“try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose/reprove/rebuke them.” Eph.5:10-11
“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 teaching, 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 Tim.4:2-4
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Gal.6:1
“As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” 1 Tim. 5:20
“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”James 5:19-
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right/righteous judgment.” John 7:24
“but test everything; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thess.5:21
“correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” 2 Tim.2:24-26
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Heb.5:14
Discernment – the ability to obtain sharp perceptions or to judge well (or the activity of so doing). In the case of judgment, discernment can be psychological or moral in nature. Within judgment, discernment involves going past the mere perception of something and making nuanced judgments about its properties or qualities. Considered as a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others.
“The wisdom of God was in him, to exercise sound judgement.” 1 Kings 3:28
Seeking the wisdom of God will impart sound judgment.
(See blog, ‘Evangelical Loss Of Biblical Discernment‘)
Ernie Gruen’s Report – had very detailed, verified accounts, of aberrant practices in Mike Bickle’s church, with over 40 testimonial letters of support for his report, from various pastors of churches in the Kansas City area, as well as numerous other sources.
Are these statements, facts, views, above reproach, or of concern?
Mike Bickle – IHOP As Pastor Gruen related in his message, “Do We Keep Smiling and Say Nothing?”, he met with Mike and his leadership in an attempt to correct growing problems. Mike made a spiritual threat at that time, warning of harm to Pastor Gruen. EG: “It was a terrible meeting. In alluding to the Horsecreek thing, where I sat him down, he said to my face. ‘You touched me illegally and people who touch me illegally, bad things happen to them.’”
“We all have a problem when Mike Bickle promotes an “elected seed generation” theology for his “Movement” that is so wild and so preposterous that it could only have come out of visions from his “prophets.” For example: a. Their literal children, those born since 1973, are the “elected seed,” hand-selected by Jesus and the angels from “billions of little round yellow things” up in heaven to be born into the families of the “Movement.” The “little yellow things” are seeds from actual bloodlines, and they are the “best of every bloodline that’s ever been–Paul, David, Peter, James and John–the best of their seed unto this generation,” predestined and hand-picked to be part of the “end-time Omega generation.”
“They are described as the “chosen generation of all history” who will “possess the Spirit without measure.” b. This “end-time, Omega generation superchurch” will do “10,000 times the miracles in the book of Acts.” They will conduct meetings of “a million or more” where they “will move their hands and the power of God will go like flashes of lightning, and as they go like this over a million people, if a person is missing an arm…it will instantly be created…” They will “walk through walls…they’ll be translated…hundreds of dead will be raised during meetings in ballpark stadiums…over a billion saved…eyes put back in eye sockets…‘invincible–can’t die,” etc. c. Three hundred thousand of Mike’s generation and their superchildren will be last-days apostles. Thirty-five of KCF’s apostles will be “like unto Paul.”
“We all have a problem when Mike Bickle actively seeks the favor and support of Charismatic pastors and leaders, both locally and across the nation, while privately teaching his people that… “...The Ishmael spirit includes most of the Charismatic churches today. There are two movements, and I believe with all my heart the Charismatic movement is the Ishmael movement... “We’re looking for a whole new order…I don’t want prominence in Ishmael’s camp. I don’t want to be a part of it at all…we want to come out of the old order, because it’s unbroken…untrained…humanistic…manmade, self-centered… illegitimate…afflicted with evil spirits..“
“1000 Religious Leaders to Die in 1990” BJ: “They were 1000 of the religious leaders that have (been) doing this, that was appointed to death–they’1l die this next year. So there’s some death that those that’s been using the anointing of God wrong. (F89, p. 13) “But many of those who have been appointed, even for destruction, they are still brothers.(F89, p. 20) “Well, you’re coming into a year that a lot of religious system and a lot of people that are using the anointing wrong, and it’s simply time for them to go home–will go home, because they’re withstanding the Holy Spirit and when they’re withstanding the Holy Spirit, that’s a dangerous thing now, for the Lord is moving and a lot of the religious system will be taken out of the way. That’s not our business at all…” (F89, p. 27)
“Kansas City Fellowship taught that eventually all churches would unite with Kansas City Fellowship to form a city church. Unity was encouraged at all costs, and any word of disharmony was viewed as demonic.”
