Monthly Archives: November 2010
New Age “channelers” and other occultists use Acts 10:10 to claim scriptural backing or legitimacy for Contemplative “trances” and other paranormal experiences.
(I have an old memory of Charles and Francis Hunter speaking about a time when Francis was “flying up above the trees” shouting to Charles to “Come up here, Charles! It’s beautiful!” And then there’s Mike Bickle talking about visiting the 3rd heaven..)
Acts 10:10 Then he became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing something he went into a visionary state.
While there are several instances in scripture where God’s people had mystical experiences, please note that such experiences were never sought by man. They were initiated by the Soverign God.
This alone distinguishes Christian mysticism from New Age mysticism which urges its adherents to pursue paranormal activities – and in the case of Mike Bickle, which also builds doctrine around these paranormal experiences.
If you’re practicing Contemplative spirituality, stop practicing it. You are literally playing with fire.
During my lifetime, those living thru WWII thought that they were living thru the darkest hour. Then came the time when prayer was taken from public schools and abortion became “legal”, this happened around the same time as flower power and hippies – within 5-10 years of each other – and the Christians thought that they were living thru the darkest hour. Then in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Word Faith and NAR took off and the people from those camps just knew that they were living in the darkest hour for many various reasons including a great many ‘end time’ prophecies..
Then jump to the 90’s and there’s Muslim attacks everywhere, NYC, Angola, Africa, England, and Christians started thinking the world was nearing its darkest hours. And during the late 90’s, veterinarians started offering electronic chips to animal owners. The chips were to be placed in animals to make them “trackable” if they got lost and the same was done for Alzheimer patients in various locations nationwide and Bible-savvy people who caught wind of that started thinking about the mark of the beast and just knew we were entering the darkest hours.
Suddenly it was 9-11-01 and the “darkest hour” thing was there at first but then just started fading away…so why? …because this nation started out being united for a time following 9-11. Yes, there was a real feeling of unity as a nation, closeness to God, strength, integrity and a feeling of honor amongst the citizens had sprung up and blossomed.
But then the touchy-feely “Ooo” feeling died off after a handful of years. You know.. there was “the war” and the world’s difficulties became a little bit ho-hum… and then comes a guy who offers “change”. America’s deep, united feeling had gotten a little ‘old’ – a little ‘tired’ and “change” seemed like a great idea.
And now, after 2 years of “change”, a lot of believers and non-believers are saying they “feel like this is a truly ominous time – a very dark time in history…”
(Funny how both groups are acknowledging that “something” is amiss”)
..but some believers, instead of diving into their bibles, finding out (in advance) what’s going to happen, and praying about God’s direction for their lives are listening to particular teachers, or are buying particular books and DVD’s and are spending their valuable time going back to the “Ooo” feeling. Instead of spending their time in biblically based prayer, they’re going into self-induced trancelike states and are “meditating” not ON God’s Word, but are simply using God’s Word to get into that self-induced, trancelike, hypnotic state.
Meanwhile, other believers who aren’t practicing the contemplative, New Age meditation are using their prayer time like a grocery list. I need this, I need that, (you get the idea).
Believers need to quit getting so tied up in the world around them and spend more time dwelling on Him. Could it be that God may be saying, “…and when prayer time comes, quit asking for this, asking for that and spend more time thanking me sacrificing my Son for you..”
It’s not about ‘going to church’ or whooping it up in this meeting or that meeting. It’s not about sitting under a particular teacher or buying a particular book or DVD. It is about Him. What has He truly done for you? What are you spending your prayer time doing? Thanking Him? Adoring Him? Praising Him for who He is? Or by presenting your grocery list? Talking about what YOU need? Discussing all of YOUR problems… Oh sure, He cares very much about you but loves to hear His children just adoring Him.
I purposefully left out the Transcendental-Contemplative meditation in that list above. It’s an occult practice since it requires the use of mysticism and mysticism is a complete 180 turn from Christianity. And per IHOP’s latest advertisement for “THECALL”, we know that IHOP teaches that IHOPians have “Strategy”, “Catalyst”, “Infuse” and “New breed”. Since when did the blood of Christ fail to mean anything? Didn’t God give us His “strategy” in His Son? Isn’t His Holy Spirit our “catalyst”? If we live our lives in Him, aren’t we “infused” by Him?
