House of Prayer: A Revelation Driven House of Prayer model is coming to the Detroit region! You are invited to dive into the fire with us!
First! TONIGHT learn more about the coming house of prayer strategy as I teach at theLab on Revelation Driven Prayer! Perfect timing! You can audit this class for $25. Just show up and pay at the door TONIGHT, Thursday, January 31st at 7pm! (Cash, check, credit card)
Revival Church meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.
The purpose of this message is twofold:
- Explain the new house of prayer model that’s coming soon to the Detroit region
- Solicit help to find the perfect property to house it
Simply put, a Revelation Driven House of Prayer is a house of prayer marked by a sharp and vibrant prophetic fire.
We have experienced absolutely stunning miracles throughout the years when we have employed this revelation driven model of intercession. You can listen to some of the dramatic stories that we lived through in Manitou Springs, Colorado. I shared them Sunday at Revival Church. Listen to the house of prayer stories here: http://media.johnburton.net/6670824
This house of prayer model embraces various styles of prayer including decrees, soaking, declaring the Word, worship and others. The common thread is encounter and response to the heart of God.
Additionally, there is a mysterious yet powerful balance between brokenness and exuberant joy. Between repentance and freedom. Grief and victory.
Simply know this, it won’t be a despair driven house of prayer! Sadness, depression, frustration, unbelief and hopelessness are not a part of the strategy! Joy, freedom, dancing, victory and bold authority to advance revival in our region will fuel us!
As we advance together, a powerful and constant prophetic atmosphere will be developed, and we will watch miracle after miracle occur as we respond to the revelation God gives us. It will be an adventure to say the least!
The Revelation Driven House of Prayer Plan
While the specifics can change as we get closer to launch, the plan currently includes:
- Revival Church is the foundation on which the house of prayer will exist. The property we find will house both (which are really one, but for the sake of communicating this fresh vision, I’m making distinctions.)
- Two primary weekly encounter services (Saturday & Sunday nights)
- One Revival Church service (Sunday morning)
- Joyful, weighty worship
- Revelation Driven Prayer Monday & Tuesday nights
- Verse-by-verse Bible study Wednesday nights
- theLab Class Thursday nights
- City focused events off site Friday nights
- Daily noon worship & soaking prayer (Mon-Fri)
- This model will be reproduced in our Tribes, and in other cities around the world! We are ready to bring our team to your location to help launch a Revelation Driven House of Prayer!
- We are ready to start the new house of prayer immediately. Can you help us find a property? Here’s what we need:
- Within approx 7 miles of our current location in Madison Heights. Troy, Warren, Royal Oak, Sterling Heights and other nearby places could work well.
- At least 8,000 square feet, preferably closer to 20,000
- A large open room that can hold a large stage plus at least 150 chairs
- Parking for a minimum of 30 cars, preferably over 50
- Air conditioned
- Good condition/move in ready
- Offices and classrooms
- Zoned correctly and no modifications necessary to house a church (for example, buildings designed for large assemblies must have a certain type and number of restrooms)
- Approx $2000/month to lease, or a donation of a property to Revival Church
- Could be an existing church (which would be the easiest), a warehouse, industrial property, etc.
Additionally, we are currently fundraising for the new house of prayer. We need to raise an additional $45,000. We are encouraging people to ask the Lord about making a significant, special donation in addition to regular tithes. Get creative in your giving! Real estate, jewelry, vehicles, etc. will help us reach this goal! You can give online at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/donate. All donations are tax deductible.
Some have made faith pledge, and you can do the same by emailing us at [email protected]. All it would take is nine people pledging $5000 over the next few months! Just mention the house of prayer property in your submission!
The Coming Church is a revelation of what God is about to do in the church of our nation—read the first 50 pages now!
FIRST: Tomorrow, Thursday, January 31st, at 7pm I want to encourage you to audit theLab class Revelation Driven Prayer! Pay $25 at the door (cash, check, credit card) and learn how to hear the voice of God and experience a life of 100% effective prayer!
Revival Church and theLab meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.
Many have been asking for a sneak peek, so here it is! It’s a very rough draft, so if you notice any grammatical edits that are necessary, I’d love for you to alert me via email at [email protected]. Enjoy!
(I’ll include the first short segment below, and then you can download the PDF here: www.johnburton.net/files/docs/TheComingChurchp9-53.pdf)
~ One ~
Spiritual encounters, whether they are visions, dreams or visitations can go a long way in preparing individuals, groups, and even nations for the otherworldly, dramatic and critical shifts that God is setting into motion. Of course, we know in scripture that spiritual things must be discerned spiritually, and it’s important to understand clearly what’s being communicated. We also know that all dreams, for example, are not necessarily spiritual dreams. That must be discerned. I challenge you to stay up until 3 AM and then eat a bucket of hot wings, a can of Mountain Dew and a half a gallon of ice cream and see what kind of crazy images dance around in your head when you finally fall asleep. Experiences like that won’t shake nations. However, the encounter I had absolutely must.
I had a vision of the soon coming church. For me, a spiritual revelation, a message delivered directly by the Creator of the world, is usually very easy to discern. It’s rare that I have to go to someone seeking out an interpretation. The scene and the message are almost always extremely vivid and revealing. I immediately understand what the players and the atmosphere and the story line are attempting to communicate to me.
This particular encounter was no different – in fact, it was so striking, fearful, engulfing and overpowering that the imagery and message will keep me trembling in my spirit forever.
In order to appreciate the magnitude of the message that was communicated to me in the vision, it will be helpful to understand the context. If you can imagine, at least to an incredibly small degree, the picture of the church that God himself sees, it shouldn’t be a stretch to realize the picture of the church that we see on the Earth clearly cannot match up. Meaning, when God drew up the glorious church leading up to its launch in the book of Acts, that diagram that was before him looks little like the church we see today. God’s church looks little like the church we have come to know.
Acts 2:1-3 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
Do me a favor and read that passage in Acts chapter 2 one more time. I want those three verses to dive into your spirit and shake you up. When God started diagramming the church, this is what he envisioned — this is where he started. When you compare this passage of Scripture with descriptions of the modern-day church as we know it, it seems like were comparing apples and oranges.
I’d like to ask you to read the passage one more time. As I’m writing this, I feel the Spirit of the Lord starting to burn in my inner man. Let me pray for you right now just before you read it again:
Mighty God, I pray the burnings of your Spirit would be transmitted into your friends heart. Give them a glimpse into the supernatural yet strikingly real realm of the church. Give them the capacity to release old paradigms, structures, traditions, mind sets and cultures as they come alive to the reality of the church as you see it. Amen.
Okay, go ahead and read the passage in Acts chapter 2 one more time.
Acts 2:1-3 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
Is it becoming a little bit easier to understand just what the church should look like? You see, as God designed and then launched the church, it was literally blowing and burning and every one of them in that upper room experienced it. As we begin to embrace the truth that passages like this are not science fiction, and that they communicate actual phenomenons that are to be normal for us as Believers, it will become easier to leave behind what we know and press toward the soon coming church. We will suddenly find ourselves so deeply dissatisfied that any thought of maintenance becomes quite insane.
Now, keep in mind that this fiery reality was communicated to us by Jesus, by the Word. This passage is the Word of God, not simply a descriptive, historical report. So, God’s plan is for the church to be a supernatural raging furnace of Holy Spirit activity.
I have heard it said that the only thing more powerful than the Word of God is tradition. The traditions of man overpower the greatest power in existence — Jesus Christ himself. Do you feel the weight of that? Is it possible that we need to embrace the fear of the Lord again? The thought of allowing man-made concepts, structures or agendas to push aside and nullify God’s plans seems ridiculous. Yet it happens with stunning regularity every day all over the world.
Mark 7:13 …making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down…
Of course it’s true that the definition of the church cannot be limited to one perspective of one segment of the greater structure. It is certainly true, as is revealed later on in Acts chapter 2, that the healthy church will include wonderful fellowship, breaking of bread, powerful preaching, discipleship, evangelism, prayer and other critical activities. However, what we see in the church today is a lot of activity, even good activity, but usually without the tangible burning and blowing of God’s Spirit.
Read more here: www.johnburton.net/files/docs/TheComingChurchp9-53.pdf
This is a MUST listen teaching! I share remarkable stories that make it clear that we must embrace conflict and judgment!
A shocking shift hit us last night at Revival Church!
I’ll include my notes from the entire series below.
Here some bullet points from last night’s teaching:
- You have to know that ministry that is born of God and prophetic in nature is designed to bring friction!
- People will love you until you don’t give them what they want and do give them what they don’t want!
- Since ministry is all about change, friction should be expected, and if you are adverse to friction, you are not ready for ministry!
- So many are content with just learning more and more who they are and what they get as Christians, and their goal is to attempt to live in this happy, positive realm.
- Teaching that attempts to reveal who we are in Christ without resulting in a revelation of what we do for Christ has miserably failed.
- When the world was crying out for relief, Jesus brought conflict! Friction! What greater friction could there be when Jesus was on the cross? The nails as they were driven through his flesh-friction! The hatred and mocking-friction! His closest friend, his Father, turning his head—friction!
- Nehemiah was fervent and he initiated friction…and the fire returned.
Fire: Fervency & Friction
I. A call to provoke
a. A goal is to be the most fiery, fervent, passionate body of Believers in Detroit—not because we are trying to build the Revival Church brand, but because we want to simply live according to the Biblical norm!
i. We want 1000 people who are burning, on fire… praying non-stop, moving against resistance, taking dominion!
ii. A remnant is rising up, bold prophetic messengers who will fear God, preach the cross, call to repentance & emphasize the reality of Hell.
iii. This will result in a great provocation!
iv. A key problem with communicating reform in the church is that most presume it will enhance the familiar, not eradicate it.
