Posts Tagged ‘tenets’

Sixteen dangers of the positive Christianity movement

Are we are forming a culturally acceptable version of God?

And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Exodus 32:4-6

imageI’ll begin by affirming that God absolutely is LOVE! He is good, all the time. However, his goodness may not always register as good on our human grid.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

There is a rapidly growing aversion to any discussion about God that includes anything that feels negative. The problem? Cover to cover in scripture we see endless accounts of God displaying his attributes—many of which would not be defined as positive.

Instead of proclaiming the full counsel of scripture, people today are looking for a buffet Bible when they can load up on chocolate cake and milk shakes while quickly stepping by the peas, carrot and salad.

People want to form a god of their own design as the Israelites did when Moses was meeting with a fearful God. The plan is to sit down to eat and drink, and rise up to play.

Today it’s nearly impossible (not an exaggeration) to find a church that preaches cutting, hard core truths of scripture that break us out of prison and into freedom. If you want to hear about how good God is and little else, than you can pick most any church in the nation.

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” ~Leonard Ravenhill

Sixteen dangers of the positive Christianity movement

False conversions—I could spend a lot of time on this point, and I do address it extensively in my book The Coming Church. For the sake of brevity, we must finally come to the understanding that salvation requires an extreme step, not a casual one. It’s when we understand the great drama that includes God, Satan, eternity, heaven, hell, judgment and abundant life that authentic conversions can occur. Who wouldn’t sign up to follow a God that promises gold coins and butterflies? The question must not be, “How can I benefit from salvation.” It has to be, “Is God worthy of me surrendering all I value to him?” When we truly know him in his fullness, in his grace and wrath, in his mercy and judgment, as a Lion and a Lamb, we will be able to make the fearful decision, “You, Lord are worthy of my entire life.”

Misunderstanding of the fear of the Lord—It’s stunning to me that so many are renouncing any fear whatsoever, even the fear of the Lord! If we have a view of God that is only positive, we will reject anything that feels negative, and this includes the fear of the Lord. Let’s set the record straight—the fear of the Lord is not simply to be in awe of God or to respect him. Fear of the Lord is translated over and over as terror, to be afraid, to dread. The love of God and the dread of God are not mutually exclusive. In fact, his love shines brighter we we realize how fearful he truly is.

That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. Romans 11:20-22

God is limited—When we eliminate a major part of God’s personality and character, we greatly limit our revelation of him, and his ability to move in our lives. God is much more than the leader of some euphoric land of fantasy.

Rejection of judgment (that we need so badly)—I believe one of the most important prayers I can pray is, “God, judge me daily.” For those who reject God’s judgment because they perceive it to be negative, their lives will be marked by areas not given access to God’s loving calibration. Additionally, our nation is in desperate need of loving judgment from a righteous judge. Judgment is not hatred, it’s love. It’s deep love. We see this in our own society. We are so touchy/feely that we react in anger when we presume someone to be judging us. However, it’s true love that will judge an issue and help someone break free into healing. We must embrace judgment in these dire end-times.

 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:42

Rejection of God—This is one of the most serious issues. God absolutely still judges in the New Covenant, and those who reject this will be at risk of attributing judgments of God to Satan. God’s wrath is still on the Earth, and we have to understand that much of the trouble we see today has actually been initiated by God—all while many of his followers are rebuking him and calling him Satan.

 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit—Even more serious is the risk of blasphemy. I believe we have to be radically opposed to God to fall into this unforgivable sin (I know many wrestle with this, but unpacking it will require more time than we have here), but, the positive Christianity movement can nudge people closer to falling into this. When we attribute an act of God to Satan, that is blasphemy, and this occurs often within positive Christianity.

“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” Mark 3:28-30

Ignoring calls to battle—If we think God is mostly interested in our safety and happiness, we will deem unnecessary and invasive any call to battle. It’s time we mature and understand we are already in the midst of a vicious battle, and it’s our calling to fight hard. God really is OK with his children being tortured and killed as martyrs for the sake of other people discovering Jesus, and we should be too. We are end-time soldiers, and this means we have signed up for a life of inconvenience, brokenness and struggle. That negative reality is glorious when we understand what it is unto.

