The deadline is SUNDAY! Save $100 off theLab Internship by registering no later than Sunday, July 17th!
- But first! Revival Church has an app in the Android Market! Go grab it right now! The iPhone app will be available soon!
- Also, STEVE FAIR will be at theLab Internship this Saturday from 10am-2pm. Trust me. Just trust me. You DON’T want to miss this! You can audit the class for $15. Get ready for some deep breakthrough as Steve ministers in deliverance and healing. Just show up at THE TABERNACLE: 14205 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088.
- And! My book SIX ENEMIES is available NOW on Kindle! Plus! My teaching THE TONE OF THE GROAN is available on CD! Go to www.johnburton.net/resources to check both of these out!
- There’s more! The BRAND NEW Labreport website is ready! Head on over to www.labreportbrand.com right now! New designs are added WEEKLY!
THELAB INTERNSHIP PRE-REGISTRATION DISCOUNT
Then, $100 is due 30 days prior to the start of the internship. The remaining $299 is due on day one of class!
After Sunday, the tuition goes back up to $499.
Go to www.revivallab.com/apply today!
FIRST—Check out a NEW podcast about three ‘spirits’ we need to be paying attention to regarding heresy in the church and prophecy:
- A Jonah spirit
- A false-Berean spirit
- The Spirit of Revelation
Listen here: http://www.cinchcast.com/praytherevolution/68620
Tonight AND tomorrow I’ll be training out of my book Six Enemies of Fulfilled Destiny at the Teen Intensive at the International House of Prayer East Detroit.
Their address is: 19136 10 MIle Rd, Eastpointe, MI 48021.
I’ll teach the first half tonight, and the rest tomorrow evening. It starts at 7pm both nights.
Here are the six enemies we’ll be dealing with:
- Common Sense
- Felt Needs
- Human Desire
- Generic Dreams
- A Belief in Fate
- Reliance on Man
Here’s a sample from the chapter of the book on Reliance on Man:
As New Testament believers, it seems as if we should live our lives by a different code and in a different dimension. The rules are different here. If this is the case, why do we so quickly look for practical and logical solutions to life's problems and goals? Even in the church planting world, the most common discussions on how to be successful revolve around structures, theories, success stories and effective programs. Of course, such discussion can be educational and helpful, though I'm concerned at the overwhelming lack of balance. Where are the discussions on faith? Are people still discussing the power of prayer? Throughout the bible, as has been stated, story after story, principle after principle, truth after truth perpetuates the idea of stepping out into the impossible. Peter did it on the water. Moses did it at the Red Sea. Gideon did it with the Mideonites. David did it with Goliath. The stories are seemingly endless. If this is the case, why do we so often choose to err on the side of safety? On the side of practicality? On the side of logic? The bible clearly directs us to lean NOT on our own understanding.
I don't know how many times I've made a step of faith and people have either murmured or stated directly something like, "That doesn't make sense". Or, "You need to do what has been successful in the past". Or, "Where did you come up with that crazy idea?" Or very often, "You really should gain a consensus, wait it out, don't rush to a decision". Now, in certain instances some of those suggestions would certainly be valid. As has been stated, there is a very important place for Godly wisdom. However, the closer we get to God, the clearer his voice becomes, and the more urgent a decisive response becomes, the more confident we can be in making some radical decisions. In this situation, as we are clearly hearing God's voice, it becomes critical that we err on the side of faith rather than safety. Too many times, human logic has caused one to ignore a directive from Heaven.
