task entrusted to our church
18:14 to work the cities as God would have them worked.
18:18 That's why, as we approach Christ's soon coming,
18:22 we are to follow God's leading in launching an all-out
18:27 evangelistic approach on the large urban and suburban centers
18:32 of the world with every type of outreach possible,
18:36 as outlined in the Holy Word and the Spirit of Prophecy.
18:40 This is a comprehensive call for mission to the cities.
18:46 The Spirit of Prophecy, God's practical counsel for His
18:51 remnant church, indicates a wide variety of outreach
18:55 activities under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
18:58 These approaches and programs will involve the use of centers
19:03 of influence, local churches, church members, teams of young
19:08 people involved in a variety of outreach initiatives,
19:12 literature evangelism, small group outreach,
19:15 medical missionary work, health lectures,
19:18 door-to-door missionary work, community services, and
19:22 social work that follow Christ's methods,
19:25 cooperating with Adventist Community Services and ADRA,
19:29 integrated media evangelism, counseling centers,
19:34 reading rooms, Adventist Book Centers,
19:36 Bible studies by members, young people, and Bible Workers,
19:40 child evangelism, personal evangelism and witnessing,
19:44 public evangelism, and many more methods yet to be initiated
19:49 by the Holy Spirit.
19:50 We need pastors and lay people working together,
19:54 pastors and health professionals to work together,
19:57 as indicated in the Spirit of Prophecy
20:00 in a blended ministry.
20:02 We need denominational organizations, and supporting
20:06 ministries working together in soul winning for the great
20:10 cities of this world.
20:12 We need thousands of church members distributing Christian
20:16 literature like The Great Controversy,
20:19 and the project to distribute that marvelous book to neighbors
20:23 and friends during 2012 and 2013 that will alert millions
20:29 of people to the times in which we live.
20:32 It is the book Ellen White indicated she wished circulated
20:38 more than any other book she had written.
20:41 It appears at this point, brothers and sisters,
20:44 that over 150 million copies of the classic abridged revised,
20:53 or children's versions, will be distributed worldwide.
20:57 And we praise the Lord for that.
20:59 Amen!
21:00 All of us are to be reading The Great Controversy this year
21:04 in anticipation of sharing it next year.
21:07 Nancy and I are reading it and are thrilled.
21:11 I read from it this morning.
21:14 We need everyone dedicated to a comprehensive, sustained
21:19 evangelistic outreach that will replicate the urban evangelistic
21:24 work being done in the city of San Francisco in the latter part
21:29 of the 19th Century, and the early part of the 20th Century,
21:33 which Ellen White called, interestingly,
21:36 a beehive of activity.
21:39 In the Review and Herald of July 5, 1906 she wrote:
23:09 We need a strategic plan, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
23:15 for every city, in every country, in every division
23:21 around the world that will produce this beehive.
23:25 The General Conference has organized a Comprehensive Urban
23:29 Evangelism Committee with dedicated leaders who are
23:33 helping to make the committee come alive.
23:37 Now tomorrow, during the Annual Council proceedings
23:40 in the council of evangelism and witness, which will continue
23:45 from last night, and wasn't last night thrilling?
23:47 to hear those young people, to hear our church leaders,
23:52 sharing with us what God has been doing.
23:55 But tomorrow you will hear much more about the beginning plans
23:59 of mission to the cities.
24:02 Everyone can contribute to the development of this work
24:07 in progress: the plans for mission to the cities,
24:12 our departments, our institutions.
24:15 We are calling for everyone to participate, young and old,
24:20 those who live in the cities, those who live in rural areas,
24:24 pastors and church members, church organizations,
24:28 and church institutions.
24:29 Every member involved in every possible way for a comprehensive
24:36 urban evangelistic approach mission to the cities.
24:41 By God's grace, we need to revive, as our strategic
24:46 planning vice president Mike Ryan likes to say,
24:49 a culture of involvement.
24:52 Let's dedicate our lives, our energies, our talents,
24:58 our resources, and our time to finishing God's work through His
25:04 power so we can go home.
25:06 Christian Service, page 83 indicates:
25:37 I want us to pray for a true knowledge of that work,
25:43 and ask for the guidance in initiating the greatest approach
25:49 to reaching the cities of the world with the
25:51 Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14.
25:53 Our mission to the cities must be based on Biblical principles
25:58 and Spirit of Prophecy counsel.