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.

Minimized need for intercession—If we think things are getting better and better, as many who support the positive Christianity movement do, than we have no need to intercede. However, if we truly understand some very troubling times are ahead, and God has called us to stand in the gap, then our passion for intercession will skyrocket.  We need Abraham’s and Jonah’s who will see the judgment of God ahead and pray with passion and warn those in his direct path. Our God who is the same yesterday, today and forever, totally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He destroyed the earth in a flood. His wrath remains on those who reject him today.

Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” Genesis 18:32

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.

Universalism—You’d be surprised at how many professing Christians reject any thought of eternity in Hell—for anybody! After all, how could a good God cast people into eternal torment? It doesn’t register on the grid of positive Christianity.

Rejection of tenets of the faith—I’m angered at how today’s Christians get sad and withdrawn when core tenets of the faith are preached. The cross, hell, fear of the Lord, surrender, brokenness and repentance are minimized as they prefer to focus on how giddy God is about them! We absolutely need a fresh wave of blood bought fire and brimstone preachers again!

Wrongly discern God’s presence & purpose—The presumption is that whenever God is manifesting that the feelings we experience are to be happy, warm and positive. Any manifestation that includes fear of the Lord, conviction, rebuke, challenge or mourning is soundly rejected. If the atmosphere isn’t electric, many today check out and disengage.

Using God—A spirit of religion is in this positive Christianity movement. The thought is that God is there for our enjoyment and must respond to our cries for satisfaction. We determine the experience instead of letting God use us as he sees fit.

Self-centeredness—Related to using God, instead of focusing on the devastation in the world and our responsibility to bring resolution to it, those in the positive Christianity movement are focused on self.

Forsaking our anointing by always being nice—Boy, we have to stop it. We think God always has perma-smile with a twinkle sparkling off of his grin. If we think of God in this light, we’ll attempt to do the same. It can manifest many different ways. For example, instead of boldly preaching repentance and the terror of Hell, we might just smile and be sweet and sugary by encouraging people to take baby steps toward Jesus.  We have become so tentative and passive when dealing with severe threats against the church such as the homosexual agenda, the false-grace movement and others. We need prophets to rise up and preach judgment and repentance again!

Sometimes we need to look someone in the eye, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, and say with no hint of a smile that they are destined for Hell. Repent!

Conclusion

Of course, there are limitless positives about God and our relationship with him. However, we don’t want to stop there. We must trust him enough to embrace him in his fullness.

The judge is coming, and he will start with the church. How many will fall away when he arrives, disappoints and confuses people by looking nothing like the god of their own design?

Five Shifts: Changes and shifting at Revival Church

Five Shifts at Revival Church: You’ll want to know what our fresh focuses and key changes are!

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FIRST: Listen to a key message on core doctrine and the risk of deception in the church from this past Sunday. I deal with the law, homosexuality, tithe, shellfish and more! I’ll include my notes at the bottom of this message. Listen here:

media.johnburton.net/2588973 


As many of you know, God has hit me hard regarding the crisis of the cross-less church this year.

There has been an awakening at Revival Church as I’ve refocused our attention to the foundations of scripture, including the call to the cross, to surrender and to repentance. The Bible tells us to judge ourselves now so we are not judged later. It’s time to take a microscope to our hearts and allow God to reveal every hidden thing for the sake of love and healing.

Orthodox Christianity has been compromised by a desire for something new—and this is a serious threat to the mission of Kingdom advance on the Earth. If the new thing ever minimizes the old thing—the eternal thing—the gospel, you can be sure that there is error in the message. We do want the new wine, but the new will always emphasize the ancient and non-negotiable truths of the Bible. The blood, the cross and our call to die daily must be in front of us night and day.

