IHOP-KC / Ten Questions

Question #6: Have you read George Orwell’s 1984?

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.

That’s an odd question, I know.  Usually I am begging folks to read the Bible.  But there is something so profound about this book, written as a parody of the Communist party.  It has incredible, even prophetic, insight into the human condition, and it describes a skill you will need very quickly in your new prophetic environment:  a skill called Doublethink.

Here’s how Orwell puts it:  “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”  Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London, part 1, chapter 3, pp 32

It’s a skill we all already have, simply put, the ability to deceive ourselves.  But there’s a quality of a mass decision in a group setting to put ideals above reality, such that even when the individual is CLEARLY experiencing a reality, they go along with the group decision to pretend they experienced an ideal.  Read the book to watch someone else do it.

I watched myself do it.  You see, when there’s a constant stream of prophets prophesying (and I do mean constant), what do you do when almost everything they say turns out to be nonsense?   What do you say when 1988 was supposed to bring massive financial crisis, dropping the Dow by 400 points in a day?  What do you say when Mike Huckabee was prophesied to win the 2008 election?  What about when 2010 was going to bring race riots and tanks rolling across American soil?  Or when 2011 was supposed to hold the beginning of the “Great Harvest”?  And 2012?  And 2013?  What do you say to folks who were told they would have a baby and didn’t?  Or told they would have strokes and were perfectly healthy?

Notice how I didn’t answer any of my questions, and tell you what you say?  Because in doublethink land, you don’t have to say anything.  The entire crowd, congregation, crew, turns, lock, stock and barrel, and forgets about the previous prophecy to savor the sensations of the next one.

No, they don’t, you say.

Yes, we did.  And they do.  And if you watch from the outside, your jaw will drop and you will ask, are these people for real?  But if, instead, you jump in and experience it from the inside, you will find you are so much better at it than you ever thought possible.  So good, that you may never come out.

Impossible, you say.  I have a mind.  It works.

No, I tell you.  You have a mind, and it will NOT work, because you will hand it over to sensation, to belong and be a part, to a frenzy, to an unfounded hope, to a false faith that distorts your real faith like mutations on DNA helices, until you can’t tell the difference anymore.

And then, when someone points out that the last ten prophecies were total hogwash, you’ll jump up to defend them with everything in you, because what would become of you if it turned out that they were right and you had to face reality?  What would be left of your faith?  So intertwined did the name of Jesus become after years of daily mourning sessions in the prayer room, thousands of repetitive prayers, hundreds of fasts, time and money sacrificed, and regular visitations from a sensual spirit of comfort and assurance that you took to be the Holy Spirit…so intertwined that you honestly don’t know what would be left, if you tried to restore the original.

The fear is sickening, and the courage to face the truth, if you can find it, will quickly be destroyed by anyone in that setting you might invite into your thoughts.

Like a parasite in your gut, you feel like you’d have to die to pull it out.

Like believing that the sky is blue or the sidewalk will hold you up, you feel like your mind would crumble if your paradigm were shattered.  You simply cannot afford to search it out.

And then Mike will say something like “Some ‘prophetic words’ may be 10 percent God’s words and 90 percent man’s words, while others have a greater revelatory content.”  along with some knowing comments about “growing in the prophetic,” and “stewarding budding gifts.”  And instead of going, “What the WHAT????  Did he just say what I think he said while people around me are filling their basements with freeze dried food and buying weapons left and right?  10%????” you might actually feel comforted, as if it made sense, and really answered everyone’s concerns.  And you would have no idea in that moment that you had lost your mind.

Sometimes it still causes my jaw to drop, because there were so many of us involved, so many excellent people that I knew so well.  And not one person ever had tested the prophecies that were foundational to this “move of God.”  Not one person whom I personally knew.  I knew some folks who held the current words a little more loosely, and had gotten used to religiously smiling and ignoring them for the most part, unbothered by their own suspended unbelief.  While hypocritical, at least they were still cognizant of some form of reality.