26:01 This approach includes the profound and heavenly inspired
26:06 plan outlined by Ellen White, which shows an in-out approach
26:14 to the cities.
26:15 Let me explain.
26:17 Inside the city centers we are to have centers of influence
26:21 which can include churches, health clinics and centers,
26:25 reading rooms, vegetarian restaurants, community centers,
26:29 etcetera.
26:30 Outside of the cities we are to have, what Ellen White terms
26:33 outpost centers which include training centers,
26:37 for evangelistic workers, lifestyle health centers,
26:41 and places for urban evangelistic workers to live,
26:46 or at least to visit, to be refreshed in a country setting
26:50 close to God's second book of nature.
26:53 Amen!
26:55 Are we willing to take the determined steps to put into
26:59 practice God's plans for the urban centers of the world
27:03 so that a mighty movement will result,
27:06 or will we turn and run like Jonah?
27:13 Do you sometimes feel like that hesitant prophet who found
27:19 himself in the belly of the whale after resisting God's call
27:24 to preach to that city?
27:27 Now this was a real story, a real Jonah, a real fish,
27:33 and a real appeal by God to go to Nineveh.
27:37 Don't discount this story and others in the Bible as just
27:43 symbolic or allegorical.
27:45 The miracles of the Bible are true
27:49 and demonstrate God's authority.
27:52 Believe in the authenticity of the word of God,
27:55 and the Spirit of Prophecy.
27:58 God's word speaks clearly to us and shows He is in control,
28:04 and that we are to follow His instructions and live life
28:08 to the fullest.
28:10 Let us participate in Revived by the Word,
28:13 as outlined last night.
28:16 Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, page 113,
28:20 indicates the following:
28:42 God's Word is foundational for all that we accept, believe,
28:48 and stand for as truth, and for revival and reformation.
28:53 Unfortunately, Jonah didn't fully accept God's word
28:58 because of fear.
29:00 However, he quickly learned to cry to the Lord out of the belly
29:07 of Seoul as recorded in Jonah 2:2,
29:11 and God heard his voice.
29:13 God will do the same for us when we cry to Him for help
29:20 with mission to the cities; our mission to the Nineveh's
29:25 of our day.
29:27 We, along with Jonah can say, as recorded in Jonah 2:6,7:
29:49 Brothers and Sisters, when we get afraid, when we get hesitant
29:53 about our mission to the cities, let us remember the Lord
30:01 and plead with Him in prayer to open the way before us.
30:04 God will point us in the direction of the urban centers
30:09 of the world as He did when Jonah 2:10 records that...
30:24 The Lord then charged Jonah the second time to go to
30:27 the city and proclaim the message of salvation
30:31 indicated in Jonah 3:2, 3.
30:47 The results of Jonah's preaching, blessed by the
30:51 Holy Spirit, were extensive and heart changing.
30:56 The city repented!
30:59 Of course, the preacher Jonah still had not learned his lesson
31:04 of compassion for the people of the city,
31:07 and felt hurt that God did not destroy the city
31:11 as He had predicted.
31:12 Jonah even became despondent over a plant that withered
31:18 and died; showing more pity on the plant than the people
31:23 of the city.
31:25 I want to challenge us today.
31:27 Where is our pity? on the city or on ourselves?
31:34 God spoke directly to Jonah, and speaks to us today
31:39 in Jonah 4:11.
31:40 And it tells us:
31:53 Today God is calling the Seventh-day Adventist Church
31:56 to bring spiritual discernment to the millions of people
32:01 in the cities of the world as represented by that
32:04 great city Nineveh.
32:05 Now what message and understanding of scripture
32:10 will we bring to the cities of the world?
32:13 What power will drive mission to the cities?
32:17 The power is not in human beings, in committees,
32:21 in policies, in presidents, in officers, or departments.
32:26 The power of truth presented is in the word of God,
32:33 in the Spirit of Prophecy, in earnest prayer,
32:37 and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
32:39 Amen!
32:41 The truth presented to the cities will portray Christ
32:45 and His eternal, saving love in the plan of salvation.
32:49 It will show that an all knowing God, the Father, God the Son,
32:53 and God the Holy Spirit, have existed from eternity
32:58 and into all eternity.
33:00 It will lift up Christ's righteousness,
33:02 His Three Angel's Messages of Revelation 14,
33:06 and His soon Second Coming.
