Posts Tagged ‘america’

Urgent/Important Matrix: The surprising reason I can’t shy away from provocative messages

Negative. Offensive. Irritating. Why provocative messages are so critical today.

To silence a preacher from preaching judgment is like being awoke from sleep by a fire alarm, and just silencing the alarm, and going back to sleep. –Unknown

Though they often cause a bit of a ripple, I honestly don’t see the messages, status updates, videos and other communication I release as very striking at all. I am often amazed at how a firestorm of trouble can result from what I consider to be simple, orthodox truths—truths that have been too often abandoned by today’s church, even churches that look vibrant and active.

So often, after I share a very basic post I hear people commenting on how edgy it was. That never ceases to amaze me. I personally feel weak, broken and living too far below the bar God has for me to communicate anything that’s truly provocative—not the way the prophets of old did, at least.

Yet, even the insufficient words from this messenger tend to cause trouble. The deeper I go in the Lord, the more troubling the messages become—and the messages don’t originate in my mind. They are delivered my spirit in dreams, visions and in Scripture. God is shaking his church, and he’s shaking me as well. The messages will only get stronger.

All you have to do is decide to walk a little closer to God and you'll be criticized more in the church than in the tavern down the street. ~Leonard Ravenhill

When compared with spiritual heroes of old, we still have miles to go before we are anywhere near the level of shock that their messages caused.

If we have another Pentecost and it was real , we'd all be in jail within a month. We're such an accommodating Christianity today. ~Leonard Ravenhill

We are living in a day where deception has so overwhelmed the church that anything less than clear, black and white preaching of the Word won’t suffice. The enemy has convinced millions of professing Christians that they are OK and in a good place as he craftily leads them to Hell.

The devil can counterfeit all the saving operations and graces of the Spirit of God. ~Jonathan Edwards

There isn't a “Pentecostal” Church in America. If there is, tell me where it is. ~Leonard Ravenhill

I'm embarrassed to be a part of the (so-called) church of Jesus Christ today because I believe it's an embarrassment to a Holy God ! ~Leonard Ravenhill

Simply put, some presume most in the world are saved and I believe they are not.

Many presume most in the church are saved and I have my doubts.

I doubt if 5% of professing Christians in America are born again. ~Leonard Ravenhill

For this reason, the disturbing messages of awakening to the church must continue. They can’t be occasional or squeezed between other less costly teachings. The alarm cannot be interrupted.

Someone asked me, “Do you pray for the dead?” I said, “No, I preach to them!” I think every pew in every church is death row. Think about that! They're dead! They sing about God; they talk about God, but they're dead! They have no living relationship (with God). ~Leonard Ravenhill

There's one thing we need above everything else; it's something we don't talk about these days. We need a mighty avalanche of conviction of sin. ~Leonard Ravenhill

Effectively Communicating the Struggle

As a communicator it’s so frustrating to me when I can’t effectively get a point across (which happens more often than I’d like to admit!).

I’ve been wrestling with how I can best represent the urgency I have in my spirit regarding the state of the church. Maybe the following will help.

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Even the revival/prophetic stream that I most easily identify with would presume that, in general, most in the church are in right standing before God. They are saved.

This is where my internal struggle intensifies. I have a low level of confidence that that’s true.

This point of departure radically impacts how messages are delivered and received.

How you believe God perceives people will determine how you respond to them. –Jacquelyn K. Heasley

Consider the well known “Urgency/Importance Matrix.”

Urgent/Important

Urgent means that a task requires immediate attention.

Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values and goals.

My messages are most often situated right in the center of the URGENT/IMPORTANT section of the matrix. What this means is that the calls for awakening are so critical that if they aren’t heeded, many praying, tithing, church going, professing Christians will end up in Hell—and the lost will remain lost. Simply, my message is to awaken the at risk church and to establish again the clear, biblical structure of the church—to be a house of prayer for all nations.

Additionally, for the remaining who are truly saved, the message retains its urgent status as it calls the remnant church to abruptly shock the rest of the world out of the grip of the spirit of the age. Billions are headed to Hell and anything less than a white hot burning church won’t work.

We're blind to the fact (that) we have an obligation to five billion people in the world. This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of lost souls! ~Leonard Ravenhill

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 1 Peter 4:17-18

Even the righteous are scarcely saved, so we need a steady, continual sledgehammer approach to our messages. Awaken! Strengthen what remains!

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Revelation 3:2

The American church is living so far below the bar, and it has become convinced that it’s normal. We have been deceived.

I don't believe 90% of people who claim to have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit truly have it. True power is missing. ~Morris Cerullo

I'm astounded, bewildered, confused, baffled when people tell me there are 75 million people in America that are filled with the Holy Ghost and we're the most rotten nation on earth. ~Leonard Ravenhill

God is taking His hands off of America. We've had so much light and we've rejected it. ~Leonard Ravenhill

Additionally, regarding revival, it’s easy to presume that the foundation has already been laid and that now we are to expect an outpouring. I depart from this perspective as well. Of course, revival can spark anywhere through anybody that is wholehearted toward God, but on a regional and national level I’m still in the URGENT/IMPORTANT square.

Instead of millions finding Jesus in a season of revival, the risk is high and immediate for millions to end up in Hell. The alarms should still be sounding. It’s not time to shift to another square on the matrix, and it won’t be for quite some time.

I'm concerned in my spirit (that) the reason the world goes to hell-fire tonight is because we've (the church) lost Holy Ghost fire. ~Leonard Ravenhill

Not Urgent/Important

It seems the majority of other preachers and teachers and Christian leaders don’t wrestle with this the way I do (though some definitely do so and at a much higher level than me). So, their starting point is different.

Since their feeling is that professing Christians are out of harms way, the urgency factor is not there. Their messages are most often categorized as NOT URGENT/IMPORTANT. They take on the feel of exhortation instead of proclamation, encouragements instead of mandates.

So, the starting point for those in the NOT URGENT/IMPORTANT quadrant is that we are safe, and now we can start the process of improvement, enhancement and development. With the urgency factor removed, there is no need for strong preaching or offensive messages. There’s no call to desperation in the place of prayer.

Without the urgency of prayer, the importance of reaching the masses and seeing revival is a pipe dream. Daily gatherings of prayer must return to the church!

I can think of one thing when I get to the Judgment Bar and Jesus will look down and say, “I had many things to tell you but you couldn't bear them.” We're too busy running our own lives: praying when you want to pray, eating what you want to eat, going where you want to go, spending what you want to spend, reading what you want to read, (Do you) call that a spiritual life? Brother, it is carnal as carnality! ~Leonard Ravenhill

At this level there is a false sense of unity that tends to take over. The unity is around a presumed state of salvation, and this common ground actually results in an aggressive rejection of URGENT/IMPORTANT messages. Those messages are disruptive, and in fact, are often re-categorized by the hearers as NOT URGENT/NOT IMPORTANT. Distractions. They disagree with both the message and the delivery. They are irritants to their focus on enhancement and development. They seem to be counter-productive and a threat to their mission.

There's is certainly a cry for unity in the church. The question is, will we unite at the lowest common level or at the highest & most costly?

Regarding revival, the lack of urgency has resulted in a premature focus on strategies and advance. The NOT URGENT/IMPORTANT approach toward revival reveals that most feel the church is in a good place, ripe for revival, and that now it’s time to plan. On the contrary, the church is in a deeply compromised place and we must return to the basics. We must do little else than pray, repent and proclaim truth in this very troubling phase.

A Culture of Nice

This NOT URGENT/IMPORTANT church position has resulted in what some are calling a “culture of nice,” or the “false gospel of nice.”

The strategy is simply to be nice in the hopes that people will get saved and that the church will be unified—and that sounds great. The problem is that many of today’s issues require that we aren’t nice and passive. A confrontation is necessary. There’s even a sharp increase in evangelism that eliminates any mention of sin and repentance in the hopes that they communicate a nice, loving God that simply wants to be befriended. That type of evangelism results in people shifting from rejecting God to appreciating God—but not surrendering all to him.

We don't preach salvation. We preach forgiveness. ~Leonard Ravenhill

There are many, many people who are extremely active in churches today that have not had their false theologies challenged, who feel no pressure to deal with sinful attitudes and who presume to be in right standing in Christ—because nobody wants to threaten the culture of nice. The challenge to their positions never comes. The rebukes are absent. The conviction of the Holy Spirit is hushed.

Instead, the focus is on affirming and encouraging people in their current state. The NOT URGENT/IMPORTANT approach casually encourages them to grow and to become all they can be—if they want to. It’s important, but not immediately necessary. It’s the equivalent of being encouraged to get a college degree. It’s important, but not urgent. But, if they decide not to grow and advance, if the cost is too high, that’s OK. God still loves them anyway and all is well.

“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 1 Corinthians 15:32

The incorrect understanding of God’s love also results in a non-urgent approach to social issues. Homosexuals are affirmed in the church in the hopes that someday, if they so choose, they can find freedom. Pre-martial sex is discouraged but not shunned. Gossip is tolerated since it’s seemingly nice and important to value people’s opinions and to allow them to share their hearts. After all, if those same people are also feeding the hungry, giving financially, serving in the ministry and being nice, it can be presumed that they are in a good place and that they are to be affirmed.

We're living in an unprecedented day (when) evil is no longer evil. We've changed the terminology– iniquity is now infirmity; wickedness is now weakness; devilry is now deficiency. ~Leonard Ravenhill

If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,” where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word “Let love be without dissimulation” and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love. –Amy Carmichael

We must stop avoiding the “negative,” false-unity threatening truths!

Jennifer LeClaire from Charisma Magazine said:

Jesus isn’t bending His standards for any generation, and if people choose to desert the faith to fit in with the crowd or because the truth is too hard to bear, it would grieve Him, but He still won’t change His mind.

