Every church, every pastor and every Christian will tremble as God invades the landscape of the church.

I started writing the book and I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at what’s coming.

Let me know what you think!

The-Coming-Church-Paperback(LyingDown01)

~ One ~

The Encounter

Spiritual encounters, whether they are visions, dreams or visitations can go a long way in preparing individuals, groups, and even nations for the otherworldly, dramatic and critical shifts that God is setting into motion. Of course, we know in scripture that spiritual things must be discerned spiritually, and it’s important to understand clearly what’s being communicated. We also know that all dreams, for example, are not necessarily spiritual dreams. That must be discerned. I challenge you to stay up until 3 AM and then eat a bucket of hot wings, a can of Mountain Dew and a half a gallon of ice cream and see what kind of crazy images dance around in your head when you finally fall asleep. Experiences like that won’t shake nations. However, the encounter I had absolutely must.

    I had a vision of the soon coming church. For me, a spiritual revelation, a message delivered directly by the Creator of the world, is usually very easy to discern. It’s rare that I have to go to someone seeking out an interpretation. The scene and the message are almost always extremely vivid and revealing. I immediately understand what the players and the atmosphere and the story line are attempting to communicate to me.

    This particular encounter was no different – in fact, it was so striking, fearful, engulfing and overpowering that the imagery and message will keep me trembling in my spirit forever.

    In order to appreciate the magnitude of the message that was communicated to me in the vision, it will be helpful to understand the context. If you can imagine, at least to an incredibly small degree, the picture of the church that God himself sees, it shouldn’t be a stretch to realize the picture of the church that we see on the Earth clearly cannot match up. Meaning, when God drew up the glorious church leading up to its launch in the book of Acts, that diagram that was before him looks little like the church we see today. God’s church looks little like the church we have come to know.

Acts 2:1-3 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

    Do me a favor and read that passage in Acts chapter 2 one more time. I want those three verses to dive into your spirit and shake you up. When God started diagramming the church, this is what he envisioned — this is where he started. When you compare this passage of Scripture with descriptions of the modern-day church as we know it, it seems like were comparing apples and oranges.

    I’d like to ask you to read the passage one more time. As I’m writing this, I feel the Spirit of the Lord starting to burn in my inner man. Let me pray for you right now just before you read it again:

Mighty God, I pray the burnings of your Spirit would be transmitted into your friends heart. Give them a glimpse into the supernatural yet strikingly real realm of the church. Give them the capacity to release old paradigms, structures, traditions, mindsets and cultures as they come alive to the reality of the church as you see it. Amen.

    Okay, go ahead and read the passage in Acts chapter 2 one more time.

Acts 2:1-3 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

    Is it becoming a little bit easier to understand just what the church should look like? You see, as God designed and then launched the church, it was literally blowing and burning and every one of them in that upper room experienced it. As we begin to embrace the truth that passages like this are not science fiction, and that they communicate actual phenomenons that are to be normal for us as Believers, it will become easier to leave behind what we know and press toward the soon coming church. We will suddenly find ourselves so deeply dissatisfied that any thought of maintenance becomes quite insane.

    Now, keep in mind that this fiery reality was communicated to us by Jesus, by the Word. This passage is the Word of God, not simply a descriptive, historical report. So, God’s plan is for the church to be a supernatural raging furnace of Holy Spirit activity.

    I have heard it said that the only thing more powerful than the Word of God is tradition. The traditions of man overpower the greatest power in existence — Jesus Christ himself. Do you feel the weight of that? Is it possible that we need to embrace the fear of the Lord again? The thought of allowing man-made concepts, structures or agendas to push aside and nullify God’s plans seems ridiculous. Yet it happens with stunning regularity every day all over the world.
   
