Posts Tagged ‘international house of prayer’

Response to FOX News article: Church as we know it is over. Here’s what’s next.

Yes, church as we know it is over, but not anywhere near the way the FOX News author suggests.

Church leaders and pastors have spent time every week encouraging, inviting and pleading with people to come to a specific place at a specific time on Sundays. This approach has created church staffing models, systems and ministry strategies focused on improving attendance.

But that way of doing church is dead.

And just like Joshua needed to hear God say, “Moses my servant is dead” (Joshua 1:2), so he could move into the next level of leadership, I think the Church needs to accept the fate of physical church as we know it, so we can move into the next phase of digital church. ~Dave Adamson, FOX News, https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/churches-as-we-know-it-are-over-here-is-how-to-engage-the-faithful

The Coming Church Paperback 2018 157x319And the church takes another hit, this time not from the anti-church society that’s filled with disgruntled Christians who didn’t have their expectations met in the last church they attended, and not from the organic, house church proponents, but from a pastor featured by FOX News. His take on the emerging, morphing church in the twenty-first century isn’t unique, but it is gaining steam, especially among those who are pretty much done with church as it has been known for centuries.

There’s a problem though. What is being proposed simply cannot be defined biblically as the church. Technology, video and alternate methods of worshiping, listening to teachings and even connecting with other Christians are all benefits for Believers. Every night I fall asleep to worship music I’m streaming online. I am thankful for the never ending live stream of the prayer room at the International House of Prayer. Limitless sermons are available to all of us. In fact, nobody has an excuse in this digital age for lacking in spiritual depth, knowledge and intimacy with Jesus. The opportunities for spiritual growth are endless. This is good, but this is not church.

An omni-channel approach to church would allow people to fully connect and engage with a church without the need to step inside a physical environment every week. They could attend one Sunday, listen to the message on podcast the following week, watch a live online stream the Sunday after, and catch the message on-demand in an church app the week after that. ~Dave Adamson

That sounds freeing, but it’s not the church. It is not the Ekklesia.

THE EKKLESIA

In fact, Dave misunderstands the purpose of the church gathering quite remarkably. It’s not simply to connect, worship and learn. If that were the case, the online options would absolutely be better in many ways than connecting physically in a local church. It’s easy to find the best of the best worship experience, the deepest and most impacting teaching and the experience we specifically desire somewhere online. Those experiences will most always out perform what the local church can offer. Except for at least one, important thing—the governmental gathering. The Ekklesia.

The church isn’t primarily there to satisfy our desires for worship, teaching and connections. It’s been ordained by God as a governmental force in the region. Ekklesia is actually a secular term referring to the gathering together of the people in the region by governmental authorities for the purpose of relaying information and calling people to action.

So, for the Ekklesia to function, there must be local leadership, a regular gathering under that leadership and a responsiveness to what God is calling people unto.

Add to that the key purpose of the church, corporate intercession, and you realize it’s not possible to have church or to be the church in any legitimate way online.

In my Charisma Magazine article titled Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church, I write:

We will gather together most days of the week. The 24/7 church will again emerge as the church drives culture instead of reacting to culture. Cares of life will lose their power as we simplify our lives and put corporate prayer and mission ahead of most everything else.

This may be the most challenging change for Christians. Today, Sundays are the days to set aside for corporate worship while we give precedence to our ‘normal lives.' In The Coming Church, the very reason we live will be to pray on fire together every day, receive apostolic assignments and then move out into our lives as kingdom ambassadors. It wouldn't be surprising if a tithe of our time is what became the standard. Two to three hours a day, whether it's in the morning, afternoon or evening, or even in the late night hours, will be given by every believer to praying on site together with others, ministering and giving ourselves to intercession-fueled kingdom ministry. Of course, much of what we have been giving ourselves to will have to be eliminated so we have the time necessary to devote.

I want to encourage you to consider picking up a copy of my book The Coming Church. This 300 page book is a powerful revelation of what I believe is coming to the church, and the changes for every one of us will be dramatic.

In fact, I’ll make the digital version of this book available FREE for anyone who reads this article. Visit www.burton.tv/freechurchbook and you can download it immediately.

In my article titled Five Unusual Marks of the Coming Church, I write:

The church will drive culture instead of being driven by culture. The 24/7 church is coming and it will violate the prevailing culture of busyness and distraction.

Gone will be the days of formatting our churches to fit within the schedules and expectations of society. The seeker movement will fade away and the urgent call to the wall will overpower even the most demanding of personal and social pressures.

Acts 17:6 (ESV) 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,

ESV Study Bible: These hostile opponents spoke better than they knew, for the spread of the gospel throughout the Roman Empire was the beginning of a movement that would change the course of history forever.

