The Coming Church

"Read with care. This is the future." ~Barbara Yoder

I had an encounter that left me shaken and shocked. 
What I saw was clearly a picture of the church…clearly in my spirit, that is, because my intellect was confounded. It didn't make sense. 
In my encounter, the vision I saw was shocking and quite mysterious. I have had many visions of the Church, of reformation, but this one was markedly different. It sure didn't look like a vision of the Church, but it immediately felt like one. 
I was standing in an apocalyptic looking environment. It was dark and weighty. In front of me was an absolutely massive, burning crater. God immediately revealed to me that I was looking at the soon coming Church.

304 pages

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Jump to: Table of Contents ForwardChapter OneEndorsements

~ Table of Contents ~

  • One: The Encounter
  • Two: Celestial Elements
  • Three: A Troubling Shift
  • Four: Fierce Religious Resistance
  • Five: Their Freedom Is Your Mission
  • Six: The Great Love Deception
  • Seven: Hell, Holiness And The Fear of Man
  • Eight: A Civil War In The Church
  • Nine: A Call For Reformation
  • Ten: Carry Like Mary
  • Eleven: The Salvation Equation
  • Twelve: Regional Impact
  • Thirteen: The Scattering Movement
  • Fourteen: False Human Rights
  • Fifteen: The Spirit Of Abortion
  • Sixteen: A Remnant Movement
  • Conclusion: A Joshua Company

~ Forward ~

Brian SimmonsBrian Simmons
Stairway Ministries & The Passion Translation Project

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. The anointed Baptizer refused to yield to the status quo; the lethargy of those around him couldn't stick to him, for he was sent from God. The atmosphere of heaven's reality clothed him, and his words lit a fire. He was the greatest man who had ever lived in human history, up to his time. A burning and shining lamp for God. Everything he said and everything he did was to point people to the coming Messiah, the King who would seize the hearts of men.

The Lord is giving us another glimpse of that powerful grace in the lives of awakeners today. The anointing of John the Baptist is being restored to the Church! There is a desperation growing in the hearts of God's people, for desperate times will always demand that desperate men arise. I am thankful to see that anointing rise upon God's men and women today who refuse to march to the incessant drumbeat of this culture. But instead, they will eat locusts and honey, wearing not the religious garments of pride and superiority but the humble garment of a camel's skin. There is a company of men and women who will turn the dark night into a bright lightラdaybreakers are rising to bring the dawning of awakening to the nations!

I'm thankful for men like John Burton who hear a sound coming out of heaven, a trumpet sound, calling this generation to something more than good meetings and life as usual. We need men and women who are more than echoes of the past, but voices who prophesy what is to come. I believe those men and women are being prepared to arise and take their place in human history. A message of The Coming Church is needed more than ever! The Holy Spirit has anointed this message, and it will roll on throughout the nations. The call of God is gripping hearts of awakeners to leave the predictability of the church and move into the reality of the ever-fresh kingdom of God!

God has in store a day, a day of glory, that will unveil Jesus Christ before our eyes. But we need to be awakened by the sound. I'm glad to hear that sound as I read through The Coming Church! I see the awakening in my soul, I hear the sound of the church migrating from our lax Laodicean ways and rushing into the dawning of a new day! Revival is in the air and The Coming Church will be alive and well, exporting the glory to the nations. You can be thankful that you live in this day. I am. I'm very thankful to be alive and serving God. I will tell my grandchildren that we lived for days of His manifest presence. Be encouraged as you read this book, written by another John, sent by God for our generation. I know you'll want to read it more than once and share it with your friends. Get ready for the fires of awakening, and keep your heart tender and pure, for the coming of the Lord draws near!

Brian Simmons
Stairway Ministries
The Passion Translation Project

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~ Chapter One ~

The Encounter

The Coming Church will be shocking.

