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DiscernIt receives many personal inquiries from those who have fallen into hopelessness. The cause often stems from chasing religious experiences. Many sincerely are seeking Jesus and want to serve Him but are deceived by a host of false prophets. These men and women were never called to teach or pastor yet many follow them. They cause much suffering among God’s people because their offerings are NOT from God.

The working of the Holy Spirit is to conform one to the image of Christ which in turn will produce fruit of the Spirit. There is no shortcut. You need to get back into the written Word and let your mind be renewed. Put the lies behind you.

Please read:

Looking to Jesus.
Hebrews 12:2

It is always the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus. But Satan’s work is just the opposite; he is constantly trying to make us look at ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you do not have the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold on Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within.

But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is everything. Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, although that is the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits.

Therefore, do not look so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ as to Christ; do not look to your hope but to Jesus, the source of your hope; do not look to your faith, but to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of your faith.

We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our deeds, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we are to overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking to Jesus.”

Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession be fresh upon your mind. When you waken in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon,

Source HERE   Spirit of Error

Mike Bickle

Mike Bickle–the leader of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Missouri–is revered by many people in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement as a sound Bible teacher, as someone who majors on teaching people the written Word of God.

But I have noticed something disturbing about his teachings. The Bible verses he uses to support them frequently have nothing to do with those teachings–and sometimes they actually teach something very different.

In this post, I look at one of Bickle’s teachings and show how he attempts to support it through the use of a botched interpretation of Scripture. This example should raise a flag of caution in people’s minds when they encounter his other NAR teachings.

 The ‘Israel Mandate’

IHOP has a ministry called the “Israel Mandate,” that seeks to mobilize people to pray for Israel and the salvation of the Jewish people. Well, this might all sound good–even to many traditional evangelicals who have, historically, shown strong support for Israel and Jewish people.

So, then, what’s the problem with the “Israel Mandate?”

It’s this. According to IHOP’s description of the mandate, part of the “primary calling” of the Gentile church in regard to Jewish people is for the church to be “moving in the supernatural.” In other words, Gentile Christians have a responsibility to perform miraculous signs and wonders so that Jewish people will believe the gospel.

And what is the Scripture verse cited in support of this teaching? It is 1 Corinthians 1:22:

For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom (New King James Version)

But this verse does not support the Bickle/IHOP teaching that Christians have a duty to perform miraculous signs for Jewish people. Quite the contrary. The apostle Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians, is actually criticizing the Jews for demanding miraculous signs and the Greeks for seeking worldly wisdom.

Paul goes on to say that he did not give in to the demands of the Jews or the Greeks, but instead he preached the simple but powerful message of “Christ crucified.” Yet this message was not well received by the Jews, who craved displays of God’s supernatural power. Rather, the idea of a suffering Messiah was a “stumbling block” to those Jews putting their faith in Christ. See for yourself by reading the verse in its larger context.

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[a] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:20-25)

Notice two things from the above passage: (1) the Jews’ request for miraculous signs is not portrayed in a positive light, and (2) the apostle Paul does not grant their request for signs. So, then, how can Bickle use this verse in support of the NAR teaching that Gentile Christians have a responsibility to perform signs and wonders for the Jewish people?

– By Holly Pivec

International House of Prayer has always been influenced by the Catholic mystics. Their bookstore on prayer is loaded with New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) authors such as Dutch Sheets, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, C. Peter Wagner and James Goll. Dallas Willard adds another touch of controversy. Then I see that Beni Johnson of Bethel Church, Redding, is also on the list. Her daughter Jenn Johnson (Jesus Culture) recently spoke to young people about angels and their f–rting contests. Please read this article as now Francis Chan is scheduled to speak at IHOP. We are being asked to contact him with a warning.

Is IHOP a cult? One intern’s story

Katie, an IHOP intern exhibiting strange manifistations

SOURCE 

We’ve been reporting about and warning of the dangerous teaching of Mike Bickle’s spiritual influence over young vulnerable students, many of whom are willing to give up everything just to come live at his campus at IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City.  Now we have more testimony of the strange happenings. This personal story is very important. It was shared by a young woman named Ariel, who spent time as an intern at IHOP.  It is reprinted here in its entirety, along with some signs to look for if you are concerned that someone you love may be involved with a cult. (Need more background in IHOP? Check out the related articles after Ariel’s story):

Ariel’s Testimony

It was the year I turned 23.I was bright-eyed, excited and full of hope & anticipation.Sure, I’d been through some rough stuff, but I knew that the Lordwas the keeper of my life and I was heading into a new season of trusting Him deeper.

I was moving to Kansas City! My long-awaited (14 years) dream of being in Kansas City to be a part of Mike Bickle’s ministry which had now branched into an International House of Prayer was finally materializing into reality. I had big hopes and dreams and wanted nothing but to serve my God with everything.

Since I was 12 years old, my family and I had driven the 3 hour trek to Kansas City for conferences at the church Mike Bickle pastored at the time (It is known by various names as they changed at different stages: Kansas City Fellowship, Metro Vineyard Fellowship & Metro Christian Fellowship). My spiritual roots had, in many ways, grown from the times that I spent in these gatherings and what I felt God imparted to my life while I was there. I had been around…marinating in the environment for about 14 years; so I knew a lot about the history that led up to what is now known as IHOP (the International House of Prayer). I remember one of the first times Mike shared his vision for starting IHOP. Many left Metro with Mike when he stepped down as senior pastor to help support it’s start-up.

Kansas City, Missouri. Front of the Internatio...

So fast forward…IHOP was still within its first 5 years of operation and I was captivated by what I saw and heard. If there was a “poster child” that endorsed IHOP and who was convinced it was the best thing going, that would have been me. I say all of this to lay a back drop for what follows.

A long journey and a lot of waiting preceded the decision to move to Kansas City. My family and I unanimously agreed that after much prayer, it was the right timing so we sold or gave away half of what we owned, packed up the rest and moved to the Utopia of what we thought would be the greatest spiritual adventure of our lives. I had a background in the arts…music, dance, etc and couldn’t wait to get involved so I could really feel like I belonged there…not just a visitor hanging in the periphery and coming for conferences. I wanted to get “in”.

When we arrived on moving day, the “community” we were hoping to be a part of and the support of those we knew from IHOP appeared to be quite lacking. We were told that to obtain moving help from IHOP, we had to hire them at a ridiculous hourly rate ($20/per person, per hour) which we could not afford. When the neighbors who lived next door found out that it was just us and we had NO help moving in, their family came over and helped us unpack our moving truck for approximately the next 3 hours–for no charge–just to be good neighbors. Oh…and did I mention they weren’t even believers? They had compassion on our predicament and carried boxes and hauled furniture without complaining once. They simply smiled and said “welcome to the neighborhood”.

The un-relational climate we had seen hints of in the past became rapidly obvious upon our relocation to IHOP-KC. There was a lot of talk about “community” but everyone I met was so tunnel visioned on “always being in the prayer room” that they didn’t want to socialize or make time to build real relationships with people. There was a relational vacuum and the disconnect I felt upon my arrival was overwhelming. This was a significant concern of mine and my family but we rationalized it away with “oh, we just haven’t been here long enough. Eventually, we’ll feel more connected and involved and we’ll see the relational community that IHOP advertises here. Just give it time.”

Within a month, I joined the One Thing internship (which is an intensive 6-month long internship program for 18-25 year olds). I had really felt it was what I should do and had the support of my family that this was a great thing for me. They also felt it was a great way for me to connect to the ministry we had all moved here to be a part of. So our family’s income tax return went toward the steep $4,500 tuition fee for the program and I came on board in August. I was full of excitement and felt that things were finally coming together for me. At least that’s how it appeared.

This is where it all began for me….

A cult? Strong word you might say…and you are correct. It is not a word I use lightly or carelessly to label anything. But much prayer, time and years of research and personal experience have brought me to the conclusion that I can say confidently that the root system–or foundation–that IHOP is built on follows the basic premises and signs of a cult religious group. When I first left IHOP, I went through a severe culture shock that is hard to put into words. When I began studying the signs of cult fallout and the things that cult members go through after leaving a cult, my eyes began to open to what I had been a part of and recently come out of.

Below I have listed some common signs of cult operation.  Below them I cite in underlined text short examples of my personal experiences as IHOP which illustrates these particular signs in IHOP’s day to day practice.  After 6 years of being out of IHOP I still hold to my position that it is a dangerous place for people’s hearts and I have seen much destruction of families, relationships and marriages of those who have been involved with this movement.

I appreciate your taking the time to read and prayerfully consider the research and personal testimony I have included below.

1. A destructive cult tends to be totalitarian in its control of its members’ behavior. Cults are likely to dictate in great detail not only what members believe, but also what members wear and eat, when and where members work, sleep, and bathe, and how members think, speak, and conduct familial, marital, or sexual relationships.

As an intern at IHOP, our day to day lives were closely monitored and dictated. I was not allowed to go anywhere or leave IHOP premises without express verbal permission from a community leader except on our one day off. Our schedules started early in the morning with hours in the prayer room, then classes, then back to the prayer room. Our nights often ran late with required attendance at EGS (Encounter God Services) or any other special event Mike spoke at that we were required to attend. Sometimes we had to attend worship sets that ended at 10 pm or midnight. Sleep was minimal and was often un-restful when I did get it. Sleep deprivation is a commonly used tactic in many cult groups to weaken the mind and make a person more susceptible to the embracing of the doctrines taught by that cult. There are many biological and psychological effects of sleep deprivation on the mind.

2. A destructive cult tends to have an ethical double standard. Members are urged to be obedient to the cult, to carefully follow cult rules. They are also encouraged to be revealing and open in the group, confessing all to the leaders. On the other hand, outside the group they are encouraged to act unethically, manipulating outsiders or nonmembers, and either deceiving them or simply revealing very little about themselves or the group. In contrast to destructive cults, honorable groups teach members to abide by one set of ethics and act ethically and truthfully to all people in all situations.

Anyone who rebelled against IHOP’s rules went through a strict disciplinarian process. At its most minimal level of discipline, for an intern, this meant the loss of having a day off and having to do manual labor. Everyone was kept on a short leash. We also had weekly groups as interns that we were required to participate in where everyone was“interrogated” and pressured to open up and share their personal struggles, etc and answer personal questions about their lives, struggles, thoughts, fears, and walks with G-d. It often felt like going to some kind of confession (as in Catholocism) and some interns out and out refused to be so vulnerable and disclosing in front of people they did not know. We were all given journals and told that we had mandatory writing assignments to complete. We were to record details of our IHOP prayer room times, things God spoke to us, dreams, visions, or whatever else that happened in us spiritually and then had to turn in our journals weekly to have an internship leader review/read them. In the last month or so I was at IHOP I paid particularly close attention to the fact that internship leaders ironically prayed things over me in prayer times or at the altar in the prayer room that related directly to things I had put in my journals. So what often might have seemed prophetic was the result of the information about me they already had access to.

