Posts Tagged ‘detroit’

Six ways pastors are hindering revival

Pastors must allow God to awaken them to the call to regional revival.

I regularly hear from people who are done with church, are frustrated with church leadership and are ready to abandon the weekly gathering, if they haven’t done so already.

I agree that there are significant issues. However, I relentlessly support God’s ordained leaders and encourage as many as I can to stay connected in life-giving churches. Now is not the time to abandon ship, even if we agree that reformation is necessary. This reform must come from within. The new wine skin is coming, and we need everybody in position and ready to serve the revival that results.

Since it’s critical for everybody to remain locked in to their assignments in this “all hands on deck” season, we need today’s leadership to shift toward the apostolic and become more regionally minded than locally minded.

SIX WAYS PASTORS ARE HINDERING REVIVAL

ONE: They don’t pray.

So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:2-4 (NIV)

The daily schedule for pastors should be mostly devoted to fervent intercession and study of Scripture. Sadly, most pastors don’t even lead corporate prayer meetings much less hide away in their prayer closet.

There is no way they can discern the spirit of revival if they aren’t given to a life of intensity in prayer. It’s extremely easy for me to discern whether the spirit of prayer and the spirit of revival is in a church. I travel all over the nation and I explode with life when I walk into some sanctuaries that have been bathed in prayer. You can feel the tangible presence of God. You are impacted by the weighty atmosphere that could only be the result of a praying pastor.

Praying pastors can’t help but to weave Holy Spirit fueled intercession throughout the Sunday service. Tongues of fire rest on top of the congregation, groans erupt from the saints and people are laid out all over the room. Not only does a praying pastor refuse to shut down such an atmosphere, he initiates it. God’s presence becomes a key driver of their ministry, and the goal changes from church growth or visitor attraction and assimilation in their local church to a raging fire in their region. If the pillar of fire emerges in a local church across town, the revival-minded, intercession-driven pastor will cancel everything at his home base to lead the people into the presence of God in the region.

TWO: They don’t embrace the prophetic.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 (ESV)

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV)

Too often pastors are leading their local churches logically, using church growth methods instead of facilitating a prophetic culture. It’s one thing to point your ship in the direction you want it to go. It’s something altogether different to put up your sails, allowing the wind to take you where it wants to go.

We must hear God’s voice continually in our churches and the pastor is the one to encourage the growth of prophetic ministry. God will connect pastors with prophets (and other offices) so God’s specific mandates can be heard and heeded. Additionally, every person in the congregation must be equipped and released to prophesy. If a vibrant prayer culture has been developed in the church, you won’t be able to keep people from releasing oracles from Heaven! God will be continually communicating to everybody!

THREE: They don’t release people to follow the fire.

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 13:21 (ESV)

It grieves my heart and I’m certain the heart of the Lord when pastors refuse to release people under their care to follow the fire. The call of the church is to equip disciples and then to release them! We as leaders should have open hands, not tight fists. If a move of God launches in another church in the city, the pastor absolutely must encourage people to run to the outpouring! Better yet, he should be leading the way!

God will move geographically, and the fire most likely won’t ignite in your church, even if you are contending for it. If the outpouring is elsewhere, if you hold any value for revival, you will drive every day to that pillar of fire with a convoy of your congregation following behind!

FOUR: Their focus is on building their own ministry instead of the regional church.

…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. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)

It’s time to stop expending energy mostly on building local ministries to the detriment of the regional church. It’s good and right to develop what God has given us to steward, and it’s right to have vision, even locally. However, the end goal must not be local church growth. It has got to be a regional outpouring. God will heal the land, the region, not the local gathering.

It’s time we start hearing pastors crying out for a move of God in their city versus in their local church. If the prophetic ministry is sharp and active, you will hear words that focus on God’s plans for the city much more than you will his plans for the local church.

FIVE: Their focus is on attracting seekers instead of training and releasing disciples.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)

Numerical church growth in our American church culture has overtaken more important goals. It’s true that everything healthy grows, but sometimes the growth is deep instead of wide. The strategy of local churches must shift from growing in number to training remnants in prayer, ministry, revival and leadership. Then, the goal is actually to shrink in number instead of growing in number as these disciples are released as apostolic men and women of God.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the local church can’t still grow. It can, but it’s not a metric to be measured. It’s simply the overflow of an effective ministry that is regionally focused, prayer-driven and discipleship-minded.

SIX: They overestimate their role and leadership ability.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Exodus 18:21 (ESV)

This one might sting.

Most pastors don’t have the God given ability to lead a regional revival. They have been called to nurture a small group.

