Religion Funding Law “Sad Reminder of Communist Past”

October 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

The leaders of Bulgaria’s three biggest political parties have drafted a bill on religious affairs that, if passed, would spell disaster for the country’s minority Catholic and Protestant Churches. Not only would the new law cut off State subsidies to confessions such as these that represent less than 1% of the population, but both funding from overseas and permissions for foreigners to celebrate religious services would be suspended as well, leaving the Catholic Church “in a very difficult situation”, in the opinion of Christo Proykov, Greek Catholic Bishop of Sofia and President of the Bulgarian Bishops.

As Radio Bulgaria reported last week, the bill – sponsored by the conservative GERB, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms – seeks to “prevent interference of foreign countries, institutions and persons into religions and religious affairs”. The real target of the draft law, though, is theagents of radical Islam, for which reason “placing all confessions under the same common denominator is an act of discrimination”, according to Atanas Slavov, Professor of Law at the University of Sofia.

In an interview with SIR, Proykov also called the draft legislation “discriminatory” and said it would “place some confessions in a privileged position to the detriment of others… left without vital financial support, especially donations from abroad”. Specifically, the only religions to benefit from the new proposal would be Orthodoxy and Islam, which represent 60% and 8% of the population respectively, compared to the Catholics, at 0.66%, and Protestants, at 0.87%. Beyond the funding, too, the stipulation that foreigners who wish to celebrate religious services be authorized by the Directorate of Religious Affairs “further complicates the situation”, according to Proykov, “as the majority of Catholic priests in Bulgaria are not Bulgarian citizens, and all priests, including Bulgarians, have completed their academic studies abroad because in Bulgarian there are no faculties of Catholic theology”.

“We cannot strip a confession of its rights just because it represents a minority”

Even though they would benefit from the new law – and that to the tune of some 7.5 million and 5 million euros in 2019, respectively – the Orthodox and the Muslims have also expressed reservations about the legislation, with Orthodox spokesman Father Nikolay Georgiev going so far as to hint at his denomination possibly sponsoring the Catholic Church in the future. “We cannot strip a confession of its rights just because it represents a minority”, said Georgiev. In the meantime, Slavov has urged politicians “to reflect” before making a final decision, recalling that “reaching a balance between national security and religious rights requires serious dialogue”, a point that requires even more attention now that Bulgaria holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Revealing himself to be “deeply worried” by the“dangerous and infelicitous” draft legislation, Proykov added: “The legislative proposal is a sad reminder of a bygone Communist past, which we believed would no longer return”. “The text of the draft law on religious communities has many controversial aspects that fail to take into account the particularities of each confession”, lamented the Bishop of Sofia.

Files of secret communist agents who spied on the Bulgarian Church now released

October 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, News, Publication, Research

In recent attempts for legal transparency and reconciling with history, the Bulgarian government has begun releasing thousands of secret dossier files from the Communist era. While searching through tons of political and economical archive materials, the specially appointed Dossier Committee has been working on publishing a three-part volume containing dossier files on churches and religious communities. These top secret files now show how the communist regime persecuted virtually all faith organizations using information from a massive network of secret agents to infiltrate them within. Often appointed to key positions within the religious group, those agents procured the communist agenda to the smallest detail in securing a total control over believers and churches on part of the government. The first published volume dealt with the mainline Eastern Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, while the second volume published dossier files related to the Muslim religious community in the country.

The third volume, that was published just last week, contains information about more marginal religious group in Bulgaria in the period 1945-1990. Among them are not only protestant churches, which were officially registered by the Government, but also the unregistered and outlawed by the communist regime Bulgarian Church of God, which existed in the country since the early 1920s. This newest published volume contains over 800 pages of government information telling the story of how the Bulgarian Church of God was able to survive the extreme persecutions of the Regime. While the several hundred published dossier files marked top secret are only the tip of the iceberg, a number of interesting facts from the church’s history are obvious even at first glimpse. Some more prominent among them are:

  1. The beginning of the Pentecostal movement in Bulgaria is described by the dossier files in detail around 1919-1921
  2. The beginning of the Bulgarian Church of God showed as a result from events that took place in 1922, 1926 and finally in 1928, thus giving the church its rightful place in history as a 90-year old religious organization
  3. The dossier files further contain detail information assembled by communist secret agents among the believers about the early structure, locations and operation of Church of God communities in Bulgaria
  4. The construction, process and results of the infamous Pastor Trial that took place in 1948-1949 and virtually beheaded Bulgaria’s evangelical denominations by putting their leadership of in prison labor camps
  5. The development of church organizations, service order, religious rituals as well as changes in church leadership are recorded from the early 1950-1960s and beyond
  6. Specific names of various mission organizations, some of which were closely watched by secret communist agents, including: Eastern European Slavic Mission, Underground Evangelism, Operation Mobilization, etc. Because of the government actions taken against them, their access to the country was highly restricted and at times completely banned
  7. Specific names of mission workers who first established contact with the Bulgarian Church of God in the 1980s are recorded, among which: Lambert Delong, Paul Lauster, Timothy (Tim) Cornet, etc. Most of them were closely watched by top secret communist agents who classified them as “enemy elements with destructive foreign agenda”.
  8. There are numerous mentions of agent pseudonyms and their government issued ID numbers who were ordered to identify, study and report on the organizational structure of the Church of God, its key leaders and their agenda toward the people of Bulgaria.
  9. Specific strategies were implemented regularly to keep the Bulgarian Church of God and its leaders in check such as:
    • stopping of church services for undefined periods of time
    • arrest of ministers and members to limit their ministry activity
    • anonymous letters to both family and church members in order to compromise key leaders who did not comply with government orders
    • “casual” street meetings with agents in order to compromise them before church members key church leaders as “informers”
    • attempts to assign one or more “turned” ministers or church members to keep a close watch on key leaders’ activities and report them to the government
    • ban on being hired to any other jobs except manual labor effective on ministers, their spouses and in many cases close relatives
    • ban on their children to attend certain schools
    • “Relocation sentences” – at least three known Church of God leaders in the 1980s were sentenced with relocation to labor camps with no visitors allowed for a period of three years
  10. Finally, these recently released top secret government dossier files contain the story of how the Bulgarian Church of God was able to survive the communist regime and enter a state of spiritual revival and continuous growth in the 1990s and beyond.

The hundred of pages with secret dossier files have shed light upon one of the hardest times of the Bulgarian Church of God in its 90-year long history. By the 1980s, the government persecution had successfully shrunk its membership to about 800 nationally banning it as an illegal sect. Its leaders were constantly called to “police talks” and given extremely restrictive “advisory notices” on how to perform their religious duties especially in regard to newcomers and minors. The simple explanation is that those government actions were purposed to destroy the Bulgarian Church of God and make it extinct. Until God Himself through a miracle took the Berlin Wall down…

There are a number of worrisome conclusions from this recently published volume. First, the 800 pages hardly cover everything that the Regime had done or was planning to do with the Church of God in Bulgaria. Secondly, from multiple documents dated in the 1990s, it becomes clear that the government agenda against the church did not stop with the Fall of the Berlin Wall; which raises a question of how many of its secret agents are still actively working against or within the Church of God in Bulgaria. Finally, now that these documents are legally available to the public, we have committed to study them in order to produce a detailed catalog of names, dates, places, which will provide a clearer picture of the ministry and development of the Bulgarian Church of God during the times when it was outlawed and persecuted by the communist regime.

Introduction

The documentary collection ‘State Security and Religions’ – Part III – ‘Protestant Church and religious sects’ is a volume of the sequence ‘From the archives of State Security’. It consists entirely of documents, kept in the Centralized Archive of the Committee for Disclosing the Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens to the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army.

State Security and religions is a theme which will always be debated in public and will always provoke researchers to seek new, unknown facts, which will enrich the recent historical past connected with the clergy in Bulgaria in the period 1944-1991.1

All religions and sects on the one hand, and the people’s power on the other hand, has their own specific relations established on the basis of the constitutions from 1947 and 1971, the Law on religious denominations2 dated 1949 and the influence of the State Security. The main mediator and connecting element in the relations between the religious communities and the state is the Religious Denominations Directorate, which at various points of the period under consideration passes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Council of Ministers and vice versa, depending on the role it has to play in solving a given issue. Of course, these relationships are well monitored by the State Security, which in most cases is at the right place and time.

The chronological approach is used in the arrangement of the documents. They are thematically divided into two chapters, and each one of them is separated into several subtopics. The first chapter of the collection includes general papers on Protestant denominations, the Slavic Mission, the Mission to evangelize the communist countries, the Church of God, Seventh-day Adventists, the Adventists – Reformers, the Baptists, the Congregational Church, the Methodist Church, the Pentecostal Church, and the Tinchevists.

The second chapter of the collection includes papers referring to the different sects and religious denominations such as: The White Brotherhood – Danovitsts, Ustabashev, The Bible Speaks, ISKCON3, the Jehovists, the Rose Cross, the Mormons and others.

