ARE YOU PURSUING GOD OR HIS GIFTS?

WE ARE THE CHURCH – ARE WE USING THE HOLY SPIRIT GIFTS ? – DO YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS JESUS LOVES US ? – DO WE LOVE GOD’S WORD ? IS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD DEEPENING ? DO WE HAVE THE JOY OF KNOWING WE ARE IN HIS WILL ?

Another great message from Francis Chan. You will be challenged and blessed if you get it.

CHIEF AIM OF MAN IS TO GLORIFY GOD AND ENJOY HIM FOREVER

CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH

Francis Chan challenges the traditional church. Is it working? Of course, we know it is not.

You need to watch this video, and then ask yourself, am I in a church that is impacting my community?

If you don’t think we are living in the “last days” you must be on a different planet to the one I am on. In my recent post, END TIMES SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HANUKKAH, Jonathan Cahn reveals what we can learn from the Hanukkah, on how to face the Antichrist in our day. What did the Maccabees do to overcome the impossible odds in their day?

  1. Decided there could be no compromise with the world regardless of the impossible odds against them. Must trust God.
  2. Must obey His Word and stand on His Word. Even fight with the Word of God.
  3. Separate from the world, don’t try and fit in and bend the Word of God. Become radical and be the salt and light.
  4. Learn how to be warriors, putting on the full armour daily – Belt of TRUTH first, breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, GOSPEL OF PEACE on our feet, take up the shield of FAITH, helmet of SALVATION to shield our mind and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT which is the Word of God. The Maccabees were called the “hammers of God’
  5. The Maccabees carried on the war joyfully knowing God was with them giving them victory over impossible odds.

ONLY A RADICAL CHURCH WILL SURVIVE THE COMING TRIBULATION

The Coming Church: article by John Burton – see bio below. I suggest you reread these posts for further confirmation – Are our churches making disciples, July 16th – Church as God intended, July 26th – Wake up church, Aug 3rd – Church in the last days, Aug 9th – Building church God’s way, Aug 17th.

“The book that I’m currently writing will address some of the spiritual and practical changes that will come to the structure and expression of the church. Trust me, it will shock our nation severely.

Those who hold on to a structure or a ministry instead of Jesus Himself will not be willing to go where God is leading.

The coming church will be rooted in scripture. The biblical structure has been largely forsaken in traditional churches. What will the emerging church look like? Here’s just a small peek into a grand shift in the structure of the church:

1. Services will become more like prayer meetings. One of the greatest indictments on the church today is that prayer is not the driving force. Today, people tend to choose churches based on the appeal of the teaching and the worship instead of the fervency of prayer. If the church was a house of teaching or a house of worship, that would make sense, but it’s not. The church is a house of prayer for all nations. Every person in the church will function as a burning intercessor and the services will be marked by this unified groan of fiery prayer.

2. Personal need will give way to personal mission. Today, churches are often more like organic, socially driven hospitals. People tend to use the church as a way to meet their personal needs instead of serving it as a minister of God. This is going to change. Of course, there will still be personal ministry and true needs will be addressed.

However, instead of the church functioning as a hospital, it will once again function as a mission-driven military. The mission will take precedence. The saints will be equipped for service, not for personal survival. In this ancient and emerging model, there will be MASH units that will take very good care of the wounded with the primary purpose of getting the soldier back into battle. Apostles will again lead with governmental authority and pastors will be seen as the main leader less and less as they focus more on shepherding and less on primary leadership.

3. Teaching will be minimized while instruction is emphasized. Teaching is mostly for personal edification while instruction is mostly for corporate assignments. Today, most churches focus on teaching principles of Scripture, providing truths that will help believers navigate through their lives and giving nuggets of biblical info. While there will still be important Bible teaching, apostolic instruction will emerge as a necessary new ministry.

There is enough Bible teaching online, on CDs, in books and on video to turn every one of us into personal spiritual giants. We need to take it upon ourselves to grow. What is lacking, however, is apostolic leaders, military commanders who give instruction and assignments to a ready army. Teaching is personal growth-based while instruction is a call to corporate action for the sake of mission fulfillment.

An example of apostolic instruction is this: The apostolic leader gives a corporate assignment for everybody in the church to fast for a week and then show up together to prayer walk through the city streets. It’s a corporate call to action versus biblical study. It’s mission focused versus personal growth focused. Personal growth will be largely our responsibility between services so we can be ready to respond to the corporate instruction where we will receive our assignments.

