A premature outpouring of God's spirit would result in people vacating their place of prayer to experience an adrenaline rush.
Let me say this clearly: If you are a Christian, deep, continual, strategic intercession is your primary daily calling!
As in the days of old, every time the church doors are open, we should be there ready to pray!
The 24/7 church is coming and we will soon find ourselves together in intercession most every day of the week! Will you wait for another bomb to detonate and for more lives to be lost or will you start your new life of corporate intercession THIS WEEK?
When this precedent of continual prayer is established, revival will eventually come. It may take a decade of continual prayer before God sees our devotion to keep praying without stopping when the outpouring comes.
►Detroit needs a house of prayer like never before, and EVERY CHRISTIAN must show up day after day to pray! Start now!
There is an emerging remnant of pavement people who understand this, who will forgo personal comfort and hit the concrete in prayer and worship as we saw in 2 Chronicles 7:
2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (ESV) 1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
I have been continually grieved and disturbed for more than two decades of ministry by the lack of fervent prayer in the church. I literally can’t think of a single place in the world that I’d rather be than in the prayer room—even if it’s a concrete floor. The fact that calls to prayer are resisted with excuses of busyness, disinterest and the ever increasing cares of life is evidence that we still don’t understand a primary reason we are alive—to minister to God in personal and corporate intercession.
With that in mind, prayer rooms remain empty because we as leaders know people are averse to prayer…and we offer them alternate activities.
Instead of burning intercession for the nations, many use prayer as an attempt to achieve or protect their own definition of a normal life. When normalcy is stable, prayer ceases. If someone is sick, they pray for God to restore them to the normalcy of health. If they are short on finances, they pray for God to bring them to financial normalcy.
The problem with that is that prayer isn’t mostly about focusing on self and securing the life we hope for—it’s for deeply knowing Jesus and interceding for the world to experience the life that he paid the price for.
A CONFUSING EXPERIENCE
More than two decades ago, as a new burning child of God, I was met with confusion that is still with me today.
I was helping give leadership to a monthly regional youth event that was drawing around 100 young people for all over the Dayton, Ohio area. I’ve always believed the hour of prayer before the service was actually much more important than the service itself. (Anything driven by prayer carries extreme importance.)
I was truly confused each month as we sounded the alarm, spread the word, plastered signs in the foyer and let everybody clearly know that they were needed in prayer prior to the service. Each month we’d have 5-10 people in the huge sanctuary in prayer for an hour, while I watched a hundred people cram into a tiny foyer waiting for the service to start.
Was my promotion insufficient? Did I not make it clear enough? It was so packed in the foyer that faces were nearly squished up against the glass on the doors—right next to the signs inviting them to enter and pray.
I’ve watched this scenario play out time and again through my youth and senior ministry years. In San Diego I’d load up the bus with 50 kids to take them to the beach on Thursday, and then have 5 or 6 join me on prayer walks on Friday.
I will continually be confused and disturbed by the lack of passion for intercession—especially in a time of crisis like we are now in in America.
THE CRISIS IN OUR NATION
Last night at theLab House of Prayer, we prayed about the recent bombings in Boston, the earthquakes around the world and the explosion in Texas, and we interceded for Detroit. There have been many urgent prophecies and dreams about a nuclear level event downtown Detroit.
For those who only pray to achieve personal normalcy, there is little reason to fill the prayer rooms. Detroit is still standing.
However, even now, Detroit is not in revival. Even now there is suicide and murder in this region. Children are abused. Political corruption is extreme. An outpouring is no where to be seen.
Additionally, we are experiencing a Jeremiah 2 crisis. Check it out:
Jeremiah 2:4-8 (ESV) 4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the LORD: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? 6 They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?’ 7 And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination. 8 The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.
- Verse 5: There is a spirit of accusation against God on the rise in America. Today, people are finding much wrong with God—Christians and non-Christians alike—and the result is a move toward accusation and away from intimacy with him. A misunderstanding of God’s role in our lives will do that. If we expect him to perform for us instead of us responding to him, we will quickly become offended at God and turn to worthless things—and become worthless ourselves.
- Verse 6: Thanksgiving was nowhere to be found. God admits that he intentionally led them into a place of drought and darkness—and then led them through.
- Verse 7: America was given as a gift, a plentiful land with good things. Today, the land is defiled and the heritage of God is an abomination. Oh what we have forsaken!
