This week I have had a strong impression to start focusing on three ‘zones’ in regard to prayer and strategic advance:
As we participate rightly with God’s divine plan, we will find ourselves recalibrated with Him locally, regionally and nationally.
There is a large scale move of God in process now, and it in many ways mirrors the Exodus from Egypt. If we can prophetically peer into that story, we will discover some key lessons and strategies.
I also believe there is a financial message in the midst of this story that will help all of us advance as we understand the schemes of the enemy. (2 Cor 2:11)
This story must launch from the same place it launched in the life of Moses—the burning bush. The cry for prophetic messengers to humbly yet boldly declare the potentially offensive, extremely costly and problematic designs of God must come now. There is a burning bush in Michigan and in our nation—but is there anybody there with their shoes removed ready to receive that message?
Exodus 3:4-5 (ESV) 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
God is calling, is anybody responding? I actually believe the answer is at least a limited ‘yes’, but I wonder if any of us realize the severity of the call. We must receive the call from a position of holiness and humility and we must then boldly relay the call to the opposing system that’s keeping a nation in bondage.
Moses did just that. I believe we are also at an initial phase of the mission to break from from a worldly system.
Note what happened immediately after the prophetic word was declared by Moses to Pharaoh:
Exodus 5:1-3 (ESV) 1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’ ” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” 3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”
Of course, Moses’ mandate was met with immediate resistance. However, this resistance to the prophetic wasn’t simply in the form of a dispute between two leaders. The prophetic message, as delivered through the prophetic messenger, caused problems for the whole ‘church’.
The call was to move from an Egyptian system into the wilderness of encounter with God.
Exodus 5:4-5 (ESV) 4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.” 5 And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!”
I believe we are most certainly in a season of transition—from a tiring focus of necessary but unfulfilling production into a miraculous season of supernatural rest and life.
Sarah Palin declared last week in Grand Rapids at the launch of her national “Going Rogue” book tour that something miraculous is coming to the economic structure in Michigan—and I believe this is surely the case.
However, we in Michigan may very well be in the midst of this next part of the Exodus story:
Exodus 5:6-8 (ESV) 6 The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’
The enemy is reacting with anger right now in this early prophetic season. While the church is being called into a new chapter, we have not yet made it there. We’re still in the old system. Reformation has not come yet. The bricks of old, the provision of old has not yet faded away. People need to make bricks, need to produce, need to pay the same bills, etc. However, I believe the enemy has removed the straw.
At a time when people are losing jobs, losing their homes, a time when stress is high and the ability to produce is significantly more difficult than it was just a couple of years ago, we must know that the prophetic message will get the job done—if we don’t relent.
Exodus 5:10-13 (ESV) 10 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’ ” 12 So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.”
The only way to break out of this bondage is to rely on God’s supernatural methods and his decrees. The coming new system’s principles must be applied now, as we are breaking out of the current system.
Are we prepared for the greatest of battles? The church itself will turn on prophetic voices, prophetic strategists. Change will bring significant discomfort and struggle, and most will strike back in anger and accusation. Will we still contend for freedom?
Exodus 5:20-21 (ESV) 20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; 21 and they said to them, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
We will also have opportunity to question ourselves, as Moses did:
Exodus 5:22-23 (ESV) 22 Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”
I’ve often said that the enemy, who is the accuser, loves it when he convinces children of God to embrace his methods, his giftings, his anointings. He wants us to become accusers, and not just accusers of the brethren, but accusers of God Himself. Moses fell for this in the midst of extreme rebellion and pressure from his own people, and threats from Pharaoh.
Exodus 6:7-9 (ESV) 7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’ ” 9 Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
We see in the above passage that God has a plan, and it’s a big one. However, the extreme process will be difficult and many will turn away.
But, the end of this story is extreme. God wanted it all, without compromise—and he got what he wanted. And the people ultimately realized that they didn’t need straw to make their bricks—because they didn’t need the bricks at all. The old has passed away and the new season was upon them.
They dropped the bricks and picked up the riches of Egypt and moved out into the pursuit of their destiny.
In the beginning I shared a three-fold focus:
- On a small scale, we must individually and as local churches prepare for and lead the way in that spirit of Moses. We must run to the battle with fire from a bush in our mouths.
- Then, we must have a regional understanding—for us, Michigan is our next immediate focus. We must shout to the state the plans of Heaven, and let that prophetic message penetrate the darkness.
- Then, ultimately, we must prepare for a national movement. The Israelites were a nation, that was stepping into their ultimate destiny that hasn’t even fully played out yet.
Again, I feel we are in the place where the message has begun to be proclaimed, the plan of God has been released. The enemy has been enraged and straw has been removed. It’s more difficult to produce in our families, in our city, state and nation.
However, a new system is coming where bricks of old will be dropped and the plunder of Egypt will be picked up.
