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Leaving the NAR Church: Christopher’s story

posted by Amy Spreeman on May 5, 2017

http://bereanresearch.org/

“There is a deep sadness in me, a sorrow over wasted years and opportunities. I get angry with myself for having been deluded and so easily led into false doctrine and practice.”

Christopher got swept up in the “Third Wave,” another term for the New Apostolic Reformation. I love how he tells of his journey out! He has allowed me to include his story in this series about a movement called the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR for short. In this series, I want to take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth.

Here is Christopher’s story in his own words:

You would probably be surprised that I have a degree in Microbiology and that I practice dentistry and consider myself a scientific person. And that I have had a number of wonderful Bible preaching pastors over the years, men committed to the gospel and the inerrancy of the scriptures. And that I was even trained in and practiced inductive Bible Study, accompanies with a reference texts such as Vines and Strong’s. Boy, did I let my guard down and embrace false illumination! And I thought God was in the middle of the craziness. I thought God was doing something wonderful. I even wrote defenses for all of it, to counteract the “haters” and “heresy hunters.”

Four months ago I renounced my twenty years of involvement with the Third Wave charismatic thing as well as a more recent connection with the “New Apostolic Reformation”. I immediately experienced a relief, a lifting of a burden.

I had begun to grow tired of the promises of coming breakthroughs. I had spent my share on books, tapes, and conferences, all promising to prepare me for what was coming next. I went through Inner Healing and SOZO only to become worried that my great grandparents might have done something which I would never be able to discover which might have opened a doorway for spiritual oppression in my life.

I had been Slain in the Spirit many times, and had received my share of “visions”, but the quest became about more and more of it. It was about finding and riding the next wave of the Spirit, always. And it became about speaking things into existence. Doing greater works than Jesus. Doing spiritual warfare. And marching around the church building speaking in tongues, waving flags, blowing shofars, and ignoring the incredulous looks of onlookers.

Two things happened that probably pushed me over the edge.

Finish article HERE

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

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.

This  is posted from the  Bethel Church and Christianity Facebook Page.  To date, the author has not been determined.

SAVED FROM THE DECEPTION OF CHARISMANIA

GOD SAVED ME AND BROUGHT ME OUT OF THE SIGNS AND WONDERS MOVEMENT

God saved me, and brought me out of the Signs and Wonders Movement, after being involved in it for nearly twenty-two years; I am now twenty-three years of age and have been saved for about a year and a half. This is my testimony, and in writing this I pray that God would use this to save others out of the movement that I was so heavily involved in, and that above all else, Christ will be magnified and made much of!

I was born and raised in the “Prophetic Movement” (which is now in the process of morphing into the “New Apostolic Reformation”), and I grew up completely oblivious to what Biblical Christianity is meant to look like. Some of the leaders who had an influence on how I perceived what the church is to look like, have included John and Carol Arnott of the “Toronto Blessing”, Rodney Howard Browne of the “Brownsville Revival”, and others such as Kim Clement, Benny Hinn, Chris Harvey, Todd Bentley, Bob Jones, Randy Clark, Patricia King, Georgian Banov, Bobby Conners, Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, and Bill Johnson.

In the fall of 2002 I ended up moving to Redding, California to get “plugged-in” to Bethel Church, which Bill Johnson (a self-proclaimed “apostle”) oversees. It was here where I ended up jumping into and entertaining the supernatural phenomenon, signs and wonders, and mystical experiences (which were falsely attributed to God) in a much greater way then I did when I was a kid growing up. I soon got involved in the youth group, which was heavily influenced by Lou Engle who heads up “The Call” and Mike Bickle who heads up “IHOP” (International House Of Prayer). I later enrolled in Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry in 2006, and went through the whole three-year program. I was heavily engaged and supportive of many of the things, which were being taught and practiced. When Todd Bentley and his, “Lakeland Revival” began to take place, I jumped on board with that as well, and became a full supporter and advocate for it. I was gladfully defending it against all the, “Religious Pharisees” (or so I called them at the time). It was also at this time that I noticed the, “Toking the Ghost” movement and became a “Toker” myself, and a full supporter of John Crowder and Ben Dunn.

However, when Todd Bentley’s affair was made public (August ’08), I ended up becoming grieved by what happened and by the poor response that was to follow. Shortly after the crash of the “Lakeland Revival” I received some severe rebukes for being involved with John Crowder’s and Ben Dunn’s “Toking Mania”, and so I withdrew myself from this aspect of the chaos. It was also at this time, while I was in my third year internship with Bethel, that I was starting to notice that things didn’t line up and I began to question the legitimacy of the Prophetic Movement.