God will raise up a leader or leaders who have the gifting to apostolically give leadership to a massive movement, and it’s important that everybody else in the city assumes their positions in support of the revival.

During an outpouring in Detroit several years ago, I was honored to be asked to lead the prayer emphasis. I wasn’t called to host the revival in my church, so I led the charge as many in my church drove 45 minutes every night to the outpouring. The fact that I wasn’t asked to lead, or that my church wasn’t the focus, or that any of the offerings weren’t coming to me, didn’t bother me in the least. How could it? I was in an outpouring!

In the city church, when a regional outpouring hits, God will utilize the willing pastors in the city in various roles. Humility will be required. Jealously will have to be killed. If that doesn’t happen, the revival is sure to die out as fast as it ignited.

A powerful Detroit prayer strategy

Join a movement of prayer in Detroit

Many of you are already aware of our ministry of prayer that has been advancing in Detroit over the last six years, but I wanted to send an important update to you.

If you are in the Detroit region, definitely lock in and pray. You will make a difference that will impact the region and eternity!

From Amy Smith:

As most of you know, John and Amy Burton have moved out of Detroit and on to Branson, MO where Apostle John is getting ready to launch into the next level of developing Carriers of Fire International through media, writing and traveling.   We're so excited about what God will be bringing from Branson!  

Meanwhile, here in Detroit, we are forging ahead as we transition from Revival Church to theFurnace CoFI group.  The vision is not decreasing but, indeed, increasing!   I am trying to keep up the pace as God keeps sharing more and more of the vision and bringing pieces together.  

One thing we are sure of and that is that God is calling us as City Church Intercessors to pray for the restoration of God's government in the church in our region and beyond.  We have a burning passion for the body of Christ to see us grow and mature “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.”   

We hope you'll join us as we gather and pray together to see God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Here are a couple highlights we're looking forward to:

We will be joining forces with Shekinah at JHOP in Dearborn every 2nd Friday of the month!  It's going to be a great time and POWERFUL!

We are also in the very beginning stages of developing a regional flag team that will carry out strategic prayer assignments throughout the region.  

If you would like to receive more information on what we're doing here in Detroit at theFurnace and how you can be a part, make sure you click on the link below and subscribe to receive our email updates.  

SUBSCRIBE HERE!!! http://eepurl.com/bhuc25

Many Blessings!  

Amy Smith
carriersoffire.org

Don't forget to subscribe!!!

Video and Notes: Transition Commission–A call to be “too severely committed”

I preached my last message at Revival Church last night—and it’s a MUST WATCH!

Last night’s service and message were intense from beginning to end. BY ALL MEANS watch my last message at Revival Church.

imageI discuss the critical call for the remnant to prepare for a shock to the church and to the earth.

Will American Christianity finally rid itself of a casual approach? Will we reject an independent spirit? Will we pray continually or just focus on nice church services?

It’s time for fire to erupt! That fire must explode out of God’s remnant people who are ready for massive change—a shift that will result in the old model of church giving way to an extreme, demanding and troubling new wineskin.

I bless Detroit as I move on to Branson, Missouri. Amy Smith has been prepared for such a time as this and I’m excited about her continuing leadership at Revival Church!

Join her and the team of passionate warriors every Saturday at 7pm!

Revival Church is located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091.

Here’s the video:

Here’s the notes:

Teacher: John Burton

Teaching Title: Transition Commission

  1. A Prophetic Company
    1. Six years of sounding the same message seems like a long time, but this group is barely getting started.
      1. The prophetic word of reformation that God is delivering to this region is critical, and until there is response the alarms must continue to sound.
      2. Remember, this ministry is called to awaken the church and call it into revolution—don’t ever lose that.
        1. Leonard Ravenhill: The greatest need tonight in America is prophets!
        2. Leonard Ravenhill: There is a terrible vacuum in Evangelical Christianity today. The missing person in our ranks is the prophet. The man with a terrible earnestness. The man totally other-worldly. The man rejected by other men, even other good men, because they consider him too austere, too severely committed, too negative and unsociable.
      3. The call is for the pavement people—those who are found on their faces crying out day and night for revival.
      4. Their focus isn’t on crowds, polished worship or programs for the whole family.
      5. The focus is on the groan. Until people are seen on their face and heard groaning in intercession we will know the assignment is not complete.
      6. Rare China video: www.johnburton.net/messages
      7. The reformed model of church is not only shunned, it’s renounced and soundly rejected by even some of the most zealous Christians. They consider them opinions or suggestions instead of mandates.
        1. The cost is too high.
        2. It’s radically uncomfortable.
        3. It’s seen as extreme and too far reaching.
        4. Will the church heed the word of the Lord?