It is quite logical that after September 9, 1944 the Evangelical denominations began to be seen as conductors of Western influence, and pastors and laymen – as agents of foreign intelligence. Thus, in a report on the work on Evangelical sects of August 1946 it is mentioned that American intelligence in Bulgaria attaches great importance to Evangelical denominations. ‘The American Intelligence uses the Evangelical denominations in its intelligence service the following way: for increased propaganda amongst the Evangelists of Americanism, carried out most diligently, regularly by the pastors of these churches, who are reactionary to the Fatherland Front, and in particular to the Communists. The pastors, who are mostly English and American alumni and adherents, innocently, and some of them and very badly, speak in their religious talks about the fight against the irreligious, fight against those who rule with violence, blood, terror and bring misfortune and darkness. In the sermons the pastors proclaim a crusade against socialism, uniting everything reactional on a religious basis.’ It is reported that ideologically and managerially, the Gospel denominations were until recently under the German governing board and then officially passed Society for Krishna Consciousness under American one. Thus, all their existence and activity is in the hands of the US intelligence. The report emphasizes that the State Security Service has found positive evidence that all pastors and individual leaders of the American Sects are zealous agents of the US intelligence, conductors of the American propaganda among the evangelicals, and ‘excellent intelligence collectors of different nature’. Based on the surveys and observations, it is clear that US intelligence pays close attention to youth organizations from which prospective agents may eventually be recruited. The opinion of the operative worker responsible for the Evangelical sects is that the sector is not well developed. State Security’s collaborators are very weak and small in number. The operational activities of agents have been reported as poor. From the observations made and the impressions obtained, the operative worker offers a set of activities for future work. An operative worker is to be commissioned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religions to closely monitor the administrative and political development of Evangelical denominations; collaborators to be recruited – pastors; to centralize the activities throughout the country and help to be provided. Measures are to be taken with regard to the restriction of the dissemination activity and propaganda, which can be done by not releasing paper to print their religious ‘scum’; restricting travels; more serious censorship of the newspaper ‘Zornitsa’; limiting Sunday schools (See Document No 4 of the Collection).

In an information bulletin of May 1948, it is mentioned that the propaganda by the Evangelists is conducted in a very subtle way. Foreign intelligence, the Anglo-American respectively, uses Evangelical missionaries and pastors to build spy networks in the military, political, and cultural sectors in countries where the Evangelism is spared (see Document No 9 of the Collection).

Given the fact that repeatedly in State Security documents, implications are made on the spy and propaganda activity of the pastors, it seems perfectly normal to start offensive activities against them. In a proposal for the realization of the development of Evangelical pastors who have been implicated in a currency-dollar affair and anti-popular spy activity of July 20, 1948, it is planned to detain those pastors entering the Supreme Council of Evangelists who have developed anti-national spy activity, and have informed foreign missions on the military and political status of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Fifteen pastors have been detained, accused of ‘forming an intelligence network for the benefit of a foreign country’; ‘spreading malicious rumours and slander’; ‘making currency speculation’. The proposal for the closure of an investigative case of 5 January 1949 provides for the organization of a central public process with the participation of about twenty leaders of sects and the composition of the Supreme Council of the United Evangelical Churches. In addition to the central process, four separate sect processes should be organized in which the secondary actors are exposed and convicted. The persons to be included in the central process are identified as well (See Document No 18 of the Collection). By virtue of Sentence No 118 dated 8 March 1949, four life sentences are imposed against the Evangelical pastors; four sentences of fifteen years’ imprisonment; three – of ten years’ imprisonment, and others of varying lengths (See DVD Document No 26).

In a reference to the religious and hostile activity of the Protestant clergy and sects of May 1955, it was found that the objects which are in development for active religious activity are: ‘fanatics in their religious convictions and lead religious and hostile activity and propaganda against the People’s Power’. It is reported that the agents used for developing the objects are not trusted by them, as a result of which the collaborative apparatus in this respect is not able to provide complete development and monitoring. It is recorded in the document that after September 9, 1944, the Evangelical churches adopted an open course of irreconcilable struggle against the people’s power. Led by and inspired by imperialist intelligence, they create the ‘United Evangelical Church’, which is an organized anti-communist bloc for resistance of the people’s power (see Document No 28 of the Collection).

An important moment in the existence of Protestant churches in the country is their registration under Art. 16 of the Law on Religious Denominations, according to which: ‘The central governing bodies of religious denominations are obliged to register at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the governing bodies of the local divisions – at the local people’s councils, with the names of all the members of the same governing bodies’. In spite of the delay of several years, at the end of 1962, the Committee on Church Affairs, together with the People’s Councils Department at the Council of Ministers, issue an instruction for the registration of the Protestant sects and the White Brotherhood community, the Danovists.

Through a circular letter to all headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in the country dated 18 January 1963, the registration of religious sects is mentioned. The document informs that the Religious Affairs Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the People’s Councils Department at the Council of Ministers have come out with a circular letter, which provides instructions for the registration of the religious sects. It is warned that fraud attempts are possible and, when such ones are established, timely actions are to be taken (see Document No 30 of the Collection). Through an explanatory note on the final registration of the Protestant sects, information is given on how the re-registration will take place. It is mentioned that those who are not approved, cannot exist as church organizations in the future (see Document No 32 of the Collection).

In a 1972-1973 report on the implementation of the decisions of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party dated 24 January 1967 concerning the further improvement of the atheist work of the working people and the decisions of the Ministry of Interior management to organize the fight against the ideological penetration of the enemy, the crossing and compromising of the channels and the activities of the overseas religious centres and organizations operating against the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, actions have been undertaken. The purpose of these actions is to clarify the concepts, the forms of work, the channels of penetration and their links in the country. As a result, those who are investigated, expelled by the press, and missionaries expelled from the country are detained with their cars and a large number of different religious literature that were brought illegally – confiscated. Together with the events of the overseas headquarters and missionaries, there have also been such ones conducted with regard to their contact persons in the country. The more active clergymen are involved in measures to be compromised and discredited in front of the believers, others are exposed in the press, and others are being sued or deported. In order to limit and reduce the activity of religion, joint events are discussed and conducted with the Komsomol Town Committees, the Atheist’s Home, the Agitation and Propaganda Department at the CC of the BCP. Some good results are achieved in the recruitment of collaborators from the clergy and the leadership of the sects. Regardless of what has been achieved in the fight against the hostile activity of the ‘enemy and its accomplices in the country’, the religious community notes that the state of activities does not correspond the requirements. No more relevant offensive actions are not planned and conducted in this respect, in the center and in the districts to successfully penetrate the enemy’s headquarters and to uncover their plans and intentions in order to more effectively intercept their activities. A significant drawback in the activity of State Security is that it does not always and promptly respond to alerts. Insufficient resistance and limitations are rendered to the enhanced activity of churches in the country and their headquarters in the West, especially through the administrative authorities. In this respect, the measures taken by the Committee on Religious Affairs are extremely inadequate. Local councils do not feel authoritative in respect of religious activity. Religion as a ‘special issue’ in many cases the People’s Councils await initiative from above. It is believed that the Committee on Religious Affairs, which has the task to comply with the rules and norms of the party and the power of the churches, is the only body with the most correct and competent authority in these matters. The initiative and the assistance of this committee is in most cases to clarify the ‘broken interests’ of the churches or to counteract actions aimed at lowering religious activity. The conceptual and political anti-religious and educational work of the institutes and organizations that should be engaged in this type of activity is insufficiently consistent and active. The decisions of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party for atheistic education of the working people are fulfilled (see Document No 42 of the Collection).

A report on more characteristic manifestations among religious sects in the territory of the Veliko Turnovo region of March 14, 1979, it is noted that ‘ religious activity and hostile manifestations along in this respect, are in close connection with the ideological diversion’. It is mentioned that, at the request of the State Security, the Regional People’s Council rejected the registration of sects, which nevertheless continue to work and develop religious activity. The reason for expanding its activity the following is stated: natural growth of believers; migration of population; attracting new members, including those with health problems. ‘ Their perseverance and fanaticism is characteristic and proverbial in attracting and imposing their beliefs on relatives. Their tactics is a struggle to end to win and fanaticise every close persons and targeted candidate. They work on a few people, but they act hard, individually, and in groups by all means. In this way members of the sects, though difficult, become mostly whole families.’ The report notes that ‘religious activities by the sects include elements of crime and illegality. They consist mainly of working on a conspiracy basis, collecting money, seeking, acquiring, reproducing and distributing incriminated literature.’ It is reported that ‘the religious sects in the county under the leadership of pastors and activists assisted morally and materially by overseas headquarters, intensify their activity to gain the awareness of still unassimilated young people. They keep harmful psychosis and create turmoil.’ (See Document No 50 of the Collection)

 In a report on the check carried out at the Regional Office of the Ministry of Interior – Burgas regarding the reactionary clergy, it was found that the main directions of the strategy of the overseas religious reaction organizations was the subversive ideological diversion against the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. The main task of the ‘World Council of Churches’; ‘The Vatican’; ‘Slavic Religious Mission; ‘Surreptitious Evangelism’ and ‘Mission to Evangelize the Communist Countries’ is to expand the influence of religion among the people in order to ‘crush their consciousness and deviate them from the struggle for social justice and peace.’4

 In a reference regarding the operational situation under the department 03, management 06 State Security dated May 1982, it is mentioned that the religious sects in Bulgaria begin their existence in the country since the end of the nineteenth century. They are founded by Western religious centers, mostly American missionaries, as their affiliates with a view to exert political influence in favor of the Western countries. The sects in the People’s Republic of Bulgaria have 161 prayer homes, served by 150 pastors and preachers, and about 18,000 believers. Recognized by the Law on religious denominations and in a state of tolerance (no legal rights) are the sects: The Pentecostal Church, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Congregational Church, the Baptists, the Methodists, and the White Brotherhood. In addition to these, the Adventists-Reformers, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Tinchevists, and others exist illegally and their activities are forbidden.

