Mike Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer based in Kansas City (IHOPKC). Bickle is very popular in the charismatic movement and is associated with a number of aberrant movements including the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and the Latter Rain movement. Bickle makes number 38 on our False Teacher of the Day series.
Prior to forming IHOPKC, Mike Bickle pastored a church in St. Louis. In 1982, a man who went by the name Augustine reached out to Bickle and told him that the Holy Spirit wanted him to “prophesy” to his church, so Bickle allowed him to do it. The man then spoke in front of Bickle’s congregation where Bickle was reportedly “impressed” with the accuracy of Augustine’s supposed “prophecy.”
Bickle then claims that he also heard God speak to him audibly while on a trip to Cairo:
I am inviting you to raise up a work that will touch the ends of the earth. I have invited many people to do this thing and many people have said yes, but very few have done my will.
Bickle then went on to pastor a church in Kansas City and eventually started the IHOPKC.
The Kansas City Prophets, which are associated with IHOPKC, are well-known for their problematic “prophetic” movement which largely consists of a Christian-themed version of psychic cold-readings. Not only are these so-called “prophetic readings” vague and ambiguous, but often are outright wrong and dangerous. The Scriptures clearly denounce false prophets by their inaccurate prophecies:
…when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. –Deuteronomy 18:22
The Kansas City Prophets and IHOPKC are also associated with the Latter Rain movement, also known as the “Manifest Sons of God,” which allegorizes Joel 2:23 teaching that the “former rain” represents the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the “latter rain” represents the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the end times.
As Dave Stevens wrote in a previous article at Reformation Charlotte, the Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God movements include the teaching just mentioned, as well as:
- The fivefold ministry – Teaches that there are five primary roles or gifts within the church, which are apostleship, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. God is just now restoring the roles of apostle and prophet to the church.
- Christian ecumenism – Teaches that the church in the last days will no longer be divided along denominational lines. Eventually, true Christian denominations will dissolve and will form geographically around latter day prophets.
- Based on Romans 8:19, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” According to this teaching, a new bread of Christians will arise in the last days. They will receive spiritual bodies and gain immortality here on Earth. They will also be able to perform great wonders and miracles. The appearance of these latter day believers will usher in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
- Dominion Theology – Teaches that the spiritual elite will lead an army in the final battle to subdue the enemies of God.
Mike Bickle also makes the outrageous claim that the church will not only endure the Great Tribulation, but will be the cause of it:
We’re not absent for the great tribulation, now listen carefully, the church causes the great tribulation. What I mean by that – it’s the church, it’s the praying church under Jesus’ leadership that’s loosing the judgment in the great tribulation in the way that Moses stretched forth his rod and prayed and loosed the judgments upon Pharaoh. The church in the tribulation is in the position that Moses was before Pharaoh but it won’t be a Pharaoh and Egypt, it’ll be the great end time Pharaoh called the antichrist and the book of Revelation is a book about the judgments of God on the antichrist loosed by the praying church.
Nowhere in Scripture is it taught that the Church is the cause of the Great Tribulation, regardless of what your eschatology is. This is rank heresy and incompatible with the Christian faith as the Scriptures clearly teach that judgment carried out on Jesus at the cross satisfies the wrath of God for those who’ve been redeemed by His blood, aka, the Church. It is a denial of the sufficiency of Christ.
Further, Bickle also claims that Jesus will not return until the Church starts “globally crying out” for him to return. The Scriptures do not teach this; the Scriptures teach that no man knows the time that Christ will return and for Bickle to suggest that he has some insight into this apart from what the Scriptures reveal is blasphemous.
Right now the prayer movement is growing fast….really fast! But when I say it’s growing fast instead of one percent of the Body of Christ taking hold of it, maybe 10 percent. It’s….you know it’s like 10 times bigger than it was a generation ago, but beloved as fast as the prayer movement is growing, where people are getting hold of it, still for 90 percent of the Body of Christ it’s not even on their mind. Jesus is not coming until the Body of Christ globally is crying out “Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus” and they don’t just say “come and forgive me” they are crying out in the understanding of who they are as the one that is cherished by Jesus in the bridal identity.
Bickle and IHOPKC are very ecumenical and affirm Roman Catholicism as a valid expression of Christianity. Several years ago, Bickle met with the pope where he asked the pope if Jesus was the only way to Heaven. When the pope responded that He was, Bickle then accepted that as proof that Roman Catholicism was Christian despite the numerous heresies of Catholicism, the false way of salvation, and the false Jesus that the pope affirms as the “only way” to Heaven.
Mike Bickle and the IHOPKC movement are heretical and should be avoided at all costs.