First off, before I share my testimony of how God saved me and brought me out of this movement, I want to explain why I believe that Bethel is a cult, and not just on the charismatic fringe. Labeling someone or a group a “cult” is not a thing to take lightly and so I hope to explain why I believe this to be true with the Word of God. The following statements are examples of the beliefs and practices of Bethel, their school of supernatural ministry, and other ministries who they consider to be their friends and partners in revival. I will not be able to share everything that I was involved with, but in sharing some things I hope to bring some awareness to the dangers that this movement possesses, and bring encouragement to those of you who are praying for friends and loved ones who are entangled in this deception.

TO THE GLORIOUS PRAISE OF MAN AND A STRANGE FORM OF SINLESS PERFECTIONISM

Bethel has a really high view of man, and is extremely man centered. My understanding after being involved with Bethel for almost seven years, and after going through three years of their school of ministry is that they teach that man is basically free to choose good or evil, and that man isn’t all that bad. They would teach that man, prior to coming to Christ is a sinner, but even though he is a sinner he isn’t all that wicked. They would teach that if you pay your bills, don’t cheat on your taxes, and love your family that you are a good person. The leadership at Bethel is quick to impress this into the students who go to the School of Supernatural Ministry in the very beginning of their schooling. Kris Vallotton (a self-proclaimed “prophet”), who is Bill Johnson’s right hand man, would be quick to tell the students how amazing they are, and that they are not wretches or all that bad. It is taught that you are a child of God (which is true for those who are saved), so (by their definition) that means you are “royalty”, “amazing”, “kings” and “queens” so how can you be a wretch? Here is a link to a video clip that is on  Kris Vallotton’s website, where he talks about the royalty of man, and how amazing you are.

(http://www.kvministries.com/media/index.php?type=5&id=47&foreign_id=47&media_id=41)

*update  video no longer available*

But the Scriptures say otherwise concerning the “goodness” of man. The Word of God says that all of man’s righteousness is like a filthy rag useless for anything at all. Isaiah 64:6 “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” This is to say that all of our own efforts of “goodness” amount to disgusting garbage in the sight of God. The Apostle Paul wrote concerning men and their sinfulness. Romans 3:10-18 ““None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”” Paul further writes Romans 8:7-8, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law, indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (More Scriptures concerning man’s total depravity: Gen 6:5, Ps 14:1-3, Ps 51:5, Jer 17:9, Ro 5:10-12, Eph 2:1-3) The Scriptures makes it clear that men are born with a sinful nature, and commit sin by nature and choice. Man is not good for the most part, with some sin, but rather man is totally corrupt and in love with his sin, and does not wish to part from his sin. For “no one does good, not even one.” men are naturally “hostile to God” and have a “heart of stone”(Ezekiel 36:26), nor do they naturally seek for God. People are not waiting to hear about the wonderful plan that Jesus has for their life, for they hate Him and are not submissive to Him (John 15:18-25). It is not until God does a saving work in the sinner’s life, (Jon 2:9, Jn 1:12-13, Jn 3:3-8, Jn 6:37, Jn 6:44, Jn 10:25-30, Ro 8:28-30, Ro 9, Tit 3:5) that the person is able and willing to seek for, submit to, and treasure God.

It is also taught at Bethel that once you become a Christian you are no longer a sinner. One of their “key verses” for this is taken from Romans 6:11 “So you also must consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Kris Vallotton would take this and say that since you are “dead to sin” you are no longer a sinner. But the context of “consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” means that we are no longer enslaved to sin, to fulfill its lusts and desires, that it is no longer the thing that drives us, it is not that we are no longer sinners. Now, the leadership at Bethel does not teach that a Christian can’t sin, but rather they teach that if a Christian does sin it does not make him a sinner. In other-words (they would teach), if a Christian does sin it is because they believed a lie that they still struggle with sin. Here is a link to a video clip of Kris Vallotton talking about Christians not being sinners. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvS2kkIoyAs) What does scripture have to say about Christians being sinners? Are Christians still sinners? If we were to look at 1 John 1:8-10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Scripture tells us we are sinners because, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” If we claim to be sinless we lie and do not have the truth in us, or in other-words if someone was to truly believe that they are sinless then they are not truly saved.

Note on Video: [The fundamental error in Kris’ teaching is that he has missed the overriding context of 1 John. John writes to those who have made a profession of Christ (1 John 5:13) in an effort to assure them of their salvation. John does not write to non-believers as Mr. Vallotton suggests, therefore, he is guilty of allowing his presuppositions concerning sin and salvation to misleadingly guide his interpretation down an avenue that the apostle never imagined.]