When I began to search these things before scripture, to test, I was mocked, reviled, and estranged.  I would point to scriptures that command over and over to Beware and Test spirits, prophets, and prophecies.  And these folks would look at me like I was speaking another language.  Obey the scripture?  “You think you know better than Mike Bickle?” was about the strength of argument I could extract to explain their position.  But the worst part was, they didn’t know they didn’t make any sense.  It didn’t matter how many times I quoted those scriptures; they were completely deaf to them.

1984 was a comfort to me.  Even though it is fiction, I know I am not the only one who has experienced hatred for interrupting those who are willfully, determinedly deceived as they head to their own destruction.

Read the book.  Find out what happens to the hero, who even when facing death at the hands of the party, still finds mental relief from indulging in the sense that they are right.  That War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength (the Party mottoes).  Consider how rare love of the truth really is, and how easily deceived we are.  Consider whether you are grounded in the truth or still “tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.” Eph. 4:14  Consider that at IHOPKC you will have to choose between that smiling unbelief or drink the kool-aid doublethink, both death to the soul

Or just head into the prophetic swirl, be it at IHOPKC or Bethel or Morningstar, and do it yourself.  But I’ve warned you.  When you intentionally lose your mind, there’s no guaranteeing you will get it back.

“I been on a 10-day trip to California, and when I come back, I didn’t have any mind left because I’d let the Holy Spirit take it over so long. I couldn’t remember what day or anything, or what was going on or anything. I mean. I was totally numb in mind. That happens–the longer you allow the Holy Spirit to move through your mind, the more forgetful you get. I mean, I could go around two blocks to the house and I’ve been lost…I mean we actually get numb in the mind when the Spirit’s–and I believe it’s because we move our soul, our brain, out of the way to where the’ Holy Spirit can flow from our Spirit. And in doing so, our mind really does get emptied out…”  –Bob Jones

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Bob.  Except it is not the Holy Spirit that does that.

P.S.  I know my readership is probably not wide enough for this, but I would love if people would just begin to post from memory some of the prophecies they’ve heard from the stage throughout the years.  I mentioned just a couple, but there are hundreds and thousands out there.  Comment if you remember some!


13 thoughts on “Question #6: Have you read George Orwell’s 1984?

