Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IHOP & The Latter Rain

"Earlier this year the International House of Prayer (IHOP) sponsored a conference in Kansas City entitled Passion for Jesus that was heavily promoted toward young people. The purpose of the conference was to "cultivate intimacy with Jesus." In the conference's second session, IHOP president and director Mike Bickle preached a message based on an allegorical interpretation of a Matthew 25 parable in which he explained his end times theology and "revelation of the bridal paradigm." Bickle claims that Jesus cannot return until something drastically changes in the church: "He is not coming any day. He is not coming until the people of God globally are crying out in intercession with a bridal identity under the anointing of the Spirit." If you do not understand what he means by that it is likely because you have read the Bible literally and have never found anything regarding a special anointing that imparts a revelation of a "bridal identity." In fact, much of Bickle's terminology will be strange and foreign to most Christians.

In this article I will show that Bickle's movement is based on allegorized scripture, deeper life pietism, and mysticism, representing a slightly modified version of the heretical Latter Rain movement of the 1940s. Bickle claims that he began his ministry through the hearing of an audible voice of God in 1983 that told him to start 24-hour prayer in the spirit of the tabernacle of David. He further claims that he erected a sign to that effect and that he himself did not even know what prayer in the spirit of the tabernacle of David was, despite that God had told him to establish it. It turns out that it is "prophetic singing prayers." Once they figured out what it was, IHOP was born.

The most requested article topic in the past year from Herescope readers has been an in-depth article on the subject of Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement. We received numerous requests especially after our May 1st post on "Mike Bickle's Gigolo Jesus" and our July 17th post "God's Dream?" which examined Bickle's involvement in TheCall and related groups with a clear intent on creating a youth movement Joel's Army.

The opening two paragraphs above are from a new article by Pastor Bob DeWaay, posted HERE, which details the controversial doctrines of Kansas City "prophet" Mike Bickle and his involvement in the IHOP movement. DeWaay pays particular attention to the theological details of the Latter Rain theology, refuting it scripturally. He does not delve into the historical interconnections and associations between Bickle and the Latter Rain. However, he refers the reader to an earlier article he wrote on "The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation" which includes some fascinating history. We can also refer Herescope readers to Jewel Grewe's booklet Joel's Army, now posted online, which chronicles Bickle's early involvement in what is now termed the "New Apostolic Reformation."

Pastor Bob DeWaay, who is the noted author of Redefining Christianity - Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement, insightfully comments in his IHOP article that:

The elite-minded leaders at IHOP are selling a bill of goods. They have bought the lie that by imagining "passion for Jesus" along the lines of sensual intimacy that they have ascended into an elite class that will make them like Moses and they will be able to call down the plagues on the world. They have pumped themselves up into imagining that the Great Tribulation will be the stage where they show off their exemplary spiritual powers and prowess.

It gets truly scary when they call for Christians to send their teenagers to Kansas City to get this same "passion." This is actually happening, so be warned. These young people are being inducted into a reworked version of the elitist Latter Rain heresy. If children believe Mike Bickle they will return home convinced that their parents' faith is totally inadequate. They will think that way because Bickle's doctrine is an attack against grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, Scripture alone, and to the glory of God alone. They will have been taught to add "the revelation of the bridegroom God" which amounts to thinking of Jesus as a sensual lover in order to avoid being one of the foolish virgins whom the Lord says He does not know. The foolish "virgins" are supposedly anyone who does not believe Bickle's false teaching.

The Truth:

"...even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 15b-16)