2023 SOC Missions Convention Report

Brother Brian Larsen President SOC International

Brother Brian Larsen President SOC International

The Founder of the School of Christ International (SOC), Brother B.H. Clendenden (1922-2009) wrote a book entitled, "Restoring The Message Of Pentecost." He said the book was a bringing together of a lot of truths that he had gathered from many places. Brother Clendennen said that the Message of Pentecost could be summed up with one line: "God the Father, through God the Holy Ghost, displaying God the Son through a vehicle called the Church."

This is the purpose of why the School of Christ is functioning in over 160 countries around the world, bringing forth the message that is desperately needed in these last days. Our responsibility as individual believers or The Church collectively is to become the vehicle of expressing the Life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. That is to ".... Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

With all that has transpired in recent years, it is imperative that we representing God's Church, fulfill our God-given call to reach the world for Christ. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is about to return, and we must be about the Father's business in finishing what the Church on the Day of Pentecost began.

I am excited to share with you in this report of what took place on April 4th - 6th, 2023, in Patterson, Louisiana.

Bethel Pentecostal Fellowship, under the pastoral leadership of Brother Marty Harden, hosted this year's SOC Missions Convention. Thank you, Brother Marty and Bethel Pentecostal Fellowship, for making this year's Convention possible. The theme of the Missions Convention was "Restoring the Message of Pentecost — Maintaining the Message of Pentecost — "...Witnesses Unto Me..." (Acts 1:8).

It is difficult to express in words all that occurred in each service, but with the help of the Lord, I will give an overview in writing. I do know, speaking for myself, that I will be forever changed as I was challenged through each message proclaimed by our respective speakers and changed by the power of the Holy Ghost in my heart and mind as a result of my response toward His leadership and guidance. These five timeless messages are still resonating in my Spirit as I write this report. For those who were present or who were watching via live stream, I am looking forward to hearing of the wondrous working of God in and through the lives of His children and seeing the fruit that will be gathered as a result of all that had taken place in these three days; To God Be The Glory!

Pastor Don Shoots graciously accepted the invitation to be this year's keynote speaker for the three evening services. Pastor Shoots opened the Missions Convention with his text found in Exodus 28:2-3. He emphasized throughout the message, "Don't let the devil take your coat!" The coat representing the Holy Garments of God, the anointing. The enemy is doing everything he can to get you to give up your coat. He brought out the Priestly garments God commanded Aaron to wear when he ministered in the priest's office. He then brought out the coat of skin God provided for Adam and Eve as they were being driven out of the Garden from His presence. Pastor Shoots spoke of the coat that Hannah had provided for her son Samuel yearly as he was growing up and ministering in the Temple. He also told of Joseph's coat of many colors that his father, Jacob, provided. The devil isn't always looking to tempt you into grievous sins, but anything to get you to walk outside of God's will and standard. If you lose your coat, you lose everything that equips you to overcome and be victorious in your Christian walk.

SOC Field Worker and Home Staff Member, Brother B.J. Larsen, was the Wednesday morning speaker. His message was entitled "The Kingdom Of God." His text was taken from Luke 22:29 and Matthew 11:12. He emphasized, "God has given us a Kingdom (His Kingdom)! He challenged us to remember all the benefits that belong to us as a result of our position in Christ. God has always had a remnant. He has always had people who would not bow and they would not compromise. A people who were sold out to God. Isaiah 58:12 spoke of "...The repairer of the breach, The restorer of the paths to dwell in." Few are willing to pay the price of becoming the vessel of the Lord. Brother B.J. said in the message that we must first prepare the ground for His Glory. After counting the cost, he challenged those listening to pay the price, following God's way. "...It was the Father's good pleasure to give you (That is you and I, the Church) the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). That means that God has given His Church the power, authority, and government to accomplish all that we are called to do in these last days!

Pastor Shoots opened Wednesday night's message with the text found in 1 Corinthians 16:9, "For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries." Pastor Shoots said that the words we read are more than words on a page. We have to settle it in our hearts that people aren't going to like us. There is an adversary in the world that we will have to face. So don't be ignorant of satan's devices. Adversity is real, and this is the way it is. Pastor Shoots brought this out clearly as he brought us to Matthew chapter 13 concerning The Parable of the Sower, where the seed, the Word of God, fell. As the Philistine giant, Goliath, was barking out his challenge against Israel, the young shepherd boy David responded by saying, "...Is there not a cause?" (1 Samuel 17:29). The adversity was staring at David. Still, David did not allow the adversity to be greater than the cause. When we allow the adversity to become greater than the cause, the adversity will win in the end. This is what happened to King Saul and the rest of the army of Israel. They began to cower and hide in their tents, giving in to the enemy's threats. The enemy always wants to get the upper hand in these circumstances. He wants God's children to compromise the Will of God. So don't let the adversity you face become greater than the cause, the Will of God for your life.

