Listen to the latest in what may be the most important series I’ve ever taught: Threat to Revival #7—Fear
FIRST: You DON’T want to miss our fourth annual Revival Church Christmas Dinner & White Elephant Gift Exchange!!!
Join us this Thursday, December 13th at 7pm for a night of Christmas family fun. Bring a main course and either a side OR dessert to share. Also, bring a wrapped gift valued under $10, one for each member in your family, for the white elephant gift exchange. It all happens at Revival Church, which meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071. Invite all of your friends and family!
TEN THREATS TO REVIVAL: THREAT #7, FEAR
You can listen to last night’s incredibly freeing message on the spirit of fear here: http://media.johnburton.net/5753783
Follow along with the notes here:
Threat 7. Fear of Loss
1. The greater our fear of God which comes through intimacy with him, the less our fear that’s initiated by the enemy will be.
1. We won’t fear loss… we will understand that loss is a part of the process. Don’t protect what God may want to touch in your life.
2. Isaiah 8:11-13 (ESV) 11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
3. The catch is this: If we fear God, the result is boldness and intimacy and power and confidence.
4. If we have a spirit of fear, the result is timidity, reclusion, weakness and insecurity.
1. Proverbs 19:23 (ESV) 23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
1. You could call the spirit of fear, slave fear and the fear of the Lord, son fear.
2. The fear of a slave is to cower; slaves want to run away from their masters. But “son fear” is something different; it motivates us to seek and please God.
3. “Slave fear” that drives us away from God is wrong; “son fear” that drives us toward God is right and proper.
2. In this next passage, God is saying not to have slave fear.
3. Exodus 20:18-20 (ESV) 18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”
2. Revelation 1:17-18 (ESV) 17 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, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
3. Nenien C. McPherson, Jr., says that the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises are the only fears that are natural to us. There are only two, he says, and all the rest are learned.
1. Satan coaches us into every other fear! He’s our fear coach. He’s our fear leader!
2. In generations past the fear for the Christian was the loss of life, today the fear is a loss of comfort.
4. Fear haunts people and hijacks their zeal and their focus on mission.
1. When we fear loss, our natural reaction is to shut everything else out and go into protect mode.
2. Fear is a disqualifier. It sends people home… their focus is on how to survive their own lives at home instead of being in the midst of the mission… the very reason they were born!
3. Judges 7:2-3 (ESV) 2 The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.
1. When the call to run with a vision is presented, don’t be surprised when people turn their focus to their own survival.
2. The song goes, I surrender all!!! If all is surrendered, we can’t be gripped by fear of loss!
1. Our family is surrendered, our money is surrendered, our comfort is surrendered, our physical life is surrendered!
3. Manitou Springs-I was disturbed at the number of Christians that were afraid to even drive past that city! I was mad!
4. I needed the warriors to show up, to be bold, to lock arms with us and take a city—and they didn’t even begin in the battle! Fear kept them away, and the flow to Hell kept streaming.
1. As a visionary, one issue that I constantly wrestle with is the job of selling the vision.
2. So much energy is used attempting to convince the church of the region that it’s a good move to invest in revival. It’s a benefit to them to participate. There’s blessing if they run the race with us.
3. Come on! Where are the people who have matured beyond this? Where are those who need no reason to invest in revival other than the fact that people are going to Hell?
4. Where are those who fear not? Who simply show up to fight against the Kingdom of darkness? No fear of loss at all! People with fire in their eyes who know why they were born!
1. We cannot expect to win if we forfeit.
2. The church isn’t primarily plagued with defeat, it’s plagued with FORFEIT!
3. The Hebrews forfeited the Promised Land!!!! Fear!!!
4. Numbers 13:25-28 (ESV) 25 At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. 26 And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large.
5. Then what happens is that the true visionaries reject fear and call everybody to go, and there’s division in the camp! The mission ends!
6. Numbers 13:30-33 (ESV) 30 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
7. They wanted to stone those who were responding to God’s call to advance!
8. Numbers 14:23-24 (ESV) 23 … And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.
5. The issue of fear is a HUGE one!
1. If we don’t deal with fear now, when the threat to our lives increases, we will run home!
2. Mark 14:61-65 (ESV) 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
3. Mark 14:66-72 (ESV) 66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
4. There’s been so much emphasis in the church on blessing and gain, that the spirit of fear has been able to settle into position, ready to pounce when the possibility of personal loss presents itself.
