The scourge of yesterday's seeker sensitive movement has infected today's mainstream church.
A question was posted to a local Facebook group, and while I applaud anyone's desire to be involved in an on-fire church, the request revealed something troubling.
“Where can I find an on-fire church…with no tongues?”
That was the question.
The answer? Nowhere.
Such a church doesn't exist. The concept is quite impossible.
DEFINING AN ON-FIRE CHURCH
Of course, it's entirely possible to find a church that is vibrant and passionate about Jesus without the gift of tongues in operation. There are many such places where you can connect, grow, and enjoy godly relationships. You can serve, go on mission trips, study the Bible together and experience an emotionally satisfying community of faith. There are such churches represented by most every authentic Christian denomination (or non-denomination).
However, the individual wasn't asking about vibrant churches. They specifically sought out an on-fire church. I maintain my contention that it is impossible to find a church that's authentically on fire without tongues manifesting.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 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 2:1–4, ESV)
There is an immeasurable difference between a vibrant community of faith and one that's marked by the fire of the Holy Spirit. When a church is birthed and bathed in fervent, supernatural prayer, and unlimited room is given for the Holy Spirit to blow and burn in their midst, the resulting fire is indescribable. Incomparable. Other-worldly.
To be on fire is not to be emotionally excited. To be consumed by biblical fire is a spiritual reality. The Spirit of God breathes in and through us and ignites a supernatural flame that defies description.
Simply, there is an anointing that rests on churches that embrace the gift of tongues. You'll notice in the passage of Scripture above that tongues of fire rested on everyone there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they all spoke in tongues.
I'm not going to dive into a teaching on the different types of tongues, but to briefly address those who are convinced that the Bible teaches that “all don't speak in tongues,” suffice it to say that there are multiple types of tongues. All can speak (or sing) in the personal gift of tongues. Not all, however, operate in other types of tongues such as “tongues and interpretation.” I'd encourage you to study out the differences.
An on-fire church is an Acts 2 church where all have the opportunity to be baptized in the fire of the Holy Spirit. In fact, a true on-fire church will manifest groans of intercession and a supernatural release of God moving through all in attendance.
“…but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26–27, ESV)
LARGE SCALE RESISTANCE TO THE GIFT OF TONGUES
I contacted two churches in my area that by all appearances were full of life and devoted to Jesus. I watched some of the worship online and people were legitimately engaging with lifted hands and at least a measure of visible passion. What I'm trying to communicate is that they appeared to be Spirit-filled churches.
I scoured their websites looking for a statement of faith or any evidence that they affirmed the gifts of the Spirit. I found nothing that remotely gave me confidence that I'd be stepping into an on-fire, Charismatic church should I choose to visit.
So, I emailed them. The first church copied and pasted their vague beliefs from the website I already studied. Here was my reply:
Thanks! Can you let me know your stance on the gifts of the Spirit? For example, during your services do people pray or sing in tongues? Are their words of knowledge? I appreciate it! Blessings to you all!
I never heard back from them.
The second church never replied at all.
Very interestingly, the first church was quick to reply to the Facebook post this article is about. “Where can I find an on-fire church…with no tongues?” A representative from the church claimed their church fit their requirements perfectly. Many other suggestions of other churches were offered as well.
I find it even more disturbing that churches that presume to be Spirit-filled are all too often minimizing the gifts of the Spirit and even forbidding the gift of tongues during the service. The seeker sensitive paradigm has overtaken many churches as they seek to make everybody as comfortable as possible.
The opportunity to engage in worship at many Spirit-filled churches has been reduced to fifteen or twenty minutes. I've visited churches that don't allow the people to go deep in the place of worship, to cry out, to repent, to groan in intercession or to encounter the Holy Spirit due to ridiculously short services. In fact, it's more common than ever to sing for fifteen minutes while being forced to listen to an often dry, tedious sermon that lacks any measure of anointing for nearly an hour. This is grieving!
Pastors, you might notice that the rise of 24/7 prayer and worship is capturing people's hearts. However, you aren't going to find a 24/7 preaching and teaching movement. Both are important, but we must understand priorities. A foundation of fervent intercession and deep, supernatural worship is mandatory if the Word of God is going to have fertile soil to grow in.