When Jesus taught that He was the bread come down from heaven and said, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54), many deserted Him. The Bible says, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?'” (vv. 66-67).

Even if the 12 had left His side, Jesus would still not compromise the truth. We can’t compromise the truth either. Ultimately, it won’t serve youth, millennials or any generation to cave on 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy. Especially not now. We’re in the last days. All signs point to a soon return of the Lord.

Not Urgent/Not Important

A lack of urgency, a culture of nice and a rejection of what’s important results in the lifestyle we see in our nation—NOT URGENT/NOT IMPORTANT.

Not only is there no urgency to go to church, for example, now the argument is that it’s also not important.

There’s no urgency to warn people of the destruction that media is bringing to our culture and it’s also no longer important to avoid that media ourselves.

There’s no urgency to gather together to pray, and, in fact, the call to prayer in the church is being rejected by many. It’s not important, or at least not as important as other things.

No church is going to have a revival with a prayer meeting (only) one day a week! ~Leonard Ravenhill

The surest thing in the world is not death and taxes, it's death and eternity. Yet, we're so unconcerned. ~Leonard Ravenhill

So now, a NOT URGENT/NOT IMPORTANT lifestyle results in laziness and a life-threatening misevaluation of what is important. Deception has taken over.

Pleasure and entertainment have filled the void and time is spent watching TV, relaxing and playing.

Doubt about what God deems important overtakes people and the result is a casual, happy-go-lucky approach to life.

It is now possible to live a “christian life” without doing the things that Jesus commanded us to do. ~Cal Thomas

The church is supposed to do what? To stop corruption? Is the church doing that? No! The world is corrupting the church! ~Leonard Ravenhill

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually! You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain. All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments. Psalm 119:117-120

Urgent/Not Important

This leaves us with the last quadrant—URGENT/NOT IMPORTANT.

It’s very easy to fall into this category while presuming we are in the URGENT/IMPORTANT category.

The easy way to explain URGENT/NOT IMPORTANT is this—it’s all about priorities.

I've heard a million words, sermons, and read books: (and) I'm accountable to God for everything I have. Every moment of my time, every dime of my money. ~Leonard Ravenhill

We live in a very busy culture that demands our attention continually. Additionally, we can give ourselves to goals and activities that require our focus immediately and continually, but that are less important than what God would have us involved in.

The cares of life fall directly into this section.

And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:18-20

This is why we must be students of the Word. The Bible reveals what is most important to us, not our urgent, intense, demanding American culture.

The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible is the religion of Christ's church. ~Leonard Ravenhill

The pursuit of riches or other things results in an urgency to obtain them, even though we know in Scripture that it’s not at all important.

Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ. — Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan

What message are you preaching?

Do you presume all is well? Are you mostly focused on enhancing and developing, or is there a spirit of a reformer ready to be awakened in you?

There is a need for URGENT/IMPORTANT prophetic messengers to rise up.

You will be resisted by the NOT URGENT/IMPORTANT crowd—many of whom are wonderful, valuable Christians who sincerely see things differently. Their view on salvation and on the necessary level of intensity in our generation may differ. But, that doesn’t remove your mandate to urgently sound a critically important message—wake up and strengthen what remains and is about to die.

A call to reformation in the church : 27 points of reform

The following was written after being awakened in the night—a word of reformation for the church.

It was delivered to the church of Colorado Springs many years ago, but it is applicable to the church of America. I shared this at Revival Church recently. It’s time for reform!

imageReformation: The Church of Colorado Springs

God has given the Church of Colorado Springs every resource necessary to initiate a fire of revival that will burn our city, our nation and our planet.

We can all agree this fire is not raging- and the current structure in our city can neither initiate nor sustain a move of God of this magnitude.

It’s time for a radical and momentous change in the Church of Colorado Springs. It’s time for a reformation.

1. We must repent of prayerlessness. A call is being made for every believer to pray with hunger and passion to an extreme degree. Spiritual leaders of this city must model such a lifestyle of prayer on a daily basis. It must be our primary activity. Pastors and leaders- let’s agree to a minimum of one three hour prayer watch every day.

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Pastors who don’t pray two hours a day aren’t worth a dime a dozen”

Acts 6:4 “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

2. We must repent of competition. It’s time to promote the City Church ahead of our local Church. Are we willing to lose people, money, our ministries and our reputations in order for God’s corporate dream of city-wide revival to explode?

Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

3. We must repent for being mindful of man ahead of God- and then resign our positions as salespeople. We are to once again lead with a bold prophetic mantle. As a leader, the primary role is to hear God in prayer and to declare his Word to the people. The body must renounce consumerism in the Church by asking not what our Church can do for us but what we can do for our Church.

Mat 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

4. We must repent for forsaking the house of prayer. There is a call for every church in the city to maintain a 24-hour prayer center as its primary ministry. It is to be modeled and led by senior leadership. The primary purpose of the Church is not teaching, visitor assimilation or fellowship. It is undeniably night and day prayer for the nations. Lengthy prayer should be taught and modeled as the dominant activity of every believer.

Is 56:7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

5. We must repent of pride. God resists the proud, and this city can’t afford for God to move away from us. We must repent, humble ourselves and cry for Jesus to come!

James 4:6 “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

6. We must repent for quenching the Holy Spirit. Our cry must be, “Come as you are and do what you want!” Sunday services should be marked by significant and earth-shaking supernatural moves of the Holy Spirit.

1 Thes 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.

7. We must repent for resisting the prophetic. Now, more than ever, we need to hear the Word of the Lord. We must teach every believer how to hear God, how to steward that Word and how to take responsibility in the fulfillment of that Word.

1 Thes 5:20 Do not despise prophecies.

8. We must embrace and teach on the experiential reality of the presence of God. If someone were to be on the moon, would he want to learn about air or experience air? Colorado Springs must experience the fresh flowing air of the Holy Spirit again.

Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

9. We must be willing to forsake programs and policies set in place by the demands of man in favor of the divine vision of the Holy Spirit.

10. We must release control of our services and expect to stay late, burn hot, experience much, cast out demons, prophesy, proclaim the Word, worship intensely and enjoy a wonderfully messy but Holy Spirit ordered event. The first Church was birthed supernaturally in such a way that many marveled and many mocked. It must continue now as it started then.

11. We must raise the bar of expectations and do now what we will be doing when revival breaks out. Pray continually, be in the House of Prayer daily, cry out for justice, establish the 24-hour church, give, serve and enjoy God with other believers..

Luke 18:7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

Luke 2:37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

12. We must repent for canceling services, closing the church doors and lowering the expected commitment. We have submitted to a deadly and apathetic American culture, and it’s time to lead the way and bring reformation to that culture. The Church must dominate our calendars again.

13. We must cry out for the love of God to weigh on His church in the form of both mercy and judgment. Pray for God’s judgment to rest on you, your church and this city so as to ensure wrong things are made right, holiness prevails and God reigns supreme.

1 Pet 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

14. We must teach Acts chapter two style- experience a move of God and then teach on it. Experience an overpowering move of the Holy Spirit to such a degree that highly anointed biblical teachings penetrate hearts. What God does is taught and explained from a supernatural perspective.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

15. We must admit there are demons and that they must be dealt with. Not through programs and projects but through prophetic proclamation. A unified assault on the kingdom of darkness will result in mass deliverance in our city.

James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

16. We must be available for repositioning and do away with the redundancy that a church on every corner invites. Many churches in our city should close. Those pastors would then assume more appropriate positions of service in other churches. Teachers would lead centers of teaching, pastors would lead small groups, and other leaders would serve in a variety of physical locations within the City Church. The goal is one City Church, many departments, unified leadership and individualized roles.

17. We must again become Holy Spirit sensitive instead of seeker sensitive. People aren’t looking for something worth living for, but rather for a cause worth dying for. Show them the cross. The normal New Testament Church experience is one of extreme manifestations of God, death to self, prophetic preaching and an unapologetic invasion into the culture which results in momentous change.

Mark 8:34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.

18. We must again embrace dreams, visions, praying in the Holy Spirit and extreme encounters with God.

1 Cor 14:39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.

19. We must repent for presenting a watered down, socially acceptable gospel. Salvation requires death, surrender and commitment to the plans of God.

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

20. We must repent for emphasizing what people can get instead of what they are to give. To enter a church with the expectation of leaving with more than you entered with is to embrace the same spirit the money changers did. We must again, with fear and trembling, enter the House of Prayer with the expectation of making a sacrifice and giving an offering.

Mat 21:12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.' ”

21. We must encourage every believer to grow intentionally, rapidly and independently. And then, to step into their assigned ministry role.

Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

22. We must call for the fear of the Lord to return to our Churches and city.

Prov 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; 18 For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.

23. We must repent for rebellion, self-government, lawlessness and an independent spirit. This is evidenced through church hopping and by leaving a church without being sent out by the leaders. This results in compromised missions, a divisive spirit and a splintering of the body. Accountability and submission to authority must again return to the Church.

Heb 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

24. We must repent of gossip, complaining and other forms of witchcraft.

Prov 6:16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

25. We must repent for embracing a religious spirit. Religion is man’s attempt to use God to get what he wants. It’s time to cry out for God to remove our man made structures and advance his Kingdom in our city!

26. We must repent to the nation for misrepresenting Colorado Springs as a significant national Christian center of Holy Spirit activity. It is not. We have wrongly stewarded this responsibility.

27. We must repent for not praying intently for our leaders. Their failure is our failure.

1 Tim 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

As we pray, unify, preach the cross, love God and the people of our city with passion and embrace the present Word of the Lord Colorado Springs will be a propellant for revival around the world.