Spiritual encounters, whether they are visions, dreams or visitations can go a long way in preparing individuals, groups, and even nations for the otherworldly, dramatic and critical shifts that God is setting into motion. Of course, we know in Scripture that spiritual things must be discerned spiritually, and it's important to understand clearly what's being communicated. We also know that all dreams, for example, are not necessarily spiritual dreams. That must be discerned. I challenge you to stay up until 3AM and then consume a bucket of hot wings, a can of Mountain Dew and a half a gallon of ice cream and see what kind of crazy images dance around in your head when you finally fall asleep. Experiences like that won't shake nations. However, the encounter I had absolutely must.

I had a vision of the soon coming Church. For me, a spiritual revelation, a message delivered directly by the Creator of the world, is usually very easy to discern. It's rare that I have to go to someone seeking out an interpretation. The scene and the message are almost always extremely vivid and revealing. I immediately understand what the players, atmosphere and story line are attempting to communicate to me.
This particular encounter was no different-in fact, it was so striking, fearful, engulfing and overpowering that the imagery and message will keep me trembling in my spirit forever.

In order to appreciate the magnitude of the message that was communicated to me in the vision, it will be helpful to understand the context. Try to imagine, at least to an incredibly small degree, the picture of the true Church that God himself sees. It shouldn't be a stretch to realize the picture of the compromised Church that we see on the Earth today clearly cannot match up. Meaning, when God drew up the designs for the glorious Church, leading up to its launch in the book of Acts, the blueprint that was before him looks little like the Church we see today. God's Church looks little like the Church we have come to know.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. Acts 2:1-3

Do me a favor and read that passage in Acts chapter 2 one more time. I want those three verses to dive into your spirit and shake you up. When God started diagramming the Church, this is what he envisionedラthis is where he started. When you compare this passage of scripture with descriptions of the modern-day Church as we know it, it seems like we are comparing apples and oranges, or even the living from the dead.
I'd like to ask you to read the passage one more time. As I'm writing this, I feel the Spirit of the Lord starting to burn in my inner man. Let me pray for you right now just before you read it again:

Mighty God, I pray the burnings of your Spirit would be transmitted into your friend's heart. Give them a glimpse into the supernatural yet strikingly real realm of the Church. Give them the capacity to release old paradigms, structures, traditions, mind sets and cultures as they come alive to the reality of the Church as you see it. Amen.

Okay, go ahead and read the passage in Acts chapter 2 one more time.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. Acts 2:1-3

Is it becoming a little bit easier to understand just what the Church should look like? You see, as God designed and then launched the Church, it was literally blowing and burning and every one of those in that upper room experienced it. As we begin to embrace the truth that passages like this are not science fiction, and that they communicate actual phenomena that are expected to be normal for us as believers, it will become easier to leave behind what we know and press toward the soon coming Church. We will suddenly find ourselves so deeply dissatisfied that any thought of maintenance becomes quite ridiculous.
America doesn't need another bed-and-breakfast church that comforts our flesh (our natural desires). Our nation needs a Church with a volatile atmosphere that explodes, burns human flesh and shocks our culture.
Now, keep in mind that this fiery Acts 2 reality was communicated to us by the Spirit through the Word. This passage is the Word of God, not simply a descriptive, historical report. So, God's plan is for the Church to be a supernatural raging furnace of Holy Spirit activity.

Mark 7:13 reveals how powerful tradition of man is. It actually makes the Word of God ineffective! The traditions of man overpower the greatest power in existence-Jesus Christ himself. Do you feel the weight of that? Is it possible that we need to embrace the fear of the Lord again? There is a holy tremble that will come as the fierceness of God is revealed to us at the same time the burning love of God does. The thought of allowing man-made concepts, structures or agendas to push aside and nullify God's plans seems nonsensical. Yet it happens with stunning regularity every day all over the world.