The coming church will be marked by its boldness and culture will be threatened for the good.

WHAT ABOUT CHURCH ONLINE?

To Dave Adamson’s credit, he did state:

This approach allows the church to connect with people physically for 1 hour on Sunday, and stay connected for the other 167 hours of the week, digitally.

While one hour per week in church is woefully short of what is coming in the 24/7 church, he does emphasize staying connected. Utilizing technology to stay strategically and actively locked in to what is happening in the local church is a smart move. While I disagree with surrendering to the whims of today’s noncommittal generation and encouraging empty pews, I believe using online media and social connectors is a great move. I remember spending hours in the prayer room every day at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City while also watching the live web stream from home and watching teachings by Mike Bickle and others. IHOPKC is doing media right as it enhances their 24/7 mission instead of replacing it.

However, we need to look a little deeper at the idea of online church.

In my article titled: You are Not the Church: The Scattering Movement, I deal with this concept of church online. There are some very clear issues that can’t be ignored.

  1. DEVOID OF APOSTOLIC LEADERSHIP—There is most probably (there are exceptions) no clearly defined apostolic leadership involved. We have to know who we’re called to serve with. We have to all hear, together, in our local congregation, how we are to respond in mission advance. What’s God calling our leaders to focus on? How are we to participate? What are the goals? What steps must we take to prepare ourselves to see this come to pass?
  2. LACK OF STRATEGIC CORPORATE INTERCESSION—While not impossible, it’s very hard to involve ourselves in the number one purpose of the church this way—corporate intercession. We just have to be together to pray with unity and consistency if we are to have the sufficient strength to see significant impact.
  3. NO ACCOUNTABILITY—Accountability and discipline are nearly non-existent outside of the context of the local church. Most who flock from the church and into alternative spiritual activities do so to avoid conflict, accountability and correction from leadership. We have to understand that this is a critical part of the refining process. We must be receptive and humble and ready to be challenged—even if the leaders God established for us are exceptionally flawed and out of touch with our needs.
  4. PROMOTES MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH—It can quite easily reinforce a wrong understanding of the purpose of the church. I would say this is the most serious issue. The prevailing thought these days is that the church is there for us. Whatever needs we have, we can get many of them met in the church. So, we attend if we are ministered to. Or, we may determine that we can get what we’re looking for without regular church attendance. So, the church becomes unnecessary to us. Friend, this concept is a defilement of the church. I can’t say it any less striking than that. We are called to gather together with other believers primarily to intercede for the nations. We are there to give, to leave offerings, to serve, to minister, to pray, to grow. The church isn’t primarily there for us, we are to be there for the mission of the church. We may say that we don’t need the church but have we considered that the church needs us?

The purpose of the church simply cannot be fulfilled through technology. Video, social media, websites like this one and other mediums absolutely can be powerful supplements to what we are experiencing in our weekly gathering, but they simply aren’t designed to handle the demands of the Ekklesia, the governmental, prayer-fueled, local church.

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

Ministry: Can I give you a call?

Hi!

My name is John Burton and I am praying for new Kingdom connections with pastors and leaders both in this nation and around the world.

I’d love to give you a call and hear more about your ministry. Is there a time that would work?

If you feel it would benefit your ministry, we can discuss scheduling a church event or conference in your region that would powerfully encourage you and your team!

In the meantime, my bio can be viewed at www.johnburton.net if you’d like to take a look.

The short version is:

  • I’ve planted two churches, one in Colorado and one in Detroit.
  • I’ve written eight books on the topics of prayer, reformation and revival.
  • I directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City.
  • I crave being in God’s presence with other hungry people!
  • I also believe strongly in the local church and would love to serve your mission.

 

Contact me any time via email at john@johnburton.net or phone at 719.231.6000.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

John-Burton-Ministries-Promo

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

imageUnsatisfied with God? Upgrade to God 2.0!

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

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

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

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

The previous verse reveals the motive of the people:

Exodus 32:6 (ESV) 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

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

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

My God, how far has the church fallen?

The Bride

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

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

How opposite the reality truly is!

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

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

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

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

The False Bride

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

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

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

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

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

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

At Risk Churches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The Money Changers Churchimage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is grieving, and must end! I am looking for pavement people—those who aren’t looking for comfort, but will hit the pavement and cry out to God as they did in 2 Chronicles 7!!

2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (ESV) 1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

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

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

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

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

2. The Triumphal Entry Churchimage

Now this is church!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The Rich Young Ruler Churchimage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

imageThe Coming Church

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

The coming church will be marked by:

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

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

Mission Manitou Springs : City Transformation & Revival Tonight at 7pm

Mission Manitou is back! Join us TONIGHT at 7pm for a night of supernatural fire in Manitou Springs, Colorado!

