In 1999, I returned from the Brownsville Revival to a young prayer ministry known as the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. The values of revival, miracles, and worship was things that I saw values in the revival and in the larger Pentecostal movement.
I understood the concerns about accountability of prophetic words, the study of mystics and contemplative prayer. The main of these concerns for many was the lack of accountability for false words of prophecy. People questioned if I should be involved.
I have studied the views, the papers in 1990 that created all the drama, the prophetic words that did not happen, and even the aftermath. In short, it was a free for all for anyone claiming “thus saint the Lord” in the 1980’s. There was true prophets and there was false prophets.
However, the desire to see the Spirit of God poured out on ALL flesh (Joel 2:28), miracles confirming the gospel (Mark 16:15-20), and the presence of God to cover the earth was what “I signed up for.” The main driver was revival to complete the great commission.
I saw this as a extension of the declaration that “we commit to each other and to Him for the greatest evangelism thrust the world has ever seen.”
I returned to IHOPKC in 2021 after being away for over 15 years for a season of prayer and healing from non-stop ministry.
What about eschatology?
Today, IHOPKC is more known for its estachology than it is its pneumatology. Mike Bickle has taken some very strong views of what he called, “Apostolic Eschatology.” To be very clear, I reject the view that Mike pushes outside of revival and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
I believe that the Holy Spirit will be poured and has been since the Topeka Outpouring (1901) as the latter rain. It will continue until every tongues, tribe and people have heard the gospel and seen it confirmed with miracles. After all have heard, the Church will be evacuated prior to the times of testing or the “great tribulation.”
What the International House of Prayer teaches is a modified interpretation of historical premillennialism. Most of their views is nothing new. It has been present for most of the history of the Church. While the view is problematic, it is not uncommon.
The reason that I can not agree with it is I do not see in light of the cultural and theological expectations of the early church. They clearly lived as if Jesus would return by the end of that week, if not before. There is no way the believers in Acts expected to live seven years out. They didn’t know if Jesus would come back in the next 7 hours.
The other challenge with the end time views currently at IHOP is the underlining Kingdom Now ideology. Much emphasis has been on redeeming the culture and fighting liberalism instead of preaching the gospel with power to the people trapped within that culture. This eschatology emphasis has replaced the emphasis on revival and the harvest.
So what is the relationship?
I have a commitment of being in 12 hours a week (two hours a day) as a “prayer room staff.” I am only involved in being in the prayer meetings. I am not part of Forerunner Church, Israel Mandate, or other expressions of ministry. I am still only “signing up” for revival, miracles and worship. I value the people but not involved at any level.
The passion for revival is what keeps me here and until the Lord tells me to move away from the prayer room completely, I will remain faithful to be here to pray for revival, miracles, and the harvest.
As Smith Wigglesworth said a century ago that the Spirit would shake everything that can be shaken and that the vision and revelation of God would become a burning love for sinners.Smith Wigglesworth, Complete Collection, p. 478
The truth is I see the prayer room for what it is: a prayer meeting. It is a place to come and pray with others for revival. I do not have to agree with everyone in the room to seek the face of God with them. The truth is no everyone in any assembly agrees completely. Many within the Assemblies silently question women in ministry, for example.
I realized that many have questions and I also realized many within the “IHOP community” (not really a community!) view me as the bull in a China shop for the same reason. Basically, I with IHOP in prayer but not in theology.
Pray to the Lord of the Harvest
I am an evangelist. I burn for souls. I live, breathe and sleep evangelism. There is little or no evangelism going on within the IHOPKC context. In fact, everytime I have asked about it, it has been shot down. Evangelism is seen as not important at IHOP.
While you can have evangelism without revival, you can’t have revival without evangelism. The idea that revival will come apart of compassion for sinners and love for the downcast is deception. Praying to the Lord of the Harvest without a desire for the harvest does not connect.
Evangelists need to be people of prayer. You can’t give away what you don’t have. (Acts 3:6) However, the outlet of that prayer must be evangelism. This simply won’t happen at IHOPKC and it goes deep than philosophy, it is theological. There is actually anti-evangelism doctrine at play.
With that established, I consider my relationship with IHOP is more community that that of family. I am a friend of the ministry more than a family member. I can not, honestly, say I can “run with” a group of people that refuse the directly fulfill the commission of Jesus locally and globally.
As long as the Lord allows, I will use the prayer room for times of seeking Him for outpouring of the Spirit and strategy for how to reach the broken, the downcast and the homeless. This remains the driver for being part of prayer meetings. This has not changed since the days of the Brownsville Revival.
|↑1||Smith Wigglesworth, Complete Collection, p. 478|