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SOPAS I & II Goes to Pennsylvania

SOPAS I & II Goes to Pennsylvania

Under the leadership of Church of God of Prophecy State Overseer Bishop Jay Croyle, SOPAS I & II convened October 22-24, 2015 with a total of 44 students – 23 in Term I and 21 in Term II. This was the second first term held in the state and the first second term. The six classes held Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon were taught by members of the CBL Faculty Bishop Dr. Elias Rodriguez, and Bishop Adrian L. Varlack from the Leadership Development and Discipleship Ministries at CGP International Offices.

The participants were enthusiastic and very attentive. Several special times of spiritual refreshing were experienced during the classes when the Holy Spirit visited His people and further bonded us together around Christ Jesus our Lord in sweet fellowship and heartfelt worship. The intensive sessions taxed our weary bodies and but God’s presence made the difference. We believe our Lord is pleased with the special efforts of His people to pursue life-long learning. Students’ evaluations reveal a consistent desire for more class time but given today’s work-a-day world some admitted that this would be difficult. We thank God for all who completed the requirements of the school in time for the 4:30 PM Saturday closing.

All 44 attendees received certificates amid applause and congratulations. The Overseer told the students that he is depending on their special on-line responses to begin planning the next round of SOPAS classes. He warmly expressed his appreciation to the CBL Faculty and they joined the students in commending Bishop Croyle for hosting the school.

Spanish SOPAS III Conducted in Windom, Minnesota

Spanish SOPAS III Conducted in Windom, Minnesota

The Spanish SOPAS III class was conducted in Windom, Minnesota, October 9-11, 2015. It was a very successful
school and enjoyed by all. The three instructors were well prepared and anointed to teach each  class. There
was a time for questions and answers. The fellowship during breaks and meal times were warm and friendly. There were 26 students in attendance and they all received their certificates.

Global Missions Emphasis Month Concludes

Global Missions Emphasis Month Concludes

As we attend to the daily chores of Global Missions, it is often overwhelming to hear the diversity of situations and turmoil taking place around the globe—e.g., persecution and incarcerations of our COGOP brothers in one of our middle eastern nations; war-zone, orphaned children being captured and sold in one of our CIS nations; earthquakes wreaking havoc upon our churches, orphanages, and members’ homes in one of our newest Asian nations; the death of a precious child in one of our African orphanages; and, the list goes on and on…

However, at the same time, we recognize that all Global news is not bleak. So, we also share with you the awe-filled reports of multiple new church plants all across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond, as the training and implementation of the Multiplication Network Ministry has ignited revival fires among many of our nations. We have witnessed a harvest of souls, with follow-up baptismal services, and people uniting in fellowship with us as the Spirit of God is being poured out. We have seen dreams become realities as orphanages have been completed, and other orphanage buildings are in the process of being completed. We have sensed a new urgency and excitement about this incredible move of God around the world, and people are being drawn by Holy Spirit to become more involved.

Thus, as this inspiring month comes to a close, we wanted to take an opportunity to appreciate our local churches and donors who remembered to give special emphasis to our October Missions Drive. Many of you have already contacted our office sharing about specific mission presentations, particular times of prayer, extraordinary fund-raising efforts, and even getting the children and youth onboard with mission endeavors throughout this month.

Inspirational. Exciting. Incredible. Awesome. Refreshing. Energizing. These are just a few of the words which reflect our feelings as we near the end of this month. Certainly, our sincere, heartfelt “thank you” goes to each and every one of you who have made this October missions emphasis a time of exemplary moments to bless the nations. Our hearts are truly filled with great anticipation to see and hear about the manifold results which God has inspired and set in place during this time. He is Faithful God, and worthy of all praise, honor, glory, and power for using YOU to bless HIS people. Thanks again for listening to His voice, responding, and touching the nations with your love. You make a difference…

Global Missions Ministries Staff

Leader of Leaders Gathers in Brazil

Leader of Leaders Gathers in Brazil

As director of the Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary/Church of God of Prophecy Consortium, at the request of Bishop Ben Feliz, I taught two and a half hours at the Leader of Leaders meeting in Brazil. Bishop Ben Feliz did a very good job in teaching the course on Church Administration. The student body who participated in the course were greatly blessed as they learned more about spiritual administration as leaders in a Spiritual House to someday hear, “Well done!”