I can’t believe I’m back home in Manitou Springs! This city will soon be known as a place where Jesus is worshiped night and day, and where the fire of the Holy Spirit is encountered—border to border, house to house, business to business!

The strike team has arrived with me from Revival Church in Detroit and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City to help bring revival and transformation to this city!

Join us TONIGHT, Wednesday, February 6th at 7pm for the beginning of a powerful three day event!

Go to www.rhop.com/revolutionexperience to register (It’s free!).

Here’s our team enjoying Garden of the Gods earlier today, and a few pics from our prayer walk in Manitou Springs earlier today:

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Manitou Springs Event: Revolution Experience—Three Nights of Fire

Manitou Springs Event: Revolution Experience—Three Nights of Fire

Registration is FREE but REQUIRED for this powerful three night experience in the mountains of Colorado!

Register TODAY at www.rhop.com/revolutionexperience!

I will be bringing a team of intercessors and revivalists from Revival Church in Detroit and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City to pray and contend for a spirit of awakening in the Pikes Peak region.

Worship, intercession, powerful teaching, impartation and personal prophetic ministry are on the agenda for REVOLUTION EXPERIENCE at Revolution House of Prayer.

Wednesday, February 6th through Friday, February 8th at 7pm nightly we will experience an explosive atmosphere of Holy Spirit joy and freedom!

Spread the word and register early!

RHOP is located at 12 Old Man’s Trail, Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829.

Revolution-Experience

Mike Bickle: 7 Characteristics of the End-time Praying Church

7 Characteristics of the End-time Praying Church

4:00PM EST 1/3/2013 Mike Bickle

Here’s another must read article… a repost of a message by Mike Bickle. You can read the story in its original location here: http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-growth/13386-not-just-a-movement

Mike Bickle

The end-time role of the praying and worshipping church

Right now, all across the earth, the Holy Spirit is raising up a worship-based prayer movement that will culminate in the second coming of our King, Jesus. This isn’t a new idea, but one rooted in history and, more importantly, in the Bible. This prayer and worship movement that we see exploding across the planet was prophesied many years ago, as recorded in the Scriptures. I believe that what we’re witnessing today, with the rapidly growing worldwide prayer and worship movement, is the beginning of the fulfillment of biblical prophecies about the end times.

This conviction that God is raising up a worldwide prayer movement that will precede Jesus’ return has strengthened my resolve to build a 24/7 worship community. We started on May 7, 1999, and for the last 12 years the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City (IHOP-KC), consisting of full-time missionaries who serve as worship leaders, singers, musicians and intercessors, has continued nonstop in worship and prayer. Our hearts are set on gathering corporately to worship Jesus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Partnering with Him in intercession, we contend for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and for the release of justice, both in our own city and in the cities of the earth. What started with 20 full-time missionaries has grown to more than 1,000 full-time staff and 1,000 students and interns in our Bible school.

Why do I mention this? Because if weak and broken people in Kansas City, Mo., can do this, anyone can! And that’s exactly the point God wants made. The Lord is determined to establish a culture of prayer in the entire body of Christ worldwide before He returns. Over the last 10 to 20 years, we’ve watched the prayer movement grow especially fast in Asia and Africa. Yet this rapid growth is only the first fruits of what Jesus is doing in His church in this generation.

I believe this is the hour in history when many of God’s people from a multitude of ministries, churches and denominations will align themselves with Jesus’ commitment to build His church. It will be in such a way that He Himself will call it “a house of prayer for all nations” (Is. 56:7).

The Scriptures describe several characteristics of the end-time worship and prayer movement that are involved in releasing God’s presence and power. When people pray, the spiritual atmosphere over cities and regions is changed. Demons are driven back from their place of influence, angels are more active, and the Spirit releases a greater measure of grace on our labors. Thus, the preaching of the gospel and the works of the kingdom become more effective. Jesus taught us to pray for God’s kingdom to be expressed on earth as it is in heaven (see Matt. 6:10). This includes worship—the Father desires to be worshipped on earth as He is in heaven.

The apostle John wrote more on the end-time worship and prayer movement than any other writers of Scripture. From two of their books—Isaiah and Revelation—we can define seven characteristics of this global movement.

1. It will be God-centered (Rev. 4:8; 5:11-14; Is. 24:14-16).

The worship order of heaven is decidedly God-centered. Night and day, day and night, those nearest God’s throne proclaim the truth about who God is and what He does. He desires that His creation would encounter His majesty, love and goodness and that, in turn, they would offer up their praise and adoration for all He is, all He has done and all He will do. Treasuring God and adoring Him endlessly is the priority of the prayer movement. It is the necessary and fitting response to His matchless beauty and immeasurable worth.