- Verse 8: The priests did not seek the Lord! This is the state of the prayer movement! In a time of crisis, the priests (all of us) must continually give themselves to seeking God! Pastors are failing and prophets are sharing doctrines of demons in the name of God! There are a lot of “false positives” out there in the prophetic…hopeful messages that don't reflect what God is saying.
THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS
I personally don’t see the church fully taking over the seven mountains in this age as some do, but I do believe we are to have significant influence and impact, and to give leadership as God opens those doors.
This being said, the thought of an idolatrous church increasing in influence in the seven mountains should cause us all to shudder.
A consecrated, praying church that is intimate with God is mandatory!
Psalm 24:3-4 (ESV) 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
Today, much of the church is at the base of the mountain fashioning an idol, a god of their own design, while Moses met with God on top of it.
The prayer movement that’s focused on the heart of God will result in continual repentance as we allow God to search our hearts and burn up any idol or any desire for one!
Check out how serious God is about the call to ascend the mountain:
Exodus 19:16-25 (ESV) 16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD to look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the LORD said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
So, Moses ascended, and the people played. The prayer movement will absolutely separate out those who are truly devoted to God and those who are focused on self:
Exodus 32:4-6 (ESV) 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
Eat, drink, play. As long as the normalcy of personal consumption and entertainment is safe, the church will see no need to pray—all while the consecrated remnant, the pavement people, are on the mountain in the presence of God receiving instructions for revival and Kingdom advance.
My God. Help us.
THE COMING CHURCH : THELAB UNIVERSITY : MANITOU SPRINGS COLORADO : MAY-OCTOBER 2013
Something very interesting and urgent is happening this summer in the Pikes Peak region.
I want to do my best to communicate how critical this is, and how much we really need your help and participation.
Earlier this year I brought a team from Detroit and Kansas City to Colorado Springs to serve in the pursuit of tangible revival there.
The experience was the most powerful any of these extremely seasoned intercessors and revivalists had ever had. That’s saying a lot!
The impact was so overwhelming that every single person on the team is paying their own way (again) to travel and participate in the next event in May. I am beyond impressed and blessed that they are taking time off work and investing so much into a region they have no real connection to!
In fact, one young prophetic revivalist actually turned down an extremely prestigious job with a nationally known minister to be her personal assistant—the week after she experienced God so remarkably in Colorado. She said no to a guaranteed income and is now living fully by faith with near nothing in the bank—all for her call to both Colorado and Detroit!
We are looking for people in Colorado who have a similar heart and passion to partner with us!
We will be traveling to Colorado six times this year, and holding events each time.
►WE NEED YOUR HELP
Catherine Mullins will be leading worship Thursday and Friday on the May trip—and she needs some skilled musicians to volunteer to play on her team.
Our connections in Colorado Springs are limited, so we are scrambling to get the message out. Your help in spreading the word would be a HUGE blessing!
Additionally, we need to get the word out about the conference itself. Revivalists, intercessors, pastors and others who are praying for God to move in Colorado are invited!
►PLEASE CONTACT ME ASAP
This is happening in less than one month! Can you contact me asap and let me know how you’d like to serve? Again, we need:
- Skilled musicians (drums, bass, lead guitar, keys)
- Promotion assistance (put the event in your church announcements, etc.)
- Group registrations (register your church)
You can see all of the info, AND register here: www.thelabdetroit.com/manitousprings
Thank you! It’s going to be an amazing year in Colorado!
by David Wilkerson
There is a portion of Scripture that convicts me deeply. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. . . If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:2, 6).
I have read and re-read these powerful words of Christ, and I cannot escape their convicting power. The Holy Spirit has impressed upon me the importance of understanding these words, “My Father is the husbandman . . . every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.”
This matter of Christians bearing fruit is not optional with God. He watches over His vine and all the engrafted branches with great jealousy and concern, patiently waiting for the branches to bring forth fruit. He stands beside it with pruning knife in hand, lovingly watching for the slightest evidence of corruption, blight or disease which could hinder growth. God expects fruit from every branch.
Without fruit, it is impossible to honor and glorify Him or be a true disciple of Christ. Jesus said: “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).
Bearing fruit has everything to do with pleasing God-fulfilling our mission in Christ- and with having our prayers and petitions answered.
Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (verse 16).
Actually, bearing fruit concerns what we are becoming, rather than simply what we are doing. I am bearing fruit when there is nothing hindering the flow of the life of Christ into me. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). He is saying, “Because you believed My word-trembling over it, letting it reveal every hidden secret, bringing to light every dark thing, allowing the Word of God to purge you-the hindrances are all gone!”