An age old question we can ask ourselves is, "What do I have to lose?" If the answer has to do with the loss of respect, loss of friends, loss of safety, loss of comfort, etc., then the answer should be easy. Simply listen to God, capture his heart, and leap in faith! Really, this is an obedience issue. If we choose to err on the side of safety, or the side of maintaining a reputation, then we very possibly may be disobeying God. To be a New Testament believer, as we will see in a later chapter, requires us to live a miraculous life just to be obedient! A New Testament life is an impossible life. So, it only makes ‘sense' to expect most of our key decisions in life will require faith to be successful. We should expect faith to be required. To avoid situations that require faith truly may require disobedience! The bible makes it very clear that, when confronted with a difficult decision, or any decision for that matter, that we are to make a step of faith as opposed to one guided by sight. What we see is not as real as what we cannot see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV) 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Matthew 8:26 (NKJV) 8:26 But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
I can hear the arguments now, "Well, you should only make such a faith step that defies age old wisdom if you know that you know that you know that God has told you something. Otherwise, you should side with wisdom."I agree! This is an interesting point. It may seem as if I'm supporting a haphazard lifestyle. I am not in anyway. Foolishness is not an option. If we are not hearing God clearly, then we must gain some solid wisdom from some pillars of the church. Of course, the Word of God is always the final authority. But, the argument that is being made is really not against the seeking counsel. What is most often heard is a subtle chuckle and smirk when the idea of hearing God is raised. Most people don't truly believe that God speaks clearly and continually to those who are listening! Since they have learned to make their own way, and since they don't subscribe to the idea that God is in constant communication with his people, they believe those who make radical steps of crazy faith to be foolish.
Mark 5:35-36 (NKJV) 5:35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue's house who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only believe."
The unbelievers in the crowd (note they called Jesus ‘Teacher', they were ‘in the church crowd') were highlighting the obvious- the girl was dead. They were saying, "Give us a break! It's a done deal. She is gone." However, faith prevailed. Jesus instructed the man to take a faith step- to fear not and to believe. This step resulted in a miracle. Whatever you do, don't let fear of man stop you from being confident in your relationship with Jesus! The Holy Spirit is active and God is speaking. He will give impossible and radical directives to those who are willing to listen and obey. If we desire to be average Christians, we can err on the side of logic and safety. But, those who wish to venture into a different dimension, into a place of miracles and risk and big dreams then, every day, listen to God, hear his dreams and err continually on the side of faith.
Fear of Man
An entire book could be written on this topic, and, in fact, many have been. Let’s approach this from the perspective of a dreamer. To have a dream is deeply personal, unique and specialized for the person who has received it. A dreamer, or a visionary, who is spending countless hours in the presence of God and who is burning in their spirits to see their vision fulfilled has an important job to do- advance!
They are with God constantly and have heard his voice. The goal is clear. The stirring is endless. However, the process very well may not be clear, or at least it may not be easily communicable. Any visionary who has ever done anything worth writing home (or a book!) about has had to advance, to a large degree, alone. Why is this? The more impossible the dream, the more radical the approach must be. The more radical the approach is, the more it is scrutinized.
Few people ever understand what goes on inside prophetic people who see with spiritual eyes. Therefore, especially if they are in close relationship with the visionary, and ESPECIALLY if they are under the influence of their leadership, their lack of comfort in the process can easily result in a visible lack of support.
They certainly see point A. They see where you are, your weaknesses, your limits and your general situation in life. They may even be able to see point B. The goal may be a great one. There may be agreement on the value of it. It may even generate some excitement. The problem lies on that seemingly never ending dotted line between point A and point B. People who haven’t directly received the vision will, out of frustration or even pride, attempt to offer their two cents on how to fulfill the mission. To them it seems obvious. Maybe they have done it that way in the past. The problem is that they haven’t been given the dream. It’s not theirs.
To further muddy the waters, the visionary may truly not understand the process either. It’s at this point that living a Spirit-led life becomes as critical as life and death itself. The visionary may be receiving a steady stream of ideas, concerns, opinions and pressure from well meaning, and sometimes not so well meaning, people. This type of situation seemingly highlights brightly the weakness and apparent lack of the visionary. The visionary doesn’t know how to proceed and the critic has any number of ‘great ideas’ to offer.