1. What this means is that our comfort and what we like is at risk of demolition!
2. We are the initiators of this great reform!
b. When we have a great understanding of who we are in Christ, we will not only stop fearing conflict, but we will joyfully seek to initiate it.
c. There’s simply no way we will be able to stay silent! Carriers of fire are constantly provoked!
i. With a spirit of great love and deep concern for those in darkness, our confidence in the power in our lives will result in action!
ii. That provocation, that friction, that fervent spirit will result in an atmosphere of fire, of awakening in our generation!
iii. Our goal as a prophetic people is not primarily to make people feel good! It’s to bring the trouble that’s hidden under the surface, to the surface for the sake of freedom.
1. The great counterfeit won't come to you as a counterfeit. He'll come to you as the Holy Spirit. Howard Pittman
iv. A spirit of religion doesn't restrict personal freedom, it emphasizes it…and violently reacts against anything that would threaten it.
1. A spirit of truth will cut, prune, trouble…before it liberates.
2. That’s why it’s so resisted… until someone hits rock bottom! That’s why calamity has to come to a nation before repentance is shouted!
3. It’s time to violently shake the sleepers, and warn the wicked, and trouble the church!
4. Ephesians 5:8-14 (ESV) 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
5. In a spirit of great humility and love, we must expose darkness, and that requires that we are OK with friction.
6. Though many of you are entertained by my Facebook posts, I really do have a mission in mind.
a. As a prophetic messenger, my intent is to provoke people by the Spirit of God to a fresh level of discernment.
b. On Facebook, Twitter, on my blog, in these audio teachings, on XPmedia, etc. my only goal is to fervently create friction that results in fire in people’s lives.
d. Now, clearly, we talk a lot about fire around here, and that’s by design.
i. To create a fire you need the right conditions. I’m going to talk about two of them:
e. When you rub two sticks together, you have to get the sawdust that is created heated up to 800 degrees before it will start glowing.
i. Below 800 degrees it will give off a little smoke, but little else.
ii. We cannot afford to be a ministry of smoke.
iii. Anything that prevents the sawdust from reaching 800 degrees will interfere with fire making.
iv. Interestingly, the finer the sawdust is, the lower the temperature necessary for it to ignite. Fervency + friction = fire.
1. If you don't have enough muscle power then you won't be able to raise the temperature high enough. Remedy: teamwork. Have someone else help you.
2. If the structure of the wood is such that it disintegrates before it reaches 800 degrees then it is a wood that should not be used.
3. Volatile substances such as water or resin in the wood. Evaporative cooling will prevent the sawdust from reaching the critical temperature.
4. Someone said: What makes me feel even better is getting a group of people to contribute towards the starting of a fire. I can think of no better way to bond a group of people.
5. Someone else said: Starting a fire is a sacrament.
a. Don't let the best you have ever done be the standard for the rest of your life.
i. It’s time to urgently go after the dream!
ii. Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” “Every great movement in the annals of history,” said Emerson, “is the triumph of enthusiasm.” Hegel propounded the same truth. He said, “We affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”
1. We can’t be so focused on personal experience that it’s to the detriment of personal accomplishment.
iii. Romans 12:11 (ESV) 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
iv. Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV) 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
1. Make the best use of our time!
2. 24/7 church of urgent, fervent fire!
v. Isaiah 59:17 (ESV) 17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
1. Jesus put on zeal!
2. There is a reason to burn! To be fervent! To have an urgent spirit!
b. Nehemiah 1:1-3 (ESV) 1 .. one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”
i. What should the response be??!
ii. Nehemiah 1:4 (ESV) 4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
iii. Nehemiah hit his face and cried out and repented.
iv. If we are looking for personal comfort, we will actually resist the brokenness and grieving that will result in a fervent response!
v. “The desire for comfort can be your enemy. If the source of your comfort is not The Comforter, false comfort will eventually destroy you.”
vii. Hebrews 12:14 (ESV) 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
c. We must be always on…always alert. Fervent. Striving. Rending our hearts.
i. The word “strive” in the Greek literally means to fight, to contend, to labor fervently.
ii. We must strive, be fervent! Urgent!
iii. “God has called us to be the sworn enemies of sin. We are to wage war against it and strive to give it no opportunity in our lives.” ~ William Wilberforce, Real Christianity
iv. There is a fervent, striving spirit that we must get used to in our lives.
v. The culture is a sinful, destructive culture, and we have to fight against it!
vi. No more simply seeking out comfort and relaxation! We must go hard!
1. The code word for ‘pursuing Jesus hard' is “legalism!” Don't be intimidated by these false arguments. ~Mike Bickle
2. A false grace message will result in a lack of motivation to respond in wholeheartedness. ~Mike Bickle
3. Charles F. Kettering of General Motors once said that he didn't want any fellow “who has a job working for me.” Kettering wanted a fellow whom a job has. The job must get the fellow, not the fellow get the job. That job should get hold of this young man so hard that no matter where he is the job has got him for keeps. That job should have him in its clutches when he goes to bed at night. In the morning, that same job should be sitting on the foot of his bed telling him it's time to get up and go to work. When a job gets a fellow that way, he'll amount to something. —Donald Grey Barnhouse
4. Even entering rest requires fervent striving! Hebrews 4:11-13 (ESV) 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
5. Rest only come as we allow the breaking, refining process to hit us.
6. Deliverance story… the man manifesting, both me and him striving, warring… until he was free. Daniel for hours until freedom came.
vii. We also have to be fervent regarding our salvation!
1. Luke 13:24 (ESV) 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
viii. Our missions require striving.
ix. We so often hear the expression “the voice of an angel” that I got to wondering what an angel would sound like. So I did some research, and discovered that an angel's voice sounds remarkably like a person saying, “Hurry up!” Until the time I took over, research had been blocked because it was based on the delusion that the voice of an angel would always be beautiful. The words “Get up” are rarely beautiful, never less so than at 7 a.m. Yet that is what the angels always say when they talk to men, as reported in the Bible. I can't think of anything an angel ever said but “Get up and hurry!” An angel comes to Peter in jail and says, “Rise quickly.” An angel says to Gideon, “Arise and go in this thy might.” An angel says to Elijah, “Arise and eat.” An angel appears to Joseph in a dream, when Herod is slaughtering the infants, and says, “Go quickly.” An angel appears to Philip and says, “Arise and go.” Really, the angels are monotonous talkers! They always say the same thing—”Arise, hurry!” But so is a fire bell monotonous. It might be a good idea to allow an angel to occupy the pulpit on Sunday. —The Christian Century
d. Cover to cover in scripture we see stories of fervency, of war, of battle, of advance.
i. To know God requires that you know him as a fervent, aggressive God!
ii. If our understanding of God is limited to knowing him as “Daddy,” we are missing the wonder of his fearful shock and awe.
iii. When the people cried out Hosanna for Jesus to save them, to comfort them, he gave them a crisis—the cross.
iv. He was fervent in his perfect expression of love!
v. This is why a foundation of our strategy includes deep groans of intercession!
1. There’s an urgency in the spirit that will awaken as we allow God to groan through us!
e. 1 Timothy 4:6-10 (ESV) 6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
1. Wesley: Train thyself up in holiness of heart and life, with the utmost labor, vigor, and diligence.
2. Life Application: “Training” emphasizes the point that spiritual development does not happen by chance. An athlete is focused and committed, constantly training, refusing to let up, always striving.
a. I’m fervent for many reasons…one of which is that I know I am not guaranteed Heaven. I can’t even imagine not being with the one I’ve fallen in love with! We need to fervently exhort, to call each other higher!
3. Hebrews 3:12-13 (ESV) 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
a. When you go hard for God, when you fix what others don’t see as broken, when you threaten other’s comfort zones, there will be friction!
i. You have to know that ministry that is born of God and prophetic in nature is designed to bring friction!
ii. People will love you until you don’t give them what they want and do give them what they don’t want!
iii. Since ministry is all about change, friction should be expected, and if you are adverse to friction, you are not ready for ministry!
b. The gospel means conflict and confrontation, and all who stand for righteousness will be resisted. DR Michael Brown
i. If a key motivation for you is to be liked and for resistance and friction to be at a minimum, it will require disobedience to God to accomplish that.
c. Mission Manitou
i. Friction will find you if you advance against the enemy, if you advance the Kingdom of God.
ii. Mission Manitou: God called us to transition from ministering to people to ministering to God.
1. This was resisted like you will never know!
2. The people who expected to be the center of our attention rose up against us and brought some serious wounding to Amy and myself… God bless them!!!
3. But, most revealing was how the enemy reacted!!!
I’m sending this to a few men and women of God who walk in great authority. We are undergoing a significant attack, and I’m doing my best to draw as much attention from churches and intercessors to this city as possible.
A pastor actually told me, “Manitou Springs is a God forsaken city.”
Not so… but, it has been greatly forsaken and forgotten and feared by so many believers in this region. We are standing strong here, but are in desperate need of reinforcements. The mission is both at great jeopardy AND at the brink of unbelievable advance.
Since we’ve moved into our new Mission Base, and have begun 24/7 intercession, the enemy has reacted harshly and quickly. I have received many emails over the last 3 weeks from people in Manitou Springs and as far away as Egypt. Everyone from the “worshipful master” of the Masons to the earth spirit pagans to the twelve tribe cult has contacted me. A city council member visited us as well. It’s been prophesied many times that a huge season of demonic resistance would hit us. We’re in the beginnings of that season, and we are vulnerable. We need much help and intercession.
