Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Razing & Resurrection of the American Church

On New Year’s Day 2000, I was laying on the couch all day fighting a sinus infection and watching the TV turned down low. I would doze off from time and to time all through the day. I was not fasting, seeking the Lord or even thinking about much but getting over the sinus infection. One of these times when I dozed off, I had a vision where I was taken to what looked like any large American city with skyscrapers and high buildings. Some were more visible than others some were just a few stories high (visible) but had a big footprint (made an impact) others took up less than a city block but were 40-50 stories and could be seen from miles away.

I noticed whole buildings were being razed or demolished, like those precisely timed demolitions where the entire 50 story building comes crashing down straight within a few feet of where it was standing with little effect on those buildings around. I saw several of these high-profile buildings coming down in this fashion and somehow I just knew this was happening in more than one city or area. It was like I was being allowed to see the wholesale demolition of many man-made structures. They all had signs warning people to “stay away" and were empty of ANY people so NO ONE would get injured. I also KNEW (revelation) that these buildings represented man-made religious structures or churches, even denominations. Some even had the name of the flamboyant or superstar Christian leader on the building. One was the LONG building, another FAME building, one even the MINE building. They all seemed to IM-plode not EX-plode. I even saw angels as part of the demolition team strategically placing explosives, like the Lord had angelic demolition angels who planted charges for a perfect implosion.

Then I realized this was an architectural illustration of the church. In scripture the church is illustrated three ways: architecturally, agriculturally and anatomically. Ephesians 2:21 is an architectural one.
All of a sudden I realized I was with the Lord and He was revealing things about this vision. I just somehow knew that this was a picture of what was going to transpire over the next 7, 12 &15 years (through 2015) and that it would be a progressive thing. I knew then that I was seeing the wholesale demolition of hundreds or even thousands of man-made "buildings" that probably began by the Spirit and ended up being idolatrous impediments to His people. Many hundred thousands, even millions of well-meaning Christians were at one time inside these buildings but the Lord was getting them out of these institutions.

I then had a flash of downtown "underground" and saw many people in these underground (not visible) gatherings some quite large of hidden, nameless groups of believers preparing themselves for a great awakening. They were learning about the authentic Jesus then staying for a while then going up above to bring what they learned to the lost and perishing. They were healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons and doing the gospel, without any trappings or fluff. You know, basic meat and potato Christianity, but with NOTHING left out (like the gifts of the HS). How can the church even exist without the HS? How can a leader say, "We are OPEN to the gifts of the HS"? He is rejecting God the HS when he does that. Anyway after this I woke up and two or three other times over the next couple years I returned to this vision or dreamed about it and got more details.

I am remembering it because we are seeing now in 2011, whole ministries, churches and even movements being imploded like this. Many mega churches have closed their doors in the city of Atlanta in the last 5 years and there will be MANY more as the covered-up sins, wickedness or corruption and abuse of the Body is exposed. When these hireling CEOS are exposed, many may be dismayed. The problem isn't the size but many became enterprises and businesses rather than expressions of the Body.

The GOOD NEWS is that Christians, though disillusioned for a little awhile, will begin to see their own idolatry of men, methods or movements which they put in the place of relationship with Jesus. And God is faithful and is raising up authentic shepherds, pastors, apostles with a spirit that wants to come under and serve the Body rather than stand at the top of the pyramid and rule it. The Pharaoh spirit is being removed from the church. Jesus is coming back for a spotless church without blemish. And it can't and won't happen with many of these Christian superstar sideshows in existence. Do not be dismayed. The razing of these ministries MUST happen so that the resurrection of a new form of church that looks like Jesus can arise! Isaiah 60 speaks of an arising. Ephesians and Romans say, “awake!”

These" rude awakenings" are signs of a new birthing which is already occurring of a true expression of the church arising! Rejoice!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NORTHGATE: Wednesday Night Intercession at 7pm in Cafe 166!

Our Emphasis every night in April-PRAY for AMERICA!!