From my book The Coming Church:
As we become supernaturally changed in a place of extreme intercession, worship will change significantly. It will be supernaturally driven. There is a new sound coming to worship, and it’s not simply a new style. There is a supernatural, otherworldly groan of intercessory worship that will explode out of the entire body as a new breed of trembling worship leaders lead the way into the shock and awe of the glory of God. We will no longer simply sit in a pew or stand with a raised hand while a familiar worship song is sung. The prophetic, groaning sounds of Holy Spirit-facilitated worship will make it normal to shake and fall to our faces as we cry, “Holy!” The natural, logical sing-a-longs will be no more. We will have a hard time standing as man’s karaoke gives way to God’s Shekinah and Kabod glory that takes up residence in his Church. Worship teams will practice less and pray in the Spirit with tears in their eyes more. Today, along with most other expressions of church life, worship is at least slightly and sometimes extremely marginalized for the sake of the less adventurous attendee. Since most people tend to be adverse to more supernatural forms of worship, and many would leave if the atmosphere became too uncomfortable, the majority has been winning. I’ve said it countless times, and have written before that I refuse to tone down the activity of the Holy Spirit out of respect of those less hungry. How is it that the naturally-minded majority has supplanted the supernatural remnant in the Church? How is it that burning, raging, intercessory worship that’s driven by the groans of the Spirit himself are not appreciated enough to risk losing people from our churches.
In the coming Church, it will be normal for people to hit their faces and tremble and cry holy as the fire of God’s presence rages! Do you see why we can’t formulate low level, seeker focused worship services that can be fully understood naturally?
Yes, people are drawn to churches that provide healthy community, excellent children's ministries, skilled musicians, engaging teaching and effective programs. However, this isn't the picture of an on-fire church. Not even close.
We need the raging, searing and fearful glory of God to burn through our services. The gifts of the Spirit must manifest and a supernatural tremble needs to strike us all. The shock and awe of the Holy Spirit should drive us all to our knees as we quake under his power.
What many are calling an on-fire church and what is authentically an on-fire church couldn't be more opposite. It's time for another Acts 2 outpouring to hit our nation.
From my article, “Seven sure-fire ways to end boring, predictable church services,” I'd like to suggest just what an on-fire church might include:
- Lengthy sessions of corporate praying and singing in tongues
- Embracing a vibrant prophetic culture
- Encouraging people to release prayers, decrees and declarations on the mic during service
- Inviting people to make biblical declarations
- Promoting prophetic art, flagging, dance and other expressions during the service
- Providing prayer for deliverance, healing and freedom
- Expecting manifestations of the Holy Spirit and refuse to shut them down
I'll leave you with one of my favorite descriptions of an on-fire church from over a hundred years ago:
An Azusa Street report:
…disgraceful intermingling of the races…they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall out on the sawdust blanketed floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit. They have a one eyed, illiterate, Negro as their preacher who stays on his knees much of the time with his head hidden between the wooden milk crates. He doesn't talk very much but at times he can be heard shouting, “Repent,” and he's supposed to be running the thing… They repeatedly sing the same song, “The Comforter Has Come.”
All who are in touch with God realize as soon as they enter the meetings that the Holy Ghost is the leader.
Watch this video and discover a powerful, unexpected key to powerful personal victory!
Get ready to discover a powerful truth that will ensure your life is effective and victorious!
As we groan in intercession, we are calibrated with God's purposes for our lives.
Do all things work together for those who love God and are according to his purpose? Stop and think about it.
Is it possible there's a missing piece to that truth that must activate to see the victory come?
John shares a powerful revelation from Scripture in this short video.
Detroit City Strategy: The most important event of the week is NOT our Sunday service.
As much as I LOVE Sunday night services at Revival Church (and, yes, I mean LOVE!), they are not the most important events of the week.
For those that are interested in city-wide revival, transformation and real unity there is no match for Friday night’s prayer events that travel the city of Detroit.
*Tonight is extremely special. After Catherine Mullins and Brian Simmons minister the fire of revival at The Crossing (the conference starts at 6:30pm), we’ll take over and continue in burning groans and cries of intercession!
10pm TONIGHT: The Crossing 31590 Grand River Ave.Farmington MI, 48336
Detroit: theLab Friday Prayer Events—A movement unlike any other
theLab is an apostolic and prophetic movement in the Detroit region that is working WONDERS. In fact, it has been so powerful that a school of ministry has been birthed out of it! theLab School of Fire is shocking and rocking a lot of zealous, emerging history makers!
Since January, 2011 theLab has been in around 50 different churches in the Detroit region. That means that 50 churches have been rocked by the life and fire of the Holy Spirit in unusual fashion.
The grace that’s on this movement is remarkable. Astonishing. The call is for EVERY pastor, leader, intercessor, revivalist and burning man and woman of God in Detroit to gather together every Friday night from 10pm-midnight. This is a city movement of fire for the entire city church of Detroit. I’m sounding the alarm. Who will respond?