SHAKE -N-BAKE WITH A SIDE OF KUNDALINI

Among one of the more common and heavily embraced practices would be that of getting “drunk in the Spirit”. This is where you lay hands on each other, pray for each other, or ask the Lord to get you “hammered”, in which people (including myself) would have experienced spiritual bliss, joy, and ecstasies. People would react differently to these experiences, some would fall down and not be able to stand, others would stumble around as if heavily intoxicated with alcohol, some would shake violently, and others would experience the blissful side of this but not necessarily exert any physical manifestations. Although, I do not doubt that their are those who would “fake” being drunk (I did this at times), this does not exclude the reality that people regularly experience spiritual highs when practicing this. One of the main “proof” texts for this is taken from Acts 2:1-15. “But others mocking said, “they are filled with new wine.””(vs. 13) and “These people are not drunk as you suppose”(vs. 15a) The defense for “getting drunk in the spirit” is that they were “drunk”, so they were drunk in the Holy Spirit (aka: falling down, laughing, twitching, and shaking), because people thought that they were drunk, and that is how drunk people act. But if we were to look at the text a little bit closer we would see clearly why they thought that they were drunk. We read in verses 1 -13, “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing him speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians – we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “what does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”” There were those who thought that the disciples were drunk because they were speaking in tongues (foreign languages and dialects unknown to the speakers) “Telling the mighty works of God.” It was because of this that people thought that they were drunk. There is nothing about shaking and baking in the text at all!

These drunken manifestations that are experienced within the Prophetic Movement are identical to that of Kundalini. Kundalini is a practice found in New Age groups as well as eastern mysticism. These practices would include physical manifestations, such as jerking and shaking, and feelings of heat, energy, and pleasure. There is absolutely nothing in the Scriptures that even come close to supporting this practice at all! With this it is safe to say that getting drunk in the spirit is a counterfeit experience. Here is a link to a good video clip that Andrew Strom did on the Kundalini, and the manifestations of “drunkenness” found within the Prophetic Movement. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpw2oQrvMM). The Scriptures warn us that people will turn away from the Truth and follow what is false: 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teachings, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

WHEN SOLA SCRIPTURA IS NOT ENOUGH

Another common practice is for people to hear the Lord “speak to them prophetically”. In this movement and at Bethel in particular it is taught that the Lord is always and continually speaking to you (apart from the Scriptures), and all you have to do is “tune” in to the right station (like an FM/AM radio) to be able to hear from the Lord. Some of the different ways that they teach that you can hear from the Lord would include: audibly, open visions, angels, the inner-audible-voice (where you hear the Lord speak audibly inside of you, rather than on the outside), the still small voice (like that of a faint whisper), feelings (where you “feel” what the Lord is saying to you), and dreams. (however, compare that with Hebrews 1:1-2) They would say that all prophecy is for edification, exhortation, and comfort and that when you give someone a prophecy, you are doing so to encourage them and to help build them up. For Example: you would receive a prophetic “download” about someone and prophecy over them by telling them something that may sound like this, “The Lord really likes how you like numbers, so I feel like you have a grace on your life to be an accountant.” This is something that if you were to ask the leadership at Bethel about, or anyone who has been apart of Bethel for any length of time, that they would testify too.

This “continual speaking” also embarks into the arena of authoritative new revelations, or extra Biblical revelations. It is believed and taught at Bethel that the Lord is revealing new truths apart from what has already been revealed to us in the Scriptures. Bill Johnson has said, “The Lord wants to give revelation at a measure that has never, I don’t think has ever happened in the world before. The spirit of revelation is being released upon the church, but I’ll, let me tell you one of the things that makes room for the spirit of revelation to come, it’s the fact that we are willing to embrace mystery.” Here is a link to a video clip where you will hear Bill say this, and as well hear him expand on it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pfa_kj1NUk). For an actual example of extra Biblical revelation: Bethel recently had Cindy Jacobs (who is a self-proclaimed “prophetess”) come to Bethel on 09-01-10, which she gave a “prophetic word” over Bethel, about Bethel building buildings, being an apostolic center, and taking the media mountain (the “mountain” concept will be explained in the section “At The Root Of It All”). Here is a portion of Cindy Jacob’s “prophecy” over Bethel.“The apostolic team here will have to pray over this and unpack it and see what it will look like. There might be other buildings in-between and other ways. In order to do what you’re going to do, you are going to need a lot of buildings. Because the Lord says, “I am getting ready to build this apostolic network and many people are going to come and say, “I need to join.” And I am going to show you how to do this organically but yet put structure to it.” The Lord says, “do not fear to step out and do that. My people need a home and a place. I have put a heart in many that have the DNA of revival and healing and revivalists and miracles…. where will they find a resting place? There is a desire to find a resting place.” You can read the full transcript of this “prophecy” at this link

(http://www.ibethel.org/site/articles/2010/08/09/prophetic-word-for-bethel-church).

*update…no longer available*

While I was involved in the Prophetic Movement it was my experience that many people (yet not all) didn’t bother to read their Bibles on a regular basis, which was also the case for me. From what I observed I believe this was the case because it is believed that we need fresh words from the Lord, and the Written Word of God is not enough, and it is believed that you can’t walk in the fullness of your relationship with the Lord using the Scriptures alone.

