IHOP-KC / Ten Questions

Question #5: Who gets the glory?

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)

a.) Jesus

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.

 

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4 thoughts on “Question #5: Who gets the glory?

  1. This post is so profound. I remember as a small child receiving a prophecy that God had something special for me, a special call or ministry. Before I was married I was also given a prophetic word about ministering to the nations. Those prophetic words meant so much to me because I did not understand my significance as a son of my Heavenly Father as well as the constant opportunities I would have throughout my life to preach the gospel and make disciples (without ever having or needing a formal ministry to do so). I no longer give much thought to these prophetic words because they were so vague and, ultimately, distracting; they caused me to look forward to a time I would be doing something special and ministering to the nations when I needed to start right here and now preaching the gospel to people. These prophetic words sent me on a kind of wild goose chase, wondering when I would finally “catch” my prophetic destiny but ignoring simple obedience to the Bible. Many leaders in the prayer/prophetic movement have personal prophetic histories that set them apart as unique leaders with special callings. These prophetic histories predict they will be powerful, influential, and mighty men of God. In MB’s case, these prophecies came through people who were deeply sinful, and, according to scripture, false prophets. However, when a person attaches so much importance to these prophecies, because they touch something so deep in him concerning his desire to be great, all evidence to the contrary (false prophecies, character of the prophets) has to be reinterpreted or in some other way reconciled in his mind so that his call to greatness is not invalidated. And, ultimately, that call to greatness has to do with power and influence on the world stage. If such grandiose prophecies had been made concerning me as the ones concerning MB, it would take an act of miraculous, supernatural humility beyond what I can imagine, to simply obey the scriptures and choose not to listen to false prophets. But, the offer of influence and power is seductive and deceptive, and those who succumb to it end up leading many, many people into their own delusions of grandeur and away from simple obedience. For example, if you are a husband and/or father, it pleases The Lord that you provide financially for your family. If you do not, be it because of some reason, however spiritual sounding, you are labeled “worse than an unbeliever”. Many men at IHOP are led away from this simple step of obedience to do something that is supposedly more spiritual (I.e. minister before The Lord). It is very sad this happening.

  2. Oh, I can so relate to this! I am still just so grateful that the Lord so mercifully got me out of there. It’s very humbling to look back and see how duped I was and it’s true, it absolutely appeals to the flesh. It’s been around 4 years and I am finally getting out of the “fog” so to speak. It takes a while when you are deeply entrenched in the deceptions of this ministry. I am thankful for your willingness to confront and to warn.

  3. Can you please explain how we are to know/discern whether someone is a true prophet or not?
    I have SO many questions for you actually.

    • Sarah, thank you for this excellent question!

      This simple questions deserves books and books of answers, but I’m going to give you a short gut shot for the time being! To do so, I am going to gracefully sidestep the issue of whether or not the office of “prophet” still exists in the New Testament, a worthy discussion that is usually divided into two opposing schools of thought, with men wiser than me on both sides of the issue. In order to straddle the middle, for the time being, I will use the phrase “the spirit of prophecy,” because it is an indisputably biblical phrase about a current reality from Rev. 19:10, which tells us that it is the “testimony of Jesus.”

      The Bible tells us that the gospel is the mystery (1 Pet. 1:10, Mat. 13:17, Luke 10:24) that the prophets foretold and longed to see. EVERYTHING THEY SPOKE testified to Jesus (again, Rev. 19:10), and the gospel. Any prophet that speaks according to the Spirit of Prophecy will testify to what has already been fulfilled, and evaluate the church in light of Christ’s accomplished mission! To see this exemplified biblically, look at the letters to the churches in Revelation. They are “real time,” word-of-the-hour, honest evaluations of those churches in light of THE GOSPEL and their stewardship and obedience to it. They are not marked by fantastical predictions of new moves of God or even how the churches will be used, but warnings about how they will be judged in light of their response to the Gospel. Very, very simple. They contain some predictions, but they are warnings of judgment and promises of reward. ALL of it is IN LIGHT of the revelation they have ALREADY received. Nothing like what are seeing in these movements which claim to have “prophets.”