8. Leonard Ravenhill: “In a day of faceless politicians and voiceless preachers, there is not a more urgent national need than that we cry to God for a prophet! The function of the prophet, as Austin Sparks once said, “has almost always been that of recovery”. The prophet is God’s detective seeking for lost spiritual treasures. The degree of his effectiveness is determined by the measure of his unpopularity. Compromise is not known to him. He has no price tags. He is totally “otherworldly”. He is unquestionably controversial and unpardonably hostile. He marches to another drummer!”

b. The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.  So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem:  For twenty-three years–from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day–the word of the LORD has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. Jeremiah 25:1-3

      1. For 23 years, the Lord had spoken to His people through His prophet but to no avail.
      2. Jeremiah means: whom Jehovah appoints
      3. Jeremiah lived to see his nation go down into sin, war, and, finally, judgment. Through it all, he was faithful to preach the Word of God.

c. And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.  They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever.  Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”  “But you did not listen to me,” declares the LORD, “and you have provoked me with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.” Jeremiah 25:4-7

      1. For over two decades, the prophet has warned God's people to repent or perish.
      2. Jeremiah's message fell on deaf ears and defiant hearts.
      3. Will you still boldly call people to response as Jeremiah did?
      4. Leonard Ravenhill: “Our pulpits today are occupied with puppets rather than with prophets, with organizers rather than with agonizers.”
      5. Pastor Dan Parton of Manitou Springs: Twenty-three years is a long time for a man to preach with no results. Twenty three years is a long time for a man to preach to deaf ears. Twenty-three years is a long time to be ridiculed and punished for your ministry, yet Jeremiah remained faithful.
  1. Commissioning
    1. Those who know their purpose and who are burning with a message rarely quit. Will you quit?

b. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

      1. Like Jeremiah you were formed, you are known, you are sanctified and you are ordained.

c. “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”  But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.  Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.  See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:6-10

      1. This is what Detroit needs.
      2. You are the prophetic voices.

My last night at Revival Church is tonight

I’m ready to burn one last time in Michigan! Tonight’s my last night at Revival Church…see you there!

Tonight’s it!

After nearly six years of amazing adventures in Michigan tonight is the last time I’ll be ministering at Revival Church, at least while still living here!

I can’t wait to cast the vision for full blown, intense revival and to connect with some of Detroit’s most amazing warriors!

Prayer starts at 6:15pm and the service begins at 7pm!

Oh, also…I NEED SOME HELP!!

We’ll be loading up the moving truck on Wednesday, March 11th at 1pm. It will be the EASIEST move you’ve ever experienced. Everything is already in the living/dining room and garage, ready to be put on the truck. With help we should knock it out in an hour. Can you help? PLEASE let me know. We’ll also need help doing some minor cleaning to make the house ready for the new owners.

Here’s more info:

Dell-000010693

Revival Games and Glory Meetings: A radical misunderstanding of just what we are pursuing

Revival Games—The grand prize is not what we think it is.

There are over 19,000 cities in this nation, and none of them are experiencing revival. None. Zero.

Of course, God is moving in unique and legitimate ways in various small pockets all over the world, but not on a regional level anywhere in America.

I propose a primary reason this is the case is the focus of our efforts.

Most are seeking after glory meetings, soaking sessions and sign and wonder events instead of zeroing in on the costly, sobering, prophetic call to repent, consecrate and lay down our lives.

game noun \ˈgām\ An active interest or pursuit; activity engaged in for diversion or amusement

Revival is not a game designed for our amusement.

Revival demands an extreme lifestyle of surrender, intercession and a precise, searing laser focus.

The games that too many are playing today have an end goal of having an experience with God in a powerful corporate setting. You may be scratching your head at what I just wrote. Why would having an experience with God together with other hungry people be a negative pursuit? It wouldn’t. Read it again:

The games that too many are playing today have an end goal of having an experience with God in a powerful corporate setting.

If there’s an event where God is manifesting in supernatural power, I’ll be the first one there and the last one out. I’ll be on my face for hours, days and weeks if possible. I’ve been in many such atmospheres, and it’s impossible to describe just how overwhelming God’s manifest presence can be. Having an experience with God isn’t the problem. Pursuing that experience as an end goal is the problem.

When we play the revival game, the grand prize is limited to a personal encounter with God. I know, that seems like a risky thing to say. How can I even consider that an audience with the King of Glory is an insufficient reward? That sounds absurd if not slightly blasphemous!

However, we must stop and consider this point closely.

I believe revival is not exploding in our cities because we have been satisfied to settle for a personal encounter with God instead of aggressively laboring for millions of others to be overwhelmed by him.