Why would He suddenly be bringing about a “New Breed” and yet have failed to plainly mention it in His Word? Was the “old breed” just not good enough since all it had was Jesus’ blood? Because His blood is all the catalyst I need – now or ever.
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Prov. 4:18
He that dwelleth in the secret places of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I will trust. Ps. 91: 1-2
According to IHOP’s Mike Bickle, if you’re not practicing (occult) Contemplative prayer, then you’re missing his god…
Mike Bickle On Contemplative Prayer
By Jocelyn Andersen
Thank you to Jocelyn Andersen for this post.
If you’re an IHOP intern, upset with anyone who would speak out against Mike Bickle, against IHOP, then you need to really listen to the words you’re about to read. The first portion of this appears to be lifting Mike Bickle up on a pedestal and singing his praises! But the author of these scripts goes further on into his deeper thoughts about the teachings IHOP is promoting.
I lived with Mike Bickle and his family for several years in the late seventies and early eighties at which time I took care of Pat Bickle his younger brother that was a quadriplegic. We lived in a house in the western side of St. Louis which had as many as twenty five people mostly young men living on that property at one time. Now I tell you this because most of your history lesson on Mike begins with KC but the truth began a lot earlier. I got to know Mike and Pat about six months after they returned from Mike’s first attempt at building a church in Rosebud Mo. He was at this time connected to New Covenant Fellowship as a youth pastor and used them to jump start his second attempt which was South St Louis Fellowship, which after a year and a half he moved us all to a building that housed a dying congregation led by Gene Putnam. And in that blend we were introduced to a more radical form of Christianity that included dancing, and worshipping that were much more exaggerated than what we had already experienced.
This is the place where Augustine Acola first came into contact with Mike. It was claimed by Mike that Augustine walked in off the street and prophesied that he was to return to KC and begin a move of God that would sweep the nation. I was there and it was not that grandiose in fact it was very confusing at best but it came on the heels of Mike wanting to make a change from where he was because the leadership that he had formed had soured and rather than reform a new leadership he came up with a better idea which was to jump ship and return to KC with a fresh new perspective on how to start his own church un-tethered to any other denomination.
Now I want to pause here for a moment and say that I knew Mike and Diane personally for about ten years and I have never known there to be any other desire in either of them to do anything more than to dedicate their l
ives to God through Jesus Christ. But it has always been evident from as far back as I have known them that Mike has wanted to build a Movement that would make him great in the eyes of God. He wants to be numbered with the likes of Charles Finney and John Lake. It is His sole passion and desire is to be great in the Kingdom of God and to accuse him of anything less is foolishness and an argument that can’t be won. Mike is obsessed with that idea and he has gone to great lengths to accomplish it and believe me he has not asked anyone to do anything that he hasn’t done ten times over. In fact in the earlier days when Bill Kenney, Paul Coffman and several other Chiefs players were in attendance we would all say that he was the most intense man of God we had ever met.
Mike has always been a man of deep passion for God and the things of Christ and because of that he has a Christian charisma that has drawn believers from every nation together for the one purpose which is to glorify God on earth. However he is human and has developed a Christianity that is very fluid and capable of accepting a broad base of believers and in doing so he has become a target for everyone to shoot at but I can assure you it is not his intention to build a cult or control anybody. In fact I don’t think he even wants to be around people all that much anyway he would rather remain alone but in order to accomplish his goal which is to glorify the name of Christ he has to do so.
He doesn’t have a “cool aid” agenda nor does he have or ever had any malice in his heart for anybody or anything. He is a very kind person that has accomplished an incredible amount to further the Kingdom of God on earth and he has done so by becoming the topic of numerous blogs and essays and books that are all written with the assumption that they understand his motives. But in the pursuit to reveal his error in all that is written and said God has revealed the truth of his word. which has led to wonderment of God’s wisdom. I have never read so much deep and meaningful diverse literature in my 45+ years as a born again Christian as I have in the discussion of IHOP. It takes hours, days, weeks and months to assemble all the things that everyone has written and they would all make a great book that could easily change the lives of many down and out believers. I enjoy reading everything thing that you all have written and don’t disagree with much accept your interpretation of Mike’s motives and I say that because if I had my whole life laid out before the public as he has I would have fallen far shorter than anything he has ever done.
