I was recently troubled by some of the same issues as some of you are troubled about also. I was going to the December 2005 Onething Conference by IHOP. My youth group from home was going and they all seemed very excited so I made a trip from college to my hometown and then to Kansas City. I knew very little about the background of the ministry so I decided to do a little bit of investigating online. Like many of you, I came across all the negative perspectives about the "prophets" that Mike Bickle had been formerly associated with. I was very concerned about these testimonies from the apologetic websites and did not even want to go to the conference. I became captivated with all the negative testimonies about the ministry. I became so worried about it that I emailed the International House of Prayer and asked them if they could send me some information on their doctrine and have the courtesy of explaining to me why so many people claimed their ministry to be of heresy. I soon after received an email and it said:
I appreciate your desire to know what our basic doctrines are, especially since reading negative things about us over the web. I believe you can get a document from our Intro to IHOP enrollment form online. I have copied it for you below.
Note regarding the heresy etc. I think the major resistance to Mike happened some years ago, but mainly had to do with the prophetic ministry that the Lord brought forth here. Many of the apologetic websites have an anti-supernatural bias anyways. The not only crash us, but many of the charismatic/Pentecostal groups. If you dont believe that God speaks today through supernatural means, than of course we would be considered cult, fringe or heretical to some. Also, many of the quotes are taken totally out of context and create an impression when reading it that we have strange beliefs.
I have looked at many of these sites over the years and since being under Mikes teaching for quite some time now, I truly have never met a leader that had more desire to have biblical understanding than he. We are a prayer ministry that is wholly committed to the gaining understanding about God through prayer, fasting and bible study.
I would highly recommend that you listen to our prophetic history. It is a 12 CD series, where Mike gives the extraordinary accounts of supernatural activity from 1982 onwards. You can purchase this from our online bookstore.
I hope that this has been helpful to you.
Ed Boasso firstname.lastname@example.org
I was slightly assured by this email and therefore I was convinced to go to the conference. I can now say that it was the best conference I have ever been to. The people there were so passionate for God and a revival seemed to be breaking forth. The reason I believe is because they fulfilled all the requirements of 2 Chronicles 7:14. They were humble, they prayed (night and day, sought his face (Jesus), and they had turned from their wicked ways. It was absolutely amazing. I have since still been captivated with this ministry and have began reading a lot of material by Mike Bickle and the staff at IHOP and I have found it incredible. Everything that I have come across so far has been backed up by God's Word, so i have not had any worries. It has also caused me to stretch my mind in God's word. I now want to move to Kansas City and go to college at their Forerunner School of Ministry but that is not God's will for my life therefore He has not released me to do this. My former youth pastor is leaving to go their next week though because God has impressed him to do so. So I hope this answers your question Philologos:
I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer ministry? Maybe some experiences with their events, training and internship programs, or perhaps you've attended one of their conferences?
Maybe it will also shed a light to some of the others that posted a reply.
| 2006/5/8 3:47||Profile|
I can a bit more about Bickle. Mainly because I have had the chance to thoroughly study his material. Also, when doing a search on Bickle you will find that you really can't find anything negative about him. Anything negative you find about him is really directed towards Paul Cain, Bob Jones, etc. Looking over IHOP's website you don't even find a mention of these guys or their "ministries".
In your "thorough study of his materials", I wonder if you have stumbled across "Growing in the Prophetic"? It chronicles his journey from being a Minister who didn't believe in spiritual gifts at all, to how he came to be pastor of a church full of prophets, citing examples of two famous prophets' accurate prophecies, including one of them "prophecying" the details of the day that Mike would accept him as a member of his church. This guy's name was Bob Jones, and the other was Paul Cain. People who remember the announcement of Paul Cain's fall from grace, which was published on Rick Joyner's website in 2004, will remember that the Joyner approached Cain with two other men, one of which was Francis Frangepani (I think I spelled this wrong) and the other was (you guessed it) Mike Bickle.
"Growing in the Prophetic" is the only one of his books that I have read. At the time that I read it, the Brownesville "Revival" was in full swing, with Micheal L Browne, Stephen Hill and Lindel Cooley still there (incidently, Ps John Kilpatrick would often refer to asking Bickle what "the prophets were saying" and I believe that he was a regular guest speaker at the church). The church I attend lapped the whole thing up, and I was a huge promoter of third wave teachings, and was enamoured with all things prophetic. At the time, I enjoyed the book, as I did much of the teachings of Joyner, Kim Clement, Ruckins McKinley and Paul Schell, and when I first came here, I quoted alot out of these guys. Two and a half years on, I'd have to say that although I'd stop short of declaring these guys to be outright 'heretics', I would say that there is an amount of deception contained in their teachings. Personally I put it down to a carelessness about what they accept and believe.