Written trembling in the fear of the Lord,

John Burton

Hell, Holiness and Fear of Man | The true, prophetic church must emerge

When did it become hateful to warn people of the reality of Hell? Most go there and we have to get that message out.

FIRST: Join us TONIGHT (and every Friday night) at 7pm for fiery fervent prayer at the Detroit Prayer Furnace! www.detroitprayerfurnace.com
Revival Church and the Detroit Prayer Furnace are located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091.


Ephesians 5:11 (ESV) 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

imageI have no patience for the current trend in the church to ensure hearers of its messages suffer no troubled emotions or theological crisis.

If we read the Bible, and believe it is our blueprint for ministry, we cannot buy into this strategy. The Gospel troubles.

Ignoring Hell does not keep people from Hell—it increases the number who will perish. Ignoring sin in media, music and entertainment must stop—the church is devouring the vomit of Satan in media and is unconcerned about the effects because of an unbiblical view of an indifferent God.

We as Christians have NO OPTION but to shine the light on works of darkness, of unholiness—especially within the camp of the church!

There is a growing resistance by shepherds to the idea that judgment of God is in force today, and that somehow the better approach to the issue unholiness is to minimize its potency.

Romans 1:18 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Strong delusion has hit the church—and many in Spirit-filled environments are on a path to Hell, and they have no idea.

Christians are watching R and PG-13 rated movies like The Wolverine and Paranoia , TV shows like How I Met Your Mother and Two and Half Men and listening to music by Beyonce, Jay-Z and others.

YES, being entertained by sin, watching and listening to such media ABSOLUTLEY PUTS PEOPLE AT RISK OF HELL—Christian or not.

This is why the prayer movement is so critical! You cannot be fervent in prayer and be fervent in sin at the same time.

A lifestyle of fervent, burning prayer and legitimate salvation are more closely related than today's religious teachings reveal.

FEAR OF MAN

God is raising up a people who have the boldness of the Holy Spirit, and who will, in humility, stare the enemy in the face and renounce him and his strategies! It’s time to tear down our father’s altars!

You will lose friends! Family will shun you! Are you OK with that?

Judges 6:30 (ESV) 30 Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.”

It’s time we stop using Facebook to post pictures of kittens and start using it as a platform to expose darkness and to declare the word of the Lord!

The evidence of declaring truth is not a growing sphere of friends, but a growing revolt by those who want you shut down. I’m talking about other Christians. Truth presents a clear and present threat to the lukewarm, casual lifestyles of the majority in the church today.

Fear of man will keep you silent with a sleeping prophetic spirit as you embrace false-humility and false-love in the hopes of maintaining friendships.

I refuse to honor immorality. I will not respect darkness. I won’t befriend the lukewarm and rebellious. I will love them instead.

WILL YOU REJECT THE FEAR OF MAN AND HELP ME SOUND THE ALARM? Use Facebook, Twitter and other outlets daily to shake and provoke the sleeping church! Here’s the message:

Enjoying media and participating in activities that approve of sin will result in a delusion that puts even seasoned ministers and other Christians at clear risk of going to Hell. This is not a rare situation in the American church, but, rather is the norm!
Many will be shocked to find themselves in Hell one day!

“There is reason to think, that there are many in this congregation now hearing this discourse, that will actually be the subjects of this very misery to all eternity.” ~Jonathan Edwards speaking on Hell

Jonathan Edwards had no fear of man, none that we could see anyway. Read on:

“It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For “who knows the power of God's anger?”

“How dreadful is the state of those that are daily and hourly in the danger of this great wrath and infinite misery! But this is the dismal case of every soul in this congregation that has not been born again, however moral and strict, sober and religious, they may otherwise be. Oh that you would consider it, whether you be young or old! There is reason to think, that there are many in this congregation now hearing this discourse, that will actually be the subjects of this very misery to all eternity. We know not who they are, or in what seats they sit, or what thoughts they now have. It may be they are now at ease, and hear all these things without much disturbance, and are now flattering themselves that they are not the persons, promising themselves that they shall escape. If we knew that there was one person, and but one, in the whole congregation, that was to be the subject of this misery, what an awful thing would it be to think of! If we knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to see such a person! How might all the rest of the congregation lift up a lamentable and bitter cry over him! But, alas! instead of one, how many is it likely will remember this discourse in hell?”

“Therefore, let every one that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation. Let every one fly out of Sodom: “Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed.””

And the reaction of the people that day? It is what we must see in today’s church!

“Before the sermon was done there was a great moaning and crying out throughout the whole house, “What shall I do to be saved?! Oh, I am going to Hell! Oh, what shall I do for Christ?!” etc. etc. So that the minister was obliged to desist. Shrieks and cries were piercing and amazing. After some time of waiting, the congregation were still so that a prayer was made, and after that we descended from the pulpit and discoursed with the people, some in one place and some in another, and–amazing and astonishing!–the power of God was seen, and several souls were hopefully wrought upon that night, and oh, the pleasantness of their countenances that received comfort.”

Lest one believe that Jonathan Edwards was dour and sad, here is the text of his sermon, Heaven, A World Of Love:

“…But heaven is his dwelling-place above all other places in the universe; and all those places in which he was said to dwell of old, were but types of this. Heaven is a part of creation that God has built for this end, to be the place of his glorious presence, and it is his abode forever; and here will he dwell, and gloriously manifest himself to all eternity. And this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light. And therefore the glorious presence of God in heaven, fills heaven with love, as the sun, placed in the midst of the visible heavens in a clear day, fills the world with light. The apostle tells us that “God is love;” and therefore, seeing he is an infinite being, it follows that he is an infinite fountain of love. Seeing he is an all-sufficient being, it follows that he is a full and over-flowing, and inexhaustible fountain of love.”

(from http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2013/07/sinners-in-hands-of-angry-god-not-so.html)

THE CHURCH’S DIMINISHED AUTHORITY

Hosea 4:1-3 (ESV) 1 Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; 2 there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish…

We have a controversy in the land!

Swearing, lying, murder, adultery, bloodshed! It results in the Earth crying out!

The Earth is waiting for a holy army of sons of God to emerge!

Romans 8:19-22 (ESV) 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

I know that I will have no authority to preach in the anointing of the Holy Spirit on holiness if I enjoy anything that is unholy. The Spirit is holy, and for him to minister through us requires that we too are holy.

Revelation 22:11-15 (ESV) 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” 12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Be holy!

1 Peter 1:14-15 (ESV) 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

Again, my authority to speak on holiness relies on my agreement with holiness!

If I watch a sitcom that has homosexuality as a theme, whether overt or subtle, I simply need to know that I will not be able to speak to that with anointing in my ministry. Why do you think it was so important for the homosexual agenda to overwhelm media with homosexual characters and situations? So the church would become entertained by that spirit, and, in turn, become sympathetic to it.

Did you know that a popular Disney show is introducing a lesbian couple? Good Luck Charlie has been extremely popular, and now, when hooked, Disney knows they won’t lose viewers when they introduce immorality into the storyline. http://www.christianpost.com/news/disney-channels-popular-sitcom-good-luck-charlie-to-feature-married-lesbian-parents-100704/

Do you wonder why the church has near zero impact on the increase of violence in the world? Pastors and their flocks are playing first person shooter video games, watching violence in movies and ignoring calls to holiness.

The church is deceived! People are being given up by God to a debased mind! A falling away has begun in the church!

Romans 1:28-32 (ESV) 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Every time we are entertained by a sin that required the death of Jesus, we are approving of those sins, and our future is terrifying.

Ephesians 5:10-12 (ESV) 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.

If even talking about sin is shameful, how can we presume God is indifferent to us being entertained by it in media?

To approve of being entertained by sin in media, and to communicate that there is no fear of punishment, no repercussions, is to function as an end-time false prophet.

What about legalism? The moment we start preaching against something that we are participating in, we are devoid of power. But, we can preach the same message from a place of holiness, brokenness and Holy Spirit anointing and it will explode in power out of us! It’s not legalistic to call people to holiness. It is legalistic to call people to human works.

Sin hardens hearts, and deception and darkness will overwhelm us if we entertain sin.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (ESV) 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Pleasure in unrighteousness will result in great apostasy and falling away—in the church!

Telling people only about the love of God without also discussing the fierce judgment of God not only won’t work, IT’S NOT BIBLICAL.

We see warnings from cover to cover, Old Testament and New Testament.

Check out this video. It’s simple, basic, scriptural preaching—and it actually made the www.rightwingwatch.org website. What?

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/georgia-pastor-day-tony-byrd-compromise-leads-catastrophe

WAKE UP CHURCH!

At the Detroit Prayer Furnace we are calling together those who are ready to be trained as loved-fueled prophetic messengers.

I want to invite you to participate in a movement of fire and holiness in Detroit. We are calling together awakeners!

Contact us TODAY: info@detroitprayerfurnace.com.

Here is the info about how you can become equipped and ready to move in boldness and fire that I posted yesterday:

Give leadership to the prayer movement in Detroit • The Detroit Prayer Furnace is a contending house of prayer for revival.

Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV) And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

The staff at Revival Church, theLab and the Detroit Prayer Furnace are focused on two numbers:


40 core leaders at the Detroit Prayer Furnace and 1000 intercessors for Detroit


the40

You are invited to join our team of revival minded core leaders at the Detroit Prayer Furnace. (Check out our NEW website here: www.detroitprayerfurnace.com.)

The process is simple and you are encouraged to start into it today!

There are three designations at the Detroit Prayer Furnace: theField, theLab & theCore


theFieldBadge thumb How to join theCore and the1000 in Detroit • theCore Leadership Team at the Detroit Prayer Furnace

theField

Simply gather together with us and grow through prayer, teaching and by enjoying our community.

