John Burton has written a piece titled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.” Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton. As it turns out he’s a “prophet” in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. According to his blog, John Burton, he “has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. Burton has authored ten books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.”
That Burton was associated with IHOP-KC could only mean that he has served under IHOP’s Pied Piper Mike Bickle. I spent quite a bit of time researching Bickle for a piece I wrote and discovered his strong ties to the NAR or what some refer to as Dominionism. Also identified was his involvement with the Kansas City Prophets (KCP). According to Pastor Ken Silva, the KCP:
brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever. These so-called prophets were a group of men that coalesced around a church known as the Kansas City Fellowship, pastored by Mike Bickle, that attracted a following of other likeminded churches in that region. (More on the KCP here)
It gets worse. Mike Bickle believes that God speaks to him in an audible voice. But here’s the kicker. He has visited heaven – twice. On one visit he told false teacher Bob Jones:
I stood in this room and it had…clouds, it was a room only maybe 20 by 20 or 30. It was a little room. It had clouds in the bottom, on the top and the walls…I stood there, I was at the Lord’s left hand, and I stood there, this was not a dream, this was as real as life here…I know it wasn’t a dream or a vision… (There’s more to the story here)
I included Bickle’s background and a snippet of the tall tale he spun on his alleged visit to heaven to highlight the fact that he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
So here’s my question: why is John Burton proud of his association with a false prophet who’s the main man at IHOP-KC? IHOP –KC is viewed by many mainstream scholars as a cult because it is a “false, unorthodox, extremist” sect of Christianity (dictionary.com).
On his blog Burton calls himself a “prophetic messenger and revivalist.” Revival? What revival? There’s no sign of any sort of “revival” in America or any place else (except an occult revival), so the “revival” the so-called prophet refers to is……where?
Before I get to the 5 major changes “Prophet” John B predicts, those of you who are unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of the NAR should know what we’re dealing with. Over the years it has had many handles such as Kingdom Now; Latter Rain; Joel’s Army; Manifest Sons of God – they keep changing the name as if this will allow them to keep their heretical teachings hidden.
What is the goal of the NAR loons leaders? To transform society into the kingdom of God on earth.
How do they hope to accomplish this lofty goal? By taking control of various aspects of society. (Here’s the plan)
Apologetics Index describes it as a:
dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle.
Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.
They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (emphasis added )
So, keeping John Burton’s background in mind—especially the part about his affiliation with IHOP-KC– here’s what this so-called prophetic messenger revealed about the future:
I call this the ancient and emerging church. Ancient because it’s rooted in scripture; emerging because the biblical structure has been largely forsaken. What will this ancient and emerging church look like? Here’s just a small peek into a grand shift in the structure of the church:
1. Services will become more like prayer meetings. One of the greatest indictments on the church today is that prayer is not the driving force. Today, people tend to choose churches based on the appeal of the teaching and the worship instead of the fervency of prayer. If the church was a house of teaching, or a house of worship, that would make sense, but it’s not. The church is a house of prayer for all nations. Every person in the church will function as a burning intercessor and the services will be marked by this unified groan of fiery prayer.
2. Personal need will give way to personal mission. Today, churches are often more like organic, socially driven hospitals. People tend to use the church as a way to meet their personal needs instead of serving it as a minister of God. This is going to change. Of course, there will still be personal ministry and true needs will be addressed.
However, instead of the church functioning as a hospital, it will once again function as a mission-driven military. The mission will take precedence. The saints will be equipped for service, not for personal survival. In this ancient and emerging model, their will be MASH units that will take very good care of the wounded with the primary purpose of getting the soldier back into battle. Apostles will again lead with governmental authority and pastors will be seen as the main leader less and less as they focus more on shepherding and less on primary leadership.
3. Teaching will be minimized while instruction is emphasized. Teaching is mostly for personal edification while instruction is mostly for corporate assignments. Today, most churches focus on teaching principles of scripture, providing truths that will help Believers navigate through their lives and giving nuggets of biblical info. While there will still be important Bible teaching, apostolic instruction will emerge as a necessary new ministry.
There is enough Bible teaching online, on CDs, in books and on video to turn every one of us into personal spiritual giants. We need to take it upon ourselves to grow. What is lacking, however, is apostolic leaders, military commanders who give instruction and assignments to a ready army. Teaching is personal growth-based while instruction is a call to corporate action for the sake of mission fulfillment.
An example of apostolic instruction is this: The apostolic leader gives a corporate assignment for everybody in the church to fast for a week and then show up together to prayer walk through the city streets. It’s a corporate call to action versus biblical study. It’s mission focused versus personal growth focused. Personal growth will be largely our responsibility between services so we can be ready to respond to the corporate instruction where we will receive our assignments.