1. Attempting to minimize risk is not the answer!!!!
6. The church must again be a place of power that calls people to the edge as it plunders the kingdom of darkness!!!
1. A key reason pastors don’t advance their churches into the experiential realm of encounter with God is that the risk of losing people, money and their reputation is high.
2. It’s clear that a instituting a marginalized church culture is a much less risky option to develop a growing church in America. However, it’s also clear that such a culture is void of power and miracles.
1. Revival will only come through a Biblical church that is costly, raging hot on fire and radically uncomfortable to our flesh.
3. The world isn’t looking for another man-made system to join. In fact, the world does a much better job of building humanistic kingdoms than the church does.
4. We’ll only see revival when we have the guts to call people into the wilderness of extreme encounter where the Fire and the Cloud leads them into a supercharged adventure.
1. Fear of loss must be replaced by an expectation of loss!
2. I surrender all! It's not, “I hope I don't have to surrender all!”
3. I die daily! It's not, “I hope I can avoid the death part of the program!”
4. I take up my cross! It's not, “I take up my blessing!”
7. The comforter
1. We were robbed
1. The enemy will actually cause blessing at times!
2. Promise of new computers
3. Story of getting robbed
5. At IHOP
6. The enemy wants to masquerade as the Holy Spirit… he’s a false comforter.
7. He wants us to use him, to use fear as a means of protection.
8. This revelation was so powerful.
9. We were initially terrified to stay in the house, but that night I let God comfort me like never before… and I slept with overwhelming peace.
Tonight I’ll be teaching on how to be free from fear…one of the key threats to revival.
FIRST: Bring everybody you know to Revival Church’s fourth annual Christmas Dinner & White Elephant Gift Exchange! Bring a main course and either a side OR a dessert (two total items) to share!
Wrap a real or gag gift valued no more than $10 for as many people as there are in your family. It all begins THIS THURSDAY, December 13th at 7pm!
This series has been powerful! Listen to all of the prior teachings in the series, Ten Threats to Revival, at http://media.johnburton.net.
TONIGHT I’ll deal with one of the most powerful threats, a true enemy to every Believer… FEAR.
Revival Church meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.
Here are some additional announcements:
After service, Sunday, December 16, 2012
Current Tribe leaders and those wanting info about our church planting strategy will meet for about one hour after the service. This is a required meeting for current Tribe leaders and those already registered for theLab. If you not a leader and would like to attend, please RSVP by emailing email@example.com.
4th Annual Christmas Party / White Elephant Gift Exchange
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 7 pm in the Fellowship Hall
Bring TWO items: a main dish AND a side or dessert to share. For each member of the family (including any children who wish to participate), bring a wrapped gift valued between $5 and $10. This can be a nice gift, a re-gift, a gag gift. Feel free to get creative! Friends and family are welcome!
Revival Church Christmas Community Outreach
Saturday, December 15, 2012, 10 am to 2 pm in the Fellowship Hall
Join us for a great opportunity to minister to the underprivileged in our community! On Saturday, December 15, low-income families will visit our fellowship hall to pick up gifts and Christmas baskets. We want to minister to both their physical needs and their spiritual needs. We will offer prayer as well as material blessings!
We need your help! In just one week, we have already agreed to sponsor 33 children, and many more will sign up in the weeks to come.
What can you do?
· Buy Gifts – Stop by the mini Christmas tree in the lobby and pick up a tag, detailing the age and gender of the child you are sponsoring. Return gifts (valued between $15 and $20) by Sunday, December 9.
· Wrap Presents – We will meet at 10 am on Saturday, December 15, to wrap presents and put together baskets. We need all the help we can get. Families will begin arriving at noon.
· Make phone calls – All sponsored families will receive a reminder phone call the week before the event.
· Offer Prayer – We need people at the event to pray with our sponsored families.
· Volunteer – We need help at the event handing out gifts and directing people.