The Protestant sects in the country are self -funded. Most of them raise funds from donations in the form of a ‘collecting- plate’.5 Only the Seventh- day Adventists and the Adventists-Reformers collect ‘tithe‘ from the believers. All sects are well-funded and have high incomes that give them the opportunity to pay good wages to their employees. Characteristic of the sects is their active religious activity and to pursuit young people to become members of various religious communities. To this end, they bring up-to- date and modernize methods and forms of operation by organizing youth services for studying the Bible, tourist trips, excursions, etc. It has been reported that in recent years, the activation of the Protestant sects under the influence of the western reactionary religious centers, such as the ‘The Slavic Mission’, ‘The Mission to evangelize the communist countries’, ‘The International Federation of Free Evangelical Churches’, ‘Operation Mobilization’ ‘The Jehovah’s Center – Brooklyn’ and others. The cross-border centers use the possibilities of the expanded international tourist and cultural exchange by sending their emissaries, large amounts of religious and other propaganda literature, cash, invitations to attend or visit their institutes and schools of theology.6

In a report on the implementation of the joint plan of Office VI – State Security with the KGB and the other fraternal security authorities for 1983 it is mentioned that there is still increasing activity of the overseas religious centres for penetration, influence and activation of the religious communities in the country. The international tourist exchange, the mass media, etc., are used for rendering an ideological impact on Bulgarian citizens. Through them, under the guise of religion, ideas are being directed to incite religious people in the country to anti-social events. There are requests for the free circulation of religious literature from the West to introduce religious education in schools and religious broadcasts on the radio and the television.7

Apart from documents about the Protestant churches, there are also purely Bulgarian, religious- philosophical trends like the ‘White Brotherhood – the Danovists’. After September 9, 1944, the ‘White Brotherhood – the Danovists’ continues to lead an organizational life, and the State Security points out: ‘The religious activity of the sect is expressed in the dissemination of religious literature, concerts, attracting new members, etc. The total number of members of the sect does not exceed 5000 people’8 (See Document No 130 of the Collection). The pressure over the ‘White Brotherhood’ is most noticeable in 1957 when, after an approved proposal by the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic, a search was made in the premises belonging to the Danovists, as well as in the homes of their famous and active representatives throughout the country. The purpose of the authorities is to seize all incriminated literature, including those written by Peter Danov, to seize all types of typewriters, cyclostyles, and others used to reproduce the doctrine (see Document 133 of the Collection). In a document of 1958 it is noted that even after the seizure of a great number of literature, there is still one to be confiscated. It is reported that the sect holds an official religious and open or disguised enemy activity. The official religious activity consists mainly of speaking, distributing ‘Danov’s’ literature, performing concerts, organizing outings. The open anti-popular activity is reported to be hostile propaganda – predicting the end of the people’s rule, starting a world war, and so on. (See Document No 140 of the Collection). From a report about the financial audit carried out it is understood that it was initiated based on a proposal of the State Security. From the excerpted facts of the revision, it is proposed to be brought to court persons dealing with the finances of the Danovists, to confiscate the real estate owned by the ‘White Brotherhood’, to publish the ‘criminal activity of the heads of the sect’ in the press, to begin to compromise their leadership (see Document No 142 of the Collection). Despite the pressure exerted, the ‘White Brotherhood – the Danovists’, continues to exist and carries out their own religious convocation. Indicative of this is the one organized in 1974 in the region of Aitos, despite the ban on its conduct by the local authorities of the state power (See Document No 145 of the Collection).

***

The documents used in the collection are from the archive of the Ministry of Interior (АКРДОПБГДСРСБНА – М) and from the archive of the National Intelligence Service (АКРДОПБГДСРСБНА – Р). The documents from the Ministry of Interior are from Fund 1 – Secretariat, Fund 2 – storing documents of the Second General Office (counterintelligence), Fund 13 – documents of the former Third Office – State Security fighting the inner counterrevolution, Fund 22 – documents of Fourth Office of State Security fighting against the ideological diversion, counterrevolutionary, nationalistic and other anti-state activities in the country as well as cases, developments and documents from the historical archive from the headquarters and the regional directorates. The documents from the National Intelligence Service (FGO-SS) are from Fund 4, personal files of individuals accounted by FGO-SS, as well as the so called special files, not included in the archive9.

The number of the documents in the collection is 115, and those included in the extended electronic version (DVD) are 248. The selection is made up of over 490 archival units and over 40 files of individuals, most of them multi-volume. The list of documents follows their original titles. Each title contains a brief annotation and a description of the document’s data of claim. When there is no date on the document, the quoted date in brackets is in line with that of the adjacent documents or other sources relevant to the historical event in question. In fulfillment of the requirements of the Law on Disclosing the Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens to the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army, in documents containing information about third parties it has been deleted. The Reference Mechanism of the edition includes: a list of the most important abbreviations and a list of the funds and archival units used.

New Bill of Religions Bans Foreign Support for Churches in Bulgaria

October 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

The first draft of the changes on the new controversial Law of Religion were voted in last week by the Bulgarian Parliament. The bill that was first passed with a vote of 136:2 bans all foreign donations of any kind to churches and religious communities in Bulgaria. This includes donations from both organizations and persons from outside of Bulgaria. In return, the government proposes to subsidize salaries for the clergy to denominations that represent over 1% of the population. This includes only the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Muslim confession.

As it stands, the bill excludes all Protestant churches, which represent less than 1% of Bulgaria’s population. Virtually all of them are not self-supported and exist with the help of foreign sponsorships. These include aid received for ongoing charges and utilities for auditoriums, education, youth work, home missions, benevolence, publications and more. Many ministers are also supported with funding from abroad in a direct way, which the new bill on religions basically outlaws and bans. Virtually all Protestant schools in Bulgaria, many which are already on standby due to financial difficulties, will be shut down until proper permits are issued. Receiving such permits will not be easy as virtually no protestant school has received a permit from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education since 1944, and current Protestant Schools have existed on the grounds of tolerance and special permits via the Directorate of Religious Affairs.

The bills further exclude interjection with foreign missionaries who: (1) do not speak Bulgarian language and (2) do not have a formal education degree issued in Bulgaria. The will be further excluded by the legal procedure in place that will disallow their work to be supported from persons or organizations outside of Bulgaria.

The two bill drafts – one submitted by GERB, BSP (socialists) and DPS political parties, and the other one by the United Patriots – proposed amendments to the Religious Denominations Act of 2002. The changes united the ruling and opposition, but triggered criticism by the believers due to direct interference of the state in the salaries of clerics and ownership of church properties. The allocated subsidies by the state are seen as insufficient and highly controversial as government control over the funding of all churches. The bill further insists on banning all church donations from abroad as a government regulation and control.

The controversial provisions in the draft law will be subject to clarification by several appointed committees before voted at a second final reading by the Bulgarian Parliament. Churches across Bulgaria have petitioned against the new changes in the Law of Religion as they constitute:

  • Limitations on freedom of religion and speech
  • Merge church and state
  • Establish government control over preaching
  • Ban any missionary work and preaching in a foreign language
  • Halt international support for religious organizations
  • Removes meeting form rented closed properties
  • Legalizes discrimination on basis of religion and faith convictions

BREAKING: PASTOR ANDREW BRUNSON FREE!

October 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

A Turkish court has ruled to release Pastor Andrew Brunson. Brunson, who has been in Turkish custody since October 2016, will now be able to leave his home—where he’s been under house arrest for several months—and return to the United States. The ruling technically sentenced Brunson to three years in prison, but the lifting of the ban on his travel effectively means he has been freed.

LONG JOURNEY FOR ANDREW BRUNSON

He was accused of aiding in a failed coup attempt against Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, charges he has steadily denied. Reports from earlier this year suggested hishealth had deteriorated after he spent time in a “nightmare prison” within Turkey. Andrew Brunson’s imprisonment sparked a diplomatic conflict between the United States and Turkey, with Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump’s Twitter account all calling for Brunson’s release, while Erdoğaninsisted on a prisoner exchange.

Yesterday, NBC News reported there was a secret deal to grant the release of Andrew Brunson. The details of that deal remain unclear, but some observers assumeBrunson’s release will come with an easing of economic sanctions on Turkey, which has been in the midst of an economic crisis.

A STATEMENT FROM OPEN DOORS

Open Doors USA CEO David Curry said: “Open Doors USA is relieved to hear of Pastor Andrew Brunson’s release from house arrest to freedom. Turkey has done the right thing in allowing him to return to his home country. I applaud President Trump for the unrelenting pressure his administration applied to Turkey on this matter, in part through tariffs and sanctions. The president has rightly recognized that economic leverage can help bring positive change for human rights and can convey a powerful message of solidarity with oppressed religious minorities, especially persecuted Christians. In this case, it worked and was helpful in the release of an American Christian.

“Pastor Andrew Brunson was wrongly imprisoned for his faith and work as a Christian pastor. Turkey’s latest attack on faith, which underscores why the Open Doors World Watch List ranks it as the 31st most dangerous place to be Christian, is a clear message that religious minorities are increasingly imperiled in Turkey.”

WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US ON A PRAYER WALL OF THANKSGIVING!

Praise God that Pastor Andrew Brunson has been released! Praise God for working in the midst of an incredibly hard and complicated situation. Continue to lift up Christians in Turkey and elsewhere in the region who are still grappling with false charges and trying to worship and follow Jesus in an increasingly hostile environment.