  1. The first time I felt the smallest feeling of doubt about prophecy at IHOP was after the Impact World Tour outreach that Mark Anderson from YWAM coordinated with IHOP. I was in regular attendance at FCF Sunday mornings, and, leading up to the event, the congregation was told many things about the importance of this outreach. It was years ago, and I’m sure I don’t remember events 100% accurately, so I’m going to try very hard not to exaggerate at all concerning the statements I heard from the stage. First, I am pretty sure that 30,000 people were either prophesied or expected to join the local church in Kansas City, either FCF or some other church, through the outreach. The number sticks out to me as an accurate representation of the numbers being batted about, but I couldn’t tell you if it was “prophesied” or just expected. Second, whether the numbers were truly “prophesied” or expected, I CAN tell you that the speakers from the stage (Mark Anderson and others) made clear that this event was going to change the landscape of the church in Kansas City because of the numbers of people that were going to be saved. Entire flow charts were mapped out to designate neighborhood discipleship groups to help contain the influx of thousands of new converts. I was very excited to actually get involved in what the Lord was doing, so I gave a significant amount of money (relative to my income) to help with this event, and volunteered to follow-up with people at one of the events around town.
    After I went through training about how to talk to people who responded to an altar call, I headed to my assigned event to see the harvest brought in. At the event, skateboarders flipped around on ramps, some dancing happened, a man rapped, and then a man shared a gospel message. I don’t want to take away from what they were doing because if someone was to look at my life and judge me from the times I’ve shared the gospel (not many times) or really sought to bring someone into the kingdom, it wouldn’t go so well for me. That’s not my point, to judge individual people’s willingness or methods for attempting to share the gospel.
    After the event, there was an altar call, and people responded. I’d say from about 200 people in the audience, 30 people went down to accept the Lord. Again, I’m not judging; if I ever leave a track record of 30 converts, I’ll be pumped. I talked to two middle-schoolers, helped them fill out a follow-up card, and then left. Afterwards, my many attempts to call these two boys and plug them into a discipleship group were met with either answering machines or “He’s not home…Who is this?” Maybe this just wasn’t my thing.
    Afterwards, the normal announcements were made concerning the number of people who had given their life to Christ as recorded on a follow-up card. The congregation was happy, and rightfully so. People were being saved. But here is where I am going to make some judgments. Nowhere near 30,000 people came into the church in Kansas City through this event and, to my knowledge and the knowledge of every single person I knew in Kansas City, there was not a single person myself, my friends, or my acquaintances could account for that had joined the local church in Kansas City because of this event. What was preached from the stage, that the landscape of the church in Kansas City would be dramatically changed, did not happen. When I brought this up to a friend of mine at IHOP (a friend that I love completely and who has been an amazing source of blessing to me), he said, “Well, I guess you were really giving to the Lord and not to people” as if to say that my reason for giving money should not be connected to the reason people ask for money. What was so interesting is that the hype before the event was completely absent four weeks after the event. Four weeks. If even 100 people had joined FCF of the street, it would have been noticed! But nothing happened. Follow my thinking. I’m not saying that people weren’t saved or that there weren’t some people that joined the local church. What I’m saying is that the prophecy, expectation, and hype generated by the leaders of IHOP from the stage was deceptive and did not align itself with reality…at all. In any way shape or form. What the leaders said would happen, did not happen. To my utter and complete amazement, not a single person I knew at IHOP ever questioned this except me. Nobody talked about, and I knew a lot of IHOPers!! You would not have believed the hype for this event and how quickly it would be forgotten. And don’t try to tell me something like, “Oh, you don’t really know what the Lord did in people’s hearts.” Of course I don’t really know! That’s not what I’m trying to figure out! All I’m saying is that what the leaders said from the stage DID NOT HAPPEN!!!! I think that is the absolute worst thing about false prophecy; people who believe in it find a way to either reinterpret it or forget about it. Rarely is the character and truth of the actual prophet called into question.
    Now that I’m on a roll, I also remember Shelley Hundley prophesying that the Awakening would never stop, and like an unending rope, would continue forever and ever. And then it was shut down!!! Hahahahaha!!!! And anyone who believes Shelley is a prophet will either reinterpret that prophecy or has already forgotten it.
    Also, it was prophesied that when IHOP’s (pancake restaurant) stock went up, help was coming to IHOP. When IHOP was bought by Applebee’s (or something like that), the stock went up, and Eddie James and his posse came to town around the same time. Prophecy fulfilled!! And then Eddie James and his posse had to leave because too many of his disciples were fooling around with IHOP interns.
    Also, Mike has, usually on IHOP anniversary dates, announced that certain events prophesied in the prophetic history are now going to be fulfilled in the next season at IHOP. As a lay person at IHOP, I never concretely saw any of those prophecies fulfilled though they were usually interpreted as being fulfilled through the use of extreme reinterpretation (like the time Mike’s brother died, and the revival his healing was supposed to usher in never occured – if my brother died after being told he was going to be healed and lived, I’d hope I’d punch every one of those prophets repeatedly in the face instead of bowing to the fear of man and reinterpreting everything). Oh, I’m so angry. It’s still too close to me. What a wallow of deception I had to wade through to pull myself out from the influence of these men.

    • OAM, I remember this. I remember that Grandview Outreach being prophesied not just to change the landscape of the Grandview area, but to begin the massive nation-wide revival that was coming to the USA. I have a memory of a US map with red rings emanating out from Grandview, representing waves of revival. And you’re right, no one noticed when it all completely failed (in contrast with the prophecies). Water under the bridge…onto the next exciting round of prophetic hype!

      And Pat Bickle’s death was certainly the most poignant and painful example of this revisionist “doublethink.” So tragic. There’s an excellent firsthand account of that here: http://truthspeaker.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/the-white-horse-prophecy-and-the-other-bickle-brother/

      When I talk about the false faith intertwining itself around your true faith until they are indistinguishable and the thought of unraveling them is too terrifying, I’m not kidding. Imagine what what self-deception it would take to choose falsehood over truth at your own brother’s funeral?