Please contact Amy Burton if you can help. firstname.lastname@example.org
theLab School of Fire
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10th 2013
Tuition: $75 (plus $25 application fee)
Join with a team of burning men & women on a journey into the fire of God’s presence. We believe there is a significant yet hidden company of Believers that God is gathering together to be trained, healed and infused with fire. These mighty people will carry and release the burning of the Holy Spirit into the revival-ready Detroit region…and beyond to the cities of the Earth.
REVIVAL CHURCH’S CHURCH PLANTING INITIATIVE!
50 CHURCHES PLANTED IN DETROIT AND BEYOND!
If you would like to apply to launch a home church please review the info at www.revivaltribe.com and contact us!
Articles, videos, teachings, news and info about upcoming events will keep you up to speed on everything at Revival Church!
An emerging burning army of young people will usher in revival…theLab is a training ground for this raging remnant!
FIRST: Tomorrow (Sunday) at Revival Church, I’ll be teaching on the next threat to revival: FEAR. Get ready to have fear broken off of your life!
Revival Church meets Sundays at 6pm at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.
SECOND: Don’t forget to apply for membership to Revival Church! This is an exciting time to lock in with a family of revivalists in Detroit whether you are local, or participate online! www.johnburton.net/membership
THELAB: MOTHERS AND FATHERS, SONS AND DAUGHTERS
Some churches have youth groups. We have a School of Fire.
For the very first time, theLab School of Fire is open to everybody in high school and on up. Only $100!
LEARN MORE AND APPLY TODAY! The next session begins January 20th!
God is marking the young generation with fire, and he’s awakening them into a prayer-fueled life of wonders.
theLab is a fiery and focused movement of revival that refuses to allow anyone, young or old, to live below their call and destiny.
CARRIERS OF FIRE
Elizabeth was barren and old—yet she carried a burning prophet who would prepare the world for the coming of the King.
Luke 1:15-17 (ESV) 15 …and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
Mary was a virgin and young—yet she carried the King of glory.
Luke 1:34-37 (ESV) 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
The two generations converged, the baby leaped, the Holy Spirit arrived and the world was shocked into freedom!
Luke 1:39-42 (ESV) 39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
theLab School of Fire is an extreme and unapologetic movement of revival, and our mandate is to raise up carriers of fire who shock the world with the prophetic, burning word of the Lord.
TIME IS SHORT! Applications must be received no later than December 20th, 2012.
I’m both awakened and deeply grieved in my spirit.
This weekend marked what I consider the most critical corporate gathering for the church of Detroit this year.
Watch the video of Nathan Morris preaching “Candy Cane Christianity” here: http://bayrevival.org/media_archive_sub.php?id=205
The Bay of the Holy Spirit with Pastor John Kilpatrick and Evangelist Nathan Morris visited Detroit Thursday and Friday, and those unparalleled national leaders of revival carried their responsibility for Detroit on their shoulders.
The call for deep repentance and a return to the cross is the message of the hour for Detroit. I'm truly troubled, but it's an appropriate troubling. It's time for religious systems to be confronted. The ENTIRE church of Detroit should have been at these meetings!!!
When the nation's premier revivalist, a father of revival, calls a meeting, the church must respond. I was SO GRIEVED that just a few hundred people from the Detroit region were there out of over 1450! The rest were people from other regions and nations who paid the price to travel from far away to respond to the call to gather!
The message Nathan delivered on Thursday is unlike anything we hear in churches today—but was common in the great revivals of history.
Let me say this very clearly: It is a rare thing indeed for someone to escape the fires of Hell—and a tragically large number of church goers will be shocked to find themselves there one day. It’s horrifically common.
The great revivalist Leonard Ravenhill said:
I read of the revivals of the past, great sweeping revivals where thousands of men were swept into the Kingdom of God.I read about Charles G. Finney winning his thousands and his hundreds of thousands of souls to Christ.Then I picked up a book and read the messages of Charles G. Finney and the message of Jonathan Edwards on 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,'and I said, 'No wonder men trembled; no wonder they fell in the altars and cried out in repentance and sobbed their way to the throne of grace!'
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
The fear of the Lord must return!
