Well I suppose Joseph Smith isn't a wolf either, even though he pointed people to Jesus. Or the catholic priest who molested boys and girls because he pointed people to Jesus..... catch my drift? Even Satan himself comes dressed as an angel of light.
And as for WOF. I dont think he is, I know he is. Not only does he uphold the teachings and highly revere of ALL wof teachers (also having us read their books, listen to their sermons, and on occasion, have them speak at a church service) but he teaches much of the same doctrine that they do. Mike Bickle is VERY much WOF. [In case you're wondering, some of these teachers include: John Bevere, Joyce Meyers, Benny Hinn, Bishop Eddie long, Kim Clement, Kenneth Copeland, Rodney Howard-Brown, Oral roberts, Paula White, Etc.]
Furthermore, I have personally heard him and other Ihop leaders teach that faith works like a mighty power or force. You hear it in the prayer room ALL the time, even. They teach that, through faith, we can obtain anything we want -- health, money, sucess, whatever. They also teach that this "force" is only released through our own spoken word. So as we speak the words of faith, power is released to fulfill our desires or whatever was asked. I mean, I have heard so many terrible sermons by Bickle and others there. They make God seem like less than He is and make us seem like much more than we are. They make it sound like God NEEDS us, which is entirely untrue. He may want us, but He definitely doesnt need us.
The title of the book was "The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus" written by a Franciscan Priest named Brennan Manning and I could give you a detailed exegesis of what was wrong with it, if you like. The specific chapter I refered to was chapter six. I believe this is the same author who wrote "The Ragamuffin Gospel."
Exihoper: No, Joseph Smith didn't point people to Jesus. He pointed people to the Mormon Church and to HIMSELF! That's clearly not what Bickle, Engle, etc. do. They DO point people to Jesus as the Source, the Lord, and the Savior.
I agree that a catholic priest who is molesting is a wolf, I think that's obvious. That priest is not pointing anyone to anywhere or anyone.
However, Bickle and Engle are not molesters, and they are not creating their own cult where Bickle and Engle become "gods" to their followers, much like Joseph Smith did for Mormonism. I think for you to compare Bickle and Engle to Joseph Smith, or to a molesting priest is far-fetched, exihoper.
I find it interesting that you think Bickle is WOF. I know a lot of Bickle's history, including the period when he was affiliated with Vineyard. Bickle is originally from St. Louis, and so am I. I know when he started pastoring at what is now Victory Fellowship. So far as I know, Bickle does not have the dispensationalistic theology that is inherent within WOF. As regards to eschatology, I think most WOF preachers (e.g. the ones you mentioned) would DISAGREE with much of Bickle's theology as it relates to End Times, which is a common theme in Bickle's sermons.
To say that "through faith, we can obtain anything we want," is a horrid paraphrase of what WOF actually teaches. A much better way to put it, and a more accurate WOF teaching is "through faith we can obtain anything God desires us to have," and yes, health and financial abundance would be including with that, as is SALVATION. Faith truly is the currency of God's Kingdom, and you must exercise it to (1) please God (Heb. 11:1) and (2) receive salvation, healing, deliverance, blessing, and everything else that has been provided for you as it pertains to life and godliness (Rom. 10, and other Scriptures).
To say faith is a "force" is bad terminology. Love and compassion IS a force, but faith really isn't. However, I would agree that faith is released through our words. And I have Scripture to back that thought up --- are you interested in that - ???
Lastly, about Manning's book that you mentioned, thank you. I am VERY surprised that Bickle and IHOP endorses this guy. Because Manning is rather close to a heretic, and I agree with you he should not be read by anyone who is a serious Christian. On the other hand, not everyone who is close with Bickle and Engle endorses everything... I do not think JPJ would care for Brennan Manning's stuff, and he would not endorse or promote that BS.
I do not believe in WOF, just to make that clear. Or at least the way Bickle teaches it. What i wrote were things I've heard Bickle & other IHOP leadership teach. So yes, calling faith a "force" & saying "thru faith we can obtain whatever we want" is horrid. I completely agree.
Also, I wasnt comparing bickle to a molester or Jo smith. Just making a point.
