Pastors are called to lead you to the furnace of intercession. Stop resisting.
Why is it so rare to find churches that are baptized in fire and saturated in the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit? So many long to walk into a church on a Sunday morning where people are laid out all over the room, others pacing in prayer and many trembling under the weighty glory of God as the fire of the Holy Spirit burns over everyone.
I'll give you a one reason, and it might not be what you want to hear: Manipulative and controlling people.
"Therefore whoever resists the authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment" (Rom. 13:2).
I wonder if the typical churchgoer understands the extreme warfare revival- and prayer-minded pastors and church leaders experience every single day. The swirls of demonic activity blow violently around them and their families nonstop, and the wickedness that provokes this assault is very often initiated from those who are supposed to be holding up their arms. Christian witchcraft manifesting through hand-raising, Bible-reading, tithe-paying, small-group-leading members of their church is suffocating—and sickening.
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I remember my core intercession teams both in Colorado and Michigan would frequently cancel curses over my family and me. They'd stand in the gap. I was often in the hot seat receiving protective prayer as they broke off the arrows shot into my back, weapons of warfare that were wielded by people who shook my hand and smiled as they entered the church each week.
This was a distraction to the mission, and it impacted our ability to deal with the curses and attacks from actual witches and warlocks who had us on their Satanic prayer list as a target. To be hit from outside and from within is a smart strategy of the enemy. He's out to kill ministries, to destroy them. He's all too ready to use selfish people who demand to be heard and obeyed.
I know from the testimonies of other pastors and from my own experience, dealing with troublemakers, resisters and manipulators is absolutely draining. Distracting. Grieving.
Visionary leaders are single-minded. They are advancing, calling surrendered people to run with them as they are focused on assaulting the kingdom of darkness. They are Gideons. They are looking for those who are full of faith, who are humble, faithful and who won't shrink back as they run toward the enemy's camp.
I've heard from many people who are disgruntled with pastors, and some for good reason. But how often do we hear about pastors who are just fed up with the witchcraft in their midst? It must stop!
Read the story of Korah. Read it slowly. You do not want to be counted among the resisters. Do you have any idea how serious God is about protecting his leaders and his mission? I know, many of you might be triggered at such a bold defense of men and women of God. I cannot apologize. It's time God's ordained end-time revivalists are supported and encouraged as they contend for an outpouring and the advance of the Kingdom of God.
Therefore both you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord, and who is Aaron that you murmur against him? (Num. 16:11).
So it was, when he finished speaking all these words, that the ground that was under them split open. And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, and their houses, and all the men that belonged to Korah, and all their goods. And they and all that belonged to them went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed on them, and they perished from among the assembly. All Israel that was around them fled at their cry because they said, "The earth will swallow us also (Num. 16:31-35).
A fire went out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
The Resisters Need to Repent or Leave
If you are resistant to revival, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, to groans of the Spirit and tongues of fire and to an atmosphere of desperation, depth, freedom and extreme hunger and your church is attempting to pursue and affirm these things ... just leave. Disappear.
Stop being an irritant and a pain to the pastor you are supposed to be honoring and supporting. Quit with your manipulation, control and witchcraft. Stop presuming your opinions and insights are so important and that your voice must be heeded. You are hindering the Holy Spirit and those who are passionate about Jesus.
The enemy is using you and you need to either move on or repent in tears. I can't imagine being the one that stood in the way of a move of God. Grieving the Holy Spirit is a serious violation and I pray the fear of the Lord grips you.
Pastors, I pray you have the guts to power through the threats and spirits of control in your midst and refuse to hold back. There are masses waiting for you to help initiate a move of the Holy Spirit that will transform their lives and change where they spend eternity. It's on you!
I'd encourage you to read two articles I wrote about the need for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit to return to our churches (here and here). Pastors, you must lead the charge. It's time for reformation. It's time for fire.
Listen to the podcasts below to learn how to deal with witchcraft in the church.
John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 25 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored ten books, is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. A large and growing library of audio and video teachings, articles, books and other resources can be found on his website at www.burton.tv. John, his wife Amy and their five children live in Branson, Missouri.
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