At this point the person who has been entrusted with the precious and sensitive dreams of God must be absolutely free from the fear of man. Fear of scrutiny, of weaknesses being exposed, of murmuring, of not knowing how to defend your position- it all must be broken in our lives.
There are many times in my life where I will receive counsel from well meaning people, and I know in my spirit that I am not to proceed in that direction. Of course, there are times where I seek out counsel from people that the Lord directs me to. There are experts out there who have both practical and spiritual insight that is important to grasp. However, whether I am seeking counsel or whether it’s simply offered to me, I must hear the voice of God myself. Confirmation in my spirit is non-negotiable.
First—Let’s take a Revival Team of fiery, prophetic people to three upcoming ministry events! Join us THIS WEEK!
Also, this Sunday, June 27th at 10:30am I’ll be at Revival Nation Church in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Check them out at www.revivalnation.com.
Are you in the Detroit area? I’m boldly casting the vision for a mass gathering of likeminded, hungry and passionate people at Revival Church every Sunday evening at 6pm.
Simply, we need you! We’re looking for an expectant people to rise up and lock arms with the rest of us at Revival Church as we intentionally and strategically prepare for the upcoming outpouring in Detroit. If you can make a commitment to be with us every Sunday night, I’m fully confident your life will take a turn you never thought possible!
Last night I taught on part two of a message on Jonah. This one is titled A Fish, a Worm and a Wind.
Two key points were addressed:
- There is a ‘spirit of Jonah’ that’s rising up in the religious world right now. It’s a prophetic movement of tearing down men and women of God due to slight doctrinal differences, or due to their vindictive and proud disposition and desire to see fallible people renounced and eliminated from ministry.
- Jonah was known to be an emotional wreck. He went from gladness to depression in record time. Do you find yourself angry or depressed or sad often? You may find freedom as you repent of the same issues that drove Jonah.
Head on over to www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/teaching and listen now.
I got great feedback last week when I included my notes, so here are the notes for last nights teaching:
A Fish, a Worm and a Wind
a. Jonah 2:10 (ESV) And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
i. If anybody in history should have understood mercy and grace, it’s Jonah.
ii. Jonah was a prophet of God, a minister, someone who had a massive life mission to change the world.
1. He was a highly esteemed Prophet of Israel around 786BC.
2. However, he had serious shortcomings.
3. He was vindictive and radically exclusive.
4. Nineveh was a bitter enemy of Israel.
5. He could be compared to the elder brother of the prodigal son who was angered at the father’s unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance of his long lost son.
iii. Last week I mentioned the importance of not living a Jonah 3:1 life:
1. Jonah 3:1 (ESV) Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time…
2. However, you would think that Jonah, after his tragic error of disobedience, would understand the deep love and grace of God.
3. Let’s read his prayer from the belly of the fish that God appointed to deal with Jonah:
4. Jonah 2:1-10 (ESV) 1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2 saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. 3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ 5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. 7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. 8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” 10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
iv. Jonah was saved by God’s mercy and in God’s grace he delivered the prophetic message he was born for.
1. It’s been said that mercy is God’s unmerited favor. Grace is God’s empowering.
2. A fallen minister went through God’s microwaved restoration process and was immediately back in the ministry. This still flawed man of God was called on to save an entire city. God’s grace was with him!
3. Jonah 3:10 (ESV) When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
4. Jonah was furious!
5. Jonah 4:1 (ESV) But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.
6. If we are driven by grace, we will easily love and honor people. Our passion will be their life, not our life.
7. Jonah had a certain right to be angry. After all, he loved truth and was intent in seeing everything unholy and false destroyed. His problem though was simple. His love of truth that resulted in vindictiveness against people clearly showed that his revelation of truth was flawed.
8. However, Jonah had so much hatred for the Assyrians for their past oppression of his people that he could not rejoice over their
v. Check out what he says in chapter 4 verse 2!
