I had four warning dreams over two days that we would do well to respond to.
I’ve been talking to God recently about my desire to hear more clearly from him. It seems that I’ve been in one of those seasons where I’m left to respond to the revelation that has been communicated to me over the previous months and years instead of fresh, hot off the press news.
I’ve learned over the years that some seasons are ripe for prophetic revelation while others are meant to steward what has already been given. I’ve also learned that I’ll develop a yearning for the voice of God in a fairly intense way just prior to being given the pictures, words, mandates, dreams and visions that will propel me into the coming months.
That yearning resulted in a set of dreams I had over the past two nights.
At first glance the dreams I had weren’t something I was going to share, but after careful, prayerful review I felt it was important to get the message out there.
Jeremiah 23:28 (ESV) 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.
As you read, keep in mind that God will often use family members and friends in my prophetic dreams to represent a certain type of person. Their roles in these particular dreams seem to be more significant than usual.
Dream #1—The Tour
My dad, who went on to be with Jesus several years ago, was the key player in my first dream. I believe my dad represented someone we all desire to trust deeply. My dad certainly was that type of person, and in real life he was the one to lead many right into the presence of Jesus. He lived a remarkable life and there are countless people in relationship with Jesus today because of him.
In the dream my dad represented a trusted fatherly figure who was leading a tour, or a journey, into a very dangerous Islamic region. I was terribly unsettled and concerned for all of our lives, but there was absolutely no concern whatsoever from my dad or any of the others who were on the tour with us. Nobody realized we were being led as curious, careless tourists to the slaughter.
The atmosphere was dark and foreboding, yet I was the only one who was alerted and discerning. I was struggling significantly to understand why nobody else saw the clear and present danger. Could someone I trusted so completely like my dad actually be deceived? Yes.
Fathers, leaders of our nation are doing this very thing right now. They don’t understand the death that will result from an alliance with terrorists. The current Iran debacle is an excellent example.
Also, don’t be surprised when people very close to us follow our nations leaders right into trouble. How many Christians are supporting politicians who are pro-homosexual, pro-abortion? They are being led by fathers into deception.
This truth applies to local situations as well. People we admire and consider to be fathers in the faith can fall. Will that devastate us? Will we follow them into destruction? When pastors fall into sin, many people become disillusioned and fall away. This is a very real risk and something we must consider. Love and honor people but understand they are fallible. God alone is truly our Father and we must learn to follow his leadership. He can always be trusted.
Matthew 23:9 (ESV) 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
Dream #2—The Accusation
My wonderful, amazing wife was the key figure in my second dream. It’s a bit difficult to include my family members (especially my wife!) in a negative scenario because I know in reality they are nothing like the person they represent in the dream. I do have to trust God’s wisdom, and it does make sense to my why he chose to communicate this way.
In my second dream I was contending for revival and was investing passionately in the prayer movement and a resulting massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
My wife had a very casual, natural disposition as she was going about her daily duties at home. She looked at me and said, “Your just a Gnostic. Your into Gnosticism.”
I was heartbroken. I wept as I was dismayed at my wife’s dismissal of legitimate encounters with Jesus as illegitimate whims. I cried out to her and said, “I know I can feel God! I know God. What about the peace that passes understanding? What about joy unspeakable and full of glory?”
The accusation was clear: I was being led astray by intuition and feelings and that I needed to come back to the real, natural world. I was wrecked. My heart longed for my wife to understand the wonder and awe of encountering God in a very real way. I earnestly desired her affirmation. Her rejection of my most passionate pursuit was heart wrenching.
However, I knew that I couldn’t force my views on her. I could only pray. No amount of discussion or teaching would suffice. She needed an encounter and a revelation of God’s tangible working.
Prepare your heart. Don’t be surprised when your passion for Jesus is rebuked or dismissed by even your most valued family and friends.
1 Samuel 1:14-15 (ESV) 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.
Dream #3—The Betrayal
A very good, lifelong friend was the key player in this dream. My friend is a legitimate servant of Christ and has given his entire life to powerful, impactful ministry. In fact, he was a key, early mentor for me in my walk with the Lord.
In the dream, he and I and a few of his friends were hanging out. Everything seemed to be quite normal until there was an incident (that I wasn’t a witness of). My friend immediately rose up and started violently beating someone nearby. The remaining friends joined in and aggressively attacked.
