Thursday, 30th December 2010
People from across Australia and overseas met together to sing praises to God in heaven. All voices united with enthusiasm and joy as we felt another conference had come.
At 7:30pm, Br. Ben Thiel shared the word of God for opening of conference —the meeting was entitled, ‘Almost Eleven’. The speaker began by pointing to the Conference Program which had a front cover printed almost wholly black and said, “people have asked me why we have a program that is so dark. I answer them by asking, do you expect it to be bright in this hour of the world’s history?” The theme of the whole conference was fitly named, ‘The Eleventh Hour.’
Ben briefly took us through the great prophecy of 1260 years pointing to the wounding of the papal power and heralding that the end was at hand. He emphasised that we are not living near the opening of the 11th hour, but in actual fact are living in the 11th hour. We know not where in this hour we are. We must live in this world with the power of the world to
come. It is essential now more than ever, that we have Christ living in each one of us.
Bro. Ben appealed to each one of us how essential it is that we now look at the precious doctrines and foundation that have formed the basis of the remnant church. It is vital that we realise what a solid foundation is there.
8:40pm – Presentation of newly elected officers
Brother Joe was called to announce the new officers elected in the new three-year term (see list of new officers at the end of this report). Brother Joe asked all to pray for these brethren by a show of hands.
Friday, 31st December 2010
Br. Geoff McCutcheon led out in morning worship with the topic, ‘Avoiding Miscalculations’. He showed how various Biblical characters made great mistakes as a result of miscalculations and their perceptions, and showed how we today are in danger of the same.
Br. Matthias Thiel took a relevant study recounting the history of the Adventist people as they looked forward with sweet hope to Christ’s second coming and yet were bitterly disappointed as they realized Jesus didn’t return at the time they expected Him.
The speaker showed how the faith of these souls was directed— at the most critical time in their disappointment—to the ministry of Christ in heaven by looking at the pattern of things in the heavens. When we are confronted today with doubts as to the Sanctuary doctrine as revealed to Adventists and Reformers—where do we stand today? Do we stand faithful in what has been revealed to us as a connected and harmonious truth or are we swayed by these arguments?
Bro. Mathias then focused on what led the pioneers of the Adventist movement to the conclusion of the date 1844 and to await Christ’s return to this earth. Although the event understood to have happened in 1844 was mistaken, they soon realised that it was pointing to Christ’s continuing ministry in behalf of man in the heavenly sanctuary. Then, Christ was there to perform the work of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.
This statement was read, “The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God's hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people.” Great Controversy, p. 423.1
At 11:00am Bro. Paul gave a powerful message of the atonement Christ accomplished at the cross. He commenced with the key text from Revelation 3:5, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
A lady whom Bro. Paul is studying with asked him, ‘If Christians are saved by grace, why are then Christians judged?’ Paul proceeded to ask the key questions of his study, ‘Will Christians be judged? And if so why are they judged? And who is the Judge?’
The message was appreciated by all who heard it as it clearly pointed to the great atonement of Jesus for us. Bro. Paul also spoke of how we all may safely and confidently rest our souls in the fact that God has accepted us in Jesus Christ. All those who accept Jesus as their personal Saviour are accepted by God, for His acceptance of Jesus’ atonement embraces all whom Christ has redeemed by their faith in His blood.
Sabbath opening came soon and all rejoiced as we welcomed another Sabbath. Bro. Peter Lausevic spoke to a packed hall on the topic entitled, ‘Prophesy Again’. He showed how the Scriptures foretell the giving of the gospel to the entire world. This is to be our burden.
Sabbath, 1st January 2011
The morning worship was taken by Bro. John Dumambi from Papua New Guinea. Bro. John spoke on ‘Organised for Work’ and he shared his experience since he left the Adventist church, then went to work in independent groups and finally heard the message of Reformation and joined our church.
Bro. John praised the Lord for the message of Reformation and for the way the church is organised. He showed how important organisation is for the work in these last days.
The following statement was highlighted, “As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization there would be great confusion, and the work would not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying the work in new fields, for protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for many other objects, organization was indispensable.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 26.2
Sabbath school soon came at 9:30am and adults, youth and children were divided into separate classes. The study commenced with the theme of the quarter on The Plan of Redemption and the Sanctuary Service. The lesson under consideration was entitled, ‘God’.
At 11:00am, Bro. D. Sureshkumar – President of the General Conference – took the Divine Service, entitled ‘At the Door’. He exhorted everyone on the importance of sharing the gospel through our lives – by the way we live and conduct ourselves.
The light of the angel of Revelation 18 is the light of Christ’s Righteousness revealed in the lives of God’s people in very practical ways. Bro. Sureshkumar told the touching story of a hungry and poor little boy who was staring through the key hole of a fence. On the other side of the fence was a woman making donuts. The little boy stood, silently staring at the beautiful fresh, aromatic donuts. He so wished he could have one. Just then, a soldier approached him from behind and tapped him on the shoulder. The boy was startled as he saw this big tall figure looking down at him. The soldier was the husband of the woman making the donuts. He didn’t reprimand the boy, but walked into the house – collected a bag of donuts and gave it to the little boy and walked away. The boy stood amazed with the warm bag in his hands – lost for words.
As the soldier walked, he heard the voice of the little boy calling out for him. Turning around, he saw the boy running after him. As he drew near, the boy asked, ‘Excuse me sir – are you God?’
Bro. Sureshkumar appealed to all that we might live such a life that will make manifest the character of God to those around us.
The Youth Meeting was taken by Bro. Csongor Matyas and Bro. Gerson Robles. Later on in the evening, a concert was held by Focus and the Victorian Choir.
Sunday, 2nd January 2011
Bro. John Araya led out in morning worship with a topic entitled, ‘Heeding the Testimonies’. He gave a powerful message showing how relevant and necessary are the Testimonies in our lives. Bro. John shared the experience of his friend – who wasn’t a believer – yet after reading some of the Spirit of Prophecy books came to the conclusion that whoever wrote them must be inspired.
On Sunday morning, Bro. Alasdair Pow and Bro. Brian Jaksic both took studies on the order of last day prophetic events. Bro. Pow focused on events since 1888 to the close of probation. Bro. Jaksic explained the events from the special resurrection to the 2nd Coming of Jesus.
Bro. Alasdair showed how there will be a short time of trouble while the Latter Rain will be poured out. During this short time of trouble there will be martyrs for Jesus. As the Latter Rain empowers God’s people to declare the message to the world, the US national Sunday law will be passed, followed by Satan’s impersonation of Jesus’ return. Then, as controversy extends into new fields, the universal Sunday law will be enacted.
It is during this time that the following occurs, “As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel's message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side.” Great Controversy, p. 608.
Immediately after these meetings, a Prophetic Orienteering activity was held for the youth. Sadly, it had to be cancelled due to the heavy rain which commenced at the moment when we were going to begin. Instead, the youth gathered in the newly built children’s hall and there participated in forming a human timeline. Each person received a card with a prophetic event, Bible reference or a date. It was up to the youth to sort themselves out in the correct order.
As with all conferences, this one also had to come to an end. However, Bro. John Ciric, who took the closing topic, ‘Eternity’ – shared how much we can look forward to the times ahead of us where no more goodbyes will be said. He urged each one to remain faithful and to ever look by faith to the eternal weight of glory prepared for the faithful people of God.
Another conference finished. We praised the Lord for blessing us immensely with the timely messages and fellowship of all the brethren and sisters who were present.
—By Gerson Robles