5 Pentecostal Discussions on the Full Five Fold Everlasting Gospel

October 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News, Research

What is a “full gospel” ? John Kissinger [03/31/2015 3:47 PM] W. Faupel defined Full Gospel within the doctrinal themes of: 1) justification by…

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The Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought by D.W. Faupel follows the following outline: 1. The Pentecostal Message:…

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The Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought

April 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

faupel everlasting gospelThe Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought by D.W. Faupel follows the following outline:

  1. The Pentecostal Message: In this chapter Faupel explores the pre-formation of the Pentecostal message. He relates its content to the Full Gospel, which includes: salvation, sanctification, baptism with the Holy Spirit, healing and second coming.
  2. Context of Pentecostal Thought: In this chapter Faupel gives a brief sketch of the American context at the end of the 19th century. His focus on the American culture as ground for Pentecostalism, however, seemed quite narrow especially in retrospect to the original glassolalia experience by the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
  3. The Pentecostal Message: Faupel offers an interesting observation on the lives, messages, ministries and outcomes of three major pre-Pentecostal American figures. He writes of J.A. Dowie. Frank W. Sandford and Charles Parham.
  4. The Coming of the Latter Rain: Faupel begins the story of Seymuor as a continuation of the historical formation of the Pentecostal Movement linking it back to the ministry of Parham. He explores the beginning of the Azusa Street revival and its affect on Los Angeles, the United States and worldwide.
  5. Defining the Parameters of Pentecostal Though: The end of Faupel’s story focuses on the outcomes of the Latter Rain phenomenon. Main concern of the plot is the ministry of Durham in Chicago, who proposes the idea of Finished Work. Durham claims that thought Calvary there are only two works of grace, the salvation experience and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The sanctification, he proposes, comes in the life of the believer through the salvation experience.

Called & Empowered

July 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, News

calledCalled & Empowered is a collection of essays that addresses a number of critical post-modern issues. The main purpose of the book is to introduce and answer problematic questions related to church and culture. A great addition is the compilation of in-depth cultural studies and recent theological developments viewed in Christian context. What made the book interesting for me personally was the presence of a number of well-balanced critical perspectives which were presented from different viewpoints. Because they were combined with different cultural factors, they were helpful in understanding the Global Mission of Pentecostalism. The supportive evidence focused on the Kingdom, culture, social formation and unity.

On the Kingdom of God
During the latter part of the twentieth century, the doctrine of the Kingdom of God was of great concern for many theologians and missiologists. In my short educational experience, I have been introduced to a number of works on the subject, some of which were quite controversial. However, it has been interesting to read about the Kingdom strategy of Jesus, along with the development of the Kingdom theology in the context of third world praxis. It seems that in both cases, it is reasonable to accept the fact that since the Kingdom of God was a prime concern in the ministry of Jesus, as well as in the ministry of John the Baptist and the apostles, it should carry the same importance in our Christian life and activities. Unfortunately, this may not be the observed reality in Christianity today. However, traditionally and historically, Pentecostal Christians have always focused on the Kingdom of God. A very particular example in this case is the already-not-yet proposal, which is directly associated with Kingdom theology.

On Gospel and Culture
This particular division in Called and Empowered has a very important discussion on the urbanization of the Pentecostal mission. Historically, Pentecostal revivals do not begin in huge urban centers and do not focus or attract them. It seems that such revivals occur mainly among people who are neither highly educated, nor economically prosperous. Also they do not occupy a high rank in the social hierarchy. It is only after they have had a period of successful existence as aggressively growing religious organizations that the Pentecostal Churches and ministries start aiming at the great cultural, economical and political urban centers. Such progressive development is evident in the Bible. Undeniably, the first move of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 was among uneducated people such as fishermen and tax collectors. Similar concern was expressed by Gentiles present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Nevertheless, shortly thereafter the Gospel was preached before kings, politicians, governors and military leaders. Therefore, what Pentecostalism rediscovers today is not a new blending of culture and Gospel, but rather a reclamation of the continuity of historical inheritance.

On Pentecostal Response to Marxism
A very good point was made by Dr. Kuzmic in his exposition on Marxism in relation to the existence of Pentecostalism. It is always quite disturbing when a parallel between Marx’s socialism and Christianity is being made. In Eastern Europe however, this idea is not as neoteric as proposed by some Western writers. In the early twentieth century Nikolay Berdyaev, one of the most prominent socialist writers, introduced what is considered probably the first comparison between Christianity and Marxism. The similarities are many: common wealth, economical and social balance, peace, brotherhood, ect. Also, communism in many ways imitates Christianity. Good examples are the establishment of the social and economical infrastructure of cultural communes, work unions and agricultural cooperatives which have common assets. A similar example is the almost “religious” dedication required by the Communist Party.