      If this hasn’t resonated with you yet in practical application, consider this. If what I am saying is right, anyone who PROPHESIES a NEW THING (a new movement, a new revelation, a new WAY to obey or pursue Christ) that God is going to bring that is disconnected from the COMPLETE work of Christ is a false prophet.

      To put this simply, prophets are like oxen tethered to a cart. They are not free to roam. They are tied to what was already given and can only speak in light of it. For the OT prophets, they were tied to the law, and their words were judgments in regards to obedience and disobedience to the law. Their predictions of redemption spoke to the coming work of Jesus Christ, which would be the fulfillment of the Law (already given). They did not introduce new ideas about God, they evaluated the people’s response to what they had been given. IN the New Testament, the spirit of prophecy, we are told, is even more narrow. It is the testimony of Jesus, who came and walked among us, leaving the foundation of a church, the testimony of witnesses, and the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth…all of this perfectly recorded in His written Word. True prophecy is EXTREMELY tethered, on a very short leash. It will refer back to what is established, evaluating God’s people in light of what they have been given.

      The Bible says we have been given “everything necessary for life and godliness.” The current need is not for new revelation, new doctrine, or new movements (forms of power or ways of living previously unknown or unavailable). The current need (which a prophetic word would address) is for an accurate evaluation of our response to what we have been given (are we obedient or disobedient? Have we ignored or honored HIs Word? Are we offering our hearts or lip-service?). That is useful, that is valid prophecy, that is in keeping with the biblical pattern.

      Here’s another analogy. Say I own a purple house, a beach-front timeshare, and a recent model vehicle, all paid off and deeded to my name. I am clear, remembering how much it cost to buy all these things and carefully keeping the deeds in a safe, that they are truly mine. If someone knocks on the door and tells me what I need to pay monthly to live in a purple house, offers me a chance to visit the beautiful tropical beach for a certain amount, and tells me that I could even travel there in a private vehicle with air conditioning and a CD player, I would laugh him off the property, realizing that the shyster was hoping to hone in on a piece of what was rightfully mine.

      If the shyster managed to come back when I was not home, and got my five year old at the door, giving him a persuasive speech, he could probably convince him to open the safe, hand over the deeds, and give him all the money he could find. Because my five year old does not know how things work, what a deed is, what is legal, or what I paid to rightfully own all this. He enjoys all the benefits, but has not yet understood what they cost, or to whom they belong.

      That is a picture of the church today. Because the true simple gospel is not being repeatedly preached and emphasized, and in their foolishness, men have coveted something better and more exciting than being freed from slavery to sin and made slaves of righteousness, the house of God looks oftentimes like a house of babes, who do not know what was bought at what cost, and can be taken in by any persuasive voice. I say this freely admitting that this was my state.

      If however, a friend came and found my child at home spray painting the walls and trying to use the car as a boat, and corrected his behavior, affirming and reaffirming Who owns the house and why my child must honor my commands regarding it, that would be faithful. He would be rewarded on my return. In the analogy, this is a faithful use for prophecy. “You are not obeying your dad, and have forgotten what he told you! Here is what will happen if you continue!”

      To finish up, the question you asked was the question that set my husband and I on a hunt that led us past the contemporary teaching of men into a hunt that ended with the gospel. We’d been Christians for thirty years, but we were humbled to the core to realize that we’d been sitting on the Pearl of Great Price while shysters paraded coal and cubic zirconias past us, without our knowing any different. We, like many others, were true believers, but if you asked us about the gospel, we would have talked about doctrines like the four spiritual laws, and then been ready to move on to more elevated understandings. The power and significance of the gospel were not absent, but obscured. WE are not saying it is obscured to everyone because it was obscured to us, but we have pretty broad experience in the wider church of God, and believe the problem is pandemic, not isolated. There are certainly teachers who are teaching a pure gospel, and some even teaching it with power and fullness of understanding. We have been able to learn from them. But they are not the norm in America today, nor did we find them commonly overseas in our travels.

      The clarity we discovered in the pure gospel is a) the testimony of Jesus and b) the revelation that enlightened us to the falsehood of all these counterfeits.

      That is a completely insufficient answer that needs MUCH more filling in, but hopefully it is a good start.

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