52 DAYS AWAY

October 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, News

Polk County Christmas Parade Route Shadows the Footsteps of the Historic Cherokee Removal

October 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

The Georgia Road or present day Federal Road was a route of the Trail of Tears walked by the Cherokee people during the forced removal from their homelands. The Tellico Blockhouse was the starting point for the Old Federal Road. The route ran from Niles Ferry on the Little Tennessee River near the present day U.S. Highway 411 Bridge, southward into Georgia. The road continued southward via the Federal Trail connecting to the North Old Tellico Highway past the present site of Coltharp School, intersected Tennessee Highway 68 and passed the site of the Nonaberg Church. East of Englewood, Tennessee it continued on the east side of McMinn Central High School and crossed Highway 411 near the railroad overpass. Along the west side of Etowah, the road continued near Cog Hill and the Hiwassee River near the mouth of Conasauga Creek where there was a ferry near the site of the John Hildebrand Mill. From the ferry on the Hiwassee River, the road ran through the site of the present Benton, Tennessee courthouse. It continued on Welcome Valley Road and then crossed the Ocoee River at the Hildebrand Landing. From this point the road ran south and crossed U.S. Highway 64 where there is now the River Hills Church of God, formerly the Ocoee Church of God. Continuing south near Old Fort, the route crossed U.S. Highway 411 and came to the Conasauga River at McNair Landing. Near the south end of the village of Tennga, Georgia stands a historic marker alongside Highway 411, which states the Old Federal Road was close to its path for the next twenty-five miles southward. This is some 15 miles from the historic Chief Vann Plantation where the first Christmas celebration of the Cherokee People was held. It would have been at this point in Tennga that the Trail of Tears would have taken a turn onto GA-2 passing the Praters Mill near Dalton Georgia to connect in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

READ ALSO:

William Branham dedicated the church of Brother Littlefield

September 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, News

William Branham dedicated the church of Brother Littlefield in Cleveland, TN (MP3 sermon recording and transcript)

 

 

Sermon details
Listen to this tape
Save (download) this tape (in Real Audio format)
Save (download) this tape as an MP3 file
This Message by Brother William Marrion Branham called Church Dedication was delivered on Wednesday morning, 8th July 1959 at the Church Of Faith in Cleveland, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The tape, number 59-0708M, is 58 minutes, and consists of 1 cassette.The text is provided courtesy of Voice of God Recordings, Jeffersonville Indiana
Voice Of God Recordings
P.O. Box 950, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47131 U.S.A.
Phone (812) 256-1177
Fax (812) 256-6187The tape in RealAudio and MP3 (as linked above) is supplied by
Cloverdale Bibleway.

E-1 [ Brother Littlefield introduces Brother Branham saying, “Happy you’re here and God bless you, my dear brother.”–Ed.] Thank you. Thank you very much Brother Littlefield.
As I was coming in just a few moments ago, Billy, my son told me, I believe, that Sam Jones was the Evangelist. Is that right? [A brother says, “Sam Jones Coleweather, that–that’s with Sam Jones.”–Ed.]… lives here. So this spot must be kind of in a sacred spot, at a spot dedicated to the Lord. And we have built a building on top of this holy place. And this morning we are here for dedication of this building to the God Who has protected it and brought all these things to pass.
And it’s always a great pleasure to me to–and a privilege, to speak a few words concerning, in a dedication of a church to the service of the Lord. Now, the church is just a building. But it was said once that–by Stephen, he said, “Solomon built Him a house. But howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in the houses made with hands; but a body has Thou prepared Me.” See?

E-2 And we know that the Church is a… The Spirit of God in the people, makes the Church. But we also have places of–gathering places dedicated where the–this Church body gathers together to worship God. And God has given to our precious brother and to this congregation, this most beautiful structure. Therefore we are here this morning for that purpose: to dedicate it to be a place of worship to the Lord our God.
I’m going to ask that this pastor, to have a part in this dedication, to read out of the Bible, II Chronicles the 5th chapter, before we have the dedicational service: II Chronicles 5, Brother Littlefield.

E-3 [Brother Littlefield reads the Scripture:

Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and the instruments, put he among the treasure of the house of God.
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, out of Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant out of–the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.
Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels and were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for–for multitude.
And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracles of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:
For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof and above.

(Would everyone stand please.)

And they drew out of the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracles; and they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day.There was nothing in the ark save two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present was sanctified, and did not then wait by course:Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with the mu–their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with the trumpets:)
And it came–and it came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were one, to make one sound to be heard in the praising and thanking the Lord; and when the–and when they had lifted up their voices with the trumpets, with the cymbals and the instruments and the musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;
So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.

God’s richest blessings upon His Word.–Ed.]

Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and the instruments, put he among the treasure of the house of God.
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, out of Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant out of–the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.
Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels and were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for–for multitude.
And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracles of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:
For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof and above.

(Would everyone stand please.)

And they drew out of the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracles; and they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day.There was nothing in the ark save two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present was sanctified, and did not then wait by course:Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with the mu–their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with the trumpets:)
And it came–and it came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were one, to make one sound to be heard in the praising and thanking the Lord; and when the–and when they had lifted up their voices with the trumpets, with the cymbals and the instruments and the musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;
So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.

God’s richest blessings upon His Word.–Ed.]

E-4

Then said Solomon, “The LORD hath said He would dwell in the thickest of the darkness.
Then said Solomon, “The LORD hath said He would dwell in the thickest of the darkness.
But I have built Him a house…

As we solemnly look to the Word of the Living God, and speaking on this subject of “Dedication of Building” to the Lord, I would like to make this statement: That it is known among most of us, and especially among scholars, that God is omnipresent. Well, I believe, in a measure, that God is omnipresent. God is omnipresent, Him being omniscient makes Him omnipresent. If God is omnipresent just like the atmosphere, then He is a myth.
But God is a Person. Therefore He has to have a certain place that He dwells. And He is omnipresent by being omniscient. Therefore if He is everywhere, because being omniscient, He knows everything. Therefore if He knows everything, He knows what’s going on at every place. But God Himself dwells in a certain place.

E-5 Therefore Him being infinite… Now, the word “infinite” cannot be broken down into any word by any language. The word “infinite” is like “infinities,” it’s from there on. And God is infinite. And if I would try to make one quotation what infinite means, that would be, that a hundred million years before the world was ever formed, the infinite God knew every flea that would ever be on the earth, and knowed every time that he’d bat his eye, each of them. That doesn’t even start half of what it means to be infinite.
Therefore, God being infinite and omniscient, He knows all things, and He knows everything that’s going on at all places at all times. But He Himself is a Person, dwelling in one place. Therefore He could–we could call Him omniscient.

E-6 Now, God dwells among His people. And as He called them out of Egypt, they were the people of God. He chose them as a nation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood. And He chose this certain people. But as long as they were dwelling in Egypt and scattered, they were the people of God. But when He called them out, they were then the church of God. Because the word “church” means “separated, called out.” They become the church of God.

E-7 Then being the Church of God, God ordained a certain place for these people to meet in where there would be fellowship; because God longs to fellowship with His people, and among His people.
Then God took Moses up into the mountain of fire where the lightnings was flashing and the thunders a roaring. And He showed him what kind of a dwelling place He desired to dwell in on earth. For Moses patterned the earthly tabernacle after what he had seen in heaven, a sanctuary of the Lord.
Oh, I think that’s so beautiful, to think that God before He would let a church building be built, that that building had to be a pattern of His heavenly abode. Moses made all things after the pattern of the heavenly.

E-8 And now, let us take just a little look at this, what Moses must have saw. And he made it first out of earthly material, which was made of skin, sheepskins. We’d call it a tabernacle or a tent, means “a dwelling place.” And in this tabernacle, or tent, there was three separate compartments. That surely is the way it is in glory.
And we notice one was called the court, or the congregational place. The next was called the holy place. And the next was called the holy of holies. All these pointed to Christ. And even the furniture that was in the–inside its walls; everything spoke of Christ.
That’s the reason that in Christ dwells the Fullness of God, ’cause all things led to Him. And Christ was God made flesh, God tabernacling on earth. Therefore, it was said by Stephen, “That Solomon built Him a temple. But the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; but a body has Thou made Me.”

E-9 All the furniture in the building typed Christ. Such as the laver, where the sacrifice was washed, the brass altar, where it was slain and burned. And the brass even in the altar speaks of judgment, Divine judgment. Brass, like the brass serpent was made in the wilderness, speaking of the Divine judgment of God upon the serpent, made of brass passed judgment.
When Elijah went up to look, and said, “The skies was like brass,” Divine judgment upon a sinful nation. Brass speaks of judgment. The serpent itself and the pole spoke of judgment passed (God’s Divine judgment on the serpent), and spoke of the coming of Christ, where He would be made sin, and God’s Divine judgment would be poured out on Him. That He being man and God would have to come down, made lower than the Angels so that He might die for the sins of us all.
His soul could not die because He was God. But His body had to be made a body of flesh so that it could die to be a sacrifice: virgin born body die for a sacrifice, that we sinful people might be brought nigh unto God by believing on this.

E-10 Then we notice also that God’s dwelling in a three room house, and that’s the house that you dwell in. No person can dwell in any more than three rooms.
Sometimes I’m amazed at going and seeing houses with twenty one rooms in it, fifteen rooms. But you only live in three. That is the kitchen, the parlor, and the bedroom. You may have three bedrooms. You may have sun porches. But there is really only three. You may have a dining room. But that’s just an off-breed from the kitchen. Kitchen, where you eat, the parlor, where you fellowship, and the bedroom where you rest…
And it speaks of God’s order of His Church. We come into the kitchen by hearing the Word and eating the good things of God. That’s justification. Then we come into sanctification where we have fellowship one with the other while the Blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin. And then we have a place of rest and security when we’re baptized with the Holy Ghost: justification by faith, sanctification by the Blood, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

E-11 I John 5:7 said, “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (which is the Son), and the Holy Ghost: these three are one. There are three that bear record in earth, the water, the blood, and the Spirit: and these three agree in one.”
You cannot have the Father without the Son. You cannot have the Holy Ghost without having both Father and Son. But you can be justified without being sanctified. And you can be sanctified without having the Holy Ghost. They agree in one. But Father, Son, Holy Ghost are one.
You can be in one court justified, by faith believing. You can be in another cleaned up from a life of sin and sanctified.

E-12 Now, as it is in the natural, so is it in the spiritual. When a woman brings forth a baby, the first thing comes is water. The second thing come is blood. The third thing comes is life. And when Jesus died at the cross, the elements came from His body to cleanse His Church and to bring it into Himself. When they speared His side there was water, Blood, “And into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.”
That’s how by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body and are at rest. Oh, what can the world do? I’m so glad God got a hold of me before the church did with all of its doctrine. I’ve found a resting place. Oh, that sweet abiding place “where there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” that’s found that eternal rest.

