Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Dangers of IHOP and the "IHOP Dilemma"

My Declaration Against the International House of Prayer (IHOP)

There is a big divide today in evangelical Christianity on the issue of spiritual gifts (see my post here). I feel the need to mention this first, because people often times mistake this question when talking about IHOP. Let me state it clearly, the issue is not whether or not there has been a continuation of the sign gifts since the early apostolic church.

The question is whether or not the leadership and teachers of IHOP are false prophets.

Yes, I've chosen my words carefully. I do not want to get into an argument about spiritual gifts. What I want to get into is rather - Are the prophecies from IHOP false or true? And what are the consequences of that. Repeat this is not an argument over the existence of prophecy b/c if the sign gift of prophecy is in existence today than we need to be ever more diligent against false prophecy not less so. Am I making a big fuss over nothing? No, I am not. I am seeing this place taking over people's lives. People have quit jobs, moved from around the country, and moved from around the world to get trained there. I know people who want to move to IHOP now, who want to move based on certain "prophecies" from them, heard testimony of churches being split b/c of them, parents who have basically lost their children (there is blog out there about a mom's woes... can't find it tell me if you do), and I was even asked to translate a "prophecy" tape! Not to mention, the hordes of young people that do not have the Biblical knowledge to make a discerning judgment about them go there and even come across the country to go their youth retreats.

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I have seen several kinds of people associated with IHOP.

1) There are charismatic people who simply go to IHOP to pray and have no idea what IHOP really believes.

2) There are people not involved with IHOP and support them because they see passionate people who are dedicated to prayer and worship, but have absolutely no idea why they have a 24/7 prayer and music ministry (it's in connection with the bogus teachings of the "Tabernacle of David," "Harp and Bowel movement," and having to do with ushering Jesus' return - yeah i'm not joking you thought they were praying and worshiping b/c it was just a good idea, huh? - Read more go here)

3) There are also young Christians and/or Christians who do not have a strong knowledge of the Bible who have unfortunately fallen victim to them.

4) People who have left IHOP and no longer associate with them. Including Pastor Ernie Gruen, someone who is fully convinced that prophecy exists for today, has complied a 123 page manuscript of testimonies and personal experiences of the horrors of IHOP, including a death of a baby b/c of a prophesy during a home group meeting. This document can be found here. (I told you this is not about spiritual gifts, even charismatics are vehemently against IHOP)

5) Leaders: The leadership and teachers are to be held accountable as such as it says in James 3:1 "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment."

As such, they are like the church of Thyatira in Revelation 2 with good deeds and service, but tolerating false prophets:

Revelation 2:18"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira [IHOP] write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: 19'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. 20'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel [the men Mike Bickle,Paul Cain, Allen Hood, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner, John Paul Jackson, Francis Frangipane] who calls herself [themselves] a prophetess [prophets], and she teaches and leads [they teach and lead] My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21'I gave her [them] time to repent, and she [they] does [do] not want to repent of her [their] immorality. 22'Behold, I will throw her [them] on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her [them] into great tribulation, unless they repent of her [their] deeds.

God has put on my heart to be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth, to forgive these people, but by no means let their sins go unnoticed (yes that's basically God's description of Himself in Exodus 34:6-7).

Rember the point of bring this up is to bring these people back to or perhaps for the first time to God. Not to merely tear them down, but to the Godly rebuke that will show them the error of their ways, repent of their sins, and become closer to God (cf. Galatians 6:1 Matt 18:15, 2
Cor 7:8-10)

A couple of other verses I'd like to keep in mind are :

2 Timothy 2:24
The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

As Paul told Timothy, we should be kind, gentle, patient, and rely on God to grant them repentance for it is not merely a problem of the intellect, but the devil is holding them captive!

So how bad is false prophecy?

Would we as a church let anyone be a leader, let alone start a church or seminary that committed adultery or murder on a weekly basis? Then why should we let anyone be a leader at a church who falsely prophesies on a weekly basis? False prophecy is one of the most heinous sins in the Bible and I'm sure the case can be made that it is worse than adultery and could give murder a run for its money. In fact it is one of the 16 things that deserved the death penalty in the OT (Dave Miller, Ph.D).

Here are some verses highlighting the heinousness of false prophecy:

Deut 13:1"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes true... 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD... 4"You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His
commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5"But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death,

Deut 18:20 'But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.'

Jeremiah 27:15 for I have not sent them," declares the LORD, "but they prophesy falsely in My name, in order that I may drive you out and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you."

Zechariah 13:2"It will come about in that day," declares the LORD of hosts, "that I will cut
off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. 3"And if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who gave birth to him will say to him, 'You shall not live, for you have spoken falsely in the name of the LORD'; and his father and mother who gave birth to
him will pierce him through when he prophesies.


And sure enough there was a reason why God gave these warnings to his OT people:

1 Kings 18:22Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal's prophets are 450 men.

2 Chronicles 18:5Then the king of Israel assembled the [false] prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?" And they said,
"Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king." 6But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?"

Ezekiel 13:9 "So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord GOD.

Isaiah 9:15 The head is the elder and honorable man,And the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail

What kind of prophesies were these false prophets making?

Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.

Jeremiah 23:25" I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, 'I had a dream, I had a dream!' 26"How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart,

Zechariah 10:2For the teraphim [idols] speak iniquity,
And the diviners see lying visions
And tell false dreams;
They comfort in vain
Therefore the people wander like sheep,
They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.
3"My anger is kindled against the shepherds,

Here is another very important point - What is the penalty for not listening to God's prophets?

Daniel 9: 6"Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land... 10nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11"Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him."

2 Chronicles 36:12;15-20 He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for the LORD.15The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; 16but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy. 17Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand. 18All the articles of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his officers, he brought them all to Babylon. 19Then they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all its fortified buildings with fire and destroyed all its valuable articles. 20Those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia

Zechariah 1:4"Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds "' But they did not listen or give heed to Me," declares the LORD. 5"Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6"But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers?

Zechariah 7:12"They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.

Nehemiah 9:30 "However, You bore with them for many years,
And admonished them by Your Spirit through Your prophets,
Yet they would not give ear. Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
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The New Testament has the same attitude about false prophecy as well:
Heinousness of false prophesy (and teaching)

Rev 2:2 [To the church of Ephesus] 'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false...6Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Rev 2:14 [To the church of Pergamum] 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam [who was a false prophet], who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15'So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.

Rev 2:20'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess...'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23'And I will kill her children with pestilence

Galatians 1:8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed [go to hell]! 9As we have
said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed [go to hell]!

Warnings about false prophets

Matthew 7:15 Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 24:11"Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many...

Mark 13:21"And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is
there'; do not believe him; 22for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. 38If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.

1 Thess 5:20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

2 Thess 2:2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by
a spirit
or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

What kind of false prophesies are they making

Colossians 2:18Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

2 Peter 2:1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the
Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

2 Peter 3:15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother
Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you
, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that
you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastnes

The penalties for not listening to prophecies

Matthew 11:1 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities...20Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22"Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23"And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24"Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."

Matthew 16: 18"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

Luke 10:16"The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." [In regards to the seventy He sent out that did not include the 12 apostles]

Rev 22:18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone [including IHOP] adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19and if anyone [including IHOP] takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
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But they're good people...

Before we move on people love to point out their experiences and others point out that people at IHOP are "good people." I'm not going to disagree, but honestly if you compared them to many Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses I know, they are not as good as them. Seriously, I will give credit to the Mormons and JWs, b/c they are very good people. The point being "good people" does not mean you are not into "false prophecy." Remember, the church of Thyatira with good deeds but still tolerating false prophecy? All people sin and unfortunately IHOPers' sin is false prophecy. Besides, Paul makes it absolutely clear just b/c someone seems good it means nothing:

2 Corinthians 11:13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Now these guys constantly go on about the miraculous things they see, but the Bible is full of warnings like these. Many, many of their testimoneies go like this "I believe in Jesus and I heard prophesies come true, demons being cast out, and so many other miraculous things!" However Jesus gives us this amazing warning that is so dead on:

Matthew 7:15 Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves... 22"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

It seriously strikes me as so amazing, how closely what IHOPers say and this match up. Consider this, Jesus is talking about somebody here right? I cannot think of anyone else that fits this description more perfectly than the leadership of IHOP. Often times we hear these verses in a sermon and they are (rightly so) apply to people who work for the Lord, but are not truly saved. However, the direct warning and application are about people who say they prophesy, cast out demons, and perform miracles - a direct correlation to IHOP. I pray that God would reveal to them the error of their ways and save the people hearing their destructive heresy.

Furthermore the Bible is super clear that miracles will and do happen at the hands of false prophets.

Here is a short list:

1) Exodus 7:11"Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. 12For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs." This also happens in Exodus 7:22, 8:7, and 8:18.

2) Prophecies from God, but through bad people: Balaam (?and his donkey?) (Numbers 22-25); Saul (1 Samuel 10:10-12), and Caiaphas (John 11:49-52).

3) The Fortune teller in Acts 16

4) Remember the Judas was an apostle and performed many miracles (cf. Matthew 10:1)

5) The Anti-Christ and his false prophet will be people with amazing powers!

2 Thess 2:8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,

Rev 13:3
I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" ... 12He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

No matter your interpretation of these verses, it is clear that just because people do miraculous things - IT DOESN'T MEAN ITS FROM GOD!

6. Misc.

Matthew 24:24
"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25"Behold, I have told you in advance.

Acts 13:6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus

2 Chron 18:18 Micaiah said, "Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left. 19The LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said this while another said that. 20"Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.' And the LORD said to him, 'How?'

21"He said, 'I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' Then He said, 'You are to entice him and prevail also. Go and do so.' 22"Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, for the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you." [We see her God sending a deceiving spirit why - B/C its a judgment of disaster!]
Here is a great quote from Dr. John MacArthur from his sermon "Are Experiences a Valid Source of Truth?"

There is the ploy they use, "Well, we would expect you to be against it since you haven't had the experience." That is Gnosticism. That is believing that you have been elevated to a higher level of comprehension which the uninitiated have no understanding. Rodman Williams, who has written a number of books and who was once the president of a local Charismatic school, and I quote said, "Any vital information concerning the Gifts of the Spirit, the Pneumatic Charismata, predisposes a participation in them. Without such a participation, whatever is said about the Gifts may only result in confusion and error." If you haven't had it, you have no right to talk about it. One pastor said to me, "You talk exactly like one who never had the experience. You are speaking out of ignorance." I wonder if they feel that way talking about Heaven, Hell, murder, adultery, homosexuality, and numerous other subjects. Do we have to have that experience too?

My experience and your experience is not the test or proof of Biblical truth, it is the reverse--Biblical truth must validate or invalidate any experience. Doctrinally, it is almost impossible to define the Charismatic movement. It almost resists theology. It resists categorization because it has such a wide and growing spectrum of viewpoints. If they don't rightly divide the Word of God they are not going to come to a proper Systematic Theology. If they determine what is true because of their own experiences then there is no limit to the theology; it will take whatever form experience takes. And so what you have is a very amorphous kind of volatile changing systems of beliefs that ebbs and flows and rises and falls and refuses to find any structure.
I just want to restate Deuteronomy 13 here b/c we can now really see what God was saying:

Deut 13:1"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes true...3the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD... 4"You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

The IHOP Dilemma

All that background information was necessary in order to see the incredibly HUGE dilemma on our hands. When someone comes to you and they say that God gave them a clear audible and/or visual revelation (dream, vision, prophecy, etc.) you are now in what I will call the IHOP Dilemma.

We have seen the seriousness of false prophecy and of disobeying genuine ones. You are in an IHOP Dilemma b/c you are now forced to choose:

1) Whether or not this person is proclaiming falsehood in God's name and thus incurring the steep penalty of false prophesying and being a false prophet

or

2) If this person is actually speaking truth from God, we are bound to listen or face incurring the steep penalty of disobeying God's very own commands and His prophet
.

Unfortunately, this puts the rest of Christianity in a hard situation, b/c we now have to make the determination whether IHOPers are false prophets or true prophets and treat them as such. We cannot merely remain neutral either. How can we be neutral on God's revelation or on egregious sin within the church? Its like someone saying the pastor cheated on his wife or that he murdered someone and saying, "Hmm... let me think about that and get back to you later." No, you're now in a tough situation and you have to make a hard decision!
Unfortunately, many IHOPers have no idea what they are doing when they supposedly are "prophesying." As I said, they do not have a strong Biblical foundation, it is truly experience driven, and their experience drives their interpretation of the Bible.
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The False Prophecy of IHOP

Now, that we have all this down, we must see the IHOP Dilemma that the leadership of IHOP has put us in by examining their "prophecies" and claims:

1. "Mike Bickle is really no different in this respect. 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.

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."


(source:http://signofjonah.wordpress.com/2006/07/13/ihop-and-cultural-influences)
2. 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.)

Bob Jones claims that when he was nine years old living in Arkansas, an angel carrying a "great trumpet" came riding down from the sky on a white horse and stopped before him in the middle of a dirt road. He didn't know what to make of it until he was thirteen, when he was escorted to the very throne room of God in heaven.

You say that you saw the throne room?" Bickle asked him in the dialogue. ". . . what did it look like?"

"It looked like gold and it looked like light and it was a light not like the light you see here which is artificial," he responded, adding that the light, the glory of the Lord, frightened him. Well, a "guide," which he identified as "the angel of the Lord ' " protected him from danger by standing between him and the throne by filtering the rays from God as if the angel was "like red sunglasses."" He said he later understood that this was God's way of calling and commissioning him for their new important earth-changing work that could go out from America's Midwest. Many years later, in August 1975, Bob Jones claims he had a near-death experience that was caused by a severe, painful nosebleed. He was whisked into heaven. Jones said: "... all of a sudden, the pain was gone. And I was in a dark place and I looked around and I could see that I was in a cave and I looked down there and then my thoughts were, "Oh, Lord, did I get my robe clean? Did I have enough time?" And there was a man that walked beside me and he said, "You can look now, Bob, and see"and I looked down and my robe was like crystal light." 28

He then saw Jesus in the form of a light who would grab and kiss" men and women of different ages and then make them disappear by absorbing them into his body! "It was like two big ole doors right here in his heart and it'd be just that, and they was gone," Jones said. "They was in his heart He then saw people that Jesus didn't want who were on "an elevator and an escalator" to hell which was like "a cold storage place." Jesus then commissioned him to touch the leaders in a new last days church so that he could absorb "a billion souls unto myself in the last day," Jones said. 29
A short time later God "came and took me out of the body," and he descended into hell. It was "one of the most dreary, dreadful places I've ever been," Jones said. "It was like a place like a void, it had no top, bottom or nothing you could see-it was like black auto smoke and we went deeper and deeper into the depths." 30
(source Mike Bickle with Bob Jones, Visions and Revelations, transcript, series of five tapes from the fall of 1988: 28. Ibid., 14, 15. 29. Ibid., 15. 30. Ibid., 16)

Mike Bickle's Visions:

Later Bickle relates that during his trip to heaven Jesus commissioned him to be one of God's new generals to lead his end time army. Although Bickle claims he met with "the Lord" face-to-face, it was an out-of-body experience. It was 2:16 A.M. he said, and in a flash he was there, but it wasn't the cave where Jones earlier related he had been. Instead he was standing in a 20-by 30-foot room that "had clouds on the bottom, on the top and the walls". It was the courtroom of God. God was in the room, Bickle said, but rather than appearing as a being of light, he was a presence that Bickle wouldn't look at.

God rebuked him for not being patient enough in choosing leaders for his movement. Later the being ordered Bickle to ride in a golden chariot-one of about thirty-five-in a procession of leaders, apostles and prophets, who would be joining the movement that would someday be worldwide. Bickle said that during the trip God did not commission himas an apostle. But he said he understood the experience to mean that if he was faithful he would "have an opportunity in the grace of God to fill an apostolic calling."


But it was behind those doors where Jones's ministry ended. Two women came forward in 1991 and told Vineyard leaders that Jones had used his prophetic authority to touch and fondle them sexually. (Roy Rivenburg, "A Question of Faith," Los Angeles Times, 28 January 1992, sec. El, P. 8.) Jones admitted it and was removed from ministry. "In recent months, I have manipulated certain people for selfish reasons on the basis of my prophetic gifting," Jones said in a statement that he dictated and signed before the Metro Vineyard Fellowship senior leadership on November 4, 1991. "I have been guilty of sexual misconduct, and I deeply regret this. (I have not committed adultery.) "


3. More of Mike Bickle's "Prophecies"

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)

Bickle carries on the tradition of his former colleague, the late faith healer John Wimber. Wimber died of cancer in spite of all his "power evangelism" and purported powers.

Bickle, as noted above, endorses the false prophet Bob Jones.
(Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival. Dallas: Word Publishers, 1997, pp. 145 150) He also claims to have "about 250 people" at his church in a prophetic network "who regularly receive dreams, visions and prophetic words from the Lord." (Growing in the Prophetic, op. cit., pg. 182)

Bickle boasts connections with other prophets as well:

"At Metro Christian in Kansas City we are associated with several prophetic people of international stature. Some have lived in Kansas City, and others have been related by friendship. We also relate to about a dozen people who have full time traveling prophetic ministries and many people who regularly have prophetic dreams and visions."
(Growing in the Prophetic, op. cit., pg. 139)

Even more frightening is Bickle's Appendix on "God's Manifest Presence."(Growing in the Prophetic, op. cit., pg. 196. 227) In this section, Bickle presents a list of phenomena from contemporary experience such as:

"Shaking, jerking, loss of bodily strength, heavy breathing, eyes fluttering, lips trembling, oil on the body, changes in skin color, weeping, laughing, 'drunkenness,' staggering, travailing, dancing, falling, visions, hearing audibly into the spirit realm, inspired utterances (that is, prophecy), tongues, interpretation; angelic visitations and manifestations; jumping, violent rolling, screaming, wind, heat, electricity, coldness, nausea as discernment of evil, smelling or tasting good or evil presences, tingling, pain in the body as discernment of illnesses, feeling heavy weight or lightness, trances (altered physical state while seeing and hearing into the spirit world), inability to speak normally and disruption of the natural realm (for example, electrical circuits blown)."
(Growing in the Prophetic, op. cit., pg. 209)

Much of the above can be found in a cultic Ashram or a mental institution, or could be caused by sickness, drugs, sleep loss, brain damage, altered states of consciousness or, worst of all, demons. Who ever imagined there would be a day when we would be discussing the horrible mess above as viable for church worship?

Bickle would have us believe that he has heard choirs of angels performing Handel's Messiah and claims:

"Many people who have had heavenly encounters and returned to tell about them have spoken of the marvelous music they heard in heaven. People who have had experiences of having their ears open to the spirit realm have testified of hearing the angelic choirs and music. In fact, I had an experience like this myself."
(Growing in the Prophetic, op. cit., pg. 162)

(original source: http://www.pfo.org/growingpains.htm )

There is so much much more - Just google it!
*******

The Grossly Wrong Theology of IHOP

Now, I don't have a professional degree in theology, but I have studied it a lot and have seen and heard many ideas. For sure there are many controversies in the church, dispensationalism vs covenant theology, Calvinism vs Arminianism, and of course cessationists vs charimastics, and though I have my own opinions and disagree with the otherside on the issues, I have found my competitors arguments to be well founded.

