Mike Bickle’s End-Time Teaching
& the International House of Prayer
The End-Time Prayer Manual
Throughout church history the book of Revelation has perhaps been both the most ignored
and the most abused book in the Bible. Because of Bickle’s absolute futuristic, and often
highly sensationalized exposition of the book of Revelation, he has inappropriately elevated
Revelation to a preeminent canonical position in the New Testament. He has redefined and
repurposed it as the church’s “canonized prayer manual” concerning Jesus’ specific end-time
Bickle imagines that millions of praying Christians will one day be unified in prayer by
knowing exactly how and when to pray next because the judgments and events in the book
of Revelation are numbered and in sequential chronological order.41 According to Bickle,
since the specific sequencial events of the future have been prophetically predicted in the
book of Revelation, the end-time church will be able to loose or bind God’s judgments
exactly as they unfold in history.42
Bickle envisions prayer rooms around the world in full agreement as they pray the
events of the end-time battle plan into existence. It is with this belief that Bickle is now
attempting to get the global prayer movement to embrace his exclusive interpretation of the
book of Revelation.43 This would mean that by praying the final judgment events of the
book of Revelation into existence, the end-time church will be directly responsible for the
mass killing of billions of men, women, and also apparently children.44
John Piper provides wise correction to those like Bickle who attempt to chronologically
predict future events when he writes, “When our future perspective becomes chronological
instead of theological, then faith is endangered. The more detailed one attempts to map
out the future, the more inferences one must make which are not explicit in the Scripture.
Therefore, the tendency of the imagination to fill the gaps increases and the probability of
erroneous calculation grows.”45
END-TIME ESSENTIALS AND NON-ESSENTIALS
One of the mottos I try to live by is “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials,
diversity; and in all things, love.” Indeed there are eschatological biblical
essentials that must be commonly confessed by the church, such as, Jesus’
second coming, bodily resurrection, eternal judgment, and God’s ultimate
purpose of a new heaven and earth. The proper teaching of eschatological
biblical essentials are crucially important to the spiritual urgency and health
of the church.
Unfortunately from the beginning of the church sincere Christians have
been left confused and alarmed by wayward end-time teaching,46 and often
end up spiritually shipwrecked. There always has been, and are today,
church denominations and movements that are preoccupied and isolated by
eschatological date-setting and end-time chronological absolutes.
This has especially been true when dogmatic end-time teachings are
propagated through special revelations, dreams, prophecies, and extrabiblical
exaggerations that are not rooted in thorough exegetical disciplines
of Bible interpretation.
Mature Christians realize that there will continue to be interpretative
diversity within the church concerning the specific chronology and details of
biblical eschatology because end-time teaching requires us to expound
complex Bible passages. As the Apostle Paul makes clear, “Now we see but
a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know
in part; then I shall know fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12). N.T. Wright reminds
us that “all Christian language about the future is a set of signposts pointing
into a fog.”47
No one has an exclusive corner on the full truth concerning the specific
details of the end-times. As long as biblical eschatological essentials are
embraced, and sound contextual Bible interpretation is implemented, we
need to respect each other’s end-time perspectives. Preachers and teachers
should be very careful not to insist or infer that their eschatology is the only
“correct one,” an insistence which has often resulted in dividing the Body of
Christ.48 The Bible is clear that Christian teachers will give an account to
God for their proper and mature handling of the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15).