To Whom the Bells Toll

It is not the claim nor the refrain, nor the cheers or the boos, nor the praise or the silence of renounce, nor who loves you or hates you, or who likes you or dislikes you, nor those who overlook you or who forget you, nor is it those who do not care for you or who are not interested in you, nor the cold rejection or the warm embrace, it’s not your friends or loved ones who embrace you, it’s not all who say to you that you are right even when you are wrong, nor is it those who say you are wrong when you are right. It’s all about hearing from our blessed Lord, “Well done, my servant!!” It is then that the bells of victory will really toll!! That is For Whom the Bells Toll!!

Dr. Hector Ortiz, Ph.D.

November White Wing Messenger Available NOW

November White Wing Messenger Available NOW

The November White Wing Messenger is now available for preview or download. The issue includes the articles “Word and Spirit” by Sam N. Clements, “Spirit and Truth Bring Revival” by Carmen Casey, “Trusting the Enduring Word of God” by Charlene Gray, “Wake Up, Church” by Sam N. Clements, “Storms, Word, Wind, and Life” by William Lamb, “Witnesses” by Ali Feizi, “Are You Engaged in Connection Ministry?” by Michael Hernandez, “Have You Left your First Love?” by Valerie Link and “Doing Nothing Is Doing Something” by DeWayne Hamby.

Click here or search for and download the White Wing Messenger mobile on your iOS device.

Church of God of Prophecy Signs Agreement with Pentecostal Theological Seminary

Church of God of Prophecy Signs Agreement with Pentecostal Theological Seminary

 

In an effort to further develop and equip its leaders, the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) has signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” agreement with the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (PTS), expanding educational options for the Church’s leaders and members around the world.

Bishop Sam N. Clements, general overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy, and Dr. R. Lamar Vest, president of Pentecostal Theological Seminary, signed the agreement Tuesday at the COGOP International Offices in Cleveland, Tennessee, surrounded by the Church’s General Presbyters and International Offices staff.

“This is a very exciting and wonderful day for the Church of God of Prophecy,” Clements remarked. “We join hands with our brothers and come together in an agreement, this Memorandum of Understanding, so that we can work together to help educate our ministers and spread the Gospel message across this whole world.”

The new agreement will see increased promotion of the seminary at Church of God of Prophecy events, scholarships and the option of cohort groups around the world offering certificate programs, graduate studies and even a doctorate of ministry. The programs will include: Diploma in Wesleyan Pentecostal Ministry (90 units), Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (48 credit hours), Master of Arts in Counseling (48 credit hours) and Doctor of Ministry (36 credit hours).

“This is an incredible opportunity,” said Dr. Vest. “We’re in the business of training people, our young men and women, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is going to give us a grand opportunity to train a new generation to preach the Gospel.”

Vest also remarked on the new partnership being a homecoming of sorts for the seminary, which is a Church of God institution, and the Church of God of Prophecy, a sister organization, both headquartered in the same city. Vest said the seminary offers the chance for COGOP members to learn from instructors in the Wesleyan Pentecostal tradition.

“These two organizations have grown up together,” he said. “Our photo albums look alike.”

The Church of God of Prophecy has educational arms already active, such as the Center for Biblical Leadership and agreements with Lee University Online and Massachusetts-based Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which will continue.

Brian Sutton, an alumnus of PTS and lead pastor of Peerless Road Church in Cleveland, Tennessee, is serving as partnership coordinator and program coordinator for the COGOP along with Dr. David Han, vice president of academics for the seminary.

“With this, we can go into any part of the world and offer certificate, graduate, and post-graduate programs. With our focus on reaching the young harvest and developing them into leaders for the Church, this is a tremendous inroad to that,” Sutton said.