3. A destructive cult has only two basic purposes: recruiting new members and fund-raising.Altruistic movements, established religions, and other honorable groups also recruit and raise funds. However, these actions are incidental to an honorable group’s main purpose of improving the lives of its members and of humankind in general. Destructive cults may claim to make social contributions, but in actuality such claims are superficial and only serve as gestures or fronts for recruiting and fund-raising. A cult’s real goal is to increase the prestige and often the wealth of the leader.

There were always an underlying pressure to bring people into IHOP. We were encouraged to invite others and get them to join what we were doing. IHOP campaigns big time to recruit new interns. At every conference, advertising and marketing videos are used to this day to promote the internships. They are played on large TV screens like presidential campaigns and are just part of the propaganda used to “sell” young people on this new version of what walking with God is supposed to look like.

Each intern paid $4,500 to attend a 6 month internship. This covered some books/teaching material we were given as well as food, lodging etc. Check this out though: Every intern lived in the Hernhutt apartments (located next door) which IHOP owned anyway so the only expense was utilities and general upkeep. There was no rent. Plus when there was a mandatory fasting day, weekend, week, etc. no meals were served. So those who didn’t choose to fast had to go out and buy food and no interns were not allowed to have jobs so this got to be a big expense since there wasn’t extra money to live on.

I lived in a 2-bedroom apartment. It housed 6 girls from the ages of 20-23. 4 of us shared one room and 2 shared another. The prayer room costs nothing to attend and is free and open to the public. So hmmm….$4,500 for meals, my electric bill and some IHOP books. I currently live in my own apartment, pay all of my own bills including rent, food, gasoline, renter’s insurance, credit card bills, student loans, electric, cell phone, etc etc and ALL of that costs me approximately $1,500 a month. So basic math says that someone was getting a big paycheck because my expenses would have never cost that in an internship program where we were given so little.

4. A destructive cult appears to be innovative and exclusive. The leader claims to be breaking with tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the ONLY viable system for change that will solve life’s problems or the world’s ills. But these claims are empty and only used to recruit members who are then surreptitiously subjected to mind control to inhibit their ability to examine the actual validity of the claims of the leader and the cult.

In the time I was there Mike often used “them and us” types of statements when referring to “the church” or those outside of IHOP. We were given a sense of being on the “cutting edge” because we were ahead of the church and were doing something new & innovative that was going to sweep the world. It all sounded good so everyone wanted to be in on it as a “forerunner” and liked the label of being on the front lines. So no one dared questioned it.

5. A destructive cult is authoritarian in its power structure. The leader is regarded as the supreme authority. He or she may delegate certain power to a few subordinates for the purpose of seeing that members adhere to the leader’s wishes. There is no appeal outside his or her system to a greater system of justice. For example, if a schoolteacher feels unjustly treated by a principal, an appeal can be made to the superintendent. In a destructive cult, the leader claims to have the only and final ruling on all matters.

Our family became friends with a Jewish couple who were in KC for a conference. They were part of an orthodox Jewish congregation in Israel and were missionaries in the US. They had some grave concerns and red flags (regarding IHOP’s theology, the model that is used with everything IHOP related, etc) that they attempted to meet with Mike and discuss. After being brushed off by Mike multiple times in his refusal to meet with him…even though they were Jewish leaders from Israel and Mike knew of them, he finally told these friends of ours that “This is how we do things here. This is just how IHOP is. It’s not for everyone.” If there was something you didn’t like or didn’t agree with, you were basically told “IHOP wasn’t for everyone so if you couldn’t handle it, maybe you shouldn’t be here.” There was no actual accountability for anything deemed wrong/un-Biblical. We were told that IHOP has its own “culture” and you must assimilate into that culture and language to really understand it. If you had a problem with something, you were told that you just had not been around long enough to understand how they did things OR that you just weren’t a good fit. These were the answers I was given when I met with internship leaders right before leaving. There was never actual admittance of wrong doing or hurting anyone who was caught in the crossfire.

6. A destructive cult’s leader is a self-appointed messianic person claiming to have a special mission in life. For example, leaders of flying saucer cults claim that beings from outer space have commissioned them to lead people away from Earth, so that only the leaders can save them from impending doom.

Every intern was required to listen to the 12 hours of IHOP’s recorded history on CD footage. Much of this content was heavily edited before its publication. These tapes told of “prophetic words” and signs that were given to some of Mike’s mentors (Bob Jones, Paul Cain, etc)—who were all naming him as the leader of the next “big thing” God was doing. Over and over and over again I’ve heard it said (both directly by Mike as well as from others) that he (Mike) would be the leader of a movement that “changed the nature and expression of Christianity in the earth”. Every time, all recognition points to Mike. His “mission” to transform the church and capture the hearts of America’s youth has been his declared goal since the early 1980’s. One of the major dangers is that these grandious sounding claims and “prophetic” words are laden with flattery, narcissism, elitism and are a perfect guise under which anything Mike introduces through IHOP can fall under the heading of being a “new thing” God is doing.

This elitist teaching puts Mike on a pedestal and he has a Messianic-like devoted following of people who would do anything if he told them to without a moment of questioning or hesitation. From my observations and experiences on staff, IHOP members do not think for themselves or question Mike’s interpretation of scripture or the slant in the way he teaches it. At any conference, one will easily observe that if Mike recommends a book or promotes a teaching, a t-shirt or a speaker, at the next break, ALL of that item will be sold out in their bookstore. When I was on staff, I heard people continually sing Mike’s praises around the clock and quote more of what Mike says or thinks or teaches than actual scripture.

Mike has an alluring charisma and many seem to be instantly drawn to his convincing appearance of direction and purpose. He teaches with passion and emotion rather than truth and it’s that charisma that draws and hooks people causing many to blindly follow (and defend) his message.

I believe that the IHOP lifestyle by and large sets people up for disillusionment through the false hope that its deception provides. It is a pseudo, manufactured reality where people are told “you can live in Nirvana and enjoy the ‘high’ of being in God’s presence 24/7 and that can be ALL that you live for” so people sell all that they have, buy into a dream and move across the country to be a part of a ministry that makes captivating claims…and then their world often crumble to ashes when things aren’t as they seem once they arrive.

Mike’s primary target and focus is on the young people. His appeals from the pulpit and his well-polished speeches aim at capturing the hearts of America’s youth. Children and youth are not told or encouraged to respect or honor the parents G-d gave them. Instead, wedges are driven between families and a seed of pride, rebellion and elitism gets planted into the hearts of youth when they are told things like the following…

This is a very close paraphrase of what I’ve heard many, many times at One Thing, IHOP conferences and in teachings by leaders:

“YOU are called to be on the cutting edge. Come here and join a community of other people who are like you, called to what you’re called to. We understand you. You’ve been mis-understood in the church. You’ve had your wings clipped, your gifts misunderstood. Here you can fulfill your forerunner calling that your family just hasn’t understood about you. You might feel like you don’t fit back home, you’re on the outside, no one understands the fire in you. Well we get it. Youare the leaders that G-d is raising up in these end times and you will be kings and queens on the earth—reigning with Him. You were made for this place. IHOP is an incubator for people like you.”

Narcissistic speeches like this instill a sense of pride, arrogance and elitism in the hearts of youth who hear it and it feeds their need for validation and identity. They run to IHOP, leave their families, join internships…hoping that what they’ve heard is true. They go to IHOP looking for identity…instead of finding it in Jesus.

Once outside of the IHOP environment, they are terrified and overwhelmed by the “real” world and don’t know how to function in it when they’ve been in an intensive internship environment. There is a degree of re-acclimating to normal life that feels like an IHOP detox afterward. It’s a severe emotional drop because the hyped up services and conferences that were your manna are now gone and when there is no prayer room, your life in God feels empty and lifeless. Many simply don’t know how to engage with God in a real day-to-day basis once they’ve left. I experienced this and heard the exact same thing from a handful of my friends after they left IHOP and the internship. At that point when disillusionment sets in, I know many interns that walked away from God completely upon leaving the internship and went back into lifestyles worse than the ones they left when they came to IHOP originally.

7. A destructive cult’s leader centers the veneration of members upon himself or herself.Priests, rabbis, ministers, democratic leaders, and other leaders of genuinely altruistic movements focus the veneration of adherents on God or a set of ethical principles. Cult leaders, in contrast, keep the focus of love, devotion, and allegiance on themselves.

I believe my statements above illustrate this so I won’t be redundant.

8. A destructive cult’s leader tends to be determined, domineering, and charismatic. Such a leader effectively persuades followers to abandon or alter their families, friends, and careers to follow the cult. The leader then takes control over followers’ possessions, money, time, and lives.

Youth are pumped up at conferences and then go home to tell their parents they are moving to Kansas City to join IHOP, be part of an internship, etc. At the time, sadly, they don’t realize how much more they are giving up and leaving behind than just their families. I was hurled into a system that took control of my time, when I ate, slept, had time alone, etc. Picking up the pieces of my heart and rebuilding a Biblical view of God after getting outside of IHOP was quite a long process. I hope that by sharing all of this, I am able to spare others the heartache of what I went through.

You may or may not have been in a cult-like environment but here are some potential signs to watch for in safe/unsafe group leaders.

“I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be as wise and cunning as snakes but innocent as doves.” –Matthew 10:16

**********

Research by Rick Ross,Expert Consultant and Intervention Specialist

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader. 

1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

9. The group/leader is always right.10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower’s mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused–as that person’s involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as “persecution”.

4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.

7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

Please don’t just take my word for it. Start doing your own research. Ask the Father to lead you as you pursue what is TRUTH. Don’t just stop at the facts–look deeper. Do Google searches on cults and ask the Lord to unveil deceptions.

Blessings to you on your journey of walking with Him.

IHOP removed an article about Contemplative Prayer from their website. But look here… on mikebickle.org.

This removes any doubt about his involvement with mysticism and his desire for unity with the Catholic church.

Beware. Dangerous teachings follow from his Free Teaching Library

*************

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – MIKE BICKLE

Transcript: 07/19/01

IHOP–KC Missions Base http://www.IHOP.org

Free Teaching Library http://www.MikeBickle.org

Session 1 Contemplative Prayer: Journey into Fullness

INTRODUCTION

Ephesians 3 is one of the great prayers of the New Testament. The ultimate prayer of the New Testament may

be the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, or the “High Priestly” prayer in John 17. We don’t really have to pick

between the two; we have them both. I really like the prayer in John 17. It’s Jesus’ final recorded prayer before

He went to Gethsemane.