I was suddenly confused and disoriented. Why was such a good friend and such a godly man doing this?
The threat of assault and even death was all around. I crouched low and made my way to safety.
My friend started tracking me as I fled. After some time, we ultimately met and he was a different person. He turned on me and rejected me as a friend because I didn’t join in his battle. He hurled insults and accusations my direction. His betrayal was fierce, hurtful and shocking.
Will the betrayals and failures of those we admire and consider to be mentors and close friends be enough to derail us?
Psalm 55:12-14 (ESV) 12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. 14 We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng.
Dream #4—The Capture
Family and friends were in this dream as well, but they were minor participants. I was the primary focus this time.
We were in a large house when terrorists invaded and were capturing people as they went from room to room.
I had a high powered gun and I felt strong and empowered to move from room to room myself and take out the terrorists one by one. I felt as if I had ventured into a divine assignment and the grace to complete it was very powerful.
I somehow knew that the terrorists would be easy targets. My weapon was so precise and powerful that it had no match.
As I began moving through the house I entered the kitchen. Nobody was in there and I was very hungry. I saw the most delicious yellow cake with yellow frosting on the table. My cravings were intense!
I knew that I absolutely should not stop to eat. I also knew somehow that eating the cake would enrage the terrorist. I didn’t know why, but I knew.
I was so confident in my gun however that I decided to grab a piece of cake and continue moving through the house.
Then, all of a sudden, with a messy piece of cake in my right hand a terrorist came around the corner. I struggled to get the gun back into my right hand and my cake into my left hand. It was too late. I was captured. All hope was lost.
Isaiah 47:8-9 (ESV) 8 Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children”: 9 These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure…
The theme throughout the four dreams is improper trust.
The pressure to follow those we consider to be faithful fathers into unrighteous, dangerous spiritual situations will be intense.
Those we consider to be very close to us very well may choose not to affirm the callings on our lives. Some may betray us. Many will accuse us.
Even an overreaching trust in the power and grace of God can lead us into a casual, carefree state that gives the enemy a foothold. God will give us the assignment, the gun and the firepower but we must be alert and ready to pull the trigger. In the fourth dream I wasn’t ready. God did all he needed to do and I was casual, focused on worldly desires.
There will be a great falling away and it’s very hard to consider that many who fall away may be fathers, spouses, friends or even ourselves.
The pressure to follow those who are close to us, to follow comforts, to be casual will be extreme. What will you do when those you hold dear bow at the feet of the idol? Will you value your relationship with them more than your relationship and devotion to God?
Micah 7:5-7 (ESV) 5 Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms; 6 for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. 7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
Watch this week’s provocative, intense CoFI Group Video: A Strong Delusion
It's critical that we prepare our hearts, go deep in God, mature intentionally and be aware of the enemy's schemes. Eternity is at risk!
This is an extremely important, provoking and intense message about the nature of God, the condition of man's hearts and our eternity.
God, by design, causes mankind to be spiritually blind and deaf so they will not receive the truth, so they will believe what is false and be condemned to hell. He will send many into a strong delusion.
This is so contrary to the way God has been represented, but it's a picture of his severe love. We must ensure that we are going deep in God so the enemy can't blind us and so that we don't make a choice to rebel…and in turn be at risk of being blinded by God himself.
The seeker sensitive movement is a serious threat to revival. Watch today’s important teaching!
The seeker sensitive movement is a significant threat to revival.
We must absolutely refuse to tone down the activity of the Holy Spirit out of respect of those who are less hungry, less committed and resistant to a supernatural life.
The Holy Spirit is much better than us at drawing those who are lost in sin, and a white hot atmosphere of prayer and God's presence will result in them hitting their knees and repenting. They will be born again in the prayer room and they will never want to leave!
Revival is going to be marked by unusual manifestations that will look foolish to those who are naturally minded. Our goal isn't to water down a revival culture for their sake. It's to understand that when God breaks out, as in Acts 2, many will marvel and many will mock and the furnace must get hotter not cooler when that happens.
Watch as I breakdown changes coming to the church, based on a Charisma Magazine article that recently went viral.
ANCIENT AND EMERGING: FIVE MAJOR CHANGES THAT ARE COMING TO THE CHURCH
Are you ready for glorious yet inconvenient changes that are coming to the church? It's critical that you are!