Here are some snips of emails I’ve gotten lately:
- Today I am inspired by you to organize people myself. You have wakened the giant. May Lilith find a way to show the way.- Child of Lilith
- If it's a “spiritual war” you want, you'll get one, as we WILL defend our home. You begun a battle you cannot possibly hope to win. I look forward to crushing your little assault beneath our collective, spiritual boots.
- I do not want your prayers, and neither do any of the other people. Yes, you have the freedom to do so, but it is not wanted.
These emails are just the beginning, and they are the result of nothing more than 24/7 prayer.
4. Are you ready to take Detroit! Are you ready for the fight? 24/7 prayer must happen now! We need a property now!
d. Story of “I’m going to get one more senior than her.” (a witch for 22 years)
i. Many opposed the vent including a witch and a satanic priest.
ii. A spiritual conflict was about to cause problems, and freedom!!!!
iii. During prayer- God is going to visit people in the city.
iv. At the vent, someone came to me and shared a strange word that “heads are going to roll.”
v. Right after that, someone else had a word that was shared publicly “God wants the heads, specifically in the local ranks of witches.”
vi. A senior witch of 50 years had a visitation of Jesus!
1. I’m writing my next book, The Coming Church, and one of the key changes to the church is a loss of the fear of man and apostolic teaching that causes as much trouble as help.
vii. So many are content with just learning more and more who they are and what they get as Christians, and their goal is to attempt to live in this happy, positive realm.
1. A revelation of God will always result in a revelation of our own wretched condition—and this is good news!
a. We want this conflict!
b. After Isaiah sees God, he sees himself!
2. Isaiah 6:1-4 (ESV) 1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
3. Isaiah 6:5 (ESV) 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
a. If you want to see God, get ready for conflict!
b. Get ready to be commissioned!
c. Get ready to receive your assignment!
viii. Teaching that attempts to reveal who we are in Christ without resulting in a revelation of what we do for Christ has miserably failed.
1. Titus 2:11-15 (ESV) 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. 15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
a. Renounce! Zealous for good works! Declare! Exhort! Rebuke!
2. And, what we do for Christ will cause great trouble!
3. We are called to be peace makers, not peace keepers!
4. That requires conflict and friction.
5. What you are called to do will threaten what others are trying to do.
6. This is the spirit of religion. This is what causes churches to resist one another! This is what causes jealousy!
e. Nehemiah 4:1-3 (ESV) 1 Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. 2 And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?” 3 Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”
i. Resistance! Mocking! Anger! Rage!
ii. How did Nehemiah respond? He prayed for friction!
iii. Nehemiah 4:4-5 (ESV) 4 Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. 5 Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders.
1. Jameison-Fausset-Brown: The imprecations invoked here may seem harsh, cruel, and vindictive; but it must be remembered that Nehemiah and his friends regarded those Samaritan leaders as enemies to the cause of God and His people, and therefore as deserving to be visited with heavy judgments. The prayer, therefore, is to be considered as emanating from hearts in which neither hatred, revenge, nor any inferior passion, but a pious and patriotic zeal for the glory of God and the success of His cause, held the ascendant sway.
f. The next five words are brilliant: Nehemiah 4:6 (ESV) 6 So we built the wall.
i. Nehemiah 4:16-17 (ESV) 16 From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, 17 who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other.
g. We must be in conflict and building!
h. The greater you advance in God, the more threatened the religious will become!
i. Nehemiah 6:1-3 (ESV) 1 Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3 And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
1. I talked with one of Sid Roth’s guests and he said the greatest and most fierce demonic resistance explodes out of people when he deals with the false grace message. The walls we are called to build, to restore the biblical church, will result in a ferocious demonic assault.
ii. It happened with Jesus too!
1. When the world was crying out for relief, Jesus brought conflict!
iii. Friction! What greater friction could there be when Jesus was on the cross? The nails as they were driven through his flesh-friction! The hatred and mocking-friction! His closest friend, his Father, turning his head—friction!
iv. I teach in my book Covens in the Church on resisting spirits against the move of God.
1. One of the steps, under the direction of God, is to pray for judgment.
2. Shaking! Building in Manitou! Fiery prayer revealed the dissenter. His motives were soon revealed.
3. A pure spirit of love will agree with judgment and friction… if I would have done nothing, people under my care would have been poisoned!
a. Now get this… here’s the goal: The fervency and the friction will result in a fire.
i. Nehemiah 7:1 (ESV) 1 Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed…
ii. Leviticus 6:12-13 (ESV) 12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out. The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall arrange the burnt offering on it and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. 13 Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.
b. Nehemiah was fervent and he initiated friction…and the fire returned.
Four Demon Accusations That Stop Spiritual Warriors
Wow! This article by Jonas Clark is right on…and timely! You can see the original article here: http://www.jonasclark.com/spiritual-warfare-prayer/demon-accusations-hindrances-spiritual-warriors.html
Spiritual Warfare and Prayer
Demon powers know how to stop most Christians. You are not like most Christians. You can see what others don’t. How you see Jesus affects your life. Jesus was a spiritual warrior. After the anointing of the Holy Ghost came on Jesus He rebuked demons, faced Satan, healed the sick, and spoiled principalities and powers. He defeated death, hell and the grave. He is your redeemer and he is risen!
spiritual warfare is part of Christianity and the spiritual warfare is not over. Historically, the rise and fall of spiritual power within the Church of Christ has been related to the acknowledgement and opposition toward demonic principalities and powers. As leaders recognized the spiritual warfare caused by demon powers they equipped believers to use their delegated spiritual authority to fight back. When leaders ignored the dark rulers of this world believers and the Church suffered.
You are in a spiritual war whether you want to be or not. Jesus did not ignore demon powers and he didn’t teach his apostles to ignore them either (Matthew 10:1). The Apostle Paul taught the church in Ephesus how to battle saying,
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor 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 armor of God that ye may be able to withstand (fight back) in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
Warriors wear armor. Armor is for the fighting man. Paul likens spiritual opposition to warfare. He teaches five important truths.
- Christ’s followers should be strong in the Lord.
- Be full of spiritual power.
- Recognize devils have wiles or tactics.
- The battle is a spiritual battle not a natural one.
- Spiritual warriors wear God’s armor.
- The battle ready fight back.
The Apostle Paul knew much about the spiritual opposition against him. “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). He continually uses warfare terms when teaching and training leaders:
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
A GOOD SOLDIER
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:3)
NO MAN THAT WARRETH
“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4)
WAR A GOOD WARFARE
“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare.” (1 Timothy 1:18)
WAR NOT AFTER THE FLESH
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:” (2 Corinthians 10:3)
WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. “ (2 Corinthians 10:4)
Paul uses terms such as soldier, fight, weapons and armor. Warfare means “armed conflict against an enemy.” As Christians we understand there are many spiritual enemies of Christ including demons, principalities and powers. Included in that list of spiritual enemies but seldom discussed are the systems, structures, kingdoms, and organizations that demon inspired people build. This is something worth thinking about. Christians should not yoke themselves with systems the demon influenced build like fiat money printing and exotic financial instrument schemes such as junk bonds, abortion clinics and drugs, or thief by political deception. These are the results of demonic influence. Satan’s cohorts come only to steal, kill and destroy. This is one way to identify them.
spiritual warfare is a spiritual fight against a spiritual enemy. Paul identifies those enemies as:
- Rulers of the darkness of this world
- Spiritual wickedness in high places
Again, our battle is not against flesh and blood. Our warfare is a battle in the spirit that manifest in the natural. Win spiritually and things get better and better naturally. Lose spiritually and things get worse and worse naturally. This is where the Word of God and battling prayer become vital to the disciple of Christ. There are many different types of prayer. Not all prayer stops demon powers. Mature in the Word and learn how to pray.
INCREASING IN DISCERNMENT
Are you afraid to discern the presence of demon activities? Some are. Demons influence people and their activities must be discerned. You can’t stop them by ignoring then. Evil spirits, spirits of infirmity, seducing spirits, spirits of error, unclean spirits, anti-Christ spirits, Jezebel spirits and divination spirits have infiltrated the Church. They target the high places of authority and power. Sometimes these spirits work alone and at other times they network together.
Some have been victimized by evil spirits because they are afraid to judge demonic operations. Apostle John taught to try the spirits. He said, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). As already said spirits work through people. To “try the spirits” means to put them to the test. When you do this devils respond. Here are four things spirits use to stop your spiritual discernment:
- Don’t judge least you be judged.
- Let the one without sin throw the first stone.
- The measure you use to judge someone else will be measured back to you.
- Take the beam out of your own eye first.
The list goes on and on. Did you notice the devil will use the bible to stop bible believing people? Yes everyone should examine their own hearts “first” but spiritual discernment requires sound judgment. You must judge. To judge simply means to make a judgment. Making a judgment “is not” being judgmental. A judgmental person is a fault finder. That’s not what we are discussing.Christians should never be fault finders or false accusers. We are writing about spiritual discernment that affects lives. Remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, that’s people, but against demonic spirits.
You make judgments every day. You believe what you hear or you don’t. No you are not judging any ones salvation, that’s between them and God, but you are judging what spirit they are flowing in and the fruit of their lives and ministries. Good trees bear good fruit. Bad trees bear bad fruit. This is where shared values and world views come.
Listening to and being around people lets you know what they value. You make judgments during conversation and by watching people’s actions. What do they embrace? Value? Pursue? Talk about? Value based judgment happens every day. Scripture says, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Shared values draw people together. Those core values govern your life. Values determine your relationships with others. Shared values empower folks to walk together. People fellowship with each other based on shared values.
- What you value you will pursue.
- What you value you will protect.