Worship is a witness on earth to the indescribable value of Jesus. The truth of His greatness must be declared in song and in proclamations because it is the ultimate truth on which the created universe exists. This truth of the greatness of God is powerful. God loves the truth, including the truth about Himself.

The power and supremacy of the grand truth about God demand expression on the earth. If the people do not worship our great God, Jesus said the rocks would cry out in our place (see Luke 19:37-40). The end-time worship and prayer movement will extol the majesty and worth of God as it joins the symphony in heaven, where the worshippers are forever crying out, “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Rev. 5:12). 

Our prayer life is best energized when we experience intimacy with God’s heart. The Father relates to us with tender mercy. Jesus relates to us with fiery desire as our bridegroom God (see Is. 54:5, 62:5).In Revelation 22:17, John prophesied that the Spirit and the bride would say, “Come, Lord Jesus!” This is one of the most informative and significant prophecies describing the end-time church. In it, John describes an end-time church in unity with what the Spirit is saying and doing.

What is the Spirit saying? He is speaking to believers about their corporate identity as Jesus’ bride. What is the Spirit doing? He is interceding for Jesus to come in power and calling thirsty people to come to Jesus, the bridegroom God.

In the end times, for the first time in history, the Spirit will universally emphasize the church’s identity as Jesus’ bride. It is not the Spirit and the family who will say, “Come!” or the Spirit and the army, kingdom, body, temple or priesthood. Rather, it is the Spirit resting on the church as a bride. Forever, we will rejoice in our identity as God’s family, body, temple, priesthood and more. 

As sons of God, we are to experience God’s throne as heirs of His power (see Rom. 8:17). As the bride of Christ, we are to experience God’s heart—His desire for us. The bridegroom message is focused on Jesus’ emotions for us, on His beauty, on His commitments to us (to share His heart, home, throne, secrets and beauty), and on our response of wholehearted love and obedience to Him. 

Understanding this message begins with experiencing His affections for us. Jesus delights in us, enjoys us, partners with us in the work of the kingdom and is committed to our eternal success.

Isaiah described the end-time prayer movement as deeply relational, a quality that would stem from the revelation of God as our bridegroom (see Is. 54:5, 62:5). In no way should “the bridegroom God” term conjure up images of our Lord and King as some sort of sensual lover or “boyfriend God.” That is grossly inappropriate and dishonoring to Jesus.

One reason people burn out in intercession and ministry to others is because they lack intimacy with God through encountering Jesus as their bridegroom God. The revelation of the church as Jesus’ cherished bride is essential for keeping our hearts alive through the years as we diligently do the work of the kingdom.

2. It will be continual (Rev. 4:8; Is. 62:6-7; Luke 18:7-8).

In Revelation 4-5, the apostle John describes the heavenly worship order around the throne. In His vision of God’s throne room he witnessed celestial beings who “do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy ” (Rev 4:8). As already mentioned, God desires to be worshipped on this earth just as He is in heaven—continually and unceasingly.

Moreover, the prophet Isaiah saw a prayer movement on earth that would not rest night and day until God’s purposes were fully established (see Is. 62:6-7). In these last days God is raising up a prayer movement that will continually worship Him and cry out to Him for His plans to be executed and His justice to be released (see Luke 18:7-8).

The call to 24/7 worship and prayer is not an invitation to organize it all under one roof. Continual prayer usually is expressed by the body of Christ together as prayer is offered up from many different buildings across a city or region. The call of 24/7 prayer is to build a prayer culture among God’s people across cities and regions so that Jesus receives continual, corporate worship from many different ministries and locations. Each does its own small part, but together all offer night-and-day prayer and worship.

I do not believe the Lord is calling most churches to start a 24/7 prayer ministry in their building but instead to build a prayer culture in their church. Unless the Lord specifically calls you to start 24/7 prayer in your congregation, it is best to view it as what will result from the collective efforts of hundreds of prayer meetings held in homes, churches, universities and businesses across your city.

3. It will be global (Is. 24:6-7, 42:10-12; Mal. 1:11).

The Scriptures are clear that the end-time worship and prayer movement will extend all across the earth, even to the most remote and difficult-to-reach places. Isaiah prophesied that even in the remote islands of the earth God’s people would sing to the Lord in worship and intercession (see Is. 42:10). He witnessed worship going forth in the wilderness, or desert places—even in Islamic villages such as Kedar in Saudi Arabia and Sela in Jordan—and that God’s people would worship from one end of the earth to the other until Jesus returns (see Is. 42:11, 13-15).