A variety of opportunities to grow are available to you including:

  • Saturday Prep Room Prayer & Primary Weekly Service
  • Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday Prayer & Teaching
  • Friday Prayer Events
  • Prayer Watch Teams (coming soon!)
  • Life with John and Amy (monthly small group)

theLabBadge thumb How to join theCore and the1000 in Detroit • theCore Leadership Team at the Detroit Prayer Furnace

theLab

We strongly encourage everybody in our community to enroll in theLab University. This is a focused, intense training environment that will unlock your destiny and set you ablaze!

Everybody interested in joining theCore, a team of 40+ leaders in the Detroit Prayer Furnace, must successfully complete one three-month session of theLab.

You can learn more about theLab University here: www.thelabuniversity.com


theCoreBadge thumb How to join theCore and the1000 in Detroit • theCore Leadership Team at the Detroit Prayer Furnace

theCore

A team of 40+ leaders will head up the Detroit Prayer Furnace revival movement.

Opportunities for those on theCore include leading prayer watch teams, teaching, developing ministries and advancing the prayer movement with a family of burning men and women of God.

theCore team is devoted to consecration and modeling the lifestyle of an end-time forerunner.

This commitment includes:

  • Three prayer & ministry events per week
  • A high standard of holiness
  • Traveling locally (and further if available) for ministry events
  • Financial partnership (tithe)
  • Continuing education

If you are ready to start your process toward leadership as a part of theCore at the Detroit Prayer Furnace, talk to us at an upcoming Saturday service. We can’t wait to help you get started!


the1000

theCore are automatically a part of the1000 intercessors for revival in Detroit.

That leaves an additional 960 people who are needed to respond to this prophetic assignment!

The commitment is simple but significant:

  1. Sign up for a weekly prayer watch through www.hiddenonesmi.com (Transformation Michigan’s prayer effort)
  2. Sign up for our email alerts so we can communicate with you
  3. Attend a monthly prayer event at the Detroit Prayer Furnace OR another connected prayer ministry
  4. Communicate monthly by filling out an online form

This enables us to stay connected and locked in while serving in our various local ministries.

If you want to join the1000, we want to hear from you! Please email us at info@detroitprayerfurnace.com TODAY! We will give you info on how to get started.

False Human Rights | They are destroying the church and our nation

Does a moment go by that we don’t hear about some group or movement making demands for their supposed human rights?

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

What happened to this? What happened to America? What happened to the church?

John 15:13 (ESV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Today we are absolutely overwhelmed by the constant, self-centered shouts of those who demand that their country—or their church—gives them what they believe is rightfully theirs.

It’s a false human rights movement.

The RIGHT to abortion. The RIGHT for same sex marriage. The RIGHT to be equal. The RIGHT to be heard.

It’s a sickening, selfish focus that is driven by human desire instead of a willingness to take up our cross and die. How often have people left churches because their supposed rights weren’t addressed? How much dissention is in the workplace because people are looked over in favor of another?

I’ve said it before—today, when people’s self-centered pursuits are rejected, they abandon relationships, leave churches and cause division, but when Jesus was rejected, he didn’t abandon people. He didn’t forsake the church.

He let people kill him so they might be saved. He died so the church could thrive.

My point in this article isn’t to address specific issues as much as it is to deal with a deadly demonic spirit that is extremely advanced in its progress in the destruction of the church, and thus, the nation.

A SPIRIT OF ENTITLEMENT

This spirit is pervasive in our nation, and, unfortunately it has infiltrated the church to such a degree that it has altered the very DNA. Today people attend church with expectations of how they should be treated instead of a plan to lay down their lives for the sake of the mission. There is a predetermined checklist of items that they presume they are rightfully entitled to. If those demands aren’t met, then trouble is initiated—just as the enemy planned.

This spirit of entitlement convinces us to look inward and fight for our perceived rights. It’s fueled by pride that results in the pursuit of personal attention, gain and satisfaction.

Isaiah 14:12–15: How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Lucifer was focused on self—entitlement. This pride resulted in destruction beyond anything we could measure. He fell and weakened the nations simply because he was focused on self!

America, are you listening?

Because of Lucifer’s attitude, millions of people have been destroyed, the Holocaust terrorized a generation, an ancient flood destroyed the masses, 55 million American babies have been murdered and Hell is growing in size to hold the increasing number of people who will live there for eternity.

Yes, a spirit of entitlement destroys.

Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Proverbs 18:12: Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.

TAKING ON OFFENSE

When entitled people gather together, you have a union. Here in Detroit, this is understood well. There are certain expectations that must be fulfilled by leadership, or, those in union will threaten harm to them or the organization. This concept isn’t hard to understand. Often on the news we hear of school teachers or bus drivers who are in a union, and when their demands aren’t met, they strike.

When an entitlement isn’t met, offense is the result—and when people are in union with another who has been offended, they very quickly take on that offense—and, again, it is deadly.

We see this happen in churches all the time. Offended people have friends, who, unify with them and come into agreement with their arguments.

Of course, it would be very easy right now to start considering all of the secular benefits to actual unions. We could discuss how the playing field is evened and the way leadership treats the working class is improved by holding them accountable.

But, I’ll say this very clearly—this spirit of false unity, entitlement and offense has no place in the church. And, our nation would begin down the road of healing and strengthening if we all stopped making demands and started serving, loving and following Jesus and the principles of scripture.

An offended people will destroy a nation. A surrendered people will build a nation.

As an example, the spirits of entitlement and offense drive the abortion industry. False compassion, demonic in nature, is one of the tools that is used to gain sympathy and support for that movement. The threat is that we will come across as unloving, uncaring people if we oppose that movement. The same is true with the homosexual agenda. False love results in accusations of homophobia and hatred for those who don’t support their movement.

imageAs Christians, we are handcuffed as we are forced into a position of affirming our love of these people, and if we don’t, they win the debate.

Our only weak, predictable response seems to be, “We love the sinner and hate the sin.”

BOLDNESS!

We as prophetic voices in the church must brake off intimidation and fear of man! Keep in mind we are wrestling against demons, not humans. What is difficult is when humans embrace the lies of the demons, we who stand for truth can come across as attacking those people. So, many Christians avoid any appearance of conflict at all.

LISTEN CLOSELY: People are going to enter into Hell today! If we don’t have bold prophetic messengers rise up in the spirit of John the Baptist, in the spirit of David and other historic Godly warriors, millions upon millions of people will actually, literally go to Hell! If it’s rare to make it to Heaven, and common to enter Hell, how can we sit back and avoid a violent conflict with those forces of Hell? We cannot!

Matthew 11:12 (ESV) 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

Check out this commentary on the above scripture:

Greek: biazo (GSN-<G971>), to use force, to force one's way into a thing. The idea here is that before John the kingdom could only be viewed in the light of prophecy; but now that it was preached, men were pressing into it with ardor resembling violence or desperation. They appeared as if they would seize it by force (Mt. 11:12; Lk. 16:16). It expresses the earnestness that men must have in getting rid of sin, all satanic powers, the world, and in standing true when relatives oppose them (Mt. 10:34-39). Dake's Annotated Reference Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments of the Authorized or King James Version Text.

This is where we are now! Let the fire-branded, love-driven warrior bride arise!

When David killed Goliath, it’s true that he killed a human, but he was actually fighting against a demon that was manifesting through a human. David didn’t sit down in a coffee shop to passively, casually discuss the dispute with Goliath. He was ready for a violent assault against the kingdom of darkness.

He made clear what the situation was and what was to be done! How easy it would be for David to be accused of not loving Goliath! But, the truth is that David loved God first (Luke 10:27) and was fully invested in partnering with him. Human arguments would have to meet the fierce decrees of the child of God! Fear-driven false humility was not an option for David. David was on a mission of salvation—the salvation of God’s people.

1 Samuel 17:26 (ESV) 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

David was bold! Who is this uncircumcised Philistine? He was calling out Goliath’s immorality and his lack of consecration to the Lord.

Come on church! Quit cowering in false-humility and rise up in the greatest love this nation has ever known! It’s time to declare the word of the Lord to the uncircumcised enemies of the Lord in America!

But, beware, many in your sphere, in the camp of the Lord, will also be intimidated by your love driven boldness. The prophetic, apostolic anointing often results in jealousy and accusation against the one advancing fearlessly. Accusations of pride will always accompany those who are willing to live radically by laying down their lives for the Lord.

1 Samuel 17:28-29 (ESV) 28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?”

His brother attacked him! I’m sure he felt conviction as little brother David was going to do what every other person should have done—deal with the uncircumcised Philistine with expediency!

Will you raise your anointed, prophetic voice, or will you seek a false sense of peace? Remember we are to be peacemakers not peacekeepers! We cannot keep peace were there is no peace!

We have no obligation to passively form our words in such a way that we will be heard. It’s time to bring a shaking to this nation—before it is literally destroyed!

1 Samuel 17:41-46 (ESV) 41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel…

It’s time that we go after the anti-Christ spirits that are overtaking our nation! We can no longer use human arguments. It’s time that we are anointed in the boldness and power of the Holy Spirit! We aren’t to prove our love, we are to love—and true love brings true problems in the pursuit of liberty for a nation! We see this cover to cover in scripture.

LET ME BE CLEAR: I DEEPLY LOVE BUT DO NOT CARE

I will say it very, very clearly. I RADICALLY love those who are advancing humanistic agendas, even though you may not believe me. That’s your battle, not mine.

Jesus loved people though he would not bend to their demands. He cared about their emotions, their hearts, their eternities—but, he didn’t defend himself. He let his accusers kill him. Who was the one who cared and loved when he was lifted up on a cross that day?