Dr. Han also said he was “personally and professionally” excited about the agreement.

“This helps the seminary to fulfill its mission, which is to build the resources for the kingdom of God, but it also helps the Church of God of Prophecy working with us to provide the kind of education that its ministers would need,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation for us and I’m really excited about this collaboration that really carves a new path both for the seminary and the Church of God of Prophecy.”

Along with Bishop Sutton and Dr. Han, additional members of the steering committee include Bishop Clements, Dr. Vest, Dr. J. David Stephens, Bishop Tim Coalter, and Bishop Clayton Endecott.

The first classes under the new agreement will launch in the fall of 2016, following recruiting and promotions that will culminate at the Church of God of Prophecy’s International Assembly in July 2016 in Orlando, Florida.

More information will be forthcoming and available at www.cogop.org

 

Mogilev Belarus Church Serves Addicts and Ill, Plan to Open Group Home

Mogilev Belarus Church Serves Addicts and Ill, Plan to Open Group Home

Below Global Missions Ministries shares a recent report from the overseer of our ministries in Belarus:

image005Greetings to you our dear friends! We want to share with you some good news from Belarus!

The church in Berezino has resumed the teenage club “Freedom.” Every Saturday we do a movie night with 10-12 teenagers coming. On Sunday they return and we have a Bible study with them.

We continue to serve financially challenged families. Now we bless them clothes that are being given from individuals in Minsk and Berezino. Our social service is successfully developing. At the moment, we constantly support two families. One family has a girl 12 years old who suffers from cancer. Her name is Alana, and they particularly need prayer. Please pray for Alana!

In Berezino the church bought a heater for the winter that is coming. It is much needed and thank you very much for your financial support!

image011The church in Mogilev also devoted a lot of time and energy for social ministry. Year after year people from the church visited people with addictions, sick, and the outcasts by society. During this time the city, hospitals, rehabilitation centers got to know people from the church who have been helping. Now a group of ministers help not only in Mogilev, but they go to the nearby towns and villages. We have a plan to open new home small groups in these places. People want to know God more and they ask how they can attend church. Through this ministry new people came to the church, people who are holding on to God and who have found a new happy life. These people are ready to go and help those who are going through the same difficulties of their past.

Thank you for all your prayers and support!
Best regards,
Hennadzi Kernazhytski
Pastor and Overseer of Belarus

Church of God of Prophecy Joins PCCNA Prayer Commission

Church of God of Prophecy Joins PCCNA Prayer Commission

In August 2015 the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) announced the approval and formation of a Prayer Commission. The Commission’s purpose is to encourage intentional prayer leadership in member organizations toward the goal of building houses of prayer for the nations with Great Awakening impact in view.

Additionally, the vision of the PCCNA Prayer Commission is to inspire and encourage denominational prayer coordinators in their mission to bring prayer to the heart of the denominational mission and to undergird the prayer movement across the denominational continuum.

As participants in the Prayer Commission, General Overseer Sam Clements has selected Shaun McKinley, Media and Special Projects Coordinator for the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices, to serve as the Prayer Coordinator and church’s representative on the Commission. McKinley will work with international, national, regional, and state offices to connect and resource prayer initiative leaders at all levels of ministry.

“In our initial meeting, I was pleased to share with our fellow PCCNA organizations the recognition, advancement, and priority of prayer as a core value of the Church of God of Prophecy,” said McKinley. “We continue to live in a desperate time and this Commission believes that our only hope is for a Great Awakening. I believe our participation in the Prayer Commission will assist us in being intentional in developing and mobilizing a culture of prayer in our movement.”

In a letter to members, PCCNA President Dr. Jeff Farmer stated, “The modern Pentecostal movement was birthed and sustained in the womb of a deep dependence on prayer. These are perilous times! We dare not default to programs alone to accomplish our mission. Pentecostal/charismatic movements and churches need a fresh baptism of prayer dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit. Revival in the Church and spiritual awakening in North America is our only hope.”