© 2013 World Challenge – a registered trademark of David Wilkerson
Terrorism, Bombings, Earthquakes and 9/11
In light of the Boston bombings and the earthquakes in Iran, Oklahoma and Papua New Guinea that followed, I thought it was important to share this message by Bill Click with you.
Before I do, I want to make one important point.
I often experience the resistance of some Christians to what they call negative prophecy. There is a movement away from warnings, end-times revelations and other prophetic insight that highlights disaster, wars, famines, etc.
- The easy point I can make is that such prophecies are biblical. We seen negative prophecies cover to cover from Joseph to John the Revelator.
- The additional point is this: Those who resist negative prophecies are fully supportive of natural intelligence! They support the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and other agencies as they listen to chatter and gain intelligence regarding planned terror events.
If the CIA reveals that they picked up on communications from a terror organization who is planning to plant bombs somewhere on American soil, we are thankful for that revelation! We plan accordingly, and urgently!
But, when the prophets mention that they have picked up on communications, they are ignored at best and discredited and resisted at worst.
The point? Listen to the prophets and don’t only receive the messages that tickle your ears. We need to hear the chatter about what is coming. God wants us to prepare for judgments of God and attacks of the enemy that are on their way.
It’s critical that we don’t put our heads in the sand and ignore what’s happening around us. That is not spiritual warfare, it’s abdicating our spiritual responsibility and it’s quite serious.
April 16, 2013
Early on Monday I was trying to decide on a message for the week. I felt impressed to reissue a previous one, and what is below caught my eye. I initially dismissed it as not really relevant for now, that it would need a major revision and edit for update.
I then decided on another one that I would look over a bit before sending.
But after returning home Monday afternoon, and beginning to see the reports from Boston, I decided to reissue the following message from late in 2004, without revision.
What the Lord is Saying at this Time Originally released on October 6, 2004 Bill Click
1. Something Worse than “911” is Going to Happen in the United States.
On September 14th of this year as Nancy and I were driving, the anointing of the Lord came upon me and the Spirit spoke these words within my spirit: “Something worse than ‘911' is going to happen in the United States.” I have not yet been told anymore about when, where, to whom or through whom. But I am released to share this with you.
Shortly after “911,” there were “Dirty bomb” scares– concerns that Usama bin Laden had nuclear capability. The Lord clearly showed me at that time that bin Laden did– in fact– have the means, but that God was going to protect the USA. Furthermore, it was a conditional word based on the church's continual willingness to be made battle ready in the Spirit by evangelizing the lost, equipping the saints and de-religiousizing the church through authentic spiritual reformation which will be evident by structural transformation. The church must be built as Jesus designed and the Word makes clear– around gifts and offices instead of talents and positions. For this to take place, the Spirit must be yielded to throughout continual processes which bring constant change until the church is totally designed, led, powered and directed by the Head.
It has not been revealed to me what type of calamity is coming to the USA, but the separate experiences concerning calamity and a nuclear disaster which has been averted to this point could very well be related. It is semi-common knowledge that many “close calls” (nuclear & otherwise)– that have never been made public– have been turned back by the military and other “intelligence” through God's merciful protection during past years.
Regardless of what is ahead, I am sure that the Lord is saying that the “something worse than ‘911′ that is going to happen in the United States” IS going to happen. It is too late to avert it, but not too late to get ready for all trouble by being battle ready in the Spirit, evangelizing the lost, equipping the saints and de-religiousizing the church through authentic spiritual reformation which will be evident in structural transformation– the church becoming truly established by Christ in gifts and offices instead of talents and positions.
2. The Body of Christ Needs to Retire all Credit Card debt by June 2005
A few days before I received the revelation of calamity I just shared, I was impressed by the Spirit (for reasons I do not claim to understand) “The body of Christ needs to retire all credit card debt by June 2005.” Does this relate to the above? I don't know, but I am confident in sharing this with you. Some reading this will despair, saying: “How will we do it?” Some can do it by discipline and budgeting. There are 8+ months left and it is easy enough to compute (although much harder for many to say “no” to borrowing against a very uncertain future). Most will need a “supernatural exchange,” like we did in 2002. At the beginning of 2002, the Lord spoke to us to double our giving and then said we would receive increase, with which we were to retire our personal credit card debt. The first four months things got worse instead of better. The increased giving resulted in our only making minimum payment on cards totally $10,000+ in debt. In late April, God began to move and all that debt was retired by the end of August 2002. There is still no debt. In July 2003 we purchased the building we meet in and there is no debt attached to it either. We are a debt-free ministry.