Mark 7:13 …making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down…

    Of course it’s true that the definition of the church cannot be limited to one perspective of one segment of the greater structure. It is certainly true, as is revealed later on in Acts chapter 2, that the healthy church will include wonderful fellowship, breaking of bread, powerful preaching, discipleship, evangelism, prayer and other critical activities. However, what we see in the church today is a lot of activity, even good activity, but usually without the tangible burning and blowing of God’s Spirit.
   

The Crater

    If you take a look at the cover of this book, you will see a futilely poor attempt at visually communicating what I experienced in my vision. In the vision, I found myself in a dramatic, apocalyptic scene. Everything seemed to be colorless, or at best a variety of dark blues, grays and greens. The ominous clouds matched up with the dark and wild landscape all around me.

    Directly in front of me was the focal point of the vision, a tremendously massive crater. I can’t begin to describe in human language the overwhelmingly weighty, urgent, and fearsome atmosphere that gripped me and demanded my complete attention. I was trembling as I looked at the edge of the crater in the distance. As I slowly walked toward the gigantic hole in the ground, I knew I could not approach it casually. The fear of the Lord surrounded me. I couldn’t imagine what type of alien invasion could have created an impression this deep in such solid ground. The force had to have been greater than anything my human mind could comprehend.

    As I was analyzing the drama that I was experiencing, God revealed to me that the crater that I was drawing near to was the church.  The church? My mind certainly couldn’t even begin to analyze what that meant, but my spirit was raging. My mind presumed I should be looking at a small, white church building with a steeple, but that was not at all what my eyes were seeing.

    My spirit was provoked and alive, but I knew that those who were more logical than spiritual in their life experience would most probably resist what is just over the horizon.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Note, this doesn’t mean the unsaved, it means those who are naturally minded. That’s a lot of Christians. Here’s what Paul says next:

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;

    I continued to tremble as the increasingly intense, colorless atmosphere engulfed me, and as I ever so carefully, fearfully, yet with intense curiosity approached the edge of the church, the crater.
    Again, I realized I couldn’t casually participate. This was a very clear message that I was receiving. The days of casually connecting in the church were over. The shaking and trembling rocked my whole being as I approached this invasion of Heaven into Earth.

    Once at the edge, I was stunned and my senses were overwhelmed as I looked at what seemed to be alive. While everything else around me was gray scale, I saw vivid, bright and glowing hues of orange, yellow and red and a prism of colors in between. The bright, colorful, burning lava was living and active. It was moving, coursing throughout the crater. My trembling intensified.

I’ll be teaching on a burning crater of revival TONIGHT and tomorrow you can audit theLab class SIX ENEMIES!

imageA key strategy of revival here in Detroit is to gather all of the pastors, leaders and people hungry for God to move in this city—every single week!

Just imagine what that would look like! When this mission is finally successful, we’ll meet in stadiums and convention centers every single week together!

No other ministries, programs, personal focuses, entertainment, etc. will be scheduled in Detroit during those consecrated hours. Yes, I’m serious! Literally every single revival minded person will be in the same place, praying in fire, together, every week without fail! I get wrecked just thinking about it!

1000 INTERCESSORS

One way we are moving in this direction is by sounding an alarm to gather 1000 INTERCESSORS. Senior pastors, leaders, intercessors and revivalists who are ready to see the life of God flood into Detroit are asked to join together every Friday night from 10pm-midnight. Check out www.revivallab.com for more info and the location of upcoming events. (We pray in a different church every Friday night.)

THE COMING CHURCH

I’ll be talking about the changes in the church including the call to gather corporately tonight at 7:30pm. I’m trembling about the implications of tonight’s event. Come EARLY—it’s going to be packed.

For more info go here: https://burton.tv/2011/07/28/urgent-update-dream-about-fridays-ministry-event/ 

SIX ENEMIES

Tomorrow, from 10am-2pm, I’ll be teaching from my book Six Enemies.

There are enemies who are threatened by your destiny. Prepare to push back.