...making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down... Mark 7:13

Of course it's true that the definition of the Church cannot be limited to a perspective of one segment of the greater structure. It is certainly true, as is revealed later on in Acts chapter 2, that the healthy Church will include Kingdom-focused fellowship, breaking of bread, bold proclamation of the Gospel, discipleship, evangelism, prayer and other critical activities. However, what we see in the Church today is a lot of activity, even good activity, but usually without the tangible burning and blowing of God's Spirit.

The Crater

If you take a look at the cover of this book, you will see a futilely poor attempt at visually communicating what I experienced in my vision. In the vision, I found myself in a dramatic, apocalyptic scene. Everything seemed to be colorless, or at best a variety of dark blues, grays and greens. The ominous clouds matched up with the dark and wild landscape all around me.

Directly in front of me was the focal point of the vision, a tremendously massive crater. I can't begin to describe in human language the overwhelmingly weighty, urgent, and fearsome atmosphere that gripped me and demanded my complete attention. I was trembling as I looked at the edge of the crater in the distance. As I slowly walked toward the gigantic hole in the ground, I knew I could not approach it casually. The fear of the Lord surrounded me. I couldn't imagine what type of alien invasion could have created an impression this deep in such solid ground. The force had to have been greater than anything my human mind could comprehend.
As I was analyzing the drama that I was experiencing, God revealed to me that the crater I was drawing near to was not simply a hole in the ground. It was, in fact, the coming Church. The Church? My mind certainly couldn't even begin to analyze what that meant, but my spirit was raging. My mind presumed I should be looking at a small white church building with a steeple, but that was not at all what my spiritual eyes were seeing.
My spirit was provoked and alive, but I knew that those who were more logical than spiritual in their life experience would most probably resist what is just over the horizon.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

Note that this doesn't mean the unsaved; it means those who are naturally minded. That's a lot of Christians. Here's what Paul says next:

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 1 Corinthians 3:1-2

I continued to tremble as the increasingly intense, colorless atmosphere engulfed me, and as I ever so carefully, fearfully, yet with intense curiosity approached the edge of the coming Church, the crater.
Again, I realized I couldn't casually participate. This was a very clear message that I was receiving. The days of casually connecting in secular fellowship in the Church were over. The shaking and trembling rocked my whole being as I approached this invasion of Heaven on Earth.

Once at the edge, I was stunned and my senses were overwhelmed as I looked at what seemed to be alive. While everything else around me was grayscale, I saw vivid, bright and glowing, neon hues of orange, yellow and red and a prism of colors in between. The bright, colorful, burning lava was living and active. It was moving, coursing throughout the crater. My trembling intensified.


I received an email from someone in theLab University, our ministry training center, here in the Detroit area. The message instantly received my attention when I saw the content contained the word holocaust. Of course, that's a provocative and sensitive word and it takes some care to handle it when applying it to current situations.

The email was sent to several of us at theLab in reference to a conference I was about to minister at. I'll share the complete, unedited email so you have a full glimpse of what was being communicated. Keep the vision of the crater in mind as you read.

Hey Fellow Fireball Launchers! I've been hit w/ this urgency thing to pray for John, his upcoming trip to Connecticut to speak at the conference w/ Brian Simmons & James Levesque, & well, the conference as a whole. I just feel like we need to rally around him & call down fire on this conference! I'm feelin that God is gonna break through in a crazy way during this, & John is carrying this crazy powerful message. As the Lord impressed it on my heart to pray, I heard 1 word... holocaust. At first, the only thing that came to mind was "the holocaust" of World War II. After my initial thoughts on the word subsided, I started to think about the word. As I was talking to the Lord, I kept asking "What do you mean?". He prompted me to look up the definition.

Here it is:

hol-o-caust noun a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire. a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering ( Unabridged. Retrieved October 23, 2013, from website:

Hah! How crazy is that? I'm not even sure what else to say right now, but whoah! It feels like the meaning He's relaying is not negative. It feels powerful! Still grasping the full context of what's going on here, but I do know that God is bringin down the house with this one!!

