Tag Archives: Ihop history

A Great post from Beyond Grace

Our buddy Bill posted a link on one of our threads to a post he has just written. I was so impressed with it that I asked if we could post it over here. He shows yet again how the leaders of this prophetic movement love to revise their history to make themselves look more orthodox and distance themselves in public from anything that may hurt their thin evangelical veneer.  So without further ado .

Revisionism and The Blueprint Prophecy

Imagine, if you will, a leader of a religious group or secret society who based his entire movement on a foundational document – but yet would not share the contents of that document. Sacred writings, which were delivered to him by an unidentified mystery prophet. A blueprint which was confirmed to him by a “supernatural encounter which included an angel and a demon.” Writings which were confirmed by yet another prophet, one who later was discovered to have had women stand in front of him naked while he “prophesied” over them.

Mormonism? Freemasons? No, this movement is known as the “24/7 Prayer Movement” whose adherents are called “Forerunners.” They are best known as the “International House of Prayer” (IHOP) and the leader is Mike Bickle.

The foundational document is something they call the “Blueprint Prophecy.”

In Bickle’s world it is a given that all prophesies must be tested and judged. However, Bickle to this day, has not released a complete, full version of the prophecy which was given to him in writing. Assuming that other leaders in the movement may have had access to the complete document, the parallels to Mormonism and Freemasonry are stunning. In movements such as these, certain elements of their teachings are revealed only to those who have earned trust.


Looking for the earliest extant version of the Blueprint Prophecy has been like looking for the Dead Sea Scrolls. Or the golden tablets. According to Mike Bickle, the original Blueprint prophecy was received on March 26, 1984. Bickle also states that the Blueprint was not made “public” until 2002, although portions have been withheld.

The 2006 version of the Blueprint Prophecy(1) is identified as an edited version and is dated March 26, 1984. However, this version was created on MS Word (not available in 1984) by Jack Hill and the meta-data tag is August 15, 2006. We have not been able to locate an extant 2002 version of the prophecy; it may or may not resemble the 2006 version.

The 2009 version(2) , which was posted on the IHOP website in support for a special 10 year anniversary celebration which featured talks on the history of the movement by Mike Bickle.(3) It was prepared by Stephen Jordan (on a Mac OS X 10) on September 28, 2009. The document states that it was edited on September 19, 2009.

Judging Prophecy

Bickle has stated that this document is a “comprehensive prophetic word.” The unidentified prophet stated “the Lord gave me the blueprints for your movement.”(4) While Bickle has not ascribed to the blueprint the weight of scripture, it is clearly identified as a prophetic word from the Lord. A case could be made from Bickle’s teachings that Bickle looks at all scripture though the lens of the Blueprint Prophecy. Nonetheless, Bickle’s own movement teaches the importance of judging prophetic words.

“Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should
weigh carefully what is said.” (NASB) 1 Corinthians 14:29

“Now these were more noble-minded than those in
Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the
Scriptures daily (to see) whether these things were so.”
(NASB) Acts 17:11.

“We believe that the subjectivity of the prophetic ministry
must be vigorously tested against the inspired and infallible Scriptures that
God gave for doctrine, reproof, correction and for instruction in
righteousness.” Affirmations and Denials (5)

Somehow, the Blueprint Prophecy gets a “free pass.” Bickle has stated that portions were removed by him, things that, in his words fell into the category of “I don’t know what that means,”(6) so he did not want them in print (circulation).

Mike Bickle, in 1982, received a prophetic word that said “I (the Lord) will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation.”(7) If Bickle’s movement is indeed this significant in the history of the church then, like scripture, the dispensation of this message should not be left up to “private interpretation.” (c.f. 2 Peter 1:20)

Shifting Sands

Even more disturbing is the changing nature of this pivotal document. In response to accusations of aberrant doctrine and practice, Bickle’s organization released a statement of “Affirmations and Denials” in 2008.(8) The document addresses issues such as the “Latter Rain” and the “Joel’s Army.” Bickle says his prophetic movement is all about “standing boldly in faith for what the Spirit is saying.”(9) Could it be the “spirit” keeps changing his mind? Or is the “spirit” saying things for which we cannot “boldly stand?”

Dozens of changes have been made and will no doubt be discussed by others. For the purpose of brevity, I would like to highlight just a few typical revisions. The first has to do with the “Latter Rain.”

In Affirmations, Bickle attempts to distance himself from the label “Latter Rain,” a doctrinal aberration espoused by the entire apostolic/prophetic movement. (10) In their most recent edit of the foundational document, supernaturally delivered and confirmed, Bickle conveniently removed the phrase Latter Rain. Is this one of those things which Bickle does not “know what it means?” Surely someone has explained this to him at some point in time.

