SIGNS of the LAST DAYS: Peace taken from the earth

April 15, 2024 by  
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TRUTHS from AZUSA STREET REVIVAL by Frank Bartleman

February 25, 2024 by  
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“A revival almost always begins among the laity. The ecclesiastical leaders seldom welcome reformation.”

One reason for the depth of the work at “Azusa” was the fact that
the workers were not novices. They were largely called and prepared
for years, from the Holiness ranks, and from the mission field, etc.
They had been burnt out, tried and proven. They were largely
seasoned veterans. They had walked with God and learned deeply
of His Spirit. These were pioneers, “shock troops,” the Gideon´s
three hundred, to spread the fire around the world. Just as the
disciples had been prepared by Jesus.

We have now taken on a “mixed multitude.” And the seeds of
apostacy have had time to work. “First love” has been also
largely lost. The dog has “returned to his vomit” in many cases,
to Babylonic doctrines and practices. An enfeebled mother can
hardly be expected to bring forth healthy children.

The very truths that gave birth to the Pentecostal movement are
today generally rejected as too strong.

A revival almost always begins among the laity. The ecclesiastical
leaders seldom welcome reformation. History repeats itself. The
present leaders are too comfortably situated as a rule to desire
innovation that might require sacrifice on their part. And God’s
fire only falls on sacrifice. An empty altar receives no fire!

God has always sought a humble people. He can use no other…
There is always much need of heart preperation, in humility and
separation, before God can consistently come. The depth of
any revival will be determined exactly by the spirit of repentance
that is obtained. In fact, this is key to every true revival born of God.

Men’s hearts are being searched…it is a tremendous sifting time,
not only of actions but of inner motives. Nothing can escape the
all-searching eye of God.

Another denomination splits from the Bulgarian Church of God

June 5, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

One more denomination has split from the Bulgarian Church of God. After a year of struggles and dilemmas, the annual report indexing the state of the church shows a new denomination registered with the municipality court in the capital Sofia. The new Philadelphia church has emerged from an association of Romani pastors with a similar name that has existed and operated for almost 15 years. This is the 11th officially registered fraction leaving the denomination since the split of 2005. Two more churches, Mostar and Rebirth, too seem to have ceased meetings within the last year after the sale of the Bulgarian Ministry Center in the capital Sofia. The Center which broke ground in 2001 and was dedicated in 2011, hosted a number of strategic Church of God congregations during its decade of operation. Since 2005, most older Romani congregations exist with dual registration alongside the national alliance of Church of God-United (unitarian). With the current split, the total number of fractions separating from the original denomination now exceeds 13 (if not 14):

  1. Bulgarian Church of God (27.12.1990)
  2. Church of God in Bulgaria (23.01.2006)
  3. God’s Church (13938/2006: 07.02.2007)
  4. Church of God-12 (Sofia, Rodostono)
  5. New Generation Church of God (05.04.2000)
  6. Bethesda Church of God (27.12.2010)
  7. BulLiv Church of God (15.01.2000)
  8. New Life Church of God (06.11.2000)
  9. Bulgarian Church of God – Sofia (4996/2003 Sredetz, E.Georgiev Bul. 2, apt. 4)
  10. Bridge Church of God (50/2013)

Departures from Orthodoxy and Ministry Implications

September 30, 2022 by  
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Dony K. Donev, D.Min.: Eastern Pneumotology Lectures

Eastern Orthodoxy can be expressed in one word: theism. The purpose and meaning of life is to become more like God. Deification is pursued by all means of human existence. This quest for divine likeness often includes the typical for the Eastern Church, speculation on the divinity and humanity of Christ, traditions on the doctrine of the Trinity and non-traditional mystical experiences. They appear in the context of both physical and spiritual characteristics in individual and corporate ecclesiastical environment. The role of the Spirit in the process of deification is threefold and involves: creation, re-creation and theism. Eastern Pneumotology follows the graduate process of theism development. The Spirit is involved in the original creation of the world as well as the new-birth experience. His work however, does not end there, but continues throughout the process of personal deification of the believer.