The mission has been limited to our own experience. When we are full, we stop.

True revival isn’t a game, and we don’t stop when we win. We don’t stop when we are full. We start when we are full.

This issue is currently costing us greatly.

People are vacating churches because they don’t perceive the glory is being pursued. The soldiers are more focused on the benefits than the battle, and the enemy is gaining ground.

It’s not about us. It’s about the nations, and we must all be in position every time the church doors are open, on our face, praying night and day no matter how dry the environment is.

Twenty-Elements-of-Revival-Box-ShotINTERNATIONAL IMPACT

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. Acts 2:1

In my book 20 Elements of Revival, I map out a step-by-step process of revival based on Acts chapter 2.

The first step, or element, is agreement. We can’t pretend to think we’ll experience God together, much less revival, if we aren’t submitted, agreed and in position.

Today, if people don’t sense a glory meeting or other type of experience is the goal, they will check out. They become conference hoppers looking for the latest, greatest supernatural rush—all while the true remnant is dying to their opinions, praying night and day and crying out to God together. They are unified.

The second element is what I call an extreme devotion of time. They were all together in one place, and refused to leave until the Promise arrived. Today? Finding people to stay in position as commissioned soldiers is nearly impossible. Our American life offers way too much, or demands too much, for us to consider our call to pray and advance in the church to be a primary devotion.

The third and fourth elements deal with the necessity for the atmosphere to be charged with supernatural power and for everybody in the mission to be driven by it.

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:2-4

This brings us to element number five: International Focus.

The Upper Room wasn’t about the Upper Room. It wasn’t a glory meeting for people to enjoy. It was a supernatural equipping center for only those most devoted to the cause. It burned through everybody there, and what they experienced resulted in international impact.

God’s power, glory and truth pierced Jerusalem and the hearts of the people who had gathered from the nations.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” Acts 2:5-12

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

What does this mean? This is the question that will launch a revival.

How ridiculous does it seem to consider that the 120 in the Upper Room would have just focused on enjoying themselves! That historic moment in human history where super invaded natural was not about a glory meeting! It wasn’t about personal satisfaction. It was about the nations.

This must grip us. Today we must have a remnant people who will stop seeking after personal satisfaction at the cost of Earth rocking revival.

There was a major stadium event being planned in Detroit a few years ago. People were called to gather together to pray on fire for the passions on the heart of God.

In preparation for this massive meeting I had the privilege of attending one of the pastor’s prayer sessions. There were around 40 or 50 pastors and leaders there, and as we entered into prayer, a holy hush came over all of us. In that place of sober silence I received a sharp prophetic word for all of us in attendance:

Pastors and leaders, we cannot look to this event, where thousands of people will gather, as an opportunity to grow our own ministries. If we are participating because we are holding out hope that people and resources will come into our churches as a result, we must repent. God will judge all who attempt to use this pure, holy, solemn assembly for their own satisfaction and gain.

Groans were heard filling the room.

When we stop seeking after personal gain and start looking at the masses who are currently sentenced to Hell, our motives will change. Our intercession will explode. Our expectations for revival will shift dramatically.

The power of God will radiate out of our prayer room into the nations and all will be provoked for an answer to their desperate question, “What does this mean?”

Our response will then be like Peter’s: we will preach the Word in power and people will be cut to the heart.

A glory meeting, no matter how intense or widespread, cannot be considered revival. Only when a message of repentance results, and when people respond in mass can we even begin to hope revival is near.

Is it possible there are no people alive today who have experienced legitimate revival? Many believe Azusa and the Welsh Revival were the last true moves of God that could be defined as revival. That was a very long time ago.

ENCOUNTERING GOD

When we have an experience with God, the goal is not to remain on our faces.

Many people didn’t understand why the awakening that occurred a few years ago at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City was eventually deemphasized. I directed one of the four primary internships at IHOPKC for a short season, so I understand at least in part the culture and the vision. The mandate is to pray. I wasn’t there when the awakening broke out, and I’m sure if I was I would have been on my face as often as I could have!

Why did Mike Bickle allow the awakening to settle down? I won’t pretend to have the answer, but I’d at least like to offer a hypothesis. The end goal for IHOPKC isn’t a glory meeting or a local awakening. It’s prayer for the nations.

I am actually in awe of that ministry. Unlike so many others who burn out after a move of God lands, IHOPKC didn’t miss a beat and they didn’t violate their primary purpose. They stayed in the prayer room through the awakening and didn’t pull back when it ended. They had work to do. They were on their face, and then were put back on their feet. I’ll explain that powerful principle in just a moment.