The Scriptures do teach us that the Word of God is sufficient, 2 Timothy shows us of the sufficiency of Scriptures, that the Scriptures are enough, we do not need new revelation. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” The Scriptures are enough that one may be “competent, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teachings, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

2 Peter 1:16-21 “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. . [Peter is referring to his experience on the Mt. of Transfiguration (with James and John) when Jesus was transfigured and Moses and Elijah appeared] And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, [The exact meaning of “prophetic word” is described in verse 20 as “Prophecy of Scripture”.] to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” What the Apostle Peter is saying is that they have received something even “more sure” than the audible voice of God, transfiguration of Jesus, and appearance of Moses and Elijah… The Word of God! Scripture is enough and there is no need for new revelations whatsoever!

IS IT ALLWAYS GOD’S WILL TO HEAL EVERYONE?

One belief and practice that is heavily embraced and aggressively defended, is that it is always God’s will to heal everyone, and that if someone is sick it is against the will of God, and you have authority to take dominion over sickness, disease, and even death. One verse in particular, that is Bill Johnson’s and Bethel’s “hallmark” verse that is used in the defense of this is found in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt 6:10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” So the defense goes that there is no sickness in heaven so there should be no sickness here on earth, there is no diseases in heaven so there should be no diseases here on earth. On earth as it is in Heaven. But if we were to look at this verse in its proper context it means that we are to pray that the Lord’s will be done here on earth. God is sovereign over heaven and His will is being expressed and experienced there, so likewise we are to pray that the Lord’s sovereign will be expressed and experienced here on earth as well. The Leadership at Bethel are also contending for a cancer free zone within Redding, California. Bill has said, “It’s really possible for Redding to be cancer free.” He also said, “It’s possible (for Redding to be cancer free) because it doesn’t exist in Heaven, and He said, “On Earth as it is in Heaven.”’ Here is a link where you can listen to a video clip of Bill saying these things (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4wwTw7ZOtk).

*update..video no longer available*

What is the will of God? John 6:32-40, “Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” It is God’s will that men believe in Jesus Christ savingly and receive eternal life!

Another widely used verse that is used in defense of it being God’s will to heal everyone is Matt 10:8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.”. This verse is usually used in conjunction with Matt 28:20a, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (this “defense” here was one of my favorite ones to use) Makes sense at face value, but if we go back and look at Matt 10 again, and in particular verse 5-6 we will see the setting for verse 8. Matt 10:5-6 reads, “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the hose of Israel.”” So if were to truly be faithful to Matt 10:8, we should only evangelize to those who are Jewish, and forget about everyone else. But this would be in violation of Jesus’ command in the Great Commission “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ”(Matt 28:19a).

It is also taught at Bethel, that physical healing is in the atonement for this life, so therefore it is God’s will to heal everyone. Strong defines “atonement” by stating: “The Scriptures teach that Christ obeyed and suffered in our stead, to satisfy an immanent demand of the divine holiness, and thus remove an obstacle in the divine mind to the pardon and restoration of the guilty.” (Strong, A. H. (2004). Systematic theology pg. 713) Bethel would use a portion of Isaiah 53:5 to support their claim, “with his stripes we are healed.” So it is said that the lashings Jesus received was for the purpose of physical healing in the believer’s life (the leadership at Bethel does not deny, nor would they deny that the problem of sin is dealt with in the atonement), and that if you are a Christian you are then entitled to have physical healing and divine health (where you walk your whole life and never get sick) as your blood bought right. Bill in his book Face To Face With God writes, “The sufferings of Jesus were realized in the persecution He endured and in the burden He carried for people. He did not suffer with disease. That must be removed from our idea of Christian suffering. It is vain to carry something under the guise of the will of God when it is something that He purchased that He might destroy its power over us. An additional concept to remember is that He suffered that we might not have to suffer. For example, He bore stripes on His body applied by a Roman soldier so that they could become His payment for our healing.” (Face to Face with God, ch8 Joy: The Reward pg. 172) Bill also writes, “None of us would say that He died for my sins but still intends that I should be bound by sin habits. Neither did He pay for my healing and deliverance so I could continue in torment and disease. His provision for such things is not figurative: it is actual.” (Face to Face with God, ch8 Joy: The Reward pg. 173) Is this the case? Is physical healing on this side of heaven in the atonement and thus a promise to be claimed for every believer? Let’s take a closer look at Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” What are the “stripes” speaking of? Reading the first part of the verse puts “stripes” into the right prospective. “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace”. This is the type of healing that Jesus’ stripes” brought us. That He substituted Himself on the cross in the place of guilty vile sinners and bore their punishment for their sins’; He bore the holy righteous wrath of God in the sinners place, so that God could bring salvation to those He died to forgive. The Apostle Peter also echoes this 1 Peter 2:24-25 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” Now, healing is in the atonement, however, the healing that Jesus (in His first coming) secured was spiritual. Perfect physical healing takes place in the resurrection of the believer, which, as is the case of the myriads that have already physically died, may come at some moment in time subsequent to death.