I have received remarkable reports from people who have been deeply convicted, troubled and awakened by these messages. Especially provoking and liberating for many was my XPmedia teaching on the False Grace movement. I want to STRONGLY recommend you block out one hour and watch this video that deals with the sober reality of our eternity. Watch it here: http://www.xpmedia.com/JK9d86jAPOyr

  • SHIFT ONE: Revival Church will be more intent then ever on solid and deep foundational teaching of the Word. I believe a true prophetic ministry is one that is rooted in scripture and allows the truth to explode out of us with power. Prophetic ministries are also to be alarms and warning systems that alert the world to eternal danger, and I am more devoted than ever to slow the flow to Hell.
  • SHIFT TWO: theLab Prayer Events have shifted on Friday nights! We are developing teams that will be hitting the streets most Friday nights through the summer on strategic prayer assignments. This is a GREAT way to connect in what I consider the most vital ministry of the church. At 10pm at Port Detroit (most Friday’s, see the schedule at www.revivallab.com) we start in violent and fervent corporate prayer as we overlook Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and then we break up into our teams, led by some amazing captains, and hit the streets! We are collecting spiritual intelligence so we can pray and act in a much more focused fashion.
  • SHIFT THREE: Social Networking! Not Facebook or Twitter… old school, face to face relationships! (What a brilliant idea!) We value friendships and want to make it EASY for you to thrive at Revival Church! The third Sunday of every month is our Meet, Greet and Eat social event right after service. We also are having a blast with our new softball teams and I’m very excited about our Culture Groups which are a great way to grow deeper in the Lord with other men and women of God!
  • SHIFT FOUR: theLab School of Fire is being reworked as a six month school (and ultimately a nine month school). This year I am investing in training a team of about 20 leaders every Thursday and Friday night. This infusion of Revival Church DNA and vision into this phenomenal team of leaders will be carried and released into our next class of students in January, 2013!
  • SHIFT FIVE: Our prophetic mandate is, with love and tears, to trouble people into freedom. I’m humbly embracing the call of God to awaken the church and sound the alarm regarding anything that keeps people away from God. Over the last couple of years, every single prophetic dream I’ve had has been quite sobering, severe and troubling. God is preparing the church to react when crisis comes to our nation and the world, and this demands we live as prophetic alarmists. This is driven by a deep love and passion for people—many of who think they are safe yet are in extreme danger. We must see them saved.

So, I want to INVITE and ENCOURAGE you to run this fun and important race with us! We will do everything we can to help connect you and enjoy your church family! You are valuable!

Revival Church meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.


Here’s my personal notes that I used to teach from this past Sunday. Again, you can listen to the teaching here: media.johnburton.net/2588973

a. Review

i. The word Bible simply means ‘book’. (biblos)

1. It’s also called scripture and the Word of God.

2. 66 books, 55 of which it’s clear who the authors are.

a. 39 OT books

b. 27 NT books

c. Over 40 different authors

d. Moses authored the most OT books. (first five, the Pentateuch)

e. Paul wrote the most NT books (14, over half of the NT).

f. The NT was canonized in 375 AD.

g. It became the collection of books or writings accepted by the apostles and leadership of the early Christian church as a basis for Christian belief.

h. The KJV isn’t the original Bible!

i. The first English version was translated in 1382 A.D., by John Wycliffe.

j. The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages.

k. The Bible was printed in 1454 A.D. by Johannes Gutenberg who invented the "type mold" for the printing press. It was the first book ever printed.

3. Jesus wrote it all.

4. 2 Tim. 3:16—"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." (God breathed)

5. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Ps. 33:6)

6. 2 Pet. 1:21—"For not by the will of man was prophecy brought at any time, but being borne by the Holy Spirit, the holy men of God spoke."