Understand, I am one who is addicted to the love, power and glory of the Lord Jesus! When his presence manifests in a weighty glory, I can just stay on my face forever! The biblical norm for believers is to experience the weighty presence of the Holy Spirit regularly.

However, there is more—much more. And, there is a greater goal than simply experiencing God myself. Others must know about him.

Consider just how intense our God is:

As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. Ezekiel 1:4

This is the glory of the Lord!

When God touches us, we can expect to fall over as dead!

Consider this:

  • Lightning is a created force—and if it strikes you, you will fall over as dead.
  • Angels are created beings—and people fall over as dead when they encounter them.
  • What happens when we encounter the Creator?! We can’t presume to just stand there and grin with a hand lifted up when God truly touches us! We will fall over as dead!

I’ll admit, the experience is so phenomenal, so shocking, that it would be easy to just stay in that place, after a supernatural lightning strike puts us on the floor. But, when we stay there, the hope of revival fades.

I was at the International House of Prayer one day when God moved in great power. Someone who had recently attended the Lakeland outpouring was shaking under the presence of God. He came over to me and prophesied over me. I got hit by fire! I fell over and he immediately picked me up and said, “You are going to have to learn to stand and minister under this anointing.”

He was right. I couldn’t just lay there and enjoy the moment. There was work to be done, and I had just experienced the necessary power to do it.

ON YOUR FACE. ON YOUR FEET. ON YOUR FACE.

Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. Ezekiel 1:28

Ezekiel was rocked and he hit his face. But, notice that he doesn’t stay there:

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.”  And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. Ezekiel 2:1-2

Ezekiel couldn’t enjoy his glory encounter for long. He was being encountered by God Almighty for a purpose, and the purpose wasn’t just to bless Ezekiel:

And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. Ezekiel 2:3-5

Messengers and divine messages always precede revival, and Ezekiel was to carry and release a word that was necessary to be heard. If Israel responded, revival would erupt. If not, judgment would come. True messages of revival always include revelation on both mercy and judgment, on revival and rebuke.

See, the Spirit is looking for a people who he can set on its feet. He is ready to empower us to use our feet to walk in the Spirit and to awaken a sleeping generation.

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel— not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.” Ezekiel 3:1-11

Then, again we see God striking Ezekiel and standing him back up:

So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face.  But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself within your house. Ezekiel 3:23-24

We see how invested Ezekiel was in revival in Israel. He didn’t stay in a soaking session simply enjoying God’s presence. He was obedient and instant in his response as God gave him his directives. He was set on his feet to go to his house…and to experience distress over the state of the nation:

And you, O son of man, behold, cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people. And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house. Ezekiel 3:25-27

Ezekiel wasn’t playing revival games, seeking his own amusement! He was repeatedly stricken and put upright by his Commander!

WARN THE CHURCH

In Revelation chapter one John has a similar encounter with God. He also fell, but clearly he was not to soak in God’s presence. He was given a critical mission to warn the church.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation 1:10-20

John immediately started writing what was revealed to him. Again, the call was for revival.

SO, WHAT ABOUT GLORY MEETINGS?

As I said, we should expect God to show up in extreme glory at times. This is very good and absolutely biblical.

God finally took Ezekiel into a place of glory:

Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. As the glory of the LORD entered the temple by the gate facing east, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple. While the man was standing beside me, I heard one speaking to me out of the temple, and he said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever… Ezekiel 43:1-7

This is revival! The glory of the Lord filling the temple and the glory of the Lord covering the Earth! This is revival! Even though, as in the continuing drama in the book of Ezekiel, many won’t respond, the spirit of revival will arrive and God will be glorified.

In Acts 2, many marveled and many mocked. While revival can and should impact a city and a nation, the mark of revival is not comprehensive response. The mark is the glory of God filling the region. When that happens, most will rebel more distinctly, but the remnant will be found. The wheat and the tares will be defined.

“As for you, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and they shall measure the plan. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, that is, its whole design; and make known to them as well all its statutes and its whole design and all its laws, and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe all its laws and all its statutes and carry them out. Ezekiel 43:10-11

So, yes, we will find ourselves on our face before the Lord in glorious victory and true revival…but, the point I’ve been driving home must be clarified again:

The goal isn’t our experience in God’s glory—it’s the experience of the nations!

The process is simple:

  1. On our face: Get struck by God in a place of extreme consecration, prayer and obedience.
  2. On our feet: Be put on your feet to minister the messages of God to a sleeping and rebellious generation.
  3. On our face: Experience revival—God is worshiped by the nations and his glory fills the Earth.

