Posts Tagged ‘shock’

Video Podcast: Shock Christianity: What is love?

Watch the video: What is love? Is it possible we’ve been confused about what love really looks like? Yes.


imageWe are seeing the beginning of the greatest movement of love the world has ever known—and the greatest confusion about love in history.

In our self-centered, narcissistic generation, the demand for others to respond rightly to us seems to be overwhelming the command to respond rightly to others.

In ministry I have had the unfortunate opportunity to witness people spinning out time and time again when they aren’t affirmed the way they think they should be. The enemy is offering his anointing of accusation to wounded people so they can point a finger and identify failures in others. The truth is that most often they simply don’t understand what love really looks like in the Kingdom.

It’s extremely easy to point out self-defined lack in another’s life with the accusation that they are not acting in love. This is an accusation that I and many other aggressive & prophetic leaders, who shock and rock and tear down idols and altars, have received more than once.

The problem? There’s confusion about what love is. True love will often shock us, and we are most certainly in a time when that jolt must come.

Here’s the questions we have to ask ourselves to ensure we are personally living in the love of God:

  • Am I patient? This doesn’t mean we aren’t bold or that we don’t challenge people to pick up the pace. This is a heart issue. Can we advance with determination while also honoring people who are slower than us?
  • Am I kind? This is also an attitude of the heart. It doesn’t mean we are passive or soft spoken. It just means we are looking out for the needs of others.
  • Do I envy others? Jealousy divides. Enough said.
  • Do I boast? Do I have pride that results in attempting to outshine others?
  • Am I arrogant? Boldness and arrogance are closely related. One is Holy Spirit driven, the other is not. I’m sure people might accuse me of arrogance due to my aggressive, urgent focus on life, and my unwillingness to entertain lukewarm theologies, but I am consistently asking God to search my heart on this. I desire to be bold without reservation, even if it looks like arrogance. I’m not out to prove I love people. I’m to love them, and sometimes it can get testy as I promote God’s messages that irritate the resisters.
  • Am I rude? I post a lot on Facebook and Twitter. My goal is to be extremely provocative (to shock!), and I’ll talk about that more in a bit. But, it is always extremely important for me to not be rude. It’s critical that while I provoke, that I also honor and refuse to react in a rude or condescending manner.
  • Do I insist on my own way? This is about selfishness. Am I self-centered and demanding? Or, do I prefer others above myself?
  • Am I irritable? I will admit that I wrestle with this one at times! It’s usually small but nonetheless meaningful issues. I have to be sensitive to my family by not getting irritated when they aren’t in the car ready to go on time or when the kids chores aren’t done. I have improved much, but I must remain sensitive to this.
  • Am I resentful? When life doesn’t go as planned, do I resent God or other people who didn’t live up to my expectations?
  • Do I rejoice at wrongdoing? Or, do I do the opposite as revealed in Ephesians 5 by exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness?

Even when accusations of lacking love fly, we can humbly go to prayer, let God search our hearts and review the above scriptural revelation of what love looks like.

True Expectations: Same love, different manifestations

I once mentioned to Chuck Pierce that it would be powerful to have a resource that explained how we can relate to various personality types, giftings and offices. What type of manifestation of love is typical in a pastor? What about a prophet? I was hoping he would write this book on interactive Christian love, but maybe I’ll have to tackle that at some point!

For example, I often hear people slander the prayer movement by shouting that those who lock themselves in the prayer room for hours a day don’t love people. If they did, they would be out on the streets feeding the homeless or doing something else that relational and meets and immediate need. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While certainly some people who pray all day might struggle with issues of love, the same is true across the board. It has nothing to do with the manifestation (intercession, serving the homeless), but rather it has to do with the condition of the heart.

So, what should we really expect from others? Here’s a short, extremely simplified explanation that should set you free. If you don’t expect someone to express love in a certain way, you won’t be offended when they don’t!

Pastor

In America, church leaders are almost always called “Pastor.” We need to fix this. Why? There are expectations associated with the offices, and if someone is not truly a pastor, when you call them pastor you are putting a burden on them they can’t bear.

In a true pastor, you might expect someone who loves to listen to your story and is ready to encourage you in it. They may be very relational, conversational and invested in people one-on-one.

Teacher

A teacher might spend most of his time behind closed doors in study, and might not have a relational bone in his body—but he loves people by rightly dividing the Word. He love is manifested not through smiles and handshakes but through hours of investment in you through study and prayer.