In an attempt to break the church out of a passive, false-love driven debate over holiness and morality I will say this very clearly:

I DO NOT CARE ENOUGH, young woman, about your career, your comfort, your supposed right to independence or the crisis and cost a new baby will bring to your life to affirm your plan to kill your baby. You are not entitled to comfort. You are not promised happiness. I challenge you to lay down your life for a baby that God thought enough about you to entrust its care to.

When you wave a coat hanger in the air during an abortion rights protest, you are declaring that you have more compassion for one who would intentionally harm someone than one who is being harmed. The answer to losing access to ‘safe abortions’ (how is intentional murder safe?) is not to head out to the back alley to abort the baby yourself with a hanger—it is to have the baby and love it with selfless passion! The answer is so simple!

I DO NOT CARE about a supposed right to sexual freedom, gay or straight, that results in a devastating lifestyle that is bringing destruction on our nation. Decrees of holiness must return to our churches and nation again!

I DO NOT CARE about equality in our nation if it results in climbing over people who are in our way or forcing them to affirm our self-centered position. It’s time that we lay down our demands, surrender our agendas and quit manipulating systems in a selfish pursuit of personal gain. It’s time for humility to reign in America again!

Christian leaders I honor you deeply and pray for you and I do understand the pressures you are under. However, I DO NOT CARE about personal agendas, self-centered ministry projects, your self-assigned titles or ego-driven programs and will not unite with those who embrace them. Your legacy and history in the city is meaningless unless it results in a future of Holy Spirit freedom for desperate people. I will expend energy, time and money to run with you if you are humble and passionate about the plans of God in the region. Let’s slow the flow to Hell together.

Philippians 2:4-8 (ESV) 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

I CARE ABOUT THE HEART OF GOD and his overwhelming love for people—and the fact that Hell is swallowing millions of them. I care about the clear truths of scripture. I trust in God’s wisdom and I refuse to allow humanism to gain the upper hand in the debate. I care about bold prophetic messengers who will lay down their lives and open their mouths and shout truth from the rooftops.

Today, not tomorrow, it’s time to die to self and run to the battle as the spirit of Goliath is threatening to destroy us. It’s time for the circumcised, consecrated lovers of God to take back America.

Eight clear reasons why revival is not as near as it could be

Revival will both destroy and build up. Do we understand what we are signing up for?

Listen to a provocative podcast on this article:

Much of what people affirm in today’s church is going to be destroyed as revival breaks out. The call to consecration and extreme cost as opposed to personal comfort and ease will cause the majority to refuse participation in revival at even the most elementary phase.

Jeremiah 1:9-10 (ESV) 9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

The good news? We could see revival launch almost overnight—if we contended for it with passion and surrender.

imageREVIVAL IS NOT NEAR

If we cast the wrong vision for revival, which is quite common, we will experience disappointment or false starts. Even worse, we can become satisfied with something far inferior to what God has planned.

The easiest way to say it is this: The coming move of God won’t be defined by happy meetings where we enjoy an experience. That may be a very small part of what is coming, but it is not the goal.

Now, I will admit that I love great meetings. However, all to often they are self-focused instead of God focused. We have become drunk on experiences in the church and the pursuit of enhancements to our lifestyle.

I’ve hosted many amazing, anointed events over the years, and have enjoyed them immensely. But, we do have a problem. Time and again, I’ve watched seemingly zealous people flock to the experiential worship and personal ministry meetings, and then shrink back when the cross is preached. This is not a mark of revival, but rather of immaturity that can in no way bear the weight of the trouble revival will bring.

EIGHT REASONS REVIVAL IS NOT AS NEAR AS IT COULD BE

ONE: Negative messages are resisted.

Again, when revival breaks out it will not all be happy. In fact, we will most likely be in the midst of extreme crisis in our nation and the revival remnant church will be broken and grieved it intercedes for America. Sharp prophetic messages of correction and warning will be the backbone of the move, and it will be resisted and rejected by those who are not willing to bear the burden. Check out the first sermon that was preached in the outpouring in Acts 2:

Acts 2:22-23 (ESV) 22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Peter refused to be nice. He ministered by accusing people of murdering Jesus, and the people were cut to the heart. The Acts 2 baptism of fire resulted in boldness and the ability to minister harsh truth in love. Today this is not the case. Revival ideas for most excludes troubling, heavy messages of the cross of Christ.

The warning about refusing to speak painful truth is severe:

Jeremiah 23:16-17 (ESV) 16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

TWO: Repentance and teaching on sin are unpopular.

Related to the first point, but important enough to warrant further discussion, focus on sin and repentance is nearly non-existent today. Historically, repentance has been the hallmark of every revival, and until we hit our faces in a culture of brokenness and repentance, we can’t presume to be anywhere near revival. Revival doesn’t only result in an awakening to the life of God, it’s provides a clear revelation of our own human condition.

Acts 3:19 (ESV) 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

“My heart aches for America and its deceived people…The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance.” ~Billy Graham

“When he says America is in trouble, we have to repent…He’s (Billy Graham) gone through global wars as a spiritual shepherd. He’s seen a bunch of stuff and he’s saying America, ‘We have to repent.’ This may be our last chance to repent. We’ve turned away from God and God is just, loving and right to bring judgment.” ~Louis Cataldo

THREE: Prayer is nearly non-existent.

What does revival look like? Everybody praying. The primary purpose of the church will be reestablished in revival. For me, the first step and the goal in revival is the same—a prayer meeting. The church is to be a house of prayer for all nations, which means in revival we will all be fervent in intercession continually. Have you noticed how rare it is to find Christians who burn with a spirit of prayer? This is a problem. In Acts 2 the prescription for revival was simple—wait and pray. To think revival will break out when prayer isn’t the main thing simply doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t follow biblical protocol.

This is one reason I know we could experience revival nearly overnight if we wanted to. Since revival is a regional event, the regional church must participate—at least the remnant. What would happen if every church in the Detroit region cancelled every program, every ministry, every sermon for a year…and prayed in the Holy Spirit in its place? We’d have revival.

Acts 1:13-14 (ESV) 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

imageFOUR: Personal experience is the goal.

Personal death must be the goal if we want revival to come. The enemy is just fine with us going after an encounter without being disciplined in the Word. He knows those who are undisciplined will settle for what feels good, even if it’s contrary to truth. We need to be mature enough to know that revival may not look like a dance party, but rather it may result in a remnant on their face in tears with burdens and troubles burning in their spirits. True revival will see the true Christians in tears of both joy and grief.

We must be students of the Word, endure hardship and take up our cross. If we aren’t intentionally grounded, we will be tossed around by whatever feels good to us.

Ephesians 4:11-14 (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, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

I’m more convinced than I’ve ever been that the coming revival will actually be an underground movement of intercession minded people who are advancing the Gospel in the face of extreme crisis. It may be a terrorist attack, occupation of our nation by foreign armies or another traumatic event that results in consecration at a level we’ve never experienced. If happy meetings are your picture of revival, I challenge you to consider your position. It’s about to get extremely difficult.

Additionally, there is an ever increasing segment of Christianity falling for the deception that God no longer judges—and this means that those people will have no idea how to respond when judgment and revival come hand-in-hand. We will experience both God’s loving judgment and Satan’s hateful assaults against God’s people at the same time—and this will result in an awakened, revived church.

I was reading the book The Hiding Place by Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom, and God suddenly spoke to me, “Get ready.” It pierced me. Will there be an underground movement like hers in concentration camps? Will it be like the exploding Chinese church? I implore you—get ready. Now.

FIVE: Calls to consecration and holiness are rare.

Today, Christians are entertained by the sins that required the one we say we love to be tortured and murdered on a tree. To think we will have any part in revival with such a lifestyle is an indicator that we truly do not know who God is. He is holy. It’s time for a consecrated remnant to truly separate themselves from the world. Look nothing like it.

Joshua 3:5 (ESV) 5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”

If we want wonders, consecration comes first.

SIX: We underestimate the scope.

First, we don’t understand just how deeply the pursuit of revival must impact our daily lives. The cares of life must be finally defeated as we allow God to tear into every part of our heart and call us into costly, time consuming devotion. We will be in church continually, in prayer and ministry, when revival hits. This means we must be in prayer and ministry continually now! I watched a video on the underground Chinese church that’s exploding, and they wake up every morning at 4:30am to gather together with the rest of the church and pray for two hours! I met a minister from Africa and he said the entire church walks for miles every Friday to gather together to spend the night in intercession! The cost is extreme!

Acts 2:44-46 (ESV) 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

Second, we don’t understand the scope of the impact of revival. When revival truly hits, it won’t be a local event. It will impact the region. There are over 19,000 cities in the nation and NONE of them are experiencing the biblical normalcy of revival. Not one. Anything short of city impact can’t be defined as revival, or at least, it can’t be the goal.

In Detroit I will be encouraged but not satisfied when stadiums are filled with fiery intercessors. It will be a good start to full blown revival in this region.

SEVEN: There is confusion about salvation.

An offensive element will be connected to the next great outpouring. We are about to receive, through fire, a revelation of the coming reformation of the understanding of salvation. Gone are the days of easy salvations—the true cost of following Jesus will be made known. Most who would quickly sign up to follow Jesus will instead quickly reject him when the true cost is made clear. We have churches filled with Rich Young Rulers who have decided to follow Jesus—at their own pace—and have been affirmed by well meaning but terribly deceived leaders as being truly saved. Today there are millions who are following Jesus in an unsaved condition. Without intervention, they will be utterly shocked and confused to find themselves in Hell one day.

Matthew 19:16-26 (ESV) 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Leonard Ravenhill said he doubts that 5% of professing Christians are in fact truly saved. If you have a church of 100, that might mean that five are saved!

The next revival will not allow for mass false-conversions. The call will be to come and die so that you may live.