***

Bickle, as with most large para-church organizations, has not been immune to criticism regarding money. Bickle’s organization of “Treasure Bringers”(11) (“Ministers of Finance” in the blueprint) seeks men who will behave like an “unrighteous steward.” One leader within his organization has stated “The Treasure Bringers are those with an anointing from God to facilitate this massive wealth-transfer.” “They are spiritual ‘Robin Hoods.’ Their greatest joy is plundering the wealth of the world for their Lord.”(12) Perhaps editing the prophecy could tone this down a bit.

Note that the phrase about “checks and money,” although deleted in this portion of the 2009 word, reappears later on in the prophecy where the phrase “I will be your purse bearer” occurs again. The “purse bearer” phrase is seen twice in 2006, but only once in 2009. So here we see a shift in location and frequency of certain critical statements, perhaps changing the emphasis of those statements.

***

Just as the King James and the NIV bibles are translated in different manners, so it is with the Blueprint Prophecy. In the case of the Blueprint, we cannot go back to the original Greek. We can’t even go back to the original English!

Here it appears that Bickle was either attempting to modernise some archaic language (archaic in 1983, too) or he wanted to avoid the implication that he would have both male and female mates, thus distancing him from Ted Haggard and many other fallen figures in the Charismatic movement. Personally, I think its a credible change, but this does not represent an edit, but rather a translation.

This however, is a distraction. Note the real purpose of this paragraph is to state that Bickle is the new Moses. Perhaps other portions of this prophecy are even more grandiose which could be another explanation as to why they remain secret. Bickle states that some secret things in the prophecy were “too big” for him to wrap his brain around. No problem with the Moses thing, though.

Bickle also corrects what could lead to blatant theological error in removing “You shall” from the phrase “You shall consecrate.” This makes sense, but the question as to the original text, the “prophetic word,” remains.

***

This section features a few simple edits which seem benign enough. The emphasis supplied in the 2009 version seems to be a justification of the cult-like atmosphere seen at the Kansas City compound (“City of Habitation”).

More importantly is the tacit approval of the teachings of Mike Bickle seen in the statement “Your doctrine shall be my doctrine – by My Spirit.” This is not unlike the standard charismatic validation of a prophetic word: “The Lord says – hear the word of my prophet, for I have given him my word.” The use of the phrase “by My Spirit” in the 2006 version plausibly implies that God has a work to do in Mike Bickle, and that He is going to align Bickle’s doctrine with His. The 2009 version implies that God will adopt Mike Bickle’s doctrine.

***

And it is this sort of grandiose elevation of Mike Bickle above mere mortals that causes alarm. Simply put, if what was delivered in the original prophecy was so significant, should not the body of Christ know? Or is Mike Bickle the benevolent Pope whom God entrusts, but others cannot handle this divine revelation. Martin Luther, where are you now?

Indeed, in the Blueprint Prophecy (unabridged), Mike Bickle has been established as the one who will “anoint with the Holy Oil” the accepted ones in the last days church – the bride that prepares for the soon coming Lord. And as previously noted, Bickle is the one who “shall consecrate” this people.

***

I don’t think further commentary is necessary. I am nailing this article to the door of the internet. If you have followed Mike Bickle blindly, accepting everything he has said, and believing that he has kept things secret to protect you, or because you could not possibly understand it, I am calling you to repent. It is wrong to accept unjudged prophecy and let it govern your life.

By their own admission the Blueprint Prophecy is foundational. Mike Bickle has chosen to keep secret certain portions of that written word which was once delivered to him, and to revise other portions which seem offensive. Mike, it is time to show us your cards.


Endnotes

(1) Blueprint Prophecy 2006 Version pdf document Revision August 15, 2006, Jack Hill.

(2) Blueprint Prophecy 2009 Version pdf document Revision September 28, 2009, Stephen Jordan.

(3) Tenth Year Anniversary of IHOP website.

(4) Prophetic History Session 8, Mike BickleVideo Time Stamp 06:43.

(5) Affirmations and Denials Web Article.

(6) Prophetic History Session 8, Mike BickleVideo Time Stamp 07:17.

(7) Session 1, the Early Days, Mike Bickle MS Word Revision September 1, 2004, Jack Hill. Page 2.

(8) Affirmations and Denials Web Article.

(9) Session 1, the Early Days, Mike Bickle MS Word Revision September 1, 2004, Jack Hill. Page 2.

(10) For information about the Latter Rain see: Anointing or Apostasy – The Latter Rain Heresy by Charles Graves pdf document

(11) Joseph Company Vision Statement web archive

(12) Six Kingdom Callings of Marketplace Christians by Bob Fraser web archive copy

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Julie’s story part 2

There is such a shocking lack of knowledge as to how IHOP’s vision was birthed, it’s driving me crazy! So, I want to give a little more insight into the going’s on behind Kansas City Fellowship (early IHOP) becoming a Vineyard.