Also, if u look at Bickle's history, you'll also know that he taught "Manifest Sons of God" & "Kingdom Now" among other like doctrines. So given Bickle's history, hes been known to think/teach that he'll be a god. Though he took those doctrines off the shelf after the Paul Cain scandal, they resurfaced more recently in his teaching at IHOP. Only, a little "refurbished."
Sure faith may or may not be released thru words. But when I say they teach things like this, I mean they take them to the extreme. To the point where you're paranoid of saying anything at all because of the spiritual affect it may have on someone. Its rediculous. i mean, sure we must be careful with our words, but they take it to another level. Make sense?
And, yes, them strongly supporting manning is BS. As for JPJ, honestly, i know little about him at all except that bickle supports him.
I must say, there were some very good people (in leadership) at IHOP with a very solid relationship with the Lord who genuinely loved Jesus and wanted more of Him. But more than there were solid teachers/lovers of God, there were false teachers and people who manipulate others for gain. People who are in it for fame and for whatever else. Now with GODTV in the picture it is only getting worse. For IHOP to be like this after only 7 or 8 years is sad.
I am just frustrated because it seems like everyone is looking past the obvious red flags and making excuses. they just except whatever they are taught without properly testing the scriptures themselves. I'm sick of all the lies and deception in the church. I'm sick of all this "feel good" crap. Job didn't "feel good" i'll tell you that. Neither did 99% of God's people. They went to hell and back but still trusted the Lord. In the New testament and the old. The church in america is nothing like acts at all. I think Paul would roll over in his grave if he saw what the church has become.
That being said, I think that reducing God to all this feel-good manifestation, signs and wonders crap is degrading the very name of God. Jesus Himself has said, "a WICKED and PERVERSE generation seeks after a sign and a wonder." Go to the prayer room just once and every other word out of their mouth is "give us a sign and a wonder!" Just like the pharasees cried out for. But that is NOT AT ALL what the true lovers of God were like. NO. They didnt NEED a sign or wonder or anything. Nor did they constantly ask for one. They knew their God. They knew what He could do. They also knew that He was going to have His way whether they liked it or not and chose to stand with him. Just like in Daniel, they said to Nebucanezzar (in boldness) that their God would save them, and IF NOT, they would still never bow. THAT is what God is looking for. Not a bunch of power-hungry sheep who dont really want God just because He loves us, but they want God because of what they think He can do for them (not in a positive way). That is what our church and IHOP has become. I know, I went there. Everyone walks around all depressed that they dont have the annointing and that God isnt giving them what they want. They are so dissillusioned by a false perception of who God is and who we should be in Him.
That being said, I DO believe God loves us and wants the best for us. But the point is, ITS NOT ABOUT US!!! Its about Him and HIS glory. Its for HIS name, not ours.
exihoper I was not claiming above that Bickle is not into the Mystics or their writings.
Earlier I assumed that Bickle was WOF because of his friends and I asssumed he was prosperity oriented like most in WOF. JBK though told me that Bickle likes to dress casual and is not a materialistic guy. So I was taking JBK's word on this about Bickle not being WOF. Then I noticed that Bickle promotes a lot of books by mystics who are ascetics. The Nazarite vow stuff, fasting, denying self....
Anyway, Mike Bickle is obviously into the Mystics, Desert Fathers...etc. and is very big into that and he promotes books on that subject. So I was not claiming he was not into them in my earlier post.
A lot of the contemplative prayer is centered around the writings of RCC monks who adopted prayer techniques from eastern religions, Hinduisim, Buddhism...etc. and these monks had Eastern spiritual revelations practicing this stuff. So I do find this very disturbing that Bickle seems to be promoting Eastern prayer techniques at his prayer centers.
I would say the Bridal Paradigm / Jesus is your personal Lover stuff is what most out there are the most uneasy about when it comes to Bickles ministry. I bet Bickle has been confronted with these concerns many times but he does not care.
(Message edited by 40days40years on September 25, 2007)
Exihoper: Unlike WOF, "manifest sons of God," and "kingdom now" are not just doctrines, but they are buzz phrases. So, I need you to explain what these "doctrines" mean to you, because they mean different things to different people. The way I define these terms might be different than the way you define, so lets get on the same page here.