Here in Ephesians 3 is one of the real pinnacle prayers of Paul the apostle. Ephesians 3 is one of the high points

in the whole Word of God in terms of apostolic revelation under the unction of the Spirit revealing the highest

things of God’s heart. There are few chapters in the whole Word of God that are equal to Ephesians 3 in terms

of the grandeur of what is in God’s heart for the human heart.

“FOR THIS REASON I BOW MY KNEES TO THE FATHER”

We’re going to look a little at this prayer. My goal isn’t to break it down line by line; I don’t want to do that.

There are plenty of good commentaries on Ephesians 3, but I want to draw attention to a couple of important

points.

Paul said, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father” (Eph. 3:14). When Paul says, “For this reason,” he’s

referring to verses 1:13, and also verses 15-21. It’s the entire flow of what’s going on in Ephesians 3. There’s a

tremendous wealth of revelation before verse 14. That’s what’s on Paul’s mind, but he’s going to take all the

revelation of verses 1-13 and pray that it would actually come to pass, and that’s what’s on his mind when he

prays verses 14-19 and then makes that great statement in verse 20-21.

WHEN WE LOSE THE PROPHETIC VISION, WE LOSE THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER

I’ll paraphrase a little. “For this reason I labor in prayer; I bow my knees to the Father.” Let’s add the phrase, “I

labor in prayer and fasting with something in view.” Paul has a very clear vision in view when he labors in

prayer. The very thing that Paul had in view for the saints, for the believers in Ephesus, is what we have in view

when we pray in intercession for the Church and when we pray in intercession even for our own lives and the

lives of our friends and loved ones. There’s something in view; there’s a reason, there’s a vision, there’s

something that’s awakening our heart, that’s wooing us into the fullness of God’s heart.

I find that when people don’t have a reason, when they lose the reason—I’ll lay out the reason in a moment—

when they lose the reason, they lose the fire for prayer. I have never seen a people sustain themselves in prayer

that don’t have a greater and more sustained vision of what God wants for them. If you take away the prophetic

preaching of what God has for the human heart, you’ll lose the spirit of prayer.

I go places all the time and they say, “Teach us about prayer. We want to do some of the things that you men

are trying to do.”

The reason I say, “trying to do,” is because what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do are really two

different things. We’re trying to do something high; what we’re actually doing is—well, the phrase I use in

Kansas City is “little, rough, and ugly.” We’re endeavouring; we have a vision. For all of you who are leading

prayer ministries, the call to prayer always begins with a clear, regular presentation of the vision of what God

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – MIKE BICKLE

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has in His heart for people. When you lose the prophetic proclamation of the vision of what God has for the

church or the vision that God has for the individual heart, you’ll lose the spirit of prayer.

In the 1980s I travelled around, not very much, but a little, and they wanted to hear about it because I had given

myself to intercession, and I said, “If you don’t have a vision of a victorious church and a soul in the fullness of

God, you won’t have a prayer ministry in your church.” The vision of a victorious church is absolutely

paramount for night-and-day prayer.

RENEW YOUR VISION TO HAVE THE FULLNESS OF GOD

I love it when Paul says, “For this reason.” Again, he’s going backwards referring to the first thirteen verses, but

if there were a pinnacle statement it would be verse 19. We’ll get to that in a moment, but I’ll give you a little

hint: Paul said that we would be filled up to the fullness of God. That’s the vision right there. That’s the

ultimate reason. When we lose that vision, we lose the spirit of prayer, individually and corporately.

You want to renew the spirit of prayer? Renew the vision to have the fullness of God. What I want to do in this

first session is to go as far as I can and tell you some of my journey through Ephesians 3:19, to having a

growing conviction that God wants my soul to enter into fullness. Ephesians 3:19 unquestionably has been one

of the most important verses in my prayer journey in the last twenty years. “For this reason I labor in prayer”

(Eph. 3:14, paraphrased). “For this reason I do what it takes to position myself before the throne to press in. For

this reason I live a fasted life. I position my heart.” We will be a people of one thing because of a reason,

because of a vision.

He goes on in verse 15 and talks about the Father, “the God from whom every family in heaven and earth is

named” (Eph. 3:15, paraphrased). There’s a lot there, but I’ll move past that. He goes on to describe some of his

prayer theology. Why do we care about prayer theology? The name of this conference is “Passionate Pursuit.”

It’s really kind of a cool name for living a life of contemplative prayer; living a life immersed in the Holy Spirit.

What we’re really talking about is living a lifestyle of prayer, not just going to prayer meetings, but cultivating a

spirit of prayer in our secret history in God. The Holy Spirit is renewing this thing called “contemplative

prayer.”

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS RESTORING CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER TO THE BODY OF CHRIST

There’s no biblical definition for contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer has been defined differently by

different theologians in different generations of church history. I have my own definition; I’ll give you a

handout tomorrow and lay it all out. My definition is a little different than others. Of course, I’ve never met two

people who have the same definition of contemplative prayer. One thing is common: everyone talks about being

abandoned to God in the pursuit of it. There’s a clear Holy Spirit emphasis on the subject of contemplative

prayer. Maybe that’s a new term to you. Maybe you don’t know what I mean, or what others mean. I’ll be doing

most of the morning sessions. I’ll be talking line by line about what contemplative prayer is from the

perspective from history, and how the Word of God describes some of the dynamics of contemplative prayer.

One thing is for sure: the Holy Spirit is restoring this precious jewel in the grace of God to the Body of Christ.

We’re going to talk about what it is, why it’s important, and how to do it, because this is the God-ordained

means to enter into Ephesians 3:19 in fullness. Fullness is what we’re after. We’re after fullness. We want

everything God gives the human heart in this generation. We want everything that God will give the human

heart in this hour of human history. He will give more now than He did a hundred years ago; He really will. He

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will give the most in the generation of the Lord’s return. I believe we’re in that generation. Whether five years

or fifty years, I don’t know, but I believe there are people on the earth today who will see the actual appearing

of the Lord in the sky. I believe it’s closer to fifty years than to five years, but I don’t really know. I’m not a

date-setter. As a matter of fact, I believe date-setting isn’t just dangerous; it’s worse than dangerous. It’s

distracting. I believe we’re in that hour, and if it be true, if we’re in that final generation, whether we have

several decades to go or not, there are things that God has uniquely reserved for the final hour of natural history

called “the fullness of God.”

A BILLION-YEAR JOURNEY INTO THE FULLNESS OF GOD

The fullness of God in this age is nothing like the fullness of God in the age to come. As a matter of fact, the

phrase in verse 19 is kind of a difficult phrase for human beings to peer into: “the fullness of God.” I can just

imagine the angels saying, “Well, I would like to talk on that one for a few minutes.”

Isaiah 6 describes the seraphim. Billions of years from now, the seraphim are still there, right next to the throne,

still covering their eyes, still gazing,

overwhelmed by new discoveries, new discoveries of the beauty of God. Maybe they’ve been there for billions

of years. I have no way of knowing and I don’t care, but they’ve been there a long time. With one set of wings

they cover their eyes, overwhelmed at the new discoveries, the new flashes of power of the transcendent beauty

of God that overwhelms their being. For a billionth time they’ve gazed, and for a billionth time they’re

overwhelmed by new discoveries.

When I say fullness, I look around at the great cloud of witnesses and I admit I don’t have a clue what I’m

talking about. Let’s settle that, OK? “I’m a little man; you men know a whole lot more than I know, but what a

stunning phrase that God the Holy Spirit put in the Bible.”

There’s the relative definition, and of course there’s the absolute one, the absolute definition of the fullness of

God; a billion years into eternity we will still be discovering the inexhaustible ocean of God’s being. It’s

inexhaustible. I don’t know what to say about the absolute definition of fullness. I don’t think it’s my mandate

or my invitation in God even to peer into that in any significant kind of way, but on this side of the resurrection,

there’s a relative definition for fullness, for what God will give the human heart in this season of history.

The church in the Western world has so quickly abandoned our inheritance of the fullness of God, even in the

relative sense of the term. I don’t want to give up our inheritance for this hour of history. I want to be a man in

the midst of a people related to a whole company of people all over the earth, an international family of

affection that has Ephesians 3:19 written on its heart by the Holy Spirit. We’re going after this thing with all the

abandonment that the grace of God will give us. Business as usual is not OK. I’m not taking my cues from other

leaders in the Body of Christ who pat me on the head and say, “Settle down, you’ll be OK.” I don’t want to be

OK. I want an unrelenting pursuit after fullness, which is another way of saying hungering—hungering for God.

YOUR DESIRE FOR GOD IS GOD’S GIFT TO YOU

It’s the greatest gift that God can give you. Well, I don’t know if I want to say, “the greatest.” There are a lot of

things you can put in that category. One of the great things that God can give the human soul, the human heart,

is desire for Him. Your desire for Him is His gift to you. It really is. It takes God to love God. It takes God the

Holy Spirit. It takes supernatural activity to be abandoned to go after God in fullness.

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THE PARADOX OF HUNGER IN THE LOVE OF GOD

The problem with hunger is that hunger has tremendous pain and tremendous delight on the other end of it.

There are several very powerful paradoxes in the heart of the hungry for God. The very anguish we feel of

darkness and barrenness is really an expression of hunger and love. It’s the dark side of love. I don’t mean dark

in an evil sense. John of the Cross talked about the dark side of love. He spoke of dryness; he spoke of

experiencing the pain of barrenness that can’t bear accepting the status quo, but can’t have that for which we

yearn so greatly. In itself it’s the very work of love in the human spirit.

God has many reasons for what John of the Cross called “the wounds of love.” He draws us closer. We get

closer to the fire of His being. The closer we get, the more awakened we are in love, and yet the paradox is this:

the closer we get, the more aware we become that we’re outside of the fullness of the experience of love. We

feel the pain of being overwhelmed, and in the same twenty-four-hour period we feel the pain of feeling like

we’re groping, touching nothing. I’ve known them both in the same twenty-four-hour period. It’s like eating a

thirty-ounce steak after a twenty-day fast. In my tiny capacity, I know the pain of touching a little of God and

being so full and stuffed. “Oh, I can’t take any more. Stay Your hand lest You kill me.”

I haven’t had many of those, but I have had a few experiences where God’s revelation touched me. It was such

a small thing, but my capacity was so much smaller that it was like a big steak after a long fast. It was painful; I

said, “Don’t give me anything more for a little while.” Then, in the same period of time, even in the same

twenty-four-hour period, I felt like I was groping with nothing. It’s a strange thing, this thing called the grace of

God in the human soul.