All of Mike’s short comings and interpretations of the Word are designed to accomplish his one desire and to know him would prove this out. God directed me to be a part of Mike’s church just as he had me attend Chuck Smith’s church in Costa Mesa Calif. called Calvary Chapel. Chuck had his critiques just as Mike has his but the bottom line is that God had me attend those two churches so that I could learn from their teachings as well as from the experiences that I would have with believers from their congregations. God is the author and finisher of my faith not Mike or Chuck or any other teacher whether false of true and all my experiences on earth test my heart, purify my faith and form me into the likeness of Christ.
To seek out the things that make a teacher false teaches me of the things that are true. We have all been taught very valuable lessons through our experiences with Mike but it was God who directed us to be a part of what he was doing and if there is anyone to blame it should be Him. In the book of Deuteronomy God said that He left the false teachers in the land to test (or purify) the hearts of his people. Mike’s flaws in his teachings because of his zeal has made him a great platform for discussion but again I assure you from the bottom of heart he is sincere in his faith and dedicated to one purpose which is to glorify the name of Christ on earth. Mike’s only goal is to be great in the Kingdom of God and if that means living in poverty, dedicated to prayer and fasting then he will do that more than any that have ever come before him.
Mike’s rendition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ found in IHOP will come and go, he will never call Jesus down out of heaven nor will he see the signs and wonders that he so desperately seeks for validation because it is a pipe dream that has been manufactured through his life time of trial and error much of which has left hundreds of casualties in its wake.
There are worse things that a person could do with their life than waste it in a prayer room. The fact that it will never amount to much will become evident but to sit in the presence of God is a good thing and should be encouraged.
Jesus however admonished us from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 that “…when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.[b] 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” All of which are now common practice used to pray at IHOP but if Jesus said it won’t work who am I to argue?
I am no longer affected in the least by what takes place at IHOP I wish them the best and pray that God will richly bless them in their endeavors. The Word of God is eternal and true and the truth shall be known.
I don’t, however, believe that IHOP is in any way an authentic move of God nor do I believe that it is conducive to any type of good spiritual health in fact in my experience I watched Mike form the foundations of his IHOPian passion for Christ theology and found it to be very destructive. He uses two things that are very alluring to the young and naïve. One of which is the promise of a perfect love affair that is obtained through continual adoration of Christ through prayer. The other is the promise of a ministry or a position of authority in the church through the sacrifices made in the prayer room.
He promises his followers a perfect love affair with God which appeals to young people because they are coming of age for romance but the reality is that an inordinate amount of people that have been an intricate part of IHOP from its inception are now divorced or in spiritual ruin a fact that is commonly ignored. You would be astounded at the amount of relationships and families that I have seen decimated by trying to obtain Mike’s doctrine of a perfect love affair. The divorce rate is shocking as well as the future destruction that is continually wreaked upon the children that were abandoned in the care of strangers while the well meaning parents sacrificed thier lives in the prayer room asking for things that never came to pass. For every one success story that comes out of IHOP there are hundreds of lives that lie in ruin abandoned and strewn in the gutters of want-a-bes and tagged and bagged as bitter and angry because God wouldn’t promote them.
There is nothing healthy wasting your life in a prayer room repetitively chanting prayers and songs that make no sense to God or man. the relationships that are borne out of that behavior are so conditional and volatile that they often times if not for the grace of God end in ruin.
I took part in many the initial activities that eventually led to the IHOPian theology and I can tell you by experience that there are no enduring positive effects but many ill effects that last for decades. My children speak with contempt about their brief experiences in those early days and had I not been grounded in God through my salvation going into those years I would have certainly been numbered among the many shipwrecked casualties of those days.
Sorry for seeming as though I was defending Mike or anything that he teaches I was merely making the point that God may be leading many of the young into that situation to test their hearts through that experience. But I want to warn them that the path of devastation that Mike and his false prophets have wrought in the lives of so many sincere and naive believers is a travesty.
The people that now buy into mike’s form of elitism think that they are exempt somehow from the destruction that he has wrought throughout his ministry this is because they do not understand how it took place. They think that through all the years of trial and error that they have now somehow perfected the form of prayer needed to call Christ down out of heaven which is the foundation of what they are attempting to do. Mike believes that through 24/7 prayer he and his elitists are capable of ushering in the end times and that God will validate it through the signs and wonders that they continually ask for but Christ said that “… it is an evil vial generation that seeks for signs and wonders.”