What is missed, however, is the simple fact that Marxism, different from Christianity, lacks God. As Dr. Kuzmic points out, Marx hated all gods, including Christ. Therefore, there is no room for comparison. If Communism is Christianity without Christ, it then stands far away from the whole idea of the existence of Christianity. This was shown through the enormous failure of communism in Eastern Europe. Since Dr. Kuzmic has personally experienced all of the above, his exposition on Marxism in relation to Pentecostalism assesses the true danger of such a parallel.

On Ecumenism and Pentecostal Mission
The last evidence is drawn from the discussion on Ecumenical Mission offered in Called & Empowered and my long-term relationship with the World Council of Churches. The World Council of Churches is one of the numerous organizations which promote worldwide Christian unity through reconciliation, theological dialogue, sharing of resources and the vision of a community life rooted in a particular cultural context.

The vision of the World Council of Churches is based on the common Christian mission of introducing Christ and Christianity to the world. I am persuaded that the future of World Missions is for Christians uniting with a common purpose for our Christian mission. Undoubtedly, such process will take time and mutual efforts. I am reminded of this as I observe my home country, Bulgaria where Protestant Christians are divided against one another and unity is lacking. Unified missions will not only bring oneness and harmony back into the church, but it will formulate the ecclesiastical community after the image of the Early Church from the Book of Acts. The results from such a unified mission will not only be world changing, but self-changing as well.

Mission Applications
The following part of this overview will include a mission application response to the evidences listed above. As it focuses on the Eastern European context, it will further suggest mission applications in the present Protestant reality in the region, and more specifically among the Bulgarian Pentecostals. The above four evidence accents were chosen among others because they all pertain to today’s Bulgarian Protestant reality. The kingdom of God as both present reality and eschatological hope takes a bit different perspective in a society where forty five years of Communist regime has left a deep scar on people’s mentality. Healing for the emotional and social wounds has not been provided by rapidly changing governments and political models, crime has increased, severe economical crises have occupied and there remains a constant fear and lack of hope for the future. In such context, the Kingdom of God is much more than a present reality or a future hope. It is all that the Protestant church in Bulgaria really has.

Gospel and culture are an essential part of Bulgarian missions work. On the Balkan Peninsula where Bulgaria is located, there are more than 150 languages and dialects spoken. Adding the crossroads of three world religions, three continents and constant migration of people that has been going on for thousands of years, makes this Europe’s melting pot of cultures and ethnoses. Discovering a paradigm which will serve as a buffer between the ever-changing Balkan culture and the eternal Gospel will be the ever-present factor that determines the success of Protestantism on the Balkans.

In Eastern European cultural and social context, the mentioning of Communism indeed has a different meaning. The Pentecostal church in Bulgaria historically and ideologically has opposed Communism in every form, and thus Pentecostal Christianity in Bulgaria must differentiate from Communism in order to remain in its historical distinctives. In order to be successful in its mission and message, and at the same time remain within its original identity, the Bulgarian Protestant movement must continue to oppose Communism in all of its forms.

The final evidence of ecumenism must be understood in Eastern European settings not only as an ecumenical cooperation of different religious formations, but as a union between all existing Protestant groups. As costly as such idea may seem, it will strengthen Eastern European Protestantism. Historically, in Bulgaria an organization called Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance (United Evangelical Churches) has served such purpose by preserving the identity of the denominations members. Such unity of cooperation must continue in even more strategic and planned ways in order to provide Bulgarians with the proper social context for national Protestant reformation and revival.

Gospel of Matthew Released for Christmas

December 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

113_matthew_20101True Reformation does not start with preaching or theology, although they are both fundamental stones of every process that changes the people of the church. But in order for this to occur, both preaching and theology need a text; and not merely any text, but Divinely Inspired Scriptures – the Holy Bible.

In our humble ministry efforts, we have attempted to provide this text in the form of a new Bulgarian literal translation made from the Nestle-Aland critical edition of the New Testament. The initial work started in 1996 with brief interruptions until 2003 when the framework was completed and the project was successfully launched.

In 2007, we set course with a pilot edition of the new translation including the Gospel of John, which was printed for Christmas. Our team continued with a full edition of the Johannine works, which included The Gospel of John, Epistles and Apocalypse, published for Easter 2008. In 2009, we presented a partial methodology behind the translation at the Logos Software’s annual BibleTech conference in Seattle and at the 2010 BibleTech in San Jose, our team was able to show in an actual work setting the software used to prepare the Bulgarian interlinear text to the Nestle-Aland critical edition of the New Testament. Finally, we were able to publish in print the complete translation of the Gospel of Matthew for Christmas 2010. The printing of Mark and the Lukan Corpus are scheduled respectively for Easter and Christmas of 2011.

