PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH IS TO COMPLETE THE GREAT COMMISSION

Sadly, church as we know it, is largely: we gather together once or twice a week and worship a little and pray a little (usually very little) and listen to teaching. After saying hi to friends and small talking with others, we head out into our world until next week.

May I suggest that one of the problems is the structure of the denominational church and the Bible Colleges it has spawned. Few now believe and teach the inerrancy of Scripture and hence have compromised with the world on major issues such as gay marriage and  the transgender movement.

This prophetic word that Pastor John Burton delivered to city pastors in Detroit several years ago is revealing.

“He said, I don’t believe it was received well, as most remained silent after I shared it. I do believe it was the Lord, however. It was a word of warning and a strategic call.

I saw an ocean beach on a sunny day. There were many people on the sand, a good number splashing in the shallows and a handful of people swimming in deeper waters.

Those who were on the sand were mostly happy building sand castles, tanning and enjoying the afternoon sun as the cool mist from the crashing waves blew over them. Some were curious about the water and even took off their sandals and walked where the waves met the sand. Others would slowly venture out and start splashing in the shallows, but most were satisfied just where they were.

The people in the shallows were having a good time. They were together, jumping, splashing and swimming. They were in waist-high water and were able to stand on the sandy bottom. They were also satisfied.

I then looked out at the small number of people who were in the deep. They couldn’t stand as the water was well over their heads. They were so hungry to explore the wide-open seas. It made no sense to them why anybody would be satisfied to experience so little. However, these people had nobody to lead them into the deeper waters. You see, the people on the sand, in the shallows and in the deep all represented a single local church.

What I saw next brought clear, obvious revelation to the situation.

I saw a man, the pastor, in khaki pants, a dress shirt and a tie. His shoes were off and his pant legs were rolled up. He had one foot in the water and the other on the sand. He was not dressed for the deep. In fact, he wasn’t dressed for the shallows or the sand either. He determined to remain anchored between the sand and the shallows where the majority of the people were, yet unable to really reach any of them.

The pastor was under great stress, as he would look upon those on the sand, then those in the shallows, and he’d then squint as he saw those who were drifting out to sea. His eyes continually darted between the three groups, attempting to maintain some sort of control over the spiritually diverse congregation. However, he couldn’t. Those in the deep became a nuisance. He found it easier to allow them to go and to focus on the sand and the shallows. He knew those in the low water would not go deeper, and those on the sand were safe. Maybe someday, they would jump in and splash around with the others.

Pastor Burton summed up with: I believe the strategy of the church must radically change. The pastor, the leader, must be in the deep ahead of the people. Just as the priests in Israel led the armies, usually with praise and certainly the blowing of trumpets, understanding that victory will come from the Lord. The priests are called to step into the waters and to lead people into miraculous situations.

Joshua said to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will perform wondrous deeds among you'” (Josh. 3:5).

The Gideon Church Growth Principle

Churches have too many people, or at least they have the wrong people. Church missions have been compromised.

Churches and pastors will benefit from applying the Gideon principle, though it will be scary, painful and humbling. Death to self, rejection of selfish ambition and mighty faith are required. I believe God is about to invite leaders into divine wrestling matches as they renounce their fabricated and confused identities and adopt their divine callings and discover their identities in Christ instead of success.

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour!
Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” Judges 6;12-13

We know that Gideon was still not convinced God was going to use him to save Israel and He tested God twice with the fleece. God did not get angry with Gideon and He obviously convinced Gideon to trust God no matter what, as he was prepared with only 300 men, to take on the “the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, who were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude (Judges 7:12)”.

How desperately we need pastors/leaders who will cry out to God to know His call for their lives, to seek  confirmation, to hear God’s voice, to discover their new identity and emerge as a true leader.

 

 

 

DOES GOD SPEAK TO US AUDIBLY TODAY?

J.D. Greear, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said God and the Holy Spirit can still audibly speak to believers today and are not limited to speaking through Scripture. His remarks came during a video interview with The Gospel Coalition.

Greear seems to moderate his comments later in the video, noting “we shouldn’t expect that we’re going to hear from God the way the Apostles did” and cautioning against the dangers of proclaiming “God just told me.” Yet though he affirms the primacy of the Bible, he acknowledges the Bible is ambiguous about the ways God can speak to us and says he would never place God in a box about what He could do today.

This is encouraging to know the leader of a major church denomination acknowledges the role of the Holy Spirit in the church today as it was in the early Book of Acts church.

CHURCH – PREPARE FOR ECONOMIC CRASH

Further to my previous post which looked at who owns global assets, this post looks at the appetite for investment and the fact it is heading into panic territory.