 

Departures from Orthodoxy

And thus, we arrive at the point of departure from Orthodoxy. Similar to Eastern Pneumotology, this departure can be expressed in one word, dualism. A prime example of the dualistic heresy is the Messalian movement. Arising around AD 360 in Edessa, the Messalians are described as polytheistic. They believe that every human creature has a personal demon, and that Satan and the Holy Spirit together can dwell in the individual. The believers receive a share of the divine Spirit and become equal to God in their incapability to sin.[1]  Interesting enough, the Messalians are highly feministic allowing their women to the top of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

A similar movement arises under the name Paulicians. Due to the mass persecution through which the Paulicians go, the preserved documents about their existence in history are limited. We do know that they appeared in Armenia and the Byzantium Empire. The final trace of Eastern dualism is in on the Balkans, and more particular in Bulgaria under the name Bogomils. 18[2]

Ministry Implications

The next three brief ministerial applications are inspired and drown from the above research on the experiences of the Oriental Orthodox. They are taken in chronological order in its direct context of Pentecostal practices.

  1. Prayer is the constantly present element through which pneumatic and mystical experiences in the East are obtained. For example, Pallamas reports that the gifts of the Spirit are obtained only through intense mental prayer, which is often accompanied with tears. [3] In the same charismatic context Cassian concludes that after a season the gifts will disappear. My personal implication is that this is precisely the season when prayer and have become strange to the church, and when tears have become are sign of weekends rather than a sign of humility in the presence of the Almighty God. Unfortunately, at the end of the twentieth century, this is precisely our general present satiation.
  2. Peace of Heart: Hazzaya gives five practical signs for recognition of the works of the Holy Spirit: (1) love of God burns within the heart of the believer, (2) growth in humility of the soul, (3) kindness to all people, (4) true love and (5) vision of mind. His main tool to recognize demons and demonic visions from God and divine revelations is the peace of heart, which follows the heavenly presence.[4] I am persuaded that today the rule of the peace of heart is still true in the hearing of the voice of God.
  3. Return, reclaim and preservation: The Armenian faith practices focus on preservation of the apostolic doctrines and habits.[5] Symeon the New Theologian also calls for a return to a radical living of the Gospel.[6] In a similar way, the early Church of God claimed to have as a main goal the reclaiming of the power of Pentecost; however, the church today has evolved to a structure that is quite far from this former idea. Furthermore, in this process the church has become too distinguished, replacing the primitivism of the Pentecostal experience with higher education, development programs, sophisticated structures, etc. And while a century ago we were the persecuted and ridiculed, now we are the people who reject and mock churches that carry the Pentecostal primitivism. Through this, we not only deny our historical relationship with them, but also abolish our Pentecostal heritage, which we often like to brag about.

Nevertheless, similar to the early Pentecostal movement, revival will not come to our churches through sophisticated worship liturgies, but rather through a genuine return to the initial Pentecostal experience. At the end of the twentieth century, simply reclaiming the power of Pentecostal is not sufficient. We need to preserve the Pentecostal primitivism in the reality of our present ecclesiastical setting. Only then we will be who we claim that we are.

[1] John of Damascus, De Haeresibus Compendio, 80, PS 3/1:col. clxxvi.

[2] Steven Runciman, The Medieval Manichee: A Study of the Christian Dualistic Heresy (Cambridge University Press, 1974), chapters 2, 4, and 5.

[3] Burgess, 52-53.

[4] Ibid., 173-74.

[5] Ibid., 113.

[6] Ibid., 62.

CYBER MONDAY: NEW KINDLE books from Cup & Cross

November 30, 2021 by  
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CYBER MONDAY 2021: Several of our best sellers now on Kindle for quick and easy read. Stay tune for our new titles in 2020…

Presenting the Scrolls from the Second Varna Declaration

October 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kHytj8yK8E

We,
The believers from different churches in Bulgaria
declare on this day of October 5th 2014 in the city of Varna,

  • That we, according to The Holy Scriptures, will do our best to “fulfill the vows to the Lord” (Psalm 116:14), which were written and signed by 5,000 believers in the two scrolls produced on April 9th 1989 in the same city of Varna
  • In which we presented our requests, prayers and intersession for those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:2)
  • Reminding now our authorities in these two second scrolls about the urgent New Testament warning, that “God did not spare angles, when they sinned and He did not spare the ancient world, when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, and that He did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah but burned them to ashes and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly” (2 Peter 4-6).

