Guard Our Youth From ‘This’ Spiritual Abuse

Looking Back To Prepare The Way Forward – Identifying Presence & Affects Of Spiritual Abuse

https://bethcavete.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/excerpt-from-book/

Blind, Deaf, and Confident

He said to me, “Mixture.”

He said to me, “Mixture.” Though the implications of that word were ominous, hearing it brought instantaneous freedom to the tension in my heart. It was simply the understanding that evil lying spirits from the enemy could be at work in the church and in meetings at the same time, in the same place as true believers were seeking God and experiencing the authentic activity of the Holy Spirit.  It was only the beginning of the years of searching scripture and seeking the pure gospel that would follow, but at the time it set me free. I didn’t even know that I was longing to be free of the load of confusion I was bearing about the Lord.  Now the fog was beginning to lift!

“IHOP does not have to tell students to cut off relationship with their parents.  Toronto doesn’t have to command believers to divide & abandon their home churches.  Bethel does not have to pay students to recruit others with all their might.  They just have to let the oracles proclaim the NEW THING, with sermons proof-texting Old Testament prophecies and exhorting everyone to cast off the old wineskins, and a thousand rules of behavior fall firmly around the young participants’ prideful minds.

Looking back at myself in the midst of it, I literally could not think straight, as if my mind were in a vice grip. As I said, it never occurred to me, even when I was sick to my stomach, that the manifestations I was witnessing were those of a different spirit. Adding to the confusion was the fact that I was frequently experiencing the real work of the Holy Spirit in my life, because I was a real, born-again believer. I would read the Bible and obey it, I truly worshiped the Lord, and there were many fruits of the Spirit and of righteousness in my life. No one had equipped me with any sort of clear grid by which to separate and untangle the varied fruit in my life from two opposing sources. Until I heard that simple word “mixture,” I never would have known I needed to do so.

Like A Troll Guarding The Bridge, Fear Of All Fears

Mixture.”  There’s nothing that profound about the idea of both the Lord and the enemy being at work in the same environment. In fact, it’s just about the most obvious idea in the world, as it is the biblical description of our reality until Christ returns. It is the realistic worldview that leads the biblical authors to warn over and over of the deceptive wiles of the devil. It just goes to demonstrate that spiritual vice grip on the mind that reduces thinking to inanity, if not insanity! But like a troll guarding the bridge, the Fear of all Fears (that I would “blaspheme the Holy Spirit” by attributing His work to the devil) would not even let me seriously consider that any of these movements could have originated anywhere but heaven. I didn’t know my mind was held captive to a spirit of fear, but really I was unable to think outside of it. And so, it was as if, in this one area, I had the critical thinking skills of a small child.

Did I know it at the time? Not at all. My demeanor was that of the supreme confidence of spiritual pride. That pride manifested in my speech. Though I was well familiar with the commands of the Bible in regards to taming the tongue, gentle speech, honoring other believers, and on and on, I can still recall the curling of my lips to scorn those who didn’t agree with or believe in the “work of the Spirit.” I allowed myself, without reserve, verbal liberties of scoffing and attacking others that I would never have tolerated for any other reason. I didn’t just perceive doubters as stupid or inferior Christians, I would say so. I have found the fruit of sharp, derisive speech reproduced in almost every person who has embraced these strange fires, if you touch their favorite movement.

No Conviction Or Restraints In Reviling Doubters Or Dissenters Of The “Work Of The Spirit”

Now that I have been on the other end of the debate, and felt the heat of that scorn, I have been awe-struck at the devilishness of it. How out of character, how unlike Christ, the response one can get if one questions these “works of the spirit.” What an avalanche of derision and hatred! In my case, people who have known my character for years, who have seen my love for Christ and for them, who have shared deeply sacrificial love and friendship with me…all of that has been thrown swiftly in a trash heap when I have just begun to express a doubt about unbiblical spirituality, and they have uncharacteristically spat out accusations and condemnations into my face. Just as I once was, I see that they are without conviction over confronting me without patience, without grace, without searching of Scriptures together. In fact, it has been impossible even to bring them to the Scriptures. They are so sure that their experiences embody the truth, that they cannot perceive the simplicity of the call to test them through Scripture.