Few leaders have the guts to preach in such a way that would result in casual church goers rejecting the message. However, the truth must and will be made clear before revival can come. A desire to burn in prayer will be one indicator of a legitimate conversion. Those who don’t desire to be with the God they presumably decided to follow can’t be affirmed in their position. Revival will result in prayer meetings replacing most everything, and those who are not in relationship with Jesus will be made known.

I boldly and without apology agree that a live devoid of prayer is a life that is, at best, in an at risk position in Christ. The first stop for new converts in the upcoming revival will be the prayer room. It will be their baptism into fervency and intimacy with Jesus—and their entire lives will be marked by an unending passion to intercede with Jesus.

EIGHT: We misunderstand the purpose.

The money changers tables were overturned violently by Jesus because of their heart. By their actions, they presumed the church to be a place where their personal gain was emphasized. They used the temple as they focused on their own welfare. Jesus would have nothing to do with it as he affirmed with passion the purpose of the church is to be a place of sacrifice.

Matthew 21:12-13 (ESV) 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

Most people have the same mindset as the money changers when they think about revival. Here in Detroit, even those in the church often focus on financial revival as a prime goal. Others think about awesome meetings where their personal lives get better. The pursuits are most often self-focused.

The purpose of revival is not to make our lives better. It’s to glorify God and to reveal him to the world. It’s to calibrate Christians to biblical standards. It’s to break us, humble us and cause us to return the First Commandment to first place. When revival hits, we will suddenly find ourselves paying prices we have refused to pay—no matter the return. Pure obedience without measuring benefit to us will return to the church.

The return to burning love of Jesus and radical obedience will result in such deep transformation in the church and in our lives that our schedules, plans, dreams and life goals will suddenly shift. We will pay the price of prayer every day. We will live in glorious brokenness and humility. We will boldly declare the Word of God without reservation. We will change the world—all without thought to whether we like the services, feel anything or enjoy the process. We will be dead people raging on fire for Jesus—and the entire nation will know about it.

God 2.0: A slicker, more user friendly version | Three churches to look out for

imageUnsatisfied with God? Upgrade to God 2.0!

The last part of this article will deal with different types of churches that millions of Americans are a part of—that are at significant risk. I challenge you to read this article in its entirety and prayerfully consider, in humility, whether you may have fallen into one of these at risk groups. I must also wrestle with this myself.

I’m disturbed. That’s not news, really, as I was created to carry the burden of God for the bride—his church. This results in a life of both continual joy and non-stop grieving—and never-ending bold calls of consecration.

The dissatisfaction with God in our nation has resulted in an attempted upgrade—a 2.0 version of God that meets our demands and fits the picture for the perfect leader. Always happy. Always nice to us. Always working to fulfill our desires. Not inconvenient. His personality matches what we expect in a God.

Exodus 32:7-8 (ESV) 7 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”

The previous verse reveals the motive of the people:

Exodus 32:6 (ESV) 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.

The Hebrews were not satisfied with the current version of God, so their 2.0 upgrade was in the form of a golden calf—a god of their own design.

After all, God’s purpose is to perform as we expect him to, right? He is mostly interested in our desires to eat, drink and play, isn’t he?

My God, how far has the church fallen?

The Bride

Entire movements in our nation have upgraded God to their 2.0 version, and have successfully seduced millions of Christians to abandon the old, outdated, ancient Jesus. The arguments of the emergents have infiltrated the main line church in America.

Before I continue, I have to make an important point. When bold truth is revealed that threatens the status quo of the church, it’s common for those who are invested in that system to accuse the messenger of being unloving or unconcerned for the bride of Christ.

How opposite the reality truly is!

It’s deep, troubling love that causes those who are broken over the compromised bride to sound alarms and shine lights to shake and wake a church that’s in extreme risk of living forever without the Bridegroom!

We must be concerned not for the personal desires and perspectives of those who presume to identify with the bride, but for God himself and his desire for those who are lukewarm or deceived to pursue him with passion!

Josh MacDonald from The International House of Prayer said on a trip to Detroit recently, “This might be shocking to you but 1/2 of the church or more will probably fall away in the end-times.”

That, my friend, is why we must risk offense to let an at risk bride understand just what is at stake. Many in the church will be shocked to find themselves in Hell one day. That reality haunts me non-stop.

The False Bride

Do we understand that not everybody who calls themselves a Christian actually is? Again, that is why we have an urgent job as forerunners. The false bride, those who think they are Christians but are not, are at extreme risk of burning in Hell for multiplied trillions of years. Actually, forever. We cannot remain silent.

An immediate, and unbiblical response that many people have today is, “It’s not your place to judge.” How many times have you heard that defense from the secular camp? Now, we are hearing it from Christians when their pet sins, false doctrines or structures are threatened!

imageThe accusation is that we are being cruel, unloving or presumptuous by dealing with this subject matter. Again, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As Christians, we actually have a very serious responsibility to judge in love! It’s a part of our job description. Pure love of the bride will reveal all that hinders love!

We absolutely have a responsibility to urgently warn. To release messages of awakening. To talk about eternity, about Heaven and Hell. To call people to greater fervency. It’s love that demands this, yet so few are sounding alarms.

If I see a child wandering into oncoming traffic, I don’t really care so much about whether he chose to rebel by running into the street. I’m not thinking about his motives or his error of judgment. I just want to warn him so he isn’t crushed by a bus. Yes, it is that simple. It is that urgent.

At Risk Churches

With that in mind, I want to reveal some major church movements and expressions that are actually opposing the cross. The call of every single Christian is to hear God’s voice, to know him deeply and to intercede for the nations. You can gauge where the general church public is by calling a prayer meeting. The most elementary call for any Christian is to pray…and when Christians avoid the prayer room, it’s a revelation of just where we are as a church in this nation. Frightening.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if most people in the church in America are unsaved.

Leonard Ravenhill said he doubts that 5% of American church goers are actually saved.

I heard someone once say, who had a heavenly encounter, that only 1 in 1000 who die on any given day make it to Heaven. Possibly 99.9% go to Hell. That wouldn’t surprise me, and it grieves me beyond what I can bear. God 2.0 would never support this statistic. He is benevolent and unconcerned with our hearts.

Mike Bickle said that the false-grace message, which is one of the leading causes of people being deceived as a false bride, is more dangerous than the issue of abortion and 54 million baby’s blood crying out in our nation!

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Listen closely! This is serious! My God, help us! Masses of people who are convinced that they are saved are actually following Jesus in an unsaved condition right now! Many more will fall away in the future! Who will warn them?

Before we look at the problem churches, we must consider this: We have to resist the urge to presume the current Sunday driven church structure is the biblical norm. If we think we’re functioning normally, we’ll resort to minor adjustments to that system as repairs are needed instead of the destruction of it in favor of the introduction of the biblical church.

When we truly understand this, we’ll devote ourselves to the removal of man made systems and give ourselves to the development of the new.

Most people alive today have no idea what revival is. They have never experienced it. They have no grid for it. So, we default to what we have experienced and try to build on that faulty foundation.

1. The Money Changers Churchimage

In Matthew, the passage that deals with the money changers follows immediately after another type of church that we’ll discuss next—the Triumphal Entry Church. I find it interesting that these two stories are back-to-back, and that they are events that are closely situated to the drama of the cross. Simply said, the cross of Christ is not only foreign, but resisted.

Matthew 21:12-13 (ESV) 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

The money changers church is possibly the best representation of the current American/Western church. This is a serious issue. This is possibly the most severe and violent reaction from Jesus to a situation when he was still on the Earth.

Note how aggressively Jesus rebuked and resisted the money changers. Why is this?

They were fueled by a spirit of religion. Religion defined is man’s attempt to use God and his church to get what he wants. They were using the temple for personal gain. They were thinking about their own needs and desires instead of ministering to God. They went into the temple with the expectation of leaving with more than they entered with. The call to the church is for us to enter with an offering. A sacrifice. We leave with less than we entered with!

Today, prayer is nearly dead in the church. Additionally, even in churches that support prayer, if every service was cancelled and replaced with prayer meetings, there would be a mass exodus of disappointed people who aren’t getting their desires met. In Acts, the “wait and pray” mandate was resisted by almost everybody. Thank God for 120 who weren’t waiting for a call from a pastor, a pat on the back or the perfect ministry center for their family. They showed up, laid down their agendas and changed the world.

I’ve said it probably thousands of times and I’ll say it again. Our false expectations of what a church should be are resulting in a defiled structure. The church isn’t a house of teaching, a house of evangelism, a house of friendships or even a house of musical worship. It’s a house of prayer first and foremost. The other focuses are important, but secondary at best. Would you stay in a church that prayed as their primary activity? Or would you get frustrated and leave if your demands weren’t met? Is it possible you may be functioning in a similar spirit as the money changers? You go to church to receive instead of to give?

Pastors know most would not stay, so they have all too often traded in their mantle of prophet for salesman. The church product has been altered, spruced up and packaged in a way to let the people know that they will receive the best bang for their buck if they come to their church.

This is grieving, and must end! I am looking for pavement people—those who aren’t looking for comfort, but will hit the pavement and cry out to God as they did 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.”

Long ago as a young, first time church planter, my wife and I would often take visitors out to lunch after the service. I’d do my best song and dance to sell the Revolution Church experience to them. I’d ask what they were looking for in a church, and more times than not I’d encourage them that we’d get right on that! We’d be sure to sell them the product they are looking for! 

My brilliant wife would get so frustrated with me! She wanted me to stop the nonsense and simply communicate our vision. Boy, was she right! I was acting in the spirit of the money changers!

I slowly changed my sales pitch. Instead of letting people know how much they would receive if they chose our church for their home, I was reveal the challenge and the cost. I’d let them know that we all pray together 10+ hours a week. We give financially in an extravagant way. We are fervent and burning and calling people into a radical lifestyle—to the cross.

