This small book has been over ten years in the making. It is a commentary and study guide for the doctrinal teachings of the Church of God aligned with our Declaration of Faith. It was initially prepared for Bible School and seminary students due to the lack of Sunday school and teaching literature in the Bulgarian vernacular. Through the years however, it has became the standard teaching tool in Sunday schools and programs across the country being used in several Bulgarian churches across Europe as well.
The Bible series was initially published in single lesson leaflets for the Church of God in Sofia. Our team would prepare the lessons every week and print about a thousand copies of each to teach at the beginning of each Sunday morning service. As we gathered information from the local churches at the 2002 Church of God national minister’s meeting, it was reported that thousands of leaflets were being copied, distributed and taught each month without us even knowing about it. Our team has further presented the complete series in the Church of God congregations of Sofia, Pravetz, Ruse, Gabrovo and even Chicago. We are grateful that after all these years it has finally seen its publication as a book accompanied with the video teachings of our weekly Bible Hour broadcast program.
Lessons accompanied with video presentations included in volume 1:
Lesson 1: My Bible
Lesson 2: Holy Trinity
Lesson 3: Jesus Christ
Lesson 4: Repentance for Salvation
Lesson 5: Difficult Questions
Lesson 6: Fasting
Lesson 7: Prayer
Lesson 8: Holiness
Lesson 9: Holy Ghost Baptism
Lesson 10: Giving and Charity
Lesson 11: Water Baptism
Lesson 12: Divine Healing
Lesson 12: Divine Healing
Lesson 13: Holy Communion
Lesson 14: Last Days
Lesson 15: Resurrections
Lesson 16: Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit
Lesson 17: Theology with Melody
Lesson 18: Ministry and Praxis
Lesson 19: Angels
Lesson 20: Pentecostal Primitivism
The Holy Ghost within us cries for holiness and we shall not be oppressed, depressed, repressed, regressed, transgressed by this dead and dying world. For there’s a standard of heaven and a judgment of God; a rule of holiness and a road of righteousness which must begin nowhere else but with the household of God; where God is doing a NEW thing in 2013 speaking a SEASON of:
and re-telling the old, old story that a King has left His glory and died on cross on Calvary to save a wretch like me…
In 1994, as a prophetic warning to the nation some seven years before the 9/11 attacks, Dr. David Franklin wrote “A Call to Righteousness: Impending Judgment.” Drawing conclusions from Ezekiel’s chapter 12 desolation, destruction, dispersion, despair and prophetic hope in chapter 14, he warns that:
(1) When a nation persists in violence, the Sovereign Lord confronts and holds responsible
(2) When a nation forgets God, He allows for times of repentance
(3) If repentance is ignored, God will expose and execute judgment on an unfaithful nation.
The book continues with a call for international righteousness (p. 10) and a critique of the debt-free myth proclaiming a time of economic shift (p. 11-12). Remember, this warning was written two decades before anyone in America had mentioned foreclosure, crises or global economic crises. But my favorite chapter still is the interpretation of Ezekiel’s vision of the departure of the Glory of God (p. 20-21).
I read this book back in 1999 and frankly had forgotten about it until 2011 when, at a young ministers training camp in the mountains of Bulgaria, we experienced what we consider the most genuine appearance of the Glory of God in our whole ministry. We wrote about it then and presented our observation at the 2012 Missions Conference at the Good Shepherd Church of God inPahokee,FL. The four points of our observation carry a tremendous prophetic resemblance to what Dr. David Franklin had proclaimed in his book 18 years ago:
(1) Every time God renews His covenant with His people, He shows His presence.
(2) We know that God is present in the covenant, because He shows His glory. It happened to Moses and his generation. And it also happened to Solomon several hundred years later.
(3) When a generation looses the vision of the Glory of God, God begins renewing His covenant again with a new generation.
(4) God is not satisfied with a people who know the signs and the blessings of the covenant. He rests not until He is revealed as the God of the covenant.
1. Every time God renews His covenant with His people, He shows His presence.
2. We know that God is present in the covenant, because He shows His glory. It happened to Moses and his generation. And it also happened to Solomon several hundred years later.
3. When a generation looses the vision of the glory of God, God begins renewing His covenant again with a new generation.
4. God is not satisfied with a people who know the signs and the blessings of the covenant. He rests not until He is revealed as the God of the covenant.
This past year has been personally a very difficult one. There has been much heartache, much pain and much worry. No need to mention details because in the midst of every trial, I found peace and know that I serve a God who is still The God and more powerful than all chaos.
After being in Bulgaria for 6 months and out of the States for a bit longer this past trip, the transition of returning was peculiarly unsettling. We were coming back to the disaster area and aftermath of six tornadoes; however the Lord did not allow us to go immediately “home” when we arrived.
This was not strange because with our ministry it is typical for us to constantly be traveling going from one home to the next. We traveled an over 2,000 miles route of ministry by literally trains, planes and automobiles and even this was still normal for us.
At what we thought would be the last leg of our journey, we found ourselves trying to leave but unable to do so. We tried everything physically possible and for some reason all of our attempts were stopped abruptly even to the point we got stuck in a “rare snow storm” as reported by the national weather advisory.
This was strange to me. It was during this time that after more than a week of trying to leave and asking time after time, why is this happening, that I was reminded three times to “Be still and know that I am God”; once in the Spirit, the next day during a televised 20/20 special and finally with an online verse of the day the following day.
This is something hard to do when you are so used to moving. I know that He is God but being still is a challenge. Yet, I felt that the Lord was saying more than just to be still in the physical sense but in the mental sense as well; not to worry because He is still God and this is a lesson with which I will conclude out my year.
The year 2011 has been in the true sense a whirlwind, moving us thru over a dozen US states and a half dozen countries surviving tornadoes, earthquakes and floods. So I embrace this scripture as the year comes to an end and proclaim that regardless of the heartache, pain and worry I will be still, I will be calm, because He is still God.
We as a society, as a culture, have come a long way indeed. And this is a good thing. Equality is a good thing. Independence is a good thing. Rights are a good thing. Voice is a good thing. And here comes the “however”. When our right to all of this freedom becomes perverted into selfishness is when I begin to question this idea of social justice. What is the purpose of such? Is it not for equality and solidarity together? When the latter is lacking there is no social justice. When your rights begin invading on mine then there appears to be a contradiction with neither social nor justice. Does freedom of speak serve it’s function when it invades on the opinions and belief system of another? In the midst of this rising post modernistic mentality, it appears that there is freedom for all but one group called Christians whom are becoming the minority not even standing up for themselves.
We have turned into a culture who is loyal to nothing and everything at the same time; those whom occupy for a purpose unknown to themselves, those who fight for the right to be right. All values are acceptable, all beliefs are true, all gods are God. This protest for social justice confuses and in turn controls. I do believe that everyone should have the right to fight for the right to fight but when we are fighting for acceptance of no absolutes and only objective truths there is something wrong and I cannot remain silent sitting at the back of the bus. Of course I agree with the stand against classification however a line needs to be drawn when we begin to fight against the distinction of right and wrong, of good and evil. I remember a time when right was right and wrong was wrong; when white was white and black was black and I am not talking about the color of your skin. If there is no distinction between good and evil, righteousness is obsolete. With all being relative, there is no literal Heaven or Hell. Spirituality is no longer synonymous with religious. You can pray to which ever god you choose or all gods at the same time just in case. Yet, regardless of your beliefs, the true test will be if the god to whom you are praying answers. There most definitely is still more to be done.