7. The Holy Ghost was especially and miraculously present with and in the writers of the Scriptures.

8. FofPT: God is a God who desires to reveal Himself. He does not remain silent like the gods of the heathen, both ancient and modern. The Lord takes pleasure in making Himself known to His creatures. He is pictured as a God of love; love must always communicate itself, and that revelation must come from God Himself.

ii. The word testament means covenant.

iii. By the end of the 2nd century, the terms OC and NC were established.

iv. The Old Testament deals with the record of the calling and history of the Jewish nation, and as such it is the Old Covenant. The New Testament deals with the history and application of the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ, and as such it is the New Covenant.

1. Now, it’s a serious mistake when we presume the OT is no longer valid.

a. We’ve discussed that God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

b. He didn’t change OT to NT.

c. He has always loved, has always been just, has emotions of anger, has always wanted us to know him intimately.

2. When considering what was fulfilled and is no longer applicable, ask whether it’s part of the Mosaic ceremonial, moral or civil laws or not. Ceremonial and civil laws no longer apply. There are moral laws in the OT that absolutely do still apply.

a. This is critical!

i. The call to morality doesn’t cease in the NT—it increases!

ii. Remember, in the OT you couldn’t commit adultery. In the NT you can’t WANT to commit adultery!

iii. Acting on sin was prohibited in the OT… desire to sin is prohibited in the New! This is why we need to know what is and what is not sin!

b. The Mosaic law came 430 years after the Abrahamic covenant. This is the law that was fulfilled.

3. Some people try to interpret biblical laws with this rule: "Old Testament laws are valid unless the New Testament specifically says they are not." But this rule is not true. It’s opposite. It is proven false by Hebrews 8:13.

a. Hebrews 8:13 (ESV) 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

b. "If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Gal. 2:21)

4. Michael Morrison The laws we keep today may be in the old covenant, but if so, we keep them not because they are in the old covenant, but because they are also in the new.

a. For example, both homosexuality and the eating of shellfish were prohibited in the OT.

i. Leviticus 18:22 (ESV) 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

ii. Shellfish: Leviticus 11:11 (ESV) 11 You shall regard them as detestable; you shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses.

iii. In the NT Jesus ended the prohibition of shellfish, but reaffirmed sexual morality.

iv. Mark 7:14-23 (ESV) 14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 16 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” ( Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

v. Also: Acts 10:9-16 (ESV) 9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

vi. God wanted him to eat snakes and lizards! (Alligator is great!)

vii. So, the OT law on sexual purity remains.

viii. 9 of the 10 commandments remain. (some people get tripped up about the Sabbath.)

5. The OT is critical for us to understand holiness.

6. In fact, in the NT we see that all scripture… which includes fulfilled laws… is profitable for instruction in righteousness:

a. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

b. Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) 20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

c. The Bible cover to cover reveals how to live, while the NT reveals that we are empowered in Christ to actually fulfill the mandate.

d. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown: The Law elicits the consciousness of sin and the need of redemption; it only typifies the reality. The Gospel, on the contrary, actually communicates reality and power from above

7. The law of Moses included laws of ritual purification, prophecies about the Messiah, rules about treating livestock, and civil laws about penalties for religious crimes.

8. The Abrahamic covenant was characterized by God’s promise while the Mosaic was characterized by God’s law.

a. The law was temporarily necessary to deal with sin… it revealed how common sin is…

b. Romans 7:7 (ESV) 7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

i. This is powerful! The OT helps us with analyzing our lives, being aware of sin.

ii. There’s a skewed teaching out there that says we must not have sin consciousness, but this is in opposition to what we see in the Word of God.

iii. It’s the law that is good, and sin that is bad, not the other way around.

iv. Today we hear that the law is bad and that sin is not an issue!

v. Just because the law cannot sanctify does not make it sinful or unnecessary.

vi. The law reveals sin, then the applied blood of Jesus heals us of it.