33:07 It will point people to the true worship of God
33:10 and the keeping of His Commandments,
33:12 including the precious fourth Commandment,
33:15 as an eternal sign of loyalty: the seventh-day Sabbath,
33:20 the capstone of His creative power on this earth
33:23 in six literal days.
33:25 Recently the small sixty member, rural Andrews North Carolina
33:32 Seventh-day Adventist Church decided to organize a Sabbath
33:36 celebration; sixty members!
33:39 They invited community people and Seventh-day Adventists.
33:42 About 1,400 people showed up, including some community guests.
33:50 The sacred and rest of the Sabbath is vitally important
33:55 to the people of the cities.
33:58 Our advent message will point to the mortality of our lives,
34:02 and warn people about mystical beliefs and spiritualism.
34:06 It will bring new life through an emphasis on healthful
34:09 principles and health reform.
34:11 It will share the magnificent sanctuary message
34:14 pointing to the Lamb of Calvary, and our High Priest
34:18 who is interceding for us during this Investigative Judgment
34:23 in the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary.
34:26 It will portray the unique calling of the Seventh-day
34:30 Adventist Church as God's humble, remnant people,
34:34 who proclaim with love a prophetic warning message
34:39 as we unselfishly serve others.
34:42 It will shield us from ecumenism
34:45 and give us the power to proclaim the distinctive,
34:48 historicist, prophetic messages of Daniel and Revelation.
34:53 Our Biblical message to the cities will unite us as a
34:57 worldwide people and guard us from isolating ourselves from
35:03 society and from each other.
35:05 Our message to the cities of the world is that another city
35:10 is coming; the New Jerusalem, a city of safety, hope,
35:15 and refuge with God as it's center.
35:18 The real answer to all the woes, and afflictions,
35:23 and difficulties of today's earthly cities is the soon
35:28 Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
35:30 Amen!
35:31 God is calling us to work the cities without delay.
35:34 Now I'm going to try something for a few minutes,
35:37 and I hope you will bear with me.
35:39 I want you to look at direct counsel from the Spirit of
35:43 Prophecy on this great cry for comprehensive urban evangelism
35:48 and the use of medical missionary work in our approach
35:52 to the cities.
35:53 Follow along with me.
35:54 From Evangelism, page 25:
39:15 I just want to pause and tell you that next Annual Council
39:19 we will be focusing heavily on what is medical missionary work,
39:23 and how can every member be involved?
39:26 Another quotation:
39:47 Don't get confused.
39:50 We're not talking about fanatical activity and behavior.
39:54 We're talking about God given instruction to show people
39:58 around the world that we are His Creation,
40:02 that we believe in the physical, mental, social, and spiritual
40:06 composite as human beings.
40:23 Now as we unfold and develop plans together for working
40:28 the cities through the Holy Spirit's leading, keep in mind
40:32 that there are many cities that Ellen White talked about,
40:37 but there is one in particular with symbolic importance.
40:44 I don't mean to show any disrespect to any city
40:48 around the world, but Ellen White singled out one city:
40:52 New York City.
40:54 It represents the world since it has so many nationalities
40:58 and languages.
41:00 It is like a mini United Nations.
41:04 It is a great center of finance, banking, trade, art,
41:07 transportation, fashion, advertising, and media.
41:10 Evangelism, page 384 tells us:
41:35 I want to tell you that much work has been done in New York,
41:40 but we have yet to see that city become a symbol of the work
41:47 the Lord desires to see done in the world.
41:50 When I was a college student, I appealed to several
41:53 conferences to sponsor me to the seminary,
41:56 including the Greater New York Conference.
41:59 My father told me if I really wanted a challenge I should go
42:05 to Greater New York.
42:06 By God's grace it worked out, and it changed my life forever.
42:12 I had the wonderful and challenging opportunity
42:16 to pastor and to serve in evangelism in the metropolitan
42:22 New York area for about seven years.
42:24 A few months ago I visited in California
42:29 with Elder Lloyd Riley, now about 95 years old,
42:35 who was the conference president who called me into that work
42:40 in the Greater New York Conference.
42:41 He and his wife were a strong encouragement to me and my work,
42:46 and in that challenging city of New York.
42:49 Thank God for our retirees and our pioneers.
42:54 Now some people love New York, and others hate it.
43:01 Graffiti that I saw in New York captures the challenge of
43:05 living and working in the large cities of the world.
