so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. -- 2Corinthians 2:11 (ESV)
"Everywhere I go, I hear people desperately crying out for the end of church as we know it. They can't deny that the Spirit of God is creating a disturbance, a dissatisfaction and a yearning for brand new wine. Pastors, please hear me. The Spirit-driven remnant that God is uniquely awakening to an end-times role will not be able to function in anything less than a raging furnace of intercession and extreme Holy Spirit activity in the church. No longer can you silence the zealots or smirk at the eccentric. These are your emerging end-times warriors. I have people write me from all around the world, pleading for assistance in finding this type of church where they live. They have been aggressively searching for vibrant churches marked by supernatural revelation. Church as usual not only disappoints them, but it deeply disturbs them." -- John Burton
Beloved, the above paragraph from the linked article is a battle call to the church today. Within the apostate purpose driven church we are seeing those that ascribe to the false signs and lying wonders start to push away. Mind you, they still share the core NAR beliefs such as dominionism but differ on the emphasis during church service. Their brand is an experiential Christianity that eschews scripture in favor of the flesh. These are most definitely the end times. The key verse plainly reminds us that in order to not be outwitted by the enemy we must not be ignorant of his schemes. One such scheme is unfolding within the walls of churchianity today. You see the bible is very clear that we are to base our faith and lives upon the word of God. It teaches us that we cannot trust our own experiences because our heart is the sickest and most deceitfully wicked thing ever made. Thessalonians speaks about a great falling away, or apostasy, in these end days. That apostasy is well under way through the various false teachings of the NAR and at the heart of the dominionism and false prosperity is this scheme to have the church shift from the surety of Scripture to the wickedness of our own hearts and experiences. This experiential Christianity is a growing phenomenon because churches like IHOP and Bethel targeted the youth and now they have them. The promised them they were all prophets who were going to change the world and now they have them. They hide in plain sight by claiming these false manifestations are all just a move of the spirit. That anyone who dares challenge them must not be spirit led. Whoever demands the verity of the Gospel must be a legalist. If you think I am exaggerating read this opening paragraph from John Burton again. People crying out for the end to church as we know it and that is presented as a good thing? A yearning for brand new wine? Cannot function in church unless there is "extreme Holy Spirit" activity in your church? Burton then admits that he is speaking about what used to be considered the fringe of Charismania. The eccentric. Think Brownsville demonic/spasmodic behaviors. Think Toronto rolling around on the ground and barking like a dog. Think Todd Bentley kicking people in the face to "impart healing." These are not end times warriors beloved. These are the end times deceived who are leading the great apostasy. Burton now goes into what he views as marks of revelation driven churches. Keep in mind this is all code speak. This is the direction the real church is in danger of heading as the apostasy deepens.
"Distinctly Prophetic. Pastors will be given to insane amounts of prayer throughout the week, and they will be supernaturally alert night and day. The result will be leadership that's marked by the incense of the Holy Spirit. Every decision, every service and every message will be branded by the active, rhema revelation of the Spirit of God. Dreams and visions will be normal among the church staff and members alike. The entire culture of the church will be driven by this critical communication of God." -- John Burton
Did you catch it? An active rhema revelation from the spirit of God for every service and every message. This is how charlatans like Joseph Prince already talk. They claim direct revelation from God for every single message. The result is that what they claim to hear from God is now on the same level as scripture. Likewise, once you attribute all dreams and visions to an active rhema word from, God you elevate those as well. The problem is we need to remember the scheme. What we convince ourselves is from God is more than likely just our wickedly deceitful heart. The entire culture of the church will be driven by the wickedly deceitful hearts of people believing they are communing with God.
"Fueled by Intercession. The only way to develop and sustain a revelation-driven church is to first develop and sustain a furnace of intercession. A large portion of the teaching must be devoted to supernatural, prophetic prayer. People tend to blank out when they are presented with the call to prayer, and the way to meet that reaction is by teaching continually on prayer. People need to understand how to pray, why to pray, how to yield to the Holy Spirit, how to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the power of praying in tongues, how to steward prophetic revelation, how to pray the Scriptures, how to develop intimacy with Jesus, governing with authority and much, much more. Then, a culture of raging, expressive, authoritative night and day prayer must overtake the whole of the church. People who don't pray as a primary call must be challenged and given continual opportunities to jump on board and legislate in the Spirit as God has called them to. A governmental body like this will wield great weapons against the spirit of the age and will walk in extremely powerful authority. Understand, this culture must flow from the primary Sunday service. There is absolutely no way to develop a culture of prayer if it's relegated to off nights in a side room. It's time for hours of prophetic prayer to flood the Sunday-morning sanctuaries week after week. Those who aren't interested in such a relationship with Jesus will leave--and your remnant will be revealed." -- John Burton
So much Charismaniacal gobbledygook. Prophetic prayer is an unbiblical concept being taught across churchianity in this country today. We do not declare and decree anything beloved. We have no power of God to speak things into existence or the atmosphere. This over-focus on the prophetic is designed to elevate people to levels God never intended them to be at. "Yielding to the holy spirit" is just another way of pretending what our wicked hearts are saying is from God directly. This day and night concept was just as unbiblical when Mike Bickle instituted it decades ago at IHOP. Note how purpose driven and unbiblical this all is. Burton is advocating for pastors to allow their sheep to wander off and leave. There is no way God would advocate for such.