Why do I bring this up? Because IHOP has some terribly horrendous theology. The only way I can surmise how they came up with these ideas is through false prophesy. In all earnestness, these specifics of IHOP, theologically speaking are terrible! The vast majority of Christian theologians look at this and say, "How did they ever come up with this stuff?"

I put the bad theology part after prophecy - why you ask? If there is a disagreement on predestination, the Calvinist and Arminian go to the Bible and show their views and at the end of the day, we both have our convictions on who is right, b/c of what we see in the Bible. However, on these controversial (to say the least) IHOP issues, if you have regular revelations from God Himself on an issue, you must be right! For how can you argue with God?

Here are the aberrant theologies that these "so-called" prophets hold on to (I got this from their website):

1. The Manifest Sons of God theology

2. The Latter Rain

3. Dominion Theology

4. Joel’s Army

5. The use of Prophecy

6. The Tabernacle of David

7. The Bridal Paradigm

8. The belief that the office of Apostle is still open (an almost unheard of teaching in evangelical Chrstianity)

9. View of the Song of Solomon*

10. Apostolic Pre-Millennialism/Post-tribulationalism*

11. Contemplative Prayer

[I recommend searching links at the bottom of this entry especially Sign of Jonah, Cross+Word: In Truth Ministries , and Discernment Ministries. Remember to use the search engines on the page]

Numbers "9" and "10" are have a little * next to them b/c there are legitimate controversies in regarding the interpretation of the Song of Solomon in regards to its spiritualization (though they have their own unique and odd view) and post-tribulationalism. However, I must reemphasize that if you have the gift of prophecy and God talks to you and tells you a prophecy in regard to one of these controversial issues, you have the right answer and NOT B/C OF THE BIBLE, rather b/c God actually spoke to you. Now this doesn't always happen directly (though I think it has), but take for example the "prophecy tape" was asked to transcribe. One of the "prophets" quoted Song of Solomon and used a spiritualized meaning of one of the verses. Obviously, this "prophet" had no idea what he or she was doing, unknowingly gave God's stamp of approval that indeed Song of Solomon is definitely a metaphor for the Church and Christ. Dangerous stuff! (By the way this same prophet initially did not know whether a verse came from 1 or 2 Corinthians...) As for the first 7 teachings, haven't heard of them? Well you and really everone else, they are very strange, unique, and very specific to the radical charismatic movement in general and are so odd that most systematic theology texts do not even talk about them.
****

The Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura

One of the biggest issues of this movement is not only their inappropriate use and interpretations of the Bible, but their denial of one of the bedrock doctrines of the Reformation and evangelical Christianity: Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone. Sola scriptura is the notion that the Bible is whole revealed will of God and all that is necessary for faith (all teachings are contained within the Bible) and practice (the things we need to govern our church and everyday life). For an excellent explanation of this by Dr. Greg Bahnsen go here. Basically, God does not need to give us anymore revelation and this was first used in the Reformation against the Roman Catholic church that said we needed their traditions and clergy, but now it is directly under attack by IHOP. They might say they believe in it, but their actions outright deny it.

Let me explain, when Christians need to know anything about God's will pertaining anywhere from the atonement of Christ to buying a used car, b/c God has given his complete revelation in the Bible, we do not need to look at another place to know what God would say. So let's say I'm buying a used car, I see the Bible says to seek counsel, be wise, be humble, be good steward of my money, and that if my conscience is good that it would be a good idea to buy the car. The Holy Spirit can definitely illuminate and convict my conscious - BUT THAT IS A FAR CRY FROM HEARING GOD'S AUDIBLE VOICE AND SEEING JESUS.

When people from IHOP make decisions they do not use the Bible as the only revealed revelation from God b/c they supposedly still get direct revelations from Him, thereby denying a 100% reliance on the Bible. Now they might say all prophecy needs to be checked against the Bible, but the point is they cannot say the Bible is the whole revealed will of God. To make it more clear, just imagine yourself making a big decision, say on where to serve in the church:

1st Scenario: You pray, read the Bible, find out what spiritual gift you have, what kind of strengths you have, talk to your pastor, then with a clean conscience and conviction you go ahead and serve in whatever position.

2nd Scenario: You pray, read the Bible, find out what spiritual gift you have, what
kind of strengths you have, talk to your pastor, then God tells you in a dream, you hear His voice, or someone prophesies that you should do this or that position. Then you go ahead and serve based on whatever God's direct revelation said.

See how they are not directly and 100% dependent on the Bible?!?! They deny this very doctrine that defines the protestant and evangelical faith. Sadly this kind of story happens all the time...
*******

Conclusion

We have seen that the issue with IHOP is not about whether tongues and prophecy exists for today, rather it is simply are the leaders of IHOP false prophets? If so, their whole ministry which was started by these prophecies is not of God than by necessity of the devil.

We have also seen that both the OT and the NT give multiple warnings about false prophets (which means they are out there) and the seriousness of the sin that false prophecy is. We should not tolerate this heinous sin. On the flip side, we have seen the multiple warnings that we must obey God's true prophets and prophecies or face severe consequences of disobeying God Himself.

Unfortunately that puts the rest of Christianity in the IHOP Dilemma and by seeing the types of dreams and teachings they propound, it is obvious that they are not receiving messages from our all powerful and thrice Holy God. Many, many Christians have responded and now IHOP and Mike Bickle are questioned as a cult group (see "Apologetics Index a Christian Anti-Cult Group" click here)

If you know anybody who is interested in IHOP or doesn't know what they are about please send them to this article, in order to warn them of the danger there! These guys are trying to take their false prophetic message and spread their sin and poison, not only in the US, but in Europe and Asia too. A tactic they try to ploy is, "You've never been there you gotta come and see for yourself." Do we need to go to a Mormon or JW church to know that they are wrong? NO! IHOPs beliefs have nothing to do with going there or not, they need to be defended intellectually and biblically.

Remember too that Satan cannot take away your salvation, but can render you totally ineffective for God's Kingdom. Remember Ted Haggard (who was friendly with IHOP nonetheless...) was president of a national evangelical association and head pastor of a church, but b/c of sin he is totally ineffective now, though saved. I have seen people with great productive lives and immense potential to be used by God, only to be snuffed out by IHOP by giving up their careers and receiving training there.

So remember that although the people there are good people, this does not mean they are not engaged in gross sin. In our hearts we care for them, but we must stay true to the Word of God and if you really do love them, bring them back to God with the Truth.

I leave you with this final verses:
James 5:19My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Jeremiah 5:31 "The prophets prophesy falsely,And the priests rule on their own authority;And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?"
_________________
For more information on the dangers of IHOP: (Be sure to go to search and put in "IHOP" and/or "Mike Bickle" on these pages search engine)

Apologetics Index an Anti-Cult Christian Group
The Gospel Masquerade *Former Staff Member! Highly Recommended*
Sign of Jonah - *Lots of Good Info*
Cross+Word: In Truth Ministries - *Lots of Good Info*
Pastor Ernie Gruen's 123 Page Documentation - Lots of Personal Testimonies
The Grey Coats
Discernment Research Group
Discernment Ministries
Ministry of John MacArthur - Scroll down to "Charismatic Chaos"
Critical Issues Commentary
Light House Trails Research Project
Pyromaniacs
Apologetics Research Center

116 comments:

Zack said...

Very good prose. Well thought out, and your articulation is good. I think your case against IHOP comes from a good and needed place.
We need people not buying into false prophets- dangerous stuff.
We need people knowing the truth of the Word and following the gospel Christ with Steadfastness.

For that i thank you for this rather prolific entry.

However, just so you know you are misunderstanding, and or do not know about 10 things about what IHOP is to be making this bold of a claim.

If you did, I know you would have written a very different post. One of praise not discredit.

I am well tenured in conversations such as these, and know where they lead. If you wish to have a serious dialog of sharing facts I'd be happy to oblige.

If you wish to sling accusations then i will have to refrain from the conversation because I have grown weary of always coming from the defensive.

But i will say from being in your shoes once, having experienced IHOP and their people first person, I can with out any doubt say that your post is false.

Bless you sir

Zack

The Predestined Blog said...

Dear Zack,

Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately, I do know what IHOP is about and it is affecting me personally. I haven't just been reading blogs and commenting as is popular.

You say that I have well thought case, but at the same time am slinging accusations. I've also had many unfruitful discussions (some good ones though), needless to say at the end of the day we must all face the IHOP dilemma and make a difficult choice.

I've backed up my claims and the Scripture overwhelming supports me and those who share my beliefs.

I pray that you can submit your experiences to the Bible and not have the Bible submit to your experiences.

Zack said...

Your scriptural backing is to prove that we should be wary of false prophets. -Agreed

Your references to IHOP being false prophets is backed by blog posts at SofJ. I no personally that SofJ's facts are an outsiders perspective. and are purely speculative.

IHOP denounces the list of beliefs you posted, not endorses them. Manifest sons of God, Dominion theology, Latter Rain etc. IHOP regularly has denounced those things. Another speculation not founded in fact.

Your concern about extra biblical revelation being exalted or added to the cannon is a very valid concern- However not warranted in this case.

IHOP's core value is the sanctity of scripture. Prophecies are not allowed if they do not line up with scripture. Not sure where you stand on the cessation or continuation of the gifts. But neither belief is heresy simply a denominational difference. Tertullian believed in the continuation, Johnathan Edwards in the cessation, Neither were heretics and dangerous in their theology.

Most of this post is written out of personal offense and speculation, not actual facts and scholarship. Not challenging your intelligence, as it seems to be great, simply challenging this individual post.

Claims based on personal offense and speculation against the body of Christ help no one.

Blessings to you as we all grow in the grace of Christ.

To His glory

Zack

The Predestined Blog said...

Dear Zack,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I am a cessationist and I have a blog about that here if you are interested. I will respond in kind to your comment and i just want to say now that I am not trying to be harsh and excuse me if my tone comes out that way. But truly, I want you to come back to the truth so I am passionate - not hateful :)

Let me just note however that it is ironic you bring up Tertullian. Tertullian did not merely believe in charismatic gifts, but was unfortunately, like everyone else in IHOP, caught up in charismatic heresy. His was called Montanism (which btw was declared heresy, though, Tertullian was not) that is why (though I think he was saved) he is never called in church history "Saint" Tertullian. This the fate I want people like you to avoid Zack!

1) As for speculation, there are myriads of references (and not just the websites). So that should settle that, unless of course you are flatly deny that Mike Bickle or Bob Jones got prophecies...

2) Scholarship

What I was showing was how bad false prophecy was and then I had to document false prophecies from IHOP. What's wrong with that? All the quotes original sources are referenced and some are the very tapes and books Mike Bickle and Bob Jones authored.

3)Theology of IHOP

I did not say that there was only one view of manifest sons of God, Dominian Theology etc, like I would never say there is only 1 view of the atonement, salvation, etc. The fact is IHOP does hold to these things. See here http://www.ihop.org/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=1000010501

They disagree with some interpretatons of those views, but they still accept modified versions.

4) Personal Offense and Speculation

This is simply not true. I know people there and have heard their testimonies to see how dangerous it can be. None of my arguments are based on speculation, just facts.

5)Body of Christ

I don't know how you know Mike Bickle and Bob Jones are in the Body of Christ. If I had to bet, I think they are not, therefore I am not attacking anyone in the Body. In fact, I am trying to save genuine ppl who are in the Body of Christ from this danger

6) Not addressing any of my claims

Zack, you have not addressed any of my claims with any sort of logical argument. You have in no way shown that Mike Bickle is not a false prophet and you have definitely not interfaced at all with the IHOP dilemma.

I understand that you might have just wanted to say you disagree without getting too into it and if that is the case then I will let you be. However, it is clear from our interaction, you have not dealt with the main points from my article.

The Predestined Blog said...

edit: Some do say Tertullian was declared a heretic...

Please just think about that...

Zack said...

So I have a question for you. You are obviously a Reformed Calvinist. Really the only denomination I've encountered with a problem with IHOP.

You say Mike is not within the Faith. A pretty bold and judgmental claim to make. I could try to be as rash and make the same judgment call about you. I won't because that would be ludicrous.

So since we know you are a Ref./Cal. I can then assume you check everything through the Five Solas of the Reformation:

# 1 Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
# 2 Sola fide ("by faith alone")
# 3 Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
# 4 Solus Christus ("Christ alone")
# 5 Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")

If these are the basis through which you view Christianity I still don't see how you can call everyone at IHOP. (About 3,000 people you've never met) Un-saved and outside of the faith.

Is salvation through Faith alone? Yes
Is salvation through grace alone? Yes
Are the fullness of all things in Christ alone? Yes
Is the scripture final and the absolute truth of which nothing should be lifted above? Yes
Is everything God does for His glory? Yes of course.

Mike would agree with all of these. I know for a fact. I know in His teaching he speaks out against things that would go against those statements. He is a faithful man of God who prays everyday.

My point is not to systematically break down for you the adverse to all of your arguments. It would be a waste of time because your points don't hold water. - In other words you are misinformed.

By the way Martin Luther was called a Heretic by the same Holy Catholic church. All evidence to what the Montanists were was presented by their accusers, all of their works burned before anyone could judge the validity of the claim. Even so most modern scholars and through out history would not place Tertullian in the heretic column.

But what do I know I've only learned church history and theology from IHOP the last decade.

Blessings to you sir. Again, your post is a very well thought through effort, but your claims are not valid.

I encourage you to make a visit to IHOP. See things for your self.

grace and peace

The Predestined Blog said...

Dear Zack,

It's a close guess, but I'm a dispensational Calvinist.

I had only one question - is Mike Bickle a false or true prophet and why is it that the only question that hasn't been answered.

You say my arguments don't hold water, how come you aren't addressing th ONE QUESTION I'M ASKING.

I don't want to even get into the fact that the early church that accussed Tertullian was not the same church that accussed Martin Luther (ie Roman Catholicism did not officially start) nor do I want to get into the fact that you cannot distinguish between what the "Holy Catholic" vs the "Roman Catholic" church is. If you are going to start making accusations about my theological and historical claims, I hope that you will come more prepared, especially in regards to how your prophetic movement does not have the same definition of Sola Scriptura as the rest of Christianity. Perhaps learning from the Christians outside of IHOP will help..

And I don't know if Mike Bickle is saved or not, but I was taking a guess that one of the greatest false prophets on earth is probably not. If he is a real prophet, why is the Spirit inside me and conscience tell me I'm right? I guess I might not be saved...

But I don't want to get into all that b/c there is only question that cannot be avoided.

Is Mike Bickle a false prophet?

The Predestined Blog said...

Note: I have been to IHOP...

And my conscience and heart was grieved for all the ones lost there. Please don't assume too much Zack and ask yourself "what does it mean when someone like "thepredestinedblog" slanders a true prophet" or "what if the rest of Christianity is right about IHOP."

Anonymous said...

Zack of IHOP? Brother-in-law of Drew of Sign of Jonah?

zack said...

the rest of Christianity?

Sir I know for a fact the "rest of Christianity" is not pitting itself against IHOP.

"The Church that accused Tertullian was not the same church that accused Martin Luther" Right I forgot the reformation marked the true beginning of the church. It was the same body, Martin Luther was right to wake up the church, but same church.

Is Mike Bickle a false prophet?

That is up to you. I'm dodging your questions on purpose, because I wanted to test where the dialog would go.

I can tell you Mike is not.

Bless you sir, thank you your service to the body.

grace and peace

Zack

Zack said...

BTW have you heard of thegreycoats.com? I think you would like it there. They are on par with you outlook.

Anonymous said...

Is Mike Bickle a false prophet?

I can tell you Mike is not.


Though it was dodged you answered. Thank you Zack.

The Predestined Blog said...

Thank you for the interaction Zack. I think it should be customary for me to give a guest on my blog the last word and so unless you would like a response, I think your last reply is a good ending to our talk (unless you want it to go on :P )

Thanks for the link btw, I think i ran across them.

God bless. May He reveal the Truth more clearly to us.

sadparent said...

In response to all that Zack has written, let me say that I have personally felt the 'effects' of IHOP. They have NOT been good ones either.
Predestined, you wanted to know about that parent's blog - the one whose child completely cut them off after receiving "older and wiser council" from IHOP? Well that particular blog was done away with by myself. (You're welcome to contact me via my personal e-mail and I'll be happy to fill you in on the reasons behind doing so.)

I've been reading everything Zack has had to say and I am in a state of disbelief. Why? Because if HE is talking this way, then I'm quite certain my IHOPping child and his wife are thinking along the same lines. And is it any wonder I have not heard from him/them since September '07? After all, I'm from the 'old school'. I only read my Bible, pray, witness to unbelievers, win people to the Lord - but nothing prophetic at all. Just doing what my Bible instructs me to do. No wow to it.

What amazes me is even though God's word says prophecy must be 100% right on to be of God, IHOP comes off with this 65% - 66% thing. Why? Simple! Because its people are "growing in THE prophetic"... that's another one you can't find in the Bible. But Mike Bickle, Allen Hood et al are saying it so it HAS to be "of God".
Right? WRONG.

The NT warned the body of Christ over and over about false teachers, the danger of being involved with false teachings and the list goes on.

Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons love a Jesus just like IHOP does. Much like IHOP, however, they are loving the wrong Jesus. Mike Bickle claimed that Paul Cain was one of the greatest prophets of all time! Someone remind me... why was it that Paul Cain got booted from the IHOP staff? But that's OK, I guess. After all, he was still growing in "the" prophetic too I guess..

SP

The Predestined Blog said...

To Sad Parent,

I will pray for you. Never give up hope on your child b/c our God is stronger than anything IHOP has! May He give you peace and your child to you swiftly.

Godbless,

-Predestined

sadparent said...

Thank you so very much. I do covet all the prayers I can get on this one.
I still stand amazed that anyone can think they're doing God's work and still be walking in complete disobedience by dishonoring their parents.
I was told by a former IHOPper that my son was "a poster child for IHOP". So prayer will be the only thing that will bring about the miracle of getting my son out of there.
Again, thank you.

SP

Joseph said...

Dear Sad Parent,

I understand your pain. I have a son who went to IHOP for a year. He is home now, and I would like to talk with you about his expereiences and mine as a parent, in case I can offer you some help.

Yours in Christ,

Joe

P.S. You can contact me at the following email: js343@cornell.edu

brittisonnow said...

I do not think he is a false prophet.

Fitzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Talmidin said...