If you wish to look further into “with his stripes we are healed.” here is a link to a good article on Isaiah 53:5.

(http://www.heraldingtruth.com/Stripes)

How Bethel would incorrectly view Isaiah 53:5 (as how I also use to incorrectly view it) also changes the nature of the atonement, because if physical healing was an absolute promise to the believer in this life, it stands to be true that if a believer isn’t healed of a sickness or infirmity, then they are not truly saved. To bring further clarity, you should be healed the moment you get saved, or at least begin a gradual process of being healed physically, if physical healing is [a promised blessing for all based on] the atonement [which is meant to be realized] this side of eternity. If you change, add to, or subtract from the atonement, then you swap out the Jesus whose shed blood paid the price for the salvation of His elect, for another Jesus. If you preach another Jesus you are then preaching another gospel. The Apostle Paul had some strong words for those who preached another gospel Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” This is not to say that one by necessity must understand all of the implications of the atoning death of Christ, but one must understand why Christ died and what He died for. These are crucial to not trusting in “another gospel”.

Not only does Bethel and Bill Johnson believe that physical healing is in the atonement for this life, but Bill also believes that if you believe that physical healing is not a promise to be received or claimed in this life then you are preaching another gospel. Bill Johnson in a recent sermon he preached at Bethel on 08-15-10 entitled “The Real Jesus” said it like this, “I refuse to create a theology that allows for sickness” On this same note in the same sermon Bill tries to “illustrate” what he said by referring to Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), by saying “Paul refers to his thorn in the flesh, which has been interpreted by many, as disease allowed or brought on by God. That’s a different gospel. Jesus didn’t model it, and he didn’t teach it. And Paul said you can’t change the standard (Bill earlier in this sermon referenced Galatians 1:8-9).” Here is a link to a video clip of that sermon where you can hear Bill say these things (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhG1x4fOtBw), this part begins at the 3:19min mark. This is heresy! Why, is this heresy? Well, the question must be asked, who is the Sovereign? If God does not allow sickness or disease then who does? With Bethel having such a strong and overbearing emphasis on healing, it makes you wonder if healing is their god. Scripture itself is clear that God does indeed allow sickness, disease, and even death.

Exodus 4:11 “Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?””

Deut 32:39 “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”

1 Samuel 2:6-7, “The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.”

John 9:1-7 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As Long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. This man who was blind from birth, was allowed to be blind by God, so “that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Now, I do believe that God can still heal today, and does still heal today. It would be in accordance to His will and not our will.

AT THE ROOT OF IT ALL

All of these things which were mentioned stems from a very heavy “Manifest Son’s of God” and “Kingdom Theology”, where the main thrust and goal of us being here on earth is for Christians to take dominion over the world in all “spheres of influence”, or what has often been called “The Seven Mountains” (business, government, family, religion, media, education, and entertainment). Bethel would teach that Jesus has commissioned us with delegated authority to take dominion over the earth and bring it to the highest level of perfection possible to offer up to Himself at His second coming.

The Leadership at Bethel teaches that we are to restore the earth to what it was like in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve fell. Bill would teach that when Adam and Eve fell that they gave up the “keys” of authority to Satan, and when Jesus died on the cross He took those “keys” back from Satan. Now that Jesus has the “keys” He has given us delegated authority to take dominion of the earth. Here is a link where you can read a chapter of Bill’s first book When Heaven Invades Earth, in chapter two entitled “Commission Restored” Bill writes about these “keys” of authority.

(http://books.google.com/books?id=msDOo0EM6ucC&dq=Bill+Johnson+When+Heaven+Invades+Earth&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=0UOETPuoM5OmsQOSsfz2Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDsQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Bill Johnson in his book When Heaven Invades Earth writes, “Jesus destroyed the power of sin, sickness, and poverty through His redemptive work on the cross. In Adam and Eve’s commission to subdue the earth, they were without sickness, poverty, and sin. Now that we are restored to His original purpose, should we expect anything less? After all, this is called the better covenant!” (When Heaven Invades Earth, ch2 Commission Restored pg. 33)

Now, the Scriptures teach that the redemption of creation and our body’s is not for the temporal life, but the eternal life.

