Fourteenth General Conference Session
session, attended by 59 delegates, was held
at Puslinch, Ontario, Canada, from August 16
to September 6, 1983. By the grace of God, 11
Unions and 9 Fields, covering 50 countries,
were able to send their representatives. Complete
membership reports from the restricted countries
were not available, but recent information on
hand showed that the work was going ahead in
all of our 13 Unions and 19 Fields and Missions.
delegation, fourteenth session, Puslinch
(near Toronto), Canada, 1983.
his address to the delegation, the outgoing
is my recommendation to this GC delegation in
session that the right understanding of Reform
Movement be made clear to all our delegates,
ministers, workers, and church officers. Only
a church which is moving forward
in all the reformatory lines specified in the
Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy may legitimately
carry the name of Reform Movement.
Our ministers and workers should be the first
to reveal a revival and reformation in their
lives, showing a spirit of sacrifice and devotion
to God. They should set the right example before
the people. Earnest and humble prayers and confessions,
coming from repentant hearts, should be poured
out before God. Let us entreat Him to be merciful
to us and bring back into our minds, in full
measure, the true spirit of reformationthat
primitive godlinesswhich should characterize
our lives. We are to receive strength from above
to lift up higher the standards of the threefold
message in our religious life, and, down to
the youngest members of the church, we are to
become colaborers with Christ in the salvation
need for improvement in our system of organization
and administration was discussed during this
session. Here is a summary of the recommendations
that were made to the delegates:
In the plan for decentralization we need in
the first place the upper-room experience. Ministers,
workers, church officers, and people need to
be encouraged to look much more to Christ than
to GC or Union officers, committees or resolutions
for leadership and for solution of problems.
They should spend more time praying and counseling
Lord desires His workers to counsel together,
not to move independently. Those who are set
as ministers and guides to the people should
pray much when they meet together. This will
give wonderful help and courage, binding heart
to heart and soul to soul, leading every man
to unity and peace and strength in his endeavors."Testimonies
to Ministers, p. 485.
is a selfish thing for men who feel that they
have some service to do for the Master, to wish
to be alone in their work, and to refuse to
connect with those who would be a help to them,
because they fear that they will not obtain
all the credit for doing the good work which
they flatter themselves they will do. This has
greatly hindered the work of God. Let brother
lay hold of brother. Link up a Peter and a John.
Let each encourage his brother to stand by his
side doing zealous, interested service, as partners
in the great work. Two or three can pray together,
sing the praises of God together, and grow up
into the full stature of workers together with
God. Perfect harmony must be cherished. All
must serve the Lord as little children, feeling
that they are branches in the same parent stock."Ibid.,
Lord has not qualified any one of us to bear
the burden of the work alone. He has associated
together men of different minds, that they may
counsel with and assist one another. In this
way the deficiency in the experience and abilities
of one is supplied by the experience and abilities
of another. . . .
our work we must consider the relation that
each worker sustains to the other workers connected
with the cause of God. We must remember that
others as well as ourselves have a work to do
in connection with this cause. We must not bar
the mind against counsel. In our plans for the
carrying forward of the work, our mind must
blend with other minds.
us cherish a spirit of confidence in the wisdom
of our brethren. We must be willing to take
advice and caution from our fellow laborers.
Connected with the service of God, we must individually
realize that we are parts of a great whole.
We must seek wisdom from God, learning what
it means to have a waiting, watching spirit,
and to go to our Saviour when tired and depressed."Testimonies
to Ministers, pp. 499, 500.
local churches, the Fields, the Unions, and
the Regions are to be strengthened. Each regional
secretary should work with a regional committee.
members are to be subject to the church; the
local churches and groups are to be subject
to the Field; the Fields are to be subject to
the Union; and Unions are to be subject to the
it is true that the Lord guides individuals,
it is also true that He is leading out a people."Ibid.,
all the different members of the human system
unite to form the entire body, and each performs
its office in obedience to the intelligence
that governs the whole, so the members of the
church of Christ should be united in one symmetrical
body, subject to the sanctified intelligence
of the whole." Testimonies, vol.
4, p. 16.
which can be solved at a local level should
never be referred to a higher body.
leading authority of the work as a whole to
be in the hands of a larger GC Council during
the quadrennium. This leading body to include
the regional secretaries and at least some of
the departmental secretaries (see example in
General Conference Bulletin, 1901, p. 499).
The Council to meet once a year.
men of the GC Council to constitute the Executive
Committee, whose duty is to carry out the decisions
made by the GC Delegation and GC Council. The
Executive Committee (with a president as chairman)
to function as a working committee and as a
the instructions in reorganization and administration,
as contained in the Bible and in the Spirit
of Prophecy, to be carefully studied and complied
improvements which were made until 1983, in
our system of organization, are not in themselves
sufficient to ensure success in the work. More
true success will be seen only as we come closer
to God, both as individuals and as a people.