I have been an 'IHoPper'. I was a "devo" worship leader there for almost 2 years. I was a staunch apologetic for them, I have sparred with Drew and others. IHop was NOT teaching (most of)this stuff overtly. The could rightly, perhaps claim this on the website. But they have been connected with false prophets, through off site conferences. It is only recently that many of these people are openly teaching at IHoP. False prophets as diverse as Gwen Shaw and her End Times Handmaidens (and servants). This week a conference is going on at morningstar with Rick Joyner's bunch, where she is a speaker. The dominionist doctrine while not being so openly taught, is pushed through the bookstores, Interns are REQUIRED to read these books, the different watches of the day have 'community briefings' where much of the time these books are also REQUIRED, as the topic of the briefings. The language and teaching is charged with emotional and even sexual buzz words. The encounter services are filled with clearly demonic manifestations. I am not someone who visited IHoP, or did an internship, I was there, on the ministry staff. I received the training, the indoctrination. It is referred to at IHoP as wasting your life, and that is what it is, multitudes of young people wasting away. This is the 'fruit' we are supposed to look at when criticism is raised. This is not good fruit. There are so many 'good' and 'sincere' people in IHoP. Totally useless any more. Everyone looking for some sign or great power. There is the thing called the "Anna" annointing. Where people have a 'call' to pray and prophesy all day. We have 1 single instance of this in scripture a story with about 3 or 4 verses (Luke 2:36) that they have built an entire doctrine out of. Young kids, a few months away from a teaching degree (several) or some other degree, drop out beg for money so they can spend the whole day in a room.No one goes out to witness, in Atlanta for instance, when the poor and hungry come, they are directed to county services, rather than IHoP meeting needs. There is good teaching on the 'sermon on the mount lifestyle' and a few others, so there is a tendency to ignore the garbage you 'know' is wrong, because of the good. Most people coming in off the street are not familiar with the false teachings. As I said before, this is done mostly in 'closed' sessions of interns or staff community briefings. The prophetic rooms, are nothing more than fortune telling sessions. Where you are told NOT to say anything except, comforting, uplifting words. Tickling the ears, so to speak. I have been told when I confronted someone on the holy laughter and drunk in the spirit stuff I had seen,(which I discerned as a mocking spirit and a spirit of stupor) that I was offended somewhere, and that when refuting it with scripture, that I could not put God in a box (meaning the scripture). I did not leave on bad terms mind you, as I have seen some, I have seen those thrown out (staff members) I just quietly slowed my involvment to a standstill. The thing so frightening about this, the absolute ease with which I became deceived. Since I have left, the heretical teachings have become more and more overt. I am in anguish much of the time for these young people. There is so much, much more, the doctrines have feeling of orthodoxy, but stray far from scripture, and some out and out go contrary to scripture, and these are not some obscure ambiguous passages. This is only scratching the surface.

The Predestined Blog said...

@ Talmidin,

Thank you for your comment and your pesonal insight into IHOP. I praise the Lord for brining you out. At my church there are people who are so utterly deceived by this movement it is scary. I know there will come a day when the church will have to deal with this straight on and so I thank you for the testimony you gave b/c I will surely ask them to read it.

In Christ,

-The Predestined Blog

sadparent said...

Talmidin,
I'm happy for you that you're out. I pray God will use you to minister to others who will be coming out over time.
Devo worship leader, huh? So's my son. Keep him in prayer, please. He's still there.

Being an ex-Word of Faith person, I know how scarey it is to "later on down the line" begin to realize the deception that had been swallowed hook, line and sinker.

I'm glad you're out. Keep putting your thoughts on here - if you don't mind. I've got some questions for you. One of which is WHERE does Mike Bickle get "growing in 'the' prophetic"? I've never gotten a straight answer out of anyone on that. -probably because there is none.

SP

Talmidin said...

Sadparent,
when they say growing in the prophetic, they mean that we don't hear from God correctly. So we need to 'grow' into it. You are also told to refrain from saying, 'thus says the Lord'. Obviously this is not scriptual. Jesus tells us that 'my sheep KNOW my voice'. So basically if God is speaking to you, you will know it. If you feel unsure, you shouldn't say anything at all, if it really is God speaking, Jeremiah 20:9 says; 'Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it'. Growing in the prophetic teaches to go ahead and speak, but don't say the Lord said it, because you might be wrong. The language is along the lines of, 'I FEEL the Lord telling me...I SENSE...You are told to try and get IMPRESSIONS from the one you are supposed to be prophesying over. Sounds very new agey. doesn't it? Also if you just read scripture to someone, you can't go wrong. After all, it is the word of God, isn't it? You are also told not to say anything specific. As far as I know, the prophets were all very specific. They either had a word for the whole nation, or to one person specifically. Also you only have to be right, a small percentage of the time, unscriptural again. This is how you 'find' 'your' prophetic voice. Hence, 'grow' into it. So what about the people to whom you are prophesying? You come into the room, you are looking for direction, you are surrounded by 3 or 4 'prophets' who tell you all kinds of neat things about yourself (I was always told how 'faithful' I was) are you going to believe what you are told? You bet you will. I actually witnessed a guy in the parking lot at the old facility, draw this girl out, "I SENSE you have a wound from your father". "No, I get along with my dad great'. "Yes, I see it is your mom who hurt you". (By the way it was some 'christian' guy who had abused her) He would get it wrong over and over again, just to change direction, smoothly until, he had enough information to give a vague word. This is the norm. They are basically telling people to say what ever, just don't put the Lord's name on it, and if you get it right, well then you are growing in the prophetic. Even if you don't put the Lord's name on it, (and why wouldn't you, if it's really prophesy?) The person who came to you, was expecting to hear from the Lord, so they will believe it no matter what.
Some other things they talk about is 'Apostolic Authority', what is that I wonder. There is a combining the 'office' of prophet and apostle. As far as I know there are no Apostles resident at any of the IHoPs. But in the fringe supporting groups they have them. I thought apostles were people who were sent by the larger body to a specific group of people, apostle means sent one after all. They travelled and worked too. They weren't set up over a specific city. They went from town to town, set up churches then left. They returned when possible. They didn't sit somewhere and 'run the show' so to speak. I believe that was the job of a bishop. As far as I know, they didn't have any authority other than what has been given to every believer. But now we have 'super apostles' with power and authority over everyone else. IHop pushes this doctrine, specifically KC. In Atlanta, they don't visit, but there are places nearby where they visit to speak, or are resident. ZHoP, Morningstar etc. Or sometimes they come to the larger churches down in the city. The section leader will usually let you know in the community briefing about the venue and set up carpool groups to go hear them.
I hope that was helpful.

Timothy Charles Theron said...

i am shocked reading this. there is so much pride in all these posts. i had a guy stay at my house who left his parents for church, the church did not condone this, it was purely his actions. lets remember we are all humans, desperately seeking to be closer to God. what IHOP is doing is amazing. i am seeing the ripples all around the world. people realising that God is not only interested in theology and salvation - he in more interested in healing people, in the homeless being cared for, the naked clothed, the sick visited (matthew 25). If you server God, yet have no love... its meaningless. IHOP is showing JESUS' love to the world. GODS unconditional love.
remove the plank from your own eye before telling everyone about the speck at IHOP. let him who is without sin throw the first stone.

come on people. love one another. if somebody sins against you, forgive him, seven times? seventy times? no! seventy times seven! haha.

to the sad parents, i would say yes, its likely that your children are being silly. i have seen this in my own experience! but love them. no amount of pride-slinging will make anything right.

LOVE is the only way forward. all this pride only leads to division and angst. love heals all these things. GOD IS LOVE. stop bickering, and love.

The Predestined Blog said...

Dear Timothy,

I can see that you did not read my post, otherwise I would assume you would have addressed some of the issues such as defending some of the ideas unique to IHOP and found nowhere else in Christianity or perhaps the grossly false prophecy that goes on.

It's ironic that in my post I note that most IHOPers lack the theological knowledge to defend IHOP doctrines, do you also fall into this categoy? B/C, as I said in my post, IHOPers only defense is "my experience" and ignore what the Bible clearly states. Timothy, I suggest you go talk to Cultists and false religions that believe in Jesus. They say the same thing you do "we just want to share Jesus" and do not care what the Bible says. This is not what God wants. Have you not read when Jesus told the Sadducee "you do not know the Scripture or the power of God?" God's power is not manifest in crazy spiritual activity like it is at IHOP and IHOP def. has theology that is ultra-counter to the Bible. Unless of course, you are going to say in all humility that the rest of Christianity including baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcoplians, Methodists, not to mention ppl like John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards are all wrong and that you are right b/c you had a religious experience or two. You see when you talk to Christians who understand the word and have evangelized to multiple religions who claim to know Jesus, you simply saying "I love Jesus" and be wrong in everything else is simply not enough.

If you are truly into "love" than you need to recognize the REAL PAIN that IHOP has caused or do you simply want to wish it away? Do you think sadparent's pain is not real or something? Do not be so arrogant.

I'm going to guess and say you are going to respond by saying something like "you don't know about my exp. or what I have exp. at IHOP." Please, I beg you read, the post and submit yourself to His Word not Mike Bickles.

PS Remember if you believe in what IHOP believes you are saying that the greatest minds in Christianity are wrong. This is a fact. John MacArthur, John Piper, Albert Mohler, John Frame, etc etc all men who have doctorate degrees from seminaries are begging you to go back to the Word and not to your isolated Christian exp. that few people have felt.

The Predestined Blog said...

Dear Timothy,

I can see that you did not read my post, otherwise I would assume you would have addressed some of the issues such as defending some of the ideas unique to IHOP and found nowhere else in Christianity or perhaps the grossly false prophecy that goes on.

It's ironic that in my post I note that most IHOPers lack the theological knowledge to defend IHOP doctrines, do you also fall into this categoy? B/C, as I said in my post, IHOPers only defense is "my experience" and ignore what the Bible clearly states. Timothy, I suggest you go talk to Cultists and false religions that believe in Jesus. They say the same thing you do "we just want to share Jesus" and do not care what the Bible says. This is not what God wants. Have you not read when Jesus told the Sadducee "you do not know the Scripture or the power of God?" God's power is not manifest in crazy spiritual activity like it is at IHOP and IHOP def. has theology that is ultra-counter to the Bible. Unless of course, you are going to say in all humility that the rest of Christianity including baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcoplians, Methodists, not to mention ppl like John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards are all wrong and that you are right b/c you had a religious experience or two. You see when you talk to Christians who understand the word and have evangelized to multiple religions who claim to know Jesus, you simply saying "I love Jesus" and be wrong in everything else is simply not enough.

If you are truly into "love" than you need to recognize the REAL PAIN that IHOP has caused or do you simply want to wish it away? Do you think sadparent's pain is not real or something? Do not be so arrogant.

I'm going to guess and say you are going to respond by saying something like "you don't know about my exp. or what I have exp. at IHOP." Please, I beg you read, the post and submit yourself to His Word not Mike Bickles.

PS Remember if you believe in what IHOP believes you are saying that the greatest minds in Christianity are wrong. This is a fact. John MacArthur, John Piper, Albert Mohler, John Frame, etc etc all men who have doctorate degrees from seminaries are begging you to go back to the Word and not to your isolated Christian exp. that few people have felt.

Anonymous said...

Timothy,
You said, "If you serve God but have no love...it's meaningless." WOW. You yourself just summed up IHOP's worth in that one sentence.

Because...it was IHOP that counseled my son to break off all communication with this 'sad'parent. And that was 19 months ago. NINETEEN months!
THAT is what your IHOP has done to my family. IHOP counseled MY KID to DISHONOR his parent.

You can twist it anyway you want but no godly organization/group would EVER tell its members to do that very thing.

And never mind that, IHOP pushes Contemplative Prayer bigger than Dallas. Tim, CP is synonymous with transcendental meditation. TM is occult. So all these "Jesus lovin'" people are actually giving their worship to Satan.

Tim, why don't you go back and read Predestine's blog - read the whole thing - then go ahead and comment.

SadParent (writing in as annonymous due to 'technical difficulties')

Truthlover said...

I am also a former IHOPper. What drew me in was IHOP's mantra, "intimacy with Jesus". This intimacy is obtained through Mike Bickle's allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon. If you are able to walk-out this "love mandate", then you can achieve a level of intimacy that transcends the average Christian. Its piety, elitism and just plain wrong. It took me three years to figure it out, and I pray that the Lord will lift the fog, so that the Truth can be seen.

sadparent said...

Truthlover,
I praise God you're out and away from IHOP.
IHOP is responsible for tearing my family in half. You are quite right in that IHOP has hefty elitism and piety. The interns at IHOP truly believe that they're one up on the rest of the Christian world - almost that non-IHOPpers cannot hear from God at all. Never mind the part about them "hearing God's voice" via contemplative prayer (otherwise known as 'Jesus transcendental meditation')

I, like you, pray God would remove the blinders from their eyes - before it's too late.

SP

The Predestined Blog said...

Truthlover,

Thank you for your comment. I just wanted to let you know that your testimony here will be used one day to show the people of my church who I love so much, the true danger of IHOP. Thank you again so much. I just wanted you to know that your testimony will go to good use here.

-Predestined

sadparent said...

Truthlover,
What Predestined said is so very true: your testimony surely is never going to go to waste.

I've already passed this site on to a parent, like myself, who is 'wrestling' with a young adult child who is 'desperately' wanting to move to KC so they can "really come to know the Lord!"

You are a blessing - SP

Truthlover said...

Its amazing what I can now see now that my eyes have been opened. I ask myself, "How did I ever get involved with that?" Just remember, you have to handle IHOPers with care. Don't try to debate them in systematic theology or hermeneutics; They will have an answer to anything, albeit a wrong one. I remember refusing to listen to, or read anything that was anti-IHOP, because often times these articles mixed truth with supposition. I think the turning point for me was when my wife sent me an article written by Bob Deway called "Mike Bickle and International House of Prayer-The Latter Rain Redivivus". I would have normally deleted this type of literature, but that day, God had me read it. It was written in an academic and matter-of-fact manner. No name calling or condescending tone, just facts. Here is the link:

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue107.htm

My heart goes out to you, Sadparent. IHOP almost destroyed my marriage, but God broke in and had mercy on me. I weep even now as I pray that your child will seek the Truth.

sadparent said...

Truthlover,
I read that same article by Bob DeWaay in 9-08 and contacted him. Delightful brother in Christ he is. Thank you for keeping my son in prayer. Sadly, also in the midst of IHOP deceptions are his wife and her entire family. Please lift them up as well. I continue to remind myself that all things are truly possible through Christ – and that right there is a reason to smile.
I agree with you that debating IHOPers yields absolutely nothing. You’re right! They’ve got an argument for absolutely everything. I’ve learned this via my son first hand.
I am so glad to hear you say your marriage ‘survived’ IHOP. I‘ll bet your wife has a stored up pile of treasures in heaven awaiting her! I suspect IHOPers cling to Luke 12: 52-53 about households being divided – father against son, mother against daughter etc. as the big ‘OK’ for dissing family members who raise any kind of objection to IHOP teachings. Regarding that very scripture though, did you ever notice where it doesn’t say ‘son against father’ or ‘daughter against mother’? I guess that might have something to do with the one about “honoring your mother and your father”…but hey, that commandment probably wouldn’t apply to Joel’s army, would it?
The thing that bothers me the most is what I see happening to the body of Christ, seems like, everywhere. Deception, deception, deception and no one seems to be picking up on it. Everyone’s going for ‘experiential worship’ over anything else. Christians who ‘only’ read their bibles, do church, witness and pray are looked down upon as inferiors and/or missing God or only “practicing religiosity” by ‘only’ doing those things.
Your note really blessed me, Truthlover. Thank you very, very much.

SP

maadio said...

I love the reformed guys and their principles. I used to be one, in fact. There's just a big problem:

Sola Scriptura isn't biblical.

Don't get me wrong, the Bible is the supreme authority on revelation about God and anything else for that matter... but the Bible never says it is the complete revelation. That's a bold and, I dare to say, rash claim to make. To say that scripture contains all knowledge about God is to limit God.

I prefer "Prima Scriptura," and I believe so do the IHOP leaders.

I reject the notion that experience should not shape one's theological lens. Everyone requires a perspective from which to view scripture, the primary and supremely authoritative source of theology. That perspective is ultimately shaped by your experience, and as long as that experience does not contradict scripture, it is useful! You should not base your theology on experience, but neither should you ignore your experience. To do so is foolishness.

I also reject the notion that the intellect is somehow good while experience is bad. Many of God's attributes are described in scripture as beyond comprehension or understanding or knowledge. Scripture repeatedly implies that something greater than the brain is required to related to God. For instance, in Ephesians 3:19, Paul prays for the Ephesian church to "know the love of Christ which passes knowledge." I can find no other way to interpret that verse than this: "to experience to the fullest, with the senses and in their spirits, that which the Ephesian church already knew intellectually: That Christ loves them with an everlasting love beyond mere intellectual comrehension in its width, length, depth, and height."

Any interpretation of scripture which consistently defies experience should be rejected as long experience itself does not defy scripture.

maadio said...

Now as for your claim that Mike Bickle is outside the faith... do you really want to make that claim? Do you really want to risk being wrong in your condemnation of another person? He professes with His mouth that Jesus is Lord, that He died and was buried and that He rose again. He has the fruits of the Spirit to back His work in his life. Think carefully before you type. That's not offense speaking, it's wisdom.

-----------------------------------

Now on to what you consider to be the main point of your post: I can't directly address whether he's a false prophet or not. I say no, but that's my opinion based on what I've seen and heard. Only time will really tell.

Meanwhile, though, none of the prophecy I've heard from him directly contradicts scripture, so what can I really say against him? That's your burden of proof if you want to call the man a false prophet. So far you've provided a lot of scripture to show that false prophecy and signs exist, that following them is bad, and that ignoring a legitimate prophet is just as bad. (You've also pulled the letter to Thyatira out of context to serve your own ends. I never expected that from a Sola Scriptura person!) Have you included even one verse refuting Bickle's actual claims? As far as I can see, no!

I appreciate your zeal for righteousness and truth. I really do. I've had so many conversations like this one. I've argued as an IHOP-follower, as a Southern Baptist, and as a Presbyterian. Finally I figured out that most of the bigger theological arguments in the church don't matter as much as we thought (Especially soteriology! Why not spend that energy evangelizing instead of arguing about salvation?) and the real issues are the ones that IHOP addresses: the Sermon on the Mount, devotion, discerning the season in which we live, honoring one another, etc.

Consider this: that Mike Bickle has taught millions of people to read and obey the Sermon on the Mount, to respond in servanthood and meekness in the face of opposition and trials. He's taught millions to pray more, and to persevere more, and to believe that their prayers are actually heard in the Throne room of Heaven. He's said repeatedly to not believe anything he says until you see how it lines up with scripture...

I could go on with that list, but here's my question, in response to yours: are these the messages of a false prophet? Would anyone say these things except by the Spirit?

Judge the branch by its fruit. In this case, you have a bunch of prophecies that are not unbiblical, some theological positions that are also not unbiblical though I can understand why they make you nervous, and the fruit of a man's teaching and his life.

Anonymous said...

…”to say that scripture contains all knowledge about God is to limit God.” Sorry, you’re wrong.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

So you believe experience should shape one’s theological lens i.e. the way you shape your theology? What if you’re feeling the wrong thing? i.e. Contemplative prayer, for instance. You’re saying you “shouldn’t ignore (that) experience”.. OK well what if the “feelings” you’re getting during that Contemplative Prayer, the ones you’re attributing to Jesus are actually from a “Jesus imposter”? What then?

You’re correct in saying that “many of God’s attributes are described in scripture as beyond comprehension or understanding or knowledge”. That is why He gave us the Holy Spirit. And scripture does indeed indicate that “something greater than the brain” most definitely is “required to relate to God”. Again, the Holy Spirit is the answer and so tell me: what is it inside of us that relates to God? Answer: our heart – once we have been made new in Christ – and have been born again. You shall know the truth (Jesus) and the truth shall set you free.

RE: Eph 3:19 “and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” You got ahead of yourself. Paul first prayed that we would be rooted and firmly established in love. v.17. If you’re not rooted and firmly established in love, Maadio, none of the rest of it matters. Go back and read 1 Cor. 13.