The stated values of the PCCNA Prayer Commission are:

  • We value unified prayer.
  • We value prayer that is transformational, worshipful at its heart, and missional at its edge.
  • We value biblical, Scripture-based prayer that moves us to incarnate Christ and empowers us to proclaim Him with Pentecostal power.
  • We value prayer in our homes—the family altar, daily and personal prayer, prayer between couples, blessings over children, prayer integrated into the fabric of daily life.
  • We value corporate prayer through congregational prayer gatherings.
  • We value intercession and intercessors, and urge pastors and congregations to identify them, train and direct them, team them together, debrief them, and honor their commitment to prayer.
  • We value prayer evangelism and believe that a praying intercessor is behind each soul saved, if none other than Christ himself. We value the church as a cultural change agent, and believe that the penetrating intensity of the church as “light” and its potency as “salt” is a result of time spent with God.
  • We value praying in the Spirit, by and with the anointing and enabling of the Spirit.
  • We value holiness and believe that the great evidence of time in the presence of God is transformation into His likeness.

Additional information and resources will soon be available through the Church’s website, www.cogop.org, as well as in monthly updates in 2016 issues of the White Wing Messenger.

Early Church Periodicals Available Online

The early history of the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) is now easier to access than ever! The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center recently completed digitization of the COGOP’s flagship periodical, the White Wing Messenger, from 1923 to 1954. These years (consisting of 765 issues) are now accessible on the Consortium of Pentecostal Archives website.

The COGOP is a significant classical Pentecostal denomination with over one million members in over 130 countries worldwide. Established in 1903 and with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, the COGOP shares a common history with another classical Pentecostal denomination, the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). In recent years, the COGOP has been forging closer relationships with its sister Pentecostal fellowships.

The digitization of the White Wing Messenger was itself a cooperative effort across the denominational divides. The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (the archives of the Assemblies of God) completed the digitization of the project. The idea for the project originated with Tim Carter, Director of the Arise Shine Pentecostal Historical Center. Carter suggested to Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Director Darrin Rodgers that the White Wing Messenger needed to be digitized. The Arise Shine Pentecostal Historical Center is the archives of the [Ephesus] Church of God, a small denomination which has its roots in the COGOP. Rodgers approached Dr. David Roebuck, Director of the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center (the archives of the Church of God [Cleveland, TN]), and asked him if he could make contact with the appropriate person within the COGOP to secure permission. Roebuck contacted Paul Holt, who serves as Executive Director of Finance and Administration for the COGOP, who agreed to allow the magazine to be digitized. Through Roebuck’s encouragement, the COGOP became a member of the Consortium of Pentecostal Archives (CPA), a cooperative effort of Pentecostal archives, denominations, and publishing houses. Other CPA members include the denominational archives of the Assemblies of GodChurch of God (Cleveland, TN), the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. The digitized issues of the White Wing Messenger are now accessible and text-searchable on the CPA website.

The years of the White Wing Messenger that have been digitized (1923-1954) are important because of the rarity of those issues and their importance to the formation of the COGOP. During these early years, the White Wing Messengerwas published in a large newspaper format and very few copies survived. Starting in 1955, the magazine changed to a magazine format, and the denomination began selling annual bound volumes of the magazine. Bound volumes of these later years are located in various libraries and archives and are accessible to researchers. However, the years 1923 to 1954 were not very accessible to researchers.

Paul Holt expressed gratitude for the assistance in preserving and promoting the COGOP’s heritage. He stated, “we are deeply appreciative to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center for their willingness to digitize this historic material.  We are also pleased to join hands with our friends in the Pentecostal movement to celebrate our rich heritage while also moving forward to touch the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.” Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Digital Archivist William Molenaar supervised the digitization project and was assisted by Archives Specialists Michelle Rahmoeller and Caleb Whitlow.

The Promise of His Coming

The Promise of His Coming

Promise3There is no more prominent theme set forth in all the Holy Scriptures than the coming of the Lord. There are more than 300 passages in the New Testament dealing with this all-important event. The second coming of Christ is the stabilizing hope of the Christian. Someone has said that more than six million saints have given their lives in hope for this coming.