IHOP is truly built upon the shifting sand of and the ever changing wind of doctrine that mike has designed to allow him to like Teflon in the midst of all his lies. His claims to have had angelic visitations and being taken up into the third heavens all of which have since allowed him bump elbows with the likes of Benny Hinn and his band of wolves. I experienced firsthand and am continuing to experience the destruction that Mike’s IHOPian theology has wreaked upon many of my friends and I can also attest to much of the negative things that are written about him. believe me I don’t defend him sorry for giving that impression.
One of the things I would most like to address about Mike Bickle is where the main source of his draw comes from for which he is able to continually re-man his staff and fill his prayer rooms with fresh blood in order to sustain his IHOPian movement. Mike has learned that his form of works based religion creates and incredibly high amount of turnover and In order to keep fresh knees at the altar he has had to learn how to replenish his stock. So he has developed a marketing plan that allows him to seasonally travel out to recruit new prospects through the seminar or convention circuit where he can appeal to the young and naïve as well as the transient evangelical. I have personally heard him say numerous times wants to attract the young and naïve because they are not yet soured by the deceptions of the church.
At the window of my house
I looked down through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple (young and naïve),
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute ( a false Teacher) and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
Mike searches for the young and naïve and has prepared a place them that they may “…drink deeply of love till the morning…” and says to them “…lets enjoy ourselves with love…” The passion for Christ is that alluring cry and he says that they are waiting upon the bride grooms return. But along with the young and naïve he has also learned how to draw upon the umpteen-million transient non-denominational evangelicals that church hop across America looking for the supposedly next big move of God. These people often times follow every wind of doctrine that comes along and even though they are quite well learned in the language of Bible still lack any Spiritual discernment to know right from wrong because they have squelched the voice of Truth by embracing the sea of lies. However they know their Bibles and can systematically decimate any logical argument that mature believers may have against their fluid doctrines.
It is from these two groups that he makes his greatest draw because neither of them has the maturity needed to discern the truth through the Spirit and therefore are very vulnerable to the love God that he presents through his passion for Christ message at IHOP. This is a very alluring message because it has so many earmarks for what might seem pleasing to God such as sacrifice, prayer, fasting and dedication to the Word. But if doing these things made one capable of pleasing God then we would have no need for Christ and his sacrifice.
Also there are so many places in the Word that disagree with many of the things that Mike now teaches such as his interpretation for what prayer is and how it is to be performed. In Matthew 6 Christ is laying down the basic to Christianity and he specifically addressed the way we are to pray when he said that “…when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.[b] 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
IHOPians are taught to stand up in their meetings that they may be seen by men and pray in vain repetitions that in their many words they might be heard. What part of ‘don’t’ does Mike not understand?
But one the most compelling things is that mature Christians that are guided by the Spirit of God don’t bear witness to what he is saying or doing . If a believer is truly born of the Spirit they will not be able to bear witness to what he is teaching because it is borne out of lies and deception. When a believer has the Spirit of God dwelling in them and they hear the truth, the Spirit bears witness to it and the heart follows. However if that Spirit does not dwell in a person but rather alongside them they are unable to fully discern much of what is taught and therefore can be deceived.
A person is not born again because they believe in Jesus Christ otherwise Satan himself would have hope but rather it is a work of the Spirit that through a gestation period where the heart and soul tested, tried, prepared and then brought forth into eternal life where we are then born of God and this is an event that must take place in order to be able to fully discern the truth. Mike does not teach about being born again because he may have never experienced it and therefore does not understand it. What he does teach through implication is that salvation can somehow be achieved in the prayer rooms of IHOP. In fact he believes that he can reach his goal of “being great in the kingdom” based upon his performance in the prayer room thus nullifying the cross of Christ.
IHOP is a works based movement that appeals to flesh through the religion of prayer and fasting which is a minor activity in the Word of God but Mike has made it into a major. He is deceived and deceives others because he can no longer discern the truth. His cronies and soothsayers clamor to be at his side because it is him that they have set their hope in for salvation and even though they may have some knowledge of the Word they do not know Jesus Christ whom is the Word.
