The Seduction of the International House of Prayer (IHOP)

What could be wrong with it? They have the word “prayer” in their title and they talk about Jesus. They are committed to praying 24 hours a day, is there any way that they could have issues? The short answer is YES!! Let me explain.

In short, IHOP is part of what is called the New Apostolic Reformation. Bickle claims to have been to heaven twice. They believe their leaders are or will be present day Apostles in the same order of the Apostles in the Bible. Their leaders claim extra-biblical revelation and call it prophecy. They encourage, use, and promote Roman Catholic mysticism. They have a great emphasis on renewing the miracles in the church. In just a few days from the time of this writing they will have their One Thing Conference 2015 in which they will have a Roman Catholic track as they encourage the worship of Protestants and Catholics together.

If you don’t understand that Roman Catholicism teaches a false gospel then please check out my series called The Light Project which is a study of 8 Cults and World Religions or you can download just the lesson on Roman Catholicism.

Let’s begin by dealing with their leader Mike Bickle. Mike Bickle – started KCF (Kansas City Fellowship) because of divine revelation from man named Augustine.  In 1982 he claims to have heard an audible voice call him to “raise up a work that will touch the ends of the earth.” Which is similar to almost all founders of cults. He joined Wimber and the Vineyard movement in 1990.  Changed name of church to Metro Vineyard.[1]

Mike Bickle claims to hear the audible voice of God and to have been to Heaven twice.[2] In the IHOP-KC store, Mike Bickle says of the book Fire Within – “I want this book to be the manual for IHOPKC.” Fire Within is a book about Roman Catholic Contemplative Mystics St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. (Shout out to John Lanagan on www.worldviewweekend.com for this information).

The bookstore contains many other titles from other Roman Catholic Mystics like Madame Guyon and even one called The Forgotten Desert Mothers. Laura Swan, the author writes, “We begin to discard our old ways and go in search of new ways of communicating with God. Our prayer matures and takes on new forms.” And what are these new forms? Swan states, “Centering prayer, lectio divina, Christian meditation, Taize, and the Divine Office are all sought. Prayer moves us toward the simple: often sitting silently before the Divine in contemplative or centering prayer is all we feel drawn to do.”[3]

Several questions that I (Rex) have about this are, “What do you mean by ‘search for new ways of communicating with God?’” and “Wasn’t there a Reformation?” In the Reformation the Reformers and therefore the Protest-ant Church rejected the teachings and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. They were heretical and against what the Bible taught. This says nothing about how the Roman Catholic mystics got their “new” prayer methods from Hinduism.

If you don’t understand what is wrong with these other forms of prayer like Contemplative Prayer (also called Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, etc.) see my article on “What Is Biblical Meditation?” or watch The Light Project lessons on Emergent Church, New Age, and Hinduism.

Mike Bickle twists Scripture to claim that the Church brings on the Great Tribulation:

“We’re not absent for the great tribulation, now listen carefully, the church causes the great tribulation. What I mean by that – it’s the church, it’s the praying church under Jesus’ leadership that’s loosing the judgment in the great tribulation in the way that Moses stretched forth his rod and prayed and loosed the judgments upon Pharaoh. The church in the tribulation is in the position that Moses was before Pharaoh but it won’t be a Pharaoh and Egypt, it’ll be the great end time Pharaoh called the antichrist and the book of Revelation is a book about the judgments of God on the antichrist loosed by the praying church.”[4]

He claims that there will be a great end-time revival but the Scriptures DO NOT make this claim anywhere. Mike likes to point to the prophecies in Matthew 24 and 25 but instead when we look to Matthew 24:5, 9-12,24 we see the exact opposite.

With his twisted view of prayer and the elevation of “new” prayer methods which are nothing more than Hindu paganism, he goes on to destroy the context of Revelation 22:17 in an attempt to say that the Church has to call Jesus back to the earth before He will come. This is the foundation of IHOP:

Right now the prayer movement is growing fast….really fast! But when I say it’s growing fast instead of one percent of the Body of Christ taking hold of it, maybe 10 percent. It’s….you know it’s like 10 times bigger than it was a generation ago, but beloved as fast as the prayer movement is growing, where people are getting hold of it, still for 90 percent of the Body of Christ it’s not even on their mind. Jesus is not coming until the Body of Christ globally is crying out “Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus” and they don’t just say “come and forgive me” they are crying out in the understanding of who they are as the one that is cherished by Jesus in the bridal identity.