4. We will gather together most days of the week. The 24/7 church will again emerge as the church drives culture instead of reacting to culture. Cares of life will lose their power as we simplify our lives and put corporate prayer and mission ahead of most everything else.
This may be the most challenging change for Christians. Today, Sundays are the days to set aside for corporate worship while we give precedence to our ‘normal lives.’ In The Coming Church, the very reason we live will be to pray on fire together every day, receive apostolic assignments and then move out into our lives as kingdom ambassadors. It wouldn’t be surprising if a tithe of our time is what became the standard. Two to three hours a day, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening, or even in the late night hours, will be given by every believer to praying on site together with others, ministering and giving ourselves to intercession-fueled kingdom ministry. Of course, much of what we have been giving ourselves to will have to be eliminated so we have the time necessary to devote.
5. Worship will be supernaturally driven. There is a new sound coming to worship, and it’s not simply a new style. There is a supernatural, otherworldly groan of intercessory worship that will explode out of the entire body as a new breed of trembling worship leaders lead the way into the shock and awe of the glory of God. We will no longer simply sit in a pew or stand with a raised hand while a familiar worship song is sung.
The prophetic, groaning sounds of Holy Spirit facilitated worship will make it normal to shake and fall to our faces as we cry Holy! The natural, logical sing-a-longs will be no more. We will have a hard time standing as God’s Shekinah and Kabod glory resides in his church. Worship teams will practice less and pray in the Spirit with tears in their eyes more.
Of course, this is an extremely limited glance into the many, many changes that are coming. I wanted to share this to provoke you to preparation. There is much that you and I enjoy in the church, or that is comfortable to us, that we will have to let go. Again, the coming church will be troubling and shocking, but it will result in the power and life that we have been crying out for.
God is about to answer that cry.
This is…..nauseating. My head is spinning. Seems the Church is in for some BIG changes, at least according to “Prophet” John B. Notice that the changes he purports would empower a few and turn the rest of us into mere puppets. Sound familiar? The message he’s sending is that we mustn’t hold to God’s sacred Word as our final authority. No. We must abide in what those who are supposedly hearing from God tell us. I mean, really? Coming from someone with his decidedly unbiblical theology it’s pretty easy to figure out where this rubbish came from.
Hint: The Evil One
We are not to fear evil, brethren. We are not to back away from it. We are not to cower in the corner. We are commanded to:
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel… Ephesians 6:10-19 (emphasis added)
I’ll close with this admonition: Stand against the schemes of the devil!
Dominionism and the Rise of Western Imperialism by Sarah Leslie
Dominionist are on the move…and they mean business by Marsha West
Copyright by 2015 by Marsha West. All rights reserved.
Dear Marsha .. As usual you are on top of the falsehoods and cults coming to life in these times. And you are a great lady standing strong for the Lord.
But, I am so disappointed you did not use the King James Bible. We know each other through Facebook. And so many other times you used only the King James Bible. The words above are almost unrecognizable.
Please, Marsha, go back to the King James Bible? Please?
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
She’s using the ESV, which many of the Reformed Churches are going over to. I believer Marsha attends a Reformed Church. (Please excuse me if wrong). It’s almost become “their” preferred translation, as many now follow the lead of David Platt in this. Platt is a strong advocate for shunning the odious NIV, w/o going “back” to the KJV. Marsha, I would at least suggest naming the version you’re quoting from. I too had to search it out.
Good Day Marsha,
And God Bless, the church around the world with Truth.
Got to say having been an administrator for an online bible study group, I have seen/heard first hand some of the very points you make, about the “new” church.
Must ask; how big a role does Mysticism play in NAR. From where are they drawing, what are they drawing? If Christians draw their empowerment from Christ…….That might be a rhetorical question.
Mysticism plays a HUGE role in this movement. For more on this, read our white paper on Dominionism/NAR, as the info there will help you grasp just how dangerous the NAR is.
God bless you, Dan!