My husband and I had been away from the church (Kansas City Fellowship) for approximately 3 or 4 months praying earnestly for the leadership at KCF to repent. Actually, by this time, the name had changed to Metro Christian Fellowship, having first been known as South Kansas City Fellowship, then Kansas City Fellowship, then Metro Christian. We expected their repentance to be forthcoming at any day. I mean, with the damning report that Ernie Gruen had just written, there was no defending the current prophetic, and “let’s take over the city”, teaching that had become common place by then. This was the spring of 1990. I remember it well because I was well along in my pregnancy with my fourth child.

We were told that “Mike’s going to repent” so be sure to be there.  “Major anouncement at the church, don’t miss it.” These were the encouragements we received from our friends, the friends we had been warning regarding the error that had crept in.

So, we went to this meeting with high expectations. We were expecting the mood to be somber, sober, serious, repentant, etc. Nothing could have prepared us for what we witnessed that night.

First of all, the place was PACKED. Not a seat in the house remained empty.  People standing in the back as well. I think there were between 1500 and 2000 people in attendance.

After a very celebratory worship service, Mike began to repeat some of the prophetic history which brought the church into existence in the first place. Augustine’s prophecies (although, by this time, I think his name had ceased to be mentioned), Bob Jones’s prophecies, etc. How God had brought the prophetic into our midst – but it was still in it’s infancy. Still young and messy and some messes have occurred. Soooo, it was time to set the prophetic down, come under the umbrella of the Vineyard. The prophets would still minister to the leadership behind closed doors, but it was necessary for them to mature in their anointings.

This was the gist of the meeting. That the leadership was just delighted to be joining hands with John Wimber and Co.  It was going to be a great future in God. Blah blah blah.

Even stating that the rift between Mike and Ernie was hurting the body and that it needed to be resolved as soon as possible. That Ernie Gruen had misrepresented the prophetic movement, but some of the things he said were true: there was a spiritual elitistism that needed to be eradicated. Ernie was on board with this current move by the church leadership to become a Vineyard, and so the proposed meeting (hearing?) before the agreed upon leaders from around the country was no longer necessary. The error of the prophetic was in check with the setting down of the prophets.

The mood reminded me of a high school pep rally. Everyone seemed relieved and elated. No longer was the church going to be considered “cultish.” John Wimber had ridden in on a white horse, and they had dodged a bullet. They were becoming a respectable Vineyard; the loony prophetic was going to become less visual and less loony; and so on, and so forth.

At the end of Mike’s lengthy announcement, he opened up the microphone for questions.  When my husband looked at me and said “I’m going up,” my heart rose to my throat and stayed there until we left. I knew that the happy atmosphere was going to be dampered a little once my husband took the mic.

Person after person got up and asked numerous, non-threatening questions, of the legistical variety. Will the other locations join, too? Would Mike’s position change? How will this affect the church type questions.

My husband was one of the last in line that night. Perhaps he was the last. He first asked Mike if the men who had originally been agreed upon to “hear” the accusations  that were brought against Mike, if they were honorable and capable of judging these teachings, etc.  Mike agreed that they, in fact, were honorable men. (All of the men chosen for this task were from the charismatic side of the isle, btw).  He then asked Mike why he wouldn’t just submit to their “hearing” instead of, essentially, hiding behind John Wimber. That is when the mood in the room suddenly changed. It felt hostile, and I swear, you could hear a pin drop. But, my heart was in my throat and I just wanted to get out of there, so, who knows what other people felt. At this point, my husband challenged Mike regarding these doctrines NOT coming into line with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He handed the mic back and began walking back to me.

Many, many of our friends were there. Some of our best friends were also in attendance, and they were not really sure how to take all of this stuff. We had given them our take, yet they were still quite loyal to the church/Mike. Heck, we were still loyal. We were just waiting for everyone to repent and BELIEVE the truth and get free of all this garbage.  This was our church, for crying out loud. These were our leaders and the devil had pulled the wool over their eyes!

As my husband was leaving the stage, Mike turned to the sound man, and told him to get rid of what my husband had just said. “Erase that part.” This is what our friends heard. They were so appalled, it became the beginning of the end of their stay at KCF. So began my first knowledge of historical revisionism at the hands of KCF.

One person came up and thanked my husband. Everyone else treated us like the plague. Indeed, for many years, my husband was kept at arms length by those still loyal to Mike. Now, one can dispute whether or not Mike had the tape erased. But, there are people, to this day, who remember my husband standing up and standing against Mike Bickle. No one ever did that! I think it went down the same memory hole with the prophecies regarding Pat Bickle getting healed. We knew, then, that they weren’t going to be repenting anytime soon.

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