On our face. On our feet. On our face.

…and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14

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. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. 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.” 2 Chronicles 7:1-3

New series starting tonight! 20 Elements of Revival at the School of Revival

20-Elements-of-Revival-PaperbackJoin us locally or online TONIGHT at 7pm for the beginning of our brand new series 20 ELEMENTS OF REVIVAL!

Discover how to live in a state of white hot, continual revival—and how to see it spread into a city wide inferno!

Join us locally in Detroit for prayer, worship, teaching and then a time of discussion:

theFurnace is located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091

If you aren’t near, you can watch online beginning at 7pm at www.thefurnace.tv/live.

DOWNLOAD NOTES

You can download tonight’s notes to follow along as you watch HERE.

20 ELEMENTS OF REVIVAL

The contention of this book is simple: The extreme manifest presence of God is the biblical norm for New Testament believers. We label it many ways: revival, an outpouring, renewal, and certainly different moves of God have distinct flavors to them. However, regardless of the descriptive term we attach to it, we simply are not experiencing it. As we investigate a simple and powerful formula for revival, we will find ourselves deeply provoked and advancing with extreme momentum toward the goal of a city-wide outpouring of the Holy Spirit!

20 Elements of Revival- I just finished reading 20 Elements of Revival. Everyone should read this book! I wish I had the cash for a case of this book. Seriously! I keep thinking of more people who NEED a copy of it! It’s very, very, very rare for me to feel this way about a book other than the Bible. -Kathi

Just finished reading the two books you gave me…and I am buzzing in the Holy Spirit! My wife and I had an hour conversation about the depth of their implications. You have nailed it my friend. I have met few people who have put all this together….and I am in awe and grateful. I want all our leadership team to especially read 20 Elements of Revival. -Tim

School of Prayer Tonight at 7pm | Also, is terrorism in the USA closing in?

Discover how to pray, walk and live in the Spirit TONIGHT at the School of Prayer! Join us for teaching & intercession at 7pm!

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imageIf you are in the Detroit region, join us at 7pm!

theFurnace is located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091.

If you are from another region, you can watch live online at www.thefurnace.tv/live.


In light of everything that’s happening in the world right now with ISIS and the advance of terrorism, I’d like you to read what I consider to be one of the most important prophetic warnings I’ve ever received:

As I sat up high at Comerica Park last night watching a Tiger’s game, I saw a mural on a building that God revealed to me when I first visited Detroit.

I had a dream, and afterwards I visited Detroit to minister, and then saw the mural of jumping whales which was a key part of the dream.

It’s a warning dream, and Detroit must respond in repentance and intercession—as must the nation. Here’s the picture I took last night at the game and also the dream. (This is taken from the chapter in my book The Coming Church titled Their Freedom is Your Mission.)

A Troubling End-Time Dream

    Here is a clear example of a sharp, prophetic message. Will we respond to the call or casually watch from the sidelines?

    It would be nice if all of our dreams, visions and communication from God had the feel of running and dancing through a field of daisies, but it’s more important that we receive accurate data than imaginary, feel good stories.
    This dream was anything but candy canes and ice cream. To date, other than my encounter with Hell in the early 1990s, I’ve never received such an urgent and troubling dream of God.

    The first scene in my dream represented a typical American day. I was in my basement in a really comfortable leather recliner, sitting in front of a large television. I was excitedly watching my favorite NFL team, the Chicago Bears, play in a nationally televised evening game. I was thoroughly entertained and was settling in for a great night of football.

    The scene then suddenly changed. I found myself in the captain’s seat of the largest commercial airplane I’d even seen. In fact, this jet was capable of holding over 1000 people. Everybody in the airplane was excited and ready for the journey—and they were all blood-bought Christians. They represented an end-time remnant being prepared by God for the days ahead.

READ THE REST HERE…

Amy Burton TONIGHT: Discover powerful steps to financial prosperity

Amy Burton will be teaching TONIGHT at 7pm on financial prosperity and debt free living!

Discover practical and spiritual steps that will bring your finances into order and set you up for financial breakthrough!

Revival Church is located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091.

Amy-Burton-Finances

If you aren’t local to Detroit, you can listen LIVE at www.thefurnace.tv/live at 7pm ET!

Detroit & America • A Troubling End-Time Dream

imageAs I sat up high at Comerica Park last night watching a Tiger’s game, I saw a mural on a building that God revealed to me when I first visited Detroit.

I had a dream, and afterwards I visited Detroit to minister, and then saw the mural of jumping whales which was a key part of the dream.