Proverbs 13:22 (ESV) A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
FIRST—This afternoon (Sunday, November 22) at 4pm is the Revival Church Thanksgiving Dinner! Come on out and make some new, hungry (for turkey AND revival!) friends! Then, we’ll kick into strategic pursuit of revival at 6pm. www.detroitrevivalchurch.com.
Is the House of Prayer movement running out of steam? That question is sure to elicit a wide range of emotions and reactions, from radical disagreement to a yawn of indifference.
Here’s my thought: The House of Prayer movement is a strategic and divine plan of God. However, the House of Prayer movement in its current form is to bring recalibration to the church—it in itself is not meant to be an enduring structure.
Now, allow me to bring some clarification. The church is to be a house of prayer for all nations. Those of you who follow my ministry know my heart on this topic well.
I feel it is utter insanity that prayer is nearly non-existent in churches today. I mean, lets talk about this. Churches that don’t have prayer as the primary ministry and activity is like encouraging people to stand in a shower with no water. It’s so obviously nonsensical.
Prayer is the clear, tangible connecter between man and God. It’s the conduit of relationship that Jesus made possible for us on the cross.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
The clear idea here is that it’s possible to align ourselves with God, work for him, be dramatically involved in his business, while also not knowing him, not ‘saved’.
So, the problem is that we have churches full of devoted people, people who are working, serving and ministering, who don’t intimately know God. This is a more serious issue that we can imagine.
In my book The Terror of Hell I wrote about a dream that shook me to my core. As I prayed for interpretation of that dream, God wrecked my theology and comfort level. He said, “John, many people in the church will be shocked one day to find themselves in Hell.”
I believe the House of Prayer movement is a necessary shock to the church system. It must bring recalibration to a prayer-starved church.
It’s re-emphasizing the call to return to our first love. Check out this striking scripture:
Luke 10:25-28 (NKJV) 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" 27 So he answered and said, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and ‘your neighbor as yourself.' " 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."
This should be our primary salvation scripture. This should be our primary salvation strategy. The question was clear: What shall I do to inherit eternal life? Love God! Deeply! With every part of our being!
If we do this, and let that love reach others around us, we will be saved.
So, with prayer being the vehicle of relationship and intimacy with God, we must be severely alarmed when that vehicle is out of service.
The Global Prayer Movement and the House of Prayer Movement are not one in the same, though, of course, they are uniquely connected. The Global Prayer Movement is ramping up and gaining momentum. Right now, it seems that the House of Prayer is its primary driver.
However, this cannot remain. The church, with its governmental authority and biblical mandate inherent in it, must receive the baton of intimate, prophetic prayer from the House of Prayer movement.
I don’t believe Houses of Prayer, in their current form, can survive indefinitely. They must transition into or merge with churches.
For example, we see the International House of Prayer in Kansas City functioning as a keenly focused prayer ministry. People there pray hours a day as their primary life activity. However, it also functions as a church. They meet that need for people. They have no need to send people to a ‘real church’ because IHOP is a church.
Additionally, this year, they moved from an 80%/20% model of prayer/ministry to a 50/50 model. Their prayer is enabling and infusing church ministry.
I know this is a provocative and even offensive question, but if we at least consider it I believe we’ll be well on our way toward reformation in the church: Is it possible that IHOP and prayer-fueled ministries like it have a radically higher percentage of people who are truly saved than a typical church?
I’m not saying they have better theology or that they are somehow elite. I’m decreasing this issue to the lowest foundational level. They pray. The are intentionally applying the Luke 10 salvation strategy. They are focusing on the call to intimately know God.
This strategy and primary focus must return to every typical church on every street corner. That’s what the House of Prayer movement is doing. Rick Joyner says that if house of prayer leaders do their job well, they will work themselves out of that job. The true, biblical structure is the church, which is a house of prayer for all nations.
If houses of prayer succeed in their mission, there will no longer be a need for houses of prayer as we now know them.
The week of a key ministry event with Chuck Pierce, Barbara Yoder and other prophetic leaders in Ann Arbor, I received a strong prophetic word regarding Detroit. Time Magazine just reported on an element that I mentioned in the prophecy.
Here’s the word I received:
“Now, now, now! The church must arise and strategically contend for reformation and restoration in Detroit and throughout Michigan.” The Lord revealed that there is a “race of rooms” in this region. There are strategic and brilliant secular people gathering in a board room, strategically thinking, brain storming, discussing and making plans for the new economic structure in Detroit. I saw them in suits and ties sitting around a large board room table. I also saw another room. It had no table, but the walls were covered in LCD screens and white boards. There were several people on their knees groaning and crying out for breakthrough, for revelation from Heaven. This was a war room.
The race of rooms is between these two gatherings. Which new wine skin, new strategically developed foundation will be implemented?