THE GLORY AND THE GORE OF THE FULLNESS OF GOD

We’ll talk a little about the wounds of love. We’ll talk about John of the Cross, one of the contemplatives from

the sixteenth century in Spain, one of the great men of God, a man who touched some of the secret places in

God’s heart in union with God. God has raised him up as a statement—not infallible, not perfect, but his

abandonment to God is a rebuke to the modern church, because even that long ago God was giving these things

to the human heart.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the fullness of God is gory and glorious. I call it “the glory and the

gory”—the overwhelming delight and the horrible anguish of love happening in the same human heart. We’re

pursuing this together, not just in one place; I’m talking about the fellowship of the burning heart all over the

nations, from all different traditions in the Body of Christ. Millions of people are going after this thing. There’s

a certain fellowship around the burning heart of God that’s so precious and so dear. We don’t have to apologize

for the intensity of our desire for God. Probably everyone in this room lives in a context where we have to

apologize to other people for our intensity. That’s the way it works; it’s not a rebuke to anyone, that’s just the

way it works. We have to hide it. It’s almost like we have to pretend it isn’t really there, because even believers

in Jesus are intimidated, overwhelmed, and made uncomfortable by spiritual intensity.

I know God is raising up places all over the world where we can gather, little oases where we come together for

a few days; they’re going to be everywhere. They’re everywhere now. We come together and we drink from

this well a little. For just a few moments, we don’t have to have any facades. We’re weak, we’re broken, we

have intensity, we have a vision, we’re not entering into it, we’re failing, but we’re going, and we don’t have to

apologize for our failures, nor do we have to apologize for our vision and our intensity. We’re going for it. It’s

very important. When you preach on it and proclaim it, there will be those who make sure they watch and catch

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you when you fail. There’s a certain sense of, “Well, I won’t really speak my real heart.” Then there’s the other

group of people who feel so rejected and intimidated, you don’t want to say it to them either. Then there’s the

group that’s walking with you, hand-in-hand together, and there’s a little competition, so you can’t really go

there. We feel exhausted hiding it. It’s in the Bible, it’s the will of God, it’s the Holy Spirit’s activity and

ministry. We’re going for this thing. We’re going to be people of one thing.

JESUS DIGNIFIED THE WISDOM OF BEING A PERSON OF ONE THING

There are three primary verses I use when I talk about the people of one thing. I’ll probably quote them a half a

dozen times. These are three verses that are good to know.

Jesus said it. Most of you know the passage; in Luke 10:42, He’s talking to Martha about her little sister, Mary.

He says, “Martha, your little sister does this one thing” (Lk. 10:42, paraphrased). He uses the phrase, “This one

thing.” Jesus dignified before the human soul the wisdom of being a person of one thing. We don’t have to

apologize for being a man or woman of one thing.

King David spoke in the same spirit in Psalm 27:4. We all know the verse. King David said, “This one thing: I

gaze on His beauty” (Ps. 27:4, paraphrased). Jesus said it to Mary, and it doesn’t get any higher than that; He

was describing Mary’s heart. Then we have David saying, “This one thing.”

WE DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN THE AFTERGLOW OF YESTERDAY’S VICTORIES

Then we have Paul the apostle: “This one thing I do” (Phil. 3:12). He said,

“I forget and I press. I press for the goal, the prize of the upward calling. I press. This one thing I do: I forget

my victories, I don’t boast in them. I forget my failures, so there’s no condemnation. I push delete on yesterday

and press, press, press. This one thing: I press for the upward call. I press in.”

I care about yesterday’s victories in the sense that they’re important to the Lord, but I don’t want to live in the

afterglow of yesterday’s victories. Do you know what? I don’t want to live in the backfiring, so to speak, of

yesterday’s defeat. I want to press in and forget. “This one thing”: I press. We’re going to be a people of one

thing. We have to be a people of one thing to enter into fullness.

“STRENGTHENED WITH MIGHT THROUGH HIS SPIRIT IN THE INNER MAN”

In Ephesians 3:16, Paul explains why he’s pressing; he explains why he’s laboring in prayer. Why are you

laboring in prayer? What’s the reason? Why do you posture your heart to receive everything God has? Why are

you endeavoring to be a people of one thing? These phrases are so filled; you could go on and on. I’ll skip some

of the really important stuff and just get right to the very mountaintop: so that you would be strengthened with

might on the inside.

Paul said, “I fast and pray for you for one primary thing to happen: that the might of God would be released into

your inner man.” He qualifies it in very glorious ways and he gets insight through the Holy Spirit.

POSITIONING OURSELVES TO EXPERIENCE THE MIGHT OF GOD

There are many, many things to say about this. Basically, it takes God to love God. It takes the power of God to

be abandoned to God. We need the might of God touching our human spirits. I want to be a man of prayer, not

because I want to prove that I’m dedicated. Many of the people in the false religions have tremendous devotion,

and they’re trying to create a reputation in the land that they’re devoted. I don’t care about devotion for the sake

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of devotion; I’m desperate in my weakness for the might to touch my spirit. I need might on my spirit, because I

want to go somewhere and I can’t go there without might, divine might. I can’t go there by reading books about

it; I can’t go there by hearing your story. Your story can encourage me, but there’s only one way I can go

forward: through the escort of the Holy Spirit, releasing might to my inner man. That’s very important.

A lot of people put the primary emphasis of their life upon the increase of their ministry. We need to put the

primary emphasis on receiving might that touches the inner man. We read books about might, we write books

about might, we go to conferences about it, we argue about it, we do everything except for positioning ourselves

to experience the might of God in the inner man. No one can fake this. No one with wisdom would want to. I

don’t want the reputation of it; I want the reality of it in my secret life. In all of thy getting, get the might of God

upon your spirit.

LIVING IN THE FIERY REALITY OF THE HEART OF GOD

It’s the very thing that Paul would go on and say later in Ephesians 6:10. He said, “Be strong in the Lord and in

the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10). Oh, what a sentence. He goes on to talk about spiritual warfare, and he

references this verse in verse 16. He says, “This might will bring you to new heights of God in your heart, but

also it will equip you to free others in warfare” (Eph. 6:16, paraphrased).

FEELING AND MOVING IN UNITY WITH THE HEART OF GOD

This might isn’t something you can fake. It isn’t a certificate you hang on the wall; it’s something you receive

in your secret life in God. Again, I don’t want to have the reputation that I’m devout and have a prayer life. I

want living reality when all you guys are gone. I don’t want to be an echo; I want to be a voice. I don’t want to

memorize phenomenal clichés of mighty men and women of past days; I want to live in the fiery reality of the

heart of God. That’s my destiny. That’s your destiny on planet earth. It isn’t enough to get the best clichés and

say them and write books on them and get materials and be eclectic and put it all together and have people say,

“Wow,” and buy the book. It means nothing. No devil or angel will be moved by your book. I want the kind of

thing that moves things in the spirit.

The demon said, “Jesus we know and Paul we know, but who are you men” (Acts 19:15, paraphrased)? I want

to make an impact in the Spirit, but I want more than that. I want something more than just moving angels and

devils. Daniel in Daniel 9 bows his knees and prays and angels start coming. Angels were set to flight by the

movements of a man’s heart on the earth. That’s massive to me. That’s massive. Demons were set to flight by

the movement of a man’s heart on the earth. It’s impact in the realm of the Spirit, but there’s something more

than that. It’s our destiny, it’s our dignity, it’s who I am, to feel and move in unity with the heart of my God

forever—not just in eternity, but now. It takes might; it’s the might of God. That might of God is more than just

gently pushing people down in prayer lines, maybe saying, “I didn’t really push you,” and having a little debate

afterwards. This is might on the inside of me that no devil can touch and no religious argument can steal. They

can put you in prison, but the might that’s on the inside neither rust nor moth can destroy. It’s on the inside of

you. The martyrs took it to their deaths, and they took it into the resurrection with them. The might of God is

our number one inheritance, the internal might of God.

It takes God to love God. I don’t mean just the power over demons; I’m talking about the ability to have a weak

human heart soaring in the realm of power and light, in the realm of God himself. I like what Paul said in

Ephesians 3: “I labor.” Look at verse 14, “I’m fighting for you in prayer. I know the value of might. In all of thy

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getting, get this might. Don’t be content in faking someone out. Don’t be content with a reputation that you

have it. Get it. I’m fighting for you in prayer to have it” (Eph. 3:14, paraphrased).

This is the very thing that Paul fought for in prayer. He wrestled through the night that he would be in his own

vein. It’s a radical lifestyle change. When we have the vision of divine might, beloved, there’s nothing you

won’t do with the clear visions God wants to give you of divine might.

THE LIGHT AND THE DARK SIDE OF FLOWING IN LOVE

Know this: the divine might of verse 16 is just one of the important ingredients to the fullness of verse 19. It’s

about fullness. We’re after fullness. We’re not just after might in itself; might is indispensible to experience the

fullness, the fullness of our heart moving in union and intimacy with God’s heart. It’s the quest, the hunger for

fullness. Remember, that hunger is God’s gift to you. That hunger has overwhelming delight and the anguish of

feeling abandoned and barren. There are two sides of love when we move in the spirit with our weakness. God

uses the one overwhelming love to absolutely empower us and draw us. He uses the hiding of His face for the

sake of love, in order to produce meekness and tenderness and dependency, so that in our victory we don’t get

raised up in pride. He uses both sides of love. John of the Cross calls it the light and the dark side of flowing in

love of God. Again, dark in this context doesn’t mean evil; it means that God hides the release of it from our

feeling it. It’s there. It’s true for every single person in this room: if you lose your anguish to have more of God,

you’re already going backwards.

Our anguish to experience God more isn’t from the devil. Think about it: the devil didn’t give you anguish for

God. Your anguish to experience more of God isn’t a deed of the flesh. It isn’t just a religious spirit. The flesh

doesn’t produce anguish to know more of God in the human heart. It isn’t the devil, it isn’t the flesh; it’s the

work of God in you and in me.

I talk to people all the time. They say, “It’s so horrible; God is so far away.” I’m smiling and they just want to

reach over and hit me. “What are you smiling about?”

I say, “You didn’t have that anguish years ago. Years ago, you never thought about it. Look at how different

you are. Look at what has happened to you. You used to hurt because someone didn’t like you. You weren’t

popular or famous or rich; you weren’t this, that, and the other. Now you’re in anguish because you can’t

discern the invisible presence of God. You’re in anguish over it. Where did that come from? It didn’t come

from the devil; it didn’t come from the flesh. That’s the token of God’s hand upon your heart. Stay with it. Get

into a marathon pace. Don’t evaluate yourself; don’t evaluate others. Don’t compare; just keep going after it and

you’ll have both sides of it in different seasons. Even in the same twenty-four hour period we have both sides of

it.”