Sadly, Church history is littered with self-confident and prideful
preachers who have made end-time claims and predictions that have turned
out to be wrong, resulting in Christ’s name being defamed and Christians
One of the clear and essential teachings of New Testament eschatology
is that the church has been living in the Messianic age of the “end-times” or
the “last days” predicted by the Old Testament prophets now for over 2,000
years. Christians are living in the Messianic age of fulfillment,49 and we are
called to watch eagerly50 with full assurance and perseverance for Jesus’
second coming and the final consummation of God’s kingdom. However,
watching for Jesus’ second coming and predicting it are two totally different
Too often, though, watching expectantly, and engaging in world
missions, is not exciting enough for many Christians, and so we become
preoccupied with attempting to predict the exact date or season of the
Messianic consummation. Let’s be honest, the topic of eschatology,
especially when it is sensationalized and fantasized, can easily appeal to our
unhealthy heart motives and ambitions, just as fortune telling, horoscopes,
and even spiritual channeling attract non-Christians. The idea of knowing
the exact season and details of future events can become very tantalizing to
Let’s be reminded that Jesus calls Christians to pray for and forgive our
enemies, even if we are martyred for our faithful witness. He rebuked
James and John when they requested to call down fire from heaven to
destroy the unbelieving Samaritans (Luke 9:51-56). We must reflect deeply,
and with sincere caution, when influential Christian leaders like Bickle start
to predict the exact time or season of Jesus’ second coming.51 Jesus’ own
words in Acts 1:7-8, “It is not for you to know the seasons or dates the
Father has set by his own authority” should lead those inside and outside the
IHOP movement to evaluate more closely the details and thrust of Bickle’s
end-time teaching and his interpretation of the book of Revelation.
God alone in his infinite wisdom holds the details of the future within
his own sovereign will. The ultimate future belongs to God. As for the
church, we must remain focused on Jesus’ great commission of world
evangelization in reaching the billions of men and women who are wandering
lost outside of the kingdom of God.52
1 Pytches, D., Buckingham, J. Some Said It Thundered: A Personal
Encounter with the Kansas City Prophets (Nashville: Oliver-Nelson, 1991).
IHOP’s Prophetic History http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:-
2 Mike Bickle, Overview of Revelation, mp3, 2008. Mike Bickle, Book of
Revelation: Study Guide (Kansas City: Forerunner Books, 2009).
3 IHOPU Catalog, 4; IHOP Interships Catalog, 18. The Coming Eschatological
Bickle believes that we are living in the early days of the generation in which
Jesus’ second coming, and that He will return within the lifetime of people
6 Bickle was 27-years-old. Paul Steven Ghiringhelli, Watch and Pray
(Charisma Magazine September 2007). http://www.charismamag.com/
Also Jones prophesied comparing Bickle to President Harry Truman:
CBN YouTube Interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDBRgZP7ul8
7 I have been told by several church leaders that Mike Bickle is a man of
integrity. I had a long talk with him after I sent him a copy of my prepublished
article. I found him to be genuine, and very open to what I had
8 This article is my response to Bickle urging Christians to challenge his endtime
teaching. See Bickle, Book of Revelation, 5. I would like to provide a
detailed response to Bickle’s interpretation of Revelation. However, I am
limited in this article to an introduction of his end-time teaching. See
Gregory K. Beale, The Book of Revelation. New International Greek
Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999). Mark Wilson,
Charts on the Book of Revelation: Literary, Historical, and Theological
Perspectives (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2007).
9 Stanley J. Grenz, The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options
(Illinois: InterVarsity, 1992). Robert G. Clouse, editor. The Meaning of the
Millennium: Four Views (Illinois: InterVarsity, 1977).
10 Bickle is correct, from my perspective, in rejecting a secret pre-tribulation
rapture. George Elton Ladd, The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the
Second Advent and the Rapture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980).
11 Keith A. Mathison, Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God?
(New Jersey: R&R Publishing, 1995).
12 Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970).
13 In studying eschatology, it is important to allow the New Testament to
interpret Old Testament prophecies, not the reverse.
14 Bickle, Book of Revelation, 134.
15 Much of Bickle’s end-time teaching is founded upon his faulty
interpretations of Daniel 9:20-27 (Seventy Weeks), and Jesus’ Olivet
Discourse (Matthew 24). Sam Storms, www.enjoygodministries.org,
Theological Studies/Eschatology/Daniel’s 70 Weeks & Matthew 24 and the
Olivet Discourse; R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus; John Piper,www.desiringgod.org, Misgivings About Hal Lindsay’s “Planet
Earth” (Sermon, 1974).
16 Bickle teaches an almost sensual bridal church paradigm based on his
allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon.
17 I visited IHOP for one-week in January 2009. I participated in their “Prayer
Room” for many hours. I generally found the worship, led by quality
musicians and singers, to be God-centered and Jesus-honoring.
18 IHOP’s online glossary. http://www.ihop.org/Publisher/Article.aspx?
ID=1000044074. In response to the concerns I raised, Bickle told me that
he planned to remove this glossary from IHOP’s website.