The Spirit is consistent in all things which mean that He will not bear witness to one that something is not true and to another that it is and the young and naïve and the deceived are both very susceptible to deception of the love gospel that Mike presents because neither is yet born again. They may believe in a form of the truth but are not yet at a place where they can fully discern it and in the mean time are lying with mike …till the morning comes.
Mike because I honestly do love him and hope for his best, but he is very deceived by his own thoughts of grandeur. Pat (Mike’s brother) and I both confronted him often times about his complete disregard for people in his pursuit of making a movement but he shunned us both for years. Pat died having never been healed but he was more in tune with God than Mike ever was and many of the things that he challenged Mike with often caused a great rift in the family of eight brothers and sisters. Pat never believed the soothsayers or anyone else that proclaimed Mike’s greatness because he had the discernment of the Spirit and knew in his heart that Mike and his cronies were deceived.
I often heard Mike’s story of salvation and strongly felt that it was merely an introduction into the faith something we have all experienced but there was never a mention of a time where he talks about being born again. Whereas on the other hand Pat, who suffered a life changing injury, had that experience and quite often shared it with anyone that would listen. Mike however was not into the born again thing but rather was from a very young age always bent on building; first a church that he could call his own then a movement that he could be the founding father of and he learned how to do it at the expense of thousands of innocent believers that trusted in his form of Christianity.
He knows and understands the Word but does not exude any of the characteristics that depict a true born again believer because he so readily accepts all the false teachers and soothsayers now surround him. He also lacks any real sense of spiritual discernment and will lie about things that are blasphemous before God. For Him to make the statement that he was taken up into the third heavens and that Jesus himself told him and IHOP ‘to be patient’ will yield an eternal Judgment that I don’t want to see and now fear for the condition of his eternal soul. Also to say those things without any type of gut check from Holy Spirit is a definite sign that the condition of his salvation is suspect at best.
If Mike should ever read any of these things he will know exactly who I am because long before I ever shared them with you or anyone else I confronted him first, face to face and he wouldn’t listen to them then and probably won’t listen now.
This entire writing are from Truthspeaker’s blog and obtained with the authot’s permission as well as the Truthspeaker’s permission. All comments to these posts are welcome.
Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matt. 7:15-20)
Jesus warns about those who come to people trying to have them join with them in their pursuit of God. How do you tell a “good” group from a bad one? Always check how these groups seek after people to make them a disciple. It is what they teach about God and Christ that counts.
What is confusing is that they have you become a member of their Church or organization. Instead of coming to Christ and become part of the body of Christ which puts you in the Church (universal). They’ll tell you that you’re a “part of the body of Christ” but you’re actually treated as though you’re separate – special – above the rest – ahead of the others.
Jesus warns about those coming from within the church that would actually tear it apart. This would be done by what they teach which would be patently false. Since they are in the Church, they would teach from the bible but distort its meaning.
If your child or friend has joined a church or an organization that now has taken up all his time. That he or she has just informed you that he wants to move out from your home and move in with the members, move away — you name it. If this person has suddenly began “distancing” themself from you, your family or group of friends, or if he has given up his goals and the aspirations he had to further his education very quickly after joining. Or he dropped the sports that he has always practiced. If he starts speaking different lingo and does not share what it means or says. Or he says you won’t understand why he is doing these new things. He starts to dress differently and loses interest quickly in his oldest friends. Anytime there is a very quick change in personality and lifestyle influenced by the new group they are attending and they cannot explain or share the reasons. These are all warning signs that cult like changes have begun.
Everyone should be able to give rational explanations for change especially if it is the Lords doing. If you’re already faced with your child joining there are some basic guidelines to follow. The first thing you need to do is avoid pushing them make a decision to leave. The reason for this is that they are probably being told this will happen from their parents and friend’s, so they look upon this as Satan attacking, so be as patient and understanding as possible even if you know that where they are and what they’re doing is wrong.
Scriptures are often used about leaving your family or Christ came to divide.
I suddenly find myself thinking of IHOP…. While these are all true they need to be interpreted right. Groups often bring biblical teaching to an extreme. You can show them other passages like Jesus taking care of his own mother giving her over into hands of John even from the cross (Jn.19)
Paul says in Eph.6:2, “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise. What is meant is that a family that is non believers is not to have hold over one that believes and influence toward ungodliness.
