GOD HAS REVEALED HIS “END TIMES” PLAN

The Bible is full of prophecies, at least 25% of its content and those already fulfilled were accurate. We can reasonably expect, the many yet to be fulfilled will also happen exactly as prophesied. However, those prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled are not so easy to interpret. There is a lot of disagreement on specific events, such as the last seven years prior to Jesus return and the timing of the Rapture.

I need to say that it has only been over the last two years that the Holy Spirit has burdened me to alert the church that recent events show clearly we are approaching the last seven years of Daniels 70 Weeks (Daniel 9:24-27). Moreover, God has miraculously connected me with the right partners to put together resources for the “last days” church. Check out http://www.powerpointsermons.net.

The Bible does reveal that God has an “end times” plan.

We know the end of the story, dead in Christ raised first, and the saints who are alive will be raptured before God pours out His wrath on an unbelieving world.

After God’s wrath has been poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements, Jesus will return with us believers in our glorified bodies, exactly as He said He would, to Mount Olives. He will then complete the unfinished work to save and restore Israel where He will rule and reign  from Jerusalem for one thousand years (Millennial Kingdom).

Make sure you are in a church that understands the urgency of the times. A church that takes seriously Jesus command to GO and take The Great Commission to an unbelieving world. A church like in the Book of Acts that is raising up disciples who in turn will raise up more disciples.

 

CHURCHES THAT WILL TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES – Part 2

In order for kingdom culture to rule and reign on the earth, we must repent as a church for a mindset that doesn’t foster kingdom culture. We are citizens of heaven on earth, but we must act like it. At Pentecost, we were reminded that Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all born again believers to empower them to do the things He is calling us to do.

We are living so far beneath our potential. As the church, if we don’t begin to live in the knowledge of His empowerment and guidance, then culture will not change around us. We have been given the Holy Spirit so God Himself can effect the changes He wants to make manifest in the earth, but we have to truly believe and act on it.

Repent simply means to change your mind. The church is not walking in the authority of God and His Word. We as a church are constantly submitting to the things of the world and the strongholds of the enemy that come from the second heavens, yet He has already raised us up and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6).

We need to step out into the world and use the gifts of the Spirit as Paul instructed. The church needs to work in John 17 unity of purpose to build His Kingdom on earth.

My book Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit is a useful resource and is available as an ebook on Amazon.

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:4

IN THE CHAOS, THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINES BRIGHTLY

Brandon Sanders, assistant pastor at Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas reports on how their church responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Our whole region has been devastated by the lingering rains and flooding of Hurricane Harvey, but the response of our people has been amazing. Powerhouse Church is built on the foundation of a Gospel lived, not just a Gospel preached. For 21 years we have been in Katy, Texas and any time there has been a need we have answered the call, Hurricane Harvey is no different. Members of our church and community made sure their families were okay and then sprung into action to make sure others were safe as well. With over 20 inches of rain, 9 straight hours of down pour, the water rose swiftly and many were overtaken in moments. Calls overwhelmed the emergency lines and we jumped into action via social media and text mobilizing teams alongside the City of Katy officials for shelter and evacuation. We housed over 200 people in our facilities overnight and mobilized rescue teams for high water evacuations. We are now a resource center working hand in hand with other local Pastors, churches, and government agencies to provide resources and relief for all those in need. From bass boats, diapers, dry clothes, high risk rescues or just simple prayers and words of encouragement.

It is a beautiful thing to watch the heart of God in action as his people selflessly put their lives aside for the sake of others. This how we witness for our King; we stand strong in perilous times, we remain faithful in times of fear, we are courageous in the face of danger, and we allow love for our fellow man to move us into action and watch ordinary people do extraordinary things.

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.

CHURCH AS GOD INTENDED IT TO BE

Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, was drawing around 5,000 people and growing in 2010. But Francis Chan felt the megachurch he founded was not as God intended it to be.

Francis Chan, a bestselling author who heads We Are Church, speaks at the Facebook headquarters in California, June 22, 2017.

“I got frustrated at a point, just biblically, Chan said. “According to the Bible, every single person in the church has a supernatural gift that’s meant to be used for the body. And I’m like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That’s a lot of waste. Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars!”

“So I’m wasting the human resource of these people that according to Scripture have a miraculous gift that they could contribute to the body but they’re just sitting there quietly. … [T]hey just sit there and listen to me.”

Moreover, he felt the church wasn’t following God’s command to love one another — attendees would simply greet each other for 30 seconds and mainly hang out in cliques once a week.