- What you value you will enjoy.
- What you value you will fight for.
- What you value you will keep.
- Decisions are based on what you value.
Churches are built on shared values, political groups are built on shared values, organizations are built on shared values and relationships are built on shared values. Values differ. You spend time with people that value what you do. That’s human nature. Scripture says we are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple” of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
How would you know if you are unequally yoked if you don’t’ make a judgment? In this scripture the Apostle Paul was not being judgmental against unbelievers. He was pointing this out for your protection. It is guidance for the sons and daughters of God. Christ authorized you to make judgments about people. Yes he did. Christ said, “You shall know them.” In other words, you shall accurately know them.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matthew 7:16-18)
WEAPONS OF MASS DEFLECTION
It is unscriptural for someone to tell you not to judge because the spiritual man judges all things. Scripture makes this clear, “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things yet he himself is judged of no man” (1 Corinthians 2:15). Did you get that? The spiritual man judges all things. Are you a spiritual man? To judge, Greek anakrinō,means:
- To investigate, examine, enquire into, scrutinize, sift and question.
- As a judge would hold an investigation.
- To interrogate and examine the accused or witnesses.
- To judge, estimate, determine (the excellence or defects of any person or thing.
Christ never taught his followers to ignore demonic spirits. Don’t let demon spirits use their weapons of mass deflection to stop your spiritual discernment. As already stressed, you are not to unfairly judge people, be judgmental, mean spirited and hurtful, condemn people or judge their salvation. This article is about demons stopping a Christian’s spiritual discernment. You must make judgments as you seek to weigh what you hear and what you see against the written Word of God. It takes spiritual maturity to see things as they really are. Demon powers know how to stop most Christians. You are not like most Christians.
Life with John and Amy: Easily connect with the Revival Church family THIS SATURDAY at our home!
First, tonight is going to be HOT! I’ll be teaching on “Fire—Fervency and Friction.” Tonight’s emphasis is on friction. What should we expect as end-time warriors in the Kingdom of God?
Revival Church meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.
Life with John and Amy
Every month we will gather together as a revival family at John and Amy’s house for a FULL night of food, fun (like ping pong!), worship, prayer and discussion on fulfilling your ministry!
Bring food to share! We’ll enjoy eating together! It could be fried chicken, nachos, dessert, an appetizer or anything else!
This is for you if you desire any of the following:
- Discovering how to fulfill your ministry
- Eating a lot of food with new friends
- Playing ping pong
- Prophetic ministry
- Learning the ins and outs of ministry leadership
- Worshiping with other zealots for Jesus
It all begins THIS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 at 6pm at the Burton homestead! 64639 Tara Hill Drive, Washington, MI 48095. Invite anybody you want, bring food and get ready for a fun filled night! (Oh yeah, bring the kids!)
theLab has been in over 60 churches in Detroit to pray for revival, and tonight we return to one of our absolute favorites!
You are invited TONIGHT to dive into the fire in the heart of Detroit! It will bless you POWERFULLY! (Trust me…you will be so honored to participate with this amazing people!!)
I will be preaching and we will encounter the fire of God through intercession and discussion on city strategies tonight at 7pm!
Kingdom Embassy is located at: 10526 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, Michigan 48221
Come early and bring your friends and family as we lock arms with our faithful friends and fellow warriors!
Manitou Springs Event: Revolution Experience—Three Nights of Fire
Registration is FREE but REQUIRED for this powerful three night experience in the mountains of Colorado!
Register TODAY at www.rhop.com/revolutionexperience!
I will be bringing a team of intercessors and revivalists from Revival Church in Detroit and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City to pray and contend for a spirit of awakening in the Pikes Peak region.
Worship, intercession, powerful teaching, impartation and personal prophetic ministry are on the agenda for REVOLUTION EXPERIENCE at Revolution House of Prayer.
Wednesday, February 6th through Friday, February 8th at 7pm nightly we will experience an explosive atmosphere of Holy Spirit joy and freedom!
Spread the word and register early!
RHOP is located at 12 Old Man’s Trail, Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829.
Christians in Hell: “The rate of Heaven and Hell is 1 to 1000.” (Matt 7:14)
Heaven and Hell: A Thousand to One By Rev. Park, Yong Gyu. http://www.DivineRevelations.info/PARK
In 1987, Reverend Park had died from high blood pressure. But by the grace of God, his life was extended for another 20 years. However, for the first four years, he was not able to speak due to his condition. He was about 50 years old when he had come back to life. During his death, the Lord showed him to Heaven and Hell.
I want you to know if you are arrogant and prideful, you will bring curses upon yourself. I had a mega church of 5000 members but I was struck down by God due to my arrogance. Now I fear God. (James 4:6)
I used to own property worth about 150 million US dollars. I owned five luxury cars. But after my death experience, I gave it all away. Please remember, salvation cannot be achieved by your possessions but through faith. And now I plead to the deacons, elders, and the other leaders in their churches to serve your pastors with all your heart.
On December 19, 1987, after I had finished my lunch and while I was resting, I began to feel excruciating pain, it was so unbearable that I felt as though I was going to die. Then I lost consciousness. I woke up four months later in a vegetated state, and my doctor told me that I would eventually die. All my body parts were mangled very badly from the paralysis. And my family had never allowed any of the church members to visit due to my horrible appearance. Then I finally died.
When I died, I saw two people enter my room. But these people had entered into my room through the wall. I screamed, “Who, who are you!! My house will crumble down if you do that!!” Then one said, “We are angels descended from Heaven. We are from God’s kingdom.” A brilliant light shinned from the angels.
The angel to my right introduced himself. “I run errand for Jesus in His kingdom. Jesus called me and commanded me to go down to the Earth. He commanded me to take you to Heaven. You are dead. But since your family cries out with so much sadness, He desires to grant you a little more time to live. But for now, He desires to show you Heaven and Hell. He will show you and you will witness to the people of the Earth. May the number of people
who end up in Hell be decreased and the number of people going to Heaven increased through your testimony. This will be your mission. God instructed us to tell you not to delay. If you delay, you will not be able to visit Heaven and Hell.”
Then the angel to my left said, “The moment you were born and until the moment you had died, I had been with you.” At that time, I did not understand what the angel had meant. Now I know. He was my guardian angel. So I said, “I cannot go! I will not go! I am a pastor! I cannot meet the Lord in this physical condition. I want to see Him as a healthy person. I would probably be receiving more rebukes than compliments from the Lord. I am prideful and arrogant and now I am cursed and sick. How am I able to enter Heaven? I am so scared. Please go back to Heaven and ask the Lord to heal me. Then come back and take me to Heaven through my dream. Please ask for mercy on my behalf.”
But the angels were not listening to my arguments. They took my clothes off and said that they were too filthy to be wearing in Heaven. They then clothed me in a white gown. (Zech 3:4)
They grabbed my hands and we flew straight up to Heaven. We flew through the clouds and as I looked down, I saw the Earth becoming smaller. They let me go near an endless Golden Street. I saw a brilliant shining light, too bright to look directly at. I said, “Where is the light coming from?” “It is from Heaven” the angel responded.
I thought, “Wow! It is huge!” I saw groups of people in white gowns flying ahead. “Who are they?” I asked.
The angel replied, “They are the ones who had served God faithfully and trusted in Jesus by obeying and following the lead of the Holy Spirit with all their heart. Their bodies are dead on Earth. They are now the souls heading toward Heaven.”
The other angel continued, “There are twelve gates in Heaven. When a saved soul comes to Heaven, they must enter through one of those gates.” We were standing in the south gate but it was closed. As we were waiting, I asked the angel, “Angels, why is this gate not opening?”
The angel replied, “It is because you are not singing the Heavenly worship song.” (Psalms 100:4)
I asked, “Angels, I was very prideful and arrogant and as a result I was cursed with sickness. I am not good at singing Earthly worship songs. How am I able to sing Heavenly worship songs when I had never heard it before?”
The angel replied, “You are correct. But you must still prepare yourself to worship. You are a prideful person but prepare to sing.” The angels began to sing. As they sang, I began to sing with them. It became natural to me, and we entered in.
The scene of Heaven was indescribable. I can’t describe Heaven with my Earthly words. I said, “Lord! Thank you so much! Even though, I was very prideful and arrogant and cursed with a sickness, You have still brought me to Heaven to show me around.”
I then heard the voice of God, “My beloved Pastor Park, Yong Gyu, I welcome you. You have made a long journey here.” His voice was overflowing with love and tenderness.
I replied back crying in tears, “Lord,….” The angels immediately said, “you have been a pastor for 20 years. Do you not know your scriptures? There are no tears in Heaven. Please stop it!” I was not even able to cry. (Rev. 21:4)
The Lord then asked me five questions.
“How much time did you spend reading the Word (bible)?
How much did you give of offerings?
How many times have you evangelized to people? Did you tithe properly?
How much time did you spend in prayer?”
I could not answer the fifth question. The Lord rebuked me for the fifth question.
“After you had become a mega church pastor, you had become very lazy with prayer. Being busy is no excuse to Me!” I had to repent of it later. “The angels will show you many places in Heaven and of Hell. Look around as much as you desire. You will leave after witnessing many different places in Heaven and Hell.” But the Lord did not allow me to see His appearance.
The angels first took me to three different places in Heaven. In the first place, I saw little children living together.
The second place was where the adults lived.
The third place was where the souls had barely made it to Heaven. Even though they made it to
Heaven, they had made it shamefully.
Many people had asked me how old the little children were. They appeared like kindergartens. They were not the little boys or girls as we would know of gender. Each child had their own baby angel to accompany them.