There's a lack of brokenness and repentance in the church today… we are blind to the depravity that sin creates. People have actually made arguments against deep, troubling brokenness, mourning and travail! Gut wrenching repentance and surrender at the cross must return to the church!
There's a disturbing movement away from sin/Hell consciousness… some believe that we only focus on God and ignore the trauma of sin and what the enemy has done.
Hell is referred to over three hundred times in the New Testament. It’s referred to rarely today.
THE MIRACLE IN MODESTO
A low budget, terribly acted but extremely anointed traveling production called Heaven’s Gates/Hell’s Flames resulted in one of the greatest sudden moves of God in modern American history.
The production simple depicts people who suddenly die and then are either welcomed into Heaven or forcibly dragged by demons to Hell.
Over 81,000 people came to the production in Modesto, California over 28 days with 33,000 documented salvations.
Pastor Glen Berteau: Somebody said, "I hear you've got scare tactics." No, that's reality tactics. I said, "That's the reality of it all." The reality is that there is a Hell, just like there's a Heaven. And good people if they don't know Jesus, they're going to go there.
You can read more here: http://janaeusa.angelfire.com/Berteau.html
I’d recommend watching another low budget but riveting film called m10.28. I can barely get through the scene I’ll post here. In fact, the experience I wrote about in my book The Terror of Hell is terrifyingly similar to what you see happening at the 4:50 mark… through the 5:30 mark. I experienced being dragged toward Hell and then suddenly waking up in overwhelming fear with a message of awakening and repentance nearly destroying me it was so severe.
Hell is real. Most go there. Here’s the video link: http://youtu.be/VllhuffKyJA
It’s time to wake up church. No more politics. No more apathy. No more games. Wake up!
Detroit! No more embarrassing turnouts! No more excuses! No more unnecessary busyness that keeps us away from the mission! No more!
It’s time to gather! It’s time to repent! It’s time to consecrate ourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among us!
FALSE GRACE MESSAGE
Beware of the false doctrine of hyper grace that minimizes repentance, judgment and Hell and results in an abdication of the responsibility of the Believer. No form of grace removes the believer's responsibility to repent for his sin. This doctrine is responsible for many in the church being lulled into false security. I am convinced that many go to Hell because of this doctrine. I know The Terror of Hell message must become more of a focus of our ministry.
It’s time to take an honest look at the typical Christian experience that is largely disappointing for so many.
Sing along with me:
I went to the enemy’s camp and took back what he stole from me, took back what he stole from me, took back what he stole from me…
This is a fun song to sing and has a sold ring of victory to it, but it has always troubled me. I always wondered why Christians seemed to be playing catch up, perpetually trying to gain back what was lost and attempting to convince themselves that they are victorious. We often try to cheerlead our way to believing we are who God says we are. It’s as if we are sitting on a couch in a counselors office, looking into a mirror and saying, “I’m OK. God likes me. I’m a winner. I’m OK. God likes me. I’m a winner.” If we say it enough, surely it will sink in, right?
Again, let’s be honest. Yes, we as Christians all agree that in the end Jesus wins. Or, do we really believe that? Is it simply easier to believe something that’s far removed and chiseled logically into the stone that holds the tenants of our religion?
What if that end of times war exploded violently and experientially right now? Would we simply embrace peace and easily, confidently know that Jesus wins—or would we freak out and worry as devastation creeps onto our front lawn? Would it it result in a crisis of faith or an eruption of faith?
Our foundation of faith (or lack of it) will result in difficult situations either triggering hopelessness and despair or passionate expectancy.
Lets bring it closer to home.
At any Sunday morning church service I could stand in the pulpit and ask the congregation a question: Who here has a history of financial struggle?
Most hands would shoot to the sky. Yet, we know that scripture declares that every need that we have is provided for!
Philippians 4:19 (ESV) 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Do you see the conflict? It’s a crisis of faith that is unfortunately experienced by most Christians!
Think about the 1260 promises in the Word of God. How many are inactive in the lives of Christians? How many have the enemy stolen away? Just where is that camp that we have to find so we can take back what he stole from us?
Psalm 84:11 (NKJV) 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
That’s a really good Bible promise!
Why does that verse feel more like a pipe dream than a common reality experienced by Believers?