“I was like, ‘God, you wanted a church that was known for their love. You wanted a group of people where everyone was expressing their gifts. … We’re a body. I’m one member, maybe I’m the mouth. But if the mouth is the only thing that’s working and … I’m trying to drag the rest of the body along, chewing on the carpet …”

His decision in 2010 to leave Cornerstone — which he started in his living room — came as a shock to many, including fellow evangelical pastors. In his announcement to the congregation at that time, he said he had been feeling a restlessness and stirring to let go of the megachurch and take on a new adventure.

He also indicated that he was wary of being “comfortable.”

In his talk at Facebook last week, he offered more details about why he made that decision to leave, including a desire to get away from the pride he began to feel as his book, Crazy Love, became a bestseller and as he became a popular sought-after speaker.

“I freaked out during that time in my life,” Chan recalled. “The pride … [going to] a conference and seeing my face on a magazine … and hearing whispers … and walking in the room and actually liking it.”

At one point, Chan felt convicted and realized he became everything he didn’t want to be. “Everything you (God) said you hated, that’s me right now,” he realized. “I gotta get out of here. I’m losing my soul.”

Chan stressed to the Facebook group that God hates pride and that one can easily lose humility.

Today, Chan leads a house church movement in San Francisco called We Are Church. There are currently 14 to 15 house churches, he said, and 30 pastors (two pastors per church) — all of whom do it for free. Each church is designed to be small so it’s more like family where members can actually get to know one another, love one another and make use of their gifts.

“We’ve got a few hundred people now and it costs nothing,” Chan explained. “And everyone’s growing and everyone’s having to read this book (Bible) for themselves and people actually caring for one another. I don’t even preach. They just meet in their homes, they study, they pray, they care for one another. They’re becoming the church and I’m just loving it and realising that these 30 guys [are] leading this and the women as well.”

The people who join include “guys coming off the streets, out of prison to doctors and people that work here (Facebook) or Google,” he said.

He’s hoping to double the number of house churches every year so that in 10 years, there would be 1.2 million people in We Are Church. And, he reiterated, it’s all free.

How would he compare the megachurch he once led to the current house church movement?

“This one guy put it like this: It’s like being adopted rather than being in an orphanage,” Chan said. “Church the way I was doing was like an orphanage. Here’s just a bunch of kids with one leader. And rather than saying ‘No, you know what, we’re going to put you in a home and these guys are going to actually know you and love you and care for you.’

“It’s just like family.”

Recalling a sober moment he had while at Cornerstone Church, Chan said he baptized a kid from a gang but that kid later left though he was quite involved in the church.

“One of my friends asked him, ‘Hey, how come you’re not at Cornerstone anymore?’ He said ‘I didn’t understand church. When I was baptised, I thought that was going to be being jumped into the gang where it’s like 24/7 they’re my family, because I didn’t know it was just somewhere we attend on Sundays.”

When Chan heard that, he said it made him sick.

“That makes me so sick that the gangs are a better picture of family than the church of Jesus Christ. I can’t live with that. … We’re going to do something different.”

While Chan said he loves what he’s doing now, he admitted that it wasn’t easy and that his former gig at the megachurch was easier in some aspects.

“Some days I think it was a lot easier when I could just preach, go back and drive off in my car and leave all of them like I will today,” he said to laughter among the Facebook employees. “I don’t have to care for your issues, you know? … I’ll never see you again.

“This is easy. But you have this circle here and you’re in each other’s lives and no offence, it’s not this Facebook — I can just put up what I want about myself. That’s kind of like the way church was. It’s like let me just show you this one side on Sunday morning and let me just show you the best pictures of me and my greatest accomplishments.

“But when it’s family, it gets messy. And you start finding out people’s dirt. Just like you know about your brother and sister every Thanksgiving. It’s messy because it’s family. That’s what Christ wanted. And so we fight for it. And it’s been a blast.”

As for what he does with all the money he earns through his bestselling books, Chan said he gives it all away.

He had prayed to God years ago, saying he was frustrated with the rich people in church who only give 5 to 10 percent of their money to church while living off millions. He prayed that God would either raise up a new generation of rich people who would actually live for eternity and give all their money away or make him rich.

“I’ll give it all away to show that you’re better than all of that,” Chan remembered praying. So when he surprisingly made a million dollars the next year through his book and continued to make more over the following years, he signed it all over to a charitable gift fund “so that I can’t even touch it. I can’t even buy lunch with the money … I can only give to charity.

“It’s been the best thing. Now I spend my days going and looking where are the needs around the world and how can I contribute to it?”