What happens is that cults divide a family that was once together as believers – (I’m thinking of IHOP again) – which is certainly not the intent of the passages used in Mk.10:29; Lk.12:53 As Jesus said about his family being there to see him. Luke 8:21″But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” He didn’t separate from his blood family, but explained the true meaning of family and their relationship to God. Certainly Mary his mother obeyed God, yet his brothers and sisters were non believers until after the resurrection (James and Jude).
It was John the Baptists ministry to prepare the people for the Messiah. Luke 1:17 “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Notice that there is to be reconciliation. This is a partial quote from Mal.4:5 which further states and…” the hearts of the children to their fathers”… reconciliation of the family. its message.
As Paul states in 2 Cor.11:13-15 they are false apostles and messengers looking like those who teach righteousness. They may look good on the outside but the life of Christ is not there on the inside and their message will always be with scripture, but distort its meaning. Their focus will be their church or organization instead of Christ.
Jude 1:12: “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;” Twice dead is like a tree that was dug up to be transplanted and died and then dug up again. Rom 6:22: ” But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. James 3:18 “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Jesus said blessed are the peace makers. Those who bring the same message of reconciliation to have people make peace with God.
Jesus made the point of saying he is the true manna come down from heaven. Eating his sayings gives life, “my words are Spirit and they are life.” On the other hand Leaven is used of sin or false teaching Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees Jesus said. They were very religious but did not understand the true teachings they espoused. They lifted up mans teachings before Gods, they were dependent on their works to be righteous.
If a Church or group points to its founder and promotes him as the restorer of truth or gives you the impression that they’re “head and shoulders” above all the other groups because of their new revelations, they are making the same mistake the Pharisees did by following mans leadership. They do not follow the true shepherd but other shepherds but believe that in following this “sheperd” that they are actually walking very closely to God. Or if the groups’ leadership constantly sites their one-on-one meetings they’ve had with God as the grounds for their beliefs, watch out.
If your child has joined a church that now has taken up all his time. That he or she has just informed you that he wants to move out from your home and move in with the members. If he has given up his goals and the aspirations he had to further his education very quickly after joining. Or he dropped the sports that he has always practiced. If he starts speaking a different lingo and does not share what it means or says. Or he says you just won’t understand why he is doing these new things! He starts to dress differently and loses interest quickly in his oldest friends. Anytime there is a very quick change in personality and lifestyle influenced by the new group they are attending and they cannot explain or share the reasons. These are all warning signs that cult like changes have begun.
Everyone should be able to give rational explanations for change especially if it is the Lords doing. If you’re already faced with your child joining there are some basic guidelines to follow. The first thing one needs to do is avoid pushing them to make a decision to leave. The reason for this is that they are probably being told this will happen from their parents and friend’s, so they look upon this as Satan attacking. You’ll need to be as patient and understanding as possible even if they know it is wrong. You can fill up your free time with plenty of prayer!
Scriptures are often used about leaving your family or Christ came to divide. While these are all true they need to be interpreted right. Groups often bring biblical teaching to an extreme. If they’ll still speak with you, you can show them other passages like Jesus taking care of his own mother giving her over into hands of John even from the cross (Jn.19) Paul says in Eph.6:2, “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise. What is meant is that a family that is non believers is not to have hold over one that believes and influence toward ungodliness. What happens is that cults divide a family that was once together as believers which is certainly not the intent of the passages used in Mk.10:29; Lk.12:53 As Jesus said about his family being there to see him. Luke 8:21″But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
Jesus didn’t separate from his blood family, but explained the true meaning of family and their relationship to God. Certainly Mary his mother obeyed God, yet his brothers and sisters were non believers until after the resurrection (James and Jude). It was John the Baptists ministry to prepare the people for the Messiah. Luke 1:17 “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Notice that there is to be reconciliation. This is a partial quote from Mal.4:5 which further states and…” the hearts of the children to their fathers”… reconciliation of the family.