I want to point out the paradox. While on any other topic, these believers might be restrained by the Scriptural injunction that the wisdom from heaven is “pure, peaceable, and willing to yield,” but in regards to these false movements, we often find there are no restraints in reviling doubters or dissenters of the “work of the Spirit.”  Those who are deeply involved speak out with confidence and force about their spirituality, their experiences, and the imbecility of anyone who would question them. Regretfully, I remember that superiority dripped off my tongue in defiance of the crumbling and trembling inside of me, and the lack of external, productive kingdom fruit. From the outside, that superiority is so clearly discernible, dangling off these movements like ornaments on a wilting, ragged Christmas tree. It is, indeed, a tell-tale sign.

In A Deceived State In Dishonoring The Wise Becoming Unwise

In my deceived state, I did not perceive or honor fruitful, robust believers who had been serving the Lord effectively for decades.  I remember easily throwing off the warning of a fiery, godly 80 year old servant of God who tried to reason with me. He had been a missionary for longer than I had been alive, but since he did not agree with my spiritual persuasions, I ignored him as a know-nothing. When people who have done nothing have no regard for the wisdom of those who have done much,  foolishness has full reign. Gal. 6:3-4  This elderly man had led others to Christ, introduced the gospel in foreign cultures, headed an excellent family and godly wife, and made disciples.  And I treated him as a peer to be ignored because he was not “spirit-filled.”  At my worst point, no one could correct me, because they were, I thought, “blind and deaf” to the Spirit. But I was the one who was blind and deaf. The more deaf I was, the louder I spoke, and the more blind, the more sure that I could see. Reviling, despising, dividing, rejecting: these are fruits of a spirit, and that spirit is NOT the Lord.

Pride Intoxicates, Enchants Into A Drug Like Stupor

Pride blinds us.  We all have pride, and goodness knows I had my fair share before all this occurred in my life.  But what I am saying is that the spirit behind these deceptions actually IS a spirit of pride.  It actually intoxicates and enchants a person into a stupor, like a drug user when they are high.  They cannot be reasoned with, and if all they want when they come down is more drugs, when they are sober, they still cannot be reasoned with.

To illustrate how a spirit of pride actually works in real life deception, one of the common themes you will find in all of these deceptions is that God is doing a NEW THING, never seen before.  Whether the oracle claims it is because it is the end of the age, or because God is unfolding progressive revelation until the church takes full dominion, or whatever form it takes, the lying, flattering prophets tell the people that they have been chosen for an elite generation that will do greater exploits, experience more power, and be more effective than any generation of believers before them.  I probably do not need to elaborate on how alluring this is to the hearer’s pride, as it is obvious.  But to dissect the deception a bit further and understand how effective it is, how it actually does its work, consider my questions that seem so obvious and simple from the outside, and then consider my spiritual response to the fruitful, older man of God described above.  If God is doing a NEW THING, never before seen, then the wisdom of the aged is necessarily rendered useless.  Whom would you consult?  No one can advise you, no matter what their fruit or experience, because the move of God is hitherto unknown and unseen.  So what book can be read, what pastor should be consulted, what test remains before the NEW THING?  They are rendered mute and useless.  The trap is shut.

IHOP does not have to tell students to cut off relationship with their parents.  Toronto does not have to command believers to divide and abandon their home churches.  Bethel does not have to pay students to recruit others with all their might.  They just have to let the oracles proclaim the NEW THING, with sermons proof-texting Old Testament prophecies and exhorting everyone to cast off the old wineskins, and a thousand rules of behavior fall firmly around the young participants’ prideful minds.

Mercifully, the Lord in His grace and patience brought me to the church I mentioned earlier where the astounding fruit of the gospel of repentance significantly contrasted with my lack of productive kingdom fruit.  I began to see myself as I was.  Beloved of God, but mostly barren.  This sufficiently humbled me that I would begin to listen, seek correction, and begin the long scripture hunt that would lead me out of deception into a safe place.