Lastly, you said, “Any interpretation of scripture which consistently defies experience should be rejected AS LONG AS THE EXPERIENCE ITSELF DOES NOT DEFY SCRIPTURE.”
Contemplative or Centering prayer defies scripture. Emerging church defies scripture. Growing in “the” prophetic defies scripture. Mysticism defies scripture. And the hits just keep on coming.

Maadio, Jesus did warn us that just prior to His return there would be a GREAT falling away. Contemplative, Emerging Church, mysticism et al is part of that sad, great falling away. P.S. Why, if IHOP’s such a great place, would it encourage members to cut off communication with family members who disagreed with Mike Bickle? That wouldn’t be walking in love, now would it?

The Predestined Blog said...

@ Maadio,

Thank you for doing everyone here such and big favor and being honest and OUTRIGHT DENYING SOLA SCRIPTURA. I'll tell you that you got guts to do that and I applaud that you are being consistent with your IHOP theology.

Sadly, this is one of the fundamental truths of Scripture and is one of the cornerstones of Evangelical Christianity. I, frankly, will let everyone read for themselves that you deny sola scriptura. I do have a favor, will you please have the rest of your IHOP friends be consistent and deny it as well, so that there can be a strong divide between us and you. Not only that, can you please promote it, so that people will also be weary of going to you.

Second, Maadio, you don't quite understand the history and the theology behind prima scriptura. This is basically a Roman Catholic response to sola scriptura, which as about the "primacy of the scripture." In Roman Catholicism, they have 3 authorities: Traditions, Magisterium (~the Church and the Pope), and the Scripture. So they ask themselves if Scripture takes primacy over the other two and they say no, the Scripture is equal with the other two.

It makes sense under roman catholic theology to have competing authorities (though they are wrong), but what about you? What are your authorities? I guess its IHOP (the Chruch and Mike Bickle's prophecies) and your experience! I'm lamenting at the fact that your exp and IHOP are competing with the Bible.

I am also incredibly disturbed that you don't think there are any problems with the prophecies I pasted here from Mike Bickle.

1) God told him he was going to be a general in his end time army

2) God told him he would be riding in a golden chariot-one of about thirty-five-in a procession of leaders, apostles and prophets, who would be joining the movement that would someday be worldwide

3) "The Lord simply said, 'I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.'"

If you cannot see through this, well that is enough said. You have done enough damage to yourself and I pray that you will not be oblivious to this.

Do I even have to mention that you said things like sorteriology don't count? Statements like that show your naivety and exposes that you are truly lacking in your understanding. In my blog, I mentioned that the people who get sucked into IHOP are usually young people who do not have the theological acumen to counter IHOPs arguments. By your comments, you show this to be true. Esp. if you still think I am "reformed" after reading my eschatology arguments (I'll try to let you figure that one out).

The Predestined Blog said...

@ Maddio

Last thing. I did not take Rev 2 out of context. First, the problem at that church was false prophets that were leading the people astray. That is exactly what IHOP is doing. Now, to be fair, they are not (in so far as I know) promoting sexual indecency and eating food sacrificed to idols, but if you notice I don't parallel that part IHOP (see there are no blue letters in that section refering to IHOP). However, the context fits:

1) False Prophet Jezebel/False Prophet Mike Bickle

2) Jezebel and her prophets lead people astray/Mike Bickle and his prophets lead people astray

3) Christ's attitude toward the false prophet Jezebel = Christ's attitude toward the false prophet Mike Bickle


As I said, they were making different false prophesies and leading people astray by different means, but the context fits perfectly (so does Matthew 7 btw).

I feel sad for you maadio. Your words reveal, what I have suspected IHOPers really thought

1) Denial of sola scriptura

2) Denial of the importance of sorteriology

3) Firm belief that Mike Bickle is a chosen one, a prophet of our most high God.

4) Some theological training, but not very comprehensive. This is shown by your use of prima scriptura (without thinking about its traditional use and ramifications using such an argument) and definition of Reformed (you almost know what it means... do some more research). If you go look at my first commentor Zack, who is from IHOP, he knows a little bit about Tertullian and his charismaticism, but didn't know that his charismaticism came from a heretic group known as the Montanists. I see this far too frequently, from people who go and even trained at IHOP - inadequate theological training. Is this possibly why you deny sola scriptura? It is not only your denial, but the flippant attitude and ease you have of denying it, seems to imply that you don't understand the depth and foundational purpose it has.

I beg you. Get out of that IHOP circle and go talk to people who have good theological training. Perhaps someone who can tell you why I'm not reformed, not just someone closely associated with IHOP.

Thank you for your frankness and honesty though. It is a breath of fresh air. I think it is only right to create some separation to highlight how different evangelicals and IHOPers are - and yes if you deny sola scriptura by any nonliberal definition you are not an evangelical.

The Predestined Blog said...

@ Anonymous

Thank you for you great reply. Saved me some time haha!

Anonymous said...

Well my computer's not allowing me to leave my name with my comment.. so we'll do annonymous again..

One of the things I've fully realized about IHOP is the typical AGE of the persons attending... all but a very few are in their 20s ...young - all of them. Mike Bickle absolutely must come across as "Dad" to some of them...

I would like to know if there are any "old timers" still at IHOP who remember the "greatest prophet ever seen" according to Mike Bickle: Paul Cain.

Predestined, you think Maadio might have any thoughts on this? I too have appreciated her honesty, as well as her abrupt "we're gonna talk" attitude - hear where I'm coming from?

Maadio, you need to get with some NON IHOP people, a pastor, Christian councilor, you name it - if for no other reason, to try and prove us wrong. You are truly playing with fire - and I would really hate to see you pay the price.

No. We don't fear referring to Mike Bickle as a false prophet - he is teaching things that are not in the bible. i.e. he's twisting scripture to the nth degree.

Example: how did Jesus teach his disciples to pray?
Where does Mike Bickle get repeating a word for 20 minutes and entering into a state of complete aloneness - into such a "contemplative" state... Where does he get this from scripture?
I'll tell ya: it's not in there. At all. And if you're doing it, you're not hearing from Jesus..nope. You're hearing from a fake.

Because Babe, that's TM and TM's an occult practice -- you're playing with fire.

SP

Anonymous said...

I do not disagree with their teachings but, I do not agree with the age limit 18 to 26 do do a internship. And the staff should be part of the workforce. What better witness for a nurse or teacher to service the Lord on their free hours then to pray and worship. Their are many different hours in the workforce. So their can still be 24 hours of prayer.

SavedByGrace said...

maadio said:

"Sola Scriptura isn't biblical ..."

My observation:

I can appreciate what Maadio was trying to convey further on in his/her post, i.e., the love of Christ which passes understanding (Eph 3:19; cf Rom 5:5) is beyond intellectual faculties. However, the issue is not about the quality or quantity of our personal experiences or apprehension of God. Rather, the issue is about what is the source and authority for truth that is to be believed, taught and passed on in the church.

For Paul, it is the Old Testament plus the gospel of the foundational apostles/prophets (Rom 16:25; Eph 2:20; 3:5; 1Co 15:1ff; etc). Personal revelations, prophecies, etc are left out of this foundation. Future apostles/revelations down the road are also left out, unless of course, we think that foundations are laid more than once (cf 1Co 3:11).

In fact, Paul states that if he himself or an angel from heaven were to come with any gospel adjustments, we are not to believe them (Gal 1:8). Apparently, for the apostle Paul, the gospel is its own authority and apostles are merely its servants and messengers. There is a finality about the gospel which is indisputable.

The apostle John seems to be of the same opinion. The gospel version 1.0 is the true apostolic gospel based on eye-witness testimony (1Jo 1:1-4; 2:24). There is no gospel version 1.1, 1.2, etc.

Peter, likewise recommends scripture over experience - even his own - any day (2Pe chapters 1 and 3).

Throughout the NT there is the terminology of "the teaching" and "the pattern of sound words" which we are to hold fast (2Ti 1:13) and for which Jude says we must ernestly contend (Jud 1:3).

The NT is self-aware of its own unique character as inspired scripture on equal par with the OT (2Pe 3:16). Whatever personal revelations or illuminations Christians may experience beyond this are never equated with scripture in the NT. All of the examples we have of prophets/prophecy in the NT are limited to personal/local direction, guidance and/or encouragement. They are not the source of normative gospel content for determining "sound doctrine" (Act 11:28; 13:1-5; 15:32; 20:23; 21:10; 1Co 14:1ff).

And even where insight into truth may be plausibly asserted, the insight is personal/local and is never placed on the level of scripture. It is personal/group illumination subject to evaluation, correction and rejection (1Co 14:29; 1Th 5:21). It is not infallible revelation for the church at large. (Remember, the divine process producing inerrant inscripturated revelation terminates on the scripture itself, not the author - 2Ti 3:16).

So, if we are to go by the NT itself, the scriptures are always the final court of appeal for truth (Act 15:30). Scripture interpreting scripture controls our evaluation of personal revelation/illumination - not vise-versa. If this is putting God in box, then it is a box of His own making.

SavedByGrace said...

maadio said:

"Sola Scriptura isn't biblical ..."

My observation (continued):

As for the bible supposedly not teaching "sola scriptura", what about 2Ti 3:17 "... that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." or Deu 4:2, "you shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you" or Pro 30:6, "Do not add to his words, Lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar" along with many other passages.

As far as I can tell, Mike Bickle and company appeal to their supposed revelations (whether prophetic or angelic) as authoritative and normative for the church and for interpreting scripture. To the extent that they do this, they are completely out of step with the NT. And they place themselves in the long line of false teachers stretching throughout history - from the Montanist prophets and Gnostic elitists of the early church to the monastics and mystics of the middle ages to the Mormon angelic visits of the modern era.

I was saved in the middle of this kind of prophetic stuff and was actually in the charismatic movement of the 70's. It was more gnostic than Christian. I thank God every day that He delivered out of their silly pursuits, deceptive hype and empty religious chatter into real bible Christianity. Once I got free of their "special insights", God began to fill me with His love, truth and glory regularly in ways beyond compare.

I do not see KCP/IHOP as being any different than those charismatic gnostics of the 70's other than a few details. If someone thinks Bickle is different from previous charismatic "prophets" (whatever their stamp) then they are kidding themselves and are just plain ignorant of the facts. Like all the other false teachers, Bickle undermines, diminishes and replaces the authority of scripture because their only other option is to submit to scripture, which he/they cannot and will not do.

The Bickles of the world elevate their dreams, visions, prophecies and angelic visitations to a place of normative authority. As Predestined observes, this necessarily forces the rest of us to respond. My evaluation from scripture and 37 years of encountering these "chief apostles" (2Co 12:11; 11:13) is that these folks are in serious error and are to be publicly marked as such (Rom 16:17-18). True Gospel ministers preach and teach the scriptures (2Ti 4:1ff) not their own material.

If you are an IHOPper and have gotten this far, I ask you to ask yourself this question: Does it actually make sense that God would crucify His beloved Son, raise Him from the dead to His own right hand, commission gospel preachers to successfully proclaim salvation by grace through faith in the only mediator between God and men to all nations for 2000 years and then suddenly at the last minute change policy to include "super-apostles" as secondary mediators providing special new elitist messages?

The Predestined Blog said...

Thank you for your comments SavedbyGrace.

I didn't realize I wasn't getting emails regarding comment moderation :) or else I would've published them earlier

Annunk said...

SavedByGrace,

I saw the same hyper-spirituality in the early 80's. That was back when the prosperity 'gospel' came into play.

No man has ever seen God..John 1:18 and yet Mike Bickle has had one on one, face to face conversations with him..or so he says.

You are right: Does it actually make sense that God would crucify His beloved Son, raise Him from the dead to His own right hand, commission gospel preachers to successfully proclaim salvation by grace through faith in the only mediator between God and men to all nations for 2000 years and then suddenly at the last minute change policy to include "super-apostles" as secondary mediators providing special new elitist messages?

The answer is absolutely NO. But Mike Bickle and Allen Hood can't conceive that the answer's NO. Because when they do their Contemplative prayer, the one they're communing with says, "Keep it up. You're doing a great job for me."

Know what I mean?

Hans said...

It always amazes me how much time and effort some in the Body of Christ put towards denouncing the credibility of the ministries of others serving the same body. I have often asked myself what the motivation must be that drives people such as yourself to go to such lengths in discrediting the ministry of others... and I think I've found the answer- insecurity.

Be mindful of the fact that when you raise your voice and point your finger of accusation against others in the body of Christ that you are standing on dangerous ground...

(Zechariah 3:1) "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[1] standing at his right hand to accuse him."
[1]Satan means the accuser (ESV notation)

"The Dangers of IHOP"??? You have got to be kidding me. Oh no, if you send your youth to an IHOP conference they might decide to radically surrender their lives to the Lordship of Christ and seek Him with single-minded devotion! That would be terrible!

Let me get this straight- you're worried that they will be corrupted by the heresies of the false teachings they might be exposed to being taught by the "false prophets."

You state in the beginning of your blog post that you don't want to argue about your cessation theology, but you use that theology as a foundation for all of your arguments. New Testament prophets are not to be held to the same standard of accountability that was used under the old covenant. Why is the church instructed in 1 Corinthians 14:29 to, "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said..." (ESV) if NT prophets are to held accountable to a 100% accuracy in order to be recognized as a "true" prophet?

Again, we are warned in 1 Thessalonians 5:20, "Do not despise prophecies."

I don't blindly receive every word of prophecy as the Word of the Lord, either. We are instructed to "test the spirits" in 1 John 4:1.

I believe that God speaks to His people in fresh, clear, directive ways sometimes seemingly not directly related to scripture. The Bible is the final authority for all we believe and how we are to live. Therefore it is also the safeguard I use in interpreting this type of prophetic direction from the Lord- by asking myself the question, "Does this direction, revelation, or word violate (or conform to) principles established and revealed in the Holy Scriptures?"

As for the "aberrant" theologies that you accuse IHOP as endorsing on their website... did you even take the time to read through their affirmations and denials of each quoted topic that you erroneously listed as teachings IHOP endorses?
Regarding "The Dangers of IHOP":

When I was of the age of 17/18 I was "warned" by my pastor to avoid attending a charismatic revival that was taking place across town at a local church out of fear that some of the spiritual practices and experiences encouraged there are fraught with demonic perils and dangers that in their opinion far outweighed the possible benefits of attending such a service. Unforgettable hogwash!

The true danger threatening our innocent youth is NOT the teachings of IHOP but the temptation of the devil to seek the things of the world.

Hans said...

Be mindful of the fact that when you raise your voice and point your finger of accusation against others in the body of Christ that you are standing on dangerous ground... you are joining with Satan in his role of "accuser of the brethren."

"The Dangers of IHOP"??? You have got to be kidding me. Oh no, if you send your youth to an IHOP conference they might decide to radically surrender their lives to the Lordship of Christ and seek Him with single-minded devotion! That would be terrible!

You state in the beginning of your blog post that you don't want to argue about your cessation theology, but you use that theology as a foundation for all of your arguments. New Testament prophets are not to be held to the same standard of accountability that was used under the old covenant. Why is the church instructed in 1 Corinthians 14:29 to, "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said..." (ESV) if NT prophets are to held accountable to a 100% accuracy in order to be recognized as a "true" prophet?

Again, we are warned in 1 Thessalonians 5:20, "Do not despise prophecies."

I believe that God speaks to His people in fresh, clear, directive ways sometimes seemingly not directly related to scripture. The Bible is the final authority for all we believe and how we are to live. Therefore it is also the safeguard I use in interpreting this type of prophetic direction from the Lord- by asking myself the question, "Does this direction, revelation, or word violate (or conform to) principles established and revealed in the Holy Scriptures?"

As for the "aberrant" theologies that you accuse IHOP as endorsing on their website... did you even take the time to read through their affirmations and denials of each quoted topic that you erroneously listed as teachings IHOP endorses?
Regarding "The Dangers of IHOP":

When I was of the age of 17/18 I was "warned" by my pastor to avoid attending a charismatic revival that was taking place across town at a local church out of fear that some of the spiritual practices and experiences encouraged there are fraught with demonic perils and dangers that in their opinion far outweighed the possible benefits of attending such a service. Unforgettable hogwash!

The true danger threatening our innocent youth is NOT the teachings of IHOP but the temptation of the devil to seek the things of the world.

The Predestined Blog said...

Dear Hans,

1) You say to be careful to be an accuser... and what are you doing to me exactly??? Hypocritical and ironic, no?

2) I said I am not going to defend cessationist theology b/c I do that in another post (it's worth reading ). Btw my views are well known to charismatic brethren and go to a church that is predominantly charismatic (and do preach at times for the youth) and have recently preached at my dad's church who is very charismatic. Oh yea, not to mention I used to work with one of the graduates from Forerunner ministry... Perhaps you don't know me very well??? Again, for someone blaming someone for accusing the brethren I am getting a lot of accusation. If you read my post, you know that I am not attacking the regular joe there, but the leadership who I don't regard as brother in Christ.

3) It is evident that you did not read my post. If you defend something from the bible instead of just stating your opinion perhaps I will give a more thorough reply.

As I stated, there are lots of Christians at IHOP, but IHOP's theology (that is theology unique to IHOP) is totally corrupt b/c it is simply not true and most likely demonic.

PS I have read IHOP's website very thoroughly and I know that they denoucnce various doctrines. It is one thing to say you don't do something, but believe in a variation of it.

Anonymous said...

This laptop isn't letting me post under my name again.. so here I am under annonymous one more time..

Hans dear,
Ever hear of Bereans? (Look it up before you answer.)
IHOP teaches Contemplative prayer. Bickle is always recommending every intern do it.

Know what it is, Hans? It's "Christian TM" Nothing more, nothing less. Very occult, Hans. Very.

Oh, it isn't "policy" but IHOP advises interns cut off communication with anyone who disagrees with IHOP doctrine. Parents have been cut off because little Susie or Bobby says they've been advised to do so by IHOP leaders...

p.s. Any time signs and wonders take precidence over the written Word, it's in error. Contemplative prayer is NOT in the Bible, IHOP's in total error.

Maim said...

Thanks for posting this article, and for the discourse. I've learned much. I think you should know there are probably many individuals like myself who benefit from reading these things, even if they never interact with a comment.

The Predestined Blog said...

Thank you for you comment Maim. My prayer is for God to be glorified through this.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Zack and everyone else past and or future that post on this site. I was one of the leaders and part of the click for over 6 years. Through much searching of the scriptures and the truth that the Word shows yes IHOP is a scam and a cult. But not for the ones that come for a day or a conference or a month or two or even for those that are not prevy to what is spoken in the inner meetings. The bondage that I know has been placed on these kids is beyond anything I have ever experienced and I once I was in the know, I let it continue and for this I am so deeply sorry. Speech after speech about living a fasted lifestyle when so many are getting such hefty salaries including Misty really opened my eyes...and we aren't talking about 30-40K folks we are talking 60-70-100K plus you don't even want to know who owns the actual land and are trustees...sick all of it. Paid To pray, paid to be like the pharisees and stand in front of a mic and pray in the synagogue..so everyone can hear and see...sound familiar? Jesus Son of David forgive me for not coming forth earlier forgive me for not having the guts to even place my name on this posting today. But soon give me and others strength to come forward. Thank you for setting me free and please free all those that are still emtramped and so deceived wake them up, have them search you out for the truth and leave that forsaken place of lies...no wonder there is so much sin in the camp when the sin comes from the top leader and comes rolling down. Many of you won't see because you refuse to, many of you will perish because you refuse to open yourselves out to the truth even if that means walking away from IHOP-KC for 1 year or two. God will reveal truth to those that seek it...He is good and faithful! Money scams galore...internships that use to be hundred of dollars now are costing 2-6 thousand dollars what for? What for exactly are you guys stupid? How about counting the money after service have you been entrusted with that...when after only one collection without a conference you count over 90K being collected where is it going when so many of the kids are starving and have nothing...Father God forgive me for not sharing my experience sooner help me to proclaim how good you are, help me to show so many that are being deceived to run the other way into the hands of Jesus and not into the hands of wicked one. Amen

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more from the 10-15-11 Annonymous writer.

