Is Mike Bickle Biblical?

I’ve received many requests from HBP readers to express my thoughts on the New Apostles and Prophets movement that is sweeping the nation. Hopefully, there will be more articles to come on this subject of concern. In this post, the focus is on Mike Bickle and a recent video posted below in which he describes his dramatic supernatural experiences.

mike_bickleAccording to his own website, Bickle is “ the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City, an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship that is engaged in many evangelistic and inner city outreaches along with multiple justice initiatives, planting houses of prayer, and training missionaries.”

To his credit Bickle has delivered some sermons against Oprah and the hyper-grace message of false teachers. When I viewed the video below, I must say that my initial response was that of unbelief. Not to be cynical, but I share Bickle’s attitude (toward Bickle in this case) that he expressed when others tell him of their supernatural experiences: unbelief, “fake,” “exaggeration,” “hype,” etc. Obviously the Bible records supernatural events and many Christians have genuinely experienced miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the Bible also tells us:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 1:4)

How can we test Bickle’s testimony? With Scripture. Bickle claims to have had “5 or 10 very dramatic supernatural experiences,” but he recently had his first “open vision” in 30 years of ministry (in the video below). I found the term “Open Vision” defined by New Apostolic Reformation leader Rick Joyner who said:

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The Olivet Discourse

Jesus Second ComingJesus teaching known as the Olivet Discourse is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13. Many scholars will look for a future fulfillment of the predictions Jesus made in the Olivet Discourse. However, a partial preterist view better fits the general  context of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple which occurred in 70 AD.

First of all, Jesus began His discourse by His prediction concerning the destruction of the temple. “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:1,2). “And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Luke 21:5,6). “And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here. And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Mark 13:1,2).

Next, crucial to the interpretation of the Olivet Discourse, the disciples asked Jesus when these things would be, namely the destruction of the temple of which Jesus just spoke in the previous verses. Directly following Jesus comments of the temple: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?” (Luke 21:7). “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?” (Mark 13:3,4). ”They” in Luke 21:7 and “the disciples” in Matthew 24:3 are (according to Mark’s account) Peter, James, John and Andrew. So, if Jesus is speaking privately to the disciples, this should be the context of what is said.

When shall these things be? What things? The destruction of the Temple. ”These things” (Luke 21:7; Mark 13:4) refers to the destruction of the temple and corresponds to Matthew 24:3 in which Matthew recorded, “the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world.” Therefore, it can be inferred that “the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world” also refers to the destruction of the temple when Jesus will come in judgment at the end of the world or aion (age) in Greek. Most likely, the word aion (or age) is in reference to the end of the previous age and the beginning of the Messianic age, and not the end of the world. The disciples were unaware of a Second Coming of Jesus at this time, so it is likely they would’ve understood the end of the aion (or age) to be the end of the current age or Jewish sacrificial system and the beginning of the age of Messiah. Indeed, with Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection, the new age of the church was established with his kingdom. Some partial preterists who have acknowledged that the context of the Olivet Discourse is fulfilled primarily in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem have made a division in the Olivet Discourse by separating Jesus’s response into answering a twofold question: one part applying to the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD (Matthew 24:1-35) and the other applying to the end of the world and Second Coming (Matthew 24:36ff.). This latter position appears to be supported best and is discussed later.

Next, Jesus speaks of false messiahs (Matthew 24:4,5; Luke 21:8; Mark 13:5,6). There is evidence in the book of Acts of false messiahs just before the time of A.D. 70. “For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed” (Acts 5:36,37). “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries” (Acts 8:9-21). Simon Magus has also been cited as one who claimed to be God that performed great signs and wonders. Justin Martyr wrote,

There was a Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village called Gitto, who in the reign of Claudius Caesar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by virtue of the art of the devils operating in him. He was considered a god, and as a god was honoured by you with a statue, which statue was erected on the river Tiber, between the two bridges, and bore this inscription, in the language of Rome:-”Simoni Deo Sancto,” “To Simon the holy God.’ (First Apology of Justin, Chapter XXVI)

Origen also spoke of Simon Magus and other false messiahs saying:

Such were Simon, the Magus of Samaria, and Dositheus, who was a native of the same place; since the former gave out that he was the power of God that is called great,4336 and the latter that he was the Son of God. Now Simonians are found nowhere throughout the world; and yet, in order to gain over to himself many followers, Simon freed his disciples from the danger of death, which the Christians were taught to prefer, by teaching them to regard idolatry as a matter of indifference. But even at the beginning of their existence the followers of Simon were not exposed to persecution. For that wicked demon who was conspiring against the doctrine of Jesus, was well aware that none of his own maxims would be weakened by the teaching of Simon. The Dositheans, again, even in former times, did not rise to any eminence, and now they are completely extinguished, so that it is said their whole number does not amount to thirty. Judas of Galilee also, as Luke relates in the Acts of the Apostles,4337 wished to call himself some great personage, as did Theudas before him; but as their doctrine was not of God, they were destroyed, and all who obeyed them were immediately dispersed. (Origen Against CelsusBook VI, Chapter XI).

The Apostolic Constitutions compiled in 390 AD stated,

And if you desire to know how this matter was among us, Judas was one of us, and took the like part of the ministry which we had; and Simon the magician received the seal of the Lord. Yet both the one and the other proving wicked, the former hanged himself, and the latter, as he flew in the air in a manner unnatural, was dashed against the earth.  (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book II, Section III).

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HATH GOD SAID? – EMERGENT CHURCH THEOLOGY

The labels Emergent Church, Emerging Church, Emergence Christianity, and New Christianity all imply innovative and progressive understandings of Orthodox Christianity. Like nailing jello to a wall, many have attempted to understand and define the Emergent movement only to be frustrated and confused.

At the heart of the Emerging movement is the worldview of postmodernism which teaches that truth is relative and subjective. This book by Elliott Nesch demonstrates how postmodernism is incompatible with a biblical worldview of absolute truth and the authority of the Scriptures on various topics including feminism, homosexuality, hell, mysticism, eschatology, Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and more.

In Hath God Said? – Emergent Church Theology, the teachings of the Emergent movement are exposed in light of Scripture. Also by comparing early Church writings with Emergent writings, it becomes evident that the Emerging Church is not preaching the faith once delivered to the saints. This book is currently available as a free PDF, or available for purchase as paperback or e-book.