Romans 8:18-25 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [“the glory that is to be revealed” is contrasted with and distinguished from “the temporal life”. Paul expects believers to suffer in this present life. If Paul expects it, so should we.] For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

The Leadership at Bethel also believes that God has given man delegated authority to be able to speak things into existence and declare what is not as if it was, by way of decree or declaration. One example of this would be that if there is a storm taking place, (like that of Hurricane Katrina) they teach that you have authority to still that storm, because Jesus stilled the storm when He was in the boat (Luke 8:22-25) and we can do everything He did, because He came as a man to show us what we can do!

Bill Johnson in his book When Heaven Invades Earth writes, “Jesus was sleeping in the middle of a life-threatening storm. The disciples woke Him because they were afraid of dying. He exercised authority and released peace over the storm. It was the peace of heaven that enabled Him to sleep. And it was that same peace that subdued the storm. You only have authority over the storm you can sleep in.” (When Heaven Invades Earth, ch5 Praying Heaven Down pg. 66)

Could it be that Jesus had authority over the storm because He is God? Could it be that God is the only One who could have stilled the storm, because He is the only One who is omnipotent?

Bill Johnson in his book Dreaming With God writes.

‘“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”(Prov. 18:21 NASB). With our speech we design and alter our environment. Realities are created that didn’t exist a moment earlier through simple proclamations. With this tool we can build up or tear down, edify or discourage, give life or destroy it. The declared word has the capacity to resource earth with Heaven’s resources. As reformers we must first pay attention to what we say, realizing that we are actually building the world we have to live in.” (Dreaming with God, ch9 Redesigning Our World pg. 157)

To go further down this trail Bill Johnson has also gone so far as to say that God is in “charge” but that He is not in “control”. Bill has said, “Not everything that comes at us is God’s will. We have confusion, one of our biggest areas of confusion in the church, is concerning the Sovereignty of God. We know that He is all powerful, we know that He is in charge of everything, but with that we make a mistake in thinking He is in control of everything. There is a difference from being in charge and being in control. If you think He is in control of everything then you have to believe that Hitler was His will.” Here is a link to a video clip where you can hear Bill say these things (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhG1x4fOtBw).

This “ Manifest Son’s of God” and “Kingdom Theology” mocks God, by placing a high view on man and a low view on God, rather then placing a low view on man and a high view on God, as it should be. The Scriptures clearly teach that God is the Sovereign and that man is not sovereign (Job 38-41), that God is in fact both in charge and in control.

Exodus 4:11 “Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?””

Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”

Isaiah 45:5-7, “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.”

Isaiah 46:9-10, “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purposes,”’

Daniel 4:34-35 “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”’

Amos 3:3-6 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet? Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing? Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing? Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?”

Acts 17:26 “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,”

1 Timothy 6:15-16 “which he will display at the proper time – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

God is the Sovereign; man is not. God is not powerless to act, and He is not desperately waiting for someone to enable Him to do something, He is not sitting in heaven longing for man to be “In control” or exercise “dominion” of the earth and bring it to a state of near perfection for His second coming. God is God, and man is not. Now, this does not negate away from the responsibility of man. Even though God is Sovereign, man is responsible to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14-15, Acts 17:30-31), go out and preach the gospel (Romans 1:16-17, 10:14-17), and Christians are called to step out in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) these are among a few of the things that man is responsible to do. How the Sovereignty of God works out with the responsibility of man is a mystery that can’t be understood, and it is a mystery that the Bible gives no explanation for.

WHAT ABOUT THE GOSPEL!? WHERE IS THE GOSPEL!?

The worst and most horrifying thing in all of this is that there is no gospel being preached at all! It is all about the signs and wonders and the stories of supernatural encounters and experiences. This creates a spiritual frenzy, that promises health, wealth, supernatural encounters and experiences, for anyone who “presses in”. This false portrait of Jesus can suck anyone in who wants to be wealthy and healthy (which is the desire of almost everyone who has not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit), or anyone who is intrigued by the supernatural. (I should mention I don’t doubt at all that there are some people who are deceived in this movement who are truly saved) At the same time it creates a group of people who would deceive themselves and call themselves Christians, and yet are completely oblivious and hostile to the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ.

At Bethel there is no preaching on the Justice and Righteousness of God, and how God can’t let the guilty go unpunished. There is no preaching of the sinfulness of man, and how everyone has violated God’s standard. There is no preaching on the eternal conscious torments of Hell. There is no preaching of Christ and Him crucified. There is no preaching of Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross paying the full penalty of the sins of those He died to forgive, that is penal substitution. There is no preaching of repentance and faith in Jesus’ name as the only basis for which one is justified and declared righteous in the sight of God. Bethel preaches a gospel that is deficient, useless, and powerless to save.

