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.

THE POWER OF PRAYER TO CHANGE NATIONS

Some prophetic voices believe the United States of America shifted, spiritually, Oct. 21, 2016, on what may go down as one of the most important days in American history. Did this National Day of Prayer for First Nations affect the outcome of the November Presidential election? Does America get another chance to repent and change its course? Yes is does, under Trump. Under Hilary Clinton its course was clear, further moving away from God and increased marginalisation and then persecution of Christians.

Largely unnoticed, 1,000 Native American Indian tribes from the United States and Canada collectively forgave the U.S. government for breaking treaties with their ancestors during a public ceremony on the National Mall.

The National Day of Prayer for First Nations, held near the Washington Monument, included intercessory petitions, proclamations and declarations of forgiveness by leaders from All Tribes D.C., a fellowship of Christians representing 1,000 American Indians from the U.S. and Canada.

all-tribes-met-prayer

A full-blooded Euchee (Yuchi) Indian, Negiel Bigpond coordinated the first-ever national prayer gathering of Native Americans in the nation’s capital.

Like the annual May observance of the National Day of Prayer, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952, First Nations intercessors will convene again in 2017 during the third week of October.

Dr. Billy Graham, whose son and daughter have served on the National Day of Prayer Task Force, is a prophetic voice who believes that forgiveness by Native Americans might be part of a spiritual awakening within the nation.

“The Native American has been a sleeping giant,” Graham writes. “He is awakening. The original Americans could become the evangelists who will help win America for Christ. Remember the forgotten people.”

Bigpond agrees that Native Americans have taken a good first step toward aiding national awakening by extending forgiveness to the nation.

“We chose to forgive the U.S., whether it asked for it or not,” said Bigpond, a fourth-generation pastor who offered forgiveness and spoke blessings over the nation alongside other tribal prayer warriors.

Bigpond, who has evangelised on 143 reservations, believes the U.S. has suffered spiritual consequences for breaking treaties with Native Americans.

In Scripture, breaking a vow or treaty brings a curse on the land, and the U.S. government broke every treaty it made with the Native American tribes, according to prophetic voice Rick Joyner, who called the prayer event one of the most important in the nation’s history from his ministry headquarters in North and South Carolina.

“This is very real,” Joyner said. “National injustices are a major issue we’re facing now, whether we want to or not, and this is a big one.”

Bigpond is an apostle at Morning Star Evangelistic Center in Oklahoma, which is affiliated with Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries.

The nation’s crises parallel conditions on the reservations, according to Bigpond, a certified drug- and alcohol-abuse counsellor.

“We don’t want the nation or our people to suffer further,” said Bigpond, who holds a doctorate in divinity and is a Euchee tribe chief.

Mary Faus, who represented the Ojibway and Cree tribes at the prayer event, said the unity and power of forgiving a nation that’s never apologised or asked for it was amazing.

“We believe this has shifted the nation and we are already feeling the effects of what was accomplished in D.C.,” said Faus, who is the director of a house of prayer in Pennsylvania and lead intercessor with husband Jon at Hope of Nations Christian Centre.

Joyner agrees that forgiveness and love are major weapons in waging spiritual warfare on behalf of the nation.

“This is one of the most noble acts of true Christian charity I have ever heard of by any people group,” Joyner said. “Very few may even know that anything special happened.

“Some of the greatest things happen that way, and only a very few who have their eyes open looking in the right direction, see them,” Joyner said.

Portions of a proclamation posted on the All Tribes D.C. website were read by tribal leaders gathered on the National Mall.

The proclamation reads in part, “We forgive every atrocity and broken covenant ever designed to destroy us as a race of people. We break every curse and renounce every lie purposed to decimate us as human beings.

“We forgive the government, the church and the educational system for the use of residential schools that attempted to destroy our culture and silence our voice as people by stealing our language.

“We stand in the gap for those who are unable or unwilling to forgive, and call upon the Master of Life, to forgive us for harbouring unforgiveness, resentment, hatred, bitterness and rage.

“We repent of every curse spoken over America by our ancestors and we release the power of forgiveness to bring healing and the peace of Creator God to this land.

“We declare and decree that our voice will no longer be silenced and that this nation and the world will hear our voice as we speak life and blessings over the Americas and the world.

“We stand in faith believing that our citizenship lies in heaven, and we too, all await the return of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Being all of one mind and heart, having compassion for one another, we declare our love as brothers; not returning evil for the evil perpetuated against us, but on the contrary we choose to release a blessing, knowing that the Father of us all has called us as his children to bless and not curse, that we may inherit a blessing. Amen.”