God CAN if we will listen to and follow Him completely. For many, giving and receiving will be the only way you get ready for June 2005. What will happen then? I don't know, but if it turns out that we will have opportunity to invest, or receive wealth transfer at that time (instead of a banking or market collapse that some may read into this), don't you want to be ready for God's increase, whatever it is? To do so, we must all obey the Spirit of the Lord. 3. Terrorism– No Matter how or through whom it Manifests– is the War that will Grip the World's Attention, Resources & Efforts until the Return of Christ.
I want to assure you as I continue that I am neither Democrat nor Republican. Terrorism is a war without borders that cannot be won, it can only be contained. I agree with President George W. Bush that warring against terrorism requires “perfection” to be successful. People of God, there is no such thing as “perfection” in the natural realm. There IS however, the merciful protection and blessing of God. Blessing, however, is reserved for the obedient. And there will be moments when mercy is to let us see how far we are from God and the severity of the need to continually turn toward Him.
I disagree with the President, however, when he asserts that we must fight terrorism “there” so we don't have to fight it “here.” We have to fight it everywhere– and it is already here. Begin to claim as your inheritance those who frequent the Mosque's in your area, and pray a laborer in their path– being willing to be that very laborer when the Lord appoints and anoints you for the task.
The Military will never win this war of “terrorism,” but it must continually fight for it to be contained. Those who are truly God's will be rise up and be strengthened when threats and fear abound however, not shrink back. The church WILL continue to be gathered, established and when all is ready– The Father will send Jesus and He will defeat the many differing “fronts” of the war Antichrist wages. But terrorism's root– no matter how or through whom it manifests (Jihad, White Supremacists, antigovernment groups, murderous antiabortionists, the Klan, the intimidation through organized crime, gangs and even vandalism, etc.) is the spirit of Antichrist.
4. Terrorism is only One Strategy of the Spirit of Antichrist's Efforts to Stop the Gospel of the Kingdom and Delay the Return of Christ.
There are others:
A. False unity in the church. This manifests in various ways, from “dumbing down” God for the seek of seeker sensitivity to “lowest common denominator” multi-church unity meetings to also the efforts to arrive at a “consensus” among gatherings of horizontal church leaders. Where there is no true function of an individual's spiritual nature and grace, there is no true assembling of the Body (Psa.133). Don't fellowship “down” to belong or to include, or to be included. If they want you, then be you when you're there. Don't settle for being rejected by the rejected. You cannot be rejected, you have been accepted by the One whose acceptance of you settles it forever.
B. Preference of false religions in our society through what is called “political correctness.” Whether it be in the government, the workplace, in education, in technology, etc. – if you are a “Christian” who proclaims Jesus Christ you will be increasingly singled out, ridiculed, minimized, passed over and otherwise left out in days ahead. KNOW your “place” in the world as a witness, and be ready to increasingly be bold and see the extent to which God is with you. God will protect and provide for those who truthfully represent Him with no apology. Although we ARE to gather resources from the world for the Kingdom (Dt.8:18), we are to above all else be witnesses of Him in that realm (Acts 1:8; Mt.28:18-20).
C. Nations who “cooperate” with one another schizophrenically– always requiring “consensus” before acting as a means of actually preventing that very action, not endorsing it. C. Peter Wagner's description of the “corporate spirit of religion” in his book “Changing Church” can be applied to this realm as well, albeit by another name: “the spirit of Antichrist.” To be included or sought out for the sake of being controlled does not insure that what God has given the church will continue to live, increase and reproduce. Instead, it guarantees its demise.
In the same way, for the USA to place their protection in the hands of other nations playing a schizophrenic “push-pull” of support and inaction while protecting their own interests and covering their own scandals should be easy enough to see for it is: deception at the international level for the sake of “controlling” the USA while protecting the spirit of Antichrist.
President George W. Bush has always cooperated more than enough, and has only acted when it was clear that every resolution to act was meaningless. Even though being in Iraq, Afghanistan and virtually everywhere else is a strain on all our resources, and precious lives have been lost– it is clear in my spirit that George W. Bush is God's choice for the next 4 years. I pray that he receives the support that his being “chosen” should provide. Why? “Because something worse than ‘911' is going to happen in the United States,” says the Lord.
The Body of Christ needs to retire all Credit Card debt by June 2005.
Terrorism– no matter how or through whom it manifests– is the war that will seize the world's attention, resources & efforts until the return of Christ.
Terrorism is only one strategy of an Antichrist effort to stop the gospel of the Kingdom and delay the return of Christ.