The “gospel” that Bethel does preach is somewhat hard to pin down, since it encompasses the whole package of Manifest Son’s of God and kingdom Theology. To explain further, they would say that God is good all the time (which is true), but what they mean by that is this, sickness and disease is not of God, so be healed. Lack of provision is not of God, so be prosperous. The earth does not look like what it did in the Garden of Eden; so go fix it, by releasing the Kingdom of God. Their “gospel” encompasses fixing and restoring almost everything on this side of eternity to a near state of perfection for Christ second coming, so that when Christ does come back the church can present to Him a near perfected earth. This is the Jesus that they would present to someone who may be lost. That if you believe in this Jesus your life can be restored into right relationship with God. That if you believe in this Jesus you can have good health, restored relationships, and abundance in needs being meant. They teach that if you believe in this Jesus you can have the “good life” now, which is what God wants for you, and you don’t have to live in separation from Him. This false and counterfeit gospel may soothe the appetites of some, but it won’t lead anyone to Christ in the least bit.

This is a different gospel then the one of Christ and Him crucified, paying the penalty of sin, for corrupt sinners and rising again on the third day showing that the wrath of God was satisfied with His vicarious death on the cross. Here is a link to a good video clip of John MacArthur delivering the gospel from (2 Co 5:21), (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZuVt7qWO80). Paul spoke strongly of those who would preach a different gospel. Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” We also know that there is one gospel and only one gospel with no modifications, no new revelations, and no additions or subtractions to be received. “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to content for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3) “The faith”, not “a faith”, but “the faith” was once “for all delivered”, it is sealed, with no changes to be received or made at all!

Concerning the Gospel, Paul wrote Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘“The righteous shall live by faith.”’ The gospel is the power of God for salvation, not signs and wonders. Signs and wonders cannot cause a person to truly repent and believe (Luke 16:19-31, John 2:23-25, John 6) “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, not by seeing signs and wonders. The gospel must be proclaimed, for sinners to repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”’ Romans 10:14-15. This is why the proclamation of the gospel is so important, because “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

FALSE TEACHERS ARE THE ONES WHO BRING DIVISION

We also know from Scripture itself that it is those who teach falsely are the ones who bring division within the visible church, and are the ones who are enemies of the cross of Christ!

Romans 16:17-18 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

2 Peter 2:1-3 “But False prophets also arose among the people, just as their will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

Jude 4 “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Jude 17-19 “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “ In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.”

False teachers deny Christ by preaching another Jesus, by making up for themselves an idol of their own imagination to suit their own lusts and passions. In doing so they blaspheme the One True God! Not only do they blaspheme God, but they are also spiritual terrorists! If you think about it, in history there were fascist dictators like Hitler and Mussolini who killed many people, but false teachers like Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, and others are a much greater threat then Hitler was! The reason why I say this is because Hitler and Mussolini were only able to kill someone’s body. Though, if someone was to die believing the lies that false teachers teach, they will spend an eternity in Hell, that is the second death.

Even Paul spoke strongly against those who would teach another gospel.

Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Paul said that those who preach another gospel should be “accursed”, the Greek word for “accursed” is “anathema” which refers to devoting someone to destruction in eternal hell.

Confronting false teachers was not a job that was assigned to the apostles alone. For in the book of Jude we read.

Jude 3 “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Christians are “to content for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” and are to confront those who teach falsely (1 Th 5:20-22, 1 Jn 4:1, and Rev 2:2).

THE CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT I WAS NOT SAVED

IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL

While I was involved in the Prophetic Movement I was entertaining and practicing all these things and I had many supernatural experiences and encounters (which I falsely attributed to God), which at the time I perceived to be absolute evidence and proof that I was truly saved. In reality I was not saved at all; the fruit in my life was testifying to the contrary that I was actually saved. I was living a continual and habitual lifestyle of sin, without remorse, regret or genuine repentance. I was heavily involved with pornography, and watching it several times a week, if not at times daily. As well I had an ongoing struggle with rage and anger, which at times got violent. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” This verse does not mean that if you stumble once or even twice then you are not a Christian, nor does it mean that the Christian is perfect, but rather it is referring to a habitual manner of walking or pattern, hence the words “walk” and “practice”. In short, it is not about perfection, but rather it is about direction. We also know from other passages in Scripture that it is possible for people to claim to be Christian and have spiritual experiences, but in reality they are not saved. We read in Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many might works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” This is not the account of someone on Judgment Day who just out of the blue is claiming that they were saved, for the person is crying, “Lord, Lord,”. Nor is this of someone who was “once saved” then fell away (which is not possible Jn 10:25-30, Ro 8:28-30, Php 1:6, and 1 Jn 2:19) for the Lord responds with “I never knew you”, and not with “I once knew you, but I no longer do.” What will Jesus’ response be to the person who claims to be saved, but in reality was never saved? Jesus response will be “depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Now, lawlessness is the practicing of sin (1 John 3:4-6). So, it is possible for someone to claim to be a Christian, but the fruit in their life testifies to the contrary, that they know not Christ.