The Global Risk Appetite Index compares the performance of 64 global assets to judge how willing or unwilling investors are to take additional risk. The index last entered panic territory in October of 2015, when global recession seemed a threat as China’s capital markets threatened to meltdown.

This time around, the issues are manifold: trade disputes, the Italian budget, Fed tightening and emerging market turbulence all “contend to be the main driver of this risk appetite slump”, the Credit Suisse analysts write.

Some big investors are taking action. Check out this chart:

It shows that some very big guns are starting to cut exposure to stocks.

According to the AFR this week, the behemoth that is Australian Super just cut back on local and international equities. Could this be the start of the giant, global ‘risk-off/sell off

Church are you preparing for what’s coming? It will be church as described in the Book of Acts that will be a blessing.

“Now when the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul, neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands, of houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” Acts 4: 32-34

REAL LIFE IN CHRIST

Hear the powerful testimony of a young woman. Her background is in a traditional church but then observe her experience of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. The evidence of her transformation is visible in her desire to pursue Jesus and grow in the knowledge of HIM. She understands she is a babe in Christ, but now longs to develop her relationship with Him. Notice, the new church she says she is in, it is like the church in the Book of Acts. It is small, so that there is accountability as they build disciples who want to impact their community and build more disciples.

ESCALATION OF HOSTILITY -Turkish President: ‘Netanyahu is a terrorist, Israel is a terrorist state’

Erdogan attacked Israel as “a terrorist state,” notwithstanding the widespread condemnation he has faced over the mounting death toll of Kurds killed by Turkish forces.

Turkish President: ‘Netanyahu is a terrorist, Israel is a terrorist state’

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday over harsh criticism of Israel’s handling of violent rioting in Gaza, Erdogan shot back with a number of insults aimed at the head of the Jewish state.

Erdogan’s comments were apparently prompted by Netanyahu’s observation that the Turkish leader “is not used to being talked back to” or accustomed to being confronted for “occupying North Cyprus, invading the Kurdish belt and butchering civilians in Afrin.” Netanyahu warned Erdogan that with a record such as this, he “should not preach to us about values and morality.”

When you consider this escalation of hostility with the following report, you realise how it ties in with last days wars prophesied in God’s Word.

Dec. 12, 2017, ahead of the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, which is close to President Recep Tayyip, says, Erdoğan and his ruling AKP party, published an article  given in “A Call for Urgent Action,” which also appeared on the paper’s website under the title “What If an Army of Islam Was Formed Against Israel?”

PROPHECY WATCH: 57 Muslim nations urged to besiege Israel

The article called on the 57 member states of the OIC to form a joint “Army of Islam” to besiege and attack the state of Israel. It notes that such a joint army will greatly exceed the Israeli army in manpower, equipment and budget, and presents statistics to prove this. I have already covered this article in a recent post:

“LAST DAYS” BIBLE PROPHECY – SURROUNDING ARABIC NATIONS WILL ATTACK ISRAEL

It is time we returned to church as described in the Book of Acts: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine (God’s Word) and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers.” Acts 2:42

 

CHURCH AS JESUS PRAYED FOR IN JOHN 17

Film “The Last Reformation – The Life”

It is now available for everyone to watch on YouTube for free. You can see the movie with subtitles in around 30 different languages. Since the premiere in Holland, a little more than a month ago, there have been over 1000 screenings all over the world and the response has been amazing. People really loved the movie and after watching the movie many people experienced healing, deliverance, repented, got baptised in water and received the Holy Spirit.

Now it is time to share it with everyone out there, so they can see church  as God intended.

 

LAST REFORMATION – CHURCH AS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

Why at this time in history, do we see God raise up people like Torben Sondergaard (Denmark) to show people that church, as described in the Book of Acts, can be experienced today.

Likewise, why was Francis Chan, author of best seller, Crazy Love and  pastor of a church of 5,000 in California, convicted by God to walk away. Few in the church were using the gifts of the Holy Spirit to train up disciples and yet it was costing thousands of dollars to maintain this organisation.  He now has 30 House churches, all training up disciples of Christ prepared to go out to train up more disciples of Christ. No paid leaders, Jesus is the leader of the church and His Kingdom is being built.

Even marketplace ministries such as the International Christian Chamber of Commerce realise that we are in the last days and workplace reformation is needed. The last ICCC Conference was in Geneva and called Reformation at Work (500 years since the Reformation). There we declared “We hereby welcome and receive a new reformation starting at our workplaces in every nation manifesting the power of the Kingdom of God”

Be encouraged, listen to Torben explain what God is doing to grow His church using the Last Reformation movement. We live in exciting times but only if we are totally sold out to God and delighted to do His will – “not my will, Lord, but Yours be done”.

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: 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.