Planted in all of us at conception is a deep desire to fulfill our purpose on the Earth. Some are consumed by this persistent call to the point of fatigue, anxiety and burnout. This teaching will help reignite the fire of passionate pursuit toward your fulfilled destiny.

The cost is $15. Pay at the door by credit card, check or cash.

We meet at THE TABERNACLE: 14205 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

The change that’s coming to the church is absolutely unnerving and fearful

First: The following article may provoke the burning inside of you to rage. Join us for theLab Internship and help establish a model of fire that will reform the identity of the church. $100 discount now available. www.revivallab.com


imageI had an encounter that left me shaken and shocked.

What I saw was clearly a picture of the church…clearly in my spirit, that is, because my intellect was confounded. It didn’t make sense.

Before I share the vision, and some very interesting confirmation and insight, lets look at the current model of the church:

THE CURRENT CHURCH

There’s no way I’m going to attempt to present a comprehensive picture of the church with all of its varying streams and complexities. The point I’m focusing on is the simple, common experience that the current structure and function of the church presents.

  • Teaching driven: In most churches, the Sunday service revolves around the message, the teaching.
  • Sunday only: The average attendance for a church goer in America is less than two services a month. Most of those services occur on Sundays.
  • Predictable & scheduled: Each service and ministry of the church is mapped out and scheduled, and while there is often some flex, you can usually have a pretty good picture in your mind of what to expect during each event. Several songs of worship, a few announcements, receiving the offering and a 30-40 minute message is what most have come to expect.
  • Mostly natural: While some churches do experience a measure of supernatural activity, the overwhelming experience is logical, natural and humanly comprehendible.
  • Locally focused: Most churches have a vision that is limited to themselves. Their local church is where most of their energy is focused.image
  • Seeker focused: Even churches that aren’t identified as “seeker sensitive” tend to be intent on attracting visitors and they gear their ministry to do so.
  • Personal gain highlighted: God blesses and that message when presented in appropriate context is a necessary one. But, most churches highlight personal benefit while keeping the bar of personal surrender and commitment quite low.

THE VISION

In my encounter, the vision I saw was shocking and quite mysterious. I have had many visions of the church, of reformation, but this one was markedly different. It sure didn’t look like a vision of a church, but it immediately felt like one.

I was standing in an apocalyptic looking environment. It was dark and weighty. In front of me was an absolutely massive crater. God immediately revealed to me that I was looking at the soon coming church.

imageReally? It sure didn’t look like a church. My initial analysis was that what was coming wouldn’t be defined by what is logically communicable. The building and steeple and Sunday experience was gone, and what replaced it was frightening.

My spirit was provoked and raging, but I knew that those who were more logical than spiritual in their life experience would most probably resist what is just over the horizon.

1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Note, this doesn’t mean the unsaved, it means those who are naturally minded. That’s a lot of Christians. Here’s what Paul says next:

1 Cor 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready…

The crater that I was looking at looked alive. It was moving and churning. There was glowing red lava coursing throughout.

The closer I got to the edge of the crater, the church, the greater the fear of the Lord was, the more ominous the vision was. I couldn’t casually participate as the shaking and trembling rocked my whole being as I approached this invasion of Heaven into Earth.

Then the vision ended.

I shared this vision in a class at theLab Internship and one of the interns about came out of her skin.

She just watched a National Geographic special on craters on the Earth!

THE CRATER

She shared some dramatic revelation about the coming crater based on what God was revealing through my vision and the program she watched.

  • The asteroid that caused the crater was huge. When it impacted the ground, the top of it was still 30,000 feet up—that’s where jets fly!
  • When it hit, a pillar of fire instantly exploded and reached from the surface of the Earth up into the heavens.
  • Balls of fire shot out from the pillar and scorched regions far away from the point of impact.
  • A cloud of smoke then rose and actually surrounded the entire planet. The entire Earth was covered by the residual impact of the asteroid.image
  • Celestial elements, parts of the asteroid that don’t exist on this planet, were implanted into the ground. Heaven was brought to Earth.
  • Earthquakes rocked the Earth all around.
  • Molten rock filled the crater.