“THAT CHRIST MAY DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS THROUGH FAITH”

In verse 17 Paul says, “When this might touches you, there’s something that happens: Jesus dwells in you”

(Eph. 3:17a, paraphrased). Let’s say it a little differently: it’s the manifest presence of the Godhead upon your

emotions. He isn’t talking about Jesus dwelling within you at the new birth. These Ephesians are already

believers. They’re already pretty fervent believers. Is what sense is Paul praying that Jesus would dwell in

them? They’re already born again, and they already have the Holy Spirit’s ministry operating in them. He isn’t

talking about initial experience; he’s talking about what Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 when He stood at the door

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of the Laodiceans. He said, “I’m knocking because I want to come into you and dine with you” (Rev. 3:20,

paraphrased). He’s talking about a manifest presence in the midst of believers.

JESUS CHANGES OUR EMOTIONAL CHEMISTRY THROUGH DIVINE MIGHT

Instead of the word dwell, put the words, “Jesus manifesting His presence on your emotions.” Again, there’s the

release and the withholding as expressions of His presence on you. John of the Cross called it “the dark night of

the soul,” or, “the dark night of the senses.” He had two different terminologies.

Beloved, my weak heart is cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Its own frame and its own design are weak. The very

emotions of the Godhead are resting on us, just a little. Jesus is moving, expressing His personality through

your personalities, in little tokens, but a little goes a long way. Paul tells us that when divine might touches you,

the manifest presence of God changes your chemistry. You’re not perfected in one release of divine might;

that’s not what he’s talking about. There are things I love now that I hate, and there are things I used to hate that

I now love. That’s Jesus changing my emotional chemistry through divine might.

Verse 17a brings you to verse 17b. Notice the word that. There’s a purpose, a divine logic, and it not only

motivates Paul in his prayer, it enables him as he trains the people in how to move forward in God. He says,

“Number one, let’s fast and pray to release might on your spirit. Might will bring you into an emotional

chemistry change, Jesus dwelling on the heart. He will cause you to be rooted and grounded in love” (Eph.

3:17b, paraphrased).

This is an agricultural and architectural metaphor: “rooted and grounded.”

He’s talking about the foundation of building. These are two of Paul’s favorite metaphors when he talks about

the cooperation of the Holy Spirit in the human will. I don’t want to go into that right now, but they’re brilliant.

They’re magnificent. I’ve done some study of people who have had great understanding of these metaphors in

different commentaries. It’s a brilliant piece of wisdom.

Let’s just say this: “awakened inside.” Not only are we feeling God’s love, not only are we feeling God’s heart

for ourselves and having some of those moods begin to change a little, but we’re actually beginning to be rooted

and awakened in love. The very love of God is imparted, and it’s profoundly a part of who we are now. It’s a

permanent change in our being. It’s something that we will have forever and ever. It’s tokens of His presence

that take root in our being. They don’t go away. We can quench His presence, but there’s a place where we’re

rooted and grounded. There’s a place where it becomes a permanent part of our being, a part of who we are.

We’re lovers of God.

TO THE MAN OR WOMAN WHO HAS LOVE, EVEN MORE WILL BE GIVEN

Then he goes on and he says, “Now, when you’re awakened to love, when it becomes a permanent part of who

you are, even in immaturity, you’re a lover of God” (Eph. 3:17b, paraphrased). He says, “When you become a

lover, there’s no one who understands love like a lover.” This is the principal of the rich getting richer. This is

the principal of Mark 4:24, where Jesus said, “Be very careful what you listen to, because to him who has, even

more will be given besides” (Mk. 4:24, paraphrased). To the man or woman who has love, more is given. It’s a

strange dynamic; the very impartation of love is what equips you to grow in the ocean of love. To the man or

woman who has initial experiences, God says, “If you stay with it, it enlarges your capacity, and you go on into

that vast, inexhaustible ocean.”

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The lover comprehends love like no one else. I love to teach on the Father heart of God and the passionate heart

of the Bridegroom. It’s the first person of the Trinity, the tender Father. It’s the second person of the Trinity, the

passionate Bridegroom. There’s something about the Father’s tender love and the Bridegroom’s fiery love;

there’s something about it that just throws us into another realm in God.

You tell that message to a sincere believer who’s not rooted or grounded in love, and they look at you and say,

“Huh. That’s cool. Anyway, let’s go on to build the church and do this.”

You say, “Stop. It’s more than cool. The Godhead is in love with you.”

They say, “Yeah, that’s neat. I really like that.”

Anyway, we’re thinking about the outreach next week, and they don’t grasp it at all. It takes the heart of a lover

to be introduced into the new realms of God. I began to devote a bit of energy to the revelation of the Father and

the Bridegroom, and I thought I was really going somewhere. Now I know I’m not. As I began to give myself to

it, I began to rework in my heart a little of the rooting and grounding in the revelation of love. It begins to be a

small part of who I am, not just an insight that touches me here and there, but part of the fabric of my being.

That’s what equips you to see the ocean, the realms of love far out beyond. The introductory experiences of

love, the experiences of falling into love on the front end, are what prepare you for the inexhaustible ocean, the

deeper realms of God.

It’s like the aerospace mathematician, or whatever his name was. He was in fifth grade, and he was number one

in the class in multiplication. He really thought he knew math. He said, “I was number one in the class. I knew

math. Then I went to college and got into calculus, and boy, I really knew math.”

Now he’s seventy years old. This is a made-up story. You go to the man and say, “You really know math.”

And he says, “No, no, no, I really don’t. I thought I knew math when I was ten, twelve, fifteen, and twenty years

old. I don’t know any math. I understand that there’s a world of math out there. I don’t have a clue how those

galaxies relate to one another. I don’t know anything.”

The further I go in this, the clearer it is that I’m one inch out of the water, at most. I thought I was in Ezekiel 47,

overflowing in love. As years go by I have the opposite experience of Ezekiel. He started at the ankles, and he

went to the knees, and the loins, and finally to overflowing. I thought I was overflowing a few years ago. The

line was up to here. A few years later, I said, “I guess I’m only up to here.”

A few years later I said, “Man. I’m in wet sand and the water is just a few feet away. I’ll be in that water in just

a short while.” The sand is wet. I look for it carefully; my heel is in dry and my toes are in moist sand. That’s it.

I had the reverse experience of Ezekiel. That’s what’s going on here. In other words, it’s the introductory

experiences of verse 17a that prepare us for the greater dimensions of love in verse 18: the width, the length, the

depth, and the height, comprehending the inexhaustible thrill of the ocean of love. I can say this, and I admit it:

I don’t really know what I’m saying, but I know there’s a universe of math out there. I can understand that

scientist in the space department who knows that he doesn’t understand math. I understand what he means, just

a little. I know just enough to know that there’s a world I have no comprehension of at all.

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Paul tells us this: when you begin to comprehend some of the depth, some of the deep stuff, then the

comprehension of verse 18 turns into the experience of verse 19. Instead of the word know, put the word

experience. Instead of the word know, put the words, “intimate experience.”

“FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST COMPELS US”

Paul says, “This love compels me. It drives me from one prison to the next. They beat me, they threaten me, but

this thing is alive in me. I can’t stop, and they tell me they’ll beat me again” (2 Cor. 5:14, paraphrased). He

says, “I’m driven by the experience of incomprehensible love. I know the logic. If I go to the next city, I’ll get

hit really hard again.”

“I say, ‘I’m not going. I’ll send Timothy!’ Then I get quiet and that volcanic thing happens in me, that divine

compelling, and I say, ‘I’m going, because the power on the inside has more force than the pain of the beating

on the outside.” This is the secret of the martyrs at the end of the age: the intimate knowledge.

Then verse 19 is the ultimate. He says, “Why? So that in the relative sense we could have all that God will give

the human heart.” That’s what contemplative prayer is about. Well, I have to measure it a little, but this is one

of the really classic chapters on contemplative prayer.

Again, tomorrow morning I’ll have some notes for you, and I’ll talk about some definitions and some pathways

to contemplative prayer. A few more ideas and then I’ll pray for you.

The pathway to contemplative prayer, to the inward life, is enjoying intimacy with God. It’s more than

intercession, more than praying for the sick. Oh, I love those. This isn’t for the faint of heart, this journey. You

can be weak; I’m really weak. If the weak are invited, I qualify.

There’s a strange thing going on in the land today. The Body of Christ has a billion in the earth. It’s a very

small number. The Protestant wing of the Western church is nearly 98 percent unaware that the Holy Spirit is

restoring contemplative prayer, bringing it center stage to the Church.

I come and go. I don’t ever want to be a know-it-all hot shot, and go somewhere; I don’t even know what’s

going on. I don’t even want to do that stuff. I want to get might and be lost in love. I don’t want to be one of

those, “I know more than you know” people. I’ve tried that, and it wore me out. It’s so exhausting. Then you get

the tar beat out of you, because their spirit is as feisty as yours. It’s a huge waste of time. Anyway, the Western,

Protestant end of the Body of Christ is almost entirely unaware of this.

DO WE CALL THEM “CONTEMPLATIVES” OR “MYSTICS”?

Do you know who picked up on it? Of all people, it was Barnes & Noble. I don’t know if they have a prophet in

there, or if they have really smart entrepreneurs. I don’t know when this happened; it may have been five years

ago. I’m one of those guys who go get the Starbucks, sit in the chair, read the books, and don’t buy them.

Sometimes I accidentally mark in them, and then I have to buy them. Anyway, I like the whole Barnes & Noble

deal. I’ve been going there for ten or fifteen years. First there was a book on prayer here and there; then they got

this big religious section, and then there were one or two books on contemplation. They call them mystics. I

don’t use the word mystics, even though it’s a legitimate term. I don’t want to fight that war. There were so

many people who use the word mystics who were so off. I don’t want to argue for them. I don’t want to say who

was and who wasn’t, so I’m just saying, “contemplative prayer,” but I mean the mystics.

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Even in our work here at IHOP-KC I say, “Let’s just stay with contemplative.” Again, there were plenty of

people who were really in profound error who somehow ended up on some list of the great mystics. We’re just

lovesick for Jesus. We just do Jesus. I don’t know what groups do what, but we’re really going after the Man

Christ Jesus under the grace of God the Father by the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to go into the semantics, the

debates, who was and who wasn’t, because they’re all lumped together in one giant category. It’s sad to me,

because it obscures the glory of what’s in front of the Body of Christ. I call them contemplatives. It isn’t wrong

to use the other, but I have limited time for arguments. I don’t have time to go there.