Church Pierce mentioned something similar as he was sharing. He mentioned that those represented by the board room will ‘win’, will establish for a time. But, the church will initiate reformation shortly thereafter.
I just read the latest Time Magazine article on Detroit. Check out some of it and notice the similarities to the prophecy I received:
What do you get when you mix 60 Millennials, a dozen of Detroit's brightest thinkers and lots of coffee?
The potential to solve some of the city's policy problems.
This past weekend, I attended a conference that sparked some incredible discussions about Detroit, the region's significant challenges and what they both need to do to create lasting change.
The regional workshop is part of a year-long initiative, in which Roosevelt Institute members from across the Midwest will focus on creating actual public policy proposals for Detroit and the surrounding cities.
About 60 MSU students came together in suits, ties and dresses to talk about Detroit.
Detroit was a “magnificent middle-class society. Detroit has been devastated. People did this. It was not an act of God.”
Read more: http://detroit.blogs.time.com/
Rick Joyner and Larry Jackson will be here this weekend to help give direction to the church, to intercession and strategic advance in Detroit.
Many people are converging here. One of my intercessors saw four large (the size of a 747) eagles, each one looking different, but they each had a serious, determined look in their eyes. The flew from the four corners of the nation and converged in Detroit. These are prophetic/apostolic people that God is gathering to bring the sledgehammer to the demonic strongholds in Detroit. Reformation and revival is coming.
The times we are in are more important than any of us realize.
So goes Detroit, so goes the nation. This call is for every person to contend, pray and declare the Word of the Lord over this region.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
John Burton Ministries starts Revival Church in St. Clair Shores, MI, welcomes Jeff Garvin
St. Clair Shores, MI – November 14, 2009
The world is watching Detroit, waiting on the report of its complete demise or of a miraculous restoration.
John Burton launched Revival Church with that in mind.
“After traveling to the Detroit area to minister several times over the past year, it became obvious that a permanent move was in order. Our house sold in the Kansas City area in under a week, and we have since moved in and are ready to see a dramatic reformation in Detroit. My heart is to see a legitimate outpouring of God here that will bring order to chaos, life to hurting people and vibrancy to a desperate society.”
John Burton has been in ministry since 1991 and has written five books including 20 Elements of Revival, Revelation Driven Prayer and Six Enemies of Fulfilled Destiny. He was recently featured on the Miracle Channel (www.miraclechannel.ca) as he discussed the thrill and importance of living a prophetic life.
John also planted Revolution Church in Manitou Springs, Colorado, directed an internship at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri and gave leadership to a city-wide prayer initiative in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
After several pre-launch meetings in their home, John and Amy Burton, along with their three boys, would like to invite you to advance toward revival in their new location. Revival Church meets every Sunday evening at 6pm at First United Methodist Church at 24036 Greater Mack, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080.
Prophetic prayer starts at 5pm and children can be checked in for their ministry at 5:45pm.
They also host a weekly prayer and strategic revival radio show online every Monday at 8pm. You can listen at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/radio.
Internationally known prophetic revivalist Jeff Garvin, who was a significant part of the recent Lakeland, Florida Outpouring, will be ministering at Revival Church in December. He will be at a sister ministry, International House of Prayer East Detroit, on Friday, December 4th at 7pm, and at Revival Church on Saturday, December 5th at 7pm and Sunday, December 6th at 6pm.
I talked about my book Revelation Driven Prayer on an hour long episode of The Bridge.
You can watch the show as it airs tonight at 10pm Eastern. Head on over to www.miraclechannel.ca and click the ‘Watch Us Online’ banner on the top right.
You will also be able to view the archive starting tomorrow by going here: www.miraclechannel.ca/thebridge
ALSO: I’ll be preaching tomorrow (Friday) at IHOPE at 7pm. Come on out for a night of intercession, prophecy and fire!
I'm working on my 2010 calendar, and also have availability certain weeks during the rest of 2009. If you would like to schedule me to minister in your church or at your conference or event, visit www.praytherevolution.com/booking.
- Revival Nation Church– Join me in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada THIS SUNDAY morning at 10:30am as I minister the fire of the Holy Spirit. We can caravan- just let me know if you’d like to go and we’ll head out as a team. Email me at [email protected].
- Revival Church– Sunday evening we’ll contend for a strategic and overwhelming move of God in Detroit. Passionate and prophetic prayer starts at 5pm and we’ll flow right into the service at 6pm. www.detroitrevivalchurch.com
- Revival Radio– Join us every Monday at 8pm Eastern for prayer and discussion on advancing toward revival and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/radio
- Jeff Garvin– Jeff will be back with us in December for THREE NIGHTS. Friday, December 5th he’ll be at the International House of Prayer East Detroit and Saturday and Sunday evenings he’ll be at Revival Church. www.ihopedetroit.org
I wrote a book titled The Terror of Hell about an encounter I had with demons who were dragging me into the Earth- toward Hell.