It’s a warning dream, and Detroit must respond in repentance and intercession—as must the nation. Here’s the picture I took last night at the game and also the dream. (This is taken from the chapter in my book The Coming Church titled Their Freedom is Your Mission.)

A Troubling End-Time Dream

    Here is a clear example of a sharp, prophetic message. Will we respond to the call or casually watch from the sidelines?

    It would be nice if all of our dreams, visions and communication from God had the feel of running and dancing through a field of daisies, but it’s more important that we receive accurate data than imaginary, feel good stories.
    This dream was anything but candy canes and ice cream. To date, other than my encounter with Hell in the early 1990s, I’ve never received such an urgent and troubling dream of God.

    The first scene in my dream represented a typical American day. I was in my basement in a really comfortable leather recliner, sitting in front of a large television. I was excitedly watching my favorite NFL team, the Chicago Bears, play in a nationally televised evening game. I was thoroughly entertained and was settling in for a great night of football.

    The scene then suddenly changed. I found myself in the captain’s seat of the largest commercial airplane I’d even seen. In fact, this jet was capable of holding over 1000 people. Everybody in the airplane was excited and ready for the journey—and they were all blood-bought Christians. They represented an end-time remnant being prepared by God for the days ahead.

    In the cockpit, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude and majesty of the airplane. I put my hand on the throttle as we were sitting on the runway, ready to depart. Simply touching it revealed a power that was sobering indeed.
    I understood that, as the captain of the airplane, my responsibility was immense. I felt completely incapable of fulfilling my duties, but at the same time, I felt such an overwhelming confidence. I had the grace to do what I was called to do, even though I didn’t understand even how to take the first step.

    In that grace, I gave the throttle a push. Every inch that I carefully moved the throttle forward it seemed that the power increased one hundredfold or more. The slight vibration that was caused by multiple jet engines kept increasing as I moved 1000 people down the runway.

    Suddenly, we were airborne, and we were catapulted into our unknown mission.

    Almost immediately, as I followed the flight plan, we were flying over an ocean. As I looked down, something unusual had caught my attention, and I yearned to move in for a closer look. I brought the jet down and flew just above the surface of the water. What I saw was remarkable. All around, sea life was leaping out of the water. Everybody in the airplane was glued to the windows as they were captivated by the same view. Dolphins and whales were jumping high into the air as were innumerable other creatures, many of which I had never seen before.

    As I watched, my desire for greater revelation and encounter with this seeming other-worldly exhibition was rapidly increasing. I wanted more!

    I then did what makes no sense in the natural—I nose-dived and took the giant airship under the water. The moment I did, the power of the engines rapidly increased. The deeper I went, the greater the power. Under the water, I saw things I had never seen before. It was dark, but all of the sea life was easily visible as they glowed in various brilliant colors. Needless to say I, along with my passengers, would never be the same again.
    I then reemerged at the surface of the water and took the aircraft back up to cruising altitude. It was time to move on to our destination.

    Just as we reached the appropriate altitude, I received an urgent radio transmission:
The airport you will soon arrive at has been overtaken by terrorists. When you land, you and your passengers will deplane and will be confronted by them. You have no option to divert to another airport. If you do, the missiles that are currently locked on to your aircraft will be launched and you will all perish. You have no option but to continue according to your original flight path and land.

    I then passed that information along to the 1000 passengers. In a moment, our joyful awe of what we experienced just moments ago shockingly changed to sobriety. We were about to land.

    When we did, my two older boys (who at the time were approximately 10 and 12 years old) and I left the plane and entered the terminal.

    I expected to see mass chaos, but I did not. Though there were many thousands of people in the terminal’s various public areas, it was so quiet that you could hear someone cough from one hundred yards away. Fear had gripped everybody. They were scared silent.

    Each public area looked the same. People were ordered to line up along the walls by a terrorist who was standing in the middle of the room. The terrorist was dressed fully in black and had a machine gun in his hands.
    We were ushered into a room, and as we entered, my oldest son thought he saw someone he knew on the other side of the room. Before I could do anything, he broke away from me, oblivious to what was happening, and ran across the room to see his friend. I knew it was the last time I’d ever hold my son.

    I then held my younger son closer than ever as we took our place on the wall.

    The terrorist then started addressing people as he walked along the wall. He slowly, methodically moved closer to where we were standing. He then stopped and ordered the man who was standing next to us to move to the center of the room. The terrorist asked this terrified man a question, “Have you ever stolen anything?”

    He didn’t know how to answer. Should he tell the truth and reveal that, yes, he had stolen something at some point in his life? Would that earn him favor with the terrorist? Or, should he lie and attempt to convince him he was pure and should not be executed?