This word was given right after I shared the vision of the crater with the students and staff at theLab. What is coming to the Church is not an enhancement or an adjustment. The destruction (or we could use the word deconstruction) will be so comprehensive and total that it will not only remove current structures, but also the faulty foundations (anything other than the foundation of Christ) they were built on. The coming Church will look nothing like the Church we now know.

This transformation will take us well beyond our human ability to understand. I believe God intentionally overwhelmed me with such a vivid vision while also leaving almost every question unanswered. This plan for reformation won't easily translate into a formulaic church growth process. The only way we can apply it to our own situation is by falling on our faces, being consumed by another world and submitting ourselves to the risky, vulnerable and shocking process of transformation.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7

Check out this simple yet profoundly important quote by Andrew Murray:

Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. (Christian Reader, v. 32, n. 4.)

We are all too often guilty of praying for what we can see or imagine. The dynamic life of prayer and faith doesn't even really begin until we venture outside of the realm of human senses. It's too easy to get consumed with what seems to be obvious and natural in our pursuits while forgetting that the majority of our answers and adventures sit just beyond the reach of our human understanding.

If this is true (which it is), then we must agree that God's picture of the Church is also painted with colors that exist outside of our earthly realm. This invasion of Heaven on Earth will result in an explosion of brilliance that we could never have imagined.

This is precisely what happened in the Upper Room. God was birthing the Church as only he could with revelation and power that only he had. There was no way for anybody in that room to possibly imagine what was coming no matter how creative they may have been.

In fact, their human futility was obvious just prior to the outpouring in the Upper Room. They were required to fulfill the mandate to find a replacement for the fallen Judas. Their process actually looks a lot like the decision-making processes of Christians today. They prayed and then cast lots.

And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts 1:26

They were so limited in revelation because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to them-that they relied on human methods of decision making. They could do no better than pray and cast lots. Today's church is much like that-there's little revelation and little power so we do what is humanly understandable. The coming Church is both ancient and emerging. It's ancient because it's the Church founded through an empty tomb and a burning Upper Room. It's emerging because it's been largely forsaken. Humanism has replaced supernatural power. Humanistic efforts result in a limited, disappointing life.

However, when the Holy Spirit is in the mix, what is humanly impossible becomes the launching pad of Kingdom life. The transition that is coming will result in a shift of manifestation. Instead of hoping for God to manifest in our natural realm alone we will begin manifesting in God's supernatural realm!

As wonderful as it is, when we focus solely on God touching life as we know it in our earthly realm, we limit God. But when we venture beyond this world into the great expanse of the heavenly world, the possibilities of encounter, adventure, abundant life and Kingdom living are limitless.

I trust the idea of the Church being defined by a Sunday service with some worship songs and some teaching is looking quite ludicrous right about now.

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~ Endorsements ~

This book will rock your boat! John Burton isn't an ordinary church leader. He is one of the emerging, cutting edge and at times raw (cuts to the chase) ministries who are changing the face of the church. Some will be upset with this book. Those lovers of God, radical revelatory types will jump up and down. John's book will set them on fire. Read with care. This is the future.

Barbara J Yoder
Senior Pastor and Lead Apostle
Shekinah Regional Apostolic Center
Breakthrough Apostolic Ministries Network

Want to grow your church? Increase your success and influence in the community? Don't read this book! John Burton isn't going to give you the latest Church growth strategies or messages that will make your life easier. This book is a clarion call to the Church to quit selling her birthright and to accomplish all God has for her. Anyone can criticize the church, John tears down while building up and calling fourth the Coming Glorious Church!

Chris Ferguson
International House of Prayer Kansas City

The Coming Church is a must read for every Christian. This is a timely word and challenge to seriously get aligned with the Kingdom for such a time as this. It will ignite an urgency and fire in any reader who is willing to wrestle and respond.

Amy Smith
Director of Intercession
Revival Church

A praying remnant will birth a great awakening that will change the church as we know it today. John, in this publication, provides some spiritual snapshots of a coming profound transformation of the church.