Joel 1:14 – The Message® (MSG)
Declare a holy fast, call a special meeting, get the leaders together, Round up everyone in the country. Get them into God’s Sanctuary for serious prayer to God.
What racial problems in Detroit?
Since before I moved to Detroit I’ve heard about the severe racial tension that plagues this region.
Since a growing team of burning revivalists and I have been traveling the city every Friday night for over a year, both in urban and suburban churches, my testimony is:
I sense no racial tension whatsoever. None.
We pray in fire together. We love God together. Black. White. There is unity. There is no division. NONE.
And, it’s extremely easy. No working things out. No focus on past racial violations. Just freedom.
Off the Radar
I know what you are probably thinking. I’m not seeing all of the other churches and ministries that are steeped in division and racial strife.
I know they are out there, but the prophetic word is this:
They are off the radar.
The next move of God that is drawing very near in Detroit DOES NOT include them—unless they simply repent, pray, humble themselves and join the movement of revival in Detroit.
Repentance will put them right back on the radar of God’s city church mission in Detroit. It’s that easy.
I will make this as clear as I can—division, jealousy, bitterness and resistance in any form, whether it’s racial, theological, relational or otherwise will take us off the radar. We will miss the outpouring. The fear of the Lord should be striking every one of us right now.
Those who are divisive and resistant are simply being replaced by a fresh army of revivalists and a new city church of power in Detroit.
I believe the days of attempting to unite the old guard in Detroit is over. Seeking cohesion between the pastors here is an honorable mission, but that season is coming to an end as a willing remnant takes their place. This simply means that the mission is switching from reconciliation to advance. It’s time to take steps.
The good news is that at any time, those off the radar can willingly step right back onto it. It’s that easy. But, the pillar of fire is moving, so they better do it quickly.
theLab is burning TONIGHT at 10pm!
Spread the word and sound the alarm! We’ll be encountering God tonight at theLab!
Drive save and come burning hot TONIGHT at 10pm! (FYI, we don’t ever cancel for weather, so bundle up and come on out!)
Head over to www.revivallab.com for a map and directions.
1000 BURNING ONES
Are you one of one thousand who are being gathered in Detroit?
Every Friday from 10pm-midnight we are responding to the most important call of the week—to travel to a Detroit region church and pray with groans of intercession that shock the atmosphere!
This is a key army in the strategic mission of city transformation and full-blown revival in Detroit.
Don’t sign up. Show up. We’re looking for the zealous and faithful warriors who will bring their fire on the road with us each week.
If you plan on coming I’d love to meet you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Are you ready to become a dreamer who threatens status quo? I’m teaching on Dreamcoat TONIGHT at Revival Church!
Prayer starts at 5pm as usual, and the service begins at 6pm.
DON’T arrive late… the most important part of the service is the first five minutes as we cry out with groans of intercession together!
Here’s a sneak peek of what I’m teaching tonight:
1. Many would say that Joseph was foolish because he shared this seemingly self-centered dream with his family.
a. I disagree- when a dreamer allows himself to be released to dream, he understands the responsibility associated with the dream
b. He moves ahead boldly- unafraid of man’s reaction.
c. It’s time we threaten people’s status quo with God sized dreams! Who’s mediocrity are you threatening?! Start with yours!
2. Joseph’s brothers now started plotting to kill him.
3. Gen 37:18-22 (NKJV) 18 Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! 20 “Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!” 21 But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.
4. Here comes that dreamer- lets kill him!
a. Key verse!
b. We must dream and we must not fear what man can do to us!
c. Luke 12:4-5 (NKJV) 4 "And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 "But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
d. John 12:42-43 (NIV) 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
e. But- Joseph was a dreamer!
i. What an amazing reputation to have!
ii. Joseph could have easily given up his dream because his enemies were family.
iii. He could have surrendered to their rejection and simply handed over the dreamcoat.
1. You’ll never amount to anything.
2. You don’t have what it takes.
3. Nobody in your family has ever been successful.
4. Joseph’s hurt was probably deep but he didn’t surrender his dreamcoat!
5. After all, his father gave it to him!
iv. It had to be stripped from him!
v. Gen 37:23 (NKJV) 23 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him.
vi. Gen 37:24 (NKJV) 24 Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.
vii. Now, Joseph was stripped of human recognition of his special favor.
viii. And, he was alone.
ix. And, he had nothing to sustain him- no water.
x. All of this is good! Because, God’s dream in a dreamer cannot be stopped!