Evangelist

An evangelist will show love by leading people to Jesus. This can get confusing for some who get saved, and then don’t understand why the evangelist isn’t his best friend. After all, they shared a life changing moment together! The reason? The evangelist is off loving the next person!

Prophet

A prophet will show love through irritating you! I’m a prophetic Apostle, so this is my area of expertise. Prophets may have tears in their eyes and fire in their veins in the place of prayer that results in an uninvited confrontations. In fact, you can consider a prophet an uninvited teacher. He delivers what is not desired to a people who are asleep. Whenever you awaken someone from their sleep, you can expect them to be irritated—yet this irritation is a result of a man or woman of God who loves you so much that they can’t leave you in your condition.

So, you can expect sharp words of warning that are love-fueled alarms designed just for you. You probably wouldn’t expect a prophet to be ultra-relational (they make too many enemies for this to work!). They make horrible counselors most of the time. They love you much as the teacher does—through prayer-driven messages from God.

Apostle

Apostles are always on the move. They show love by inviting you on the journey. However, they usually don’t wait for too long for you to catch up. For some that feels unloving, but the opposite is true. Their love compels them to move and build and advance into new territory so that many can be saved! While an apostle may not wait long for you, he will always be there to pick you up on his next loop through!

Don’t expect apostles to be locally minded. If you need someone to help with your current life situation, an apostle will show you his love by inviting you on a journey regardless of your current situation! You may need to find a pastor if you aren’t looking for that quite yet!

Shock-Christianity-Paperback

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Brand New ebook! Shock Christianity: Prepare to be Stunned by Love

Shock-Christianity-PaperbackWe are seeing the beginning of the greatest movement of love the world has ever known—and the greatest confusion about love in history.

ONLY $1.99! ORDER NOW!

In our self-centered, narcissistic generation, the demand for others to respond rightly to us seems to be overwhelming the command to respond rightly to others.

In ministry I have had the unfortunate opportunity to witness people spinning out time and time again when they aren't affirmed the way they think they should be. The enemy is offering his anointing of accusation to wounded people so they can point a finger and identify failures in others. The truth is that most often they simply don’t understand what love really looks like in the Kingdom.

It’s extremely easy to point out self-defined lack in another’s life with the accusation that they are not acting in love. This is an accusation that I and many other aggressive & prophetic leaders, who shock and rock and tear down idols and altars, have received more than once.

The problem? There’s confusion about what love is. True love will often shock us, and we are most certainly in a time when that jolt must come.

ONLY $1.99! ORDER NOW!

Detroit & America • A Troubling End-Time Dream

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

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

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

A Troubling End-Time Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did it mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The forsaken focus on the reality of Hell : Where are they now?

The reality that MOST people in the world and MANY in the church will be tormented forever in Hell grips me night and day.

imageYesterday I wrote an article titled “Shock Christianity.” I strongly exhort you to read it as this is a follow up message. You can read it HERE.

You can also listen to a provocative podcast on the same topic of Shock Christianity and what love really looks like on that page.

We have been duped.

So many in the church have been deceived into believing in a costless, easy salvationand it is so penetrated our culture that any argument against it is aggressively rejected.

The false grace message, as I have shared many times, is lulling people into a spiritual coma, and that is the best part of the news. The worst? Many of them will move from coma to trauma as they enter eternity into the terror of Hell.

Just as I shared yesterday, I am beyond concerned and troubled regarding the state of the church.

When I walk into even the most vibrant, Spirit-filled church, the grid I see is that of many people who are intimate with Jesus, and potentially many who are following Jesus in an unsaved condition.

In fact, in a life-giving church of 1000 people, it wouldn’t surprise me if 100 of them are truly saved.

False Love

As I wrote in yesterday’s message, there is a false love movement that is exceedingly popular in the world today. The focus is on self—our experience, our emotions, our feelings. The goal is affirmation and emotional intimacy that masquerades as true love.

The result? People avoid dealing with the tough issues in the hopes of encouraging and affirming people. Many people in the church who are on their way to Hell are affirmed in their journey—by other Christians! No alarms are sounded. No warnings shared. No grief and tears. Just a smile and a hug for their friend who is in a treacherous, lukewarm condition.

Consider the shocking statements by the Pope this past week:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone,” the pope told worshipers at morning Mass on Wednesday. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”

Francis continued, “We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said that although he has been skeptical of Francis' outreach to the nonreligious, he welcomed Wednesday’s comments.