EVERYONE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST IS CALLED TO THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFESTYLE

Anyway, I went to Barnes & Noble, and initially there were five books on the mystics, the contemplatives. Then

a year went by, and there were thirty. I said, “Oh,” and my stack was getting bigger. A year went by, and there

were 200! I said, “Someone is figuring something out.” Then there were 500. I’m making up the number, of

course. There were shelves of them. I said, “Who is figuring this thing out? How come the leadership of the

Body of Christ isn’t figuring this out? Why is Barnes & Noble prophesying to us?” I don’t know if they’re the

true prophets. I don’t know if they’re Balaam’s buddy prophets. I don’t know who’s picking up on it, but it’s

the word of God. It’s God’s heart.

Where are the leaders? Where are the evangelical leaders who are calling the Church? We have Richard Foster;

he’s been doing it for years. You have a few here and there. You have Dallas Willard. There are a few.

I said, “Lord, let’s go for this.” My prayer is that you would get clear in your soul that this is a now word. This

is a kairos hour. We’re in a time frame where God is speaking the call to contemplative prayer, and to lives of

contemplative prayer. I don’t mean that you leave your jobs to do it. Some of you will do that. God is calling

everyone. Everyone in the Body of Christ is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle—everyone.

That’s one of the great strongholds we have to overcome. People think, “Well, if you join IHOP-KC or if you

join a monastery or if you can go out into the desert, you can do it.” No, it’s for people who work fifty and sixty

hours a week; they have three and four and five children and more. It’s for people in prison. It’s for people in

discouragement. It’s for people in all walks of life who say yes to Jesus. We have to get rid of this lie that it’s

only for people who quit everything and go to a mountain. We have to get over that hurdle. Barnes & Noble is

prophesying it. Hurdle number one is this: we have to understand that contemplative prayer is everyone.

Everyone is called to the fullness. Ephesians 3 wasn’t written for one half of 1 percent of the Body of Christ in

history. It was written for the whole Body of Christ in all of history. It’s written for people with jobs and

families and neighborhoods and pressures. Ephesians 3 is for everyone, and I’m not going to let the devil steal

it from me or those who will listen to what I’m saying. We’re all going to go into this thing.

CHURCH HISTORY DIDN’T BEGIN WITH MARTIN LUTHER

There’s another hindrance that’s bigger than that. It’s a very, very important hindrance we have to dismantle. I

say we, but the vast majority of this room is Protestants. A lot of us think that church history began in 1517. We

think that when Martin Luther went and nailed those Ninety-five Theses on the door of the church in

Wittenberg, church history began. It didn’t begin with Martin Luther. Church history has been going for 2,000

years, not 500 years. Some of the brightest lights in all of history were blazing a thousand years before Martin

Luther.

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I understand the reasons, but I’ll take liberties and not be totally honest here: historians call that period of time

“the dark ages.” There are good reasons for that, but forget those good reasons for a moment and let me say this.

The brightest lights in history were man and women of abandonment in the dark ages. Somewhere we have to

say, “The dark ages with luminaries in the grace of God.” We don’t count them: they were Catholic priests; they

can’t be bright! It has to be the dark ages. We’re Protestants.

I tell you, I haven’t studied it intensely, but certainly with more than a casual interest. I’ve studied the lives of

the mystics and the contemplatives through history. Clearly, the most inspiring, compelling examples in my

world have come out of the Catholic dark ages. I can’t find anything like it in modern times in America in the

Protestant world.

“We can’t do that, because don’t they do those other funny things?” Well, some of them might do some funny

things, but I guarantee you that when you stand before the Lord, you’ll understand that you did some funny

things too. It’s this idea that we have to find the group that doesn’t do anything funny—where are we going to

go? Not to Kansas City, that’s for sure. I really mean that.

I love what Paul Cain says: “Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” We have to be able to go and

receive where God has rested His presence in history, and some of our examples will have Catholic roots in

history. You don’t have to accept all the dogma of the Catholic church to receive the inspiration of lives of

abandonment today—lives that we know of, lives that burn today. We need a little Holy Spirit, catalytic jump

start. We need to see where a few have gone before us and say, “If they did it, we can do it, and more,” and if

you want to go deep in that way, I’m sad to say, the vast majority of your roots in history will be Catholic. You

don’t have to accept all the dogma of the Catholic church to receive the inspiration of lives of abandonment. I’m

not intimidated by that.

I have books by Protestants and Catholics; we’re getting them out there. I don’t tell people, “Wait until it’s

perfect before you read it.” I have very few books that are perfect. I say, “Use discernment. Read the Bible with

discernment, and read and know what part is in the Word of God, and be inspired and move forward.”

THE EARLY EXCITEMENT AND PROMISE OF THE JESUS MOVEMENT

I’ll give just a little of my history. I’m out of time. I met the Lord in 1971, thirty years ago this summer. After I

met the Lord I was involved in a fiery youth group. The youth group grew from about 200 to about 1,200 in a

single year in the midst of the Jesus movement. Some of you remember those times. How many of you can

remember the early 1970s, when the hippies were all coming in? Everyone was getting saved, and the numbers

were amazing.

My leaders were leaders in Campus Crusade, and they told us all about prayer and revival and evangelism and

the Great Commission, and we loved it. We fed our lives on the missionary biographies. We had a vision to go

hard. Then, after we did the evangelism thing for a few years, we figured out that it wasn’t working very well.

We wanted to go win the world, but almost no one was responding after the wave of the Jesus movement lifted.

Then, in the natural process of the Holy Spirit, the leaders said, “We have to find ways to interact with God

through fasting and prayer to release more so that we can do what these great missionaries did in history.” We

kind of endured the idea of fasting and prayer in order to fulfil the Great Commission. We endured God in order

to serve God. We wanted to be great missionaries and evangelists, but we didn’t want to have to mess with

God—really getting close and overcoming all the obstacles and living lives of abandonment and learning the

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ways of the Spirit in prayer. We didn’t want to do that; we just wanted to serve Him. Maybe someone would

write a biography about us, and then we made it.

This was in the mid-1970s—1973, 1974, and 1975. I really began to say yes to this thing called prayer. I read a

whole bunch of books on prayer and I didn’t like it at all. Prayer was one of the things I hated. There were four

things I hated; I say it all the time. I hated prayer, I hated fasting, I hated witnessing, and I hated Bible study. I

really did. I loved God and loved meetings. Bible study was the easiest of the four great, horrible things,

especially if it was a group Bible study, because I could talk all the time. Bible study was the least worst of the

bad things; then evangelism was probably the second. But prayer and fasting? Ugh, forget it!

The men who were over me said, “You have to do this.”

I said, “What a drag. If that’s the only way I can go forward, I’ll do it. I don’t like it, but I’ll do it.”

I read a bunch of books on prayer. It was uncomely. You couldn’t have convinced me that twenty-five years

later I would be involved in a prayer movement. I would have said, “No, you really have the wrong man.

Preaching on fasting? No way.” I figured out every way to get the job done without prayer and fasting.

I experienced one of the great privileges of my life, in a natural sense, a month or two ago. I got to spend part of

an afternoon with Bill Bright, who’s eighty years old. Through his ministry he has led more people to the Lord

than any living person in history.

He was sitting there at eighty years old, and we were talking. He said, “After fifty years of doing it, I’ve learned

one thing: it doesn’t work apart from prayer.” He’s eighty years old; he looked at me and said, “Young man…”

I said, “I’ll take it!”

He said, “If you’ll buy into this in your youth and never back out, you’ll be wiser for it. It doesn’t work; and if

anyone can say that, I can. It doesn’t work without prayer and fasting.” Wow! What a powerful privilege to hear

the wisdom and conclusions of a man like that.

Anyway, I was reading this book in 1976—not that the date matters. I couldn’t remember where I was when I

was reading it. This man said, “I have prayed Ephesians 1:17 and Ephesians 3:16 thousands of times, for years

and years.”

I said, “What? Ephesians 1:17 and Ephesians 3:16? OK.”

So I wrote it down, read Ephesians 1:17 and Ephesians 3:16, and said, “These are the strangest, most confusing

prayers I have ever imagined,” but out of sheer desperation, I put them on this list and prayed them everyday. I

prayed them, and I had this prayer list that I went through over, and over, and over again. The only way I could

pray for any length of time at all was by reading the same prayer list over and over. I didn’t know what to say if

I got off of the list. My goal was to pray for an hour a day.

This is horrible, but I said, “I have to do this forever. I hope in the resurrection it changes. I can do this for fifty

years, but I can’t do it for billions. There’s no way I can do this for billions of years.”

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I had these ten or twenty prayers, and Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 3 were at the top of the list because this book

said it. He said he liked it, so I said, “I’ll try it for a year or two.” I stayed with it for some years. I had no idea

that I had stumbled right into the middle of the heart of God.

I started praying Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 3. Some years went by, and it was the summer of 1981, twenty

years ago. It was one of the great, life-changing summers of my life. I went on my first extended fast. I was

scared to death. I prayed this for literally two or three years, and it might help you. I said, “If You’ll really help

me to do a long fast—and not just one of those, ‘Lord, help me,’ I mean You really have to help me—I’ll do

one.”

The Lord smiled and said, “You know, little man, I love you so much. It isn’t like that, but I’ll help you.”

THE LIFE-CHANGING IMPACT OF JOHN G. LAKE AND MADAME GUYON

I went on an extended fast in the summer of 1981, and nothing was happening. I ran into two things that

changed my life. I ran into the teachings of a man whom I read for some weeks during the fast; his name is John

G. Lake. I had nothing to do; I was too tired, too moody, too everything, so I tucked away for hours and took

naps, drank coffee with triple Sweet n’ Low just to get a little zap from it. It was a water-and-coffee fast, but I

figured Sweet n’ Low was legal, so I put a ton of it in there. Let me tell you, it has a bad kick in a few days. I

won’t go there now, but don’t do that. Later I’ll talk more in-depth about John G. Lake. I read his writings for

weeks, and they totally transformed my life.

Someone gave me a little book by Madame Guyon called Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ. I could

never pronounce her name; I didn’t have a clue what it was about. I read this book ten, twenty, thirty times. It

was an extended fast. I read it over and over and over, and I want to say this: there are a number of sentences in

this book that I think are really off. This book is so wonderful, but there are a number of things I think are really

off. I can’t think of anything that’s perfectly “on” that has the glory of what’s in this book.

She let smallpox touch her face and she said, “For the glory of God I will let this disease destroy my beauty.”

I wrote, “Dumb!” I did, I wrote, “Dumb!”

Because even when I gave someone the book, they saw that and said, “Wow, I guess you didn’t agree with

that.”

I said, “No, there are a number of things.” It was like a safety net.

John G. Lake was saying, “Don’t ever go to a doctor or you sin.” I said, “Wrong!”

He was saying, “Get rid of everything that’s sickness.”