4. We will gather together most days of the week. The 24/7 church will again emerge as the church drives culture instead of reacting to culture. Cares of life will lose their power as we simplify our lives and put corporate prayer and mission ahead of most everything else.

This may be the most challenging change for Christians. Today, Sundays are the days to set aside for corporate worship while we give precedence to our ‘normal lives.’ In the Coming Church, the very reason we live will be to pray on fire together every day, receive apostolic assignments and then move out into our lives as kingdom ambassadors. It wouldn’t be surprising if a tithe of our time is what became the standard. Two to three hours a day, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening, or even in the late night hours, will be given by every believer to praying on site together with others, ministering and giving ourselves to intercession-fueled kingdom ministry. Of course, much of what we have been giving ourselves to will have to be eliminated so we have the time necessary to devote.

5. Worship will be supernaturally driven. There is a new sound coming to worship, and it’s not simply a new style. There is a supernatural, otherworldly groan of intercessory worship that will explode out of the entire body as a new breed of trembling worship leaders lead the way into the shock and awe of the glory of God. We will no longer simply sit in a pew or stand with a raised hand while a familiar worship song is sung.

The prophetic, groaning sounds of Holy Spirit facilitated worship will make it normal to shake and fall to our faces as we cry Holy! The natural, logical sing-a-longs will be no more. We will have a hard time standing as God’s Shekinah and Kabod glory resides in His church. Worship teams will practice less and pray in the Spirit with tears in their eyes more.

Of course, this is an extremely limited glance into the many, many changes that are coming. I wanted to share this to provoke you to preparation. There is much that you and I enjoy in the church, or that is comfortable to us, that we will have to let go. Again, the coming church will be troubling and shocking, but it will result in the power and life that we have been crying out for.

God is about to answer that cry.

I strongly recommend that you read my book 20 Elements of Revival. That book reveals much of the shift that we must embrace right now. If you truly take in all that it has to say, you’ll never participate in the church the same way again.”

John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John’s mandate is to call the church in the nations to repentance from casual Christianity and to burn in a manner worthy of the King of kings. He is equipping people to confront the enemies of God (established religion, Jezebel, etc.) that hinder an extreme, sold-out level of true worship. He planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and is currently directing a prayer and revival focused ministry school in Detroit called thelabuniverstity.com.

BUILDING CHURCH GOD’S WAY

Church do you love your community? How is that expressed? Are you truly serving Jesus with your resources?

Build buildings that don’t load your church with debt and can serve your community. Is this what we see happening today?

God has raised up Dan Cook, architect and construction company owner and founder of Building God’s Way  to serve the church in these last days. Listen to several pastors talk about  church buildings that will serve Christ and the community.

CHURCH AS GOD INTENDED: MINISTERING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

‘7 Days Adventure with God’ is a powerful movie that gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of a seven day trip in Brazil.

Experience first hand how the Holy Spirit is leading and how God is changing people’s lives on the streets, in the homes and at the “kickstart” meetings.

This documentary is meant to challenge you to discover what it truly means to live out the life we read about in the book of Acts – a life that is so much more than just going to church. This life is an incredible adventure with God.

 

 

ARE OUR CHURCHES MAKING DISCIPLES?

Great fame, a massive following and financial fortune did not matter to Jesus. And it should not matter to us.

His only obsession was to please the Father. We should be likewise obsessed.

Matthew reported that Jesus preached the gospel and healed the sick all over Galilee. (4:23) Because of his preaching and healing “His fame spread” which resulted in even more preaching and healing. (4:24) The predictable result of all this preaching and healing was that “great crowds followed him.” (4:25)

So, Jesus now has fame and crowds. The only thing missing (for modern success) is the fortune. But great fame, a massive following and financial fortune did not matter to Jesus. And it should not matter to us. But it often does. Even in ministry.

What did Jesus do with His newfound fame and huge following? How did He “leverage his platforms” in order to increase his following? How did He alter His content to increase His followers? How did He monetise His influence? That’s what we would do, right?

Notice carefully what Jesus did. “Seeing the crowds, he went up on a mountain. And when he sat down, His disciples came to Him” (Matt. 5:1).

Two important words: “crowds” and “disciples.”