E-13 Paul said in Hebrews, explaining the Sabbath, “That there was a time that God entered into rest on the Sabbath day.” And He said: “Again, He limited a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today, after so long a time; when you hear My voice, harden not your heart.'”
And Isaiah in the 28th chapter, He said: “For precept must be upon precept; and line upon line; here a little, and there a little: hold fast to that which is good, for with stammering lips and other tongues will I speak to this people. And this is the rest.”
Oh, that perfect rest, to come from the congregation to the altar, from the altar to the bosom of Christ, the bed, the night, the secret place, the resting place. Justification, Martin Luther taught it. Sanctification, John Wesley taught it. Now, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the Pentecost taught it. By the Holy Spirit enter into a everlasting, eternal rest. And as long as you are in that room you are hid away in the holiest of holies with God, and you are in the Church of the firstborn. You are baptized into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. And you are free from judgment. For you have passed through the Blood, and “When I see the blood I pass over you.” And Christ took your judgment and you’ll never have to go through the judgment, but you’ve passed from death unto Life. So to enter into the true abiding place of God is by spiritual baptism.

E-14 What is it? The congregation, the sinner comes in and hears. That’s where he’s eating, how he learns that Jesus died in His stead, him being a guilty sinner, subject to death, and duly deserves death. But when he hears, “Faith cometh by hearing,” then he rises to his feet, and makes a testimony that he is not fit, but that he does believe and accepts the death of the Lord Jesus that He suffered in his stead, and that Jesus atoned for his sins; and he’s accepting it by faith through the Word. And he has–going to change his life from this on and live right.
Yet in that heart still, desires, the root of evil to do wrong because the tree’s just cut down. He can only be forgiven for what he done, not what Adam done, what he done, the sins that he did. He can ask forgiveness for what he did. But he cannot ask forgiveness for what Adam done. Then the Blood of Jesus Christ, through sanctification, comes in and cleanses that heart from all sin, and roots out every element of sin.
The word “sanctify,” people stumble at it. But it’s a Greek compound word which means “being cleaned and set aside for service.” The altar sanctified the vessel and cleansed it, and it was set aside for service. But being set aside for service isn’t in service yet. But when the Holy Spirit comes to this sanctified vessel, It fills it and puts it into service of the Lord.

E-15 Three room house… You yourself are abiding in a three room house. You are soul, body, and spirit. You are three compartments. God dwells in three. God is perfected in three. The Church is perfected in three. The mathematics of the Bible does not fail. The sevens in worship, and the twenty fours in the temptations, and forties in the jubilees, and fifties. The mathematics of the Bible run perfect. God is perfect in three. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost make the one perfect God, three offices of the same God.
The Church is perfected through justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Then you’re sealed until the day of your redemption. And he that’s once purged by the Blood of Jesus Christ has no more desire of sin. You passed from death unto Life.

E-16 If we didn’t have so much mockery of it these days, you’d find a real church sanctified by the power of the Holy Ghost, and fellowship that would be beyond any human thinking. But we have impersonators that go in and claim that they done it. Many times they shout and speak with tongues to show some outward emotion. But, brother, Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them.” Thorns and thistles grow up with the wheat, but you know them by their fruit. “You shall not pull them up, but let them grow together. And the Angels of the harvest will separate them.”

E-17 The three room house, a three compartment service… One is your body, what you do for Christ. The other is your spirit, what you think of Christ. The other is your soul, the faith that you have in Christ. Three room house, completely, absolutely, dedicated to the service of the living God. Justification, by faith, sanctification, by the Blood, the filling of the Holy Spirit, entering into peace and rest with God.
No wonder we have so much backsliding. No wonder we have so much troubles in the churches today. Because they don’t come all the way with God till they enter into that place where it’s dead. Man dies out to his own intellectual thinking. Remember, a little seed, it cannot bear any life until it is rotten. Put a grain of corn in the ground, just as yellow as it could be, harden cased. But until that corn dies and rots to its own body, it’ll never bring forth another sprout. And when the new life comes in it’s absolutely, altogether different from the first life. It’s soft and flexible and life. It comes from that little grain of life that’s cased in the outside.

E-18 So is the man or woman that’s borned of the Spirit of God. You may be ever so brilliant, intellectually. But till you are borned again, and your intellectuals has rotten away from your thoughts and you hold only to Christ and He’s filled you with His Spirit, that’s when the things of the world become foolish to you, and the love of God is great and first in your life.
There you are. Moses, or Aaron, and the prophets and so forth… I believe today that no preacher has a right to preach the Gospel until he’s come into this holy place. There’s where the miracles took place.

E-19 No wonder the church natural today can’t believe in miracles. They’ve never come into the miracle working place where they’re at rest with God. There’s where Aaron’s rod budded, something that was dead. An old dry stick off the desert in that holiest of holies took new life, and bloomed blooms, and sprouted out, and brought leaves. How? It was laying in the holiest of holies.
You can take a dead sinner, rotten, carnal in his mind and in his thinking a criticizer of the power of God, and bring him into the Presence of the Holy Ghost, there’ll be something happen to him. Sure. Entering into that lonely place with God… “He dwells,” says Moses in the next chapter, “in the thickness of the darkness.” That’s where God dwells. That’s where life stays. Is in the midst of the rotten corruption. Where does the life stay? In the seed after it’s rotten. When it dies to itself it brings forth a new life.
Where does God stay? He will stay with you if you’re ready to die out to yourself and give Him a chance: service: body. intellectual: spirit, thoughts; and soul, your faith in God: three room house.

E-20 Now, there was an approach to this house, as Moses made it. And I notice what kind of an approach it was. Before you could ever enter into that building, you had to be prepared before you entered into the worship. Now, we find over in the Scriptures that when God was making a way for the people to come to this building to worship Him, God said, “Take me a heifer that’s red, that never a yoke has ever been upon her.” Heifer, and she must be red, scarlet. Red speaks of redemption, blood, red.
That’s the reason our sins are red. That’s the reason the Blood of Christ is red. You take a red piece of glass and look at a red piece of glass and see what color you’ll get. Red through red looks white. Though our sins be as scarlet, when God looks through them through the Blood of His Son they are white as snow. Red, redemption, red through red looks white. When God looks through the Blood of His Son that you confessed to be your Saviour, He don’t see your sins anymore; they are white as snow. Red through red…

E-21 And He said, “Take a red heifer,” again the type of Christ. He wanted to make the waters of separation for the unbeliever. And He said, “Take this heifer where never a yoke has been upon her neck.” It speaks of not being yoked up with anything.
Trouble of it is today, we try to yoke up with everything. The church and the denominations are trying to yoke up with the world. But the power of God is not yoked to nobody but God. No denomination can say, “I have it.” God has it, no church, no denomination, no certain man, no creed, but God has it. Yoke yourself not up with unbelievers, but come out from among them; be yoked with God. “Take My yoke upon you,” said Jesus, “and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly, and you’ll find rest to your souls.”

E-22 Yoked up with nothing, never a yoke upon its neck… And this heifer was to be killed by the high priest. And it was Caiaphas the high priest who witnessed the death of the Lord Jesus. And it was to be killed before the whole congregation of Israel. And Israel was the one who condemned Jesus and witnessed His death. Yoked up with the unbelief of the world…
Notice, then this heifer was to be burned. Her hoofs, her head, her horns, the dung in the heifer, everything was to be burned. And in the burning there was to be put scarlet, cedar wood, and hyssop.

E-23 Now, the scarlet in the Bible is referred to as sheep’s wool died in blood, scarlet, the red meaning our redemption. That scarlet wool was to be throwed in with the heifer. And then cedar wood speaks of the cross. The cross, cedar wood, is white and got red streaks in it. And the white speaks of the righteousness of the cross. And the red speaks of the Blood that made it righteous. The cross was a curse. “Cursed is he that hangeth on a tree.” The cross was a curse until the Blood of Jesus Christ poured down it. Then we embrace it to our hearts. For it’s the righteousness of God. It was the red that’s in the cedar wood that makes the white righteous. Cedar wood should be burnt with it.

E-24 Then hyssop would be throwed in with the scarlet, cedar wood and hyssop. Hyssop is nothing but common weed. Meaning that the Gospel must never be taught by Dr., Ph.D. It must be taught in humility, just as humble as the weeds is before you. The Gospel’s never to be made complicated to the people. It’s to be humble.
It was the hyssop that they get from the lamb’s blood that went over the lintel of the door-post in Israel. Hyssop, weeds, just common weeds, making the humility of the Gospel of the waters of separation… Because the waters of separation is the Word of the living God. They were to be burned together: the heifer, the scarlet, the cedar wood, and the hyssop, all burnt together. And the ashes was to be kept in the outer court by–in a holy place.

E-25 God, let this sink deep in the hearts. The Word of God has no right to be preached out of an unholy mouth. It should not be preached out of a mouth of a man that would say that Jesus Christ was once one thing and now something else. It must be preached by a power of the living God through sanctified lips that’s dedicated to the service of the Lord.
Let these ashes, the waters of separation, be kept in a holy place. No believer that ever takes on the Name of the Lord Jesus, that ever confesses Him as Saviour, should ever do anything of the world. If he does, he should repent of it quickly, because them words of the waters of separation must be kept in a holy place, handled with clean hands.
No man has a right to preach the Gospel without first being sanctified from the cares and things of this world.

E-26 Waters of separation. What did it do? When the unbeliever, one born in Israel that wandered away, or a stranger came into the church, the first thing happened in the outside in the courts where the meat was served, where the Word was preached; the man with a clean heart and with clean hands, handling this scarlet, the burning of the heifer, the cedar wood, and the hyssop, taken and sprinkled this man with the waters of separation.
The preacher should have a clean, pure, unadulterated heart. His hands should be undefiled from the things of the world. That preaches the Word, is kept in a holy place, and ministered with holy hands. Ephesians the 6th chapter says that we are washed by the water of the Word: separation. “Faith cometh by hearing, hearing of the Word.”
What are we doing? We’re entering to this building. Here sets the tent, but before anyone can come in, that’s been an alien, that’s away from God, that’s once been and backslidden, or is gone out into the world, or one who is born outside of Israel, must first come and be sprinkled with the waters of separation, separating him from the things of the world, that his desire and love and desire is for the Word of God. He counts it greater than anything else.