Meet up with theLab TONIGHT at 10pm at TheCall! We will be at GATE 1A by the Lions Pro Shop!
theLab releases the fire of revival through deep groans of intercession every Friday night at 10pm. God has been blowing our minds by faithfully opening doors at different Detroit region churches every week.
We are boldly calling together 1000 burning men and women of God to travel with us around the city every Friday night.
Learn much more at www.revivallab.com!
MATT SORGER & CATHERINE MULLINS
Sunday is going to be EXPLOSIVE at Revival Church!
Join us at 5pm for some of the hottest, fiery prophetic intercession around! We’ll be preparing the way for the spirit of revival to launch!
Then, at 6pm, Catherine Mullins will be leading us into the burning presence of God!
Matt Sorger follows with a night of signs, wonders and miracles!
We are going after the supernatural without apology at Revival Church and theLab!
And it’s happening. Last week a visitor to Revival Church reported to her pastor after Sunday’s service, as she was in tears and trembling, that God gave her a gold crown in her mouth.
In the Bible we read about stories of visible fire that rested on people in Acts. It really happened, and it can happen again. We’re going after that.
Bodies of water parted. Dead people started walking around on the Earth again. There were Third Heaven encounters. It happened and we’re going after it.
Burning angels revealed themselves to people. It happened. We want that.
As we pursue the Lion of Judah, Jesus, the Son of God, we will dive right into the supernatural.
This supernatural environment is escalating very quickly. The groans and trembling are increasing fast. Last night at theLab prayer event was indescribable. Today at the launch of theLab Internship, groans and roars echoed throughout the building. Tears were everywhere in a deeply prophetic atmosphere.
Tomorrow is going to be extreme! Julia Palermo, a burning, prophetic sign and wonder from Kansas City, will be sharing her story with us. Come expecting a very real, overwhelming miracle in your life! Spread the word to everybody who needs to be healed, delivered and empowered!
I’ll be imparting fire and teaching on the glory of God. Oh man, this is going to be wild!!
See you TOMORROW at 6pm for a night of miracles and fire!
We meet at THE TABERNACLE: 14205 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088
I wanted to say that last nights service was absolutely incredible. What amazes me most is that it was only a "taste" of things to come!- Testimony from last night’s Revival Church service
That was awesome last night!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for giving the Holy Spirit free reign in the church! Never been in such a great place!!! Praying for you guys! Can't wait till Friday!!!- Testimony from last night’s Revival Church service
I’m still trembling as I write this. Something shifted at Revival Church last night.
Honestly, it wasn’t a complex strategy or a huge new idea. It certainly wasn’t planned or scripted. God simply moved.
In the midst of the outbreak and as people were burning and drunk as they were sprawled out all over the place I said, with a grin, “Man, and I had a really great sermon for you all tonight!”
In truth, I did! It’s a prophetic word that I’ll be sharing Friday morning with my Revival Road Team at Revival Nation Church in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada instead. (Come on out with us! We leave Grosse Pointe at 8:30am this Friday!)
But last night had different designs.
The launching point seemed to be a very strong unction in my spirit that many people in Detroit are yearning to worship God in spirit and in truth—without human restriction. They are deeply hungering for an opportunity to step out of the natural and into the supernatural and worship with fire.
The groans, the cries, the dances, the passion that is increasing deeply within so many is looking to be released as spiritual worship unto a spiritual God!
The word continued that many will follow our freedom. As we launch into freedom many will dive right in behind us.
Then, I asked several fire-breathing ladies to come to the front and cry out, release the fire of God into all of us. Wow! Talk about heat! I crumpled to the ground in drunkenness and just soaked as they gave leadership to that part of the night.
Here’s another recent testimony:
I have never experienced a congregation like Revival Church where EVERYONE is using their gifts. I've known that it's not for the Pastor to do EVERYTHING, and Revival Church is a great example of God working in the people who attend.
We have such amazing people at Revival Church! I am so blessed!!!
I did share a snipped of my sermon—there’s a significant difference between the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that exploded the church in Acts 2.
Between the two events was the cross. Around 1/2 million people celebrated Jesus on Palm Sunday. Only 2 remained as Jesus went to the cross.
The power of the resurrection and the arrival of the Holy Spirit resulted in an outbreak in an upper room that was exponentially more powerful than what happened on Palm Sunday—even though the numbers were significantly less.
We don’t need Palm Sunday Christians. We need Believers who go to the cross and experience the Promise.
So, let’s get ready for more fire! Let’s see the outpouring that’s assigned to Detroit arrive right on schedule!
By all means, if you don’t attend church on Sunday nights, come out to our Revival Command Center and contend with us for fire!!
