Posts Tagged ‘article’

CoFI Break Video—Five Major Changes Coming to the Church

Watch as I breakdown changes coming to the church, based on a Charisma Magazine article that recently went viral.

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ANCIENT AND EMERGING: FIVE MAJOR CHANGES THAT ARE COMING TO THE CHURCH

Are you ready for glorious yet inconvenient changes that are coming to the church? It's critical that you are!

God is about to upset what man has set up and gather his true remnant church together to pray with passion.

A recent Charisma Magazine article by the same name has gone viral, and I wanted to take today to share in more detail what I see coming for the church.

Interestingly there are those who would reject or resist the changes that are coming, and this is the reason why the alarms must be sounded more urgently.

I personally can't imagine how anybody would be opposed to these amazing, necessary shifts. How glorious it will be when we are gathering together day after day to enjoy God in the place of fervent prayer!

I believe this message will encourage and provoke you into a ready and contending life as God prepares his bride for both the glory and the war that is coming.

WATCH OR LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE FOR FREE FOR THE NEXT THIRTY DAYS HERE!

New Charisma Magazine article: Unsaved Christians

Read my latest article in Charisma Magazine: Unsaved Christians

Charisma Magazine

Unsaved Christians: Do We Understand the Threat of Sin in the Life of Christians? 

Note: This is the first in a series of articles by John Burton. Part 2 on Friday will explore the salvation of Christians who persist in a life of “minor” sin.

  • There is a glorious salvation to be had, and the enemy has tainted powerful, life-giving theologies in an attempt to counterfeit them—and draw people away from the one true God. God's passion is for people to be wildly in love with Him, and that is what the enemy is afraid of. Instead of radical intimacy and passionate obedience, people are falling for a lesser, false doctrine that communicates God's apparent affirmation of them and affection for them—and it is resulting in a faux closeness to him for millions of “Christians.”

    Our salvation is glorious and it is also weighty. We can't presume upon it or take it lightly. I suggest it's possible that most people who are convinced of their position in Christ would actually be in Hell if they died today. I will share some convincing and powerful stories that speak directly to further down in the article. People like Corrie Ten Boom, John Mulinde and Daniel Ekechukwu have a perspective that few others do.

    The concept of unsaved Christians seems contradictory. I understand that. A Christian is a follower of Jesus. I am suggesting that there are many followers of Jesus, many who name the name of Christ, who are living their lives following him in an unsaved condition.

  • READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE.

    Operation Houston: It’s time to launch a movement of Spirit driven prayer in the face of homosexual bullying

    Operation Houston: It’s time to launch a movement of Spirit driven prayer in the face of homosexual bullying

    imageHouston has a problem.

    For those of you who read my recent article titled 9 Prophetic Keys for Binding the Homosexual Spirit, you may know where this article is going. It’s time for a humble people to boldly advance with tears in their eyes and fire in their mouths. The homosexual agenda is advancing in unprecedented arrogance and the church must respond boldly in the authority it has been given.

    With this in mind, I want to warn against any human zeal or pride that would result in combating against the aggressive demands of the city of Houston. The arrogance of those who are placing improper and unrighteous demands on pastors in Houston must not be met with arrogance and unrighteous demands by the church. True humility will result in true boldness and the power of God will be made evident. Keep in mind, this isn’t a political human rights or first amendment issue—this is a spiritual issue. If America were not a free nation, how then would we respond? It wouldn’t be in the courts of our land. It would be in the courtroom of Heaven.

    This doesn’t mean human judges won’t be involved—they very well may be. It does mean, however, that they can’t win alone. The church must pray.

    We have great authority as Christians thanks to what Jesus did for us.

    …which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church… Ephesians 1:20-22

    This authority grants us the right and the responsibility to govern on the Earth. God’s government trumps the government of the city of Houston and as we operate in our authority as a unified church entire cities will shift. We have the keys of the Kingdom and we have the authority to bind and to loose—and God will have our back.

    I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

    The church has historically had a tragically weak response to the homosexual agenda. We haven’t stood in our authority.

    I believe this is mostly due to the fear of being accused of hatred. After all, our calling card is love and it would seem to make sense to protect that branding. The thought is that we should simply respond to assaults with a smile on our face and a bear hug. Unfortunately, that won’t work against principalities and powers. In fact, such a response is not the perfect expression of love. Not even close. It looks more like timidity.

    It’s rare today to hear people clearly sounding alarms and warning those who are in grave danger. It seems that it’s more loving to avoid discussing someone’s possible eternal future than to warn them that they are at risk of eternal torment. The gut wrenching truth that causes me to shudder and break in my heart is that the Mayor of Houston is fighting against God and, based on Scriptural truth, is currently destined for Hell. Again, it’s love that communicates this horrifying reality, and it’s also love to go to battle on behalf of Mayor Annise Parker and her supporters in Houston.