Mysticism is HUGE in the NAR. They’d not call it that, but once you go outside the Scriptures for “revelation,” you’re either drawing from human intuition or from the demonic realm. And since our natural man is the devil’s ally, he has an easy time convincing us that “God” is speaking to us, when really, he is. And remember: Satan alway combines “some measure of truth” to make his deceptions believable. Satan and his minions LOVE to imitate the Holy Spirit. Once “trusts” are formed as “bonds,” one makes a covenant w/ death; even if unknowingly. If challenged on this, they’re quick to accuse those pointing to Scripture as “blaspheming the Holy Spirit.” Many sincere believers have and are being duped by this through the Contemplative Prayer Movement. CP offers an experiential experiment in “prayer” that leads to esoteric experiences. When the presupposition entering into the “practice” is confused with entering into “The Presence,” (of God) is assumed. As such, any “voice” or “strong leading” from “the spirit” is presumed to be the Holy Spirit. This is how they rationally justify “receiving” “a word from God.” In IHOP and associated circles, “I have a word from the Lord” becomes, I have a “WORD” from God; or, “God says,” “the Spirit says…” etc. That’s the mystical magic phrase that all being “instructed” are supposed to give attention to. BIckel and his ilk all do this, and the deeper they plunge, the more bizarre their “messages from God” become. So if I’m an IHOP–KC leader, all I have to say is that I’ve been transported to heaven, and you then, are to assume that since God gave to me, the same all-expenses-paid trip to heaven and back he gave to the Apostle Paul, I MUST (you are to assume), have Apostolic Authority to command, prophesy into and lead the “army of God.!” That motif is a “given” in NAR circles. In other words, if I’m a personal eyewitness to the throne of God, why shouldn’t you listen to me? Without the genuine power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, these men and women have to create the false notion that THEY are the anointed ones; we, the disjointed ones. Without their mystic encounters with spirits not of God, they have no movement. They know so little of sound theology and doctrine that they’d have little left to say. I recommend to you Bob DeWaay’s “Critical Issues Commentary” (found online), where in one writing, he explains how those who claim to cast out wicked spirits, may actually be ushering them into the churches! How? By being so deceived about playing around “in the spirit” (spiritual realm), they’ve mistaken the demonic spirits for the voice of THE HOLY SPIRIT. This is hideous error.
John Burton is not NAR. He does not believe we are in the Millennial reign as Kingdom Now and Dominionists believe. So this article is suspect to not being fully Berean.
It would appear you didn’t even bother reading the article. Perhaps you need to read it, slowly, and take note of things like this -“On his blog Burton calls himself a “prophetic messenger and revivalist.” Revival? What revival? There’s no sign of any sort of “revival” in America or any place else (except an occult revival), so the “revival” the so-called prophet refers to is……where?”
Also, take note of this, – 3. Teaching will be minimized while instruction is emphasized. Teaching is mostly for personal edification while instruction is mostly for corporate assignments. Today, most churches focus on teaching principles of scripture, providing truths that will help Believers navigate through their lives and giving nuggets of biblical info. While there will still be important Bible teaching, apostolic instruction will emerge as a necessary new ministry.”
If that doesn’t cause red flags to fly all over the place, you need to cry out for discernment. Apostolic instruction takes precedence over sound, biblical teaching? Hardly. They are usurping the authority of God’s word and setting themselves up in a position as some type of authority, a position that cannot be supported by Scripture. Rather than defend this man, you need to run the other direction. Our Lord warns His true sheep to take heed that no man deceive you, and with good reason.
Concerning these self-proclaimed ‘apostles’, we no longer have apostles, that ended with the original Apostles. No one living today could meet the qualifications of being an Apostle – this article should bring clarity on this topic – http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1226
Well said, Lyn! And of course I agree with you. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. 🙂
Grace & peace,
There is no question that Burton’s NAR. Please read Lyn’s comment. May I also recommend that you read our white paper on Dominionism/NAR?
Grace & peace,
Dear Kris, The key here is the term “Apostle” and the concept of having “Apostolic Authority” = the promotion that all are supposed to listen to what they say; that THEY are now the channel through which “God” speaks to His Church/churches. In reality, “THEY” are stepping into the Holy Ground of the Holy Spirit’s ministry with biker-boots! To question them is to question God. Following that all the way out to: THEY ARE LAYING CLAIM TO BEING THE 3rd PERSON OF THE GODHEAD. The demonic deception in this entire movement is the New Age Lie that men are becoming “gods”–i.e., evolving into divinity. (The same is taught in all “Word of Faith” circles: e.g., Copeland, Joyce Meyers, Browne, Hagin, etc. Men are stepping into the role the Holy Spirit alone can have–a function He has NOT called them to. They think themselves “prime tools” in His hands; without realizing they do this INSTEAD OF & IN SPITE OF Him. No, you won’t hear most of them articulate that directly, [YET]…but it’s there: BIG time. They are so deceived they don’t even realize the implications of where they claim to receive their messages from. Your confusion about Burton rooted in two things: (1) there is a great deal of variation on particular points of doctrine among those with NAR affiliation, direct, loose, or otherwise. While all within their circles might not agree on, e.g., the finer points of eschatology, (re. Burton’s not believing we’re in the Millennial Age yet), they all agree on their interpretation and use of the “charismata” (gifts), giving them (presumed) “authority” to add to Scripture with their “new” or “fresh” revelations. (2) Many who function inside the theological absurdities of the NAR, are not officially sanctioned, recognized, ordained or “anointed” by NAR officials. But men like Burton are surely coveting their endorsement and tag. (Its sells books, DVD’s and makes the big bucks flow). Todd Bentley (the Lakeland lunatic) is a case in point. Wagner and the NAR distanced themselves from him at first. But once the so-called “miracles” and “words from God” and “visions of angels” started to be claimed, they were compelled to go and “anoint” him as one of their own. (You know, you can’t have other guys out there doing what you do, least they take over your gig)! The entire thing is a sham for which they should be ashamed. But when one’s conscience is “seared as with a hot iron,” (1Tim.4:2), shame of spiritual departures from the Word of Truth is almost beyond grasp, unless repentance comes. Note in that passage, it’s the demons that indoctrinate all who “depart from the faith” (v.1). Thus, they begin to “speak lies in hypocrisy” leading to a “seared conscience.” Bentley was “anointed” by a massive presence of NAR officials, who “prophesied” over him, telling him that all the anointing that had fallen from God since men began to preach, he (Bentley) was about to become the embodiment of! About 2 or 3 weeks later, Bentley divorced his wife and ran off with a associate, who later married him and now “prophesies” along side of him. Bizarre indeed.