In Heaven, most of the souls will have their own individual home. (John 14:2) However, there were some who did not have
homes. I will explain this later. Moreover, the children did not have their own individual homes
either. I asked, “The children are also souls, why do they not have their own homes?”
The angel replied, “Just as the people on Earth require materials to build their homes, we in Heaven also need materials to build here. When a person serves the church and others faithfully unto the Lord, those deeds will become materials for a person’s home in Heaven.
When the materials are provided, the angels assigned to build a saint’s home will go to work on constructing it. The children who are below the accountability age have not built up any materials to build a home. In other words, they did not have the time or chance to earn their rewards/materials. This is why they do not have homes.”
I continued with my questions, “What shall I do on Earth to provide more materials for my home?”
The angels replied, “There are seven things one must do to build up their materials to build their home.
The first is their accumulation of worship and praise to God.
The second is their time spent reading the bible. Third, their time spent praying.
Fourth, their time spent evangelizing to people.
Fifth, one’s offering to the Lord.
Sixth, their obedient tithes to God.
Lastly, their time spent serving the church in any way.
These are the deeds or works of obedience in which one accumulates materials for their Heavenly home. If one is lacking in these areas, they will have no materials to build their home.”
There were numerous people in Heaven without homes. Many who did not have homes were actually pastors, deacons, deaconesses, elders, etc. I asked out of curiosity, “Where do the children live then?”
The angels replied, “They live here.” As I looked around, they were gathered throughout the garden of flowers. The garden of flowers was so beautiful and the fragrance was out of this world. The scene was beyond what I could describe with my words.
The second place was for faithful adults. There is a difference between salvation and rewards. This place had so many homes. The homes were built with beautiful gems and rare stones. Some of the homes were as high as the highest
skyscrapers on Earth. Those people who had faithfully served the Lord while living on Earth had their homes built with beautiful gems and rare stones. In this particular place, all the people looked around the age of 20 to 30 years old. There were no men or women in regards to gender. There are no sick, old, or lame people.
I once knew an elder named, Oh, Im Myung. He had died at the age of 65 years old. He was a very short man, as tall as 2nd graders in elementary school. He had suffered from a rare disease called rickets. However, when it came to the bible, he was a PHD. He had written many commentaries. I met him in Heaven, and there he was tall and handsome. He was no longer sick but healthy. Heaven is a very wonderful place!! I am so full of expectations! Please believe what I am saying beloved people!
The third place was for those who were shamefully saved. (1 Cor. 3:15) This particular village was enormous in size, several times bigger than the second place, where the homes were made of gems and rare stones. I arrived at this place at great speed, riding a golden chariot. It was very far from the other beautiful places I saw in Heaven.
I asked the angels, “I see great wilderness and fields. Why do I not see homes?” The angel replied, “What you are seeing are homes.”
I saw huge wide flat houses, which reminded me of a large chicken coop or some type of warehouse. These homes were not glorious, but shabby. This village and homes were for the souls who were shamefully saved. There were numerous large sized shabby looking homes. This village is several times bigger than the place where rewarded souls reside.
The angel said, “Do you see the two large homes, one to your right and one to your left? I answered, “Yes, I do see them.”
The angel said that he wanted to show me those two houses specifically. He said, “The right home is for those who were pastors on the Earth. The left home is for those who were elders on the Earth.” As we arrived to the front of the two homes, I noticed they were humongous. My jaw dropped. When we opened the door and entered, my first impression was, ‘chicken coop.’ Instead of thousands of chickens living in their coop, I saw souls. The angels advised me to observe very carefully because I would recognize some famous pastors from history. It was true. I recognized many pastors from history. I specifically picked out one pastor and asked the angel, “I know that Korean pastor! I know how famous he was and the work he had done for the Lord. Why is he here? I do not understand.”
The angels answered, “He never provided any building materials for his home. This is why he is living in a community home.”
I asked out of curiosity, “How did this happen? Why did he not have any materials?” The angel answered, “While he was a pastor performing the functions as a pastor, he had loved to be complimented by the people. He had loved to be honored. He had loved to be served. There was no sacrifice and servitude on his part.” This particular pastor was greatly honored in Korea and is an icon within the Korean Christian history. But he had no reward!!
You pastor out there, please listen! You have to lead people to more than just Sunday morning services. You must visit them in their homes. You must take care of the poor, the lame and old. The pastors who have served without sacrificing their lives and loved to be honored have no reward in Heaven. (Matt 23:5-12)
After I had witnessed this scene in Heaven and after I had come back to the Earth, I immediately gave all of my possessions away including my five luxury vehicles. Our life is but a moment. In the bible, the average life is about 70 to 80 years old. But it is only God who knows when a person will die. Anyone can die before the age of 70 or 80 years old. I had decided to give everything away, even my clothes. The people I saw had received salvation in shame. They were pastors, elders, deacons, and lay believers. There were multitudes of elders and deacons in this flat shabby home. But of course, it is much better than Hell. However, why would anyone want to enter Heaven in such a way? I will not end up in that shameful place. Their clothes were even shabby.
What are the requirements for Christians to receive such beautiful homes in Heaven? First, we have to evangelize to as many people as possible. How should we evangelize? The angel told me, “Assume there is an unbeliever who does not know the Lord. The moment you decide to evangelize to that particular person, the building materials for your homes will be provided. As you unceasingly pray for their salvation, more building materials are provided. You must continue to check up on them, visiting them and continue your evangelizing. This will add more materials to your home. If a person says he/she cannot make it
to church because they do not have nice clothes, then you must provide them with some. If the person says he/she does not have a bible, you must provide one. If a person says he/she does not have glasses to read, you must provide it for them. You must provide whatever you are able too so this person can be led to the Lord. Those who live in the best homes are those who had evangelized many times.”
The angel then escorted me to the place where the saints lived in nice homes. This is where saints who had evangelized much lived. It felt like downtown Heaven.
In Christian history, there are four people who have the biggest and most beautiful homes. The angel showed me the home of American evangelist D.L. Moody, British Pastor John Wesley, an Italian evangelist, and Korean Evangelist Pastor Choi, Gun Nung. These four people have the largest homes in Heaven. These four had spent their whole lives evangelizing to people even through up to the time of their deaths.
Within the Korean believers, there was a lay believer who had a large home. This lay believer had built many church buildings with his all his possessions. He had given three thousand bags of rice to the poor. He secretly helped thousands of pastors and leaders with their finance. He helped students studying theology or in bible school with their tuitions. He had also taken in a pastor (65 years old) into his home and took good care of him. His own church had kicked him out.
I heard an angel shout, “The materials are coming!” I questioned the angel to my right about the materials and he told me, “These materials are for a deaconess from a small church who is from the country. In fact, she receives materials every day. Even though she is poor, she comes to early morning service each day. She prays for 87 church members daily. When she finishes praying, she cleans up the church.”
I heard another angel shout, “Special delivery! The daughter of the deaconess has given what little money she had to her mother. However, the deaconess did not spend it on herself. She bought five eggs and two pairs of socks for the church pastor. Even though it may appear to be a small offering, she had given all she had for the day. This became special materials for her home in Heaven.”
Second, those who also have a large home are those who have built church buildings or other buildings for Kingdom purpose with their possessions and resources.
In Heaven, I also met an elder named Choi. Among all the Korean elders and deacons who are in Heaven, he had the most beautiful home. His home was much higher than the tallest building in Korea. Choi had built many churches in Korea with his wealth.
I asked the angel, “How about my house? Is it in the process of being built? The angel said, “Yes it is.” I begged to see my house. But they told me it was not allowed. I continued to beg and after some persistent begging, the angels said that the Lord will now allow it.
We entered the chariot and traveled very far to another place. I was full of expectation. I asked, “Where is my house?” The angel replied, “It is over there!” But it looked as though the place was only a foundation, only ready for development. I cried out, “How could you do this to me? How could this be happening? How can my house be in a developing zone? Surviving the Korean War, I sold my only home to build a church. This church eventually grew to five thousand members. I wrote many books inspired by the Holy Spirit. One book became a best seller. With the proceeds from the books, I built Christian schools. The school birthed 240 pastors. During tenure as the dean, I had given out over 400 scholarships to over 400 poor children. I have built homes for the widows to live in. This all cost huge amounts of money. So how could this be? Why is my home in a land development? I am so upset!”
The angel replied sternly, “You do not deserve to live in such a beautiful nice home in Heaven because you have been honored by people countless times. Every time you had built or done something good, you were praised by people. You were even honored by the secular news. Therefore, all your works are in vain.” (Matt 6:1)
I looked at my home in the development zone. It was located in the middle of three other homes. It only had three stories. The house had many small rooms on the first two floors. I asked the angel, “Why do I have such small rooms?” The angel answered, “These rooms are for your sons and daughters.”
“I only have four children,” I replied. The angel responded, “No, they are not for your Earthy children, but for the ones you had evangelized and are saved.” I loved it! I asked, “Where is my master bedroom?” The angel said that it was on the roof. That bothered me.
My room was not even finished. In an angry tone I said, “It is so small! Why is it so difficult to finish?” The angel replied, “You are not even dead. We cannot finish your home or rooms because we do not know if more materials will be provided. Do you understand?”
When we entered my room, I saw two certificates hanging on my wall, so I went to read them. The first certificate described when I was 18 years old living in an orphanage. On Christmas day, I was on my way back to the early morning church service. I had seen an elderly man shivering on the street. I took my jacket off and gave it to him. That deed had given me a reward in Heaven. The second certificate described the same incident but it was for buying some bread with the little money I had for the elderly man. The amount is not the issue. The act must be accompanied by genuine faith. The dollar amount has no significance.