Possibly the most shocking shift coming to the church is the transition away from senior pastoral leadership.
The church army became a nursery. We want to play all day and cry for our needs to be met. Grow up! ~Isaiah Saldivar
I’m currently writing my next book titled The Coming Church, and I am continually stricken by fear and trembling as I communicate what is about to hit. The coming fire will be consuming everything that is outside of God’s design. The coming church will look so different than the church of today that we will find ourselves speechless. Everything man-made is going. Everything that God deems good but outdated is going. The coming church will be a defined by fire and it will repel the lukewarm and religious—as it draws in the hungry and desperate.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST:
I continually hear people eagerly declaring that they are done with church as usual. Their heart is for God to move in and explode in power. I count myself as one of those people. However, the shift necessary to see this happen will upset what has been setup, and that price may be too costly for most.
Consider the radical differences between the United States Marines and a spa.
Today, the church structurally has the makeup of a spa that is setup to draw people in via programs and promises of personal attention. The coming church will function like a military that is setup to draw people in compelled by the magnitude of the mission. They will not show up to be served by to serve.
People join a spa to be nurtured and enjoy life with themselves in mind. People join the military to serve unto death with others in mind.
After 22+ years of ministry my opinion is that one of the weakest links in the church today is false expectations—expectations perpetuated by leaders who want to fill the pews. Let me explain.
In the local church context today, most want to connect in the place that will meet their expectations. There is a predetermined set of expectations that people enter the church with, and If those expectations aren’t met, negativity creeps into the camp. So, today, people won’t continue in a church if it doesn’t offer what they want, and pastors can’t imagine the thought of losing them, so they adjust course and focus on giving them what they expect.
In the Western church, the pastoral office is the natural office to lead a church that’s fueled by people’s need for nurture. After all, it’s presumed that pastors, by design, are the ones to meet the expectations of the people. They have the heart to do so. Therefore, pastoral leadership is widely embraced by those who are more inclined to receive than to give.
Does that sound like American culture? Does a consumer mentality have its touch on most every area of our lives? Absolutely, and, it has nearly overtaken the church, and we as leaders have left that problem largely unresolved.
What happens now is that pastors are overwhelmed with connecting with people, feeding them what they prefer and ensuring they are attended to—and that has compromised the strength and outward mission of the church.
Now, of course, helping people is absolutely appropriate and necessary, and pastors are the ones best equipped by God to do that, but this ministry was never meant to be the primary function of the church!
Today, churches act much like hospitals. Their key function is to deal with the wounded. In reality, they should look more like MASH units! Soldiers who are wounded in the mission are quickly stitched up so they can get back to the war!
God is raising up people who want to get challenged, not fed. ~Isaiah Saldivar
Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
The nurturing, equipping process is important, but it is not the goal! Notice that the equipping is for a reason! To work! Additionally, we have every opportunity and responsibility to feed ourselves instead of relying fully on the church. Today there are countless teachings online, in books, on CD’s and more. There is no excuse for any of us to rely on anybody else for our nourishment. We should not be showing up to the church empty waiting to be fed. We should arrive full and overflowing with the richness of the Word that we have fed ourselves with that week!
As an prophetic apostle, my focus is over the horizon. It’s on just a few narrow topics. I need everybody on their face praying, and I’ll do everything I can to teach them how. I want everybody going after regional revival, and I’ll teach week after week on how they can do that. I prophetically have a pulse on the church and I’ll constantly relay that information to the church so they can respond. But, they will have to take it upon themselves to learn most everything else. Of course, I’m not the only teacher in my context either. Others can and do impart knowledge and revelation, but it is still limited and it’s still required that we devour the Word ourselves.
Today, pastor led churches nurture and feed as the goal so much of the time without casting the vision that they are about to call everybody to pick up their weaponry and move out to battle!
The coming shift will result in less feeding and a higher bar of committed and focused response. The problem? Pastors are not the ones best gifted or called to lead this transition. The pastor led church is functionally compromised.
Simply stated, the church is out of biblical order.
Apostles and Prophets are Coming
Prophets announce, among other things, the coming governmental order and apostles bring the order.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 (ESV) 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
These offices are listed in order of importance and function in the church.
Life Application Commentary: Paul specifically ranked them as first, second, and third to show their prime importance above all the other gifts.
ESV Study Bible: First… second… third… then seems to be a ranking of importance or benefit to the church, with apostles being primary and then prophecy and teaching also contributing greatly to building others up.
The apostolic ministry is actually the first one that our Lord, Jesus, established in the New Testament church.
