IHOPKC and Gnosticism : Is the prayer movement just a second century revival?
I get messages on Facebook and email every few days about Mike Bickle, IHOPKC and the complete prophetic movement about Gnosticism. Most people do not even have a clue what that is, why it matters and how it plays out in the world today. It is mainly something reserved for theologians and historians. Oddly, I fit in both of those roles so let’s take a look!
What in the world is Ghosticism? It is a belief that took root in the second century with the core value of spiritual knowledge based on the thoughts from the New Testament. Many within the movement actually believed that you could only get saved or re-generated by secret knowledge or revelation. However, many within the movement then and almost everyone today rejects that as a core value.
In addition to this, people who believe in Gnosticism also hold that any ownership of personal things that were not critical for food, water and shelter was evil and a sign of selfishness.
Another core belief of ancient Gnosticism is that selected people would receive what they called the “divine spark.” The word commonly used for divine spark is the same word used for the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the first century. They basically believed the baptism of the Holy Spirit was only for the appointed ones in leadership.
What does IHOPKC believe about Gnosticism?
Many make this claim because they mix up core doctrines with secondary teachings. What a ministry believes is not determined by random sound bytes that are used to try and define their doctrine. If you want to know a ministry’s teachings, you look at their statement of faith, not random Youtube clips.
What does Mike Bickle and IHOPKC teach about Soteriology (salvation)? They believe that Jesus Christ died for all people to come into eternal life and anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. They are firmly in the Arminianism camp. They believe anyone can get born again who desires to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Mike Bickle teaches to make the gospel “so simple that farmers and fishermen can understand it.”
This claim of “special knowledge” comes from the teaching out of Daniel 12 and the belief that God speaks to people today through prophets. They do not believe that you are saved by special revelation such as detractors claim. Bob Jones, Paul Cain, and any other person you would name from the Kansas City movement do not believe people are saved by prophetic encounters.
They simply believe that prophecy will become more common in the coming days as we near the return of the Lord. This is based on several passages but the main one is Daniel 12:4. This is NOT an issue of Soteriology and the belief that prophecy as part of the Christian experience is central through all of Church history.
I have personally set in hundreds, if not thousands, of services at IHOPKC and I have never heard Mike Bickle (or anyone else) preach anything but the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They believe our salvation is based on the old rugged cross on a hill called Calvary.
What does Mike Bickle believe about materialism?
People who believe in Ghosticism believe that owning anything that is not critical for life is evil. While many in the IHOPKC do not have much and live by faith, they do not believe that those who do have are less spiritual. I know of several millionaires that are from the community in Kansas City.
Mike Bickle did sell his home and moved to a much smaller home when he started IHOPKC. The guy has given all his royalties to the paying the electric bills for the house of prayer. He raises his own support as a missionary and until a few years ago, drove a 1996 Honda Accord. He is not against people having nice things, he just cares more about seeing revival in America than what year of a car he drives.
If anything, they believe that God is raising up people who are blessed in business to supply the needs for the coming revival. They call them the “Joseph Company.” They believe that many will be blessed in the marketplace to fund outreaches globally. As a missionary, I have been blessed personally by IHOPKC.
They clearly do not agree with the tenets of Ghosticism. I think this is another misunderstanding based on a few selected clips that have been spread around the internet that do not really tell people the completely theological position of Mike Bickle.
What about the divine spark?
As a proud Pentecostal, I am promise you that if Mike or anyone else preached that you have to be special to recieve the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I would have personally rebuked them. The truth is the second century view of people that believes in Ghosticism is about as far from what they teach in Kansas City. I know. I was there.
They believe and have since the days of Kansas City Fellowship believed that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was for everyone and anyone who wishes to be filled with the Spirit will be. Where Bickle departs from Pentecostal theology on this is the issue of praying in tongues being the evidence. He holds that any spiritual gift is evidence.
The idea that they would teach that only special people could be anointed to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is offensive to me as a former staff member. For people to think I would have sit in meetings, lead prayer meetings and travel with people who believe they are elite people and only they could have the Acts 2 experience is sickening.
While IHOPKC could be much stronger on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and praying for people to receive it, they are far from people that is for only the select few people who have a platform for ministry. Therefore, they are not believers in Ghosticism in this area, either.
I hope this little study into what it is and is not has helped someone. Not every blog out there has first hand knowledge and a theological background. I happen to be one that has both. I still love IHOPKC, Mike Bickle and everyone who helped me become the evangelist I am today.
For more information, I recommend reading
Some say it thundered by David Pawson. Click here to order it. (buying it here helps keep the lights on)