“I gather from this statement that his view of the world's religious and philosophical diversity is expanding,” Speckhardt said. “While humanists have been saying for years that one can be good without a god, hearing this from the leader of the Catholic Church is quite heartening.”

Regardless of whether his true intent was lost in translation or not, the message he sent is being received by many that they can simply do good and that they are safe. My God.

Hell isn’t for bad people. It’s for those who reject intimacy with Jesus. It’s for those who reject his Lordship.

This passive approach of false love extends well beyond the landscape of the church. We have overestimated the power of being nice and passive with those in the homosexual movement, for example. How is this working for us? Many churches functioning in a spirit of false love and overreaching sympathy are now affirming people in the lifestyle that is killing them!

Churches “very rarely talk about sin and refuse ever to say that homosexual behavior is a sin.” Only a minority of people in the churches in Britain, “speak out the word of God. And they get a lot of aggression for it,” she said.

“The church is doing a disservice to homosexuals by denying sinners their liberty in the lord Jesus Christ. They are blind guides leading others into a ditch of destruction.” ~Lesley Pilkington

So, what is true love for the homosexual community? Warn them! Awaken them! It’s not about being moral or talking about how it affects them here on Earth as much as it is about their eternity.

We have to have the guts to tell them that Hell is their future and we desperately don’t want them to go there! Staying silent is not love.

Jesus made mention of Hell and a coming judgment dozens of times in the Gospels. Jesus had more to say about Hell than He did about Heaven!

And Jesus made it absolutely clear that people who refuse to repent, who turn away God’s provision of forgiveness and salvation, will spend eternity separated from God in a place of conscious torment that He often called “Hell” (Matthew 5:29).

Now in spite of the Bible's clarity on this issue, Satan has deceived millions of people into believing a variety of other “softer” options. Satan, “the father of lies” (John 8:44), never ceases to take advantage of those who are willing to lay aside Biblical revelation for something that is more palatable. ~Charlie Campbell

imageWhere are they now?

Rest in peace. That phrase is spoken at most every funeral in the world, yet it’s only truly applicable in a small percentage of those who enter eternity. Most don’t rest, and most have no peace.

I have heard many say that it’s not loving to mention the reality of Hell to people. When evangelizing, many completely leave out the truth about eternity without Jesus. Hell isn’t mentioned. The cross isn’t mentioned. Repentance isn’t mentioned. And, as a result, people are lured into a false religious experience that gives them false hope. Some say that we only need to reveal the love of Jesus, and it’s actually detrimental to mention negative things such as sin and Hell. If that’s the case, Jesus himself failed. He mentioned Hell often.

Let me make it clear: It is deep love that warns people about eternity separated from Jesus!

Some say it’s a fear tactic to mention Hell. That is absolute insanity. With the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus didn’t say that it was unloving to mention Hell. He said that it’s a part of the presentation of the prophets, yet it is ignored! Jesus said that people needed to hear about Hell and be convinced about it!

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” [Luke 16:19-31 ESV]

So, just where are people who have died right now? Just who is resting in peace?

Some suggest that just one in one thousand avoid the torment of Hell. This would be a narrow road indeed.

Where are Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Andy Griffith, Steve Jobs and other stars who have died recently? Really think about it. Of course, we can’t arrive at a definitive answer, BUT we must consider the question.

If we default to believing Whitney Houston, for example, went to Heaven, that belief will impact the way we live our own lives. Of course, my sincere hope is that she is there…that goes without saying. But, lets think about this very difficult question.

Another way to ask the question is, is it truly rare for even professing Christians to make Heaven? Is it possible that a small percentage of church goers will truly make it?

Now, compare the two perspectives.

The point? Hell is real. Hell is expanding. Most go there. They are not resting in peace. Affirming people in unsaved, lukewarm conditions is aiding them in their journey to Hell. That is not love. Not even close.

This is the issue that grips me every day of my life. My primary message is for the church. I can’t get too excited about teaching on anything other than awakening if that teaching will only help people in the few years leading up to their plunge into Hell. The spirit of awakening is upon me!

The Good News

I don’t believe you can preach the Good News without it being in the context of the bad news.

Approximately 100 people die every minute. This means, possibly NONE of them are in Heaven right now. Possibly all 100 are in Hell. Or, maybe one or two made it.

In the time it has taken you to read this article so far, approximately 500-1000 people have died. It’s possible that 950 or 975 or 990 of them, for example, are in Hell right now.

Many of them are absolutely shocked to be there. This very second, as you are reading this, somewhere in the belly of the Earth, they are freaking out. They thought they were saved, but were not. Nobody sounded an alarm in their life. The Gospel was possibly dumbed down and diluted—and that is what they bought into.

