This post is part of a series, primarily aimed at parents who have questions about sending their son or daughter to IHOPU or young people who want to know what they are getting into there at IHOPU or the wider IHOP-KC community.
This post will start with a short fill-in-the-blank quiz. Who said…?
1. And _________ took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:6-7)
2. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. ” _____________. (Mat. 24:9)
b.) the Devil
When I was entrenched in IHOP and other streams of the prophetic movement, I could not listen to or even bear to hear anyone claiming that these movements were not of God. It was inconceivable to me. Even as I started to come out, it was so blurry and confusing. It felt like the world was spinning 1000 x’s faster than normal and all my bearings were being lost. If this wasn’t God, what was? If I could be deceived about these things, how could I ever be sure about anything? How could any human being ever know the truth? I had such a lofty view of my own personal “gut instinct” discernment. I wonder if I could have told you that the quiz answers are 1-b and 2-a.
Isn’t it funny? Fundamentally, I didn’t know the difference (for sure) between how the devil sounds and how the Lord sounds. Is that because it is that unclear, that the scriptures don’t help us out? I wanted to blame it on that nasty Devil…the deceiver, the seducer. And so he is. But the truth is, it was unclear because I was so seduce-able. If I were going to be offered power (to heal, to deliver, to be translated through walls, and on and on and on…), fame and celebrity standing in front of stadiums filled with tens of thousands, the wealth of the nations, friendship with kings and rulers, total vindication and ultimate persuasion to bring billions into the kingdom…”all power and authority” in the realm of EARTHLY kingdoms in THIS life, the truth is, I thought that sounded pretty good. And what did I have to do in return? Just worship and serve the right God, the one who would give me all these that I desired? Maybe a little fasting and prayer, perhaps some temporary poverty. So I give him glory and power and in return he would give me glory and power? What a deal! I was in!!! Isn’t that how the Almighty negotiator wheels and deals with his elect generation of the best seed of all the peoples in the history of humanity?
And the Lord spoke and said, “Bob, the white horse is coming and that will be the Christian group that I’m going to use. Incorruptible flesh will they have, and the lightning in their hands will be the hiding place of their power” (Bob Jones, tape, Visions and Revelations, 1988)
We’re going to look so glorious…Some day you’ll just smile at somebody and they’ll wind up in the kingdom. You’ll be so filled with glory that nations will come sit at your feet. (Paul Cain, Joel’s Army)
Now that I’m free of the demonic mess I was in, I totally can hear the pride and demonic lust for power and glory in this movement. And it is vile. But once upon a time, it sounded like, “Hey, listen to what this guy is saying! THIS IS A PROPHET OF GOD! This is so cool!”
Right after Jesus said that the nations would hate us, His followers, for His name’s sake, in verse 9, He tells us this about the last days: “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Mat. 24:10-13 If you’ve been at IHOP, you’ve probably heard from many influential mouths about the mighty end-times harvest, billions of souls, etc. I’m sorry to tell you that it is just not in the Bible.
Here’s what Bob Jones had to say:
…And that glory is a preparation for a harvest beyond imagination. One billion youth, over half the population of the world is under 18. One billion at once. I am not saying that will be all because there will be those that are already saved. One great harvest. One great increase of over a billion…
Jesus is honest about the state of this world, and about the Way out… He said, “…narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mat. 7:14 He was honest about the gate, about how few would find it, and He was honest about the lying false prophets who would come to lead us astray. It’s not as confusing as I felt it to be.
But I didn’t and we don’t want to hear that it will be difficult. It’s not fun to our flesh to hear about being crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20), cleansing ourselves from filthiness (2 Cor. 7:1), and taking up our cross (Luke 9:23). We’d rather hear that it will be easy, just natural for us from birth…
“You that are children will be moving into the ministries of perfection. . .coming into that divine nature of Jesus Christ–not having to come out of the wilderness, but being birthed natural into the Spirit. All their days movin’ with the Spirit. . .” Bob Jones, Visions and Revelations, Fall 1988
Yep, we’d all like to think that we get to be the generation that somehow doesn’t have to bear the reproach of Christ (Heb. 13:13), be considered fools by our peers (1 Cor. 1:18), or be hated by our own (Mat. 10:36). Instead, how nice to hear that we will be part of an undeniable and unstoppable generation performing such outrageous and consistent signs and wonders that a huge portion of the earth’s population stops in their wicked tracks and turns to Jesus?