Was there any one experience that caused this person's eyes to be opened?

Anonymous said...

IHOP=The Book of Galations they are the Galations Paul speaks of.

I just want to tell you that everything negative that everyone recently has mentioned and even past is true. I have been part of the internships at IHOP for over 3 years and I do thank God that my family got me out of there. I was not part of the leadership but saw enough to know that there is something wrong with them. I also know that many of the pastors in the area have just had it with Bickle. I went to several churches in the area since I was not getting the Cross message at IHOP it was all about Bob Jones, prophecy and dreams and what they felt the dreams meant and their interpertation of the bible. It was all foolishness I paid alot of money a total of over 18 thousand dollars to that place along with all my tithing….everytime I made some money I would be told to give it away or I would run into classmates that need the money since they had no food. I lived in one of their apartment with 2 bedrooms with 6 adults it was just wrong but I had to I was really not encouraged to be part of the program and live on my own. If you do particular programs you have to live on site. All of it was very controling. Lou Engle is just out there and wacked. I tink there is something seriously wrong with him and everyone that adores him and follows him they don’t even think for themselves they just do what he does. I knew that from the start so I tried to stay away from him, but it is hard since he often preaches. When the awakening happened it was odd too, I think most people knew people were faking it, I even did sometimes since they put the pressure on some of us that we had to feel something. Alot of mind control, not that you had to do something or they would kill you but they would alient you and make you feel like you were shit. Very clicky, Not sure if that is how you spell it but so not Jesus at all. I see all that now being in a healthy church and real community. That is another thing no real community in that place. It is like they are all glassy eyed. I was too, just like zombies following eachother round and round and not growing in Christ at all from glory to glory. Lots of money goes into that place thousands and I think probably millions but the kids (us) never saw it and we had to always beg for support. I have been on a mission trip to Africa since returning home and that was like night and day. The mission trips I was on through IHOP was nothing like I was on recently. We were building huts and really slept in the wilderness and were real missionaries at IHOP many even stayed at peoples homes or motels, I did as well everything we needed was provided - nothing like real missions work. Just stupid. I never could see asking for money to pray. I pray more now than I did then and I can’t imagine asking anyone to give me money or support so I can pray, Anna never did that. Why should we. Now I see clearly but I thank my parents for having their heads on straight and pulling me out before it really screwed me up.

The Predestined Blog said...

Thank you for your comment "Anonymous." May God lead people to the light with your story. The more people come and comment about their personal stories about this dreaded place, the more effective (I hope and pray) it will be to save people from entering into this mockery of Christianity.

Pastor Richard said...

Really enjoyed your post, and found it most informative. Interesting enough, all the links to the IHOP site return the message:

Article Not Available - The requested article is not available at the present time.

If you have actual excerpts, that would be a good thing to keep handy. Wonder why they took those pages down?

Mr. Barnes said...

John,

Thank you for your post. I think that I could say fairly that your biggest concern is that a man is claiming to have had heavenly experiences and now is an extremely influential teacher to the generation that I'm in. You also seem to have a problem with the idea that they would put an emphasis on experience. I would say one of the primary goals of Christianity. To experience, know, enjoy, hear God. Christianity without experience is dead textualism. The book leads us to a person. That is the glory of it. I want John 14-17.

I've found most of the offense that I've had with this is based more on unbelief than with being in conflict with the bible. Is it so hard to believe that we are in the last days? Joel 2 says some intense things about God's desire to reveal himself in that hour. Or do I believe that once the last apostle died that suddenly everyone who had an irrevocable gift in 1 Cor 12 lost it in that moment and that no longer can all prophecy or know what the Spirit is saying to the churches? Do I believe that the church can hasten the day of the Lord's coming? Do I still believe that God uses the weak and broken church to move in the world through agreement with His will in prayer and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit through His church? I believe that all of these are on solid biblical grounds. Also, in the book of revelation during the course of the judgements you will see God at each interval considering the prayers of a persecuted people. When you say that Mike teaches that God will release these things through IHOP. (is kind of the way that it sounded) I've never heard him teach that. He teaches that the entire body of Christ will be mature because of the persecution that it will face similar to that of the apostolic generation in the new testament, and the church will be in a posture of prayer.

These teachings would be commonly taught at IHOP and I would argue that they are biblical. As far as praying for special revelation... one of their main prayers is Paul's prayer in Eph. 1 asking God for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

I believe that the defense of the gospel is really important and so is the ministry of the gospel. I would say that IHOP is zealous for both. If you are going to right off a ministry because of the reaction of humans to it or even the weaknesses of all their members your going to have to write off every congregation in America. I don't believe that is a fair measure at all.

Also, you use Ernie Gruen as most of your source material... I would encourage you to check into your source a little deeper.

Bless you in your aim to be a defender of the truth.

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 1

Mr. Barnes,

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

You have made some good observations and I would like to respond to your points:

1. You said: “I think that I could say fairly that your biggest concern is that a man is claiming to have had heavenly experiences and now is an extremely influential teacher to the generation that I'm in... You also seem to have a problem with the idea that they would put an emphasis on experience. ”

I agree that Christianity is not just theory, but a beautiful daily experience from now until eternity with our Lord. I have no problem with the emphasis of experience in Christianity. However, there is a big big difference between experiencing the daily joy, peace, comfort, and love of God and having direct revelations with new doctrines and specific command from God. These are wildly different things and the experiences I am cautioning against are these prophetic revelations.

So my main problem actually is two fold. First, if these revelations that Mike Bickle had are real then we must give up one of the cornerstones of our faith and that is the doctrine of sola scriptura/scripture alone. Second, with these heavenly experiences come the crux of my argument which I entitled the IHOP Dilemma. If these prophecies are from God, then we are bound by them b/c... well... they are from God. So we are bound by them not only to believe, but to follow them. On the flip side, if they are not from God, then Mike Bickle is a false prophet and IHOP is built not on just lies, but one of the most heinous sins in the Bible - false prophecy.

You have to be honest with yourself and say that if you believe in Mike Bickle you must give up Sola Scriptura and question other Christians who are putting down a true prophet of God. Many at IHOP are quick to defend their leader, but are you willing to follow through and denounce sola scriptura and other Christians who deny true prophecies from the Spirit...?

2. You said “Is it so hard to believe that we are in the last days? Joel 2 says some intense things about God's desire to reveal himself in that hour. Or do I believe that once the last apostle died that suddenly everyone who had an irrevocable gift in 1 Cor 12 lost it in that moment and that no longer can all prophecy or know what the Spirit is saying to the churches? Do I believe that the church can hasten the day of the Lord's coming? Do I still believe that God uses the weak and broken church to move in the world through agreement with His will in prayer and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit through His church? I believe that all of these are on solid biblical grounds.”

None of these things sound bad in of themselves and I believe you can defend them biblically. Needless to say there are controversies surrounding these issues in the church.

I also mentioned this in my article, that b/c you have had prophecies regarding these statements they no longer are controversial, right? If the Holy Spirit revealed to you IHOP that these actually are the last days, this is the time of Joel 2, that the spiritual gifts are making a come back,and we should interpret Song of Soloman as Christ and the Chruch, then these areas are no longer controversial b/c you said the Third Person of the Trinity has revealed them to you. You do not have to necessarily defend them Biblical, b/c God gave you the interpretation right?

Needless to say there are many problematic things about your interpretation of Joel 2 and the simple fact that the church as a whole has recognized the elimination of the spiritual gifts up until 1900 - even the charismatic church.

For more on this topic go here: http://thepredestinedblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-think-that-this-issue-will-become.html


See part 2 below...

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 2

3. You said “If you are going to right off a ministry because of the reaction of humans to it or even the weaknesses of all their members your going to have to write off every congregation in America. I don't believe that is a fair measure at all.”

This is nothing more then a straw man attack. The congregation at IHOP is either filled with the Holy Spirit or they are filled with the spirit of false prophecy. Not to mention the fact that everyone from IHOP that I have met does not know the Bible really well (they have some knowledge...). To your credit that is most every Christian in every church. Needless to say, the people that come from their hold their experiences to a very high standard and mixing experience with poor theology has had some terrible results. You may very well have some people who do know the Bible, I just have not met them save for one person. Also, listen to the comments of those who left IHOP...

4. You said “Also, you use Ernie Gruen as most of your source material... I would encourage you to check into your source a little deeper.”

Please go back and look at my sources. Very few (if any?) come from Ernie Gruen. I just mention him in the beginning and have him as one of my sources. This leads me to believe you did not really read my article and perhaps just skimmed it. If you did, you did not read it carefully. I urge you to carefully exam what I have said here for I believe it is critical for the health of your soul my friend. Remember, there are many many many solid Christian groups and many apologetic groups that are pointing out error in not only the Mormon church, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ church, other cults, and YOUR CHURCH as well. Why is that? I pray God will open your eyes to the truth.

Mr. Barnes said...

John,

Thanks for your reply. I want to try to respond to these in sequence the best I can.

This will also come in multiple parts.

Part 1

1. Are direct revelations unbiblical? I realize they are uncomfortable, and even to an extent unbelievable…but am I to write a teacher off who uses a direct revelation to encourage, exhort, and comfort his flock? If he is introducing a new doctrine, then yes I should write him off. I should not believe a man just because he says that he has been to heaven. The doctrines you list in your original post… in my 3 years of exposure to the teachings of IHOP; I have not heard these taught: MSOG, LR, DT, JA. Some of those doctrines are perversions of scripture that do indeed confirm that the end time church will operate in signs and wonders, be able to withstand cruel persecution, be in agreement with God about what He is doing in the nations, and who He is (the definition of prayer, and I believe what Mike meant when he said that the church will “release the tribulation”), that operates in prophecy, singing songs to God in adoration of Jesus.

Some of these things that you list as aberrant need explanation.

a. The use of prophecy- Paul tells me that I should earnestly desire to prophecy.
b. The Tabernacle of David- I don’t ever see this mentioned as a theology but rather that the church will operate in the Spirit of the Tabernacle of David. Meaning that the church will mirror David’s heart in his worship and adoration of Jesus, and desire to seek only His beauty (profoundly Biblical in my opinion). The NT example they used for this picture is Mary of Bethany who Jesus commends.
c. The Bridal Paradigm-Eph. 5. Picture of Jesus as a jealous lover of His church who will fight for her, and lay down His life for her and present her sanctified.
d. I heard Mike actually say this year to a Korean gathering that he doesn’t have a biblical problem with an apostle that are not empowered to add to the word of God but are leaders that God is laying His hand on in power to shepherd a flock, but that he sees no one on the earth right now that he can say that about. Again, this view is not viewed as heretical and is widely debated in the church. He believes that apostolic power will be restored to the church (how would you explain Rev. 12)
e. View on Song of Solomon-I haven’t really studied this book hard at all but the four principles that IHOP draws out of this book are:
i. Jesus’ pursuit of His bride
ii. Draws a parallel between “the kisses of His word” and the idea that the Word of God can invigorate our hearts like no other.
iii. Talks about how the girl moves from immaturity to seeking only to satisfy her own desire to maturity in concerning herself with satisfying his desire. He takes this and makes a parallel that as we mature in Christ we become more concerned with His glory and that God still enjoys us in our immaturity.
iv. He relates these directly to New Testament teaching commonly found in Jn. 17. I can understand your concern of emphasis on an allegory as a foundational teaching. However, I think that he relates this directly with New Testament explanations and pictures of God’s heart.
f. Apostolic Pre-Millennialism/Post-Trib-again… not heretical, widely disagreed on. Apostolic meaning that the church will be victorious in Christ and overcome through martyrdom and faithfulness.
g. Contemplative Prayer-Have not heard them teach on this, though I see many contemplative books in their bookstore.

Mr. Barnes said...

Part 2

It’s clear that your view on Sola Scriptura and mine do not line up. I would argue that your view on Sola Scriptura doesn’t align with universally respected leaders like John Piper either when you say that we find in the scriptures every answer and direction that we need for our lives and that revelation from the Holy Spirit contradicts the truth of Sola Scriptura. (Although I have no idea what his sentiments are on IHOP)

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/prayer-fasting-and-the-course-of-history

Here is a link from John Piper teaching on Acts 13. If you have time please read the second paragraph heading “Hungering for God’s Leadership at Antioch.”

I would read the bible and say these men experienced Christ in these dramatic ways that left them with no desires for the world at all. I want that, and feel like if my heart is right in it I can totally be in line with the scriptures. If I seek to initiate a spiritual experience, or if I am not seeking Jesus heart, I am in danger of going into spiritual deception. If God reveals God in my asking, seeking, knocking…praise God!

Prophecies

I understand prophecy differently than you do as well. Prophecy (not in scripture) is meant to comfort, exhort, and encourage a believer or a congregation. It is my responsibility to test it. If I don’t feel like that prophecy bears witness with the scriptures, the Spirit within, or doesn’t lead me into greater love for Jesus I should reject it. That is my responsibility.

So the IHOP dilemma is actually a NT believer dilemma. It is not new or unscriptural. It will work out poorly if the person receiving the prophecy is not abiding, however so will everything else (turn out poorly for that person). Now if that believer that is giving a prophecy has intentions of deceit, selfish gain, false doctrines, or is not seeking intimacy with Jesus in giving prophecy they are in danger. The prophecies that you speak of that are only 65 percent accurate… that is why I believe that a ministry like IHOP does not pay any attention to a prophecy unless they have a few different witnesses saying the same thing without knowledge of the other.

I believe that a false prophet in the New Testament is mostly someone who is a false teacher of doctrine, then one whose heart is not for glorifying Jesus and then dipping in to the spiritual realm and maybe even getting accurate information but not leading that person to Jesus in a scriptural way.

So the real solution to the danger of prophecy is to teach it biblically not to shrink back from it or write off the person who is seeking to grow in the gifts or seeking the gifts earnestly and stepping out in faith that God actually still does what he says he does.

The Corinthian were abusing the gifts, and in response Paul did not say… we’ve got to shut that whole machine down… he corrected them and then exhorted them to eagerly desire those gifts out of love for people and God.

Mr. Barnes said...

Part 3

2. My attention to Joel was birthed by Mike Bickle a few years ago. My attention to the Day of the LORD was birthed in college when I wanted to learn the bible so I went to a church that took the approach of teaching chapter by chapter through the Bible and ended up going through the book of Revelation. That church actually took a Pre-Trib view of the end times, and I studied it for myself and was disillusioned by the mass disagreement in the body of Christ concerning the subject. That is how I was introduced to some of the end times stuff- my curiosity concerning that book.

After having that lens put on of the Day of the LORD teaching (described in Joel 2) it became clear to me that it is a profoundly biblical response to live in light of Jesus return at all times. Jesus taught it throughout the gospels that we are to posture our hearts in a fashion that we are ready for His return. Also the bible gives signs of the times that we are called to respond to.

On top of that when I live in a country where hardly anyone believes in Christ and the amount of immorality that abounds in America (including the church) would lead me to believe that fasting, prayer, repentance, and crying out for God to glorify His name in my generation by pouring out His Spirit instead of wrath to turn a generation back to Him is a good thing to concern myself with.

As far as spiritual gifts go… I don’t believe it was an elimination of the gifts in accordance with His word, but instead merely neglect of asking for those gifts by the Church. However God’s sovereignty is over all that.

My issue with your presentation in the original post is that you simply point to the gifts being present in a church as a sign that a movement is false, when the point of the warnings in scripture is to point out that just because someone operates in a gift doesn’t mean that they are of God. In the same way that Jesus says that many will have an Orthodox view (Matthew 7), outward works of righteousness (1 Cor. 13) and still not be in the flock. It’s the heart behind these outward works and words that matter.

Jesus also rebuked people for not being able to drive out demons, heal the sick, and operate in faith. Why are we not alarmed by this in the west? If I see my family being torn apart by demons, my grandpa in torment in a sickness, and a kid who has been abused by a parent and doesn’t know that God is a God of love, a generation turning whole sale against God, I need God’s gifts to fight against the works of the enemy. So when a body (I’m not speaking necessarily of IHOP here) of believers takes a stand against these things, it should not immediately spark skepticism. This is the New Testament model, explanation and then demonstration. I bring this up because it seems to be the meat of much of your original post.

Mr. Barnes said...

Part 4

3. “This is nothing more then a straw man attack. The congregation at IHOP is either filled with the Holy Spirit or they are filled with the spirit of false prophecy.”

Is that a biblical view? I can see saying that a leadership team are either false prophets or real prophets, but not a congregation.

My point is that offense has always happened within the church. It is one thing if it is based on abuse of that person or the truth of the Bible, but it is an entirely different thing to have our western sensibilities or pride bumped and then to use it to try to bring down a ministry even if it is something where the person was wronged or not treated with the respect that should be given to that person. I would say that this happens in every church.

4. Again I will bring up that if you use Ernie Gruen as a source that leads me to question your zeal for truth to be presented, and makes me view this writing with less weight.

I know well that Christian groups have said many things against IHOP. Some of them have probably been valid, and many probably repented of… but I can only go off of what I have heard and gained from that place in the 3 years that I have been exposed to their ministry. If you are going to bring up cults who have totally changed the doctrines of grace and the view of Christ and associate them with IHOP because godly people have fears about it, you need to do the same for the moves of God by men I have little doubt that you have the utmost respect have been feared and slandered in their generation in past centuries. That is something that is to be feared as well. I appreciate it when wrong belief and doctrine are exposed and clearly criticized, but I question some of these places of measure.

I also pray that God will open my eyes to the truth, clearly my opinion matters little if it doesn’t align with truth, and I do not want to stand above the word and make judgements on it because I am no expert. So I sincerely appreciate your prayers for me.

My prayers to you as well- that you would be one who brings down every argument that stands in opposition to the knowledge of God.

Thanks.

The Predestined Blog said...
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The Predestined Blog said...
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The Predestined Blog said...

There is a lot to reply to, but I think the crux of the issue is the idea of prophecy and Sola Scriptura.

You said: “Are direct revelations unbiblical? I realize they are uncomfortable, and even to an extent unbelievable…but am I to write a teacher off who uses a direct revelation to encourage, exhort, and comfort his flock? If he is introducing a new doctrine, then yes I should write him off.”


I say this with utmost humility and care - I beg of you sir - even if totally write me off and see me as some crazy fool... Please please study the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

In fact, I think writing in response to me is a waste of time compared to learning the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

I say this b/c you said “I would argue that your view on Sola Scriptura doesn’t align with universally respected leaders like John Piper either when you say that we find in the scriptures every answer and direction that we need for our lives and that revelation from the Holy Spirit contradicts the truth of Sola Scriptura.”

