“I experienced something different this year. I experienced an urgency of the hour,” said South African farmer evangelist Angus Buchan following his return this week from the Christian Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.
“I experienced believers from all over the world having an urgent desire to preach the Gospel and to speak up for Jesus Christ like never before,” said Buchan who was a keynote speaker at the festival for the fourth consecutive year.
The plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere was in focus throughout this year’s festival, a traditionally joyous celebration of God’s provision and power and the anticipated return of Jesus, which was hosted in Jerusalem for the 35th year by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).
The theme of this year’s festival was Restoration and Buchan who addressed thousands of delegates from about 80 nations at the Pais Arena in downtown Jerusalem on Sunday (October 12) morning, spoke on “personal restoration” a topic he said he felt the Holy Spirit placed on his heart.
“Basically, I was saying that if we are not personally restored to Jesus Christ we don’t have much to offer the world. Because the world is looking for peace and purpose and direction — and if they don’t find it in the believer we will never convince them otherwise,” he said in an interview yesterday.
With a central objective of the Feast being Jews coming to Christ, he said the Lord put on his heart that “unless we deal with sin coming into our own hearts and shine as lights in the darkness there is no reason for unbelievers to want to become a Christian — not just Jews but everybody — the ‘whosoever’ in Romans 10:13 .”
He said he was moved when the whole stadium came forward in response to an altar call. People displayed “a brokeness as they repented before God for their sin”. Women from mainland China travailed for their country — crying out that Jesus would undertake for their nation and that the people of China would come to know Him.
“I’m an evangelist. I’m interested in people’s salvation not in politics because I reckon if you get you own life right then God can use you to get other people’s lives right. Revival starts with the individual — and the family.”
Immediately after addressing the Feast crowd, Buchan was taken to another venue in the arena to address a crowd of young Israelis, mostly Messianic Jews, who had asked to meet him.
“It was very touching. We prayed the sinners prayer; we asked God for strength for them to run the race and finish the task,” Buchan said.
He said an important lesson he learnt from the example Israelis he met was to live one day at a time being thankful for what Jesus has given, just as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:34
Expanding on this lesson, he writes in his blog: “Those very special people live life to the full and enjoy every moment of it. For they are only too well aware of the hard fact that anything could happen to them tomorrow!
“However, that kind of lifestyle is very beneficial to one’s faith, because when you don’t know what the future holds, you get to know the One who holds the future extremely well.”
Buchan said yesterday that God has given him a tremendous love for Israel and than he also believes it is very pivotal in the Last Days.
“And also my best friend is a Jew and yours is too,” he added. “He’s not a Scotsman or an Afrikaner. I know He is the Son of God but he is also a Jew and that’s probably more than anything else is why I love that place.”
He said over the years he has been attending the Feast of Tabernacles he has seen a “a real opening of hearts” of South Africans towards the festival. On Friday evening, which is the Jewish Sabbath, he ministered to about two to three hundred South Africans from various tour groups in Jerusalem. They met at St Anne’s Church at the site of the pool of Bethesda where on the Sabbath Jesus healed a man who had been lame for 38 years ( John 5:1-15 ). Before the service he asked people to come prepared for a miracle because Jesus was going to heal them. That night he anointed everybody with oil and prayed a prayer of faith with each one of them. Immediately afterwards it began to rain, a sign of confirmation he has experienced after a number of prayer events. The next morning his assistant, Clive Tedder testified that Jesus had healed him of a heart condition that had been troubling him for seven years.