THE CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

This article is taken from the book by John Burton – The Coming Church. It only confirms what I have been saying for a number of years now. The traditional institutional church must change if it is to be used by God in the “last days”.

 The Coming Church, by John Burton

“We need a church on fire today more than ever. The lost are being introduced into lukewarm, natural, Ichabod religion instead of a supernatural shaking that can only come from the Great I Am. They are convinced they are saved as they are assimilated into a community of like minded quasi-spiritual people who would love to see God manifest in their natural realm—yet have no interest in manifesting in the spiritual realm where the Holy Spirit broods.

My challenge to pastors is simple: Risk everything. Allow your church to dwindle, if necessary, to a few remnant people who will live, pray, walk and advance in the Spirit. The world is waiting for them. (Francis Chan is a living example of a pastor who has accepted the challenge.)

We soon won’t be able to define going to church the way we do now. God is coming to reform, to crush structures of old for what is to be introduced very soon. Our call isn’t to stand strong until the shift comes, it’s to prophetically sound the alarm and awaken those at risk! God is coming! The force from Heaven, the celestial asteroid, is going to impact the Church, and most pastors and people will resist with everything that’s within them. Man-made support systems will be removed. People’s financial and relational structures will be threatened by this strange new spiritual invasion. The human wisdom and natural common sense that have been involved in the development of the current church structure will not be usable in the new. Those who walk by sight are in danger.

I’ve met countless pastors and others who say they are focused on revival, but who are misguided on exactly what it is. Their focus is on attracting people to the church, on people getting “saved” and on other church growth strategies.

The problem? The foundational pursuit of revival has nothing to do with church growth or the lost. It has everything to do with the church awakening, contending in intercession and attracting the fire of the Holy Spirit.

The lost didn’t show up in the upper room. Marginal followers of Jesus were repelled by the upper room. Acts 2:1-3

Revival isn’t marked by a full house. Revival starts in a room that reveals the remnant. The revival that erupted in that roomful of remnants resulted in explosive church growth and kingdom advance.

The pure Christian message of surrender, repentance, holiness, intercession and rescuing souls from hell has been replaced by a self-centred gospel that boldly affirms a focus on benefits without cost, on personal gain without sacrifice, on freedom without consecration. The Church has been unapologetically and boldly focused on how to have faith to receive while forsaking the call to have faith to give. The spirit of the age infiltrated churches long ago—and now, all too often, that demonic spirit is the primary counsellor.”

UNLEASH SUPERNATURAL POWER

Unleash Supernatural, Holy Spirit Power

It is important to remember what Paul told the Corinthian church:

“I was with you in weakness, in fear and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-4

BAKB book pic

Every believer has within them the potential to release kingdom power in their sphere of influence. The keys:

1) Believe you have the right to His power

2) Understand how to use His power

3) Be willing to release it when He directs you to.

Millions of Christians have been taught that salvation is enough, simply a get-out-of-hell-free promise. Do kind works and pray for the rapture.

Some do recognise the existence of Holy Spirit power and are willing to release it at His direction, exactly as Jesus taught in John 14:12, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me will do the works that I do also. And he will do greater works than these because I am going to My Father.”

Jesus gave His disciples training in how to properly release Heaven’s supernatural power on earth.

Holy Spirit will guide you, ask Him. (Matt. 7:7, Luke 11:9).

Holy Spirit will teach you. (John 14:26).

Fortunately, in these last days, we are seeing a return to church as described in the Book of Acts. Check out Torben Sondergaards website Last Reformation and Francis Chan YouTube videos. Also my website http://www.powerpointsermons.net for videso and sermons.

 

EXTREMES OF CHRISTIANITY: WHICH TRULY EXPRESSES JESUS EXAMPLE?

Simple missional forms of church were normal in the first century – and are proving relevant for today. Here are some insights on the early church taken from the New Testament. 1. All NT churches met in homes, 2. There were multiple churches in each community that loved on its people, 3. All members of the church participated, 4. Church was not a building Christians went to or a denomination they belonged to. Christians were church in their community. 5. Households provided natural leadership for home churches, 6. Paul did appoint ‘overseers’ to foster these networks. These were mature believers, not given to power seeking – but encouragers, able to facilitate disciple making and the planting of new churches, 7. They were relational communities – eating, serving, sharing. Christians shared in Sabbath fellowship, Communion, Scripture reading and prayers. There is no tension over culture or ethnicity. 8. They were ‘zero dollar’ – but high cost church plants. First century believers shared faith with family, friends and neighbours, inviting them to their homes. High cost because it is a sacrifice of time and energy to share faith with family and social networks. Offerings help with rent, food for someone who has lost their job or a struggling family. Maybe to assist school expenses for a single mum or support another church start up. 9. Church structures are simple and Holy Spirit directed. No hierarchical structures, 10. Churches easily reproducible. Disciples made disciples and baptised them and in turn they made disciples. 11. They are the best environment to hand on faith.