Therefore, the upper-room experience was greatly
of the recommendations referred to the Young
Peoples Department reads:
recommend that special efforts be made to bring
our youth closer to Christ in accordance with
John 3:3, and that articles be prepared about
the dangers confronting our young people all
over the world, such as spiritualism connected
with certain types of modern music, the evil
influence of TV, the demoralizing effect of
worldly fashions, drug addiction, the evil of
unconverted companions, indiscreet courtship,
attitudes which compromise the moral integrity
of a young man or woman."
delegation made a pledge which our church officers
were and still are requested to present to our
people everywhere, as follows:
as delegates of the 14th Session of the General
Conference, after a prayerful and serious consideration
of our condition as a people, have come to the
conclusion that we must now seek an answer to
our urgent spiritual needs. The coming of our
Saviour is at the door, and we realize our inability
to finish, without His help, the work that He
has put into our hands. Therefore, we humbly
confess our sins and ask the Lord to forgive
us our slowness to grasp His almighty hand in
the work for the salvation of erring souls.
we can see our need for a new motivation by
His Spirit, we hereby pledge ourselves to turn
to our God in deep humility. Let us all seek
a new and complete reconciliation with the Almighty,
and renew and strengthen our relationship with
our brethren. May our gracious and merciful
God help us that the work of thorough reformation,
with fasting and prayer, will become more evident
in our Christian experience. We believe that
the time has come for the spirit of prayer to
actuate every believer. Special attention should
be given to the following statement:
who have not been living in Christian fellowship
will draw close to one another. One member working
in right lines will lead other members to unite
with him in making intercession for the revelation
of the Holy Spirit. There will be no confusion,
because all will be in harmony with the mind
of the Spirit. The barriers separating believer
from believer will be broken down, and Gods
servants will speak the same things. The Lord
will cooperate with His servants. All will pray
understandingly the prayer that Christ taught
His servants: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will
be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
Matthew 6:10.Testimonies, vol. 8,
also extend our Christian love beyond our organizational
borders to all those who honestly desire to
experience a reformation in mind and heart and
life and who are willing to work together with
us, looking for and hastening unto the
coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
GC officers: J. Moreno, president; F. Devai,
vice president; A. N. Macdonald, secretary.
Fifteenth General Conference Session
26, 1987, the camp called "Sitio dos Cataventos,"
near the city of Braganca Paulista, which is
situated 88 km from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was filled
with echoes of joy and happiness, when 74 delegates
representing 59 countries (12 Unions, 8 Fields,
and 13 Missions in 6 Regions) convened for the
15th session of the General Conference. Those
Unions, Fields, and Missions which were unable
to send their representatives to this session
were not forgotten by those present.
delegation, fifteenth session,
Braganca Paulista (near Sao Paulo), Brazil,
was certainly an impressive sight to see brethren
coming from many places in the world and meeting
under one single roof, united in the same precious
truth and hope, irrespective of nationalities
of Delegation Session
welcomed the delegates to the session, J. Moreno,
the president, read from Zechariah 10:1 and
Acts 3:19 and emphasized the need of preparation
for the latter rain.
the welcoming address, the delegates presented
their credentials. North India, French Polynesia,
and Japan were able to send their representatives
for the first time.
previously received by the secretary showed
that, up to December 31, 1986, our total membership
had increased to 18,000.
mention was made of five of our ministers who,
since the last session, were laid to rest in
the blessed hope of the resurrection.
the session we had many important Bible studies,
followed by questions and answers, in which
the delegates took part with much interest.
Among the different topics that were brought
up, two were given special interest, namely,
justification by faith and the nature of Christ.
the Moral Standard
a result of the studies presented, the delegates
understood that what we actually need is more
consecration and sanctification. We must elevate
the moral standard in all our churches before
we can see greater results.
Lord explained to His disciples that they would
always "see true and false believers mingled
in the church" (Christs Object Lessons,
p. 71). Read Matthew 13:2430, 3743.
"There are two opposing influences continually
exerted on the members of the church. One influence
is working for the purification of the church,
and the other for the corrupting of the people
of God" (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 46).
It was understood that erring souls, who are
honest and actually want to be saved, cannot
be converted by rules of discipline. They will
change only if a special work is done in their
behalf under the influence of the Holy Spirit
(John 16:13; Revelation 3:1820; James
5:19, 20). Read Testimonies to Ministers, pp.
the other hand, however, it was also understood
that we are not to tolerate those who persist
in open sin. False-hearted believers, as tares
among the wheat, will not be easily converted
by the love of Christ or by the message of Christs
righteousness. To keep spurious Christians from
multiplying in the church, we must apply the
rules of discipline. Read John 17:1517;
James 4:4; 1 John 2:1517; 2 Corinthians
6:1418; Deuteronomy 7:25, 26; Testimonies,
vol. 1, p. 117; Testimonies to Ministers, p.
128; Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 647, 648; Christs
Object Lessons, p. 71.
Testimony of Two Pioneers
the session, two of our pioneers (Andrei Cecan
and Pavel Tuleu) shared their experiences with
the delegation. They praised the Lord for His
evident guidance in the Reform Movement and
for the many victories that He has granted us.
Telling us some of their early experiences in
connection with the message of reformation,
they encouraged the delegates to press forward
in singleness of mind and purpose.
New GC Officers
several days of deliberation, the Nominating
Committee brought the following list of recommended
names, which were accepted by the delegation:
president, J. Moreno; vice president, D. Dumitru;
secretary, A. C. Sas.
The Great Need of the Hour
Moreno thanked God for His mercies and the delegation
for the confidence bestowed upon him. He read
from 2 Corinthians 12:15 (first part) and 2
Chronicles 29:10, 11 and invited the delegates
to make a covenant with God. Further, he requested
the cooperation of all his fellow workers and
of the churches.
delegation gave serious consideration to our
great spiritual needs and to this vital question:
How are we to act so that, by the help of God,
we will be prepared for the outpouring of the
latter rain, the finishing of the work, and
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? The delegates
were convinced that, if we seek the Lord in
prayer, examining our hearts and confessing
our faults, and if we work wholeheartedly for
the salvation of souls, we will achieve perfect
unity in the spirit and in the truth, and our
Saviour will work powerfully in our behalf.
Therefore, the following appeal was directed
to our people:
appeal to all for close cooperation and a more
active role in carrying out the gospel commission
that was given to all of us. As workers together
with God, brothers and sisters, let us lean
heavily upon the arm of the Mighty One. Let
us labor for more love and unity, and we will
become a power in the world."