God is about to upset what man has set up and gather his true remnant church together to pray with passion.
A recent Charisma Magazine article by the same name has gone viral, and I wanted to take today to share in more detail what I see coming for the church.
Interestingly there are those who would reject or resist the changes that are coming, and this is the reason why the alarms must be sounded more urgently.
I personally can't imagine how anybody would be opposed to these amazing, necessary shifts. How glorious it will be when we are gathering together day after day to enjoy God in the place of fervent prayer!
I believe this message will encourage and provoke you into a ready and contending life as God prepares his bride for both the glory and the war that is coming.
I’m SO excited about this brand new book project!
June 9th, 2015 – 5 Fold Media releases the first book in the Capturing the Supernatural series: Healed!: Present-Day Stories of Divine Healing and How It Happens.
Healed! by Andy and Cathy Sanders is a compilation of thirteen different miracle healing stories from ordinary people serving an extraordinary God. Most of us believe (or want to believe) that God still shows up in miraculous ways—that He supernaturally intervenes in our lives. But how come it always seems to happen to someone else, often in some far-away place? This book will uplift and inspire you to believe not only that divine healing happens today, but that it’s happening far more often than you might imagine.
This is a timely message for the bride of Christ! Each chapter is a journey from pain to victory. I believe that the reader will not only experience God's healing power, but they will also find that they are living at a new level of faith.
-Patrick Schatzline, Author of I Am Remnant and Unqualified
“My arm is burning! It’s on fire! I can’t see it but I can feel it all over me! I am fully, entirely, completely healed!”
John Burton, Charisma Media Contributor
“Mom felt a hand touch her shoulder, shooting a bolt of electricity through her body. The cancer never came back!”
Bill Yount, Elijah List Contributor
“God delivered me from obesity and obesity-related diseases, an addiction that had kept me in prison my entire life.”
Pastor Kathy Hill
Find out more at www.5foldmedia.com
About the Book:
Healed!: Present-Day Stories of Divine Healing and How It Happens (Capturing the Supernatural) by Andy and Cathy Sanders
Published By: 5 Fold Media, LLC
Release Date: 6/9/2015
To Purchase: Contact your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Parable Christian Stores, Cokesbury Christian Books, and Books-A-Million. Order bulk directly from the publisher. E-book format is also available.
About the Authors:
Andy and Cathy Sanders have been studying God’s divine intervention in the lives of ordinary people for years. Together they founded 5 Fold Media with the mission of releasing God’s stories around the world. This Capturing the Supernatural series of books is being published to document what God is doing on the earth, providing a snapshot of His handiwork and incredible creative care for His children.
Do you truly believe? Are you driven by faith? Watch today’s message and discover just what our lives will look like if we are!
CoFI Break Video—Ten Threats to Revival Part 5 – Taking a Wait and See Approach (continued)
Our mission to launch revival and rescue souls from an eternity in Hell is so intense that we have no option to kick back, relax and wait for God to move. We aren't to wait on him…he's waiting on us!
The laborers are few and it grieves God's heart that so little is being done about that.
You and I are called to strive toward a victorious mission and to pray without ceasing until revival impacts our cities.
Based on my recent Charisma Magazine article, this message deals with the trend to run to worship events and away from prayer events.
People run to powerful worship music events and tend to run from prayer events. Is it possible that the music has become an idol? Can those who are living sinful, compromised lives blend in without any difficulty in a worship music driven church culture? Yes. But, develop a culture of prayer and the unrepentant will flee.
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.
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.
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!
- 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:
- On our face: Get struck by God in a place of extreme consecration, prayer and obedience.
- On our feet: Be put on your feet to minister the messages of God to a sleeping and rebellious generation.
- 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
I need your help! I’m heading on the road full time to consult, teach, equip and carry fire!
It would mean a lot if you would forward the following to your pastor! I’m ready to hit the road and serve with passion!
I’d love to give you a call and learn more about you and your ministry. Is there a time that would work?
We are in such a critical and powerful season where God is awakening those who are ready to burn hot for Jesus. God has been wrecking and rocking me lately and I’m carrying the resulting message everywhere he leads.