Please, truly I say this with a heart cry plea and humility, my view of Sola Scriptura is not wrong. If you know anything about me and who has influenced me, one of those men is Dr. John Piper. I have read a least 3 of his books that i cna dthink of off the top of my head, listened to hundreds of his sermons, and know his doctrines inside and out b/c he has truly shaped the way I think. Sir, I tell you with no shred of pride, that my doctrine of Sola Scriptura exactly matches his (I basically learned much of it from him) and that you are in error to say your view matches up with his.

This truly is why we are world’s apart. We don’t agree on what sola scriptura is. I have spilled much ink and time into reading about sola scriptura. let me give you a quick sampling of my favorite articles for you to read:

Is Sola Scriptura a Protestant Concoction? by Greg Bahnsen

http://www.christiantruth.com/scriptureandchurchfathers.html

http://vintage.aomin.org/SolaTop.html

http://www.tms.edu/JournalIssue.aspx?year=2004 - Look at the articles on volume 2

As being such an unashamed “fanboy” for Dr. Piper, I also know his definition of prophecy very intimately. The way you quote prophecy as helping and what not falls closely in line with his and I disagree with both (!) of you. However, If you read carefully, I am not knocking down that kind of prophecy. You can see the difference between direct revelations from God and the prophecy you are describing... right? Having God talk to you and seeing angels is different from him stirring your heart to help the church.

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 2

Anyways, if you read any of the papers about sola scriptura, and know what the definition was for the 500 years since it was clearly articulated, debated, and defended since the reformation is best stated by the following quotes:

“All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. To be more specific, I provide the following definition. The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement [audio, visual, or written].” - James White – Debate on Sola Scriptura v.s. Roman Catholic Apologist Gerry Matatics

“Whatever God teaches or commands is of sovereign authority. Whatever conveys to us an infallible knowledge of his teachings and commands is an infallible rule. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the only organs through which, during the present dispensation, God conveys to us a knowledge of his will about what we are to believe concerning himself, and what duties he requires of us.” - A.A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology


Mike Bickle, by definition of supernatural direct revelation, is violating this. Let’s debate the other type of prophecy for a different day, clearly there have been many direct revelations that violate sola scriptura - no argument.

In fact, even if your direct revelation conforms to scripture, it is still a violation of sola scriptura (that is direct not the pulling of the heart by the Holy Spirit). That is why there is no other source of God’s words then the Scripture, but IHOP readily admits God has told them words outside the scripture = Violation.

You said “I believe that a false prophet in the New Testament is mostly someone who is a false teacher of doctrine, then one whose heart is not for glorifying Jesus and then dipping in to the spiritual realm and maybe even getting accurate information but not leading that person to Jesus in a scriptural way.”

Please understand this there are many controversies in the church. Of note on the end of days. I know that apostolic premillenialism is a legitimate view. However, if the Holy Spirit tells you it is right, there is no controversy right? IHOP takes it stand on many controversial doctrines as every church does, however it is the only one where via prophecy, they know that their side is right.

I have spoken to a handful of IHOP people and I just completely disagree with their doctrine, like I would say a methodist. The difference? The methodist and I have different conviction regarding scripture, but people in IHOP know that their position is right b/c that’s what the Spirit told them in the prophecy room, when someone was prophesying over them, get the picture? This is really a violation of Sola Scriptura as well.
Just looking at what Mike Bickle has seen an experienced is not the NT dilemma - go to normal churches outside of IHOP, there is nothing to the degree of supernatural experiences. What is going on at IHOP demands us Christians to make a choice. A choice that he is a false or true prophet. Again, if I haven’t emphasized it enough, what you were saying prophecy is not what I’m really going crazy about, it is the direct revelation that God has supposedly made there. It demands a choice and unfortunately, to many people who know the Scripture and Love God it is obviously a place of false prophets and doctrines.

Mr. Barnes said...

John,

Thank you I will be sure to review what Sola Scriptura is.

Again I will hold to the point of hearing the voice of God as not being unbiblical, and the point that Piper clearly seems to make in the sermon that I posted. Please listen to it. I also love John Piper but that is besides the point if I am misunderstanding or misrepresenting him.

If Mike Bickle is lying about an encounter, then clearly he is a false prophet. If he changes the doctrines of grace or perverts truth he is clearly a false prophet. I don't believe that scripture tells me that if a man claims that he has an encounter he is a false prophet. The prophecies that Mike has presented were directional in nature for his calling, and encouragement for his flock, and in no way undermines the authority of scripture.

Thanks again.

Mr. Barnes said...

Part 1

John,

I will follow up my last post after reading some of the resources that you have provided along with a couple others, and then be (hopefully) finished and allow you to follow up however you wish.

Sola Scriptura Definition

“All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. To be more specific, I provide the following definition. The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement [audio, visual, or written].” - James White – Debate on Sola Scriptura v.s. Roman Catholic Apologist Gerry Matatics

Now let’s take the example of Mike Bickle. Does the authority of scripture get violated by his revelations given by the Lord? Does it tamper with the rule of faith? Do they substitute for the authority of scripture or testify to the authority of scripture? You have argued that they do. I would argue that his stories simply work to encourage my generation that God is willing to do what the scriptures says clearly that He will do through His people. Here are the essential effects of those experiences in my opinion, in all of these I see no controversy of the rule of faith.

1.To believe for the ministry of the Holy Spirit
2.To believe that God wants to raise up prayer in the church
3.To increase intercession
4.To believe that in seeking the Kingdom first, God will provide finance for the things He is calling us to
5.That God is going to anoint the preaching of the Word and cause revival
6.That a praying church can overcome in the generation of the Lord’s return
7.That God delights in His people (the Church)

Now I would like to highlight Acts 2: 17-18 and ask a specific question based of this text.
“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy”

Which response upholds scripture? That indeed God will do this in the last days or He won’t? In the same way that the experiencing of the supernatural SHOULD NOT cause us to interpret scripture in a certain way, neither should the lack of experience. I would argue that very thing has happened to many who would argue all day long for the authority of scripture but then grossly misrepresent 1 Cor 13:10 based on their own EXPERIENCE. How do we respond to Stephen in Acts 7 who saw the glory of God but was not an apostle or provide canon that added to the rule of faith from that experience. What was the purpose of that experience? Was it to introduce scripture or to comfort his brothers that what the apostles were attesting to was indeed true?

Mr. Barnes said...

Part 2


Now for my own sake I have benefited from this discussion in a couple of areas in which I am thankful for you input and emphasis. I encourage myself and others like me who esteem the IHOP ministry. I should not:
1. Interpret scripture based on a supernatural experience but only allow those experiences to encourage me to labor in prayer for those things. My standing before the Lord depends on my response to His Word in the authoritative scriptures and my heart response in faith toward Him in those things to which He has called me through His Word. I should not even shape an end time view around experiences, but allow the scriptures to inform me under the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
2. Not allow my faith to be dependent on a few men and their experiences. This could be a massive stumbling block to the gospel. But only to be encouraged by others’ testimonies in the Lord and to benefit from a shared inheritance in Christ. Also, the presence of powerful gifts does not make a person one who I should receive teaching from.
3. To not allow supernatural experiences to encourage my heart toward a clearly revealed truth in scripture to the neglect of other glorious truths that are at the very heart of my faith.

My request to you upon your discretion:
1. Re-evaluate your view of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a New Testament believer. If you limit the ministry of the Holy Spirit in terms of prophecy as only a tugging of the heart… you are putting massive limitations on it that the authority of scripture does not. I believe this could massively effect the ability of a person to discern truth from error. Here are a couple of resources from guys that I think that you are comfortable with:

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/are-signs-and-wonders-for-today

• He says at the end of this sermon that we would base our lives off of the rock of the authoritative Words of the apostles and not the sands of experience. To which I whole-heartedly nod in approval
• He takes both positions of the view of the gifts of the Spirit and draws out the strengths of each

http://resources.bridgewaychurch.com/BW.Celebrations/main.Celebration/audio/podcast.Audio/2008/10192008-SamStorms-ContendingForTheSupernatural.mp3

• Sam draws out from some of His own experiences and maybe highlights some ways that differ from your understanding of a simple pulling of the heart strings.

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/biographies/a-passion-for-christ-exalting-power

• A biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones and his views on the Christ exalting power along with an analysis of abuses of it through history.

Thank you for your labor towards me and others.

Mr. Barnes said...

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/the-authority-and-nature-of-the-gift-of-prophecy

One last resource. This is probably the best resource that draws out how prophecies should be received and given, and what are the circumstances of being wrong in giving prophecy.

The Predestined Blog said...

Mr. Barnes,

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I need some time to read what you gave me and before you delve into the articles I do have something to point out.

We are talking about 2 very different things.

1) Supernaturalism - I believe that God can still raise the dead, call down Angels, heal any illness, and move our hearts and mind if we pray to Him. This is the power of God and prayer. To believe in miracles and the power of prayer is different than believing that the sign gifts are open to this age. I believe in miracles and that every Christian has that prerogative, but as the church has for 1900 - not that the sign gifts are open to all people.

Let us not debate this issue for now.

2) Different types of prophecy. As I said, I am very well acquainted with Dr. Piper view, which is very similar to Dr. Wayne Grudem’s and fall into the category of “open, but cautious.” This is what I will call Type I prophecy. IIn Dr Grudem’s Systematic Theology (first ed.) page 1049 defines prophecy as “telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.” It is not just simply “stirring of the heart” and is exactly what you have described. But why does Dr. Grudem (and Piper) go out of his way to define NT prophecy and write a section to defend this type of prophecy..

Earlier in his book he says this under the heading “Would the Continuation of Prophecy Today Challenge the Sufficiency of Scripture?”

On page 1039 he states “If prophets today, for example, spoke words that we knew were the very words of God, then these words would be equal to the Scripture in authority, and we would be obligated to write them down and add then to our Bibles whenever we heard them. But if we are convinced that God stopped causing Scripture to be written when the book o Revelation was completed, then we have to say that this kind of speech, uttering the very words of God, cannot happen today. And any claims to have “new” Scripture, “new” words of God, must be rejected as false.” This is type 2 prophecy and the reason why Dr. Piper and Grudem say they can believe in prophesy is b/c they have a sharp distinction between these two types.

Though I disagree with type I prophecy, let us not debate this issue either, b/c frankly, I can fellowship with Christians with this view (and obviously have!).

However, it is clear that Mike Bickle and many others at IHOP are having type 2 prophecies and these are the ones that cause the IHOP dilemma and is in frank violation of Sola Scriptura and what other charismatics like Dr. Piper and Grudem are against.

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 2

I beg of you with all humility again sir to now look at the definition of sola scriptura from Dr. White’s debate :

“All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. To be more specific, I provide the following definition. The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement [audio, visual, or written].”

Any type 2 prophecies, by definition, violate sola scriptura. If you actually hear and see God’s voice, as Dr. Grudem says, its authority is equal to the Bible and we should add it on. IHOP and its leaders are having and have had many type 2 prophecies. If you look at my comments section there is a young man “maadio” who says he believes in Prima Scriptura (as opposed to sola scriptura) b/c of what he has seen from IHOP.

I am pleading with you b/c it is not my bias against IHOP that I am saying direct revelations from God are violations of sola scriptura or that it is my interpreation of sola scriptura - IT IS SOLA SCRIPTURA AND PRECISELY WHAT IS THERE FOR - to protect the Church from any source, the Pope, Joseph Smith, Mohammed, or yes even Mike Bickle when they claim to hear His voice.

It is intellectually and logically impossible to hold to sola scriptura and believe in direct revelation. And sir, from what you are saying, you do not seem to believe in sola scriptura, and it is to my sadness - not joy - that you have a mistaken understanding.

When you say “Now let’s take the example of Mike Bickle. Does the authority of scripture get violated by his revelations given by the Lord? Does it tamper with the rule of faith? Do they substitute for the authority of scripture or testify to the authority of scripture?”

Yes, the authority of Scripture is violated b/c it is added on to and therefore changes the rule of faith.

But even if it didn’t violate, tamper with, or substitute the authority of scripture - it is still a violation of sola scriptura. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT. Everyone at IHOP says this as a counter, but just logically speaking it doesn’t matter if the revelation perfectly agrees with the Bible, it is still a violation (if it is a type 2 prophecy).

That is why you have to either drop sola scriptura or believe in direct revelation and you can see from “maadio’s” comment he has dropped sola scriptura - and it is understandable if you see that all his experience was at IHOP.

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 3

Please read those articles with this in mind.

Couple of other points:

Sola scriptura did not apply to those before the close of the canon and until the life death of the Apostles, so bringing of Stephen, the Corinthian church, does not apply. This is a common misunderstanding. For your own biblical knowledge, I am encouraging you to make this distinction, so you can sharpen your understanding of this doctrine.

We can go back to Joel 2 some other time, but just to keep you on your toes Peter said that event happened 2000 years ago - so why do apply it now? Better question is how does it apply now? Also if you keep reading on from their 2:19-20 says

”19 ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE
AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW,
BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.
20 ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS
AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, “


Where are these signs? If Joel 2 is happening today supposedly and used to defend the gift of prophesy, where are these signs? Seems like a classic case of not reading the next couple of verses! If we can get through this sola scriptura debate, we can talk about Joel 2/Acts 2 :P

Mr. Barnes said...

Part 1
John,
I appreciate you drawing out the distinctions of Piper & Grudem’s view on prophecy. That is helpful for me to see where they stand on the issue.
Here is my question to you: does scripture say that a New Testament believer in relationship with Christ cannot hear the audible voice of the Lord? Does the authoritative scriptures teach this? If it does I’m clearly in rebellion and should be rebuked. Or is this a man-made rule? Which stance adds to the teachings of the New Testament and undermines its undeniable authority? To what am I accountable? The scriptures or this rule that is not found anywhere in the scriptures? Is there a contradiction in saying that you totally rely on the authority of the scriptures and then subsequently add a rule that is not in the scriptures and put yourself in danger of quenching the Spirit of God? I don’t want to overdo my point but desire to be clear as to why I don’t esteem the position you are trying to hold me to along with others.

This stands to be corrected, but I do not understand why an audible voice automatically necessitates the birth of new scripture. What is more authoritative? Zacchaeus’ testimony to friends after Jesus slept over at his house (speculating that He did speak to people about it) where Jesus undoubtedly spoke encouragement and initiated a calling in his life or Peter’s letters that gives a rule of faith and establishes proper doctrine. I would argue that Peter’s testimony in those letters carry absolute authority in the life of the believer because: it was in the sovereign purposes of God for him to write scripture, and he was an apostle whose message was clearly attesting by the Holy Spirit as he was establishing the foundation for the church. There is no need for more scripture, there is a need for biblical prophecy.
When a person speaks something from the Lord, even if it is said to be audible currently it is automatically subjected to sifting and antagonism from the authoritative scripture which it is subjected to by rule. The very requirement of sifting and antagonism from the recipient automatically makes it clear that it is not on par with the written scriptures in terms of authority independent of how the person giving the prophecy received it. To the extent that it encourages, edifies, and exhorts believers toward those things that are clearly within the will of God it can be useful in building up the church and to not be despised. To the point that it leads away from Jesus and doesn’t meet the biblical tests, it is to be thrown out and seen as dangerous.

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul said that he had revelations in the third heaven that he is not permitted to tell. So that would lead me to believe that not all revelations that God uses are solely for the purpose of writing scripture or introducing a rule of faith or doctrine. There were reasons outside of giving the inspired word that God allowed for there to be direct revelations and communication. It would seem that this revelation was specifically for Paul in relationship with God. That is why I would have issues with Dr. Grudem’s expressed view in saying that a direct revelation necessitates written doctrine and scripture.

Mr. Barnes said...

Part 2

Prophecy in the New Testament examples given in the book of Acts are seen with various dynamics outside of God simply bringing something to the mind of a prophet. So is Dr. Grudem’s teaching on prophecy authoritative? So if I don’t write off an experience that the New Testament does not write off but men do with their invisible rules… and that puts me outside the Sola Scriptura group, I’ll have to take my chances in spite of the unbelievable esteem and indebtedness to many of those men to whom you mention whom I wish to benefit from the fruit of their work and who tower over me in their stature as servants of Christ.
So if a man has an experience that encourages me to pray for the things that God clearly has a will towards in the scriptures, I will not despise it. If a man comes with an experience that preaches another gospel than the one Paul preached or tries to add to what has already been clearly established, as Mohammed and Joseph Smith did, I will gladly write it off as false and correct and rebuke the person under the sway of those teachings.

As far as Joel 2 goes, I believe you made my argument for me. The last part of that prophecy has yet to happen and so what Joel was speaking of hasn’t been fulfilled and shut down for the rest of us. Even though I can’t say I understand this prophecy fully as it is glorious and beyond my understanding. I will point out a few things:
1. It says “In the last days”- we are in the last days = CrossSecond Coming.
2. BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.
20 ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS
AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, “
a. Did this happen at Pentecost?-no
b. Was the first part of the prophecy fulfilled totally and ultimately? Was the Spirit poured out on ALL flesh, or just to believing Jews at the exclusion of believing Gentiles and other nations that prophecy was intended for?
c. So this leads me to interpret this passage 2 ways. 1. Either the day of Pentecost inaugurated the reality of this passage that will not be wrapped up until the second coming of the Lord (which would mean that this passage still relates) because the second half of this prophecy has not happened yet. So it is still awaiting fulfillment and a notable amount of prophetic activity will visit the church in the midst of this fulfillment or 2. That this passage relates to the Day of the Lord which will have relevance in the generation of the Lord’s return. The cross in many ways was qualified in the Old Testament as a Day of the Lord type scenario where God released His judgment, and poured out blessing (the Holy Spirit) on those who were in covenant with Him (the church), which will also have relevance “In the last days” and when “blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood.” happens which seems to point to the second coming.
3. Certain passages like the one in 1 Cor. 1 speaks of the full range of spiritual gifts until the return of Jesus.

Again, your thoughts have been helpful. I appreciate your prayers and concern for my understanding and posture toward the Bible. I pray for grace for you in defending the gospel and humbly desire your consideration of me as a brother in Christ.

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 1

Mr. Barnes,

I do consider you a brother of Christ. I do pray that this exchange will bring glory to God.

First, let’s drop Acts 2/Joel 2 for now. Yes, I admit I had to put something in last time, but you understand the need to right?

Now on to the meat and potatoes.

I think you are catching on and are at the point I want you to be

1) Understanding sola scriptura (ie what really matters in our debate)

2) Understanding that you might not agree with one of the cornerstone doctrines of evangelical faith and I even dare to say true Christianity. I feel from your tone that you do not want to have to drop this doctrine.

First, let me point out to you that it is not a disputed fact that the spiritual gifts were not in use since the time of the Apostles to the 1900s. Almost no current charismatic nor anyone who knows theology in IHOP would disagree - Why? B/c they believe starting in 1900 with the Azusa street movement and 1906 Topeka, KS tongues movement was the start of the “last days” and that the Spirit started to move again and pour out his Gifts for the church to widely use again. This is not something to debate, but acknowledged by those in the know and is known as the second wave (the first being Acts 2 and pentecost). The third wave started in the 80’s with the whole Vineyard movement.

Why do I bring this up, b/c you are not making a distinction between the early church and time when the apostles were living and now...