1. The law is the xray or the MRI and then the blood of Great Physician deals with that issue.

c. Matthew 5:17-20 (ESV) 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

i. Here’s an example of how sin can be dormant instead of eradicated… and how the OT brings revelation to that issue:

ii. Romans 7:8-9 (ESV) 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.

iii. Sin lies dead means that sin was latent rather than nonexistent.

iv. Revelation of God’s commands are critical! Is there any dormant sin in us that would surface if we let the Word of God deal with us?

1. Life Application Notes: Where there is no law, there is no sin, because people cannot know that their actions are sinful unless a law forbids those actions. God's law makes people realize that they are sinners doomed to die, yet it offers no help.

2. Dake: I do not blame the law, for it is just and good in its demands.

b. Now see how the fulfillment of the law is addressed by Jesus in Matthew…this is a long passage, but Jesus felt it was important to explain this clearly:

a. Matthew 5:21-48 (ESV) 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. 31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

d. The part of the OT that was addressed in the NT is quite limited. The law of Moses, with its worship rituals, civil laws and other customs, was temporary. In the NT, the ceremonial law was dealt with by Jesus.

e. The clearest way to understand what still applies is by studying to see what is re-emphasized in the NT. What OT law was reaffirmed in the NT?

f. Example: Tithing was both pre-law and affirmed in the NT:

i. Matthew 23:23 (NIV) 23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

g. Nine of the Ten Commandments were reaffirmed in the NT (all except to keep the Sabbath).

i. For example, in the OT, stoning was the penalty for those caught in adultery (based on the Mosaic covenant)…

1. Leviticus 20:10 (ESV) 10 “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

ii. …but in the NT Jesus affirmed that the sin of adultery was not acceptable, but he would be the one to take their punishment… if they repented.

1. In the OT, physical death was often the most obvious penalty… in the NT, spiritual death is.

iii. In the OT, wrath of God was on that person. In the NT, Jesus took the wrath on himself… UNLESS the individual is unrepentant!

1. John 3:36 (ESV) 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

2. Living without Christ in the NT is very similar to living pre-Christ in the OT.

h. The OT is an excellent resource to learn how God feels about certain activities, sins, behaviors.

i. God never changes. He still hates sin. He hates murder. He hates adultery. He hates sexual sin.

ii. However, his wrath was placed on Jesus instead of us, which should compel us to make Jesus our Lord and Master with expedience!

i. In the OT if you see regulations and ordinances that are a part of the law, you can be sure they no longer apply—unless they are either reaffirmed in the NT or are covered by the Great Commandment—to love God and others.

Meet, Greet & Eat tonight at Revival Church! Also, the series Tenets continues!

FREE food & new friends at our first monthly Meet, Greet & Eat TONIGHT at Revival Church!

Meet-Greet-EatThere’s a LOT going on at Revival Church. Read below about our new softball team, a new focus at theLab and a brand new culture group!


I will be continuing the series TENETS tonight at Revival Church as I share on the Word of God and the differences between the NT and the OT.

I’ve been told multiple times that it’s the focus on the core, foundational truths of scripture that will send us into revival—and I agree.

Then, immediately after service we will have the food ready in the foyer for you to enjoy with old and new friends! The third Sunday of each month we will enjoy connecting together at Meet, Greet and Eat!

REVIVAL CHURCH SOFTBALL

I just have to say that, yes, there is a HUGE difference between 43 years of age and 36. It’s been 7+ years since I’ve played softball (legendary glory years on the Revolution Church softball team in Colorado!), and my body is screaming and aching head to toe!

My skills have diminished, but, it’s OK! Talking about relationships and connecting, we all had a blast yesterday in Royal Oak as about 20 Revival Church friends played two games.

Why am I sharing this now? Because we’ll be doing it again and again! If you want to connect more deeply relationally, softball is the way to do it! Josh Kearney and I have never been closer—as he plowed into me and flipped me upside down at a play at the plate. Now, that’s intimacy!

Talk to Melissa Feliciano if you’d like to play in our next games in a couple of weeks!

imageNEW FRIDAY NIGHT MISSION AT THELAB

Friday night marked a shift at theLab Prayer Events.