Getting saved is simple but not easy. Free but not without great cost. Few are interested in salvation like that.

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20  And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21  And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23  And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24  And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.” 26  And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28  Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29  Jesus said,“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” [Mark 10:17-31 ESV]

Who then can be saved? The disciples wrestled with the issue of salvation, and so must we! We must work it out with fear and trembling. We must endure to the end. Few do that, and a prayer decades prior with some cleaned up living and church attendance is not what saves.

Without intimacy with Jesus and a willingness to surrender all, Hell is the future.

So, the Good News is truly good news when seen on the backdrop of eternal darkness.

The love of Jesus is clear when presented in contrast to such hatred.

It’s time friends to shout from the rooftops this message. The fear of the Lord must grip us and the hunger for intimacy with Jesus must overwhelm us!

It’s those who aren’t intimate with Jesus who will be cast into Hell. People who he didn’t know.

21  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23  Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers! ’ [Matthew 7:2 HCSB]

Do you know anybody who’s not intimate with Jesus? Warn them. Call them higher. Pray for them. Do not presume that they are safe. They absolutely are not.

Shock Christianity: Can this be love? Just what does love look like?

Shock Christianity: A prophetic alarm is sounding as a code blue church is under the shock paddles of the great Physician.

I’m going to take the opportunity to lay some very important things out on the table—in the hopes that God will bring clarity to what is expected in this end-of-the-age season that we are in.

**Near the end, I will share very important information about why I focus on such a narrow, offensive, troubling message. It’s important that you hear my heart on this.

Here is a provocative podcast on this topic:

I had planned on writing an article dealing with the issue of love as it’s revealed through prophetic voices for the last week, and since then I’ve had at least a few key unexpected discussions regarding what one called “Shock Christianity.”

image

I believe this is evidence that it’s time to both humbly ask God to inspect our hearts (as I always do when I find myself in such active and controversial seasons) and clearly communicate what is truly to be expected.

It’s extremely easy to point out self-defined lack in another’s life with the accusation that they are not acting in love. This is an accusation that I and many other aggressive & prophetic leaders, who shock and rock and tear down idols and altars, have received more than once.

The problem? There’s confusion about what love is, and also about how to react when someone isn’t manifesting love in the way we think they should.

Friendship & emotional intimacy

For many, especially those with a high mercy gift, the seemingly obvious, non-negotiable manifestation of love is close friendship and deep, emotional intimacy.

This isn’t an inappropriate desire—it’s the way many are wired. But, it is inappropriate to presume that a lack of emotional intimacy is evidence of a lack of love.

It’s too easy to point a finger at someone who has healthy boundaries setup and accuse them of not loving you. The accurate analysis would actually be that they most probably do love you, but they don’t desire emotional intimacy with you.

In fact, it may hurt, but we have to understand that not everybody wants to be our friend! That doesn’t mean they don’t love us, it just means that they don’t feel impressed to develop that type of relationship with us. They are limited in their ability or desire to befriend certain people, and that’s OK. It’s normal.

I personally know that not everybody will like me, and not everybody will want to be my friend. It would actually be really bizarre if that weren’t true!

Additionally, for many leaders, their primary goal isn’t to connect with everybody, but rather it’s to connect everybody to God. That is a valid and important ministry.

I think of Mike Bickle who isn’t going to just befriend anybody who walks into IHOPKC, but he absolutely will invest every ounce of his energy to help you connect to Jesus. What love that is!

What is love?

That’s a loaded question. I feel all of us would agree that the answer is wildly expansive and multifaceted.

And that it is. If the definition of biblical love is so deep and wide, why is it that we get offended when someone doesn’t fit our shallow and narrow definition of love?

If you search for “God’s Love” on Amazon, it returns 311,863 available books. It’s an inexhaustible topic!

When you read scripture, it is, again, inexhaustible. Of course, we do have quite a wonderful definition here:

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (ESV) 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I personally consider this passage often. Really, I do so continually. For me, loving with God’s love is non-negotiable, though it is so easy to fail. The fear of the Lord is on me regarding the issue as this passage reveals a sharp warning to those who minister without loving. For someone with a “shock Christianity” mandate, this is all the more sobering. I must love without fail while shaking the sleepers. If love doesn’t drive the shaking, if it’s selfish ambition or greed that does it, I am in big trouble.

