A frightening insight into the designs of Charismania redoing church in the image of man.
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.
"Unpredictable and Spontaneous. The days of predictable, scheduled, ordered church services must come to an end. We have become so enamored with human order in the church that Holy Spirit, biblical order is completely rejected. When the primary service becomes a prayer meeting, with other expressions following, you simply cannot maintain an order of service. Any attempt to do so is laughable. Revelation-driven church services will commence with a roar of supernatural intercession as anointed, prayer-fueled musicians and singers play and sing over the people. It won't be unusual for this to last for an hour or two--or more. It will be common to turn the screens that display the lyrics off, as the people shift to mostly praying and singing in the Spirit. The Christian karaoke will come to an end. From this furnace of worship and intercession, leadership will release oracles and give prophetic messages that will be right in step with what the Holy Spirit is doing in that moment. There will be a Holy Spirit orchestrated "dance" where prayer, worship, decrees, declarations, instruction, healing, deliverance and prophetic revelation will fill the room. It will be impossible for any human to keep up, or to give any leadership whatsoever, if they aren't wildly devoted to holiness and a life of never-ending intercession. They won't be able to discern or keep up with what God is doing in the room, and they will attempt to grab the reigns and to do what is naturally familiar to them, quenching the Holy Spirit in the process." -- John Burton
Really. God goes to great lengths through the Apostle Paul to design the correct order of church service. Nowhere does He indicate these are temporary. So, who would want to see such order come to an end? The devil. Watch a Bethel service beloved. Catch a Heidi Baker sermon. Watch the demonic activity as people crawl on the ground shouting "Shaba!" There is no holy spirit dance beloved. Anything that distracts from God cannot be called worship, period. Note that anyone trying to establish order is considered to be quenching the holy spirit. What utter garbage. Beloved, God is a God of order. Now do not get me wrong. Burton's vision is the direction the apostate church is heading in. Away from biblical truth and into the supernatural realm of subjective experience and if anyone questions it -- they can leave.
"Regionally/Nationally Focused. I believe many would admit there is a deep grieving in their spirits when churches become focused and driven to grow the church numerically. Understand, numeric growth, when done rightly, can be healthy. We see in Scripture that God added to the church daily. However, the compromise that has overtaken the church in order to see this type of growth is truly grieving. Instead of locking in on the growth of their local church, pastors and leaders who are embracing the revelation driven church model will be mostly interested in what God is doing regionally and nationally. Their passion will be to see the church of the city become marked by the Spirit of God and for the new wine of the Holy Spirit to be poured out. They won't care one bit if the outpouring happens in another local church in the city. They will lead the people under their care out from their local expression of the city church right into the place where the pillar of fire and the cloud of God's glory have manifested. Further, their energies will be devoted to confronting the national crisis and in standing as a governmental authority. They will train the people and equip for battle against the deadly, raging spirit of the age that's destroying our nation. If their local church grows or shrinks numerically, their gaze and their assignment will not change. They are locked in, obediently advancing the cause of revival in their city and in the nation." -- John Burton
Now I agree it is grievous to see the Purpose Driven Industrial Complex turn the church into a business but moving from one heresy to another is not the answer either. Please do not sugar coat what we are seeing spelled out here. This is heresy. I can hope that John Burton is simply deceived himself but what he proposes is so antithetical to scripture it is astounding to me that he cannot see it. The problem is that dressing it up as a move of the spirit prevents them from seeing how unspiritual this is. God did not go to the lengths He did to ensure the canon of scripture only to discard it for our own human frailties two centuries later. The rest of this is NAR pipe dreams of global domination. Burton and the NAR dominionists believe that the church is supposed to serve in some from of governmental or legislative role in society. This belief comes from a butchering of a handful of verse fragments they do not understand. The Ekklesia, are those that are called out not those that serve in a governmental capacity. The truly sad thing is that John Burton's admitted cause here is the revival of our pagan nation even at the cost of the expansion of the kingdom of God. This is true NAR heresy at its clearest.
"Everybody Participating. Everyone will be governing and impacting the atmosphere through Spirit-fueled prayer. Rapid-fire prayer is one great way to facilitate this, giving everybody a chance to release decrees and declarations in a meeting. Invite them up to pray with passion on the microphone for 10 to 20 seconds. As the service continues, include additional rapid-fire prayer sessions and provide a way for people to share prophetic revelation in the meeting. White boards can line the walls, giving people a place to write down prophetic words, to share dreams and visions or to draw prophetic art that God has impressed upon them. Pastors, don't try to "find jobs" for everybody, hoping that keeping them busy and engaged is the answer to keeping them interested in the church. That's honestly a bit condescending. While everybody isn't ready for leadership in the church, most everyone should be given opportunities to pray, prophesy and release declarations of Scripture. We've muzzled people for too long." -- John Burton
Impacting the atmosphere? Rapid fire prayer? Releasing decrees and declarations? These are all unbiblical, or extra-biblical at best. They are Charismaniacal catch phrases, where there is always a shifting going on somewhere and a mantle falling in the distance. Invite everyone up to pray? Seriously? No vetting? No concern about their walk, beliefs, or understanding? That's a recipe for chaos. Just ask Bethel how their open mic prophecy nights go. Everyone encouraged to tap into their wickedly deceitful hearts and claim it is a rhema word from God almighty! To John Burton, everyone should be given opportunities to prophesy. Everyone; despite the bible saying this gift is only given out by the Holy Spirit as He sees fit.