I can’t begin to communicate the absolute terror that I experienced that night in the early 1990’s. However, the message that has caused me to tremble in the fear of the Lord ever since is this- many church goers, many people who have faithfully attended and supported the churches on the corners throughout our nation will be shocked beyond measure to find themselves in Hell one day.
I won’t go into the detail that is best found in the book, but suffice it to say that there is a critical connection between one’s salvation and one’s intimate relationship with Jesus.
I feel the infamous ‘sinner’s prayer’, when handled wrongly, can easily become a ticket to Hell instead of Heaven. We must never over-sell the prayer. We can’t guarantee someone’s position in Christ simply because they are having a rough day and decide that they want things to get better, and hope a prayer does the trick.
I was at an event recently that caused me to cringe. A pastor was leading a large room full of people, many of them children, in the sinner’s prayer. At the end of the prayer, everybody repeated after the pastor, “…thank you Jesus that I am saved.”
Is it possible that many of then may go through the rest of their lives with a tragically false assurance of their salvation?
A Crisis in the Church
Allow me to attach this to the emotion that’s raging in my heart right now. There is a move all across churchdom against the experiential reality of the Holy Spirit. People are increasingly anti-emotion, anti-trembling, anti-encounter, anti-feeling. It’s a left-brained world that’s resulting in a logical, passionless ‘connection’ with religion.
For me, to not be emotionally impacted in the presence of God should send red flags flying! How can we simply stand there are grin as the power of God burns around us?
Understand, people are tired of hype, false representations of the activity of the Holy Spirit, etc. They should be. I am too. However, the right reaction is not to deemphasize the dramatic, experiential activity of God. The appropriate response is to contend for it and settle for nothing less!
To dismiss the norm of living a revelation and encounter driven life, to not expect a biblical life to result in an inner trembling that never ends, is a terrifying proposition.
We can’t call for the presence of God to invade our lives and be absent of a powerful, prophetic, weighty encounter.
Here’s a great quote from someone who has grown tired of ‘charismania’ that I fully agree with:
- If I ever experience the “manifest presence of God” where human flesh cannot stand, that’d be great. But until then, I choose to avoid pale imitations.
Here’s other quote that causes concern:
- I’ve come to believe that the only definite thing we have to go on is what is promised to us in the Bible. And I don’t see the Bible as advocating an experience-oriented faith.
There must be an alarm sounded. God is real. He is to be encountered. He can be felt. He can be heard. This is a serious issue to say the least.
First- TONIGHT, Monday, November 2nd at 8pm Eastern (just over two hours from now) I’ll be live on blogtalkradio.com along with several other Revival Church ministers, revivalists and hungry people from all over the nation and around the world.
We’ll be praying, declaring and releasing fire into Detroit at 8pm sharp, and will then move into discussion on the topic of strategic revival.
You can participate by:
- Listening by visiting www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/radio.
- Listen by calling in at (646) 478-4408
- Listen AND join in on the show at (646) 478-4408
Also, a NEW teaching from yesterday’s service will be uploaded to www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/teaching SOON! It’s part two of Six Enemies of Fulfilled Destiny.
A WHATEVER CHURCH
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit raw, incredibly desperate. I am craving a revival and move of God in our region- and I’m certain that church as usual isn’t the appropriate structure.
There are over 19,000 cities in America, and none of them are experiencing revival. Something’s wrong.
There are hundreds of thousands of churches in America, and few are experiencing revival. Something is very wrong.
We can’t continue with the same structure, the same model of ministry.
Last night was an unusual night at Revival Church. Prayer started as it always does at 5pm. Then, at 6pm, when we were to launch into worship, our worship leader was having an encounter with the Lord. Several people were around her, praying, warring, interceding. Banners were being waved over her as she contended under a veil. It was powerful.
I leaned over to a friend and said, “Do you think it’s time to give the announcements and take the offering?” He laughed.
Yet, in many churches, the activity of the Holy Spirit would be stopped to ensure everything remained on schedule.
Well after the normal 6pm starting time, our worship leader shared about her encounter, about how fire was all over her hands. She remembered an encounter she had of going to heaven a year ago, and that the trembling is intense in her yet again.
I want that kind of person leading worship at Revival Church! I’m losing interest in all of the ‘supposed to’s’ of church planting. I am raw, and I want a raw move of the Holy Spirit.
I want a place where people tremble as they walk through the door.
Last night someone was praying and declaring on the microphone and she collapsed under the glory of God. She was still there as I started to preach.
A strong prophetic atmosphere kept increasing throughout the night, and several were impacted by revelation from God at the altar.
After it was all done, someone said, “Revival Church is a ‘whatever’ church. Whatever God wants to do at any time during the service just happens.”
I like that. I think we need a lot of “Whatever Churches” in our nation.