"Growing in the Prophetic" also contains an appendix chapter on how to hold a "soaking meeting" (this was how they called the "Toronto Style" laughing phenomenon centered meetings), which I'd have to say is somewhat of a "smoking gun" when it comes to "deception warnings". As far as association with the "Kansas City Prophets", well considering that they don't exist, it's easy to distance oneself from them. No one refers to them as the "Kansas City Prophets" except their detractors. It's kind of like the "Word of Faith" and "Third Wave" movements. They all just refer to themselves as Christians. I have a friend who is slowly waking up to what they are about, and he has in the past thought that my objection to modern prophetic teachings is a denial that God speaks today. However, this isn't the case. There are many who embrace the "gift of prophecy" who object to their teachings. Among these are James Jacob Prasch and Art Katz, for example are both charismatic christians.
Art Katz has, in the past, published some material with Joyner's "Morning Star" publishing company. He mentioned Joyner by name when he was in Melbourne last year, saying that he gave Rick a copy of preaching about worship coming down from heaven, as opposed to being a tool to bring "down the glory of God" as if He was at our beckon call (he didn't clarify why he gave it to him, neither did he object to the chuckles coming from the congregation as he told the story). I could be wrong, but he seemed to imply that Morning Star sponsored the conference in Israel where Art preached his famous message on "Elijah", during which he was handed a note to say he could go for "4-5mins" (or was that [b]45[/b]mins). When he spoke of this event he mentioned that he walked out on the next speaker, who at the time was the "prophet of the hour", got up and "grand standed" an exhibition of "demonstrating God", saying that he felt that God was "conspicuously absent" despite the fancination of the audience, who didn't notice the difference.
On a postive note, Leonard Ravenhill referred to "Bishop Bickle" in his sermon [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=4374]Woe, Lo, Go! - Part 1[/url], [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=4375]Part 2[/url], [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=4376]Part3[/url], and [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=4377]Part 4[/url], preached at John Wimber's Vinyard church in Anaheim, when Bickle was still affiliated with Wimber's movement. Mind you, he also mentions Paul Cain and Michael L Browne as well. Many people view Ravenhill's affection to these personalities as an endorsment of their teachings. However, don't forget that many of these guys came up through Teen Challenge, which Ravenhill was heavily involved in, when ministering alongside David Wilkerson.
All I can say is that whether or not IHOP is a place to avoid or not is mostly subject to personal taste. In my observations, people who have a taste for a particular ministry will make excuses for their controversial stances and statements or they go down the road of "no one is perfect, you know" kind of logic (I have been guilty of all this myself). The key is repentance. I appreciate that IHOP have graciously replied to Seth's concerns, but notice that they only responded to the "many of the apologetic websites" stating that they "have an anti-supernatural bias anyway". What about the minority that have more substantial objections? Ministries like Moriel and Berean Call. Most of these guys seem to ignore everyone but the "who's who in the zoo" brushing off lesser know detractors with character assassinating statements that belittle the validity of their comments (thoughts go to Rick Joyner's response to Andrew Strom's "Leaving the Prophetic Movement" article).
We need to be able to discern between the "Sacred and Profane". I tend to run with a philosophy that says, "Why go to a questionable source, when there is a more substantial source available?" Rick Joyner's "There Were Two Trees in the Garden", for example may be a good book, with great thoughts, but why not read Watchman Nee's "Normal Christian Life" which deals with the same themes, and yet takes them so much further, without the questionable elements.
May I suggest that before forming an opinion in this matter, that you listen to [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=3324]Holiness Or Blessing[/url] by Art Katz? For myself, the doorway to truth in this area was openned a crack after hearing Art's open hearted commentary on alot of the phenomenon that "Bickle and Co" are affiliated with. Also consider Art's [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=3360]What is Apostolic?[/url] regarding the process in which many of the modern "apostles" and "prophets" are established. You may wonder why I'm only refering to Art Katz in this matter. It is because few are capable of speaking on this issues while leaving emotionalism and speculation at the door.
| 2006/5/8 8:05||Profile|