19 Bickle, Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
20 “The prepared prophetic Church alone will have the answers to keep many
from being offended by God.” Bickle, Book of Revelation, 96.
21 Bickle does not see himself as uniquely special, and he affirms other
equipping ministries in the church.
22 2008 OneThing Conference Podcast Promo. http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=K5FMsDrNyn4&feature=email. Bickle, Overview of Revelation,
23 Revelation 8:1-5 reveals that God’s judgments are released by an angel,
and not by the direct prayers of the end-time church as taught by Bickle.
24 Bickle. Book of Revelation, 5.
25 2008 OneThing Conference Podcast Promo. http://www.youtube.com/
26 Bickle, Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
27 Bickle, Book of Revelation, 66, 80.
28 Bickle, Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
29 Bickle, Book of Revelation, 4.
30 Bickle includes Matthew 18:18-19.
31 Bickle, Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
32 Bickle, Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
33 The Coming Eschatological Revolution. http://www.ihop.org/Publisher/
34 2 Kings 1:8
35 IHOP leader Lou Engle (www.louengle.com) is the founder of TheCall
(www.TheCall.com) movement. Lou Engle, The Nazarite Uprising http://www.identitynetwork.net/apps/articles/default.asp?
36 Bickle told me that he has no theological basis for his emphasis
concerning the “harp and bowl” style of prayer. Rather, he is very pragmatic,
and says that it is simply more enjoyable and attracts young Christians.
IHOP 24-7 prayer is led by 25 different worship teams comprised primarily of
young adults. Without these worship teams, I question whether IHOP could
draw and maintain Christians attending their 24/7 Prayer Room. In
discussing this point with Bickle, he fully agreed with me. This prayer model
is very difficult to maintain long-term, it is very labor intensive, requires paid
musicians and singers, and also costs large amounts of money.
37 IHOPU Catalog, 7. Mike Bickle, Tabernacle of David Fact Sheet http://
38 Bickle told me that a ghost-writer wrote his initial Tabernacle of David
article (Charisma Magazine, October 2000) http://www.davidic24-7.com/
tabofdavid.html, and that he did not review it well before publication. The
same article was published online in June 2008 by Charisma http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/charisma-channels/prayer/18750, but
Bickle claims that he did not know that it had been republished. He has now
requested Steve Strang to remove it. However, a similar article including
teaching concerning the tabernacle of David was written by Bickle in April
2008. Mike Bickle, Enjoyable Prayer (Charisma Magazine, April 2008).http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/charisma-channels/prayer/18744
39 John Stott, The Message of Acts (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press,
1990), 246-247. Sam Storms, www.enjoyinggodministries.com, Theological
Studies/Eschatology/Rebuilding the Tabernacle of David.
40 Bickle, Book of Revelation, 4. Bickle, Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
41 Bickle, Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
42 Bickle, Book of Revelation, 4.
43 2008 OneThing Conference Podcast Promo. http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=K5FMsDrNyn4&feature=email. Bickle, Overview of Revelation,
44 Bickle projects four billion people will be killed in the last three and half
years of the Great Tribulation. Bickle, Book of Revelation, 42.
45 John Piper, Misgivings About Hal Lindsay’s “Planet Earth,” 1974.
46 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2
47 N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 132.
48 To my knowledge, Bickle does not allow anyone, even the most qualified
Bible teachers, to teach on the end-times at IHOP unless they primarily
agree with his forerunner eschatology, and his interpretation of the book of
Revelation. Unfortunately, Bickle infers that other interpretations of
Revelation in the church today are lies, and a Satanic strategy to keep the
church from truly understanding Revelation as a end-time prayer manual.
Bickle, Book of Revelation, 96 & Overview of Revelation, Session 1.
49 George Elton Ladd, The Presence of the Future. (Grand Rapids:
50 George Elton Ladd, The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the Second
Advent and the Rapture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 105-119.
51 Bickle states that he is not predicting Jesus’ second coming, but is only
discerning the biblical signs of the times.
52 IHOP engages in local evangelism. However, it lacks any intentional
recruiting and training program for sending long-term cross-cultural