JESUS APPEARS WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S FACE. This is a particularly bizarre, irreverent idea professed by Bob Jones and given credibility by Mike Bickle. MB: “…And Bob’s shakin’ his head and he goes, ‘You guys are never going to learn the language of the Spirit, are you? Never going to learn.’ He goes, ‘Jesus appears in thousands of different faces to portray something. He was trying to say, “I’m your friend; I am your familiar friend and I’m going to show you all things so you can move in the power of the Spirit.”’” (F88, p. 60) See Dominus Vision, Section II, C, and Section III, B.
SHOCKING ACCOUNT OF ABNORMAL PREGNANCY “There were also times when the prophets were hauled in to prophesy over the masses. One particular friend of mine was prophesied to that she was going to have another child. It turned out that she actually was pregnant and didn’t know it. The strange part was that the pregnancy was not normal in any way. She had all kinds of strange problems, slow growth, abnormal bleeding, etc., and in the end she ended up having a D & C. The results of that were really strange–there was no baby per se, just a blob of hair, nail tissue and other atypical tissue for a pregnancy.” (Testimony Letter 18)
EXAMPLES OF THE ABUSES OF PROPHECY:
1. LETTER FROM THE ELDERSHIP OF A LOCAL CHURCH “We thought you might be interested in knowing that On June 22, 1986, three prophets from Kansas City Fellowship were invited to our church. Among other things, they each prophesied that the Lord had told them that our church was to disband, that we had no right to challenge the prophecy, and that if we failed to heed the prophecy, ‘Ichabod’ (the glory has departed) would be written above our door! As a result of the prophecy many people left our church. Those of us who doubted the prophecy prayed and sought the Lord’s will about what we should do. We believe that the Lord wanted us to stay and form a new fellowship, which we did.” (Test… Letter 16)
JOHN PAUL JACKSON TOLD CHURCHES TO COME UNDER MIKE BICKLE’S ANOINTING. “John Paul came and prophesied… ‘CCF will collapse unless it comes under Mike’s anointing.’ Two things bother me: We have done fine for four years; there should be nothing to fear…‘Mike’s anointing’–I want Jesus’ anointing.” (Testimony Letter 14)
[ Mike Bickle states]: “Everybody is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle. Everyone! Everyone! Everyone! That’s one of the great strongholds we have to overcome resistance to contemplative prayer.‘” “The Protestant wing of the western church, which is a tiny percentage of the Body of Christ…, is nearly completely (98%) unaware that the Holy Spirit is restoring contemplative prayer—center stage—to the church… The Holy Spirit is restoring this precious jewel (contemplative prayer) to the body of Christ. This is the God ordained means of attaining the fullness of God.”
“They, the mystics, are some of the brightest lights in all of history… there has been the brightest lights in all history for men and women of abandonment in the dark ages… somewhere we have to say the dark ages were the luminaries in the grace of God…they were Catholic priests.”
“…a study of the lives of the mystics, the contemplatives, through history, and clearly the most inspiring, compelling examples of history, 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.”
>I covered the concerns regarding contemplative prayer in “Prophetic Mine Fields’ blog, revealing in detail the views and philosophies of several authors that Mike Bickle followed.
“A Statement from Derek Prince” is released due to persistent questions posed to him regarding KCF. Prince is very critical. He recounts a conversation that he had with Mike Bickle in March of 1990 which is followed by his scathing assessment of KCF/GM:
…At this time I was asked by Mike Bickle to counsel with him and some of his leaders. I spent nearly three hours in discussion with them. I told them that I felt they were receiving and propagating error. Our meeting was conducted in a friendly spirit and ended with prayer, but no conclusion was reached.
Subsequent to this encounter, I studied [the Gruen Document]…It is based mainly on material published by Grace Ministries, or on transcripts of tapes made in Kansas City Fellowship which they themselves circulated.
Very briefly, I can sum up the main conclusions I have reached:
- The material circulated by Kansas City Fellowship contains many statements which have no basis in Scripture and are frequently contrary to Scripture. Some of the purported “revelations” could be described as absurd and even blasphemous.