43:09 It said, "Concrete Jungle; a hard life".
43:15 There are many good and bad things about New York
43:18 like any big city.
43:20 But the people are there; people who need Christ, and the hope
43:26 of this Advent message.
43:27 Since that time I have always had a strong burden
43:32 for the cities, and for New York City in particular.
43:36 Selected Messages, or Selected Passages I should say,
43:41 from Evangelism, page 385-389 indicate:
44:57 Now today I want every administrator here
45:04 and around the world to feel a heavy burden for the cities.
45:10 God will bless our evangelism, and our plans for the cities,
45:16 as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead in those plans,
45:19 and follow Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy counsel.
45:24 It is the reason for revival and reformation,
45:31 for intense prayer, for humility before the Lord.
45:37 Let us never ignore God's pleading with us about the work
45:41 for the cities.
45:43 According to the biography of Ellen White by her grandson,
45:47 Arthur White.
45:48 Some of us were privileged to know Arthur White.
45:52 As recorded in Volume 6 of that series, Ellen White placed the
45:56 burden of New York and the cities before church leaders on
45:59 June 11, 1909.
46:02 It was just after a General Conference Session.
46:05 She earnestly appealed for unprecedented activity to
46:09 evangelize the cities.
46:10 Later she wrote, (and this is interesting),
46:13 I hope it's not applicable to us.
46:22 Now in September 1909, Testimonies for the Church,
46:26 Vol. 9 contained a section entitled, The Work In the
46:30 Cities. And we're going to be reading that next week
46:33 in Annual Council.
46:34 It'll take us about thirty minutes to read it.
46:36 She said, Behold the cities and their need of the gospel.
46:40 Ellen White's strong burden would not go away.
46:45 She sent messages to Elder A. G. Daniels, the General Conference
46:50 president, asking for more action.
46:53 The General Conference allocated some funds to city evangelism,
46:57 and to New York City.
46:59 However, Elder Daniels wrote about the difficulty getting
47:04 qualified workers for the cities, and didn't engage in
47:08 the work with a full focus.
47:10 Ellen White was frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm
47:15 and indicated that something had to be done.
47:19 She complained that the leaders were not caring for the unworked
47:23 cities as they should be.
47:24 Shortly after laying some modest plans for the cities,
47:29 Elder Daniels was in California and went to Elmshaven,
47:34 Ellen White's home, to report to her about a reasonable effort
47:38 for the cities that would encourage her.
47:42 However, she refused to see him.
47:46 The messenger of the Lord refused to see the president
47:51 of the General Conference, sending word to him that when
47:56 the president of the General Conference was ready to carry
47:59 out the work that needed to be done,
48:01 then she would talk to him.
48:03 Ha, ha, ha!
48:05 Amen!
48:06 Elder Daniels realized the church had not measured up
48:09 to what God wanted to see done in the cities.
48:11 He then wrote a humble and contrite letter to Ellen White.
48:15 He finally received a message back from her indicating that,
48:21 quoting:
48:30 Amen!
48:31 Ha, ha, ha.
48:33 The message Ellen White had given on June 15, 1910 declared,
48:37 (here it is, and this is tough stuff.)
48:45 Obviously, God had charged that message.
48:54 One of our wonderful pioneer leaders.
49:19 All of you are placed in a certain position,
49:23 whether you are elected or not.
49:26 Are you fulfilling that charge?
49:30 Continuing to quote:
49:51 Are you aroused today?
49:53 Am I understanding?
50:01 Elder Daniels thought he was doing something for the work
50:04 in the cities, but it was not what God wanted.
50:07 He was shaken with those messages from the Lord.
50:11 The General Conference finally established a special committee
50:16 of 17 people to work on plans for the cities.
50:21 They released Elder Daniels for one year from his normal
50:27 responsibilities as General Conference president,
50:31 so that as General Conference president, he would give
50:35 leadership for the cities.
50:37 He went to New York City for evangelism,
50:42 and finally fulfilled what God had intended for him to do
50:46 in evangelistic work for the cities,
50:49 and it helped to launch a new day in Seventh-day Adventist
50:55 city evangelism.
50:56 Now standing here today as president
51:03 of the General Conference, I do not want to be accused
51:10 by the Lord of dishonoring Him by ignoring the cities.
51:14 Amen!
51:16 I humble myself before Him and ask that I might be completely
51:22 converted to God's plans for the people of the cities.