Because many Believers are actually unbelievers.
They doubt. They are gripped by unbelief.
Check out this passage:
Matthew 13:10-15 (ESV) 10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “ ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. This issue is gripped the unbelievers in the church!
Why don’t we see extreme prosperity, healing, joy, life and freedom in the church today?
Matthew 13:58 (ESV) 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
- Tradition. Another way to say it is historical evidence or past experience. If our confidence and expectations come from past experience and cultural norms instead of the wild realities of the Kingdom, you will live like most every other Christian out there—below the bar of Kingdom wonder.
Matthew 15:6-9 (ESV) 6 …So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
- Powerlessness. Christians are evidenced by their supernatural power. Check out this problematic passage:
Mark 16:14-18 (ESV) 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
What a situation we have here! In the same breath that Jesus rebuked them for unbelief he was telling them to wise up and figure this Kingdom thing out. They were commanded to deal with their doubt and change the world. The way they would pass the test? Faith-fueled signs, wonders and miracles. Does it strike you as concerning that there are Christians out there that have not discovered the power of God flowing through them? It’s a very serious issue.
- Failure of performance. Have you ever quoted verses that dealt with an issue you were facing? Did you add some prayer to the mix only to be disappointed by a failed mission? The Bible speaks to this directly:
Matthew 17:19-20 (NKJV) 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
It’s unbelief. Doubt. The moment we give room for any ending other than what is promised in Scripture, you can label that unbelief. So, what was Jesus’ prescription for their unbelief?
Matthew 17:21 (NKJV) 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
We don’t pray and fast to cause demons to come out. We pray and fast to cure our unbelief. Apply this verse to any enemy that is winning in your life. Depression, fear, poverty, sickness. If you don’t have belief that joy and power and prosperity and health are yours for the taking, then move into an extreme season of prayer and fasting. Breakthrough hinges on your ability to fully believe without wavering.
This verse makes the point very clear:
James 1:5-8 (ESV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
If we doubt, we can’t expect to receive. Period. If your mind entertains thoughts like, “God might heal me,” you are pretty much done before you began contending.
- No joy of salvation. Ouch. This one hurts, but must be addressed. We see salvation and faith so intertwined throughout scripture that we simply have do deal with this. If we as Believers are living most of our lives in the realm of unbelief can we casually presume to be saved? I’m not so sure. Check this out:
Luke 8:11-15 (ESV) 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
Do you see how faith and salvation are connected? Here we see the devil stealing the very thing that ensures their salvation—their belief. The next group experiences the joy of salvation, but didn’t have sufficient belief when the trials came. They fell away. It’s the last group that hears the word (faith comes by hearing the Word!) and endures and bears fruit with patience.
- Faith in what is visible. If we default to what is visible and humanly understandable, we will fall well below the mark of belief. This can have often tragic results. The story of King Asa should be an alarm for all of us:
2 Chronicles 16:12-13 (ESV) 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.
I believe one reason we don’t see more healings in America is because it’s too easy to pop a pill and trust that the doctors can heal us. That misguided faith has been devastating in its impact. The majority of our lives as true Believers exists in the invisible realm of the unseen—in the realm of confident belief.
Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV) 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
For the Believer, the unseen realm has more substance than what our five senses pick up. For the Believer it’s easy and normal to believe the report of the Lord ahead of the report of human experience or human perception.
Church, it’s time we stop hoping and wishing our way to victory. Hope deferred makes the heart sick! We have to put an end to demonic thievery. Pumping ourselves up and cheerleading our way to a low level confidence in God’s Word must give way to a peaceful assurance of breakthrough. We don’t contend for victory, we start at the point of victory. Now, we don’t have to play catch up as we focus on personal identity and success. We can launch with great faith from the platform of success into the world changing missions that God has assigned us to. As champions and authorities in the Earth we don’t ever allow the enemy to steal anything—instead we take dominion over his camp, his domain!
I see a day coming in the church where everybody who simply yet fully believes is wildly joyful, prosperous, healthy and free—strong and ready to annihilate the kingdom of darkness with force!
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
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.
- 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.
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.
Really? 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!
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.
- 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?