    I knew that it didn’t matter how he responded. He was about to take his last breath.

    What I saw next was grisly. I shielded my younger son’s eyes as the terrorist pulled out a machete and started hacking the victim’s fingers, a half an inch at a time. He dismembered this man and was ready to move on to the next—us.
    Then I woke up.

What did it mean?

    Football. In America, football is one of the enduring symbols of passionate, cultural entertainment. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with watching a football game, but the game’s place in my dream was significant. It represented life as usual. I was happily distracted and nothing else existed on my grid that night.

    The sudden shift to the cockpit is key. Vehicles often represent ministry when they occur in dreams. We must, as the remnant Church, be ready for a sudden move into critical end-time ministry. We have to be instant in and out of season. Our ears must be attentive to the prophetic voices that are sounding alarms in our nation.

    Supernatural power and grace is coming to the true, remnant Church. The 1000 passengers represented the true Church—Christians who were ready to be carried by God and who were not doing so for their own enjoyment. The massive airplane and the immeasurable power that it produced was there for a purpose—to carry people into a mission. The coming Church will be marked by people, as in the first century Church, who are mission minded and willing to lay down their lives. They aren’t there for the benefits alone.

    When the remnant Church is in position, the adventure will begin! As in the dream, the first phase will include such glorious, supernatural revelation that we will be forever transformed. Those who are distracted by the offerings of the world will miss out on this remnant call into the shock and the awe of the glory of God! There is a consecration that’s required for those who are interested in going into the deep places with God.
    The deeper we go, the more power and wonder we will experience.

Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.  At the end of three days the officers went through the camp and commanded the people, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. Joshua 3:1-6

    God is raising up captains, leaders who will, like Joshua, call everybody into position. They will lead the remnant Church out of typical, deadly desert life across the water and into promise.
    The end-time company represented by the 1000 on the airplane will be those who, as priests of the Lord, will carry the ark of his presence into the mission.   

    We have never been this way before. It is a mystery, but a mystery well worth the trouble to discover. We must consecrate ourselves on this side of the unknown as we, in faith, get ready to experience the wonders of the Lord!

    As we emerge out of revelation of the glory of God, we will be functioning from a place of power and radical transformation. We will then be ready for the troubling warnings of God.

    I believe the terrorists in my dream are less symbolic than we might hope. Fear is about to grip our land as the enemy puts his boots on the ground. We must stand firm in the grace of God, even when horrific trouble comes, as it did for me as a father, when in my dream, my older son broke away from my care.

    Very troubling times are ahead of us. The enemy’s primary weapon will be the spirit of fear. God’s primary weapon? The shock and the awe of the glory of God. The coming Church will be a Church that has gone deep in God together and my friend, this is the only Church that will be able to stand against the wickedness.

    Interestingly, I discovered after I had this dream, that it is known that Islamic terrorists will actually chop off the fingers of thieves just as I witnessed in my dream. I had never heard of this before and it was further confirmation that the dream was communication from the Lord and that we must be ready for an assault against his Bride.

“As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power.” Quran 5:38

    Perfect love casts out fear, which is why we know the kingdom of darkness cannot win. This is all the more reason for the Church to go deep into God! We need a revelation of Jesus! The coming Church will have that revelation of deep, glorious love, and the enemy knows this. This is why he is unleashing a false-love movement that is actually founded on fear…

Bring food tonight & hear about how to connect at theFurnace!

Food, fellowship and information on how to connect on our mission base TONIGHT at 7pm!

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Bring food to share TONIGHT!

After a powerful service we will enjoy food and fellowship together, along with info about how to connect at theFurnace!

Show up early if you can, at 6pm, for War Room Prayer prior to the service. Let’s see revival come to the cities of the Earth!

■ CONNECTING IN OUR CULTURE
theFurnace is a team of people intent on being equipped as end time carriers of fire and prophetic messengers. Our mission base is fueled by fervent prayer and passion for revival in the cities of the Earth.

The way to connect in our culture is simple. We encourage everybody who participates in our mission to:

  1. Join a Prayer Team
    Once a week you will participate on a conference call, led by one of the leaders at theFurnace. You will gain an understanding of our passions and will be able to join in our culture of intercession.
  2. Enroll in theLab University
    This three month school of fire will radically transform your life, and will help you capture the vision, passion and DNA of our ministry. You will complete assignments, read books, listen to teachings and participate with us in prayer and ministry events.
  3. Join theLab Team
    After successfully completing theLab University, you will be interviewed for a chance to join theLab Team. You will be involved with a team of amazing people and minister according to your passions and giftings.

Learn more TONIGHT!

See you in a bit!

John

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