1. Jonah 4:2 (ESV) And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
2. Wow! That is an insane verse! We see more clearly now why he ended up in the belly of a fish. It wasn’t because he was scared of prophesying in Nineveh. It wasn’t because it was inconvenient. It was because he knew God was full of grace and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in love! He knew God’s love would prevail instead of judgment!
3. Matthew Henry- There appeared in Jonah remains of a proud, uncharitable spirit; and that he neither expected nor desired the welfare of the Ninevites, but had only come to declare and witness their destruction.
4. Jonah 4:3-4 (ESV) 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
5. He would rather die than partake in the grace and mercy of God.
a. We see a movement today that has this unhealthy spirit of Jonah fueling it.
b. We have to be careful not to be so focused on our righteousness and other’s failures, we can’t trumpet truth in such a way that it results in the destruction of others as it would be reveal an inaccurate revelation of truth.
vi. Jonah finds himself outside of God’s grace yet again.
1. He was known to have emotional mood swings—he was depressed yet again.
2. Heaviness, depression and anger can be an indicator that we are living outside of God’s grace, and God will do much to draw us back in.
3. We can’t presume to be delivered from depression without repentance and release of the ideals that put us there.
4. Check out what Jonah did.
5. Jonah 4:5 (ESV) Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city.
6. Jonah reverted to the demeanor of a five-year-old.
7. He built a fort and pouted.
vii. So, what did God do? Did he send a wise man of God to counsel him? Did he reason with him? Nope. Jonah should know that God would do something bizarre. He should have remembered that God had previously appointed a fish to deal with his issues.
1. Jonah 1:17 (ESV) And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
viii. Now, in Jonah’s even more ridiculous situation, God appoints a wise and mighty plant.
1. This verse is hilarious:
2. Jonah 4:6 (ESV) Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant.
3. Yeah! A plant! This emotionally unbalanced prophet went from depression to being exceedingly glad in a moment.
4. However, his joy is rooted in selfishness. He was rejoicing over his own comfort as he sat overlooking a city that he wished God would change his mind again and annihilate.
5. Now, God’s sense of humor in Jonah’s embarrassing state wasn’t done.
6. Jonah 4:7 (ESV) But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.
7. Psyche! Just kidding! No comfort for you! You big baby!
8. God wasn’t done.
9. Jonah 4:8 (ESV) When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
a. Common to the Middle East, the wind was a dust-laden, furnace-like blast of heat that parches the body by evaporating perspiration.
b. He wanted to die because of this worm and wind. His own shelter couldn’t even comfort him!
10. Jonah 4:9 (ESV) But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.”
a. His lack of mercy and grace resulted in deep depression from a worm and a wind.
b. But God caused him to deeply care for the plant. He loved the plant. He was mad at the worm and the wind and the beating down sun for killing his plant.
c. Are you in that place? Are you continually depressed or angry because of seeming ridiculous reasons?
d. Do you blame others for your condition? If so, listen closely, it’s possible evidence that you are operating in an unhealthy spirit of Jonah. That heart of blame is an indicator that we expect to be served instead of to serve.
e. Of course, God used this lesson to show how much God loved Ninevah.
11. Jonah 4:10-11 (ESV) 10 And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
a. Bachman-the right hand is the symbol of the good realm, the hand that symbolizes power and righteousness. The left hand, by contrast, is the symbol of evil, the hand used to curse and used to clean oneself. Each realm is opposite to each other and
should not be mixed. So when it is said that Nineveh cannot tell their right hand from their left, it is saying that they have no discernment, no knowledge of ethics or the basics of life (Bachmann 54).
b. The last few words, “and much cattle” were intentional to display how far God’s grace extends.
c. The animals were included in the king’s decree for repentance in chapter 3.
d. Our amazing God won in dramatic fashion. His mercy and grace saved and entire city of precious people, AND he lovingly took Jonah by the hand and helped him understand God’s heart.
II. The Takeaway
a. If we are driven by selfishness, a religious spirit that embraces truth but despises people or by pride and selfish ambition, we can expect God to appoint a fish, a worm and a wind to our situation.