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August 9, 2015
Francis Chan Stands With Outright Heresy, Again
By Anthony Wade
Francis Chan is returning to the IHOP One Conference.
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. - Titus 1: 9 (ESV)
For many years Francis Chan was a darling of the evangelical world. A preacher who would bring the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ without apology. He resonated with the youth greatly who were able to see through the lies of mega-churchdom. The bible however reminds us that we must finish the race. We cannot live on being correct yesterday. The devil is always on the prowl looking for whom he may devour and it is even more important for those with a preaching platform to be careful with our doctrine.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1Timothy 4: 16 (NIV)
There is a reason why those who labor in preaching and teaching are due double honor. It is because they will judged with a higher standard. When Paul says goodbye to the elders at Ephesus he declares that he is innocent of their blood because he did not hesitate to proclaim to them the entire Gospel. The clear inference being that he would be responsible for their blood should his teaching be responsible for them being led astray. An important part of this responsibility is who we choose to stand with. Who we choose to associate with. Who we lend our own credibility to. Our key verse makes this abundantly clear. It is not enough to say that we give instruction in sound doctrine but we must also rebuke those who do not. Many choose to be silent on doctrinal matters that involve other preachers and this verse says they are wrong for doing so. What is worse however, is when we cozy up to wolves and assure our own sheep that there is nothing to fear.
When Francis Chan chose to be a speaker at the IHOP Onething Conference two years ago many correctly called him out for it. He actually admitted at the conference that many friends had warned him about Mike Bickle, the leader of IHOP. Instead of listening to his friends and advisors, he chose to speak anyway and openly declared at the conference that he "loved Mike Bickle." This despite never having met the man before that day. My sincere hope was that Chan would realize the error of this judgment and that we could all look back on it one day as a simple error; a poor decision. That was until this week when IHOP announced that Chan will again be a speaker at the Onething Conference this year. That means that Francis Chan has chosen to share the stage with one of the greatest heretics of our time twice in less than two years. That is enough for me. Please do not fall for the false argument about eating the meat and spitting out the bone. If the bone is rotten, I have no intention of eating the meat that grows on it.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. - Ephesians 5: 6-11 (ESV)
Mike Bickle is a wolf of the highest order. He claims direct angelic visitations. He claims direct audible words from God. He proclaims himself to be a prophet. He surrounds himself with other notable false prophets and embraces some of the most unsound doctrines imaginable openly and proudly. Most who survive the IHOP experience describe it as a cult. Kids are indoctrinated through eastern mysticism and the encouragement of experiential Christianity over doctrinal Christianity. They are heavily steeped in the lying signs and wonders movements and are closely associated with Bill Johnson and the heretical Bethel Church in Redding California. The recent murder of Bethany Deaton revealed only the tip of an iceberg, despite Bickle claiming he knew nothing about any of the details. Strange for a "prophet."
Bickle and IHOP believe in the immensely inappropriate Bridal Paradigm. So much so it is on their website. This has led a generation to overly sexualize Jesus and overly romanticize what it means to follow Him. The bride is the church as a collective but we now have generations of youth being taught that they are individually the bride of Christ. Responding to critics, Bickle has tried to deny that he endorses this overly physical relationship with Christ. That there is nothing "sensual" about his Bridal Paradigm, which he made up. The problem is when you examine some lyrics of his main worship leader, Misty Edwards, also featured at the upcoming Onething Conference we see the truth behind his lies:
I am lovesick, for my Beloved
My Beloved and my Friend
Only YOU can satisfy
Try as I may to chase another Lover
I find there is, there is no other
For only YOU can satisfy
For God is a Lover
Looking for a lover so He fashioned me
God is a Lover
Looking for a lover so
He formed my heart
God is a Lover
Looking for a lover so He fashioned me
God is a Lover
Looking for a lover...
Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are one
You can try to deny it but the proof is there if you are willing to see it. Lyrics like this is not "worship." It is soft core pornography. God is not looking for a lover. Besides the Bridal Paradigm, Bickle and IHOP also embrace dominionism. This false theology says that Christians are supposed to prepare the earth for the second coming of Christ. That we are to take over and influence the seven mountains of culture. These include media, religion, arts and entertainment, business, education, family, and government. That by doing so, we in fact help Jesus return. The problem of course is this is absurdly unbiblical. Bickle however proudly displays his thinking on the IHOP website:
We affirm that God's purpose is for Jesus to come back to fully establish His kingdom rule over all the earth. After the second coming, the saints will rule the earth under the leadership of Jesus Christ when He sets up His government on earth in Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom (1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 5:10; 20:3--6). We believe that believers in this age are called to serve Jesus in politics and to help establish righteousness and justice in legislation. We do not have the assurance that all laws and governments will be changed until after the second coming of Jesus when He establishes His millennial kingdom.
The verses he cites have absolutely nothing to do with taking dominion of the earth prior to the second coming. They primarily have to do with what Christ will do after He comes back. IHOP also employs contemplative prayer, soaking prayer, and the false beliefs that God always must heal us. Here is a quote from Bickle tying this together:
"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."
So Jesus Christ cannot come back until everyone embraces Bickle's wickedly deceptive paradigm of prayer and bridal identity. This is a sure hallmark of false teaching today. Joseph Prince, who also routinely claims direct revelation from God, claims that the people who follow his false grace teachings will be the last generation before the rapture. This is all really just a mutated Gnosticism. Where some secret knowledge revealed only to the one claiming it, is what is supposed to be true doctrine. It is no different than when Joseph Smith claims an angel led him to magical golden plates in the upstate NY woods behind his house and Mormonism was born.
That is just a glimpse of Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer. Also headlining his Onething Conference is International false prophet Reinhard Bonnke. His claims to infamy and false healings have actually been documented in an HBO special. Whether it be word faith heresy, claiming to have raised people from the dead or his own association with some of the most notorious false preachers of our lifetime, Bonnke is not someone a serious preacher should want to be sharing the stage with. Along with Bonnke, Chan and the aforementioned Misty Edwards, there will be two worship leaders from Bethel Church. This is a church that operates a "school of the supernatural" where they teach people the gifts of the Spirit even though the Bible says that is impossible. This is the same church that pretends "glory clouds", gold dust and angel feathers routinely appear for no particular reason than to "wow" the crowd. This is where the heretical worship band known as Jesus Culture comes from. Their chief worship leaders tells the youth all the time of her testimony which is nothing short of demonic. Where she meets the Father face to face in the throne room besides the Bible assuring us this is impossible. Are you starting to sense a theme here?
We are not supposed to coddle wolves. We are not supposed to play with them. We are not supposed to sing Kumbaya with them. The key verse makes it very clear - we are to rebuke them. Mike Bickle, Bill Johnson, and Reinhard Bonnke are not our brothers in Christ. Jesus makes it crystal clear:
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. - Luke 11: 23 (ESV)
Sincerity means nothing. You can be sincere and sincerely wrong. The only thing that matters is truth. The truth of Scripture and doctrine is what leads people to salvation. False teaching is what divides the body and leads people to hell by having them think they are saved when they are not. These are not small matters beloved. The eternal destinations of the souls of men are on the line. The bridal paradigm is false. The dominionist theology is false. The Joel's army doctrine is false. Soaking prayer, contemplative prayer, and eastern mysticism are false. Glory clouds, gold dust, angel feathers and gem stones are false. Claiming to have seen the Father is false. Claiming direct revelation to avoid being questioned is false. Carnal worship music is false. Bethel is false. IHOP is false.
Reinhard Bonnke is false. Misty Edwards is false. Bill Johnson is false. Mike Bickle is false. Now unfortunately, we can add that Francis Chan is false as well.
Reverend Anthony Wade - August 9, 2015