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Chris Rosebrough reviews Mike Bickle’s sermon,”Blow the Trumpet in Zion”

In this article we examine the background of NAR cult leader and false prophet Mike Bickle and provide you with an article of Chris Rosebrough reviewing a sermon from Bickle in 1983.

An IHOP Review

In going thru my older items this morning, I came across this article. It is (sadly) still true. The deception within the Christian community is almost as bad as the unbelief within this world. Unfortunately, not much has changed over the past 10 years — except for things becoming much, much worse – which causes me to say, “Come Lord Jesus, come!”

The Dangers of the International House of Prayer (IHOP)
by John Park

The International House of Prayer (IHOP) was started on May 7, 1999 by Mike Bickle in Kansas City. [1] It is well known for its 24/7 worship and prayer ministry. Now it has grown substantially to include international ties, its very own seminary, and undergraduate program. People from around the globe are flocking to IHOP, but do they actually know what they are getting into?


Cultic Origins and Goals

It is clear that almost all of the participants in IHOP do not have an understanding of what they are getting into. Many of the participants, including many genuine Christians who are being deceived, believe it is a place to go pray and worship, while not knowing what the theological distinctives are that make IHOP unique. The true origin started in 1982 after a man named Augustine approached Mike Bickle and said an audible voice told him to prophesy to his congregation. Later that year, Mike Bickle claimed to hear an audible voice speaking to him while on a trip in Cairo, Egypt. The voice told him, “I am inviting you to raise up a work that will touch the ends of the earth. I have invited many people to do this thing and many people have said yes, but very few have done my will.” [2]

This is parallel to how many other cults of Christianity are born. They follow the basic formula:

(Blank 1) said God told him/her a message, and he/she and starts the (Blank 2) church.

For Example:

Joseph Smith said God told him a message, and he started the Mormon church.
Ellen G. White said God told her a message, and she started the Seventh Day Adventist church.
Mary Eddy Baker said God told her a message, and she started the Christian Scientist church.
Sun Myung Moon said God told him a message, and he started the Unification church.
Witness Lee/Watchman Nee said God told him a message, and he started the Local Church.
Mike Bickle said God told him a message, and he started the International House of Prayer.
Not only is IHOP origin akin to many other aberrant groups, but their ultimate goals follow suit. Mike Bickle has been quoted to say the church brings on the great tribulation:

We’re not absent for the great tribulation, now listen carefully, the church causes the great tribulation. What I mean by that – it’s the church, it’s the praying church under Jesus’ leadership that’s loosing the judgment in the great tribulation in the way that Moses stretched forth his rod and prayed and loosed the judgments upon Pharaoh. The church in the tribulation is in the position that Moses was before Pharaoh but it won’t be a Pharaoh and Egypt, it’ll be the great end time Pharaoh called the antichrist and the book of Revelation is a book about the judgments of God on the antichrist loosed by the praying church. [9]

Even worse, Bickle proposes that an elite end-time church defeats God’s enemies, and Jesus is “held in the heavens” until it happens.

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. [9]

The Power of Emotionalism, Mysticism, and Gnosticism

The major draw of IHOP is experience. People often come to me citing their experience and go back again and again to experience “God” and the “Spirit” – no different than an emotional high. This is analogous to mysticism, which is defined as “the pursuit of deeper or higher subjective religious experience,” and “that spiritual reality is perceived apart from the human intellect and natural senses.” [13] They practice what is known as centering or contemplative prayer. This is defined as “the practice of relaxing, emptying the mind, and letting one’s self find the presence of God within.” [10] In fact, they had an article titled “Contemplative Prayer” on their website, but after much negative press they have taken it down. [13] However, the contents of the article have been preserved by a former IHOP staff member’s website and is available for all to see here: (

One of the highest criticisms would be IHOP’s insidious Gnosticism. Gnosticism is derived from the greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.” The hallmark of Gnosticism is the idea of having “hidden knowledge” of the spiritual realm that is unavailable to others. This knowledge comes via prophecies, visions, and dreams that God specifically gives to a certain privileged group of people – in this case IHOP. In fact, IHOP has their own “prophecy rooms” where one can receive “prophecies,” and they used to have a practice of mailing out recorded tapes, of which I was asked by my friend’s mother to translate!

This is something the Apostle Paul discusses in Colossians 2:18. “Let 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” (NASB) [11].