First of all, from our conversation, whether you know it or not, you are a part cessationist! :)

B/c you admitted that you cannot add to Scripture and that there are no more apostles like the 12 apostles and Paul. Can you defend that biblically? You pointed out to me that the NT testament says this and that about gifts and that you are puzzled at how I am seemingly arbitrarily shutting them out, however how do you defend your view ie that all the gifts are working in the church just like in the NT age, but with exception of a certain class of apostle and a certain class of prophecy (ie authoritative and written prophecy).

I bring this up because it has been recognized without controversy (Roman Catholicism excluded) that there are no more apostles and no more revelatory gifts including prophecy - why? b/c the only offices that could do such things as type 2 prophecies and add to the scripture were the apostles and prophets ie the foundation of the church just as eph 2:20 says “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.”

B/c there were no more prophets and apostles, sola scriptura came to be - why? B/c from then on there is no one who can speak the very words of God. I bring this up b/c many charismatics are like “the gifts of tongues and prophecy have always been this way since the founding of the church” when they ignore that 1900 year gap where it didn’t happen, not to mention that it doesn’t happen in many other churches.

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 2

Now, we come to another thing I hear frequently, about the quality of prophecies just as in your example with Zecharias.
Here is the real question: What has more authority:

1) The Old Testament
2) Paul’s Sermons
3) Peter’s writings
4) Jesus’ words while he was on Earth
5) Jesus’ words as recorded by Mark
6) God the Father speaking to you in a dream

The answer is THEY ARE ALL GOD’S WORD AND ARE ALL EQUAL. If via the Holy Spirit Isaiah, Paul, Peter, or Mike Bickle speak it is as authoritative as the Bible. Listen i beg of you sir, if you look at Paul’s writing he does not say “once my words are written down and become canonized and in the Bible, then they are authoritative” - NO! Rather he said

1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received theword of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word ofmen, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

John calls his writing a type of prophecy. Again, there is no distinction between written and oral prophecy. Yet people who are a charismatic conveniently make an unbiblical distinction between first type1 and type2 prophecies and written and oral.

Revelation 1:3”Blessed is he who READS and those who HEAR the words of the PROPHECY and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

Btw, John saw a vision and Jesus just told him to write in Rev 1 :11 “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

Boom. Thats it. Oral, written, or just seeing these are all authoritative words of God.

Now, read Greg Bahnsen’s article on sola scriptura for further review: Is Sola Scriptura a Protestant Concoction? by Greg Bahnsen
and The Media of God’s Word The Sufficiency of Scripture by John Frame by John Frame

The Predestined Blog said...

Part 3


You said: “The very requirement of sifting and antagonism from the recipient automatically makes it clear that it is not on par with the written scriptures in terms of authority independent of how the person giving the prophecy received it. To the extent that it encourages, edifies, and exhorts believers toward those things that are clearly within the will of God it can be useful in building up the church and to not be despised. “

Again, there is a great tendency to “see the results” of something order to see if it is from God? You know yourself the many cults use this tactic ie “The book of Mormon has done me so much good.” Again the results don’t matter. What matters is that someone is claiming to speak on God’s behalf with the same authority that the apostles and prophets have yet do not want the responsibility! Indeed this now brings us back to the IHOP dilemma and as Jesus put it you are for Him or against Him.

You also said, as long as the direct revelations don’t counter scripture it is okay. Well, IHOP’s direct revelation do counter scripture first of all in many things in my estimation and second of all it definitely counters (I am know I am beating a dead horse here) the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture!

Conclusion:

1. There is no Biblical warrant for the cessation of just one subtype of prophecy (written and authoritative).

2. The church has acknowledged for many years that the Spiritual gifts have stopped. Even charismatic theologians believe the gifts came back in the 1900’s.

3. With the close of the offices of apostle and prophets in the early church signaled the end of God’s authoritative direct revelation (type 2 prophecies), hence rejection of sola scriptura based on stories and examples of direct revelation (like prophecies) before the close of the canon and death of the apostles and prophets are no applicable.

4. IHOP has made these type of revelations and the church either must accept or reject these. Accepting these would mean to add onto God’s existing revelation in Scripture b/c God’s written and oral word are equally binding. Rejecting these as not the word of God makes IHOP guilty of the sin of false prophecies. Remember I am focusing just on type 2 prophecies here. If you recall, the first part of my article here is devoted to the seriousness of being a prophet and being a false prophet.

5. If you do accept that God can make direct revelations, you must reject the doctrine of sola scriptura/the sufficiency of scripture and should no longer consider yourself evangelical as sola scriptura is one of the cornerstones of evangelicalism.

The Predestined Blog said...

argh... I didn't realize my hyperlinks to the articles failed

Greg Bahnsen's article: http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/bahnsen.html.

John Frame's: http://www.thirdmill.org/newfiles/joh_frame/joh_frame.DWG_032.html

Mr. Barnes said...

John,
I appreciate your response. It is clear that you and I are slicing this from two different angles and that it is unlikely that we will come into agreement on this issue because our aims are different. I have no ability or desire to argue on the grounds that you present. I don’t agree with you on what really matters in this debate, in that I’m not into meeting a committee’s rules but rather desire to be aligned with what the Word says, (I know this is your desire too, it’s just merely not the grounds that we are trying to settle the conversation). I have no fear of tags although I love your types, (Reformed Calvinist guys) and I love Charismatics because they actually think the promises are real and don’t look to the person beside them to determine how much of God they can enjoy in this age. The original apostles are unique in that they laid the foundation that we are to build on. No other man operating in whatever amount of power can lay another foundation. We have the same Holy Spirit that they did being in the better convenant, and the same Holy Spirit that Jesus did, so limitations to what we can experience in agreement with that foundation seems silly to me even though we will always be greatly in need of mercy. I love Mike Bickle’s stories and they encourage me and raise a level of expectancy in me to experience those things written in the Word as a broken and weak man and push me toward greater zeal for Christ likeness without actually changing any intellectual approach that I take on the scriptures. I find it unfortunate that you bring Joseph Smith up. I appreciate your meekness and your long-suffering in this conversation with me, and pray for the name of Jesus to prosper in your heart and in your household.

The Predestined Blog said...

Mr. Barnes,

Thank you for your respectful exchange. I won't lie, I do mourn the fact that you would consider the sufficiency of scripture "a committee's rule" and consider the prophecies of Mike Bickle revelations from God, therefore I do urge you brother to keep looking into the importance of the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture. It has been around since the early church - see here for a great article on the early church fathers' view on sola scriptura.

http://www.christiantruth.com/scriptureandchurchfathers.html

Not to mention the fact that 500 years ago during the Reformation many people lost their lives to defend this teaching...

I ask you not to debate with me anymore, but reconsider your words "...in that I’m not into meeting a committee’s rules..." in regard to one of the cornerstone doctrines of our faith.

Lavender Darwin said...

Wow, I mistakenly thought that this was going to be an indictment against pancakes...

neil said...

Neil said..If you want to prove something you can always quote the bible and several authors with it. Even the devil used the verses from the bible during tempting of Jesus. BUT, What if? Just what if..You acted like Gamaliel in Acts 5:33. I DONT KNOW WHICH JESUS YOU KNOW BUT IHOP USE SAME CHRISTIAN BIBLES. I use ESV for myself. I pray that you won't be judge if this is really God's. Good argument but wrong conclusion #Phil 101

neil said...

We use the bible verses so conveniently to defend what we believe that we forgot how the evil one used it with Jesus.
Acts 5:33-* What if? You have made some strong accusations that I hope you seeked the counsel of the Holy Spirit. If you are right and you believe in God, true believers in IHOP will discern it according to HIS word. If you are wrong, I pray mercy upon yourself in the last days.

The Predestined Blog said...

Neil let’s be very clear there are numerous Christian apologetic sites that list IHOP as a cult right along side the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Unification church, etc. Did all of us get it wrong? You have to really stand back and think, why would all these learned men consider IHOP a cult? Please do consider it.

2nd of all, I with the most humble and deepest conviction in the Holy Spirit believe IHOP is a detriment to the church and the people who go there a committing near spiritual suicide.

3rd, To your credit, you are correct, woe to me if I am wrong woe to me... but the knife cuts both ways WOE TO YOU IF I (AND THE OTHER MISSIONARY, PASTORS, AND SEMINARY PROFESSORS) AM RIGHT. That is one of the theses from my article one of us is deeply in the wrong.

4th I think it is funny (I indeed smirked) when you compared my usage of the Bible with the Satan himself! However let’s see if I am acting like Jesus or Satan. IHOPers are the ones coming out quoting and taking the Bible WAY out of context and just like the devil you take a verse here are there and say “see see Mike Bickle is right!” However, Jesus and I actually take the Bible and use it in its correct context and have a well formulated theology and can back everything we say with the Word.

IHOP Cannot. You rely on your own prophecies and much like Satan when you try and defend yourself with Scripture, you fail (see all the comments from your fellow IHOPers and see how miserably they fail and how weak they are in the Word). In fact, you are the ones who take a couple of verses here and there (out of context may I add) and then you add a dash of your experience and some prophecies at your conference and then Voila - you claim the Holy Spirit has spoken to you (heresy by the way...). I would LOVE. I mean LOVE to see your Biblical knowledge, but like almost everyone at IHOP you would fail miserably if I really asked you about the Bible. That was Satan’s prb - he didn’t grasp it. Also, look at reply, you pretty much can’t refute any of the Biblical arguments I laid out. In fact to your shame, the only verse you lay out is not cited correctly (its actually Acts 5:34 not 33) and I have in fact seen the fruit of IHOPs labor - poor knowledge of the Word, reliance on the self (via emotions and experience), and look at some of the comments and links here about the former IHOPers (and parent of an IHOPer) and how much destruction it brought into their lives. So even if I follow your example IHOP is wrong.

5th You mention that IHOP has the same Jesus. For the most part true. HOWEVER you know that you guys do missions in Egypt with the Coptic church who DO NOT HAVE THE SAME JESUS. They believe in monophysitism (I’ll let you do some research) long story short - A DIFFERENT JESUS.


Finally, the main issue is not that we have different Christ’s (though I am suspicious from the above statement), but I doubt it is the Holy Spirit there (which is equally as troublesome). The Spirit cannot contradict the Word, and IHOP has regrettably shown itself to go against it with its doctrines and so-called prophecies in numerous ways.

Please actually read what I wrote in this article and think about it...


God Bless you and may He save you from IHOP.

neil said...

I love your passion for Jesus !(Please see my previous comments) Let's break this down….(1) numerous Christian apologetic sites[does the numerous justify the truth?] (2) cult right along side the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Unification church, etc.[Judgment by wrong comparison] Let's just take Mormons in comparison to IHOP?!] (3) Did all of us get it wrong? [I could ask you the same question. Will that make both of us valid?] You have to really stand back and think, why would all these learned [I love this word 'learned'. Peter and some of the disciples were not 'learned' in the Word in comparison to the Pharisees] men consider IHOP a cult. (4)… committing near spiritual suicide. [I will pray you that you are but I'm not in a lost because I praise the same Jesus and He would leave the 99 to search for me](5)… However, Jesus and I actually take the Bible and use it in its correct context and have a well formulated theology and can back everything we say with the Word. [How I wish theology alone brings about righteousness and salvation to men? They tried that in the Old Testament and didnt work] (6)IHOP Cannot. You rely on your own prophecies [PROPHESIES IS DIFFERENT FROM VISIONS] [I think you have a problem that my God can speak and reveal Himself in a different way Acts 10:9] (7)… you claim the Holy Spirit has spoken to you (heresy by the way...). I would LOVE. I mean LOVE to see your Biblical knowledge [Why would I dispute the Word itself? If I recite to you the whole bible (which I can easily do), will it really change your mind. It stands on its own. Does knowledge of the Bible alone change people’s hearts?], but like almost everyone [generalization] at IHOP you would fail miserably if I really asked you about the Bible (8) he didn’t grasp it (its actually Acts 5:34 not 33)[wanted you to start from that paragraph] I have in fact seen the fruit of IHOPs labor - poor knowledge of the Word [Speak to me when you fully memorize the entire book and fully revealed to you. Our lifetime is not enough. I go over the same verse and get a new revelation], reliance on the self (via emotions and experience)[not all] (9)…. how much destruction it brought into their lives. [Give me one Ministry on earth as big as IHOP that has never experience an offense ] (10)…..Coptic church who DO NOT HAVE THE SAME JESUS. They believe in monophysitism (I’ll let you do some research) long story short - A DIFFERENT JESUS. [Yes I am aware of Coptic but association does not dictate a different God I serve. If you use this argurment, Is Jesus a sinner then because he associated with the sinners and dined and use their houses for fellowship?].(11)…. The Spirit cannot contradict the Word,[I look at the three or more prophesies you say are false but all I saw were that God brought him to heaven, spoke to him and revealed of a different expression. I didnt see any changing of the Word or adding a new book.] (12) …..read what I wrote in this article and think about it... [I read over it and you are passionate of you believe and I honor that but don't attack IHOP and its people. They have individual minds and souls who can discern for themselves. I worship the same Jesus who is so kind and merciful to me. I am growing closer to him in WORD and in spirit. Thank you for your concern but I think your 'thing' is not with its worshippers but specifically with its prophesies which you can't wrap your head around it that our big God tells a man to change the way we see Christianity today. If you dont know it yet, we are in times of Christianity where pastors and its sheep alike are in compromise, ie. divorce even with pastors, homosexuality, corruption, etc. We need to seek God with all of heart, soul and mind.] (13) God Bless you and may He save you from IHOP [God Bless you too and He's been restoring me!]

The Predestined Blog said...

Neil,

I'm sure you are a nice guy and what you IHOPers got is passion, Praise God. You would be very surprised to know I have done ministry along side IHOPers and people who support them. You guys do love Christ, but truly in my heart, the Spirit convicts me that you are in grave error and must come out of there!

I do have a big beef with the leadership there, but no so much the individuals.

My only thing I can say is that protestant evangelicalism is founded on faith alone and the scripture alone. The proper understanding of the visions and prophecies at IHOP - with all earnestness and love please understand - break the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture / sola scriptura. Please understand that... The conversations I have had with IHOPers consist of you guys redefining sola scriptura or simply misunderstanding it. Look at this critically...

That is why there is such a strong opposition to IHOP and thus (rightfully) been demoted to cult status. The OT and NT is full of warnings against false prophets, false prophecies, and false visions and I am sorry to say that it is obvious that the visions and prophecies propagated by your leaders are utterly false. Look, I don't see your good works and I never have experienced the emotions over there, and that makes me an unbiased when critiquing the visions etc.

Do we need to go to a Mormon church to see if their doctrines are false? No! Do I need to go to IHOP to see if your doctrines are false? No! Do we need to experience homosexuality, abortion, divorce, etc to know its wrong? No!

Finally, I make it very clear that I attack the leadership at IHOP fiercely, but not the lay people. I could give you names (well not online anyway) and I'm sure most (hopefully all...) would say that I was very cordial and understanding.

(oh yea, I do have a tendency to defend myself rather briskly online... no to be confused in real life).

Anonymous said...

Just curious. Can you look up Christian International (A mother church in Flordia, led by the hamon family and others, Bill Hamon, Jane Hamon etc.) and tell me your opinion on their theology? Again I am just curious. I will not say if I believe them or not, but now I really want to know what you think. Also, if you have time look up Martha Lucia. This will be much appreciated. Thank you.

The Predestined Blog said...

The Bible is clear on the warning signs of who false teachers and false prophets are in the world.

Even a quick view of what is going on the their website "International Gathering of Apostles and Prophets 2011" - Celebrating "25 years of bringing together apostles and prophets" just screams 25 YEARS OF FALSE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS.

This is the kind of abuse the Bible warns us about and the doctrine of Sola Scriptura protects us from.

Martha Lucia who is a self-proclaimed "Watchman/Prophet with an apostolic call" and affiliated with CIM is also equally a false apostle.

As Jesus said in Matthew 7 "“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves... 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’"

This seems to be a good website quoting some of Bill Harmon's false prophesies:

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/hamon.html

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

I read your post (and the related Carm article). I appreciate your desire to protect people from deception and your desire to promote sound doctrines and reasoning. I have a Ph.D. in philosophy and also care about sound reasoning. Now I'm not a member of IHOP, but the actual arguments you gave against IHOP seem to me to be unsound--or at least not well supported. I will briefly explain why (focusing on your carm article):

Your first argument is that IHOP has a feature in common with cults--in particular it's founder claiming to hear the voice of God. One problem with this argument is that Christianity ITSELF has that same feature. More importantly, it's logically fallacious: consider that most everything has at least some feature in common with something bad. But it doesn't follow that everything is bad. (Compare: we don't say that it's bad to have a mom even though Hitler had a mom.)

The other arguments are based on IHOP's prophecies. One argument is basically that many of them are false and another is that they violate sola scriptura. Regarding the first, I didn't read any good arguments or evidence in your article that revealed that one of their prophecies are false (I'm open to hearing more). Regarding the second, I didn't see any good reason in your article for thinking that God doesn't directly reveal things to people today. Of course, you may have independent arguments for cecessationalism, but I'm just saying that the case against IHOP in your article didn't seem to me to add up.

I write this to you with all respect and humility. I support you and your ministry. I also hope that people won't be blocked from discovering what God can do in and through them through IHOP's ministry.

United with you in Spirit,
Josh

The Predestined Blog said...

Josh,

Thank you for your taking time out to read my article.

I can hear your respectful and humble tone and I hope my reply will do the same. As you hope people won’t be blocked from discovering what God can do in and through them through IHOP, I these things so people will be blocked from the deception and evil (dare I say Satanic) influences that can happen to them at IHOP.

1) Regarding the common feature with cults

I made this point to draw attention to the fact that its origin does have something incredibly similar to the other cults I noted. It serves as an incredibly loud and obvious warning to all Christians to watch out when this formula is met, not as logical formalism, b/c I agree, logically speaking, you are correct.

I do have a grievance with your analogy of mothers and Hitler. For instance, cigarettes do not always cause cancer, b/c we know there are many lifelong smokers who do not develop cancer. Logically, cigarettes are not a causative agent, but they are strongly correlated. This is a more appropriate analogy, as founding of religions based on prophecies do not always have bad outcomes (i.e. Christianity), but is strongly correlated with it.

This conversation, however is not considering the fact of sola scriptura, which brings up our next point…

2) Regarding false prophecies and sola scriptura.

Please see my blog article for a full elaboration on these topics. Biblically, speaking, and prophecy to the level of the ones happening at IHOP, put you in an IHOP dilemma. You have skirted the issue by saying “you don’t think they are false” – I would like you to elaborate on that!

Just know that I list these prophecies b/c they are just flatly and blatantly counter to the biblical witness.

The prophecies I listed are so obvious to me and many others that they are false and what logically follows is that if IHOP is built on the premises of false prophecies and continue to practice false prophecy well…

If IHOP violates sola scriptura they have fallen out of evangelical orthodoxy – ‘Nuff said.

cont...

The Predestined Blog said...

I do have a separate post on cessationism ( http://thepredestinedblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-think-that-this-issue-will-become.html ) , but you don’t have to be a cessationist to be against IHOP. You need to make a choice for yourself Josh (Dr. Josh!) if these prophecies are real then you must accept the consequences of God actually speaking to them including that they are binding upon all Christianity and that all those who oppose their words are opposing the very words of God. The Bible is very explicit about how authoritative the words of prophets are and how incredibly sinful and dangerous it is to go against them. So which side do you choose?