Lk 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.
Why did Jesus establish the apostolic ministry first? Because it was to be the foundation of the church government in the New Testament, as the priesthood was the foundation of the ministry in the Old Testament. So, without apostles in the ministry, the ministry gifts are literally without the necessary foundation.
Eph 2:20 And (you) are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.
There are governmental levels in spiritual realms. These are called “principalities, powers and rulers.” Each has a different realm of authority, a different authority level, and a different manner of operation.
Eph:6:12 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.
Likewise, we have different levels of authority in the different ministry gifts. Here is where the apostle's authority is truly needed. At times, a pastor is confronted with different types of spiritual attacks. Without the spiritual covering of an apostle, he can be battling against powers and rulers that he is not actually anointed, or prepared to battle against. With the apostolic covering, he is able to draw upon the apostle's anointing, understanding, and experience in these battles. Instead of fighting alone, he has the spiritual support he needs.
The current structure or model of church ministry revolves around the pastoral paradigm (model) of ministry. A paradigm is a structure of ministry that serves as a model or pattern. It's astonishing but the word pastor, Greek poimen is only mentioned once in the entire New Testament. From one occurrence in scripture we have built thousands of pastoral churches. Yet there were no churches ever built in the New Testament by pastors. Even the one started at Antioch soon received Barnabas as an apostolic leader. Barnabas was a sent-one (apostolic gift) from the church in Jerusalem.
In reality we have created a structure of church services that is designed to bless, nurture and comfort attendees. After all, that is the dominate grace on the pastoral ascension gift to comfort, bless, nurture, protect and lead to still waters. There is nothing wrong with being a pastor. What we are discussing is the transition into an apostolic model of ministry that enables us to be more effective in establishing and advancing the Kingdom of God.
Let’s face it the pastoral-only model of ministry is not working. We need something that is more effective and that’s going to be the apostolic model of ministry that we are experiencing today, the new apostolic prophetic church.
There will always be a set man over a congregation. Scripture says, “Let the Lord the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation” (Numbers 27:16). Apostolic ministry models may have a plurality of leadership gifts working together to equip believers known as a presbytery but there will always be one set man that is ultimately responsible before God to apostle a church.
The Holy Spirit is going to restore an effective structure of ministry that will empower you to raise-up strong sons and daughters in the Lord that will take the battle out of the church and into the city.
Apostolic ministry gifts are spiritual master builders that carry the revelation of Christ governing Church. As Paul said, “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Corinthians 3:10).
The Purpose of the Church
The church is not a house of teaching or a house of evangelism or a house of friendships. The very purpose of the church is prayer! It is a house of prayer for all nations! If someone in the church is resistant to the call to pray corporately, they can’t consider themselves to be a functional part of the church.
This is a huge problem!
In today’s church very few live a lifestyle of prayer. In fact, most pastors don’t either!
Leonard Ravenhill said: Pastors who don’t pray two hours a day aren’t worth a dime a dozen!
Mark 11:15-18 (ESV) 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
We are in a Mark 11:15-18 season in our nation. In that situation, the people were using the church for personal gain. They had expectations of personal benefit. They entered the church with the expectation of leeching off of it, of using it, and leaving with more than they entered with. This is a defilement of the church!
The call is to go into the church with the expectation of leaving with less than we enter with! We bring an offering, a sacrifice! We minister to God!
This is critical! Pastor led churches more easily seek to give people what they expect out of the church. Now, please understand me. Pastors are God ordained! But, when they function outside of their appropriate governmental position, it brings disorder. The same would be true of any of the offices. You probably don’t want a prophet trying to nurture people! Thank God for pastors!
The House of Prayer
In the coming church, everybody will pray as their primary ministry! Yes, everybody!
This means a great offense is coming as suddenly those focused on their own expectations and who are resistant to the call to prayer will have nowhere to go!
The governmental order in the church will require a mass exodus of uncommitted, unwilling hearts as intercession takes first place again. This type of dramatic shift requires the skills of an apostle to pull off.
You might presume that intercession is to be reserved for the mature, for those who have graduated from the equipping process. No! No! No!
The best equipping center is the prayer room! If an 18 year old pimple faced young person fresh out of high school with no experience, no knowledge, no wisdom can join the Marines and fight for our country, he can do the same in the prayer room!
Again, there is a place for pastors to nurture people like this, and, in fact, we need pastors not as senior leaders, but as smaller group leaders who can invest time into individuals. They need to prepare them quickly to respond to the coming instructions from the apostles and prophets. It would make sense to have serving with an apostle maybe ten to twenty pastors for every one hundred people in a church.