Let me say something about John Paul Jackson (JPJ). I know Bickle supports his stuff, but that does not necessarily mean its mutual. JPJ has a very different flow compared to Bickle and Engle, he sounds more grounded and balanced to me in his teachings, and he also has personally moved from New England to Dallas, I believe.
I do agree with you that the church in America is nothing like the church in the Book of Acts, and that really REALLY is a sad indictment. I think most of the ones I associate in my circle want to get back to the Book of Acts and what life was like in the early church period.
However, "signs and wonders" is a necessary demonstration of the Kingdom of God in power. If you look at the Book of Acts, what was done in that period, the "acts," so to speak, were the signs and wonders we should be DOING as the church (not just platform ministers, mind you) --- i.e. we should be ALL OF US praying for people and seeing people healed, delivered, set free, people being saved, etc. This is what I think of when "signs and wonders" come to mind. The fact that a wicked and perverse generation would seek for a sign means that they NEED to see the Kingdom of God be demonstrated in power. This is very true in the world today. You cannot win someone to Christ by just convincing them your "doctrine" is right. This does not work in Muslim countries, for instance. Rather, you preach the healing, miraculous, saving power of God, people get healed, and then they get saved because God is MERCIFUL, amen? Signs and wonders are thus one of the ways that God gets the attention of people who desparately need Him as their Lord and Savior.
40: A word about fasting and denying yourself. I think thoese two things are necessary, but for separate reasons. I don't fast very often, but many churches are beginning each year with a 21-day fast. Mine does not do this, but I am praying about whether I should do so personally, or to a lesser extent.
As regards to denying yourself, that is a fundamental aspect to the Christian life. Jesus said we are to take up our cross (deny ourself) and die to ourself and follow Him.
And yes, Bickle doesn't care because he is so absorbed into his theology and ways of doing things. But I wouldn't care, either, if I was in his position. God needs to move in personam if he needs to be corrected in this area. It would have to come from God Himself and not a man.
Okay, I think we are starting to get on the same page here JBK. I agree with you that MIRICLES are definitely part of God's ministry and even neccessary in some cultures when it comes to PREACHING the gospel. This isn't my issue. I definitely believe in healing the sick and seeing people restored because of their FAITH in Christ and His work on the cross.
What I was saying is that this MUST be coupled with the PREACHING of the gospel, that GOD might be glorified (not these supposed super apostles). Do you get what i mean? There is a very big difference between how miricles should be used and what IHOP leadership is seeking. (I say leadership because not all the students agree with leadership's doctrine.) Furthermore, I dont believe in teaching a "Formula" to win souls, pray, or anything. Scripture says to SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM and THEN these things will be added. It says to Delight yourself IN THE LORD and THEN he shall... I'm saying that we need to stop seeking the Lord's Hand and start seeking His face. Because if we seek His face, then He is faithful to give us His hand when the time is right. Do you see what I'm saying. Its about knowing Christ and taking part in His death that we may just have the grace to take part also in the ressurection. Its about knowing the Son of God that we might know God and walk according to HIS purpose, not ours. Sure scripture says that we will do even greater works than Christ, but not apart from knowing Him and walking according to HIS purpose by walking in LOVE. Not to exalt ourselves with some elitist mentality.
To clarify on Manifest sons of God and Kingdom now. As far as I understand this is what they are.
MSOG: The teaching that in the last days, a "new breed" of Christians will arise - the "Manifest Sons of God" - who will have super-natural spiritual power and be instrumental in subduing the earth. This movement is also referred to as "Joel's Army." (ps. Joel's army is a bad army if you read it).
It is claimed that these people will be perfected into their "glorified bodies" prior to Christ's return. That perfection will allow them to subdue the earth for Jesus (as if He needs any help at all). Proponents of this doctrine also claim Christians, having a "divine nature," become "gods." (originally Bickle taught this, along with Paul cain and Bob Jones). They say Christ came into us as a "seed" and grows into a "prophet." Thus Christ does not physically return, but returns within us. The rapture, according to this doctrine, will be of the wicked - not of believers. (I have actually heard Mike preach Matthew 24 that way...that it is the wicked being "raptured" not christians).