Simply put, the end-time worship and prayer movement will be in every place, even the hardest and darkest places (see Mal. 1:11). That means it will be international. King David had a continual, musical worship movement in Jerusalem. About 300 years after him, Isaiah said, in effect: “The worship moment will go far beyond what David did. David was limited to one location. The end-time movement will be global.”

4. It will be musical (Is. 24:14-16; 26:1; 27:2; 30:29; 32; 35:2, 10; 42:10-12; 54:1).

Some who lead prayer ministries struggle with the idea of prayer meetings being led by music, but the idea is biblical. One aspect of the kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven involves music in our prayer meetings. This is seen in Revelation 5:8-9. 

When I first began having daily prayer meetings, we did not include music led by a worship team. We spent more time shouting at the devil than we did talking to God. It seemed like the mark of a good prayer meeting was exhausted and hoarse intercessors. Eventually I introduced music, and our prayer meetings became not just bearable but enjoyable! 

The end-time prayer movement is musical. The human spirit is deeply musical because we were created in the image of God, who is very musical. Few things touch the human spirit in the way that anointed music does.

5. It will be missional (Rev. 7:9, 14).

The end-time worship and prayer movement will be instrumental in ushering in the greatest harvest of souls in history (see Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9, 14). Jesus said in Luke 10:2 that we must pray for the Lord to release laborers for the harvest. Throughout the Scriptures we see a pattern in which communities, such as the one in Jerusalem in Acts 2 and the Antioch community in Acts 13, gather together in worship and prayer. From those prayer meetings, missionaries are sent out and evangelism movements are unleashed that result in a significant harvest of souls.

Jesus connected night-and-day prayer to the release of justice on the earth (see Luke 18:7-8). He spoke of this in the context of the end times, with specific reference to His second coming (see Luke 17:24-37; 18:8). John spoke of the end-time prayer movement as being deeply connected to the release of God’s judgment to remove oppression from the earth (see Rev. 6:9-11; 8:3-6).

6. It will be youth-oriented (Mal. 4:5-6).

The end-time prayer movement will consist primarily of young people. We know historically that most people who turn to Jesus do so before they are 25 years old. Most great revivals of history were focused primarily on youth. This will be the pattern again because the majority of the world’s population is under age 25.

Malachi prophesied that the Holy Spirit would turn the hearts of the fathers to a focus on the youth during the generation in which the Lord would return (see Mal. 4:5-6). This means spiritual fathers and mothers will focus on God’s purpose for young people in the end times. Thus, the end-time prayer and worship movement will comprise youth who walk in a spirit of humility and honor.

David spoke of a time when young people would declare the excellence of God’s name throughout the earth. This will happen, in the fullest sense, only in the generation in which the Lord returns.

David went on to prophesy of the power of this worship movement that would flow from the mouths of babes. He said that even through the youth God would release His strength to silence the enemy and the avenger (see Ps. 8:1-2). Jesus referenced David’s prophecy during His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It was at this time that He declared His house would function as a house of prayer.

Matthew tells us that immediately after this the scribes were indignant at seeing children cry out in worship to Jesus. Jesus answered them by quoting David’s prophecy that from the mouth of babes God would perfect praise (see Matt. 21:13-16). David’s prophecy of young people worshipping God was so important that Jesus emphasized it in the context of calling God’s house a house of prayer. On another occasion, David prophesied about young people volunteering for the Lord’s end-time army at a time when God’s power would be openly manifested in the nations (see Ps. 110:3, 5).

7. It will be unified (John 17:21-23; Eph. 3:18).

In His high-priestly prayer, Jesus prayed and prophesied that He would pour out His glory, enabling His people to walk in unity and greatly enhance the effectiveness of the gospel (see John 17:21-23). The end-time worship and prayer movement will function in gracious cooperation because God has entrusted different aspects of His purposes and plans to separate parts of His body. Out of necessity, but borne of love, the prayer movement will be profoundly unified as the church experiences the fullness of God’s purpose by honoring and serving one another in relationship. This will be achieved by a supernatural grace that God will pour upon His body, enabling it to walk in love and a spirit of unity. For unity is the place where God commands His blessing in the greatest measure (see Ps. 133:1-3).

The Holy Spirit is calling the church to rise up in unity as the end-time prayer movement to offer fervent, continual intercession and worship that flows from prophetic music and intimacy with God. From this position of strength we will work together to fulfill the Great Commission and bring in the greatest harvest of souls in history. And Jesus will respond to the voice of His bride calling out as one with His Spirit for Him to come in power, vanquish His enemies and fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord.

Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City (IHOP-KC) and author of several books. For more information, visit mikebickle.org or ihop.org.

What the Bible Says About the Prayer Movement

Revelation 22:17 speaks of the Spirit and the bride—the praying church—crying as one to the Lord Jesus, saying: “Come!”

No one knows the day or the hour of Jesus’ coming. But we do know that He will come in response to a worldwide worship and prayer movement beckoning Him to return. Check out all the indicators of this in Scripture:

  • Psalm 68:32; 96:1, 9, 13; 98:1-9; 102:15-22; 149:6-9
  • Isaiah 12:4-6; 19:20-22; 24:14-16, 23; 25:9; 26:1, 8-9; 27:2-5, 13; 30:18-19, 29, 32; 35:2, 10; 42:10-15; 43:26; 51:11; 52:8; 54:1; 62:6-7
  • Jeremiah 31:7; 51:8
  • Joel 2:12-17, 32
  • Zephaniah 2:1-3
  • Zechariah 8:20-23; 10:1; 12:10; 13:9
  • Matthew 21:13
  • Luke 18:7-8
  • Revelation 5:8; 6:9-11; 8:3-5; 9:13; 14:18; 16:7; 18:6; 22:17

Invite John Burton to minister in the spirit of revival at your church or conference

John Burton carries and releases the tangible fire of God. ~Matt Sorger

imageExperience our brand new website and learn more about the urgent yet joyful mandate for revival that John carries.

John Burton is available to minister in your church or at your conference or event. John has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored six books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.

Additionally, he planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and is currently directing a prayer and revival focused ministry school in Detroit called theLab.

In addition to his thrill ride as the senior leader at Revival Church in the Detroit region, an equally thrilling mission of his is to bring a message of revival and unity to churches around the world.

We would have a lot of fun and your local mission would experience a serious surge of strength and life as John ministers messages including:

  • Covens in the Church (Serving with leadership with joy and passion)
  • Carry Like Mary (A message of awakening)
  • Becoming Unoffendable (John’s most popular teaching)
  • A Spirit of Insignificance (Freedom from rejection and insignificance)
  • And more!

John also has a web and graphic design business and is continually developing new and exciting ventures. He and his beautiful wife Amy have four children and currently live in the Detroit region. 

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RECOMMENDATIONS

I want to recommend to you the ministry of John Burton. John carries a real passion and anointing for revival, breakthrough and transformation. He carries and releases the tangible fire of God and brings people into encounters with God's presence. He is a strong equipper in the areas of prayer and evangelism and mobilizes people to carry God's word and presence outside the four walls of the church building. John is also a great preacher of the word. He has had many years of ministry experience both as a pastor and evangelist. His understanding of local church ministry makes his ministry well rounded and unique. He pastors, oversees a school of ministry and travels releasing the fire of God and igniting hearts with a passion for Jesus. I believe he would be a great blessing to your church.

Matt Sorger


“John is dangerously prophetic, provoking passion in those in pursuit of revival. In just a few short years, I have witnessed the impact of his obedience to Christ in a region bound by division & religion. His mandate is one of radical devotion, raising up burning ones and releasing them into new levels in their kingdom assignment.”

Marcellis Smith, Lead Pastor
Jubilee City
Detroit, MI
 


“John Burton is a modern day revivalist that sees and wants the heart of God rise up in this present generation! I highly recommend him for any ministry you may be considering. In my opinion, he is like a modern day John the Baptist going ahead preparing people for the Lord! We had him in our church and we were not disappointed and neither will you!”

Pastor Tim Martin


“John Burton is a man who has continued to allow himself to be thrust into the middle of what God is doing. He not only hears from Heaven, but is willing to boldly shout it from the rooftops. If John is stirred about something, I would recommend that you listen.”

J.D. King, International Director World Revival Network of Ministries


John Burton is a man with unquenchable passion for God. His life is a living Epistle of the truth that the Kingdom of God is not just in word, but in power. He lights fires wherever he goes leaving behind the unmistakable fragrance of the life of Christ. I highly recommend his ministry to you.

Glenn Bleakney


I highly recommend John’s ministry! Can’t wait to do some meetings together with him!

Pastor Brian Simmons


“If you are in a room with John Burton for more than 10 minutes and you don’t have a fire in your belly, I would check your pulse. This man is a fire starter and it’s catchy! John is a revivalist who burns with a passion to see cities and nations set ablaze with love for Jesus! He is a gifted writer, preacher and prophetic minister. He has clear vision and strategy for city wide breakthrough of revival. I highly encourage you to invite his team at TheLab to your church if you are in need of corporate breakthrough!”