Islamic prayer: The second pillar of Islam is salat, the requirement to pray five times a day at fixed times. Children are often required to fulfill this daily requirement by the age of 7.
If a mosque can be jam packed full of people praying early in the morning on a weekday as happens in our area, and if children as young as 7 are praying five times a day in that system, certainly an all consuming, Holy Spirit fueled life of prayer for a Christian is not hard to imagine at all!
Act like priests!
When you stand as a priest before the Lord, you aren’t representing yourself, you are representing others in corporate identificational prayer. ~James Goll
You are a priest, and that means that you have a job to do. You are a priestly intercessor before God and the call is to pray individually and corporately continually!
In the coming church, under apostles and prophets, we all will show up and pray! That is church! Church services will be prayer meetings again!
Personal expectations will be replaced by assignments to serve, give, pray and lay down our lives! We won’t show up with our prayer lists or our own issues but rather we will represent the nations as we invest into them in prayer.
We are all priests and we all carry extreme authority! This is church at its best!
The Simple Blueprint
Apostles and Prophets
- The shift: Corporate leadership will shift from pastors to apostles and prophets primarily. Instead of merely relaying information, messages will be mostly challenging and directive with a clear expected response as the body is rallied to fulfill a corporate mission together. They will lead with the expectation that the entire unit will be moving in step with them as they fulfill the vision of the church in unity.
- The difficulty: Those that are averse to responding to prophetic instruction or who simply want a ‘pick me up’ each week to help them make it to the next Sunday will suddenly find themselves well outside of the vision of the church. There will be costly calls to serve, give, pray and function as a priest before the Lord, and that will be unappealing to many. The new aggressive, fast moving military will be challenging to say the least.
- The shift: In the coming church, pastors will mostly be relieved of primary church leadership responsibilities and will be released to spend most of their time one-on-one with people and in small groups.
- The difficulty: Pastors who are senior leaders will be asked to relinquish their positions, their salaries and their influence in favor of an apostle God is calling them to serve under.
- The shift: Many programs of the church will be eliminated, possibly including children’s ministry, youth ministry, drama, etc. and will be replaced by prayer meetings, training and outreach.
- The difficulty: People will have to change their expectations and make themselves ready to serve by growing intentionally on their own in a significant way each day. They probably won’t have close, direct access with the leader and will have to trade personal desire for close friendship for a readiness to respond to the sound of the alarm.
- The shift: Most services will look more like prayer meetings than anything else. Everybody will spend the bulk of the service ministering to God in intercession and community will surround that emphasis.
- The difficulty: The desire to be entertained and overfed will no longer be met. Mostly receiving will change to mostly giving. Rapid maturity will be required as apostolic leaders move ahead aggressively in a rapidly and ever changing culture of ministry to the nations. Those resistant to growth or to change won’t easily find a place to connect. Additionally, relational community will occur only around the mission. The prayer meeting will be the gathering point for friendships to develop. People looking for these types of connections will be disappointed if they aren’t willing to jump in the bunker in a risky mission with their fellow soldiers. Gladly, the pastors will be in the bunkers with them.
- The shift: Seeker churches will quickly fade away as the fire of the Holy Spirit rages in the houses of prayer. The lost won’t be relationally converted as much as they will be converted by fire. We will trust God’s wisdom as in Acts 2 and allow the fire of God impact a region. The prayer room will become the place of choice to bring the lost.
- The difficulty: Everybody will have to drop most everything and tend to the fire in the house of prayer. To ensure the atmosphere is supernaturally charged, everybody in the church will be spending hours a day in the prayer room together. False salvations will drop to near zero as they won’t be based on a simple prayer but rather on an encounter with the God of fire.
It’s important that I do say that many current pastors are actually gifted with apostolic and/or prophetic offices. They will help lead the shift!
We will all have to trust God as our personal finances, plans, dreams, influence and structures are threatened. God really does have plans to prosper us even in this dramatic, unsettling shift!
Join us for raw, fervent prayer Thursday at 7pm at theLab House of Prayer!
FIRST: “Life with John and Amy” which takes place the first Saturday of each month at our house is CANCELLED this Saturday. We are officially on BABY EVA WATCH! She could come any time, so we’ll see you in May!
SECOND: Listen to a sharp word about how to stay on fire for God in the first part of a new series: Four Fires http://media.johnburton.net/7931865
Featured XPMedia Video
The prayer movement in Michigan is capturing the attention of the world!