Great experiences with our Lord are a gift from God, but one needs to exercise caution concerning the authority he/she gives personal experiences. More often than not, the people who go to IHOP do not have a strong theological foundation and so they rely on their experiences to dictate what the Bible says and not the other way around. Here are some words (from Dr. John MacArthur’s sermon “Are Experiences a Valid Source of Truth?) of wisdom regarding experiences:

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? [5]

The IHOP Dilemma

When someone comes to you and say that God gave him a clear audible and/or visual revelation (dream, vision, prophecy, etc.), you are now in what I will call the IHOP Dilemma.

Due to the seriousness of disobeying genuine prophecy and the heinousness of proclaiming a false one, you are in an IHOP Dilemma when you are now forced to choose:

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


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

Unfortunately, this puts the rest of Christianity in a hard situation, because we now have to make the determination whether IHOP is full of false prophets or true prophets and to treat them as such. We cannot merely remain neutral. How can we be neutral on God’s revelation or on such an egregious sin as false prophecy within the church? It is 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 now have to make a hard decision!

Unfortunately, many of those in IHOP have no idea what they are doing when they are supposedly “prophesying.” As I said before, they do not have a strong Biblical foundation and do not pause to think of the gravity of what they are actually proclaiming. [8]

A Sampling of the Prophecies

Lest you think the prophecies at IHOP are like ones in other mainstream charismatic churches or similar to prophecies noted men like John Piper, Vern Poythress, or Wayne Grudem believe, please read the following quotes other authors have noted:

1. On disc 7 of The Prophetic History, Bickle describes a visitation to the throne-room of God as he is told that God will be restoring the apostles to the church. Let me preface this by saying that before getting to this point in his message, Bickle described the experience as being on par with the Apostle Paul’s experience in the Third Heaven in 2 Cor. 12 as well as John’s visions.

They’ve been told by church leadership that it is up to them to “usher in” the Second Coming of Jesus. They’ve been encouraged to do away with discernment concerning mystical experiences. They’ve been told that they are “forerunners” of Christ in the same way that John the Baptist was. They’ve been told that the orthodox views of Christianity are weak and it’s up to them to restore the “true” message of the Gospel, using their new “powers from God” to start a revival that will win souls for the Kingdom.” [6]

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. [7]

3. 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) [7]

4. Bickle speaking, “…but the fact is God showed me that it was truly a healing anointing. It was a tremendously, ah, dynamic dream for my own personal history and what I can understand for the life of this church. There’s a healing anointing He said would be second to no other movement. That’s what He told me directly, it would be second to no other movement in this whole generation, the healing anointing that will come upon this people. . .He (BJ) [Bob Jones] says ‘They took a banner and He (God) put a banner upon you last night and it spoke of the entire movement.’ Then he told me the dream I had and he said the Lord says there will be no movement that will be superior to the healing power that comes forth from this movement . He goes, ‘There will be nothing in the earth that this thing will be second to in the generation.’ I said, ‘God, this is incredible.’” (P.His 2, p. 15 – 17) [3]

5. “I (Mike Bickle) stood there and I was at the Lord’s left hand, and it was not a dream–this was as real as life here and like I said, I don’t know that realm… He (God) was speaking so sternly to me, He said, ‘If you are impatient…you will cause great turmoil and much trouble for many people.’ I was ashamed and I was broken with sorrow that He said that so harshly to me. And then what happened is that I start falling so rapidly–I mean like–S-H-O-O-O-M, it takes about five or six seconds, and fall down to my bed, right through the ceiling–I mean it was right through the walls and things–S-H-O-O-O-M, I hit my bed and it wasn’t like an instant I was there–I had knowledge of travel for five or six seconds. Have you had that?”

BJ: “Yes.”

MB: “And I was falling so rapidly and I was going like ‘A-H-H-H-H.’ I was coming right down through the black sky…And I come right through the ceiling and I hit my bed and I looked for like a half a second, I goes S-H-O-O-O-M right back up again, I go. . . right through the ceiling again! And I understood immediately the impatience was of setting in leadership premature without permission. He said…‘You cannot put leadership in that I do not say, because the leadership will divide and cause much division and many people will suffer great harm and I will hold you accountable for it. ‘…So what happens is this golden chariot, it appears–S-W-O-O-O-P-and it comes right there. . . and I under–I knew intuitively, instantly–it was an apostolic ministry, though it’s only the invitation. It was not a commission. The Lord was not calling me an apostle. He said He was thinking, ‘The days to come, if you’re faithful, you have an opportunity in the grace of God to fill an apostolic calling if you’re faithful to the full measure.’ And I set in the chariot and I went shooting right into a blue sky and I knew as I was going up that it was revelation. He said, ‘I’m going to bring you to divine revelation in the days to come.’…There would be an end-time measure of apostolic ministry that would come out of the fruit of the intercession…so like it’s a number of years down the road. But the Lord said that I’m going to bring forth apostles—champions–if the people will live in intercession and ask for them to come…And so that was no small visitation in terms of the promise of what God said to this movement…And the Lord says, ‘Now you have the word in yourself now and you will not go running after other movements and other places because I have spoken to you face-to-face. ‘…But I know that at that time I owned,..from the voice of God–face-to-face (but I never saw His face), but I mean standing next to Him, I owned the word myself and it was not just a matter of me believing Him. It was amazing how the revelation turned after that time.” (F88, p. 81 – 84) [3]

The Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura

One of the biggest issues of this movement is 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 the 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 under attack by IHOP. They might say they believe in it, but their actions outright deny it.

