False Prophets Undisciplined at IHOP

mike_bickleMike Bickle is best known for his leadership of the International House of Prayer. We have recently covered open visions and other experiences in Is Mike Bickle Biblical? Below is a video of Bickle who believes that false prophets should be listened to as long as they admit their faulty prophetic words. The reason for writing this article and others is because I am concerned about the false doctrine and disorder with groups such as IHOP and Bickle, their leader.

Bickle says, “To the best of your ability within reason, to whatever degree you’ve given the [prophetic] word, if the word ends up false” or “wrong,” then the supposed prophet, “missed it.” While Bickle should be commended for saying, “I think if you missed it, you should have the integrity to acknowledge it,” the foundational error going on here is how prophets are being defined. The Bible says,

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

If a prophet of God can “blow it,” or “miss it,” as Bickle says, then how do we define a false prophet? The very definition of a false prophet, according to Scripture, is one who blows it or misses it, even once. The correct response of a person who prophesied falsely would be to repent by acknowledging themselves as a false prophet and not having the gift of prophesy. Bickle says he doesn’t write a person off for false prophecy.

Bickle would dismiss this strict standard of prophecy by saying that in the New Testament we prophesy “by faith,” and “by impressions” as if this somehow lightens the degree of accuracy with which prophets should be judged. He says we judge one another because there are some things that are “said wrong.” Paul the apostle said,

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. (1 Corinthians 14:29-34)

If Bickle is appealing to this passage, he must also be held accountable to the prescribed order here which directs women to keep silent in the churches. Paul says, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). Yet women like Misty Edwards regularly preach/prophesy at IHOP.

It must also be pointed out that the gift of prophesy, especially in the passage quoted by Bickle, may not always be referring to foretelling the future. How can “the other judge” the prophet if what is in view is foretelling the unknown future? But we can judge prophesy within the church if it is referring to the testimony of Jesus. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

Bickle concludes, “I can hear a guy, miss it, and still give me something.” Personally, I will keep God’s standard of 100% accuracy for His prophets. I don’t believe the Scriptures give us any reason to believe that this standard has been lessened in the New Testament. There are no historical accounts in the book of Acts or the Epistles where the church was exhorted to put up with and listen to false prophets. In fact, we have the contrary.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)

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 4:1)

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Is Mike Bickle Biblical?