She was saying, “Everything that’s sickness, go for it.” I was kind of in a collision with my Sweet n’ Low, and I

was twenty-five years old; I couldn’t figure it all out, but I know that healing is awesome, and I know that going

deep in contemplative prayer is awesome. Somewhere I’ll figure out how they work together. In my

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understanding, they profoundly come together, but I never met anyone who says it exactly right. This book is

phenomenal, but you’re going to run into some things that are off, in my opinion.

I began to go into those two different lines of flowing in the anointing of John G. Lake, the greatest of all

Protestant healing ministries. Then, a few years later, there was another book. I’ve talked about this at the other

conferences. The man who wrote it was Bernard of Clairvaux. Some of you have never heard of Bernard of

Clairvaux. John G. Lake was my hero; Andrew Murray said he had the greatest healing ministry in history. I

read the incredible miracles of John G. Lake. I became a John G. Lake fanatic, and, not a scholar, but an eager

student, at least.

I read all of his stuff over and over and preached it for years. The only life I have ever read that has eclipsed

John G. Lake in power healing was Bernard of Clairvaux. There were incredible healings: the lame walking, the

blind seeing, hundreds of thousands of converts, demons coming out; he combined the anointing of John G.

Lake with the contemplative prayer of Madame Guyon, and his favorite book was the Song of Solomon. He was

lovesick with the Bridegroom revelation.

There are a number of biographies on him. For me he became the most inspiring life outside the Bible. Some

years ago I began to read everything I could. I had many, many books on Bernard of Clairvaux. He put Madame

Guyon and John G. Lake together in one package and added the Bride of Christ on top of it. I think you could

present a case that he was the most powerful man in the secular, political, and spiritual dimensions in the world.

He was born in 1090 and died in 1153; he only lived sixty-three years. He was this little abbot, this young man

who had a little monastery. He started it out in the woods, and named the little valley Clairvaux. I mean, it was

horrible. He almost starved to death during the first few winters. He named it, “Valley of Life,” Clairvaux.

This little monastery began to grow. The powers that be came to him and said they wanted him to be the pope.

He said, “No, being the pope is great, but I don’t want to be the pope; I want to be a man of prayer.” He spent

his whole life fasting and praying, teaching on the Song of Solomon. He picked his main disciple and said,

“Make him pope,” and they made him pope.

His main man was pope, and they said, “Bernard is truly the pope because his man listens to him so much.”

Then the King of Italy, the King of France, and the King of Germany had such profound respect for Bernard of

Clairvaux, his spiritual power, his prophetic ministry, and his ability to cast out devils, that they would listen to

anything he said. They were going to war with each other a few times in his ministry. He walked over to the

King of Germany and said, “Stop it.”

The man said, “OK.”

They said, “Bernard is in town. He walked from France to Germany. He wants to meet you.”

He said, “No, tell him I’ll stop the war.” Obviously, there are a lot more details than that, but these three men

were powerfully impacted.

That’s the way those nations were in the twelfth century. He installed the pope, and he had a whole army of

people all over the world, casting out devils, healing the sick, and leading hundreds of thousands of people to

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Jesus. But Bernard said, “All I want to do is go back home and live in my little room, praying, fasting, and

studying Song of Solomon.”

I fell in love with this man. You want to get rocked? Read the life of Bernard of Clairvoux. He made a few real

blunders, and he said some things that, in my opinion, were wrong, wrong, wrong. But I hear the Holy Spirit

whispering, “Yes, but he has so much more right than you have.” It’s really true.

I would say the most influential life in my thirty years of walking with the Lord is Bernard of Clairvaux. John

G. Lake would be number two. My old faithful, David Brainerd, the missionary to the Indians, would be

number three.

Then finally, just three or four years ago, this phenomenal book came out by Father Thomas Dubay. It was a

bestseller all over the world—Protestants have never heard of it—called Fire Within. He takes probably the two

greatest examples of contemplative prayer. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila were friends. They lived in

the sixteenth century at the same time. They worked in the same place for a season in Spain, and somewhere in

their soul with God they both said, “We’re going for it with God in the deeper life.”

They’re two of the shining examples, and they’ve articulated with such clarity the way of deeper life in God.

You go to the Protestants and they say, “Wasn’t he one of the dark night men or something?” He was one of the

greatest flaming hearts of love in all history, along with Bernard of Clairvaux, John G. Lake, and Teresa of

Avila. There are plenty of things that I would say differently, but they have so much right that I can’t throw

them away because of what’s wrong, because there’s too much right to dismiss them. We’re in great need in the

Protestant world right now for some examples that will beckon us into the fullness of God. I don’t know of any

passage more relevant than Ephesians 3 for the fullness of God.

Amen. So that’s a little introduction. Let’s stand.

Source

mikebickle.org.edgesuite.net/MikeBickleVOD/2001/20010719-T-Contemplative_Prayer-Journey_into_Fullness_CTP01.pdf

More startling and sad developments at International House of Prayer. This ministry was doomed at its conception.

********

IHOP Murder / Sex Scandal – Developing

As you may already know, Bethany Deaton, an IHOP intern, was murdered on October 30 by another IHOPper, Micah Moore, apparently at the request of Deaton’s husband, Tyler Deaton. The murder was staged to appear as a suicide.

The story involves orgies at Deaton’s home: assualts on Bethany, and sodomy among other participants.

I will be posting more on this in the very near future- right now most of my time is being spent collaborating with colleagues who are researching this story.

Right now, as the story develops, I would suggest that you look over at Truthspeakers Weblog. And seriously, new information is trickling out almost every hour.

Read more HERE

About four years ago, I was interacting with two youth leaders from IHOP. One of them, Zach, had a large website which featured a link with all of his recommended reading or “library”. I can confirm that all of the books listed in the below article were in his “library”. It was confirmation of the root of Catholic mystism behind this aberrant and cultic ministry.

Please read:

IHOP-KC “partners” with Catholics for Onething Christian Conference (2012)

Source  My Word Like Fire

Keith Major is a former Protestant missionary, pastor, and IHOP-KC staff member who converted to Catholicism in 2009. Major was baptized in a Catholic church at age three, but his family began attending a Protestant church when he was eight years old. As a Protestant missionary, Major helped smuggle 100,000 Bibles into Russia. He served for years in Russia and Poland.

Describing his path to his 2009 conversion to Catholicism, Major stated that International House Of Prayer founder Mike Bickle encouraged him to learn about Catholic mystics. According to Major, “Being that the Director [Bickle] was a Catholic until he was twenty, he highly recommended people to read Catholic mystics, particularly Bernard of Clairvaux, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Teresa of Lisieux, Francis de Sales, Catherine of Sienna…” [1]

What was Bickle’s purpose in this? “He would just say if you want to know more about contemplative prayer, these are the people who have mastered it. But when you read it, spit out the bones,” said Major. [2] (bold mine)

Unfortunately, contemplative prayer is really the same thing as Eastern or New Age meditation, only painted with Christian terminology. The goal is to enter the silence, which is accomplished by emptying the mind of all active thought. In this mental void, spiritual deception can and does occur. This contemplative (meditative) state potentially opens people to the influence of lying spirits.

And he said, Take heed that you be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: go not therefore after them. (Luke 21:8)

Contemplative prayer is far removed from genuine biblical meditation, which occurs when the Word of God is read and pondered, ruminated upon, and where the mind remains active in thought.

The foundation of IHOP-KC teaching rests upon contemplative prayer. Mike Bickle wants the book, Fire Within, which celebrates the Catholic, contemplative teachings of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, “to be the manual for IHOP-KC.” [3 ] Bickle has taught contemplative prayer to his IHOP-KC flock, which he calls “communing prayer.” [4 ]

Both IHOP and the Catholic Church look to Catholic mystics like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila for spiritual truth. Such IHOP/Catholic contemplative commonality does much to explain IHOP’s “partnership” with the (Catholic) Steubenville Conferences at Onething 2012.

Ex-IHOP staff member Keith Major is now Marketing  Coordinator at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. There is still obviously a connection with International House Of Prayer.  On Major’s blog is an  announcement for “Catholic Track at IHOP’s Onething conference 2012.” [5]

The announcement states, “The International House Of Prayer is partnering with Steubenville Conferences in the first ever Catholic Track at Onething in the Kansas Convention Center this December 28-31. Archbishop Joseph F. Nauman, Scott Hahn, Ralph Martin, Mike Bickle, Misty Edwards, Matt Maher, Audrey Assad and others will be sharing. Join with over 25,000 attendees as this year’s theme is Encountering Jesus and His Transforming Power through living out the Sermon on the Mount.” [6 ] (bold mine)

By partnering with the Catholics in the Onething conference, IHOP-KC is sending a message to every young person in attendance that praying to Mary and the saints, believing in purgatory, even believing the Eucharist to be the literal body and blood of Christ, are not important differences.

But the most important issue is that of Salvation.

According to qotquestions.org, “The most crucial problem with the Roman Catholic Church is its belief that faith alone in Christ is not sufficient for salvation. The Bible clearly and consistently states that receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith, grants salvation (John 1:12, 3:16, 18, 36; Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9-10, 13; Ephesians 2:8-9) The Roman Catholic Church rejects this. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that a person must believe in Jesus Christ AND be baptized AND receive the Eucharist along with the other sacraments AND obey the decrees of the Roman Catholic Church AND perform meritorious works AND not die with any mortal sins AND etc., etc., etc. Catholic divergence from the Bible on this most crucial of issues, salvation, means that yes, Catholicism is a false religion. If a person believes what the Catholic Church officially teaches, he/she will not be saved. Any claim that works or rituals must be added to faith in order for salvation to be achieved is a claim that Jesus’ death was not sufficient to fully purchase our salvation.” (bold mine) click to read gotquestions.org article

One of the Catholic speakers is Ralph Martin. One of Martin’s books, The Fulfillment of All Desire, is about Catholic mystics. It was this contemplative book, read while fasting, that further influenced Major to become a Catholic. Ralph Martin’s endorsement of IHOP is on the IHOP-KC website. [7]

The young IHOP people are so sincere, so hungry to draw closer to God. Yet they are being led by those who believe the way to God has been paved by Catholic, meditating mystics.