Marsha, may the Lord continue to bless your ministry and give you strength, especially when you come under attack by ‘professing Christians’. May we all pray for one another in these dark days.
his 5 steps sound like the new testament church as described in the bible. I read his statement of beliefs and no where does he say or allude to being in the NAR or being a dominionist. Condemning a man for an association with a prayer group that called on him doesn’t not equal him being proud of being associated with Bickle. You are making dangerous leaps and assumptions from a lack of speaking on his part. being called an apostle by people is synonymous now days with church planting and is a function not a title. If God has called him to share a spiritual message, he is functioning as a prophet. you would be wise to handle the scripture with fear and trembling. Burton always uses numerous scriptures to back up what he says in the instances that I have read his articles or seen him speak. You however, have not.
I urge you to re-read my piece as well as the above comments. Also, please take a look at our White Paper on the NAR. Burton’s association with IHOP-KC and Mike Bickle speaks volumes. If you take time to do your homework on IHOP, I believe you’ll come to the same conclusion many others have come to: IHOP is a dangerous cult.
The message he’s sharing is not from God.
I have nothing else to add to the conversation.
Grace & peace,
Burton does not suggest that few will lead and the rest are puppets. The new testament church of the bible teaches that all are to share and participate functioning in different roles at different times. no where in the bible is there a gathering of believers that sit and listen to one man every time they meet. The sermon model of one man giving a lecture is Greek in origin and leads to fase teaching. The new testament believers talked things through amongst each other and searched the scriptures daily. I don’t know anything about Bickle but I did look at their statement of beliefs and they do not support the Joel’s army movement. They rightly believe that we will all go through the tribulation prior to Jesus’s return and that we will reign with him on earth as taught in the bible for the 1000 years prior to the new heaven and new earth. There is some serious misinformation in the “church” that has come about in the last 100 years that is frightening. I am a new believer and I have rarely found sound teachings from church corporations. The church is a unified gathering of believers and when the persecution comes we will need to meet more to be able to endure til the end. Look at the revival that came to China during great persecution. unsanctioned (they have to be gov sanctioned) gathering of believers were murdered. They gather from house to house under threat of death. This is a modern day revival. The persecution is prophesied to be coming for believers by the bible. our time will come. I learned from reading the bible. Not because someone told me. living a life of repentance , and walking in the spirit are necessary not optional. I am still learning praise the Lord. Burton appears to be a genuine vessel through which the Lord is working. We all make mistakes and fail but we have Jesus to advocate for us to the father bc he is failthful and just to forgive us all our sins when we confess them to him. We are able to be clean, fit for the fathers use. I don’t know you but I would suggest to you to start walking in the spirit so that you will be able to not only discern the spirits to see if they are of God but to be able to be used by the father. People need to see God’s love manifested in us. Otherwise, we are no different than the lost.
Good morning Gillian,
As you say “I am a new believer and I have rarely found sound teachings from church corporations.”
Why don’t you look into what Marsha suggested? You’re drawing your conclusion based on your limited experience as a Christian, as you said “I am a new believer.” A word of advice, read mission “statements” with caution, what they write on a web site home page is not always was taught from behind the pulpit. As for the NAR, Bickle and company, I would strongly suggest you find out who and what they are.
I’ll include a few sites that can help in your research. God bless!!
Gillian here are two more:
Christians today cannot trust anyone behind a pulpit unless one personally investigates veracity of teaching, associations and adherence to biblical standards.