IHOP Insiders Turned Inside Outside

a https://bethcavete.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/the-bigger-picture/

“I heard what I call the internal audible voice of the Lord…It was as clear as crystal.  I heard the actual words.  There was no guess-work.  It was not impressions.  It was the word of the Lord came to me.  And the Lord said this, ‘I am going to change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the whole world in one generation.’” Mike Bickle

Once Deeply Enamored – Rampant Destruction & Devastation We Found

When I graduated from [college] in 20–, I was deeply enamored with the teachings of Mike Bickle and the House of Prayer.  I was an adherent and proponent, excited by the prospect of being chosen to be a part of the final generation to usher in the Lord’s return, the forerunners, who would restore apostolic power and miracles to the church (anyone familiar with IHOP’s teaching will recognize these phrases).  I naturally shared my enthusiasm with everyone I could.  Eventually my husband and I would move to Kansas City in 20–.

Time would fail me to tell of the rampant destruction and devastation that we found in the actual lives of the young people living out these new, extra-biblical doctrines and “devoted lifestyle” of the “forerunner,” “Elijah generation,” “Annas and Simeons,” “burning and shining lamps,” “Joel’s army,” etc.  We arrived enthusiastic proponents, but observing the statistically untenable number of strange diseases, infant deaths and untimely adult deaths, impoverished families, acquired psychiatric and behavioral disorders, and highly spiritual young people lacking basic fruit of salvation (e.g. having dreams and visions and prophecies, but engaging without repentance in sexual sin), we could not help but search out why, in biblical terms, we were seeing in their midst the fruit of judgment rather than of salvation.

We spent four agonizing years there, seeking the Lord, searching the Scriptures, and hunting for someone in the community (we knew quite a few leaders there) who could answer our questions.  Our search led us necessarily to the origins and doctrinal foundations of this organization with its nearly irresistible magnetic appeal to young people.  Personally, I had never before thought to explore them to ensure that they were solid and trustworthy, as I had been so young (age 14, like many OneThing attenders) when the shepherds I trusted implicitly led me straight into these teachings and spiritual experiences.  As IHOP-KC had been a fundamental building block in my spiritual formation, those four years at IHOP-KC were spent slowly breaking down that cement block with the chisel of the Word of God.

‘Divine Origin’ & Mandate-‘Intercessory Missionaries’

*(trained predominately for influencing believers, changing the church, & starting more mystical houses of prayer, not leading new believers to Christ)

Their Foundation-‘Prophetic History’-Not Doctrine

IHOP’s outrageous claims of the divine origin of their teachings combined with the spectacular confirming signs and wonders that accompanied their founding and the building of their core doctrines leaves no room for neutrality for any pastor or leader in the body of Christ.  This movement and this organization is either the move of God or the work of the devil.  With 25,000 young people arriving for an annual conference, and many of them moving to Kansas City for full-fledged indoctrination in their internships and four year university, then being sent out as intercessory missionaries to spread it as far as possible within the body of Christ (they are trained predominately for influencing believers, changing the church, and starting more mystical houses of prayer, not leading new believers to Christ), the church at large cannot be passive in responding to this movement.

 This movement is built on presumption, the presumption of pastors and elders and speakers and sheep, that what is supernatural, what sounds “passionate” for Jesus is from God.  But much more ominously, it is comprised of young, unsteady souls (2 Peter 2:14), who don’t even have that basic equipment of sound doctrine and grasp of the gospel by which to test and examine, and have been primed all their lives by culture and now by the church to embrace that which moves their senses and most excites their awakened desires.

There is no way to describe the cost I paid to return to orthodoxy, to the simple power of the gospel.  I beg you to hear me.  It took all my courage, and was truly terrorizing, as I had been led to believe for so long that by rejecting the teaching of IHOP-KC, what I was rejecting was THE move of God on the earth, the voice of God and His true prophets, and the ultimate culmination of the hopes of Christendom.  My punishment for obeying the scriptural commands to “test all things, and hold fast to that which is good…”  (1 Thess. 5:21) has been that I have lost relationship almost all my family, and most of my friends, who were unwilling to examine the doctrines or practices in light of scripture, as they, in practice, take them (these prophecies) to be as sound as scripture.  My husband and I left Kansas City, running from profound consternation and budding persecution, slander and distress.  Not because we are notable or important, but because it finally occurred to us to question the foundations, which we found to be entirely supernatural, and then to test them.  I beg you to hear me.  The origins of the unique doctrines and practices of IHOP-KC are supernatural, prophetic, and confirmed by signs and wonders.   It is not just bad doctrine.  They are not “impressions,” ideas of men, or interpretations arising from Biblical exposition.  That he believes these ideas and teachings are straight from God himself is not hidden by Mr. Bickle, but loudly proclaimed in their consistently repeated “Prophetic History.”  This is the apparent net that is gathering up young people by the thousands:  a move of God.