Developed from article by Peter Rosenfeldt. Check out his website http://www.newlifechurch.com

PASTOR IN INDIA

A pastor in India who was known for long five- to six-hour prayer sessions was found beaten, tortured and hung to death from the rafters of his church, parishioners said. The murder has deeply shocked the congregation.

Morning Star News reported on Sunday that the body of pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church in southern India was found early Saturday morning. His death comes after he had complained about Hindu extremists.

Pastor Azariah Reuben, a close friend of the 43-year-old victim, said that Periyaswamy converted from Hinduism 25 years ago, and has served as pastor in Adayachery for more than 12 years, becoming known as a “prayer warrior.”

“The local Hindus were not happy with growing Christianity,” Reuben said. “They had several times tried to stop the ministry.”

PASTOR IN THE U.S.A

Kenneth Copeland’s ministry announced last Friday the acquisition of the “debt free” jet, which hit the market with a $36 million price tag in 1998. The ultra-long-range business jet can accommodate up to four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration, according to Gulfstream. It is unclear how much Copeland’s ministry paid for the jet but A V Buyer says they currently have the lowest priced Gulfstream V on the market priced at just under $6 million.

“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me.

And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.

“And you will not come short. And you will not fail. And you will not lack. And you will not come behind and you will not be diminished. Praise God,” he said of his donors.

 

FEAR OF THE LORD LEADS TO OBEDIENCE

This message is for ministers/pastors/leaders:

To build Christians that will stand strong and stay the course, leaders will need to not only to teach sound doctrine, but even more importantly, be a godly example and live a sanctified life of fidelity to the truth, thus helping to mature the saints. Ministers and especially pastors/shepherds will, like leaders in the Book of Acts, need to share their lives with their flock, and therefore, teach more by their life example perhaps than anything else.

In Jesus’ parable (Matt. 7:24-27) He uses a storm, signifying the pressures, hardships and trials of life, as well as the persecutions we will suffer for the gospel, as a measuring gauge for how solid our foundation is. And what is our foundation based upon? Jesus taught us that it is based upon doing His sayings. Obedience is the issue. “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Obedience, not lip service, is what God requires.

Have you ever thought about what gives us the strength and fuel to obey God? Why are some people obedient and some are not? Why are some doers of the Word and some are not? Why do some people stay faithful to God and remain true while others do not? Why do some start this Christian race but never finish? What is it that causes us to endure to the end (Matt. 24:13)?

I would like to suggest that it is the fear of the Lord. Obedience to the Lord is not only proof of your love for Him (John 14:21), but also of your fear of Him. There’s been an emphasis on love, although we’ve fallen short of the full counsel of God in that area, too, but there has not been nearly as much of an emphasis on the fear of the Lord. It takes both of them to produce a strong constitution in your Christian life. Notice in the following two different translations how the love of obedience in Jesus was rooted in the fear of the Lord. They are identical. Or a better way to say it would be that the manifestation of the fear of the Lord is obedience to His Word and His commandments.

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 ESV

He will delight in obeying the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 NLT

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3

If we build our lives and homes on the true wisdom and knowledge of God that comes from the foundation of the fear of the Lord, we need not fear the storm, because we will stand.

Paul’s Great Desire

One of the apostle Paul’s greatest burdens was this very thing: that the people He ministered to would stand firm in their faith and remain obedient to God even in the midst of the troubles and persecutions of his day. Other New Testament writers shared the same burden.

Paul’s great desire was that the people he taught would not falter under pressure, lest his work be useless or his labour be in vain. Notice his great concern for the Thessalonian saints (1 Thess. 3:1-9). He had warned them of the troubles that would soon come. In his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders, he warned them of the same troubles (Acts 20:25-31). To the Galatians and the Hebrews he did the same, warning them not to turn back to the Law. He was preparing them for the storm and the persecution they would receive from preaching the cross and paying the price to follow Jesus. Warnings are such a large part of the Scriptural admonition that Paul and the other New Testament writers gave to the churches. Today there is a glaring absence of these warnings in our preaching.

Here are some more scripture warnings: Matthew 7:15, 10:17, 24:4-5, 24:11-13, 24:24; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:1, 15; Acts 20:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10:12, 11:3; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6, Philippians 3:2, 18; Colossians 1:28, 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:1; 2 Peter 1:10, 3:17.