    God’s passion for them is intense and the enemy’s attack against them is continual. The church finds itself in between, warring for their souls.

    WHO ARE WE FIGHTING?

    First, we must agree that this is a fight. We have to move beyond our simple evangelism strategies and relationship building at the coffee shop. The church of America is at war and our weapons are not man made.

    For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

    When considering the homosexual advance, it’s important that we understand what our battle is. Our fight will look very different depending on the situation. Who are we engaging?

    We don’t fight people, but we do fight an invisible enemy. That enemy will manifest differently depending on just who it’s attacking. Consider these two strategic focuses:

    1. The Homosexual Victim
    2. The Homosexual Agenda

    There are millions of people who have been violated by Satan’s hordes and the result is extreme confusion regarding their sexual identity. The homosexual victim has been abused and confused and our approach as loving Christians must be tender. Of course, we will fight the enemy on their behalf but the point I want to make here is that a giant smile and a massive bear hug are absolutely appropriate in this particular scenerio. A personal, relational approach is necessary and we should take the time to serve those who feel hopeless and confused.

    This article, however, is directed more to the homosexual agenda. Our response to this massive onslaught in our nation will look much different than it does to the homosexual victim. At this level, the war is on.

    For the victim we are dealing with emotions, woundings and various demonic attacks. Regarding the agenda it’s a completely different story. We are dealing with extremely powerful, influential wicked powers that can’t be won with a hug.

    The homosexual agenda is driven by a violent, organized and deadly demonic strategy that has little to do with same sex attraction—it’s all about taking dominion in America and it’s manifesting clearly in Houston.

    This evil assault must be met with one key spiritual strategy—praying in tongues. Fervent, unified, passionate and continual prayer in the Spirit. This is a call to the church to always be in the Spirit and to pray without ceasing.

    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

    Again, read my prior article for a more comprehensive explanation of this revelation. The present danger our nation is experiencing cannot be allowed to advance.

    It’s time to bring confusion to the camp. The violent, intolerant homosexual agenda will be stalled via a massive movement of people who are praying in the Spirit. The groans of intercession need to be heard in our nation again!

    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints– and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:10-20

    Praying in the Spirit is one of our weapons of warfare! It results in precise intercession being lifted up and a sword of the Spirit exploding out of our mouths! Just imagine the demons that are scattering as we pray!

    I see stadiums filled with thousands of people who spend all day and night groaning and roaring in the Spirit along with myriads of angels waging war in the heavenlies over Houston!

    Just as those in the homosexual movement have a common language, and just as those at the Tower of Babel had one language, the church’s response must be the common language that God gave us in Acts 2.

    Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. Gen. 11:1

    Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:3-4

    Just as confusion came to those at Babel, another unified language resulted in confusion in Jerusalem:

    And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled… Acts 2:6-7

    The difference? At Babel the confusion stopped the unified work of Satan. In Acts the prayer-fueled unity initiated outpouring caused people to marvel!

    It’s time for Satan’s agenda in Houston to be confused and for the people of Houston to marvel!

    ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD?

    We all know the verse:

    And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

    This is one of the most misused verses in all of Scripture.

    When somebody has a bad day—their girlfriend breaks up with them or they can’t pay their bills or they break their leg—it’s common to quote this famous verse. The problem? It’s terrible counsel and it doesn’t work. That single verse cannot stand alone. Context is necessary.

    You may have noticed that the verse started with the word AND. That should tip us off to something that comes prior. There’s a condition that must be met for verse 28 to activate. Those conditions are found in verses 26 and 27:

    Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

    It’s when we allow the Holy Spirit to intercede through us with groans that things start to come together.

    America needs a groaning movement of deep intercession! The Holy Spirit knows what the mind of the Spirit is, and he prays through people who physically groan and travail. This prayer is perfect prayer as it’s according to the will of God. We don’t need human strategy when we pray in the Spirit!

    When the groans are burning in and through us we find ourselves loving God more deeply and trusting him more fully. We agree with his calling on our lives. Then all things work together for good!

    As the church of Houston and of our nation gathers together in unity to allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us, we will begin to see all things working together for good! The love of God will explode! The homosexual agenda will lose its power and the plan of our glorious Savior will advance in power! Let’s fill churches, streets, homes and stadiums with groaning intercessors! Can you imagine what tens of thousands of people groaning deeply in the Spirit would sound like? The stadium roof would explode!

    UNITY

    Unity always surrounds a cause, or a point of focus. The homosexual agenda is possibly the most unified movement in the world today. They are gathered around a singular focus.