51:26 Today, along with me, I want you to share that great burden
51:35 of Jesus for the people of the cities.
51:39 I've had in my office ever since I worked in New York City,
51:44 the powerful picture of Christ of the City.
51:49 Now it's a little bit distant, and the glare of the lights
51:53 might not be helpful for you to see it, but that picture on the
51:58 highest easel, it's an old picture now, that picture has
52:02 hung in my offices in Abyssal, Silver Spring, Moscow,
52:07 Hagerstown, in Silver Spring again,
52:09 and now in my current office.
52:12 I also have the same picture, a smaller one down here,
52:15 facing me every day as I sit at my home desk.
52:22 Let our hearts cry out to God on behalf of the millions
52:28 in the cities of the world, in your division, in your union,
52:32 in your conference, in your mission, or in your field.
52:36 Our plan is before the end of Annual Council that we will
52:41 try to provide you with one of these pictures so that you may
52:45 see the great needs of the cities.
52:49 As leaders, never ignore our great task, using every means
52:57 possible for our mission to the cities.
53:00 Tomorrow morning during the Council on Evangelism
53:04 and Witness, we will present the unprecedented mission
53:08 to the cities.
53:09 Of course, our church has been doing a lot of good things,
53:13 and is currently doing many good things in the cities
53:17 of the world.
53:18 But in the year 2013 we will launch a very specific
53:25 comprehensive, sustained evangelistic approach
53:30 for the world beginning in New York City.
53:33 We are calling for the leading of the Holy Spirit
53:37 for a comprehensive approach that will continue
53:40 until Jesus comes.
53:42 Amen!
53:44 Not a hit and run approach to evangelism,
53:46 but a long-term, sustained, Spirit-filled approach.
53:51 We want to start with New York City since Ellen White indicated
53:57 that it should be a symbol as to how the rest of the world
54:00 should be worked.
54:02 Since large cities are made up of many smaller communities
54:06 and neighborhoods, as you well know, we expect to have
54:09 approximately 150 to 200 evangelistic meetings
54:15 in the metropolitan New York area from June 7-29, 2013.
54:22 Many preparatory outreach activities by church members
54:27 will take place in a comprehensive manner that will
54:30 lead up to June 2013 evangelistic meetings.
54:35 Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters,
54:37 we are not talking about just public evangelism,
54:40 we are talking about a comprehensive, sustained program
54:44 that will continue and culminate many times
54:48 in public evangelism.
54:49 We're working closely with the North American Division,
54:53 with the Atlantic Union, with the Columbia Union,
54:56 the Greater New York Conference, the North Eastern Conference,
54:59 the New Jersey Conference, and the Alleghany East Conference,
55:02 in the detailed planning for the evangelistic meetings
55:06 in New York.
55:08 At this point in time I want to invite presidents'
55:16 and their spouses, if they are here, of those four conferences
55:20 in New York to come and join me right now.
55:22 I want us to pray for those conference presidents' and for
55:30 the two union presidents': Pastor and Mrs. Earl Knight,
55:35 of the Greater New York Conference,
55:37 Pastor and Mrs. Trevor Baker of the North Eastern Conference,
55:41 Pastor and Mrs. Hosea Cortez of the New Jersey Conference,
55:45 Pastor & Mrs. Charles Cheatam of the Allegheny East Conference,
55:49 Pastor and Mrs. Don King of the Atlantic Union.
55:53 And unfortunately, Pastor and Mrs. Dave Wigley aren't with us
55:57 from the Columbia Union today, but we will be praying for them.
56:02 I'm going to ask Pastor and Mrs. Dan Jackson, Elder Jackson
56:08 if you would pray for these leaders, and their territories
56:13 in the task ahead for New York City.
56:16 These brothers and sisters, these leaders represent you
56:22 and your cities in the cities and territories of the world.
56:27 After we have that precious prayer, I'm going to appeal
56:33 to you as leaders, and those that represent the great
56:39 territories of the world.
56:41 Elder Jackson, if you would pray for these precious leaders,
56:47 and I'm going to ask you to just remain after this prayer so that
56:52 during the appeal you will be here on the platform
56:55 as representatives of all this group who represent the cities
57:01 of the world.
57:03 I'd like you to also remember in prayer a special request
57:09 for a special friend of many of us, Elder Phillip Follett,
57:16 who was a general vice president of the General Conference,
57:20 and also a president of the Atlantic Union.