Julia Palermo

The revolution in Detroit continues: Revival Church North

Tomorrow morning at 10am the revolution in Detroit continues at Revival Church North!

imageIf you are ready to dive into a prayer-fueled mission of revival in the northern Detroit suburbs, come hungry TOMORROW, Sunday, at 10am!

We’ll be going hard after God, encountering him in prayer and worship and catching the vision of widespread fire in the region!

You can watch a video where I share the vision of this exciting new church plant here!

FOOD AND FUN!

After the service ends, we’ll hang out and fire up the grill and eat, talk and get to know each other!

I would love to have a room full of people I’ve never met before! Come out and bring everyone you can find to this brand new church plant!

If you’d like to let us know you are coming, that would be great! We’ll be ready for you! Contact us here: http://revivalnorth.com/contact-us/ 

LOCATION

For a map and directions, click HERE.

THE VISION

We are gathering a team of hungry people who are ready to experience God in this region in unprecedented fashion.

As one of what will ultimately be 50 Revival Church locations in the Detroit region, we are devoted to starting fires and inviting people to watch us burn!

These fires will spread—and fast. The harvest is ripe and God is gathering those who are ready to help infuse them with the abundant life of Jesus!

THE CULTURE

What should you expect? Freedom and fire!

Revival Church has a passionate and  fun atmosphere, exciting and challenging teaching, God’s amazing presence and a environment to nurture life-long friendships!

If you are looking for a point of reference, we affirm and appreciate a variety of ministry streams including the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Bethel Church in Redding, California, Barbara Yoder, Steve Gray and World Revival Church, John Kilpatrick and The Bay of the Holy Spirit, Catch The Fire in Toronto, Lou Engle and many others who embrace the power and presence of God and his advancing Kingdom.

So, plan your visit by contacting us here, dress any way you want (most of us dress in jeans), bring the family, grab some free coffee and enjoy Jesus!

The Culture is our set of core values at Revival Church. It sets the pace and clearly communicates the culture we are called to establish and steward.

  1. Our mission is your freedom – The mission of freedom from sin, sickness and poverty drives everything we do at Revival Church. We reject a casual approach to God and affirm abundant life, passion and fire for all.
  2. Honor is in our DNA – Honor is something we are. No matter the issue, you can’t stop us from honoring you! We believe that honor is a condition of the heart and not dependent on someone’s actions toward us.
  3. We rally around the vision – Revival Church is built on the vision God gave John. As a company of burning ones, we are passionate defenders and champions of it. Every person is responsible to catch fire and burn hot every day. The resulting corporate torch will inflame our region with revival.
  4. We are a threat to the status quo – This is a ministry of extreme reformation. As we storm against the prevailing flow of the church and society, we fully believe many will be provoked to turn and follow our lead into freedom.
  5. There is one church in the city and we aren’t it – Revival Church is one department of many in the landscape of the city church. Our focus is regional impact and the increase of the harvest that will be felt far and wide.
  6. We affirm ridiculous faith – We simply believe that God is extreme and his plans are bigger than what we can imagine. If it doesn’t look ridiculously insane, it’s less than what God has in mind.
  7. We are all about the numbers – We are unapologetically intense in our mission to gather and equip people of destiny.
  8. Corporate mission prevails – We are focused on preparing for the influx of zealous people the harvest will bring to Revival Church. We launch and support only those endeavors that fit into the corporate mission.
  9. We refuse to live below the Biblical norm – Healings, signs, wonders, miracles, extreme love and bold prophetic teaching were and are the standard.
  10. Poverty has no chance – Extravagant giving in every sphere of life, whether it’s in the church or a big tip at the coffee shop, will displace a spirit of poverty, transform individuals and reform the economy of our region.
  11. Sickness and disease have no right to torment believersThe Lord Jesus Christ has been given power and authority over all sickness and disease. He has delegated that authority to us.
  12. We err on the side of freedom – Revival is messy and is to be stewarded, not controlled. We embrace an atmosphere of bold prophetic declaration and Holy Spirit initiated freedom.

We look forward to getting to know you!

The Revival Church Team

A Warning Dream : IHOP : International House of Prayer

I had a prophetic warning dream targeted at those who are spiritually fervent.

capture-00000517I have to make it abundantly clear to everyone who reads this that I am a huge supporter of the prayer movement that is being facilitated through the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I believe God is too!

The reason I have to make that clear is because IHOP was the focus of the dream. Amy and I had the honor of serving as the Directors of Intro to IHOP for a year and I also served on the graphic design team. IHOP is a wonder in the Earth!