“I went and I seen the Lord, and it was like He was looking at little yellow things—little round, yellow things like a spirit of God itself. [!] And there were billions of them. And it was like Him and. all the angels were looking through these and every once in awhile they’d say, “Hey, here’s an end-time one; get it down here on the end. Here’s another good one.”
I said, “What are you doing?”
He said, “Oh, we’re collecting those who are foreknown and predestinated for the end-times, for you see, they’ll be the best of all the seed that’s ever been. And we’re looking through the seeds and this’ll be your grandkids. This will be the end generation that is foreknown and predestinated to inherit all things.” (Bob Jones re: “Joel’s Army)
And so we just don’t notice that over and over these prophecies completely deny the Lord’s words to us. Because we love these prophecies. We hear them and affirm their speakers as “prophets of God.” We still are hoping to be seduced! Because…wouldn’t it be nice? Sure, those Heb. 11 guys had to wait, had to bear persecution, had to suffer, had to be sawn in half, but what if we could be different…?
The truth is in our flesh, we love Satan’s proposition. We’ll make a deal with the devil. We just need someone to come along and paint Jesus’ name across it with some believably Christian-like antics and activities, and we’ll take it. We want it. We want a method that earns us the right to walk in supernatural power and live effortlessly holy lives and receive glory and honor from the nations of the world. We’ll pray and fast a little while for that.
IHOP has done this for us. I remember hearing a preacher (I think it was Allen Hood) titillating the congregation, “Just think of the day when you prophesy to your neighbor about the judgment that is coming on the next day, and it occurs just like you said. BOOM!” It was supposedly about evangelism, but it was really about the same putrid lust for power that draws people into the occult. Here are some quotes from Mike Bickle to explain why such a thing as IHOPU was founded:
“But in this generation there’ll be 35 of them that will appear for this movement that will be of the highest level of apostolic ministry. I believe there’ll be hundreds of apostles in this movement, but I think there’ll be 35 like unto Paul...He (God) said, ‘I’ll cause 300,000 to bear a distinct anointing of leadership over the one billion.’ Three hundred thousand sounds like a lot of leaders, but a billion is a thousand million…that will be a small number for the nations of the earth, but they will have like that apostolic anointing and the signs and wonders of the early church will be on 300,000. (Visions and Revelations, Fall 1988)
I want to be clear. Bob Jones is no prophet of God, but a false prophet. I will talk more about Paul Cain and the other prophets later. IHOPKC’s special doctrines and practices are founded mainly on his prophecies. “Well, I believe our history is deeply tied up, in a human sense, to Bob Jones in the beginning. And I believe that God’s goodness towards us, giving us this history, began when the Lord separated Bob Jones many, many years ago. His purpose for this people, in a human sense, had some of its roots back in the hills of Arkansas when Bob was a young boy.” (Mike Bickle, Overview of our Prophetic History, May 1989)
Maybe you are reading this, and you are swimming in a stream other than IHOP that is swirling with wild prophecies. Maybe you’ve been told that you will “stand before kings,” “be one of the anointed ones for the end-times harvest,” “see the dead raised daily,” or some such, even though you’re working a minimum wage job and have debilitating health issues and a rocky marriage. I invite you to go back to my little quiz at the top and ask yourself whether the voices that have prophecied to you have sounded more like #1 or #2, and if you’ve been cheated. Get up from this table of lies, and start to eat the word of God and become mature in Christ.
As for me, I renounce all the folly and my own lust for power and glory, and turn to glorify the one who in His great mercy would see fit to cleanse me from such wretched unrighteousness.