When people from IHOP make decisions, they do not use the Bible as the only revealed revelation from God because they supposedly still get direct revelations from Him. They deny this very doctrine that defines the protestant and evangelical faith. Sadly, this is rampant at IHOP.

Indexed as a Cult by Multiple Ministries

There are certainly many different theological distinctives in the Christian church, and many of us do differ. However, we do not go so far as to label each other cults or heretics. On the other hand, IHOP has been labeled dangerous, cultic, false, and heretical by many ministries, former members, apologetic groups, and Godly men. In fact, other charismatic Christians have stood up to oppose them as well. A small listing of these groups include:

The Apologetics Index
Apologetics Resource Center
Critical Issues Commentary
Pastor Ernie Gruen (a Charismatic preacher) who was written a manuscript entitled “Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries).” Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries) is Mike Bickles former ministry prior to founding IHOP.
Pastor Bill Randles (a Pentecostal preacher) has written a book titled “Weighed and Found Wanting.”
The Gospel Masquerade is a website created by a former staff member of IHOP.
All these resources are available in the references section. I especially recommend The Gospel Masquerade website, Pastor Gruen’s manuscript, and Pastor Randles’ book.


A quick review of the main offenses include:

Cultic origin, worship style, and goals
The IHOP dilemma
False Prophecies
Effective Denial of Sola Scriptura
Opposition by multiple Godly Christian Groups
Though it may seem like a place that is on fire and passionate for God, this is simply not the case. Many of the people that do go there are sincere Christians, but they have been overcome by the lies and experiences they have there. In short, the people I have communicated with ignore the things above and simply hold on to what they have experienced and point the finger at me saying, “you don’t know about us.” Unfortunately I do know, and I hope this article persuades or helps you convince someone else who is going down a destructive path. It breaks my heart to see so many young people fall victim to this place, and all the people who waste their lives and God given talents to expand IHOP’s kingdom and not God’s Kingdom.



[2] Randle, Bill. “Weighed and Found Wanting: The Toronto Experience Examined in the Light of the Bible. Cambridge, UK. 1996.

[3] Gruen, Ernie. Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries). Shawnee, KS. No date.








[11] The Lockman Foundation. New American Standard Bible. La Habra, CA. 1995.

[12] MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon. Chicago, IL. 1992.


Deception Recognition in Prophecy

The flesh just loves a “good word” from someone indicating it’s coming straight from the Throne… So the question arises, what IS true prophecy?

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS is the spirit of prophecy. KJV

So what’s lacking in “prophecies” spoken in today’s world? As spiritual adultery increases in the church, false prophets are HIGHLY sought after speakers, and as Christians accept more and more of these false teachings, MANY are falling away, believing in a phony “faith”. Since we have been warned, we need to really know how to discern false prophecy.

“A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously…”
Deut. 18: 20-22

So what’s an easy way to distinguish the good from the bad? Especially in the signs and wonders camp…

And what if it DOES come true? Aren’t we specifically warned that near the End of the Age many will show GREAT signs and wonders? What then? Are signs and wonders “fruit”? Effective witchcraft is not the “fruit” we are to look for Gal. 5: 22-23. (Take a moment to look that one up.) Signs and wonders are not to be what we’re looking for. Matt 16:4. Does the prophet CALL FOR REPENTANCE, for holiness and loyalty to Christ no matter what? Or is he/she giving us something that feels oh so good! but is instead leading us away from God?

Interns at IHOP, please, consider the parable of the foolish virgins whose lamps lacked oil.. Please, fill your lamps with Him and leave the rest behind. There is so much deception in the church today — and NO, your elders aren’t just from the “old school” because they’re not joining in with you. (I’m referring here to those labeled as “church goers”). What they are doing is reading their Bibles, praying their thoughts, concerns, joys and praises to God, and weeping over the lost needing to know Him. Please ask The Lord if that’s what He’d have you do as well.