"Prophetic Assignments. When you successfully steward a deeply prophetic culture in the church, God will be talking--a lot. This prophetic data must be rightly responded to. Prophetic assignments will emerge and the intercessors will have a non-stop job to keep them covered. You will find yourself heading out on prayer walks, making decrees over your city, researching the spiritual history of the land, engaging in high-level spiritual warfare, starting prayer movements, challenging systems, developing strategies and journaling it all. You will see the body dynamically moving from season to season, assignment to assignment. Everybody will have a part to play as you advance as a unified army into the darkness and toward revival. You will regularly be uniting with other pastors and leaders in the region as you'll quickly discover you only have a part of the bigger picture. The city church will awaken to its comprehensive assignment." -- John Burton
Wow. The verse about strong delusion comes to mind. Let us not lose sight that the fundamental difference John Burton is advocating for is an abandonment of adherence to order and scripture. To turn the congregation over to the whims of their heart by pretending that whatever they hear inside of themselves must be God speaking to them. This is high level spiritual warfare but Burton has no clue how he will be victimizing the sheep he has been entrusted with. You do not play around with things you do not understand. Ask the seven sons of Sceva from the Book of Acts. Keep playing around with the demonic and one day the demonic will answer you and then you will discover that still small voice you have been following was your own wicked heart all along.
"Believers Meetings. Church services are not to be seeker sensitive. The days of focusing on drawing the lost in as a primary goal are coming to an end. The New Testament church is a movement of believers who are praying continually and governing with great authority in the region. Of course, the lost can and will come in, but the focus of the meeting will not change. The extreme activity of the Holy Spirit will be maintained and those who decide to say yes to Jesus will meet him in a way that could never be done in a dry, dusty, seeker environment. These believers meetings will be white-hot, supernatural and other-worldly. The roar of intercession, the groans, the cries and the military-level strategic advance will produce saints who are ready and equipped for battle." -- John Burton
In Corinthians, Paul goes to great lengths to downplay tongues because it will mean nothing to those in church for their edification. He actually does prefer prophecy, but the overall point here is the confusion. John Burton thinks that it will be the role of the church to roar in intercession, which incidentally makes no sense, along with groans, cries, and military level strategic advance. This is what he thinks a church service is supposed to be. While I agree the seeker sensitive stuff has to go, replacing it with an unbiblical capitulation to the flesh disguised as a move of the spirit is hardly the answer.
"Focused on Spiritual Growth. The goal is obedience, impact and responding rightly to the instructions of the Holy Spirit, not numeric growth. As I said previously, growth can and will happen, but it's not an automatic indicator of health or success. I propose many churches must be pruned as they develop into a revelation driven church. It's a rare person who will sign up to be part of this new wine, revelation driven church, so small numbers should be expected. The goal is to go deep and grow spiritually. The challenge of such a church will be rejected by many. The compromise of yesterday to get them into the seats must come to an end. Invite them to leave if they aren't interested in going deep and locking arms with the rest of the well-diggers." -- John Burton
There is so much he says that is right and then you see his solutions are even worse than the problem he seeks to fix. Yes, vertical growth is more important than horizontal growth, which is always up to the Lord. The notion however that the church must be pruned is horrifying. This is a core teaching of the purpose driven church model. That blessed subtraction must first occur to see real growth. As if some sheep matter less to the Lord than others. The arrogance Burton has regarding the flock of the Lord is heartbreaking. If they dare to question why you are digging a well invite them to leave? Seriously; and you call yourself a pastor? As for this notion of what people will gravitate towards I think he underestimates the call of the flesh. A church where I get to play god and prophet? I think people will flock to it.
"Deep, Challenging Teaching. Teaching will be doused by revelation, and the tired Sunday-school lessons of old will finally come to an end. You can tell when a preacher has been pierced with the message they are preaching--and when they are merely regurgitating information. The messages of heaven will originate in the culture of fiery prayer and will absolutely rock everyone who hears them. Many will reject such an anointing as it demands a costly response, but those who respond will become sharp, full of fire and a mighty weapon in the hands of God." -- John Burton
Did you catch that? Tired Sunday school lessons, which means biblical truth, will be replaced by revelation, which means I have to trust that he has actually heard from God. No thanks. Why do I have to take the risk that John Burton might have heard from God when I have the word of God ready whenever I want to open it? the object of preaching the word is not to "rock" anyone or fuel some lame false notion of revival. It is to edify and build the saints up in Christlikeness and it cannot be accomplished apart from holy scripture. It is truly sad that pastors now think the answer to get true messages from heaven lay in their hearts and not in the word of God. Be wary of the schemes of the enemy beloved. If your church starts heading down this road to experiential Christianity you need to reason and then run as fast as you can if they refuse to see correction. The lines are being drawn beloved. The apostate church is dividing between those that will stick with the purpose driven mega church model and those that prefer the false signs and lying wonders portion of NAR teaching. They will still have many similarities but their differences will be two sides of the same heretical coin. Be not deceived.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- June 7, 2019
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.