E-27 Then what do they do with the blood of the heifer? They took the blood of the heifer and caught it in a charger, went to the doors of the Tabernacle, and there they smeared seven stripes across the door. Then when this worshipper, or sprinkled one, separated one from the things of the world is coming now, must, as he enters into the door to look at the blood, not to a creed, not to a denomination, but to the blood of a dead sacrifice.
You must remember, and seven times this was sprinkled. Which means all seven thousand years that human beings will exist upon the earth, because the blood has been, and will be the only grounds of fellowship that God will ever meet man on, the fellowship of the blood.

E-28 Here coming from the courts now into the fellowship. Before you can ever come into the fellowship of the believers you must be cleansed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. No matter how well you know the Bible, how well It’s been explained to you, you must recognize the Blood of the Lord Jesus and be cleansed and sanctified from your worldly habits: smoking, drinking, gambling. You women wearing immoral clothes, you deacons and so forth, and church members, drinking, smoking cigarettes, playing cards, run in pool rooms, that’s the things of the world. And you’ve got to be separated from that, and there’s only one thing can do it. That’s change your nature, and the Blood of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can do it. Correctly.

E-29 You must recognize the Blood. For every generation, from the very day in the garden of Eden that sin was committed, God made a preparation to fellowship with man again. That was through the blood. I don’t care how good your church is, how much denomination you got, how well you are prepared, how much you’ve shouted, what you spoke in tongues; it’s only the Blood of Jesus Christ that separates you from the things of the world.
What are we doing? We’re coming into that first temple that was dedicated. What was it? Hear the Word first. Then come and recognize the Blood. Yes.
People say today, “Sanctification, old fogy.” “Sanctify” means “to be clean.” And a man that can’t recognize the Blood of Jesus Christ that cleansed him from his sins, will never be able to fellowship with the true Church of the living God. You can’t do it.

E-30 I don’t mean denominational churches of the living God. We have plenty of them. Four, five different denominations, which they’re just as good as the rest of them, but altogether is condemned and he ain’t nothing until the Blood’s applied.

Oh, precious is the flow
Oh, precious is the flow
That makes us white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

No denomination, no church, no building, no barrier, no nothing but the Blood of Jesus. That’s the only fount I know for cleansing. And every fellow that comes to worship God must first be recognized that there was a sacrifice who died and His Blood was shed that you might enter into this fellowship. And accept it.

E-31 What I was trying to say last night about people who’s borned of the Spirit of God, no wonder they don’t see the things of the world, because they’re from another world. Their Spirit comes from above where holiness and righteousness dwells, where the Blood of Jesus on His bloody garment, hangs before God daily. The Angels bow before It. Everything in the heaven bows to It. And everything on earth that ever goes to heaven will bow to It. We must all recognize the Blood.

E-32 As we come beneath those seven stripes of blood, the worshippers coming in now for fellowship. Oh, some people go out and hear the Word; they go to a seminary; they think they learn all the teaching of the church; they think they got a right to preach. But they haven’t got a right to preach until they’ve recognized the Blood of Jesus Christ, cleansing them from their…

E-33 Preachers going down the street, their collars turned around, with a cigarette in their mouth, others getting out here on bathing beaches and everything else and laying with their congregations, having bunco games and parties in the church, and calling it preachers. No, sir. It’s manmade preachers. God called preachers come through the Blood.
Don’t care your denomination may be as old as the country is. But the Blood was the first thing God recognized. It was His only preparation for the cleansing of the soul. And it’s the only thing that God will recognize, and the only thing that God will fellowship by, is them that’s under the Blood. “For when I see the blood, I’ll pass, I’ll pass over you.” Only through the Blood, a man must recognize that.

E-34 What’s He doing? Coming into these three rooms now. He comes in to worship. First, when He gets in there, there’s three in there. Out here there’s three stages to get to it. The first is through the separation, water by the washing of the Word; second, recognizing the blood that he’s passing under; then when he comes in beneath the blood, he comes into the fellowship of all the saints. He’s baptized into the body by the Spirit of that One Who died, that smeared their blood mark over the door. Then he is sanctified, and then filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized into the body of the believers. That’s where God meets, under the shed blood.

E-35 That’s where God met in the first tabernacle. That’s where God meets in the second Tabernacle. That’s what this tabernacle’s built here for this morning. What is it? There is the congregation, the courts. Here is the holy place, the altar. And here is where the preacher stands, the holiest of holies where the Word is ministered to the people. And to come into the holiest of holies, no man has a right to preach without he’s been in there.
Now, when he gets into this place, when he comes and recognizes the Word, washed by the water of the Word, next, he recognizes the Blood; he’s sanctified. Then he’s brought into the fellowship of the believers and with God. Then in this tabernacle… Oh, I feel good, real religious.

E-36 In this tabernacle was the high priest, Aaron. Oh, my, in this fellowship, after entering into it, he was anointed, the anointed high priest. David said, “How sweet it is for our brethren to dwell together in unity. It is likened unto the precious anointing oil that they poured on Aaron’s head that run all the way down to the hems of his skirts.”
This anointing oil represents the Holy Spirit. Aaron was the high priest, a type of Christ. And notice, that anointing oil had in it the perfume of the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valley. The Rose of Sharon, that beautiful big red flower, who stands in its beauty, who represents Christ. Perfume can never be brought from this flower until that flower is crushed, and mashed, and squeezed out of it the perfume to be a sweet smelling savour unto the Lord.

E-37 And the great beautiful life that our Lord lived was instrumental in God’s hand. But it could never be a perfume until He was crushed, and mashed, and spit on, and squeeze the very life out of Him at Calvary. That made the anointing for us.
He was the Lily of the Valley. What do you get out of lilies? Opium. What does opium do? It soothes pain. It puts you to sleep in a dream land. What does the Holy Spirit do? The opium of the Holy Spirit eases every pain, takes away every tear, mends every heartache. The Lily of the Valley…

E-38 Then what is the High Priest anointed with? Both for salvation and for healing. What is it? The bright and morning star that shines forth every light in darkness.
And Abraham had the oath confirmed to him as the little Light went between those dark horrors and the sacrifices. The Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, the Rose of Sharon, the Fairest of ten thousands to my soul…
The minister then that stands in as a high priest to take the place of Aaron, must be anointed with fellowship. He cannot draw a denominational barrier in the house of God. You cannot say this house–this church belongs to the Presbyterian, this place belongs to the Methodist, or the Baptist, or the Pentecostals, or whatever it may. It must be an open house for every man that’s been separated from his sins and filled with the Spirit, can have the gladness of the fellowship of the Oil of the Lord. Oh, what a place to worship.

E-39 Running all the way down to every denomination, to every brother that’s borned of the Spirit, freely coming into the house. Aaron standing anointed, Jesus stands the anointed One this morning to fellowship with you Church of God, you Presbyterian, you Methodists, you Baptists, whoever that comes by the waters of separation and recognize the Blood and been sanctified and baptized into the body. I don’t care what brand that you have, you’re son and daughter of God and have a right to this fellowship, because you’ve come through. The denominational barriers will stop you, but the Holy Spirit will bring you into that fellowship that’s of God.

E-40 What have we done? That’s the order of the first tabernacle. If that isn’t the order of this tabernacle, it will perish and fall; you’ve built it in vain. You people who sacrificed your living to build this beautiful structure, which is…
I want to get the pattern of this. We’re fixing to build one in Jeffersonville. I like this.
I love your pastor; I love you. But brother, there is the order of the house of the Lord. It’s a temple that’s dedicated.
That was in a shadow. Moses saw it. Then one day, David was setting with the prophet, and he said to the prophet, Nathan; he said, “Is it right that I myself live in a house of cedar, and the ark of the covenant of my God is under them tents out yonder yet?”
And Nathan, being a prophet, knowed that David was right with God. He said, “David, do all that’s in your heart, for God is with you.”

E-41 And David desired to build Him a house. But that night God seen the motive of the prophet, seen the motive of the king and their objectives. He said, “Go, tell My servant, David, Who was he? I took him out of the sheepcote from following a few sheep.” What did He take you people from? “And I made him a name, like great names.”
When the Lord showed me that one day, I thought, “O God, what could I be?” A poor little preacher back there, never knowed no more than Jeffersonville. And one day by my cave, the Lord turned that to me, and the first time I’d ever read it, said, “I’d give you a great name like Oral Roberts, or–or Billy Graham, or some of them. Where’d I get you from? What was you?”

E-42 “But I just can’t let you build a Temple, because I’m going to let your son build it.” Oh, it was in types and shadows. Solomon built Him a temple. But the true Son of David is Jesus Christ, that built the real Temple, that was borned a virgin birth. And in His body is the everlasting Temple of God.
But in types and in dedication, Solomon built the temple. Remember, it was cut out of every different kind of stone. It was cut this way and that way. And for forty years in its structure, there was not heard the buzz of a saw or the pounding of a hammer. It was so perfectly cut out.

E-43 Now, one stone different from the other. And you denominational people here this morning, Church of God, and two or three different denominations of you, and all you Pentecostals, and the Oneness, and the Twoness, and the Threeness, and whatever you may be, do you realize that God’s doing that for a purpose?
The stones were cut out different, from different parts of the world. But when they come together, there wasn’t a buzz of a saw or a sound of a hammer. Someday the Chief Architect will come and the body of the Lord Jesus Christ… All you Oneness, Twoness, Threeness, Churches of God, Pentecostal, Assemblies will come together without a murmur and you’ll fit joint by joint, all be anointed, the High Priest is anointing.
Let Him be standing always in this building anointed, to reach out a hand to shake you, any man that’s borned of the Spirit of God. No matter what church he belongs to, he’s your brother; that’s your sister. When you draw a denominational barrier, God will leave this tabernacle when you can’t recognize all the Body of the Lord Jesus. For He died that we all could be saved. And God’s doing this for a purpose.