HOW THE LORD BROUGHT ME OUT OF THE SIGNS AND WONDERS MOVEMENT

AND MY PRAYER FOR THOSE WHO ARE STILL TRAPPED IN THIS DECEPTION

The following March (2009) while I was still questioning the validness of the Prophetic Movement someone posted a video sermon of Mark Driscoll (whether or not you agree with everything that Mark says and does, their are good fruits coming from his ministry, regardless of the errors) on their Facebook page, and one of the people who rebuked me for “Toking” commented on it saying that Mark Driscoll was one of his favorite speakers. Because of his comment, and the respect I had for him, I figured that I would check it out. While I was listening to the sermon I realized that I had never heard preaching like this before, where it was straight bible, verse by verse, truth bluntly told. I was then hooked, and began to listen to several of Mark’s sermons a day (later on I found out about other ministers like John Piper, John MacArthur, and Paul Washer). It was around this time or soon there after that God saved me, that the Lord drew me to repentance and saving faith in Jesus’ name.

Never before this have I ever been told that I was really, really sinful. Never before did I hear of Original Sin, or the radical depravity of man and how everyone has violated God’s Holy and Righteous standard, and is thus fully deserving of God’s righteous and just wrath being poured out upon them. Never before did I hear of Jesus’ vicarious death on the cross, bearing the righteous holy wrath of God, paying the full penalty of sin for guilty vile sinners. Never before did I hear what the significance was of Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead, that His bodily resurrection was proof that God accepted His perfect sacrifice. I was involved in the “church” for nearly twenty-two years, and I never heard the gospel fully preached!

Sure, I would hear biblical truths like, God is Holy and Righteous, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, Jesus lived a sinless life, Jesus is fully God and fully man, Jesus died on the cross to forgive sinners, Jesus rose bodily from the grave on the third day, and Jesus is now seating in heaven at the right hand of God the Father. Even then, when these truths were mentioned, they were not handled with any real kind of value or importance. These truths were never mentioned together, and when they were brought up it was seldom, far and few in-between, as if they were potholes in the road that were carelessly bumped over!

The fact that I never heard the gospel before, even though I was heavily involved in a movement that professes to be Christian, was completely shocking and devastating to me. What has been even more baffling to me is that God would actually save a wretch like me. I am extremely grateful that the Lord would draw someone like me who was a false convert to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Why God would save me, or choose to save me is beyond my comprehension. For I know that there is nothing good in and of myself that would make God want to save me.

For a short while after God saved me I didn’t know what to make of Bethel and other leaders within the Prophetic Movement. I wasn’t sure if they were Christians who were just really fringe, or if they were plain cultic. After God saved me I struggled with this for a few months, hoping for the best, but at the same time fearing the worst, and I was not sure if I was just being legalistic about the whole thing. During this time period I began to attend Bethel less and less while I was finishing up the last month(s) of my third year internship. Very soon after graduating from the school, I left Bethel all together and began to search for a new home church. I am now at a wonderful Christ centered, Gospel-Driven church, which seeks to Glorify God in everything they do.

I am forever grateful that God would save an undeserving and ill-deserving wretch like me, and bring me out from the cultic chaos, and my prayer is that God would use this testimony to save others who are ensnared in the Signs and Wonders Movement. I pray that those who are truly saved within it would come out, and that God in His beautiful, kind grace and mercy, would grant others repentance and saving faith, and that they would come to see the Beauty and Majesty of Jesus Christ. Through it all, God would receive all the glory and honor and praise. To Christ be the glory, amen!

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

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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

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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.

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – MIKE BICKLE

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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

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – MIKE BICKLE

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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.”

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – MIKE BICKLE

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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

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – MIKE BICKLE

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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

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – MIKE BICKLE

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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

Mike Bickle admits Catholic Contemplative influence on IHOP-KC

From the Office of Public Relations, Franciscan University of Steubenville, 11/9/12:

“The International House of Prayer (IHOP) was founded in 1999 by Mike Bickle, who says that many IHOP teachings draw upon the works of St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, as well as contemporary Catholics including Father Henri Nouwen and Father Thomas Dubay, SM. The IHOP 24 hour prayer room, he says, was inspired by the spiritual practices of Catholic European monks, such as St. Bernard of Clairvaux. ‘I’ve always had a passion for Catholic-Christian unity, and enthusiastically welcome this years Catholic track,’ says Bickle. ‘We may have different religious traditions, but we focus on fellowship, and unity and Jesus being glorified in prayer, worship, and teaching.’” [1] (bold mine)

 

Read article 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/

In this video Deluca compares the Holy Spirit to an epiderul injection.

Mike Bickle of International House of Prayer has admitted that most of these

“manifestations are 80% false” and come from a pretense. But he allows them.

What of the other 20%?  The real manifestations are even more dangerous because they flow from a false spirit and and false anointing.

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

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