Mike Bickle admits that his prophecies and those of the other “Kansas City Prophets” are not 100% accurate. They have said that a 65% accuracy is pretty good. But as Robert Dean Jr.  points out:

“In Deuteronomy 18:9-22 three tests for prophecy were given: first, a true prophet did not use omens, divination, or any of the means of foretelling used by the pagan fortunetellers; second, they never spoke in the name of other gods or taught that which contradicted the Word of God; third, what they predicted always comes to pass. This third criteria is very important, from it we learn that whatever else prophecy may do in terms of edification, encouraging, or exhorting (1 Cor. 14:3), the critical element of prophecy that distinguishes it from all other gifts is the predictive element.

Prophecy then may be defined as the reception of special revelation and its communication to man. In its doctrine it does not contradict the Scripture and in its predictions it is always accurate, both generally and in specifics.”[5]

We haven’t even gotten into the issues of the Sufficiency of Scripture, Bob Jones the “prophet” who affirmed Bickle in his visions and who regularly saw demons and angles, or the New Breed teachings that are so prevalent at IHOP. We will have to save those for next time. In the meantime however, here are some details of some of the visions that Bickle has had over the years and suggestions on articles and videos for further study at the bottom.

IHOP Visions and Prophecies – These come from the Article “The Dangers of the International House of Prayer (IHOP)” on carm.org.  https://carm.org/ihop and “Documentation of Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries)” by Pastor Ernest Gruen and Members of his staff. http://www.banner.org.uk/kcp/Abberent%20Practises.pdf

  1. On disc 7 of The Prophetic History, Bickle describes a visitation to the throne room of God as he is told that God will be restoring the apostles to the church. Let me preface this by saying that before getting to this point in his message, Bickle described the experience as being on par with the Apostle Paul’s experience in the Third Heaven in 2 Cor. 12 as well as John’s visions.
  1. They’ve been told by church leadership that it is up to them to “usher in” the Second Coming of Jesus. They’ve been encouraged to do away with discernment concerning mystical experiences. They’ve been told that they are “forerunners” of Christ in the same way that John the Baptist was. They’ve been told that the orthodox views of Christianity are weak, and it’s up to them to restore the “true” message of the gospel, using their new “powers from God” to start a revival that will win souls for the Kingdom.”[6]
  1. They could hear from God and speak forth God’s Words, prophesying of great events soon to transpire on planet earth. And they could have flipped a coin as to whether what God allegedly told them would actually come true. Often they didn’t come true. Some of the main prophets and/or leaders in the movement included Paul Cain, Mike Bickle, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner, John Paul Jackson, Francis Frangipane, and others . . . However, he was quoted as saying that the general level of prophetic revelation in the movement’s “prophets” had an accuracy level of about 65 percent. Some prophets were as low as 10 percent accurate, he said, with some of the “most mature” prophets having a rating “approaching 85 percent to 95 percent.” (Steven F. Cannon, “Old Wine in Old Wineskins: A Look at Kansas City Fellowship,” The Quarterly Journal 10, no. 4 (October-December 1990): 8. pfo.org “Growing Pains In The Prophetic (Mike Bickle)”
  1. Bickle claims that a “voice” spoke to him in September 1982, directing him to a ministry to touch the ends of the earth. (Albert James Dager, Vengeance is Ours. Redmond, Wash.: Sword Publishers, 1990, pg. 127). Bickle’s account is as follows: “The Lord simply said, ‘I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.'” (Mike Bickle, Growing in the Prophetic. Lake Mary, Fla.: Creation House, 1996, pg. 30) pfo.org
  1. Bickle speaking, “ . . . but the fact is God showed me that it was truly a healing anointing. It was a tremendously, ah, dynamic dream for my own personal history and what I can understand for the life of this church. There’s a healing anointing He said would be second to no other movement. That’s what He told me directly, it would be second to no other movement in this whole generation, the healing anointing that will come upon this people. . .He (BJ) [Bob Jones] says ‘They took a banner and He (God) put a banner upon you last night and it spoke of the entire movement.’ Then he told me the dream I had and he said the Lord says there will be no movement that will be superior to the healing power that comes forth from this movement . He goes, ‘There will be nothing in the earth that this thing will be second to in the generation.’ I said, ‘God, this is incredible.’” (P.His 2, p. 15-17)[7]
  1. “I (Mike Bickle) stood there and I was at the Lord’s left hand, and it was not a dream–this was as real as life here and like I said, I don’t know that realm . . . He (God) was speaking so sternly to me, He said, ‘If you are impatient . . . you will cause great turmoil and much trouble for many people.’ I was ashamed and I was broken with sorrow that He said that so harshly to me. And then what happened is that I start falling so rapidly–I mean like–S-H-O-O-O-M, it takes about five or six seconds, and fall down to my bed, right through the ceiling–I mean it was right through the walls and things–S-H-O-O-O-M, I hit my bed and it wasn’t like an instant I was there–I had knowledge of travel for five or six seconds. Have you had that?”
  • BJ: “Yes.”
  • MB: “And I was falling so rapidly and I was going like ‘A-H-H-H-H.’ I was coming right down through the black sky . . . And I come right through the ceiling and I hit my bed and I looked for like a half a second, I goes S-H-O-O-O-M right back up again, I go . . . right through the ceiling again! And I understood immediately the impatience was of setting in leadership premature without permission. He said . . . ‘You cannot put leadership in that I do not say, because the leadership will divide and cause much division and many people will suffer great harm and I will hold you accountable for it. ‘ . . . So what happens is this golden chariot, it appears–S-W-O-O-O-P-and it comes right there . . . and I under–I knew intuitively, instantly–it was an apostolic ministry, though it’s only the invitation. It was not a commission. The Lord was not calling me an apostle. He said He was thinking, ‘The days to come, if you’re faithful, you have an opportunity in the grace of God to fill an apostolic calling if you’re faithful to the full measure.’ And I set in the chariot and I went shooting right into a blue sky and I knew as I was going up that it was revelation. He said, ‘I’m going to bring you to divine revelation in the days to come.’ . . . There would be an end-time measure of apostolic ministry that would come out of the fruit of the intercession . . . so like it’s a number of years down the road. But the Lord said that I’m going to bring forth apostles–champions–if the people will live in intercession and ask for them to come . . . And so that was no small visitation in terms of the promise of what God said to this movement . . . And the Lord says, ‘Now you have the word in yourself now and you will not go running after other movements and other places because I have spoken to you face-to-face. ‘ . . . But I know that at that time I owned, . . . from the voice of God–face-to-face (but I never saw His face), but I mean standing next to Him, I owned the word myself and it was not just a matter of me believing Him. It was amazing how the revelation turned after that time.” (F88, p. 81-84)[8]