- Much of the material is permeated by what I consider to be occult influence.
- The overall affect of the material is to divert attention away from Jesus Christ and the Scriptures and toward subjective experiences and human personalities.
- The circulation of the material from Kansas City Fellowship has exposed the Body of Christ to much error and confusion.
- These errors are deep-rooted and longstanding, dating at least as far back as 1983.
Any effective remedy would require open confession and renunciation of the errors practiced and a radical elimination of the occult element. All this should be communicated as widely as the errors have been circulated. A mere change of label or of leadership, by itself, is not sufficient.54
These recommendations were never acccepted and applied, instead, Vineyard Ministries assimilated Metro Christian Fellowship , John Wimber, promising to deal with the problems addressed, which is exactly what Derek Prince said should not happen! Rather, the problems were not addressed, and Mike withdrew from Vineyard Ministries 5 years later!
This is a prime example of how things functions and how Mike handled opposition!
These were bare minimum example reports , many more are reported in other articles.
IHOP – 1999
IHOP was initiated in 1999, 6 years after Ernie Gruen’s report. The issues and concerns only increased as young people gathered for the beginnings of 24-7 prayer, in a super charged atmosphere of spiritual uncertainties, which are detailed below. Many student testimonies are in ‘Prophetic Mine Fields‘ blog, and available on various websites. The entry below is just one condensed, investigator’s report.
Private Investigator’s Report
“Upon entering the program I plotted a subject group of 40 individuals, male and female mixed, all under the age of 30 years old. I had classes with many of these individuals, shared prayer room time slots, roomed with several of them and served on one of the worship teams with others. During the course of three months, all 40 of these people began to exhibit signs of mental and physical fatigue and emotional exhaustion on a consistent basis. All of them claimed to have had demons cast out of them and claim to have had the opportunity to cast demons out of someone else. Over one quarter of them tried at one point to leave the program and were forbidden. Over half these subjects were expressly told by a leader that they were not to contact their family members. All subjects were subjected to mandatory fasts. (The leaders will deny the fact that the fast is mandatory; however, students are forbidden to leave campus to buy food and the only food service place on campus is shut down, thereby enforcing a mandatory fast.) Over one quarter of the students had food forcefully removed from their apartments. All 40 subjects claimed to have had a prophetic word given to them by God and ironically each word was information directly from either their application or their journals.
Subject Group: 40 persons Documented demonic possessions: 24 Tried to leave and were forbidden: 12 Told not to contact family members: 23 Forced to fast: 40 Food forcefully taken from their apartments: Information abused to give the appearance of a prophetic word: 40 demonic possessions: 24
Many of the students were reprimanded for expressing doubts about some of the theology being taught in the Forerunner School of Ministry. When these doubts were expressed and questions were asked, students were publically humiliated and made to feel guilty for their “ungodliness.” Anyone who questioned the theology was placed under constant and careful surveillance to the point that they were literally living every moment in fear. If they had food it was confiscated “for their own good” so that they could fast and pray without distraction. They’re prayer room assignments were lengthened so that it was difficult, with class schedules, to find any time to sleep. Through these tactics of starvation and sleep deprivation the student was brought back to a place of submission to the ideals being taught. IF that submission was not achieved, they were removed from the program altogether, publically condemned for not being one of the elected seeds and ridiculed by their peers. The leaders also instructed other students to isolate themselves from the “trouble-maker.”
Of my subject group, 12 began questioning, 2 of the 12 ended up hospitalized for dehydration and sickness, 4 of the 12 were removed from the program for refusing to accept what was being force fed and the other 6 broke down under the weight of peer pressure and exhaustion.
It is my professional opinion, based on these results that IHOP is not Christ following ministry, despite the fact that they say they love Jesus outwardly. Jesus is not the focus of this ministry. In fact, during my three months in the program, I never heard the message of salvation through Jesus Christ taught or even remotely discussed. The constant emphasis is on the movement of the Holy Spirit. Praise is not given to Jesus, but voices or praise are rather lifted to invoke the Spirit to come and provide revelation.