THE COMING CHURCH

We won’t be able to define ‘going to church’ the way we do now.

God is coming to reform, to crush structures of old for what is to be introduced very soon.

The force from Heaven, the celestial asteroid, is going to impact the church, and most pastors and people will resist with everything that’s within them. Man-made support systems will be removed. People’s financial and relational structures will be threatened by this strange, new spiritual invasion.

The human wisdom and natural common sense that has been involved in the development of the current church structure will not be usable in the new. Those who walk by sight are in danger.

We will have to rely on a new set of senses as we, in faith unlike any we’ve ever allowed ourselves to embrace, begin to walk blindly into a fearful new church reality.

  • Encounter driven: We will gather together with the primary goal of having an overwhelming encounter with an invisible God. The burning of God will engulf us day after day. A 2 Chronicle church will be the normal reality.
  • The 24/7 church: The thought of only gathering in the crater, in the lava of God’s shocking presence, on occasion, a few times a month, will be laughable. Our entire lives will be empowered by this tent of meeting and our energies will be spent gathering the desperate masses into the fire to experience an otherworldly spiritual encounter together. Most days of the week we will easily make room to be in the church, on our faces, trembling under the weight of God.
    • 2 Chronicles 7:1 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.”
  • Unpredictable: Finally we will begin to know a God who is limitless in expression. Every moment with him, in our corporate gatherings, will be unlike any other. The fierce burning will never stop, the myriad of emotions we experience as God hovers over us will surprise and overwhelm us continually. A gathering of burning ones will result in fire balls of worship that lead to sharp swords of prophetic teaching that shake the people to their core. Wave after wave of fiery shock and awe will never disappoint. Services will be open ended and will overlap each other as room is made for an uncontrollable Holy Spirit to orchestrate the events in his wisdom.
  • Supernatural: We will take the leap from mostly translating God into our natural language and understanding to allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us out of the natural realm and into a supernatural culture that can only be understood via our spirits. The lost will finally have hope as we stop trying to give them logical reasons to ‘get saved’ and we start introducing them to a supernatural God that they have been craving to meet.
  • Regionally focused: The level of impact that the rock from Heaven will bring will not be confined to a local church. Pastors and leaders will stop focusing mostly on developing their own local ministry and will instead shelve much of what they did in the old church model and focus on serving the regional mission. The local will give way to the regional as leaders ‘lead’ the people into encounter, into regional mission and into the greater vision of revival and reformation. The spirit of Pharaoh that focuses on personal goals and keeping people locally focused will give way to the spirit of reformation and Kingdom advance that was manifested through Moses and Joshua.
  • God focused: Instead of attempting to ‘grow the church’ by focusing on visitors and seekers, the leaders will be fully devoted to a 2 Chronicles 7 strategy of compelling God to show up in extreme, weighty power. The pillar of fire that connects Heaven to Earth is the new goal. In fact, an empty church is a better goal than a full church if we understand that passage of scripture correctly! Many people will leave the church as a more serious devotion to Holy Spirit activity is given, but the supernatural invasion of fire will result in fire, smoke and earthquakes that will rock cities and nations.
  • Personal surrender highlighted: Instead of compelling people to ‘join our church’ through the promise of personal gain, we’ll highlight the cross. The cost. The Rich Young Rulers will leave while the end-time remnant will gain confidence in leaders seriousness for revival and will flood in and serve with military level commitment. You will know leaders have turned the corner toward the new model of church when they actually raise the bar so unapologetically that those with money and influence are allowed to go. How many RICH RULERS are in our churches because leaders have compromised the call, just so they don’t lose their money?

The new church will look nothing like we see now. We must learn how to live in the Spirit if we hope to embrace this uninvited yet deeply needed invasion from Heaven. Everything is at risk. Will you embrace or resist this reformation?