There is plenty more on this topic and we’ll discuss it as time goes by – just know that if you’ve got a friend or family member who have changed like what has been discussed here since joining a ‘new group’, then there is every possibility that the group they’ve joined is a cult. Also know that just because a group/organization calls itself “Christian” does not mean that’s what it actually is. As discussed here, cults are very quick to use scripture to ‘back up’ their beliefs and practices. Instead of just listening to their beliefs, always look at their fruit. A good tree will always produce good fruit. The good fruit will reproduce more good fruit.
There’s the thought for the day – Be Blessed.
Many thanks from Let Us Reason for much of this material.
Mike Bickle has been quoted to say THE CHURCH brings on the great tribulation:
BICKLE: “We’re not absent for the great tribulation, now listen carefully, the church causes the great tribulation. What I mean by that – it’s the church, it’s the praying church under Jesus’ leadership that’s loosing the judgment in the great tribulation in the way that Moses stretched forth his rod and prayed and loosed the judgments upon Pharaoh. The church in the tribulation is in the position that Moses was before Pharaoh but it won’t be a Pharaoh and Egypt, it’ll be the great end time Pharaoh called the antichrist and the book of Revelation is a book about the judgments of God on the antichrist loosed by the praying church.”
This all sounds great! Except for one problem – WHY isn’t this mentioned anywhere in scripture?
Even worse, Bickle proposes that it’s an elite end-time church defeats God’s enemies, and Jesus is “held in the heavens” until it happens.
BICKLE: “Right now the prayer movement is growing fast….really fast! But when I say it’s growing fast instead of one percent of the Body of Christ taking hold of it, maybe 10 percent. It’s….you know it’s like 10 times bigger than it was a generation ago, but beloved as fast as the prayer movement is growing, where people are getting hold of it, still for 90 percent of the Body of Christ it’s not even on their mind. Jesus is not coming until the Body of Christ globally is crying out “Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus” and they don’t just say “come and forgive me” they are crying out in the understanding of who they are as the one that is cherished by Jesus in the bridal identity.”
Why is it that I cannot find this anywhere in my Bible? What are we told instead? We are told to watch. As with the parable of the wise and foolish virgins we note that all of them had fallen asleep. Is your lamp filled or are you under the assumption that you’re ready?
One thing you must be careful not to do is to live a Christian life that is focused on the manifestation of Sign Gifts. Too many Christians are doing this, and thinking, for example, that the fact that they “speak in tongues” or “receive prophecies” regularly is proof that they are living Spirit-filled lives. Christians with that attitude should take a close look at Matthew 7:21 – 23. You are probably familiar with this passage, which is part of the Sermon on the Mount. As in the Parables of Matthew 25, Jesus is talking about Judgment Day, and some “Christians” get a nasty surprise:
21. “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.
22. “Many will say unto Me in that Day, ‘Lord, did we not prophesy in Thy Name, and in Thy Name cast out demons? And in Thy Name work many wonders?’
23. “But I shall say unto them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.’ “
There is a clear message here: Sign gifts are no substitute for true obedience. The “Christians” who get rejected obviously think they are obedient. You can be living a life in which you are frequently speaking in and/or interpreting tongues, giving “prophetic” utterances, think you are healing the sick, and even actually believe you are casting out demons, without really being obedient otherwise. I have seen Christians of this type who were very proud and obnoxious about it. Also, a Christian who was so rebellious and disorderly that he was frequently kicked out of Churches. Christians who are like that don’t know it, but they are in big, big trouble, spiritually.
Which type are you? Are you looking for proof – right here, right now or is your faith, faith in Christ upholding you?
I’M NOT EVEN TOUCHING ON THE NEW AGE ASPECTS OF IHOP. That’s another post – but this is a good question for starters.
Where’s that IHOP love!?!? What am I talking about?
There are a lot of people – family and friends – who’ve gotten cut off by their IHOP loved one after they voiced their reservations about IHOP – about Mike Bickle, Allen Hood and other teachers at IHOP.
I’ve had parents share these thoughts with me and one similar thread runs through them – “boundaries”. The IHOP interns all complain about their boundaries being overstepped when friends or family have the audacity to question some or any of the IHOP teachings.
“You’ve crossed the boundaries I’ve set up in my life.”..is the common complaint. Hmm, Mike Bickle sure does mention “boundaries” a lot.
Family and friends who disagree with IHOP doctrine are wanting to protect their loved ones inside of IHOP. But that boundary line can’t be crossed.. Mike Bickle cannot be questioned. That’s right up there with, “Touch not God’s anointed!” That’s like saying, “You had better not disagree with me.”