E-44 Remember, the cedars was cut out in Lebanon, floated to Joppa, hauled from Joppa by ox carts to Jerusalem. The tall cedars of Lebanon which is overlaid with gold in the temple, there wasn’t a sound of a saw nowhere.
Here’s one thing that they did, and that’s one thing the Church is doing today. In the erecting of the first tabernacle, stationary, from being a tent to go from place to place, it was this: They found out. They started the building, and they went so far, and they found out, they found a funny looking stone. It was a odd stone. It didn’t look like the rest of the stones. And they rejected it, and throwed it over in the weed pile. They said, “That stone won’t fit in this building.” And they kicked it out into the weed pile. But as they kept coming up to a certain place, they kept running into a place, after while they had a hole in the building. And they didn’t have nothing would fit it.

E-45 That’s where you churches is got today, you denominations; you built, and you plastered, and you got buildings; but you find there’s a hole there somewhere. What did they find? The stone that was rejected, said Jesus, is the chief cornerstone. Certainly.
You made denominations, “We have it; the rest of them’s not in it.” You’re leaving out the love of God, the chief cornerstone. I don’t care how many miracles you can perform, how many prophets you have, how many works of grace you do; it’ll never meet or never do anything because the Church of the living God is melted together and cemented by love. And they rejected that stone.

E-46 Like Elijah in the cave. He heard first go by a great thunder and roar. Then he heard a lot of lightning. Then he had a rushing wind. But God was not in all of it.
I think that’s what we’ve done today. We’ve had fire, and blood, and smoke, and rushing wind. We’ve listened so much to rushing mighty winds till I wonder if we haven’t refused to hear the still small voice?
Let it not be so with this tabernacle. May it stand still, listen for God, as, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with the wings of an eagle; they’ll run and not be weary (That’s flusterated.). They’ll walk and not faint. Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, how to wait.”

E-47 Sure, there they had it. Rejected stone become the chief of the cornerstone, the chief cornerstone. That’s where it’s at. And when they rightly went and got this rejected stone and pressed it in, it fit perfectly, and the building was assembled together.
Then when the building was assembled together and all completed, Solomon called the day of dedication. That tabernacle was built just exactly like this here. The congregation, the court, the altar, and the holiest of holies. But look at the principles they had to come to. Look what they had to stand for. Look how they had to have this common place of fellowship.

E-48 Let this tabernacle always stand by those principles, which was in type then, now it’s antetype. Where then the order of dead beasts sprinkled the mercy seat, but now the Blood of Jesus Christ sprinkles the mercy seat. And as we come in we must recognize the Blood and the healing of the God–of the power of God. We must recognize the full Gospel. We must have fellowship with every brother or sister that desires fellowship that’s come through the same elements that we have. Never let his denomination stand in the way; this church will stand till the coming of the Lord then. For I believe it’s soon at hand.

E-49 But after the ark was brought in, and the waters of separation was placed in the court, the blood was put, striped over the door from the killing of the red heifer. When everything was in order, Solomon called the people together as your pastor has called you this morning. Oh, it was a real time of dedication and of fellowship.
In closing I want to say this. They called them together. And when the people coming to see that God finally had a place that He would meet them… The appropriation of His Gospel was made clear. The way of approach was made clear. Everything was made right.
Look, they called out the sons of the different instrument players, and they went down to the east side of the altar; they was dressed in white, and they sang the songs with joy. The people praised God till it sound like one voice. If that ain’t Pentecost, I never seen it in all my life, when it’s in its power and its holi… [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]

E-50 The temple was ready to be dedicated. Are you ready this morning for dedication? Remember, not only did Israel be ready for dedication of the temple, but they were dedicating themselves to God again when they had come in.
The Pentecostal church today… And this pastor here, I believe with my heart, is a man of God. I believe that he stands for the principles that God has laid out to us. So you see, the dedication of a church don’t only mean coming and saying, “Lord, we give You this building.” But it means, “Lord, we give ourselves to You in sacrifice.” It isn’t a lily on the altar that God wants every Easter morning; it’s the sinner on the altar. It’s not the class and the beauty of the building, which is fine. Solomon’s temple was the same. But it’s coming under the oracles of God, coming self sacrifice to the service of God.

E-51 And when Israel had finally made one place that they could all dwell in, come to a place and meet God under the fellowship of the blood, then they begin to sing with joy. They begin to play the harp. They praised God in such one accord until it sounded like one voice a singing.
Then Solomon stood to pray and to make the dedication to the Lord. And when he did that, remember, the ark had already been brought in under the wings of the Cherubim and set back in the holy place. But when the people dedicated, not the church, not the building, but when the people got with one accord, and prayed with one accord, and sang with one accord, and everything was of one accord, then the Holy Spirit in the form of a Pillar of Fire, moved into the building and settled upon the place. And it was so much glory in that building until the priests could not minister any more.

E-52 God let it be again. Let it come again to this little tabernacle. We walk through the Blood, or under the Blood of the Lord Jesus, confessing our sins and be filled with His Spirit and come here… And you people this morning should be just as glad and happy of this little tabernacle, as Israel was of theirs.
Come under the same order as they come and happiness will come to your heart. Bear in your heart that you’ll never condemn any man that’s borned of the Spirit, that you’ll have fellowship with all of His servants, with all of His people. May this stand as an interdenominational institution. May this stand to a place as a wayfaring may come by. May this be a place this house by the side of the road. May it be a place where the pilgrim, the wayfaring man can find rest as he enters its door. May its pastor live to see the coming of the Lord. May the congregation grow and prosper in all that you do. May God’s blessings rest upon it. And He Who made me a minister by His grace, I pronounce this blessing to this little church, as long in promise as it will stay under the order of God it shall remain. But if it gets out of the order of God, anything can happen to it.

E-53 Be sure that the Blood is over the lintels of each door of your heart. Over the lintels of the door there, that there’s no denominational barriers, there’s no difference; we’re all one in Christ Jesus. Let it be for whosoever will may come and fellowship. Never fail to preach the full Gospel from this holy sanctuary. May it be that this place here will always have miracles and signs and wonders of the resurrected Jesus.
May the anointed high priest with oil of the opium to soothe every broken heart. May the Rose of Sharon, the sweetness of the Spirit are so richly with the anointing oil, so be preached here and demonstrated here, till men from all parts of the country will come in and say, “Truly, God is with you.”

E-54 May signs and wonders accompany the preaching of our brother. And if he shall go somewhere else, or pass on, may the one who follows him walk into this building as it has been down through the years since Sam Jones and them. May this Holy Ghost Gospel never fail to be preached here. May it never compromise or draw boundary lines through any denomination. May it always be open to whosoever will let him come and drink from the fountains of the Lord.

E-55 While we pray as Solomon did, the dedication prayer, may the congregation stand with their hands and pray in your own way, and thank God for this tabernacle, and for a place of worship, that the Lord our God has found a place at last that He can place His Name, and–under the blood and the fellowship of the Spirit. Let every person raise your head now. And in your own way let us dedicate ourself with this temple to the glory of God.

E-56 Almighty God, we come into Thy Presence, bringing to Thee the works of the hands of the children of men, this tabernacle, that tears and sacrifice and labors has bought its material. Careful hands has designed it and made it a place. And upon their hearts was the same burden that was on David’s heart. “It’s not right for us to worship in this old dilapidated shack when many of us live in good homes.”
O Lord God, let it be so, that the same Holy Ghost and the same oracles of God will be preached in the antetype now in this tabernacle. May the Holy Spirit move today, and come in through the doorway, and settle upon everyone. May the power of the living God be in this tabernacle. May it always stand to the glory of the Name of Jesus Christ.

E-57 Lord God, we commit it to You, the works of the hands, the labor, the toils, the cares. And, Lord, may it not be in vain, but may people realize its dedicated message this morning to You in the dedication of the tabernacle.
May it be, Lord, that You’re Spirit will come into this place. May every man or woman that’s out of Christ, when it walks through that door, may it recognize that it’s coming under the Blood. May there be such a feeling here of the blessedness of Christ, the sweetness of the Spirit, until men and women will flow from all parts of the city and around about to hear the Gospel from here. May this congregation so be seasoned and salted with the baptism of the Holy Ghost until they’ll be called the salt of the earth. Grant it, Lord. Hear our prayers this morning.

E-58 Not only do we give You this tabernacle, but we give ourselves to You in service for this tabernacle, and for the cause in which it stands for. O God, receive us this morning, We are Your children. We stand here this morning to our feet, our hands up, our eyes looking up, because we believe that the Holy Spirit is present. Here us, Lord, and receive our prayer. And receive our commemoration of Your goodness, the works of our hands as we present it to You. May the power of God take our sacrifice, and take us with it, and dedicate both tabernacle and congregation to the Kingdom of God and the work of His Son. For we ask it in Jesus Christ’s Name as we give it to You. Amen. You may be seated.

E-59 This tabernacle now belongs to God Almighty. You belong to God Almighty. Always keep yourself clean; keep your church clean. Keep it upright, so that any who travels by, might love to come in and fellowship with you, have such a sweet Spirit till you can reach out a hand to anyone and offer them help. No matter how far they are down in the gutter, that’s what this stands for, a shrine of the grace of God. It’s your…

Sermon details
Listen to this tape
Save (download) this tape (in Real Audio format)
Save (download) this tape as an MP3 file
This Message by Brother William Marrion Branham
called Church Dedication
was delivered on Wednesday morning, 8th July 1959 at the Church Of Faith in Cleveland, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The tape, number 59-0708M,
is 58 minutes, and consists of 1 cassette.The text is provided courtesy of Voice of God Recordings, Jeffersonville Indiana
Voice Of God Recordings
P.O. Box 950, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47131 U.S.A.
Phone (812) 256-1177
Fax (812) 256-6187The tape in RealAudio and MP3 (as linked above) is supplied byCloverdale Bibleway.