Yet, it is possible for men to die in error. Pure sincerity about a thing is not enough. In order to be true and factual, the second coming of Christ must be a valid belief. How then can we know?

Consider the following:

  • Jesus Christ said He would return again.
  • Prophecy of the Bible says He will come again.
  • The signs of the time indicate the end of the age.

If His second coming is not true, Jesus Christ is an imposter. He said, “. . . I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. …” John 14:2, 3.

He emphasizes the point even more in His parable about the ten virgins. In that parable the Bridegroom did come. Those who were ready to meet Him went to the marriage.

Perhaps even more pronounced are the words of the two men who appeared to the disciples on the Mount of Olives as they stood looking after their ascended Lord. “. . .ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner. …” Acts 1:11.

The prophecy of the Bible clearly states that Jesus will come again—this time as Ruler and Judge. ”… Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all. . . .” Jude 14, 15.

It shall be at this time that the prophecy of Zechariah 14:3, 4, 5 is fulfilled. Prophecy in the New Testament portrays His coming as one of “power and great glory.” Matthew 24:29, 30. Then will the prophecy of Matthew 25:31, 32 be completed, for He shall ‘‘sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all n aliens. …”

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth. . . .” Revelation 16:15. “Behold, he comoth with clouds; and every eye shall vsee him. …” Revelation 1:7.

These Scriptures speak of the second coming of the Lord. But they speak of two different aspects of that coming. The first passage speaks of His Advent when He comes to resurrect the dead saints and catch away His Church. Many will be caught napping; but His Church will be awake, ready and waiting.

The second passage speaks of the last phase of His coining, when He comes with His Church to rule the world. Without a careful examination of all Scriptures about the second coming of Christ, it would appear that there are contradictions. But by careful analysis, we learn that the second coming has two well-defined parts: first, to resurrect the dead in Christ and rapture the Church; second, to return to earth and rule the world in a thousand year reign of peace.

The signs of His coming are all around. The arise of false christs, antichrists, demigods, cults and isms are but paving the way for the crowning of all false systems —the emergence of the antichrist. The war spirit that permeates the whole world must also be a “sign.” Jesus says, ”… for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew’ 24:6.

Another sign of the end of time will be the increase in famines, pestilences and earthquakes in different places. The writer Luke assures us that “. . . there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.” Luke 21:25. Never in the history of man has he known more about outer space. Man not only is able to predict with precise accuracy the schedules of the planets, but also he walks on the moon and has target dates for Mars and other planets.

Finally, and perhaps foremost, the reestablishment of Israel and the control of Jerusalem have brought the world breathtakingly close to the fulfillment of Luke 21:24. Even a casual study of the prophecies in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah point clearly to the arise of Israel at the time of the end.

While not even the angels of heaven know’ “that day and hour”—it is reserved for God alone—we may be certain that the Church of God will not be caught sleeping. The Church will be ready, for it is a certainty that the Lord will return for His Church and the dead in Christ. Ephesians 5:25, 27.

The Church will be ready. The prophecy of Revelation will then be fulfilled: “… the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Rev. 19:7.

Many people have all sorts of fake ideas about for whom the Lord is returning. But we must agree to accept God’s Word on the matter. It declares that He is returning for His own —the Church.

We recognize that the dead in Christ will be raised first as the Word declares. The living saints, who at that time will be united in faith, doctrine, and government in God’s Church, will be “changed in a moment” and caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. Nothing will keep it from happening; it is a certainty! God has spoken.

Jesus is the Son of God. It is He who came to redeem us from the power of sin and of death. He conquered the grave and pulled the stinger out of death, and He shall put down death totally as the last enemy of man. It is this same Jesus who is coming again to catch away the Church and to raise the “dead in Christ.”

Preparation by both individual and Church is necessary. You should not delay. The first step for the individual is a born again experience. Read John 3:3.

The contents of this tract are from The Promise of His Coming.