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!