You also said “Regarding the second, I didn't see any good reason in your article for thinking that God doesn't directly reveal things to people today.” Please study the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. It is one of the bedrocks of evangelical Christianity. I don’t have time to defend it here, but I have resources on my IHOP blog to go to and if you need more please comment again. Basically, you can deny sola scriptura and say God still reveals things to people today DIRECTLY, but you will also no longer be an evangelical mainstream Christian. This doctrine is one of the bedrocks of Protestantism and is one of the 5 solas of the reformation. IHOP has been disingenuous and trying to hold on to this doctrine and still believe in the level of prophecies they are receiving – now this is a logical fallacy!!!!

Look at what the commentor maadio said “I prefer "Prima Scriptura," and I believe so do the IHOP leaders.” He never learned the importance of sola scriptura and just flat out denied it! This is fine and logically consistent, but this is not what most at IHOP hold – they know better than to outright deny this.

I honestly wouldn’t mind them as much if IHOP came out and said “Hey, God is speaking through us! You must listen or else you are going against the very words of God! Oh yea, and by the way, we reject the doctrine of sola scriptura.”

This would immediately out them as anti-biblical (and by definition) a theological cult. Instead they try to keep their status amongst evangelicalism.

I hope these words find you well. If I may say so, I think you will be instructed so much more and be more knowledgeable against why people are so against IHOP, if you study the doctrine of sola scriptura. Forget this blog and replying to me – please go learn about the sufficiency of scripture!

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

Thanks for taking the time to give a thoughtful reply. I certainly do agree that in principle a correlation (such as between smoking and cancer) can be used to give a caution.

I also agree with the Apostle Paul when he writes, "Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said"(I Cor. 14: 29). You listed prophecies that you say are blatantly counter to the biblical witness. I guess that isn't presently so clear to me; it would probably help for me to see an example of scripture that is contradicted.

As for sola scriptura, it's never been perfectly clear what it amounts to. But if it amounts to implying that no one receives direct revelation from God today, or that no one can speak as a prophet of God today, then I am sincerely at a loss as to what the biblical evidence for that might be. Not adding to the prophecies of the book of revelation is not the same as not giving any prophecies (as they did in the early churches).

Please know, I'm not disagreeing with your overall conclusion (or agreeing with it). I'm merely challenging your arguments--perhaps to sharpen them in the end. :)

Blesssings to you,
Josh

The Predestined Blog said...

Josh,

Thank you for criticisms – I am surely not above it and appreciate you sharpening my arugments!

Consider these following premises:

Premise 1: Cessationism is true – IHOP is false and no refutation needed

Premise 2: Prophecy still happens – Evangelical orthodoxy has always believed in sola scriptura and that the office of apostle has ceased. IHOP disagrees and is not orthodox.

Premise 3: Direct prophecy still happens – We still must validate if IHOP’s prophecies are true or false

I believe premise 1 and please see my defense of it in the link in my first reply. The following arguments are only valid if direct prophesy (to the level that IHOP espouses) is open. I believe they must either distance themselves from orthodoxy or just come out and say that all Christian’s must follow what they have been saying from them to be logically consistent. I suppose (though it hurts to say!) logically that the orthodox beliefs of sola scriptura and the end of the office of apostle could be wrong and IHOP write, but nonetheless that would mean that IHOP is no orthodox – I wish they could just come out and say so!

Prophecy 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."

This is false in a several ways. First, it is not up to them usher in the second coming of Jesus. This prerogative is not for a specific group.

They are told they are forerunners – a term that is used for a specific individual ushering in the messiah ie John the Baptist or Elijah and they falsely attribute it to a group.

They have the “true” message of the Gospel … So they have a competing Gospel to historic Christianity (cf. Gal 1:8)

Prophecy 2: 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

Bible nowhere ever supports such a preposterous claim that prophecies are not accurate.

Prophecy 3: 'I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.'"

That means that there has been some major deficiency in the way God has been working for the past 2000 years with His church? I don’t think such claims can be biblically, historically, or experientially justified.

Prophecy 5: 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...

Wow new apostles?!?! They were for the founding of the church (cf Eph 2:20) and even many charismatic groups would not support this as apostles had the authority to speak on God’s behalf.

It really does come down to are these prophecies true or not? And we have to choose a side. There is no neutral or middle ground here, hence the “IHOP dilemma.”

Please see the article I have linked on sola scriptura by Dr. Greg Bahnsen(I am tempted to put an article online about if necessary).
cont...

The Predestined Blog said...

...cont from above


The best definition of sola scriptura can be found from Dr. James White’s debate with a Roman Catholic on this very topic - “All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. To be more specific, I provide the following definition. The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement [audio, visual, or written].” - James White – Debate on Sola Scriptura v.s. Roman Catholic Apologist Gerry Matatics

As you can plainly see, these kind of prophecies definitely supplement the scripture. In a nutshell, there are no more gifts/offices that have the ability to add to God’s word (ie apostles and prophets) therefore the canon is closed (contra Roman Catholicism). If you look at other charismatic literature, you will find that what they call prophecy is nowhere near the level of the OT and NT b/c they do not want to violate sola scriptura. Their prophecies are nothing like IHOPs b/c they are fully aware of the ramifications of violating sola scriptura.

God bless you and may He strengthen you with His Word through this dialogue.

PS BTW The plethora of unique end times prophecy plus their belief of postribulationalism would count as a an addition to the prophecy of the book of Revelation hands down. Seriously, if this doesn't count as adding onto the book of Revelation, I don't know what does...

Anonymous said...

I'm going to press just a little further about your reasons to think IHOP has given false prophecies. To simplify things, I'll focus on just one example (because it seems to me representative).

You give several reasons against Prophecy 1, but none explicitly appeal to scripture, except perhaps the last, where you write, "They have the “true” message of the Gospel … So they have a competing Gospel to historic Christianity (cf. Gal 1:8)". I fail to see how the prophecy you quoted implied that they are preaching a different gospel... Seems like a big leap to me.

~Josh

Anonymous said...

Dear Josh,

With your having a PhD, I’m surprised that you failed to address anything regarding the spiritually elite attitude of the IHOP attendees. I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that the general attitude of IHOP interns is one of superiority – that they somehow have an “edge” over the entire rest of the world albeit Christian or not.

My own now grown child spent years with IHOP and has yet to even be willing to discuss anything about it – other than saying, “there was a LOT I totally disagreed with when I was there.”

So Josh, your final statement, “I also hope that people won't be blocked from discovering what God can do in and through them through IHOP's ministry”, leads me to believe that 1. You are indeed an active IHOP member and 2. You’re quite actively in agreement with IHOP in lieu of the fact that you refer to IHOP as a “ministry”. I hope and pray your eyes will one day be opened to the spiritual deception and damage that has been performed courtesy of IHOP and its leaders.

Ariel Luciana said...

Thank you!!!! for a wonderful blog & post. I will be following it from now on.

The Predestined Blog said...

Josh,

I am a little unsure as to why you are unsure with that example (!). If a direct audible voice or vision comes and tells you that he has the true message of the gospel (which I can safely assume was presumably missing from the church) is not indicative a false prophecy - What is? Actually, there are very few other things that can be worse.

The only other thing IHOP is involved with that can be worse is their affiliation with the Coptic Church in Egypt who believe in the ancient heresy of monophysitism (a heresy of the nature of Jesus - cant get worse than that really...).

You have still yet to answer my question Josh.

1) Are the prophecies at IHOP true?

If Yes - What does it mean for me (and many other Christians) who oppose them?

If No - They are in SERIOUS error and should be opposed with vigor.

As I have mentioned in the IHOP dilemma, there is no "middle ground" here. Either they are outstanding messengers of God or in outright gross sin.

I just ask that you please answer these two questions and try not to veer off topic.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your prayer that my eyes be open. One thing I see is how little I see. Having an advanced degree certainly doesn't make me immune from poor judgement--indeed, it could even make me more vulnerable to foolish thinking (and pride). So, I appreciate your support.

I'm not part of IHOP, and my goal isn't to give a full defense of IHOP. My goal is to help promote careful, sound reasoning. ...But even more, I want to build up and encourage people in the Bride of Christ. So, again, thanks for building me up by your prayer.

Dear John,
I apologize for not answering your IHOP dilemma. Thanks for your grace. I'm not sure I fully grasp the force of it. Suppose there is a speaker at IHOP who consistently gave true prophecies from the Lord. If a God-loving Christian, such as yourself, believes this person's words are not from God, then it seems to me that God who judges the heart would know the skeptic's motives. If the motives are pure (and your motives seem pure to me), then their motives are not to be blamed. And if the prophecies are false, then the motives are still considered.

I do apologize for not grasping the force of the dilemma. (As I indicated above, having an advanced degree doesn't mean I see things clearly. :))

From the bottom of my heart: many blessings to you and your ministry,

~Josh

stanmagicman said...

21Actually IHOP started about 1986/1987 and Mike Bickle has changed the name of the church numerous time just like his Studies, Books and conferences. He has had a revolving door of Good Godly people/leaders and misguided Blatently False Prophet/teacher come and go(Fall) throughour the years With this most recent Killing of a House church leaders wife, it goes to show WHO has spiritual and biblical discernment. The house leader coax a house member to kill her after several weeks of abuse by other house members.

JD said...

Stanmagicman, just to be fair it isn't right to lump the recent tragedy in Kansas City in with IHOP. I've made a number of trips to IHOP-KC and saw both the good and the bad but I can tell you that they would never condone or abet this.. After my final trip the Lord showed me the deception there with false spirits and false prophecies, so I don't think I'll ever go back unless the Lord sends me back on some special assignment. I was protected during my trips there and also gained discernment.

IHOP is a massive network, and anyone can say they are a part of it. Just because the murderers attended IHOP isn't an indictment in and of itself, anymore than accusing all members of Ted Haggard's church of homosexual sin before that scandal broke.

Anonymous said...

JD
Tyler Deaton was listed online on the IHOP website until Nov 4,12 when they removed his name.

Check the IHOP beliefs and read about Bridal Paradigm. Very sexual slant. Also some of their music is slanted that way as well. "Make love to Jesus"

That sort of helped him out in getting where he ended up. Just a tad..

Anonymous said...

Perhaps one of the most blasphemous articles I've ever read... This is unfortunate. We continuously pray for revival yet we immediately discredit an authentic movement of the Spirit of God as soon as we see one.... this worlds not in need of more Pharisees, it needs more Jesus...People who are willing to sacrifice religion for Intimacy with God, and do as the fathers doing. Ihop is what it is today because of Mike Bickles obedience to the voice of God. Doing the works of God will always cause us to face persecution, clearly, in Mike Bickles case, this is no different. But Bickle is a radical lover for Jesus, and no persecution is going to diminish this mans obedience to the kingdom of God, you can try to diminish this man of God all that you want to, but Bickles heart is fully devoted to God and to the cause of Jesus Christ, and trust me, your not going to cause him, or God, to stumble. Ihop is not a cult, it's an authentic representation of the New Testament Church, with the goal of equipping the saints and sending missionaries out to all of the unreached people and people groups of this world, presenting the True Gospel, without compromise.

The Predestined Blog said...

@ Anonymous

I feel sorrow for you in my heart and everyone who reads this blog should as well. You are as 2 Peter 2:2 puts it one of they " Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned." You are like so many I have met from IHOP. When someone presents an argument from the Bible you don't have a good enough understanding of the Bible to have a counter argument. What you just did - ignore biblical arguments - and fall back on your limited experience at IHOP. Just like many IHOPers, you sadly are not well versed enough to make a defense, b/c you do not know the Bible well. This, my friends, is the unfortunate reality of IHOP. Avoid the Bible and really learning it and proclaim the so-called good they see.

Anonymous said...

This blog is laughable. Let's just bless this man. There's no need to argue observations and indirect false accusations. There will be no end to this conversation.

The Predestined Blog said...

@ Anonymous

What wonderful biblical defense. Oh wait...

Thanks for proving my point :)

Anonymous said...

My name is Nu and I was the last comment and didn't make the previous response before mine. I'm just a little tired of the malice and filth from this blog from both sides. I don't see any fruit from it. If you are really against it, how about meet with Bickle and call him out. Indirect conversations like these are like Gossips!

The Predestined Blog said...

I have met and talked with many people who go to IHOP (including those in my family). Believe me, I have called them out.

Btw Nu, I have documented all my "indirect false accusations" and carefully built my argument on the Bible. Did I say "I don't like IHOP bc i've been there and it was bad."

Merely closing your eyes to the sin of IHOP is not acceptable. Don't close your eyes to the Bible! And don't be one of those people who think both sides can be right and that all that needs to happen is for us to have a talk.

The Predestined Blog said...

I don't mean this in a demeaning way, but it appears you are confused on what gossip is. The definition of gossip is "Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true."

There is no gossip on this blog as everything I mention is referenced. To point documented errors in someone, even though it makes them look bad, is not gossip.

Do not make the error of accusing people of sin when they have not. Could my words be kinder or more humble at times of course, but there is no gossip here.

Annunk said...

Dear Nu and/or Anonymous,

This post is neither made out of malice, or filled with filth.

Christians were thrown to the lions, thrust through with stakes, crucified, beheaded and killed in many tortuous ways for taking a stance -- a public stance against faulty, dangerous beliefs and/or doctrines in years gone by. Today we see the same type of murders occurring in countries uniting themselves with Allah. Quite sad as they too were made in God's own image.

My point being is that while you take verbal jabs at this author, you fail to back up your "opinions" with biblical proof. That simply turns your words into nothing but "opinions" and as we all know, every man on earth has one.

For whatever reason, I am unable to post under my user name today but do invite you to stop by my blog as well. IHOPisNewAge.Wordpress.com -- as like this author, I have VERY close ties to IHOP and have previously LOST family members to IHOP. I have personally seen the danger(s) involved in IHOP and can tell you that the contemplative prayer Mike Bickle promotes is nothing short of the demonic practice of mysticism.

In short, IHOP endorses OCCULTIC practices and yet touts them to be God-inspired.

Anonymous said...

It is very useful to have someone like yourself speak for us. I am a true prophet of God and have been from a very young age. Some time ago I was encouraged to visit an ihop center that was very popular where I am from in California, but I was not eager to go. Eventually I went later, and my, what a disappointment. Fortunately God has blessed me with a powerful discernment, and I at once could sense spirits of deception and lies in that place, and some time later God sent me out to speak to those lost people. Not a single one of them openly admitted to having a calling as prophets of God, but claimed instead that they were not prophets, yet had the gift of prophecy. They were full of lies and deceit, though whether they knew it or not was uncertain.

There is little more that is a detriment to God's kingdom than false prophets and false teachers. It is incredibly aggravating to work as one of God's true prophets when we are lumped in with the fools like those at IHOP and our authority is constantly called into question, or compared to other "prophets" from places like those.

My city is covered with churches of all kinds, but many of them are false and rotting. And there is that den of false prophets from Kansas, who moved to my city from that place. They have, as you have written, formed a cultic experience around themselves, having not only a "prophetic" ministry, but an intercessory prayer ministry and even a healing ministry. I know some of those involved in the intercessory and healing ministry, and they were stolen away by this group and the demons within, and these other "ministries", although legitimate, are used as a front by demons to cover the false prophetic ministry they are operating with.

False prophets should get the death penalty in my opinion, because the work they do is like that of spiritual genocide, dragging down the souls of millions to their doom. A true prophet of God is not 65% accurate, not even 95% accurate. A true prophet is either 100% accurate or they would never dare to speak falsely on God's behalf. Some of the things they may prophesy may not come to pass for decades, but they are true servants of God and anyone with the gift of discernment will know who is true and who is false. That nonsense you wrote about, how IHOP has done away with gifts of discernment and focused more on "mysticism", that nonsense has flooded mainstream Christianity, it is a scourge upon churches everywhere!

The evils they are committing in that place, it is abominable. They are even teaching that they themselves can give gifts of prophecy to others, just by laying hands down on people. Well, one who has the gift of healing can lay hands and pray for healing, and one who is a strong prayer ministry can lay hands on those who wish to be made strong in prayer, and one with mighty faith can pray to God and lay hands and ask for faith in that person they lay hands on.

But the realm of prophets is worlds beyond anything of normal Christian understanding. Only God can gifts of the Spirit, and the gift of prophecy can be given only by God alone; no one else. You do not receive the gift of prophecy, nor do you receive a calling to prophecy, from mere humans, just by having some deluded fools lay their hands on you! There are people in my city who have undergone this "experience" and now believe that they are prophets, and they prophesy as IF they know God's will. It makes me want to tear out my hair. The amount of confusion and delusion and deception that is being propagated in this city is absurd.


To the best of my knowledge and discernment, there are only two true prophets of God in my city of over 145,000, but it seems there are dozens, if not hundreds, of false prophets wandering about.

Anonymous said...

Pt2.

It is ironic, God has encouraged me to write a book about the issues of false prophets and true prophets, among other themes, in what used to be my personal journal as a prophet. Having knowledge of the continuing spiritual disaster and harm IHOP is causing, all the while fooling almost everyone into believing they are true prophets, it's hideous. Though I did not realize just how hideous until I came across writings like yours.
Anyone who defends IHOP is a fool who has been deceived by demons, and they will be judged for their actions by God in the next life. As for people like Mike Bickle, he is either delusional or was visited by a demon, or he just made it all up. That is not to say that visions cannot still happen, but his ministry bears only rotting fruit, and his whole organization is riddled with demonic influence. It's as though not a single one of them has the gift of discernment, which goes hand in hand with a calling to prophet hood.

But, I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it is all irrelevant. It is unfortunate, but IHOP will only grow stronger and deceive more people. That is the future. Some can be warned, but I suspect most will ignore it. Once you know the true name of this nation we live in, its spiritual name, many things become clear.

Nevertheless, my thanks to you for this blog, and for your post and writings about IHOP; at least if no one takes my word and Scriptural arguments for it, I can direct them to your words.

Signed,

A true prophet of God.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused because ihopkc.org has nothing that states the information that you have on what they believe. My only guesses are that you have old information and something changed between then and now; or, maybe it is all carefully concealed covert beliefs that only the top people know; or it is not so much on purpose as there are secondary false teachings circulating that seem close to the truth but have a slight twist in them.

Personally, I don't follow Mike Bickle directly, and don't even read much of his material. I am not likely going to attend the schools, either. In reading the statement of faith and affirmations and denials at ihopkc.org, I really don't see where these other ideas you talk about are coming from.

The Predestined Blog said...

@ Anonymous

Of course not! Because that is not how cults operate. Let me quote from you something from http://www.cultwatch.com/howcultswork.html

"A cult will have a slick well-rehearsed Public Relations front which hides what the group is really like. You will hear how they help the poor, or support research, or peace, or the environment. They will tell you how happy you will be in their group (and everyone in the cult will always seem very happy and enthusiastic, mainly because they have been told to act happy and will get in trouble if they don’t). But you will not be told what life is really like in the group, nor what they really believe. These things will be introduced to you slowly, one at a time, so you will not notice the gradual change, until eventually you are practicing and believing things which at the start would have caused you to run a mile."

You are not going to find it on their home page, they are not that foolish.