 

E-1 [ Brother Littlefield introduces Brother Branham saying, “Happy you’re here and God bless you, my dear brother.”–Ed.] Thank you. Thank you very much Brother Littlefield.
As I was coming in just a few moments ago, Billy, my son told me, I believe, that Sam Jones was the Evangelist. Is that right? [A brother says, “Sam Jones Coleweather, that–that’s with Sam Jones.”–Ed.]
lives here. So this spot must be kind of in a sacred spot, at a spot
dedicated to the Lord. And we have built a building on top of this holy
place. And this morning we are here for dedication of this building to
the God Who has protected it and brought all these things to pass.
And it’s always a great pleasure to me to–and a privilege, to speak a
few words concerning, in a dedication of a church to the service of the
Lord. Now, the church is just a building. But it was said once that–by
Stephen, he said, “Solomon built Him a house. But howbeit the Most High
dwelleth not in the houses made with hands; but a body has Thou
prepared Me.” See?

E-2
And we know that the Church is a… The Spirit of God in the people,
makes the Church. But we also have places of–gathering places
dedicated where the–this Church body gathers together to worship God.
And God has given to our precious brother and to this congregation,
this most beautiful structure. Therefore we are here this morning for
that purpose: to dedicate it to be a place of worship to the Lord our
God.
I’m going to ask that this pastor, to have a part in this dedication,
to read out of the Bible, II Chronicles the 5th chapter, before we have
the dedicational service: II Chronicles 5, Brother Littlefield.

E-3 [Brother Littlefield reads the Scripture:

Thus all the work that Solomon made for the
house of the Lord was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things
that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and
the instruments, put he among the treasure of the house of God.
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel,
and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the
children of Israel, out of Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the
covenant out of–the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of
David, which is Zion.
Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
And they brought up the ark, and the
tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels and were in
the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
And king Solomon, and all the congregation of
Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep
and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for–for multitude.
And the priests brought in the ark of the
covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracles of the house, into
the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:
For the cherubims spread forth their
wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and
the staves thereof and above.

Revival Harvest Campaign Continues: The Nehemiah Experience

September 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

Revival Harvest Campaign Continues: The Nehemiah Experience

Since our 2018 Revival Harvest Campaign with the theme of Nehemiah Experience began, we have been receiving miracles reports:

  • a lady seeking for the Holy Spirit for some time now, was baptized late at night after the service and began speaking in tongues while on her bed
  • heavy anointing to the point of people blacking out
  • a truck driver came from the street to seek God
  • a spontaneous Jericho march broke out with dramatic spiritual manifestation
  • right arm hurt in a car accident many years ago, began feeling sensation in muscles and ligaments again during the service
  • a clear direction was given by the Holy Ghost to remain faithful to the vision 

With these supernatural confirmations, we felt compelled to extend our 2018 Revival Nehemiah Experience Harvest Campaign. If your church is interested, please do not hesitate to call and schedule us!

Strangers will come in the Church
And the walls need to be fortified…

How to Detect a Pedophile: Characteristics, Mannerisms and Personality

September 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, News

By Kathryn N. Donev, LPC/MSHP, NBCC.

Pedophilia is a medically diagnosable disorder typically “defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents (persons age 16 and older) characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty may vary)”(Wikipedia). It is a disorder that does not discriminate by race, class or age. The Department of Justice estimates, approximately 400,000 convicted pedophiles currently reside in the United States (Snyder). The following will attempt to present a profile of a pedophile in order to make aware their tactics and typical personality traits used as part of a strategy to take advantage of innocent children.

SOCIALLY CHALLENGED
According to the American Psychiatric Association the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are male. They are typically more religious than not and over the age of 30 (Montaldo, Ruggles). Researcher reports a correlation between pedophilia and certain psychological characteristics, such as poor social skills (Emmers-Sommer). Pedophiles are typically antisocial with few friends and not in a relationship. If in a relationship, they will more likely be in a superficial one with a person whom has a child of their preferred age range whom they can target. If married, the relationship is more “companion” based with no sexual relations and is typically dysfunctional providing only a façade to their real identity (Montaldo).

INTROVERTED CHARACTER
Being an introvert, they will prefer to keep personal information limited. They are often vague about past history. If closed off to real intimate relationships then they do not have to share their real identity from which they are hiding. This achieved goal of avoidance is considered a great personal accomplishment and is one of the ways they compensate for low self-esteem. However, they will present such an overwhelming caring personality that purposes to form “intimate” bonds in which they will invest in listening to the lives of those around them. This bond will appear so real that one overlooks that there is no reciprocity of sharing and in reality you know nothing to very little about the pedophile with whom you feel close.

DEMONSTRATIVE PERSONALITY
Pedophiles may also demonstrate increased personal affection. You may observe that this type of person is “a hugger” or will constantly enter ones personal space and do so at times without invitation. This characteristic is accepted as a personality trait and innocently overlooked and excused. After time, one begins to subconsciously let their guard down as systematically the pedophile becomes closer to you and your loved ones entering an intimate realm. They also may attempt to exaggerate situations to test the limits of an individuals understanding. For example if another protests the initial reaction or exaggeration presented by the pedophile then this information give an insight to ones awareness level and how easily they may be manipulated.

PROFESSIONAL MANIPULATORS
Even though some studies show that a pedophile has lower intellectual abilities and self-esteem (Marshall) they are skillful professional manipulators. They are so successful they are able to present a non-unlikeable persona. Meaning they are overly friendly and engaging to the point where one finds themselves in a relationship without even making a conscious effort. Their personality is so magnetic that it attracts children and adults alike. One allows themselves to continue with such relationship due to the appearances of trustworthiness and respectability presented by the pedophile. They are people who are in good standing in the community and will find themselves in a position of helping such as coaching, ministry leaders, volunteers, and so forth (Ruggles, Wooden).

PROTECTOR ROLE
Child molesters often make efforts to gain access to or authority over children (Wooden). Because the internal desire of a pedophile is for a child to become a possession, a child is the focus of great destructive obsession. A child is the focal point of the world of a pedophile and may often be referenced in terms which are drastically uplifting or angelic such as innocent, heavenly or divine (Montaldo). This strong child advocacy is often viewed as an innocent protective act and is one of the reasons why they are allowed to get close to children. You may also overlook all of the physical affection or photographs taken of a child because this is done in a manner which is portrayed as a service to children across the board. If a pedophile does take pictures in the open, others will be convinced that such are not for personal use but for the greater good perhaps being published in a child advocacy resource or so forth.

CHILDLIKE GESTICULATION
A pedophile, even though they charm their way into the lives of adults by trade, they prefer to be around children more so feeling more comfortable and understood. They surround themselves with items that will make them more appealing to children perhaps even including the way they dress. Some even control the way they talk and prefer to use a soft, slow, gentle, childlike, and more so feminine voice over a strong, threatening, controlling manly voice. They obsessively prefer childlike activities over adult ones. They may test the acceptance level of playing children’s’ games with children by first attempting to see if adults like to play such games as well.

UNDERDOG MENTALITY
It is true that some pedophiles are highly intellectual. Yet they will use any intellectual difficulty or perceived difficulty to their advantage and enjoy being the “underdog”. This allows them to reach out to even the most unaware unknowledgeable person for help with everyday tasks. It is a part of human nature to help those in need and a pedophile will use this to their advantage. This is how they get their foot in the door in order to silently but skillfully creep into your community, social network and ultimately your personal home. You may see this characteristic demonstrated in the constant reminder that they are from a different town and are not familiar with the local culture or area. Or they may obsessively seek your guidance, assistance or approval for even the smallest of tasks. They play off of ones need to be needed.

EPILOGUE
Remember pedophiles are professional manipulators and you will have to make a conscious effort to see through the sophisticated front which they have learned to master. Keep in mind that you should always trust your internal instincts. This is one area in which a pedophile has no advantage over you. Do not attempt to convince yourself that what you are sensing is not real for it is when you fall into this trap that you begin to slowly loose touch with reality and are bewildered and sucked into a lie one which is too dangerous to ignore. Never be afraid by the lies that I will hurt ones feelings if I make aware my observations or I am being too pushy by trying to get more history on a person who is so closed off. When all of the signs are present it is our responsibility as true child advocates to protect our children at any cost.

2011. Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Author and CCMI Consortium. Not to be reproduced in any manner without permission of author or CCMI.

Works Cited

American Psychiatric Association. Fact sheet: pedophilia. Available at:www.medem.com/index.cfm. Accessed March 01, 2011.

Emmers-Sommer, T. M., Allen, M., Bourhis, J., Sahlstein, E., Laskowski, K., Falato, W. L., et al. A meta-analysis of the relationship between social skills and sexual offenders. 2004. Communication Reports, 1–17.

Marshall, W. L. The relationship between self-esteem and deviant sexual arousal in nonfamilial child molesters. 1997. Queens University. Sage Journal Publication of Behavior Modification.

Montaldo, Charles. Profile of a pedophile. Available at: www.about.com. Accessed March 17, 2011.

Ruggles, Tammy L. Profile of a pedophile. Available at www.mentalhealthmatterss.com. February 2009. Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 September 2010 15:46. Accessed March 5, 2011.

Snyder, Howard N. Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics; 2000. Publication NCJ 182990.

Wikipedia. Article: pedophilia. Available at www.wikipedia.org. Accessed March 15, 2011.

Wooden, Ken, (with Rosemary Webb & Jennifer Mitchell). Think First & Stay Safe™ Parent Guide. A profile of the child molester. 2010. Publication Child Lures Prevention/Teen Lures Prevention.

First Day of School in Bulgaria

September 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

« Previous PageNext Page »