Other related project by Cup & Cross Ministries International:
JOHN: Gospel, Epistles and the Apocalypse (New Bulgarian Translation) released for Easter, 2008

OurCOG.org | WorldMissions.TVProBible.Net | Bibliata.com | Bibliata.TV

New Bulgarian Translation of the Bible Released

June 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Books, News

Cup & Cross Ministries has released a new translation of the complete Johannine works (the Gospel, Epistles and Revelation) for the Bulgarian Easter on April 27, 2008.The final result of this project is a 90-page book including Bulgarian literal translation from the Greek originals NA 27/28, critical apparatus, textual commentary and translators notes. The book is successful in its purposes to provide a literal translation in the Bulgarian vernacular, exact preservation of the word order from the original text, translation of the Greek grammatical forms, as well as the Hebrew and Aramaic linguistic uniqueness of the text and a preservation of the original parts of speech and verb tenses. Read more

Notes on Mark 10

May 15, 2004 by  
Filed under News

1. Matthew updates the location mentioned by Mark. Mark says it that Jesus is in Judea beyond Jordan, while Matthew states He adds that he left Galilee in order to go to Judea.
2. The crowd follows Jesus in Matthew, while in Mark a new crowd gathers around Jesus. In Mark the people gather with Jesus.
3. Jesus’ ministry is also different. While Mark states that He taught the crowds, Matthew accents the healing ministry of Jesus at this particular occasion.

10:2 There is a difference between the questions which the Pharisees ask Jesus. Matthew adds “for any cause” to the words of Mark, giving a universal usage to the meaning and application of divorce.

10:3-9 No major differences in this passage. In v. 3 The Pharisees refer to Dt. 24:1, where Moses allowed them to giver a certificate of divorce. Mk. 12:6 is a quotation from Gen. 1:27; Mk.
12:7 from Gen. 2:24.

10:10 Mark puts it as a question by the disciples, while Matthew presents it as a saying of Jesus.

10:11 [exceptional clause] Mark refers to both man and the woman committing adultery in a case of divorce, while Matthew reduces to only the man. Mathew has an addition to the divorce case, which neither Luke nor Mark record. It refers to celibacy and has six facts about it:
1. Celibacy is better (Mt. 19:10).
2. Celibacy is not for everyone (Mt. 19:11).
3. Celibacy may be natural (Mt. 19:12).
4. Celibacy may be forced (Mt. 19:12).
5. Celibacy may be sacrificial (Mt. 19:12).
6. Celibacy may be commanded (Mt. 19:12).

II. Jesus Blesses the Little Children
This passage is recorded by all three of the Synoptic writers.

10:13 The original story in Mark is the story of the children being brought to be touched by Jesus. Matthew changes the verb to laying of hands. Obviously his perspective on the Doctrine of Laying of Hands was important at the time of his writing. Luke, however, revises the little children to infants, making the range of their age wider, which was probably significant for him.

10:14 In this verse Mark describes Jesus as being indignant. Both Matthew and Luke, who obviously did not like this characteristic as a part of Jesus’ personality, omit this word.

10:15 While Luke agrees with Mark on the receiving the kingdom of God, Matthew accents on the changing and becoming, which refers to the Doctrine of New Birth.
Matthew also focuses on a particular phrase he likes to use, namely the Kingdom of Heaven. He uses this phrase a replacement of the Kingdom of God used by both Mark and Luke, probably to escape any vain pronouncement of God’s name.

10:16 This verse is in a correlation with 10:13 where Mark uses the word touch. Here he changes to laying of hands is used by Matthew, but omitted by Luke. [blessed]

Mk. 10:17-31 The story of the rich young ruler has three major subdivisions:
1. Conversation between Jesus and the Ruler.
2. Saying of Jesus to the disciples on the entrance of rich men in the Kingdom.
3. Blessings for the disciples.

10:17 Only Mark mentions that Jesus was preparing for a journey. Matthew omits the adjective good with the word Teacher.

The three Synoptic writers have different description of the man. While for Mark he is only a certain man, for Luke he is a ruler, and for Matthew he is someone who he later calls a young man (Mt. 19:20, 22).

10:18 No difference between Mark and Luke, while Matthew omits good teacher as a natural continuation of the context created in the previous verse.

10:19 While both Mark and Luke suggest certain that the man had certain knowledge of the law, Matthew obviously has doubts about his proficiency in it?