Rick Warzywak
Transformation Michigan

The spirit of God has rested upon John Burton; the Lord has placed fire in his hands. That translates in the intercession-driven ministry that pours out of him. The power & revelation the Lord has released into John Burton is a breath of fresh air. It is so fresh that I have not seen the uniqueness he bears elsewhere. 

This book carries fire on every page. That fire leaps out bringing awakening to the deep places within you as the Holy Spirit moves through the revelation of the coming church and our part in it. There's no denying it, and there's no hiding it as the revelatory words are laid out on the table. This book screams "Ready or not, here I (the church) come!" Are we ready to receive the revelation? Better yet, are we willing to receive it?

Jill Janco
Experience Department Director
Revival Church

This is more than a book, it's a mandate from heaven! It is a culmination of the revelations from heaven we have been learning through Apostle John Burton. The coming church is volatile and ready to explode! There is much danger ahead as we come against systems, tradition, and everything that is held so dear to the hearts of those not willing to come to the mountain. This is a calling out to those who will see the vision and respond with brokenness, humility and boldness! 

I believe many will respond to the call. Though it will be amazing and many will be set free, it will cost everything! Are you willing to respond or are you going to stay where it is safe? The structure that is seemingly safe now will be destroyed. Now is the time to take a stand on new, dangerous ground, the solid rock of The Coming Church! 
Whatever city God has you planted is where you are needed to become the awakening and birth many more laborers through intercession, modeling Christ and revival (biblical normalcy). Allow God to do a new thing in you and your region! Many are called to take a city, how many will submit, respond and endure!?

Nick Carrier 
Product of Jesus' Holy Spirit & theLab School of Fire
Intercessor at the Detroit Prayer Furnace

I just finished reading your book and it's excellent! The only way I would have enjoyed it more is if I had been sitting with a group of like-minded people while I read it and we could have gotten excited together! It was kind of like watching a football game by yourself where your team is trouncing the opposing team and you have no one to cheer with and shout, モYES!ヤ I so wanted to do that!

Personally, I say, yay for the confrontation. It's time! It kind of reminds me of the confrontation in 1 Kings 18 with the Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
What you write in this book certainly resonates very deeply with me. At times I have written in our Community Healing Rooms email newsletters or made a post on Facebook with nearly identical sentiments.
I have always liked your fiery hot passion for the Lord, John! Please keep going! Don't stop! We need you; Detroit needs you.
Keep running with His torch!

Beverly Bubb
Healing Rooms
Michigan State Directors

From a vision of Hell, to Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs to Detroit! This riveting book details John's incredible journey and message that may shake, rattle and roll your current lifestyle and belief systemsラjust as John the Baptist's message did in his day!! This book is a wake up call to the sleeping Bride of Christ to take her place and be the church God has mandatedラa House of Prayer for all Nations! This is our destiny. This is our call!

Leah Hanrahan 
Children's Director
Revival Church

Are you a sold out, on fire, disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, walking in the tremendous power and dominion God has ordained for His last days Church? If not, this book will show you how to become one. It will enable you to take your position in God's victorious end-time army and prevail against the forces of darkness that would steal your destiny. In it, John Burton exposes the snares of the enemy pervasive in the culture and the doctrines of demons that have invaded God's church. Get equipped, put on your battle armor, take your position and prepare to wage war with the enemies of The Cross. The eternal destinies of perhaps a billion souls are hanging in the balance. Will you receive, internalize and walk out the message of this book for King Jesus, the Glory of His Kingdom and the souls He has placed within your sphere of influence?

Ed Hull
Revival Church

The Coming Church  will bring reformation to what religious systems have been teaching as a doctrine and of what they communicate church is "supposed" to be like. This book will bring awakening to anyone that reads it. It isn't a "feel good" message, it's one that will bring awakening through the truth and revelation that God has given to John Burton on what The Coming Church will be like.

David Gooding

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