Now, this passage isn’t to be used as ammunition against others who don’t measure up, but rather it’s to be a sword to our own hearts. We need to let God break us. Don’t look to others who seem to be failing in love and accuse them of failure. You love them without reserve! Cover them as Noah was covered by two of his three sons. Don’t be the son that exposed his father’s nakedness! That results in a curse!

Genesis 9:20-27 (ESV) 20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. 27 May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.”

Here’s the questions we have to ask ourselves to ensure we are personally living in the love of God:

  • Am I patient? This doesn’t mean we aren’t bold or that we don’t challenge people to pick up the pace. This is a heart issue. Can we advance with determination while also honoring people who are slower than us?
  • Am I kind? This is also an attitude of the heart. It doesn’t mean we are passive or soft spoken. It just means we are looking out for the needs of others.
  • Do I envy others? Jealousy divides. Enough said.
  • Do I boast? Do I have pride that results in attempting to outshine others?
  • Am I arrogant? Boldness and arrogance are closely related. One is Holy Spirit driven, the other is not. I’m sure people might accuse me of arrogance due to my aggressive, urgent focus on life, and my unwillingness to entertain lukewarm theologies, but I am consistently asking God to search my heart on this. I desire to be bold without reservation, even if it looks like arrogance. I’m not out to prove I love people. I’m to love them, and sometimes it can get testy as I promote God’s messages that irritate the resisters.
  • Am I rude? I post a lot on Facebook and Twitter. My goal is to be extremely provocative (to shock!), and I’ll talk about that more in a bit. But, it is always extremely important for me to not be rude. It’s critical that while I provoke, that I also honor and refuse to react in a rude or condescending manner.
  • Do I insist on my own way? This is about selfishness. Am I self-centered and demanding? Or, do I prefer others above myself?
  • Am I irritable? I will admit that I wrestle with this one at times! It’s usually small but nonetheless meaningful issues. I have to be sensitive to my family by not getting irritated when they aren’t in the car ready to go on time or when the kids chores aren’t done. I have improved much, but I must remain sensitive to this.
  • Am I resentful? When life doesn’t go as planned, do I resent God or other people who didn’t live up to my expectations?
  • Do I rejoice at wrongdoing? Or, do I do the opposite as revealed in Ephesians 5 by exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness?

Even when accusations of lacking love fly, we can humbly go to prayer, let God search our hearts and review the above scriptural revelation of what love looks like.

So, if someone is aggressive, bold, focused, not easily approachable, confrontational, controversial, troubling or intent on tearing down false ideologies that people hold dear, does that reveal a lack of love? Not according to the Bible. In fact, they may love with such a passion that they are more focused on loving than on convincing people they love.

False Expectations

In our culture, love is defined in a way that is often different than what we see in scripture. For example, there is a false-love movement on the rise that presumes that relational friendship is a required manifestation of true love. I disagree. That false expectation will leave many wounded when one who does truly love them doesn’t show it the way they would prefer. Offense will follow and division, hard hearts and cold love are next.

This is an eternal issue! We cannot allow false expectations result in cold love! If others don’t love us the way we want, do we ourselves lose our love for them?

Matthew 24:10-13 (ESV) 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

I’ll say it again—true love doesn’t demand that others respond lovingly. True love is seen on the cross where Jesus didn’t demand any affirmation, friendship, encouragement or any outward manifestation of affection. We know from the encounter in the garden just prior to his arrest that he desired relational closeness, but he didn’t get offended when his friends slept while he sweat and bled.

True maturity comes from our garden experiences. If we can’t escape the lonely bleeding in the garden without offense toward unconcerned, selfish sleepers rising up in our hearts, how can we expect to take up our cross for them? Do we demand that they manifest love toward us, or do we simply love them unto death?

People who struggle with fear and rejection are often hit by the enemy regarding this. They so crave affirmation (which feels like love), that when they don’t get it it’s easy to accuse the person of not loving them. The problem? Affirmation and love are not the same. You can love someone without affirming them, befriending them or even talking to them!

John doesn’t love people

I told you I was going to lay it on the table!

This one hurts so deeply!

There was a situation in Colorado many years ago that resulted in an underground, “spirit of Absalom” situation that was fueled by offense. I started to hear the rumors: John doesn’t love people. Amy and I felt like we were hit by a train.

Someone on my staff had a false expectation about something incredibly minor. I was unable to meet that need due to needing to be somewhere later that night. It wasn’t until months later that I put two and two together and realized that an underground movement of gossip was setting my staff and team against me. The accusation? I don’t love people because I wasn’t there for them that day, and since that situation revealed my true, unloving heart, and my motives in ministry were now compromised, there must be an effort to resist the ministry—and, for them, it was in the name of ‘love’!