We have seen recently and even in the last few weeks how one epic event can bring a nation to the brink of collapse! The earthquake in Haiti last year leveled Port Au Prince and it may never be completely rebuilt, There are a million displaced just by that earthquake alone. Japan ,once seen as a vibrant and prosperous nation, through a combination of bad financial choices governmentally and then the earthquake, tsunami and damage to its Fukushima nuclear plant is now fighting so many unimaginable problems, it may be years or never till it recovers.

Jesus revealed God's view of these tragedies:

“When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And they went on to another village.” - Luke 9:51-56

God's desire for our nation and all nations is salvation, deliverance and revival, NOT destruction! We know it is God's will for "all men to be saved and come to repentance". But events are happening rapidly now with our economy and politically that escalate the risk of America experiencing this or another kind of event.

Every Christian should be busy doing one of two things:

Praying if they are not out preaching; and Preaching before or after they are done praying! Praying and Preaching-That's simple enough.

If you are not out preaching to win your neighbors come and pray for our country! America needs a spiritual awakening more than ever!! So every Wednesday in APRIL- 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th - the Emphasis is to pray for mercy and a spiritual awakening for America!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

TOP TEN Reasons Why Seeker & Emergent Churches Are Biblically Destined to FAIL

United States Treasury agents that track down and apprehend counterfeiters are taught to distinguish counterfeit money by first and foremost learning by sight and by feel what the authentic American currency in all of the denominations looks and feels like. Their main training is to first learn how to discern and identify the real as the way to best discern the fake. While counterfeiters might take many different approaches to copying money and be more expert in different aspects of the printing or the artwork, a person who knows and is well acquainted with the real can always spot the phony!

But with the proliferation of seeker churches, I now believe many will be deluded into thinking this form of godliness is real, when it fails by all biblical criteria to even be classified as a church. Consequently, America is growing a population of spiritual people who are simply not converted.

Vance Havner, in his book "Playing Marbles with Diamonds" offered the following insight that prophetically describes the present church message: “The devil is not fighting religion; he is too smart for that. He is producing a counterfeit Christianity so much like the real one that good Christians are afraid to speak out against it. We are plainly told in the Scriptures that in the last days men will not endure sound doctrine and will depart from the truth and heap to themselves teachers to tickle their ears. We live in an epidemic of this itch and popular preachers have developed ear-tickling to a fine art. Today, the angle is to avoid "negative" preaching and accentuate only the positive.”

Recently, key “Emergent” Church leaders have come out in favor of homosexual church membership; though the New Testament clearly forbids it; and the abolition of the doctrine of hell, even though Jesus Himself spoke with chilling detail about escaping it.

We must instead raise up the real and authentic expression of the apostolic church in the earth!

TOP TEN Reasons Why Seeker & Emergent Churches Are Biblically Destined to FAIL:

    1. They are led by motivational speakers, teachers, promoters and entertainers rather than fathers. (I Corinthians 4:14-15)

    2. Outward appearances and externals are more valued than inward character and change. (I Samuel 16:7)

    3. In the name of tolerance and love, they prohibit church discipline so invariably the body becomes toxic and rotten. (II Corinthians 6:17) False mercy leads to perversion.

    4. To be inclusive, instead of “believer’s meetings”, gatherings are a mish-mash of lost and found, leading to compromise. (Acts 5:13)

    5. In the name of a hyper-grace message, the lifestyles of the believers are the same as those in the “world”. To reach the world, they have become worse than it! (III John 1)

    6. Websites, new media, events, worship or programs can’t bring about discipleship. (Matthew 21:6)

    7. Non-Christian musicians on the “worship” teams violate God’s standards of righteousness for priests and remove the presence of the Lord. (I Samuel 3:14)

    8. When "relevance" and assimilation of darkness is more important than confronting it, how can you even be the "light?" (Luke 11:35)

    9. A culture where FEAR of man is more important than fear of hell leads to self-focus & people-pleasing rather than a fear of God. (Matthew 10:28)

    10. This ALL leads to “the Blind leading the blind”. (Romans 2:19)

by Marc Lawson