57:23 And at this very moment he is in a
57:27 very serious health condition.
57:30 And I would ask for a prayer for Elder Follett as well.
57:35 Please bow your heads as Elder Jackson prays.
57:48 Heavenly Father, You who does not change with shifting shadows
57:55 but who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
58:01 We come to honor You first of all today because You are the
58:08 King of Kings, the One who loves us with an everlasting love,
58:14 the One who came in the person of Jesus to say that You
58:21 so loved the world that You would give Your own Son so that
58:27 whoever might believe in You would have eternal life.
58:33 And Heavenly Father, there are millions and millions of people
58:38 in our world today who do not believe, who do not understand.
58:45 And You have called each of us in this room, as we represent
58:51 17 million people around the world who have been called
58:57 and who have accepted Your invitation.
59:00 And You have challenged us, You have laid a mantle of
59:06 discipleship upon us asking that we would be Your servants
59:12 to penetrate into every corner of our world.
59:17 We point out especially today the city of New York.
59:24 Yes, Lord!
59:25 The multitudes in that city who are as sheep without a shepherd,
59:33 Yes, Lord.
59:35 who do not know spiritually their right hand
59:38 from their left.
59:39 Right!
59:40 We know that in that city there are many other evangelistic
59:47 campaigns going on that are sponsored by the evil one.
59:52 Yes.
59:54 We come to You today and we appeal for the power,
01:00:03 the presence, the authority of Your Holy Spirit.
01:00:09 Yes, Lord.
01:00:10 We call upon You to anoint the leadership that impacts
01:00:17 that great city.
01:00:19 Yes.
01:00:20 We pray for each of the conferences,
01:00:24 we pray for the two unions, we pray for each of these
01:00:30 leaders and their responsibilities.
01:00:32 Amen.
01:00:34 I praise You because I know that each of these men and their
01:00:38 wives are committed to You.
01:00:40 Yes, Lord.
01:00:41 They have dedicated their lives to service.
01:00:43 And now we ask that You would continue to uphold, and bless,
01:00:50 and energize them.
01:00:51 Yes, Lord.
01:00:53 As we work together at the General Conference,
01:00:55 the North American Division, with the unions,
01:00:59 the conferences, the local congregations, and the members
01:01:03 who reside in New York City...
01:01:06 Yes.
01:01:07 ...we ask that You would create a path that is so plain,
01:01:11 and so clear that we will follow You as the sunflower turns
01:01:18 to the sun.
01:01:19 Yes, Lord.
01:01:20 And Heavenly Father, we recognize that there is no human
01:01:23 being, there is no plan, or process, or policy, or mandate
01:01:29 that can supplement for our own revival, our own connection
01:01:34 with You.
01:01:36 Yes.
01:01:37 So we pray, Heavenly Father, that You would first ensure
01:01:39 that our lives are right with You,
01:01:41 Yes, Lord.
01:01:43 and then You would flow Your Spirit in a mighty way
01:01:46 into that city.
01:01:47 Yes, Lord.
01:01:49 And Heavenly Father, we do pray for the leadership around
01:01:52 the world, and for every city in our world.
01:01:54 Yes, Lord.
01:01:56 For what is true in New York is also true in San Paulo,
01:02:00 and in Kigali, in many cities around the world.
01:02:06 Amen.
01:02:07 And we just pray that Your Spirit will continue to flow
01:02:10 and bless in places like Sidney, and Toronto,
01:02:14 Yes.
01:02:15 and other places.
01:02:16 And Heavenly Father, we just turn to You because in our own
01:02:20 human limitation we do not know what to do with this vast enemy
01:02:26 that has come against us.
01:02:27 Yes.
01:02:29 But our eyes are upon You.
01:02:30 Yes, Lord.
01:02:32 And now Heavenly Father, we think of one who has stood
01:02:35 tall for You through many years.
01:02:37 Yes.
01:02:39 We think of the gentle presence, the gentle guidance,
01:02:43 and the leadership of Elder Phil Follett.
01:02:45 Yes.
01:02:47 Right now he is on a bed wrestling for his own life.
01:02:50 Yes, Lord.
01:02:52 What we pray more than anything is that Your Spirit will rest
01:02:56 with him, that that same Spirit will be felt as one who stands
01:03:01 beside to give the very assurance of heaven.
01:03:05 Yes.