1. “Seeing the crowds, he went up on a mountain.” Today when we see crowds in our Sunday service, in our campus ministry or on social media, we think we have succeeded. We must be doing something right and God is must be blessing our efforts. In order to be good stewards of our success, we do everything imaginable to maintain and grow our audience. Our first move is to leverage our platform for growth and influence. Jesus did the opposite. His first move was to walk away from the crowd.

2He traded a massive crowd of adorning followers for a small group of committed disciples. A careful reading of the Gospels will reveal that the more crowds followed Jesus, the more he retreated to be alone with the Father and with his disciples.

Every leader of a growing ministry will be faced with an important decision: attract crowds or make disciples. Will we leave the crowds in order to make disciples, or will we allow the demands of the crowd to pull us away from small group discipleship?

Too many pastors and ministry leaders choose the crowds. Pastor Francis Chan, author of best seller, Crazy Love chose correctly, as shown in my recent post Church as God Intended.

This article originally appeared at stevemurrell.com. Steve serves as the president of Every Nation Churches and Ministries, a ministry that does church planting and campus ministry in over 70 nations.

WHY I LEFT THE MEGACHURCH I CREATED!

Listen to Francis Chan, author of best seller Crazy Love, tell why the church needs to return to church as it is revealed in the Book of Acts. As the world gets darker (Godless), church as it is today no longer works. We need persecution to refine the church, to get back to church being family.

WHAT IS GOD DOING IN YOU & YOUR CHURCH?

Us Christians, we should be continually astounded by what God has done and is doing for us and those in the world around us. Consider just a few of his mind-boggling blessings:

  1. You have been forgiven. If you’re a Christian, you carry absolutely no guilt for your past sins. Like a criminal who was released from death row, you have been declared not guilty, and you no longer face punishment. When you wake up every morning, you should pinch yourself as you realise how merciful God was to pardon you!
  2. The Father has adopted you. Adoption is a foreign concept in many cultures. There is not even a word for adoption in some languages. Yet God loved you so much that He brought you into His family, called you His child and shared His eternal inheritance with you. Have you taken time to ponder what that means?
  3. You can read and treasure God’s Word. There are still many people today who do not have the Bible in their language. There are others who live in countries where Bibles are restricted. Do you realize how high a price was paid by previous generations so you could have the Bible now? Do you read it with a sense of grateful humility? Do you realise it prepares us for coming events? There are more prophecies about Jesus second coming, than there were of His first coming, and there were over sixty of those. The Pharisees and Sadducee’s did not get His first coming, what about the church and His second coming. Is the church asleep, as were the ten virgins in that parable, five had oil in their lamps but all were asleep at the time of their Lord’s coming? I believe we are in the “last days” and as we watch events unfold, particularly in the middle east, we can line them up with the O.T. and N.T prophecies. As the world descends into increasing darkness, just as the Bible prophesied, is your church preparing you for these events?
  4. You have continual access to God’s presence. In the days of the Old Covenant, people who worshipped the true God could only do it from a distance. They stood outside the door of the temple while priests made sacrifices for them. You should pinch yourself now! Because we live in the New Covenant era, every born-again Christian can approach the throne of God with confidence. We worship the Lord in “spirit and truth” as Jesus prophesied to the Samaritan woman at the well.
  5. The Holy Spirit lives in your Spirit. Before Jesus came, the Holy Spirit only “came upon” certain people—prophets, kings or special messengers and sometimes only for a specific purpose or season. But today, because of Jesus’ atonement, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to rebirth your Spirit (died at The Fall). The Holy Spirit now lives in you 24/7. He is your counsellor, your comforter and your teacher. He prays for you, refines you, refreshes you, empowers you and leads you deeper and deeper into God’s truth. He is the one that produces the nine fruits of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness and self-control. He is also the one that enables your use of the nine spiritual gifts: Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, Speaking in Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. Shouldn’t you be in awe of a God who does that?
  6. You can enjoy God’s house and His people. Jesus said when we gather together, His presence is there. He dwells in His congregation. Yet many Christians have given up on the church because they got hurt, or because pastors weren’t perfect. But do you realise that the church is a miracle? It is the living body of Christ, and until He returns it will be the place where God accomplishes His purposes but find a church that stands on the authority of God’s Word. Don’t miss this profound blessing!
  7. You get to experience the Holy Spirit moving all around you. Ministries such as that of the Danish evangelist Sorben Sondergaard are experiencing Church as in the time of the “Book of Acts” where Holy Spirit healings and miracles are commonplace. The Holy Spirit is moving in profound ways today. Churches are growing rapidly in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and many new churches are now being planted in the United States which stand on the authority of God’s Word. Instead of focusing on the negative trends you see in the media, you should stand in awe that we live in a day that ancient prophets longed to see.
  8. You are going to heaven. No matter what pain, sickness, disappointment or trial you face during your short time on Earth, you are going to step into an eternity where there is no darkness, no death and no tears. As Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.Phil. 1:21. When this life is over, you are going to live forever. It will take an eternity to comprehend a God who would treat us so mercifully.