God is doing something in Australia as well, our Christian Aboriginal brothers and sisters are planning a Solemn Assembly Gathering in Canberra, hopefully in 2017, to join with Christians from all denominations to ask repentance from God and to forgive one another for past sins.

CHRISTIANS -“HATEFUL, MEAN, BIGOTED, NARROW-MINDED”

Someone has said, “If I can define you, I can confine you.” Once the caricature “hateful, mean, bigoted, narrow- minded” attaches to believing Christians, we become identified through that false lens. Thus, for example, when we attempt to support religious freedom bills in legislatures, we are immediately defined as “haters.” Big businesses and the media target legislative members and engender public support for the idea that core religious rights that were long the subject of broad societal consensus, are in fact unjustifiable shields for “bigoted” religious people and institutions that must not be tolerated.

Marginalisation

Once the caricature is drawn, then it becomes easy to move to the next step—marginalisation.

Think of this, for example, why is it that there is no evangelical on the Supreme Court? Evangelicals are one of the largest minorities in the United States. But, our pro-life position and views on marriage are regarded as not acceptable and militate against an appointment to the Supreme Court—and beyond that, to appellate courts and district courts. Our views are simply unacceptable to the political powers that be and we are sidelined from the public square— marginalised.

us-supreme-court-memebersEvangelical Scalia DIED

Discrimination

Once you can make a caricature of a group and marginalise them, you can discriminate against them.

The biggest examples of that, from a legal point of view, are the recent cases before the Supreme Court of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor. In both cases, the present administration forcefully sought to discriminate against persons who, because of religious belief, did not want to facilitate abortions. Those decisions hung by a slim thread in the Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby won by a 5-4 vote, and the Little Sisters of the Poor case was sent back down to the lower courts, in all likelihood, because a majority of opinion could not be reached on a divided 4-4 Court.

Another example that is impacting Assemblies of God colleges and universities as well as all schools who are members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) is a recent change in the Department of Education (DOE). Christian institutions are now discriminated against because they hold to biblical teaching on sexual morality.

Next on the horizon is the possibility that accrediting associations will determine that a school which has behavioural standards for students regarding same-sex or gender identity relationships is a school not worthy of accreditation, and/or that companies, school boards, and graduate schools will not admit or employ graduates of schools who “discriminate” on the basis of sexual orientation and identity. Schools will either be forced to accept standards imposed on them or go out of business.

Persecution

Step one: make a caricature of persons committed to scriptural teaching on morality. Step two: marginalise them. Step three: discriminate against them. Finally, the last stage: persecute them.

This is what is pending in the California legislature as I write—the outright persecution of Christian institutions by a state that says, “We will attempt to humiliate and marginalise you if you don’t give in.”

What’s next? Unless present trends are reversed, I can envision a day not too far off in which faith-based para church educational and compassion institutions are forced to close if they retain biblical standards of sexual conduct for employment, or even requirements that employees, faculty, or students profess a Christian commitment.

The local church itself will be the last domino to fall in terms of persecution. Tax-exempt status may be lost. Ministers could lose the ministerial housing allowance. Donors may not be able to deduct charitable contributions. Churches which utilise their facilities for public events and compassion ministry, in addition to their times of worship, will be declared public places of accommodation and forced to provide marriage services to same-sex couples.

If you say, “Oh, that can never happen in America,” then let me remind you that we never thought a day would come when the White House would be lit up with the rainbow flag to celebrate a decision by the Supreme Court to legalise same-sex marriage.

I have never written anything like I am writing to you now. I realise that what I am writing paints a very dark picture. You are now asking yourself, but what can we do? Here are some suggestions.

Pray

There may be some who are cynical about a call to pray. But, we know the Lord hears the prayers of His people. Let’s take to heart 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We must pray for a third Great Awakening to come to America.

Prayers of gratitude for the religious liberty we have enjoyed, and prayers of petition for its future protection should be an ongoing and regular part of our personal and corporate prayer life.

Engage

Use whatever means possible to exert your influence on our culture and political system. Be informed as a voter. Run as a candidate for office if you sense the Spirit asking that of you. Let your elected representatives hear from you on issues such as religious liberty protection.

It’s also vital that we understand that we advocate religious liberty for others, not just ourselves. It is against our religion to impose our religion. When we find persons, organisations, or religious bodies who stand with us on the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion, then we welcome their advocacy alongside our own.

Of course, being engaged requires being informed; helping those who worship in our churches every week to understand the nature of the challenges we face, honestly but without overstating, is a critical first step. Had Christians across Missouri truly understood what was at stake in the religious liberty bill that failed in that state legislature earlier this year, the outcome may have been different. We must educate in order to inspire action.