Often through the summer we’ll be meeting outside at Port Detroit and moving out in teams into the streets.

This past Friday night we established team captains and they took 2-3 people with them on a prayer journey. We all moved out from our Port Detroit base for 30 minutes and listened to God as he revealed spiritual issues to us.

imageThe captains will be gathering all of the data each week so we can develop a plan of action based on the spiritual intelligence we receive. We’ll then launch into spiritual warfare, intercession and other plans of action to push back the darkness in Detroit!

I want to invite YOU to join one of our several teams! It is a great way to get connected into some (more!) great relationships and to catch the vision of Revival Church! You will LOVE theLab on Friday nights!

www.revivallab.com

NEW CULTURE GROUP: “Lord, Lord-Proof” Your Life

This Wednesday 6/20, we’ll be looking at how to keep from being surprised on your Judgment Day. We’re also going to be demonstrating how to make the Bible “come alive” when you read it and how to see truth in the Scriptures by the Light of Holy Spirit.

Come on out and be blessed!

Ed Hull

1466 Lochmoor, Grosse Pointe Woods

Audio and notes: Universalism in our churches-Are we over-preaching the benefits of the Believer?

The cross must be the message of the hour—when a focus on personal benefits is all the rage in the church.

imageYou can listen to the teaching here: media.johnburton.net/2569257

In this teaching I discuss how easy it is to deviate from clear scriptural truth simply because we don’t personally see God in that light, or because we have adopted a theology of exemption—Christians are exempt from the repercussions of sin and disobedience.

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires," (2 Tim. 4:3).

Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make it easy for us to get saved. He died so it would be possible for us to get saved.

We must work out that salvation with fear and trembling. Only if we endure to the end will we be saved.

Universalism is creeping into some of our most popular churches and movements, and we should be extremely alarmed.

The False-Grace movement has an older brother named Christian Universalism—and both are equally deadly.

From www.carm.org:

Christian Universalists claim to hold many of the tenets of historic Christianity: Trinity, deity of Christ, deity of the Holy Spirit, salvation by grace, etc.  However, it also claims that God's qualities of love, sovereignty, justice, etc., require that all people be saved and that eternal punishment is a false doctrine. Universalists teach that God is so full of love, that He simply cannot send anyone to eternal hell fire. It is against His infinite love. In the truth of God's word, we find that the Lord has provided one way by which we may be saved. That single way is through Jesus' sacrifice. For all who trust in Him, salvation will come. But to those who turn away, God's wrath abides upon them: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him," (John 3:36). God is love (1 John 4:8), but God also punishes the sinner and hates all who do iniquity. God is not one sided. He is not simply an infinitely loving God. He is also infinitely just. He must deal with sin. He must punish the sinner.

Note the difference: False grace teaches that Hell is not a concern for Christians and Christian Universalism teaches that there is no Hell. Different twists on the same false doctrine.

We must move away from declaring that salvation is free—without cost. To follow Jesus it will require every single part of our lives, it demands dying daily, taking up our own cross.

I’ve often heard a dangerous doctrine being taught and embraced: “Your sins are forgiven past, present and future.”

This is not true. Not even close.

imageConfession and repentance is still required for the Believer. A focus on benefits results in a de-emphasis on the mandates, the requirements, the response.

Amy Smith: Misrepresented grace has caused us to respond to the command to be holy with an elbow bump and a wink, wink. "Ok God, we know what you mean. You're not really asking us to be holy, you're just telling us to make sure we're under your grace. We know that You're overlooking those little sins we're not dealing with. In fact, your grace allows us to also overlook some things, such as all the scripture verses that call for standards that are higher than we can achieve."

You can listen to the teaching here: media.johnburton.net/2569257 

And here are the notes for you to follow along with:

TENETS: BENEFITS VS. COST

a. The reality of the Gospel

i. So far we’ve touched on doctrines of mixture that I call ‘nephilim doctrines’, false-salvations, the Word of God vs. the Spirit of God, absolutes of scripture and more.