Remember this: “They are counterfeits of the real thing, dishonest practitioners masquerading as the messengers of Christ. Nor do their tactics surprise me when I consider how Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is only to be expected that his agents shall have the appearance of ministers of righteousness–but they will get what they deserve in the end.
2 Cor 11:13-15

Please, fill your lamps. Evangelize the lost and humble yourselves in the site of the Lord. THEN He will lift you up. James 4:10

Are there good teachings/teachers at IHOP?

At first glance, IHOP is a good institution.

From their statement of beliefs: We believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ordinance, ritual, work or any other activity on the part of man is required or accepted in order to be saved. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight in order that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ. (Jn. 1:12–13; 6:37–44; 10:25–30; Acts 16:30–31; Rom. 3:1–4:2; 8:1–17, 31–39; 10:8–10; Eph. 2:8–10; Phil. 2:12–13; Titus 3:3–7; 1 Jn. 1:7, 9)

Also included in their statement is this: We believe that the Church is God’s primary instrument, through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given the Church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every Christian being joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints. We believe that women, no less than men, are called and gifted to proclaim the gospel and do all the works of the kingdom. (Mt. 16:17–19; Acts 2:17–18, 42; Eph. 3:14–21; 4:11–16; 1 Tim. 2:11–15; Heb. 10:23–25; 1 Pet. 2:4–5, 9–10)

So far, so good — right?

Where non-biblical issues arise are where scripture is taken out of context whereby it ends up being twisted.

For example: Where is it listed in scripture that prophecy need not be 100% correct 100% of the time? Yet at IHOP, Mike Bickle has endorsed Bob Jones’ prophetic words numerous times while stating they were only 40-50-60% correct. And sometimes much less: Per Mike Bickle: “Some “prophetic words” may be 10 percent God’s words and 90 percent man’s words, while others have a greater revelatory content. On occasion God speaks to His servants in an audible voice. These are His “very words” that may be reported with a high degree of accuracy.”

(He is right about that “high degree of accuracy”. His message always demands 100% accuracy.)

“What I am trying to illustrate is that all prophecy today has a degree of mixture in it. Sometimes this yields a “mature” word that reflects more ideally what God would like to communicate, and sometimes it is communicated in a much-less-than-ideal fashion, yielding a “weak” word of lesser value, but still one that should not be despised.” – (Mike Bickle, The Difference Between Old and New Testament Prophecy)

Someone remind me — why isn’t Bob at IHOP anymore? And that is but one example. There are many. I am perplexed, however, by undocumented claims of wondrous works (yet no one can produce one shred of proof). I’ve recently read and heard IHOPpers claiming someone has been “raised from the dead” yet where is this person? No one knows. That reminds me of Todd Bentley…but I digress.

Then there’s the claim that Mike Bickle lives on a pauper’s salary and in a pauper’s house. Yet his wife, Diane, founded Glad Heart Realty and let me add here, that Glad Heart Realty’s list of Realtors reads like a list off of IHOP’s Who’s Who. So Diane is making a great salary off the company she founded — right? This would include the purchase of IHOP and its facilities as well — correct? So let’s pretend IHOP goes under. Let’s pretend it gets closed down for whatever reason — the government storms in (!), it quits paying its bills, or how about Mike tells everyone he is following some new direction from God! (YES, I’m being very sarcastic here..) and the place closes its doors. WHO gets the money when everything’s liquidated? IHOP is in whose name? Even more thought provoking than that is the question: WHERE are all those commission royalties right now? If they’re in the bank, the IRS is taxing them — but IHOP is a non-profit so whose bank are they in? It sure isn’t in the U.S. of A.

So back to the initial question in this post: Are there good teachers/teachings at IHOP? Answer? You betcha. Trouble is being able to distinguish between the good and the not so good isn’t always that easy. So what’s the scripturally best way to look at IHOP? I like Clark’s Commentary: James 3:11

Does a fountain send forth – sweet water and bitter? – In many things nature is a sure guide to man; but no such inconsistency is found in the natural world as this blessing and cursing in man. No fountain, at the same opening, sends forth sweet water and bitter; no fig tree can bear olive berries; no vine can bear figs; nor can the sea produce salt water and fresh from the same place. These are all contradictions, and indeed impossibilities, in nature. And it is depraved man alone that can act the monstrous part already referred to.

or from the God’s Word Translation:

Do clean and polluted water flow out of the same spring? The answer is NO.

So better to be safe than sorry — use His wisdom — BE the Berean from Acts 17:11 and stay far, far away from IHOP. Instead, ask The Lord to lead you to a place of His choosing. He is always faithful.

I lived with Mike Bickle and his family for several years….

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.


IHOP Interns:

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.