First I’ll share the dream and then reveal what I feel are the key takeaways:

I was at IHOP and there was the usual God-centered activity all around. People were worshiping God, praying to God, talking about God in small and large groups all over the campus. These were extremely fervent and devoted people who spent their lives going after the deep things of God.

I was there among some of the groups of people who were on the campus and was increasingly burdened with a message of holiness and fiery pursuit of revival. I then saw Allan Hood and quickly shared the burden with him. He got everybody’s attention and with a serious look on his face he told them to stop what they were doing and listen closely to me.

The crowd was quite large where we were. I began to preach prophetically and call everybody to a serious and consecrated focus of holiness and revival. I felt fairly confident that as I preached that the crowd would quickly grow as the message was just what that type of community thrives on.

Not so. The unction on me was increasing but the crowd was quickly yet politely breaking up and moving on to their regular activities. It was then that I noticed that Allan Hood also left. I was shocked and saddened.

There was a hallway at the back of the room where I was and there were some offices and small prayer rooms connected to it. One room had maybe 5 or 6 people in it and they were listening to what I was saying. I could tell that the message was difficult for them to take in as well, and they were tempted to leave as the others did, but the fought the urge and stayed. They listened.

When I was done I was further heartbroken as I saw where the crowd dispersed to. Most of them were in another nearby large room where they were all singing “The First Noel.”

That was the end of the dream.

Here’s the takeaway:

IHOP: Like I said before, this is not an anti-IHOP warning. Not even close.  IHOP is a ministry that I’m familiar with which gives me a grid to work from that’s understandable. I believe this prophetic message is targeted at those who presume themselves to be fervently devoted to the deep things of God. Streams of revival and prayer are filled with zealous people who are bright and shining lamps in these end times. Their caution is twofold:

  1. First, simply belonging to a highly focused ministry or stream doesn’t mean we are somehow exempt from the responsibility to respond to God’s broader Kingdom directives. In the dream there was a false sense of safety as the crowd emitted a corporate aura of exemption and elitism. Their ears were closed to messages that didn’t obviously affirm what they presumed was ‘the message of the house.’
  2. Second, be ready to receive messages and directives from outside your stream. A certain level of exclusivity and protecting the message of the house is important. I do affirm that. We have to run without apology with what God has specifically given us to steward. However, be careful not to entertain a deaf spirit in the process! He who has an ear let him hear! Don’t be surprised when very focused, exclusive movements receive revelation and direction from streams and prophetic messengers that are quite unlike their own.

Again, this isn't about IHOP specifically, but it's about movements, it's about fervent people advancing together with passion and fire. IHOP is a great representation of devoted, humble and focused people who love God deeply.

Allan Hood: For those of you who know Allan Hood know that he’s the perfect person for God to use in my dream. He is a sober and powerfully anointed messenger of Christ. In my dream he represents leadership that is clearly locked on to the cross, to the cause of Christ. His affirmation of the message I was delivering was key for the crowd who was gathering around. The warning? Allan represented a key leader who is both highly anointed and fully human. The sharpness of the message was apparently not timely or simply not what Allan wanted to continue listening to. He politely slipped out. Just as his affirmation of the message was key, so was, unfortunately, his slipping away.

I will qualify again, this is not about Allan, it's about leadership. Allan Hood is a hero of the faith and I believe God honored him by including him the dream. He's more devoted to the cross of Christ than anybody I know.

The people in the room in the hallway: The small number of people in that room were actually smiling and excited to hear what I was saying. Again, however, that’s not to say that they weren’t troubled or tempted to slip out themselves. But something was different about them. I believe they were in that room before I arrived studying and praying. The didn’t have an elite heart. They, in humility, knew they had much to receive from the Lord. They battled through the tension and struggle of the message they were hearing and even though Allan and the masses left, they remained. They represented the remnant within the remnant. It’s easy to presume IHOPpers and other people like that are the remnant. However, there is a greater remnant. Just as Gideon saw his army diminish in phases as he finally discovered the remnant that would take the city with him, I believe there’s a remnant that does have an ear to hear what the Lord is saying.

The First Noel: Keep in mind my dream came Christmas morning (2011). I sensed that the desire of the larger group was to focus on celebrating the first coming of Jesus (which is wonderful!). However, the message of the hour conflicted with that happy, joyful seasonal message.

We must have ears to hear. The times are increasingly severe and God is looking for an alert and ready Church. Get ready to divert from your current ministry plans as God announces new blueprints and mandates. Leaders, be doubly aware of what God is saying. Don’t trade the Rhema word of God for the expected, accepted message of the season or message of the house.

Thoughts?

(This will also be posted in the Dreams and Visions section of our brand new forum: www.thegodforum.net.)

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