Articles to read and teaching to listen to/watch:

  1. “Documentation of Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries)” by Pastor Ernest Gruen and Members of his staff. http://www.banner.org.uk/kcp/Abberent%20Practises.pdf
  2. “Mike Bickle and International House of Prayer.” By Bob DeWaay http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue107.htm
  3. “The Dangers of the International House of Prayer (IHOP).” By John Park https://carm.org/ihop
  4. “Mike Bickle of IHOP Wants Book About Catholic Mystics To Be ‘Manual For IHOP-KC’.” By John Lanagan http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/mike-bickle-ihop-wants-book-about-catholic-mystics-be-manual-ihop-kc
  5. “The Vineyard And The Kansas City Prophets” by Robert Dean, Jr. http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/vineyard-and-kansas-city-prophets-report-1991-worth-reading-2011
  6. Listen/ Watch the Strange Fire Conference that John MacArthur held regarding prophets, prophecy, Holy Spirit, miracles, etc. http://www.gty.org/resources/sermon-series/325/strange-fire-conference
  7. Video on Mike Bickle’s false teachings, visions and his connection to the Toronto Blessing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH16L3BL5cw

 

[1] Park, John. The Dangers of the International House of Prayer, Accessed on 1/27/2012. https://carm.org/ihop

[2] McClatchy, 8/8/2009. This IHOP Serves Generous Portions of Prayer, http://www2.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=151677

[3] Swan, Laura. Paulist Press, 5/28/2001. The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Sayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women. https://books.google.com/books?id=l2ZT2wJC92UC&q=pg.161&hl=en#v=onepage&q=centering%20prayer&f=false

[4] DeWaay, Bob. “Mike Bickel and the International House Of Prayer,” Accessed on 1/5/2012 http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue107.htm

[5] Dean, Robert, Jr. “The Vineyard and The Kansas City Prophets,” http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/vineyard-and-kansas-city-prophets-report-1991-worth-reading-2011

[6] https://signofjonah.wordpress.com/2006/07/13/ihop-and-cultural-influences

[7] “Documentation of Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries)” by Pastor Ernest Gruen and Members of his staff.  Online Version page 61-62. http://www.banner.org.uk/kcp/Abberent%20Practises.pdf

[8] “Documentation of Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries)” by Pastor Ernest Gruen and Members of his staff.  Online Version page 61-62. http://www.banner.org.uk/kcp/Abberent%20Practises.pdf

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