Have you made yourself familiar with these unique practices and doctrines of IHOP-KC?

–  the bridegroom paradigm as it pertains to the individual believer and the sensual and mystical practices associated with this teaching

–  the teaching on the forerunner generation, the last and greatest generation that precedes the return of Christ and that walk in apostolic power in the hundreds of thousands

–  forerunner eschatology, an extreme focus on end-times

–  a belief in a lifestyle of fasting, mourning, and night and day prayer in the spirit of the tabernacle of David

–  a prophetic community that seeks spiritual encounters as a means of overcoming sin

–  harp and bowl worshiip

–  a consistent focus and belief in angelic visitations, visions, and visits to heaven that inform their personal lives and community

Like a Mormon who has experienced the “burning in his bosom,” their experiences have hardened them to any reason or willingness to test and examine as scripture commands

I had failed to warn any one of my dearest family, who are all deeply involved in this movement.  Though highly educated and intelligent, I cannot bring one of them to a scriptural assessment, to even examine the doctrines or origins in a reasonable manner.  Like a Mormon who has experienced the “burning in his bosom,” their experiences have hardened them to any reason or willingness to test and examine as scripture commands (1 Jn 4:1).  They are laid open with implicit trust to Mike Bickle’s teaching and the deception functioning in their midst.  The hardening ability of these deceptions and unauthorized spiritual experimentation with “strange fire” is such that like methamphetamine or crack cocaine, anyone who cares anything for young people, has any influence whatsoever, and has eyes to see must do everything in his or her power to vigilantly warn and protect young people from them, at any cost.

–  Can you defend an organization built not on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20), but pulling young people out of the local church to conform them to doctrines and practices NOT FOUND IN THE WORD OF GOD, but originating in extra-biblical revelation and prophecy, and ominously confirmed by spectacular signs and wonders?

Jesus said, “He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites!You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.  Mat. 16:2-4

The OneThing Conference has always been a subtle invitation to thousands of young people to depart from orthodox Christianity into a new expression in which signs, wonders, experiences, and prophecies guide believers and would-be believers with voices and encounters directly from and with the spirit realm, ushering and urging them to live “seeking a sign,” resulting in spiritually encountering counterfeit christs (Mk 13:22).  At the last one I attended, the theme was ecstatic celebration and expectation at the pronouncement of an astounding prophecy given from the stage of God’s glory being released unto massive global harvest currently, as in “this is what is happening right now,” a prophecy that was even by their own standards abandoned as untrue within six months.  Oppositely, the previous one had been awash with fear due to cataclysmic prophecies of the imminence of the end of the age, war on American soil, and impending catastrophe.  In both cases, there was massive upheaval and oaths taken by tens of thousands of young people manipulated by prophecies that would fall to ground dead shortly thereafter, utterly untrue. 

Never mind that our Lord forbade swearing oaths (Mat. 5:33-37).  The young people made vows to memorize the details of the book of Revelations, and start social groups dedicated to educating others on its details (interpreted of course by the prophetic insight received in IHOP-KC).  The vows included fasts, and promises of purity.  At another recent OneThing which I did not attend, hundreds of young people passed under a canopy, taking vows to “marry Jesus.”  The true gospel is distorted and obscured in a frenzy of dramatic music, professional lighting, and spiritual experimentation and encounter, culminating in oaths and vows and consecrations never called for in the New Testament.

Leading young people in encounters in the spirit realm is at the core of the mission of IHOP; even a cursory familiarity with their core teachings confirms this.  As Mike said, they believe the Lord is “…going to change the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation.”  Vowing to fast for dreams and visions to elucidate the Book of Revelation, vigilantly seeking encounters in the spirit realm, and learning to meditate and declare the erotic poetry of Song of Solomon…is it difficult to evaluate what kind of change that will produce in a generation of impressionable adolescents?

Do You See The Changing Landscape? 