If you feel an event would benefit your church, I don’t require a minimum honorarium or a minimum sized crowd. I will sleep on the floor if it means revival can be fueled in your region!
When I travel I enjoy the opportunity to pour into leadership teams and the body through equipping, encouraging, imparting strategies and calling people higher!
You can learn a little about what makes my heart burn by reading my articles in Charisma Magazine: www.johnburton.net/charisma
You can also view my bio 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 ten books on the topics of prayer, reformation, equipping and revival. You can read several of these books for FREE if you’d like to learn more about us at www.johnburton.net/books!
- I directed one of the primary internships, Intro to IHOP, 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 [email protected] or phone at 719.231.6000.
FYI, I often hear from pastors looking to book an event about whether I’ll come and minister to a small crowd. I absolutely will!
I know God is ready to pour out in any fiery, hungry environment!
I can’t wait to hear from you!
When we invited you we anticipated an unusual move of God in our church but had no idea how much you would ignite the fire of God in hearts and set us on the path to revival. What a tremendous week it has been! Thanks for all that you, through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, have invested in us this week. One of these days there will be a mighty sound coming from the south. It will be the sound of revival and of a raging fire of the Spirit in Haiti. READ THE ENTIRE LETTER HERE.
Jean Heder Petit-Frere
“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
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.
President of Awake Nations
“John won’t serve yesterdays’ manna, old wine, or an ear tickling message! His ears are tuned to hear the Word of the LORD and bring a piercing message to people who hunger for truth. Your community will be awakened, provoked, and equipped! Be prepared to encounter God, experience His power & presence and transform your world!”
Chris Ferguson, District Pastor Forerunner Christian Fellowship
International House of Prayer
Kansas City, MO
John Burton is a great man of God that is blessed with numerous gifts that serve as a blessing to the body of Christ. I would highly recommend him to anyone in ministry or the business world. He is full of integrity and does very quality work.
“John, thanks so much for listening to God’s heart! It changed my life. I’m crying, but I feel happy inside- a happiness I’ve never felt.”
“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.”
JD King, International Director World Revival Network of Ministries
This testimony from a 16 year old about the hardcore challenge of Revival Church totally rocked me—and it will you too.
Amy Smith and her 16 year old daughter were having a discussion about the intense environment at Revival Church. The discussion was revealing and quite powerful:
Amy: It seems to be quite the challenge to run with Revival Church. Why do you think that is?
Abby: Because there is accountability through the preaching and teaching. Stuff gets called out and you can't hide. There are no excuses. At other churches it might be easy to act or think everything is fine and you can slip and it seems normal because others are doing that too. It seems lukewarm.
At Revival, it's more than just being taught basics, you feel like you're in training. It's like you're being built up, not just filled in.
Amy: Why do you like Revival?
Abby: It's straightforward and there's nothing fake about it. I can respect someone who is straightforward and tells the honest truth for your own good no matter how hard or risky it is than someone who sugar coats it just so you can follow them.
Long ago I made a promise that I would never tone down the activity of the Holy Spirit out of respect of those less hungry.
I often am celebrated for taking that stand as most people presume I’m simply in favor of more freedom during the services. I am, but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg.
When the Holy Spirit moves, a culture of brokenness, conviction, submission, training and fear of the Lord is also the result.
After 24 years of ministry, I’m absolutely confident that my wife and I have the skills to grow a church of at least 200-300—if we toned down the message, the call and the expectations. I’d have a healthy salary and a stable life. There would be no need to develop additional income streams. We’d be beloved by many! However, my stomach turns when I think about that option. It scares me a little that it’s available to me!
I have never had even the slightest passion to lead a ministry that affirmed the lukewarm, game players or those with their own agenda. That may seem harsh, but the truth is that the end is near and the mission is extreme. Only those who are willing to die in the battle are going to crucify their flesh, lay their own desires down and run toward the enemy.
Of course, even the most immature, weak and struggling are welcomed in if they are ready for boot camp and the resulting war! It’s the hungry, rejected and broken that will be leading the charge!
I want to challenge pastors to grab hold of the vision God has given you and call everybody up much higher into it. When the call reaches the point where comfort is violated, many will probably bolt for the exits but those who remain are more precious than you can imagine.
It’s that remnant army that will turn the world upside down. Abby Smith sure seems to be developing as a general in that army.