Endnotes:

1. Interview on The Journey Home, go to approximately 34:55 mark Link here

2. Interview on The Journey Home, go to approximately 35:10 Link here

3. http://mywordlikefire.com/2011/07/29/mike-bickle-of-ihop-wants-book-about-catholic-mystics-to-be-manual-for-ihop-kc/

4. http://mywordlikefire.com/2011/10/28/mike-bickle-of-ihop-kc-instructs-followers-on-contemplative-prayer/

5. catholic track at the ihop onething conference

6.  catholic track at the ihop onething conference

7. IHOP endorsed by Ralph Martin http://www.ihopkc.org/about/endorsements/

Reprinted by Permission

Other articles on this site:

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/ihop-openly-promotes-contemplative-prayervisualization/

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/ihop-promotes-contemplative-mystics/

From Crosswise – Walking in the Truth  – A very important testimony

http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/testimony-of-a-former-ihop-kc-attendee-stephanie/

I grew up as the only Christian in my household. My parents came to know Jesus when I was about 10. My Father began to backslide after his grandmother died which took a pretty big toll on his relationship with my brothers, my mother, and I. Off and on since I was in about 7th grade, I had severe night terrors and nightmares. I attended a Bible High School as well as a Bible College after I graduated. I often tried to find a reason and a way to stop my night terrors, with little to no answers.

Meanwhile, my family was extremely rocky to say the least. My dad was an absentee, my youngest brother was abusive, and my mom was enabling them both. I always wanted to help them, but neglected myself in the process. Wanting to get closer to the Lord, I decided to go to an extension campus in Hawaii (without praying about it and for pretty selfish reasons). I knew I probably wasn’t supposed to go but went anyway to escape from everything else going on in my life.

The Pastor who ran the campus quit 3 days before our arrival and a local apprentice to the pastor was put in charge and (very) reluctantly took the position. It was a pretty messed up situation, to which I and everyone else on campus (about 20 people) ended up leaving as a result. At this point, my walk was very dry and I felt so out of place no matter where I was. I just needed a place I felt I could fit in and, at the same time, draw closer to the Lord and get some answers for weird things that would happen (like the night terrors).

Full story HERE

TAKING SPIRITUAL DOMINION OVER

DARK ANGELS

By Gaylene Goodroad

and The Discernment Research Group*

Only the most naïve would imagine that an aggressive assault on the kingdom of satan would be met with anything but a desperate fight. That is why satan and any of his principalities or powers attempting to stop the spread of the Gospel must be bound…Binding and loosing, therefore are extremely important weapons which must be found in the arsenal of all those who desire to win the lost for Jesus Christ.[1]

~ C. Peter Wagner, NAR

To partner with Jesus in fulfilling the Great Commission,… the church must renounce fear and fatalism and recover the prevailing faith behind Paul’s frontal attack against the forces of darkness… [Christ’s] church must learn to contend, to wrestle with and throw down its spiritual adversaries…. The church, functioning as the house of prayer, the governmental ekklesia, is the correct context for Jesus’ teaching on binding and loosing…[it] is a council of war at the highest level. With Christ as our Head, we are bringing heaven down to earth and barring hell’s invasion.[2]

~ Lou Engle, TheCall/IHOP

The Bible subsequently reveals that it is the believer’s responsibility to “ask” before God will respond, to bind and release on earth for heaven to do the same, and that part and parcel of the Great Commission is the duty of the church to cast out demons and to tread over the power of the enemy. Apparently when we do, we send shock waves through the heavenlies![3]

~ Tom (and Nita) Horn, Christian author/publisher/speaker

THE GODS WHO WALK AMONG US

Prayer Warfare methodologies conceived and borne out of the Latter Rain Movement and nurtured under the New Apostolic Reformation are going mainstream. Twenty years ago, Chief NAR apostle, C. Peter Wagner, applied his Church Growth teachings to the spirit realm in what he termed Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW). The plan calls for identifying “territorial spirits” (demons) of a geographic locality, then devising practices (such as militant intercession and fasting)[4] and techniques to defeat these unseen foes so that cities, nations, and beyond will respond to the Gospel.[5]

Sadly, this heresy is creeping into conservative Christian forums unawares through various prophetic ministries concerned about the eschatological implications of transhumanism and loosely related subjects.

Full Article HERE

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO JOIN THE RALLY?

Saturday, 06 August 2011

SOURCE

by Jackie Alnor

Apostasy Alert.org

Christians around the world reacted in such shock that the media would dare to label the Norway terrorist a “fundamentalist Christian,” when in fact he was a hate-filled degenerate with no connections to the Christian faith whatsoever. But these allegations did not come out of a vacuum.

There are voices in the “Christian” media chanting slogans all over the public airwaves calling for Christians to rise up and take dominion over the entire world. There are groups that gather in large numbers at political prayer gatherings chanting affirmations such as: “We’re taking back the world for Christ” “We’re the head and not the tail”- and the world takes notice. Preachers in mega-churches are telling their congregations to “take back what the devil stole” in the marketplace, economics, entertainment, politics, and everywhere in society.

This chatter that permeates social media is bringing persecution upon all professing Christians who get labeled as one of them – especially when all streams in this polluted river join together for a show of force and unity. But where did this cocky collective Christian attitude originate that appears to the onlooking public as a threat to their freedoms? Besides from the prince of the power of the air, it comes from his agents who have wormed themselves into the professing church and seek to climb to the top of the heap.

Unbelievers cannot differentiate between Islam’s professed aim to dominate the planet and the boastings of professing Christians who are boldly proclaiming that they’re the ones who will rule the world and create Christ’s kingdom on earth before He returns.

Hitching their star to a presidential candidate, such as Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Joel’s Army visionaries are trying to position themselves to expand their power base. The Response (name of the prayer rally in Houston for America on behalf of Perry’s potential presidential bid) is an attempt of the Mother Harlot to ride the Beast of secular power. The new “Holy Roman Empire” is to rise again!

JOEL’S ARMY ON THE MARCH

There have been many efforts over the past couple of decades by Joel’s Army leaders to capture a critical mass of people and rally the troops behind them. A leading “prophet” in the movement is Bill Hamon, founder of Christian International Ministries in Florida. He calls the current effort to bring people together “the Saints Movement” in an ongoing effort to achieve what he calls “the restoration process” of the Church – the idea of restoring secular authority back to the Church that was once held by the Roman Catholic Church.

In an interview with The Voice Magazine, he describes where he believes we are now in the restoration process.

“We are at the prophetic-apostolic. The prophetic movement of the 80s brought in the prophet. And in the 90s it was the apostle. Now we have all five ascension gifts fully restored. Now we can get busy, working, training, equipping, and activating the saints to demonstrate the Kingdom of God…Now it’s the whole Body of Christ arising and demonstrating the supernatural. We will see the Body of Christ coming forth in the Saints Movement. We’ve crossed over the Jordan. The moment you cross over Jordan you’re going into warfare. As fanatical as it may sound to fundamental evangelical Christians, the Church is destined to subdue all things and put all things under Christ’s feet before He actually literally returns from heaven…The Church is being prepared now for the next moves of God. After the Saints Movement will be the Army of the Lord Movement. The next movement after that will be the Kingdom Establishment Movement.”

[Source: http://www.thevoicemagazine.com/ApoMoments_BillHamon.htm ]

The only thing holding them back, according to Hamon, is the belief in the Rapture.

“Rapture teaching is one of the most faith deadening teachings ever preached. It has the most neutralizing affect on a Christian’s aggressive growth process…If you don’t have a big comprehensive vision, both restorationally and eternally, then what motivation is there to do much except try to win a few souls to get a big reward in heaven?”

At the same time “The Response” is taking place in Houston, the Roman Catholic Church is holding a prayer rally in Maryland. Called “The Summer of Mercy,” sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, this Catholic event also includes Protestants coming together with them under the pro-life cause. 
http://summerofmercy.com/

The website announcing the Summer of Mercy event, shares the testimony of a person who attended the last one a decade ago:

“We (Catholics and Protestants) prayed together… rallied together… sang together… processed together… attended church services together. It was peaceful and it was prayerful unity. In response to what the Holy Spirit is doing in this hour, we are inviting Christians and people of good will from all across America to come to Germantown, Maryland and be involved in the Summer of Mercy 2.0. Our desire is to see a sovereign God powerfully move, shift history, bring awakening to our nation and end abortion. Join us July 30 though August 7, for this historic season of prayerful and prophetic witness in Maryland. We will be having; 24/7 prayer and worship, inspiring evening rallies with national political and Christian leaders and cutting edge public events.”

Protestants and Catholics together, united in prayer and power to “shift history” – Is that the purpose of the body of Christ today? Jesus told His disciples, “they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” [Matt. 24:9] and the Apostle Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” [Phil. 3:20]

POO-POO PROPHET

So-called prophet Bob Jones is one referred to in the circles of dominion-seeking “Protestants.” Leaders like Rick Joyner of MorningStar and Mike Bickle of IHOP point to him as the one who gave them their marching orders. Jones blatantly teaches the Joel’s Army idea that the end-times church will go to war with the world and come out on top before the Lord’s return. How odd that Jones is still admired when he was exposed as the pervert he is years ago when he used his “prophetic office” to molest women.

Jones claims to be taken up to heaven on a regular basis. On one occasion, he described his heavenly garments as diapers. “I had a pamper on,” Jones told Mike Bickle who was interviewing him. “And I really messed it good. It was running down both my legs. And the Lord had ahold of my hand and I was a bawlin and a squallin…And so it was like the angels come and changed my pamper and washed me up and the next thing I knew I was back in bed.”

Jones revealed where he gets his marching orders in the 2008 Shepherd’s Rod publication. He wrote, “In our own ministry, we have been emphasizing the importance of honoring healing revivalists such as A. A. Allen, John Alexander Dowie, John G. Lake, William Branham and others. Some of these have been the most dishonored individuals of the 20th century Church, yet used most notably in soul winning and the miraculous. Our adversary has effectively attempted to neutralize the testimony of these individuals as forerunners by overly emphasizing their shortcomings and weaknesses. Even so, the Lord is allowing a body of people to recognize the pioneering influence these individuals conveyed in order to position us to carry forward the unfinished commissions.”

[For background on these “healing revivalists,” see my article on “God’s Generals” at: http://www.apostasyalert.org/generals.htm.%5D

These men did indeed have dishonored lives that included homosexuality, alcoholism, false doctrine, denial of the deity of Christ, and unverified claims of healings. Before joining with these groups in their prayer/political rallies, a Christian needs to pay heed to the warnings of the discernment ministries against associating with errant brothers.

Mike Bickle may put disclaimers on his website, denying that he believes in the Joel’s Army teachings, but that would carry more weight if he would apologize to the church for promoting them in the past. After all he published the writings promoting Joel’s Army by men like Bob Jones and Paul Cain in his newsletters when he was their pastor overseeing the “Kansas City Prophets.”

But he and Joyner and the other associates of the New Apostolic Reformation have picked up the mantles of the “unfinished commissions” and are vying for the top positions in the end-times army. Their slogan to take back America has caught on with the apostate lukewarm church with the help of the “Christian” TV networks and the compromising broadcasters who have joined hands with them by appearing on their networks without pointing out their errors.

The war has begun, and the persecution of the true saints is at hand.

 

 

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