We left the place and headed back out. During the ride, one of the angels asked, “Are you sad? I will tell you how to have a beautiful home built. The Lord said when you go back to the Earth, you must go to tell the people about Heaven and Hell as you have witnessed. Second, the Lord desires you to build a place to gather elderly female pastors and evangelists who do not have places to go or live. If you truly faithfully do these things, you will have a beautiful home.”
The two angels escorted me to Hell. They said, “Now you will visit Hell.” You have no idea the enormity of Hell. I kept shouting, “It is so big! It is so big!” This is the place where souls who are cursed and receive eternal damnation are placed. It felt like Hell was a thousand times larger than the Earth. Half of Hell was colored red and the other half was pitch dark black. I asked the angels, “Why is this part red?”
The angels replied, “Do you not know? It is burning sulfur. The other half is darkness. When people sin and end up here, they will be tormented from both sides…There are multitudes of churches on the Earth and many of the churches are filled with many people. However, most of them are not true Christians. They are but church attendants. The true churches will firmly believe in Heaven and a Hell. The lives of many Christians are in chaos because they do not firmly believe in Heaven and Hell. When one soul enters Heaven, one thousand cursed souls enter Hell. The rate of Heaven and Hell is 1 to 1000.” (Matt 7:14)
I am a Presbyterian pastor and a well-known speaker. I have graduated from one of the largest theological school in Korea. I never believed those Heaven and Hell stories. But now, I am one who writes such experiences to testify to others. Although you may believe you are a Christian, if you live your life according to the will of demons, you will end up in Hell!
The first place I saw was a place of burning sulfur. You can’t even imagine how hot the fires of Hell are. No one can bear the intense heat.
People in Hell say three statements.
- First, it is too hot and they feel like dying. (Luke 16:24)
- Second, they are so thirsty and feel like dying.
- Third, you will hear many asking for water. (Zech 9:11)
It is eternal! Many people say we are free in Christ and they live their lives as they desire. I asked the angel, “Those who are in here, what have they done?” The angel answered, “The first group is unbelievers.” Those who had not evangelized to their own family must repent!
The angel continued, “The second group is those who believed in Jesus, but did not repent of their sins.” We must repent of our sins and must confess to the Lord. We must not sin. Just giving lip service is not repenting. With a contrite and earnest heart, we must repent!
Christians in Hell
I then saw many pastors, elders, and deacons in Hell. I asked the angel, “I know them. They had served God faithfully while on the Earth. They had died some time ago. We all had thought they were in Heaven with God. But now, I see them all in Hell and they are crying out that it is so hot! Why are they here?” There were so many pastors, elders, deacons and all other lay believers.
The angel answered, “Pastor Park Yong Gyu, a person can appear to be a true follower of Christ on the outside but God knows the heart.
THEY DID NOT KEEP SUNDAYS HOLY. IN FACT, THEY HAD LOVED TO MAKE MONEY ON SUNDAYS. (Jer. 17:27)
Many of the deacons and elders had criticized the sermon of their pastors.
THEY DID NOT TITHE PROPERLY. (Malachi 3:9)
THEY DID NOT PRAY.
They had not evangelized to people at all. (Ezekiel 33:6)
Many of these elders and deacons had harassed their pastors and would come against their authority. They had interfered with the pastor’s duty and business. (Num. 16)
On their death beds, they thought they had done a good job so they did not repent of those things. This is why they were thrown in the fires of Hell.”
I then saw a king and a prince who were had first persecuted Christians in Korea. This king and prince beheaded many of the first believers in Korea. They were placed in the center, which was the hottest place of all. I also saw Hitler,
Stalin, Mao Zedong, and a famous pastor from North Korea named Pastor Kang, and a famous Japanese hero, and many more.
Then we arrived at an extremely dark place, too dart to see where to step. I shouted, “Angels! Angels! It is so dark! How can I see anything?” The angels patted my shoulder and said, “Just wait a little bit.”
Within a few moments, I was able to see a countless number of naked people. All of them had insects crawling all over their bodies. Not an inch was spared as their whole bodies were completely covered with insects. The naked people attempted to drive the insects away gnashing their teeth. I asked, “What did these people do as they lived on Earth?”
“They are those who have criticized and back stabbed each other. They were not careful of what they had said to one another.” (Matt 5:22)
I saw the demons piercing and stabbing the stomachs of the people with sickles. Their screams were unbearable to me. I asked my escort, “Angels, what did these people do as they had lived on the Earth?
“These people had jobs, houses, and families but they did not give to God. They did not help the poor, their churches, or other Godly purposes. They were very stingy and greedy. Even as they encountered the poor, they ignored them and did not care. They only cared for themselves and their families. They were well clothed, fed, and had a comfortable life. This is why their stomachs are pierced for their bellies were full of greed.” (Proverbs 28:27)
It was a very frightening scene. After witnessing such a scene, when I got back to the Earth, I gave all of my money and possessions to others. Salvation cannot be earned with money or property. It is by faith. Hell is an unbearable and miserable place. It is eternal torment!
I also saw people who had their heads hacked off by a very sharp saw. I asked the angel, “What did these people do to deserve such awful torment?” The angel replied, “Their brains were given by God to think good and beneficial things. But these people had thought of filthy things. They thought of lustful things.” (Matt 5:28)
Next I saw people being stabbed and cut into pieces. The sight was horrible. I asked, “What about these people? What did they do to be tormented in such a way?” The Angel replied, “These were elders and deacons who did not serve their churches. In fact, they did not even want to work or serve! The only things they had loved were to receive and receive from the flock.” (Zech 11:17) (Hosea 6:5)
I saw the elders, deacons, and other lay believers tormented by the demons. The demons made a hole in their tongues and placed wires through the tongues of one another. Then the demons dragged the people with the wire. I asked again, “What did they do on Earth?” The angel answered, “They had committed four different types of sin.
First, they had criticized their pastors. They would speak negative things about their pastors. They were back biting and ridiculing their pastors.”
I plead with those who have committed such acts to REPENT, REPENT!!
The angel continued, “Second, they insulted the church with their words. They had harassed other Christians to the point where even the faithful ones were affected and they stopped attending church and even caused some to stop believing. They did all they could to stop faithful Christians from doing God’s work. These wicked ones caused many faithful to stumble.
Lastly, there are spouses who drank alcohol and were abusive to their family members.”
I saw demons piercing men and women in their stomachs with a very huge sharp nail. I asked, “What did they do?” The Angel replied, “These are men and women who had lived with one another but were not married. These are guilty of abortions as they also got pregnant. They had never repented.”
I saw another group of people. The demons were slicing their lips as if one thinly slicing meat or vegetables. I asked, “Why are these people tormented in such a way?” The angel said, “These are sons, daughters, son in laws, and daughter in laws who had talked back to their parents. All they had to do was say, ‘I’m sorry’ instead of making things worse. Many of them had used abusive language. They had attacked their parents with harsh language. They were rebellious. This is why their lips are being sliced.”
Brethren, we are all going to die one day, but we don’t know when that will be. Please be prepared. Being prepared is to go to Heaven. When we go is not the issue. Please forgive each other as frequently as necessary if you need too. Repent and repent and do it all day long if you have too.
My beloved brethren, I used to ignore such testimonies. I was a conservative Presbyterian pastor who ignored such things. But now, I must witness and testify to you what I have seen. Please do not hesitate to live a holy life. Please avoid this miserable torment and judgment. Be saved! Do not live for your flesh but submit to the Kingdom of God. Please pray for those who do not know Jesus. Evangelize and bear fruit. Please pray early in the morning and keep Sundays HOLY. Please tithe to the Lord properly. Accumulate your rewards in Heaven and not in this Earth. I pray and bless you in the Almighty Name of JESUS! By Pastor Park, Yong Gyu
The Jesus Manifesto
This article can be seen at its original place here: http://www.voiceofrevolution.com/the-jesus-manifesto/
The dawning of the 21st century finds the church of America in a moral and spiritual crisis. Decades of self-centered living and worldliness have taken their toll. Years of compromise and toothless gospel preaching have had their effect. And now we have reached the moment of truth: Either we wake up, stand up, speak up, and act up, or we run the risk of becoming a mere historic curiosity, an irrelevant religious sideshow, an entertaining, harmless spectacle. Something must change, and it must change now. There is no other choice.
Forty years ago, a counterculture revolution swept through America, resulting in a sudden, steep moral decline. Since that time (from the early ’60s until today), the divorce rate has doubled, the teen suicide rate has tripled, reported violent crime has quadrupled, the prison population has quintupled, the percentage of babies born out of wedlock has risen six-fold, and couples living together out of wedlock has risen sevenfold. And the end is not in sight.
The last generation’s counterculture of rebellion has become this generation’s establishment of revulsion, and what was unthinkable forty years ago – daytime talk shows celebrating adultery and incest; homosexual love scenes on major network TV; eleven year-old multiple murderers; massacres in our schools and houses of worship – is a matter of course today. We need a revolution!
But this revolution will be different than other revolutions – including the revolution that birthed our nation more than 200 years ago. This revolution will not be fought with earthly weapons of destruction – not with guns and knives and bullets and bombs. It will not be fought with hatred, anger, intimidation, or brute force. No. It will be fought with the message of the gospel, with the love of God, with the power of the Spirit, with radical holiness, with sacrifice, compassion, and courage. It will be a Jesus revolution, an intense clash between two spiritual kingdoms, a heavenly attack on the enemy’s strongholds, a no compromise stand for morality and truth. And it will impact society in a lasting way. It must!