I’d actually try to discourage them from participating if they weren’t on board with the vision! And, surprise! I got more response from that call than I did trying to sell the perfect experience!

2. The Triumphal Entry Churchimage

Now this is church!

I’ve witnessed first hand how people will flood into an environment that’s full of celebration and exuberance. I enjoy those environments too!

I’ve also witnessed first hand how those same people—those who are dancing at the altar, going after a happy experience, will get sad when the call to the cross is preached. It’s heart wrenching.

The focus of the people at the Triumphal Entry is similar to the focuses in the other churches we are discussing. They wanted their lives to be better. Blessing and personal gain were their motives.

The word “Hosanna” literally means, “save us now.” The people wanted a king who would give them life in a kingdom that would be personally fulfilling. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that desire—unless that’s the extent of the desire.

Matthew 21:8-11 (ESV) 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Notice how there was a measure of sacrifice by the people. They gave their cloaks. They got to work and cut down palm branches. They were exuberant in their worship. I can imagine a spirit-filled environment where people are at the altar dancing and laughing and worshiping. I’ve had that happen in churches I’ve led many times, and it’s great! Many churches are growing with this very positive, happy focus—but, the growth is, in my opinion, often driven by people who will not stay the course if the cross is preached with boldness.

See, Jesus was willing to save them now. However, his methods were nowhere near satisfactory for a crowd of people who were looking for life, not death. Jesus chose the cross as the means to answer their prayers. This crowd of energetic worshipers switched quickly to energetic crucifiers.

I’m all for wild, fervent worship. I am a proponent of continual joy. We should dance and smile a lot. However, we can’t dismiss the burden of the cross and the call to die.

Don’t presume a church is alive just because there’s an electric atmosphere. Human energy and desire can create quite an environment. Wait and see who remains when the call to surrender is high, and the alarms of intercession are sounded.

3. The Rich Young Ruler Churchimage

There is some relation between the Rich Young Ruler church and the Money Changers Church. In both scenarios, personal gain was the focus.

The Rich Young Ruler, however, possessed a sincere desire to follow Jesus. Notice how Jesus reveals this story is all about salvation:

Matthew 19:16-25 (ESV) 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”

I am convinced there are millions of people following Jesus in an unsaved condition. Pastors have affirmed people’s commitment to Christ and, in turn, their eternal security, all while, in many of those cases Jesus knew the deeper truth—they were not willing to surrender all. I believe the sinner’s prayer has probably led more people to Hell than to Heaven. Handled wrongly it gives people false-confidence in their position in Christ.

How many go to church each week, raise their hands in worship, pay their tithes and “follow Jesus” in a very public way, the same way the Rich Young Ruler wanted to—but are actually not saved?

Even Billy Graham admits less than 2% of people who make decisions at his crusades over the years remain true followers of Jesus. Wow!

If you are struggling with this and the truth of your own salvation, that’s good! That’s healthy! I don’t know where it started being negative for us to wrestle with that. Today leaders don’t want to upset people with messages like this out of fear of accusation and ridicule. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling! The disciples in the above passage wrestled with it, and so should we. Let’s see what Jesus says next:

Matthew 19:26-29 (ESV) 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

The most controversial thing I’ve ever said just may be this:

I give myself about an 80% chance of making Heaven.

Is there any part of the Rich Young Ruler in me? Is it possible that I could fall away? It would be arrogant for me to presume that I’m exempt from the great falling away. I wrestle with Jesus and with my own heart—and I love that process.

Again, it’s healthy and necessary to work that out day by day. And, we need pastors and leaders who won’t skirt that tough topic out of fear of losing people who would rather be coddled. It’s possible that the best giver and most vibrant member of your church is on a track that leads to Hell. We can’t stay silent on this issue.

When you understand how deeply God loves you, it’s wonderful to wrestle with the difficult topics. It’s invigorating!

It’s critical! So many will be shocked to enter Hell. We see this proven in scripture:

Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV) 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

imageThe Coming Church

I’ve written on this previously, so I’m going to be extremely short with this concluding point.

The coming church will be marked by:

  • Everybody praying as their primary ministry
  • Everybody ministering to God
  • Praying in the Holy Spirit will be continual.
  • We will be together most days of the week to pray, receive apostolic instruction and move out in unity to fulfill that assignment.
  • We will arrive at church full and leave empty—after we’ve poured out to God.
  • Friendships will be forged in the foxhole more than at potlucks and picnics.
  • The cross will be central.
  • Repentance will be continual.
  • Freedom will be overwhelming.
  • The bar of expectation will be high.
  • It will be apostle led more often than pastor led.

Lets see an Acts 2 & 2 Chronicles 7 church arise!

The Jesus Manifesto by Dr. Michael Brown

The Jesus Manifesto

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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.

Audio: A major prophetic word for the church and fervent prayer for Ellen DeGeneres

Last night I delivered what I consider one of the most important prophetic messages of the hour. It ended with wild intercession for Ellen DeGeneres.


Here it is. Last night was one of the most critical in the life of Revival Church, and I believe the message I delivered was a key message for every single church in the nation.

You can listen to a very clear, biblical and powerful call to repentance here: http://media.johnburton.net/2710877

I believe there is a mighty wave of deliverance and undeniable love that is scheduled for the homosexual community. As the church responds to the call to repentance, we will have the honor of participating in this great revival!

And you can follow along with the notes here:

Almost Homosexual

I. Come Full

a. One of the traps of being involved with a ministry based on prayer is that we can unwittingly use the ministry for our own personal edification.

i. We can minimize our own life of prayer in the hopes that the activity at church will make up for it.

ii. It won’t.

1. We must become well accustomed to praying fervently, alone.

2. Romans 12:11-12 (ESV) 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

a. Fervent: hot, boiling

3. Romans 15:30 (ESV) 30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,

a. Fervent, urgent

4. James 5:16 (KJV) 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

a. Fervent: To be active, to be mighty in, to work

iii. E.M. Bounds: Our Lord warns us against feeble praying. “Men ought always to pray,” He declares, “and not to faint.”

iv. E.M. Bounds: The atmosphere about us is too heavily charged with resisting forces for limp or languid prayers to make headway. It takes heat, and fervency and meteoric fire, to push through, to the upper heavens, where God dwells with His saints, in light.

v. E.M. Bounds: While fervency is not prayer, yet it derives from an earnest soul, and is precious in the sight of God. Fervency in prayer is the precursor of what God will do by way of answer. God stands pledged to give us the desire of our hearts in proportion to the fervency of spirit we exhibit, when seeking His face in prayer.

b. When we lose this intimate and active encounter with God, we unwittingly embrace spirits that are out for our destruction.

II. Almost homosexual: A crisis in the church

a. I had a dream. Email to Ellen:

i. Here's a strange story for ya! I'm a pastor & author, and I had a dream about you last night. It was crazy long and detailed and the first two part dream I've had (I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle and the dream continued after I went back to sleep). You aren't someone I think about often at all (sorry!), so I have a feeling God may have dropped that dream on me. It started with you at the Academy Awards (or something similar) and you called me on stage from the audience. I was overwhelmed with grief and whispered to you, “Please forgive me for judging you.” Later, you went on to share with me from your heart about some pain and you talked about your mom. Later on I met your mom and your brother at their home. (I didn't realize you had a brother until I googled it just a moment ago.) There were other pieces to the dream, but I thought I'd leave it at that for now. A little about me; I may appear to fit the stereotype as I do believe any lifestyle that embraces activities that God, in his wisdom, deems unhealthy must be avoided. Homosexuality included. However, what's also included is pride, which the Christian church is often steeped in. So is selfish ambition and having cold love. All deadly, all have hit the church at large. Again, please forgive me. After the dream I decided to preach tonight on a crazy controversial message calling the church to repentance titled, “Almost Homosexual: The Church in Crisis.” God likes you, he loves you. Me too.

b. From Kathy Mack: Matt 23:12Whoever exalts himself with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go in to do so.14 [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you swallow up widows’ houses and for a pretense to cover it up make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation and the heavier sentence.15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes one [a proselyte], you make him doubly as much a child of hell (Gehenna) as you are.

c. As I begin this urgent and troubling prophetic message, I must do my best to make several points extremely clear.

i. God is passionately jealous and zealous for his beautiful bride, the church. His emotions are extreme and deep as he yearns for love fueled intimacy with those he laid down his life for. His affection cannot be described by even the most romantic or poetic language.

ii. When I mention the church in this message, I am referring to the global body of Christ. The global bride of Christ. I’m fully aware and thankful that there are many local expressions of the church that are radically surrendered and given to the lover of their souls—Jesus Christ.

iii. The primary points I will expound on have little to do with sexuality, or sexual sin. You will have to intentionally keep this in mind so as to ensure you understand the issues when I deal with the spirits behind homosexuality and how these spirits are being embraced in the church (again, the global church; or, the church in general).

III. Massive Repentance

a. There is a MASSIVE movement on the earth that’s impacting millions of Christians… it’s being fueled by the message that we don’t have to repent, we should not let God reveal our sin to us.

i. It’s clearly unbiblical.

b. Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

i. This is a powerful verse, and the more time we spend on our face in the presence of God, the more we realize how true it is.

ii. If we don’t allow God to search our hearts and test our minds, we are doomed! We will be dealt with according to what’s in there… so, we must find it and repent!

1. Before we can go any further on this topic of homosexuality in the church, we have to all agree on the above point that is found in Jeremiah 17: Our hearts are both deceitful and wicked.

a. What does this mean? Very simply, it’s possible and common for impure motives to be rooted deeply in us even though we may be devoted followers of Christ.