Thursday morning Pastor Robin St Clair, the Vice President of the SOC, preached a challenging message taken from the book of Nehemiah chapter 7:1-4: The theme of his message came from verse 3 of his text which he entitled, "Until The Sun Be Hot." Nehemiah had a call of God upon his life, which required a response. It is no different for you and me today. God is still calling people, and there is a response needed. Nehemiah's response called him to inspect the condition of the city of Jerusalem. The walls were torn down, and the gates wen burned up. Then he needed to get busy rebuilding the walls and putting up the gates, yet everything was not finished. Even though the gates and the walls of the city were reestablished, there was still work to be done. The city needed to be populated, guarded, and maintained. We need to understand the hour at hand. We need to see clearly what is set before us. Don't open the gate until the sun is hot!

Pastor Shoots ended the SOC Missions Convention taking his text from 2 Corinthians 4:6-7. He stressed the importance of being sensitive toward spiritual matters. He also spoke of the dangers we are facing in these last days, where the imagination of man, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are taking precedence over what is real and true. He shared, taken from another source, that you will not know the fake from the real in two years. There are two natures working within us at all times. the flesh and the Spirit. To maintain Spiritual Sensitivity, we must deny ourselves daily and take.up our cross. If you don't heed this warning, you are in danger of becoming numb to the breath of God, getting cold in the Lord, drifting away, allowing the oil to be wasted away, and following afar off. The devil (the snake) doesn't always want to bite and attack. He wants to distract you to the point you lose focus and then find him in an exalted place above you. Take heed unless the enemy of your soul creeps in unaware and causes you to lose your dependency upon God. Be alert, listen, and respond. Remember that one word from God will save your life and that of another; STOP! STAND STILL! DON'T TOUCH THAT!! We can not do this unless we are filled with the Spirit of God!

To God be the Glory! Great things He has done!

We are so thankful that our Directors were able to be with us. We are grateful first for their service to the Lord and the School of Christ International. Thank you for making the sacrifice and taking the time to bless us by being with us during these invaluable days of the Convention. May God continue to bless each of you as you continue in the Ministry of the Lord. Thanks again to the SOC Directors Daren Downs, Joel Pledge, David Jacobson, Richard Goebel, Delvis Mercado (Nicaragua), Gil Capuepue (Angola, Africa), and Bishop Horace Bedell for your attendance and faithfulness. What a moment we had with our longtime friends and director Dr. Marion Dodson and his wife Dee. We were so thankful to Director Richard Goeble for making the arrangements to make this visit possible.

During our Director's meeting on Monday night and Wednesday morning during the service, I shared from our former SOC President, Robert Turnage's, Alpha & Omega devotion entitled, "I'm A Tool For The Task." In closing this report, I want to quote the words from this great devotion again. Timely words he left us to remind us of the task set before us, given by God.

Pastor Turnage wrote and I quote, A friend of mine wrote a song some years ago, especially for a Mission's Convention (a series of services dedicated to prayer on how to take the Christian testimony to the lost people, who live around us {home missions}, and the rest of the world {foreign missions}).

The lyrics speak to this commission of God found in Mark 16:15, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature:: The song's message applies to everyone, whether they are to go as' a missionary, pray for the missionary's successful ministry, or give financially to assist in paying for the cost of the work. The words are a message within themselves.

I'm A Tool For The Task

I'm a tool for the task

Of the Master 's Great Commission

He said go Ye into all the world

I have a voice to tell the story

And eyes to see the hurting

And arms that I can open wide in love

Oh, let my eyes see the one that walks in darkness

And let my arms reach out to love them in your name

And let my voice forever tell the story

That you loved the world, and that is why you came.

Are you, or will you, be willing to become a tool for the Master's use in the harvest? Workers are few. The Master needs, and is looking for, those who will go and be His witness, as well as those who will pray and give to Missions, that souls may be delivered from everlasting separation from God."

I also want to send a special Thank You to our office staff for the endless hours you put in to ensure everything was ready and flowed during the Convention. Your labor is not in vain. I know we will rejoice together over the many testimonies of what God has done during this time. May God continue to bless you and give you the strength and wisdom to complete the task set before us.