Revolution means upheaval. Revolution means the overthrowing of the status quo. We dare not downplay the significance of the word. Revolution is a matter of life and death, and our revolution flows from the blood of the Savior to the blood of the martyr. We put down our sword and take up our cross, overcoming Satan by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony, and by not loving our lives so much as to shrink from death (Rev. 12:11). Nothing can stop a revolution like this!
Our revolution is fueled by the power of the gospel, and the gospel does violence to the forces of hell. We must recover the fullness of the gospel of Jesus! It is nothing less than a direct assault on the kingdom of Satan, a frontal attack on hostile, spiritual powers, a mortal confrontation of light against darkness. It brings about the ultimate counterculture conflict.
That’s why Jesus said to His disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:18-20).
That’s why Paul explained that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12), reminding the disciples that, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). God’s people march to the beat of a different drummer. God’s obedient people will always offend the world, no matter how much we seek to be peacemakers and to walk in compassion and love. Our very lifestyles are a reproof to the ungodly.
That’s why Joseph Parker could say more than a century ago, “The man whose little sermon is ‘repent’ sets himself against his age, and will for the time being be battered mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges. There is but one end for such a man — ‘off with his head!’ You had better not try to preach repentance until you have pledged your head to heaven.” The gospel means conflict and confrontation, and all who stand for righteousness will be resisted.
That’s why Jesus was accused by his own people of being “a Samaritan and demon-possessed” (John 8:48), why Paul and Silas were accused of “throwing cities into an uproar” (Acts 16:20) and “causing trouble all over the world” (Acts 17:6), why Paul himself was mistaken for being an “Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the desert” (Acts 21:38). The gospel is subversive. The gospel is a threat to the kingdom of darkness. The gospel is revolutionary.
We’re in a war, and war means conflict, hardship, and sacrifice. As Leonard Ravenhill wrote, “When a nation calls its prime men to battle, homes are broken, weeping sweethearts say their good-byes, businesses are closed, college careers are wrecked, factories are refitted for wartime production, rationing and discomforts are accepted — all for war. Can we do less for the greatest fight that this world has ever known outside of the cross — this end-time siege on sanity, morality, and spirituality?”
Satan’s strategy is to institutionalize the Church, to turn the Body of Christ into a powerless religious system. If that tactic fails, he tries to desensitize us and lull us to sleep until we lose our convictions and our sense of outrage is gone. And he is always seeking to seduce us into sin until we become just like the world, enslaved by its passions and lusts. And when he thinks he has succeeded, when he no longer feels threatened by the people of God, then he gets aggressive and brazenly puts forth his agenda. He’s doing it today. We need a revolution!
The cat is out of the bag. The secret is no longer a secret. Anti-God forces are after the soul of our nation, and if we don’t wake up now, if we don’t take a stand now, if we don’t repent and pray and rise and speak and act now, then instead of this great country being “the land of the free and the home of the brave” our nation could become “the land of sleaze and the home of depraved.” We need a revolution!
DNA tests to find out who fathered the baby are here. (In fifteen of our nation’s largest cities, more than 90% of the babies born to teens are illegitimate.) Legalized same-sex “civil unions” are here. Children’s textbooks encouraging adolescent fornication are here. School hallways splattered with teenage blood are here. Bans on using the name of Jesus at our graduations are here. Topless, feminist “worship services” on our college campuses are here. We need a revolution!
We live in a time of ethical madness and social uncertainty, a time when talk of a moral revolution should be everywhere. Instead, the best-selling “revolutionary” books are books about new diets. What does this say for us as a people? When we need to be talking about the call to die for the gospel, we are talking instead about the call to diet for good looks. What a sad indictment! And what does it say of our self-deception and lack of discipline when we are at one and the same time the world’s best-read nation on diet and nutrition and the world’s most obese? Even our pets are overweight. We need a revolution!
The United States boasts the highest percentage of professing evangelicals in the industrialized world, with more than 36% of Americans – meaning more than 90 million people – classified as born-again. Yet America has:
• The highest percentage of single-parent families in the industrialized world
• The highest abortion rate in the industrialized world
• The highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the industrialized world (the rates of syphilis and gonorrhea transmission are almost 500% higher than the highest rates in the other industrialized nations)
• The highest teenage birth rate in the industrialized world (by far!)
• The highest rate of teenage drug use in the industrialized world
We need a revolution!
Our society is deteriorating all around us and even non-believers sense that something is wrong. Why? It is because we, the people of God, the army of the Lord Jesus, the messengers of liberation, the ambassadors of reconciliation, have been sidetracked by the love of this world and distracted by the cares of this age. As a result, we have not changed this generation. This generation has changed us!
Rather than seasoning the world like salt and brightening the world like light, we now smell and taste like the world, and its darkness is snuffing out our lamps. Rather than setting captives free by the power of Jesus’ blood, many of us are being ensnared and enslaved, making a mockery of that sacred blood. Rather than making disciples of sinners and teaching them the ways of God, many of us are being discipled by them, learning their ways, imitating their lifestyles, and conforming to their values.
A 1997 survey conducted by George Barna used 152 different items to compare the church and the world. He found virtually no difference between the two. In fact, the divorce rate today among evangelicals is higher than the divorce rate among atheists. We need a revolution!
Communist educators visiting America have been shocked by the materialism and worldliness of many of our Christian young people, while Islamic leaders are appalled by the rampant sexual sin and shameless immodesty among many who profess Christ as Lord. The ideals of the unsaved are often more lofty than the ideals of the saved. We need a revolution!
Just consider how far things have fallen, despite decades of 24-hour gospel radio and TV, hundreds of Bible colleges and seminaries, thousands of Christian schools and bookstores, and churches and ministries too numerous to count. Forty years ago, men having sex with men and women having sex with women was considered perverse. Now it is considered perverse – homophobic, hateful, mean-spirited, and bigoted – to call such behavior wrong. We need a revolution!
Forty years ago, not even science fiction writers would have predicted that American companies would be making money off the sale of the skin and brains and limbs and spinal chords of aborted babies. Today, Congress will not even pass legislation to make this thriving practice illegal. We need a revolution!
Jesus rebuked the leaders of his day who said of themselves, “If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets” (Matt 23:30) – and then they took part in shedding the blood of the greatest Prophet of them all. How hypocritical! Yet we do this very thing, saying, “If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in the detestable sin of slavery. We would never have tolerated such evil. We would surely have done something about it.”
Yet on our watch, in our day, we have tolerated an even more heinous sin: the slaughter of forty million babies in their mothers’ wombs. In what way have we been better than our forefathers who tolerated slavery – or better than the European “Christians” who tolerated the Nazi extermination of six million Jews? How much have we really done to stop this generation’s holocaust?
Bloodshed pollutes the land (Num 35:33), and the blood of these helpless victims – oceans of blood of these aborted little ones – has been crying out for justice for decades. What will our God do? We need a revolution!
In 1960, only 2.3% of percent of white women had children out of wedlock. By 1997, more than 25% — a ten-fold increase! – were having children out of wedlock (despite millions being aborted before they ever left the womb). In the African American community, that number rose from 23% percent to more than 68%. We need a revolution!
In 1962, the Supreme Court outlawed organized, public prayer in our schools (without citing a single historic precedent to back its decision), and we complied with that ruling. In the year 2000, the Court has banned voluntary public prayer in our schools. Why have we complied with this ruling too? At what point do we say, “We must obey God rather than man”? At what point do we say, “Enough is enough”? We need a revolution!
On April 12, 2000, at Pearl River Central High School in Carrierre, Mississippi, the Spirit of God fell upon the students attending a voluntary, pre-class assembly led by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. As students lined up fifty deep to confess their sins and get right with God and one another, the principal, Lolita Lee, herself a Christian, decided to let the meeting go on through the day. Civil libertarians were outraged, but, as Time magazine reported (June 5, 2000, p. 61), “The school received hundreds of congratulatory e-mails. ‘Thank you for your courage,’ wrote an Ohio man to Lee. ‘You have done the equivalent of not moving to the back of the bus.’” Isn’t it time we follow suit? If not now, when? What more needs to happen?
For more than two hundred years, the Bible was commonly used as a textbook in our schools, and generations of children learned the ABC’s with a Scripture truth for each letter. But in 1963, the Supreme Court banned required reading of the Scriptures from our schools, and once again, we complied with the ruling. Why? By 1980, the Court had ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments from public view in our schools and by 1985, it outlawed benedictions or invocations in formal school activities. Some lower courts even ruled against students praying out loud over their cafeteria meals. We need a revolution!
When the governing authorities seized the apostles and charged them not to speak in Jesus’ name, Peter replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). And they kept speaking! As a result, they were arrested, whipped, and strictly ordered not to speak any more in Jesus’ name. But, Scripture records, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 5:41-42). Can we learn something from this?
Christians around the world today are severely persecuted because they refuse to obey oppressive, unjust laws. Many of them are model citizens in every way, obedient, respectful and peace loving. But when the government – or religious establishment – forbids them to read their Bibles, forbids them to baptize, forbids them to share their faith, forbids them to gather together, forbids them to make disciples, then they say with the apostles, “We must obey God rather than man.” At what point does this apply to us?
Our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world have been discriminated against, deprived of their livelihoods, imprisoned, tortured, and killed, all because they refused to render to Caesar that which does not belong to Caesar. Yet we are afraid to take a stand for Jesus if it would threaten our income, or cost us a scholarship, or make us unpopular. Why this double standard? Why do they refuse to comply – even when threatened with imprisonment and death – while we willfully comply, even when there is no threat? We need a revolution!