My video on “A Revival Prayer Model” was featured on Patricia King’s XPMedia today. It was sent out to over 47,000 subscribers!
You can watch it here: https://www.xpmedia.com/video/10529/a-revival-prayer-model/?affid=8389
theLab House of Prayer
This is the key initial step in the establishment of a house of prayer in the Detroit region!
There is an awakening and gathering of what I call pavement people in the Detroit area—people, as in 2 Chronicles 7, who are willing to hit the cold, hard pavement and glorify God.
tAs soon as Solomon finished his prayer, ufire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, vand the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, wfor his steadfast love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3, ESV)
Are you a pavement person—one who places no demands on God, who couldn’t care less about personal comforts and who is provoked to spur this region on in repentance, surrender, fervent intercession and passionate worship? We want to meet you!
theLab House of Prayer is a place to boldly declare the Word of the Lord and cry out night and day for revival in our region!
Join us from 7-9pm every Thursday night beginning tomorrow, April 4th, 2013.
theLab House of Prayer and Revival Church meet at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.
Lion’s Paw • Janice VanCronkhite • April 6-7
An inspiring conference speaker and prophetic activator, Janice challenges the church to be released into the fullness and anointing of God’s creativity and to see his love and supernatural power exhibited through every kind of earthly artistic medium. Her depth of wisdom, favor and experience practically illuminate how to overcome obstacles and continue the journey into creative fullness.
Register TODAY at www.explorerevival.com/paw.
Our NEW twelve week online university launches on July 18, 2013! www.thelabuniversity.com
Instructors: John Burton, Chris Ferguson, Julia Palermo
Classes include: The End-Times, Carriers of Fire, Prayer 101, Intro into the Prophetic, The Forerunner Lifestyle, more!
9:21AM EDT 4/2/2013 David & Nancy Ravenhill
Imagine a car dealership that provides every car buyer with a free car wash for as long as they own the car. You purchase a car, and along with the required paperwork you are given a free-car-wash certificate. The dealer tells you he has fully paid for all the car washes you will ever need, saying he believes that a clean car is the greatest way of advertising and promoting his dealership.
Several days later, you happen to drive down a muddy country road full of potholes and ruts. Later, you notice your car is covered with mud and decide to avail yourself of your free lifetime car wash. But before you have time to drive through the car wash, your friends inform you that you no longer have to go there. They tell you that your first car wash was all that was necessary. Any suggestion that you need another wash is not only wrong, but a lie.
You try and reason with your friends and even show them your dirty car. They still refuse to acknowledge that the car needs washing, even after seeing the condition of the car. They inform you that what the dealer really meant was that once the dealership had purchased the car wash for you, that would keep the car clean forever. They also argued that to suggest it needed washing again was an insult to the dealer and the dealership. “Don't you realize,” your friends tell you, “when the dealer first paid for your car wash, that automatically washed it for life; all past, present and future dirt was washed away, and therefore it never needs to be washed again.”
Such logic would, by anyone's reasoning, be considered imbecilic, ignorant or crazy, to say the least. Obviously, what the dealer intended was that anytime you needed your car washed, you could avail yourself of a car wash because he had already paid for it in advance.
Thinking back on your conversation with the dealer, you recall him telling you that he has a personal hatred for dirty cars and that is why he paid for a lifetime of free washes to anyone who asked. He went on to say that if—and not when—you happen to get your car dirty, the car wash would take care of it. He obviously never intended for you to drive around searching for dirty roads just so you could avail yourself of the car wash. That, he said, would be abusive to the car-wash program and an insult to his dealership.
In a similar way, the atoning work of Christ paid in full for all my sin. This, however, does not exclude my need for repentance, nor does it give me license to sin as I please. For my “friends” to tell me otherwise is totally false and misleading.
Sadly, this is the logic behind the new hyper-grace message. The essence behind this false teaching is that all sins past, present and future have already been atoned for and therefore there is no longer any need to repent. That, the proponents of this idea say, would be tantamount to telling God you don't believe He has paid for all your sin.
This type of fuzzy theology falls apart for this reason: If repentance is acknowledging a sin that has already been forgiven, thereby making repentance unnecessary, then why do we tell people to repent the first time in order to be saved? If repentance is wrong following salvation, then using the same “logic,” repentance is wrong prior to salvation too.
The error here is that this type of teaching leads to ultimate reconciliation or universalism. Jesus paid for all sin; therefore, all are saved.
The fact is that the provision for my cleansing was completed at the cross but the process of my cleansing is conditional upon my repentance, and not before.