2. The more time I spend in prayer the easier it is for the Lord to dig deep and bring to the surface issues that wouldn’t normally be evident.

a. My heart has harbored pride at times though at the surface I felt meek.

b. Other times I’ve verbally forgiven people, but then the Holy Spirit revealed to me a deeper reality—that I hadn’t truly done so.

3. This is why we must not only be OK with messages like this one, but we have to eagerly invite God to shine his burning light into every part of our lives.

4. Is 6:5 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!”

5. When God is in our midst, a revelation of our own sin and issues are made known.

a. A key problem today is that God’s manifest presence isn’t with us as He should be!  Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.  He is the Revelation.  He is the Word.  Where God is, revelation is.  You can’t separate the two.

6. As God, in his burning love for us, reveals our hearts to us, we will find ourselves falling to our knees.

7. God is calling the church to massive repentance.

IV. The Word: Almost Homosexual?

a. God has suddenly revisited me with a prophetic word that shocked me and those I shared it with a few years ago—and he’s added to the revelation.

i. I’ve considered the trouble it may bring.

ii. I’ve also considered God’s thoughts about the matter and I’ve chosen to trust his wisdom that this will free many more people than it will disturb.

1. God’s word and his wisdom must return to the pulpits again.

2. “If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”Leonard Ravenhill

b. As I was on the airplane flying into Colorado a few years ago, the Lord surprised me with a strong and striking word for the church. I was shaking.

c. The church is almost homosexual.

i. This is a word that I’m confident is tearing at the heart of God… he’s watching his bride become bewitched.

ii. Question—Is it possible that we in the church are embracing the same spirits that fuel the homosexual agenda?

d. As I was watching the mountains of Colorado draw closer during the final approach to the airport that day, the Lord revealed three drivers of the homosexual agenda:

i. Pride

ii. Identity

iii. Lust

e. Understand—the driver of the homosexual agenda is not same-sex attraction, but rather there are strong deceiving spirits of pride, self-promotion and identity, and lust.

i. I was on a train where two homosexual girls were very visibly hanging on each other, making it very clear that they were together. Their actions were not a result of raging hormones, but rather, they were making a bold declaration, a prideful pronouncement of their chosen identity as lesbians.

ii. They wanted to force affirmation, be noticed and demand acceptance and equality.

1. This same spirit is in the church!

iii. “All of the acceptable sins in church are keeping us sick.”-Steve Gray

iv. “Be careful about what you think is innocent. It may come back and choke you.”- Steve Gray

f. The church has been bewitched by the same spirits that give fuel to the homosexual agenda—and this is a primary reason we have not had success in winning homosexuals to Jesus. We can’t cast out the same demonic spirits we embrace.

g. This is the prime reason we are accused of being hypocritical: Homosexuals are picking up on the reality that the church is fueled by pride, identity and lust just like they are… but they aren’t afraid to admit it!

V. Driver #1: Pride

a. We’ve all heard of gay pride. Pride is a hallmark of the homosexual movement, and, all too often, it’s a driver of the church as well.

b. I hear continually that it’s rare to find a church where the tangible, manifest presence of God can be experienced.

i. I believe, sadly, there are more Ichabod churches than we realize. An Ichabod church is simply a church that is devoid of God’s glory. The ark of God’s presence has been captured. It doesn’t mean God hates that church. Quite the opposite—He is grieved that he must be removed from his lover, his bride.

1. 1 Samuel 4:21-22 (ESV) 21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

ii. 1 Peter 5:5 (ESV) 5…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

1. You may not have thought about it this way, but God, though he loves so deeply, actually opposes, or resists, those who are proud. God’s glory departs.

2. We live in a culture where we fight for success, we jockey for position and we can’t imagine being hidden or failing. Compromise has consumed the church as it seeks success, a larger building, more people, more influence, more money and other demands. Pride has resulted in worship of images made of gold where humility demands the gold is given as worship to God. Pride has resulted in worshiping a packed house where humility calls for laying down our lives for even one.

3. We wonder why the church isn’t having more success in the culture. 

c. I believe a key reason is that we are attempting to attack worldly pride with religious pride.

i. We are actually retaining the services of the very same demons that we are attempting to battle!  A spirit of pride! God resists the proud!

ii. Is it possible that we are attempting to change culture from a position of religious pride all while God is not standing with us?

iii. When humility reigns, the church will have the grace that God promises in 1 Peter 5.

VI. Driver #2: Identity

a. This point is the most burning issue in my spirit right now.

b. I am fully given to seeing people step into their destinies, discover their true identity in Christ and finding freedom from lies and emotional scars that the enemy has given them. It’s a significant focus of my own ministry.

i. However, we have a growing problem.

1. Focus is on self more often that it is on God.

2. Focus is on living more than it is on dying daily.

3. Our goal as humans cannot be to seek and demand our own happiness, but rather to fulfill God's glorious desires.

c. 1 Corinthians 4:10-13 (ESV) 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

d. Please understand, I believe we are seated in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus.

i. We are kings and priests. We have great authority. We have overcome. We are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath.

ii. But, our identities, when rightfully understood, don’t lead us to focusing mostly on personal benefit.

1. When we embrace the cross of Christ, which is where our identities originate, we are now focused on going low, humbling ourselves, serving with passion and identifying with the scum of the world—so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.

iii. A focus on our own benefits, our own healings, our own identities as it relates to personal gain has actually resulted in us aligning with a key spirit that drives the homosexual movement.

iv. God loves homosexuals and the church too deeply to affirm a false identity—no matter how desirable and convincing that identity may be! God’s wisdom is much higher than ours, and it takes humility to admit that.

1. This is a huge, huge point!

2. When we fight for a false identity that feels so overwhelmingly a part of us, and when our focus is on acceptance, affirmation and human rights, we give up the call to die to our own desires. Suddenly securing our own identity is more important than serving the masses.

a. The discovery of our true identity starts with crucifixion not affirmation.

3. The goal is not to be affirmed, accepted, liked or honored. We aren’t to look for equality. We don’t compare ourselves with others. We can’t make demands when life is unfair. The church is to die so that others may life. Our identity is to be fully and entirely in Christ.

4. An improper attention given to the pursuit of identity (acceptance, affirmation, etc.) causes us to forsake the call to focus on our mission for the sake of devotion to narcissism.

a. This is where the temptation to disobey God and submit to the demands of man can happen.

5. “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16

VII. Driver #3: Lust

a. Lust is oozing through the church today. Yes, it’s true that sexual lust is rampant as pornography has been viewed by as many as 50% of Christian men recently.

i. However, lust is not limited to the sexual variety.

ii. Simply ask the question, “What causes you to get excited, to come alive?”

iii. Many honest Christians would admit that everything from money to fame to popularity to sex could be the answers.

iv. James 1:14-15 (ESV) 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

b. Lust results in death. It really is that simple. The life is sucked right out of people. Suicide is on the rise. Eternal death is another threat as well.

i. This is a tragic reality in the church today—we’ve lost our first love! False intimacy in the form of lust has take the place of a deep, satisfying, truly intimate and never ending encounter with Jesus! He yearns for us while his beautiful bride is yearning for other lovers!

ii. The church has lost its desire for intimacy with Jesus. Many Christians don’t even know what it is to be overwhelmed by his deep, burning love. Jesus is more of a principle or a foreign character in a book than he is a real, tangible, literal person you can feel.

c. This lack of revelation and encounter in a very intimate, life giving way with Jesus has resulted in one more comparison with the homosexual movement:

i. The bride is becoming intimate with the bride.

ii. What does that mean?

iii. We have become more interested in reproducing after our own kind than in receiving a fresh impartation directly from God himself. How does this play out? Several ways:

1. We become enthralled with a certain stream in the body (Word of Faith, house of prayer, etc.) and want to have a relationship with that stream hoping that it produces life.

2. We turn to other people in the church instead of to God through prayer and study of the Word in the hopes that the union can result in the outcome we are looking for.

3. We are move connected socially to people than we are spiritually to God.

4. We believe our church growth comes through people, so we comprise the mission, cancel prayer, water down the message and get intimate with the body!

iv. An intimate union with God will result in a fresh stream birthing through your ministry!

v. A deep encounter with Jesus will bring the results that a million human counselors never could!

vi. “You can have all of your doctrines right—yet still not have the presence of God.”Leonard Ravenhill

VIII. The Solution

a. Intimacy. Repentance. Falling in love with Jesus. Humility.

i. “A sinning man stops praying, a praying man stops sinning — Leonard Ravenhill

ii. Yes, fervent, zealous prayer must return to our churches again!

iii. 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 (NKJV) 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

b. We cannot anymore develop systems that enhance our own identities, stroke our pride or fuel our lust for power, recognition or anything else.

i. It’s time again to declare the cross, holiness, humility and passion from our pulpits and on our faces!

ii. The core call is for a movement of humility and holiness.

iii. It’s a call to become broken and undone, desperate and deeply intimate with Jesus.

iv. It’s a call to a fasted lifestyle, to full surrender and complete saturation in the advance of the Kingdom.

v. It’s a call to the deeply humble, yet powerfully bold life of John the Baptist.

c. Are we ready to let the Lover of our souls invade the deepest parts of our inner man? He is wooing his glorious bride back to him…will we respond?

d. Song of Songs 1:4 (ESV) 4 Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers.

John Burton ministering at 24FLOOD in Dearborn Friday

24FLOOD is a prayer ministry right in the heart of the Islamic capital of America

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I’ll be there praying along with everybody else for the fire of revival to arrive in this region.

Around 9pm I’ll be speaking about this coming move of God and I’d love for you to join me!

The prayer meeting starts at 8pm and ends at around 1am. Come for as much as you’d like.

Let’s see revival hit Dearborn and the entire Detroit region!

Location: Dearborn Heights First Assembly of God, 5650 S. Telegraph Rd. (Just north of 94)

John

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