      • I remember it in much the same way. It may have been MB, Mark Anderson or another leader who either said this outright or merely implied it, but either way, I understood IHOP leadership to suggest a link between the IWT campaign and the elements of the “prophetic history” concerning the “coming harvest” in KC. In other words, the IWT was expected to ignite the revival that had been prophesied decades before. I believe the 30,000 figure came not merely from a prophecy given in the heat of platform ministry passion but from the 500-to-5000 prophecy in which it was recounted in an earlier re-telling (you won’t find it in the current version of the story on mike-bickle-dot-org) that following the ‘multiplication’ of 500 to 5000, IHOP would continue to grow by addition, to 10k, 20k, and eventually 30k. Can anyone else confirm?

        In light of the disappointing results of the campaign, I don’t know which is worse: loose cannon pulpit prophecy or yet another example of the dubious authority of the so-called prophetic history.

      • S, thank you for your comment. I did not know that the prophecies surrounding the Grandview campaign were connected to the Prophetic History, but it makes sense. I did see that happen often, as this poor group is awaiting so faithfully the fulfillment of these grandiose words from IHOP’s prophetic history they have staked their lives on. So many years of, “Any day now…” I pray that the Lord would grant them sight and repentance turn their faith and set it solely on the firm foundation of His everlasting Word!

        So I am sorry I cannot confirm for sure, but I definitely recognize the pattern! Anyone else?


      • I can confirm that the ‘500 to 5000’ prophecy was given in the ’80’s. I was surprised to learn, via this thread, that it’s still being used today. It appears that a vast majority of Mike’s followers aren’t concerned with all the failed prophecy. Wow.

      • MB is always very careful about his choice of language. It would be hard to prove from transcripts that the IWT was publicly and explicitly connected to the prophetic history. However, the way that things were said, the context in which they were said and the things that were prayed on the microphone in the prayer room certainly left that impression on me. It’s all very subjective and hard to pin down. (I found many things to be that way–subjective and slippery–in the renewal / prophetic / hyper-charismatic movement in general.)

        On a different tack, the 500 to 5000 prophecy was definitely still in play in the late ’00s. MB said on multiple occasions that he believed this to speak of the number of full time IHOP staff people. After IHOP experienced a significant growth of its FT staff roster from about 2003 until 2009, this number hovered in the high 400s for a couple of years (the numbers of FT staff and PT staff were published in the FCF bulletin every weekend) and created a feeling of mild panic among the middle and upper management regarding the need to quickly build organizational support systems to manage the large influx of staff people that were surely coming “any day now”. Mix the GOD TV partnership, the Truman property purchase and the IHOPU “Awakening” into that brew and we all felt like we were living an intoxicating dream, watching the prophetic history unfold in time and space before our eyes.

        That was then. I have been out of the IHOP swirl for a few years and know neither where the staff numbers sit nor what is the sense among the staff concerning the immanence of the fulfillment of the “next phase” of the prophetic history. Anecdotally, many staff people who we knew at the time have left IHOP (the half life of the average staff person seems to be about 5 years). Also, the Terrace Lakes real estate bubble has burst. Young families do not appear to be falling over themselves to move into IHOP’s neighborhood the way they were in the 00s. A 3/1 house in Terrace Lakes that sold for $110k in 2006 will barely fetch 75k today. In short, from a distance, it seems that the surge of FT staff into IHOP (admittedly the backbone of a community flush with students and interns) has morphed into a slow trickle out. I would love to see some data to either confirm or refute this hypothesis.

  2. And you know what? Those grandiose prophesies have been given by different “prophets” in local churches and other areas of the country with them never coming to pass either. Been there . It doesn’t just happen with the big name ministries.

    • It is so true, Cherylu. This sickness would not be so worrisome if it were contained to just its locale. But it has infiltrated the church to such an extent, these practices are becoming mainstream. I have seen an alarming trend of small churches allying themselves with some branch of these “movements,” with no idea what they are getting themselves into. But I know it is happening anywhere the shepherds are not concerned enough about the sheep to guard them from false prophets, and to actually oversee those in their midst who desire to prophesy. I think that is the bottom line for local churches…shepherds or hirelings?