First, DON’T MISS Jeff Garvin TONIGHT and TOMORROW at Revival Church!
Last night was OFF THE HOOK. Jeff ministered in power at IHOPE… it was standing room only and we were there until after 11pm trembling in the presence of God!
Visit www.detroitrevivalchurch.com for directions. It all starts at 7pm tonight and 6pm tomorrow. PRAYER (hard core, Spirit-fueled prayer!) starts one hour early each night– everybody invited!
Second, we are developing a prophecy news and analysis community. You can get a sneak peek at www.propheticpulse.com. Let us know what you think of the design.
THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH
Wednesday night at Revival Church during a prayer meeting the prevailing theme was ‘birthing’. We have moved into the very late stages of the pregnancy, and the birth is coming- and fast.
Then, this word arrived:
"Shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?" says your God. Enter IN to the birthing process, and bring a full delivery, the full manifestation of His purpose NOW.
The above picture is me delivering Jet.
Here’s the story:
We had lost four babies in a row to miscarriage and were pregnant again. We started to receive some semi-generic words about the baby and revival. Then the words started to get a bit more specific. The last word was something like, “John, when you are in the delivery room something is going to happen that will be symbolic of how God will use you in revival.”
So, the day came, and the last thing I was thinking about was prophecy! The baby was almost here when the doctor, who had delivered the four losses, looked at me and asked, “John, do you want to deliver the baby?”
I had probably 30 seconds before the baby was to arrive. I didn’t have gloves on. I was just dressed in jeans and didn’t even have time to wash my hands. I moved into position as the doctor moved to the side. He gave me a 20 second lesson on how to deliver a baby. How to pull the head, how to catch the baby, to prepare for it to be very slippery, etc.
So, in the next seconds it happened just as the doctor said. It was spectacular. The nurse said that was only the 2nd time in her 15 years at the hospital that she saw a doctor let the father deliver the baby.
Afterwards God got my attention. He said, “John, revival is coming, and, just as your miracle baby was delivered into your hands, revival will be delivered into your hands. It’s precious. You will be trained by the Holy Spirit in the moments just prior to its arrival. You won’t be ready, but I’ll make you ready. It will be messy and slippery. Meaning, don’t try to grab it too hard. Keep your hands open and carefully hold on to it.
Well, then a few years later something else happened. I was at an amazing service at IHOP where God was breaking out. Someone, who had been on the platform throughout the service, came down to me during the ministry time. I had never seen him before. He said, “I was watching you from the platform, and, though I’d never seen you before, you were in a dream I had recently. I saw caravans of revival moving out into the cities of the earth, and then back again. I saw you in the midst of that.”
I thanked him, and then about 15 minutes later, someone else whom I had never met came over to me. He had just been at Lakeland. He asked if he could prophesy over me, and he proceeded to do so for about 30 minutes. The heart of his message was, “I see the fire of revival in your hands, and you are carrying it to the cities of the earth, and then returning home again. Then heading back out.”
Revival is coming. We MUST be in position!
This email was sent to me today:
As I was driving home tonight I began praying in the Spirit and had some mild groanings but then my body began to bear down and start pushing like I would in labor.
The Lord reminded me of my first few births where I got very nervous about pushing and sort of "freaked out" and would ask my doctor/midwife to coach me along because I didn't feel I knew how to do it without them. The last midwife I had, I told her how I wanted her help and didn't like the pushing process very much but she forgot I had asked that and left me to listen to my body to know what to do.
So the Lord said to me, do not rely on man when it's time to push. He said do not "freak out" my Spirit will lead you, my Spirit will lead you, my Spirit will lead. My Spirit WILL NOT fail you, it will not fail you, it will not fail you! My Spirit is one with the Father and we are to keep FOCUSED, we are to persevere and not grow weary. As we remain connected to his Spirit, the Spirit will bring forth the delivery at the right time.
My doctor intervened in the birthing process to try and bring the baby forth quicker but my midwife showed me how to use the PAIN for my benefit in bringing forth the baby without intervention. His Spirit wants to show us this. He wants to use all the moanings, all the groanings, all the shouts, all the declarations, all the prayers, all the tears, all the laughter for his purposes in bringing forth a FULL delivery. None of this is in vain but all part of the birthing process.
The Lord said in the birthing process we MUST drink of his Spirit. We must remain full of HIM.
So our eyes are completely FIXED on Him because He's our teacher and we're to be CONSUMED with Him, because He's the source.
There’s more, but for now that should be enough to move us into position. We must be alert… God is coming in power!