    Consider the three Hebrews who unified against King Nebuchadnezzar. The king called everybody to rally around an image. His strategy for national strength was brilliant—unity.

    So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Daniel 3:7

    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego chose a different point of unity—the fire.

    Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” Daniel 3:15

    God was the only one who could deliver them, and God was the only one who could change the nation. So, in the face of certain death, they stood together in unity.

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18

    This is where the church is right now. What will we rally around? If we attempt to blend in and let the situation play out, we, by default, worship the image—the image that the homosexual agenda is gathering everyone in the city around.

    When we make our stand, we will absolutely appear to be divisive, hateful and arrogant, and that will result in rage in the camp.

    Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Daniel 3:19-20

    It’s at this point, well into the battle, where Jesus will be made known to all:

    Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:24-25

    Their radical unity in the fire resulted in a manifestation of Jesus that was undeniable. The nation turned at that moment. Our nation, the city of Houston and Mayor Annise Parker can all be transformed over night.

    Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon. Daniel 3:28-30

    Operation Houston will result in a unified church in the midst of the fire, wielding their weapons, praying in the Spirit and impacting not only Houston but the nation and the entire world. The love of God will be made manifest and millions of people will have an unprecedented opportunity to experience it. Church, this is our hour.

    Does anybody in Houston have a stadium we can borrow for a day?

    It’s time to pray.

    Correction: I made a mistake in the last article…PLUS let’s discuss father confusion…

    Father confusion: We cannot presume what it is to be a good father based on our human understanding.

    First: TONIGHT! I’ll be teaching on the orphan spirit and a fatherless generation! 7pm at Revival Church!

    Revival Church is located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091.


    Correction: I was bouncing between two thoughts when I wrote a certain point in the last article, and used the wrong passage to make my point, which made my point incorrect. Thanks to my friend Mark for pointing it out!

    The two passages I was bouncing between were:

    Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.  But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.  Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. Acts 7:54-58

    And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.' Acts 22:20

    In my original post I mentioned that Jesus was standing and giving his approval, but I based it on Acts 22:20, which was the wrong verse. That was actually Saul. Big difference!

    But, in the appropriate passage, Acts 7:54-58, we do see Jesus standing in honor of Stephen’s martyrdom. That was the point I meant to make!

    Here’s the corrected version:

    Rejection of call to martyrdom—Martyrdom is the pinnacle of negative experiences for the Christian. Of course, the truth is that it’s not negative at all. It’s glorious!

    Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.  But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.  Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. Acts 7:54-58

    How powerful is it that Jesus stood as Stephen died! Not only that, but did you notice what young man was mentioned in the story? A young man who would end up turning the world upside down. Saul. Paul. We need Stephen’s to arise and lay down their lives in such a way that a new company of Saul’s are awakened into their destinies.

    FATHER CONFUSION

    imageAnother point in the article has caused some trouble!

    Here it is:

    Misinterpretations of negative situations—News flash: it’s not always the devil. How often to people rebuke demons when it’s actually God that caused the situation? If we think that God only functions positively than what are we to do with the fact that God actually demonized Paul and refused his deliverance? What about God striking people with sickness? 

    So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

    God actually endorsed an assault of Satan on Paul to keep him humble! Paul embraced a “negative” God, because he was True. He was content with weaknesses, hardships, calamities. He didn’t rebuke them, and that didn’t cause him to attribute them to Satan. Of course, Satan wouldn’t want to keep Paul from becoming conceited, so this wasn’t his plan. Just as with Job, God will allow attack of the enemy for our own benefit. In fact, it was Satan who was allowed by God to kill Jesus. He literally had thorns in his flesh as he hung on the cross, and they were not taken away.

    There is such a wild misunderstanding of the nature and character of God as Father today.

    The resistance to this point is coming from those who subscribe to the idea that God would never do anything negative. Of course, that is the reason I wrote the article—to address this fallacy.

    Someone on Facebook said:

    God never allows evil.

    That just can’t be supported in scripture.

    If we truly know that our Father loves us, we won't balk at the trouble he initiates for us. We will trust him.

    The text is very simple… we can look at it…

    “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me,”
    God was the primary player in this… he gave the messenger of Satan… and he had a reason: “…to keep me from becoming conceited.”

    Of course, Satan wouldn't want to keep Paul from becoming conceited, so this wasn't his plan. Just as with Job, God will allow attack of the enemy for our own benefit. In fact, it was Satan who was allowed by God to kill Jesus. He literally had thorns in his flesh as he hung on the cross, and they were not taken away.

    So, God used Satan to keep Paul in line. That is the very simple take away here.