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were commanded to worship an idol or be subject to a fiery death, they refused to bow down (Daniel 3). But today, with no one commanding us, we freely worship the idols of our society, bowing down to the gods of unclean entertainment, sensual fashion, and unbridled materialism and greed. Our obsession with sports is idolatrous as well, to the point that many churches throughout the land make sure their Sunday services end in time for the afternoon football games, canceling their meetings entirely the night of the Super Bowl. We need a revolution!
When Daniel was told that an edict had been passed declaring that “anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to [the] king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den . . . he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10-12). It’s time that we follow his lead. Godly defiance spells triumph while retreat spells defeat. We need a revolution!
Year by year our religious freedoms have been taken away, while special rights and freedoms have been given to those whom the Bible calls “unrighteous” (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; in the Scriptures, homosexual activity is classified along with adultery, fornication, theft, drunkenness, hatred, anger, greed, and hypocrisy, and all who practice such things are called “unrighteous”). Thus the Supreme Court ruled that a school full of Christians cannot choose to have prayer before a school sporting event since it would offend and exclude the minority who don’t want to pray. But when homosexuals introduce children’s textbooks into our schools outlining in graphic detail the intricacies of gay sex, the offended majority is told to accept it. Right is now wrong and wrong is now right, and the will of the godless is imposed on the will of the godly. We need a revolution!
When a gay man is beaten to death because he is gay – this is a reprehensible, despicable act that every decent person should abhor – it causes a national uproar, with loud voices in the government calling for new legislation against hate crimes. And we should speak out against such deplorable crimes. But when Christians students are shot to death as they profess their faith in God, the government raises its voice to forbid the placing of memorial crosses on school property. The handwriting is on the wall. The strategy is clear. We need a revolution!
Teachers in our public schools can give condom demonstrations to our teens and use books like “Heather Had Two Mommies” to teach our kids to read, and we are required to support this with our own tax dollars. But let a teacher read from the Scriptures to a seeking, needy student, and that teacher could be out of a job – all because of the First Amendment’s so-called separation of Church and State.
But that is not what the First Amendment intended. It simply stated that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” meaning, first, that the government could not form a national denomination (like the Church of England of old) and require all Americans to be part of it, and second, that there would be religious freedom for all. As emphasized by Stephen Carter, professor of law at Yale University, “The wall of separation of church and state is not there to protect the state from the church; it is there to protect the church from the state. It stands as a divide to preserve religious freedom. And one needs to protect the church from the state because the latter will utilize its enormous powers to do what the state has always done – either subvert the religion or destroy it. If we continue our slide toward a state that breaches the wall of separation whenever it is convenient, then I worry about the great risk to religious freedom. In the end, such a breach could destroy our ability to form the communities of resistance that are crucial if we are going to have a chance to transform the nation.”
Our forefathers wanted to ensure that the government would not be able to impose its will on the church. For more than one generation now, this has been totally reversed and stood on its head, and the price has been very high, with skyrocketing crime rates and plummeting rates of morality and literacy. And what has become of the First Amendment’s guarantee of “the free exercise” of religion when the courts tell us that we cannot use religious symbols on public property, cannot post the Ten Commandments in government buildings, and cannot use the name of Jesus in public school events? We have lost our religious freedom. We need a revolution!
In 1999, a bill was brought before Congress that would have required businesses – which by implication could have included churches and religious institutions – to hire gays and lesbians if they were qualified for the job in question, despite their sexual preference. And the bill failed by only one vote! Even more distressing is that if the bill did pass, there was another bill ready to follow, calling for a ban on even speaking against a person’s sexual orientation. (A similar bill has now been passed in Canada.) Such speech would be deemed hate speech, punishable by law, and potentially meaning that a pastor simply expounding the Scriptures to his flock could be arrested. Yet this is the very thing from which our Founding Fathers were trying to protect us. So much for the First Amendment and religious freedom! The fact that such laws could even be crafted for Congress proves that we have long since passed the breaking point – yet some Christian leaders would have felt obligated to obey these laws if they had passed. We need a revolution!
We have gone from debating a woman’s “right to choose” to sucking out the brains of third trimester babies (with the backing of the courts!), from arguing about the medical definition of death to legalizing physician-assisted suicide, from needing metal detectors at airports to needing metal detectors at schools (and soon at houses of worship?), from tracking down absentee fathers to trying to figure out who the father is, from the outlawing of mandatory school prayer to the outlawing of voluntary school prayer. We need a revolution!
Without a holy, counterculture revolution, America could become a society where candid religious expression is outlawed, a society where it is almost impossible to keep our children free from the pollution of the world, a society teetering perilously close to the thunderous judgments of God. Such things have happened to other nations, and such things could happen to us.
But all is not lost! The gospel has changed societies before, and the gospel can change societies again. For countless centuries, India engaged in the practice of widow-burning, where the widow of a deceased man was sometimes burned alive with her husband’s corpse. This horrific practice was outlawed through the tireless efforts of missionary William Carey. Both slave-trading and unjust child-labor laws were abolished in Britain through the fearless work of the Christian political leader William Wilberforce. And this followed on the heels of England’s transformation through the sacrificial labors of John Wesley and his Methodist followers, saving the nation from the anarchy and violence of the French Revolution. Around the world today, whole communities are being impacted by united prayer and evangelism, and here in our land, there is a rising momentum of concerted, twenty-four hour worship and intercession not seen for decades.
There are pockets of spiritual renewal throughout the country, and the tides of a radical youth revival are rapidly rising. Another Jesus people movement could be near, a heaven-sent revolution far greater than the worldwide Jesus movement of 1967-1975, when hundreds of thousands of hippies and radicals were swept into the kingdom. Even now, it is at the door. And not only will multitudes of lost sinners be truly saved, but multitudes of casual church goers will also be truly saved. Just think of what would happen if even one-quarter of America’s professing believers got totally and uncompromisingly right with God – and then each of them touched just five or six other people. It would quickly reverse our nation’s moral decline. Despite our perilous condition, it’s still not too late!
If our nation could be changed for the worse in one decade – this is what happened in the 1960s, despite progress in Civil Rights and some other social areas – it can be changed for the better in one decade. If angry student protests on college campuses could help stop an international war (Vietnam), what could holy student “protests” on our campuses accomplish?
America can be impacted for the good, and as followers of Jesus, we are called to make that impact. We do it by walking in the light, as He is in the light; by calling the lost to turn back to God in repentance; by preaching the gospel and making disciples; by proclaiming liberty to the captives; by pursuing righteousness in every area of public and private life; by acts of kindness, mercy, and compassion, overcoming evil with good; by prayer, fasting, and the power of God; by living holy lives and setting holy examples; by being a prophetic voice and a moral conscience to society; by Spirit-led community involvement and godly political action; by non-violent resistance of injustice and oppression.
What else should Christians do? Should not the presence of tens of millions of believers be felt in a nation? Should we not make a difference for God? Should we not be a force for spiritual and moral reformation? Should we not actively extend the kingdom of God? Should not the Great Commission leave tangible results in its wake?
This is our sacred moment, our solemn time for action. If we will unshackle ourselves from the love of this world – from our lusts, our addictions, our obsessions – and give ourselves wholly to the purposes of God, we can shake this nation. If we learn the principle that to save our lives is to lose our lives, while to lose our lives for the Lord is to save our lives, then we can really live. As Martin Luther King declared in 1965, “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right; a man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice; a man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” It’s time we take our stand!
The counterculture revolution of the 1960s began when people said, “Something is missing. Something is wrong. There must be something greater than this.” And they were right! There must be something greater than eating and drinking, working and sleeping, existing. There must be something greater than the American dream. There must be something greater than simply getting a good education so that you can find a good job and have a good family so that your kids can get a good education and find a good job and have a good family so that their kids can a get a good education . . . . Is this really it? Is this why God put us here on this earth? There is more!
Our goal is revival, not survival, the transformation of the human race, not the preservation of the human race. There is a divine purpose and destiny to our time here on earth. Even atheistic revolutionaries understand that there must be a higher purpose to life, and they give themselves for their cause, freely dying for their revolution so that their families can live in what they hope will be a better world. And they do this without the promise of heaven or eternal life. How much more should we give ourselves to the cause of our Master? How much more readily should we hear the call?
Nate Saint and Jim Elliot, martyred as missionaries in 1956, understood this well. They recognized that life was far more meaningful, far more rich, far more significant than most of us ever realize, even if we live to be 100 years old. As Nate Saint wrote, “People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget they too are expending their lives and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.”
Yes, everyone’s bubble will burst one day. The dust will return to dust and the spirit will return to God who gave it (see Ecc. 12:7). On that day, only one thing will matter: Did we fulfill the purpose of God? Did we make a lasting impact for Jesus? Did we leave behind a blessed legacy for the generation to come? All the silly little things that seemed so important to us during our few years here on earth will seem utterly insignificant when they are viewed in the light of eternity.
How wise it was for Jim Elliot to write these now-famous words: “That man is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” And how wise it was for him to lift up this petition before the Lord as a young man in college: “God, I pray, Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.” Oh, that all of us would lead truly full lives!
Columbine martyr Rachel Scott was not wrong when she wrote in her journal, “I have no more personal friends at school. But you know what? I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus. I am not going to justify my faith to them, and I am not going to hide the light that God has put into me. If I have to sacrifice everything, I will. I will take it. If my friends have to become my enemies for me to be with my best friend Jesus, then that’s fine with me.” Jesus is worth it to the end!
Fellow-soldiers, holy servants of the risen Lord, blood-bought disciples of the Master, heed the call. It’s now or never, time to put up or shut up. Either we take a stand once and for all or forever we hang our heads in shame. History is eagerly anticipating our next move. This is the hour we have been waiting for. So, on with it – by life or by death. The revolution won’t wait.