Also, there are at least three differences between the lists of commandments from Ex. 20:12-16 and Dt. 5:16-20 that follow:
1. Luke changes the order of the first two, putting You shall not commit adultery before You shall not murder.
2. Mark lists You shall not defraud , which is not one of the Ten Commandments. Since this is an obvious error in the words of Jesus, both Matthew and Luke fix this in their lists.
3. Matthew adds You shall love your neighbor , which is not one of the Ten Commandments, but is a commandment in which Jesus incorporated some of them.

10:20-21 Mark and Luke agree on the phrase since my youth, while Matthew carefully omits it since it is in a contradiction with his following statements about the age of the man (Mt. 19:20, 22).

10:22 Among the three Synoptic Gospels, Mark has the most vivid and descriptive reaction of the man. According to Mark, he is shocked from the radical words of Jesus and grieving because he is not willing to completely follow them. Matthew omits the shock. Luke reduces the emotional condition of the man to being sad.
The financial status of the man is the reason for his lack of spiritual success. According to Mark he possesses many possessions. Matthew carries the same idea. Luke simply describes him as being rich.

10:23 The same contrast as in v. 15 appears. Matthew uses the phrase Kingdom of Heaven, while both Mark and Luke use the Kingdom of God.
10:24 Mark’s repetition of Jesus’s words is later omitted by both Matthew and Luke.
10:25-27 There is no major difference between the three Synoptic writers in this passage. It is interesting to notice that comparing to vv. 15, 23 even Matthew here uses the phrase the Kingdom of God in v. 25 in agreement with both Mark and Luke.
10:28 We left everything in Matthew and Mark is replaced by We left our homes by Luke.
10:29 Jesus\rquote saying is expanded by both Matthew and Luke. Matthew adds the enthronement procession of Jesus and the apostles over the 12 tribes of Israel. Luke adds to all of the above the Kingdom.
10:30-31 The list is pretty much the same, beside the changes in Luke, where he replaces fields with wife. Luke also replaces the phrase for my name’s sake with for the sake of the kingdom of God. He also changes the hundred fold from Mark and Matthew to very much more.
Mark repeats the list pattern similar to v.24, where he uses repetition to stress the importance of the passage. All three of the Gospel accounts contain the same eschatological promise.

Both Luke and Mark omit The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. It exists only in the account of Matthew, in progressive correlation with the eschatological promise from the previous verse.

10:32 This is the journey Jesus was preparing for in Mk.10:17. As we earlier noticed both Matthew and Luke omitted this preparation. At his point Matthew mentions the direction of the Journey, while Luke remains silent.

10:33-34 The only difference is that Luke only mentions the prophecy about Jesus as a reference, while both Mark and Matthew records it. Only Matthew refers to the killing of Jesus as a crucifixion. Luke adds the misunderstanding of the disciples.

Mk. 10:35-45 10:35 Mark records that the brothers themselves came to ask Jesus, while Matthew changes the story to their mother coming to Jesus and asking. Luke does not record this particular story.

10:36-40 The dialog here remains unchanged; however, in both records Jesus’ answer is given to the brothers and not to the mother. Matthew omits the reference of Mark to Jesus’ baptism in vv. 38, 39.

10:41-44 At this point Luke suggests a dispute between the disciples, which is not in a parallel with Mark’s segment. The dispute is in most probability referring to the record on the Sons of Zabedee in the previous passage. The comparison between the Gentile civil-authority structure and the disciples remains the same through all three Synoptic accounts.

10:45 Another comparison between the disciples and the purpose of Jesus’ coming. It is omitted by Luke, who adds a rhetorical question as a conclusion to this passage.

10:46-52 10:46 This passage starts with two totally different chronological statements. Mark and Matthew claim that the time of the occurrence of the story was as they were leaving Jericho. In order to secure his previous insert of the story about Zachaeus Luke states that it was as they were approaching the city (Lk. 19:1-10). Furthermore, Mark names the blind man, while Luke does not record his name. Matthew records two blind men instead of one. There is agreement in all three accounts of the place where the miracle occurred, as well as the crowds that were present.

10:47-48 Mark and Matthew omit the question of the blind man/men who is going by. The prayer of the blind man/men and his/their dialog with the crowd remains fairly the same through the Gospel accounts.

10:49-50 Matthew and Luke reduce Jesus’ response to the prayer of the blind man/men recorded by Mark in details.

10:51 The dialog between the blind man/men and Jesus remains the same, beside that Mark uses My teacher, while Luke and Matthew write Lord.

10:52 Matthew records the compassion of Jesus; however, he omits Jesus’ words which have a reference to the faith of the blind man/men.
It seems like Mark omits one of the blind men in his early records. Matthew talks about both of them together. Luke places one of them at the entrance of Jericho, the other one in the city (Lk. 19:1-10). However, all three of the Synoptic writers agree on the immediate healing. Luke also adds the reaction of the crowd.