These two second scrolls are again signed by Christians in Bulgaria both on October 5, 2014 and further on by Christians all over the country, to whom theses second scrolls are being brought and presented.

On behalf of the Bulgarian Christians

Read Also:

Spiritual Problems and Solutions from the 7 Churches of Revelation

January 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Network of the Seven Churches of Revelation

Although the Book of Revelation has been vastly studied and interpreted throughout church history, usually the focus is on one major issue within the text, namely, the role and future of the church. The main reason for this has been the in-depth prophetic and pastoral messages to the Seven Churches. The value of the messages to the Seven Churches of Revelation is constituted by the fact that they are the last recorded Biblical messages to the Christian Church. For this reason, the letters to the Seven Churches obviously do not contain all of the usual elements used in the New Testament epistolary form.

Read the full text of the presentation (PDF)

Keynote presentations from our speaking itinerary

October 15, 2013 by  
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Comments Off on Keynote presentations from our speaking itinerary

Dr. Dony K. DonevKeynote presentations from our speaking itinerary

2013 Video Bible Project at Logos BibleTech Conference

2012 Historical and Doctrinal Formation of Holiness Teachings and Praxis among Bulgarian Pentecostals at Society for Pentecostal Studies at Seattle Pacific University

2011 The (un)Forgotten:  Story of Rev. Ivan Voronaev’s Children at Society for Pentecostal Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary

2011 Broadcast Your Church at Leadership Development Institute

2010 Using Computer Technologies in the Making of the New Bulgarian Translation of the Bible at Logos BibleTech Conference

2010 The Untold Story of the Life and Ministry of Rev. Ivan Voronaev at Society for Pentecostal Studies at North-Central University

2009 Underground Web Ministry within the Postcommunist Matrix at Logos BibleTech Conference

2009 Ministry on the Internet at Leadership Development Institute

2007 Bulgarian American Congregations: Cultural, Economic and Leadership Dimensions at Society for Pentecostal Studies

2006 The Story of the Bulgarian Bible at Evangelical Theological Society (video)

2006 Introductory Chaplaincy Training Course at the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association Quarterly Meeting

2005 Internal Motivation at the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association Quarterly Meeting

2005 Bulgarian Churches in North America at the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance Annual Meeting

2004 Postcommunist Believers in a Postmodern World at the 4th Annual Lilly Fellows National Research Conference

Key Publications:

2007-2013 Tetraevangelion: New Bulgarian Translation: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, John, Epistles, Apocalypse (New Bulgarian Translation of the Bible) 

Spring 2013 Bulgarian New Testament (Special Study Edition for Bulgarian Churches and Diasporas Abroad), Spasen Publishers

2012 The Life and Ministry of Rev. Ivan Voronaev (with the (un)Forgotten:Story of the Voronaev Children)

2012 Bulgarian Churches in North America: Analytical Overview and Church Planting Proposal for Bulgarian American Congregations Considering Cultural, Economical and Leadership Dimensions, Spasen Publishers

2011 The Case of Underground Chaplaincy in Bulgaria (A Case Study for NATO’s Manfred Wormer Foundation)

July, 2007-present, Letters from Bulgaria: A Series on Bulgarian Pentecostal Heritage in Pentecostal Evangel

Spring 2006, When East Met West in East-West Church & Ministry Report

July 2006, Roberts College in Pro & Anti Newspaper

Fall 2005, Postcommunist Believers in a Postmodern World in East-West Church & Ministry Report

April 2005-2009, Bulgarian Protestant History Series in Evangelical Newspaper

April 2005-2010, About the Bible Series in Evangelical Newspaper (Published in one volume by Spasen Publishers)

March 2002, Bible Studies on the Church of God Declaration of Faith, Spasen Publishers

May 2001, Pentecostal Primitivism Preserved, Spasen Publishers

September 2000, To Harvard and Back a Hundred Years Later (A Biographical Sketch of Stoyan K. Vatralsky)

January 1994, “Going Up”, Christian News, Newspaper of the BulgarianChurch of God

1998-2003, Commentary on the Four Gospels for the Bulgarian On-Line Bible [http://www.bibliata.com]