During my time on one of the worship teams I gained insight into a behind the scenes look at how some of the manipulation works. First, worship team leaders are taught a very specific way to lead worship. They are instructed to follow a mantra, which is chosen ahead of time by the leaders. There are levels of mantras and we were instructed that if those in the prayer room appear disconnected, to up the mantra to the next level. There is a basic set of chords to be played repetitively for a pre-set amount of time, usually a minimum of ten minutes is required before altering the chord combination. This is all done to induce relaxation and assist those in the prayer room to reach deeper levels of meditative spirituality.
Of the 40 subjects I studied, 29 of the 40 expressed having visions of angels and demons; 16 of the 40 expressed hearing an audible voice (they assumed to be God) speaking to them while in the prayer room; 7 of the 40 were visited by a spiritual being they called Emma; 4 of the 40 were visited by a spiritual being they called Dante; 21 of the 40 experienced jerking, twitching, and uncontrolled convulsing. ALL of these documented experiences were isolated ONLY to the prayer room. At one point during my assignment in the Forerunner School of Ministry, I was chosen with three others to meet with the Director of FSM, Mike Bickle (also the founder of the IHOP movement). I had heard many things about him prior to our meeting. We were taken to his office and he lifted his hands and prayed over us, as new leaders of worship, “chosen for the harp and bowl” he said, “selected to guide the prayers of the saints and usher in the second coming of our Lord.” He spoke prophetic words over each of us, words he claimed to be given to him directly from God. The words he spoke over me were directly (almost verbatim) from my journal entry that had been turned into my group leader the day before. He slid open a panel in his office wall and had each of us look through it into the prayer room and he told us he would be watching us “guide the flock” in prayer and worship. The meeting had more of an “I’m watching you” threatening undertone than it did a positive vibe. He then instructed us in meditation, specifically what was to be said and in what order; and made us write down his instructions. I have included these instructions in my report:
- Speak slowly 2. Speak softly 3. Speak briefly (short phrases or even just one word) 4. Speak minimally (listen more than you speak) 5. Pause a lot (linger in waiting mode, emptying your spirit) 6. Pray with your spirit (focus your mind and direction to the Holy Spirit) 7. Release gentle sighs and moans (focus on the Holy Spirit, talk to Him) 8. Gaze into silence (feel the divine magnet pull you and let it take you)
Then we were instructed to chant the following things aloud, waiting five or ten minutes before moving to the next one. He called this the “TRUST” method. We were to chant these five things using the instructions below:
1. Thank you Holy Spirit. 2. Release Revelation. 3. Use Me (add in every three or four phrases: use me to prophesy and become a vessel of the manifestations of the spirit.) 4. Strengthen Me (add in every three of four phrases: it takes the power of God to feel God) 5. Teach me. Never once was Jesus or Christ or God mentioned in this equation, but rather the focus was on praying to the Holy Spirit and seeking prophetic revelation, visions and signs and wonders. I noted while taking notes how many times Mr. Bickle instructed us to “pray to the Holy Spirit” and it was 36 times in our meeting which lasted under an hour.”
> When the response is: “Wow, I never knew that!”, when is it then appropriate, responsible, and necessary to consider responding with; “Something needs to be said, something needs to be done!“
The points of concern reiterated here, are just the tip of the ice berg. Much more detail is made available in my blog on ‘Prophetic Mine Fields,‘(sources also), as well as numerous web sites, (of which I can also, further provide) I admonish all, with questions, as faithful, concerned, ‘Bereans,”Search these things out, to see if they be so.’
For 35 years this has been the response of discerning, concerned Christians, yet the deviant dilemma continues, thinly veiled in ‘prophetic’ avante guard, spiritual speak easies. We must cast off the disbelief, and fearful, erroneous assumption of slander, criticism, and ‘judgement,’ in the face of such deviancy and heresy. Walking in truth, requires speaking the truth in love, “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in unprincipled cunning with a view to systematized error; Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” Eph.4:14-15
I plead with the Body of Christ to courageously, wisely, lovingly, address these things publicly, in the face of encroaching apostasy, that by doing so, many may be delivered and saved, from deception and destruction! Selah!