1. If we are to understand the power of the Bible, we must subscribe to it wholly!

b. The Inerrancy of the Scriptures

1. The inerrancy of the Scripture means that in its original autographs the Bible contains no mistakes. In the original languages in which it was written, it is absolutely infallible—without error whatsoever.

2. This Book was written by man—fallen, weak, sinful man, with all the potential of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, lack of memory, and even the possibility of malicious falsehood. Yet, it is claimed that the Book man wrote contains no evidence whatever of all these natural weaknesses.

3. The doctrine of inerrancy comes from the Scriptures themselves. It claims to be inspired by God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16). "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet. 1:21).

4. The writers of the Old Testament are most explicit in claiming they were speaking the Word of God. They claim 3,808 times to be transmitting His very words.

5. Moses said in the beginning of scripture: Deuteronomy 4:2 (ESV) 2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.

6. In the middle of the Bible, Proverbs 30:5-6 (ESV) 5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

7. At the end of the Bible, Revelation 22:18 (ESV) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,

8. Jesus also found no error in Scripture… he specifically confirmed the whole of the OT. He did not find error or inconsistency with it. He continually based his arguments and exhortations on it.

a. John 10:34-35 (ESV) 34 …and Scripture cannot be broken—

b. Luke 24:44 (ESV) 44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

9. Lewis Chafer says the Bible is infinite because it discloses truth concerning the infinite God, infinite holiness, infinite sin, and infinite redemption.

10. Myer Pearlman concludes his section on bibliology with the words: "Intellectual defenses of the Bible have their place; but after all, the best argument is the practical one. The Bible has worked. It has influenced civilizations, transformed lives, brought light, inspiration and comfort to millions. And its work continues."

a. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV) 13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

b. It’s God breathed. It’s the same language and meaning that we see when God breathed into Adam.

c. Amazing!

11. Next we’ll look at some very basic Bible realities that are at risk of being overlooked or dismissed today.

12. In the teaching we’ll also look at the divisions of scripture—the difference between the OT and the NT.

ii. Benefits

1. Chuck Missler: The only sure barrier to truth is to assume you already have it.

a. We must be open to the truth of God’s Word.

b. 1 Timothy 2:4 (ESV) 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

c. Salvation and truth go hand in hand.

i. The way you believe has eternal implications!

ii. Galatians 1:8-9 (ESV) 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

iii. Accursed: excommunicated; bind under a great curse

2. Today the church is focused on the benefits of the Believer—to an unhealthy degree.

a. Salvation is not about our comfort, it’s about our obedience.

b. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make it easy for us to be saved, he died on the cross to make it possible for us to be saved.

c. Pastors, quit majoring on benefits in your preaching… let the Word offend, trouble, convict and break people… right into costly freedom.

3. There is a healthy way to focus on blessing as we see in Psalm 103:

a. Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV) 1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

i. Even here we are to bless the Lord, not focus on him blessing us!

ii. The Abrahamic covenant… be blessed to be a blessing!

4. But check this out:

a. Psalm 116:12-14 (ESV) 12 What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, 14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

b. Marquee in Dallas

c. Health and wealth

i. There are truths in those movements… but when is the last time you’ve heard these preachers preach the cross??!

d. We focus on getting instead of giving! Man, so many will only give money if they believe that more money will be multiplied back!

5. The reason this is a problem is this: A wrong focus on an incomplete gospel threatens our position in Christ… and it threatens other people too!

a. Many people bypass the cross and live a benefit driven life and are living in an unsaved state… and the ‘salvation’ they may be sharing with others is also illegitimate!

b. 2012 stats: Every second two people die. 151,600 people die every day.

i. So, maybe once or twice an hour someone squeaks through to heaven. Salvation is rare.

ii. Many of them are wrongly convinced of their position in Christ because of a wrong understanding of the gospel.

iii. A theology of exemption where we presume we are immune from repercussions of disobedience is causing many to die in sin.

c. Check out true blessing:

i. 1 Peter 4:12-18 (ESV) 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

ii. If we are righteous, we are this close to not being saved! Yet false doctrine today tells us that if we are saved we are far from losing that salvation!

iii. Once saved rarely saved!