01:03:06 That he will understand that You love him.
01:03:08 Yes.
01:03:09 Be with him Lord.
01:03:11 Be with his family.
01:03:12 Yes.
01:03:14 Be with those who love and cherish him.
01:03:15 Yes.
01:03:17 And Heavenly Father, our world president today has counseled
01:03:21 us, has challenged us.
01:03:23 We pray that You will bless him, and that You will
01:03:26 bless these plans...
01:03:27 Please.
01:03:29 ...for comprehensive urban evangelism...
01:03:31 Please.
01:03:33 ...throughout our world.
01:03:34 Please.
01:03:36 We leave ourselves in Your care today, thanking You that You
01:03:37 have invited us to crawl right up into the palm of Your hand.
01:03:42 Yes, Lord.
01:03:43 And You've told us that when we do that,
01:03:45 no one can take us out.
01:03:46 Yes, Lord.
01:03:48 We thank You for these things.
01:03:49 We praise and honor Your name.
01:03:51 In Jesus' precious name, Amen.
01:03:54 Amen!
01:04:01 Let us pledge ourselves to pray for these leaders,
01:04:07 for their pastors, for their church workers,
01:04:11 and for their church members.
01:04:12 By God's grace I pledge myself and Nancy to hold one of those
01:04:21 200 evangelistic meetings in New York City in June 2013.
01:04:26 Amen.
01:04:27 We've worked with the 13 division presidents to send
01:04:30 expert evangelists from their divisions,
01:04:33 people who know the languages of New York.
01:04:36 You want to know something interesting?
01:04:37 You'll see it in a document tomorrow.
01:04:39 800 languages are spoken in New York City.
01:04:42 We've worked with those 13 division presidents to send
01:04:46 evangelists from their divisions to New York City to hold
01:04:49 evangelistic meetings with us in 2013.
01:04:52 Many of my fellow General Conference officers
01:04:55 and colleagues will be holding some of those
01:04:57 evangelistic meetings.
01:04:59 Many from the Atlantic and Columbia Unions, including local
01:05:02 pastors in the New York area, will be actively involved,
01:05:07 and undoubtedly many lay people are going to be holding
01:05:11 evangelistic meetings.
01:05:12 Pastor Mark Finley will lead an evangelistic field
01:05:16 School of Evangelism during those meetings for all of us.
01:05:20 By God's grace there will be a marvelous harvest of souls
01:05:25 in metropolitan New York, and a continued,
01:05:29 sustained evangelistic work in the New York area.
01:05:34 This is only the beginning.
01:05:38 Evangelists from the various divisions, who will have been
01:05:41 with us in New York, will return to their home divisions to hold
01:05:45 evangelistic series and field schools of evangelism,
01:05:50 for union and conference workers in a division designated
01:05:54 selected major city in that division.
01:05:57 Unions, after that, will then select the city to hold a major
01:06:02 evangelistic series and field school.
01:06:04 Then every conference or local field will select and hold
01:06:08 an evangelistic series and field school in a major city.
01:06:13 Our humble goal, by God's grace, will be to reach approximately
01:06:19 650 major cities of the world before the next
01:06:24 General Conference Session in 2015, all based upon the power
01:06:30 of the Holy Spirit through revival and reformation.
01:06:34 Amen.
01:06:35 The 777 prayer initiative should focus our attention
01:06:39 on the incredible mission to the cities.
01:06:43 Please pray like never before for God's work, and the great
01:06:50 mission to the cities of the world.
01:06:53 We are powerless except as we rely on our chief urban
01:07:00 evangelist, who as He looked over Jerusalem wept.
01:07:07 How many of you, as God's leaders in this wonderful
01:07:14 Advent movement assembled at this 2011 Annual Council
01:07:20 are willing to accept the challenge of a sustained
01:07:25 comprehensive urban evangelistic outreach mission to the cities?
01:07:32 Prayerfully decide in your mind as you listen to the appeal
01:07:39 of the people of the cities as Karla Bucklew will share
01:07:46 with us this special song entitled Lonely Voices.
01:08:07 Lonely voices crying in the cities,
01:08:19 Lonely voices sounding like a child,
01:08:30 Lonely voices come from busy people,
01:08:40 too disturbed to stop a little while.
01:08:51 Lonely voices fill my dreams,
01:09:03 Lonely voices haunt my memory.


Revised 2014-12-17