My initial split second reaction when I received knowledge of the situation was this: That doesn’t make sense! I love that person and the others so much. Of all things how could that be the accusation?

I was really saddened that those who I expressed love to by welcoming them onto our team, supporting them in their ministries, encouraging them to be free to lead with passion, etc. were rejecting my expression of love! Wow! Isn’t it interesting how it all works together—how the enemy can twist and turn things in such a dastardly way!

This was the same individual that had come to me with a dilemma. She had to deal with a situation in the church, but she didn’t want to make waves. She asked, “John, how in the world can I handle this explosive situation and convince the person that I love them?” I simply responded, “Why are you trying to attempt to convince them you love them? Simply love them.”

If we try to convince people we “love” them, we won’t actually love them by administering true tough love, biblical discipline and challenges. True biblical love at times does not feel like the love our culture has defined.

This is the power of love languages at work. We can’t expect someone to respond in love according to our love language. They will naturally respond according to their love language.

Of course, we can try to reach out to people according to their love language, but, here’s the point I’m trying to make—a failure to manifest love according to another’s language doesn’t mean they don’t love—it means they aren’t expressing or manifesting love the way that seems obvious to us. That accusation must come to an end.

Can an introverted recluse so deeply love people he has never even met by writing checks for millions of dollars to charities? Yes! That is love though he would never hug you, seek friendship or even smile when you enter the room!

My heart breaks over situations like this. Can I love better? Oh man, YES! But, I also need to help bring this issue to the surface. Too many leaders are not living according to their calling because they are so busy modifying their personality and mandate to match what others expect!

We must love according to how God designed us. The cross wasn’t welcomed, but it was the method Jesus was mandated to use. It didn’t feel like love then, but boy was it.

True Expectations: Same love, different manifestations

I once mentioned to Chuck Pierce that it would be powerful to have a resource that explained how we can relate to various personality types, giftings and offices. What type of manifestation of love is typical in a pastor? What about a prophet? I was hoping he would write this book on interactive Christian love, but maybe I’ll have to tackle that at some point!

For example, I often hear people slander the prayer movement by shouting that those who lock themselves in the prayer room for hours a day don’t love people. If they did, they would be out on the streets feeding the homeless or doing something else that relational and meets and immediate need. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While certainly some people who pray all day might struggle with issues of love, the same is true across the board. It has nothing to do with the manifestation (intercession, serving the homeless), but rather it has to do with the condition of the heart.

So, what should we really expect from others? Here’s a short, extremely simplified explanation that should set you free. If you don’t expect someone to express love in a certain way, you won’t be offended when they don’t!

Pastor

In America, church leaders are almost always called “Pastor.” We need to fix this. Why? There are expectations associated with the offices, and if someone is not truly a pastor, when you call them pastor you are putting a burden on them they can’t bear.

In a true pastor, you might expect someone who loves to listen to your story and is ready to encourage you in it. They may be very relational, conversational and invested in people one-on-one.

Teacher

A teacher might spend most of his time behind closed doors in study, and might not have a relational bone in his body—but he loves people by rightly dividing the Word. He love is manifested not through smiles and handshakes but through hours of investment in you through study and prayer.

Evangelist

An evangelist will show love by leading people to Jesus. This can get confusing for some who get saved, and then don’t understand why the evangelist isn’t his best friend. After all, they shared a life changing moment together! The reason? The evangelist is off loving the next person!

Prophet

A prophet will show love through irritating you! I’m a prophetic Apostle, so this is my area of expertise. Prophets may have tears in their eyes and fire in their veins in the place of prayer that results in an uninvited confrontations. In fact, you can consider a prophet an uninvited teacher. He delivers what is not desired to a people who are asleep. Whenever you awaken someone from their sleep, you can expect them to be irritated—yet this irritation is a result of a man or woman of God who loves you so much that they can’t leave you in your condition.

So, you can expect sharp words of warning that are love-fueled alarms designed just for you. You probably wouldn’t expect a prophet to be ultra-relational (they make too many enemies for this to work!). They make horrible counselors most of the time. They love you much as the teacher does—through prayer-driven messages from God.

Apostle

Apostles are always on the move. They show love by inviting you on the journey. However, they usually don’t wait for too long for you to catch up. For some that feels unloving, but the opposite is true. Their love compels them to move and build and advance into new territory so that many can be saved! While an apostle may not wait long for you, he will always be there to pick you up on his next loop through!