1. Revelation 3:5-6 (ESV) 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

2. Psalm 69:28 (ESV) 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

3. Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV) 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

iv. One of the greatest biblical violations, with the greatest eternal impact, is when we eliminate works, suffering and cost by saying we aren’t in the old covenant anymore!

v. The NC didn’t remove works or suffering from the experience of the Christian… it added it!

6. Dag Heward-Mills: Christianity is about losing, sacrificing, suffering and dying.

a. For those who focus on the benefits, what is being communicated is that life isn’t complete for the Christian until everything is perfect.

b. But, for the true Believer, Jesus is enough no matter the circumstances!

c. These are four spiritual appointments that all Christians must expect in one form or another. No one who truly follows Jesus Christ will escape these four appointments.

i. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 16:25)

ii. "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)

iii. "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

iv. "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23)

d. Let’s see the gospel in action:

e. Acts 7:54-60 (ESV) 54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 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. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 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. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

f. Saul! This was Paul! Stephen’s correct understanding of Christianity did this:

i. Jesus was enough! Jesus stood!

ii. The sharp gospel message was heard by all.

iii. Forgiveness was modeled.

iv. Evangelism at its very best was in action as Paul was being set up to be one of the most important Christians in history!

v. False-grace, which we’ll keep talking about throughout the weeks of this teaching, deemphasizes all of this.

1. We must die! We must be holy! We must be righteous!

vi. Amy Smith: Misrepresented grace has caused us to respond to the command to be holy with an elbow bump and a wink, wink. "Ok God, we know what you mean. You're not really asking us to be holy, you're just telling us to make sure we're under your grace. We know that You're overlooking those little sins we're not dealing with. In fact, your grace allows us to also overlook some things, such as all the scripture verses that call for standards that are higher than we can achieve."

vii. Live in the NT requires that we live WELL above what we can achieve!

1. I’ve heard many, many arguments against scripture by zealous Christians… who say that we can’t presume to live holy, to be free from sin!!! What???!!!!

2. People say they sin every day!! What?!

3. Ed Hull: When we die, it will not be what we believed about our identity in Christ that will save us. It will be whether the concept of our identity produced good fruit, the fruit of righteousness.

a. It’s not about our benefits, our happy demeanor, the way we think about ourselves, our emotional condition… it’s about production and obedience!

4. Now, let’s again discuss the importance of the Word of God as we talk about the divisions of scripture.

Registration is FREE! Wonders Conference : Tenets teaching at Revival Church

Learn the difference between the OLD and NEW Covenants tomorrow at Revival Church!

imageFirst, our great friend Catherine Mullins had to cancel for the Wonders in Detroit Conference, so we decided to waive the registration fee!

We’ll miss Catherine (she hated to cancel, but her reason is really honorable!) but I am so thrilled to have Val and the Revival Church worship team.

It’ll be Matt Sorger and me bringing some life changing fire, signs and wonders Friday and Saturday nights! (We are also nixing the Saturday workshops.)

Registration is FREE but REQUIRED! Register HERE: http://detroitrevivalchurch.com/wonders-in-detroit-conference/ 


TENETS: THE POWER OF BELIEFS

Last week’s teaching on the power of the Bible was eye opening… and we’ll be going deeper tomorrow as I talk about the law, grace and the difference between the OT and the NT.

You can listen to last week’s message here: http://media.johnburton.net

Do we have to pay any attention to the Old Testament? What about the law? Do we ignore it entirely? Are we required to adhere to any of it?

The answers may surprise you!

Prayer starts at 5pm and the worship team launches the night right at 6pm!

Wonders-in-Detroit-WEB

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