Do you see the changing landscape?  You will check the weather before you go outside, to ensure your comfort and safety.  Do you see the brewing storm of sensual religion masked as Christianity that is catching a whole generation of young, unfounded believers in its snare, bringing utter destruction and warping the understanding of the gospel?  A false gospel in which sin is merely a “struggle,” and experiencing God in the supernatural realm is the answer?  An introduction to occultic activity, masquerading as the spirit-filled life?  Can I testify of the devastation in my own life, the difficulty of facing my deception and repenting while holding fast to what is true?  Can I further testify to how alone I am, how few come out into orthodox faith once they have gone in, how my testimony is utterly rejected by those who once respected me greatly?  Would you read the email I recently read from a young IHOP mother whose husband was driven by “the voice of the Lord” to leave their family and live on a beach, waiting for a visitation of the Spirit to deliver him from lust, after which he would return as a “prophet to America”?  Or the one in which she details the death of their baby in the prayer room, and the prophet who said that her baby was a grain of wheat fallen to the ground out of which revival would spring up based on a horrific perversion of Jn. 12:24?  If only her psychotic story were unique!  I have many more.  Humbly, in the fear of God, as an unknown sister in Christ, I beg you to consider what the 25,000 young people who attend OneThing will be introduced to with your endorsement!

My husband and I were on the ground in KC, trying to preach the simple gospel of repentance from sin, faith unto salvation, and obedience to the Word of God to young people caught and taught these doctrines.  We found that many were irretrievably lost, unable to hear or comprehend the simplicity and salvation of true Christianity, barring miraculous intervention.  Many more were genuine believers, but unable to distinguish false from true and growing in confusion (Mat. 24:24).  They are unaware of the perils awaiting their souls.  Will not their shepherds see a few inches beyond what these little ones are able (Acts 20:28-31)?

Do you not see that it is happening?  The spirit Mike heard speak to him was indeed prophetic, though it was not the Spirit of God.  Ideas about God, a new version of Christianity, false gospels and downright occultism that were even until recent history held at the fringe edges of mainstream evangelical Christianity are being introduced and embraced in alarming numbers by the most eager and devoted of the next generation of young Christians.  The understanding and expression of Christianity IS changing in this generation.  In the next hundred years of church history, I predict, based on the eagerness of the youth, that this teaching of sensual, experiential spiritualism masquerading as Christianity will be one of the primary fronts in the battle for orthodox faith and the true gospel.  How I groaned at the thought of the tens of thousands more whose protective doctrinal walls will be broken down because of your endorsement.  I beg you to research, to see if you can stomach the founding “prophets” of IHOP and their perversion, if you can justify doctrines and practices their revelations spawned, and to reconsider placing your seal of approval on this movement by speaking at the OneThing conference.

But this is a people robbed and plundered; All of them are snared in holes, And they are hidden in prison houses; They are for prey, and no one delivers; For plunder, and no one says, “Restore!”  Isaiah 42:22

“I heard what I call the internal audible voice of the Lord…It was as clear as crystal.  I heard the actual words.  There was no guess-work.  It was not impressions.  It was the word of the Lord came to me.  And the Lord said this, ‘I am going to change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the whole world in one generation.’” Mike Bickle

Do You See The Landscape Changing?

The Lord is Changing the Expression of Christianity | Mike Bickle - YouTube
Lord said this, ‘I am going to change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the whole world in one generation.’” Mike Bickl

Do you see the brewing storm of sensual religion masked as Christianity that is catching a whole generation of young, unfounded believers in its snare, bringing utter destruction and warping the understanding of the gospel?  A false gospel in which sin is merely a “struggle,” and experiencing God in the supernatural realm is the answer?  An introduction to occultic activity, masquerading as the spirit-filled life? 

Mike Bickle & Bob Jones-IHOP’s Prophetic History

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bob-jones.jpg

When the two first met, Bob Jones told Mike Bickle that the Lord would use him to pastor a young adult movement of singers and musicians who would pray for Israel and have strong ties to Asia. Mike initially didn’t believe Bob, but two weeks later it was confirmed to him that Bob, in fact, had heard from the Lord. Bob, who passed away in 2014, played a pivotal role in encouraging Mike during the early years of the movement and was a great friend to IHOPKC.

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