    Life Application Commentary:
    We don't know what Paul's thorn in the flesh was because he doesn't tell us. Some have suggested that it was malaria, epilepsy, or a disease of the eyes (see Galatians 4:13-15). Whatever the case, it was a chronic and debilitating problem, which at times kept him from working. This thorn was a hindrance to his ministry, and he prayed for its removal; but God refused. Paul was a very self-sufficient person, so this thorn must have been difficult for him. Three times Paul prayed for healing and did not receive it. He received, however, things far greater because he received greater grace from God, a stronger character, humility, and an ability to empathize with others. In addition, it benefited those around him as they saw God at work in his life. God, according to his sovereign plan, doesn't heal some believers of their physical ailments. We don't know why some are spared and others aren't. God chooses according to his divine purposes. Our task is to pray, to believe, and to trust. Paul is living proof that holy living and courageous faith do not ensure instant physical healing. When we pray for healing, we must trust our bodies to God's care. We must recognize that nothing separates us from his love (Romans 8:35-39) and that our spiritual condition is always more important than our physical condition.

    This is such an important truth to discuss. So many attribute difficulties to Satan when it's actually God at times. So, they end up rebuking God… they resist him. We see with Paul that he didn't resist. He accepted his very troubling situation as it was given to him by God.

    My friend James replied to an opposing view on Facebook by saying:

    God sent evil spirits to do His bidding, to the point of even personally sending lying spirits to deceive the Jewish prophets SO THAT they would prophesy falsely. I am amazed at the ignorance that abounds on the realities of spiritual warfare.

    It’s pure love that will result in a perfect Father functioning in ways that confound us as mere humans. It doesn’t make sense to us at times, but God will work contrary to common sense! God will actually blind eyes of people so they can't be saved! God is SO DIFFERENT than we realize.

    James also said:

    I believe it was the reformer, Martin Luther, who said that the devil is God's devil. He is on a tether but it is a rather long one. The only place of protection and safety is in the true knowledge of God as revealed through Jesus Christ (Aslan is no tame lion!).

    We can't presume how a father would act based on our human understanding. That's the point. We may want a father to act a certain way… but, we have to remember, God is not human. He doesn't play by our rules. His method of fathering is way different than ours… and his method will create shock, awe, fear, intimacy and a myriad of other emotions in us.

    God the Father did many, many things that an earthy father would never do.

    We can’t attempt to define what a good father is by what a human father would do.

    We can't make God into our image, we were made in his. What we might call abuse, God might call love. Was it abuse to allow a fish to swallow Jonah? Was it abuse to kill all of mankind except for a few on the ark? Was it abuse to allow John to be boiled in oil? Was it abuse for God not to stop the terror attacks on 9/11? Is it abuse when he doesn’t answer our most urgent prayers? No. God is love—always.

    Let me ask you this: If you were staring into the fires of Hell, would you, as a loving father, throw anybody in there? God will. And his love surpasses anything we've ever known.

    Newspaper article : Are we ready for some wonders?

    NOTE: Watch the video at the end of this message and forward it on to as many people as you can. We are in urgent times.


    Here’s the latest article that I just submitted for the paper in Grosse Pointe:

    Are we ready for some wonders?

    When we consider the Bible to be only a history book, or a collection of wisdom and inspiring stories, it quickly loses its luster. However, when we understand that the Word of God is alive, everything changes!

    I’m probably like most of you—I have no desire to waste time in religious activities that have the smell of death of them. I don’t want to pray, study or go to church if I can’t tap into the very real, tangible experience of the living God.

    When we can open that ancient Book and the words start dancing on the page, everything changes! Knowing God in deep intimacy through prayer, impartation of the Word of God and continual interaction with the Lover of our souls makes live amazing!

    Check out this verse:

    Joshua 3:5 (ESV) Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

    Wonders. I want that. Can you imagine what the one who created everything seen and unseen in a moment might consider a wonder?

    If we looked at the Bible as only a story book, this verse would mean nothing! It would only have value within its own story there at the edge of the Jordan River a long time ago in a far away place. But when we realize that God still works wonders, and he is quite ready to trump what he did even in that dramatic story as the Israelites were finally about to enter the Promised Land, it launches us into a life of passionate pursuit!

    Check out this related passage:

    Exodus 19:9-11 (ESV) 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

    God loves to move dramatically in our lives! I don’t know about you, but I continually crave encounter after encounter. I want to live a consecrated life, a zealous and holy life. Drawing close to God and agreeing with his plans to pour out His Spirit will result in a life that is beyond description.

    Let’s do it. Let’s sanctify ourselves, fall deeply in love with Jesus and experience the wonders of God!


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