This teaching is also part of what is known as 'dominion theology' which teaches that an elite army of 'overcomers' will either destroy or subdue all the enemies of Christ until they eventually gain power and authority throughout the world (Joyner has also been said to teach this). The government of the nations will be upon their shoulders and when all the secular authorities, governments, princes and kings have finally submitted to them, Christ will return and they will present the kingdom to Him.
The doctrine also includes the idea that Jesus was sent as a "pattern" for the corporate church. And the "Corporate church" in this context means that the church becomes Christ. Christ is considered not complete without us because he is the head and we are the body. (i've also physically heard Bickle and other IHOP leaders teach this, especially Allen Hood). The current church, according this this view, has the "spirit of the anti-Christ." I have been told that this teaching is akin to gnosticism.
Kingdom Now holds that Jesus cant return unless/until "the Church" subdues/rules the earth. KN comes in various flavors, goes by many different names, & permeates several related movements (Latter Rain, MSOG, Dominion theology, & 5Fold Ministry)
The basic premise of Kingdom Theology is man lost dominion over the earth when Adam & Eve succumbed to Satan's temptation. God "lost control" of the earth to Satan at that time, & has since been looking for a "covenant people" who will be His "expression," in the earth & take dominion back from Satan. This will be accomplished thru certain "overcomers" who, by yielding themselves to the authority of God's apostles/prophets for the Kingdom Age, will take control of the kingdoms of this world. These kingdoms are defined as all social institutions ("kingdom" of education, "kingdom" of science, "kingdom" of the arts, etc)
Most especially theres the "kingdom" of politics/government. This being a concentration of military & police power in the hands of those in control during the Kingdom Age. Theyre referred to as the "many-membered man child," whom KT adherents believe is the fulfillment of Rev 12:1-5.
Those who hold to KT assume the Church (some believe only a small group within the Church, called "overcomers"), under submission to the latter day apostles/prophets, IS that man child, & it has the responsibility to put down all rebellion & establish righteousness. This necessitates the utilization of supernatural power & the full implementation of the gifts of the HS. This theory is based on the idea that all authority in heaven & earth has been given to Jesus. Since believers are indwelt by the same HS that indwelt Jesus, we have all authority in heaven & earth; we have the power to believe for/speak into existence things that are not, and thus we can bring about the Kingdom Age. The many-membered man child must take control of the earth before Jesus can return.
Necessary to the Kingdom Age is "the Restoration of the Tabernacle of David," defined as the completion of perfection of the Bride of Christ-a Church without spot or wrinkle. During the Kingdom Age (or after all is subdued) Satan & all enemies of God will be put under the feet of the many-membered man child. This will be the fulfillment of 1 Cor 15:25-26: "For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
The rationale that the many-membered man child will put God's enemies under 'its' feet is that Jesus is the head of Christ & the Church is the body of Christ. And where are the feet but in the body? Many in the Kingdom Theology movements insist that when this Scripture refers to Christ it is really referring to the Church who is the Body of Christ. Therefore it is necessary for them to establish within the minds of Christians the idea that, as the Body of Christ, we are Christ. In other words, we have His divine nature.
Notice that this idea, similar to that of mind science & other false religions, separates the anointing of "Christ" from Jesus & bestows it upon all who come into a place of certain knowledge and spiritual attainment. This is a heresy that is as old as the Church. It is rooted in the Greek school of philosophy known as Gnosticism.
Exihoper: Oh, I absolutely agree with you that the PREACHING and proclamation (sp?) of the gospel is absolutely necessary for the Holy Spirit to work a transformation in people's lives (to get them salvation, etc.) I think I agree with the rest of what you said in post 61.