The interns at IHOP, being called forerunners for Christ, truly believe that they are basically “one up” on the entire rest of the Christian world. And think about it, wouldn’t you feel like you had something really special if the speaker kept telling you, “The Lord showed me..” ..and you get to be in on it!?
Does anyone think to remember: For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will mislead many. . . Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. . . . For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:5, 9-12, 24)
Don’t ever forget that we are all called to study to show ourselves approved.
Mike Bickle keeps telling everyone, “Don’t take my word for it! You’ve got your Bibles! You check out what I’m telling you and make sure it’s right!”
But how many take the time to do that? How many go back and re-read the scripture he’s given them and then pray about it…..and really look to see if his lessons are right on? Are we touched by the ‘lesson’? or are we tendered by the scriptures in that lesson? Big difference..
One former IHOP person told me about the time he did that very thing… It was, however, his honesty that got him in trouble. You see, when other interns saw him sort of standing back a little at the meetings, not getting into the meetings quite like he used to, when they saw him going back and going over the scriptures Mike Bickle had just told them to check…. he was questioned first by them….and then called down on the carpet about it. He was asked where he stood…
What did this person tell his examiners? He told them that he’d been listening, praying, listening some more and then studying. He had been going back and checking exactly what Mike Bickle had told everyone to check, and when he read the various scriptures in their correct context and not just pieces of the scriptures, those scriptures were not pointing to what Mike Bickle was insisting they were.
He was told to leave IHOP at once. i.e. He had crossed a boundary.
Where does this person stand today? Walking strongly in the Lord, for certain. He is able to look back at IHOP and say, as did Job, “No doubt but you are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.” Job 12: 1-2 (That’s a little biblical sarcasm there..) But he knows God virtually delivered him from a great, great deception. He is still friends with various people within IHOP but recognizes the fact that he’s been placed in a “Do Not Fellowship With” category….because he crossed the IHOP boundaries…
One more thought about boundaries… Why is it that so many IHOP devotees get on the various blogs and work themselves up into such a head of steam? What is it about the anti-IHOP blogs that really upsets them? Could it be that forerunner thing going on? Maybe the idea that other lovers of Christ, (and I’m not talking Bridal Paradigm here – that’s a whole ‘nother draft), look at IHOP as being in total error, and that thought alone makes IHOP devotees feel like we’ve crossed their boundaries at even thinking that? Who knows?
It was easier back in the days of ‘Moonies’ passing out flowers at airports and Jim Jones/People’s Temple in Guyana – a.k.a. when the scripturally “off” were easier to point out. These days the false teachers just slither on in and they don’t necessarily stand out like a sore thumb. That’s why the Holy Spirit advised us to be en guard via scripture – for times when boundaries must be crossed and the Truth professed instead.
“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Tim 4:1
This very real warning by the Holy Spirit, spoken “expressly” (or “with special clarity”) for those living in the latter days, predicts an unusual outbreak of seductive demonism–not just in pagan or idol-worshipping cultures, but in “CHRISTIAN” nations, where they can lead many to “depart from the faith” which their forefathers once professed. Christians, therefore, should not be taken by surprise at the explosion of witchcraft, New-Age mysticism (seen at IHOP – Int’l House of Prayer), Eastern occultism (also seen at IHOP – Int’l House of Prayer), altered states of consciousness (also seen at IHOP – Int’l House of Prayer), and even overt Satan-worshipping cults that have suddenly slithered into out society. Behind it all are the “seducing spirits” and “the rulers of the darkness of this world” Eph 6:12.
It should be obvious that Christians must completely avoid all such beliefs and practices.
“I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” 1 Cor 10:20. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing” 2 Cor 6:17.
Even “innocent” fun (Halloween parties, Ouija boards, dungeons-and-dragons games, etc.) and well-intentioned exorcism of apparent demon-possession by Christian workers have often led to dangerous demonic influences in the lives of Christian people, as well as in Christians who have sought supernatural experiences or revelations.
At IHOP, experience totally supercedes the Word of God.
In anything that even touches on occultism or demonic influence, the advice of Peter is relevant. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith” 1 Peter 5:8-9
Are you still curious about IHOP?