Don’t expect apostles to be locally minded. If you need someone to help with your current life situation, an apostle will show you his love by inviting you on a journey regardless of your current situation! You may need to find a pastor if you aren’t looking for that quite yet!

A one string banjo

As someone who’s not a pastor, I find myself, by design, extremely limited in my message. I’m a one string banjo. Maybe two string.

If I asked you what a particular pastor’s message is, you probably wouldn’t be able to answer. He will usually teach on many different topics.

But, if I were to ask you want John the Baptist’s message was, you’d have an answer—REPENT! PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD! Like John the Baptist, prophetic leaders are one string banjo players.

For me, EVERYTHING I do in ministry stems from one encounter and one message. After an encounter of being dragged toward Hell, God spoke this to me: John, many Christians will be shocked to find themselves in Hell one day.

My love for mostly nameless, faceless people burns so hot that I simply cannot deviate from my message of warning. I am loving through provoking people into safety. I am, as someone used the terminology yesterday, a shock Christian. I’m a prophetic messenger that sees time running out.

The horrific confusion regarding the issue of salvation in the Western church is the key reason why I am so intense. I am intentionally WAY off balance due to off-balance theologies. People are going to Hell. They think they are saved.

Just so you know how I see things, due to this encounter that I had 22 years ago: when I’m in a vibrant, Spirit-filled church of, lets say, 1000 people…people who are lifting their hands, worshiping Jesus and paying their tithes…I see maybe 100 of them, on average, ending up in Heaven. That’s not a judgmental statement, as I have no way of truly judging that on a person by person basis. It’s a spiritually analytical reality for me. How can I stay silent even for a day if billions of unsaved people are going to Hell PLUS many more others in churches who are following Jesus in an unsaved condition?

In fact, I’ve often said that I give myself only an 80% chance of making Heaven. If I were to die today, I’m about 99.9% sure I’d be there. However, the Bible is clear that there will be a great falling away. Even the elect will be deceived. If I presume myself to be exempt from that, I am presuming myself to be among the elect—and I am surely deceived. I absolutely can fall away from Jesus, and I don’t take that lightly.

George Barna revealed in a recent poll that only 8% of Americans are Born Again. Only 4% have a biblical world view!

My mandate is simple—love people by communicating to them truth, sounding alarms and tearing down doctrines of demons and humanistic religious idols.

Additionally, as a prophetic Apostle, those warnings come with an invitation—to get equipped to do the same, and to run with me as I charge ahead. I’m looking for modern day Paul Reveres who will love people through shocking and shaking deadly systems!

Running with me will be a joy if you want to be rocked and challenged as your destiny is called out of you.

The label of “shock Christian” fits the movement I’m a part of. I’d rather you be shocked with truth now than shocked to find yourself in Hell one day.

I am extremely thoughtful, prayerful and boldly intentional with what I communicate. Do I always do it perfectly? No way. But I try. But, you can know that I love you deeply and will be in prayer continually as I get the ‘now message’ of the Lord. The message will probably trouble you at times. It is supposed to. The paddles must be placed on ALL of us at times to shock to life a dying part of our lives.

You may wonder why I don’t deviate from this approach. I hope you now know why.

And, let me say this. I think it’s an indictment on our passive, timid culture when, what I consider to be mildly jarring truths, seem to be so extreme and impacting. It’s an indictment on the church when truth is shunned when it troubles or causes discomfort. What I post, honestly, is simple, old school Christianity. I’m saddened that people find it drastic—but so be it. I will continue preaching it until drastic becomes normal again.

Info about TheCall Detroit 11.11.11 : Video, social links, prayer and fasting info

capture-00002122Gather every person you know and head to Detroit for this history making event—TheCall Detroit 11.11.11!

I am already craving finding a corner high up in Ford Field to just hit my face and encounter God as some key national and local leaders lead us into the fire! There is a yearning for an outpouring of God’s Spirit—and Detroit is an epicenter of a soon coming shock from Heaven that will be felt around the world.

This once in a lifetime event should draw every pastor, leader, Christian and hungry person in the Detroit region—and beyond.

Check out some info here and spread the word!