Wow, that is a lot to digest about MSOG theology. I think I would agree with part of it, and I think I would DISAGREE with part of it as well. So, let me take what you said line-by-line, and show where I agree and where I disagree. I do believe that we are in the "last days" and that there is going to be a "generation," i.e. a group of people who will be endowed with supernatural power to subdue through the power of Christ. I do NOT believe that these people will receive "glorified bodies" before everyone else does, and to claim that "manifested sons of god" WOULD receive "glorified bodies" before everyone else would contradict the Scriptures and almost be heresy, according to one of my former pastors. So, I disagree with MSOG theology on that point.
As regards to Christians having a "divine nature" and becoming "gods," that's not entirely correct, although there is some truth to that. First of all, I do believe that the Scriptures teach that we as Christians are "partakers of the divine nature," according to Heb. 6. In fact, we have received a "new nature" as we have been born again. As regards to becoming "gods," I believe that we were created in God's image and God's likeness, that we are the "god-class," if you will, and this is what Jesus referred to in John 10:34, quoting Psalm 82. Because we have been created in God's image and likeness, we have God's power to exercise His authority, and OBEY GOD in our lives, subduing the enemies in our lives, i.e. sin, sickness, and any work of the devil or work of the flesh. Does that make sense???
To deny the physical return of Christ is heresy. To deny the rapture of the church (which I believe in, except I have a mid-trib view personally), is ALSO heresy.
I do believe in an End Times army in which ALL Christians are to be enlisted for service (and NOT JUST ELITE Christians), which will help usher in the End Times harvest of souls. I believe a great part of this will be Christians assuming roles of leadership and responsibility in ALL arenas of life, including government, but also business, the arts, etc. I do NOT believe that all secular authority will be Christianized before Christ physically returns to judge the nations. If all secular gov't is Christianized before Christ physically returns, then there can be no judgment of the nations, which is promised in the Scriptures, amen?
As regards to the "corporate church" doctrine, I just do not understand it, but from what you've described, I would dismiss it as not correct.
Exihoper: Continuing from above, I'll next comment on your post #63, which discusses "Kingdom Now" theology. Again, I agree with part of it, and disagree with part of it. I believe the Kingdom of God is BOTH a present AND future reality. The Kingdom of God has already been "inaugurated" according to George Ladd (I agree with much of his theology in this area), but has a future fulfillment with the physical return of Christ, which will be the consummation, etc.
I do agree that mankind lost "dominion" when Eve, and then Adam, gave into the temptation of the devil in the garden. God had given Adam a commandmant to subdue the earth. This is recorded in Gen. 1:28, when God said, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and SUBDUE it; and RULE OVER the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and OVER every living thing that moves on the earth." This commandmant is re-iterated in Gen. 2:15, "Then the Lord Good took the man and put him in the garden to CULTIVATE it and KEEP it," which again is basically to subdue it, and keep it under subjection to God's rule from heaven. Adam is thus God's representative until the fall.
I do not agree that God "lost control" of the earth at the fall. It is mankind that abdicated control to satan. But because of the fall, man has fallen out of favor with God because of SIN, and thus God DOES want a "covenant people" to enforce God's covenant on His behalf. I do NOT believe, however, that this will be accomplished through "certain overcomers." Again, I believe that there is an End Times army, in which EVERY believe should enlist himself in surrender and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is WRONG to teach that only CERTAIN individuals or SELECT Christians are "overcomers," because EVERY believer is called to be an overcomer over the sin in their life, and if they have sickness, then that as well, and if they have some sort of oppression or addiction or bondage, then that as well.
Again, I do also believe that Christians will take leadership roles in many areas of life, including government, but that does NOT mean that ALL secular authority will bow before the physical return of Christ, and I hope I've made that clear above.
As regards to all the "man child" stuff, I don't understand that, and so I really cannot comment about it, except that because I lack understanding here, I dismiss it as wrong. I do agree with the theory that as believers, we have God's authority and power to speak into existence things that are not, and thus we can bring about the Kingdom, in a fuller measure, but NOT THE FULLEST MEASURE.
Again, this "many-membered man-child" crap is BS.
WOW, that is a HORRIBLE explanation of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David. I do believe in that restoration, but I define that as simply a return to Davidic-style praise and worship in the life of a congregation. Nothing more and nothing less than that.
I think that's enough on what you wrote. What do you think about some of these ideas - ???