      • My husband and I have become increasingly uncomfortable with many attitudes and practices in the Christian circles we are in now–not dissimilar to what you’re all describing with IHOP. Its like this or that belief or theology or speaker/leader need only be vaguely known to be commended throughout Christian circles. We are so unfamiliar with the level of real study and ownership a truth-based faith in God requires. Thanks for your work. The deception truly is global.

  3. Beth: This doublethink concept is right on! Wow, you nailed it again.

    The biggest and most unbelievable prophecy I heard was at the end of 2009 at the IHOP OneThing Conference.

    For context: they were right in the middle of their awakening. This was a circus of demonic and fleshly manifestations among hundreds of young people, many of them unconverted. Instead of someone telling these young people to repent of their sins and follow Jesus, they were being presented with a teaching called “receiving the wine” in which a leader from the stage would yell, “RECEIVE THE WINE!”, and hundreds would begin laughing and falling on the floor shaking.

    Anyway, in the midst of this ridiculousness, they had their annual conference. A man named Mark Anderson stood up on stage. He shared a story saying that God had been holding back his glory for 20 years from the US but had told him that it would be released again in 2009. He said, I have had my eyes peeled looking all over the place for what the sign of this release was. He said that the Lord had shown him that the IHOP Awakening was the beginning of a great release for revival in America! Yes, that’s right folks. After 20 years of waiting, this circus of demonic manifestations was the release of revival to America.

    But he didn’t stop there. He then said that just as he was walking into the conference center God had stopped and talked to him outside on the sidewalk. He said God told him he was giving America another chance and that this conference marked the beginning of a new period for America.

    Anyway, I could go on. I bet you can’t find one IHOPper that remembers those prophecies and is diligently testing to see if they came true.

    Doublethink! Intentional defiant insanity!

    • Robert, the Grandview Outreach OAM referred to was in 2010 and somehow involved Mark Anderson. I think that the hyped prophesy surrounding that probably sprung from the events you described. These prophecies don’t just die, they birth more and multiply to exhaust and deplete the sheep of God. Only an actual event that proves or disproves the prophecies stop them in their tracks. But although those events occur, time and again totally disproving the prophecies, the people turn their eyes away and choose to believe false prophets again, in the face of their own reason.

  4. Mike always talks about how there will be “limited nuclear exchange” on the East Coast, and has mentioned George Washington as having a dream confirming this that is written down and housed in the Library of Congress. Here’s the truth about that:

    Then there’s the “500 to 5000” prophecy that predicts when IHOP reached 500 (500 what? Nobody seems to know though the original assumption was 500 members) it would explode to 5000 (Members? Staffers?) overnight. That didn’t happen! And it didn’t happen “in the Spirit”. Maybe it was about 500 false prophecies exploding to 5000 false prophecies! That’s about the most accurate revision!

  5. Here’s a more recent one, from the Elijah List – http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=12937

    From the “prophecy”: “I am going to restore the years the locust has eaten (see Joel 2:25). You will see and hear of more people raised from the dead. Bank accounts will change; investments will pay off. A spirit of generosity will emerge. You will see reconciliation be a huge part of this holy day season.”

    Let’s look at the claims.

    “You will see and hear of more people raised from the dead”. Based on my experience just one person being raised from the dead would count as fulfilment. How many have I seen or heard of since this word was published? Er, let me think. None. Not a single one. I even searched a number of web sites, figuring it’s the kind of thing that might just get a mention on the news. Still none.

    “Bank accounts will change.” At Christmas? Wow, who could have seen that one coming? It’s not exactly a secret that bank accounts change at Christmas, probably more than any other times of the year.

    “Investments will pay off”. That’s the general idea of investments. Some of them pay off, some of them don’t. It’s been that way since, well, since investments existed. Ask the folks who invested in the South Sea Islands however many hundreds of years ago, or the tulip mania, or in anything else since investments were readily available to the man and woman in the street.

    “A spirit of generosity will emerge”. Wow, another stunning revelation a few days before Christmas. People give each other stuff. At Christmas. This is heavy stuff right here folks.

    The “prophetic word” (from Theresa Phillips) goes on much longer but as far as I can see doesn’t get any better.

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