Watch Your Spirit

There’s a fascinating verse in Jude 9 that says, Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil in a dispute about the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce upon him a railing judgement. But he said, “The Lord rebuke you!'” In other words, Michael did not behave like the devil in fighting the devil. We must take to heart the admonition of the apostle Paul,

“The servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but must be gentle toward all people …” Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will “grant them repentance to a know the truth” (2 Tim. 2:24–25).                                                                                                                                                                                         Let’s be gracious as we take our stand on issues that concern us.

Do Good

The world may not agree with our beliefs, but they cannot deny when we do good. As individual believers and as a church together we must continue to serve others. We must be known as people of compassion and mercy. We are for the just treatment of others and we help the poor, the needy, the addicted, the wounded, the lonely and the downtrodden.

Keep Doing the Main Things

Our first and foremost call is to preach and live the gospel. Let’s keep the main things the plain things, and the plain things the main things. We must fulfil both the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18–20) and the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37–39). That’s our priority! Let’s never substitute evangelism and discipleship with political action. Let’s keep eternal matters and temporal matters in perspective.

Our Battle Is Spiritual

God loved the world and so must we. We cannot give others any reason to identify us as “haters” or “bigots.” The world will not be won by Christians who are shaking their fists at sinners. Something is a truism when it is true. This truism is true: “We must hate the sin and love the sinner.” “For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:12–13).

Rejoice

Nothing happening has caught the Lord by surprise. He told us we would be persecuted because of our loyalty to Him. But we are not to be angry about that or downcast. Instead, Jesus said: ”

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.12 Rejoice and be very glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in this manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:10–12).

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you on this vital matter of religious liberty. In every dark time, believers have learned to say anew, “Our Lord reigns!”

This an abbreviated letter (grievous warning) was sent out by George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God (USA) and chair of The Assemblies of God Fellowship

RIO 2016: FIJI TEAM GIVES THE GLORY TO GOD

fiji-rugby4

“First of all, I thank the Lord, he has been our source of strength… We reminded each other how God had taken us through the last two years and that the same God that we serve is here with us in Rio.”

That’s what the Olympic Rugby Sevens winners told the media when asked the reason for their success.

The island nation of Fiji has won its first ever Olympic medal – a gold – but while fans hailed one of the great Olympic achievements, the players have given the glory to God.

Rugby Sevens became an Olympic event this year for the first time. Though Fiji are ranked number one in the world, the country had never won a medal at any event before so the pressure was on.

The team came through that pressure to win the tournament – defeating Great Britain 43-7 in the final – and dominating far bigger countries such as New Zealand.

The players dropped to their knees and prayed upon the outcome of the match. Many pointed to the sky before joining in wild celebrations.

BE ENCOURAGED: HEAR WHAT GOD IS DOING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Watch Joel Richardson interview Chris Mitchell, CNN Middle East Bureau Chief based in Jerusalem (16 years) on what is happening in the Middle East – ISIS, IRAN and ISRAEL. Chris has just released a new book: What you Need to Know about the Current Mideast Crisis and the Coming Mideast War.

Events are unfolding just as prophesied in God’s Word. The last reformation is underway in HIS church, make sure you are dead centre in God’s will for you in these last days.

New movie – WAR ROOM stunning success at the Box Office

The Film “War Room” has stunned box office watchers by nearly dethroning “Straight Outta Compton” as the weekend’s highest-grossing domestic release with its $11 million debut. That’s particularly impressive given that the religious drama was playing on a third of the number of screens.

The film’s message on the power of prayer and that prayer is spiritual warfare not to be undertaken by lukewarm Christians is a much needed message for the church at this time. We need to get the word out about this awesome movie which will challenge all Christians about their attitude to prayer. We need more prayer warriors in the church and this film will help achieve that objective.

“War Room,” the story of a disintegrating marriage rescued by intense prayer, was produced for a slender $3 million and distributed by Sony’s Affirm division. It is on pace to be among the Kendrick brothers’ biggest hits, rivaling the $34.5 million brought in by “Courageous” and the $33.5 million generated from “Fireproof.”

Getting the word out about the picture involved a massive grassroots effort. Facebook was particularly active, as the film’s page attracted more than half a million fans, though its presence on Twitter was only marginal. More important was the work that the Kendricks did to raise awareness. The brothers shot set videos to keep audiences informed about the production and prepared packets that they sent to churches in the USA that included materials that could be incorporated into sermons prior to the film’s release.