Fellow minister and preacher, how well are you preparing yourself and your people for the storm? Are you teaching them the whole counsel of God or catering to itching ears? Are you including the warnings in your preaching? Are you preaching on only the goodness and mercy of God, or do you also preach on His severity, wrath and judgments? Are you only preaching on the love of God, or do you place emphasis on His holiness too? Do you ever preach on sin and repentance? Are your concepts of the love of God and the grace of God accurate and in accordance with Scripture?

If not, then Paul warns, we may be guilty of the blood of men: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. …. Therefore watch, remembering that for three years night and day I did not cease to warn everyone with tears” (Acts 20:26-27, 31).

Make sure you are preparing yourselves and those whom God has entrusted to you for the storm. Oh, how much stronger our churches would be if we included these things in our preaching and teaching and living them out before the people!

extracted from message by Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries

GET EQUIPPED FOR CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

Be encouraged by what God is doing through the Last Reformation movement. Church as described in the Book of Acts is what will survive and stay strong in the face of tribulation. Young people need to see the reality of God as described here. All of the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be operating in the “last days” church.

CHURCH HAS LOST FAITH IN THE SUPERNATURAL

Great message from Francis Chan on what the church has lost and how we need to take it back from the enemy. Knowing what God promises is the key. Supernatural power is available when we are in God’s will. We need church like in the Book of Acts when Holy Spirit power was evident. Sharing possessions like the church in the Book of Acts. The church is one, like Jesus prayed to the Father for, so the world would believe.

LAST REFORMATION – TORBEN IN AUSTRALIA

Torben in Australia in November, baptising them in the name of the FATHER, THE SON and the HOLY SPIRIT.

I believe we are seeing an emergence of the church as it was in the Book of Acts, with the POWER Jesus said, would be evident when the Holy Spirit came UPON the disciples at Pentecost.

The disciples had already received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them as recorded in John 20;22. The word Jesus used here for breathed is the same word God used when he breathed life INTO Adam. This is when the disciples were born again of the Holy Spirit but after this event Jesus tells them to do nothing until the Holy Spirit comes UPON them at Pentecost in POWER. We all know that when the Holy Spirit came UPON them in power what happened 3,000 were added to the church day one. There are two events here, and God wants you to experience both: 1. Are you born again? and 2. Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

TRUE FACE OF ISLAM

Rita Chaima radiates with joy. When you see her face, you can tell she’s filled with deep happiness and contentment.  But that’s the opposite of the way she used to feel. Chaima was raised a Muslim, and from an early age she struggled with suicidal depression.  She tells her powerful story in a new documentary called “In His Footsteps” by a ministry called The Last Reformation.

Rita Chaima 2

“I just saw a cruel world and I didn’t want to be a part of it,” she recalls.  Chaima says she tried to kill herself three times. “I was doing drugs, I was smoking, I was smoking anything… I just wanted to destroy myself.”  At one point she became so angry that she made up her mind to join ISIS in Syria. “I hated people who weren’t Muslim. I wanted to kill them,” she says. The videos by ISIS-inspired her. “I loved to see them bleeding. I was seeing videos of decapitation and loved it.

But then something else happened. Her mom got a bunch of free books for her, and there was a Bible among them. That’s when Chaima met Jesus.

“I started to read the Bible to prove to Christians that they were wrong,” she says. “But I was wrong! And the grace of Jesus Christ started to touch me.”

“I was reading things like ‘pray for your enemies,’ ‘love them,’ and I was someone who wanted to kill them. Intellectually, I didn’t want to accept Jesus, but Jesus started to do a work in my heart,” she says. She couldn’t resist the love of Jesus anymore, so she decided to follow Him.

When she told her family what she had done, they rejected her. She says they stopped talking to her, and for months she was alone in her room. “It was like a prison.”

She says in the past, depression would have overtaken her. But not this time. She started to read the Bible a lot. “Jesus was there with me. He was encouraging me. The Holy Spirit was really there. I felt it, I knew it.”

Her Muslim family has now totally abandoned her, but her story doesn’t end there.

When it was time for Chaima to be baptized, something supernatural happened.

“I don’t even remember what I did. I had to see the video of my baptism. I was completely crazy, the demon was crazy, it wasn’t me. I kicked Jon. He baptised me. I kicked him.” But as she flailed and screamed, Jon continued to minister over her, telling the demon to go until peace finally came over her body. She was finally set free and baptised in the Holy Spirit.

“After the baptism I felt like the heavy weight completely disappeared. And I was so excited to go and make disciples,” she said.

“I started to want to talk about Jesus to everyone, even to the people who led me to terrorism. I wanted to go and see them, tell them that they are wrong, and that love is waiting for them.”

And that’s just what she now does, traveling with gospel minister Peter Ahlman and other Christians, she shares her testimony wherever she goes.

You can watch her testimony below through an excerpt from the “In His Footsteps” documentary by The Last Reformation.