The following links will make it easy to share about TheCall Detroit in your emails, on Facebook, LinkedIn and other Social channels.
  1. Detroit Video Trailer with Lou Engle "Come to Ford Field!"  Here is the promo video link for the extended version of the invitation. Just copy and paste this in your browser, email or links. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n335NYm8N_k&feature=youtu.be
  2. To print out promotional materials or share on our websites this page has all the code from TheCall Detroit  http://thecall.com/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=1000104419
  3. "Join us in daily prayer on 8 Mile in Detroit."  Listen and share a new Detroit Video of Lou speaking on the significance of this place  http://youtu.be/zdavmQkQlSo
  4. Our latest video message from Lou Engle at Ford Field can be found at this link (Remember, just click on any link to take you to the videos then copy those same links to share with your friends)  http://youtu.be/tzbrgoy01y4
  5. We are in a 40 day fast for TheCall. It is not to late to join in.  For more information go to thecall.com/40dayfast
  6. So we can plan please make sure you register for the event at this link Thecall.com
  7. We have been informed that the first 100 buses coming to Ford Field in Detroit will have have free parking for TheCall gathering so get there early to secure a spot
  8. You can direct other questions you may have on TheCall to  TheCall.com and we will have someone address them.

Urgent message for the church : tonight at Revival Church

I am BURNING with the SHOCK and AWE of God’s plans for the church of Detroit.

DON’T miss the service TONIGHT at Revival Church! I’m burning, trembling.

Our worship leader just texted me: I know God is about to do something crazy tonight! You keep mentioning and army rising and I have been planning to do a new song tonight talking about an army rising up!

I’ll be releasing an URGENT message on the call for a CITY FIRE.

There is a massive transition from local church emphasis to a city church mandate that’s upon us now. We’re moving from an Egyptian model of ministry that keeps us secluded and contained into a dominion model of ministry that expects the wild fire of God to spread.

Steve Gray of World Revival Church in Kansas City said, “Too many people are waiting for a move of God that fits what already exists.”

In Egypt, Pharaoh was demanding that the people STAY while Moses was calling for God’s people to GO. Pharaoh’s kingdom was at risk if he lost people.

We as leaders have to be careful not operate in the spirit of Pharaoh by refusing to let God’s people go. If I find myself getting depressed or nervous when people leave my church, it’s an indicator that I’m influenced by this Egyptian strategy of kingdom building.

Brian Ming said in a song he wrote: God forgive us for building kingdoms of man on doctrines of demons in your name.

God forgive us!

An offensive shift is upon the church and an inappropriate response will result in continued bondage. While there is a lot of good happening within the context of the local church, it is by nature restrictive!

The call of Jesus was to GO while all too often the call of the local church is to STAY!

At Revival Church I have a policy that anybody from any church or ministry can freely recruit any person that’s connected to our ministry. We have open hands. We actually expect people to catch fire here and then impact other churches and cities!

Steve Gray- “Most churches are concerned with losing people and money. I wish they would be a little more concerned with losing the Holy Spirit.”

The fire we are going after cannot be contained at Revival Church. It will die out. It must spread! The carriers of that fire must GO!

For the corporate fire to spread, it must take on the nature of an out of control wild fire that follows the wind and seeks a never ending supply of fuel.

The new church will look nothing like we see now. We must learn how to live in the Spirit if we hope to embrace this uninvited yet deeply needed invasion from Heaven. Everything is at risk.

Come tonight. Get ready to get shocked. Get ready to come alive. Revival is drawing near. See you tonight. Prayer starts at 5pm and the fire starts spreading at 6pm!

We meet at THE TABERNACLE: 14205 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

I’m trembling… the fire is falling in Dearborn

I can’t stop trembling… the fire is simmering and God is moving.

If you are not burning right this very moment in the shock and awe of the fear and the fire of God, and have an option as to what you are doing tonight, should you:

  1. Stay home
  2. Go to a movie
  3. Hang with the family
  4. Relax
  5. Cancel life, find out where encounter is happening, and get there FAST

Choose #5! The fire is burning very deep at the Fire in February conference!

Catherine Mullins just walked in and is scoping out the place for tonight’s event.

I just got back from a pastor’s lunch and prayer event, and, oh man, I’m shaken.

The question was asked, if the people involved in carrying the fire to this region would stay for an extra two weeks, would we show up? Would the people of Detroit show up?

Man, it’s time! It’s time! We absolutely have to cancel as much of life as we can for the sake of contending for revival together.

Show up tonight early. The place will fill up fast. The prayer room before the service will be packed as well. The fire will start burning very, very hot in just a couple of hours… prayer starts at 6:30pm.

The service is free tonight… and we’ll be staying after for more prayer until around 1am.

Let’s go church!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Fire!!!

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