Please take time to ponder God’s marvellous, mind-blowing love. Pinch yourself and be reminded that the truths we read in the Bible are not just words on a page or dry doctrinal concepts. They are living realities that should shake you to the core and produce the purest form of wide-eyed, awestruck worship.

Modified article by J Lee Grady former editor of Charisma Magazine.

 

IS GOD GOING TO USE MICRO-CHURCHES IN THESE LAST DAYS?

A revelation received from the Lord by Lance Wallnau on the concept of micro-churches.

“A micro-church is what Daniel had in Babylon with his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah.

In Daniel 2:17, Daniel went to his house and made the dire situation known to his three friends.  If he could not interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream the king would kill Daniel and all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel encouraged them to seek mercies from the God of heaven—that the meaning of the dream would be revealed.  Later, the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. God gave him Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and a download of what was going to happen in Babylon.  As a result, Daniel was appointed by the king to rule over the province.  When Daniel was promoted, he promoted his friends.

No matter how dark our world becomes—even if it reaches the level of sin as in the days of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar—those with the Daniel anointing will rise to lead. The Bible says that when Nebuchadnezzar had his dream, Daniel had to reach into the supernatural dream interpreting power of God.

As I reflected on this story, I said to the Lord, “So this is a vision of a house church.” The Lord said, “No, not a house church.  A house church doesn’t have a common work assignment.”

 So what are the characteristics of a micro-church?

  1. Common assignment. A micro-churchis when you come together with those who share the same calling and faith.  A house church is different. There is no common assignment in a house church other than fellowship and mutual edification.  A micro-church has a Kingdom agenda, a shared assignment that brings them together.
  2. Small in size.  I asked the Lord for another reference, and He took me to Peter’s arrest in Acts 12.  There again, when Peter gets supernaturally delivered he went to the one location that made sense—the house of Mary the mother of John.  When he arrived he discovered many gathered together in prayer for him (Acts 12:12).  It was a house filled with intercessors.  A micro-church is a praying company with a common assignment.  This is a group small enough to fit into a first century house.
  3. A company of people connected to your assignment.  Daniel’s friends all shared the assignment of Government, but Peter’s group was different. They were a company connected to the Apostolic assignmentof the twelve disciples. Therefore, even if the members do not share directly in your assignment, they may be connected to you as family and close friends. The key is that they are affected by what happens to you in the warfare of your assignment.  This group could include your spouse, your closest friends, your children. Proximity is criticalGathering together is a core principle.

Micro-church is the natural extension of any strong local or apostolic church. Not everyone has an assignment to go up against the gates of hell in the various mountains. Those who have been given this call need to be involved not only in the give and take of community life in a local church, but in a micro-church as well. You need to have a small company of people who are holding up your arms and standing with you in the assignment God gave you.  And you need to be standing with someone else in the battle they face. Until the local church establishes micro-churches in proximity to the gates of influence we are not yet an Apostolic church at the end of the age.

If this applies to you, I pray that this year you discover the power of a small committed company of like-minded warriors in your mountain.  If you are on a college campus or in the military or travelling more than 100 days a year with your business, you should answer the call of God to START your own MICRO-CHURCH! “

This resonates with my spirit and I saw it operate in the company I owned and operated for 30 years – Care & Share Products. We had a prayer group that were all involved in the enterprise that prayed at least weekly for the company and more often during a crisis.

Daniel 8 – Key Scripture for the END TIMES

Joel Richardson does a great job of challenging the church in these last days. What the mighty angel,  Gabriel says to Daniel is clearly an END TIME prophecy. Do we have a clear road map to view the days ahead in the Middle East? Joel thinks so, and challenges us be a Berean and check it our for ourselves. Is the looming “Day of the Lord” at hand?